An open letter to my 19 year old daughter.

Alan Smithson
4 min readAug 17, 2023


Dearest Abi, I am so proud of you. You are only 19 and you have already done more than a lot of people twice your age. From inventing sandals that leave a heart shaped tan line on your feet, Love Sandal, when you were 10 … to organizing and executing a two massive fundraising galas this summer. You are amazing and I love you. As you go off to your second year of university I have these words of encouragement and advice.

1. You are the company you keep. The friends you spend time with have more influence on you than any school, teacher, parent or institution could ever, choose your friends wisely. You are the sum of the 5 people you see the most.

There is a saying “Show me your friends and I will show you your future”

2. Be Kind to everyone. the world’s needs more kindness it does not need more criticism, condemnation or complaining. Spend your time being grateful, complimenting people… the world is not a net sum game, the world is vast and large and full of 8 billion incredible humans. You never know what someone has gone through in their life so treat all people with respect and kindness.

3. Trust your intuition. In the absence of advisors or parents or other friends it is imperative that you make your own decisions trust your gut, trust your intuition, trust your brain make decisions stand by them…but when new information comes to light, be able to change your mind and make course corrections as required.

4. Know your worth. Your time is yours alone to choose what to do how to spend it, how to make money, when to sleep, when to eat, what concerts to go to. Only you can set your price, it is completely up to you what job to take, what work to do and what problem in the world you want to spend your time solving for humanity.

5. Exercise Regularly. It is been proven over and over again that the best medicine for all illness is exercise and happiness. Maintain your body and it will serve you hopefully for over 100 years. Keep going with yoga, keep deep breathing, keep your brain and body in peak physical condition and you will have a long and beautiful life.

6. Invest wisely. Don’t chase shiny things. Make a plan, stick to it, invest your money wisely, watch it grow and don’t spend it on dumb sh*t. A dollar saved is like $2 made so be careful how you use the tool known as capital. The best investments you can ever make is in yourself. This can never be taken away and it belongs to you forever. invest in courses, invest in learning and of course invest in stocks, real estate, bonds, startups, whatever you think will get you to time freedom the fastest.

7. Time is finite. Time on this planet is finite it is for all of us, so take moments to reflect on what you’re doing make plans for the future but don’t waste your time doing things that don’t matter. Spend your time with great people doing great things.

8. Make the world a better place. You probably won’t realize it until later on in life but the best part of being human is helping others. The best part of being on this planet is knowing that there are 8 billion others and each of us can make a difference make the world a little better, make our time here special and wonderful. Make the best of your time here by making the world a better place for others.

9. Dress up and go out. You recently attended your first festival and I was so proud to see you dressed up like a freak in neon colours with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. Dressing up, having fun going out is part of the fabric of life…not just the fabrics you wear but the personality you exude. Be yourself however bright that may appear to others. Never let others dictate who you are and what you wear. Caveat: people do judge you by how you dress so in formal and business settings, always dress better than the average person…stand out for the right reasons.

10. Celebrate life and be grateful. The best thing you can do in life is to celebrate every single day and be grateful for those in your life, for the circumstances good and bad that come along and know that every day that you wake up is another day that you get on this planet to make someone smile and to have some fun never forget this celebrate life every single day.

Abi, I’m so proud of you I love you and I can’t wait to see what’s next for you and the world around you God speed young lady.

Love Daddy xoxo

Abi Smithson at 19.



Alan Smithson

Alan’s purpose in life is to inspire and educate future leaders to think and act in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable way.