It’s been a while since I’ve written here. I’m not even sure how many people have stuck around and will read this, or if anyone new’s come to the platform and may find this as their introduction to my literary domain.
As to why this story is coming out now... I dunno, exactly.
It’s one I preferred to keep private, not wanting to come across as either bragadocious or playing the victim. In the midst of billions in this world in poverty and struggling with serious issues, this all could probably fall into the category of “quality first world problems,” and I’ve never been one for siphoning attention for shit that really didn’t matter. Perhaps I figured the seriousness of the matter to me was one few here could relate to, and thus wasn’t appropriate to vent out when others were going through way more heavy shit. Nonetheless, it’s coming out now.
So here it goes...
I guess the story starts about 3.5 years ago...
I’d just followed through on the guidance/instinct to figure out what was going on in the blockchain world, and discovered Steemit right at its start. Something told me to write, so write I did. I’d been DJing in Bali for a living, planning to return to Canada a newly married man soon, with zero savings. And somehow, timing lined up. A few weeks in, I was one of the top 1.2% rewarded writers on Steemit and enough of a cushion to move back to Canada comfortably and begin growing a crypto portfolio.
Over the first year in Steemit, I’d watched my wallet go from around $165,000 at its first peak, down to barely anything, with Steem price back below a quarter - and then when I’d given up hope, seeing all of crypto make a nice rebound. May 2017, my net worth (in crypto, which was everything) was around $40,000. From there, the boom began. And by the market peak in January 2018, I was looking at a paper/digital gain of over $1.6million USD.
What happened next: I watched 95% of disappear.
That, equating to nearly $2 million Canadian dollars.
2018 was a painful year. Not just emotionally, but physically as the stress of my fuckup manifested in such extreme tension in my body, it came to a pinnacle where I couldn’t even walk without excruciating pain for a few weeks and took months more to properly recover. (And yesterday morning, I’d just been retriggered into nearly the same condition - thus, a part of me questioning whether the writing of this story is perhaps a necessary part of the healing process of the ‘paralyzing’ experience.)
The financial success came so quickly, it was surreal. To actually have the capacity to withdraw a million dollars into my bank account was beyond my comprehension. And thus, I was very ill-prepared to manage such funds while they were in my grasp.
I was greedy. I didn’t care so much about securitizing my gains as multiplying them so I could buy an unnecessarily-luxurious dream home on the hill.
I was still in scarcity. I was unwilling to take a big profit, not yet having figured out how to manage the tax matters and not cool with handing over a large amount to the government.
I was delusional. I really had drunk the crypto-kool-aid and thought that the bull run would continue indefinitely until I was worth 8 or 9 figures; that any correction would be shallow and short-lived.
And, I was foolish.
As per the “don’t risk what you aren’t willing to lose” principle, I cleverly manipulated myself with the logic that I had started with nothing in the first place, so why not go all in as “technically,” there would be no loss from that starting point.
I’d been far too invested in the conspiratorial worldview anticipated major financial collapse, too proud to support the underdog movement of a new financial system - thinking that it was somehow superior to keep everything invested in the new systems, and that’d be a safe bet when the old inevitably failed. Ha.
I’d somehow managed to create and invest enough to earn life-changing money. And in just as much time, I watched it disappear, having not exercised the maturity or wisdom to retain it.
*”Easy come, easy go...”
For at least a year, I was haunted every day with my mistakes, calculating the “what if’s.”
If I had taken even 10% profits, that would’ve been enough to cover living expenses plus for three years...
If I hadgreater foresight and taken out 2/3 to put into some life insurance, I’d have a guaranteed $5000/month tax-free for life...
If I hadtaken a 1/3, I could’ve bought a reasonable home. No frills, but a solid home base that was mine...
If I had sold the majority of my Steem at its peaks and put it into Bitcoin instead...
If I had taken even one fucking percent profits and given to my wife, she wouldn’t have felt the pressure coming from me to expose herself working jobs in a fucking toxic environment in Vancouver’s makeup industry - a situation that was healthy for neither of us. I could have her afforded her more time to make a graceful transition in this new country into a line of work that was truly right for her, rather than pushing her out due to my own financial insecurities - as fucking ridiculous as they were, having near $2mil CAD.
