[Quora] What are some signs that a person will be successful?


Success is totally subjective.

I think that the vast majority would classify Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffet as “successful”.

Is Bernie Madoff, who lived the vast majority of his life as a 0.1%-er until he got caught, successful?

Is the single mother, who works two jobs and raises her kids to learn respect and hard-work, leading them towards productive middle-class lives, successful?

Is the rich and famous person that commits suicide (take your pick) successful?

I would define success as someone who is generally happy and leading a fulfilling lifestyle for them. And my formula for happiness is the difference between one’s Reality and their Expectations (E.g., low reality Vs. high expectations = negative happiness; high reality Vs. low expectation = very happy).

You can accumulate all the financial wealth in the world, but if you are not happy at the end of the day, you are NOT successful.

All that said, here are the 3 personality attributes common to these “successful” people:


I think it takes gratitude to best appreciate what you have. Happy people are thankful for all the people/things that helped them achieve what they’ve achieved.


Successful people are consistently asking: “How can <this> be better?”; “How can I make <x> better?”; “How can I be better?”. They ask. They tinker. They explore. They embrace a growth mentality. They embrace change (but not just for the sake of change).


I believe persistence and follow-through, sub-attributes of dedication, are a critical towards the predictor of success. They show a sense of mission and show a passion to complete it.


It is absolutely possible to only have 2 of the 3 and find success, as long as the two are intense so that they make up for the lack of the third.

Equifax gets Hacked and Wins?

The Equifax hack is a gross tragedy. The consumer is a big-time loser in this event. If Equifax doesn’t drown in lawsuits, they’ll surely come out of this stronger. And this is a growth catalyst to Experian and Transunion. When an industry causes consumers to lose and that industry benefits from it, that industry is ripe for disruption.

The credit bureau triad of Equifax, Experian, and Transunion have a stranglehold on us. The worst part is that we, as consumers, have no choice in the matter. I’ve never given my information to Equifax. I’ve never chosen to engage with them. Yet, they have this omniscient power over me. Their opinion of me plays a hugely significant role in the quality of my life because we live in a credit-based economy.

“Never let a crisis go to waste”, Rahm Emanuel

The hackers now have all the information they need to steal the identity of almost half of all Americans. And you know this information will be sold on the dark web for years to come.

So everybody is now talking about and thinking about how to protect themselves. We’re all at a much higher risk now. Everyone has to be thinking about adopting a credit monitoring service. From a marketing perspective, this is a dream come true – at least for Experian and Transunion and the smaller credit monitoring services.

Both my wife and I “may have been impacted”. Ugh!

I’ve never purchased a credit monitoring service. Now, I am seriously contemplating if I need to keep a much closer watch on this. I’ve moved from being a cold lead to a warm lead.

I’ve heard horror stories about identity theft. It can takes several years to clean the books. The credit bureaus don’t make it easy on the victims.

Equifax is offering their TrustedID Premier service free for 1-year. BUT, apparently, if you enroll, then you are waiving your right to sue or participate in any class-action lawsuit. Hmmm.

This is how Equifax can come out winners here. If many people take the easy route and sign up for the free year of service, they give up the right to partake in any class action suit that may arise; thereby, protecting Equifax on that front. Equifax also enrolls ALL of those new clients. And everyone knows, it’s much easier (and cheaper) to retain a client than to attract a new one.

Most credit monitoring systems seem to run about $30/mth. This is like an extra $360/yr tax to me. The hackers and their clients have all of our information for life. I now have to watch my credit for life.

This industry is broken. I have to imagine that someone way smarter than me can fix it and make a lot of money. Please do.

Is it Time to Pile into Gold Now?

There are a lot of very well-respected market participants out there that are starting to really toot the Gold horn at this time. I mean, there are always gold bugs out there who will say buy gold at any time because gold is real money.

But the last 6 years have not been too kind to gold investors, since topping out at just over $1900/oz back in mid-2011. In fact, the Fed has since cranked up the printing press into over drive several times since then and gold still found itself stuck in a bear market.

Most are talking about the technical break of a multi-year downtrending line as the set-up.

Martin Armstrong is noting that Gold is pressing higher. He’s not yet calling a technical breakout, but he’s noting significant support at current levels.

