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How I went from $0 to $300,000 at the age of 22 (Oh, and back to $0)

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AG356

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Alright guys, time for round 2 of me throwing out a novel as a thread before I leave another year or two and live to tell another tale.

Maybe some of you remember me from my Amazon FBA thread I’ve written 2 years ago. I thought about adding what this story to the Amazon thread, however, I decided against it as it’s another journey people not interested in E-commerce can maybe learn from.

This will be a rather long read that touches on various subjects in the blockchain space: cryptocurrency 'investing', ICO pooling, investing in private sales, ICO research, building a blog and selling marketing services to start-ups/ICOs and a few words about Amazon FBA.

To put it in more practical words, I will share various real-life learnings about:

  • How a single thread can change your life
  • How studying forum members posts can x10 your progress
  • How a small step can end in massive action
  • The benefits of providing outstanding value
  • How knowledge always puts you ahead of the curve
  • The inevitable backlash of running on 110% for too long
  • The fatal consequences of losing focus
as well as very personal insights and impressions I've gathered throughout the past two years.

It took me more than half a year to finally put the story into words even though I felt like sharing it for a long time. Some mistakes leave marks, and this surely is one of them. Anyway, here we go:


What the hell is a blockchain?

During my preparations for my Amazon venture in April 2017 that was currently in it’s starting phase, I casually browsed the web (mostly forums) learning a little bit about business, investments, you know, the casual stuff. I stumbled across a thread with a catchy name about a new project utilizing a new technology that is bound to revolutionize the world as we know it. „Ethereum“ they call it. Catchy enough for me.

I went ahead and read through the thread which was a wild mixture of contributions: Insanely detailed information about a variety of so-called “blockchain projects”, links to websites spiked with super specific tech lingo, get rich quick vibes, weird moon memes and the most interesting part of it all, a platform that supposedly enables companies to utilize the blockchain technology and allows them to build on top of it.

With my then 21 years of age, my implemented BS-filter that was fine-tuned through extensive usage of the internet for nearly a decade instantly went off as a majority of the posts were about making money quick on some weird internet coins. Usually, I would be gone by now but the few posts about the actual technology sparked my interest.

I have never heard of the blockchain technology before, even though I’m interested in the latest technological trends and breakthroughs. I dug into the material and after a few weeks of intensive research I was convinced: This is genius! I was so fascinated by the way this technology works and was mindblown time and time again by possible use-cases of it. I learned where it came from, what the origin of the technology was (bitcoin), what the individual technologies are that, when combined, result in this trustless transaction system.I learned about all the different projects that were out there already. I didn’t mind all those shiny projects that promised to make you rich, I only was interested in Ethereum the more I learned about the technology. I soon thought about investing in Ethereum and that was the point things got funny.

I wired 5k€ (~$6k) to Coinbase and purchased my first stash of ETH at around $180. Little did I know, it would crash down to $100 within a few days after my purchase.

I didn’t even flinch.

I was so convinced by what I’ve learned about it until this point that I didn’t even think about the short term gains/losses as I planned to keep the money in for at least 4-5 years before even thinking about further steps.

Soon enough I wired another 5k€ (~$6k) to purchase another batch of ETH. By the time my second deposit went through, ETH already blew back up from $100 to over $300 within a matter of months. I wasn’t too happy about that. Even though my initial investment nearly doubled, my now fiat deposit came in too late to scoop up more ETH at a lower price. Unlucky, but that’s how things go.

The mixture of making a few grand within a few weeks, the overall hype in the cryptocurrency community and the underlying technology that sparked my interest unlike anything else made it quite clear to me: This won’t be an exclusive buy and hold investment to which I come back in 5 years.

Soon enough I started to venture into other projects. I diligently read through whitepapers and websites of established projects, learned about ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings - watered-down crypto equivalent of an IPO) and read a lot about the 2014 crash and previous market cycle of bitcoin and the crypto market.

By now it was summer of 2017. The uni semester was done and my first product for Amazon came in. I switched my focus back to Amazon and did all the tasks necessary to get my product to the warehouses and out to the market (as described in my progress thread).

I was stocked.

I was 21, my first “business” was set up and was doing its first steps, my “investments” were doing great and for the first time I felt like things were finally coming together.
 

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AG356

AG356

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Apr 19, 2015
99
585
240
Going down the rabbit hole

The vast majority of my time during summer was spent on anything cryptocurrency related. Soon enough I started to trade altcoins on Bittrex and Binance. I scanned the main news sites like a hawk as a single article would catapult coins up 30% within 10 minutes. My main goal was not to gain USD, I merely tried to increase my ETH stack by trading altcoins, and it worked out nicely.

However, it made sense to me very early on that everybody is a genius in a bull market. It’s not hard to increase your ETH holdings by 10% when the entire market pumps 20% overnight.

So I tried to take another approach. As mentioned before, I read through everything so a particular part of the whole cryptocurrency market, the ICOs, caught my attention early on. Initial Coin Offerings are the crypto equivalent to IPOs. Not quite though, they are more like the wild wild west equivalent of it. They are “barely” regulated and allow people to raise insane amounts of money in exchange for a fancy, blockchain based idea. Not a bad deal for those that run the show.

The thing is, a lot of these ICOs already had extreme success in the past and people slowly started to notice. Even though those “companies” had, for the most part, nothing but an idea, the token people could purchase during the ICO would sometimes net them profits in the XX,XXX% range once the tokens were purchasable on an exchange. It was absolute madness. The risk : reward was so asymmetric, I just knew that I had to go down this route.

At the same time I’ve followed the Fastlane Forum thread about cryptocurrency for a while. Now, this is an important part I want to highlight. Sadly a majority of the posts were nothing but fluff, but especially @JScott ’s posts stood out to me. He often times would talk about the technical aspects of projects and shared great thoughts you would not be able to read anywhere else, as he seemed to be well networked in the coding hubs of San Francisco's Bay Area. He mentioned ICOs and ICO pooling, which would later come in handy for me as well. Besides all of these very interesting parts of his posts, one thing he mentioned stood out to me the most: Market inefficiency.



This described the crypto market and especially ICOs to a T. I’ve seen projects returning X,XXX% within one week of hitting the exchanges and it would be lunatic to say these prices were anywhere realistic or representative of the real value of the tokens or the project.

JScott would also mention ICO pooling and private deals with projects. This sparked my interest as well. If you read through whitepapers, you would often times find different stages of the sale. Seed round, private sale I, private sale II, pre-sale I, pre-sale II, public sale I, public sale II, public sale III and so on and so forth.

Most of them had 3 stages. Private sale, pre-sale and public sale. Seeing a hefty bonus % on private sales was nothing out of the ordinary. Why should it, it makes sense, at least to a certain extend: Higher risk - Higher reward.

