Hey traders, have you ever asked yourself this question. How can I work a little bit more sleep into my schedule? I know I do. With that being said, I often find myself waking up earlier and earlier as the year goes on. My original plan was to wake up at 6:30 every morning but somehow that has now turned into 5:30. I'm honestly worried that before I know it I will be back to waking up at 4am everyday and if the past is any predictor of the future, then that won't be a good thing.
While on a run today I was thinking of ways to be more efficient with my time. Many ideas came into mind such as stop checking emails, loading up the charts right away and skipping breakfast to name a few. Unfortunately all of these options would go against the section in my trading plan that says I have to be both mentally and physically prepared before trading each day. Then around mile 2 of my run it hit me. The task that took up the bulk of my time in the morning (aside from recording a video for The Syndicate Members
) was my market analysis. Since I am both a swing and day trader I have two separate sets of analysis that I must do each morning before trading. Although there is nothing that I can do to save time on my day trading pre market analysis , I have found a way to shorten my swing trading analysis and its actually something I do every once in a while anyway. All I have to do in order to become more time efficient is not delete my charts.
The potential setups that I look out for on the longer time frame charts (4 hr/Daily) are far and few. Therefore I've found that if I take the time to do some really in depth analysis on the weekend/Monday, then all I have to do is sit back and wait for the market to reach my zone. For you Pro Trader Course
graduates, this means basically doing the I, P and D of our I.P.D.E. This way instead of loading up the chats each morning and drawing out what I'm looking for from scratch (which isn't a bad idea), I already have a reminder on my charts of what's happening and simply have to take the time to look at price actions progress or for any new formations.
With all that being said, I still believe that for those who have time, it is a great idea to do fresh, full analysis each day. This will allow you to train your eyes for certain patterns a lot quicker as well as maybe pick up something that you may have missed previously. However, there are a few of us that just don't have enough hours in the day to complete everything we need to get done so instead of missing out on a good night's sleep, which is crucial to trading, here is a way that may help you out.
After returning home from a swim workout, (the part I hate most about training for a triathlon), I was delighted to come home to see a very nice email. Reading this email reminded me of the emails Jason would share with us during the Pro Trader Course. This made me realize that it was around this same exact time 2 years ago when I first signed up and started my "real" trading journey. It seems strange now, but at the time I felt like I was making one of those life changing decisions and well, I guess I was. As I went on to think about the past I asked myself this question "Akil you've have the same tools now that you did when you graduated from the Pro Trader Course so what has changed that allowed you to go from being a bad to a good trader? Well first of all I don't think I was ever a bad trader, just not a consistently good one. Many of you are familiar with my story and it may not seem like it but despite me blowing almost $50,000 dollars of a clients money I did have my shining moments. I think the main differences between myself as a rookie trader and trader I currently am are: discipline, patience, mindset and confidence.
Discipline was the hardest lesson for me to learn. I was fine when I was sitting in the live room with Jason every day, but as soon as I got out on my own my trading psychology started to take a hit. Winners started getting taken off the tables early, stops started getting taken out because of premature trailing. Trades started being taken because they "felt" good, and of course the big one, trades were passed up due to fear. As I look back over the past year and a half (the time passed since I rededicated myself to the craft) I can probably count on my hands the number of times that I've made one of the above mistakes. Don't get me wrong I'm 100% certain that they all have happened, the difference was they happened with much less frequency.
Patience was the second change that I noticed in not only my trading, but in lifestyle as a whole. Despite being told to start off by trading"1 system, on 1 pair, on 1 timeframe" over and over again, when I first started trading solo, I felt as if I had to trade everything that I saw. I'm telling you, I was a straight up cowboy. Every ABCD, every double top/bottom, every gartley, every fib retracement you name it, I was IN and I was in aggressively. When I look back at it now I almost feel embarrassed at my actions, but if there is one bright spot I could take from it, it's that taking all of those aggressive losses really helped me to notice the difference between a good potential reversal zone and a fraudulent one. These days, especially in my swing trading, I am a very patient traders. It takes a lot for me to enter a position and because of that I have missed out on a heck of a lot of moves. Fortunately, I now realize that it's not about how many moves I miss it's about the quality of the moves that I do pull the trigger on. This leads to the next major change that I noticed, which was in my trading mindset.
