Honest thoughts about a gambling situation

What I learned from a short-lived gambling addiction back in 2012:

I was saving towards a 6-month trip, travelling across North and South America. A sabbatical granted by the superb company, Emery Little, that had funded and elevated my career to this point.

I was 5 months away from leaving with £7,000 safely stashed away in the bank (the most I’d ever had by about x 7) saved up for a trip of a lifetime.

Bored and confined to quarters to the tedious saving regime, I started betting on football. Actually, I didn’t technically start, I had always enjoyed a flutter - and still do - but I started betting big (in relative terms; I was a skint idiot). £100 on a 2/1 bet, easy. £400 at 10/11. £1,000 on an Even money bet and so on. It lasted a month or so. And I was up. I can’t remember by how much, but I remember thinking, this is easy. I had suffered losses along the way of course, but nothing major.

But then, after a few ‘bad days’ I was at a £1,000 net loss. Furious that a large chunk of the savings that I desperately needed had disappeared, I started lumping on the GGs and then I was £4,000 down. In a day.

The long and short of it is: I took out a loan that I finished paying off in May 2017. £245 a month for 5 years. A total of £14,700 repaid for losing £4,000 of my hard earned money. Money that I needed at short notice.

Absolutely ridiculous behaviour but it taught me a lot. (You win or you learn, right?) The level of anxiety I experienced on that day is something that will stick with my forever. If I could bottle it up and productise it into a drink and let people sip it, they would never ever allow themselves to get into that situation.

I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone this story. Maybe a few friends when intoxicated, but I never told those I should have – not when we could both remember it anyway. So, here it is. Make of it what you will. (Sorry Mum!)

I hope by sharing this, others can learn from my experience.

Key takeaways for me are that quick wins aren’t easy. If they happen then they’re a fluke. Then it hurts.

You need to earn that sh*t. Don’t leave it to luck.

Spend your money on stuff that only makes you feel up, never down.

Invest your time in yourself and your money in the stock market and WAIT to get rich. In essence:

  1. Don’t be greedy.
  2. Don’t be stupid.
  3. See 1 & 2.


Alfie Mullan, February 2019

Want to hold a conversation that will quite literally change your life? Well drop me an email and we can get this new life on the road.