The storm's a-comin'.
…or maybe it has already hit you.
It can be disorienting, disheartening and even depressing. I wish that I was being a drama queen but unfortunately I'm not.
If you have already gone through this, you already know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, I want to prepare you for it.
Either way, this post will help you deal with people who want to smash your trading dream into a million pieces.
You might think that the people who are closest to you will always be your biggest supporters. But the opposite can be true and often is…when it comes to trading.
In all fairness, these people usually have your best interest at heart.
So what can you do?
We will explore steps that you can take to reduce or eliminate the effect that these people have on you. Since protecting your mental capital (trading psychology) is just as important as protecting your monetary capital, it is vital for you to figure out how to stay as focused and positive as possible.
So if you are wondering what to do about people who are always bashing your dream of becoming a Forex trader, here are some honest and actionable things you can do.
Have a Heart-To-Heart Talk
The best place to start is to just have an open and honest talk about what trading means to you and asking the naysayer to be a little more supportive of your dream. If you get your feelings out there, then you may be able to hash out some possible misunderstandings and clear the air fairly easily.
But don't do all the talking.
Ask them why they are so against it. Many times there are perfectly valid reasons.
They will usually think that it's dangerous, or it's not a real job, or they just don't understand it.
Do your best to understand where they are coming from. Many times, they simply don't want to see you get hurt.
Talk about how trading can possibly provide you with a better future, help you get out of that job you hate or just give you more options in life.
If that doesn't work and they seem pretty set on their negative stance then here's what you can do next…
Don't Bring It Up Around Them
As passionate as you are about trading, one way to avoid confrontations around the subject is to just avoid the topic all together. You obviously associate with these people for reasons besides trading, so if you still want to hang out with them, find other things to talk about.
Even though they are a close friend or family member, it doesn't mean that you have to talk about everything with them. Keep your trading aspirations to yourself and you might both be happier for it.
If they ask you why you never bring it up, just be honest with them. Tell them that it isn't a topic that you both agree on, and you value their friendship, so you think that it is just better if you don't discuss it.
How to Get Your Partner Involved
There may be situations where you have no choice however. For example, if the person that doesn't support you is your partner. You live with them and you should obviously discuss all financial matters with them.
But what can you do if they are really against you trading?
I haven't run into this situation personally, but I have heard a few great solutions over the years. Jessica Peletier mentioned in episode #2 of The Trading Lifestyle Podcast that her solution was to just keep talking about it until her husband was comfortable with the fact that trading involves both gains and losses.
This may take a little strategic thinking to ease your spouse into this, but it can be helpful. Don't lie to them obviously, but get them comfortable with the process first.
Also let them know what's going on, so they aren't worried.
If there is an analogy to trading that they might understand better, then try leading with that.
Using an Analogy to Trading
For example, trading could be compared to running a bakery. Some days you will do well and sell all of your muffins.
Other days, you might lose money because you only sold a small portion of your muffins. Just like in trading, there are winning days and losing days.
If you took out a business loan to start the bakery, that is like trading on margin because you are borrowing other peoples money to invest in the business.
In both trading and running a bakery, you have to figure out your system (or muffin recipe), manage the risk (don't bake too much, lease bakery space you can afford, etc.) and take the time to learn the trade.
Anyway, you get the point.
Use an analogy that your partner would understand.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling your spouse or partner dumb. Trading is just one of those things that very few people know anything about.
Just because you and I know something about it, that doesn't mean that others do. Not taking this into account can lead to major misunderstandings.
…and nights on the couch.
I also think that it is helpful to show your partner examples of people who are successful traders. This can go a long way to expanding their comfort level and awareness.
Set Risk Limits
Another method that I've heard about is to agree with your partner on an amount of money that would be worth risking in your trading account. Some traders have even gone so far as agreeing to give up trading completely if they blow out their account.
Hopefully it doesn't come to that, but it may be required, in certain circumstances.
When pitching trading real money to your partner, keep the money at risk as low as possible. When your partner knows exactly how much is at risk, they are more likely to let you do it because they are comfortable with what is at stake.
Then do your part and stick to your end of the deal, don't risk more than the agreed upon amount.
I would suggest starting with Oanda (if you can, in your country) for as little as $100. Actually, you can start with much less, but I feel that is the minimum amount to be “properly capitalized” for learning.
You can trade for a penny a pip (or less) and still only risk 1% on each trade because Oanda allows you to trade nano lots.
For example, if you have a $100 account, you could risk 1% per trade ($1 total risk) and still have a 100 pip stop loss if you trade for a penny a pip.
Nano lots also allow you trade much smaller lot sizes so you can trade for even less than a penny a pip, if you want to risk less or need a bigger stop loss.