This got me thinking. These bonuses would often times go up to as high as 100%. So you basically pay half the price as people who buy in the public round, or in other words, double your money as soon as the token is tradeable on an exchange. And this was only the bonus that was disclosed on the private sale. Thinking there would not be undisclosed seed rounds and backdoor private sales would be gullible, so I wondered what kind of deals go on behind the curtains. I wouldn’t find out, but I sure knew how to make the best out of my situation.

By now most of you will probably have already made their mind up what happens next. I bought some fancy coins, got lucky and X’d my investment to $300,000. But that’s only partly true, so bear with me as we venture into the entrepreneurial side of this whole story.

Shifting into high gear

Summer was over and yellow leaves would light up the landscape. My product on Amazon is seasonal and I knew over the winter time I wouldn’t be able to sell any of it. It did sell out WAY earlier than expected, but nevertheless my focus slowly but surely fully shifted to cryptocurrencies.

By now, I have started to invest in ICOs. Another great lesson I’ve picked up from JScott was to directly get in touch with the CEO of a project if you have a worthy proposition. They are usually very understanding and open to talk, especially during their beginning stages. This was a huge mindset shift for me as I always had this picture of a 180 IQ coding genius in mind that would verbally pulverize me when I send them a mail.

Damn was I wrong.

Now, I have to add that even though I occupied nearly every single hour of my life with cryptocurrencies I never lost my entrepreneurial outlook on life. All along I had one thing in mind: It’s time to sell shovels.

I found a great project that I believed in. Their whitepaper looked good, their team looked good, their token allocation looked good and they were just preparing for their private sale which included a nice bonus.

I was the 50th member in their slack and gave it a shot. I contacted their CEO and asked if there’s a possibility of me acting as an ambassador for their project. I’ld try to market their project through my own networks and help them spread awareness. I said to myself that I’ld start small, and just asked for a referral link of 15% (instead of 5%), i.e. my referrals and I get a 15% bonus on their token purchase.

Without a second thought he agreed.

“Well, that was easy” I thought, while I thought about how to spread the word.

This is where the third lesson I picked up from JScott came in handy. The network aspect of investment pooling. You see, I’m not the person who attends networking events, seminars or anything similar. It’s definitely a weakness of mine (which I have to fix). I don’t know why, but even though I worked quite a while in direct sales I still avoid going to meetups or similar events. Not exactly a mindset that helps when you’re trying to get into private investment pools.

So I searched for an alternative. I’ve been frequently browsing a forum since I was 16 and saw a thread about cryptocurrencies on there. I remembered some AVIs from over the years and soon enough joined a Slack group with some guys from there. I would never do that as I often perceived them as a waste of time, but based on what I’ve picked up from JScotts I thought why not give it a try.

Being in the group for a few weeks before I contacted the CEO mentioned above, I just casually shared the referral link as I thought it would be a great opportunity for the group because not only did I receive a 15% bonus, they did as well. All of this on top of the private sale bonus. I don’t exactly remember the numbers but in the end, we paid like $0.03 per token while the public sale was going for $0.05 up to $0.8.

Instantly a few guys contributed with a few ETH and we waited for the sale to conclude before it hits the exchanges and we would be able to trade our tokens.

The total affiliate earnings: Around 10k tokens. A number we’ll recall later on.

Even though I would have contributed to the project anyway, I decided to apply some lessons I’ve picked up and take some minor action. I was very well aware that I still wasn’t selling shovels as I planned to (and most certainly not to the extend I planned to), but I surely learned some real-life lessons which would really pay off later in the journey.
 
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AG356

AG356

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Speedway Pass
Apr 19, 2015
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This one time November came around...

Time went on and things were going smoothly. It was nearly November and I was already knee deep into the crypto stuff. Most of my “investments” did well. Very well. I continued to invest in ICOs and altcoins.

Like every year during that time, University started to get a tad stressful. Loads of exams, team projects, projects for real businesses and so on and so forth had to be finished. At the same time, my fascination for the blockchain technology has not sagged a bit and I was in the process of writing the first scientific thesis about the blockchain technology at our University.

Besides all that, I didn’t forget Amazon one second and already planned to re-stock so I can re-launch next year. On top of that, I was eager to monetize the Christmas season. I was out of stock and I knew the niche I was in was not sellable during the Christmas months. So I sourced another new project, made a new brand, designed a new packaging, took all the learnings into account from my first product, so this time it was small, light and shippable by air freight. I went the whole nine yards as fast as possible as I wanted to catch the Christmas sales by any means necessary. At the same time, I placed another order to re-stock my first product and I timed it so it would arrive during the Christmas holiday break so I could inspect the goods and prepare them for the next selling season. The stress levels steadily increased and things were getting an uncomfortable, but it was what it was and I still had enough drive to push through and trying my best to make things work.

The permanent stress level was probably around 75% (0% being a normal adult life - 100% being mental and physical breakdown). It was hefty, but I still made it work. I did exactly these 3 things all day long and nothing else. Every single day.


Then time November came around.






By now, I invested about 20k€ ($24k USD) as I’ve put in another 10k in late September I increased my ETH and altcoin holdings. 20k€ was the number I’ve had in mind since the beginning, so no, I didn’t go all in and hope for the best. My previous “investments” were doing good. My initial 10k€ maybe have doubled or tripled at this point. Nothing over the top (at this time) as I still held the majority of in ETH and ICOs were just starting to hit the exchanges.

The first ICO I’ve mentioned above we’ve invested in as a group launched, got on an exchange and instantly went up to $0.15 as the hype around the project built up nicely over the past weeks. The group I was in was more than happy that they 5x’d their money and so was I. Besides my own investment, it was a nice experience and taught me a thing or two about contacting projects directly, as the tokens of the shared referral link were now worth $1500.

At the same time, my new product for Amazon was long due to arrive. I knew that a proper launch would take its time and if I wouldn’t get the products soon I would be in serious trouble. The order process was a nightmare and I had to go through so many calls with the forwarder and customs as suppliers have, even after numerous mentions, put in a wrong invoice declaration for the shipment. Once the products finally made their way through, about ⅛ were damaged to an extend where I would not be able to sell them. I was pissed and went through Alibaba Trade Insurance only to get back a mere 50 bucks for good measures. After I received the products, I drove back home from my apartment as I had to prepare the products before shipping them out the next day. I don’t know why I remember this moment so vividly. I felt insanely stressed out unlike any other time in my life. A feeling I never felt before and to this day have not re-encountered. I suppressed it and kept going. The supplier failed to properly package the product so I had to do all of them by hand, sitting at my desk until the middle of the night, packaging and labeling them all myself. I managed to ship the products out on November 27th, WAY too late to catch the Christmas sales as I initially planned and worked so hard for.

