Keep Your Eyes On The Line And Your Heart In The Flow
- Posted by Leigh Drogen
- on January 13th, 2012
Building an innovative business under pressure is hard, it’s real hard, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. We have many untested or undertested assumptions, and never enough time or resources.
But that’s life, and if I’ve learned anything over the past six months, it’s that no one else has a damn clue what they are doing either, except for Steve Jobs, he was the last one who did. Everyone else is making assumptions, testing them, and in between trying their hardest to get everyone else to believe in their assumptions and not call bullshit on the fact that they themselves don’t really have a clue either.
That’s why you should never be intimidated by anyone, underneath they are just as clueless as you, in different ways yes, but just as clueless.
Internalizing the fact that you really don’t have a damn clue can do one of two things. It can crush you, or set you free to make mistakes, fail, fail again, and then succeed. It’s all about how you handle that truth, do you embrace it, or ignore it.
Having a set of core beliefs is not something you can fake, and it’s not something you should ever be in doubt about. Doubt the details, build, measure, and learn, but don’t ever waiver on your core vision and beliefs.
Your core vision should be represented by a straight line that goes from the lower left to the upper right of a chart. The x axis representing time, and the y axis representing success. Keep your eyes focused straight ahead on that line at all times. The values on that line are represented by your goals along the way. Set tough goals, then go crush them.
But know that as an entrepreneur doing innovative things in a stressful environment, not many days are going to fall right on that line. Most days are going to feel like you’re either way above or way below, elation and depression, every week is a roller coaster. I’ve been through two whole cycles in just two weeks, where I’ve been high as a kite, and low as death valley.
One amazing thing that trading taught me is how to read my own emotions, and take my own pulse. When I had minimal exposure to the market and it was running away from me, I would eventually feel this really sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, the feeling of being left out, it’s a very powerful emotion. And just when I started to feel that fear, the market would pull back as it should and let me in. I knew how to read myself so well, and not get caught buying up for the sake of getting in. As a momentum trader, that was tough to learn.
I’m just starting to learn how to read myself when it comes to executing on this vision. Understanding how far above or below that line I really am, and when I’ve hit the top or bottom of those cycles. It’s the ebb and flow, and while you need to keep your eyes fixated on that line, you need your heart in the flow. You need to feel elated and crushed, all in the same week, and know that if you’re doing the right things you’ll always mean revert back to that line.
But in the end, it’s the farthest point in the very upper right hand corner of that graph that you need to keep your eye on, and to know all of the points on the line that get you there.
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Leigh Drogen is the founder and chief investment officer of Surfview Capital, LLC, a New York based investment management firm employing an intermediate term long/short momentum strategy. More »
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