I remember last year, receiving a link to a new trading blog. It was written by a guy who did exactly the same as me - decided to go full-time, whilst he had redundancy pay to live off for a while. The very first post, I remember reading in complete shock. The author said that (on his very first day of full-time trading) he was going to a party that evening and was going to attempt to trade on his mobile whilst there! As soon as I read that, I knew that here was someone who was never going to succeed with that attitude. If you are serious, professional and enthusiastic about trading, the last thing you do is put your social life ahead of your livelihood. And if you do choose to socialise, you certainly don't jeopardise your money by trading on a phone whilst presumably full of alcohol surrounded by nubile young ladies and other distractions (I'm guessing it was that kind of party!).
I don't think having a social life and
learning to trade are mutually exclusive. But let's face it, if you work
full-time, you have to trade in your spare time and that means evenings
and weekends for most - so your social life is going to take a
hammering. If you aren't prepared to do that, then things are going to
move at a very slow pace. Just look how long it's taken me to get where I
am - 2 and a half years of trading tennis FULL-TIME. And that's with
plenty of over-time thrown in! I certainly don't consider myself out of
the ordinary in that. I would be surprised if I wasn't a typical example
of an average person who goes into trading.
I'm certainly not
mathematically gifted, nor was I involved in the betting industry to any
extent beforehand. I went in completely cold, other than knowledge of
the game of tennis (though little about the players or the tour). On the other hand, I'm not stupid (despite the atrocious bank decimating bets I've placed at times!) and have been successful at everything I've turned my hand to down the years (though there is a theory that this can actually be detrimental to becoming a successful trader). Add in
a couple of years of football betting and you have a long period of
'training' which some people wouldn't require to reach the same stage
but I'm sure just as many would. And I'm still learning - and keen to
learn more. If that's at the expense of social life, then so be it. I
don't expect to reap the rewards till further down the line.
still occasionally read comments on blogs and forums that make me
shake my head in disbelief. Such as people coming home drunk and
trading. Or getting frustrated because they have been trading for a
couple of months but aren't making any money. Or coming back from a long
break and thinking they can just carry on doing what they did
unsuccessfully before, only this time, it'll be successful. Only those who work the hardest will succeed in this
game. By that, I don't mean those who spend the most hours trading, I
mean those who work the hardest away from the ladders too - reading,
analysing notes, researching stats, watching matches etc. A lot of
people trade everything going but expect to improve just through that.
For most, it'll take a lot more because you need to analyse and change
your flaws and I don't think many traders are prepared to do that.
They'd rather be getting drunk at a party. That's fine but don't expect
to become loaded with anything less than a strong work ethic.
I bring this up now as a follow up to the questions asked of me by 'Speedwave'. Some of his questions were based around the fact that trading shouldn't be at the detriment of what really matters in life. My point is that if you are looking to become a professional trader or have any aspirations of making a lot of money, then it HAS to be at the detriment of some things. It's how much of a detriment it becomes that is the key here; does it take over your life to the extent that you are trading from dusk till dawn, 7 days a week or does it mean sacrificing a few weekends, evenings or social occasions? I'll admit, it was the former for me for a long time. I feel I've got the balance right now. I trade when I feel up to it and no longer. But at the same time, I treat it as a business and schedule social life around my trading - unless it's something I REALLY fancy attending. I still like to get drunk every now and then, just like most others. I just make sure I'm not anywhere near a betting exchange from the moment I leave the house till the moment I stop feeling like I'm about the spew forth the contents of my intestines the next day!