Do you ever think about a company and critique what they can do better? There are steps they could take to make themselves twenty percent better and you have found the path. We are clients to some who could do things better and we have the answers. But the question becomes what do you do with this information. And what I see in our space and beyond is too many spending 100 percent of their energy obsessing about the 20 percent a firm could do better, forgetting how hard it is to build the 80, to their own detriment.
For a clearing firm it can be the short list. “They should find a way to expand their short list. If they did we would trade more and they would make more money. What is wrong with them?” Ever heard anyone say this about a clearing firm? This is all fine until what can happen next. Next comes the banging and the screaming midday,”Why can’t I short this stock? If I would have gotten this stock I would have crushed …….” And for the next week it is 100 percent of your energy on the twenty percent the clearing company could do better. All this energy that could have been spent on trading improvement is now reserved for 24/7 complaining.
Every platform I have ever traded on found some who became experts in the platform’s deficiencies. A common outburst: “The charts on this platform stink.” And then midday there is the banging and the screaming and proclamations of chops if only the charts worked. And for the next week it is 100 percent of their energy on the twenty percent the technology provider could do better.
Then there is your firm. There is an unlimited number of things you could complain about here. I have heard them all by now as a firm trader and now firm co-founder. My new favorite is I heard someone complain to a partner that that partner had given them bad advice because they advised they trade financial stocks during the financial meltdown. Then there can be the air conditioning is too cold during the summer preceding the next complaint of the air conditioning is not strong enough. Traders then spend a hundred percent of their time obsessing about the twenty percent the firm could do better. This is a lot of missed opportunity to rip through charts, talk trading, watch trading video, visualize, journal, work with your mentor, crunch your trading stats, think trading.
This behavior extends to politics. Opposing parties today have too many politicians spending a hundred percent of their energy carping about the twenty percent the other party could do better. It has gotten so bad that the opposing party is now not just incorrect but are demonized for their differing views. This behavior can extend to relationships. Partners obsess about the twenty percent their significant other should do better to the point they manufacture a person no one could love.
There is such a lack of respect for how hard it is to get the first 80 percent correct. How many of those obsessing about the twenty percent a firm could do better could build the first 80 percent that firm got correct?
Aren’t we losing a great deal of potential productivity with this behavior? Aren’t we distorting the true value of so many firms? Isn’t this apposite to your self-interest?
A good trading firm, clearing firm, trading platform will seek constructive criticism. This is essential to grow and improve. Offer your valuable constructive criticism and then move on. A certain to be undeperforming trader/person is one who obsesses a hundred percent of the time about the twenty percent that could be better.
Author, One Good Trade