Triffany Hammond is the only of the 8 women we interviewed five years ago who is not working in the Forex industry anymore. She made a life change that is radical and utterly natural at the same time. She did love trading during over 10 years but quit – “I was in the wrong industry for the work I was really doing for people”. She is now a life coach. Her reflection and understanding of who she is and what she – and in fact, we all – need in life is inspiring. It’s a long interview, but you – as a trader or not – might find stimulating ideas if you read it until the end!
The difference between quitting and reinvention
* You made a big change in your professional life. You are not a trader anymore. What do you do for a living now?
I help high-powered women all over the world who have all the trappings of success but are still unhappy learn the practices of sustainable growth so they can live more joyful, balanced lives. With two certifications and 2 decades of coaching experience I bundle the all of those life lessons into digestible, actionable packages that I teach through courses and coaching. My website is TriffanyHammond.com.
* You are still a coach, but in a different field than Forex. Why did you make that change?
As you know, my approach to trading was always, “know yourself first, then find a way to trade specific to you.” This approach didn’t seem all that revolutionary to me at the time. Understanding the impetus behind your decisions is a fantastic way to prevent a lot of problems, especially as a trader. I wrote a book along those lines. It was a step-by-step process that helped people identify certain propensities of behavior that they may not notice or simply take for granted. A publishing agent who was interested in the book wanted to throw out any testimonials I gave her that celebrated my clients’ discovery that they weren’t meant for trading. She only wanted to print the testimonials from clients who tripled their accounts while working with me or made enough money to pay off a car… quantitative proof of success. I explained to her that I don’t promise anyone a tripled account when they work with me, only that they’ll understand themselves enough to be better at what they do in life – and that may include their trading. What she said to me hit me like a sucker punch, I can feel it in my body now just remembering it, “people in the financial world don’t care about knowing themselves; they only care about how much money they’ll make by buying your book.”
As painful as that was to hear it was something I’d begun to suspect was true. I was in the wrong industry for the work I was really doing for people. Problem was, I didn’t know what I was supposed to say, “yes,” to. I only knew it was time for me to say, “no,” to teaching traders. Interestingly enough, with teaching off the table trading lost all of its allure – almost instantly.
* You said in 2010 “if you love trading, keep at it. If you don’t, then find something else“. Is it what happened to you?
Kind of. I really did love trading… for years! A lot of my own self-improvement came because I traded. I grew my own propensity to help others into a coaching skill, too and I never saw that coming at all. It fed so many parts of me that didn’t have fuel at the time, curiosity, fascination with human behavior and constant learning. That’s why I think I was as shocked as everyone else when suddenly all of that verve just disappeared. When I took a good, hard look at what I was really bringing to the marketplace I realized it wasn’t about the candlesticks or the pips, it was work and purpose that ran so much deeper than that. Sadly, that agent was right, most people who want to learn to trade have no desire to use it as a tool for introspection, they just want to make money. But I couldn’t go back. I knew something more important about myself and I couldn’t unknow it.
* Do you miss trading?
Before I announced my retirement I took an entire month off from teaching and trading both. I thought, “if you miss it, even a little bit, you’ll know you just hit some momentary burnout. If you don’t miss it, you need to figure out what you’re going to be when you grow up.” Not only did I not miss it, I started to feel dread as the end of the month drew near. I was really surprised! That emotional state made the decision clear, though, I was done trading. I haven’t missed trading. I kind of peek in the shadows from time to time to see if the desire to trade is still there, especially because I was so dang good at it, but nope… nada.
* Do you have regrets?
I might have had regrets if the people from that world had disowned me. For the most part, people were really understanding. The grace and beauty in the messages and support I received after my announcement have me tearing up now just thinking about it. One of my students even wrote me an email telling me she was sorry to see me go but she could totally understand. She said I was way ahead of my time and she hoped that someday people would be ready for the things I had to say. I’m still in touch with many of my clients and students from that time and have worked with some in the work I do as a Certified Life Coach now. I consider myself very blessed.
* In our interview of 2010, you said that learning forex taught you a lot about yourself. Do you still feel the same?
Absolutely, I feel the same. In fact, one of the characteristics that made me such a good trader in the first place was my willingness to be wrong which was really cultivated in the trading itself. I’ve created an entire Self Empowerment program around that idea called F.A.I.L.* to Win (*For All Is Love) on how to use your perceived failures to your advantage. Trading and coaching traders was the genesis of that work. I still even say things I used to say like, “you don’t want to become emotionally attached to one particular outcome,” because what is true in trading is generally true for other decisions you’re making. I’m smiling as I say this because I wish everyone who traded fx would take advantage of the opportunity for self-reflection; forex is like a rapid-fire microcosm of what you’ve got to learn about yourself, others and the world.