The product came in a few days later and I instantly started to launch. It was December 2017 and I was giving out various coupon codes to get sales going and gather the first reviews. Funnily enough, the product was also related to cryptocurrencies as the hype about the new internet money was not only contained to the markets itself. After instantly getting a 1-star review after the first day (and zero sales lol), the 1-star review was deleted and the first 5-star reviews came in through the coupons I gave out. I gave out about 30-40 pieces within the first days and gathered about 12 reviews which I was happy with. The first organic sales started to come in as well as I’ve run PPC at the same time. 2 days later, all of my reviews were gone. Was it because they were non-verified through coupons? Did the competitor who instantly hit me with the 1-star review report me? I honestly don’t know, I only know that there was no valid reason to do. Neither did I ask for reviews, nor was the coupon-method unheard of at this point in time. I only knew my listing got wrecked and after a handful of other problems I’ve ran into with Amazon I’ve finally had enough. I didn’t have the nerve to handle this BS all for a few $, especially with everything else going so fine at the time. Especially because of this:

Everyone who followed the crypto hype probably knows what came next. This was the time all hell broke loose and things went from fast to Mach 3 speed.




Bitcoin crawled up to over $6000 by the beginning of November. Within 1.5 months, it shot up to it’s peak at nearly $20,000.

Going up x3 within 1.5 months surely is nice, but it was nothing compared to what altcoins did at the same time.

The one ICO I just mentioned shot up to over $1 before 2017 ended. A x33 return for private sale investors.

My referral tokens I have received by then were now worth about $10,000. An insane amount for doing nothing but asking a simple question and posting a link in our crypto group.

All throughout fall, I invested in various ICOs which slowly hit the exchanges. Most of them now trading at x5, x10 or x30 their initial values. Not only because of public sale contributions, but also the private sales our group managed to get in. Since most of the guys in our group were rather early in the bullrun of 2017, they took this very, VERY serious. People in there would legitimately spend their whole day in there, some even quitting their well-paying jobs and quite a few of them crossing the 7 figures mark early on during this bullrun with a few grand initially invested.

Not only did I try to get in touch with CEOs and crypto projects, but they also did as well after I proposed my ideas of pooling together for better private sale deals. From there on we’ve managed to pull in some serious deals and invested anywhere from $50k up to $300k per private sale.

Now things really got crazy. My portfolio crossed $100,000 on Dec. 17th as I still had the majority in ETH, which more than doubled from $300 to $700 during that time period as well.

So at this point in time sleeping was more like a nice little avocation in life. University was crazy, all crypto related things were going through the roof and the new product for Amazon needed a lot of attention as well. The stress level rose to 90%.

I was sitting on more money than I ever did, had other projects lined up that were supposed to hit the market which were nearly guaranteed to x10 as well, already established projects were pulling x300 moves along the way (XVG) and more and more ICOs prepared to launch, all just waiting to be researched and calculated through (token economics).

All while this happened, I should have been super thrilled. But I wasn’t for the most part. I knew things were getting out of hand. I was already happy when my initial 5k doubled, I was happy with the growth I’ve seen by now. But now things really got out of hand. More and more scam ICOs popped up and pulled x50 only to be never seen again within the next 3 months. People on YouTube got paid 6 digits to shill projects without disclosing it and only being discovered because someone tracked the transaction on the blockchain. Whole groups putting up coordinated shills that would shoot up an altcoin 100% within 1 hour only to be dumped again.

Even though my portfolio grew, I always had this really bad gut feeling. I was never interested in shady deals or in the pump & dump schemes that were going on. I also didn’t buy altcoins that were pure scams, even though some of them went on and pulled a x100 within a month. I stuck to the projects I researched and thought that had a future no matter what. I was looking at the long term, not the short term.

Besides all of those things going on in the market, I still wasn’t selling shovels in the crypto world as I planned to. There had to be a way of providing some real value to people in this market and soon enough I found out how.
 
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AG356

AG356

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Apr 19, 2015
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Money never sleeps... right?

I don’t exaggerate when I say I’m missing the vast majority of memories of the first half of 2018. It’s all one big blur which can only be recalled when I’m looking at transaction histories, chat logs or actual things I’ve made during that time. Permanent stress levels were now ranging from 95-99.9% and my sleep schedule was non-existent. I’ll try to keep the chronology as close to the truth as possible, but it’s really hard to do so even though it’s been only a year.

Now it was time to actually provide value to others. I figured out what I could do to help some people out. I was doing extensive ICO research for over half a year now. Even though a lot of ICOs went well, the vast majority of them didn’t. A lot of scams were going on and I managed to maneuver around them pretty nicely, not being burned once and getting returns of x3 at the very least.

For the most part, it’s solely some basic mathematics. If one looks at the way the overall token supply is split and what percentage is sold at what price and bonus, the minimum ROI can be calculated real quick. On top of that, researching each and every team member, company information and the advisory board for their credentials and validity was a common thing I looked for in each project. I do have a programming and technical background, so I was able to do some basic research on the actual doability of a project as well. I could check their Github activity look up if they actually had anything of essence or if they just played the copy+paste game with the Ethereum source code and switched some things up.

I think it was a mixture of all of the above why I didn’t get burned by a scam ICOs but I thought to myself why not share my findings with others. I would often take notes for myself so why not draft a normal article out of it? I could share my findings with other people and include a referral link at the bottom of it. This way I will be able to earn money through it and increase my own holdings as well as you’re usually paid out in tokens while saving people hours and hours of work researching on their own.

I started to write some articles about ICOs, covering every aspect of the project. The team, the advisory board, the problem, the solution, their vision, the token economy, everything. I would write about the ICOs no matter if I invested or not, as I’ve done the work already anyway. Some ICOs got a more extensive review, some a little shorter. Those that really sparked my interest (mostly those that REALLY profit from the blockchain technology) would get huge articles that were split up to various parts as they would have otherwise been too lengthy.

You see, I’m not a writer. I never write. English is not my native language and I cringe every time I look up old chat logs or forum posts and find an elementary-level grammar mistake in it. However, I gave it a shot. If I can profit from solid projects, so can others. On top of that, amassing a following in the crypto space will always open doors down the line so that’s a nice addition as well.

This is the part where it starts to go crazy. Only one month in, I realized that my articles rank pretty good on Google. I guess because those projects were rather new and have not experienced much publicity yet. I would rank #1 on some projects I wrote about when searching for their project name, which is obviously a big deal for them.

One time, after I concluded a huge article about a very attractive project I’ve come across, I contacted their CEO once again and shared the piece with him, asking if they had a referral program in place I could place below the articles. Sadly, they didn’t. I didn’t really mind as I was still trying to gain traction. However, he was so amazed by the detailed and lengthy article I wrote (it was a super interesting topic for me) that he offered to pay me for my effort.

