Do you like to read? I love to read. It’s one of my favorite things to do and I think one of the vices that I have. I don’t smoke or drink or anything, but if I were to say, what do you spend the most money on? For me it’s books. You go to my house, we have a whole room that’s just a library which is full as, I don’t know, like eight or 12 bookshelves. They’re all full. There are books all over the living rooms, there are books in my bathroom.
There’s books in my office, in my bedroom. My wife keeps adding bookshelves everywhere she can to keep my books off the floor, off the dresser, everywhere. And I just finished two books that I want to talk about today. And I normally, I read three or four books at a time depending on what mood I’m in. But these two books, when I finished them, it kind of hit me that I enjoyed both of them and I agreed with both of them, but both were talking about the opposite thing.
And I know that in trading we also have this particular notion that perhaps we need to change. And so let me tell you about these books. The first one is called Where The Magic Happens and it’s a memoir, true story told by the man and he has just gotten back. It’s a new book. So he just came back from a sailing trip around the world. Now the cool thing is that he took his wife and his three children, which were all under 10 years of age. So as a family, they bought a sail boat and they sailed from England all the way around the world and came back and it took them two years to do that.
To me, that was exciting, exhilarating, amazing. The fact that you are with your three children stuck in a small boat the size of maybe a hotel room and you actually sailed around the world. It’s something … maybe in a cruise ship I would be okay with, but in a small boat with the hurricanes and squalls and pirates and all this stuff, I don’t know if I had the guts to do that, but they did it. And the amazing thing was in the book he breaks it down into two pieces, two sections. The first section of the book is how they actually made it happen. And then the second is actually the story of month by month or whatever of where they went and what they did and all the experiences and all that. The first section of the book, it takes him four years to get ready.
It took them four years to meticulously plan every detail of their trip. I mean, they had to take multiple courses, they had to take some courses just to become a ship doctor and learn how to prescribe medicine and health and issues of that nature. They had to take courses on sailing. They had to take courses on boat maintenance. They had to take courses on education for their kids. They had to get all this stuff ready, every contingency that they could think of. What could go wrong, what could go wrong. They had to learn how to cook in a small kitchen, what the food to store and what to not and had to plan every single stop or at least try to as best as they could of where they were going to go, where they were going to stop, where are the best places, how do you stay away from pirates, what are the best shipping lanes to be in and what are not to be in where all that stuff.
And they had to do this for years in advance. So one of the things they did was when they first decided, the husband and wife decided, “Hey, we’re going to do this” they made it a family thing. And then every Sunday night they would sit down and go through their list of all the things that they had done that week and how far or how close they are to their dream of leaving. And that was their dream. That was their big goal. Their big, hairy, audacious goal. We’re going to sail around the world as a family. They didn’t even have a boat when they started. So not only did they have to get all their finances ordered, they had to buy a boat, they had to be able to pay for the trip. They had to take care of education and schooling and they had to take care of what their apartment was going to happen, to their flat.
Where they going to rent it out, are they going to sell it or just block it up? Who knows? Every single detail of their trip had to be planned in advance. And the thing was, they were crazy enough to tell people about it. They committed. They said, “Yeah, we’re going to sail around the world. We’re going to sail around the world. We’re going to sail around the world.” And they told everybody, they really put their foot down. They put a line in the sand and said, “This is what we’re going to do.” And at first everybody thought they were crazy, so they had to fight it. But the point is that they decided to do something. They listed out all the steps that they had to take, and one by one by one, they knocked all those dominoes down until they were able to start their trip.
They actually did the trip and they came back. And the way they talk about it in the book, it was the best thing that probably ever going to happen in their lives. All five of them were totally changed. They were different individuals when they came back, not only because they accomplished something, but they worked together as a family for that whole period of time. They did things that they never would have thought they would be able to do. They faced difficulties together.
And it was just an amazing experience all around. So to me that really … it resonated with me because I’m a goal setter. I like setting goals. When I was little, I talked to this guy, I met him at a seminar, his name was Mark Victor Hansen. He was one of the speakers. And I was talking to him and one of his things is he says that you have to have a list of goals in your life, at least a hundred goals that you want to have in your life. And I rushed home and I wrote down everything, I mean I want to own a professional football team and I want to do this, I want to do that. And I want to sail around the world in a world cruise. Not a yacht, but an actual cruise boat.
