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Thanks for Listening to My Interview on The WeInvested Podcast!

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Transcript of Adrian Reid’s Interview On The WeInvested Podcast

Enlightened Stock Trading ft Adrian Reid on Apple Podcasts

Wesley:

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Today on The WEInvested Podcast, we have Adrian Reid and he is the founder of Enlightened Stock Trading. Adrian, how are you doing today?

Adrian Reid:

I’m fantastic, Wesley. Thanks so much for having me on the show.

Wesley:

That’s awesome. Thank you so much for joining. I’m excited to get the chance to learn more about the company that you’ve built and created. But before we get started, would you just mind letting the people know how they can find you on the internet, your website, or social media?

Adrian Reid:

Yeah, absolutely. So, my website is enlightenedstocktrading.com. My email is [email protected] So, people can reach out to me directly on Facebook, same, just search for the company name, Enlightened Stock Trading, sort through the scammers, find the real one, it’s the one with all the likes as opposed to the no likes. And yeah, that’s probably the best way to find me.

Wesley:

That’s awesome, man. So, let’s start from the top and talk a little bit about where you’re from and where you grew up.

Adrian Reid:

Yeah, sure. So, I’m from Australia, you can probably tell from the accent. We were having a conversation about accents and all of that just before we started the show. So, I’m from Australia. I was born in Sydney, and actually I spent most of my adult life in Sydney. I traveled around a lot for work and for pleasure, but living-wise, most of my time there.

I spent three years in Singapore and another year traveling around the world with my family and kids, but now we’re settled in back in Australia and I’m just north of Sydney in a beach town called Port Macquarie.

Wesley:

Man, that’s incredible. I mean, and just getting the chance to travel all over the world and experience these different cultures and different lifestyles and different ways of thinking. How would you say, you being able to travel impacted your outlook on life and success?

Adrian Reid:

So much. So much. I mean, one of my biggest drives is experiencing variety, different ways of life, different environments, different food, different culture. And my wife and I had planned for a long time, or dreamed, let me say for a long time, of basically shutting up shop at home and just traveling indefinitely. And with kids, that’s tough. Well, it feels tough because there’s school and commitments and activities and friends.

But in 2019, we decided that if we weren’t going to do it then, we would never do it. So, let’s just pack up. We rented our house out, we put everything in storage, we went traveling, and we spent a year on the road. We did homeschool with the kids and just experienced a lot. We spent three months in the US, three months in Europe, and the rest of the year in Asia. And saw a ton of countries and lots of people and lots of different environments, and it was just phenomenal. So, for me, it’s a big driver. Just seeing different parts of the world is hugely appealing. And I really like the idea of just floating around the world, being a digital nomad, I guess. When my kids are grown and out of home, then that’s probably the life we’ll live.

Wesley:

I think that’s incredible to, as you mentioned, just be able to experience something like that because so many people have that dream, so many people want to do it, but to actually accomplish it, that has to be a great feeling. And to share that moment with your family, with your children, and give them that experience at such a early age, at such a young age, to just have that worldly knowledge. I mean, it’s unmatched.

Adrian Reid:

Oh, so much. Yeah, it’s phenomenal. And we fell into the trap that I think a lot of people fall into, which is, “Oh, we can’t do it now, because…” Insert some reason. “We’re busy.” Or, “It’s not the right time.” But when we actually decided that we wanted to travel and we were just going to go, everything just fell into place. We found a school that the kids could do remote and we could do it wherever we were. I adjusted my business and I’m sure we’ll talk a lot about that. And I adjusted how the business works and I took that on the road.

I’m a full-time trader. I’ve been supporting myself from trading stocks since 2012. I took that on the road. That was fine, too. It just all falls into place. As long as you’ve got your life set up in a way to give you what you want … And what I want, what I value is freedom. Right? So, I did set up my investing, I set up my business, I set up all of that, so that it didn’t really matter where I was. And when we went traveling, it was great. I did fine in stocks that year, in my trading. I did great in business that year. And boy, personal life was pretty fantastic.

Wesley:

That’s awesome, man. And that’s what I want to focus on a little bit more and shed some light on the company that you’ve built and created. My question is, what is Enlightened Stock Trading?

Adrian Reid:

Yeah, solid question. Enlightened Stock Trading is basically born out of my desire to have people to talk to. And let me explain that a little. I’ve been trading stocks for 20 years, and in 2012 I made more money trading stocks than I made in my day job. And I had a pretty good day job. I was a moderately senior manager in a big corporate. I earned probably $250,000, $230,000 that year. But I worked really, really hard, long hours and plenty of weekend work. I got up early, went to work, came home, ate dinner, kept working. It was just stressful. And that year I made more money trading stocks than I made in my day job.

Wesley:

Wow.

Adrian Reid:

And that’s because I’d set up my investing life so that it was quick and easy on the side. So 2012, I was like, “You know what? The trade-off just doesn’t make sense anymore.” So, I left the corporate world to focus on my trading and it was great, living the dream. And then three months later I was sitting at home bored, lonely, and depressed, because all my friends were at work. I didn’t know any traders. I had no one to talk to about the thing that I loved. All I had was my own trading, which took me 30 minutes a day.

Wesley:

Wow.

Adrian Reid:

And I had the books I was reading and I’d had the jobs around the house and picking up the kid from school and that sort of thing, but that’s it. And so, it didn’t take me very long to start going a bit stir crazy. And so, I started looking for people to teach what I knew, because lots of people were asking me, “Hey, how did you do it? How did you quit your job and trade for a living?” So, I started to teach, but I didn’t have a business, so I just was teaching people for free for social contact, right? Just so I have someone to talk to. And I tried that for a little while, but people don’t value what they don’t invest in.

