Sage Advice From My Buddy OLA

People always wonder “what skills are transferable from a trading pit to a ‘real career’?”  My friend Jim Mercola (OLA) posted this on his Facebook the other day and I thought I would share it with you.  Other traders can weigh in on their opinion in the comments.  I know a lot of you read, but don’t comment.  It’s time for us to come out of the closet.

The trading floor was a lot different than most outsiders think.  It was a relationship business at its core.  Hypercompetitive and dog eat dog.  Yet, certain norms applied.   We each ran our own business, with decisions to make not unlike a “regular businessperson” made.  Here is his post.  I agree with him 100%.  See what you think. Entrepreneurs can take a lot away from what OLA posted.


The lessons we learned as trading at the CME made us who we are today.

“I wrote this a while back, in anticipation of the closing of the futures pits. The pit where I made my living for over a decade is now gone, but its lessons remain.

All I ever needed to know about life, I learned from the trading floor.

1) Failure is inevitable. Winning is a result of learning to cut your losses short and maximize your gains.
2) Your word is your bond. Without it you are nothing
3) If you have to wait until you have every piece of information to make a decision – life’s opportunities will quickly pass you by.
4) There’s nothing wrong with subjecting yourself to complete and utter fear from time to time. Even the most accomplished Tour De France cyclist was, at one time, a vulnerable child terrified to ride without his training wheels.
5) You can either use your voice to change your world or to complain to others about how you’ve been victimized by it. Choose wisely.
6) If you’re lucky enough to find a job that you truly love – hold onto it for as long as you can. There are few times in life when we get paid to have fun.
7) Sometimes you can have a stellar day and make a solitary mistake that wipes out all your successes. Other times you can do nothing right all day and make a single good decision that salvages your fate.
8) Always consider that your life and set of circumstances may quickly, and with no forewarning, drastically change. Your ability to adapt or lack thereof will define your destiny.
9) If you’ve stumbled upon a well that’s spewing plentiful water it’s best to store the water in jugs for a later time when you’re thirsty and the well has run dry.
10) Never pass on an opportunity that makes complete sense to you but no sense to others. Many of the world’s most startling innovations were first met with ridicule.”