I want to do that. I want to own a thousand rental properties and I want to have my own university. I have all these goals that I have set from back then. And so yeah, I’ve studied goal setting and one of my favorite books of all time is Think And Grow Rich, which is basically if you want something, you got to really focus on it. You got to make it your goal in a sense. And you just go after it 100% and if you have the burning desire, you can get it. And that’s what I always tell you guys, that if you have that why nothing can stop you from achieving your goals, achieving your dreams. And so this family proved it all and that’s why they call it, you know, Where The Magic Happens because all these influences were put together and they came together and they were able to make magic.
And for them or for anybody else, I think it’s an amazing feat to have a family of five and three kids under 10 years of age and travel for two years around the world. Not even just traveling, but sailing. Can you imagine that? You’re in the middle of the ocean and you can’t see anything or anyone around you for miles and miles and miles. You can’t see anything. If something happens, guess what? You’re on your own. You have to be resourceful in order to fix the problem, or you’re going to sink and kill your family. And that’s a real, real danger out there that they had to face. But they did it.
Now the other book that I finished, it was called The Surrender Experiment. Now this book is also a first-person memoir, and it’s written by a fellow who started off as a normal person in college. But then he had what he calls a enlightening experience, a spiritual experience. And so he started meditating and he pretty much became a hippie. But then as he goes through his life, he tells the whole story and he goes from being a hippie to being able to have a house in the woods and owning land, to starting a company, to making the company grow, to taking the company public to becoming, I think he’s a billionaire now by selling the company.
And now he’s helped hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people through his books and his organization. And he’s still promoting and he’s still talking and still helping people. But his whole thing about life and his old surrender experiment, the experiment was to let go, to not make goals, to trust in the universe and to believe that whatever comes your way is supposed to come your way, that everything works out because of the way it’s supposed to.
And for somebody to think that way and live that way, you would think. Yeah. Okay. He’s a hippie. He’s living in the woods because he has nothing. Yeah, sure. “But no. This guy is a CEO or he was a CEO of a public corporation that they sold for hundreds of millions of dollars and now he’s, who knows how much … he’s a rich man by just letting things come to him. He didn’t have a goal to become a rich man. That’s not what he wanted at all, but everything just came to him, came to him, came to him. For example, one story he said was that while he was in college, in grad school, he wanted to get away for one of the vacations, spring break or winter break or something and he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know where to go. And so he heard two people over talking about Mexico.
Okay, whatever. Passing. And you just heard that. Then there was a new story on TV or something about Mexico and he’s like, “Mexico. I don’t know anybody in Mexico. I don’t know where to go and Mexico or anything.” And then he was filling up gas in his van and on the top of the gas he found a map. Somebody had left a map of Mexico and he’s like, “Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. Maybe I should go to Mexico.” Okay.
So he hopped in the van when break came and he drove on down to Mexico. Now he didn’t know anybody in Mexico, never been in Mexico, didn’t know where to go in Mexico, he kept driving until he found a nice place to park and stop. And through his time in Mexico, not only did he have an amazing time, he was going there to meditate, so he didn’t need much. But he met a lot of super nice people that helped him, that took care of him, that advised him, kept him safe. And then he came back and he had a wonderful trip. But nothing of it was planned. Not a single item was planned on that trip except, Oh, I think I should go to Mexico. I got all these signs pointing me to Mexico.”
Now when it comes to my life, I can relate to that as well. There have been so many instances that have occurred in my life that have pointed me in a direction, and my wife, she calls him miracles. I don’t know what you call him, but serendipity, chance, coincidence, but things happen in our lives that point us in one direction or another. Maybe you miss a train. You meet somebody that you’re not supposed to. Maybe you get a flat tire and you miss a meeting. That bad stuff was going to happen. I don’t know. You didn’t get into a wreck. I don’t know. But there are so many instances in our lives that we can point to if we’re looking at him saying that, “Wow, this thing really worked out.”
Now I don’t want to get into a really philosophical discussion about this. I know there’s also a lot of things about health related issues and people dying and travel and natural disasters and all that stuff and think, “Oh yeah, how could you say everything works out for the best?” I’m not saying that. I don’t know. That’s what I’m saying. I don’t know.
