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!

Posted in Basics

Trading Challenge

I Turned $12,415 into $4,838,000 Trading Penny Stocks**. Now it’s your turn to learn from me.

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Timothy Sykes

Hey Everyone,

As many of you already know I grew up in a middle class family and didn't have many luxuries. But through trading I was able to change my circumstances --not just for me -- but for my parents as well. I now want to help you and thousands of other people from all around the world achieve similar results!

Which is why I've launched my millionaire challenge. I’m extremely determined to create a millionaire trader out of one my students and hopefully it will be you.

So when you get a chance make sure you check it out.

PS: Don't forget to check out my free Penny Stock Guide, it will teach you everything you need to know about trading. :)

  1. Eric

    At first you don’t succeed …. You know how it ends up. You don’t need to try try again because there is no try only do .. Perseverance, resilience and patience are worth repeating over and over again .. They are such important qualities for success that they need to be ingrained in the hearts and minds of every person who desires great and miraculous things. Miracles don’t just happen, they come with a lot of blood sweat and tears .

  2. Eric

    Inspirational videos are great but having inspirational videos that educate are even better .. For example, when traveling, pick a concept and teach viewers about making a difference using stocks
    1. Short videos on the need for charity in third world world countries
    2. Domestic and international real estate ventures too ( Branching out beyond the stock market )
    3. Money management while traveling and with a crazy lifestyle
    4, teaching , treading and travel with Tim and the craziness that goes with it ( a VLog experience .. A few others have asked)
    5. Answerstock: part Deux : How life has changed since becoming a millionaire? , a video series with profitly gurus

  3. Kevin

    I’ve never seen a better graphic depicting the road to success then this one. Very accurate for most if not all professions. Right on Tim. I needed to see this today.


  4. Josh Smith

    Love your posts Tim!! One rule in life to live by…. “don’t give up, don’t ever give up!”

  5. Elisha Hogue

    Tim, Thank you so much!! I was feeling a little down today because I lost 235$ on the simulator. I am putting countless hours studying and watching the How to Make Millions DVD, and I am almost finish.
    I’m working double hours at work so that I can sign up for the Millionaire Challenge . I am truly excited to be on the path to making millions.

  6. Brian Mercill

    Great points to know. I’m new and already have had small success and blood but it is exciting that even though I wake up ready to trade again. I know the potential. I see it every day. Thank for keeping me on the journey!

  7. Hai

    These principles can apply to anything in life not just stocks. Motivation, inspiration, and perseverance are all you needed to accomplish anything in life desire. I understand. Thanks for the tips.

  8. Francisco

    The ironic thing is that the profit chart on to the right of your success image is literally what people think it looks like HAHAHA!!

    Love you Tim. I am so thankful that you are so passionate about teaching all these things.

  9. Janie Borden

    I can’t wait til I can get started !!! Thank you for giving people a opportunity to learn from you .You and you’re system is amazing . Thanks for being you !!

  10. paul

    I Think what would help me and other new traders is having our own coach/mentor work with us separate from all the seasoned traders or semi seasoned traders. Everyone that joined the challenge starts at the same place. That place is more advanced and hard to jump in and learn. I just wish you offered away to begin learning the basics in the 1st month or 2. You don’t have to bring everyone down to the beginner level like me, that would be unfair to the people that understand the basics already and want to get on with their learning. If it is unfair for them to come down to our level , it should also be seen as unfair for all of us new traders to start at theirs. It is what it is, I think less people would think about quitting if they learned the basics right off the bat.

  11. Shawn

    Hey Tim,
    So I am a 20 year old college student who had started trading part time back in May. I have had some solid profits and some bad losses. My account is currently down $1k. My mom does not believe in me and she continues to tell me to get off of penny stocks. Her negativity really gets me. What do you recommend that I do to help my current situation?

  12. Daniel

    Thanks Tim,
    Like every good teacher, you know how to keep your students motivated and how to keep them from giving up on themselves and their goals. When things get busy in life, it’s easiest to give up on the things that take the most effort, but those things that take effort are the things that will change your life for the better. Thanks for expecting great things from us, and thanks for your hard work. It doesn’t go unnoticed.

  13. sengsackda

    Hi Tim
    I am really excited when I finished read your 8 things it’s very good words for me and for every body in all the world
    For myself I never success any business all my life until now.
    The thing I want to known more it’s not my success but it is money for invest so now I am only follow you everyday to learn how to buy, to sale
    so I want to know how to begin
    Thanks Timothy Sykes

  14. Matt Cerrone

    Thanks Tim, I’ve been learning for 12 months and paper trading for 3months. Started trading for real on Wednesday. Made 2 losses. Got a bit emotional yesterday so this post has come at a perfect time. I’m a stubborn twat though so I’m not quitting. I will make this work!

