Wall Street Isn’t Main Street

Irrefutable fact:  You can’t sell a stock unless someone else buys it.

Many of us, myself included, look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average every day to see how the market’s doing.  Generally we’re happy when it’s up and unhappy when it’s down.  The exception would be those who bet against the market, but I’m talking about the average person here, not the professional investor.  In fact, I’m even talking about people who own no stock at all.  The DJIA is just a way of keeping score.

But admit it, when the market goes down don’t we sometimes feel just a little relieved?  After all, if the stock market is down doesn’t that make our own business problems seem a little less “our fault”.  If the market’s down, how can I blame myself for my bad day?  It’s a dangerous thought pattern to fall into.  I’ll go back to my opening statement, “You can’t sell a stock unless someone else buys it.”

In the market, as in many other areas of commerce, one man’s (woman’s) loss is another’s gain.  If I sell my stock at a loss, the person who buys it gets a bargain (unless the company’s on the verge of going out of business.)

What I’m suggesting today, and what I’d like to hear from you on, is this.  Whether the dow is up 200 points or down 200 points should have absolutely no bearing on how many widgets you sell or how much service you provide today.  Barring a total market collapse the two have absolutely nothing to do with one another.

Unlessyou let the ups and downs of the market color your attitude.  If you believe a drop in the Dow is going to keep you from having a good day chances are you’ll be right.  It’s your attitude, not the numbers on the ticker, that affect your success.

Try this experiment.  Avoid market numbers until you go home each evening.  Wait until your  business day is over before you check on the DJIA.  Keep a chart.  After two weeks compare Wall Street’s ups and downs with your own.  You’ll see that the two sets of numbers have no correlation.  In fact, by avoiding the ticker during your work day you should find that your overall numbers improve.

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