Just like that.

At first I wasn’t quite sure what he was actually talking about. “Pay me? I already wrote it for free. What is he talking about?”

He was asking me how much I want?

Now I was really lost. After one or two more puzzled questions he told me he already paid marketing agencies for SEO optimized articles as well but mine are way better and he feels like I deserve an adequate payment.

To fully understand the following story, we have to take a little excursion and talk about some details in the ICO space and how they usually go down: As mentioned above, I read more whitepapers than I can remember. All of them have clear token economics - a clear distribution of tokens and funds. They tell you how many total tokens there are, how many of them will be sold and what percentage of them will be used for individual business processes, for example marketing costs.

A few days earlier, I found out that ICOs would give away a fixed amount of tokens for low-level social media and content marketing. They would launch a thread on the Bitcointalk forum, tell everyone they get X tokens for blowing up their social media (follow/likes/retweets all the 9 yards across all platforms) and keep spreadsheets for these matters moderators (which were also paid in tokens) would manage for them. I already recognized this weeks earlier that the engagement on a lot of social media accounts of ICOs seemed fake and now I found the proof for it. In my opinion it’s a shady business practice, even though the majority of ICOs over the last year were using the same methods to spread awareness of their project. It’s a no-brainer for the projects themselves, as it costs them $0 in real money, paying everyone with their newly generated token. For me it meant, I could clearly see how much tokens were allocated for which marketing mesure, and that’s why I used to my advantage.

Anyway, so here I am. Getting asked how much I wanted for my articles. I knew from previous sales jobs and negotiations that sometimes all you have to do is be bold to take home the whole cake instead of one slice. This was not an easy task, as I was already happy that I actually get paid for something and I didn’t want to seem ungrateful. But I thought to myself if I don’t give it a shot now I’m gonna be pissed later on knowing they are raising $10,000,000 for their ICO.

As a side note, my perception of money was already warped big time. During that time, ICO investments of $10,000 went to $60,000 and back to $20,000 within 3 weeks, so gaining/losing big amounts (for me) of money was a daily occurrence.

So what did I do? I told him I’ll do some calculations as I rather base my number on a rational decision opposed to saying a random number and be right back. I opened up my article, opened up their Bitcointalk thread and had a close look at their token distribution and the percentage that was used as a marketing budget. They even had a fixed amount of tokens for “VIP” contributors. So I took this percentage of the marketing budget and just divided it by 5 as I thought this would be a realistic number of VIP that can participate.

The grand total (in token): $5200

I just thought this was insane. I contacted a guy in the previously mentioned group that became a good friend of mine over the months. I asked him for advice and if that’s a valid number based on my calculation. He assured me that it makes sense and that the tokens cost them nothing anyway.

I was already shaking at this point. This was my first sales pitch through online messages. I had no idea how he would react or if you could just slap him with that number. Recalling how chill the very first CEO of a project was I contacted, I sent him my offer fully expecting him to tell me to F off and ask what’s wrong with me.

I saw the three dots light up in the Telegram chat, signaling he was typing. I just sat there and saw them bounce up and down until his reply came in:

His counter-argument: “How about 4 ETH and the tokens? : )” // ETH at that time: $900

???

Wait, what?

Did he just misread what I sent him?

I paused for a bit and re-read his next messages.

4 ETH on top of the $5200 in token I just proposed? That’s another $3600, so a total of $8800.

Being confused is not even remotely close to the feeling I had right there.

He added that he was insanely happy with my work and the detail I put into explaining the technologic side of the project. He mentioned it outperformed the marketing agency’s work by far and my #1 spot on Google underlined this as well.

Now comes a part I can’t really recall how I thought this was a good idea. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t quite remember a lot of things from back then. There was a lot of stress, barely any sleep, and a skewed perception of money like never before. Mix all this together topped with the bright realization that 0.1% of $10,000,000 is a mere $10,000 and you'll get quite a storyline:

Besides my blog, I had a twitter account which I grew simultaneously. I don’t know how, but I managed to get over 300,000 impressions within the first month of being on there. It seems like people really appreciated what I had to share - mostly my articles.

With a few screenshots of my twitter account and blog performance ready and some conversion rates of previous referral links I proposed to him another calculation. I used a referral percentage of 10-15% of what I think my articles will potentially bring in in investments and this was the number that came out based on previous referral link performances I’ve included in articles. I set up a small excel table with all the numbers, did the calculations and came up with a proposition that looked like this:

15 ETH ($13.500) (based on referral performance á 10% referral cut) + the initial token stack ($5200) (based on allocated tokens for VIP content creators) = Total of $18.200


Looking back I don’t even know what was going through my head. I mean, I knew what kind of payments were going around in the crypto world for quality articles, but those usually only were for accounts with >100,000 followers. Not a small channel in the starting phases like me. I didn’t have a lot of followers, but they did indeed convert very, very well. So raising 100-200 ETH (back then $80-200,000) just through my articles wasn’t something out of the ordinary.

Still, it was surreal to send that.

It was even more surreal when he happily agreed on it.

Absolute madness.

He instantly sent over the 15 ETH ($13,500 at the time) and would send the tokens once their ICO concluded (which he did as well without any problems).

So there I was. Sitting here with $13,500 more in my pocket and $5200 in tokens on its way.

All for 8h of work.

I was so hyped up that I had to sprint 3 miles in the pouring rain just to calm down. It felt better than any gains I have ever made through “investments” and looking back, it’s the only time I can still remember where I've been genuinely happy. It was a piece of work I made, marketed and sold for an insane amount of money. All of this was done within 1.5h through a Telegram conversation.

The thrill of some raw boldness paired with being in a completely new situation and talking about some serious amounts of money for work I have done without expecting anything in return was just surreal.

I was euphoric and knew I wouldn't stop here.

The next days I searched through Bitcointalk and found other projects that would pay publishers to write about their projects. I knew I couldn’t arrange this all myself, as talking to each and every project would take up way too much time. Turns out I wasn’t doing something out of the ordinary. There was already an ICO marketing firm that partnered with a lot of ICOs already and was managing all the marketing process for them (great idea as well).

I got in touch with them, told and showed them what I do partner up with them. They liked the content as well, so I was instantly ranked on the top in terms of quality and payments. I don’t recall how many more articles I wrote, but I really liked doing it as most of those projects covered topics I was interested in the first place and pairing it with the new blockchain technology made it so much better. Since most of the projects would pay you in tokens, the amount on paper was crazy. $3000, $2000, $4000, $5000, $1500. All for a day worth of research and writing work. It felt super fishy at first, but after remembering that first deal I closed on my own I wasn’t surprised one bit about those numbers.