Wesley:

Exactly.

Adrian Reid:

And so, it was actually kind of hard to teach for free, but I liked it. I really liked it, but people wouldn’t show up, they wouldn’t do the assignments I gave them, and I was putting in more effort than they were, and it just didn’t work. So, I decided that I would turn it into a business, so that I could grow the community of traders that I wish I had. And that’s where it came from, it’s like passion about this topic.

And I built the business and then ultimately the community to basically expand my passion and share it and have other people to interact with, because trading is lonely. Right? You’re sitting at home, it’s just you and the computer. There’s no coffee shop, there’s no water cooler in the corridor to go talk to people at. There’s no one at the desk down the corridor you go talk to.

And so, I started blogging and teaching about it, and I had a few one-on-one clients and they paid me a little bit of money here and there. And then eventually I got really sick of answering the same questions over and over again, because everyone has the same questions, because everyone’s on the same journey. So, I started recording videos to streamline the process, so I could help more people, and it just grew from there. Basically, I started from passion. I started sharing, I started selling, coaching, and consulting support to people and products, as in trading systems and tools and everything.

And I kept hitting this capacity like, “Oh, I can only help five people at a time, why? It’s so frustrating.” So, I changed something, fixed something, and then it grew. And then I hit capacity again. So, I like, “Okay, what’s stuck, what’s broken?” So, I fixed it and it grew. And it just keeps growing and growing. Every time I find something’s broken, try and find a way to fix it and then grow a bit more. And that’s basically what I’m still doing today after … Well, it’s been since 2014, I really started teaching and we’re at 2022, still surviving, still going strong.

Wesley:

I mean, that’s incredible, man, and an amazing journey and an amazing story. And I think there are a few themes that stand out to me, that jump out to me. So, the first one that I recognize is that you had the courage to step out and to transition and leave your comfortable nine to five job, and to chase your dreams and do what you really wanted to do full-time.

A second important theme that I saw was, even though you experienced success early on at trading and eating what you killed so to speak, you still were able to create a business out of what you wanted. And I think that’s one of the most important things about being an entrepreneur, is creating what you want to see, creating that community that you wish you had, and then being able to provide that for someone else.

And then, just the last interesting point, which is something that all entrepreneurs and business owners have, is that curiosity. So, you found, “I’m hitting a wall, I’m hitting a ceiling. How can I tweak it to make my business better? How can I tweak it to make my business more efficient?” So, it’s like, no matter what level of success you reach, you’re still curious and you’re still hungry for improvement, you’re still striving for more and to better yourself and to better what it is that you’re working on and what you’re building.

Adrian Reid:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I really love … Calling out courage I think is a big one, because you’ve got to have the courage to go for your dream. I mean, you might fail-

Wesley:

Exactly.

Adrian Reid:

… but so what if you fail? At least you tried and you can get up and you can try again, you can try again, and eventually you’ll make it work. As long as you’ve got the courage to keep going. So, I love that. I think it’s really, really important.

Creating the business that you want is super important. And there’s been lots of times where I’ve been going along okay in the business and then started to become uncomfortable like, “I don’t really want to do this today.” And whenever you observe that you don’t want to do this again today, still, it’s a little signal that something is off track, right?

Wesley:

Exactly.

Adrian Reid:

Oh, it’s happened so many times, lots of times, but I was doing a lot of one-on-one coaching of traders and it started to feel draining. I was really in deep involvement with these people and working really closely on lots of detail, helping a small number of people, and I was doing well, but I wasn’t satisfied. And the reason I wasn’t satisfied, I figured out, was that I wanted more impact. It wasn’t about more money, because I was making reasonable returns. My business has always been super profitable, but I just wanted more impact. I wanted to help more people. I wanted a bigger community, because, make it more vibrant and give other people that.

And so, when I feel those warning signals where I’m just not satisfied with the way it is, it’s like, “Okay. Well, what’s wrong? What can I fix? What can I change to make this more me, more what I want? And I love that you said curiosity, because it’s one of my favorite words. And in my trading, curiosity is one of the most important things, because you’ve got to have the curiosity to wonder, “What is really going on? Why did that happen? Why did I make money? Why did I lose money? Why does this work? Why did the market do that?” And in business, it’s the same thing. You’ve got to get curious about what’s working and what’s not, and go after it.

Wesley:

Exactly. And you mentioned that you were trading while you were working your day job, and your nine to five, but what I want to ask is, how did you get started trading? What was that initial spark or that initial interest for you that said, “You know what? This is something that I want to at least try out and see if I’m good at.”? You eventually got really good at it, but what was the start for you?

Adrian Reid:

The start for me was really discontent with the traditional path. I went to school, I got good grades. I went to university, I got great grades. I got a good job. I got well paid, but it didn’t take me long in the corporate workforce to realize I didn’t want to do that forever. I was sitting on a bus on the way into work one day and it just felt like I was going down this big, dark tunnel to doom, and I just didn’t want to do that for the next 50 years.

My family is not entrepreneurial. My mom was a teacher, she’s retired now. My father was a business guy. He started off as an engineer but worked into management and he always worked in someone else’s business. And so, I didn’t have any entrepreneurial mentors. What I did have was investing mentors, I suppose. My dad was always interested in investing.

