Podcast – Episode 79 – How To Be A Successful Investor
My fellow passive traders, welcome to another edition of the podcast. I am really excited about this one because it is something that was, for me, it was a revelation, and I think it’ll be a revelation for you as well. So, the title is How to be a Successful Trader. Wouldn’t you want to be successful, right? Of course, right? Who wants to be a loser trader? Everybody wants to be a successful trader. But the thing is you might already be successful or do you even know what success means? Now to me, when somebody asks me, “Hey, Allen, are you a successful trader?” And I would say, “Yes and no.” I mean, I’m doing okay, but I’m not where I want to be yet, right? And then that yet part is the problem. That is what’s keeping me from saying, “Yes, I am successful. I am happy as a trader.” Because I’m not at the level or I have not hit the goals that I’ve wanted to do or hit or set for myself.
And actually, this revelation came to me as part of a coaching program. It came from my mentor. So, I have different people that I learned different things from, and I currently am in a coaching program. It’s a very expensive coaching program where the person in charge of it, she teaches us about business and sales and how to do better with Option Genius and how we can improve the sales and make an impact for more people. And she learned this from her mentor, so I’m learning from her. She’s learning from someone else. That person is learning from even another person up the food chain.
So, it’s amazing how even people that we look at and say, “Hey, yeah, this person is successful. I want to learn from them,” but they are constantly learning too. The most successful people I know are always investing in themselves, just like we are investing in the stock market. We’re investing in options, but we need to also be investing in ourselves by learning more, by being in a community with other people that have the same goals or similar activities and similar visions that we do.
So, I’m in this coaching program, and she’s already taught us a lot. It’s group coaching, so we get together once every so often on Zoom, a couple times a year in person, well, whenever we can, whenever she arranges it. And she talks about different things. One of the calls, the last… It wasn’t the last call. It was the call before that. She was talking about mindset. And she was talking about how she learned lessons from her mentor, who learned it from a book. The book is, I believe it’s not available anymore, but you can get the audiobook. It’s by a guy named Dan Sullivan. Pure Genius is the name of the program. You might be able to get the audiobook from Nightingale Conant if you want to pick it up.
But the idea there was that when people set goals or when people think about productivity or when they think about themselves and how successful they are and how they’re doing, they always look to the future. They always look to the horizon. That’s the example he gives. And so, if you’re walking along or driving along on the road, it’s a straight road. You’re driving, driving, driving. You see the horizon. And no matter how far you go, no matter how long you go, you never reach the horizon. So if the horizon is your goal, you’re never going to get there. Does that make sense? I mean, yeah, the Earth is round, and so it’s constantly turning, but the same thing happens to us. When we set goals, when we set activities for ourselves, the goal or the result, the future final result always seems to end up changing. And this is human nature.
So for example, a few years ago, I was in a business owners mastermind group. And there were about 12 of us, I believe, in the group. And in the meeting, in one of the meetings, we did an activity. And we went around, and everybody had to say what their number was. Basically, a number is how much money do you need to have in order to maybe sell your business and retire, right? So, how much money do you want to have to be able to say, “Yeah, you know what? I’m financially secure. I’m safe. I’m happy. I’m going to retire. I’m going to go do whatever the heck I want now. And I don’t have to run my business anymore”? So, what is the end goal?
And there were different numbers thrown around, 10 million, 12 million, 15, 5, whatever. The number wasn’t important. But I did happen to write some of them down. And we were in this group. I was in this group for eight years, and there were several others that were with me when we were there. Some people would come and go, but most of the group was intact. And so the next year, we did the same activity where you had to say your number. Now, a lot of them had done really well that year, right? And so, their perspective had changed. And so when we went around and everybody was writing their numbers or saying their numbers, I was writing them down again. And I happened to go back and find the page when I wrote the ones from the year before. So, I see what they had said before, and then I’m writing down what they said this year.
And everyone’s number had gone up. Some of them, there was one particular person, he said, “I want to get to 5 million. That’s when I’m going to sell my business. My business is doing 5 million a year. I’m going to sell it. I’m going to cash out. I’m going to take the money. And I’m going to retire.” That was what he said. And he had already told us that his business is already doing $5 million, so then he changed it. He goes, “No, no, now I want to do 10 million. So if my business is doing 10 million a year, then that’s when I’m going to sell it. And that’s what I’m going to retire.” So, he changed it. He changed the goal. He changed the vision. He is now moving towards the horizon, which he’s never going to get to because if he gets to 10 million, then he might go to 15. He might go to 20. He’s going to keep increasing it.
