Do you remember when the Beatles invaded America?


In the picture above, you can see the Fab Four as they came off the plane at Kennedy Airport in their first-ever trip to America on February 7, 1964.

To us in the US, they appeared out of nowhere and, as they say, the rest is history.

My impression was that the Beatles had quickly become popular in England and became an overnight success when they arrived in America. After all, they were good looking and everyone liked their new music.The real story of the Beatles success as presented in Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent book, Outliers, is quite different.

The Beatles were no overnight success.

When they arrived in America, they had already performed in front of live audiences 1,200 times!

The story of how the Beatles, all in their early twenties, had amassed so much experience in front of live audiences is worth repeating.

In 1960, the Beatles, sans Ringo, got a series of jobs (gigs in music lingo) in Hamburg Germany playing background music in strip clubs.

Apparently, the owner of the Hamburg strip clubs thought that the audience wanted live rock and roll music to accompany the, uh, performances.

As an aside, this is a bit like the oft-repeated, but not completely believable, phrase about reading Playboy for the articles. In Hamburg, guys must have told their wives and girlfriends that they went to the strip clubs to hear the music.

Anyway, the Beatles gigs at the Hamburg strip clubs were pretty tough.

They played for 6-8 hours at a time for six to seven days a week. What this gave them was hundreds of hours playing for live audiences. To my way of thinking, they would have to have been very good to compete with the other entertainment.

So there it is, the Beatles overnight success in the US was preceded by 1,200 appearances throughout Europe and thousands of hours playing together.

Bill Gates was no overnight success, either.

In high school, he would sneak out of his house in the middle of the night to program on the University of Washington’s mainframe computer when no one else was around.

Later, Gates’ mother commented that she could never figure out why he was so tired all the time as a teenager.

Now, she knows.

While other the other kids his age were sleeping, Gates was getting hundreds of hours of programming experience. Given how he turned out, it seems a worthwhile investment of his time.

Gladwell reckons that nearly all of the extraordinarily successful people he studied required about 10,000 hours of practice to reach the pinnacle of their success.

So much for the myth of overnight success.

If it took 10,000 hours for the Beatles and Bill Gates to become world-class successes, it will take a significant commitment of time in front of a trading screen for a trader to reach meaningful success.

The fact is that success in anything takes time, it takes dedication, and it takes talent.

Long term success in futures trading is not something that comes easily and it does not come quickly.

But, without question, it is worth the effort for those who take the time, have the dedication and possess the talent.

I can help you find the shortest distance between your desire for success and the reality of it. You can get the benefit of my 37 years in the futures trading business without taking 37 years to get it.

Wishing you success in your trading, Jeff

Copyright © 2009 by Jeff Quinto
All rights reserved

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