First of all, thank you for having the courage to share your fail story publicly! Unfortunately, many people still see failure as something to be ashamed of and they prefer not to talk about it. That’s why I am immensely grateful that you decided to openly share your experience with us here on FailuresAnonymous.
Miha: So, without further ado, let’s just jump into the interview.
Now, my first question for you is: What was life like before your big failure?
Max: Blind optimist mostly. I had a habit of pushing away the reality of failure, the thought I had was “Why to focus on the potentiality that things WON’T work out?”
Deep down though I was scared to death. The issue in that train of thought is the fact that without a healthy awareness, we are unable to see perils ahead. I knew that but supplemented by putting in more effort. It left me constantly anxious, drained, under-confident and feeling powerless at the end of the day. Paradoxical to the intended purpose, but preferable to facing reality at the time. I was in way over my head.
M: How was your big failure and how did it make you feel?
Max: My big failure wasn’t a single failure but a series of cascading failures that lead me to ruin. When I first began in business as a Forex Trader, despite meticulous planning and effort, I continued to fail. With each failure, my judgment was shaken, and as my judgment shook so did my results. I was in a tight position financially, emotionally, and the best way I could sum it up would be “Hopelessness”. I hated myself for the position I was in, unable to move forward despite my best efforts. It lead me down a deep spiral of depression.
M: What was the WHY that motivated you to go ahead and battle all those demons? Could you tell us a bit more about how you bounced back and what techniques did you use to do that?
Max: I had to take control of my life. It was a blend of desperation and determination to break free from the shackles of a “normal” life. I figured (morbidly so) that I’d rather be dead than live an average life. So with that do-or-die mentality, I proceeded forward. Perhaps not the most healthy mindset to have but it suited me at the time.
Eventually, I spiraled out of control, became a train wreck, and completely gave up. I hit rock bottom and knew I failed despite giving it every fiber of my being, that’s what hurt the most.
After spending a few weeks on a whiskey binge, I decided to open up a trading account “for the hell of it”. I stopped overthinking it and traded for fun. It was only then that things started turning around for me… because I realized that for all the effort I put into technical details, it meant nothing without clear judgment.
I knew that the only way to move forward was to work on myself as a person.
From there I made things simple, taking it day by day. I learned to enjoy the little things, the small victories, to keep a smile on my face in the midst of potential catastrophe.
M: Who is Max today after championing failure? Tell us a bit about what you do today and please share information where our readers can find you.
Max: Fearless. I learned that failure should be expected as a natural evolution. In trading, there’s a saying “Make your wins bigger than your losses and you’ll succeed.” which is something I live by. When we accept the reality and take it with a grain of salt, life becomes so much easier. It becomes FUN and that’s the point. When we love what we’re doing and we learn from those mistakes, can it really be seen as a failure? I’d call that a victory in its own respect.
These days I still trade part time, but my main focus has been on developing startups. I love putting all the pieces together, working with enthusiastic dreamers, and creating something that may change the world. It may crash and burn too, but that’s all part of life.
M: Is there anything else that you would like to add? Any particular lesson you would like to share? Feel free to share any words of wisdom you find appropriate for our readers.
Max: The secret to success is a long series of good judgment calls. The path to good judgment is to rid ourselves of anything that affects our ability to think pragmatically. That could be personal turmoil, ego, money, stress, what have you. If you can look your struggles in the eye and still think clearly, you’re going to be just fine.
So, this was Max Wellick openly talking about his failures, his WHY, his motivation, and some lessons learned.
Sometimes we can put faces to the stories and sometimes it is still too early and that’s why you can share your story anonymously.
But if you feel like talking openly about it then do contact me and we will arrange an interview just like the one above.
You can always reach me by sending me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.