From street kid to investor: my guidelines to achieve personal and financial success
I grew up in the post-socialist Hungary in the 90’s. It was okay but that mentality about money and everyday economics was just crazy and frankly it took me some time to get it out from my head. I am coming from a council estate that was full of drug dealers, alcoholics, street kids and other failures so my environment was not inspiring, neither motivating. At 15 started using drugs and had problems with the police… not a good start.
Failure is hard coded in most people
The need for change mostly comes when we are already in trouble. We want to make money when we don’t have, we want to lose weight when we are already fat and get our relationships fixed when it’s broken. Most people work like this - and this is why most of us never get ahead in life. Instead of maintaining consistent improvement, they just keep fixing their own mistakes.
Another thing I have noticed is that most of us are not ready to accept criticism and get offended if someone wants to help them. These kind of people seek comfort instead of ways to improve themselves. Comfort zone is a dangerous place to be, the ones who get used to it will not likely do anything to improve their life further.
Let these sink in first…
How to overcome our failure patterns
To break free from your failure patterns, you need to challenge yourself, push yourself to do and achieve more. Very important is to set goals that are important to you, and not your environment. If you think too much about how others perceive you then you will get confused and fail.
You also need to understand that society does not want you to succeed. People around you do not want you to become successful because it will make them look like failures. So they will keep dragging you down, share their negative opinion just to prevent your success. This is also hard coded in most people in our society - and you will need to deal with it by not giving a fuck.
In order to break your failure patterns and become the best of yourself, you will need to become a badass that does not listen just do. Do whatever that you want and push yourself to do it better and better.
Start small, but challenge yourself from the beginning
Big things do not start quickly. Begin with small changes, like taking another route to work, waking up earlier or doing sports. Doing sports and pushing your physical limits is I think the best to start with as everything will seem much easier after. For me, physical pain after hard workouts or jogging sessions are the worst to overcome - buying investments and working on marketing strategies are a lot more easier.
You also want to learn how to create. Start working with clay, wood, draw, get your tools and do some DIY. This will teach you that you can create something out of nothing and will boost your confidence to create or do bigger things. It is very important to finish anything that you start.
You have to train yourself. Becoming a winner is all about reprogramming your brain from failure patterns to a winner mindset. So keep challenging yourself with small stuff one after the other for at least 3-6 months before starting something big.
As I said sports, heavy workouts are essential to wipe out your loser mindset, and pushing your creative capabilities to new limits is similarly important. After a few months, you will be a person with confidence and capability to start something significant.
Master your execution skills
You can have the best knowledge, without putting it into action you will achieve nothing. Execution skills are all about getting things done, efficiently and preferably effortlessly.
When mastering your execution skills, you will need to learn how to get over yourself, correct yourself, deal with risk and handle unexpected situations. You will need to learn how to force yourself to get something done even when your projects turn totally around.
You will want to improve your time management, learn how to set priorities and most importantly how to ignore naysaying people and other disturbing factors and focus on your targets like a shark.
For me this was the hardest part, as I was always a bit disorganized. But I forced myself to learn discipline and become like a machine when it comes to getting work done. Building my first business was super hard work, it costed me tens of thousands of dollars, 2 years and a lot more but I did it and today I still enjoy the benefits.
Learn to be an assertive motherfucker
Yes, to be successful you will need to be a badass. You just do what you want and don’t let anyone bother you. You just only help others if it won’t delay your priorities, or if the person is very close to you.
In business you will need to step over others, and sometimes you will need to eliminate others in order to secure yourself and your allies. I have learned it the hard way. In the beginning I was trying to be friends with everyone, was doing favors like nothing else matters and tried to please everyone. This costed me a lot and I got almost nothing out of it.
Later I learned to evaluate situations better and only accept deals where my benefit is clearly outlined. Today, I refuse offers and invitations where my involvement is not obviously rewarding in some ways.
This kind of behavior will upset some snowflakes and people who you leave behind but if your choice is success and self-fulfillment then you need to continue and leave people who cannot keep up with you.
I have lost friends and partners and while I do feel sorry about some, I understand that it was necessary.
Be ready to transform after your success
Achieving success is surprisingly easy if you approach it the right way, but most people fail right after their first few major achievements. Why is this? Should not they just continue like they did before?
This is a very interesting phenomena and I can confirm that it is definitely real. Becoming successful carries the risk of getting into a new comfort zone. Imagine that you just made some serious money, bought a nice car and your business is listed among the better ones. You got what you wanted and you feel good about it. Why would you keep trying hard?
This is a tricky situation - yes, you should enjoy what you have achieved but don’t get too comfortable. You can lose everything. Don’t forget that you have competitors thinking about how to fuck you over, and people who hate you for your success. So you need to keep moving.
For me this point was especially challenging. By the time I learned how to improve and manage my company I already seen that the mindset and skills I developed to achieve this will not work to go further. My first business was built with super hard work but at this point I knew that I need to use my money to maintain quicker growth and I also realized that I need to get rid of certain tasks and commitments that do not bring me further.
So I decided to divide my company, sell the labor intense marketing agency part, kept the consulting division to myself. Besides consulting I started investing so in stocks and companies and made my money work for me instead of me working for money.
The important thing is that you need to be a warrior to become and remain successful. You will need motivation, power, intelligence and most importantly discipline to separate yourself from the average, but I can assure you that it definitely worth it!
I hope that these thoughts will help you to get started on your journey and make the best out of yourself. To your success!