Many beginning traders believe something along the lines of “Once I become a successful trader, then I will be (insert positive trait here)”. I am here to tell you that this thinking is not only hurtful to your trading but it is simply backwards.
You do not first become a successful trader and then become a successful or happy person. In fact, you must first be a successful person, even if you’re mostly faking it, in order to become a successful trader. You must first be able to follow-through with mindset shifts, proper belief systems about trading, different and better habits, goals and plans on how to achieve them BEFORE you will be able to attain consistent trading success. This is what we are going to talk about today…
“Fake it Till You Make It”
“Fake it till you make it”, they say. “OK”, you think to yourself, “but what does that actually mean and why must I do that? What does it actually look like and consist of for a beginning and (or) struggling trader trying to make a living trading the financial markets?”
I am here to tell you that it’s really pretty simple. The reason why you need to fake it until you make it, is because you simply cannot make it as a trader if you are not already in the proper trading mindset. Many traders believe once they start making some money then they will get their act together, but sadly this doesn’t work.
Please note, I am not referring to monetary success at this point. In fact, you can be in the right trading mindset even if you have very little or no money, or you can be in the wrong trading mindset even if you’re a doctor or a professional athlete or business owner who makes a ton of money. This is why I like to refer to trading as “the great equalizer”, because it really doesn’t matter how much money you have! This is good for you, if you don’t have lot to start with. All that truly matters is your understanding of the market, how to trade it and if you are in the proper mindset or not.
Of course, when I talk about “trading mindset”, I am also referring to everything that comes with that; proper daily trading routines that lead to proper trading habits, and of course these things are dependent on you having the discipline and self-control, patience and consistency to actually make them happen. Now, we are getting into the real “meat” of what truly separates the men from the boys in trading (most traders are not doing what I described in this paragraph, so they lose money over time).
What IS Success?
Most traders (or anyone) define success as obtaining a lot of money, and even if they deny that they will say something like “success is excelling in my profession” which of course includes money. Money is usually synonymous with success, in one way or another. Whilst this thinking is certainly not all bad or wrong, when it comes to trading, it’s a very slippery slope from “money is success” to “I will be successful when I’m making money trading”, but here is why that thinking is VERY dangerous for a trader…
In order to actually make consistent money over a long period of time as a trader, you have to first BE a successful person over a long period of time. Have you ever heard the saying “Success is where opportunity meets preparation”? Well, the most important part of that saying for a trader is “preparation”. You have to be PREPARED for success, it isn’t just something that magically happens after you start making money trading.
If you have no idea how to “be a successful person”, I suggest you read books, learn from others, read my articles and study my trading courses. There are plenty of self-help books out there, plenty of mentors you can learn from (myself included), the internet is full of self-help material. The point is, you need to get your mind straight and your habits and life straight before you can hope to make money trading. Trading success REQUIRES you to already have all of these other positive personality traits and habits in line, as PREREQUISITES, NOT AS OUTCOMES.
I wrote an article titled Trade Like a Baller, where I outline that if you want to be a professional trader you have to fake it and pretend or “act as if” you are one, until you manifest what you’re pretending. However, the word “pretend” is perhaps not helpful.. You will actually be thinking and behaving the same way as a professional trader, before you are actually making the money of a professional trader, if you hope to become one. The only difference should be, you have maybe $1,000 in your trading account instead of $100,000.
You have to set the wheels of trading success in motion before that success will materialize.
Why Isn’t Everyone Rich?
Why isn’t everyone “rich”? Why do less than 10% of traders succeed long-term? Quite frankly, it’s because these things are “hard” for most people to accomplish. What is easier, sitting on the couch binging Netflix or spending that time reading a book or taking a course to improve your knowledge and skill sets? What is easier, putting in the time and effort to study and build a trading routine around a trading plan (and actually sticking to it) or opening up your computer and just buying and selling because you “feel like it”? The answer is pretty clear, but the “easy” thing is usually not the right thing.
The truth of the matter is, most people who are born in any country with decent opportunities and who are born of sound mind and body, are not “rich”. Yet, nearly everyone wants to be. The reason the masses are not rich is because to get there, whether through trading the markets, owning a business or simply being the best at your job, requires an intensity and commitment to pursuing excellence that most people simply do not have the motivation to keep up.
For a trader, you must be committed to properly following your trading plan and ignoring the near constant urges and temptations to over-trade and over-leverage your account. However, sadly, most people can’t ignore the siren call of “get rich quick” and they give in, only to blow out their account as a result.
Consistent proper behavior, being addicted to the right things and the right feelings, this is what excellence is made of, in any field. Most people however, get addicted to negative feelings and negative behaviors. And while watching T.V. every night or playing video games are “fun”, they are sadly not going to lead you to greatness or success.
Not being able to overcome temptation and primal urges to over-trade, or spend too much time on leisure activities, is why most people are poor or middle to lower class. Note, I am NOT saying that these people are not happy, indeed, you can be happy with little or not money. But, we are concerned with making money trading, and I am telling you that you must change your thinking and behavior from a lazy, leisurely attitude to a more on-point, focused and disciplined one, or you won’t ever make it in the markets.
How organized is your office and your home? You might be thinking, “What does this have to do with trading”? Truly, it has everything to do with it.
You see, you cannot be a professional or successful trader if your life is not in-line in other areas. For your mind to be clear and calm enough to trade properly, you need to be an organized, disciplined person, and I believe that to my core. If you are someone with heaps of junk piled up and papers all over your office or house, I do not believe your mind is in the place it needs to be in to make consistent money trading.
You need to really act as if you’re a hedge fund manager, a “baller” or 20-year veteran of the markets. These people all had to change their energy and focus and get the “little things” in their life in-line in order to start their professional trading journeys, and you can do it too by following the points discussed in today’s lesson. You might also like to read a related article about setting up a forex trading room.