Mission to the Moon – 3 Expectations You Need to Become A Great Trader

Sitting on Moon

I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “Aim for the Stars Reach the Moon”. In fact, do you know how long it took mankind to reach the moon?

The first human-made object to reach the moon was on 13th September 1959 and this was by the Soviet Union’s Luna 2 mission. The Americans’ Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the moon on 20th July 1969 (Source: Wikipedia). That’s approximately 10 years of hard work after the success of the Soviet’s. Oh, we forgot that the Soviet Union probably spent a significant amount of time working on the Luna 2 mission (since Luna 1 probably didn’t make it) before they achieved their goal.

Yes, it took a long time to get to the moon – for both manned and unmanned missions – but these guys made history when they did it and I can bet any thing that they were the happiest people on earth (and on the moon :)).

Hence, if you truly want to become a trader, I think there are a few lessons that you can from these astronauts.

1. Expect That It’ll Take Time

Learning to trade the market is a bit like aiming for the moon. This is a challenging journey yet many choose it, not because it is easy but because it is worth it. When the Soviet Union or the American’s did it for the first time, they were facing challenges that has never been done before. Yet, they managed to achieve their dreams. Likewise, if you are working towards becoming a self employed trader, you will get there too but be prepared to that it will take time.

You see, they say that 95% of traders fail to become successful. To be honest, no one actually mentioned the percentage of traders who gave up half way. While I can’t claim that I know the figures, I’m quite certain that there is a huge proportion of traders who expected to become successful overnight (or at least have failed to managed their expectations properly). Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

Of course, there are some traders (in fact, I know a few of them) who turned professional within 6 months and they are currently doing great things in the trading arena. However, let’s be reminded that these guys are the minority. In trading, I think it’s better to follow the norm and I definitely encourage people to expect that it’ll take time. If you reach your goals earlier, consider that a bonus and not something to expect.

2. Expect To Be Unconventional

Virgin GalacticWhat do you think the world thought of the Soviet Union when they first launched the Luna 1 mission? They probably thought that the Soviets were nuts (i.e. crazy). “Going to the moon? To have a cup of tea?” is probably something that I would laughed at sarcastically if I was born in that era.

Let’s fast forward to present day. Look at Virgin Galactic (more details here) and how they are going against all odds to be unconventional. Launching commercial flights into space? In fact, I doubt Sir Richard Brandon has ever been the conventional type. Taking challenges while it comes is one thing but taking challenges with grace and flair is another ball game. In fact, Sir Richard has a long list of success (and failed) ventures that has been unconventional – from Virgin America (budget airline) to Mates (a condom manufacturing business).

Like it or not, I think there are amazing lessons that you can learn from people from past and present. Like them, you need to leave your conventional wisdom aside and start thinking unconventionally. Trading the financial market is not for the weak-hearted but it’s for those who dare to make a difference. In fact, when I explain to other what I do for a living, I almost have to unwind their thought process before I can get them to understand how one can trade the market for a living.

3. Expect to Work Hard on your Edge

Luna ApolloWhen the Soviet Union built their unmanned spaceship, it was a shape of a ball (or something along those lines). The Americans’ built the Apollo 11 in a bullet-like shape rocket. Meanwhile, Virgin Galactic has a spaceship that is a fusion between a commercial aircraft and a fighter jet.

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Here’s the key thing, while all of them are different (in shapes and sizes) and all of them had their own reasons for their version of a spaceship, the only common thing they had was the Belief that their version of the spaceship will work. Above and beyond that, only God knows how hard they’ve worked to design, build and test their beliefs. The end result is what I call having an Edge.

The truth is, none of them knew if their version of the spaceship is the best version because there will always be an even better version. Hence, as you saw, the Americans had an improved version compared to the Soviet Union and, now, Sir Richard Branson has a modern day version which looks better compared to the Apollo 11. While I’m not a rocket scientist, it doesn’t take a scientist to know that we don’t know what lies ahead in the future, we can only work on our beliefs and our edge to succeed.

So here’s my point, if the rocket scientist worked hard to build their edge to reach the moon, I belief you should too if you truly want to become a successful trader. More importantly, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be successful because building an edge is about building something that you belief in and testing it vigorously until it works. When you’ve worked hard enough on building the edge, the financial reward will surface. Those who failed are the ones who work towards the financial rewards first and then hoping the get their edge will miraculously appear.

Let’s face it, even the Americans had 10 versions of the Apollo before they got it right. However, they never gave up until they got there.

Conclusion

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” – John F. Kennedy.

The lessons today are friendly reminders on things you need if you want to become a great trader. This is a rewarding career but don’t do it solely for the money. Instead, trade the market for reasons beyond financial rewards (what ever they may be) and, more importantly, install the right expectations inside you and you will get there one day.

In case you’re not aware, Sir Richard Branson was dyslexic in school yet he is now building commercial aircraft to the moon. If he can do it, so can you. So, aim for the stars and learn to become a great Trader.

Thank you for reading and please post your comments below as I would really like to hear about what you think on this subject.

 

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1 Comment

  • Monica Revill

    Reply Reply October 11, 2013

    Great article, Alwin!

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