Get ready, be ready, stay ready

During the most recent market correction in early Feb 2018, I spoke with my father on what stocks or ETFs to invest in.  The market was in its first day of correction and I was frantically searching for opportunities.  I was speaking with my Dad and reading stock research papers at the same time.

“There’s so much here”, I sighed, looking at the dozens of research reports I had tabbed open on Chrome.

“You should have been doing your research months ago.” my ever-encouraging dad replied. “Do your research ahead of time so when it’s time to strike, you’re ready.”

In the end, being semi-risk adverse (I used to think I was risk-tolerant but have come to realize I am not the cowboy risk-taker I thought I was), I stuck with what I knew and re-upped on the stocks I had already looked into and understood.

But oh, the missed opportunities. Who knows how many good deals were out there, how many green gains sat just out of reach.  If only I had continued to research.  A few years ago I had gotten in the habit of reading a report every few days.  Didn’t seem like much at the time and eventually I trailed off.  If I had stuck with that habit, I would have read hundreds of reports by now and would likely have a book of picks to roll out when the iron got hot.  But I didn’t, I wasn’t ready, and I let opportunities slip through my fingers.  I don’t even want to do the compound interest calculation on potential value lost.

I can see a clear parallel of this to entrepreneurship.  I may not know the next big opportunity, emerging technology, or hot product that lies around the corner, but I have to be ready when it gets here.  I can’t wait for it to be making headlines to start readying myself.  The preparation begins now, in the quiet hours before the wave hits.  Now is the time to read, to practice, to forge skills, to develop insight — to build all the tools necessary.  So that when the times comes, all the pieces will be in place to act fast, act first, and come out on top.  Feeling unprepared when you know you could’ve been is one of the worst feelings in the world.  Learn from the market correction of February 2018…

Get ready, be ready, stay ready.