When it comes to business & investment pursuits, trading truly is a great business – but only if you treat it as the business that it really is. Most traders get around to this after taking several financial and mental beatings, but it when you finally do, the rewards are great.
Where most traders go wrong with it starts at the very beginning of their trading careers. They see trading more as a simple way to make some money, rather than a real business – and they pay a steep price in both financial and personal terms for this error.
Remember when you first heard about trading? It sounded relatively straightforward and potentially very lucrative while offering many great benefits: no employees, low barriers to entry, relatively low startup capital, just to name a few.
It didn’t take long though to discover that it isn’t quite as easy as it seemed at first, did it? There are hundreds of choices to make and the possibilities seem almost endless.
Now because trading is often presented as ‘easy money’ and not a real business, it is quite common for new traders to just jump in with live trading thinking that if they can just start making some money with it, everything else will fall into place. Either that or they just aren’t considering the challenges of making that money consistently over time.
When you approach trading as the business that it is, you realize several truths that make life easier in making a success of the endeavor. You also realize several significant benefits and advantages that otherwise would elude you.
First of all when you mentally approach your trading as a business, it has an entirely different look and feel. Many traders view trading as their future and for some it even becomes their identity. When it is your business though, you remain detached to a degree because it stays separated from you, an activity in which you participate, a business that you own – while you keep your identity whole. The feelings will still be strong, but at least some separation and needed detachment are there.
Secondly, without an entrepreneur’s mindset, the whole activity of trading gets organized only to a limited degree. For those with the ‘easy money’ view of trading, it will only become organized and structured to the extent that you can get started. When approached from the view that it is a business to be built, much more detail and forward thinking is brought to the matter, giving realism and proper perspective that otherwise is absent.
Third advantage is that of structure and patience. You know that businesses are not built overnight, so the expectations from the onset become more realistic and thus more manageable. If you are looking to ‘make lots of money fast’ instead of building a business, you will have disappointments and frustrations due to the unrealistic expectations not being met.
You avoid tremendous opportunity cost. Every month that goes by that a trader continues to trade for little or no profit represents an opportunity cost because their time has been spent and investment capital tied up when it could have been generating a return elsewhere.
Probably the greatest advantage to treating your trading as a business is that of compressing the time to profitability. When approached realistically from the proper viewpoint that trading is a real business, this causes you to properly plan your business, thinking through most matters that otherwise only get addressed as errors are made. The most common denominator among failed traders and failed businesses in general is the lack of a business plan.
Go to any bank, angel investor or venture capitalist, and tell them that you have a great idea to make money. Then tell them that you have no business plan. They will tell you to go away, without giving you any money or even the time of day – because they’ve learned over decades that without a business plan, your odds of success become about 10%. They also know that even if you do eventually succeed, your time to profitability will probably be unacceptably long for them to get their money back.
Another way, and probably the one with the greatest impact, in which the business approach gets you to profitability faster is that with a working plan in place, you will avoid the many detours and wastes of time and resources that can too easily occur without it. How many traders do you know that have tried several different markets or at least different systems, yet still are not making the money they want? This is but a small illustration of the savings of time and capital.