Hey traders and welcome back to another edition of Notes from a Newbie. I wanted to start off this week by thanking Christian Sisson for putting out a fantastic Notes from a Newbie blog last week in my absence. I can’t give enough accolades to the coaches and team members at Tackle Trading, we really do embrace a team first mentality and will be forever grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it. Which also happens to lead me into this week’s discussion and why I needed a fill in last week to begin with. So, allow me to give you a little update on what has been going with me since I am sure most of you reading this can relate in some capacity.
So like many traders and probably 99% of new traders (not a proven statistic, but probably a good guess) I have been experiencing this little thing called….LIFE! Much like the stock market, conditions in life often change as well. Like many of you, my life after joining the Tackle team was forever changed. I became obsessed with all things trading. I was (am still am) obsessed with becoming successful in this profession. One of my characteristics is that once I set my mind on something, I go all in. So, for the first 6 months I devoted almost every free second I had to learning, studying the coaches techniques, learning from other traders, and learning what it takes to be successful in this game. Well as life usually does, it had other plans for me, albeit for the betterment of my professional career. I went from a job that afforded me the opportunity to devote time both to my professional career in the Army, as well as my progression as a new trader to one that requires me to devote 80% of my time to my professional and collegiate studies. And let’s not forget the 15% that is devoted to my family and kids’ extracurricular activities. So why I am I telling you all this? Because what you do with that extra 5% can be the difference in success or failure.
Like many traders who live busy lives, I have now found myself truly testing my abilities to manage multiple priorities. There is an old saying that goes “When everything is a priority than nothing is a priority.” And for the first time in my young trading career my daily routine is being battle tested. To go from someone that could easily watch candles on a 1 min chart to someone who can check the markets once or twice a day (if I’m lucky) can be a bit of an emotional experience. From someone who didn’t miss a coach’s lounge or show to someone that hasn’t seen one in weeks. From someone who had a daily and weekly routine to someone who having to re-learn time management techniques. So how do we as new traders adjust to obstacles in our trading journey? We all have them, we all have an excuse or 20 as to why we can’t devote time to improving as a trader. We all have that period where the honeymoon phase, the excitement of being a new trader wears off and life starts to re-assert itself. It’s what we do next that defines your success. Its what we call the “why”, and it will always be there when adversity comes calling.
Let’s be very clear, quitting is never and will never be an option. I am firm believer that adversity builds character, and this is just another obstacle on the road to financial freedom. Let’s call it a small tax that I owe to the market gods. So where do I go from here you might ask?
Well like a good trader does I have to adjust my tactics. I will adjust my positions, lessen my exposure, tighten my stops, and lower my risk tolerance. I have always been more of an aggressive trader, which to me was easier to manage when I could monitor price action in real time. I will now take a less aggressive approach and focus more on cash flow and higher probability but lower return trades. See this may be a blessing in disguise after all. But what I won’t do is stop trading. My point behind all of this is to never stop learning, never stop trading. Find the time in your busy life, no matter how small, to devote to your trading journey. An exercise that has worked for me is to take a few minutes and actually journal out everything you have done today. From the time you woke up to the time you went to bed, write down what you have done. If you want to find where your time goes, this will tell you. I promise you, you will find some time in there to devote to trading. I know I did.
There are so many success stories from traders who have fought adversity, on the brink of quitting but kept pushing through. If you need some more inspiration go listen to this week’s podcast, where Jabon Wilson talks about his journey to financial freedom and the adversity he faced. He, like me, used to be obsessed with watching the market tick, and it wasn’t until he learned to master cash flow systems that he realized just how much more freedom he had. It was a fantastic story and one that is an inspiration to me now.
So, if you are like me and have obstacles standing in the way of your journey, whatever you do don’t quit. Make some adjustments, call an audible, and keep pounding, it will only make us better traders in the end. Good luck and see you next week!