A way to improve your trading?

Try Making Salsa

One of the biggest mistakes that those who are new to trading make is focusing purely on the money.

 “Wait….what?,” you must be thinking. “I got into this to make money. Of course I would focus on the money. What else would I focus on?” 

Well, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned throughout my trading career, came from the wise words of John Carter. “Focusing on being a better trader, works so much better than trying to make money,” (The wise words of JC.) 

It seems so counter-intuitive, because after all, you are trading to make money, right?  

This is after all, the number one question I get…

“How much can I make?” When really, what traders should be asking is, “What can I do to get better at this skill?” 

Focusing on and honing in on improving their trading skills — and, how to mold their life in a way that fits around their trading goals is the best way to do that. A calm, level-headed trader is going to be a much more successful trader than one who is stressed out and focusing on the almighty dollar.

When you focus on being better… the dollars start flowing.

Life is full of patterns…

Just like in trading. And creating healthy patterns is all a part of being a well-rounded trader. One pattern pre-sabbatical that was driving me nuts was my inability to cook decent food (my poor family)! The same crockpot chicken gets really old, and it just doesn’t spice up your life! Rushing home and stopping by Taco Bell three times a week isn’t going to do anything to help you maintain a healthy pattern, either. 

In American culture, it’s become so normalized to rush, go out to eat, even get fast food! In other parts of the world, like Europe, and Costa Rica (where I used to live), people really take their time to sit down, and enjoy a meal — most of them homemade. 

One of my main goals during sabbatical was to learn how to use the grill and the smoker and learn some new recipes. This year, I finally grew some very healthy looking tomatoes (after three years of trying!), and I was determined to make something useful out of them. After posting a couple pictures online, I got a ton of awesome recipe suggestions. The top one that kept coming through was salsa. 


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Today’s harvest – what should I make!? #gardening #recipes #RecipeOfTheDay #vegetables #tomatoes #jalapenos #serano #FridayVibes

A post shared by Danielle Shay (@traderdanielleshay618) on

“Salsa?” I thought. Seems so simple, yet I have no idea how to make it. I decided to ask my friend Luisa, who’s from Mexico.

I love learning how to make real, authentic food, and I was so happy to discover she was thrilled to teach me. She showed me exactly how to sear the tomatoes, peppers and jalapenos, along with some onion and garlic — just the right amount. With a little salt and a blender, she blended it all together after about an hour of cooking. 

It was the most amazing salsa I’ve ever had. It was nothing like what you can get out of a jar, from the store. Sure, buying one is much easier and quicker than actually growing the vegetables ( and then spending an hour over the stove searing all of them until they are just the right amount of squishy and charred) but that doesn’t mean it’s better. 

I was so impatient waiting as she flipped over each tomato on each side (you know each tomato has to be seared in about 6-8 different spots!), but this was a lesson in patience.

I don’t even really like salsa (now I discovered why — it wasn’t the real kind!), but after learning from someone who knows what she was talking about, and using real ingredients, it’s one of my new favorite appetizers. 

Now, there are a couple sabbatical lessons in here. 

Patience. Mentors. Asking questions. Taking time to learn. Eating healthy. Focusing on doing something right — rather than doing it quickly. Slowing down and enjoying the roses (or salsa!). Taking time for yourself. Sharing time with friends. 

I’m sure you can already see the trading metaphors.

So, just remember when you’re focusing on making money, step back and remember what will actually get you there, and that’s rooted in focusing on becoming a better trader. 

Luisa fried every single tomato, she wasn’t just rushing to get it done, thinking about the end result. I was actually taking time out of my day to make something awesome, and I even had a couple jars left to gift to friends. 

Three weeks back into work after sabbatical, and I’m noticing that the habits I picked up during my time off continue to help me now that I’m back in the game. After all, it takes 3 weeks to make a habit!

Like I said, at first it was hard to be out of the market. But, this time gave me a moment to settle down and have the opportunity to really just enjoy life. And it’s those habits and lessons, that’ll continue to make me a better trader. 

What are some new habits you want to add to your routine? Do you want to cook more? Focus on a morning routine? Spend more time with your family? Spend more time learning? Let me know in the comments below! 

5 thoughts on “A way to improve your trading?”

  1. Family life is very uncomplicated now, so definitely focus on learning to be a better trader! I spend a lot of time going over and over the classes I have (Stacked Profits & 7 Stocks to Success).

  2. I’m a huge fan of fermenting (think sauerkraut but for everything). Fermented salsa (fresh, not cooked) is my favourite.

    Great post. I’m just getting into trading, and the one habit I’m starting with is tracking the internals (based on Mastering the Trade).

  3. Danielle,
    Wonderful article and lesson for life and trading. Such a beautiful metaphor and wow real salsa made with patience and love!
    So proud of you and all that you have accomplished since our early days in the FQ and Option chat rooms. You are an inspiration for all on many levels.
    Terry Cardello
    BTW terryc618 is an alias on many sites 🙂

  4. Oops.. Habits to incorporate and re-incorporate:
    1. Morning and evening meditation.
    2. Bike Ride – regardless of how much time or miles… just do it!
    3. Flotation Therapy – one session.. omg pure relaxation and heaven.
    4. Journal, journal, journal with screenshots as JC teaches. TSLA MTF Squeeze on Friday afternoon the 10th of July. Picture Perfect!!!
    5. Review, Review and Review classes…
    6. Practice, Practice, Practice…. Practice makes permanence!
    That’s a start!!

  5. Tnx alot for ur Time an the luv u hv for us the new one I Will take my time like u said dollars can wait for now I believe the time will come for that


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