LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE:
Do you believe that personality is fixed, or do you believe that people can change?
We sat down with Scott Phillips, a former child prodigy turned career criminal and drug addict, now a squeaky clean entrepreneur in the investing niche. We talked about his journey and how he was able to change his personality to better his life.
Growing Up and Losing His Way
Scott grew up in an upper-middle-class family in Australia. His father was a successful surgeon, and they lived a comfortable life.
Scott was seen as something of a child prodigy, entering university at the age of fifteen. During his time in university, he earned a law degree and an accounting degree.
You would think everything couldn’t be better, but underneath was a different story. Scott paid for college by dealing drugs. By the time he got out of university, he was a career criminal.
He made money trafficking drugs into Australia, loan sharking, and building one of the first successful porn websites on the internet in the 1990s.
Before finally landing in jail, he had become addicted to crystal meth and had over thirty violent criminal charges.
Getting Out of Prison and Playing Small
Getting out of prison, Scott assumed he would go back to his old life of crime to make money, but something happened. What used to be profitable for him didn’t work anymore.
While in prison, he kicked his addiction to crystal meth but had not committed to changing his life of crime. That would all change.
While in jail, he studied stock trading. After coming out, he poured his heart and soul into investing and lost money for three to four years.
It was only after going broke that he realized that life happened FOR him, not TO him. He began to see valuable lessons in the darkest moments of his life. It taught him valuable things about himself.
At first, he settled for a small life, an achievable goal. He moved to Thailand, where he could live on less money. It led to small successes but no real victories.
He realized those small goals didn’t force him to change, so he 10X’d his goals. His new goals were SO big that he would have to BECOME a person worthy of them.
These goals slowly forced him to change his personality.
Making Small Changes
He sees his past as an advantage because it forced him to learn how to conquer bad habits. As a result, he systematically worked to quit old habits and adopt the new habits of a successful person.
He noticed there were a LOT of habits that weren’t successful habits, like:
- Frequently checking social media
- Becoming easily distracted at work
- Focusing on busywork but not achieving much
As a recovering drug addict, he learned how to quit any habit successfully. After that, he could just apply the strategy, again and again, to become a little bit better each day.
Building an Exceptional Life
Scott states he spent the first half of his life accepting random outcomes, leading to a life he didn’t want.
Now, he is very intentional about the habits he chooses. He also has a reason to achieving them. He doesn’t want his daughter to think he is a loser.
Today, he trades futures, otherwise known as derivatives. He also uses a system for his trades that follow statistics and black and white rules. He measures his performance by how well he followed the rules, not whether he makes money.