I’m 30 and I think I wasted my 20s…

by Cole

Ialways felt like I would work as hard as I can now so I could enjoy life later on. Ya know… chase my dreams. I didn’t really party in my 20s. I didn’t sleep with a bunch of people. Or go to school — well I started, just didn’t finish. I worked, grinded, and hustled trying to make it in music, acting, and business.

Some people told me I would regret not having such a good time as a kid. I couldn’t help but think:

“Am I wasting my 20s? Should I be doing something else right now?

I really worked hard to set myself up for success in three ways.

I wanted to do what I love. Find a way to make money as a creative to fuel what I love. And find a really fairytale-like partner/relationship.

Coming from the time we were in as a person in my younger 20s, right before or at the beginning of the social media boom, it was almost far-fetched to do all of those things. Or that’s what it felt like to me. I feel like you just didn’t see it like you do today. But I still fought for it and still fight for it.

My twenties were a time of figuring out what I love, finding and growing with people that really care about me, and a whole bunch of trial and error. Let’s take a look at what I did with my 20s, and if you’re in your 20s maybe it can shed perspective, if you’re 30+, maybe you’ll find it interesting.


  • Moved to the big city, COLA, and started serving food and doing odd jobs while rapping in my spare time. Recorded first album in a studio and dropped it. Went from single to a relationship.
  • I learned to take a risk for my dream. And it paid off. And I learned love.


  • Focused on music, joined a hip-hop collective, dropped a project, started performing and tried other jobs like selling shit at Sam’s Club. I learned so much this year it’s wild, but one of the biggest things I learned was how cool it is to be a part of a creative team. And performing. That was huge for me.


  • Dropped second hip-hop collective project. Performed bigger and bigger shows. Started doing internships and working with a PR Firm while delivering Pizza. I started to learn a lot about business here and how to communicate with business folk. I felt like entrepreneurial Cole was born here, and I solidified that I was good at making music.


  • Dropped debut album SODA, built hype around the city, performed more / bigger. Started my own business and quit all other jobs. Left girlfriend and parted ways with crew. Clean slate of sorts. Started dating a new girl. Felt like I had lost everything. This was my first time losing everything I had built but maintaining what I had learned. I learned that everything can be taken away. But I took more leaps with my gut and believing in myself.


  • Struggled to make money. Had to do some side hustles to survive. Got into major credit card debt. and ended up having my girlfriend join my business. This year I learned a lot about trial and error. Debt. And a different kind of love.


  • Doubled my business, and started doing music again slowly. Launched Youtube, which came out of nowhere in a lot of ways. Started connecting back with the music community. I learned so much about business, working with a partner, and how it feels to make a comeback.


  • Tripled my business. had people helping me out with the business. Felt more confident, doing podcasts, directed my own music video, and learned a lot about photography and film. I learned how hard it is to have a team and taste of what it takes to really grow a business. And how not everyone has a vision.


  • Moved to LA. Then the pandemic happened, left a toxic relationship, and moved back home. Then, ex stole my business. Felt lost, confused and like I lost everything again. lower than ever. Continued learning video, photo, and youtube. Started business over. Still dropped an EP. And met my current girlfriend. I learned an incredible amount this year. Simply, I learned again how it can be taken away and how shit happens, but we must keep going to make it out.


  • Became a real estate agent. Grew business. Dropped a pop record for the first time. Then, my girlfriend Ngoc-Linh wanted to move. we landed on… LA. I was ready to pursue music and acting. My excitement about moving to LA quickly faded as I ran out of money. Started new business of photo/video in LA. Kept doing Youtube.


  • Quadrupled LA business by the end of the year in LA. Got a puppy, and made friends. Took acting classes. Played in a short film. Started really making music again and reconnected with long-time friends and collaborators. Kept doing youtube. Tripled Youtube growth.

When I look back at this, it all starts to make sense. It tells me that nothing was “wasted”.

Literally, everything I had learned in my 20s prepped me to succeed in my 29th year.

  • Socializing
  • Learning to make money
  • Being a better partner
  • Being consistent
  • Patience
  • Authenticity

To each their own, but I think life looks different to everybody. Some people need to have fun in their 20s and travel the world and find their purpose. Some people need to grind. Some need to fail. Some need to succeed. The tests will come. We won’t always pass. Life is like the stock market, going up then going down, but when it goes back up again it usually goes much higher. IF YOU KEEP GOING. KEEP LEARNING. Following your gut. Being kind. Staying healthy. Loving hard. Being authentic.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

It’s not wasted, folks. It’s just your journey. If you feel like you are wasting away your time, just take a hard look at where you are and where you want to go. Make some changes. Maybe for you, it took up until right now for you to make those changes. And that’s okay. I think this goes for any age, and any journey.

I’ve accepted my 20s, not that I never doubt any decision, but I do know that in every moment I made the best decision that I could make with my given circumstances while also being true to my heart and gut. That matters.

I’ll end it here. You’re not wasting your 20’s. Go live and be you.

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