And so, when I started to feel this way at the beginning of my corporate career, I said to him, “So, I don’t want to do this forever. How do I retire?” He laughed at me. “How do you retire? You just started.” But then we had the serious conversation of, “Well, you’ve got to spend less than you earn. You’ve got to save it, and then you’ve got to invest it so it grows, and then you keep adding and then as it grows, then you can start to live off it.” I said, “Okay, that sounds slow, but okay.” We got started, and I tried lots of different ways, but eventually I found the way that suited me. It took me three years. I didn’t have any mentors. Well, I did a couple of courses, but no real guidance. I just had to figure it out.

And I read a couple hundred books on trading and investing to find my way, the thing that I wanted to do, that resonated with me. And I think this theme is common with both investing and with business. You’ve got to have a spark, a passion for what you’re doing, because you’re going to spend a lot of time doing it. You’re going to spend a lot of time thinking about it. You’re going to spend a lot of time planning. It’s going to take you away from your family. It’s going to take you away from your sleep. And you want to love doing it.

And so, I would never run a business that I hated and I would never invest in a way that I didn’t feel congruent with. So, I tried probably five or six different investing, trading styles until I found my style, which is systematic trading, it’s rules based, “If this and this and this happen, you buy. If this or this happen, you sell.” And you can test those rules on data and all that. And I found that, it’s like, “Whoa, this is the best thing ever. I’m going to do this forever.” Right? And business is basically the same. You’ve got to have something that you enjoy, that’s going to be a positive experience, because you’re going to be spending a lot of time doing it.

Wesley:

Absolutely. I mean, and the idea of trading stocks and stock options in itself can be very intimidating. There are a lot of nuances to understand. You have to be able to read and analyze charts and understand the news. And I guess that’s not true in every aspect of it, but just from a high level, from the outside looking in, it seems like there are a lot of factors and things that you have to be in tune with and be involved with and be aware of.

I’m sure, which can intimidate a lot of people. They may feel like, “Man, this is a lot for me to learn. I don’t know if I’m up to it. I don’t know if I have the time. I don’t know if I’m smart enough to actually learn it and to be able to do it successfully.” So, I want to ask you, in your opinion, why have most stock and crypto traders or investors lost money and how can they turn things around?

Adrian Reid:

Yeah, good question. And look, there’s a couple of reasons why most people lose money. The starting point is, most people think about what they can gain before what they could lose. And so, if you go into the markets thinking only about the upside, it’s like, “Oh, I’m going to get rich. Oh, I can quit my job. Oh, I can make 100% or 1000%.” Or whatever. You’re thinking about half the equation.

But the downside is way more important and it’s way more important because of this, simple math. If you have $1,000 and you lose 50%, you’ve got $500 left. Right? With that $500, if you want to get back to where you were, you’ve got to make 100% return on your $500 to get back to 1,000. So, the downside is really scary. If you lose too much, it’s hard to recover.

And if you don’t think about protecting that downside, it’s very hard to keep making money into the future, because you end up with a big drop and you can’t recover from it. Well, I mean, let’s just do the math, right? If you have $1,000 and you lose 90%, right? You’re left with $100. If you want to get back, you’ve got to make $900 to get back to the $1,000 that you had, which is a 900% return on your $100 that’s left. And yet, people will very happily just lose money in their account, thinking that they’ll make it back.

Wesley:

Exactly.

Adrian Reid:

I think in business and in investing and in trading particularly, the simple math is actually pretty important. You’ve got to figure out, what is the equation for success? And the equation for success in trading is, have a set of rules that you can apply consistently over and over and over again. Make sure that you only lose a very small amount when you’re wrong and make sure you make a big amount when you’re right.

And so, when you’re losing a small amount several times in a row, you don’t lose too much, so that when you make a bigger amount, it recovers and you make a profit overall. You can lose $1 seven times and it doesn’t matter if you make $5 the next three trades.

Wesley:

Wow.

Adrian Reid:

So, you got to understand the math of how it works. And most people don’t think about that. They just think, “I’m going to get rich next week by buying a token or a stock that’s going to go to the moon.”

Wesley:

Exactly.

Adrian Reid:

You probably won’t. You’ll probably go broke. You got to protect the downside.

Wesley:

And human behavior is a peculiar thing. Right? So, I guess I want to ask, how do you focus on reeling that back in or helping people stay level-headed and not get greedy and not focus on, “Okay, but I could be a millionaire by tomorrow if I buy the right thing or if I sell at the right moment.”?

I feel like it’s a fine line to walk. It’s difficult to keep someone focused on the system and focused on the step plan and just to follow the checklist instead of seeing that shiny dollar or whatever, getting excited, and just going for it. How do you help people maintain and stay focused on the systematic part of trading?

Adrian Reid:

Yeah. It’s really about opening their eyes to the whole trading world and the way it really works. Once you understand the math of trading, small losses, big gains, add them all together. And over time, it doesn’t matter how often you are wrong, as long as the losses add up to less than the gains. Right?

So, I find that once people really understand that it’s a numbers game, it’s about small losses, big gains and a positive expectation of profit overall, managing the downside, it starts to fall into place because it’s like … What is it like? Running a business seems complicated. When I started my corporate career, I would never have dreamed of running my own business. I had no concept of it. It just felt like a risky endeavor. Everyone my parents knew that started a business were boom and bust people, and they’d lost their house and all of this stuff. And it was like, “Whoa, that’s just risky. I don’t understand it. I’m never doing that.”

