It’s rare for someone who has just reached the pinnacle of their profession to be able to explain so articulately how they got there. Perhaps that’s why this story is such an inspiration, and not only for new traders, or traders in general, but for anyone who’s chasing their dreams, be it in the markets or in business, in sports, or simply in life.
Were you watching last Sunday, like I was, when golfer Jason Day won the year’s final major tournament, the PGA Championship? It was his first major, and although overcome by emotion afterwards, Jason captivated millions by describing his own, difficult journey, troubled past, and the belief system that led to his success. He said, in part:
“It’s that delayed gratification: The work that you put in today, and the sacrifices that you make…will set you up for a better life in the future.”
Well said, indeed. So for new traders—or all traders, really—what are you doing today to create a better tomorrow? How do you emerge from each trading day—even the bad ones—stronger and more experienced? And are you really doing your part to write your own success story? With Jason’s recent triumph in mind, let’s find out!
If you think about it, most new traders have a lot invested before they even place their first real trade. Between the new equipment and software, all the demo trading, studying chart patterns, and (presumably) countless hours of trading education, maybe that’s why so many start trading with such lofty expectations. Some even come in with a sense of entitlement, like they’ve sacrificed already, so now the markets “owe them something” in return.
Needless to say, though, success is never guaranteed, and that’s why I thought Jason’s comments about “delayed gratification” were so applicable and on point for new traders. More than just some exceptional advice, though, I think this is perhaps the best example there is about the rightful role of patience in trading.
Jason, who has long been regarded as supremely talented and capable, had to weather several years of disappointments and near-misses, from nagging injuries, to tournaments that somehow got away, and then four crushing defeats in majors over the past few years. Likewise, success tends to elude even the most promising new traders early on, and the rightful question then is not, “Do they have what it takes to be a successful trader?” but instead, “Can they stand to delay gratification for long enough to find it?”
Golf, much like trading, is a solitary activity where the supporting cast tends to go unnoticed, although not in this case. You see, probably even more memorable than his record score was the scene at the final hole where Jason embraced his caddie, mentor, and coach, Colin Swatton, the man who did so much to raise him after cancer claimed the life of Jason’s father when he was only 12. Together, the pair cultivated his raw talent, and with continued instruction and some much-needed lessons in discipline and perseverance, built the foundation for his success—much like new traders can with the help of their coach or mentor.
See related: Golf-Inspired Trading Advice That Works
Some may say that it was just “his destiny,” and while I can’t speak much to that, I will say this: Trading is a tough business and an unforgiving place for new traders. It can be hard to find the right coach or mentor with whom you can forge a long-lasting relationship right out of the gate, but because it’s your success that’s on the line, it always pays to keep trying.
In essence, this story is one that shows many years of dedication finally paying off much later, and only with a lot of help along the way. If only that were the expectation of new traders upon entering the market, I’m certain that far fewer would ultimately try and fail.
So ask yourself objectively:
I’d put it among the most inspirational sports stories of the year so far, but as you can see, I believe it’s message translates way beyond the sports world, and is very pertinent to new traders as well. Jason Day’s on-course triumph shows that the road to success is a winding one where natural ability won’t carry you nearly as far as the unsung and unseen sacrifices made along the way.
What many new traders don’t realize is that some of the world’s finest traders also have success stories that go just like this one, from the constant adversity, to the extensive sacrifices, and even overcoming devastating losses. Amid the down times, it’s hard to think you have anything in common with the world’s best, but this story should go to show any new traders who are struggling that, believe it or not, they may be exactly where they’re supposed to be!