  15. Hayward

    Good stuff! I plan to read this over and over again, especially if/when my motivation begins to fade. I’m looking forward to becoming one of your millionaire students, as I’ve recently been accepted. I’m currently studying hard and saving my money for what I believe will prove to be one of the best decisions of my life.

    Thanks Teacher!

  16. ParentsLove

    Every time I make a stupid trade I go back and watch my DVD’s again. And then I have a bigger profit. Slowly but steady I will get to the millions. Thank you Tim

  17. Ernie Wood

    I’m learning new things every day…STT paper trade is an excellent way to practice and reinforce the good habits…thanks for all you and your team do….

  18. Jay Krishnan

    Thanks Tim for your insight. Taking small steps at a time and trying to absorb as much info as possible. Excited about the upcoming summit!

  19. P. Sean Scott

    Thank you Tim, I face many crossroads in my life. Including this trading. I want to quit my day job, and time and time again I make mistakes trading. I go up a little (3 baby steps forward) 1 big step back, but my big step is still smaller than my baby steps added up. I know this is the way to reach my goals, i just have to find my path, thanks for the moral boost…..see you in September – got my ticket!

  20. Misha R Mendicino

    Thanks Tim, I really needed this post today.. I have some emotional trading issues I am trying to work thru.. looking forward to the Orlando Conference to meet everyone and hopefully shed some light as to how I am gonna get past this hurdle… btw, love the “DAB” photo, my son would be impressed 🙂
    Thank you for all the lessons along the way..
    Misha aka DesignerLife .. Challenge Student

  21. Justin DiGiacco

    I’ve been trading for two years full-time now and it’s funny how true those are, especially having self-doubt, wanting to quit.. but when you get through that and feel/see the light, no feeling in the world compares. Thanks for everything Tim you’re the reason I stuck with it!!!

  22. Anonymous

    great words, Coach! I am 2 months into my career as a trader. It has been everything you describe in all of your lessons. I LOVE IT! Learn from every trade! I already look at my “early” trades and see many mistakes. This is going to be a great journey! I will be attending the summit in Orlando and look forward to meeting, along with everyone else!! 🙂

  23. Erik

    You have a great heart, you learned the hard way and now you are sharing your knowledge and “How-to ” make sure we don’t fall into the pitfall in life. Thank You, Tim!

  24. Todd

    Just started the challenge last week and have been streaming the dvds. I haven’t bought stocks to trade just yet because I’m wanting to know how well it works with a MacBook Pro. Any insight? I run a MacBook Pro with 8GB RAM. Not going to really start trading until I study more.

    To future success

  25. Dominic Mastromatteo

    Thanks Tim for the words of wisdom. It’s truly amazing to be a part of this great community. I’ve learned so much already and will continue to educate myself until I am a successful trader. As you said, it happens over time and I will be patient and stay the course! See you in Fl!

  26. Matt Barger

    Great post that apply to all aspects of life and business!! I have owned and ran a few small business’s now and these are all great key points to be successful in whatever a person chooses to do in life! You’re a great teacher and impacting lives all over! Thank you

  27. Sunny

    First of all I want to thank you once again! You are always there to push me when I loose hope and motivate me when I begin to give up. You are a true mentor! When I see you working so hard day and night trying to make us (your students) successful in their lives. It just motivates me so much to work my ass off. Everything that you said in your article is true, I can not agree with it anymore. I might not be your millionaire student yet but I am learning everything I can from your 5k video lessons and will watch them again and again until I get it! Thank you for everything Tim!

  28. SpaceBoundT (Tony)

    Great read, Tim. Very similar to The Psychology of Trading where you are applying your life learned lessons, whether some are traumatic or not, and implement that into our experience with trading. Your blog will help prepare me for the daily grind and will be great to refer to and reflect on when it feels like I’m running a marathon in quicksand. Thanks Tim!

  29. Robert Basha

    1. 100% on this one. I have trudged through far too much to give up.
    2. Losing old bad habits to replace with new is the slow part. So much better to start with a clean slate, I would think that would expedite your learning ie Tim Grittani Style!
    3. Agreed, I lost sight of my goals recently and realized you have to think of your goals each day with purpose!
    4. This is why I abandoned trading for such a long periods. One must learn from a master, and your use of technology has accelerated our access to knowledge immensely.
    5. Agreed, I love the Profit.ly Community!
    6. After gaining my Challenge Knowledge I am 100% confident I will l never feel the pains of loss that I have experienced in the past.
    7. I have surely stepped away @ times, but the light is peaking through the tunnel and I am about to b/o!
    8. This is more evident every day. My IB account is up 10% this week!

