Focus On The TRADES Not The Money!
To ask this of any trader, who’s main goal is to MAKE MONEY, could be considered unfair or unrealistic because to make the priority anything other than the goal seems a bit counterintuitive unless… the priority inevitably ensures the goal is achieved.
Something that, I think, explains this well is sports. Trading can most times be compared to sports. ALL teams can have set a goal to WIN, but the focus cannot be WINNING. The focus must be on measurable targets and sub-goals (if you will) that, if completed, almost guarantee end success.
In team sports, ALL the managers want to win, but only one does at the end of the season. The victorious manager won because they focused on something that had less to do with the goal and more to do with building a CONSISTENT PROCESS OF EXECUTION.
The winning comes after that. So logically, your focus needs to be the thing that comes BEFORE the goal. The Prerequisites:
“A thing that is required as a prior condition for something else to happen or exist” – Oxford English Dictionary.
What comes before?
The Trade. You have to trade before you get the money. If you get the trading right, the money is inevitable. But how? How do you stop focusing on the money? The red and blue on the way to your goals?
Some of you will have heard a lot of traders saying REMOVE your terminal from your screen. This is a great psychological tool that can help you stay present and take the signals that your PROVEN strategy gives you.
I say proven because if you’re still building a system, this article is NOT for you. This is for the traders who know their SYSTEMS make money, but THEY can’t trade it and make money with it.
Find a way to remove or change your bottom line to show what matters (a great way is journaling), THE TRADES. Did you win? Did you lose? How far did price move against you on your losers? And how far did price move in your favor on your winners?
If you still don’t understand why wining and money should not be your main focus, that’s okay. Let me give you more reasons.
Focusing on execution instead helps your psychology and helps you stay in the moment!
If you have watched or watch motorsport racing, you will notice that the racers are often surprised to learn their position in the championship standings, often finding out from the commentators how many points up, or down, they are.
A viewer sitting at home might think it is crucial for the driver to know where they are in the standings, so they know who they need to beat.
Truth is, they don’t care too much where they are in the standings. What they do care about is the present moment, the current race. Is the car or bike setup performing well? How are their sector times throughout the lap during different circumstances?
They want to win! But they know the winning doesn’t happen unless they get to extract the max out of the car or bike on THAT day.
As soon as it’s over, it’s in the past. Almost immediately, they shift their mental onto the next race. The next trade.
The past is an archive to learn from, nothing more. No emotions lie in the past, and all the focus is on the NEXT event and to get the best out of that event.
The pro drivers are always focused on their process of execution and doing it better every time. This is why you, as a trader, should focus on your CONSISTENT PROCESS OF EXECUTION…
Focusing on that helps you control your emotions and keeps you from making errors because of your feelings.
When the focus becomes executing your trades better, you can almost look forward to the next trade regardless of how your last went. Because you’re always just trying to EXECUTE better, CUT losses better, HOLD winner better, MANAGE RISK better.
If the money is away from view, the detachment becomes much more comfortable because most of our attachment to trades is because of money, whether we made money or lost money.
If you lose money, it is only natural to get nervous or anxious to place trades because you don’t want to LOSE again.
If you’re trying to get better, you want to TRY again, until you get it right OVER and OVER and OVER again until you are consistently profitable.
As a last note, I want to say that confidence usually comes when you are consistently profitable. So Focus on the things that will better your results, and your confidence will improve!
Don’t bet the farm.
Don’t lose your shirt.
Cut the L.
Keep the W.