Greg Weldon has recommended getting in at these levels so much so that he’s actually recommending using leverage as well through UGL ETF, which is a 2x ETF.

Jesse Felder is starting to ask if the Gold Stars are Aligning.

There are several others as well that have come across my wire but I’m not going to list them all. It’s enough times that it’s very noticeable.

If this is the beginning of the run, there is time. The next big run will certainly take us to previous highs around $1900. And it’s not going to happen overnight.

If one is looking to diversify their portfolio a bit and add some gold, I can see now being a good time to start to average in. Averaging in is certainly how I will go about it. Designate an amount to allocate and split it up to average in over the next few months.

I’ve decided to go in with some leverage using UGL. I’m not in a hurry to get in and I’m going to do this over time. So my strategy is to actually sell a Naked Put on UGL and try to get in on a dip.

UGL closed today at $40.07. I’m going to sell the UGL 06/16/2017 40.00 Put contract for $0.50. That means $50 to me. If UGL closes below $40 next week, then I’ll be assigned 100 share at $40. But remember, I will have collected $50, so it’s as if I’m getting in at $39.5 per share.

I’ll be in the RED on this strategy whenever UGL is below $39.50, but again, the idea is to average in. So this is the first tranche of several…



An Amazing Creative Tribute

I love this. I am not sure if is the first to do this kind of thing, but I’m certain that it won’t be the last. This will go viral, I’m certain. As of just now, I only see 3M views on YouTube. I just shared it to my FB profile. I imagine several others have as well and several others will from there; that’s the nature of virility.

It’s a classic song and this is not your everyday remix.


Parents Should Look at KidPass

As a parent, I’m always looking for new things to do with my kids.

Sure, they’d be perfectly content with going to Chuck’E’Cheese (or equiv) every time, but I need the variety and they need exposure to different activities so they learn to love exploring and trying new things and eventually find their passion.


Kidpass is only in New York right now, but they just raised $5.1 million to help expand their business and replicate the model in other major cities, starting with Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington DC.

Here in Orange County, I’m always searching for activities for us to do. But I feel that I’ve exhausted searches on my usual sources. I’m sure there are a lot that I don’t know about. In fact, just this week, we found one called SenderCity. It’s a rock climbing facility. This place was GREAT and it was located almost right next to Rock’n’Jump (trampoline park) that we have been to quite a number of times.

I like how Kidpass has layed out the UI so that I can browse the activities by different criteria. I especially like the ability to browse by day.

The only deterrent could be the cost, but take that with a grain of salt because I really haven’t looked at it in-depth at all. I simply make that comment upon glancing at the plans and seeing the credits needed to do a couple of the activities. That said, if it exposes to new things for 1-time (where you’d normally pay more or have to do a longer commitment), then that could be worth the premium.

Understand Your Edge

I’ve been reading a lot about copywriting, persuasion, and sales strategies recently (I need to be writing about that more). It is a fascinating topic. And when I say copy, this incorporates (verbal) sales messaging. It makes me wish I had taken more philosophy and psychology classes in school.

In business and in any realm where there is competition you need to beat, it’s crucial to understand your edge. Why should the buyer select your product or your service? We live in the information age and it is almost certain that the buyer can/will research the competition (although, in simplistic transactional sales, this can be countered by techniques like limited time offers).

The copy needs to reflect this edge. Does your edge solve a pain point and/or deliver a pleasure? Your copy needs to amplify the pain and pleasure points and it needs to specifically do so around your edge.

One edge that a small company can have over a big corporation is speed. I really like John Boyd’s OODA loop. John Boyd was a F-86 Pilot and Commander in the US Airforce.

Boyd believed that when at a disadvantage, a competent pilot could still overcome that disadvantage by “Attacking the Mind” of his opponent. The OODA loop is a process that defines how we react to stimulus.

“In order to win, we should operate at a faster tempo or rhythm than our adversaries—or, better yet, get inside [the] adversary’s Observation-Orientation-Decision-Action time cycle or loop … Such activity will make us appear ambiguous (unpredictable) thereby generate confusion and disorder among our adversaries—since our adversaries will be unable to generate mental images or pictures that agree with the menacing, as well as faster transient rhythm or patterns, they are competing against.”