I notice this mindset a lot with many of the traders in my Live Room, especially with the newer traders. Everybody is focused on making money. I now realize that in trading the best and easiest way to make money is simply not to lose money. But let's be honest, many of us got involved in trading in the first place because we hear stories about average Joe's taking their small accounts and growing them into something crazy. Before signing up for Jason's course I stopped working 2 out of my 3 jobs in order to fully concentrate on trading. I was smart and put enough money aside to be able to "survive" for a certain amount of time, but always in the back of my head was the idea that I needed to eventually make ___% per month in order to live off of my trading only. What did this lead me to do, well as noted above, force trades and then try to get revenge from the losing trades that I forced by forcing even more trades. Once the business relationship between my client and I ended, I began trading my own personal account once again. Due to my account size being so small, the idea of making a living off only trading was pretty much erased from my mind and instead of worrying about making money, my primary focus was on getting better and mastering the art of the trade.
As I became better as a trader, my confidence as a trader continued to increase as well. Now I've always had confidence, but there has also always been that little voice in the back of my head saying "are you sure you want to take this?" This was the same voice that was causing me to skip trades as mentioned earlier. Now honestly, that voice has never gone away. It still whispers in my ear every time I see an aggressive bearish candle heading down to my buy limit orders. The difference is I now ignore it. I have 100% confidence in my trading system and more importantly, 100% confidence in myself in that win or lose I made the right call.
So looking back 2 years a lot has changed in my trading career. I now show much more discipline in my trading, I'm very patient when running through my I.P.D.E. (Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute), my mindset is in the correct place, and I have a lot more confidence all around. All of these factors have lead to me becoming a consistently successful trader. However, there is one trait that has never once changed throughout this journey, and that is my level of commitment. Before ever hearing about Jason Stapleton, or Triple Threat Trading, or any of that stuff I made the commitment to become a professional trader. Again, I stopped working 2 jobs in order to become completely dedicated to my goal. I blew an account and got right back on the horse. I blew another big load of money and got right back on the horse. I knew in my head that I was going to do everything necessary to succeed even if it meant going back to cleaning banks and day care centers at night. There was no possible way that I was ever going to quit. Even when I made stupid decisions and thought I was going to go broke, I would tell myself that I would simply work my behind off until I earned enough money to fund another account then try again. Taking courses and attending seminars is great but without that PURE DESIRE, what does it really mean? Hell of a 2 year ride. I can only imagine what I'll be writing about 2 years from now.
Thank you for your time.
My trip to Triple Threat headquarters was a lot of fun. The only problem that I had is that it ended to early. Due to another obligation I had to be in Colorado by Thursday afternoon which meant I had to leave Kansas City almost directly after the Live Room closed. However before I packed up I did have some unfinished business that I had to attend to and that was beating either Darren, Todd or Matt in a game of P.I.P.S. If you've ever played any basketball then you're probably familiar with the game of horse. Well think of pips as a shortened game of horse on a mini basketball hoop in the office. I was getting my behind whooped all week and was determined to get some vengeance before I left. (Sigh) Although this didn't happen I did end with a few respectable performances and most importantly didn't have to serve time on the "Shake Weight" (if you want an explanation just let me know).
Seriously though, when I first arrived Jason and I sat down to have a talk about future goals. At the time I had a broad idea of what I wanted to do but that was about it. This bothered me a bit because we've had this conversation in the past and in all honesty I should have had something more detailed planned out. Before leaving I did have a chance to run some more ideas by him and they ended up being something that he was interested in. This was good to hear, but I also knew that I was slacking and needed to put a lot more thought into what I want to make out of my future. My future is something I think about often, especially when I have a lot of time to myself and since I had a two hour flight to Denver followed by a two hour drive to Pueblo, I had plenty of this time available. As I often do, I proceeded to write down every idea I had until something good came out of it. That's been my brainstorming technique ever since I was a little kid. I was never the guy that was afraid to have a stupid idea, I would just shoot out idea after idea after idea out until somebody would "hey that's a good one." Think of it like this. If you're shooting at a target and have a thousand bullets or arrows at your disposal, if you just shoot the general there's a good chance that at least one of those thousand shots will hit the target. And at this point if bullets were ideas, I literally had about a thousand.
