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What I Learned Before Turning 30 Years Old


A few days ago I celebrated my 30th birthday. I finally answered the “how old are you” question with “I’m 30”. This is the beginning of the next new decade of my life.

Before I turned 30, I read Ryan’s article about what he had learned until turning 30, how he lived his life and other topics about this age. I don’t think that growing old is a reason for getting upset or making a big deal out of it. I just believe that these are some numbers and that’s all.

But I was thinking about what I’ve learned in the last few years. What are my beliefs and how I work now instead of how I used to work a few years ago.

You won’t see many articles like this one on this blog.

So here are my thoughts about what I’ve learned before I turned 30.

Let people disappoint you – this is maybe my personal statement for 2017. I believe in people and I love working with different people on different projects, but there were moments when I had some expectations from a few close friends or partners and they disappointed me. Yes, this is the truth.  So this is the thing that I keep saying in my mind every time I’m disappointed by somebody close to me or by somebody with whom I’m working with. Let people disappoint you, it’s the only way you can move along and make another step. We are all people, and I know that I disappoint other people too.

Choose the battles you want to lose – I know that I’m a stubborn person and when I do something I believe that that is the only right way in which it should be done. So I learned that sometimes if I want to win a bigger battle I have to choose to lose the small ones.

Do something different – A few weeks ago I’ve launched my own podcast series in which I talk with marketers and other professionals about marketing and life. By now I’ve learned how to talk with people, how to prepare a podcast and how to launch it. This project made me get out of my comfort zone and try experimenting with something different.

Have a side-project – Even if I work 10 hours a day for Bannersnack I still have my own side-projects (my personal blog, my podcast) because they constantly give me opportunities to experiment something new and be more responsible. For example, in content marketing I can experiment with my personal blog, see the results and then go to our marketing team, show them and see if it’s suitable for us or not.

Have a healthy family – At the end of the day, when you go home from a party, from work or from a meeting there must be a moment that gives you a better understanding of what life really is. For me, knowing that somebody is waiting home for me, somebody that also fights to build with a strong family and future is important.

Invest in the next generation – I’m sick of the people who blame the next generation, the ones who don’t read enough, the ones who only stay with their faces in the screens, the ones who don’t respect the older ones. That’s the reason why I’m investing in the new generation, why I like being connected with them, talking with them on the phone, replying all my emails and having coffee with them. And also it’s a great exercise for me to understand how they see this world and what I can do to create a better world for them.

Ask and learn from the older ones – While I enjoy spending time with youngsters, I also want to stay close with the oldest ones around me. The people who are old enough to understand what life really means and how to deal with difficult situations. I have friends with whom I’m talking about my life, my struggles and my desires and they are 10 or 20 years older than me.

Have a mentor – Having a mentor is a really great thing. But I believe that a mentor is more than a just person who is charging you a few hundred dollars per month to give you some life advice. The real mentor is the one who doesn’t want any money or benefits from you but instead believes in you and wants to see you how you grow and become a better person. I still have a mentor, even if I don’t talk to him every day or every month. But when we meet I feel him very close to me and I know I can open myself up to him.

Have your own beliefs – It doesn’t matter if you believe in a philosophy, in a religion, or an idea, just believe in something and keep your belief first. That’s why I read the Bible.

Help others with their projects – Helping each other is one of the best things I’ve learned in the last few years. When someone is reaching out to you and asks for your help, just do it. Without asking anything in return. I believe in Cristina’s project, The CEOlibrary and when she asked me to do an interview for it, I said yes. Because I believe that helping each other, is one of the best things we can do as human beings.

Choose when to answer the phone – I don’t always answer my phone. I choose when to answer it. There are moments when I’m in the middle of my creative moment and I don’t like being disrupted just because somebody wants to reach me on the phone.

Don’t work only for money – Think about how your work would be if you will went earlier to your office and did more than what is asked from you. But not only because you can get a raise, but because you can do something better and create a better work environment for yourself and for the ones around you. I think about this lesson often when I get early to work.

Turn off the internet – this was a hard lesson. Because I’m a digital marketer and a content creator I believe that I have to be connected 24/7. So every time I went home from my job I was always looking at my phone, checking my emails and refreshing my Facebook, but then I realized that I’m not working but I’m also not present in the room. So I’m still learning to close the internet from my phone from time to time.

Buy experiences, not objects – Even if you travel to another city, visit museums, travel by train or discover another culture. This year we get together with other 3 families, rented a minivan and visited Poland, Austria and Hungary and went to a concert. Everything in only 4 days. It was awesome.

Read books – I was afraid of reading books in English (even if my native language is Romanian) but now I’m more comfortable to reading in English, because it has helped me develop a better thinking of this language and also it’s easier to understand what the author wanted to write in his native language. And it’s helping me learn from others experiences and stay disconnected from a screen.

A to-do list every day – Every morning I go to my office, I turn on the laptop and grab my coffee I write down my to-do list. What I have to do for my work, what I have to do on my personal projects and other things I have to check (Call someone, buy something, order something). And it’s a great feeling to check the things you have to do at the end of the day.

Go to concerts – I try to go to concerts every year. This year and last year I went to two Switchfoot concerts and they were amazing. I just relaxed, listened to some great music, danced and sang with the lead singer Jon Foreman.

Go to conferences Conferences are a great way to learn something new and also to connect with others in your industry. Just check out when’s the next conference in your town, buy a ticket, go there with a pen and a notebook, write down the ideas and try to connect with people in the coffee break. You will see how amazing you’ll feel afterwards..

E-mail the ones you are following on the internet – I’m consuming Gary Vaynerchuk’s content and I really love what he’s doing. So more then just sharing his videos and articles and commenting to his blog posts, I wanted to do something more personal. So I emailed him. I told him who I am, what I’m doing and just told him what I thought – that he is doing a great job. He emailed me back. Simple with a few words. It was a great feeling.

Create something – I like drawing, and sometimes I have this desire of doing something that’s not related to the internet. So, I just grab a paper and a pen and create something. Even if I will hide the drawing in a book, or just throw it in the garbage I want to create something from nothing with the tools I have close to me. It’s also a great way to meditate and think about the ideas I have.


The really cool thing with blogging is that you can write anything on your blog, even if it’s a marketing blog, you can still publish a personal article and read it after a few years and see how you thought about that certain moment of your life.

I hope you enjoyed this article.

If you’d like to read more articles like this one, just let me know in comments.

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Robert Katai

Brand and Communication Manager

"Content isn’t king. Usefulness is. Robert does this in the online marketing and social media space with ease."

Ram Castillo

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