But when you really, with curiosity, like we said before, investigate and learn about something, it starts to make sense. And I think showing the underlying mathematical way of how trading fits together and how the losses and sequence of losses, and what can go wrong and how you can manage it, and all of that, and just opening people’s eyes to the downside as well as the upside, it starts to become clearer.

Then the best tool that we have in trading, which actually we don’t have in many other endeavors that we do, the best tool that we have in trading is back testing. What back testing is, is you take all of your rules and you put them into some software and the software has all of the historical data of the markets, the last six or eight years in crypto, the last 50 or 100 years in stocks. And you can say, “If I had followed these rules exactly, how would my portfolio have done? Would it have made money or not?”

And when you start to simulate your ideas, you realize, “Oh, most of my ideas are pretty crappy. They don’t actually work. They don’t make money.” Right? So, you’re like, “Oh, that doesn’t work. Wonder why?” You get curious, dig into it. And then eventually you find some rules that do work. And here’s a real simple example of rules that work. Wait for the market to be going up. The stock market should be above a 200-day moving average or something like that. So, it’s clearly going up. And wait for the stock to be going up. And if the stock makes a new 100-day high, 200-day high, something like that, it’s clearly going up, right? Because it’s the highest it’s been for the last 200 days. Buy it.

It feels expensive because it’s the highest it’s been for the last 200 days. I was like, “But I want a bargain.” But hold on. If it’s going up, which direction is it likely to keep going? Think about momentum. Probably likely to keep going up. Right? There’s no reason why it should just immediately turn around and start going down, just because it feels a little bit expensive. So, if you buy something that’s going up and then you wait until it’s obviously going down, buy it at a 200-day high and then sell it if it drops 25% from the highest price that it’s been. So, you are going to buy it and then if it keeps going up, keeps going up, keeps going up, you just hold it. And then when it turns around and starts going down, starts going down, and it hits that level, you get out, and you made money in the middle.

Wesley:

So, it’s like-

Adrian Reid:

And you can test it, and it works.

Wesley:

Exactly.

Adrian Reid:

And it works in Australia and it works in the US and it works in Canada and it works in Hong Kong, it works in lots of different markets, it works in crypto. That’s not the best system. I don’t recommend trading with those rules, but it’s just illustration of, simple rules can make money. You’ve just got to have a way to test them. And luckily in trading, in stocks and in crypto, we have that, we can backtest using history. In business, little more challenging. You’ve got to run selected experiments, see what works, test things out, gather the evidence yourself and learn from people who have done it from before.

Wesley:

Absolutely, man. And I think that’s a great piece of advice is understanding that you can backtest and study the history to see what has worked. And you can also study the successful people who’ve done what you’re trying to do, to figure out how to reach the level of success that you want to reach. But I mean, I think you said something that’s important and it’s something that I’m realizing myself more and more, and this is just in life in general, in life, business, investing, whatever it is. Most things in life are simple, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re easy to do.

Adrian Reid:

That’s so right.

Wesley:

The thought and the idea of staying consistent and taking your course every day, taking it serious, looking at charts every day, that idea is simple, but the staying consistent part is hard. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it is very simple and it’s methodical. That’s the word. It’s very routine based. And if you can get into a routine of just devoting yourself to your trade and to what it is that you’re trying to accomplish and become successful at, then eventually you will become that success story.

Adrian Reid:

Yeah, absolutely. Completely, completely agree. If the strategy is complicated, it’s probably not going to work. And I think this is true in business and in trading and in property investing, and in most other things, but if you’ve got an elegant strategy that’s simple at its essence and it has worked historically, and you’ll do it consistently, then chances are it will work in the future.

The challenge is, like you said, the discipline, the consistency. And I find with trading, the big driver of that is confidence. If you have absolute confidence that it works, then you can get through the hard times. I have a strategy, trend following in stocks, trend following is where you buy something that’s going up, you hold it until it’s going down. Right? And in trend following, you get to be wrong most of the time, and most people don’t like to be wrong. So, I’m wrong 70% of the time, but you lose a small amount each time, and when you’re right, you win big. But most people don’t like to be wrong.

This is a simple strategy. You buy things that are going up, if they start going down, you sell them. And most of the time, you’re going to take a small loss, small loss, small loss, big win, small loss, small loss, small loss, small loss, big win. But unless you’ve got a deep confidence in that strategy through testing and evaluation and mental simulation and practice, it’s pretty hard to follow it. But you know what? That’s great, because that means it keeps working because most people can’t do it.

Wesley:

Exactly. Exactly. I think you said something pretty cool earlier, was that you spent your time studying trading, reading everything that you could get your hands on to learn about these different strategies and different systems. What was the feeling that you got when you knew that this system that you currently use, “This is the one for me. This is the one I want to utilize.”? How did you know that was the one?

Adrian Reid:

It was like coming home. I tried all these different strategies … And it’s the perfect question what you’ve asked, because most people will try and force fit a strategy that doesn’t fit their personality, their objectives, and their lifestyle. And this is a big thing that I focus on with my students is, it’s got to fit you. And I tried investing like my father invested and I was bored out of my brain. I lost money. It was too slow. I didn’t like that style of analysis, and I didn’t do it consistently.

And I tried all of these different styles and eventually I got to a point after about three years, and I was still losing money, not a lot of money because I’m pretty conservative, but I was still losing money. And it was at the point where I was thinking, “Okay, look, I’ve either got to make this work or I’ve got to give up on stocks and go start a business or buy a property or something.” And I hated both of those ideas, but stocks wasn’t doing it for me.

