As part of our journey to learn and share knowledge about flow and productivity, we contacted people from different fields. In this interview with Bennie, we’ll explore mindset, controlling your emotions and planning. Reach out to Bennie on Instagram if you have any questions: @Benniebull23
Bennie is a successful manager, athlete and forex trader. He knows where he’s heading and I’m sure you’ll find some inspiration in this interview.
Bennie works as a security manager in a big Belgian company. Just two years ago he was competing in CrossFit competitions, and quite successfully so. When he was given more responsibilities at work, he stopped competing and started dedicating more time to self-development and trading.
Less than a year ago, he joined a forex trading team and started sucking in all the information he could find about trading. He’s still learning, but he’s also teaching now. When we hear forex and teaching in one sentence, an alarm bell goes off. We think about guys with fancy cars and big watches selling you dreams of instant riches. Bennie and his team are different, though. They are the real deal because they have skin in the game. For them, it’s about inspiring team meetings and trying to secure a second income together. Trading results and personal development are key to reach the best results. Teamwork makes the dream work.
This is what his days look like
Bennie’s an early riser. When others are just about to wake up, he’s already on his way to work listening to self-development podcasts. Read the full interview to discover what he listens to.
As a team manager, he feels it’s his responsibility to be the first person on the work floor. He leads by example. Arriving early has other benefits, as well. When it is still quiet in the office, he can solve urgent matter before coworkers start interrupting him. Bennie calls this ‘money-time’.
After work, he goes to the gym at least three times per week. For an hour, his phone is stored away and it’s just him, his weights and his girlfriend. As they’re both kind of fitness freaks they consider going to the gym as quality time. Add him on Instagram if you don’t believe me.
In the evening, he usually spends about half an hour to review and plan his trading set-ups. It never takes a lot of work, because he does most of the prep with his team during the weekend. He just checks if everything is going according to plan and if there are any new and noteworthy updates.
Before bed, finally, he spends about 30 minutes reading. His days start and end with some ‘me-time’ based around learning and personal development.
This article is structured like this:
Q1: How is Bennie pursuing his goals?
While he works a full-time job as a team manager now, Bennie’s goal, or dream with a deadline as he’d say, is to become location independent. Fortunately for him, he already has a pretty clear path of how to achieve that. Some time ago, he started forex trading as a side hustle. He’s gradually getting better at it and he’s even started teaching others. One day, he would like to run his own financial education/advice business from some sunny beach or cultural hotspot.
Being successful at forex trading requires a lot more than understanding the numbers. Bennie knows that in order to achieve his goals, his days need to be very well-planned. Because, as Bennie quotes Ben Franklin, ‘if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.’
To reach his goals, he knows that he should also keep developing himself as a human being, learn how to control his emotions even better and most importantly, maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Q2: What does he struggle with most?
Finding that perfect work-life balance seems to be just his biggest struggle at the moment. Balancing work, family, hustles and hobbies is not always a piece of cake. Meticulous planning and prioritisation are needed to make it all work. He even had to let go of one of his passions so he could commit more time working towards his top priorities.
Secondly, he often gets frustrated by the many people who believe forex trading is a scam. They don’t really get or trust what he’s doing. The internet is full of people telling you how to GET RICH QUICK and so often it’s just far too good to be true. ‘Forex trading is about compounding gradually,’ Bennie says.
Here’s something to think about. The people who earned to most money in America’s gold rush weren’t the ones digging for gold, but those who sold the spades.
Finally, he admits it’s difficult to not let your influences affect trading. Fortunately, he has several systems in place to manage this. He says that you need to accept that you’ll never be 100% up to date. Don’t let anxiety push you towards reading all the news and checking all account all the time. Trust your settings. Having team members with more experience also really helps. They have already walked the path and so their tips are very enriching. Having this kind of mentorship can really show everyone how way to reach their goals.
It’s all about sticking to the strategy and applying the right risk management. He says that if you can control your greed and emotions, stick to the plan and have pre-defined trade ratios, you’ve got a good chance to make it in the trading world.
Finally, he admits that he often listens to relaxing music when preparing his charts so he doesn’t get too excited.
