The Only Way is Up! Just Stephs Perspective on Life

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Steph Derham was born at home in , in Evington, Leicester. After birth, Steph's mum Jennifer was told by her midwife there was something wrong with her daughter, but details were left vague. Over the following weeks, Jennifer discovered a lump on Steph's back and realised that her legs hadn't been moving. Steph was referred to a specialist and the doctors explained to her mum that Steph had a condition called spina bifida.

Two Types of Knowledge

Spinda bifida is a type a 'neural tube defect' and the condition occurs when a baby's spine and spinal cord don't develop properly in the womb. In the most severe case of spina bifida, the baby can be left with total paralysis of the legs and in some cases - brain damage. She attended the Florence Trelore School for Physically Handicapped Girls in Hollybourne, Hampshire, because schools in Leicester could not accommodate her needs at that time. Steph has never let her disability stop her and she has been married to her husband Graham, 57, for 20 years, and has three children.

She has also recently retired after 17 years from her role with Leicestershire Police , where she worked as a call handler, radio dispatcher and then as an investigator. The book, entitled 'Crotch Height Perspective', the title inspired by what she sees from her point of view in her wheelchair, has just been published.

Steph also decided now was a good time to write her book, because in February , a baby with spina bifida successfully received surgery at King's College Hospital while still in the womb. A foetus can be diagnosed with spina bifida at 20 weeks gestation, and many women decide to abort their baby if the result comes back positive for the condition.

I couldn't be a hairdresser either because of the same reason. Steph also once asked her mum about what she would have done if she had found out that she had spina bifida before she was born. Steph has lived a successful and full life with her condition, but supports the breakthrough that allows the surgery to be conducted inside the womb.

Steph's book, 'Crotch Height Perspective: It's just the way it is! By Maia Snow. Steph Derham was born with Spina Bifida and has lived with it her whole life.

Investors will give you money. Big goals create movements and bring together teams. Small goals may be easier to accomplish, but not as many people will help you do it. How many of your friends are trying to cure cancer or solve cold fusion? How many friends work in accounting?

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When I started my coupon site 7 years ago, I just wanted to earn enough money to support myself and travel. I ended up spending 4 years figuring out marketing by myself and building the business to a level where it supports my lifestyle — yay, go me.

Meanwhile, Tim Kently-Klay managed to build Zoox into a 1. Right… So wtf am I doing with my life? No, not some half-hearted version like Tesla. A fully autonomous Uber — that was the dream. A slight problem was that Tim knew nothing about self driving cars. But Tim was a hella smart guy who had started a successful graphics design company in the past, so he set about reading everything he could on self driving cars.

After a year of intense study, he drew out some blueprints for his self driving car which he displayed at some conferences. However, Tim hustled on and met Niki the venture capitalist. Tim took that million dollars and went to the self driving car team at Apple. So come join me and we shall conquer the world. Tim took that money and convinced more people to join his jihad. Tim does all this in 4 years. I set a small goal; build a coupon site.

In 4 years I accomplished it. Tim set a big goal; make fully autonomous self driving cars. When I was in college choosing my career, all I cared about was: how much money could I make? So I chose investment banking. And I quit after 6 months. But anyway. Most of my peer group chose their careers because of money. Back in the 60s, we had just landed on the moon.

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Einstein and Edison were the celebrities of the day. People wanted to be inventors, explorers and scientists — to work on things that would push forward the envelope of human progress. Nowadays people want money — financial security. What happened to changing the world?

My Story — STEPH YU

Most people are not working on meaningful problems. Millions are dying in Africa. Our best and brightest proceed to go work in finance or tech or whatever industry is the most cashed up. This makes sense from an economics perspective. If you create the most value then the market will reward you with the most money.

But wait, how the hell would working to solve poverty in Africa make more money than being an investment banker? Banking appears to be a steadier path to making more money — if we view things from a short term perspective. But what about in 10 years, 20 years and more?

Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years — Bill Gates. In 10 years, your social enterprise does well enough for you to live comfortably. You wonder if you made the wrong choice. But in 20 years, Africa grows rapidly, income levels rise 20x to western levels. Business is booming because your customers can afford to pay you western prices. Everyone now wants to invest in Africa.

Multinationals are in a bidding war to buy your company. The land that you brought for ten thousand dollars per hectare is now worth a one million dollars per hectare. Meanwhile the world realizes investment bankers are basically glorified real estate agents — annoying and unnecessary. Bankers and real estate agents get replaced by a super efficient AI marketplace and your friend is made redundant.

Sure, chasing big goals is risky. People say that 9 out of 10 new ventures fail. Well, what if you tried 30 times? How I got over risk of starting my own business was, I said to myself: even if I tried for the rest of my life and I died trying, would I be happy? Yes, because I enjoy the process of trying to change the world, building a business, and working on something I find meaningful. What matters is that I tried. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.


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The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Imagine at the end of your life, you realized that you never gave your dream a try. You just let it slip past.