It’s gonna take 7 years

I recently listened to a segment on NPR’s “Here and Now” where they interviewed Tony Bennett who just turned 90.

You can listen to the 11 min interview here if you like.
http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2016/11/30/tony-bennett-just-starting

Bennett recounted how his career blew out of the gates in the early 1950’s. He had multiple hits and looked unstoppable. After a sold out performance, he was met backstage by George Burns and Jack Benny.  They wisely offered some sage advice based upon their own experiences. They told him “its gonna take a long time for you to learn what not to do”.  Robin Young, the interviewer asked Bennett how long it took.  Bennett replies ” 7 years ”

If you pay attention you will be quite amazed at how often the ” 7 year rule / cycle” pops up.
Ask almost any professional person ( artist, doctor, lawyer, engineer, carpenter etc )  how long it took them to become truly comfortable and capable in their profession and many will say 7 years.  I don’t think its a coincidence that the highest divorce rate among married couples occurs at or very near the 7 year mark of the marriage.  Its a law of nature.

Read “Market Wizards”.   Nobody, not even wizards, hit the ground running and never look back. Most are beset by painful and humbling experiences; often more than once. Even the very best took time to become the best.  Don’t think that after a couple of years you’ll reach hero status.

Tony Bennett was lucky.  He was given a gift.  But even for him, it took a long time to learn what not to do; how not to screw it up. For myself and probably most traders, learning to become consistently profitable traders is a long road. We need to learn not only what to do, but what not to do.  That takes a long time.

For those relatively new to trading and even for those that have been at it a while, keep things in perspective.  Rome wasnt built in a day and trading is no different. It’s a long, tough haul.  Dont be too elated with a few nice wins, nor depressed during a rough patch.  If you’re working hard on your process and keeping your focus on becoming a true craftsman, then you are making progress.  You’ll likely start becoming competent and self assured over time…. it’s gonna take about 7 years.

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