Q3: Top 3 non-technical tips about forex trading
‘Compounding an account is the long term winning strategy, instead of risking your whole account in order to reach quick richdom or lose it all. It is not gambling but rather a game of probability.’ There is no room for emotional decision making in probability. Being able to make money from home or from your laptop is very valuable, especially in the current situation. Moreover, relying on a single income is very risky nowadays.
Of course, this is easier said than done. A rock-solid mindset is needed to keep your emotions under control. With these three tips, however, Bennie is certain that you’ll get a step closer.
- Consistency is key. This is one of Bennie’s favourite quotes from one of his inspirations within the business. Going hard the first weeks and then stopping it all of a sudden is a waste of time and money. It’s better to gradually implement this in your daily life and habits. Over time, you’ll start to see the big progress you’re making.
- Find a mentor to help you before doing this. If you want to be very good at something you need to look for people who can help you. This cannot be free, because anything with value has a price.
- Reward yourself. If you stick to your plan and compound your account very neatly, at the end of the week, withdraw some money and do something rewarding. Not only for you but also for your significant other(s). They will be more eager to support you and you will immediately see the benefits of trading and stay motivated to stick to the plan. Compounding over quick wins.
Mind that these lessons don’t only apply to trading. They apply to everything in life: training for a marathon, losing that extra body fat, promoting to a higher level and so on.
T3G takeaways: (By Kjell)
At one moment in his life, Bennie got to a point where he needed to reprioritise. He had too much on his plate. I’ve been there as well. You’ve might’ve been there too. If not, it’s probably going to happen at some point. I don’t want to scare you, it’s just something to be aware of.
So remember that it’s ok to feel like you can’t juggle it anymore. Just sit down and reconsider your priorities. The hardest decisions lead to the best results.
I (Kjell) decided to stop learning about football coaching and investing some months ago. I still love those things, but they weren’t very useful for me at that moment in time, and still aren’t now. Bennie decided to stop participating in CrossFit competitions. These are emotionally hard decisions but in the long run, they often pay off. Bennie is less serious about sports now but still tries to stay in good shape while having fun. Less pressure, more mental health. Bennie also got many steps closer to his goals by becoming a trader and so did I by doubling my copywriting income. For both of us, re-aligning priorities was an important and successful decision.
So sometimes, taking a step back, looking at your paths and prioritising the most important ones is very useful. Don’t wait too long. If you keep walking down several paths, you’ll never reach your destination and you might lose important things along the way.
Of course, there are many more things I would like to elaborate upon, but this would just get too long. Instead, read the full interview below (I’ve added a few comments in there in italics).
We’ll also have an Instagram Live with Bennie on Monday at 7 pm GMT. If you have any questions for him, please let us know during the live session!
Remember that Bennie’s available for all your questions. Just sent him a private message on Instagram @Benniebull23
Full interviewClick to expand
- Name? Bennie
- Where do you live? Temse, Belgium
- Occupation? Security manager in a Belgian company
Do you have any side hustles?
For sure, stocks and Forex trading/education. Also very rarely helping my mate in his catering business.
What are your dreams/long-term goals?
Goals are only dreams with a deadline ;)! In the short term, I still want to continue to develop myself and make myself a more complete person and leader/manager in my job and personal life. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance with enough time for friends/family is the biggest challenge at the moment. With current work ethics and mindset, this is heavily underrated yet very needed for mental wellbeing.
I recently turned 30 and I also feel this is a key moment in my life. So building my own family and being able to offer them a good future is really something for the next years. But no pressure 😉 … Building a successful financial education business from a spot anywhere in the world would be my goal for the long term. I really have the burning desire to succeed in this business because this would mean freedom of location. I still want to see the world with my girl.
What does your daily life look like, what routines/habits do you have?
- MORNING: I always wake up early, it seems like a difficult thing to do at first but I like arriving early at my job and I call this ‘money-time’. Because as a manager, being the first on the desk when no one is there shows commitment but it also gives you time to focus on the urgent things before you interact with people and get distracted. In my car, I listen to podcasts because mainstream radio is kinda frustrating me. This is in fact ‘me-time’ and I can efficiently use this ‘lost time’ to educate myself or call with friends/ family.
- DAY: I try to go to the gym 3-4 times a week because I strongly believe in mens sana in corpore sano (For the uncultured, this means: ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’). I feel better when I have trained and with a stressful environment on the work floor and the combination with forex trading, this is THE time to put aside my mobile phone and focus one hour on myself. I also do this with my girlfriend so this is precious quality time together.