So, I basically doubled down. I read a whole bunch more books and I found this series of books called Market Wizards and most established traders have read these books. And if you haven’t read them and you’re trading, you should read those books. Anyway, there are a series of interviews with pro traders, and these are next level guys managing billions of dollars. These are the guys and girls, there’s both. Unfortunately, it’s a very male-dominated industry, but there are hugely successful fund managers who are both male and female, which is awesome.

And so, I’m reading these interviews, right? And I would read the first one. It’s like, “Oh my God, that guy’s life sucks.” And then I read the next one, it’s like, “Oh no, I can’t think like that. I don’t understand.” And I read the next one. It’s like, “Oh, I don’t have those skills, I could never do that.” And I read the next one, I was like, “That’s cool. I can do that.” Right? And when I found it, and for me, it was systematic trading, rules based, where the rules are designed and tested in advance and then just followed day to day. And when I found that, I was like, “That’s just genius. I love everything about it. I’m going to spend my life doing it. It’s perfect.” And that’s what I’ve done.

And when I implemented my first set of rules, my results turned around on a dime. Literally, I recorded my account equity every day, like how much was in my account every single day. And looking back at that spreadsheet, you can see that’s where I turned it on.

Wesley:

Wow.

Adrian Reid:

Because it was like, “Woo. [inaudible 00:32:26].” And that’s what it’s like. It’s just like, it’s got to fit your life and it’s got to fit your personality and your objectives. My objectives were clear. It couldn’t take more than 30 minutes a day because I was working, I was traveling, I was in three different cities every single week, on different projects. I did long hours. I didn’t have much time.

I didn’t like to read financial statements. I didn’t like to do fundamental research. I didn’t like to do all of these things. What I liked was finding rules, testing them, applying them to the market. And when I found that, it was perfect.

Wesley:

That’s incredible. And I appreciate the transparency that you have, because it’s like you’re letting me know upfront as well as the listeners. And I’m 100% sure that you let your students know as well, like, “Hey, with this strategy and with this system, there will be losses.”

Adrian Reid:

Oh, yeah.

Wesley:

“There will be losses, but the losses will be less than the gains.” Like you mentioned before. And I’m sure that’s something that’s very comforting to first-time traders or even mid-level traders, just understanding that hey, this is a part of the process, it’s a part of trading. There will be losses, but if you just stick with the system and keep working with it, there will also be gains that outweigh the losses.

Adrian Reid:

Yeah, absolutely. And building that confidence allows you to sit through the discomfort. Right? And most things that are worthwhile require some discomfort, some effort, some energy you got to put in. Otherwise, everyone would do them and they wouldn’t work anymore. And trading is no different. You’ve got to really deeply develop that confidence, understanding of the strategy you’re using and you’ve got to understand it’s not always going to be rainbows and lollipops. There’s going to be losing trades all the time, but you can still make money even if you lose.

But we’re not trained to do that in school, are we? We’re trained, we have to be right. Got to get the right answer. You got to pick the right stock. You got to pick the right token. And that will get you rich, that’ll make you successful. But it’s not true. You got to have a good strategy and you got to follow it consistently.

Wesley:

I mean, and just fast forward into, you’ve reached this level of success to where you don’t have to work a day job anymore and you’ve automated your trading and you have a system in place to where, “Okay, I only need to spend 30 minutes a day working on this task and focusing on this.” So, now you’re transitioning into, “Okay, let’s turn this into a business. Let me help teach the people I know. Let me reach out to my friends and just contact different people to share this information with them, because if they really take this information seriously, it could change their life and it can provide them with a certain level of security and freedom as well.”

So, just making that transition from day trader to now let’s turn this into a business. How was that transition for you, and how did you focus on gaining your business acumen? Was it mentors, was it books that you read or was it moreso trial and error?

Adrian Reid:

All of that. All of that. There’s always an element of trial and error. It’s not the most effective way to learn though. So, just like in my trading, I researched and found some different models. When I went into the business world, I knew what I didn’t want, and I sort of knew what I wanted. I didn’t want stock. I didn’t want hundreds of employees. I didn’t want lots of complexity. I didn’t want massive startup capital. I didn’t want huge amounts of working capital. There’s a lot of things I didn’t want, because I just didn’t want that complexity in my life. I didn’t need it.

Wesley:

Right.

Adrian Reid:

What I wanted was to help people, to share my knowledge, to build a community and to make money doing it. And why make money? Well, I value my time. And who doesn’t like diversification in multiple income streams? I mean, everyone should like that.

Wesley:

Exactly.

Adrian Reid:

So yes, I had my trading, but why not do something else as well? So, I started by just wanting to get the information out of my head. So, I started writing, blogging, and that, and then that was enough to attract people. And at the beginning, I didn’t know how to help a lot of people, so I attracted a couple of people and I was at capacity. I could help a handful of people and I have phone calls and video calls, and that was about all I could handle. It’s like, “But there must be a better way than this. How could I improve this? Hang on a minute, I’ve answered this question three times this week. I could put a video in here, I could make a process, I could write a cheat sheet, I could do something so that I don’t have to answer that question, so I can answer other questions.”

And so, I constantly looked for the gaps, the things that were broken, the things that I could fix to unlock the next level of the game. And I did that for a little while. And then I thought, “No, you know what? I’ve got to get serious because now I’ve got capacity, but I don’t have enough students to fill that capacity.” So, I started to learn about marketing. So, I went online and I started reading about internet marketing and I did some courses, and I read a bunch of books, and I started testing things and found things that worked, found a lot of things that didn’t work.

