Have you ever seen a salesman just before they give a big pitch? The bad ones look nervous, sweaty, out of place. The great ones look confident, excited, prepared. Sometimes you might even catch them looking in a mirror almost muttering to themselves. Yet when the day is done; the sale is theirs.
How is this?
Mindset. Having the skills to do the job with the confidence to do it well. This is an incredible combination, and that muttering you sometimes see is really them telling themselves their own phrases to succeed.
While anyone can learn how to trade; not everyone will succeed. The setup may be the same, the temporary loss may be the same. Yet one trader may look at the loss and jump, while the other sticks to their plan and wins. If you gave the same winning tip to 5 traders you’d have 5 separate outcomes because they would get in their own way.
How do you solve this problem? Like any other problem; Mindset. Things will go wrong, but the traders with the best mindset will outlast any other trader over a long enough horizon. Even if the weak minded trader has a better plan, more capital, and more time, the trader with a stronger mindset will come out on top 100% of the time over a long enough timeline.
Why? Because with the right mindset; everything else catches up. With the wrong mindset; everything else get’s passed.
Here are 5 phrases you must start saying to yourself every single day if you want to become a professional trader. Say them when you have trades on, say them when you have nothing on, say them when you are backtesting, say them before you go to sleep. Develop a strong mindset, and everything else will be easier to come by.
#1. Don’t Waste a Day.
Success in trading takes time. Everyone gets so jacked up and ready to knock it out after a long webinar weekend and after a few set backs they’re ready to throw in the towel by thursday. Stop focusing on beating this game in a week. Focus on accomplishing something every single day that gets you closer to your goals. Some days may have significant progress; some days may be baby steps. As long as you live by this mantra 7 days a week, you will get there.
No access to a monitor? Read. No access to a book? Think about a winning setup you recently saw and how to build off that. No time to think that out? Say your 5 phrases and build up your mindset.
Do something Everyday. No Exceptions.
#2. Would the trader I want to be in a year do what I’m about to do today?
Building on #1, this takes it to a whole other level. You can get too exact with this and stop doing everything but trading, however, that’s not advised.
What is advised is focusing on what you really want. Are you studying to be an equity swing trader? Then focus on that. Stop considering day trading strategies because that’s not who you want to be in a year. Are you wanting to have a $10,000 account to trade with in a year? Then stop eating out 4x a week and start saving it. This phrase can be taken as literal or as little as you want it. Under no circumstances should you sacrifice family time or family expenses here, that is not the goal. Simply make sure you’re not putting yourself ahead of your year away self very often through this.
#3. Hard Work Beats Talent when Talent Doesn’t Work Hard.
Ever seen a winning team coast by because they think they got it made, only to get passed over near the end of the game? There’s a reason most teams don’t stay champions year after year. Most success results in mediocrity; you’ve got to keep at it. There’s always someone hungrier than you, and if you coast, they’ll pass you by.
#4. Reward Effort More than Results.
Stop looking at your bottom line first. You can take an awful trade and make money and a great trade and lose money. The key is looking at your tracked trades and seeing how many trades were part of your plan.
If you follow the CTP way you won’t go live until you prove your plan out. If you are live with a proven plan and all 20/20 trades for the month were part of the plan then reward yourself at the end of the month whether you won or lost. The plan has proven itself out over the long haul. A bad month should only be a bad month if your efforts were bad, not your end P&L. That will handle itself over the long haul.
#5. Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop.
There will be days when you want to give up. Days where your plan fails 100% of the time. Days where you just can’t see yourself doing this for another week let alone another year or longer.
When this happens, remember why you started here in the first place. Remember what got you to this point. Once you remember that, just tell yourself “Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop.” Say it over and over and over again until you believe you will not stop until you succeed. Then do something about it.
Analyze what went wrong, track your data, look at old data to compare, go get some exercise and clear your mind, get yourself back in it.
Once you’re back; say these 5 things again. You’ll start to see things differently. Start to believe you really cannot stop until you succeed. Because you’re starting to have a mindset of a winning trader.