It’s gonna take 7 years

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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.

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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