Young Elena Lyons

The empire I have built alongside Grant has exceeded all of my wildest dreams — and we’re still going! Despite this, I could have reached these milestones faster if I had a few tools in my youth. Here are the key pieces of advice I would give to a young Elena Lyons…

To be fair, adolescent me thought I was doing pretty well, all things considered. At 17 years old, I moved from New Orleans by myself to become an actress — which I did. This career earned me my own house alongside a collection of fast hot rods

However, I wasn’t living the Hollywood dream all the time…

When acting jobs were scarce, I sometimes couldn’t afford a cup of coffee or know where the rent was coming from…

I had a series of toxic, failed relationships — one in which I lost that house I mentioned earlier…

On top of all that, my younger self would party with drugs and alcohol. 

Admittedly, I’m hard-headed and stubborn. But since, I’ve learned better. 

As a result, I had a couple of realizations that could’ve prevented baby Elena — and you — from all these heartaches in the first place… 

Powerful Pieces of Advice for Myself as Young Elena Lyons

1. Be Your Own Best Friend 

Personally, the root of many of these problems was that I was “punishing myself” for a variety of reasons. 

I believed I didn’t deserve nice things. I didn’t like myself as a person. And I thought I had committed misdeeds that there was no redemption for…


Even if it sounds selfish, I had to make myself a priority. Otherwise, how could I help anyone else? 

That being said, I had to do something else to fully become my own best friend

2. Confront and Take Responsibility for Wrongs

Surprisingly, looking at these “abhorrent” acts and being accountable for them was what finally freed me from the vicious cycle. 

By doing so, I was able to see the impact I could have, good or bad. I have few regrets, but this is something I truly wish I had done earlier in my life. 

Naturally, this led to me being able to forgive myself and move on… 


In the end, being able to love yourself, be accountable, and step out of the past will bring you into your power. 

I hope you take on this advice I would give myself and start going full force towards the life you deserve. I have more lessons from my own life experience and solutions in my book — “Build an Empire: How to Have It All” — if you need more guidance.

From now on, be your own best friend.

Build an Empire, 

Elena Cardone

Featured image: Elena Lyons portraying Della on “Days of Our Lives” / Source:

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