The Long Road

Success in any great adventure is not and should not be easily achieved. There is no cookie cutter answer to achieving everything you want in life and becoming everything you can be, however, there is one simple word that can change your life… WORK. This should be something that prevails amongst all else when you are trying to achieve anything. In the trading realm “work” often gets overshadowed with fancy cars,  stacks of cash, big profit posts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. However, it is often the nitty gritty that nobody cares to show. The countless hours, missed parties, time spent in front of the computer instead of the family that I want to discuss.

There is no quick and easy way to achieve success… PERIOD

The difference between time under tension and tension under time is how it is gained and stored. The easier wealth and success finds you, usually the quicker that it will disappear. Look at lotto winners, gamblers, actors, celebrities, famous athletes and countless others who achieved “financial success” in a quick time. What happened to them? Well, the vast majority end up right back where they started sooner than later, broke!

I want to emphasize the struggle so much because that is where the “diamond in the rough” is hiding. Average people will avoid the struggle, suffering and hard work as they want the immediate gratification. The struggle, however, is what gives you the skills in order to become successful beyond your wildest dreams. Think of a blacksmith for example. If you have never watched a blacksmith at work then feel free to stop reading, head over to youtube and take a quick glance at one at work. It takes immense heat, pressure, and pounding of the same piece of metal over and over just to get the “refined” mold. It then takes more time to pound, sharper and harder whatever the creation into its final product. The harder you work, the more heat applied, the more pounding of the anvil creates a stronger, sturdier and more impressive sword. The harsh reality for successful traders both new and old is that it comes down to the grit and always will. The reality is hours, days, weeks, months and years of solitary grinding is required to master your craft. And yes, trading is arguably more of a craft than many great professions out there. It is the stuff that nobody likes to discuss because it is the stuff that nobody likes to do. If you realized that in order to be successful you would have to give up friends, family, weekends, holidays, happy hours and more for months/years on end would you still do it? Do you have the grit?

The beauty of the long road especially in terms of trading is that it acts as a mold. You need the patience to let experience set in. If you rush the process, most rush giving back everything they have gained. The journey creates “success habits” and that is what everyone should be after in the end. Once you create the habits you are able to repeat, grow and develop. This the reason profitable traders find more profits all while unsuccessful traders continue to lose money. It is not about getting the lucky hit or string of hits, it is about the discipline to stay the course, develop the habits and repeat them time after time. Take a look at some of your favorite traders. They could be mentors you talk with, people you aspire to be or someone one day you look forward to learning from. What separates them from the crowd is what they do behind the scenes. They are obsessed with growth, consistency, testing, refining, adapting etc. This comes across in what they speak about and in how they trade. They strive relentlessly and are nothing short of obsessed with getting better each and every day. If they’ve had their best day ever they ask: how could I have done better, what did I miss, why I did I not maximize that trade even more? You must pound the anvil! If you stop, you are not only cheating yourself but everyone you know and will know in the future.

There are many who coined the phrase “you must become comfortable with being uncomfortable” but it is true. Take a quick moment to let it sink in and say it over and over again. The pain, anxiety, the struggle is all the best stuff. Without it, you do not grow and develop what you need to have consistent success. This means more than getting the dream you wanted. It means keeping that dream alive each and every day. The moment you cheat the process, you cheat the ability to repeat what got you there in the first place. So in closing, I will wrap it up short and simple with some key points to remember!

  1. If you work hard and long for what you want and have achieved, you will keep it. Quick cash & easy come easy go mentality will burn you in the end.
  2. You must and cannot afford to be anything but obsessed with greatness! This means pounding the anvil of growth. Adapting, changing, testing, implementing and repeating the process day over day, week over week and years over years sometimes.
  3. Embrace the struggle. This is usually where you find the biggest lesson. However, be warned that if you are blind to your failures and achievements you will never be able to see how you can improve.
  4. Be patient! It takes time to become an “overnight success”. This could be 6 months, 1 year, 5 years or 20 years. There is no direct answer but if you put in 80 hours a week while others are putting in 40 hours a week something has to give.
  5. Stay humble, stay grateful and stay learning. The best at their craft are usually those who hunger the most for knowledge and improvement. Surround yourself with these people and become the least successful person in your trading, friend or acquaintance group. This does nothing but forces you to level up your life!