It seems that there are many potential traders here looking for encouragement. The most frequent advice is that "trading is a business". Also, "just like any other business", is an oft cited phrase. The idea that high frequency trading is a business just like any other, and will be successful if standard business acumen is applied, is a false notion. Trading is unlike any other type of startup venture. And to be completely realistic, the characteristics required to be a successful trader are quite different than those required to be a successful entrepreneur. Those tag lines are simply marketing material for those who wish to convince Joe Sixpack that he'll easily be able to parley his experience and skills in building a plumbing business, into a residual income generating machine. Of course, he must first purchase the material that explains how. Sure, there are certain common traits like tenacity and diligence. But those are merely generalities akin to telling someone that with hard work anything is possible. 1---Conventional business provides either a service or a product that is of value to the consumer. The successful businessman creates value through his own actions. Conversely, there is nothing that a trader can do to create value in the end product. In fact, he is actually doing something that is unheard of in business. His actions are much like someone buying a product from a retailer, and then turning right back around and trying to sell that same product back to the wholesaler who originally sold it to the retailer he bought it from. Certainly, if the price of the product increases enough, this strategy would be viable for a normal business. But if you were to write a business plan on this premise, you would be mocked. 2---A normal start-up venture benefits from marketing of various types. Admittedly, they will suffer from varying marginal return on marketing expenditures, but if the product/service is the least bit desirable, they will absolutely increase revenue through advertising. This is in sharp contrast to trading. No amount of marketing can increase revenues for a struggling trader. 3---In normal entrepreneurship, the successful business owner creates an entity that operates within his current skill set. This skill set was developed prior to starting the new venture. Traders take the opposite approach. They begin trading and hope to develop the necessary skills before their lack of appropriate skill puts them out of business. Imagine the recent high school grad who decides that he'll immediately get into business consulting. Rather than go to school to learn business, he sticks an ad in the paper and says, "after enough companies have contracted my services, I'll figure out what works and what doesn't". This is obviously a recipe for failure. 4---Related to #3 is the idea that a successful entrepreneur most often developed a skill set in the industry that plays to his natural talents. This is in sharp contrast to most prospective traders. The latter don't really have any idea what talents are required to be a successful trader, so again they find themselves in a backward process, hoping to first identify the necessary talents and then hoping that they currently possess the same. 5---As a continuation of the above, many skills are easy to come by without much natural ability. These can be learned through some light practice and study. The result is often a business that returns $30-100K annual income. The training for these usually comes from vocational schools. They will often operate from home, much like the trader, but in comparison, a $15K investment will likely be recouped during the first several months, and they can expect annual income near the national median during the first couple years. Trading does not fall into this category. The trader who develops a "vocational school equivalent" trading skill set, might expect returns of 10-20% annual. With $15K seed capital it will take around 20 years to reach the median income, and that is assuming that there are no withdrawals. The conclusion here is that the required skill set to produce the results necessary to make a living, are the industry equivalent of top tier surgeons. I would say that the number of people at this level is probably similar to the number of those surgeons too. I guess what I'm getting at is the idea that becoming a successful trader is undoubtedly much harder than starting a successful business. To the extent that a little encouragement will not solve the problem of most struggling traders. The reality is that they are probably never going to become a trading success, regardless of how hard they work at it.