I wasn’t aware but soon learned the agency was doing this for nearly half a year at this point. They managed ICOs that would pull a x5 and x10, just like most of the valuable ICOs. So a $3000 payment could quickly turn into a $30,000 payment. That made the whole thing even crazier. I was absolutely hooked. My very first researched ICOs I wrote about (for which I wasn’t paid) hit the exchanges and again, pulled in a x5 return within a few days. I was happy that my work was helping people and it surely helped to spurt my growth. I only applied to projects I was interested in and canceled on those that I thought were cash grabs and scams. Even though some of them turned out to be somewhat legit, I kept following my gut and passed on those that in my opinion didn’t need the blockchain technology at all.

I stood loyal to what I believe to be right and continued to openly point out clear deficiencies in projects if I’ve found some. After a while, the payout structure was changed and the payments for the articles were reduced to $2000 per article. I didn’t mind too much. I already finished over about 10 projects with payouts between $3-5000 and was expecting to receive the payout within the next weeks.

All of this went down while the market was still holding up for a lot of altcoins. Even though bitcoin took a nosedive, most of the people still thought it’s just a pullback and shifted their BTC into altcoins and ICOs.

Somewhere around this time, it happened: I crossed the $300,000 mark at the age of 22.

Three hundred thousand dollars.

It was weird seeing that number. I don’t even recall the exact feeling as it all just seemed surreal with it only being some numbers on a screen. The 300k excluded all the outstanding payments as well, so the vast majority of article payouts weren’t included at all. I’m not sure anymore what percentage was through my own investments and what came through the articles, I just knew that I was earning $10,000-$20,000 per month on articles from January 2018 onwards. I was feeling like I’m on a good way to reach a certain financial goal I’ve set for myself: Being a millionaire by the age of 25.

This feeling didn’t hold up for too long. Slowly but surely, the bear market was starting to get noticed across the board. I didn’t mind as I said to myself that I’m gonna hold these tokens for years anyway. I thought I had it right and my thinking pattern was quite straightforward: Either I’ll be a multi-millionaire or I’ll go bust. This will be a line that I’ll remember for years to come.
 
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OP
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AG356

AG356

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What could go wrong going 150 mph in a rusty 23-year-old honda civic?

By now it was mid-March 2018 and it finally became too much to handle. The final semester of University was knocking on the door. Another thesis, company-projects, group works, final oral examination to finish the degree. My main “business”, which I didn’t push to grow further, was due to re-launch the first product on Amazon. With my second product being a failure, tasks for the first product to make up for it were due as well as general tasks that come with it: PPC campaigns, coupon codes, data analysis,re-ordering on time, market analysis, product sourcing, final preparation of products before sending them out. The question of where to live after University, where do I go, what do I do, can I sustain myself with what I do now? It all was staring at my face while I hammered away on my keyboard to push out articles about cryptocurrencies while still actively investing in ICOs myself. The stress levels were off the charts and now the last bit of sleep was gone. I would sleep for 2-3 hours a night usually would wake up to calls from DHL, customs or Amazon to fix some issues that were going on. Throwing in 2h worth of naps throughout the day to get at least 4-5 hours a day in was the norm for many months to come. On top of all of that, I saw LOADS of paper money disappear overnight as we’ve begun the free fall which would later be known as the beginning of the end. Way too many things were going on at once and I could barely sleep anymore. I’m pretty sure is the wrong word for what I felt during the time, it was more like a constant feeling of panic. Like your fight-or-flight response button being pressed over and over again. The stress level climbed to 99%.

It was disgusting.

April came around and I finally decided that I can’t continue like this. I couldn’t spend days researching and going through ICOs anymore. I couldn’t find the time any longer. So I started to automate it. This was a great solution and it put a real entrepreneurial flair to it as I would be able to take me out of the operative processes for 99% of the time. I went through 6 writers until I’ve found someone that did his research cleanly and understood the topics. I paid him $100 per article and the results were great. He lacked the technical understanding a little bit, but overall the quality was phenomenal. $2000 in token for $100 in fiat. Good deal. I designed a clear structure for every article so he wouldn’t miss anything. Once done, all I had to do was to format the articles and post them on my blog/twitter. It was a great system which only required 0.5-1h work a day tops, down from at least 5-6 hours depending on the volume I put out. It took some weight off my shoulders but I still felt something was off.

April passed and May came along. The automation worked nicely and I took up projects, forwarded them to my writer, received them a few days later, formatted and posted them on my blog. I had set up a money printing machine with minimal work, it felt great. Now, as the year went on, the overall crypto market continued to take a beating.



Bitcoin just bounced back up to $9000, but still, the paper losses were real and at this point I was surely down $100,000-$150,000 already. It sucked but I wasn’t too worried, I knew that the insane hype around Dec/Jan was not here to stay. I still believed in the long term vision and was confident in most of my investments. Additionally, the blog was generating a nice amount of (paper) money and I was on my best way to make $100,000 this year solely through writing.

Now, I haven’t mentioned it yet but I injured my shoulder at the end of September 2018. I wasn’t able to go to the gym at all and it’s the one and the only thing I REALLY need. As I kid it was football, as I got older it was the gym. I just need a physical counterpart to all the mental gymnastics during the day. At first, I thought it was my physical appearance that will suffer under the injury, but the mental aspects were WAY worse. Things were slowly but surely getting out of hand. The constant hyper stress paired with the lack of sleep and physical activity was killing me. Even after cutting back on the articles, stress levels didn't go down and soon enough peaked at 100%. I couldn’t handle it any longer, I have to pull the brake.

After laying off the researching and writing, I started to distance myself from the whole crypto space more and more. I just couldn’t do it anymore. It was eating up so much time and now University was in it’s finishing stages. The thesis was due at the end of May and I hadn’t even started 4 weeks before that. Additionally, the previously mentioned problems with Amazon kept getting worse and worse. The product was doing ok’ish, doing $4500 a month in revenue after I re-launched it in March. My main sales went through Amazon PPC as I directly marketed it as a premium product (and it actually is, quality wise). A competitor, however, decided that it’s ok to send some company-owned product test group participants my way to take out out every single PPC campaign of mine within minutes after I activated them. Not only burning through my PPC budget without mercy, but also wiping out 80% of sales within a month, now barely reaching $1000 in revenue. It went so far, that I got a badge of “Amazon Bestseller” with their company name + product title in it, probably because that’s the phrase their muppets had to look for before annihilating my PPC ads.

