By Sherrie Nish
Plenty of important elements go into setting up a business. This includes a trading business. Some of the most important things in your trading business might be your capital, profitability, having patience, the psychology of trading or your frame of mind. However, the number one priority in a trading business is the trader.
Without the trader, the rest of the elements that make up the business do not really matter. A professional golfer may be comparable to a trading business. Just as we don’t have any control over the market, a pro golfer does not have any control over the weather, the course and other variables. However, when they go out to play a professional golf tournament, they don’t turn to someone and ask him or her to take their clubs and play the next five holes because they need a nap. That is not the way their business works.
Tiger Woods was a superb golfer until he started into a bit of a downward slide. What really happened? His downfall was probably due to several things but it seems like he could not manage the business and the business was himself.
You can’t discount the important element of the trader in the trading business. Some will baby their computers, the internet and other things, but when it comes to taking care of themselves, that is not a priority.
If you don’t emphasize the well-being of the trader, it will cause many problems at some point. The biggest health issues facing us in health care right now, obesity, diabetes and heart disease, aren’t always health issues. They most likely are lifestyle issues and are self-inflicted. If you continue to do what you have always done expecting a different result, then that is an exercise in insanity.
Evaluate. Then Get Yourself Into Top Physical Condition Within the physical section of your big planning book, start evaluating what you can do to get yourself into top physical condition. Your trading business is going to depend on the shape you are in. It is as simple as that! Instead of ignoring your physical health and condition, start doing something about it. Since you are the only one who can truly operate the business, it is very important to your business operations. Take care of the trader. Make sure your vacations are laid out in your planner. If the trader suffers, the business will suffer.
Physical Workspace Top traders are able to focus on what they are watching at the moment, partly because they don’t have a cluttered workspace. Take a good look at your workspace. Get it and your surroundings into a non-distracting mode. Throw out the stuff you don’t need. Make sure your chair is comfortable. Limit the noise, the people traffic and the distractions.
Productive Planner Pointers Using the Panda Planner and red and green pens or pencils, each day color in whether or not you were profitable. This will give you, at a glance, just how profitable you were for the month. This is done on the monthly page and an example is shown below.
The idea is to see more green than red. Be sure to set a goal for the following month. This may sound like a silly game, but over time, this has a way of setting your mind at ease. It works.
On the Daily pages, be sure to put in an Affirmation in the place provided. Take the time to get your mind on the things you are trying to accomplish and what your focus is for the day. It can also include something you are trying to perfect in your trading.
Use the “Today’s Priorities” section for the things you really want to focus on that day. The “Schedule” times are an ideal place to make a quick notation of the times you took a trade. Be sure to include whether you were up or down and by how much.
The “Tasks” area is a good spot write down your emotion associated with each trade: Were you jumping in or once in, were you antsy or holding your breath? Was your heart racing or were you fidgety? Did you have your nose pasted to the monitor? Take the time to evaluate and journal your emotion for each trade. It comes down to a simple formula: The body + the mind = emotion. Getting control of the emotions will make trading a far less “cliff-hanging” experience.
The planner keeps you evaluating the most important thing and that is the trader. This is because the trader is really the only thing you have any control over.
At the end of the day, write down your winning trades and how you could improve them. At the end of the week, you can evaluate every day to see a pattern of behavior. You will be able to come up with some strategies to change the behaviors that you need to modify for improved profitability. The key is to operate a profitable business.
All of the above gives you some ideas to practice with from now until the end of December. Use and get used to them so that when the New Year starts and you’ve got your 2018 trading year laid out in front of you, it will just be a matter of when you’re going to take what trades off of what signals.
Remember to take the opportunity to explain trading to someone else. Teaching cements it into your brain. There is also some kind of psychological connection between writing things down and your brain, which cements what you are doing. This doesn’t happen as easily when notes are taken on a computer.
Next time we get together, the topic will be the emotion section. There are many things in common with successful traders. It is helpful if you can understand some of the things they have used to get themselves to the point of being successful and the emotions behind their success.