There are plenty of things that you can do to improve your trading, which I have detailed in previous posts like this one and rules that I go over and over again with my students. But now I want to talk about what you should stop doing to improve your trading.
Download the key points of this post as PDF.
These are some of the common bad habits that keep traders from finding the success they crave so if you stop doing these five things, you will absolutely see positive returns on your overall performance:
1. Deflecting blame. There are plenty of people out there who won’t accept responsibility for their actions, their place in life, or their lack of means. There’s always someone else or something else to blame. For instance, some people claim that since they have young children, it’s impossible to change careers and rock the boat of stability. Others will claim that they can’t become traders because they never went to graduate school. There are any number of circumstances that people might assign blame to for their lack of success. But the truth is, nothing is going to change until you change yourself.
Andy Warhol said, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” To create lasting change in your life, and to have any hope of finding success as a trader, you need to begin to own your actions. Ultimately, if you are unhappy with your place in life or your bank account balance, it’s on you.
So what can you do? Decide to change things. Take responsibility, and commit to becoming better.
2. Wasting your time. If you’re spending all day dreaming about the things you want but don’t have, but not taking any action, then you are wasting your time. Stop squandering the time you have! To make a change in your life, that means you have to jump to action.
For many, creating a big change in their life without guidance is very difficult. But that’s simple to solve: find a guide. In trading, this means having a mentor…at least start by reviewing free guides like this ASAP.
You don’t need to make it harder than it has to be. In the Tim Sykes Millionaire Challenge, I act as a mentor, guiding my students in gaining the knowledge and techniques necessary for success as traders. My challenge offers a time efficient and carefully guided way to learn how to trade.
You could try to improve your trading without my Millionaire. Plenty has tried. But, why would you waste your time learning the ups and downs of the market when you can cut out so many of the growing pains? The Challenge offers a way to learn to trade in a practical and easily applied way.
3. Living beyond your means. If you want to become a trader because you have grandiose dreams of throwing money around, you’ve got a long road ahead of you.
The fact is, to become a successful trader, you’ve got to make a stronger commitment to saving than you possibly ever have before. Basically, as a trader, it’s in your best interest to make a habit of saving the majority of your earnings. This allows you to improve your position in the market, and to make more impactful trades as your account grows.
In time, as you continue to earn, the amount that you have free to spend will become larger and larger, so that even while you continue to save, you can begin to treat yourself to those things you’ve always wanted. But be aware: it takes time and a lot of discipline to get to that point. Save now and savor the rewards later.
4. Doing it all by yourself. It’s true that trading can be a highly singular activity that requires a lot of alone time. However, to say that trading is something that you can find success in totally alone would be a lie. You absolutely need support. You don’t need to do it alone and, quite honestly, you shouldn’t.
Having a great network is key. First and foremost, you’ve got to get yourself a mentor. Someone who is further along in their career is an invaluable resource. Meeting with them regularly is like pressing fast forward on your career. You can receive advice, learn from their mistakes and downfalls so that you don’t have to go through the same things and get tips on how to proceed with various projects.
Second, you need a good network of peers, both at your level and who are a little further along than you. Other traders will keep you motivated and will inspire you to keep it up and often, to do better. Also, by observing what they do and how they conduct themselves, it can give you ideas for how to become a better trader.
Students in the Tim Sykes Million Challenge Team get both of these invaluable networking resources in one fell swoop. Students keep up with each other online and I act as a mentor.
5. Seeing mistakes as failures. When you make a mistake, what do you do? For most of us, we hang our head and hide out feeling sorry for ourselves, at least for a little while. But, if you want to be a great trader, you have to be man or woman enough to get back on the horse, so to speak, and to keep trading.
Mistakes are only failures if you decide they are. But if you have an open mind and a strong constitution, mistakes can also be powerful teachers…the absolute BEST teachers! The trade that went bad today can teach you a lesson that can keep you from losing ten times that amount next time. Alternately, a mistake can open your eyes to what you need to focus on in your studies.
Ultimately, if you are brave enough to learn from your mistakes rather than seeing them as failures, you will become a far better trader.
Sometimes, self-improvement isn’t just a matter of cultivating good habits. It’s also important to let go of bad ones. By working hard to stop doing the things detailed in this post, your trading will improve big time.
What’s holding you back as a trader? Leave a comment below and be honest with me and yourself so we can cut it out and improve your trading ASAP!