The ultimate decisive factor which separates a successful professional from the casual amateur can be summed up in one word: practice. The successful trader is one who spends the time necessary to learn and master his edge in the financial markets. For those who treat trading as a business, the below steps are rather self-explanatory. However, for the struggling trader, these steps may be the key needed for success. Profit in the capital markets is found through hard work. A professional trader is one who works on his strategy 8 hours a day for 5 days per week. In order for the casual trader to take the leap to profitable trader, one must put forth the same, if not greater effort than the professionals of the field.
Steps to become a profitable trader
1. Set aside time to practice trading outside of the work day
2. Spend as much time working on your trading strategy as you spend trading
3. Memorize charts of price and how they relate to your set up
4. Open a "demo" account with a brokerage or paper trade until you are profitable
5. Open a real account with real money and start with a very small lot size
6. Work your way up to full potential
7. Don't change your strategy on the fly; stick with the plan
8. Your goal is to become a professional. Never compromise on this goal.