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Ep. 573: Jon Gordon Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Jon Gordon
Jon Gordon

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Jon Gordon is an author and speaker on leadership, culture, sales, and teamwork. He has worked with numerous athletic organizations, academic institutions, and corporations. His latest book is “The Power of Positive Leadership.” He teaches people how to focus on weeding out the negative and not letting that energy poison the team.

Jon describes himself as a once fearful, negative and stressed out 31-year old. What changed all of that? His wife gave him the ultimatum: Change your life or I am leaving you. He had an “Aha” moment that gave him the revelation he was meant to write and speak. However, Jon knew he needed to work on himself first, so he started taking steps to better himself. He began by going on walks of gratitude and created a “positive tip of the week” newsletter. This lead to him creating a website, doing about 80 free talks to get started, and ultimately just going for it as an entrepreneur. Jon describes impacting others as being the greatest feeling in the world.

“The Power of Positive Leadership” and Jon’s overall message is about how to root out the negative and focus on the positive. One negative person can bring an entire team down. He calls these people “negative vampires” and says they must be addressed, called out, and kicked off the bus. Building positive leaders fosters building a positive team. You get people on your bus by the way you lead. It can’t be an ultimatum—“Be positive or your are out of here!”

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Leadership skills
  • Energy vampires
  • Negativity is contagious
  • Grit is the biggest predictor of success
  • Overcoming challenges
  • Pushing forward through adversity

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Ep. 455: Ryan Holiday Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday

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Michael Covel interviews Ryan Holiday. Today they discuss his new book, “Ego is the Enemy.”

Ryan makes the case that ego is the worst factor that you can add into any situation. So many entrepreneurial ideas start out as crazy. However, when the idea works out after ignoring every critic or bit of sound evidence that it would not work, then that can create an ego that can easily get out of control. Ryan says, “This is how a person that builds an empire also destroys an empire.” He uses General Sherman from the Civil War as an example of controlled success. His greatness came gradually and unexpected as opposed to a person like Napolean who thought they were set for greatness from the outset. Google is another example. It was started by two men who did not set out to conquer the internet but because they focused on events as they came, one at a time, greatness gradually happened.

Next, Michael brings up one of Ryan’s book chapters relating to being a student. He tells the story of Kirk Hammett, one of the greatest heavy metal guitarist of all time, being a student of Joe Satriani who is one of the most famous guitar virtuosos of all time. Hammett hired him when he was already on his way to being famous. Even with his success, he knew he still had plenty to learn from Satriani. Hammett was able to be humbled enough, even after being chosen as the new guitarist of Metallica, to hire someone who was an even better guitarist than him so he could continue to learn. Steve Jobs is another example that is brought up. Before he created the iPod and iPhone there were many other layers to his story. His story could have ended after he was fired and he could have become a cautionary tail for CEO’s to learn from but instead he became an inspiring story that everyone can learn positives from.

Michael and Ryan move into breaking apart the “10,000 hour rule.” Ryan says that it isn’t a real number. It is egotistical to think that once you hit that 10,000th hour that you will gain your success at that moment. Outcome is one thing, but the process is something else. If we could learn everything from a book that would be great but some lessons can only be learned from painful experiences. It is a balance between learning from your own experiences and learning from others. Landing on the other side of fear, failure, success, and aspirations can be a great feeling. Ryan says that each person is constantly at one of those points in their life. It is ever changing, but the worst thing you can introduce into any of those phases is ego.

Michael finishes the conversation asking Ryan if he thinks his message will translate to the younger “millennial” generation. Ryan says that this is something he had thought a lot about while writing his book.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Letting other people win
  • Being seen not heard
  • Only the paranoid survive
  • Dealing with failure
  • Dealing with success

“You control the effort that you put into the work, you don’t control the reception to the work.” – Ryan Holiday

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Looking to Buy a Money Machine?

Feedback in:

Michael:

I have just finished reading your communication on the “why sell system..” Here is my take on it. It is perfectly honorable to sell [a] system. I think there are two broad groups of people who buy systems.

One group who buys these with expectation that they are buying a machine to print money tomorrow are set up for immediate disappointment. They can’t/don’t follow it and experience it in real life and do only in bits and pieces and eventually abandon it.

The other group buys system as first step towards their education and if it works out for them they work on improving the system to match their needs and personality. Eventually they end up with something that has basic foundation they started with but totally different parameters etc.

So both group ends not using system they started with but they have entirely different outcome in the process. It is like attending High School: some people finish that and some don’t.

This is a complete hypothesis on my part, so do let me know if you have any insight on what happens after people buy your or any other system.

I can’t see how people think that if they buy anything from me that it is a machine to print money. Unless they are delusional. In terms of ‘system learning’ the Turtle experiment proved rules could be taught. Sure, you can modify, but it’s still trend following.

Insight after they buy? https://www.trendfollowing.com/success.

Of course, I am sure some don’t trade for any number of reasons. However, trying to figure that out is like studying fundamentals–a never ending futility.

There Is Only One Turtle Story

How do you make it on Wall Street? Some feedback:

Dear Mr. Covel, My name is [Name] and I just finished reading “The Complete TurtleTrader” for the second time. I recently graduated college as a psychology major but I am determined to work in the finance/investment world. Therefore, two quotes from page 15 and 16 really spoke to me:

“I think it’s far more important to know what Freud thinks about death wishes than what Milton Friedman thinks about deficit spending.” “Go down to Wall Street today after work with the hot-shot traders all earning $500,000 a year at the big banks and you’ll find very few who talk about Freud being the ticket to making millions.”

I’m writing this email to get your advice. I’ve applied to many big investment firms and haven’t even gotten a call back. I’ve even applied to Vanguard as a lowly Client Relationship specialist just to get my foot in the door. I did get a call back from them, but it’s been two months.

How can I secure the career I desire? It seems as if nobody recognizes the importance of psychology in finance. I’ve read well over 100 investment books in the past two years, I’ve beaten the market and I’ve even started an investment/personal finance website. I’ve included this in my cover letters and there’s STILL nothing. Right now I plan to go at it on my own and take my Series 65 soon, but I wonder if there’s a better way.

Because your work really affected me and it seems as if you (and Richard Dennis) understand how I feel, what should I do?

Thanks a lot. I appreciate your time, keep up the amazing work!

[Name]

But you missed a big issue. The role of entrepreneur in investing, trading. Trading has a few stories of working for someone else, but the real way to freedom and success in the space is DIY. I would recommend a non-trading book: Linchpin by Seth Godin. 50 pages in I suspect you might see the flaw in your pursuit.

PS. Only one Turtle story.

Distraction Kills

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg:

“I want to stress the importance of being young and technical. Young people are just smarter. Why are most chess masters under 30? I don’t know. Young people just have simpler lives. We may not own a car. We may not have family. Simplicity in life allows you to focus on what’s important.”

Of course, family, and other aspects of life are important, but that doesn’t take away from Zuckerberg’s wisdom. Want to make something big happen, like trend following success, then avoid distraction. Period.

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