Had a losing day or week? Here’s why you need to change your perspective from short to long term.
If you have bet for any period of time then you have had one of those days, or weeks or even months. You know the one. Where everything seems to lose and you end up depressed and ready to throw something at the TV screen.
The problem is, no matter how good you are, there will be times when you lose, actually, the losing days will far outweigh the winning ones. So what do you do? how do you deal with it when the inevitable losing run happens?
I think being able to deal with losses is one of the pillars of making long term profit with betting. Without this skill you end up chasing losses, betting too much, placing silly bets and losing your entire balance. That doesn’t even take into account the mental toll on you and your loved ones. I see it all too often from readers who email me after they have had a losing run and blame the tipster and then go off and blow the rest of their bank on one big bet to get back to even.
Let’s look at an example from last month. I had just lost $10,000 overnight from the midweek soccer bets and was feeling like shit. As our brains are not programmed to think long term, instantly I started feeling a little depressed. Losing $10,000 while you are sleeping is not fun. Linda Evangelista famously said “I don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day.”, it seems my motto was “I don’t wake up unless I’ve lost $10,000 overnight.”. I could have dwelled on this loss for days or weeks until I had made that money back. Instead I simply changed my perspective from short term to long term. How did I do that? I simply created the following charts.
The above graph shows my loss after 2 days, but now lets go back 7 days and we see that the $10,000 loss came after a gain of the same amount just a day before. At the end of the week I really hadn’t made or lost any money. But because I was thinking short term, on the 19th of October I was so happy and then on the 20th I was depressed. From much research into loss aversion, we also know that a loss is taken 3 times worse then the same gain. So lets say I was 1 point happy on the 19th and then -2 points depressed the very next day, yet I had not made a cent either way.
We can then take things even further and look back over the past year. This graph really perked me up. See that tiny little squiggle at the end of the graph? That’s what was making me feel depressed. It was a tiny, insignificant blip on my graph yet it dictated how I felt for the rest of the day. It would have impacted my general well being as well as my interactions with everyone I came into contact with. Looking at it this way, I feel slightly stupid that I was not smart enough to realise that it wasn’t the end of the world, but a tiny little blip in the big picture.
While we are at it, why not go back even further. This gave me an even longer term perspective and showed me that I had been through much worse and always made a recovery. The $10,000 loss didn’t even register on this graph.
I finally took the longest possible view. I created a graph from my very first bet to the one I had placed that very day. What a beauty it is. This graph was printed out and hung on my wall with a big “THINK LONG TERM” written below it. How stupid of me to worry about a losing day, week, month or god forbid even year.
Now I am not saying not to worry about your results. That would be silly. You need to keep an eye on your overall success or failure. But you can only control certain things with your betting. We can control which tipsters we follow, the size of our banks, getting the best odds, good record keeping and so on. We can not control the results of any one event. So why worry about it? As long as we take care of the things we can control and have made the right decisions, then everything else will take care of itself (over the long term). I would suggest looking at your graph every 250-500 bets to see the general direction you are going in. If it is downwards then you need to look into what isn’t working and remedy it. If you don’t even have the data to create a graph, then you’re an idiot and I can’t help you.
Bookmark this post, and the next time you have a shocking day or week just come back here and read this again. I know I will.