If you are going through hell, keep going

There are so many great quotes from Winston Churchill I'm going to abuse a few for my own purposes!

Following on from my last post about the personal considerations of going full-time trading Betfair, I think the quote in the blog title is very apt. It has taken me years to become successful on Betfair and I'd like to think I'm not that thick!

In my case, I think winning was only possible once I developed a winning attitude. Maybe that is why some people can become successful way way quicker than I did - they already had a winning attitude.

If you are trying your luck at trading Betfair for a living because you've just been sacked then it's likely your self-esteem is not at its highest. This wasn't my scenario - I've been self-employed for a long time - but then again I probably became self-employed because I couldn't stand my manager so I wasn't filled with positivity!

I got so used to reviewing my losses most days and being really angry about them that on winning days I would feel like I cheated or got lucky (especially if I got out of a losing trade in-running).

I'm very happy to say I've just had my best week ever (apart from those freaky gambling wins I've had in the past, I'm talking about trading here). I still sometimes catch myself at the end of a good winning day feeling a bit "empty". It's odd, I think it relates to all the mass of emotion I used to feel after losing days that now things are going well it almost feels like I'm missing something! Maybe in some ways losing made me feel "alive", as perverse as that is. I'm really aware of this now and I consciously do some fun stuff or something constructive (going to the gym, anyone?!) after winning days to make sure I enjoy these winning days.

Sometimes winning can seem a bit flat because after all, the money is just spent on living expenses, like a salary would be. I'm sure I got into gambling all those years ago when I was 16 because I wanted disposable income, and lots of it, to lavish on truly hedonistic adventures. Paying the mortgage and buying the groceries just doesn't cut it!

This "normalcy" of income from trading is also something I'm trying to get past by winning a lot more! I can't help but compare trading profits with job salaries I've had in the past and it is a real kick to make a weeks wages in a day. I've noticed that many of the (few) very successful traders leave trading after a couple of years or so, so making hay whilst the sun shines is a good idea. Personally I don't think I'll quit that easily - it's been too long and hard a road to get here!

Here's another Churchill quote, "Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential". I believe that applies to trading successfully. If you want it, there's no reason why you can't get it, but it may take an awful lot more effort than you expect.

Now I've got a trading mindset worth building on I've also been trading some other sports I know a little about - snooker and F1 - and it's been going really well. I'm also looking at spread betting on financial markets. I've never had the capital to invest properly in shares but the margins on financial spread-betting are 5-10% or even less in some cases so it makes it much more accessible with a small bank.

Given my sometimes horrendous losses back in the day when I just gambled on horses, I've consciously avoided spread-betting as I feared it could result in some truly catastrophic losses. I'm still not going to use it for horses, but for financial markets I think I can put my trading skills - and more importantly, mind-set - developed on Betfair to good use. Time-wise it works well with the UK markets being available to trade in the mornings before racing, or what I prefer is to research US stocks and get my orders put in in the morning before their markets open in the afternoon. I'm not day-trading but looking for trades anywhere from 1 week to about 3 months, so I don't need to be panicking about the markets whilst I'm trading the racing.

Anyhow, it's time to make the most of my well-earned day-off now, glad to see it's absolutely bucketing down outside. Still, at least I'm not a jockey!

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