So that’s why I was talking about this because I have these two books. One says you should plan everything with detail. The other one says don’t play anything and let it come to you. Totally opposite books. Both of these people were totally successful in what they wanted to achieve. They both reached their destination. Now one party, they knew where they were going. The other party doesn’t know where he’s going, but he’s still been able to help millions of people and had an amazing, amazing experience. An amazing life the whole way. So which one of these paths is the best? And which one of these should we take to become a better trader?
Now if you look at myself, I can tell you my journey. When I was younger I got sucked into the goal thing. Think Grow Rich was one of my favorite books. I read a lot of self-help books. Like I said, you know, I went to these seminars and met people like Mark Victor Hansen, who’s Mr. Gold Guy himself. I mean you listen to any of his tapes, he’s the guy who wrote Chicken Soup For The Soul and he says that if he hadn’t made goals, that book would never happen and it wouldn’t have been a international mega bestseller or whatever he calls it.
And so I was brought up or, or self-brought up, by reading all this stuff and this self-help material but if you do the research goal setting wasn’t even around before the 1960s it wasn’t even called goal setting, but people still got stuff done. Think and Grow Rich came out, I don’t know, in the 1920s or so in the 1900s for sure. So you go back more than a hundred years, nobody ever heard of goal setting. Nobody ever heard of set your mind to do something and you can accomplish it. It didn’t work that way, but still people got stuff done.
So are we onto something here with the goal setting? Because I know for me lately when I was younger, I loved setting goals. Oh yeah. By the time I’m 30 I’m going to do this. And by the time I’m 20 I’m going to do this. By the time I graduated high school … I wanted to be a millionaire by the time I graduate high school, that didn’t happen. Then I changed it. Okay. By the time I graduate college, I’m going to be a millionaire and that didn’t happen. All right? By the time I get married, I’m going to be a millionaire. No, that didn’t happen. By the time I turned 30 I’m going to be a millionaire. No, that one didn’t happen any either. You know? And so eventually I got there, but how many times did I have to change my goal?
And that was disheartening. Every time you missed my goal, I got upset, I got sad, I got mad, I felt bad about myself. And you’re not supposed to do that because … oh, you’re making progress, but no you feel really bad when you don’t hit your goal. It’s like when you lose on a trade, you’re going to feel really bad. Like, “Man, I had everything planned out, everything worked down and it didn’t work, man. Geez, I’m mad.” Even though you know, yeah, you’re not going to win on every single trade, but it’s still upsetting.
And so now I know when I set goals I am stressed out. I clench my teeth at night, I grind them, I can’t sleep at night. Constipation, indigestion all that stomach upset stuff, happens. And I got to the point where I just stopped making goals. I said, you know what? I’m just going to let it go. Play it by ear, let life take me where it goes. And even when I set goals or when I don’t set goals, I’ve found out that things in my life thankfully have gotten better. Now we do have a lot of setbacks. I’m not saying that … you know, there are illnesses, there are deaths, there are suicides, there are murders, there are thefts. There’s a lot of things that happen that push us off course. But in general, as time goes by, my life has gotten better.
You know, and if you look at our company Option Genius, it’s growing every year since it start getting bigger, getting bigger, helping more people, helping more people, doing more sales, making more money. Some of that was by design, some of that was not.
I just look at 2019 the biggest growth in the company it was something that I never even think about. I didn’t have a goal for that, I didn’t set a plan for that. It just happened. Somebody said something, I learned something. I said, “Hey, let’s try to implement this.” We did. And boom, it happened. It was great. And that really boosted the company. And there are other times when I did set a goal. Say, yeah I need to do this and have an office and have an employee and this and that and that. And then when we set it up, one, two, three, it happened and then yet business doubled for that reason. But I’m a bit confused. Which one is it? Yes or no.
Now when it comes to trading, I think the universe is kind of like the market. You could look at both of them together. Okay. You have the market that’s converting. Maybe it’s trying to… Some people say the market is against you. I don’t think so. I think the market is just there. It’s an inanimate object. There are other people playing in the markets that are out to get you. Yeah, for sure. But just like the universe, the universe is looking out for us. That’s what we think.
Market might not be looking out for us, but it’s there and it’s something that we use. So if you look at yourself as a sailor, you have your little sail boat, your yacht is what they called it in the book. I don’t even though, to me, a yacht is those, you know, those mega yachts that the billionaires have with the helicopters.
