I thought I'd share my story (up till this point) with my ET friends. First some background... My senior year in college I was pretty lost. I had good grades, but a go nowhere major and no real idea what I wanted to do. My dad is a self made businessman (from the oldschool) and made alot of money working hard, he wanted me to do the same. So I starting looking into how I could do the same. I came across the normal bullshit people think they can get rich off of, basically real estate and day trading. Too easy I thought, after reading some of the watered down books. I no longer even wanted to look for a job, just buy real estate and trade stocks. Of course, I started working for my dad at his business after school, telling him he had no excuse for not shelling out the $25,000 I needed to get past the PDT rule, or ponying up the same amount so I could put a down payment down on my first investment property. "It's a sure fire thing, dad!" After a few more months of reading and trying to decide what I was going to do with my life, trading seemed like a fit for me. I continued to research with a vengence, and thought that all I needed was a grubstake and I'd be rich in a few months. My cousin is a local at CME and made millions, so they weren't opposed to trading, just to shelling out money when the return wasn't so sure. "Can't you get hired somewhere where they'll teach you, " they asked. "no, it doesn't work like that." I said. Finally, I got $3000 out of my dear parents to open an acount to trade the ES. I then proceeded to figure out what a future was. I wasn't exactly able to buy NXTL at the first pullback from a high but I read that candlestick book so I was ready, right? Just a few more bucks a month for Esignal and I was set. Oh yeah, and front end. You know the rest, right? Ups and downs, mostly downs. But I learned more trading than I ever had reading about it. Eventually, I realized, or was forced to realize I wasn't about to make a living scalping ES from a retail account, with no expirience. Even my cuz had warned me but I didn't listen. So it was back to work with my dad, long hours in his business, which is basically a sweatshop, and I'm embarassed to say, but I started to resent him for how hard he worked me. Maybe a year went by, I was still following markets, trying to formulate how I could live the dream of trading for a living. How I could go to my HS reunion in a few years and hold my head up high. Thats when I got the call. I had placed a resume online saying I wanted to trade, and in what I can only call an honest to God miracle, it was answered. By the right people. Without really knowing what i was getting into, I was offered a shot. Drop everything, move to Chicago. Become a clerk, and a group of successful traders will teach you their edge and back you financially. So I did. For three months I did nothing but learn, stuff that I had never read about in books, tricks that floor traders knew that could be applied to the screen. REAL trading. Then I was given a desk, a computer, a bloomberg terminal, and a globex account to trade 1 lots. Wow. Trade with us for a few years, we'll take all the risk and we'll split the profits, they said. The other young traders in my group were making hundreds of thousands a year, some already owned their own seats. But its nothing like you'd think. Trading for a living is WORK. And more stressful than anything I've ever done. For the first time in my life, I might not be smart enough or good enough to do something I really want to. Thats the shadow I see every day. This is a hard business, don't ever forget that. Every day, I wake up at 12 AM, that's the middle of the night to you and me, go to the office to trade the European markets and watch other traders positions. When the U.S. opens I keep trading and try not to get my ass handed to me. At the close (14 hours later) I take the train home for a nap. It starts again maybe four hours later. But I have the promise that if I make it, they'll help me buy a seat and I'll be a real trader. I'm trading 5 lots now and doing "ok", the markets been tough. Ya know what I think about through this? The work and the life that right now, isn't really mine...it belongs to my backers, the guys that take the risk of my trading...I think about my old man. How hard he made me work before I got this shot. How I started to resent him a bit...but now, appreciate him more than he'll know. He worked like this, and he made it, with no college degree and nothing going for him...and he wanted me to do the same. So I wanna make it. I wanna get up in a few hours and go put a few winners on. And do the same tommorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. For myself, but to make him proud to. Where I come from, a small town, nothing ever changes. People do the same things, hang out with the same people, go to the same bars day after day. People say they wanna leave, but they don't really want to. They want the comfort that all that consistency provides. I'm taking a risk, putting myself out there and risking failure. Sticking my neck out because I'm the guy everybody thought would succeed, and I'm doing something where the odds really and truly are against me. Yeah, this worries me. But i remind myself, that this is an opportunity to be tested. Most people will go through life always wishing they had a shot...that they were tested. That they really could have found out if they were "good enough." Well this is mine. I'm finding out everyday what I really am made of. If you don't fight in a war, or have some similar expirience (not to compare, but you know what I mean)...you may not ever get that shot. To see what you'd do when you have that opportunity, to either do something great or slink away in the shadows. I'm getting that. I've already figured it out for myself, that I'll be satisfied whether I make it or not, as long as I truly give it my best. And thats all I'm doing each day, thats what I'll be doing in just about 3 hours, when you're all still asleep, dreaming about that trading for a living job that seems so perfect.