There we were in our first year of trading and we were taking yet another training webinar when we received one of those great nuggets that made the whole webinar worthwhile. We didn't end up using any of the strategies, but the instructor gave us a saying that has become one of our most important anchors in the storm of learning forex:
Winners are never quitters and quitters are never winners.
In the years that followed, we often felt like the fighter in the movie Rocky. Hit us, and we'd get up again and keep punching. There were many times when market conditions would change and our strategies would no longer work, or when we had taken an expensive course that ended up being a total waste of time and money. And we'd get through it and look at each other and one of us would remember to say the magic phrase again: Winners are never quitters and quitters are never winners.... and we'd take a deep breath and keep on working at it.
Why? Because we knew and thoroughly understood that if we could make it through the eye of the needle and succeed in this business, there is no better way in the world to make incredible fortunes and have amazing freedom. And we were right.
Thank goodness we persevered.
Good trading to you all, Evelyn & Mindy
Part A: 10,000 Hours to Mastery
Have you read the book Outliers, The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. In this book Gladwell states “What we are now understanding about success is very interesting in the fact that it has less to do with innate talent and more to do with preparation.“ What he points out is that people who get to the top in their field, don’t just work hard, or work harder than everyone else...they work MUCH, MUCH harder.”
He goes on to quote Daniel Levitin, the neurologist who did the original studies behind this finding: “The emerging picture from such studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert – in anything. In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, and what have you, this number comes up again and again.”
How long is 10,000 hours? Well, if you put in 20 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, it will take 10 years to reach 10,000 hours. Sure enough... after we put in about 45-60 or more hours a week for about five years, we began to feel that a level of expertise, confidence, precision and mastery came into our trading that had never been there before. When we did the math – there we were, right around our own personal 10,000 hour mark.
This is not what the hot new 'Forex Guru' may be telling you, is it? Of course not. Every mentor is there to tell you that all you need to do is study his or her system and you will instantly be making more money than you ever dreamed possible. And indeed, this is how “the mentor” will make more money than they ever thought possible, because we all want to believe this is true and we jump on board. Guess what... it just doesn't work that way. We know from experience, having studied with more people than we care to admit. Yet we have learned something from each one of them, and that has indeed contributed to our 10,000 hours of experience and study. It can all come together. It just takes more time than most of us are willing to believe it will.
While this may be sobering for many of you, others of you will be jumping up and down in delight. The real message here is that anyone CAN become fabulously successful in Forex, if they have patience and put in the time. But there's one more catch - here's the problem that is in everyone's way:
Lesson Five - Part B: Don't Blow Up Your Account On The Way
95% of people fail in Forex. Why? Simple! They blow up their trading account before they can get their hours in.
It's the old story of the tortoise and the hare. Yes, Forex can make you more money than any other profession on the planet, more than anyone would believe possible. But almost everyone starts too fast and burns right out, like a shooting star before it hits the earth. You have to be patient and savvy as you begin, so you don't take big drawdowns, lose all your money, become discouraged and quit too soon. In other words, you have to be the exception to the rule and act differently than everyone else if you want to slip through the eye of the needle and be in the elite 5% who succeed.
How do you do this? By becoming a brilliant money manager. This should really be your top priority as you gather your 10,000 hours. The experience will come with time – the way you trade and the strategies you will ultimately use will develop along the way – but you have to make sure that when your experience ripens enough to be successful, you've preserved enough capital. If you've kept enough of your working money intact, then you can use that nest egg to trade with and really make some serious money.
But if you put your attention on strategy and NOT on money management, when you hit your 10,000 hours you might be very clever, but what will you trade with??? When it comes to trading, you have to have money to make money, and if you blow out your accounts along the way, the chances are slim that you'll have the heart or determination to persevere.
How do you learn to be a brilliant money manager? That's where the Forex Smart Tools Calculator comes in, along with these blog articles and the educational videos we make available to our Smart Tools owners. These tools are designed to give you the edge you need to survive long enough to gain mastery. They help you trade SMARTER, so you can hold on to your money as you log your hours and gather the experience you need. We provide hours of online video education that cover all aspects of money management, from basic principles to advanced concepts.
You know what we've discovered in our own 10,000 hours? It surprised us as we came to these conclusions, but we honestly think that this is the insider's secret: It's not so much about the particular strategy we might be using at the moment in our trading – it really is all about the money management.
In our next blog article, we'll continue this topic, and talk about how to speed up the 10,000 hour threshold. You may also want to watch the YouTube movie in which we talk about this in more detail: watch the movie now.