Not everyone who gets into trading has the luxury of living the so-called “good life.”

But if you’re jealous of the images of traders sipping cocktails on the beach and getting down to business from the comfort of their laptops, you’re certainly not alone.

How do you get to that level, though? This question eludes many newbies who are just getting their start or are otherwise frustrated that they aren’t raking in the big bucks quite yet. The reality is this: it takes time and patience to reach the point where you can take your trades full-time, but putting yourself on the right path might be easier than you think.

So, what can you do to set yourself up to live the free, nomadic life of a full-time trading guru? Just keep the following four tips in the back of your mind.

Stay Level-Headed

The idea of lavish vacations and supercars may be exciting, but don’t let such images totally get to your head. If trading was so easy, everyone would be on board and be living the good life, right?

There’s always going to be risk and reward; likewise, assuming that you’re going to stumble on a goldmine by complete accident isn’t realistic. In investing guru Tim Sykes’ own words about picking a winning penny stock, there truly are no “sure things.” This rings true for the big picture of investing as well as individual trades.

The key to successful trading on any level is keeping a level head and maintaining realistic expectations. By tuning out distractions and focusing on your own trades first and foremost, you’re less likely to be caught up in the hype trap.

Don’t Stop Doing Your Homework

You can’t read one book or take a single course of any subject and consider yourself an expert, right? Trading is no different. You need to take the steps to continuously hone your skills and treat trading as a sort of craft. In the classic words of Warren Buffett: the more you learn, the more you earn.

Establish Your Battlestations

If you want to take trading seriously, it certainly pays to have a dedicated trading setup that meets your needs. From comfortable seating to multiple monitors, you don’t necessarily need a heavy-duty setup to get down to business, but it certainly makes the process much easier once you’ve started bringing in more money.

On a related note, also bear in mind that trading on-the-go is always within the realm of possibility. Just as you see in those famous images of traders on the beach, a laptop is certainly good enough to get your work done while you’re away from home.

Pace Yourself

Remember: trading represents a marathon not a sprint. You’re inevitably going to have to play a sort of waiting game and be patient: trading is a field where you absolutely cannot force success. If you feel like you’re working too hard, don’t be afraid to walk away from a few days and come back reinvigorated.

Just because you’re not seeing the profits you’d like from your trades today doesn’t mean big returns aren’t in your future. Don’t give up on the dream of the good life as a trader: instead, figure out how to fine-tune your strategy and stay the course once you’ve ironed out the kinks.