* Did leaving forex teach you lessons too?
Leaving trading taught me lessons, too. It gave me an opportunity to understand the difference between quitting and reinvention. Everything I’ve ever done has improved my inherent ability and desire to help others but I’d always felt guilty when I had to switch gears. Leaving forex reiterated the fact that every step in the journey serves me somehow, even if I can’t see it at the time. After everything I’d built it was sure a leap of faith, especially since certifying as a Life Coach wasn’t even on my radar at the time.
I continue to learn new things in Life Coaching. Interestingly enough they’re the same things I was learning in forex, human behavior, psychology and all kinds of fun stuff about the brain’s ability to help and/or hinder our goals. I’ve even taken a Quantum Physics course but I’ll have to take it again – not even my FX math helped me understand the level of math involved in quantum physics!
* Do you think you might come back to Forex one day? Even part-time?
Ha!! Well… I’ve learned to never say never. But it’s not at all on my radar at the moment.
True balance: intention and flexibility
* Back in 2010, you explained that you were able to keep a balance between your professional and personal life by leaving trading behind on weekends and evenings. Were you able to keep this rule as long as you were a trader? Can you still do the same?
I most definitely stuck to that as a trader. Life is very different now. I’m a single mom, raising teenagers on my own. The schedule is different and I always make time that is strictly dedicated to my children, it’s just not always evenings and weekends. That’s really the nature of true balance: hold an intention (I want quality time with family and in business) while staying flexible to what is (they’re older and spend more time away in the evenings and weekends).
* Any new advice (compared to 2010) about how to keep these two worlds separate as a trader or maybe more broadly, as a woman and mother working from home?
We have a saying in my house, “sometimes it’s mom’s turn.” For myself and most of the professional moms I know it’s never been work or the kids, it’s always been work and the kids. That means that mom and kids are a unit, a team and deserve to be treated as such. Most of the time we think about what we’re balancing in terms of work time vs kid time and we forget that sometimes mom gets a turn. When she does, the kids get a turn to practice balance, cooperation and, sometimes, sacrifice. That’s a good thing.
Masculine way (doing) and feminine way (reflecting)
* In our conversation 5 years ago, you underlined a series of differences in the nature of women and men, and their impacts on trading. Have you found new differences?
Nothing really new on that front, men and women are wired very differently yet complimentary to one another. Even though my site says “where high-powered women gather…” I still coach men as well. I have noticed this and it applies to traders too – there is something distinctly masculine in the to-do list, the things we do outside of ourselves with the intention to make something happen in our outer life. There is a lot of social support for that kind of productivity.
* You would say that our society is more driven by a masculine-type of energy?
Yes, in today’s world, men and women both are often heavily weighted to the masculine energy. There is a difference between a masculine way of doing things (outward efforts) and a feminine way of doing things (inward efforts). For example, when someone is hungry they may reflect for a moment to discover what they’re craving (that’s feminine in nature) or they may just grab whatever is closest to just solve the problem (that’s masculine). If you were to operate strictly from a feminine energy you may never eat at all. But to do it solely from a masculine energy you may not be giving your body what it really needs to be healthy.
Western culture, right now, is highly masculine in nature – there’s so much doing it often comes at the expense of the reflection necessary to learn, heal or grow emotionally. There are people, too, who spend so much time reflecting they don’t move into action to solve the problem.
Male or female is irrelevant – everyone has the most to gain from both reflection and action in near equal measure. The reflection is more difficult because most of us haven’t been taught that it’s even important, let alone necessary. True success happens when you find the balance between the dreaming and the doing so that all of your efforts replenish you as you grow.
* You moved from a male-dominated profession to a female one. How does it feel?
This is the first time I’ve ever worked in a female dominated field. I love it for very different reasons than I loved my male dominated careers. I feel like it’s easier to speak in nuance because coaches aren’t as black and white as a lot of other professions; we see layers that help us understand ourselves and the world around us in greater depth and with more compassion. It’s like I live in the same beautiful world but now it sparkles with vivid detail, not because the world changed but because I’ve developed better sight.
- ‘Understanding ourselves helps us understand our trading decisions’ – Triffany Hammond (Interview July 2010)
- Triffany’s website
- How To Learn Your Life: Triffany Hammond at TEDxCrestmoorParkWomen
- Triffany Hammond on Twitter