The Time I Learned How to Dominate Risk

In this world, we see a lot of webinars. Like… a lot… It takes something special to rise above those ranks and stand out as a webinar that is really worth your time, really teaching you something you didn’t know, really offering you a skill or product that you need.

Yesterday, I was asked to tune into a webinar for a friend of mine. Andrew Bustamante spent years as a covert officer in the Central Intelligence Agency. In other words, he was a spy. He served in the field and made decisions that affected national security. This was the big leagues, folks.

After years of serving, Andy decided that he wanted to return to civilian life. And the reason he wanted to do that was because he deeply believed that the skills he’d learned in the CIA would help him in everyday life as well. More importantly, he truly thought he could teach other people those skills and help them dominate life, as well. That’s why he was putting on this presentation.

Now, I know what you might be thinking: “I’m not a spy. I’m a trader (or a teacher, or a doctor, or any other field that isn’t a covert operative)… What could this guy possibly have to teach me?”

That’s kind of what I thought, too. In reality, I liked Andy a lot, but I wasn’t convinced that his CIA skills could really help a unicorn typist like me. But as I said, I liked Andy, I trusted him, and his presentation promised to be a lot shorter than Avengers: Endgame, so I could sit through it for a friend.

Andy taught about risk. Risk is a subject he’s passionate about. And he wanted to teach those of us in attendance that we didn’t really know what risk even was.

To me, that felt laughable. “Of course I know what risk is.” I avoid it all the time. I never cross the street without looking both ways, I never carry an umbrella in a lightning storm. I never even bet on the Cubs to win a baseball game, just in case.

I felt like I had a pretty good grasp on what risk was, and more importantly, how to avoid it. Of course, that’s exactly what Andy wanted to correct.

Andrew taught about our “comfort zones,” those places, emotions, and situations we hang out in to avoid risk, to avoid fear, to eliminate negative emotions. He taught about how our brains were hard-wired to keep us in our comfort zones.

You know that feeling, right? You don’t have to be a spy to know about comfort zones. Think about that trade that you really want to make, but can’t quite pull the trigger on. Think about that conversation you want to have with your loved ones, your spouse, your children, but it’s just too emotional. Think about how you feel when you’re talking to your boss.

In all of those situations, you instinctively want to remain in your comfort zone. So do I. We all do. But Andrew’s training teaches you how to escape that comfort zone. He taught me about my own brain, things I didn’t know about how I processed decisions. And more importantly, he taught us how to change those decisions.

I was disappointed with how soon the webinar ended, because I felt like I’d only cracked the surface of what Andy could teach me.

Imagine unlocking your brain to make riskier decisions, and imagine all that you could accomplish. The best trader isn’t going to freeze in his comfort zone. The best trader is the one who can step outside and make the trade with big risk, when he believes in the reward.

The best parent isn’t going to just have the easy conversations with his kid. He’s going to sit them down and talk to them about the tough subjects, whether it be the birds and the bees or that C in chemistry that they really need to improve.

The best spouse isn’t going to keep quiet and avoid conflict. She’s going to embrace conflict when she knows that her marriage can grow from it.

That’s the kind of thing I feel like I can now do because Andy taught me how to dominate risk. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. Andy’s launching a site,, and he’s rolling out more training on this and many other subjects. And I’m thankful that I got one of the limited spots in his first official course.

I started Tuesday wondering what I could get down while attending this webinar in the background. I finished Tuesday with my mind swimming about the possibility of dominating risk. And I can’t wait for the next lesson.

I may not have a custom tuxedo, an Aston Martin, a cool catchphrase, or a signature drink. But today I feel just a little bit more like a spy. The name’s Unicorn. ROI the Unicorn.

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