I'm sure most of you have read the good news so I won't spend much time on it, but in case you haven't:
http://blogs.forbes.com/nathanvardi/2011/04/20/u-s-online-poker-players-will-get-their-money-back/ (we're getting our money!!).
Sometimes the best things in life come in unexpected packages. I learned some hard lessons over the last few years. I probably gave up on literally hundreds of thousands of actual and future action, to chase the dream of being the next world beater. I ate a big slice of humble pie and moved down again and again, until I was so broken that I left the felt for a while to study trading. The thought of a single stream of volatile income kept me awake at night, but yet I stubbornly cling to the idea of being self-employed.
Looking back at my time spent trading in 2010, I defintely had unreasonable expectations about how long it would take to become profitable, and quite frankly, was enamored with the idea of succeeding and not with the journey of learning. This is a recipe for failure. I'll be the first to admit that running calculations of how much money you could be making, is always alluring... but it's destructive. With poker I've been shown time and time again that success is an equation consisting of passion, focus and confidence. But then I made the connection... EVERYTHING is an equation of passion, focus and confidence.
We all hear the same statistics thrown around... "only 5% of restaurants survive for 5+ years", "only 5-10% of poker players are profitable", "only 5% of traders are profitable"... yet for most we accept these daunting numbers as if they are saying our own chance of survival in a given venture is 5%. Has poker taught you nothing? There are no rewards with out risk, and nothing worthy of pursuit comes with a guarantee of success... you simply stack the odds in your favor and put your money in. That's all you can do. You need to the passion to get up every day and repeat the action, you need the focus to be at your best, and you need the confidence to weather the inevitable bad streaks.
The point is, a confident, passionate and focused person isn't a statistic, they are a force to be reckoned with. I can't even venture a guess on their level of success in a given venture, and if you're still wondering, "if I'm focused, passionate, and confident... what are my chances of succeeding?" then you've completely missed the point.
As applied to moving forward from poker make sure you are realistic with your self... What were my biggest successes? What were my biggest failures?
For me, my biggest success was providing for myself and my family for roughly 5 years. Having lots of time to pursue what makes me happy, take my family on adventures, and enjoy life. I would also say that in the last 2-3 years I grew the most as a person... shed a certain level of immaturity (Ok, so a little came back in my last blog =P), and overall became a better person.
My biggest failure was two-fold. First, and of lessor importance... I lost a lot of actual money, and even more in money I could have made, to learn that I'm not a world beater. While I am proud of how quickly I moved down, it was a big slice of humble pie resulting in almost no play in 2010 (most was to study the markets). Secondly, and more importantly... I simply didn't work hard enough. To me the winners in that category would be Leatherass and kaintd77. Especially kaintd77. He's probably laughing his ass off right now, and for as much unneccesary hate as he's received, I don't really blame him. If the rumors are true he's made "retire at 30" type money by playing across many sites, and from running his own stable.
So hopefully I will take all of these lessons forward.
This is a good kick in the ass to get out there and try something new, and maybe start a new chapter.
-Best of luck