From a young age, we are conditioned to get good grades, head off to college, obtain a four-year degree, then spend the remainder of our professional lives working for “the man;” bringing profits in for a corporation and developing one skill or trade. This traditional model of what it means to be successful is slowly being phased out. It’s becoming consistently more popular for young entrepreneurs to take an alternative path to success, and they’re having a blast doing so, but it isn’t all fun and games.
After college, I worked in sales and got a job as a headhunter before I got into day trading. I’m thankful for the experience in that it taught me invaluable lessons that are needed to be successful. I learned how to show up to a job on time, how to deal with the public, and prepped me to become a successful day trader. It’s important to understand for entrepreneurs that you have to learn from others who have found success before you can do it on your own.
And this experience sparked the fire in me that helped me realize I could actually achieve success and build my own company. I began understanding how to ride the ups and downs of trading during the Dotcom Boom, and I was hooked.
What drove me was that I had no training, nor any trading experience before I got started. This may be contradictory, but I was addicted to the idea of digging in the trenches as an entrepreneur. When you have an entrepreneurial mindset, losses become lessons- and learn, I did. This is an imperative lesson for entrepreneurs to understand; you must have it wired in your brain to act, think, and respond as an entrepreneur. Learn to be quick on your feet and constantly remind yourself that things aren’t always going to go your way, and that’s all part of the process.
Trading involves understanding patterns and humans, and when I travel, I discover more. Between trading in the colorful streets of Spain or hanging out poolside, I am able to immerse myself in the culture while day trading. I often ask to join tables of strangers and ask them about their ideas on their local markets. People have a natural inclination to want to teach those from another corner of the world.
Getting under the skin of a country and getting to know how things work are what makes international travel worth it for me. I might rent an apartment and spend months at a time in a place that catches my eye and can trade while abroad.
You’re forced to set aside blocks of time when you travel, and that’s what increases productivity. Nothing is better than scarcity. When we travel, we give ourselves unforeseen opportunities. Not only does catching flights keep you focused, but different time zones allow you time to get ready for the day. In the U.S stock and futures markets, I always find the best opportunities in the first hour or two of the trading day. If you live in the Northeast, this means you need to be ready to trade by 8:30 AM. When I traveled to India I reveled in the ten-hour time difference since it meant I had ample time to prep for the next day. I worked out and read in the morning, and come mid-afternoon in India; the sun would just be rising on the Manhattan skyline. My mind wide awake, I worked quickly and efficiently.
The opportunities gained from traveling the world are invaluable. Meeting others from different, cultures, backgrounds, sets of values, and ideals is an enlightening, eye-opening experience. Building and maintaining a global web of relationships allowed me to understand how different people think. For example, who you sit next to on a plane may be your next business mentor. One person’s secret is another’s newly learned fact.
I use a variety of mediums to keep in touch with the business people I’ve met and connected with around the world. With some of these completely random connections made in the air or out at sea; I continue to receive tips on questions about local industries and currencies through Skype, Viber, Whatsapp, and Kik. Talking to those outside that knows more than you on subjects helps you match today’s ever-changing economy and technology, and this translates into better trades and a stronger presence.
Nothing that I have ever come easy. I have the ability to travel the world because of how hard I worked to build my companies and trading career. The beauty of the day and age we live in is the rise of technology has allowed for opportunities to work from virtually anywhere in the world; it’s up you to capitalize on those opportunities.