    Many Thanks Tim

    p.s. I am still available to help you produce your film projects. Just hit me up, Sir. RS

  30. LorenShirk

    Of course I read it… I’m in your millionaire masters program! I read everything you send.

    Loren Shirk

  31. Johnny

    Thanks tim, really my daughter and I feel motivated to be part of the student challenge, both are working to be able to enter the challenge as soon as possible and become a winner

  32. Serdoki

    What worries me is the constantly invented by me all the new and new trade ideas, the head is just boiling, creating one, trying it like this. These new ideas prevent me from getting to work on what works. Such an impression that I’m not a trader but a design engineer. This is a complex psychological battle. But I will win!

  33. Avishek Sengupta

    Excellent advice, Tim. Very relevant, brutally honest, and inspiring. You’re a great individual, mentor, and trader and I’m aspiring to be one of your next upcoming millionaire students and be able to trade just like you and your crew. See you in the chatroom, Tim! 🙂

    Avi (Avster85).

  34. marcos

    Great Article tim thanks! As someone new to trading this has answered many questions and given me guidance to
    1) Remember that I can do this and that applying the correct strategies will bring success
    2) not only TELLING us but SHOWING us your trades and the trades of others really put it into perspective
    3) Remembering the WHY is more important than the HOW. All the right tools have been provided to us we just need to study hard. #nodaysoff
    4 & 5) Would be by far the pinnacle of what you have done in my opinion, Its so great to not only have one Mentor but a whole community of people grouped together for one common goal. Thanks Tim for creating an amazing network of people who pull together and support each other to learn and grow.
    6) Prespective, Tim always shoots us straight which reminds us that we aren’t going to be perfect but consistency is the best. Doing the same boring thing over and over brings success so study study study.
    7) We’ve all been there, suck it up learn from your bad trades, find your niche and keep moving forward.
    8) Them people in the community consistently talk about learning from mistakes, finding what works for you. Cut your losses quickly, learn from good and bad trades and be patient.

    Couldn’t ask for a better article. Thanks Tim!

  35. Brandon(PennyScrivs)

    Love your posts Tim. Just joined the Challenge this week, looking forward to my journey 🙂

  36. Shaun Bradford

    Just had the week from hell in my normal job, been studying hard for 6 weeks now only managed to put in 15 hours of Tim training this week so feeling a bit frustrated, reading this i feel pumped up again ready to make up for lost time over the weekend!
    thanks for the inspiration Tim.

  37. Tracy

    I thought the discipline was going to be the easy part…..WRONG!!!!!!!! Even after I say it to myself over and over. Learning the hard way. Thank you for reposting these basic reminders. Helps get mindset back on track…….STUDY…..STUDY….LEARN….FALL…..LEARN….STUDY……STUDY

    Thanks Tim!

  38. Dan

    Good stuff Tim……Thanks …Looking forward to Orlando. I have a lot to learn about trading penny stocks & a lot of bad habits to break from many years of options trading. I know I have come to the right place & the right teachers to help me on this new journey. I’m sure I will be one of your ” old timers ” ( age wise…I’m in my 60’s ) but not too old to learn.

  39. Jesus Alvarez

    Started your Challenge this week. I’m very eager and excited to learn. I enjoy your videos and posts. They’re very motivating.

  40. Jim

    Thank you Tim, I can tell you speak from the heart! I know I’m just a beginner and have so much to learn, but I’m excited about the journey!! Can’t wait until we meet in Orlando!!

  41. Edwin Buster McKinnon

    Thanks Tim I just joined your challenge from NZ and I knowthat I face a tough task from this time zone but I watched as many of your you tube videos as I could for 3 months before deciding to make a committment and join so once again thanks for the opportunity I will give it my all and do whatever is required to be successful

  42. Linda

    Thank you Tim for always inspiring us. This was a great read and something I needed to read today! Thanks again for always encouraging us!

  43. Ben Ponchetti

    Thanks for posting these Tim! After being medically retired from the military I have been going thru a depression as I’m adapting to the outside world, and how I fit into it with an injury that has prevented me from living my old life. You are quite right when you say the psychological side is just as important if not more so. My goal is to start trading soon like next month or shortly after as I’ve saved up enough to start trading but I enjoy having a little money in the savings account in case the VA has an issue with payments. My goal is to be self sufficient enough trading so that I don’t have to rely on that paycheck to get by. Thanks again!

