It isn’t uncommon for someone to grow up in an environment where the status quo is set. After all, the typical school system is engineered to lead children down a somewhat similar path: get through high school, obtain a degree, work a nine-to-five job and earn a stable income. And for those who do go on to live such a life, this path can be a viable one.
But nowhere in this traditional path can a young person find easy access to the tools needed for financial education, let alone financial freedom and abundance. Having the desire to achieve financial stability in life is normal – and striking a balance in this case through a nine-to-five job is commendable. However, few find the keys to financial freedom and living life completely on their own terms until much later in life.
Ben Zogby, born and raised in Massachusetts, was brought up in such a culture. He went through the same motions almost everybody else does. He enjoyed the same things other kids did; he loved playing hockey and baseball and joined the school’s wrestling team. His interests growing up instilled in him a natural sense of leadership and a drive to pursue complete success in everything he did.
“There wasn’t anything I attempted where I didn’t expect myself to be the best performer out there”, Ben explained when discussing his athletic and academic experiences. Surrounding himself with people who were more successful was a habit he’d developed in order to improve himself. Yet, as time elapsed, Ben discovered within himself a calling to go down a slightly different path.
Investing and Trading: A Love Both Old and Newfound
Trading and investing were always prominent interests of his. He liked puzzles. He liked challenges. “Trading and investing are like a real-world puzzle where the money you make correlates directly to the accuracy of which you complete the puzzle,” he said during an interview. He knew instantly that these skills could provide the keys to lifelong freedom at an early age.
Despite his blooming interest throughout his college years, he didn’t have sufficient funds to make a stable stream of income from investing. He pursued trading strictly in theory as a way to occupy himself during stressful college wrestling seasons. “I literally started with, like, $100; I knew I couldn’t make a full-time living with that amount of money but I really enjoyed the logistics of it, and knew I could eventually get good at it”, he explained.
Zogby recalls fondly: “Even though I was unable to consistently turn a profit in those days, I still see that time as one of the best times I’ve spent on my journey – because I knew I was developing a lifelong skill that I could use to gain financial freedom and make an impact on the world.”
Even with his evident passion for trading, Zogby went on to pursue a nine-to-five career in chemical engineering, wherein he did pipe and sewer engineering work. Ben explained, “everyone I worked with was full of passion, and I could tell they’d go on to have successful careers in the industry.
As much as I tried, I could not find the same drive to excel at engineering and eventually came to the realization that I was meant for something else”. He found that the requirements of the industry, in general, didn’t fulfill him. Although he could have chosen to venture down that career path and eventually rise to a leadership position, he knew he wanted to build something different for himself.
“Even though I didn’t end up in engineering, I still consider the time I spent at my job to be a huge benefit to my overall journey. I learned how to act professionally, meet deadlines and interact in a corporate environment. These are skills I apply today as I manage my own team of eight.”
Ben mentions that having a nine-to-five income was financially beneficial as well. Through his engineering work, Zogby managed to attain funds to trade with. The stability of having a financially buoyant life brought about a sense of security. Zogby found that he could use more money to trade.
This particular venture didn’t start out so smoothly. Within the first few months, he lost about $13,000 in the stock market.“At this point,” he said, “I felt like I had made a huge mistake and that trading was just a dead end, but I’m glad I stuck with it. I developed a couple of key principles that changed my mindset on trading and allowed me to continue trading sustainably.”
A Pursuit of Happiness in Trading
By the time he was 23 years old, Zogby decided to quit his job. This was when he established HighStrike, a business built for the purpose of educating students in the art of making money through trading. HighStrike offers educational courses for beginner and intermediate traders and is in the process of developing a cutting-edge application to help traders centralize their trading activity and share their insights with others. “I am more excited for the launch of this app than for any other aspect of the business thus far. We are going to revolutionize the way the world trades, and the best part is we’re going to be allowing users to create accounts for free.”
It’s not unheard of for someone so young to take such a huge risk, only to fail in their pursuit of success. When starting his business, Zogby found the environment he had grown up in was one that didn’t nurture creativity in terms of life choices. His lifestyle was meant to be set: go to school, get good grades, get a job, and then retire at the ripe age of sixty-five. He only discovered that he was cut out for so much more than what was expected of him when he began to trade.
“The hardest part of building everything was knowing that very few actually believed in what I was doing until after it was done and they could see it with proof,” Zogby said. It was up to him to visualize what was possible before it was executed. To do so, he had to formulate a detailed, step-by-step process to get him to where he needed to be.
“My confidence in myself and my team has skyrocketed to levels I’d never imagined just from pushing through this lonely journey to get to a place where we’ve created something sustainable. I now know that the sky’s the limit for HighStrike and we have the infrastructure and team to become a household name.”
To date, the HighStrike team has an engaged audience of over 250,000 people and has developed an educational platform of over 5,000 students.
Going Past a Milestone
But Zogby isn’t planning on remaining placated by HighStrike’s current achievements. As it is with every business in an ever-changing world, HighStrike has plans to evolve. Zogby’s five-year plan includes growing the company to impact as many people as possible.
They now know what they can do with their current efforts. With a little more push, Zogby intends to turn HighStrike into a household name. Currently, the company has geared itself up to launch the HighStrike app – in this way, they’ll provide a social media-based platform for trading.
Users will be given the ability to communicate in a feed-like environment with each other and share insights. All of this can be done while users track trades, do advance charting and share complex markups. “There’s nothing like it out there. Soon, very few will be trading without the HighStrike app by their side”.
True to HighStrike Trading’s educational nature, a free version of this application will be made available in order to maximize the breadth of its impact.
“The most fulfilling thing for me [about what I do now] is the number of people we have been able to impact, even with our free content. It has been amazing, watching HighStrike explode to levels where we have a huge global presence and our team members are recognized in elevators. One of our most important company core values is that we do our work because of the impact we leave, not because of the money we make.
A Word for Younger Entrepreneurs
What is, perhaps, one of the most valuable takeaways an aspiring entrepreneur may obtain from Ben Zogby’s journey is this: sometimes, pursuing one’s dream is a risk. Sometimes, one may have to unlearn everything they have been taught to gain so much more. Zogby did, indeed, take a calculated risk – but in the end, what it took for him to live a life in the trading world was a drastic change of plans.
For budding entrepreneurs who wish to take a similar path, Zogby goes on to say, “Learn a single skill, and focus relentlessly on it until you are an expert. Everything is learnable if you have the patience and work ethic. Never let someone else’s expectations of you define what you do or don’t do, and you should pursue your passion as young as you possibly can.”
HighStrike continues to serve as a platform for education; people flock to it to learn how to trade correctly and sustainably.
“Take risks and do crazy things. To be in the top 1%, you need to be doing things that the other 99% aren’t doing, like taking big calculated risks and going for home runs.”