I get really tired of people asking me “how is that trading thing going?”  For the longest time I had no idea how to answer that.  I have gone through so many ups and downs, times of self doubt, learning, practicing, relearning, big wins and total blow outs, it was hard to explain that I love it but really had nothing to show for it.   

Yesterday I was asked that question yet again, but this time, from out of my mouth came a surprising and unexpected answer, I said to my friend, “Well, I’ve made it through the first 2 years, so I’m doing better than most small businesses, and now that I have all my assets in place things are really starting to take off.”  Pretty good answer I thought, of course that was followed by “so your winning some money huh dude?”  I just simply sighed and replied, “No man, I don’t gamble, I earn my money…dude”

Now I hadn’t thought about that answer before I said it, but I sure spent the rest of the day contemplating the words I had chosen.  ‘Assets’; this had nothing to do with my account balance, while a considerable sum of money to me, it’s still considered a meager amount in many eyes.  No that word meant something entirely different, to me it meant my Knowledge and Discipline.

When I started trading I was the total cliché of a newbie trader. Couldn’t spot a valid setup to save my life, draw a ton of lines with a ton indicators and still not make sense of it all, and a nervous wreck when I did get into a trade.  It’s an old story you’ve either heard or lived before.  But today, like many of you, I see patterns everywhere, and as such we are often tasked with analyzing patterns within patters to identify the more valid setup. We have to pick and choose the best of the best, and then demonstrate the will and obedience to trade those setups responsibly.  

Akil has written about his room members profiting back to back on sequential patterns within larger formations. An absolute awesome ability, but one that has taken time, experience, practice, repetition, determination, conditioning and so many other aspects of training and study by these traders to achieve.  To be able identify and execute these opportunities both wisely and effectively, now that’s some knowledge, that is discipline. For all of us it has taken a lot of hard work, a lot, to get to this point, and I personally think much, much more personal growth to be able to maintain it.  It has been an amazing journey thus far, but guess what folks, we ain’t done yet,  not by a long shot.

We never actually will be done, learning and growing that is.  The more knowledge and discipline we acquire, the more of it we seek it out.  It’s the whole ’the more you know the more you know you don't know’ paradox, but thankfully one I’m very happy to be stuck in.  Andre once wrote about hitting the ‘preverbal market gym’, a term I love, and with it I try to exercise my trading everyday through reading, interacting with other traders, or hitting the heavy bag on my demo account.  Sometimes it’s as simple as just re-reading your rules or maybe keeping an open mind to someone else’s ideas.

Knowledge and discipline are very much assets, like any other they can be utilized to acquire something else.  We may use money to fund our accounts, but money alone is incomplete, we require the knowledge and discipline to fuel future growth.  They all work together and are co-dependent in a big, beautiful circle, where the need of the one is essential to the need of the whole. Try charting  those assets on an equity curve and you’ll be shocked at how well it mirrors your account balance.  That’s the kind of equity curve I measure my success by.

So in summary, guess what I’m saying here is this;  The more I learn, the more I earn, and I am sure not done learning yet. Pretty simple. Thanks for reading, and be well my friends.

Kaizen,
~Roy
Steve Olsen
4/16/2012

Encouraging words!

Reply
Darren Oglesbee
4/16/2012

Excellent post Roy! A perfect illustration of the attitude and thought process of a true professional.

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David Alcindor
4/16/2012

Excellent perspective Roy. Great lessons for every traders to live by.

David

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Roy
4/16/2012

Thank you very much guys, I appreciate the comments. Big thanks to Akil for hosting and having me :)

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Akil
4/16/2012

Great post Roy. It's traders like you that really make me think that there is a clear line dividing the mindset that successful and unsuccessful traders have. What's great is that it seems like the majority of us started on the other side of things and eventually made the switch. This tells me that there is hope for all traders out there as long as they are able to make the correct mental changes needed. I think once you understand how the equity curve works in life, it makes it easier to deal with the "down periods" that this business and life in general offer, because we know that the small step backwards will allow us to project further in the future and surpass our current accomplishments.

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2I think success has no rules, but you can learn a lot from failure.

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