Handling Skepticism from Loved Ones

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by learninglisted, Aug 29, 2003.

  1. My father-in-law, a man I deeply respect and love, stunned me today when he told flat-out told me he didn't believe I could make a living as a daytrader.

    His reasoning was:

    A) I'm not capitalized enough,

    B) Trading is gambling, and

    C) I need to find a more secure, "regular" job

    The facts as I view them are:

    A) Although trading remote, I'm with a prop firm that offers substantial leverage should I ever decide to tap into it,

    B) Although trading does bear similarities to gambling, having a strategy that works more than it doesn't puts the odds in one's favor, and if I concentrate on cutting my losses and letting my winners run the edge is then with me,

    C) I have had many "regular" jobs; as a matter of fact I work a "regular" job in addition to trading every day, and I could go back to another regular job and not trade if I had to, but I feel Ineed at least 10 more months to see if I can trade for a living as my sole source of income (I'm only trading 1 lot and hope to increase my trade sizes each month by another 100 shares if I'm making money. My goal is to make it to 1000 shares per trade.)

    I traded before and did well enough, but gave it up for one of those more secure, "regular" jobs. Then I got laid off from that secure, regular job despite having terrific job performance ratings.
    Down-sizing, they call it....It's one of the reasons I want to really give trading a shot.

    After hearing me out, he still insisted that I couldn't do it and had to think about my "long-term plans." Ouch. I felt like a kid being lectured to - I'm in my mid-30's for chrissake!

    Anyway, I could care less what people I hardly know think about daytrading, but hearing the skepticism and blanket "you can't do it" from a man I care about really has shaken me up - despite the fact that he doesn't know the details of daytrading, just what he hears and reads in the media.

    Another thing, I have a baby on the way, our first, and his first grandchild, so I'm sure that's weighing heavily on his mind. I don't begrudge him his being worried and being concerned about his daughter and grandchilds' welfare, but again, his blanket condemnation and inability to at least give me a chance to prove myself has shaken my confidence.

    Anyone else gone through this? How did you deal with it?

  2. rcreal


    I went through something like this when I left the "corporate" world ... I took a buyout offer and most of my "friends" from work thought I was doing the wrong thing.

    Two years later, I'm doing great while most of them have been laid off and are scrambling for work.

    While I don't personally know your FIL, his (re)action and feelings are probably due to one or both of the reasons below:

    (1) He is concerned for his family and being from an older generation, has been conditioned to believe a corporate job equates to security and the proper way for a man to provide for his family.

    (2) Is envious you are doing "your own thing". People in the status-quo like complacency and tend to become jealous of others desiring to better themselves. Why? Because they don't have the courage to pursue their own dreams.

    Best way to handle it? That's a tough one ...

    Agree to disagree with him ... explain you have a (business) plan and job security is an illusion (down-sized once already).

    Key here is to explain this once and once only. Don't defend yourself, don't defend your actions and don't apologize for what you are doing.

    If you make it a non-event, he should accept it. Remember, he is responsible for his own feelings and thoughts.

    Good luck.
  3. bwahaha!!

    ok seriously.... skepticism of trading is warranted, because so many people can't do it. by the probabilities, you won't succeed, so he's right to be concerned and want the best for his family. however, just because the probabilities are low for success, it obviously does not mean that it can't be done. some people DO do this successfully.

    if anyone were to doubt me, i don't care who it is, i would just say....i understand where you're coming from, because the failure rate is high, but it can be done and i'm going to do it. if they don't like that, that's THEIR problem. in fact, i LOVE doing things that most people can't do. it makes me want to do it more. and when i have a hard time, i just tell myself it is a testing point. it is a point where some people would quit but i am not.

    when you are totally confident in yourself and know that you are, YOU ARE UNSTOPPABLE. I AM UNSTOPPABLE!! by the way..no one that knows me doubts me cuz i am the real deal and everyone knows it! I AM ROCK SOLID!!!!!!

  4. bobcathy1

    bobcathy1 Guest

    I usually deal with unpleasant things by using humor. Make a joke out of it. Seriously.

    Dad: I worry about your retirement with this gambling on the market.

    Me: Don't worry, I have a nice bridge in Atlantic City picked out to live under when I retire Dad. There is a soup kitchen and the salvation army nearby. When it gets cold, I will pick a fight with a policeman and get a nice warm jail cell and 3 squares a day. I have it all figured out.
  5. considering this is your father in law - then this is no doubt his protection of his daughter speaking - especially with a baby on the way. AND as you mention - those who are not part of the trading process can't understand that it can be done per a well thought out plan and method that turns it into business risk as opposed to gambling. you might try to explain this to him and analogize this to going into any kind of business where you have risk of not making enough money to cover overhead and return a profit. i remember going through this with my wife - having just sold a business to start trading. luckily things worked out and i actually make more business trading then i did from the business - but she still thinks its all going to disappear because i dont't really work for a living.

    chances are this still isn't going to make a difference if his concern is really about your wife and his coming grandchild - and you would not want him to influence your wife and give you additional pressure from the person who you most need support from. so if you do have her support - i would discuss your father in laws concerns with her and tell her and your father in law that you acknowledge the risk and that if you lose X amount or cannot show X amount in a given time frame that you will go back to get a job. you aren't going to get rid of his skepticism - but the way you approach it from the standpoint of what you will do if things dont work - can at least help to appease the situation.
  6. Htrader

    Htrader Guest

    The only way I have found to refute skepticism is by showing cold hard results. Once you start making $X a year, no one will be questioning you and in fact will want to join what you do.

    However, until you reach that level, you will have to learn how to trade with that additional pressure.
  7. CalTrader

    CalTrader Guest

    Every entrepreneur has heard this from their family, friends, business associates etc.

    The first thing you need to learn about being an entrepreneur is that you need to disregard naysayers: I ignore them unless they have a valid factual argument and they are are people I regard as worthy of engaged debate.

    Humor, a statement of thanks for the concern but I am sticking to my plan etc is probably the best approach with relatives.

    No matter how good a business plan and talent pool you have applied to a venture you will always hear more negative comments than positive comments.

    Learn to ignore them.
  8. Or just tell him you're practicing the piano so you can get a jpb playing it in a brothel.
    Seriously, I think I'm going to go through the same thing, as I plan to quit my "secure" job and trade full time. There is a tendency to go out and buy an expensive car, big, big house to show those who doubt you that you're actually making good money trading. My parents and parents-in-law are pretty conservative and they're probably going to think that I'm nuts and wreckless as all they know about trading is what they know from bad press about day-trading.
    Well, I look at it this way: I've got a reserve to replenish my account in addition to living expenses, but hopefully as I've been profitable I won't use it and I look at it as I am starting my own business. The business has no employees, little overhead, I have not convinced relatives and a bank to loan me money to start it, it keeps me from traveling, no relying on customers, no doubts about whether the product or service has a market and you know day to day EXACTLY how you're business is doing.
    I've actually thought about telling everyone I was laid off when I quit my job and I HAD TO TRADE to feed my family and I found out I was really good at it so I continued to trade and I'm making more than what I would have if I had not been laid off.
  9. damir00

    damir00 Guest

    honesty from someone close to you is a valuable commodity. cherish it. fact is, the odds are he's right and the daytrading thing won't work out. he has a responsibility as an elder statesman of the clan to tell you so.

    i'd be more concerned that such a statement of the obvious was able to "shake your confidence".
  10. Your posting makes me think that you won't succeed if you're that sensitive to other people's feelings regarding your career choice. Unfortunately, this is going to affect your trading adversely.
    #10     Aug 29, 2003