I’m not a handy man…
I make my living on a computer, so it’s not really surprising that I am not a handyman either.
But, we’re finishing up the building of a new house and we’re at the “furnishing” step (a step every man rightfully dreads).
And my wife decided she wants a farmhouse style table for our dining room–a way to accent an otherwise pretty modern design.
In case you can’t picture what that looks like, the table she wants is like this:
So I decided that since it’s such a basic design, I’d go ahead and build it myself (plus it would be super cheap this way and who couldn’t appreciate that?).
So, for the last few days I have been working on this project…
The table itself went up pretty easily. Heck, it was pretty much a rectangle.
So I moved on to the benches (one for each side of the table) and we decided to add a small wrinkle by adding backrests to the design of the benches (Amazing how a small detail can really change the scope of the whole project).
Well, I won’t bore you with the details but building the benches has not been pretty.
Whether it was a tiny mishap on cutting the angles for the backrest portion or not accounting for the width of the posts in my design or notching the wrong side of the board, etc. The list goes on and on of things I didn’t do just right.
But construction–even on a simple, tiny project like this–is interesting.
Because it’s hard to just skip steps and keep moving forward. When the initial two legs were out of level–even though my posts were identical in length–I couldn’t just skip over it and move to the next step because I knew what those legs being out of level would mean at the end of the project.
I had to mess around with it forever to figure out the issue.
Every time I messed something up I had to take the time to go back and get it right or just give up on the whole project. Skipping steps wouldn’t work and I knew it.
It was an ugly process and I was very tempted to have a bonfire on more than one occasion…
But I powered through it and eventually I had a functioning bench sitting level on my garage floor and looking pretty good by my own standards.
Then something strange happened…
I started on the second bench and it went a LOT smoother.
Every cut I made on the first needed to be made on the second. Every notch, every screw and nail..
Yet it felt like a completely different process.
So much quicker and simpler and more enjoyable.
Not skipping any steps, understanding what was needed to do it correctly had a powerful impact on my ability to do it the next time.
In trading, it’s very easy to skip steps because there’s no physical product to look at…
For example, we all know we should journal our trades, but not doing so doesn’t put a black smudge on our trading platform so it’s easy to skip over and not really worry about it.
But I think it’s really the same thing…
When we don’t do things in our trading we know are important, we’re causing significant damage to our performance.
It’s hard to measure (unlike the bench leg that was clearly an inch too long), but it’s still critical.
So I just want to encourage you that even though trading can be abstract and easy to justify when we don’t follow our rules and plan, it’s just as important to follow a plan when building a trading account as it is when building a farmhouse bench.