Image: Bitcoin Initially Valued at $60, 2017 by Andy Bauch
If you’re ever fortunate enough to fall down the Bitcoin rabbit hole, you’ll find yourself immersed in an education on a wide variety of topics including history, money, investing, economics, philosophy, politics, psychology, technology, security, and more!
While the specific lessons mentioned in this post might not be new or unique, I think it’s beautiful that Bitcoin has helped hammer some of these points home for me as I continue striving to be a stronger Entrepreneur every day.
Lesson 1: Leverage time
Bitcoin woke me up to the importance and preciousness of one’s time.
Are you aware that the average life span is only 600,000 hours?
Let that sink in, that’s less than 1 million hours on this earth. If you’re then sleeping for 1/3 of your life, that’s 400,000 hours spent awake. Do you think it’s then fair to go and trade some of these precious finite 400,000 hours with an organisation that’s going to compensate you for that time in a currency that is infinite (always expanding, always being debased) in supply?
Bitcoin taught me that it’s not only about ensuring my time is being invested in a way that’s leveraged, has capability for exponential interest returns, or is exchanged for a hard currency in an attempt to be ‘clever’, but that it’s about investing that valuable time in a way where the return is simply fair and just.
Note: Please check out This Book Will Save You Time by Misir Mahmudov
Lesson 2: Play long term games
Bitcoin reiterated to me that to win, you play long term games. As a payment method bitcoin isn’t the quickest and doesn’t have the cheapest transaction fees. If you want to buy a pint at the pub, it’s probably not the best idea to use or accept bitcoin (for now). This isn’t what Bitcoin is about. Bitcoin is about storing for the future not spending for the now, it’s about living with a lower time preference and saving for greater purchasing power down the line.
Bitcoin reminds me that I want to be one of the children in the marshmallow test who was able to delay immediate gratification and reap the reward for doing so. As an entrepreneur I want to be making decisions that optimise for longevity, not for short-term revenue.
Lesson 3: Competence trumps all
I don’t want to be completely ignorant to marketing, advertising, personal branding etc and as the famous quote in advertising circles goes “Those in business who become immune to advertising, soon become immune to business”.
What Bitcoin does remind me of though, is that competence is the most important thing and will always win out over the long run. Nassim Taleb touches on this theme when he talks about having more confidence in the scruffy looking Doctor, rather than the slick looking Doctor, as the scruffy looking Doctor ‘must’ be competent if they don’t look the part!
Bitcoin has never hired a marketing team, never had a public CEO, never ran an advertising campaign etc. Its literal sheer competence as sound money has enabled it to grow to beyond a $1 trillion market capitalisation, and it’s just getting started.
As an Entrepreneur this tells me that if I focus on being best in class at delivery in my role, rather than looking fancy or other, the business I desire will eventually come to me.
Lesson 4: Know your subject and continue learning
While it’s quite easy and obvious to say this point is important, Bitcoin really helps bring this lesson home due to the grave consequences you’ll face if you don’t. For example, if you didn’t have a certain level of knowledge or conviction in regard to Bitcoin you would have or will cash out at some stage (disaster) due to the volatility. If you don’t know what you’re doing or understand what risks you’re taking regarding the custody of your Bitcoin, you might lose your BTC! (another disaster)
As an Entrepreneur, Bitcoin reminds me that I need to know my craft, and that the learning never stops. I need to always be studying, improving, and keeping abreast of what’s developing around me otherwise I’m prone to risks such as a security breach, or uninformed decision making.
Lesson 5: Be responsible, be accountable
As the famous Bitcoin saying goes “Don’t trust, verify”. There are no second chances in Bitcoin, and no centralised authorities around to hold your hand. If you lose the seed phrase or private keys to your Bitcoin, there’s no ‘forgot my password’ button you can now hit for recovery. If you send your bitcoin to the wrong place, that transaction is immutable, you can’t call someone at the bank and request to reverse it. Now that Bitcoin gives you the option and ability to be self-sovereign, it also requires you to be up to this task.
As an Entrepreneur Bitcoin has taught me that I need to take ownership. I can’t just outsource tasks and bury my head in the sand. I need to verify and check things for myself rather than blindly trusting someone’s word. Bitcoin teaches the highest degree of accountability.
As Uncle Ben said; “With Great Power, comes Great Responsibility”
That wraps up 5 Bitcoin lessons that I believe make me a stronger Entrepreneur. As this Bitcoin rabbit hole is never ending, I’m sure there will be countless more lessons along the way and that they will not only be relatable to my journey as an Entrepreneur, but to my journey as a human in all areas of life. Thank you for reading, all the best, keep killing it as entrepreneurs, and keep stacking sats!