Broke, stranded, and desparate

I figure it’s time to come clean about my sordid past as a Bitcoin speculator…

This would have been some time in 2013 with Bitcoin prices were doing this:

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I’d bought a few Bitcoins earlier in 2013 and just held on to them.

Then later that year my wife and I drove from Oregon to San Diego to help her dad move into an assisted care facility.

About that same time, I was waiting for a client to pay an invoice. I did A LOT of waiting for client payments during this phase of my self-employment career. I was constantly having months were there was more month than money, and if a client was even a few days late paying an invoice it could turn into a minor financial crisis.

I should tell you sometime about the time I sold furniture to make a mortgage payment. Anyway…

So here I was with about $50 in the bank and 2 days before I needed significantly more than $50 in food and fuel money to drive 1,000 miles back home.

Then, I remembered the Bitcoin. I checked the exchange rate and breathed a sigh of relief.

I’d have plenty of cashola to make the trip home if I could exchange the BTC for USD. I did some quick searching and found more good news!

Some startup was doing a public demo of a Bitcoin ATM the next day in San Diego. As you can imagine, I was ecstatic!

Just to cover my bases, I dropped the event organizer a quick email to see what the withdrawal limits were on the Bitcoin ATM.

“Oh, sorry, the ATM only lets you buy Bitcoin, not sell it and get cash.”

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OK, how about a person-to-person transaction? I hopped on whatever sketchy website existed at that time to facilitate person-to-person BTC transactions.

I contacted about a half-dozen people but I could not find anyone who wanted to buy BTC and could meet in person in the next 48 hours to do the deal.

I was getting desperate because I was running out of options.

Finally, with about 24 hours before I needed to head back home, the client check arrived, my business partner deposited it, and I had enough money to make it to the next financial crisis.

Later that year before Bitcoin valuations crashed, I sold my Bitcoin holdings for even more money and bought a set of tires for my car. 🙂

When my business was in feast-famine mode, there was almost always some minor, temporary miracle that would show up to keep me from complete insolvency.

The permanent fixes involved the following:

  1. Developing a profitable market position
  2. Taking marketing seriously and focusing on high Trust Velocity tactics
  3. Diversifying my income model to include stuff beyond client work

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