And I’m still testing on the marketing side. I’m going to tell you I’m a much better trader than marketer right now, but because I have the trading mindset of test first before committing massive resources to something, I’ve never sent my business broke. So, I can test, test, test, “Oh, that’s not working. Stop.” So, I don’t burn too much cash. And then test, test, test. “Oh, that works, refine it, improve it. Okay, I can put a bit more money against that and grow in that way.”

And so, I’ve tried a lot of things in business that didn’t work, but I never went all in on anything, because going all in is a bad bet. If it works, great, but if it doesn’t, you’re out the back door and you can’t help anyone. And that’s the trading mindset. And I think the trading mindset’s actually pretty helpful with business.

So, testing, learning lots of strategies, applying them in your niche and seeing, do they actually work? Measure them for yourself. Don’t just take them on blind faith, some guru said it works, therefore go all in. No, take the guru’s advice, implement it and see if you can make it work for you. That’s what I did.

And so many times there would be people making millions of dollars doing this strategy and I could not get it to work in my niche. It would not sell. And so I was like, “Okay, I don’t know what it is, but I can’t do that. So, just keep looking.” And so because of that testing approach, I’ve always had positive cash flow. I’ve always had a bit of a buffer. I’ve always been able to try out different things. And I think that really, really helps. I’ve never felt like my back was against the wall in the business and I was backed into a corner and I had to make it work because I always had a few things I was testing out, some would work, some wouldn’t. And there was always a reasonable cash flow, which is comforting.

Wesley:

1000%, man. And I mean, you mentioned a few vital aspects and ways to look at life and to look at business, that I think is really important, man. And just firstly starting off with testing things and having the knowledge and the wisdom to understand that, “Let me just try this out before I jump into it and then it goes the way that I don’t want it to go. And now I have this thing, or I don’t like business anymore, or I don’t want to try marketing anymore, because I tried this and it didn’t work.” And you just got burnt from it. So, understanding to test things out, understanding to test different methods and different outlooks and different avenues is a very important part to life and business.

I also feel like you said something along the lines of, “I have to get better at the game. I have to improve the game.” And I feel like being able to gamify, if that’s a word, the gamification of life and business, it puts it into a better perspective. Especially for me, personally.

Adrian Reid:

Oh, so much.

Wesley:

It builds that confidence. If you look at it like you’re playing Monopoly, you’re like, “Okay, the point of Monopoly is to collect as many assets as possible. So, now let me try that in my personal life, how many cash flow and assets can I collect?” Then it becomes a game, then it becomes fun, then it’s like I’m challenging myself in a way and it just makes it interesting.

And then I guess, the final point that I want to point out, man, and I know I’m saying a lot right now at one time, but it’s because it resonates with me. You talked about when you first got started, you were trying to find a business model that you wanted. The business model that worked best for your business. And that was something that was difficult for me because it was difficult for me as well to just find a business model that works. Because I mean, it’s a different approach, in the books you read, everything is mainly focused on brick and mortar, we’re developing a product, you’re building a car, or you’re selling these books. It’s just a different model when you’re attacking it from the internet and the online standpoint and the social media standpoint.

I feel like that way of monetizing your interest is a new thing that’s not yet solid or concrete, because there are so many different ways to attack it. There are so many different ways to monetize your knowledge and the information that you’re trying to pass out to the people. So, I think you made some very interesting points.

Adrian Reid:

Yeah, absolutely. And if you would spend the time to really learn what you can do, it’s pretty amazing. Traditional business is so much harder than online business, so much harder, because you’ve got to build stuff and sell physical things and ship stuff around and all of that.

Wesley:

Exactly.

Adrian Reid:

But I have sold courses that don’t exist yet, but I can do that because I know I’ve got the knowledge to teach the course. And if I will just get the people in the room, digital room, so to speak, I can make magic happen and share my knowledge in a structured way. And so I say, “Okay, here is what I’m going to teach you if you join this program, you’re going to learn this and this and this and this and this.” Do I have all the videos done yet? No. Have I written all the collateral? No, but I’ve been doing this 20 years. “Here’s my results, here’s my testimonials from other students. This is what we’re going to do. Would you like to join?” People join.

And you’ve got negative working capital. Right? You don’t actually have to invest first. You get paid first, and then you build the thing. And that’s a massive mindset shift, because when you get paid first and then you build the thing, you’re never worried about running out of cash. And most real businesses are constantly terrified they’re going to run out of cash, not be able to pay their suppliers, and they’re out of the game. So, the online business creates just such amazing opportunity. And now you can even do it with physical product, because you can sell a physical product online and then have it produced and shipped after you get paid.

Wesley:

Exactly.

Adrian Reid:

Like [inaudible 00:44:27].

Wesley:

Exactly. I mean, I want to ask, how do you define success as a trader as well as a business owner?

Adrian Reid:

Oh yeah. They’re quite different, the two. As a trader, for me, success is about constantly growing my account and feeling confident about it, and not enjoying that process so much as enjoying the learning that it gives. I’m not so stressed about the level of money in my account, because if I focus on, “I want to make this much money this week, or this much money this month.” There’s too much room for disappointment, because the market is volatile and to some extent your returns are somewhat linked to what the market does. You don’t always make the same paycheck out of the market.