Colonel Boyd trained his pilots based upon his observations of Human reaction time and as a result his pilots had a 10 to 1 kill ratio over the superior Mig-15’s.

“The key is to obscure your intentions and make them unpredictable to your opponent while you simultaneously clarify his intentions. That is, operate at a faster tempo to generate rapidly changing conditions that inhibit your opponent from adapting or reacting to those changes and that suppress or destroy his awareness. Thus, a hodgepodge of confusion and disorder occur to cause him to over- or under-react to conditions or activities that appear to be uncertain, ambiguous, or incomprehensible.”

The OODA loop has become an important concept in many areas outside of air-to-air combat (dog fighting).




The Internet is the Battleground for Perpetual Warfare

Norse has a really, really cool real-time visualization of cyber attacks. It’s quite mesmerizing to watch.

Most of the attacks stem from US and China, at least in the few minutes that I watched. What’s interesting is that you see big name corporations as the Attackers. I happened to notice A LOT of Microsoft Corporation. I have no idea what that means; I’m very from being any kind of security expert. I just noticed this and thought, “hmmm”.

I’m sure this is just a fraction of what goes on out there. Which makes this pretty scary. I’ve been in software a long time and I’ve never come across or heard of code that didn’t have bugs or couldn’t be hacked.

Add to that the fact that we have assigned some of the best and brightest to find all these holes (re: Wikileaks CIA hacking tools release and NSA leaked hacking tools).

And then of course I’m always reading about how fragile, old and outdated our infrastructure is. We’re so exposed. Is a nuclear threat really the biggest threat out there?

Hold Hold Hold … It’s So Hard Not to Sell

BitCoin and Ethereum (as well as other cryptocurrencies) are on a parabolic trajectory. It’s so hard not to sell here. I mean, when you’ve 3x and 6x your investment and you see this trajectory, isn’t it prudent to take some winnings off the table?

I would say normally, taking some off the table (at least lock in the initial investment so that what’s left is “house” money). But here is my investor greed setting in, perhaps.

I truly believe that this is really only the very very beginning and HUGE gains are ahead because the blockchain technology is that revolutionary. I don’t want to get into the mindset of trading in and out because the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) if I sell will kill me more.

I don’t have a huge portion of my portfolio allocated into these, so I can afford to lose it all and still sleep at night. These really are like lottery tickets, but I like the odds here.

I’m considering diversifying and buying into some Ripple. I’ve been reading that Tezos is also an ICO to watch for. These aren’t as simple to buy, though. I mean, they aren’t hard, but I’d have to set up other wallets.

Interesting times…

Seth Rich Story could get VERY Interesting

Do you know who Seth Rich is? This story is going to make one heck of a movie one day, I’m sure. Or at least a season of Serial podcast by Sara Koenig.

In short, Seth Rich was a 27-year old employee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) who was murdered on July 10, 2016; shot while walking home from his neighborhood bar. He was shot twice in the back. He was found conscious, but then died in the hospital.

The media reported that it was an attempted robbery. Apparently, he had bruises on his hands, knees, and face; indicating a struggle. But the really interesting fact is that nothing was taken from him. He had his watch, money, his credit cards, his phone…nothing was robbed.

The conspiracy theories are out in droves. The primary conspiracy story is that Seth Rich is the one who leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks, which led to the firing of Debbie Wasserman Shultz.

Julian Assange in an interview last August hinted that Seth Rich was the leaker, but never explicitly admitted it.

Supposedly, one of the FBI or the DC Police have his laptop, but neither is pressing forward with any investigation with it. Apparently, the DC Police didn’t even interview any of the bar staff of the venue Seth Rich was in that night.

I’m trying not to get sucked in to the lure of a great conspiracy story, but man, this one smells of something.

Then, to top it all off, Kim Dotcom, yes that guy of all people, tweets out the other day:

Seems so random…

…The story is that Kim Dotcom is seeking revenge against Hillary Clinton and Obama, as they succumbed to Hollywood power brokers and targeted Kim Dotcom in the biggest copyright infringement case in history – which included a massive illegal (and then legal) raid on his New Zealand mansion by armed officers.

Let’s see what he comes out with on Tuesday…