Those who have not failed have not tried.
John Novak was born in Livonia Michigan and moved many times around the USA as a child before finally settling in Houston Texas in 1976. John was not the strongest student early in his life but in high school figured out he could get great grades by just showing up. He would joust with teachers regarding the need to study and believed he could read something over once and recall that information at will. He promised his teachers if he ever made less than a B, he would start studying. This philosophy got John through high school and would serve him well in the job he currently has, but when it came time to go to college, his study habits came back to bite him. While at the University of Houston, John Novak realized that he had done himself a disservice in high school and realized it would hinder his ability to eventually make money if he stayed in school. So, like all entrepreneurs John set off to work and only completed a couple years of college. Bartending and waiting tables paid the bills for John through his early 20’s and he tried many different things before settling in as a software sales person a few years later. John Novak found a talent in the field of software sales and was making more money than he ever had in his life. That was when his vision for Nexgen Software Services and the T3 Fibs ProTrader came to life.
John Novak’s proudest accomplishments include his now 26-year marriage and being a loving father to his 2 children. John’s third passion is his Fibonacci software and he has been the CEO of Nexgen Software Services and chief systems design engineer for the past 22 years.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
In 1996-1997 I was spending much of my time talking to my clients from a previous job, many of whom are floor traders or ex- floor traders in Chicago. When I would describe my vision to them regarding an automated Fibonacci program that could predict the turning points of the market as clearly as they see it on the floor of the exchange, they said “wow that would really be NEXGEN stuff”. From there, Nexgen Software Services was born.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Today, much of the development is over. While we do have some advancements that we are working on for the future, the main engine of our software, the Fibonacci based algorithms that we had perfected between 1997-2003 are identical to the software we run today. Our time now is spent watching the markets live. Fine tuning our trading plan, and teaching traders to use our software. This includes most importantly how to “read” the software. To understand the meaning of the software patterns and in turn understand the probability of a particular outcome. To see, predict and react to the market conditions in a real time environment. Having the ability to see patterns once and recall those at a later date is the one skill that makes day trading much easier and teaching patterns to clients fun versus a chore.
How do you bring ideas to life?
In the software business bringing an idea to life is a very lengthy task. Especially in the day trading space. Once you have a proven winner, you must be careful that your methods are robust enough to give advantages on every market, any time frame trades and that they do not fundamentally change over time. For example; our software produced and top trades that we taught in 2004, are the same two trades we teach today.
We have slowly and meticulously through tens of thousands of real-world repetitions fine-tuned our trading plan, not changed it. For example, we currently have 3 new entry and confirmation patterns that we have been following real time using our T3 Market Flow volume analysis tool in conjunction with our Fibonacci areas. These patterns give their own distinct advantage, but they are only to be applied and looked at within the scope of the two main trades we have taught. Each time we recognize a pattern we then have a team of traders that validate, scrutinize and then trade live with simulation and real funds until all the nuances and rules work out. That would be the only time, after so much confirmation that we would bring a new idea to life. At this stage in the game, Nexgen is only making changes that provide a clear and robust increase in the overall profitability of our software.
What’s one trend that excites you?
There are increasingly more and more people who are interested in taking their own financial /investment future into their own hands. Nexgen understood the power of a home-based business as early as 2008, and in doing so we allowed our employees to live and work wherever they wished. The trend for more “home based” high income jobs will not slow anytime soon. When you combine the high earning potential of day trading along with the freedom of work schedule and the relatively low “business start up costs” we feel day trading from home will continue to grow at a very steady rate. One only has to look at the CME GROUPS earning and volume of trading to clearly see that the volume year over year is increasing (27% increase overall in 2018 vs 2017) as a clear sign that more and more people are learning the power of day trading futures. Nexgen has positioned itself as the leader in the home day trading space and we feel confident that trend will continue.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
As redundant as it sounds, hard work. Most people think of hard work as working long hours but I think productive work is the hardest. I make it a habit to always think about WHY I am doing something and what will it yield in the end. I tend to keep my work time very focused and very productive.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Save more of your money when the profits are high and do not blow a million dollars at a time on cars! It was fun, but as I look back now, one super car would have sufficed to fill the need for speed.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The market can be predicted.
Most traders with basic knowledge and lesser experience, do not agree that the market can be predicted with a high degree of certainty. Due to their own experiences, many of which are negative, they feel that my boldest statement “the market is predictable” is incorrect. I mean it REALLY gets under their skin. They take the time to voice their opinion to me almost to the point of pure hate, time and time again they tell me that I am wrong and a fool for saying this. I reply by asking for open mindedness and a few days for them to witness this trading miracle for themselves. Take the time to disprove me in my class and with a free demo of software and see for yourself. I tell them, “If you are right you lose nothing, if I am right you gain everything.”
Day after day in our live class I prove the naysayers wrong and do predict most of the turning points in a day, and most importantly in advance. I say, just because you have not actually seen it in your own day trading doesn’t meant that it doesn’t exist. Day traders who have yet to be successful are a little short on “faith” and if we are lucky enough to get their ear and eyes for a week, we turn them into believers. All we need is one tiny bit of curiosity to convert a non-believer to a believer.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I ask questions.
I spend 3 hours per day Monday through Friday asking if my clients understand what we are doing and if there is ANYTHING, we at Nexgen could be doing better. Believe it or not, our clients are the very reason we are successful. We do not do anything that is not for the betterment of our clients and they would agree.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Customer service. Taking great care of the client from day one is the best possible strategy you can have to grow your business. When I went to college, although I never finished my degree, I started out as a hotel and restaurant major. I give most of the credit for my customer service attitudes to working in the restaurant business. They built a very strong belief in teamwork and customer service at the restaurant I worked at. When it all boils down to it, great customer service is a choice that every business must make. Sometimes it is much more work and you must really be dedicated to it. This is what I feel helps us grow and have longevity.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Wow where to start? If I had only one big failure, I’d be pretty happy. I have had 1000 idea failures. If you do not try new things you will never move forward. I have worked through thousands of ideas for improvements on our software over 22 years. Each year we take the one or two ideas that work and eliminate all the ideas that do not. Over the long haul this has allowed us to build one of the most solid and robust trading plans around our software in the industry. We have worked hard to take clients with no experience to success.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
The best idea I have for all readers is the job of independence. Going forward in this economy if you treat your independence like a business idea and work towards guaranteeing your independence from “recession, politics, financial needs and work constraints, you will build a business that will stand the test of time. Day Trading as a business (not a play toy) is paramount and one of the most independent jobs you will ever have.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Actually 150. But wireless headphones. When I work out, having proper headphone is one of the things that makes me able to relax, meditate and recharge so I can perform at a very high level every single day.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
There are two programs we use daily that we could not live without. Sales staff uses salesforce and I use clickmeeting when I run my online trading and educational rooms. It allows for a live interactivity that is unparalleled. There are many chat services, but this is the one that we have found most cost effective for our business.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Trading in the Zone by the late Mark Douglas. Not a difficult read, it stays rooted in reality. When you read it as a new trader you understand the concepts. However, when you read it later after you have done the work needed to become a successful trader, the book takes on a whole new meaning. Living the book and reading the book are two totally different things and closing the gap between potential and actual is what it is all about.
What is your favorite quote?
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t-you’re right” Henry Ford.
There is nothing truer in day trading. Mental attitude is more than 75% of the battle as the book by Mark Douglas confirms.
- Customer service is always #1.
- You are who you say you are
- Those who have not failed have not tried.
- The market can be predicted.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.