Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in finance but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Matt Thomas, Founder of Trading Paradigm, located in Wallingford, CT, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I’m in the business of trading education, training, and mentorship. I’ve been trading and blogging about various trading-related courses, programs, and services - along with my own personal trading experiences - since 2013. This has culminated in the creation of my Trading Success Framework course - which is designed to help new/developing traders understand what becoming a truly skilled, competent, self-sufficient, and consistently profitable trader actually entails. It’s entirely free from hype, gimmicks, and lifestyle marketing - and lays a strong foundation for long-term, sustainable market success. Link to Course.

Tell us about yourself

I’ve always had a passion for finance and entrepreneurship - so after graduating from college with a Business Administration degree (minor in Accounting and concentration in Finance) and landing a typical “corporate” job, I started researching potential business opportunities on the side. At this point in time, I had no idea what specific path I wanted to go down (franchisee, affiliate marketer, etc.), but there are two things that stood out to me in my search: online business and trading. So that’s really where it all started. Pretty soon after that, I launched a website, opened up a brokerage account, and started consuming an enormous amount of content within these realms.

My first website was a mishmosh of both online business and trading-related content - which I think confused/overwhelmed a lot of my initial site visitors/followers. But I quickly realized that the trading-related content on the site was far more popular. So after a year or two, I transitioned the site to trading as the sole topic. During this time, however, I was still struggling with my own trading - both from a technical and mental perspective. I got caught up in all kinds of lousy alert/signal services, chat rooms, and newsletters that make you think trading success is as simple as blindly copying some guru. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Trading is a skill-based, peak-performance endeavor - much like that of a sport. So what motivates me every single day is helping aspiring traders avoid all the get-rich-quick nonsense out there and redirect them toward legitimate training and mentorship.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

There’s a handful of content I’ve created that I’m really proud of (various how-to guides, reviews, case studies, courses, etc.). But my biggest accomplishment, by far, was being able to quit my corporate job in 2020 to pursue trading and online business full-time. It had been my dream to do so for years, and finally, making it happen has been incredible. There’s a lot of work involved both in terms of trading and creating trading-related content for my site, but there’s a ton of synergy between them - and I absolutely love having both aspects as part of my “job.” Good trading is a lot different from what a lot of fake gurus and their flashy lifestyle advertisements make it seem by showcasing fancy cars, private jets, and stacks of cash. In reality, trading isn’t typically all that “exciting” - unless you’re treating markets as a platform for compulsive gambling. There’s a lot of work involved in becoming and remaining an elite-level trader - and it actually has the potential to be quite lonely, monotonous, and unfulfilling. So crafting trading-related content for my site and sharing it with others brings additional creative and social elements into the mix that trading by itself can sometimes be lacking. The two of them together check all the boxes for me in terms of creativity, autonomy, flexibility, challenge, and personal growth.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I’m extremely passionate about trading and online business, so I feel fortunate to be able to pursue both at the same time. But one of the hardest things I’ve been experiencing lately falls under the category of time management. I never really had issues with this in the past, but I have recently started a family and become a homeowner - time isn’t nearly as easy to come by anymore when it comes to my work. So it’s been a challenge balancing the competing responsibilities of my work life and personal life. It’s great to have the autonomy, independence, and freedom that I mentioned before because there’s no “boss” to tell me what to do. But having that freedom requires a tremendous level of self-discipline. There’s no one else scheduling my time and forcing me to be productive. But the consequences of inefficiency and time mismanagement still exist. So if I want my trading and online business to continue to grow, then I have to properly manage my resources (time, energy, and focus are the most important ones). I think the next phase of this challenge will eventually be hiring a strong team so that day-to-day operations can run smoothly without me.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find something you’re passionate about, figure out what people’s biggest problems are within that particular market, come up with your best solutions for solving them, and continue testing your potential solutions on the market until something sticks.
  2. Consider partnering up with who you believe are the absolute best product/service providers already operating in your desired space. I don’t view the best traders and trading educators that exist to be enemies/competitors. I consider them allies/partners with various skills, competencies, and followings that can help me. Collaborating and building symbiotic relationships can be extremely beneficial for all parties.
  3. Build an interactive community with a clearly defined objective and leader(s) who can help members achieve that objective. This is critical for turning mere followers into paying customers. There are a lot of online business gurus who talk about email lists and funnels as the ultimate tools. But in my opinion, nothing matches a highly aligned community of members with a shared identity/goal - and an authority to take them from where they are right now to where they want to go in the future.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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