How to Succeed at Life (even if you start late or have a disadvantage)

Succeed at Life

This is for the odd ones. The people who aim to succeed in life even with a disadvantage.

  • If you were not born rich.
  • If you feel like you’re not an actual genius or particularly gifted.
  • If you grew up not knowing what you wanted to do as a kid.

You can still succeed even if you have no special skills or talent.

Nothing was ever handed to me. My teachers in school doubted me. When I applied for jobs, people didn’t take me seriously.

But from around the age of 30, I slowly started on a new path that led me to success according to my own definition.

To me, you succeed when you’re content with your life and work. And there’s no resentment or anger in how you spend your days.

Here’s how I accomplished that.

1. Get hardcore about self-learning

No one will spoon-feed you information, especially when you’re trying to get ahead in life.

You need to become a relentless learner, constantly seeking out new knowledge and skills. This doesn’t mean enrolling in expensive universities and getting more degrees.

I’ve done that and it didn’t give me the answers. You start making progress once you take responsibility for your own progress. You must keep learning new things every single day.

Every day? YES. No days off. You can get off from work, but not from learning because it’s a way of life.

It’s about utilizing all the resources you have at your disposal – books, online courses, podcasts, mentors, and more.

You’d be surprised at how much you can learn by self-study. The key is to learn, learn, learn.

And then you will automatically start applying.

2. Copy your heroes (the winners)

The people who have achieved what you aspire to have already paved the way for you. They’ve made mistakes, learned lessons, and found strategies that work.

You can stand on their shoulders.

Everything I’m currently doing in my career (writing books, teaching courses, blogging) is because others before me opened up new opportunities.

Why not learn from them? One of the things I often write about is investing. And Jesse Livermore is the one I most relate to. I studied Livermore’s life to learn from him. And one of the things I often remember from him is this quote:

“Set your own rules and stick to them; never argue with the market; never make a play you can’t afford; never give way to irrational exuberance. Above all, don’t be a sucker.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean copying them exactly. It means observing their habits, attitudes, and strategies and adapting them to suit your own circumstances.

Read the biographies of the people who have achieved the things you want. Follow their careers, and take note of their advice. Remember, they were once in your shoes, and they found a way to succeed.

3. Combine your new skills with your unique life view

While copying is a great way to start, you must always pave your own path. There’s no honor in copying others forever.

Everyone has a unique perspective on life-based on their experiences, values, and beliefs. As Marcus Aurelius said:

“It is not death that a man should fear, but rather he should fear never beginning to live.”

Try not to live other people’s lives. Do what you can to pursue your unique viewpoint of a good life. Because that’s what sets you apart from everyone else.

So, combine the skills you’ve learned with your experience to cultivate your perspective on everything.

Look at it this way. No one in the world has your set of skills, talents, and perspectives.

4. Do something different than others in your field

Once you start developing your own perspective, it’s time to do something with that.

Do something that’s unique to you.

This could be an innovative business idea, a unique approach to solving a problem, or an investing strategy that works for you. Whatever it is, give it your own twist.

This might take years. And I know because my own path took some time:

  • After I graduated from university, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. So I tried various things: Working on a family business, working for a major corporation, and starting various businesses.
  • Then I started writing in 2015 when I was 28.
  • But it wasn’t until 2021 that I truly created something unique and new. I combined my years of investing insights and views on Stoicism and created a new strategy for building wealth.
  • And so my latest book, The Stoic Path to Wealth, was born.
  • That’s how I developed my unique investing strategy – this new thing that I can offer to the world.

It’s easy to follow the crowd, but it’s the ones who dare to be different that truly stand out. If you want to succeed, you need to differentiate yourself from the rest.

Find a gap in your field and fill it. Offer something that others aren’t.

It takes time and you have to be patient with yourself. But in my experience, as long as you remain consistent with your progress, you’ll get there eventually.

Being different isn’t about being weird or eccentric. It’s about offering value in a way that no one else is.

The odds are against you. Beat them anyway

Unless you’re born with privileges, the odds of succeeding in life are against you. But success isn’t about where you start, and it’s about where you end up.

If I look around me, nearly all of my family members and old classmates ended up where their parents were.

To me, real success if you improve your life situation, not just fulfilling your expectations.

It’s about achieving your true potential. By daring to be different, you can beat the odds and succeed.

Thanks to the internet, you pretty much have all the tools you need to learn and create your own path to success.

Now all you have to do is take the first step.

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