Now that the second thesis was due, I couldn’t do anything else. I shut everything off for 3 weeks and did nothing but researching and writing my damn thesis. It was an immense a waste of time but I just kept going, knowing it’s going to be the last useless thing I’ll have to do. I submitted it 10 minutes before midnight on the very last day. The final thesis was done, the last thing to do was to pass the oral exam in front of a committee at the end of June, 4 weeks from now. Subject matters: Everything we’ve learned in our 3 main subjects. I planned in 2 weeks to study, as I told myself if I don’t know the majority of the subjects by now I have wasted my time anyway.

I used the 2 open weeks of June till mid-June to keep up some crypto news again. I came back to another -50% of the majority of my holdings.





BTC was down to $7600 by then and I watched it crumble down another 20% to $6600 over the next two weeks. BTC is usually a good indicator of how the rest of the market performs. If BTC is down, everything else will be down as well. So this chart could easily represent my overall holdings, as I was probably down to $100,000 or even less since ATH.

I wasn’t it taking so lightly anymore. This was a lot of money, even though it was only on paper. I do however see it differently. It doesn’t matter if it’s on paper or not, having 100k on paper is as real as having 100k liquid, as long as you can actually liquidate the paper money anytime, i.e. not sitting in an illiquid asset. At any point, I could have pulled the trigger, liquidate my altcoins to ETH/BTC, transfer those to Coinbase and just sell it for fiat currency.

But I didn’t. Not at 300k, not at 200k and not at 100k.

What the hell am I doing?

I stopped everything once again mid-June and focused on my studies. As expected, I still recalled the vast majority of the subjects but I surely won’t risk slipping up. So I put my head down and studied for two weeks before I suit up and walked into the committee room to face the absolute final exam of my education on a sunny Friday afternoon at the end of June. The oral exam was smooth and I graduated one hour after I entered the conference room.

After being receiving congratulations of the committee I walked out into a sunny Friday afternoon. Nearly 3 years have passed since I first stepped into this very building. I stood outside and there it was:

Nothing.

Nothing and nobody.

All of my classmates had their exam the days before and nobody I knew was anywhere near. Everybody was back home and had already celebrated. By no means did I need to celebrate the graduation, as it has mainly become a side-occupation over the past 1.5 years, but I still very clearly remember the exact feeling of loneliness I felt on this very moment. I had a great relationship with a lot of my classmates and it being over just like that was a very weird feeling that I haven’t felt in years. I felt like someone pulled me out of my bubble I was in for over a year, isolating myself with work and canceling on every single gathering I was invited to. Solely focusing on my own personal financial goals surely is something I wanted, but I never realized how much it actually cost me until this very moment. I never went out once in over a year. I didn’t do anything except work on my projects. I only saw other people when we had lectures or in our shared flat which stopped as well in spring 2018 as everyone was back at home writing their thesis. It was a very, very strange feeling and I didn’t like that at all. So I did what every rational thinking person does when being faced with the harsh reality: I got back into my car, drove back home, stepped into my bubble and was working on some articles again within minutes of getting out of my car, not even taking the time to tell my parents I’ve successfully graduated.

From bad to worse

Now here I am. Graduated and basically free. The stress levels fell quite a bit, as a lot of permanent background noise finally vanished. Simultaneously, a subtle tone of loneliness settled in. I phoned some classmates the next days and remember that I was mentioning that “I have to come to a solution where I will go to because working from home all day is certainly not going to work”. I was seeing old friends from my hometown again and started a gym routine again, but those 2h a day I’m out don’t make up for being somewhere the whole day you really don’t want to be. I always worked with a clear goal in mind during uni: Being financially and geographically independent and move far away as soon as possible. Things were looking great for the past year, but not any longer. The financial aspect didn’t look like what I wanted it to look like before taking that step. Perfectly knowing that I failed my goal of the past 1.5 years my rational brain decided to go into protection mode and I continued to put my head down and work.

Soon enough I was trying to get my main Amazon product back on track which worked out ok. I didn’t even remotely make a noteworthy amount as I didn’t re-order in time nor did I put in enough effort to increase the sales numbers. I neglected it so badly that I barely checked it once a day. At the end of the year, the revenue was around 25.000€. Everyone who sells physical products knows that this means nothing, as a good margin lays around a mere 25% without taking operational costs into account.

I focussed on crypto the majority of time again from July onwards. The markets were bloody and soon enough BTC was crumbling around $6k while all the altcoins continued to bleed out over time. I still pumped out articles over articles, partly through my writer partly through myself.

My portfolio value has now decreased to $60,000. I received several payments only to see them drop in value by 70% within a day. $3000 payouts were now worth $900 and less. People were desperate. They dumped any coin they left, and without any buyers in the market, the values just dropped through the floor.

Things started to get really bad from September onwards. After 1.5 years of total isolation, I can sense that I’ll be back to zero soon. This, what I wanted to avoid so badly, was happening right now. Living back at home, a place where nothing grows. I distracted myself further with work and useless tasks, but deep down I knew things were bad.

I continued this path for several months until I posted my last article at the end of October 2018. The payouts stopped or ICOs would postpone their sale. Until this day, I am owed over $60,000. I don’t expect them to pay up, and if they do, the tokens won’t be worth anything.

My portfolio value sunk further to around $40,000 as I held a vast majority of it in altcoins that took an even worse beating than bitcoin, which was still holding its temporary bottom of $6k.

One month later it happened - the final nail in the coffin: BTC broke through and went down to $3k. My portfolio took another hit and was now worth around $20-25,000, exactly the amount I’ve put in more than a year ago, going back to $0 and even less, if one excludes the earnings from the articles and the writing costs.

Around that time tax season was due for my first two official years in business. I went through a lot of hoops to get everything done and paid around 1k€ to get the taxes done for 17 & 18 for Amazon alone. The earnings were laughable and even my CPA had a subtle tone of “Are you really sure you want to continue to do this?” in his voice when I picked up my balance sheets.

December and Christmas came around and as usual, it’s the worst time of the year. 2018 was done and I was left with nothing. Life, being dark as usual, became even darker by the day. For a very long time I’ve had this one phrase in mind: “aut caesar aut nihil” - “Either Caesar or nothing”. I’m pretty sure it will play out like this. There’s nothing in between.

____

I’ll cut it here as I’ve already written a novel at this point. I might share what’s going on right now or since the beginning of 2019 in my Amazon thread, as I think it’s important to keep it transparent and let people know how things can play out when you get side-tracked. I just wanted to share this story as I think it contains a few learnings one might use for himself in similar ventures or situations. I’ve spent probably 10 hours writing this (I told you I wasn’t a writer) in one go, so it’s time for me to wrap this up for now.

It was quite a venture for myself to re-think the past 2 years of my life and be putting it into words. From the highest highs to the lowest lows. From a 22 y/o full-time student with an automated monthly income of >$20,000 through blogging, $300,000 in cryptocurrencies and another automated $1.5k monthly income including Amazon FBA, to a 23 y/o dude living back at home left with nothing.

