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Trading Psychology: The Story of Charlie Martell

trading psychology
Benajmin Lee
Director of Trading Psychology

I was in Whistler earlier this year attending my mastermind group’s annual winter retreat. It was an incredible four days of snowboarding, zip lining, networking, and masterminding. Gobundance is the name of the group and is made up of approximately 130+ millionaires that have committed to grabbing life big and being a millionaire in all the areas of their lives. You can imagine the type of people that this group would attract such as ex-professional athletes, C-Level executives from Fortune 500 companies, hedge fund managers, and serial entrepreneurs. There are some fascinating people that I had the opportunity to connect with but there was one person who stuck out. His name is Charlie Martell and he is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met in my life.

I met Charlie over breakfast one morning and we started chatting and giving each other a run down on our backgrounds. Charlie grew up in England and served in the British Army and the Royal Engineers. He successfully completed the Royal Marines All Arms Commando Course, then went off for his first tour of active duty in the Persian Gulf during the first Gulf War. At the end of the war, he participated in Operation Safe Haven, one of the UK’s first military-humanitarian efforts. He also was deployed to Bosnia and Northern Ireland. Having trained as an Army bomb-disposal expert, he combined this with his interest in humanitarian efforts to start work with the British-based mine-clearance charity the HALO Trust. He has volunteered in Cambodia, Angola and the Republic of Georgia. He now specializes in helping communities affected by explosive remnants and reminders of war.

I don’t know too many people that are willing to work with explosives let alone putting his life on the line by donating his time and expertise to find leftover mines and disarm them so that innocent people don’t get hurt. You would think he’s a pretty incredible person, but then he started talking to me about his passion for crazy adventures that no normal person would ever consider in their right mind. His first major expedition was as a member of the three-man team called ‘Commando Joe’, who took part in the 2005 Polar Challenge ski-race to the North Pole, finishing the 320-mile journey in a time of 9 days, 3 hours and 17 minutes. They averaged 1.5 miles per hour and I’m not even accounting for any time for sleep or rest. They had to average 35.5 miles a day to make their record-breaking time. Don’t forget that this was in the Arctic Circle where the average temperature is anywhere between -50° F to 54° F. The following year he recruited three further Commandos to join him in rowing the North Atlantic Ocean between New York and Mevagissey, Cornwall, UK, in the boat Mount Spirit. The journey took 85 days and the team earned two Guinness World Records on completion. Together, the two challenges raised more than £250,000 for the Meningitis Trust.

In 2012, he attempted to row across the North Pacific Ocean from Choshi, Japan to San Francisco, USA, to become the first person to make the crossing alone and wholly unsupported. He dedicated the funds raised from sponsorship to three charities: Give Them A Sporting Chance and Toe in the Water, based in the UK, and the US charity, Operation Second Chance. Unfortunately, him and his boat, Blossom, were met by Typhoon Mawar that disabled Blossom but both were luckily saved by a passing ship. His next project is what he calls Pacific 2018. He’s seeking to do the exact same trek again and capture another Guinness World Record even after his brush with death six years prior.

Charlie Martell is the self-proclaimed Charitable Adventurer and a certifiable badass! I wasn’t kidding when I said he was one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. When I was with him, I didn’t get a chance to really ask what drove him to put his life on the line in myriad of different ways from becoming an EOD specialist to racing across the Arctic to rowing solo across the Pacific Ocean. Although I didn’t get to hear it from his mouth in Whistler, I know he has some incredible emotional leverage that drives him to put his life on the line. So, why did I decide to tell you the incredible story of Charlie? Because I know we can draw some lessons and distinctions from him to utilize in our trading. If we can harness just a small amount of the emotional leverage that Charlie has to get us to take the necessary actions to become better traders, imagine how much more quickly and decisively you’ll take your trading to the next level.

So, what is it that makes Charlie take on so many things most people would never even consider? He has enough reasons to propel him to take action. You’re probably wondering what exactly I mean. When you want to take a journey in your car what are the things you’ll need to arrive at your destination? First, you need to figure out exactly where you want to go. Second, you’ll need a map or Waze to identify the route you’re going to take. Lastly, you need to fill up your gas tank with fuel. So, how does this relate with your psychology? Let’s look at it this way…Your destination are the goals you want to achieve. The map or navigation program you’re using is the plan you’re going to utilize to reach your goals. The fuel you’re putting into your car are the reasons why you absolutely need to achieve your goals. The more reasons or why’s you have to do something, the more fuel you’ll have to get you to your goal. The more important your reasons or why, the higher octane or more powerful your fuel is. For example, you know a lot of people that go to work every day. They have a choice whether or not to go but they work 8 hours a day, every weekday for 40+ years. Why? Because they need to make a living to put a roof over their family’s head, put food on the table to feed their loved ones, and to provide the best quality of life they can to their family. We are all driven by our reasons or our why’s.

If you want to start putting this to work in your trading immediately, you first have to identify the goals you want to achieve or the destination you want to reach. Fuel in your car is worthless until you decide to go somewhere. The second step is figuring out the plan on how to get to your goals. I provide a comprehensive plan on how to achieve your trading goals in our ShadowTrader Trading Psychology Series course. It’ll help save you time and prevent you from having to reinvent the wheel. I’ll provide you all of the systems to maximize your psychology every single time you’re trading to bring the best version of yourself and increase your odds. The last step is to fuel up your car and identify your reasons and your why’s. You can figure out your why’s on your own but you won’t have the strategies to connect with them emotionally. In Module 2 – Creating Emotional Leverage, I’ll take you through a process to help you to identify and connect emotionally with your reasons why. Once you’ve gone through the process, you’ll be able to utilize it to help you propel yourself to new heights because you’ll be able to connect with your reasons why just like Charlie. You may not decide to race 320 miles in the Arctic or row by yourself across the Pacific Ocean, but you’ll be able to summon unwavering conviction in the face of fear and insurmountable odds. Click HERE to learn more about the course.

Written by Benajmin Lee

Benjamin Lee has over 8 years of professional trading experience, trading his personal account with a concentration on e-mini S&P futures and has also traded for two hedge funds. He has traded stocks, futures, forex, and options and has trained several hundred traders. Ben is also a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

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