Yes, you won't get rich, but that's not the point right now. You need to learn, and not lose a lot of money doing it.
…and not piss off your partner either 🙂
Also be sure to demo trade and backtest so you have results to show before you actually risk any real money. If you can show positive results and dedication to your craft, even when real money isn't on the line, that will make your case much stronger.
If all that fails, you can always resort to sexual favors.
Now let's talk about people who are not your partner and what you can do to limit their negative influence on your trading.
Reduce or Eliminate Your Contact With Them
This is more for your friends or family members that you don't live with. But, there may come a point where you simply need to cut down on the time that you spend with some people, if they are having a big negative effect on you reaching your goals.
If you already tried avoiding the subject and it didn't work, then you may have to take more drastic measures.
It may seem like a harsh thing to do at first and I'm not suggesting that you do this on a whim. Our personal relationships are our most valuable resource, so consider carefully.
But do you really need some of these people in your life if they are that much of a downer?
You could try avoiding them for a little while and see what happens.
Are you happier overall? Is your trading better?
If the person who is always trying to squash your dream is someone you live with or a spouse or partner and you have already tried all of the above and there is no compromise, then you have a tough decision to make.
Do you make them happy and quit or continue to work towards your dream without them? Only you can answer that question.
Time to put on your big boy/girl pants and decide what is really more important to you.
Be totally honest with yourself and the other person. I personally couldn't be with someone who didn't support my trading goals, but that's just me.
Make New Friends
“You are the average of the five people that you hang out with the most” – Jim Rohn
This really is true. I'm not saying that you should be a snob and only hang out with people so you can get something out of them.
Assuming that you have sorted out the above or are actively working on it, then think about how you can expand your circle of friends that will support you in your trading. When you want to do something, isn't it easier when you have people who are doing the same thing and have the same goals?
For example, I love surfing and I hang out with some of my friends because they like to go surfing. I don't want to be a pro surfer, so I don't hang out with competitive surfers. I like to travel, have a good session and get a cold beer and some good food afterwards.
So those are the surfers I hang out with.
In a similar way, if you want to trade for a living, you should hang out with people who have similar goals or are already professional traders.
…and it has paid huge dividends.
So figure out how you can make more friends who have similar goals or even better, are already doing what you want to do. This can mean all the difference in the world when it comes to reaching your goals and can help balance out the negative influences in your life.
But Wait…Maybe They Are Right!
Huh? Isn't this supposed to be an inspirational, pro trading, feel good post?
No, I'm not here to blow sunshine up your ass.
This is a practical, actionable and honest post.
So in all fairness, I have to concede that not everyone is cut out to be a trader. My Mom for example, has a very black and white view of the world and wouldn't have the flexibility to adapt to constantly changing market conditions.
…and there is nothing wrong with that.
This is what makes her much better suited to be a school teacher.
That's not to say that she couldn't be a good trader if she put her mind to it and became more flexible.
I sincerely believe that anyone who is of able mind and spirit can become a profitable trader if they truly dedicate themselves to that goal.
When I say that people might be right that you shouldn't become a trader, I'm simply asking your to consider the fact that maybe you would be happier doing something else.
Maybe you don't actually enjoy trading. You might even hate it.
If that is the case, you may be happier and way more profitable doing something that you actually give a shit about instead of learning trading because some guy on the internet (ahem) said that you can make a ton of money at home, in your underwear.
Also be fair to people around you who are counting on you for financial support. Do not quit your job to become a trader if you have not proven yourself yet, that is just irresponsible.
If you really hate your job, consider switching jobs to something that gives you more free time or trading on higher time frames so you don't have to watch the market as much. There are always options.
How Do You Know if Trading is Really For You?
Yes, it really is that simple. Notice the difference, I said simple, not easy.
If you really want this, just commit. If you don't, then go do something else.
But if you are truly dedicated, then you will do what it takes. You will put in the time testing, have the tough talks with people close to you and get properly educated.
What are You Going to Do About It Right Now?!
Anthony Robbins has a great rule that he never leaves the scene of a decision without doing one thing, no matter now small, to move towards his goal.
So I ask you, what can you do right now to minimize the negative effect that people close to you are having?
You can call someone and setup a lunch to sit down and talk with them, cancel a meetup with someone who is always talking bad about your trading or do an online search for other traders to talk to.
Whatever it is for you, do it now!
What are you going to commit to doing right now? Leave a comment below and announce your goal to the world! It will make it more real and more likely that you will follow through with it.
Big thanks to John for asking me this question via email and helping me dig up all these tips that I have accumulated over the years.
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