So, I rather focus on my level of confidence, my comfort, the number of strategies I’ve got and how diversified I am on all those things, because if I do the right things, I know the money will come. So, in trading, it’s really just about growth in those areas. In business, for me anyway, it’s a lot about how many people I can help. I’m much more satisfied with the number of people I’ve got in my community now. I feel more fulfilled than when I first started, but I’m still not fully satisfied. I want to help more. I know there’s more, right? There’s more people. There’s still people losing money. There’s still people that haven’t heard the message. There’s still people that are making mistakes that I know I can help them fix.

And so, business success is about reaching more of them and doing it in a way that I enjoy, that fits in with my life, that allows me to have my relationship and spend time with my kids and deal with the new puppy we just got, and travel and all of those things. It’s got to fit. So, it’s got to support both of them, in fact, have to support the life I want. And I don’t really want to sit in front of the computer all day, every day. Sometimes I spend too much time doing that, but I try pretty hard to pull myself back and say, “Okay, well, what is the life that I really want? And how is the business contributing to that? How is trading contributing to that? And what do I need to take away to get towards the life I want? And what do I need to add in to get towards the life I want?”

Wesley:

No, and that’s a great piece of advice, man. And just, it’s like starting backwards, it’s like setting your goals backwards. First, you write what you want. First, you figure out, “Okay, these are the things I want to obtain. Now, what steps do I need to take to get there? How do I need to arrange my life and arrange my business to create this life that I want to live?”

But a question that I want to ask you, and you kind of talked about it a little bit earlier, but I want to ask, how do you focus on getting the word out? What has been the most successful way that you’ve found to reach a new audience or connect with new students, or build new relationships? What works for you?

Adrian Reid:

Yeah. The thing that works best for me is education-based marketing. So actually, earnestly just trying to help people. I write blog posts, I do tons of videos. I post on social media multiple times a day. I put processes in place just to help. And it’s not fluff, it’s real things that actually help. And by doing that, you attract people who want more help. And that’s great.

I’m not going to claim to be the world’s best marketer. I mean, there’s way better marketers than me. But if you’ll provide honest, earnest support, help, guidance, that people value, they’ll come to you and say, “Well, what else can you do?” “Hey, I saw this video, do you have more?” “Actually, I do. Let me show you this thing.” And that has been far more powerful than any paid strategy.

And it does a couple of things as well, because by writing my blog, for instance, I get a lot of traffic, but organic search traffic. And the people that are searching for my stuff, find my stuff, read my stuff, and then that’s natural that they’re the right clients, because they’re the ones searching for it. It also helps me get my knowledge out and document it. And it’s like a bit of legacy. It’s a bit of sorting through all the experiences I’ve had and-

Wesley:

Exactly.

Adrian Reid:

… trying to structure that a little bit better. So, it helps on both fronts. I’ve tried lots of different strategies, paid advertising and social media and reach out and cold reach out, and all different things, but the best one for me has been just sharing knowledge in a way that people can find, and then offering an opportunity to get more help.

Wesley:

I mean, and that’s something that really resonates with me when you said when you write your blogs, it’s a way to get your thoughts out and it’s also a way to document your thoughts, to document the moments and the ideas and to document the breakthroughs. And I think it’s a really interesting thing to just be able to look back, like you mentioned, you could tell when you look at the spreadsheets, when you activated a certain strategy.

So, you can actually literally measure your growth or you can see when the spark came on or when the light came on. So, that’s something that I’m really into also, is just being able to track the history, track the progress, and document it all while helping others and helping improve the lives of those around you.

Adrian Reid:

Yeah, totally. With you 100%. One of the things that’s interesting in business, and the same is true in trading as well, there’s a lot of parallels, you don’t always get results in a linear fashion, consistent day in, day out, day in, day out. I get a lot of business from people who find my blog and read my stuff, like it, opt in, join my email list, and ultimately buy my course or my coaching.

And the amount of traffic I get each day though, differs. Each month, it differs. And it’s not always up and up and up because algorithms change and demand for different search terms change and the economic environment changes. And so, right now I’m not getting the most traffic to the website that I’ve ever gotten. In fact, quite a lot less. But it’s a long game. It’s going to be somewhat volatile and lumpy. You can’t lose sleep, or I would encourage you to try not to lose sleep when things don’t work consistently exactly as you expect. It’s always just either an opportunity for patience or an opportunity to learn something new. And often, it’s just like, “Oh, there’s an algorithm change, so I got a bit of a dip and then it comes back.” Or, “Oh, the stock market is down, so people are searching for this, not that.”

Wesley:

Exactly.

Adrian Reid:

So, it’s a bit of a pivot opportunity. But yeah, it’s easy to get tied up in, “Are the numbers good? Are the numbers good? Are the numbers good? Are the numbers good?”

Wesley:

Exactly.

Adrian Reid:

It’s better to step back and say, “Okay. What strategies should I be following, so that if I keep doing that consistently, over time, the numbers will be good?”

Wesley:

No, and that’s something I experience too. It’s like everything has its ebbs and flows. Every business, every market, whatever it is that you’re doing. And I realize that in the summertime, the podcast, the streams will take a slight dip and then it’s like, okay, most people are traveling, most people are just doing fun things like that. But then once it starts to get back cold or once summertime is over, okay, now the streams go back up. And it’s an interesting pattern to recognize and to see, but it builds that patience that you’re talking about and it teaches you that lesson of, “Okay, I understand this might be a down moment, but keep going.” Because it’s about the journey. It’s about the long-term goal. It’s about the overall goal and not just what’s going on right now, not just the right now metrics.

Adrian Reid:

Yeah, absolutely. Completely agree. I think there’s one thing I’d add as well, which has also been really helpful, and again, true in trading and true in business, sometimes you have to stop doing something.

