Certain words conjure negative images. Things like “discomfort” and “fear” are viewed as undesirable qualities. We’re taught to reach for the opposite—comfort and certainty. But there is power with these seemingly negative emotions.
Trader and investor, Samuel Leach, has spent a lifetime studying, mastering, and pushing the boundaries of these emotions to create a stock trading empire. A self-made millionaire, Leach asserts that fear and discomfort are more positive than negative when utilized the right way. And how you face them can shape your future.
About Samuel Leach
British entrepreneur Samuel Leach was born to blue-collar parents who worked hard all their lives with little more than a one-room flat to show for it. He shared that flat with his father and brother throughout his high school career.
When Leach realized living paycheck to paycheck wasn’t for him, he sought ways to improve his and his family’s financial situation. His search led to paper trading, and in 2012, Leach founded Samuel and Co. Trading. His profits have grown exponentially since then, and Leach is no longer sharing a one-room flat with his father and brother.
The Power in Discomfort
Discomfort is good. That’s not something many people say, but Samuel Leach preaches it during his most recent Ted Talk. The idea launched during his speech may not immediately resonate with audiences, especially during the current pandemic, but once Leach gets going, he forms a compelling case that is difficult to argue against.
When used the right way, discomfort holds power. It breeds change that cannot develop for those living a content and comfortable life. Leach spends his Ted Talk sharing personal stories and anecdotes that demonstrate the hidden strength found within discomfort.
Leach urges us to consider the lobster. Hard on the outside, soft and squishy on the inside. As a lobster grows, its shell becomes an irritant. A self-made cage from which there is no escape. But once the lobster sheds its shell, it’s free. Sure, a new one grows in its place. But this new shell is better suited to the newer, better lobster. It allows more room to grow and, ultimately, brings the lobster more comfort. Not less.
But discomfort is not an easy feeling to overcome, especially when created by fear. Stepping into the unknown is scary, and Leach is not above feeling that fear himself. Using his own example, Leach guides Ted Talk viewers through three levels of fear that initially prove adversarial, but ultimately prove advantageous. The difference is in how you face them.
Facing Your Fears
Before Leach started his own stock company, he had a comfortable job that offered the type of security most people dream of. Leaving it behind was a terrifying idea. The fear of failure is a powerful motivator to stay in place, but even more powerful was the fear that he’d miss out on something better if he never took the risk.
Leach left his day job, but first, he made sure he lined things up in such a way that if he did fail, he could return. Years later, when his business was doing well, Leach faced a new fear. With over 60 people working under him, he worried about losing control of his company.
There were faces he did not recognize. Names he didn’t know. Leach asked himself the all-important question, “How do I repair this if I do lose control?”
He struggled through self-doubt attempting to answer that question and planned ways to resolve imaginary scenarios should his fears ever come true. They never did. But there was another fear waiting for him.
Risk isn’t always about money. Reputation is just as important, and for Leach, who’d worked hard to build his in both the UK and US, he worried about moving his business into a new venture that brought increased risk with uncertain results.
Cryptocurrency is still a volatile business, but it’s one Leach feels passionately about. Before staking his entire reputation on it, Leach planned things out. He made sure he had the right team in place, the right investors, the right structure. When you plan, Leach says, “You’re taking the biggest risk in your life, and de-risking it.”
Finding Growth During A Crisis
Change is never easy, especially when the entire world is struggling right now. But as Leach points out, if you’re only focused on fear, you will never grow beyond it. Too many people, Leach says, “Focus more on the cost of the action at hand, rather than the cost of inaction.”
What if you never take a risk? What if you allow fear to overwhelm you? Leach would never have launched his stock company. He would never have earned his place as one of the world’s youngest, wealthiest people. He would never have inspired millions to get out of the rut they’re stuck in and create the life they really want.
“Sometimes the cost of inaction is actually more damaging than taking that step.” Leach’s words are a reminder that even during the current pandemic, taking action is better than doing nothing. But what can you do when you’re confined to your home?
Letting Go And Moving Forward
To begin with, learn how to let go. There are some things we cannot control. Accept whatever financial losses come your way rather than dwelling on them. Recognize that they are temporary, and that this is your opportunity to start over and come out stronger than before.
Social media is a great way to network and stay connected during this time. Use it to learn, teach, and grow. Seek guidance from those in similar situations to your own who are showing signs of success. Emulate the practices they’ve put into place and put your own spin on them.
During this crisis, it’s important to be flexible. We are all facing unique and challenging situations. Bend with them instead of breaking. Working from home is a different dynamic, but it does not mean lowering your standards. Keep yourself and any staff you have focused. Steering them in the right direction and setting an example by your lead will create stability during these unstable times.
Above all, stay positive. There is enough negativity in the world already. We don’t need to carry it into our work or home lives. Reflect on the challenges you’ve already overcome and encourage those who are facing challenges now. We’ve all been there, and we all will be again.
Now is the time to lead, inspire, and motivate others towards a positive future. Leach does it every day. So can you.