Most aspiring traders that I have met, seem to have a few things in common
- They want to be independent i.e not to work for someone
- They also want independence in terms of their time, they perhaps want to spend time doing several things and not just trading
- They want to make some reasonably good amount of money by investing around a year or two worth of time
These are the sort of expectations that aspiring traders usually have. And as they say, reality is usually quite different from what we expect it to be. So let’s look at the other side, the reality, the darker side i.e.
- The other side of Independence is responsibility – responsibility to succeed at something by oneself, all by oneself – the impact of this on one’s self-worth can be massive, much more than one can even imagine – Especially if you’ve had considerable success or acceptance in your previous career, the impact could be even more.
- The other side of freedom to use one’s time could be either indifference or obsession, both the extremes won’t help usually, obsession is a shade better than indifference though
- Long streaks of losses can psychologically break the strongest of the people, which can have further ramifications, from depression to suicide, yes I am serious.
While all that I described above could be two extremes and the reality would be somewhere in the middle, but I guess what matters is
a) Getting a better sense of reality before diving into this business, yes I call this a business because, like any business, this too requires you to risk your time and money.
b) Developing a plan which includes the possibility of a fairly long learning curve
c) Viewing this as one of the ventures in your entrepreneurial journey
d) Viewing trading as a performance sport – which would mean hours and years of practice and focused effort and an understanding that you need to be at the top of your game and like anything which is performance oriented very few can be.
e) Viewing the effort towards the goal not just in a linear sense, but also in another sense, be open to the idea of landing on something else altogether, in a serendipitous sense, which could alter the course, perhaps all for your good.
f) Finding like minded people to work with, not falling into the lonewolf trap, there are limits to what one can do by oneself
So with all this said, you can imagine how your everyday life as a trader is going to be. In all probability, you may end up being unhappy, and fairly stressed more number of days than you ever imagined. Depending on your general constitution, it may also affect your health. Depending on the quality of your relationships and life context that too may suffer. All this happens not just in trading, this is the truth for any entrepreneurial venture.
Even after being aware of all this, it’s still different when it really hits you. Because in the beginning, you tend to think “maybe it may work out differently for me” and then it doesn't, you may delude yourself for some time but then, sooner or later it does it hit you. And when it does, you end up asking yourself questions like – Till when do I be in this venture? Should I just quit and take up something else?
Valid questions with no simple answers.
As clichéd as it may sound – as they say - Nothing great ever was that easy.