7 Ways Slack Lining is like Trading
It was late in January, 2015. I had never been slack lining, but my girlfriend Ashley kept talking about it. She had done it before and raved how fun it was and how much of a workout it would be. 'It's a killer cardio and ab work out" she said. I'm always a sucker for ab work outs. I figure if I do enough, one day, maybe one day I'll have one or two, but I digress.
We went to Crocket Park where we often go on the weekends to play tennis, or wall ball, running, walk the dog; it's a great park indeed. Very pretty. In slack lining, you find two trees and set up (with a ratchet system) a 'tight rope' of sorts, but it's much wider. Looks like this.Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 9.10.35 AM
It really was fun. Pretty cold outside to be barefoot though. Probably 45 degrees, so we only did it for about an hour. And while we were slack lining our heart out, here were seven ways I related it to trading. After all, I am a Real Life Trader and a little bit of a nerd. When you combine the two, you get the following.
1. Start off slow. In trading, please use virtual money when you first start out. Even if it's just for a few months. Learn the broker, learn the systems and software but don't just randomly go out and start actively investing with real money. I say at least three months of virtual practice, especially if you plan on doing this for a living. With slack lining the first few times I couldn't even stand on the line without holding onto Ashley's shoulder, and once her head, as I'm really tall. Which brings me to my second point..
2. Do it with a friend. The world can be a lonely place if you let it. Especially in trading. The relationship with your computer can be pretty one sided and the market doesn't really talk to you, nor does your broker. So, find a community of traders, make friends, share stories and enjoy it. Slack lining was a good way for us to spend time together. It does require some motivation because you do fall (and will fall) a lot.
3. Get back up after each fall. This is pretty cliche' I'll admit, but has to be said. If you fall, get back up in every facet of life. In trading, you will lose on trades and if you focus on the negativity and make it a negative experience, it will continue to be a painful process. That's why it's important to link positivity to each experience in trading and in life. I got on the slack line probably 134 times in that hour. I fell each time, involuntarily. However, after about the 100th time, although I don't recall the exact one, I did make it all the way to the end. Approximately 16 feet of walking, unassisted. It's wasn't graceful at all!
4. There are forces outside of your control. In the stock market, well…it's the stock market. It's comprised of literally billions of people and tens of trillions of dollars every day. It's like you're a water droplet in a lake. Go with the flow, create a plan and simply be disciplined enough to follow it. In slack lining, it's gravity. Gravity is an unseen force that governs all of our lives, every day. And it's your number one adversary in slack lining. And you know what? There's nothing you can do about it. So, yes, as in #3 you will fall. Get back up, focus on your goal and have fun! Trading should be fun. If it's not, you might be doing it wrong. Same with sports in general, but slack lining was a great time!
5. You're going to have to spend money at some point. The fact is, in trading you're going to have to spend money to start. Not huge amounts of money, but some for sure. Most people out there will spend money on education. Tens of thousands sometimes. reallifetrading.com made sure to change the game on this one. We offer 100% free education regarding how to trade the stock market and day trade. That should be a huge weight off your shoulders and trust me your bank account will thank us. There are other fees in trading. Charting software (although some like tradingview.com are free), commissions through your broker, you might have to buy a new computer; bottom line at some point, you will spend some money. Same with slack lining. The whole set up is about $70. Just like baseball, football, tennis, basketball, and even soccer. If you want to play you are likely going to spend a little money to make it happen.
6. You might look weird doing it. As a trader, if I tell someone 'I am a professional trader" they look at me like I have a $1,000,000 bank account and I gamble massive amounts of money all the time in trading. That's not the case at all. Reallifetrading.com can teach people how to become professional day traders and start with less than $3,000. Professional traders get a bad rap. A 'sub mission' of Real Life Trading is to put this profession into perspective, erase the mysticism and expose the real life expectations of trading and the stock market. While slack lining, we got some interesting glances from the passerby. Mostly because we didn't have shoes on when most people had jackets, but slack lining is a unique visual experience as well. It's not something you see everyday that's for sure. Don't worry what people think. If you like something, do it. Haters are going to hate. Focus on being kind to others and give more than you receive. The rest will work itself out; simple as that.
7. Don't let the fear of the unknown hold you back. I will say, slack lining did end up being the cardio exercise Ashley promised it would be. My legs are sore as I write this. You work out all kinds of stabilizing muscles including a lot of core work, so if you do this make sure to bring some water. In trading there are tons of unknowns! 'Unknowns' scare people because it comes down to uncertainty. Never let the end stop you from the beginning. Am I going to become a professional slack liner? No. Will I improve? Yes. That's often times all we can do in life, my friends. Start something and improve. 'You can always better your best'. There's no need to strive for perfection, but strive to challenge yourself simply to improve constantly. Are you going to make millions of dollars trading? Maybe. Are you going to retire from your current job, pay off all of your debts and live the life you want to? It's really up to you. That vision is possible, but just like slack lining, you've got to take the first step. It's going to be a wobbly one so keep your eyes forward, breathe, trust the person next to you and forge your path in life or in trading. Until next time, remember love life, live life and trade it!
Jerremy Alexander Newsome