I have to be honest with you guys - I let my health slip a bit over the past year. Juggling trading penny stocks and teaching others to do the same doesn't leave me a lot of time for healthy living, and even that limited time got eaten up by all the work I put into my 35-hour "How to Make Millions" course.
I'm not going to tell you how much weight I put on, but I can tell you that it was enough to leave me feeling pretty embarrassed. Enough is enough, you know?
I got to a place where I had to make a choice - focus on getting my health back on track or continue to suffer the consequences of being overweight and out of shape. And since I'm the kind of competitive guy who's not going to let a challenge pass him by, I'm pleased to announce that I've lost 20 pounds in the last month.
I'm feeling great, and I've learned a lot about how closely stock trading and weight loss are related. Here are a few of the lessons my journey towards better health has reinforced:
If you aren't willing to put in the hard work, you don't deserve to reap the rewards
I try to drive this point home with every blog post I write, YouTube video I publish and class I teach, but there are no "free rides" in penny stock trading. There are no "hot tips" that are going to guarantee you riches, and there's nobody that's going to hold your hand while you make each trade.
And yet? Every day, I get messages from wannabe traders asking if I can just show them how to make a few quick bucks.
It's the same thing with weight loss. You can't spend 10 minutes at the gym, then down a large pizza and hope to see a difference in the scale. You've got to be willing to put in the hard work - and if you aren't, you don't deserve either trading profits or long-term weight loss.
There are no quick fixes
I didn't get overweight overnight. I spent four months working night and day on my "How to Make Millions" course, and the bad decisions I made during that time crept up in the form of extra pounds.
Taking the weight off didn't happen overnight either - just like you won't become a stock trading mastermind overnight.
Both trading penny stocks and losing weight require consistent, committed effort. If you can't put in the time, you aren't going to see the results you want.
It doesn't matter where you're starting
I didn't have that much weight to lose, but I've known people who have been successful at losing - and keeping off - 100 pounds and more.
The thing is, it doesn't matter where you start - it's where you end up that counts. Just because you're getting started as a trader with a tiny account doesn't mean you can't grow it into millions (I've done, and two of my students have as well).
You don't need to know everything about health and fitness to lose weight
I hear from a lot of people who want to get started trading stocks... once they watch a few more videos. Or once they read a few more training guides.
But you know what? Preparation doesn't make successful trades and it doesn't drop your weight. Actually putting the things you've learned into practice does, so don't wait until you're an expert to get started.
Have a plan
When I trade, I stick to the same handful of patterns I've been working with for years. I know them inside and out, and they pay off for me time and time again.
Whether you're losing weight or trading stocks, you need to have a plan. If you try to go paleo one week, South Beach the next and Weight Watchers after that, you're going to lose momentum. Have a plan, stick to it, and only change things up once you're sure that what you've tried isn't working.
You don't need money to lose weight
Want to lose weight? Cut your calories (dinners out are a good place to start) and get some exercise (walking, jogging and free weight exercises are all free). Want to get started penny stock trading? You don't need thousands of dollars - even a few hundred will get you into the game.
Invest in yourself
If you need to lose weight on the cheap, that's fine. But you know what'll really speed your progress along? Hiring a trainer that'll show you ways to exercise more efficiently or getting a membership to a gym that'll let you access higher-quality equipment.
Think of stock trading in the same way. You can go it alone, or you can work with teachers and training programs that'll help you cut your learning curve on your way to riches. It's all about investing in yourself.
Get in the game - and stay in the game
I say this a lot when I'm talking about penny stock trading, but when it comes to risk management, you want to avoid making any plays that risk taking you out of the game entirely.
And, it turns out, the same goes for losing weight. If you haven't exercised in years and you hit the track for a weekend warrior 10-mile run, you risk serious industry that'll keep you from working out at all for the foreseeable future. Don't be that guy. Get in the game, but do whatever it takes to stay in the game as well.
Know your limits
A big part of staying in the game means knowing your limits and what you're capable of. If you're trying to lose weight, knowing that you need to squat 150 pounds - not 450 pounds - keeps you safe and healthy.
Having these risk-reward parameters burned into your brain is hugely important as a trader as well. If you don't know what your risk tolerance limit is - and, consequently, when to get into and out of a play - you risk major losses, all because you didn't protect yourself.