Wesley:

Oh yeah.

Adrian Reid:

You’ve got to cut a loss. You’ve got to sell a losing trade.

Wesley:

Oh yeah.

Adrian Reid:

Sometimes you’re doing something in your business and you just got to stop doing it, because it’s blocking you from something else. I was doing one-on-one mentoring and I was making decent money doing it, but it was blocking me from serving more people, because I didn’t have capacity. And so, I built a different model. I put more of my content down on video into a course, a program, and I made group sessions and did that so that I could scale it more. And I knew it was the right thing to do, so I dropped one-on-one or I scaled it back dramatically.

But what happened? I lost revenue because it was a transition point. I made the right decision, but the revenue dropped quite a lot, because I had to figure out how to operate in this new environment, that I knew was the right thing to do. I knew I couldn’t keep doing that forever, because I wasn’t going to achieve my goal, so I stopped doing it. But there’s still learning, still transition. So, sometimes you’ve got to not be afraid to go backwards a little bit to go forwards.

Wesley:

Exactly.

Adrian Reid:

And I’ve done that several times now in the business, where I’m working, working, working, working, working, “Crap. I can’t go any further with this structure, with this model. I need to come back and redirect. Or, stop this and start that.”

And I did another one just recently, I completely changed platforms that I was delivering my content on, for a bunch of really great reasons, and I changed the model of my course from a single fee course, once-off payment, to a membership. And from a business perspective, that makes a lot of sense because there’s more continuity, consistency, but it’s a different thing to sell.

And so from, again, business problem, I had to figure out, I knew how to sell this, now I’ve got to figure out how to sell that. So, I took a dip while I figured out how to sell this. The business is going to be much better for it. The students are going to be much better for it, because they get far more resources, far more support in the new model than I could afford to give them in the old model. So, it’s good all round, but there is that little dip. You got to figure out each step and if you pivot, you’ve got to be willing to go backwards before you go forwards.

Wesley:

Exactly, man. It’s always important to reevaluate what you’re doing and just to have at the top of mind the goals and the focus and what’s important for you to accomplish. What I want to ask is, how would you like for people to remember you as well as the company that you’ve built and created?

Adrian Reid:

I’d like people to remember that I helped, that I made their journey faster, that I made their life better, that I took the uncertainty out, that I gave them a path that really made a difference. And I believe that I’m doing that. I just want more of it. I’d like to be remembered for having added some structure to the industry, to how traders learn and the process they go through and all of that. So, there’s a nice bit of legacy there of, “Yeah, that dude really helped. That was good stuff. It made a difference. It wasn’t just fluff and he wasn’t just in it to make a ton of money. It was actually a contribution to the industry.”

To me, that’s really important because at the end of the day, I’m not going to do this for the next 50 years. I don’t know how many years I’ve got left alive. I’ve got a lot hopefully, but I’m not going to be doing this forever. I’d like it to matter. So, it needs to matter, it needs to make a difference and people need to be happy with what they got and what they learned and their experience. And that should then open up the opportunity for them to have better lives. I love when my students start talking about how they’re telling their kids about it.

Wesley:

Wow.

Adrian Reid:

Or, how they’re investing so that their kids won’t have to work or won’t have to have a normal job, or so they can retire early so they can spend time with their kids, or so they can cut down their hours so they can spend time with the family. That’s just so important.

Wesley:

What does the future of Enlightened Stock Trading look like to you?

Adrian Reid:

Oh, look, it’s pretty awesome actually, because I’ve just been through another one of these transitions, where I’ve put a structure in place now where I can scale to help a lot more people. I could easily have a hundred times more people in business now than I do, in terms of customers, and that means I can have a bigger impact and it’s not going to drown me.

So, the future of Enlightened Stock Trading is basically, it’s growth of impact, growth of scale, and expanding the number of people we’re reaching and making a difference to around the world. I’ve just taken on three new coaches and with the model I can keep adding coaches to keep helping more people. So, it’s a scalable model, which is really cool, whereas before it was so reliant on me and so I could make more money, I could help more people if I worked harder, but now it’s not like that. Now I can keep it growing and it doesn’t have to kill my life.

Wesley:

Man, Adrian, this has been incredible. Thank you so much for your time today, man, and just sharing this valuable information and actionable information, man, and I really enjoyed getting the chance to learn more about how you operate your business, how you trade, and just how your brain works overall, man. So, thank you so much for your time today, man, and I really enjoyed this conversation.

Adrian Reid:

Thank you so much for having me. It’s been really great. And I love that the parallels between trading, investing and business, it’s so strong and there’s not much of a chance to talk about that. And I think you did a really great job in pulling some of that out, which I hadn’t really even thought of before. But the traders’ mindset really does help in business, and I think the business mindset helps somewhat in trading, but it’s more the other way around, to be honest.

Wesley:

I mean, it’s a very interesting dynamic, man, like you just mentioned, and I think it’s important to just shed a light on these things and shed a light on how different people can think, but we still have the same goal, we still have the same end result is to have this impact and to help and inspire and touch as many people as possible.

Adrian Reid:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, impact is such a great legacy. I mean, I could make all the money, more money than I could ever spend for me, right? But if I help someone else make a difference in their life and transform their financial world, and I help do that to lots of people, the impact on the world is so much bigger than what I would ever have just doing it on my own. So, helping other people transform is just so powerful.

Wesley:

Absolutely, man. Thank you so much, Adrian.

Adrian Reid:

Thanks so much for having me on your show.