Hello traders! I am currently in our beautiful center in Denver, Colorado enjoying a brisk bit of late spring weather before heading out to our home office in Irvine, California. As I look up to the mountains in the distance, I hardly need to remind myself of some of the stories of successful student traders I’ve come across. One of the many terrific things about being a profitable (self-employed!) trader is the fact that you can do what you want with your time. This week’s newsletter will go into the great things about trading for a living, and a few ways to help keep you on track of your actual goals.
As I’ve written about numerous times over the past few years of writing these Lessons from the Pros newsletters, successful traders are technically their own boss. I like to look at things in a slightly different perspective; I choose to use my goals as my “boss.” One trader I know has a goal of owning a Ferrari FF, which is not your typical Ferrari. This particular model has two doors, all-wheel drive and a hatchback body style. It has a white exterior and brown saddle leather and white stitching interior. Again, not your typical Ferrari! She is very specific with this goal. In fact, she has a picture of this car as her screensaver on her computer.
Another trader I know has goals of a silver Mercedes Benz Sprinter van as a recreational vehicle, traveling the country, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and trading from his laptop. To me, this is a very admirable goal!
How about the trader who sold everything his family owned, moved into a travel trailer/RV monster truck rig, and travels about the country home schooling his two kids while trading on a part time basis? Definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but his family loves it!
And then there is the trader who moved from Puerto Rico to Miami, Florida and now spends his trading hours in a Starbucks using their free Wi-Fi?
Perhaps you have picked up on a bit of a theme here. Many successful traders have an entrepreneurial mindset. To me, this means that they have a specific goal in mind and do what it takes to achieve this particular goal. I’m sure many of you have heard of Henry Ford, who failed at business endeavors several times before he had the Ford Motor Company. Did he quit after just one failure? Obviously not. Through determination and a strong will, he made at least one of his companies into something amazing. It shouldn’t surprise any of you by now that the most successful entrepreneurs have “failed” at several businesses before finally making it. Quitting after your first failed trade, or your first bad month basically tells me that you didn’t want it bad enough to begin with. Go back to work; not everyone is cut out to be a trader.
What I’m trying to tell you is that we all have our reasons to trade; and your reason is NOT to “make money.” The reason is what the extra money allows you to do, be it volunteer, travel, quit a job, buy a fancy car, whatever. By holding these goals as your boss and motivation, you should be more disciplined to achieve these goals. Every time you take a trade on a level that might not be great, you know your probability on the trade goes down. What do you think happens to your goals when you take low probability trades? That’s right; the goals get further and further away. If you have the discipline to only take the high quality zones where the probability is higher, your goals get closer and closer until they are actually in your grasp.
So, here are a few ways to help hold yourself accountable to these goals, your bosses! First, put a picture of what it is you are trading for on your computer background. Whenever you start up your trading computer your goal: car, house, vacation spot, anything, will be staring you in the face.
Do you wear a rubber band around your wrist? No? Then start. Every time you look down and see it, you will be reminded of your particular goal. Of course, you could do the obvious thing and put pictures of your goals in your office or on your fridge, but you’ve already thought of that, haven’t you? How about getting a coffee mug of your next travel destination? Over time, you could have a cupboard of mugs showing where you’ve been!
Another thing you can do is subscribe to some of the daily motivation websites, be it on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, it doesn’t matter. Some people ask, “Why would I need daily motivation for my goals?” My response is always “Do you exercise every day? Why?” or “Do you brush your teeth every day? Why?” The answer should be obvious. We need this motivation every day to stay on course.
I know this week’s newsletter is a bit off the beaten path of what I usually write about but hopefully it has helped some of you in a small way.
Until next time,