- EVENING: During the evening, I try to free up 30 min to look at the charts and prepare my setups. Usually, this can be done in the weekend so I can set automated alerts once I need to get a position. Our team can also send interesting setups, so you could say that teamwork really makes the dream work. We also have multiple team calls which you can join every evening. So much value is being given if you make time for it.
- BEFORE bedtime: I have an E-reader and try to read half an hour before going to sleep, this to avoid being connected through social media all the time and to have some mental rest.
- During the weekend, I try to connect with friends and family as during the week work is sometimes restricting this. This is also the time to connect with our trading team.
What do you struggle with?
This maybe already popped up, but the work-life and side hustle balance is a huge challenge. Time is money sometimes and finding time to combine everything requires meticulous planning, to be honest. I was good at doing CrossFit, but because of work, it was really hard to stay disciplined, so I had to downscale this, unfortunately. But in this sport, a mental unbreakable mindset was so important, certainly if you compete. During competitions, I always felt elevated and could always do something more. This is certainly something I am missing now, in the last two years.
Another issue that also pops up is that many people see Forex as a scam. This is mainly due to traders who are bragging with lambos and expensive watches on YouYube, something I don’t want to be linked to. (Honestly, I was afraid of this. I’m more and more convinced that most people selling online courses are imposters. They don’t make any money from what they’re supposedly good at. They make money from selling you air.) I’d rather let the results speak because if you are willing to learn, ready to train your mindset to not trade with emotions and use the tools that are made available by the team, you have every chance to succeed.
There are unfortunately people who fail in this business. However, after 8 months in, I feel educated and improved as a human. Trading can really show you how you really are and working on these weak points, is something I am grateful for. With trading, greed can lead to overtrading and risking your account. So it is really important to stick to your strategy and always apply the right risk management. If you can combine all of this, success is around the corner. This is, however, easier said than done. Compounding an account is the long term winning strategy instead of risking your whole account in order to reach quick richdom or lose it all. It is not gambling but rather a game of probability.
How do you combine work, side hustle and hobbies?
Planning. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I will be honest, sometimes I really feel like I’m lacking time and this sometimes reflects in our relationship or social contact.
The markets always change. How do you switch off from trading? Do you ever lie awake at night thinking about market movements?
Good question. This is one of the reasons why it is important to be a disciplined trader and try to switch off emotions. I’m trading with a strategy where I need objective confirmations to enter AND to exit. This clearly helps in shutting off emotions. I also observed that if I’m stressing about market movements or my positions, this mainly means that I overleveraged and risked too much money on a trade. In the beginning, I was always following economical news and updates and certainly nowadays in this digital world, you are NEVER up to date. This is something you need to switch off from. I read the main news and then I go to technical analysis. A pre-defined entry, exit and fixed risk- to win ratio is key in not laying awake at night. Mistakes I made in the beginning but you learn quickly.
Besides that, connecting socially, going to the gym, have a healthy lifestyle but not too exagerated that you cannot have a drink for yourself are really advisable. To be honest, I am thinking about YOGA moments for mental health. An unbreakable and calm mindset is necessary. Putting on some relaxing music when I’m preparing charts is useful as well to not get too excited all the time.
Based on your Instagram stories, you have team meetings every Sunday night. What routines do you have? Do you experience something like team flow? (When you’re so focussed on the process and don’t pay attention to time, distractions and personal thoughts.)
I rather see this as a team of teams. Due to the high number of members in the business, it is almost impossible to have this team flow. If you look at the lower level and see how, for instance, my team is doing, it is really wonderful to see how every person is growing. It really is satisfying to see someone who does not know anything about this making consistent gains after some months. Helping a person to start in this business and making gains is the most rewarding.
I think that with our smaller team of 5 people, everyone wants to see each other win (positive sum game within the big zero-sum game) and sometimes these team meetings run for 2 hours. We also like to keep this pleasant so that newer members with lesser experience dare to speak about their issues so we can help them grow. Drinking a beer together while preparing the charts and seeing that everyone is winning, this is our Team flow.