And that’s what we do. I mean, when you first started trading, maybe your goal was hey, I want to make a thousand dollars a month. That’s a great goal, very attainable. You could probably do that within the first couple of months, right? I want to make a thousand dollars a month. That’s a great goal. After you do that, then what happens? Oh, the goal changes. Okay, now I need to make $3,000 a month. Okay. Then I need to make five. Then I need to make 10. Then I need to make a hundred thousand dollars. Then I need to make a million dollars. Then I need to make a million every year, every year for the rest of my life. You see, the goal just keeps going further and further and further. That’s not a bad thing. You got to improve. You got to strive. If you’re not growing, if you’re not motivating yourself, then you’re going to die and wither away and lose interest. And it’s going to all go to pot anyway.
But my point is, a lot of people look at their success based on if they’ve hit their long-term goals. And so if you say, “Hey, I’m not going to be successful as a trader unless I make a million dollars a year,” well, then you will never be successful because you just have to do it again and again and again and again and again until you die, right, because you never put an end date. There are other people who say, “You know what? I want to make this much. And that’s it. That’s my goal. I’m going to make that much.” Well, if they get there, that’s great. They celebrate. And then they’re like, “Okay, now what?” Then they have to form a new goal, so they keep striving, and they keep doing that.
So according to this guy Dan Sullivan in the Pure Genius program, what he’s saying is that what people do is they never hit their goal or they do hit the goal and then they make it larger. But they never hit the horizon, right? So, what you want to do instead to be successful is you want to compare, what he calls, your actual two to your actual one. So, actual one is where you were, before when you started. Actual two is where you are now, right? So, what we’re doing is we’re not comparing ourselves now to our goal, which is in the future or the horizon. We’re comparing where we are now to where we were before.
So if your goal right now, or if you just hit your goal of making a thousand dollars a month, you’re not going to feel bad and say, “You know what? I got to make 3,000. Oh, my God, I only made a thousand this month. I need to make three.” No, you’re going to say, “Wait a minute, two months ago, I wasn’t making this thousand dollars a month. I hadn’t heard about passive trading yet.” Maybe, you’re brand new. Maybe, you’re brand new to the podcast. So, you’re just listening, and you’re like, “Oh, I started, and in a couple of months, I’m making a thousand bucks. Great.” You compare where you are now to where you were before. And if you do that, you’re going to be ecstatic. You’ll be like, “Yeah, really, I am making a thousand dollars a month. That’s amazing. That’s awesome, right?” You’re going to be happy. You’re going to be excited. You’re going to be wanting celebrate. But if you compare today to the future, “Oh, man, I still got to make that 3,000. Man, I’m only making a thousand a month. I got to make 3,000. Jeez,” you’re going to be full of stress, anxiety, and unhappiness.
So if you want to be successful, what you got to do is change your perspective, as long as you’re being profitable, okay? That goes without saying. If you’re passive trading, you’re probably going to be profitable, okay? If you’re not, then reach out to me. We’ll figure out why. But if you’re doing passive trading, you’re probably profitable. The only matter is, the only question is, how profitable are you and how consistently you are profitable, okay? So, that’s your goal.
Now, what people say is the secret to be successful is to feel amazing all the time. The way to feel amazing all the time is to compare yourself now from where you were before. And to me, that was like, “Whoa, that is so true.” Because in Option Genius, I keep saying, “Okay, I want to help more people. I want to help more people. I want to help more people.” And we get success stories coming in, but it’s like, man, we need to do more. We need to do more. You read the newspapers. It’s like, oh, so many baby boomers are having to work until they’re seventy years old, and they don’t have any money for savings. And all these people are in trouble right now during the coronavirus. They might not get their unemployment checks anymore, and they’re going to be kicked out of their houses, and all this stuff is going on. It’s like, oh, my God, I can help these people. They just have to know about passive trading. Why can’t we help more people? Why can’t we do it fast enough?
And so with that stress, it drives me nuts. I can’t sleep. I’m grinding my teeth at night, and that’s what’s keeping me up. Not the stock market, stock market’s doing great. I’ve done better this year than so many years before, even in the midst of this coronavirus. But the thing that’s keeping me up is that the horizon is so far away that I don’t know if I’ll ever get there because I don’t even have a number in mind, how many people I want to help. I want to help 10,000 people. Okay, that’s a big number. How many have you helped so far? Not even close. We helped a lot of people, but I don’t know for sure, right?
I know a few people that have told me their story, so we have all those people that, yes. Okay, I took this guy. I helped this guy go from where he was before to now financial independence. Okay, so that’s one. And we’ve got a whole bunch of people like him, but we don’t have 10,000. We’ve helped a lot more than that, but they haven’t actually written in or called in and said, “Hey, you know what? Now, I’m financially independent.” Okay, great. Because I know a whole bunch are, but they haven’t told us.
