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The Truth About Success: Preparation, Hard Work, and Learning from Failure

"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." - Colin Powell


Pregame Prep (today's overview)

Don't underestimate the significant amount of time and effort that successful people have invested in their pursuit of progress. Although they may make it look simple and easy: becoming good, looking professional, making consistent profits, or achieving success takes time and effort, and there is continuous education if you want to stay successful and remain a leader.

Many times when we observe someone who is successful in a specific area (sport, industry, or life), we tend to make assumptions and comparisons that are often untrue. We fall into the comparison trap, thinking we are not successful if we use the same baseline as someone who has been studying or practicing for years or even decades. It may sound silly when we have perspective, but people, including myself, get discouraged all the time when things do not happen automatically: when success doesn't just fall in our laps.

Film Review (my experience)

In addition to stock trading, I am very interested in real estate and I attend real estate investor meetups regularly. When meeting new people and the initial question of "what do you do?" arises, I consciously notice their facial expressions before I say, "I trade the stock market full time." The look on their face is usually either total shock or amusement. The next thing they usually say is, "Good luck!" while laughing and they tell a story about how much money they lost in the stock market. Their comments almost always include how risky stocks are or how much they have lost in their Robinhood account.

When I ask them if they know they can insure their stocks the same way they insure their properties, they have no idea. They don't put time learning about stocks like they learn about real estate! If you want to improve and become successful, you must dedicate time and effort to the thing you desire. You need to learn all you can from successful people who are actually doing what you want to do. Be careful of those who only tell you how to do it, but you are unsure if they are just talking about the past. Learn from people actually doing it well right now!


It's easy to look at someone who is successful and assume that doing what they do is going to be easy. Don't get me wrong; it can be simple, but more than likely, there will be discomfort, fear, and some failures along the way to success. How you view your failures is crucial to your success.

Pretty much every leader or super-successful person has a story that involves overcoming major adversity to get where they are today. When you hear them speak about it, they look at this adversity (even if they lost everything) almost with appreciation. It makes sense as many of them literally went from rags to riches.


Offensive Game Plan (actions to obtain freedom)

Let's consider some questions you should ask yourself if you want to become a leader or professional.

  1. How many hours do you study and learning the basics?

  2. Do you spend time each day/week/month practicing?

  3. Do you attend meetups and expand your knowledge and network?

  4. Are you actively reviewing your mistakes or things that didn't go as planned to see if you could have prevented the loss or managed it better?

  5. Do you seek advice and guidance from successful people to help you learn quickly and avoid some of the mistakes we ALL make as newbies?

Defensive Game Plan (actions to defend your freedom)

  1. Avoid comparing your progress and results to others.

  2. Don't be afraid of taking some risks, but be calculated in the risks you take

Post-Game Review (key takeaway)

The point of today's post is to remind you that when you see someone posting pictures from cruise ships and talking about how stock trading paid for their cruises, realize that this success did not happen overnight. This is not to discourage you, but you need to appreciate that you are unlikely to find the same level of success overnight or even in a year or two. If you do get lucky by taking outsized risks, it is likely from taking a gambler's mentality, and if you need a reminder... The house always wins! There is a lot of effort that goes into making things look easy.

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