8 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Starting Out

I’ve learned a lot in my now 2 decades as a trader and sadly, I had no mentor or help at first, so I have to learn everything all on my own. ALL of my knowledge has been hard-earned and yes, many of the things I did in my early trading days make me want to cringe now so I only wish there had been something like my Millionaire Trading Challenge back when I first got started.

Download the key points of this post as PDF.

And yet I recognize that the ups and downs I’ve experienced have played a huge part in shaping my career as it stands today so it is what it is and all I can try to do is to be the mentor to you that I never had.

This is what gets me out of bed every single morning, it’s why I am a trading mentor/teacher to my millionaire students. I want to share my hard earned knowledge with others, so that they can enjoy the benefits of my success and potentially avoid some of the mistakes that I’ve made.

If I could go back in time to when I was just getting started trading penny stocks and give myself a pep talk, these are some of the things I would say. Hopefully this wisdom that I never had offered to me will help you on your journey as a trader.

1. You can do this. When you first embark on a career in trading, it can be exhilarating, but also scary. It’s natural to feel self doubt. It sure would have been nice at the beginning of my career for someone to have leaned over and told me with confidence, “hey, you can do this, it’s just going to take some time”.

Let me be that person for you. You can do this. You are capable of finding success as a trader. It’s not a matter of whether or not it’s possible to become a millionaire. Rather, it’s a matter of figuring out how to do it and being willing to work hard and having patience along the way. You’ll have to apply yourself to learning the ins and outs of the market, then you’ll have to hit your stride as a trader and that takes months and years. Let me repeat, you’ll need to work hard, probably harder than you ever have in your life. But it’s worth it, because in the long run, you are capable of making this thing happen and you’ll look back and appreciate the journey later on too.

2. It doesn’t take forever. As you take on your career as a trader, it may feel like it will take several years or decades to begin to make serious profits. But that’s not necessarily true. While everyone’s journey is different, I firmly believe that it’s possible to become a millionaire inside of a few years.** I’ve seen it happen for a number of my millionaire students and upcoming millionaire students, like this young man, are learning and earning faster than before. When you’re armed with the right knowledge and you apply yourself intelligently, chances are you’ll see a profit sooner than later.**

3. Focus on your goals. I’m a strong advocate of setting very specific and very big goals. The fact is, your goals give you motivation and something to work toward. If your goal is simply to make money, chances are that you’ll fizzle out after some time because you don’t have focus…it has to be more than just money, you need to channel your passion and when you do that well, making a lot of money is the result.

Specific goals for what you want to acquire with the money you make will help you stick with the process of trading, particularly when times get hard. They will also allow you to put emphasis on attaining things and experiences that will improve your life rather than just focusing on money. Often, when you think past the money, that’s exactly when it starts to flow.

The Tim Sykes Millionaire Challenge can help you navigate tried and true ways to make money which can help you attain your goals. If you take your studies seriously and continuously strive to improve as a trader, your goals will quickly become within your reach. 4. You need a mentor. I didn’t have a mentor, but in retrospect, I wish I had. I really went into a lot of things blindly as an early trader. In time things worked out and I began to gain success. But if I’d had the benefit of a mentor, I have no doubt that I could have started making serious money much faster.

This is part of why I am a mentor/teacher now. I want to teach the students in the Tim Sykes Millionaire Challenge Team what I have learned to do and not to do, so that they can attain success in a more streamlined way.

Moreover, having a mentor who is further along in their career can help give you a head start. Learning from their experience can keep you from losing money and it can make you money faster. Why would you not seek out such a resource?

5. You need a network. A mentor is a great start, but he or she should not be your only professional sounding board or resource. As a trader (and really, in any type of business) you need to have a good network…and that’s why I’m SO proud of this little community as we’re all helping each other learn and grow and it’s rather beautiful to watch.

To form a network a few key things are important. First, you need to connect with any and everyone you can.  Attend networking events and meet ups; go to trade fairs. Also employ social media to connect with traders and people who can help inspire and connect you. Second, you have to treat people well and with respect. After all, why would anyone want to remain connected to you if you only treat them like a stepping stone?

6. There will be tough times. I’d be outright lying if I told you that your career would involve smooth and swift ascent and no pitfalls whatsoever. It’s not like that. There are highs, and there are lows. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your prowess as a trader; there are simply things that you cannot control.

Rather than fight this, it’s far better to reach a level of acceptance with it. As a trader, all that you can do is learn all that you can and make the most calculated risks that you can. Take it as it comes. Celebrate when things are good, and know that when things are bad, that they will get better, especially if you learn from your mistakes.

7. You’re going to want to quit. There have been many times in my career when I just wanted to quit. It is always hard to have this thought. But it’s also completely normal…read this post to give you an idea of some of my students who have been on the verge of quitting too, but they were rewarded for sticking with it.

So I am telling you right now: you will probably want to quit, possibly at many points. But wanting to quit and actually quitting are two different things. Knowing that you will want to quit at times and that it’s normal can make it easier to keep from actually throwing in the towel.

8. You’ll be rewarded if you stick with it. This plays right into the last point. You will want to quit at times. But let me say it explicitly: don’t do it. Keep at it. If you practice, good things will come, including trading. Your persistence will be rewarded. The mistakes and failures you encounter throughout your journey make you stronger, wiser and better in the long run, even if it’s tough to see that right away while you’re going through it.

If you’re having a tough time, take proactive steps to improve your situation. Go apply for my trading challenge and re-devote yourself to your studies. But don’t give up. If you do stick with educating yourself and truly commit to improving as a trader, your performance will improve over time…I hate when people give up on themselves, especially when they’re so close to breakthroughs which happen over time, just not as fast as anyone likes…myself included.

Successful trading means having to constantly evolve and it requires a lot of hard work and commitment so you must have the right perspective otherwise it’s easy to fail and quit. And yes, I know it can be incredibly hard to believe in yourself at times, but I’ve been to over 100 countries now and I know that EVERY single person has greatness within them, they just need guidance and to believe in themselves, which sadly is lacking in today’s society so focused on immediate success, otherwise negativity creeps in.

Hopefully, by reading through these tips, I hope that you’ve gained a little more confidence to stay on the path toward what promises to be an incredible trading career.

Please do leave a comment below and let me know what else I can do to help you in your journey!

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