  44. Sara aka bankatronic

    Thanks for this writing this cool blog post, Tim! I never could understand #7 because I never ever thought about quitting! Just thought about quitting EVERYTHING that has gotten in my way of the TRADING GOAL & sheesh! sometimes that can be quite a lot, but hey just goes to show that those lower energy frequencies/vibes were NOT meant to be. Bankatronic is meant to be! :)))

  45. Justin C

    Great read Tim. I couldn’t agree more with the above statements. I wanted to be a professional athlete since I was a teenage and everyone told me it wasn’t possible. I didn’t believe it, I knew if I put in enough time, effort and dedication that I could do that, and I did it, at 24 years old as well! I went on to compete at the high level in my sport. I had alot of hard bumps along the way and wanted to quit, and I told myself the same thing your telling everyone else reading this, that if you keep coming back and learning to better each time you have a pitfall, you will reap the rewards of this in the end. I want multiple setbacks in my career from personal problems to injuries to financial issues, but at the end of it all, I achieved my goal of setting foot on the Olympia Stage and becoming top 10 in the world. I am ready to now apply that same passion and mentality in life into a new business!

  46. Dwayne M

    Thank you Tim!! All your video lessons and blog post are not only gold, they are humbling for me. I am glad that I jumped @ the MMP program on July 20th. As a small business/job owner for the last 9 years I totally understand the SUCCESS graph. It’s time for me @ 42 yrs young to learn a skill that can help me gain Financial Freedom more effectively. I have that feeling like the first week of college when you get the syllabus for all your classes! I’m accepting this as a good feeling…..because at the end of this course of study there’s not a piece of paper with letters…..but The SKILL and KNOW HOW to get me lots of little pieces of paper to help me be FREE & LIVE!!

  47. AmberNinja

    Come over to my house and every time I’m not studying smack me in the back of the head with a stack of 100’s or just take your thumb and fan the money in my ear like your making sure they are all real and you hear that sound. Prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. And every time I dont follow the rules get a rope. The Challenge Rocks! And it IS CHALLENGING!!! Wouldn’t want it any other way.

  48. Montserrat Casasola Muñoz

    Thank you Tim for share your wisdom and experience with us!! This advices are very useful for me because I´m about to start the Challenge. I´ll follow them very carefully. Thanks!!!

  49. Louis Horvath

    Some days, I just want to quit but something inside me is hungry for success. I just keep pushing forward watch more video lessons and read blog post this one helps along the way my journey.

  50. DNN

    Good morning Timothy,

    I certainly understand how you feel about success because I felt the same way. One thing I learned about success is that on the way to the top, you’ll definitely discover who your real friends are if you have any real friends left. People hang around just like family members do just to see what they can get out of you if you’re struggling or not. You’ll also discover family members turning on you on your way to the top because of their secret jealousy since childhood. I’ve discovered that myself from firsthand experience. Most of my cousins and or uncles and aunts who had things against me since my childhood continue to hold something deep in their hearts against me as their hatred rule worse, now that they know I have an online business that destined to earn millions in the field of affiliate marketing. They’re also jealous because they know I’m destined to be successful spiritually and financially and also know in the back of their minds they can’t be a part of it when they see me rise to the top of the mountain.

    Imagine if we could go back in time and fix things to make it right as you partially mentioned in your blog post, Timothy. That would be a beautiful feeling, what? You’d be able to get that ex-girlfriend back that you’ve been longing for secretly. You’d be able to fix every financial mistake you made. You’d be able to get an A possibly in the class that you allegedly got an F grade in. You’d be able to go back in time and possibly give yourself a pay raise on those alleged crappy jobs so you would have more money in your pocket to invest in your business. Imagine if we really could go back in time and change the past. Unfortunately, we don’t live in the “George Jetson eep-opp-ork-ahh-ahh era.” But that’s all good though because we live and learn.

  51. Johan Friesen

    HI Tim, Great topic, the one that really touch me was number 7. You’re going to want to quit… It’s happening, temptation are there especially if you can go to a mediocre income you lived with for many years that paid bills but couldn’t get out of debt. I was born and raised in a very strick Mennonite community in Mexico that didn’t allow education beyond just learn how to read and simple math. So this trading thing is a greater challenge for me than most I suppose but I’m learning, I’ve been self thought all my life and at 58 I can still learn. I’m glad I can be part of your students and the material is more that enough to learn be a successful trader. Sometime I’m tempted to request a one-on-one mentor but I don’t know if that would help me more than what I’m doing now, watching videos, reading blogs and be in chat room everyday.
    I’m temped everyday to go back and just swim with the flow, but I realize in order to achieve greatness, I’ll have to swim against the current and with your help and support, I’ll succeed.

  52. Ronnie

    : ) Tim I want to quit once a week…but I’m still here! I would miss your famous rants and great humor!

  53. Wayne Willmore

    Thank you so much Tim, I needed to read this.. Faliure is not an option and I will not give in ..

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