Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Notes - Another Journey Begins

6:30pm As I look ahead and transition this blog to appropriately fit the future, we first must look at where we've been to put where we're going into proper perspective.

For me, the last year has been a lot like The Truman Show, where the spotlight was unknowingly placed on one individual who never intended to once again be thrust into it. For this trader was simply going about his life documenting life's lessons and spewing silly movie, sports, and life parables to try to stay motivated and make sense of this crazy art called "trading". Yet a funny thing happened along the way after he opened his inner world to the viewing public ... it became a daily industry viewing spectacle to see "How Don did ... or didn't" or what stupid analogy he'd next come up with to try to maintain focus.

It's been well chronicled via this diary and a host of public interviews that I've been blessed with a multi-million trading bounty over the last few years, which I'll be the first to step forward and say was in part due to being in the right place at the right time. Yet before the uneducated jump on the "See, I told you it was luck!" bandwagon (umm ... as they say, you have to be present to win), what I mean is that a decade of personal trading skill refinement was peaking just as (1) I decided to "get serious" about trading and (2) the market chose to provide the landscape of all trading landscapes.

Or to use our common poker analogy, I had refined my game to a point where I bought into a "virtual" World Series of Poker, got dealt pocket Qs, Ks, and Aces that held up day after day, and even when dealt 7-8, managed to see cheap flops and then play the hell out of the table post-flop to take pot after pot. And yes, I had some bad beats, as well as rare, yet existent "Tilt" play. The only difference was that this "W.S.O.T." (yea, that's "T" for "Trading") went on for much longer than a couple of weeks ... as it lasted for more than a year and still continues to trickle in.

And since July 2008, it's all been chronicled here. Every pain, hurt, and success. Every zone (Did I really not have a losing day in January and go 58-3 in Q1 2009??) and every slump (yea, I've made money over the last few months that many would dream about, but it still smells of a completely uninspiring performance to me personally). The +$70K day. The -$90K once in a lifetime Monday hit ( ...and how the hell did I end that week positive by +40K?).

And if the personal documentation were continue, it would likely be more of the same in terms of what comprises every decent trader's career: a mix of successes and stumbles that ebb and flow in a way where the cumulative successes somehow outweigh the stumbles.

Yet now I'm on a new journey, after deciding to combine my continued passion for this business with my desire to give back to the industry by spending 376 hours over the next two months with 20 people -- who based on today's team sound check -- I feel I already know like family. Said another way, I'm jumping out of my private pool and into a shared tank.

Appropriately, this blog will take on a bit of a different twist for the foreseeable future. For just as my intent in sharing my personal journey over the year was to expose trading for all it is -- and yes, contrary to popular myths, does include losses & slumps for million dollar traders who choose to bare all -- it's now my intent to magnify the same concept further by living it moment by moment with others, and then sharing the experience via the blog and weekly webinars.

I've said many times in these pages that this diary was never about me, and it was certainly never intended as a prelude for a launch back into education. Rather it was about you. Or restating words from when I locked in the 2008 trailing stop ...

"It's said a picture says a thousand words. That's good, because I may be out of them, other than to say I hope this provides inspiration for all who may doubt themselves -- regardless of their pursuit -- and all who are weary. Many told me to write a book. I thought the blog would be better. But that will be true only if we someday see a forest of Bamboos." Don Miller 12-19-08

So for the moment, I'm out of words as the focus shifts from self to team. From teeing off alone at Augusta, to being part of the Ryder Cup. Or like Jim Carey at the end of The Truman Show, from his own private world, to a great exploration of the unknown where he's just one of many.

Look for the first Jellie blog edition on Monday ... as well as Dr. Brett's oh-so-timely post today. .

But in the meantime, as Truman would say ...

"In case I don't see ya: Good afternoon, good evening, and good night!"

It's time to finally get off the boat, quit wrestling with myself, and walk through that threshold to the great beyond: