As we all know, there are always winners and losers in life and in business. But have you ever stopped to wonder what the difference is between the two? Is it sheer luck, or is there something else at work?
Most of those I know in life whom I consider very successful seem to have achieved it all by sheer luck; well, because they do not show any distinct qualities one would point out as far as success goes.
How many of us have ever given advice to extremely rich people? Some of us convince ourselves we are better than the rich people we know but the fact remains, we are still poor while they are filthy rich.
In my experience, there is a distinct quality winners have that losers do not - a certain way of looking at life. That is not to say winners do not lose. Everyone does. However, the difference between losers and winners is often the way in which they approach loss. It starts with a mindset. Winners have a certain humble personality.
Are you a giant or a worm? There are two distinctions between the two and I am sure you can see which one is better, though I bet we all look at it from very different angles. There is a statement I’ve always liked: “Giants often trip and fall but worms do not, because all they do is dig and crawl.”
I would rather be a giant than a crawling worm. Should I trip and fall, I would learn a lesson and move forward. In life, we make contact with a lot of people, some of whom we think are business partners while others we might think are employers or employees, only for things not to work out as anticipated. All this end up exposing our weakness or flaws. Some might think this is a bad thing but I think it’s a very good thing. When people say things out of emotions, they say the whole truth without sugar-coating their words. So please, get what those people say out of emotions and correct them, because it might become you weakest link and your downfall.
The main reason so many people struggle financially is not because they are not smart or hardworking. It’s because they are afraid of losing. Rather than taking a risk to become a giant and experience the falls that come with the process, they choose to stay low to the ground where there’s no risk of falling.
Losers cut their winners and ride their losers. Fear of being a loser affects what people do in strange ways. I have seen people buy a stock at N$200 only to sell their shares at N$300, because they are afraid of losing what they have gained. Sadly, they soon watch the stock go up to N$1000, split and then go up to N$1000 again. Ironically, the same person who would have bought a stock at N$200 will watch it go down to N$30 and still hang on, hoping the price picks up.
This is an example of fear of losing, or admitting loss, to an extent one winds up losing big. If you want to see people who take risks, go to a cuca-shop today and observe those gamblers. You will be shocked at the number of people who donate money to that machine while one or two of them always take all the money.
Winners cut their losers and ride their winners. Winners do things almost exactly the opposite. Often, the moment they realise they have taken a losing position, i.e., their stock price begins to go down instead of up; they will sell and take their losses. Most are not ashamed to admit their losses, because a winner knows losing is part of the process of winning. When they find a winner, they will ride it as far as it can go. The moment they know the free ride is over and the price has peaked, they cut and sell.
In business, I admire the owner of the Chelsea football club, Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich. That Russian analyses a coach and fires him as soon as he sees nothing coming out of him. No one is too big or too small for that company. I know a lot of people might object to this but to understand the difference between winners and losers, one needs to have a whole lot of courage.
The key to being a great investor is being neutral to victory and loss. That way, one does not have emotionally driven thoughts, such as fear and greed, doing their thinking for them. Financial education gives confidence to decisions-making. So I urge everyone to master their field of business. You may ask, “How do you know when you have a winner and when it’s the right time to get off the free ride?”
In my experience, every financial winner has a great financial education. They have learnt from books, seminars and coaching. Most important is, they apply their knowledge and learn from the mistakes they have made. Each loss is an opportunity to learn how to gain later on. If you want to be a winner, you must be able to put emotions aside and always learn about money and how it works. It never stops but it does get better. With each lesson learnt, your confidence grows and your losses do not sting as much. In fact, sometimes they are welcomed, as money lost is worth the lessons learnt.
So, invest in yourself with financial education and, most importantly, apply that knowledge and remain humble and open for new ideas.