That’s what I call the yacht. But in the book they called the sailboat a yacht. So if you have your sailboat, your yacht, which is your trading account, whatever size, you could have a small and you could have a bigger boat, the bigger boat you have, the more safety you have. And your goal is to reach a certain destination. Maybe you’re traveling across continents, maybe you’re driving around the world, whatever your, whatever your goal is, you’ve got to get your boat to your destination. And as you leave the safety of land and you head out into the ocean, the ocean is the market.
Makes sense? Now, things happen when you’re out at sea. There could be rip currents, there could be tides shifting, there could be a coral that you have to avoid underneath. There could be pirates, there could be storms, hurricanes, squalls, rainstorms. Something could break on the boat.
Maybe a whale attacks you a taxi or something or a shark comes and bites off a piece of your boat. I don’t know. Anything could happen. So in order for you to be successful, I think that you need to be a successful trader. You need to be the sailor in your sailboat heading out into the vast ocean of the stock market. And you have to be aware of all these things, choppy water, storms, whatever it is.
Now, the climate or the market is not going to be kind to you. It’s going to throw you recessions, it’s going to throw you bear markets. You’re going to suffer from choppy waters when the president tweets, right? But you have to surf the waters. You have to take your boat, and you have to manipulate. And all the way through the market, you have to take your trading account and adapt to the different situations. You cannot force yourself through the water. There’s a tidal wave coming. You got to get out of the way. You can’t go through that thing because that thing’s going to sink you.
If you have a problem in the boat, you’ve got to fix a boat. you got a leaky boat, you’ve got to fix the leak, otherwise you’re going to sink. Too many traders out there are not able to adapt to these ocean conditions, these changing conditions, they hold onto their convictions too long or they want to, you know … I’ve got to make it to my destination at a certain amount of time, even though the market is saying, “No, I’m not going to let you.” And too many times it’s too late. The ship cracks or springs a leak or just gets trashed by the ocean and it sinks, which is another way of saying that the account got blown up, or the trader lost all his money.
And maybe he just soaks back to land and never tries again. Or maybe he gets back in a boat and doesn’t learn and he sinks it again. And then he’s like, “This stuff doesn’t work.” Then he goes back to land. But of course there are people that are sailing around the world in the same markets, in the same conditions that everyone else is. So what do they know that others don’t? How are some traders getting to their destination, but others are not? Well, to make it across the ocean, you have to be willing to be blown off course. You have to be able to change your situation. You have to be able to change your patterns to stay in port longer than you wanted to in order to avoid bad weather. Now, in the book, they had to do that a lot.
They got to port and they were there and they were supposed to leave the next day or something, but then a storm came in or it got cloudy or whatever, and they said, “You know what? We’re going to stay until it clears up.” And so you have to adapt. So yeah, it took them two years to go across the ocean, but they had to change their minds and patterns everywhere they go.
It’s like, “Hey, we got some news about some violent activity having in this part of the world or this island. Let’s stay away from that island.” Maybe they were going to land in some place, but they heard, “Oh, they’re cannibals living over there. So okay, let’s not land there. let’s not stop over there or go check out that place.”
And so if you’re a trader, you have to be able to adapt. So if you’re an Iron Condor trader and you say, “Hey, I’m an Iron Condor trader and this is how I adjust and this is how I play the market and that’s it.” Well you’re not being flexible enough. Because after the great recession that we had in 2008 there were a whole bunch of Iron Condor traders that got blown up.
Now I’ll tell you, even in 2019 my Iron Condors didn’t do very well. Be that in adapt enough. I’m willing to admit it. The market is just going straight up after we had a little dip in the beginning of the year the market just went straight up. And so Condors were not the best way to play it because your call side kept getting in trouble over and over and over and over again.
And yet me being stubborn, I kept trying to do Condors, kept trying to do Condors [inaudible] in trouble. If I hadn’t done Condors, I would have been well off ahead. So you have to be able to see what the ocean is throwing at you and you have to be well adapted to it.
So I think that you need a little bit of both of these philosophies. You need to plan ahead. You need to hedge yourself in case the worst situation happens.
You need to have your life chest on. You need to have your medicine on board the boat, you’ve got to have your extra supplies. You’ve got to have extra food. If the sail breaks, you have to know how to fix it. Obviously you need the knowledge and you need the education. Before you go and start sailing you need the education, because we have a destination, not like the hippie guy who didn’t have a destination. He didn’t know what he wanted to do, but the life, the universe just took him wherever it went. If you have a destination, then you do have to be prepared and take precautions and whatever reasonable steps you have to take to get there to back yourself up in case everything doesn’t work out. But then once you are out in the ocean and things start to get a little weird or go, not according to plan, you have to be able to adapt or change or learn new things.