If someone actually reads through this, I fully expect comments like “Why didn’t you sell?!” “Why didn’t you take profits?!” and I can only imagine how hard some of the more experienced folks in here cringed at some trading/investment points I’ve brought up. It’s alright, it’s a fair and smart question. Looking back, obviously, I should have sold but hindsight is 20/20 etc.

I’m well aware that TFF favors winning stories and isn’t a place to complain, but I thought sharing the good with the bad gives one a more transparent picture of how things can go. Even though I added some very personal aspects as well, I’m sure it’s necessary to paint a clearer picture of what’s goes through once mind during the process.

It’s hard to see the upside of all of this right now, so I can’t really say I learned this and that, but I do know that I’ve learned a lot during that time period and reached new peak performance during the summer and early fall of 2017 in terms of discipline, mental clarity and work ethic which I strive to get back to everyday. I’m certainly not in the best mental spot since the summer of 2018 and I’m aware that it’s not only the loss of money that’s responsible for this. It’s more the fact that I sacrificed everything and got nothing in return, leaving me not only financial empty handed but also deprived of experiences and social relationships. There were a lot of very dark weeks and even months but those are consequences you have to endure when things don’t go as planned and if you can’t keep your mindset up.

However, I have not given up on my fastlane dreams yet. Even though I was probably as close as I ever were in my life. Once a 9-5 starts to look like an attractive alternative opposed to the life you’re living right now you know things are going badly.

I was always convinced that only one person has to believe in your vision and your success:

You.

As long as you believe in yourself (as cliche as it sounds) there’s nothing that can stop you from achieving your goals. It might take longer or it might be harder than initially thought, but in the end you will get there. I never say it out loud or even think about it like I just put it into words, but somewhere in the back of my mind I always had the assurance that I will make it. No matter the circumstances - I can achieve my goals as long as I work towards them.

A while ago this belief started to crumble and self-doubt set in. I tried my best to get my mind back to where it was and it’s still a daily struggle to keep the negative thoughts at bay. Even though I have the feeling that I’m only one more little hill away from reaching the promised lands, I know that I still have a long road ahead of me. A road through rocky, undulating dryland with only a few drops of water left in my bottle. Knowing I can’t wander around much longer, I’ve decided to invest every last € I had in my savings account into new products for my Amazon business, giving myself a final ultimatum to either sink or swim - or in my metaphor - reach the promised lands in time or run out of water.

And to be completely honest here, I’m not planning on dying of thirst.

I’ll make it work, no matter what.

Time goes on and the past can’t be changed. There’s no reason to mourn of what I could have done differently or what could have been. There’s only one way and that’s going forward. I won’t accept a lousy compromise of a mediocre life because I got punched in the mouth a little harder than usual. I’ve made it work before and I will make it work again.

I have dusted myself off and I’m on my way back to the field with my hands tightened on my dream-life bat preparing to swing once again to hit that long-yearned-for home run.
 
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Cvince

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Pretty interesting post. I've heard tons of stories like yours where the results ended up way worse. So it's great to hear your not going to quit.

Now, It's my unpopular opinion but I look at trading crypto as gambling. I believe that unless someones willing to lose all the money with no emotion there is no point in doing it in the first place.

If I were you I'd focus on something that can be more solid. But thanks for sharing your story.
 
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josealberto

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Damn! These posts are the ones that really worth to read.

I'm from a 3rd world country and also lost all my savings (400$) on the crypto bear market. I know $400 doesn't sounds too much and it's like 0.001% of what you lost but it was my 100% so the feeling I had was probably the same as yours.

Also have a friend who lost around $20k at that time. He never took a look again on the crypto space, he went again to his previous businesses and now he has like 2x or 3x the net worth he had. Just focusing on what he really knows to do.

As someone said above, crypto is like gambling, yes. Probably the next years we'll see this post saying "WTF? Why didn't I bought BTC at $5000?" but no one knows.

What I want to say: If you made it to reach those $300.000 goddammit you can reach that point again and even more! Focus on your Amazon business, another online stable businesses, you already graduated so you took a big burden off and now you have time to focus on your business.

I believe in you and I hope to see a thread of yours 5 years from now being oficially millionaire! Keep up the effort my friend!
 

VPchris

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May 4, 2019
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Thanks so much for sharing. Even though I'm not a cryptohead, this post was in general very interesting for me. You hear a lot of stories about the 'wizkids' in crypto, but it's crazy to hear it from this POV. The biggest cliches are known to be true: it's through failure we learn a lot. And through this written novel about your failure I've learned a lot.

Really nice to hear you've already gained this amount of experience throughout your college years as well, as if that's not a high stress already :).

Hearing your post, I've learned balance between the physical/mental aspect while hustling in life is super important. Maybe also to FOCUS on less projects but going deeper in the ones you do work on. Would you agree, OP?
 

JordanK

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Thanks for sharing this story. While I didn't invest in crypto at all I did have a business previously that went from making good money every month to absolutely nothing so I can relate to this. Probably one of the best posts I have read here on the Fastlane forum in a long time. @MJ DeMarco Notable? Gold?
 

Jakeeck

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Can relate to this a lot.

Crypto consumed my life for a while as myself and my best friend got in pretty early in May 2017 and saw our investments go parabolic in a short time. By August of that same year I was buying "stuff to get me ahead" from the dark web so I could analyze charts and "figure it all out."

Soon being awake for 2-3 days straight became the norm and my life spun out of control and I ended up dropping everything and going to the Appalachian Trail to get my head straight again. Never touched the "stuff" or crypto again despite the market going parabolic in Dec/Jan. I didn't care. The stress it brought me before wasn't worth trying to get back in.

My best friend is still in it to this day. He turned about 10k into 400k at the peak and now has been slowly bleeding for over a year down to about 100k (he made a lot of good trades to even be at that level still).

But his mental state is the worst it's ever been and he's stuck in it big time. Just can't get out mentally.
 

MakeItHappen

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Thanks for sharing your story.

Big rewards always go with risks and often big risks to.

If bitcoin would have exploded to $100000 you wouldn't have anything to regret.

Years ago I heard a story of a gambler that won something like $100.000.000 in a couple of days an than lost it all back to the casinos.
People say, "He should have walked away with $100.000.000, what an idiot to risk losing it all."
The thing is, that this attitued wouldn't have allowed him to win 100 mil in the first place.
People how make fun of him would have left the casino when they were up 100 bucks...
 

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OP
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AG356

AG356

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Hearing your post, I've learned balance between the physical/mental aspect while hustling in life is super important. Maybe also to FOCUS on less projects but going deeper in the ones you do work on. Would you agree, OP?
I do agree. It's something you'll hear over and over again in business and yet some people have to experience it themselves to really understand it. Focus and mental clarity are immensely important.

