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The Part-Time Trader: Trading Stock as a Part-Time Venture, + Website by Ryan Mallory

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CHAPTER 3

Where Wall Street Meets the Office

I've always been a big fan of the NBC show The Office. Besides the fact that the show itself is absolutely hysterical, I was always able to identify with the character Jim Halpert. Here was an individual that was probably the best employee in his office, yet completely unable to relate to his job function or actually find any passion for what he did each day. It is no wonder that by season nine of the show, Jim is trying to find his own escape from the Dunder Mifflin branch in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to a new start-up company that identifies more with who he is as a person.

How can one possibly be passionate about selling paper? That is how I felt about where I was in my career. As a contracts manager, I would simply fill out countless forms each and every day. Every once in a while I would be allowed to negotiate a multimillion-dollar contract, but before I could get excited about that, I would be faced with having to follow a stack of processes so detailed that it practically covered the way I was to regulate my breathing while I was at the negotiation table. Despite the impressive dinner talk that “negotiating multimillion-dollar contracts” was, the reality of actually doing it was very robotic and restrictive. There was no opportunity for me to be like Jerry Maguire.

To say the least, I was inundated with about as much paperwork to fill out as Jim Halpert was in selling it—form after form, process after process, metric after metric, ...

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