If You’re Doing This You’re Crazy!

The other day I was at dinner with one of my best friends and his fiance. He is the director of a very successful company and he loves to regale people with stories of what has happened during the week amongst his staff.

The story he was telling on this particular evening was about a member of staff who had been doing something a very long way round because he hadn’t thought about exactly what it was that he needed to achieve and what the quickest way to do it was.

As the story progressed a phrase was used that went…

“If you’re doing this you’re crazy!”

That phrase struck a real chord with me. Like this guy who had been spending a lot of time doing something that shouldn’t have taken long, bettors spend a lot of time doing things that they shouldn’t be spending their time on.

The most valuable thing that we have is our time. Time we spend on doing things is time taken away from family and friends but I would go as far as to say that in betting we spend 90% of our time on things that aren’t going to increase our profit by very much, if at all, and 10% of our time on the things that are really likely to make a difference.

Imagine if you stopped spending that 90% of time on the wrong things and instead spent just 40% of your time on the right things. You will have quadrupled your output but cut your time spent doing it in half.

Have you ever found yourself:

  • Scouring the internet for the latest betting systems
  • Trying to find selections in every race each day
  • Moving on to a new system or strategy every few weeks
  • Jumping around from form study, system creation, ratings and more

If you have then I have one piece of advice. STOP!

Doing this is going to take up hours of your time. I know because I’ve done it myself, and ultimately the amount it is going to help you increase your profit is… zero.

As a bettor you want to maximise your profit and spend the shortest amount of time doing it, and if you’re going to do that then you need to focus on what exactly you should be spending your time on.

Planning and focus will maximise the time your spend in the area that matters most… increasing your bankroll.

That means that you need to stop everything you are doing right now. Take a step back and look at it from afar. Look for what has worked best for you. What has made you the most profit.

If you haven’t made a profit then look for what has lost you the least amount. That’s the place you’re going to start. It doesn’t matter if it was something you did yesterday or last year. Dust it off and look at how it worked.

But don’t start using it!

Rush with your betting and you will lose your money. Take your time and it will come back to you many times over.

Take apart what you were doing and ask yourself if it makes sense. Break it down into each stage and remove anything that makes no logical sense to be doing.

Then start paper trading, but this is different from what you’ve ever done. You paper trade EACH STEP.

It doesn’t matter if it is a system, strategy, rating or form reading method. Let’s take a system as an example. Most systems have multiple steps and each steps narrows down the selections.

Rather than just proofing the final selections proof the selections at each step. After you have a good quantity of proofed selections you can now see how they perform at every step. For example…

What is the strike rate and profit at step 1

What is the strike rate and profit for step 2 only. When you remove selections from step 2 how does this affect the figures

What is the strike rate and profit for step 3 only.When you remove selections from step 2 and step 3 how does this affect the figures etc…

What you have is a picture of what is happening in each stage of your process and now it is possible for you to really know what is working and what isn’t. Imagine if the strike rate for selections from step 3 is good but when combined with step 2 it plummets. This is something worth investigating. Why? Because the result of your investigation is going to directly affect your profit in a way that you can measure.

Today is the day that you stop spending 90% of your time on things that only improve your profit by 10%. Now you will be focusing only on the things that are important!

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. Hi Michael,
    Great blog, understandable and informative advice.
    Ive hit a losing streak and will take all this on board.
    Keep up the the excellent work

  2. Hi Michael,

    that was a very interesting read on how to go about things.
    As you know I’m pretty much starting out so I probably don’t have enough data as yet,
    but something i can look at when it all goes Pete Tong…

  3. Hi Michael,
    Once again a fantastic piece. It was something that I remembered my granfather, many many moons ago, saying that put me onto my current system/method. It began in Feb 2011 and for most of that time has averaged 33/4 to 4 points to level stakes every day.

    Every 4 – 6 months I would go over every selection on my spreadsheet and prune away all the garbage. This is I think one of, if not the, most important things to do to your selections after starting a spreadsheet. I honestly though I had got rid of virtually all the garbage in mine but have just spent the last 2 weeks going thru 3500 + selections and wonders of wonders I managed to get rid of 400 + selections and increase the profit by 200 + points. Okay i didnt benefit financially from my latest pruning but I now have a tighter and more profit making machine than ever before.
    IMHO you only get out of betting what you are prepared to put in and if you are not or cant put in the time you might as well stick to the Lotto.


  4. Hi

    I develop systems and the most crucial part of the development is to write a system to monitor the results. From this you find the worth of the system.

    Currently I am posting my selections at Kempton on the All-Weather.

    The purpose of this system is to look for high priced winners. My system selects four horses which I believe have a chance of winning.

    These four horses have a classification of lets say 1 to 4. Since the 6th August there have been 86 races at Kempton from which I have made my selections. As I am looking for horses with a tissue price of greater than 5/1 I exclude horses below this price. As some selections are non-runners the number of bets is reduced.

    To date the figures below show the number of selections followed by the profit or loss figure:

    Class 1: 72 loss 18 points
    2: 62 loss 14 points
    3: 86 loss 53 points
    4: 82 profit 112 points

    The points are net of stake and discount when winners and are based on Betfair SP.

    Need I say more?


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