Trading Isn’t Just About Money
The worst perception out there about trading is that it will make traders very, very rich, very, very fast. As any good trader knows, this isn’t the case. Green traders fail every day because they get into trading without doing any research, they are blinded by dollar signs, and don’t realize how much work and preparation is necessary to actually succeed. The worst thing a trader can do is go into it solely for the money. Successful traders are such because they find other pleasures, have other desires, and additional goals outside of just making tons and tons of money.
Not everyone is cut out to be a trader. If it was possible to make money and make it easily by trading, everyone would be doing it. The life of a day trader is difficult, draining, and all-consuming. And yes, it can lead to a lot of money and success if the right steps are taken and if the trader is truly committed. Those out there for easy cash or looking for a way out of their cubicles are in for a rude awakening. Day Traders spend many more hours working and learning than any desk job. So if it’s such hard work, why do people trade?
Trade Your Way to Self Discovery
Successful traders are the type of people who are looking to self discover and to lead their own lives. They are not the type of people who like to be told what to do and need little direction to get the job done. Simply put, they’re not cut out for the corporate lifestyle. Successful traders are go-getters who love the idea of getting a chance to mold their own lives. They don’t want to be on the hunt for a promotion, playing to inter-office rules and the whims of over controlling bosses, they want their success to fall solely on their own shoulders. If they sleep in and start trading late that’s on them and if they continue to work hard and learn, that success is also all on them.
It is a huge change in mindset for anyone, even those cut out for the lifestyle of a trader, to switch from the corporate, day job to full time day trader. The first couple of weeks may be thrilling, “I am my own boss! I make my own rules!” But after a month or two the reality of how much is relying on just YOU can set in. Traders certainly make their own rules, but they better hope they’ve set the right rules or the risk losing a lot of their money. If you’re a new trader, don’t let the thrill of being your boss blind you from the task at hand. If anything, the first couple of months are some of the most important months of your trading career. They will determine how hard you are willing to work to get what you want and if you have the stamina to continue on.
As mentioned before, trading is not a freeing lifestyle full of sunshine and rainbows. It can be tiring, demoralizing, and make you question your skill set. Those who can persevere in trading find ways to overcome those fears, cope with huge losses, and find the time to study and learn alongside trading. Quitting your day job to become a full time trader will be one of the most self defining moments you will have. You’re figuring out what type of person you truly are and what your limits are.
Trade to Be In Control
Day traders are the type of people who thrive by self motivation. They require very little from outside sources to get work done. They are capable of setting their own deadlines and following through on them. They are also do not lose sight of the task at hand or the reason why they started their journeys as traders. Traders are people who love to be in control of every aspect of their lives, personal and professional.
Day trading is so appealing to these personalities because they can create and control their own schedules. Do not mistake this for a free schedule full of fun and parties. In many cases, traders wind up working more hours than any day job out there. But there is a pleasure in controlling when those many hours occur and how. You can set your own hours to work, choose to sleep in or stay up late. Work weekends and take Mondays off to see your kids off to school. The pleasure in trading is that you can do it at any time and can, if you get good enough, take time off to do the things you do love. Your schedule is your own… no one has to approve you leaving for a trip or going for a run at mid-day.
Traders create their own processes and systems that work for the individual. Once the basics of trading start to come more naturally to you through muscle memory and training your brain, you’ll be able to streamline your time and work more efficiently. Which in the end will give you more time to have other interests or simply unwind.
Traders trade to do more with their time. For instance, you can trade from anywhere in the world with a laptop and a good internet connection so why work from your home when you could work from anywhere in the world? Trade all day in a luxury hotel room and then spend the night walking the streets of Paris. Or trade from a shady spot outside. You can get your job done anywhere and it isn’t required that you show your face in an office or wear a suit to prove that you are serious about working and serious about making money. You can trade with your feet in the grass and a beer nearby… there are no rules about how you must look or where you need to be.
While this does give traders a certain sense of freedom we must all remember that these luxuries are all dependent on how we create our lives. In most cases we will have to work harder than we ever have in our lives to get to a place where we can travel, take some time off, and reap the benefits of working for ourselves. We need to test ourselves daily with new challenges and stay on top of our game but there are some pleasures to be had outside of trading.
Trading for Competition
There are two different traders, traders that want the free time and traders that want to play the game. While the promise of a self-created schedule lures some folks into trading, it is ultimately those with a competitive edge that succeed and actually get to the level needed to be able to enjoy a more flexible calendar. These traders have a complete and total mindset shift, they live and breathe trading. To these traders, trading is not work, it is a lifestyle. And part of that lifestyle is proving themselves to themselves and others. It is rewarding to win the trading game, to become successful and earn the money you deserve but to get their you need to be as competitive as they come. Trading needs to become your main focus and goal.
A lot of people trade because they can see the potential for a lot of money — like making 5 figures a day– but they aren’t willing to put in the work needed to get there. They see people like Warren Buffet and “trading gurus” who claim they can make those 5 figures by just waking up in the morning. Trading is never that easy. Never! It takes a lot of guts, a lot of long hours, and a lot of studying to become as good as the top traders out there. To be successful as a trader you need to be hungry! Hungry for not only the money but hungry for the big wins. Hungry to prove that you are knowledgeable and unafraid to give something your all. Trading takes full commitment and not everyone is cut out for that.
This is a good time to point out that to start trading– no matter how hungry or focused you are– you need capital. You really do need to start with a decent amount of money to make the money you want. Capital ensures that any initial failures, and trust us there will be failures, do not totally destroy you. Having a decent amount of capital ensures that you can take the hits and keep on working toward your goals. It takes capital to protect yourself and act as a barrier to any mistakes you make while learning how to trade and live this lifestyle.
Get Ready to Change
Ultimately, no matter your personality type, trading is a huge lifestyle change and one that is not easy to make. Be prepared to make mistakes and be prepared to lose money but also be prepared to go on a wild journey of self discovery. When it comes to learning about who you are and your own personal limits… there is nothing like trading.