But when I look at where we are now compared to where we were before, compared to a year ago, two years ago, or 10 years ago when I started Option Genius, I think it started 11 years ago, but if I started from the beginning, looking at what was happening in the beginning, I feel great. Because when I started Option Genius, it was really as a way to keep myself busy. It was going to be one membership site where I was just going to be sharing trades with a few people. I didn’t expect it to blow up. I just wanted to keep busy. So, I was doing some marketing, Google ads, and putting up a website, doing some trades, iron condors, this, that, the other thing, teaching. People were asking questions, so I’d make a few videos answering their questions and help them along. I never expected it to grow to what it is now.
This podcast is over 250,000 downloads. Thank you for listening. That’s amazing. I still can’t believe it. That many people, you’re listening to me that much. It’s like, holy cow, right? Yeah. It’s amazing. We just launched a passive trading book, and we’re already sold over a thousand copies. We haven’t even done any advertising, and we’ve already sold over a thousand copies. I can’t wait what’s going to happen once we start advertising.
So, the mission is going to continue, and so I need to look at where I’ve been compared to now. When I started, even when I started trading, the anxiety, the stress, the depression of not making money trading compared to now where I have too much money in a sense. My wife was telling me, “Hey, you know what? The money’s piling up in the bank account. What are we going to do with it?” And she’s like, “Why don’t you trade it?” And I’m like, “Yeah, we kind of have a lot of money in the stock market already.” And that’s not something you would actually expect to hear from a trader, right? We already got a lot of money in the stock market.
So I mean, that’s a mental limit that I need to work on myself, but I never even thought I would get to this point. So, what I’m saying here is in terms of to be a successful trader, chances are, if you’re doing passive trading, you already are successful to some degree, meaning that you’re already putting on trades. You know some strategies. They’re working. Now, you just need to fine tune it, right?
But to be successful in your head is a whole different story. To be happy with your success is a mental game. And so to win at the mental game, in anything, in trading or in parenting or in a relationship or whatever it is, look at where you are now, actual two, compare it to actual one. Maybe, compare it to a month ago, a year ago, two years ago, five years ago, 10 years ago. Compare it to where you were, see the growth, see the progress, the momentum that you’ve made. See the things, the challenges you have overcome, and you will be happy. You’ll be successful in your own mind, and that will take you to the future.
One of the things that we started doing this year for my kids is every year on their birthdays, my wife and I, we make them a video. And so, we just started this one. So, we did it with the eight-year-old, and we did it with the four-year-old. And we made him a video and it’s basically just me and my wife talking and saying, “Happy birthday. We’re so proud of you. We love you,” all this stuff. And then we list off the things that the kid did that year. So for our eight-year-old, I don’t remember exactly, but some of the things were he learned how to snorkel. He went parasailing for the first time. He learned to ride his bike. What else did he do? He finished, what was it, second grade, right? So, we listed off his accomplishments and then we gave him the video.
And right now, he’s eight years old. Video wasn’t a big deal. But as he grows older, we’re going to keep those videos. And then when he’s maybe 18, 20, 30, 40 years old, he can actually, maybe if he wants to, he can watch those videos and see his own progression to go from year to year to year to year all the accomplishments that he’s made in his whole lifetime. And I think that might be a really, really cool gift worth more than any toy or video game that we could buy for him.
And so that’s something that we’re starting. I just want to share that. Might be cool to do. If not, it’s okay. But I know that if my parents had documented what things I had done when I was little or growing up or what they were proud of me about, and maybe even documented their life lessons, things that they learned in their own lifetime, and if I had that as a library or as a book or a set of videos, I would cherish it like no other thing. It’d be more valuable to me than anything else. So, that’s the kind of things that we’re trying to do for our kids. That’s a whole nother topic. We can get into that later.
But right now, if you want to be successful, don’t think about the horizon. Don’t think about the future. Work towards it. You always have to keep striving, try to keep improving. Otherwise, you’re going to get bored and wither away. So, we want to keep getting better, but in order to be happy, we need to celebrate. And we just celebrate the milestones and the wins that we’ve already accomplished. So, look at where you are now, compare it to wherever you’ve been, and see the difference, and feel happy, and celebrate because we’re only here for a short amount of time. And when it comes to trading, it’s only money, right? So, enjoy yourself. Enjoy your life. Be happy. Be proud of yourself. Be happy with who you are. And always trade with the odds in your favor.
Alan, I’m just getting started. Actually , I’m abut new member and haven’t executed my first trade yet, but you’ve already succeeded in helping me change my perspective. I love you and your approach. I’m 81 years old and and have a very small account. I’m looking forward to achieving and celebrating l new milestones with you. Happy to be aboard! Roger Williams
Nice! Welcome Roger. If you are brand new I would suggest you start with the Passive Trading book to get you up to speed. Trading is a lot of fun, but start small and practice with virtual trading so you get all the mistakes out of the way before you risk any money. It is very easy to hit the wrong button when placing a trade unless you have done it several times. Even then, I sometimes mess it up. 🙂