Photo of 13 Year Old Self

Hey Matthew,

Right now you’re about halfway done with Prep 9 (you know, that 14-month academic bootcamp to prepare you for a top-tier boarding school?), and you’re just about ready to quit.

You’ve missed out on an entire summer already because of endless amounts of work and Saturday school. You’re tired and sleep-deprived — and you’re only 13! In fact, you just told your program guidance counselor that you’re strongly considering leaving the program. I get it man — I was there with you the entire time.

I’m here to tell you to hold on.

Hold on to this awesome program that will open so many doors for you.

Hold on to your family and friends for support; they will always have your back.

Hold on to your advisors, mentors, and teachers who care about you. And hold on tight because you’ve just embarked on a wild journey!

You might not fully realize it, but you’re full of hustle, grit, and passion. Those three traits alone are going to take you a long way – along with that million-dollar smile of course! This is only the beginning, and soon you’ll accomplish many of the goals that you’ve set for yourself. Frustration, failure, and feeling stuck are all part of the growing pains.

Remember what Mom always says: “Everything happens for a reason.”

It’s not always the right time for something to happen, and sometimes you have to go through a lot of struggle before you achieve the success you want. Once you finish Prep 9, you’ll be even more resilient than ever, and you’ll realize that nothing and no one can stop you from achieving your dreams.

You’ll be in boarding school before you know it, and it’ll be a huge culture shock for you. You’ll deal with typical high school issues, but instead of getting a break by going home to your family at night, you’ll be going back to your dorm room with the rest of your classmates. It won’t be easy, but you’ll get involved with activities and sports you love, which will help keep you focused and sane.

You will get accepted into your top college and you’ll grow in those four years a tremendous amount. You’ll fail at certain things (like that 100-level anthro course freshman spring), learn a ton about people and life, become more open-minded, and discover who you truly are and who you want to become.  Your paths will become clearer during those four years. Yes, I said paths, because you’ll soon realize that there are many ways to achieve the same goal.

All of your hard work and resilience will pay off during your first full-time job out of college when you will be sitting next to the founder of Match.com and other serial entrepreneurs with so much wisdom to share.

From there, your next steps will continue to be full of risk, but one thing is certain, your goals are clear and your momentum is strong. In about one month, you’ll move to Nashville (yes, you’re leaving NYC — but that’s nothing new for you) to work from your company’s new office.

As Dr. Seuss says,

“You have brains in your head, and feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”

You’re following your dreams and taking so many risks in the process. Sacrifice has become the norm for you, and you’re willing to do whatever it takes to make it. You’re well on your way to becoming the person you always knew you could be.

Trust me.

Just hold on.

It’s going to be worth it.

-Matt Padilla

Sales Development Representative

GrowthX Academy