This is a picture of me at 17 years old.

It was just after Christmas. I was up in Wisconsin with my family, where we go every year to do some snowmobiling.

That’s my brand new laptop I got as a present, intended of course to perform at the highest standards in college.

But was that my plan?

Not at all.

That is a candid picture of me smiling and watching World of Warcraft videos of the top players in North America — my competition.

And that is not after-Christmas glee on my face, enjoying a nice family vacation, but a competitive hunger.

I couldn’t wait to get home, back to my desktop, where I could resume my dream of becoming a professional gamer.

I felt like time was running out.

This is a picture of me at 26 years old (taken about a year ago).

I was walking between meetings. I had just quit my job. I didn’t have any clients lined up yet. I was trying to figure out how I was going to land some business.

I felt like time was running out.

The same advice I would give you, is what I would tell my 17 year old self.

Whenever you are aiming for something, whenever you are working toward a goal, whenever you are looking toward the future and trying to build something, you will always, on some level, feel like time is running out.

But the truth is, you are always exactly where you need to be.

And it takes a long time to learn, but patience is actually the best gift you could ever give yourself in the process.

When I was 17 years old, I came back from that vacation (photo at top) and worked my face off for four months straight, staying up all hours of the night to become a professional gamer. And sure enough, I became one of the highest ranked World of Warcraft players in North America, with one of the most popular gaming blogs on the Internet back in 2007.

I even wrote a book about it, called Confessions of a Teenage Gamer.

Fast forward almost 10 years, and a few weeks after I left my full-time job, I was named one of the Top 25 Marketing Influencers to watch in 2017 by Forbes.

And I started to get more business than I knew what to do with.

You have to remember to be patient.

You always have time. There is always more time. I felt like I was running out of time at 17. And sometimes, I still feel like I’m running out of time.

But when I pull back and really just look at the path as a whole, I realize how young I still am — and even more so, how young I was 10 years ago.

You have time.

Just get started today, and keep on moving.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Want to learn how to build your Personal Brand online? I’ve created a free email course teaching people how I’ve gotten over 50 million views on my writing.

Click here to take the free Personal Branding email course!

Originally published at