For October edition of The SmarTalks Show, I was delighted to welcome my friend Anil back to the Podcast!
Anil is a frequent guest because we are often in contact for business and investments. We always have great chats and it is wonderful that we now have a channel and we can share them with the broader public!
The Power of Journaling
Journaling 10 minutes a day was the challenge for the month of October and I loved it.
It is a commitment. And it is one of the activities where you do not see immediate benefits. That's why many people don't do it. However, after a couple of days, you will have so much clarity.
Anil: There are days when I open my journal and I am like: “What do I write today?”. Many times you have already reflected in your mind, so why should you write it down? Isn’t it an extra effort?
Anil started journaling because one of the best traders in the business, Oliver Velez, journals. In his podcast, he says that when he was learning to trade, he noticed that a guy used to write down every single stop loss on a book.
Oliver Velez asked him: “Why do you write it down if you already know mentally?” and the guy replied: “If I put it in my mind, it doesn't happen. There's no 100% guarantee. But if I put it on book, I know I'm disciplined. I have to stick to this”.
Another inspiration came from Benjamin Franklin. The latter encouraged people to journal, he wrote down his ideas every day. Anil is currently reading the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin to improve his own journaling process.
Anil has three journaling books: one is for his daily emotions and to understand if he is getting better or going backward. The second one is his life journal, small goals, habits, where he sees himself, how his day went, and anything different he could have done. But the most important one is the trading journal, which is really important for him to discipline himself in order to be a very good trader.
Anil: journaling helped me so much because if you learn something and keep it in your mind, you will end up forgetting it. Who remembers what we studied in school? When you journal, you take responsibility for what you write and you acknowledge that you can always look back and see how you can improve. Furthermore, you engage both mind and writing; technically, you are putting twice the effort!
I would recommend people to start journaling. Just one journal, or even weekly ones where you write how your week went and what you could do next week. Put down your small goals, how you want to improve your mental strength, how you want to improve your emotions, how you just want to help others. Feel free to write whatever you wish. No one's watching. No one's judging. No one's saying you should scrub it.
Matteo: I have to admit, I don't think everyone is doing this challenge, probably because it looks difficult, or it looks time consuming. But the people who are doing it, they see the benefits. And that's the important thing. As a professional, I am happy when I see people who are benefiting from the challenge.
Learn to realize if you have too much in your mind, or if you have too little in your mind. If you have too much on your mind, journaling is the way to go because you download things from your brain into a piece of paper. If, on the contrary, you're uninspired, if you have too little your mind, then read something! Get inspired by other people, watch a video! You are not obliged to journal every single day, but it helps because then all the dots kind of connect, and you keep track of what you learn because otherwise you forget it.
Anil: Something just clicked in my mind. In order to go from A to Z, there is a process:
You imagine it in your mind.
You write it down.
You take action.
Everyone has ideas; what separates the 99% of the people from the 1% is that the 1% manages to go from the idea to the action. You cannot start with step 2 or step 3! You need to start with step 1.
Wish --> When you write it down, the Wish becomes a Goal.
Goal --> When you take massive action, the Goal becomes Reality.
Follow the process, you will get there, one step at the time. As simple as that.
Life as entrepreneurs
We are both running our own businesses: Coaching & Day Trading. Many people see our life and might think it is very glamorous. They might assume everything is always great. “Oh my God, you can do whatever you want, when you want! You have freedom!”. What people do not see, however, are the moments when we struggle.
Anil: If you've come out of the corporate world, with an employee mindset, there is a risk of being a failure in starting your own businesses, because you may want to show everyone that you are a successful businessman before you have even become a businessman! You set up a fancy office, buy a new place, nice furniture, etc. 90% of those people are not actually doing well.
Most importantly, I think no one will have as many mental breakdowns as an entrepreneur. There are so many days when you experience a mental breakdown and the saddest thing is that you start doubting yourself. When you are an employee, you do not have much doubt because you still have a job the next day, you are going to get a salary at the end of the month. But when you are an entrepreneur, you doubt yourself because there is so much pressure coming in from friends, family, etc. You will start thinking what will happen if you fail, and how your network will perceive your failure. This is the dark side of being an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs might face depression and self-doubt at times, the biggest crime anyone can commit. Because it's not others doubting you, you are doubting yourself.
