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Besides a little bit of luck both mentally and physically, the best professional athletes, business people and traders all have two things in common that have made the biggest contribution to their success…
Those 2 things are:
- Habitual practice of the processes and (or) concepts that will bring them closer to their end-goal / success.
- Complete discipline and focus on the task at hand until TOTAL mastery is reached. Then, they work to maintain it and add more ‘weapons’ to their arsenal.
This article is going to discuss how and why you should narrow your focus in trading, so that you are eliminating variables and truly perfecting your craft. The people who make the most money in this world all have one thing in common: they are VERY GOOD at a small amount of things or even just one thing. Ever heard the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none”? Think about that for a minute because it’s true and especially so in trading. The consequences for not becoming a “master” of your trading strategy are severe, whereas in other professions that may not be so.
You need to read this article, all of it, so that you truly learn why you need to practice one trading strategy “10,000” times and also, so that you learn how to do it. This lesson, if properly comprehended and implemented, has the power to transform your trading from losing or breaking even, to winning. The following Bruce Lee quote was the inspiration for today’s lesson:
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick, 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee
What Do The World’s Greatest Traders All Have in Common?
I don’t care what you have heard or what you think, the best traders in the world and even hedge fund managers are nothing if not insanely focused and masterful in their trading approach.
The reason for this is that these traders know you simply cannot make money in the markets consistently if you have a “scattered” trading approach that is a messy combination of many different methods. What you need is one or a small handful of simple technical analysis tools or patterns to properly analyze and trade the charts.
The best traders have practiced and employed one core trading strategy hundreds or thousands of times over their career; they are not practicing and trying to utilize many different trading strategies nor are they jumping from one trading style to the next. It takes time for any trading strategy to be learned and mastered and then more time to see it played out over a series of trades.
Here are some of the core traits that you will need in order to start being more focused on one trading strategy and eventually becoming a master of it…
Total Focus and Discipline
Focus and discipline are paramount to any life endeavour, everyone agrees on that. However, when it comes to learning one trading strategy and mastering one strategy at a time, it becomes even more important (and perhaps difficult).
You will need focus and discipline to stay committed to one price action signal at a time, for example. So that means you are not jumping at every single candlestick pattern you see on the charts. Instead, you have pre-decided you will learn one at a time and MASTER it before moving on to the next. You will accomplish this simply by picking one and learning as much as possible about what it looks like and how it’s traded and then start looking for it on the charts.
For example, you might decide to master the pin bar trading strategy first. OK, so if that is what you decided, you will learn about all types of pin bars, how they are best traded, which chart time frames are the best to trade them on and more. Your mission is to become a “pin bar expert”, here’s how you do that…
Become an Expert at Your Craft
As Bruce Lee said, he “fears not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick, 10,000 times.” Now, why would he say that? Because practicing 10,000 kicks one time is essentially a gigantic waste of time that accomplishes nothing. The human brain needs repetition and habit to form more solidified neural pathways that make us become better at things, whether that is playing the piano or trading a specific strategy. The more you do something, the better your brain (and you) get at that thing.
Pro athletes, chess players, poker players, business people, hedge fund millionaires, actors, etc. they all know the secret to life and wealth; become an expert at your craft. Of course, first you must decide on your craft, which in trading means your trading strategy. Sadly, many traders never even get this far, they simply are too scattered and confused and possibly overwhelmed with all the conflicting information on the internet to actually decide on one particular strategy.
Now, since you are reading this and are probably interested in price action trading, we are still using the example of the pin bar signal as discussed in the previous section.
The way or the “how” to master one particular trade signal at a time lies simply in the focus and discipline we mentioned earlier. You can print out examples of the signal, study the signal from courses and mentors and look for it on the charts. You need to learn everything about it so that you reach the point of being able to open up your charts and instantly recognizing whether a quality pin bar signal (or the signal of your choosing) is present, or not.
Master One Trade Setup. Only Then Can You Add Another
If you’ve been reading my lessons for any length of time you probably know that mastering one setup at a time is a favorite “mantra” of mine and a core belief that I hold about trading and about what a trader should do especially early on in their career.
The reason why you need to commit to mastering one setup before adding any others is primarily because this gives you something concrete to do, to stay accountable to. Most traders have trouble with discipline and focus and a lot of the reason why is because they simply are too distracted and overwhelmed by all the information on the internet, they can’t make a decision. Decide, commit to doing this and you will start to see the fruits of your decision as time goes by. If there is one thing I can promise you about trading, it’s that the slower you take things and the more focused you become, the faster trading success will find you.
In a recent article I wrote about mastering one thing to reach trading success, I discucces a book I had read recently that was fittingly tilted “The One Thing” (I suggest you read it). In short, it’s about how the greatest people and companies that have achieved massive success always tend to be masters of one core process or thing; they perfect that thing and then keep repeating the process. They simply stick with the one thing they are good at and scale from there. Sound familiar? If so, it’s because it’s the same thing that I am saying to you about trading; master one setup, one strategy at a time and then build off of that, don’t trade in a random, mishap way.
Here’s an example:
You are mastering the “pin bar signal” first. One of the variations of the pin bar is trading a pin bar after a pull back within a trend. Trading a pin bar on a pull back means when you see a strong trend underway, wait for price to pull back to a horizontal level such as support / resistance, a moving average, 50% retrace or even previous event area and form a pin bar in the direction of the underlying trend.
You are looking to enter at the 50% area of the pin bar. In other words, you are waiting for price to retrace halfway up the bar and then entering near that point.
You see this is quite specific and so it’s much more than just “trading a pin bar”, there are many different variations of each of the core patterns I teach, which I get into in detail in my trading courses, but for now, let’s look at this one specific pin bar example:
In the first chart below, we have zoomed out a bit so you can see the trend and the multiple pin bars that formed after pull backs within that trend, on the daily chart. This is your setup that you’re looking for and looking to master.
The next chart shows a zoomed in view of the chart shown above, showing you how a 50% tweaked entry would have easily netted you ‘up to’ 6R + profit for a lower risk higher reward trade. I suggest you print out the setup you want to master first and tape it to your wall so you start drilling it into your memory!
Whether you are training to be a martial arts master like Bruce Lee or a successful trader, there are things that every successful person must do, no matter the profession. The most important thing in my opinion and the subject of today’s lesson, is practicing one thing at a time, over and over, until you have mastered it.
I have laid out the “whys” and the “hows” in this article, all you have to do is follow it. You pick a setup that you like and you learn how to trade it, inside and out, so that you are literally seeing it in your dreams. Once you do this, it will make everything else a lot easier; you won’t have to second-guess yourself as to “whether or not” there is a trade present on the charts, because you will know almost instantly. Upon mastering a trading strategy like one of the strategies that I teach in my professional price action trading course, you can put your extra time into focusing on trading psychology and money management, which are arguably more difficult to master. Yet, again, if you apply the same principles discussed today to those topics, you will end up with the same result; mastery.