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Advice Jay Leno, Suze Orman and 10 other successful leaders would give their younger selves

Jay Leno, former host of NBC's  "The Tonight Show"
NBC | Getty Images
Jay Leno, former host of NBC's "The Tonight Show"

With 2018 just around the corner, chances are you're setting goals and making plans for a productive year ahead.

While you're at it, consider the best advice that Jay Leno, Suze Orman and other highly successful leaders would give their younger selves.

Tony Robbins: Think in terms of decades

Tony Robbins
Photo by Noam Galai
Tony Robbins

"Allow yourself to think in terms of decades," the self-made millionaire tells CNBC.

Although you think your plans will unfold in the timeline you hope, "you're going to over estimate what you could do in a year and you're going to underestimate what you could do in a decade," Robbins says, "or in two, three, or in my case now four [decades]."

Daymond John: Work for love, not money

Daymond John
Gonzalo Marroquin | Getty Images
Daymond John

"There's a great saying: Money is a great slave, but a terrible master," the founder of FUBU and "Shark Tank" investor tells CNBC Make It. "I would tell myself, 'Don't do it for the money — do it for other reasons and the money will come. And if it doesn't come, you won't suffer.'"

Jay Leno: Make the same mistakes

Former host of "The Tonight Show" Jay Leno
NBC | Getty Images
Former host of "The Tonight Show" Jay Leno

"Do exactly the same thing, because every mistake you made will give you empathy for other people that make the same mistake," the comedian tells CNBC Make It. "You learn a tremendous amount from the mistakes.

"People who don't make mistakes get sort of cocky and start to think of themselves as better than others. So, yeah, I would make the same mistakes all over again."

Suze Orman: Take your time

Suze Orman speaking at the eMerge Americas conference in Miami on June 12, 2017.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Suze Orman speaking at the eMerge Americas conference in Miami on June 12, 2017.

"When I was 22, I piled all my belongings into a Ford Econoline van. ... My first job after arriving in Berkeley, California, was helping clear away trees and brush. That was followed by a seven-year stretch of waitressing," the personal finance expert writes on LinkedIn. "It wasn't until I was 30 that I landed a job — as a stock broker trainee — that put me on the path that leads directly to where I am today.

"I am not going to suggest that every 22-year-old take eight years to find the path they want to pursue. But at the same time, I hope you are kind to yourself. That you give yourself the time and space to figure things out.

"That's not a license for laziness. I worked, and worked hard, in my 20's. And I wouldn't trade the experiences I had during that time."

Lloyd Blankfein: Chill out

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs

"There's not a sport, there's not an activity, in life where if you have a really hard grip, you're actually better," the CEO and chairman of Goldman Sachs says. "Whether it's baseball or golf or kicking a ball, the looser you are, the further the thing goes. If you're tight, you're not necessarily better."

Richard Branson: Everyone should have a second chance

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson
rune hellestad | Getty Images
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson

"I am not the person I was 42 years ago. I am not even the person I was two years ago. We all change, we all learn, we all grow," the self-made billionaire writes on LinkedIn. "We all deserve a second chance.

"Next time you have the opportunity to give somebody their second chance, don't think twice."

Brian Chesky: Don't raise too much money for your start-up

Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb Brian Chesky speaks during an interview in Langa township, Cape Town, South Africa March 17, 2017.
Mike Hutchings | Reuters
Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb Brian Chesky speaks during an interview in Langa township, Cape Town, South Africa March 17, 2017.

"I would make sure that I did not raise too much money," says the Airbnb CEO, who thinks start-ups raise more money than they need to in their early days.

"If you develop a scrappy culture, the scrappy culture requires you to build more novel solutions, use fewer out-of-the-box software things and you end up just building a scrappy, more frugal, more startup-like environment."

At the end of the day, remember that "constraints create creativity," says Chesky.

Jack Dorsey: Find a healthier work-life balance

Twitter Chairman and Square CEO Jack Dorsey
Bill Pugliano | Getty Images
Twitter Chairman and Square CEO Jack Dorsey

"When I was young, I didn't understand the value of exercise or health and how that affected my intellect," the CEO of Twitter and Square says.

"I think it was useful for me to go to all the extremes to find the balance I have now, but I wish I focused more on being healthier in the past. A healthier lifestyle ultimately makes me more creative and allows me to think more cohesively."

Robert Herjavec: Dream bigger

Robert Herjavec
Ilya S. Savenok | Getty Images
Robert Herjavec

"When I was younger, I didn't understand that people could start their own business. ... I didn't know how to translate my people skills into a career I would be passionate about. At 22, I just didn't get it," the "Shark Tank" star writes on LinkedIn.

"Since I did not know how these things were done, I could not understand how to make them happen. If I'd known I could do these things, I would have done them sooner."

Benoit Vialle: Trust the process

Benoit Vialle, CEO of Wine Access
Courtesy of Wine Access
Benoit Vialle, CEO of Wine Access

"Be an optimist, and trust the process," the CEO of Wine Access tells CNBC Make It. "A positive outlook on life will help you get through any challenge."

Jim Weber: Master the soft skills

Jim Weber, CEO of Brooks Running
Courtesy of Brooks
Jim Weber, CEO of Brooks Running

"I have no regrets, but I would say, develop yourself as a leader of people and as a developer of people," the CEO of Brooks tells CNBC Make It. "I wish I had done more work on human psychology, relationships and becoming a more empathetic leader. That's a skill-set that I really focused on in my 40's."

Chris Fanini: Choose your friends wisely

Chris Fanini
Source: Chris Fanini
Chris Fanini

"The people you surround yourself with is really important," the co-founder of Weebly tells CNBC Make It. "There's a saying that you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and I think that's very true."

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