You will realize that you need to master the hardest of arts, the art of discipline. You will not succeed in one day. Nor in one week. Nor in a month. It will take you years! It takes a lot of effort from your side, a lot of doubt, a lot of mental breakdowns. But the beauty of why entrepreneurs come out strong is because that is their only solution. They burn the ships.
Personal branding is important: In order to have a successful business you need to come out and look successful. If you want to get good clients, you need to come out and look like a successful businessman. Only then, the clients will come be attracted to you. You cannot say “Please come to me, I am mentally broke, pay me I will help you!”. Anil argues that you can't be a real self and get into the real world. Everyone has to be fake when getting into the real world, put up a mask in order to do something right.
Given Family, Chosen Family
Another interesting experience of being an entrepreneur is the social awakening.
Anil: You will start neglecting, pushing away, negative people, toxic people. People who have a problem for every solution. Why does that happen? Well, since you're already going through so much, you don't want to add extra negativity to your life. It is very hard, for people who are not entrepreneurs, to understand that. People typically assume that you have attitude, but in reality you are just trying to grow, you're trying to be a better version, and you don't want to be dragged down. If you are dragged down as an entrepreneur, you are not just dragging yourself down, you're dragging your entire business down.
There is a misconception that entrepreneurs are very selective, very lonely in the way they operate. “When you are very selective, you are lonely at the top”. It's easy to find 1000 Friends if you drop your level down to their level, but it's very hard to find those quality, growth mindset people once you keep growing. It is completely okay to choose growth or company. Just because you need people or friends, you don't need to put yourself down and drag yourself down. You're wasting time there.
Entrepreneurship is not an easy job. And if people think it is easy, they should try and talk about it after they have survived it.
Matteo: One thing that people don't realize sometimes is that it is not that an entrepreneur wants to be lonely. But sometimes you feel kind of obliged to be more lonely, because if you keep the company that you had before, in every situation, that would sometimes break your dreams. It will drag you down. If you are someone who is trying so hard to work on himself/herself, to work towards a dream (which is completely uncertain), a vision (which is completely uncertain), the only thing you wish for is to have people around you who are positive and growth minded. That's the biggest dream of every entrepreneur. The problem is that these people are very hard to find.
As we discussed in the Given family, Chosen Family episode, the “family” you surround yourself with is the biggest factor for your happiness and quality of life.
If you have a given family which is super negative, this breaks your dreams. When I speak to my family, they are typically negative: “You have to consider that you will fail, that you will not find any client, that you have other six months, and then you will just go back to the corporate world”. I asked them why they are so negative and they argued “We are just trying to be realistic”. The point is that they have no idea of how much self-induced pressure I feel every day. I don't need any extra pressure on my shoulders. Any friend who is negative will confirm negative thoughts in my head and will bring me far away from what I am trying to accomplish.
Anil: Given Family, Chose Family is a perfect caption. 95% of families are very protective of their kids because they are worried about society’s opinion. “What do I tell our cousins?”. They evaluate your life choices based on how much money they spent on you, and societal expectations.
My mom is completely different because she's an entrepreneur herself. She supported me even though she knew that it would be a rough road. Every time I fell in the wrong path, she knew I was going the wrong path but she didn't say anything because she knew I would learn from it. I think that really benefited me.
Chosen family and given family play a really big role in the person you become down the road and the person you mold yourself into; what's your take when it comes to the emotional level of given and chosen family? Do you have different emotional connections with your given and chosen family? Career-wise of course you choose the chosen family, but when it comes to emotions, do you do still choose the chosen family or do you have an equal balance between the given and chosen?
Matteo: The given family, especially your blood relatives, gave a lot to you, they invested so much in you, for you to grow, for you to become an amazing human being.
There is a quote from Tony Robbins that goes like this: “If you blame your family for everything wrong they did to you, remember to also bless them for every positive thing they did for you”.
These words changed my perspective. The fact that now I'm able to do all these things, get an incredible education, travel, choose the people in my life, is also because they educated me the correct way.
It is not that you love your chosen family and you send to hell your given family. It should be more like: I appreciate everything my given family gave to me. But I know that I need to choose my family, if I want to accomplish certain goals, because my given family will only be able to support me up to a certain point. For instance, your childhood friends will go with you until a certain point, then you need other people to inspire you to do more. If you want to make a million euros per year, your family can help you up to what they are currently earning.
We hope you enjoyed this article and we look forward to inspiring you down the road!
Make your life a masterpiece. See you next week. We appreciate you, and we hope you have an amazing day.