And so it’s crazy to me that people come to me and say, “Hey, I want to learn. I’ve been trading options for a long time and I’ve tried this, I’ve tried this but doesn’t work. Nothing works for me.” And I say, “Okay, well let me teach you about this strategy.” And they say, “No, I already know that strategy.” Okay, but you can’t make money at that strategy. So then how can you tell me that you know it?
They’re not willing to actually change. They’re too stubborn or too arrogant or whatever the course is and they’re just going to put their boat straight going through the water without taking into account what could happen. And so that’s a negative. And so I think that if you want to achieve independence financially, if you want to get from where you are now to your destination with your trading account, with your small account, with your little yacht, you’re going to have to cross the ocean, which is the market. There’s no ifs around it, okay. Because there are no other activities out there that could make you the same amount of money in the little amount of time that we actually use to trade options.
And so while you’re in the market and the things get choppy … one of the things that they did in the book was they joined an armada kind of thing. Several families joined together and they would cross the sea together. And so it wasn’t just one boat, one family going by itself. There was like 20 or 30 boats all going together. And so that is why we have our courses. That is why we do what we do so that we can help you and cross the sea with you.
So if you haven’t joined one of our Facebook groups, you should do that, to talk to and mastermind with other Option traders who are also on the sea at the same time as you, if you haven’t joined one of our courses that’s why we have communities in our courses so that everybody is on the same path. They’ve taken the same course, they’ve taken the same education, they prepared the boat in the same way and we’re all traveling the same sea together to get to our destination.
So if you haven’t taken part of anything like that, you need to, because you can’t do it by yourself. I guess you can, but it’s just much, much harder because if your boat springs a leak or if your generator stops working, it’s a lot easier to just get on the radio, the CB radio or satellite phone or whatever they use and call help and have another boat come by and help you out. Versus if you’re doing it by yourself, then you don’t know who to call. You don’t know how to get help.
So while you’re doing this, while you’re in the middle of the ocean, and I guess it’s sometimes it’s also like, “Hey, I’m in the middle of the ocean and I don’t see any land. I don’t think I’m making any progress.” That happens to us all the time. We get knocked off course we think we’re going backwards, like, “Aw man, what’s going on? I don’t know what I’m doing.” Well, if you’re going with somebody, they can see you from a distance and they can help you out and they could motivate you as well as long as you stay on the course. So I think if you want to be a successful trader, you’ve got to do it. You’ve got to stay on the course.
So hopefully this discussion, I know there was some tidbits to it. There wasn’t a lot of actionable advice. But I think that when you take a look at it in a philosophical way, I don’t think you can make goals and just bully your way through. And I don’t think that you could just sit back and wait for the universe to take care of you.
Now, the fellow in the book, The Surrender Experiment, he turned out all right financially, but even if he didn’t become rich, he still would have been okay. Now for some of us that’s not an option because we have kids and we have … we’re trying to keep up with the Joneses. He wasn’t. He was totally okay with that. He was after a more spiritual experience.
Whereas most of us are after more physical experience, a more worldly experience. Now I envy the guy for his spiritual experience, but I don’t know if the same path would be right for me and so I’m taking both experiences. I am going to take and be ready. I am going to learn and knowledge and educate myself before I get into my boat and go leave for the ocean. But when I’m in the ocean, I’m going to leave it up to the universe. And whatever the market throws at me, I’m just going to try agreeing with it. And if I get scared, if I lose some money, maybe I’ll just pull over to an island and stop and maybe Ill stop for a year or two years and just live on the island until I’m self-confident, being aware or maybe I build up my funds again and I can go back into my boat and back into the ocean.
Does that make sense? As long as you’re always trying to get to the destination, you can get there. So if you need any help, we are all in the ocean together. Reach out to us. Our email address is email@example.com. I make this available in every episode. firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions, if you need any help with anything, please let us know. Please reach out and then we can help each other. And I would love to know your take on this. Which philosophy is best? Do we have to plan everything or do we have to just let the universe take its course?
I think I already told you I like the best of both worlds, but I’d like to know what do you think about it as well. All right, folks? Remember you’ve got to keep the odds in your favor and have a good trip across the ocean. Take care.