Survive First

April 10, 2019

The startup world is a perilous landscape littered with failed ventures. After about four months of being a part of it, I've realized how quickly and easily everything can fall apart. According to the internet, approximately 91% of startups fail, which is a slightly better statistic than the 95% failure rate for traders.

I also dabble in trading as a hobby rather than a means of making a living. I've always been fascinated by the thrill of gambling and betting. The rush I get every time I enter the market, as well as the satisfaction of a successful order, are incomparable. While I do make a little money from trading, I have no plans to do it full-time. Why? Because I am aware of my flaws - I struggle to control my greed and fear of losing everything in one big play.

Trading is a statistical game to me. It comes down to whether you want to go long or short. Despite learning a lot about Technical Analysis and Price Action, I can honestly say it hasn't been very beneficial.

I recall losing my entire initial investment in the early stages of my trading hobby. It was a difficult pill to swallow. My failure was caused by my greed, lack of discipline, and arrogance in believing I could outwit the market. But that was only half of the problem.

The crux of the problem was that I had forgotten the most important lesson: survival comes first. "Survive first, then make money," famous trader George Soros once said. The goal is to persevere despite market ups and downs without losing your peace of mind.

This survival instinct is just as important in the startup world. Startups are plagued by a lack of users and funds in the early stages. We must constantly adapt and evolve in order to stay afloat.

The principle is simple but profound: you cannot win unless you bet. But you can't bet if you lose everything. As a result, if we have nothing left to wager, we are dooming ourselves to failure. The most important thing is to keep playing regardless of the odds.

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Written by Phong Tran who lives and works in Tokyo building useful things. You can follow him on Twitter

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