Meet Mark Blevins
At the beginning of 2019 Mark joined the Trading MasterClass Club and quickly became one of our hardest working members. Mark was determined from day 1 to reach consistency and realize his dreams of travelling the world with his beautiful fiancé. Mark's perseverance and dedication has been an ongoing spark of inspiration for the entire TMC Club. Check out the full interview TMC recently conducted with Mark below...
When did your trading journey first begin?
My trading first began a little over 2 years ago. I had a 401k which I usually left up to a money manager when it came to watching over my investments. The company I was working for at the time was under a lot of media scrutiny and their stock plummeted to unheard of lows (almost getting delisted) even though the fundamentals of the company were still solid. Some of the old timers at my company told me stories of people making tens of thousands of dollars, even hundreds of thousands by using this as a buying opportunity for their 401k’s. This caught my attention and I placed my first trade which netted me $25,000 in the course of a few weeks. It was as though I had just discovered fire and the seed began to grow in my mind of full time trading.
When did you leave your day job, and what was it that made you want to pursue full-time trading?
I left my day job after trading for a little over a year because I was able to liquidate my real estate and fund my account after gaining a level of consistency. The reasoning was somewhat of an awakening. I was fortunate and had accomplished a lot in the “9-5” lifestyle. I had the house, the cars and money to go on vacations a few times a year but everything just felt stale and I began to feel trapped. I had the easiest high paying job at my company but I was miserable. I hid it behind a smile but everyday felt like it would never end. My favourite thing to do in life was to see new parts of the world with my girlfriend and when I finally made the connection between that and full-time trading, that was it. We both sat down and created a plan to make it happen. Very similar to Irek and Molly, she would cover the bills while I compound my account and one day very soon she will also quit her job.
What is something unexpected that you love about trading?
Being a trader is being able to identify yourself first and foremost as a lifetime learner. I truly feel like trading has completely changed me in every single way possible for the better through learning. Before trading I had a fixed mindset, a huge ego, and almost zero patience. But to be a successful trader you must let go of all of that, because once you learn a trading strategy those are the only things holding you back.
Every meditation, book, podcast, youtube video, webinar molded my subconscious mind into a completely different individual. Now I have a growth mindset that truly believes that my dreams are not only possible but probable, my ego is never gone but kept in check the majority of the time and my girlfriend, now Fiancé, can attest to the major improvement in my patience. But the work is not done and it never will be, that was unexpected and that is what I love about trading.
"Being a trader is being able to identify yourself first and foremost as a lifetime learner."
What are one to three books that have profoundly impacted your trading journey and your life in general? Why?
There are many books that have impacted me significantly and have been talked about many times in Trading Masterclass (Untethered Soul, Ask and It Is Given, Trading in the Zone). But my all time favourite book that has impacted my life is “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. So much so that I always keep two copies, one to read and one to give away when the opportunity presents itself. It’s a beautiful story that takes you on a poor shepherd boy's journey to find worldly goods but really the treasure comes from within, much like in trading and in life.
What new belief, behaviour, or habit has helped you gain the most forward momentum since becoming a trader?
Consistency. Not in terms of results, which is obviously everyone's goal, but consistency in the process. That means reverse engineering your goals into daily actionable steps that you can put on paper and check them off every single day. Because life is about winning the day and then the next day and then the one after that. If you win enough days then you win the week and if you win enough weeks you win the month and so on. Before you know it you’ve been winning for years, you've developed the mindset of a winner, you've got the skills of a winner, you have the discipline of a winner, so how could you not be winning in trading?
What advice would you give to an inspired, driven individual about to step into the trading world?
Good trading is boring. If you are getting adrenaline spikes when you place a trade, close a trade, or lose a trade then you don't have confidence in the strategy which usually means you haven't done enough backtesting which means you aren't being consistent in the process like I explained in the last question. Good trading is about eliminating as much discretion as possible. You should backtest until you have a detailed trading plan that explains exactly when you get involved in the market, how you will reduce/remove risk and how you are going to manage that position from start to finish. That way you don't have to make any decisions.
"Good trading is about eliminating as much discretion as possible."
One more thing...
Everyone wants to earn big profits without having to work/trade for long hours. Why then do traders spend hours at their charts trying to take tons of trades? The dream is working small hours per week but making big money. It is taking only a few good trades per week without spending hours on the charts. So do that now. Adopt the big account mindset and trade like you're already the trader you want to be. Big accounts need risk management and capital protection. Big accounts need patience. Big accounts need discipline to your plan. Trade like you already have a big account and you will find yourself actually having one.
How has Trading MasterClass assisted your evolution?
Trading MasterClass is the sole reason that I am a full-time trader. The content inside of Masterclass is unmatched and is so in depth that I learn something new every single time I watch it. The weekly webinars allow me to see into the mind of a consistently profitable trader at the top of their game. The company is run by the most amazing human beings on this earth, that give and give to their community and only ask for feedback in return so they can improve it even further. I’ve always wanted a real Mentor, someone I could learn from in all aspects of life, someone who inspires me to constantly evolve and I feel like Trading MasterClass has given me that.
What’s next for you now that you’ve begun a new chapter as a full-time trader?
Well chapter 1 was supposed to begin April 22nd but COVID put a hold on it. My fiancé and I have been working toward a single goal almost since the night we met. That goal was moving to Bali and traveling for a few years, seeing the world differently, living a life most never decide to live. We sold almost everything we own...house, cars, furniture, even the pots and pans! Everything we own fits in 4 suitcases or is in a 8x4 storage container. The plan hasn't changed, only the timing! Hopefully we will be able to go after September 2020. :)
Any final words of wisdom?
Success in anything comes down to one habit: Doing things even when you don't feel like it. If you wait until you feel like working out, reading, backtesting, meditating, nothing is going to happen.
Some practical advice: Get a blank notebook, one that feels good, one that's cool, one that you like. Reverse engineer your 1-5 year goal into actionable daily, weekly, monthly steps. Every morning, date it and write down your goal for the day in one sentence. ie: Today I will execute 1 trade that fits my plan perfectly. Then do the same for a weekly goal. ie: This week I will backtest 6 pairs for 2019. Then the same for your monthly goal. ie: I will pull 8% in trading profits from the market. And finally your yearly goal. ie: Lifestyle upgrade to Bali Dream House. Skip a line. Write, “It excites me to think about…” and then write down something you are looking forward to doing once you are financially able to. This has worked way better for me than “I am statements” because I am statements can feel fake. This is true...it does excite you to think about that stuff and it also allows you to align with that frequency and manifest your dreams. Last step. Skip another line. Write down 5 actionable tasks you are going to do that day to get you closer to consistency. ie: Meditate, Read 10 pages, Backtest, Journal, Trade, Workout. Then do them and check them off every day (mornings are best). Do this for 6 months.
How can we keep up with you?
Best place is Instagram! Here's my page.