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Success and Failure

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I think the success to anything does not simply lie on "Failure is okay; just keep doing it till successful." This is wrong. It urges you to blindly risk whatever it takes in hope that success would come at the end. Of course, success will come after a string of failures but at what price you have paid for it? And when? I hope it will come before your life candle runs out. You won't have a clue about the answers because your mantra lies solely on the foundation of hope rather than reality.

Failure is NOT okay. You are constructing a tall building, for instance. When it collapses and kill a bunch of people, it is NOT okay for you to say, "Nah... I'll just buy more cement and build it again. After a few more collapses, one will stand tall." This is not a statement you will hear from a sane person.

Likewise, if you are a doctor performing a life-threatening surgery on this person, it is NOT okay to say, "I'm going to try removing this black-yellow thing out. Here it goes nothing..." And then the person dies, and you say, "Ops! Hehehe another failure. I did it again! But it's okay." This is not from the mouth of a sane doctor.

Well, don't get me wrong. I am not an expert in this success and failure things. At least I know what works for me and what not. Now I am struggling to be successful myself. In finance and business, I think I have done a pretty good job, having gone from a kid waiting for dollars from his parents to a financial-independent adult running a company in another country. In education, I think I have done a pretty good job too, having transformed myself from a kid who "believes everything people say because he doesn't know much" to an adult who "questions things around him and finds out the truth and what not."

My mantra on success is that, to be successful, one has to understand and manage the risk (and reward) very well. There is no excuse, and there is no easy way to cheat your way around it.

For every business venture, you must pen your ways to achieving the objectives. You are selling clothes, for instance. One of your objectives would be to maximize your profits. Ask yourself how you would do it, what tools you will need, whose expertises you will hire, how much money you will need to keep the cash flow healthy, and last but not least how much time you will consume. You absolutely must not try your ideas out blindly because you think it's cool and that failure is acceptable. If you do that, you will fail, period.

For risk management, you should be aware of the obstacles, big and small, that you may face, and then plan out how you would absorb such impacts on your project. You are buying and selling properties or stocks, for instance. One of the prominent risks is that the prices could fall. What if it falls by 20%, what would you do? Would you sell it as soon as possible? Or would you hold on to it until the prices fall by 50% or even more? Or would you need certain data to make decision? You should never wait for problems to arise first to plan out the solutions later, or you could be too late to solve it.

To conclude, there are three outcomes when people do stuff. One, failed. Two, successful. Three, neither failed nor successful. It is common for people to make mistakes and to fail; however, one should try his best to minimize the chance of failure by managing the risk accordingly. If it does fail, allow it to fail gracefully and controllably. In case of doubt, he should all together avoid the risks that do not suit his risk profile. If the opportunity is too risky, just pass it. Only play on what you can afford to lose, 'cause if you screw it up big time, that one big time, you might end up living on the street screaming why heaven did not help.

There are those rich people out there who write books and do seminars, and they spread lies just to pimp money from your pocket. Are you sure that people like Donald Trump tells you his business secrets in a $19.99 book so that you would become a better competitor who would then bring down his billion-dollar empire? Think about it. Well, I hope you find this article helpful one way or another.

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