Something a little different for a Friday evening / weekend read. I was fortunate enough to be taken to see the movie Best – George Best: All By Himself earlier this week in Dublin.
Those of you who know me will know that I am a north-west lad who grew up on the religion that is Manchester United (long before they were the mega-club of today). Furthermore, growing up my dad regaled me with tales of going every other Saturday to watch George Best play at Old Trafford (along with Charlton and Law: the holy trinity).
For those of you who don’t know Georgie Best was a young lad from Belfast, Northern Ireland who went to play for Manchester United in the early 1960’s and became one of the best (perhaps the best) player of his time. He was an especially gifted player.
However having hit the heights of success at the mere age of 22 the rest of his life became a Hamlet-esque style tragedy. He was the first real sports superstar and as such there was no manual he could turn to for help and guidance on how to deal with all the money, fame, girls and adulation. We take it for granted these days but back then it was a completely new phenomena. He was trying to manage it all on his own – and failing. His life slid downhill rapidly as he descended into a world of partying, bad biz deals, terrible choices, and drink. Mostly drink.
Whilst I am admittedly biased in this case, I have always loved seeing talent operating at its best. I find it fascinating and inspiring, regardless of the environment or discipline.
What does this mean to traders? Well as I watched the movie what became clear to me was that George had no support or success structures around him whatsoever. He was a quiet young boy who was suddenly the centre of attention for the media and the adoring world He was engaged in a lonesome endeavour to look after himself when the whole world was trying to take a piece of him.
We all make the mistake of thinking we can do it alone, that we need no-one. Trading encourages us to think that we can take on the markets on our own. And whilst we have to take responsibility for our trades, and the outcomes of our decisions, we are fooling ourselves if we think we can do it all alone.
The question to ask yourself is: who is on your team? What success structures do you have in place to help you handle the pressure of trading life, and ensure you perform at your best?
Maybe your take-away from this is to start to put a success structure in place to help you achieve and then maintain increased levels of trading performance?
These days we take it for granted that sports stars will have an entourage of support around them, but that wasn’t always the case. They have learned to have all manner of support around them to help them achieve success. Traders need to be the same – to have a support system that allows them to operate at their best level and be consistently successful.
In later life (when I was a kid) Best cut an increasingly sad, forlorn figure, who was in and out of the news for all the wrong reasons. By the end of his days he’d lost a lot of sympathy and support due to his behaviour. Though for some of us (admittedly biased and sentimental) supporters he’ll always be remembered for that night at Wembley in 1968 where he helped Sir Matt Busby finally win the European Cup 10 years after the Munich Air Disaster.