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Imagine walking alone in the desert, surrounded by complete emptiness. 

There are no checkpoints, no road signs, or any indicators that you are going in the right direction. 

There is absolutely no chance of being saved. 

You are going to die.

Am I Good Enough?

This is exactly what I asked my mentor when I was starting my first business,

It is a Software as a Service (SaaS) startup leveraging machine learning to aid the Human Resource process.

Creating something from the ground up is hard. I did not receive any validation from others despite the time and energy I invested in it.

At that point, I was about to accept my fate and quit.

A New Viewpoint

Image: Martin Ibbett

“You climb one last dune, and you see an oasis. It’s not an illusion.” 

This is what my mentor told me, and I would like to share this quote with everyone.

I believe that there will be a point in your life, be it your past, present, or future, where you will be in the same situation as me. 

But you need to keep going.

You don’t know when you will find your last dune and reach the oasis.

“Startup CEOs should not play the odds. When you are building a company, you must believe there is an answer and you cannot pay attention to your odds of finding it. You just have to find it. It matters not whether your chances are nine in ten or one in a thousand; your task is the same.”

– Ben Horrowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things

My startup failed. I never got to see the oasis despite the countless dunes I climbed. 

But did I fail? 

No. My persistent walking created a possibility that had zero percent chance of happening if I stood still. 

Each step was an action providing me with a new viewpoint.

Survivorship Bias

Survivorship Bias is when you only look at people who ‘survived’, and not those who ‘failed’.

This can lead you to draw the wrong conclusions. Hence, it is important to analyse failures along with successes

Today we are flooded with countless success stories online. 

We only see the final step that reveals the oasis, but not all those hopeless (“useless”) steps before making the final one possible. 

And we quit; We tell ourselves that we are not good enough because there are no oases in our desert.

It’s hard to see the possibility of success if you’ve only experienced failure. Yet, it’s often only after several failures that we have a chance at success.

It’s Not Magic, It’s Hard Work

In early 2019, I was fascinated by the stock market. 

In the first three months, I lost almost 80% of my initial funds. 

I was devastated and thought that I could never recover from this. 

Today, I am sitting on six digits in profit, and my friends think that what I do is like performing magic. 

I know it is not magic, I know it is real. Don’t wait for motivation.

It is days of hard work and research, nights of no sleep, and stressful decision making. It may look like a miracle in the eyes of others, but behind the scenes is a grueling process that not many people can handle. 

I’m happy that my hard work paid off. 


Image: Darren Lawrence

Now, I urge you to take action on whatever you want to do. 

Do not wait to find your passion or motivation.

Don’t assume that the world you can see now is the only world that is presented to you. Open your mind and start now. 

Your actions can create new possibilities that didn’t exist before, and change the course of your future

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About the Author

You can talk to Zirui about anything! From skydiving to chess, from investing to video game... Bring it on!

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