The Double-Edged Sword of Ambition

It’s your best friend and worst enemy

Ah, the doubleedged sword of ambition

You want to become the best trader you can be.

You’ve got a strong work ethic, big goals, drive, and ambition.

Nothing is going to stop you, it’s happening and you’re going to make it happen by force of will…

But is that really serving you?

Could that drive and ambition be working against you in trading?


Trading is a funny business, it’s very different to so many other endeavours out there.

We know that becoming a great trader isn’t about taking the most trades or sitting in front of the screen all the time.

Greatness comes from patience, and (weirdly) your ability to do nothing for most of the time.

Imagine if a football player tried that…

“Yeah coach, I’m not playing today, I’m being ‘patient’ down the pub.”

Erm nope.

So how do we take our natural desire to push hard and funnel it in a way that serves us in trading?

Here’s how I think about it:

  • Channel all that work ethic and energy into pre and post-market.
  • Do your homework, journal your trades, analyse charts, and work on yourself.
  • Use that ambition when the market is closed
  • Come up with a new plan
  • Research new ideas
  • Dig into your trade performance

But when the bell goes, and you’re in trading mode you switch characters.

Now you activate ‘patient mode’.

The hard work is done, now you need to just execute, be patient, and let things play out.

This game is won when the market is closed.

Anyone can sit in front of a screen all day, making hundreds of trades and claim they are ‘working hard’.

But we both know that rarely gets results…

It’s the traders who put in the hard work after the closing bell that achieve greatness.

If you can aim all the energy, ambition and drive at the right place, big things will happen.