What makes people switch to trading for a living?
What do you think it is about trading that:
- Makes them get all excited about the idea?
- Compels them to cast aside a predictable salary?
- Draws them to the slim chance of making it as a capital markets trader?
It turns out that there’s a pretty simple attraction to making the switch. The prevalence of this attraction dominates much of financial advertising.
Trading related marketing attracts the unknowing public. And it does so by an unrelenting focus on one benefit in particular:
The irresistible benefit of trading for a living is being your own boss and working for yourself.
Self-employment is an worthwhile pursuit. But it is important to pay attention to the employment part of self-employment. Traders of all skill levels are well-served by remembering that trading for a living is still a job.
Take a moment before you jump into trading for a living. Let’s look at five important truths about this challenging (yet rewarding!) career.
Trading For A Living – Truth #1: You make money at a job
Trading and the lifestyle opportunities afforded by trading make it a multifaceted pursuit. However, there is one defining component of trading:
It is a job.
And earning money is the primary focus of this job.
Now, you may be independently wealthy. And you may love trading only as an academic or personal challenge. That’s great if it’s your reality.
The rest of us need money to support ourselves. Moreover, that means we have a job to do.
It’s a fortunate position to be in. Many would-be traders attempt to turn a profit and never get the chance to consider trading for a living. But before deciding that trading will be your career, make sure that you’re making enough money at it.
Trading For A Living – Truth #2: Jobs have built-in discipline
Many cite freedom as a primary reason for wanting to pursue trading for a living. That desire for freedom often contrasts with the being an excellent independent trader. Let’s take a closer look.
“Define your responsibilities as a trader. This will focus your efforts.”
There’s a simple remedy for this issue. Make sure to create a concise description of all the responsibilities of a good trader. Make a list the same way you would if you were hiring someone for the job. It’s an important task – you’re writing your own job description.
The better the description you write, the better you will understand how to fulfill it. It’s true that trading can give you a lot of freedoms. But be careful not to let your desire for freedom get in the way of your job responsibilities.
Trading For A Living – Truth #3: Jobs benefit from standards
Standards are what set apart the good from the bad and the ugly. The best trader job descriptions and responsibility outlines can result in horrible outcomes. All it takes is poor execution.
When you adhere to a high set of standards, your own well-defined trading job will improve. Traders who demand more from themselves end up producing better results. It’s the same in all walks of life.
Make sure you set your own standards, and set them high. Ensure progress towards better profits by working towards a high performance standard.
Trading For A Living – Truth #4: Slacking is slacking, even if you work for yourself
You may have a boss in your current workplace. Or you may be your own boss in trading or some other entrepreneurial pursuit. No matter which situation you are in, there is one common truth:
Boss independent, slacking is slacking.
It is one of the reasons why trading discipline is such a hot topic. Trading success requires strict discipline. Laziness, lack of focus or waning commitment are all causes for a poor review or a slap on the wrist from your boss.
“Don’t let your employee slack off when you are your own boss.”
Those same traits are much more dangerous in the trading field. Worse than a mild reprimand, slacking off at a trading job will result in real money losses.
When trading for a living, you are the investor, the management team, the boss, and the employee. It’s your money. Maintain discipline and avoid slacking off at all costs.
When Trading For A Living – Truth #5: Great jobs allow for growth
Experts hear it from novices and frustrated traders all the time.
“If I could just get a small edge.”
“If I could simply make 2 ticks consistently.”
“I don’t need very much to support myself. The strategy doesn’t have to be aggressive.”
Beware! These are all telltale signs that a long-term growth mentality is missing. And the long-term growth mentality is the holy grail to ongoing success. Your job as a trader is not limited to punching in, trading well enough, and then punching out at the end of the day.
Traders who set up their job of trading for a living well allow for growth. The best demand it of themselves. This growth involves a constant search for areas to improve.
Growth involves ruthless analysis and critical examination of strategy and results. A successful trader can have a career spanning decades.
Not cultivating a growth mindset hampers trader longevity. Focus on the long run and make skill and knowledge growth a key part of your trading career.
For more day trading techniques, tools & strategies, check out these articles:
- 3 Candlestick Chart Patterns To Master
- 4 Considerations In Intraday Trading Success
- 8 Essential Tips For Day Trading Options
Design your job of trading for a living to be robust and to last long-term by focusing on these five truths.
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