Successful traders and people often do things differently than the rest of the crowd. But what they do is not magical or something unavailable to you. A successful trader mindset is always behind these people, and this is something you can build. There is very little about trading that is easy, and often times I hear of traders applying the wrong mindset to the challenges they face. Here are 9 simple things successful traders (& people) do, which you can adopt to change your compass towards success.
1. Have a Passion For the Process
Around the age of 5, Earl Woods brought his son on to a TV show to demonstrate how good his son’s golf swing was. After the young Tiger showed a glimpse of what he was to become, his dad was asked the following question;
“How many hours do you make him practice every day?”
Earl quickly responded, “Make him…I cannot get him to stop.”
You have to have a passion for trading and the process. Your passion cannot be ‘outcome dependent‘, meaning if you make x dollars in y months, then I’ll remain motivated to do the work. You must be willing to do the work, particularly in the moments when things are not working your way. It is easy to do the work when all is going well.
2. You Must Accept a Tedium of Work in Your Learning Process
There will be moments in your learning process which will seem boring, tedious, and difficult. You will often have to work on things you like the least – perhaps money management, filling out your trading journal or reviewing your trades. It is unlikely you will enjoy everything you do equally. In all great things built, there was always a tedium of work in the process – the moments where you sweat, tire and become exhausted. You must accept this tedium of work, and understand those little things build up skills and wire your brain to trade successfully.
3. Frustration Often Times is a Sign of Progress
When the brain gets to something it doesn’t understand, it often gets frustrated not having the answer. Being frustrated by something in your trading process is a communique you are dealing with things more complex than you understand, or can do efficiently now. This is a good thing. It means you are now heading into territory you are not skilled in, but need to be to become a successful trader. Be grateful those things are being pointed out – for when you work on them, growth happens.
4. You and Your Environment Imprint Upon You
The things you say to yourself before, during and after each trade have an impact. They imprint upon you, particularly the emotional quality of them. The same goes for your environment (parents, friends, co-workers). Make sure what is imprinted upon you is positive and directs you towards being successful. Learn to protect your mental capital.
5. Do Not Expect Immediate Results
Nobody who is a successful trader (or successful at anything) got there in a matter of months and expected immediate results. In a great commercial ‘Maybe It’s My Fault‘, amongst saying many brilliant things, Michael Jordan shares the following;
“Maybe I led you to believe that basketball was a god given gift, and not something I worked for – every single day of my life.“
It’s easy for us to see the success of such people. But we often fail to see all the hard work behind it. Michael had to work at his game for years, often filled with failures before he started to notice results. Real change in your trading does not come easily or quickly.
6. Do Not Look For an Easy Way Out
I have never met a successful trader or person who looked for the easy way out. You can pirate all the systems you want, but you will not have the mindset of abundance to be successful. You can try all the robots out there – none will become the ATM machine you think they will.
Do you really think Tom Brady or Peyton Manning got to being elite quarterbacks by not doing the work? Do you really think they skipped steps?
Remember, 84% of all people who win the lottery are broke inside three years. Now ask yourself who you’d rather be;
Person A – who makes $1 million in a lottery
Person B – who built up a business over three years and made $1 million?
Who will be able to repeat that success, use their skills, experience, and be most likely to do it again? Obviously Person B, while Person A by contrast has no skills, information or experience working for them. Food 4 thought, but do not look for an easy way out. There is none.
7. In The Future, I will…
I cannot tell you how many students tell me, or my partner Aruna who does the ERT training program, that they will feel confident, relaxed, or happy when they become a successful trader. Why put your happiness on hold? Why make your mindset held captive to some unknown future? Why not feel confident, relaxed and happy now?
A good friend of mine recently shared this great quote and post which said the following;
Ego says “Once everything falls into place, I will find peace.” Spirit says, “Find Peace and everything will fall into place.”
8. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior
Would you expect to be capable of finishing a marathon without running, stretching, training, proper hydration and diet? Would you expect to build strength and muscles sitting in a chair all day? Of course not. What makes you think trading is different?
Don’t fill out your journal, evaluate your trades, train properly, build your trading skill set, or a successful trading mindset – then do not expect to become a successful trader. Be honest with yourself and take responsibility for your behavior.
9. Failure is a Part of All Successful Ventures
Failure is a part of the process – an element you have to befriend. If you make it mean something about you, then it will consume you and create negative trading habits. However if you learn from failures, you will grow from them. You have overcome challenges like this in the past. When those challenges were happening, at one point you didn’t think you could get around them. This situation is no different.
Remind yourself of the challenges you have overcome to get here, and what strengths you have. They will aid you in difficult times. Peter Vesterbacka – the creator of Angry Birds, had produced 51 games prior to creating Angry Birds, and virtually ended up in bankruptcy. It has done over $6B in sales over the last few years. Failure is a part of all successful ventures. Real confidence comes in overcoming obstacles, failures and challenges.