To the Class of the World of 2014

Dear Class of 2014,

You’re about to discover the best way to deal with the future. One that I’m sure you’re not going to like, but it’s the only solution to the problems you face.

But first, I have a question.

What happened to the adventurous youth of yesterday?

In my coming-of-age days, it was all the rage to get out of your parent’s house and travel the globe. Years ago, young people were eager to throw on a backpack, sleep in hostels, and see the world. Now, the trend is for them to finish college and move back in at home or never leave at all. What am I missing?

After all, today opportunity exists all over the globe like never before. Exotic countries like Brazil, Singapore, Malyasia, and Chile are all rising economies with great prospects for entrepreneurs and intelligent, hard-working individuals. Why not take advantage of the chance to combine world travel with work experience?

In fact, most of my friends have not even grown out of their travel-the-world-for-opportunity stage.

One of my best friends from high school, also with the initials CB (so we called him CB Sr.) and his girlfriend picked up and moved from Belfast to Doha, Qatar. It is there, in the Mid-East, that a great opportunity for him in the fitness world exists, one that is no longer available in Europe. He’s positioning himself to better take control of his future and financial independence.

Another mate, known to all as “Kiwi Chris”, has spread his wings from New Zealand, and, after time in Miami, has settled in Medellin, Colombia. There he runs his nutritional supplement company. That is to say, he’s there to salsa dance, while running a supplement company on the side.

My mysterious friend, Simon Black, travels the world, seemingly visiting a new country every week. During his travels, he explores opportunities in developing locales that are breaking free from poverty and competing for intrepid entrepreneurial investors.

And yes, I even know many interesting, adventurous people under the age of 25, having met them the past few summers at our Liberty and Entrepreneurship camp held in Lithuania. Our friend Yure drove from Eastern Europe across the Middle East and all the way to the shores of Vietnam. He’s now settled in Thailand and writes about the burgeoning entrepreneurial opportunities there.

Another friend, Julian, who has spent time in over two dozen countries. With each new place he visits, he not only sends updates of his business ventures, but also his trademarked photo of him doing a handstand in the new country.

Then there’s Gary, who not only attended our camp but has also joined us here at Early to Rise as one of our copywriters. He gets to work with his mentors and learn a valuable skill while earning his keep. Gary left a promising, but intellectually stifling career back on the East Coast to move more than halfway across the country to chase his dream of autonomy and financial independence. Gary now works in our unique open office space in downtown Denver alongside our Director of Operations, Jeff Schneider, and the rest of our small, but committed team.

All of these young folks have taken the world by the tail – because there is NO other option. But the great news is that no matter what your age or where you live, you don’t actually have to leave your country, your city, or even your home to succeed.

Today, you can combine your energy and passion with technology to work towards what you believe in. You can inspire people with your dreams. You can sit at home and, by leveraging the power of the Internet, add value to the world and create your own financial reality.

Because here’s the bottom line about the best way to succeed in the coming years.

We have NO choice but to deal with the present and the future that gets thrown at us. We must deal with reality and make the best out of whatever situation we are in. You can’t change the past. You can’t control others. But you can control your future, and you control how you respond to everything.

I have great faith in you. Whether you are 16 or 76, you still have so much to offer the world and yes, you can make it a better place. The sun will come up tomorrow whether you’re angry or optimistic. It’s your day. We all have the same 24 hours, and it’s up to you to choose what to do with it.

Choose well. Choose to change. Choose to add value to the world.

I admit, it will not be easy, I’m not promising you an easy path to a six-figure income, but on those days when you are struggling, remember this:

You will do a lot of things right in your life, business, and career that you’ll think that no one noticed, and you might get disheartened. But trust me, taking action equals attraction of opportunity.

Your hard work is not going unnoticed. Instead, your efforts are accumulating goodwill and will continue to do so until one day – BOOM – you will reach “overnight success” status.

Believe me, I know how you feel. I spent almost a decade struggling in obscurity before my hard work accumulated into success.

It happened by taking action every day, strong and steady, by overcoming obstacles and powering through the dips, by trudging onward through tough days and getting energized by great days. The backbone for it all was my clear vision of what I wanted to achieve. Each action a small victory, each accomplishment another step closer to my big breakthrough.

So keep going. Keep pushing.

Take action and you’ll attract good people, great opportunity, and exactly, yes exactly, what you want in life. Do not get down, and never, ever, ever give up. Everyone here at Early to Rise is with you on your journey, right by your side.

Let me know how we can help you finish off 2013 – and start 2014 – by making major progress towards your goals.

[Ed Note: Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise (Join him on Facebook here) and author of Financial Independence Monthly and Turbulence Training. He is also the co-creator of the Early to Rise $100,000 Transformation Contest. Though this round of the Transformation Contest has closed it’s not too late to get access to all the helpful tools and advice that has helped many people make a positive change in their lives. Get started on your major life transformations today.]