Don't compare yourself to others
It's fun to read other traders' success stories, but it's never good to focus more of your attention on their progress than your own. And the same goes for weight loss. Just because one guy dropped 10 pounds in a week doesn't mean you can - or should - as well. Focus on your own progress and you'll come up with something you can be really proud of.
Get comfortable with wins and losses
Anyone who's ever tried to lose weight knows how frustrating it can be to stay on track for a few days and still not see those losses reflected on the scale. Weight fluctuates, and if you get too hung up on individual gains or losses, you're going to drive yourself crazy.
As a trader, I only win about 75% of the time. I hate taking losses, but they're a part of the game. Over the years, I've had to get comfortable with them so that a few bad plays doesn't risk throwing my overall winning trend off track.
You can always get back out and get back in again
Life happens, whether it's interrupting your weight loss plan or your ability to trade. You get sick. You get busy at work. A friend needs your help.
And you know what? That's okay.
It's okay to take a few days off trading, just like it's okay to take a few days off of trying to lose weight. You can always get back into it later, so don't beat yourself up too hard.
Learn to recognize and control your emotions
Emotional trading is the worst. Trading decisions should be made off of numbers and reasoning. Emotions get in the way of that and put you into positions you really should have avoided.
They can also be hell on your efforts to lose weight (ever turn to sweets after a bad breakup?). Learning to recognize them and not let them get in the way of what you're working towards is critical for both losing weight and trading penny stocks.
Always believe in yourself
Whether you're trying to lose weight or get rich with penny stocks, you're going to have good days and days that are so bad you'll hate yourself for even getting started.
Learn to shut off that voice.
Tell it to kindly get the hell out so that you can go back to believing in yourself. Your dreams may be big, but they're absolutely achievable. Never let go of your vision.
Find a coach
You know why so many people go to boot camp style training courses? It's because having somebody there to help encourage you and to keep you on track will help you get from Point A to Point B faster, whether Point B is a major weight loss or trading success.
Find the right teacher (somebody who's achieved what it is you want for yourself) and invest in yourself by following their teachings.
The nice thing about trying to lose weight is that most people will have big losses up front, and that'll keep them motivated to stay the course.
But eventually, those quick losses plateau and future pounds become more difficult to drop. In these moments, you've got to learn to be patient with yourself and to stay the course. And that's a lesson that's just as applicable to somebody who's just getting their feet wet with penny stock trading.
A lot of traders burn out bright because they don't know how to handle the stress of trading and take care of themselves in the long run. And the same thing happens with people who lose a bunch of weight.
Don't just plan for weight loss - plan for maintaining that loss. The more you visualize your goal as part of a long-term lifestyle change, the better prepared you'll be to tackle the hurdles that inevitably appear along the way.
Stop making excuses
I've gotta tell you, as a trading teacher, I've heard every excuse in the book. Whether it's accounts that are too small or schedules with no free time, not only have I heard it - I've worked with students that have overcome it.
If you let excuses get the better of you, you'll find any number of reasons to get out of the game before you can earn those millions you've been dreaming of or before you hit the goal weight you've always pictured on the scale.
Excuses are for losers. You're better than that.
Don't be afraid of making sacrifices
When I'm working out, there are a hundred other places I'd rather be and a hundred other things I'd rather be doing. But the results I'm seeing have been worth the sacrifices I've made.
Trading puts the same demands on you. You might want to go out to the bar with friends, but instead, you stay at home, studying your trading DVDs. When the next big play comes along, you'll be ready to capitalize on it - not hungover after a fun, but frivolous, night.
Aim for the stars - you're capable of achieving ANYTHING
I can't emphasize this enough. There's really nothing special about me. I'm not that great at math, and I don't have an athletic bone in my body.
But I've never let that stop me, because my dreams are too big. There's too much I want to get out of this life to let any of the excuses I could be making hold me back.
And I want the same for you. I want you to know that you're capable of achieving anything you put your mind to - I don't care who you are or where you're starting out. If you're willing to work hard, your dreams are within your reach.
Have you ever lost weight before? If you have, I'd love to hear more about your experience and how it's affected your trading style in the comments below: