Was it some big secret I uncovered?
Did I really learn how to in the natural sense or is it a combination of many elements that come together for me each day?
Let me tell you…
I have no big secret! Shocker!
No magic formula…sorry.
My focus on consistency isn’t based on my trading profitability at all.
It is on the fundamental principles that guide me to stick it out.
The fact that I have come to understand that the journey and the process are where it’s all at, allows me to ignore the immediate results.
The results come after and they are not even guaranteed.
I suppose on a subconscious level throughout any given month I have expectations that I will do well.
But what is my definition of doing well?
I have found that if doing well is measured by being profitable, then my decision making will be impacted by that reasoning.
In other words, I will make trading decisions that go against the long term framework of consistency; to seek out a monetary goal.
This is how you become trapped. When you focus on the performance and not the effort.
When you convince yourself that changing something (and thereby becoming inconsistent) is a quick solution to achieving that short-term performance that you have defined as the measure of success, you will chase trades.
You’ll ignore your discipline, your risk assessment.
You’ll sacrifice days and weeks worth of gains because being right (right now) becomes your warped and narrow view of what it means to be consistent.
If you are fortunate enough to do something that you care for, every day, and can’t imagine doing anything different, consistency might come easy.
We can agree that trading is never an easy endeavor.
I believe you must have a level of real passion and love for what you do to do it consistently for the long-term while avoiding any distractions that can pull you from your way of doing it.
Trading has many distractions.
There are so many opinions and viewpoints, indicators, trading strategies, social media posts, and videos about trading results and how/what to trade, courses, and chat rooms; it is enough to keep your head spinning.
Add to that fact that you are a tiny fish in a giant ocean of predators like online marketers trying to sell you their secret or financial firms wanting to manage your money and trade it for you.
Just trying to pull a small portion of capital from the market each day is hard enough, let alone weeding through all the garbage and noise that is constantly pulling you in different directions all the time.
And still, there are no guarantees you will succeed.
Therefore when you aren’t achieving your definition of success (again for most traders that’s profits, aka account growth), it can be easy to throw consistency right out the window.
You end up looking for a different solution.
The next shiny gimmick that will get you that magic strategy where big profits are just waiting for you to grab.
That magic pill that traders seek just doesn’t exist.
What does all of that focus on a shortcut have to do with being profitable for the next five years, ten years, twenty years?
Do you even think in those long terms?
If you don’t ever see yourself trading for a living, and it will always be secondary to some other main career, then you may not be thinking long term. You may not be concerned with consistency, as you are not trading every day consistently.
But if you understand that trading for a living is possible and to make a living doing it you have to be consistently profitable, then you really have to accept that your mindset has to be transformed in the process.
So to be consistently profitable, I don’t set out as my goal to be profitable.
It seems counterintuitive on the surface.
But when you dig deeper, you realize that the profitability over time is the result.
The result of making many trades over and over. Within those trades are decisions. Those decisions are each based on a plan, rules, a process that I follow.
I simply reverse-engineer my focus.
My focus is on those tiny, repetitive decisions within every trade.
My head down in a sense, following a set of strict rules and a framework for sticking to them, drowning out the distractions and eliminating any emotions from those decisions.
Eventually, you realize the results (consistent profits over time) happen because you didn’t focus your decision making on just making money.
We are talking long term here…years.
It’s a lot easier to not think about it when you get up and go to a job, working for someone else every day.
I’m not knocking that, I did it for 19 years.
We think in terms of when we get to retire one day, after a 25-30-40+ year career.
We think in terms of our next paycheck.
We don’t think in terms of the time exchanged for that paycheck.
We don’t think about how consistent we have to be getting up and going to work every day, yet we’ve all done it.
It doesn’t get analyzed. Certainly not how you would analyze it trading.
Because every day when you are trading you are responsible for your decisions, and your decisions will lead to a result. You get to see the result of your decisions every day.
Make the right decisions, you get paid. Make the wrong ones, you don’t…or worse…you lose money that day.
That’s why you end up thinking about it more than you would your job.
You’re almost on autopilot with your job. You are told when to be at the office, when to leave, and how much vacation you can use.
In exchange for your knowledge and time, you get paid. But as long as you do what you agreed to do for your employer…that paycheck will be there.
Not so with trading…and thereby is where the mentality is both fundamentally and psychologically very different.
That’s where I will leave you because the rabbit hole goes much further from there.
Just know that consistent profitability is not the goal, and yet it ends up being the result.
Of course, I will admit that deep down, those profits were what I wanted all along…because hey…I have bills to pay just like the next person.
But again the difference is I didn’t hope for the result, dwell on the result, or make decisions with the result in mind.
I expected to be consistently profitable.
By expecting it, I don’t have to think about it.
I get to think about each trade I am in, why I got in it when I’m getting out of it.
The next day…repeat.
The next day…you get the idea.
Over and over again.
If it sounds mind-numbing trust me it’s not.
I do this every day for about 30 -60 min.
I get the job done, and I do it consistently.
I then live my life.
It is a tremendous advantage over an 8-9 hour day in the office. This advantage is also a result.
Let that stir for a moment.
Results in trading aren’t always about money and certainly not always measured with how much money you made or lost.
What result are you expecting?
Where is your focus now and is that where you want it to be?
Consistency is key, but it’s not about the money… it’s about the effort.
That’s how in trading, you ultimately stay profitable.
Remember, the journey and the process…that’s where it’s all at.
Go for it.