Are You Prepared to Succeed as a Trader?

Trading in many ways is just like public speaking. Many years ago I was recruited by a company to address a large assembly hall in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’ve always had a terrible fear of public speaking, and the prospect of getting up in front of 2,000 salespeople who were talkers by trade absolutely terrified me. I turned to my father for advice and he said what he always said when I was growing up, whether I was worried about a school play, a classroom presentation, or a summer job interview: “What are you going to do about it? Sit on your hands in fear until the day arrives, go in and wing it? Or are you going to prepare it well in advance so that you’re confident to stand in front of them? The way I see it you always have two choices: act or react.” I knew what he meant and I got to work. I drafted up a speech and practiced it over many days to work out all the kinks. The prep work paid off: my address was a smashing success, the company landed their contract, and it earned me additional speaking engagements for which I was paid handsomely. I often ask myself, what made that event so successful when I had so much fear earlier? Looking back, I realized my success was due to having followed a specific, structured routine. A routine which I could make into a generic system to follow whenever I feared public speaking. That’s exactly what I’ve done for every single speech since then. Not only that, I applied the exact...