11 — Startup Stories — Lessons on Success, Failure and Bitcoin

sam and theo.jpeg

Sam Harris and Theo Ricketts

 

This final episode of the trilogy, the season and the entire year.


We finish up our conversation with some personal stories and a review of how entrepreneurs can be more successful.


I share some of my best insights from the podcast this year as well as my 2 cents on bitcoin and being a strategic investor.

 

Top Tips

1. Success = Execution, Persistence and just taking it Seriously

There have been a number of idea’s that really could have been a success if we’d put more effort into the execution and persisted with the idea. Often the success of a project is directly relational to how seriously you take it. Putting time and money into it is often the only way to really ignite a business. Once things are going and you have a customer the next steps can seem to happen but crossing the chasm from a hobby side-project to a fully fledged business is a big step you have to commit to by taking a big breath and taking the plunge.

2. Practice Minimalism

A million to-dos in your day are confusing and lead to decision fatigue and generally poor execution. Having less is really more in all aspects of life. Practicing minimalism in everything is liberating and allows you to be much more successful. Whether it is stuff you have stored at home or the amount of packing you have. to the number of idea’s, you work on at once.
Now that I’m living a more minimal life I really find it mental the amount of stuff that people have they don’t use, yet they let it take up their time and money just keeping hold of these things they don’t need. A great new years thing to do is a big clear-out of your possessions. Analyse your main projects and prioritising which ones you want to achieve first and focus on just that. Give your brain the freedom to be awesome at something without distraction

3. Be Realistic about expectations

For your own sanity and for the benefit of others you can really help yourself by being realistic about what you expect to achieve. Being ambitious is essential, but if it leads to you overpromising on things you will end up working far too hard on things that you under-deliver on. People will perceive you as a failure and often incapable, you will lose motivation yourself and end up with too many things on your plate which as discussed earlier is not what you want.
Allowing longer timelines for things means you can do them properly with focus. People you work with whether a customer or a boss will know when they are getting the thing and you can expect it to be of correct quality. You can execute stress-free and have some time for yourself to chill rather than running around like a stressed out headless idiot that ends up failing at everything. There is a fine line between ambitious and plain naivety and be careful to always stay on the correct side of it

4. Meditation

Meditating has some serious life benefits. It’s not easy emptying your mind and concentrating on one thing and anyone who practices meditation for 20 minutes and says they achieve complete calm the whole time is a liar. The point is to recognise that you’ve gone off the rails and bring yourself back to the start. 
The more you practice the better you get and you can focus on your work or task at hand with much less procrastination so that you can then quickly get onto the other things you enjoy. 
I have a slightly overly active mind and this has helped me certainly in working. but only last week for the first time did this help with sleep. I generally get some idiot idea in my brain or something from the day that pisses me off and I have these stupid conversation replay in my mind of what I’m going to do and it all goes nowhere. for the first time was I really able to step out of my own head. Tell myself I’m wasting my time and quiet the inner monkey. and next thing I was asleep. This might not sound like much to you but for me this was incredible. 
Whatever personal vices you have whether it’s being more grateful for the stuff around you. Being less stressed out or being more focused at work. 
Meditating on these subjects can bring real benefits and success in defining how you want to be as a person.

5. Bitcoin

It would be a bit wrong to finish the year without talking about bitcoin. I’ve personally invested a fair amount of money in it and made some incredible gains over the year. I did a lot of research on the topic, listening and reading to everything I could. As a scientist I feely very safe in concluding that no one really knows what’s going on. It final hit virility and mainstream and no one really predicted exactly how that could play out. from one week to another the cryptocurrency of favour makes no real logical sense and you can’t predict it.
My personal recommendation if you are wanting to invest is to spread your money over quite a few currencies and don’t hedge your bets on just a few. Spending time trying to trade them is a huge risk where you will likely lose yourself money and a lot of time and gain a whole load of stress. It’s taking over the lives of so many people right now who have a severe addiction I really would advise just buying and not looking for a year too much.
Regret minimisation I think is essential to be mindful of when it comes to crypto. On how much to invest decide in long run with a potential of 1000% gain or 100% loss what would you regret the least in ten years time and invest something you’re comfortable with. 
When taking money out or moving it remember it can shoot up again tomorrow or crash basically on a 50:50 basis. so if either of those events will fill you with regret don’t let captain hindsight beat you up later or panic when your holdings go down and sell everything.

Remember to keep a more bird’s eye view of your investments rather than being caught up in each little one emotionally.
Say you own 100 grand and you decide to put 5% into bitcoin. hypothetically that money grows to be 105 grand so you now are worth 200 grand.
So over 50% of your entire world money is in bitcoin. a highly volatile and risky place for it to be.
So let’s say you had no money in bitcoin but now own 200 grand, would you invest over 50% of all your money into Bitcoin? If not then you should take some out! Otherwise, why didn’t you put 50% into bitcoin in the first place?

This is a key lesson to keep you sane and more likely to sell high and buy low rather than the other way round which is a classic trap people fall into when a market feels like it’s sliding or going up and you end up buying at the peak form FOMO or selling in the dip from panic.

 

Contact

You can email theo - theohricketts at gmail.com

or check out his latest biz www.postary.com

Sam:

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