If you are like most traders (or most people for that matter), you spend most of your time and energy focused externally. When you get into trouble, you look for a new indicator, sign up for a new webinar or apply more technical or fundamental analysis. And while all of these moves contribute to your trading foundation, 90% of your trading success is dependent upon your internal conversations. That’s what’s actually driving your behavior… and clicks.
Therefore, the most important thing you bring every day to your trading is you: your thoughts, your beliefs, your attitudes, your habits, your moods, essentially – your mental game. And, therein lies your untapped potential!
While my first 15 years were spent on the trading floor, my last 20+ have been spent helping traders build their metal fitness with our MindMastery (TM) workshop. It will train you to become more self-aware and more resilient when the market or life throws you curve balls. It will enable you to optimize your performance so your internal thoughts or emotional reactivity doesn’t impede your success.
Performance, Perspective and Profitability
Whether you are a new or seasoned trader, an independent or proprietary trader, an electronic or floor trader, a struggling or an extremely successful trader, you can always improve your performance and, therefore, your profitability. You do that through building your self-awareness and mindfulness. While basic trader coaching focuses specifically on the external aspects such as profitability and eliminating costly mistakes, leadership coaching goes much deeper. It challenges you to hone the best practices of being a trader and, at the same time, pinpoint and eliminate behaviors that are not serving you.
An Anxious Trader
When Jim (not his real name) came to me, he had a big problem as a trader. He did not get out of his losing trades quickly enough, and he would get out of his winning trades too quickly. The underlying challenge for him was his anxiety. He was always worried, so he ultimately took the path of “Let me take what I can get.”
Whether he was on the winning or losing side, Jim was making the wrong moves. Both situations revolved around pain and anticipating future pain. His emotional reactivity to trading encouraged poor performance choices. He would move away from what his set up and his exit told him to do because he couldn’t manage his stress. His thinking became clouded and emotionally driven.
This repeated pattern eventually became habitual. I worked with Jim on first understanding his underlying operating system. I coached him to understand that his thoughts developed into his moods, which in turn affected his behaviors and eventually influenced his results. Once he realized he was having thoughts that started a negative chain reaction, he was able to begin changing that pattern.
We focused on managing his emotional states more effectively and after a lot of work, he was able to overcome states of anxiety that were limiting his performance. We built a situational awareness that allowed Jim to make more effective decisions in those important seconds of trading than he had historically. And once he started to lower his anxiety repetitively, it became the new normal, and he was able to make better decisions. He saved more money and made more money by changing how his brain responded to the situation.
After coaching, Jim overcame his despair and was able to trade with confidence.
Great Traders Ask for Help
Traders are known to be fiercely independent and even stubborn at times, so it’s easy to see why you may not feel comfortable asking for help. You don’t want to appear weak. However, engaging in leadership coaching helps to keep your mental fitness in top condition. Your coach will push you in ways you are unlikely to do yourself. Top athletes have coaches and trainers and aren’t considered weak – why would you?
The ability to manage your mood states effectively makes a great trader. The market will always change but your response to those changes can remain the same. As a trader, you must constantly learn, remain flexible, be a good observer, become hyper vigilant and refine your capacity to stay relevant.
At JMA, we help you do this by utilizing holistic individualized coaching and proprietary methodologies that combine trader psychology, cutting edge research in neuroscience, cognitive behavioral strategies and other advanced and eclectic approaches to help you reach your personal and professional potential.
By addressing and assessing the entire self, we help you recognize and overcome trading challenges, inconsistencies, anxieties and fears. A coach will help you assess your strengths and weaknesses and point out blind spots that you may not even be aware of. These blind spots are where you self-sabotage and leave profits on the table or where you second guess yourself. With coaching, you’ll learn how to process trauma of trading both consciously and subconsciously as that’s part of the job, as well as how to use more of your brain to train and trade.
Ask Yourself these Questions
If you’re currently a trader, do you:
- Give back your gains — consistently?
- Feel like you’ve lost your mojo?
- Hesitate to pull the trigger on a set-up and miss the resulting move?
- Chase trades impulsively, causing you to buy high and sell low?
- Cut your winners short and let your losing trades run?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, we can help you overcome those self-defeating patterns. 90% of your performance as a trader is mental, and we can coach you on what’s happening internally and unconsciously to cause the reactions you had to those questions above. It’s all about improving your mental game!
A Coach Who’s Walked in your Shoes
Though it’s true that an executive coach doesn’t necessarily had to have worked in your industry to coach you, trading is a bit different. It’s such a unique industry that having an in-depth knowledge of the market, the marketplace place, the tools serving traders and the culture and lingo of trading is essential to helping a trader grow.
I’ve coached a wide range of traders for over 20 years: from the anxiety and excitement of beginner traders to the “take it to the next level” ambitious, extremely successful seasoned traders. Because every trader is different, we design individual learning experiences, provide structure and accountability and help you develop and approach trading from a more balanced, holistic, rigorous and disciplined approach.
I coach first and foremost for individual personal and professional growth and secondly for results. The coaching is structured this way because research shows that what drives results are the people. The emphasis and focus on the development of self creates bigger results and increased profitability than putting results first.
If you are considering transitioning out of trading altogether, I’ve also been there. As one of the first female traders on the Chicago trader floors to entrepreneur and now CEO, I’ve also made the transition from trading to a new career of executive coaching. I know what it feels like to realize your career isn’t working and that you need to do something different.
That’s why we also specialize in trader transition. Whether that’s moving from the floor to upstairs trading or from one marketplace to another or for those interested in leaving the trading industry, our comprehensive, individualized career discovery program can help you figure out what’s next.
Get the clarity you need to move forward successfully. You’ll learn how to make better decisions – faster, more consistently, with greater self-awareness and confidence – in order to maximize your profits.