When I was a young boy, I dreamed like everyone else.

Growing up in a poor area, my reality and that of the people around me was very limited. We were molded early on to understand that the sky was not the limit but the limit was the sky. It was that harsh reality that drove many people from my neighborhood to blue color work at local police, fire, and sanitation departments.

In fact, when I first got to college (where I spent six strong weeks), I still had the words of my high school business teacher, Mrs. Dultch, in the back of my mind. “Danny, I don’t think you have the necessary skills to succeed in corporate America.” Aim high, right?

I was always interested in business, and it didn’t really matter what the business was. Coming to America at the age of 5, I was amazed that others from the same part of the world as me could own restaurants, delis, or even a shoe repair shop. That was the American dream for me and my friends. But given our limited resources and contacts, it was a long shot at best.

As often happens in poor areas, many people turned to crime to live out their versions of the American dream. The results were ultimately disastrous, and I saw many of my buddies get pulled off the road to riches and thrown in jail cells. Luckily I had a good corner, so I never strayed off the straight and narrow.

As most of you probably know already, I found trading by accident in 1998. I had no money, but I did what I had to do to get through the door. I’ll admit that borrowing money from a loan shark wasn’t the most brilliant move in the world, but I put all of my chips in the middle of the table betting on myself. 18 years later, here I am. My ability to stay afloat then is the reason that my children have the freedom to reach and dream to the heavens and above now.

So I want to thank my teacher, Mrs. Dultch, for the advice. She was right, I didn’t succeed in business. I succeeded in life. F*ck what anyone says. Your life. Your dreams. Never give up.

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