Never Give Up - A guide to success even if you're dumb

Lions.'s picture
Rank: Orangutan | 264

Longtime lurker. First post.

About me:

I'm originally from the South. Growing up, I hated school. I'm talking about failing multiple classes, dreading going to school, and even getting suspended many times. I was diagnosed with ADD at a young age, but never wanted to take my meds (till I started to again in college and realized why everyone wanted Adderall). My freshman year in high school was the first time I actually applied myself to my classes. And I still failed.

My sophomore year of high school, my dad got a new job. Thus, my entire family moved up North. I went to a new school, and had no friends. This would be a life defining moment for me. Since I had no friends, I decided to start my own business. (This business is now generating six figures in revenue). I also participated in a schoolwide stock trading tournament, and I came in fourth place. This was the first time I realized I was actually good at something, and it happened to be something I really enjoyed. From that moment on, I was hooked.


My freshman year I opened up my own brokerage account, and by my sophomore year I had generated a return of over 15%. I was overjoyed. I also continued growing my business; I focused on targeting a niche market that larger companies seemed to ignore.

After my sophomore year, I landed my first internship with a small bank. This was when I really realized that I wanted to work in financial services. I worked my ass off in this internship, and it paid off. The analyst who I reported to connected me to someone he knew at a major bank.

My junior year I leveraged that connection and got a first round interview at a BB. My mentality going into that interview was that the bank was lucky to be interviewing me. I was way overconfident, and it showed. I got destroyed.

After I got off that call, I was crushed. But I didn't give up. I bought the Wall Street Prep guides (, and sent out over 300 emails. I joined my schools investment club, and networked with older kids who had gone through the interview process before. I interviewed with 14 different firms. The 14th firm gave me an offer. It was at this moment that I realized that persistence is key.

Through the rest of my junior year, I was a regular attendee at my schools investment club. I became an integral member, and learned as much as I could. I still sucked at school (GPA <3.5), but I tried extremely hard. As the saying goes, "it's hard to beat a person who never gives up". While I had a GPA that was lower than basically every other kid in the club, I was one of few who had landed a great internship at a major US Bank.

But, once again I went into the internship a cocky motherfucker (I should of learned by now). I didn't receive a return offer. And like before, I was crushed.

My senior year, I networked like crazy. I made multiple trips into NYC to meetup with alumni, and it payed off. By the end of my fall semester I had received an offer at an asset management firm located in a major financial hub (Not NYC).

Cut from the firm

Myself and a good amount of other new hires showed up for training the very first day, bright and early. It went like this for another month. Then, the firm cut us.

This happened completely out of the blue. For once, it wasn't due to my own actions. Myself and ~25 other kids were completely shocked. I had already signed a lease in a new city, and now I didn't have a job (Luckily, through my business I had already saved roughly 50,000). I was fired on a Friday morning, and the only thing I remember from that day is thinking "what I do right after I lost my job I will always remember". So, I went back to my apartment, and sent out 50 emails that afternoon.

The next five days, I had sent out over 400 emails. (I ate adderall like it was candy to achieve this) I had lined up 15+ informational interviews, and 3 actual interviews. 10 more days go by, and I had made it to a fourth round interview at 1 firm. I was notified that my fifth and final round interview would take place exactly 1 month after I lost my first job.


5 days later, I had an offer. In the greatest city in the world.

Moral of the story?

Don't give up. Even if life shits on you (due to your own actions or because of events that you can't control), never give up. Persistence is key. If a kid with major ADD can make it to Wall Street, you can too.

Comments (19)

Oct 11, 2018

Good stuff +1 SB

Most Helpful
Oct 11, 2018

That's that hardcore hustle. Dude didn't have time to cry "why me" after losing his job. Got right back on that horse. Respect.

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

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Oct 11, 2018

Damn really inspirational +1 SB

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Oct 12, 2018

SB-ed, this is literally me (except the startup and trading part), I have severe ADHD too and sometimes it makes me feel like I am actually stupid. Once I started my first internship though I realised I didn't need to take my stims anymore cuz I actually love what I do.

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Oct 16, 2018

lmao, you had the luxury of starting a business when you were 14-15 but you are trying to come off as someone who was severely disadvantaged.

Fun read nonetheless.

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Oct 22, 2018

Not exactly sure what you mean by "luxury". He was probably out there grinding / sending out emails / generating revenue for his company while his other friends / peers were drinking beer in the woods / hanging out / playing sports...

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Oct 22, 2018

^^ Plenty of nights I wanted to go out w/ friends but I couldn't.

Oct 16, 2018

Congrats dude!

Oct 16, 2018

Thanks for sharing. Can you talk more about your business? Let me know if you prefer to talk through PMs about it instead.

Oct 21, 2018

+1. Solid post.

Work hard, work clean, & most of all do not give up.

Oct 22, 2018

Way to get after it and not sulk and feel sorry for yourself after getting cut.

Oct 22, 2018

Forget the quote but it goes something like "The only thing in life that won't let you down is hard work"

Cool story, congrats. +1

Oct 23, 2018

what business are you running ? e-commerce ?

Oct 24, 2018

Don't give up. Even if life shits on you (due to your own actions or because of events that you can't control), never give up.

SB'ed for this.


Oct 27, 2018

Congratulations - your grit and tenacity well and truly paid off OP. I look forward to hopefully making a similar post in a year or so.

Apr 4, 2019

I admire your persistence. I would use the same persistence to improve my grammar skills and become a better writer..... Take it for what is worth.

Apr 6, 2019

You can always turn what seems to be a negative experience into a stepping stone. Congrats, and keep your grit!

Jul 1, 2019