Can relate to this a lot.

Crypto consumed my life for a while as myself and my best friend got in pretty early in May 2017 and saw our investments go parabolic in a short time. By August of that same year I was buying "stuff to get me ahead" from the dark web so I could analyze charts and "figure it all out."

Soon being awake for 2-3 days straight became the norm and my life spun out of control and I ended up dropping everything and going to the Appalachian Trail to get my head straight again. Never touched the "stuff" or crypto again despite the market going parabolic in Dec/Jan. I didn't care. The stress it brought me before wasn't worth trying to get back in.

My best friend is still in it to this day. He turned about 10k into 400k at the peak and now has been slowly bleeding for over a year down to about 100k (he made a lot of good trades to even be at that level still).

But his mental state is the worst it's ever been and he's stuck in it big time. Just can't get out mentally.
Thoughts about nootropics or prescribed medication for concentration crossed my mind more than once as well. I was always interested in increasing my mental performance and tested a lot of methods, supplements (legal) and diets to do so. Unironically, a good night's sleep, intermitting fasting, a healthy diet, regular exercise and a cup of coffee is all it needs. I only had the coffee part down back then so that's probably the reason that thought crossed my mind in the first place.


Thanks for sharing your story.

Big rewards always go with risks and often big risks to.

If bitcoin would have exploded to $100000 you wouldn't have anything to regret.

Years ago I heard a story of a gambler that won something like $100.000.000 in a couple of days an than lost it all back to the casinos.
People say, "He should have walked away with $100.000.000, what an idiot to risk losing it all."
The thing is, that this attitued wouldn't have allowed him to win 100 mil in the first place.
People how make fun of him would have left the casino when they were up 100 bucks...
It's really not so much about the money. The way my "investments" performed are secondary to me as I've initially planned to hold them for years anyway. It's more the time and energy I've spent that I, in hindsight, should have spent elsewhere. Even though the monetary gain outperformed everything that I could have done in that period of time the long term view paints a different picture.

Overall I struggled more with the downfall of the blog than anything else. I may have not described it as detailed as I should have but setting this all up in a relatively short time was something that took enormous effort. Closing the first deals and reinvesting the profits to find writers to automate the blog was such a satisfying feeling. It felt like I've built a little wind-up machine that just needed a little bit of input from my side to play throughout the whole day.

That's one of the many aspects that got me into entrepreneurship in the first place. It's such a great feeling building those systems and see them finally come to life. If you get positive feedback from the market on top of that it's more satisfying than any ROI I could have had.
 

B. Cole

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Great story, and very relatable for this of us in here who lived (crashed) through the crazy crypto hype-machine. I only put $1200 in it, that little portfolio is now worth less than $100.

Looking forward to your next venture - on solid, smarter ground.

:cool:
 

Xeon

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@AG356 If you had a second chance, would you avoid the crypto entirely and focus on the Amazon biz?

Anyway, I don't agree that you're left with nothing. The fact that you learn and earned so much within one year is priceless.

I mean, for f*ck's sake, you're only 23 and where were most of us at that age? I was spending more than half the day each day playing capcom street fighter.

From the way you networked with the CEOs, smart enough to figure out the whole block chain thing and earn $ by writing articles, you defo have what it takes to make it big.
 
OP
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AG356

AG356

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@AG356 If you had a second chance, would you avoid the crypto entirely and focus on the Amazon biz?

Anyway, I don't agree that you're left with nothing. The fact that you learn and earned so much within one year is priceless.

I mean, for F*ck's sake, you're only 23 and where were most of us at that age? I was spending more than half the day each day playing capcom street fighter.

From the way you networked with the CEOs, smart enough to figure out the whole block chain thing and earn $ by writing articles, you defo have what it takes to make it big.
Great question. I've thought about this for a very long time over the past months and I yet have to find an answer to that.

I can certainly say that I've learned insanely much over a rather short period of time that will undoubtedly benefit me in the long run. I think if I would have made the switch earlier and didn't try to hold onto things that are not working I wouldn't have perceived it as a rather negative experience overall.

One thing I'm really grateful for was that my beliefs got shattered through first-hand experiences. I never thought that I could make close to $20,000 in one day through cold approaching and selling digital marketing services. Nor did I ever think that I could set up an automated system that generates $10-20k/month with 0.5-1 hour of work per day within a few months. Turns out my self-imposed limiting beliefs where wrong. If I was wrong about this, what are the chances that I'm right about other limiting beliefs?

I think everything has its upsides and downsides. I could have done it completely different and miss out on a lot of experiences while on the other hand building a solid business. I could have rode the hype, cash out $300k and take years of the process of building capital. Or I could have done it exactly as I did it. In the end, it all boils down to this little parable:
There was once a farmer in a village and one day, his horse ran away. So, the villagers came up to him and said, “Oooh! That’s bad.”

He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Good or bad, hard to say.”

The next day, the horse returned and brought with it seven wild horses. So, the villagers came up to him and said, “Ah! more horses, that’s good.”

He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Good or bad, hard to say.”

A week later, the farmer’s son was riding one of the wild horses, was thrown off it and breaks his leg. So, the villagers came up to him and said, “That’s terrible luck.”

He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Good or bad, hard to say.”

The next week, the king sent word commanding all able men of age to enlist in the army for the upcoming war against a neighbouring kingdom. They came to the village to look for men to enlist but when they see the farmer’s son has a broken leg, they pass him by. Now, the villagers came up to him and said, “That’s good luck!”

He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Good or bad, hard to say.”

Who knows if it was the right decision or if it would have been better the other way around. All I know is that I have to go from here and that's exactly what I plan to do.
 

karakoram

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I too, experienced the parabolic rise in my crypto trading during 2017, just not to the extreme as you (5 figures, instead of 6 figures).

BTC has established a new uptrend in the past several weeks. Will you ignore it?
 

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Thomas Chauvet

Bronze Contributor
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Dijon, France
Great story.
One can only do is best, and that's what you did, but you learned a lot ; don't be too hard on yourself.
I'm not worried about you, you will make it.
Maybe the most important lesson about it is, now that you've graduated, and have much more "freedom", to never overburn yourself.
It's exactly what you say : it's not that hard. Just sleep for 8 hours every day. Eat well. Exercise. Some coffee from time to time (if possible not after 2 pm) and that's it. I love the james clear's writings about it : What is Your "Average Speed" in Your Life, Your Health, and Your Work? , among other articles

I guess you didn't really have a choice then... Now, you have !
Can't wait see to read your next novel in 2 years, hopefully a happier one !
Thanks a lot for sharing, it was a really good read full of very valuable insights !
 

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