Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Psychology of Those Who Win

Last year I gave a talk at a conference of traders and concluded the session by giving out my email address and phone number and inviting the attendees to contact me for any help they might need. I made it clear that I would not be soliciting them as commercial clients for coaching and that I would not charge them for time spent with them.

One of the participants approached me at the end of the session and expressed surprise that I would make myself so widely available at no charge. He noted that there were over 100 traders in the session and that I could easily be swamped with calls.

I smiled and simply said, "We'll see."

Within a two week period, I counted all the contacts that resulted and tracked who initiated them. It was a very easy task, because there was only one contact. It was from a very successful independent trader. No one else followed up.

And that's the way it usually is: Of the people with professed trading passions, only a fraction will sustain keeping any kind of journal or performance record; of those, only a fraction will use the journal and performance data to set and pursue concrete goals; of those, only a fraction will reach out for assistance in achieving those goals.

On the whole, people fail to reach high levels of success because they are not doing the things that successful people do: they are not on a path that can possibly lead to success. Traders can repeat positive affirmations and invoke positive images, but nothing replaces the hard work associated with preparation, practice, and focused work on oneself and one's craft.

The motivation to trade? Everyone has that. The motivation to be more than who you are: that's what makes winners.

And by the way, that one guy who did follow up and call me? He made well over $1,000,000 last year.

And he still calls.