The bigger team calls where 50+ people are present on Zoom can sometimes also lead to a feeling of EUREKA or enlightenment and even excitement. When a successful full-time trader or networker is sharing his knowledge and value to the team and it all makes sense, then you feel your heartbeat is rising, you are enlighted and you feel the whole team is getting excited. However, by asking this question, I feel that some more effort is needed to invest in our team.
What non-technical advice do you have for other people about forex trading?
- Search a mentor to help you before doing this. If you want to be good at something you need to look for people who can help you. This cannot be free, because anything with value has a price.
- Reward yourself. If you stick to your plan and compounded your account very neatly, at the end of the week, withdraw some money and do something rewarding. Not only for you but also for your significant other(s). They will be more eager to support you and you will immediately see what the benefits of trading are and stay motivated to stick to the plan. COMPOUNDING over Quick Wins.
- Consistency is key. This is my favourite quote from one of my inspirations within the business. But this means everything. Going hard the first week/ months and then stopping with it all of a sudden is a waste of time and money. It’s Better look to implement this in your daily life and habits and you will see that you are steps further than a couple of months ago.
Some extra Questions (answer the ones you like, or none, or all. It’s up to you 😉 )
- What’s the single most important step that you’ve taken towards your goals/dreams?
- Joining a trading academy. Learn while you earn. This is also the hardest step. Afterwards, it gets easier.
- I look at most jobs as learning while earning. If you look out for jobs with skills you haven’t completely mastered yet and actively ask for feedback, you’ll always get paid to learn.
- Who has inspired you most in your life?
- An Entrepreneur friend who is working non-stop for himself, for CATERING LOMBAERTS. I have the utmost respect for this mindset and I also believe that working for yourself is the ultimate feeling of accomplishment and motivation. He remains also very helpful and is trying to get our friends together most of the time. Keep doing what you do Mich ;). (Instagram)
- My grandmother, who you also knew. It was very beautiful to see how a person could live so selflessly. She would do anything for her family and was always ready for us. A very beautiful person. (No doubt!)
- THE ROCK is my most inspirational public figure. How he combines everything he does and still is able to go to the gym and stay positive all the time… A true inspiration.
- What’s your favourite book/podcast/magazine …
- Joe Rogan, my podcast Hero. With total ease, he can talk with guests for 3 hours. He also knows a lot about different topics, which makes it easier to communicate on a deeper level with his guests.
- Trading podcast, stay educated and up to date about the markets ;).
- 100% Inspiratie podcast
- Leef je mooiste leven => He has a real calm voice and has so much knowledge to share about entrepreneurship and mental health.
- Sjotcast: Sometimes, it can be personal pleasure as well instead of educative.
- (Ik zou zelf ook het Nerdland maandoverzicht aanraden)
- Favourite books:
- How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie.
- Happy Money by Ken Honda
- What’s your mantra/personal philosophy?
- Mens Sana in Corpore Sano. I strongly believe that a healthy lifestyle can result in better mental decisions and thus optimal results.
- What would you tell your younger self (age 18-21) NOT to do?
- Spend money but try to invest already at a younger age. By compounding smaller amount of amount at a younger age, you could set yourself free much faster.
- Hmm, drink less maybe ;)… But these memories remain of big value. Life is measured by memories, not by material. (Completely agree, you know it’s not good for you, but it inspired so many good memories.)
- How do you try to have a positive impact on your environment/community?
- By just trying to always stay positive. Do not complain, if you like something/someone; say it. Be grateful for what you have and speak it out. It is interesting to see your environment change when you are positive about others. Be an example. (I try to live by this quote: ‘Never be overheard complaining, not even to yourself’. This is by Marcus Aurelius, a famous stoic.)
- Have you read any of our articles?
- Yes, I recognise many things from 3 good personal habits.
- What’s the best personal investment that you’ve made? (For me, e.g. buying a website domain)
- Invest in my relationship. Happy Wife Happy Life.
- Invest in NIO stock when it was low. Electrical vehicles are definitely the future, wish you had told me about this earlier!
- Invest the small amount into IM Academy. They have trading knowledge and help you to mentor others. Now all this value is free for me on a daily base. Again, so grateful for this.
- If you could share one message that everyone in the world would read or watch, what would it be?
- Appreciate what you have, be grateful every day, be a positive person and you will see how your environment will be more positive ;).