I believe that every once in a while we need to do something that gives us that spark and ignites our flame. I'm a very motivated person by nature simply because I'm a hardcore competitor and look at life as a competition that I want to win. However it's hard to have that fire all of the time. Being a trader makes it even harder since most of us are alone during our trading day. One thing that does motivate me is seeing and talking to other successful people, and although I do have some very successful and well off people that I talk to on a consistent basis, the type of motivation that I received from meeting with the T2t team was a lot different. My uncle is a well off individual that came from nothing to being a very well known name in the music industry. He is a very humble person and if you ever saw him you wouldn't think for a minute that he is worth how much he is worth. However, when I do see him (which isn't too often) I pay close attention to what he has and the life that he created and tell myself "I want that life" which motivates me. This is the same feeling I got when in KC, yet the motivation factor was even stronger because I know that I have a similar set of skills as they do. Because of this I have no excuses for not achieving that same life. So to me instead of it being just a dream or a thought, I can actually see the end result of what I've been working for and that makes me more hungry for success than. For three days I had a taste, now it's time to go after the full meal.
After the Live Room closed is when the real fun began. And by fun I mean me finally getting the barbeque that I was craving since I got into town. Just kidding. Although we did order barbeque the fun came when I got to learn a little more about the ins and outs of Triple Threat as a company beyond the trading side of things. I like to think that I've always had a business type of mind. Therefore when Jason and Todd started talking about the marketing side of things it was right up my alley. Now obviously I wasn't able to follow everything that was being said but it sparked my interest none the less. Oh and by the way, I also got to meet Rick from The Pro Trader Network which was pretty cool since we've written for each other's sites in the past. Anyway, sitting in the team business meeting really allowed me to see how much work actually goes into the presentations that Jason and Todd do. Believe it or not they just don't roll out of bed and decide to do a Ratio launch or something like that. It takes a heck of a lot of time to plan it out in order to deliver the best product possible. Looking back on things maybe this is why I've always enjoyed their presentations more than the millions of other free webinars that I've attended over the years. These meetings were short yet pretty inspirational and gave me a lot to think about since I as well am always thinking towards the future and trying to figure out what's the next move in my career. I love doing the live room, it allows be to help others that are sitting in the same place I was a few years ago and honestly it has helped my trading as well. With that being said I know that I have much more to offer, I just don't know what yet. This was a question that both Jason and Todd were very helpful with. They've been doing this for a while and basically told me that my limits are endless in this field and it all depended on how much work I was willing to put in. It was really great to receive this encouragement from them and know that they're here to help me further my career rather than just using me to help themselves. Not that I expected that, but many of us have had jobs where are bosses or colleagues secretly don't want us to progress because of fear that we may surpass them or whatnot.
When the trading day was over Todd and I went out to see a movie. Yes we had a date lol. Nothing builds a relationship like seeing the Hunger Games and watching kids kill other kids for sport. With all seriousness I did enjoy the film. Anyway, after the movie we went to grab a quick bite to eat which gave me a chance to really pick his mind on a few things. My questions didn't concern any trading techniques or marketing tactics, I wanted to know about THE LIFE. It was in late 2001 when I told myself that I was going to be a millionaire by the time I turned 30. I don't really like to call it a goal because I didn't want it to feel like something I was shooting for, but would be okay if I didn't achieve it. I told myself that I have to and have kept that mindset ever since. With that being said (and I hope I don't sound cocky, because trust me I'm far far far away from this goal), I plan on being worth a million dollars by the time I'm 30. That's just my mindset. Since I plan on reaching financial freedom in the future, I wanted to talk to somebody that is in a good position about the lifestyle. Todd was the perfect person to talk to this about because he has been doing this for so long. He explained the ups and downs, the good and the bad and even some of the mistakes that he made when he was younger. This conversation may have been one of the most rewarding conversations that I've ever had since I can relate to some of the decisions that he used to make. I was only a day into Kansas City and I already felt as if I learned a week's worth of lessons.