But, I didn’t take anything.
All I took was the minimum required to pay bills.
And by the time I’d already lost over a million, instead, I began accumulating fiat debt - expecting that a market correction was just around the corner, and it’d make more sense to keep invested in crypto for the forthcoming continuation of the bull run rather than pull those funds out to spend. But that decision-making process was seriously flawed, as here I am today with nearly $20k in fiat debt, and my portfolio having dwindled from $500k to $100k since.
”you be up so high, if you ever fall off, it feel like a plane crash...” ~ Kanye West
Yeah, “first world problems.”
In context, I’m still doing a shitload better than I was 3.5 years ago in Bali, just over broke. Six figures of savings, after all living expenses covered these last years, and the means to still live life on my terms without having to work a J.O.B. ain’t all that bad a situation.
But, trying to rationalize it like that isn’t exactly an effective salve on the sting that’s still left over.
It probably took a year to “come to peace with” my errors. But even if I am “at peace” with it - which I’m probably actually not - “peace” doesn’t entail a restoration of the confidence, enthusiasm, and hope lost.
”It’s okay, there will be another bull run,” isn’t an effective consolation. I’ve had a year of getting my ass kicked by reality to be real about the fact that even though another bull run may be inevitable for select tokens, there’s unlikely to be another round of 100x gains across the board. The hopium has worn off, I’ve kicked that shit, and am not sinking back into the delusion.
I had my chance. And I fucked it up.
Tests in character-development, probably.
“It is what it is.” That fucking viral, cliche platitude.
I can understand how men could take their lives over such huge financial losses... were they not to be left with anything, but watched it all burn, left in debt, with house mortgages to pay and no clear way out. Those who took their lives, scorned in the major financial crises... I have more compassion for them, knowing what it’s like to have so much swept out from underneath your feet.
Granted, I’m grateful it wasn’t that bad for me. And, even if the experience took me out mentally & emotionally for a rather extended period of time, there’s still some confidence remaining in what I’m left with - the true wealth, as one of my most influential mentors, Roger Hamilton often said: “wealth isn’t money; it’s what you have left when your money’s all gone; it’s your ability to make it all back again.”
My self-esteem took a massive hit along with my portfolio, as I didn’t know how I’d make it back again. The Steemit success wasn’t a total fluke, as it’d been years of preparation for the opportunity. But, as to how to duplicate that success... that had been something I’d been stumped on. And in the pain of processing my mistakes, there was no clear vision to see the next steps forward.
Blah fucking blah.
At the time I first began Steemit, unsure if it was even actually legit, I made a list of the music gear I wanted/needed for a proper studio to begin making the music I’d felt called to all along. Recently, I realized, I’ve checked everything off that list. And, I’ve put myself in a position to have the time to put it to use.
So, there goes a next step.
Sure, I may have squandered the larger funds in my clutch, killing off my dreams of upgrading to better living conditions. But maybe, at some level, it all went down as it did to get me to that next step with the resources needed to unlock the next round of wealth - be it generated through music rather than writing.
And/or, perhaps one of the other next steps was writing books.
Several have been started over the years. And just as there had been tremendously positive feedback from my writing on Steemit, so too were there requests for me to write a book. So, maybe that feedback was merely the fuel to take those steps, take my drafts off the shelf, dust them off, and pick up with those creative dreams - which could certainly, with the correct energy put into them, generate a flow of wealth to make up for what I lost in crypto and more.
And here, there’s no more questioning or debate. Either do, or do not.
And to wrap up... the moral of the story...?
I dunno. As usual, deduce it for yourself.
There was a time where I used to like writing as though I were smart and had some profound wisdom to offer that’d be some magnificent blessing upon those who read it deceptively. But as clearly exemplified in this account of what’s happened in my personal matters, I’m only human. And following my example might not be one that’d be wise to follow.
There were some on here who once looked up to me as some sort of role model. And having gone from zero to $1.6 million USD with nothing but some writing and good investment choices, that’d be fair. Though if there are any here still reading who still hold me in such high regard, I’d hope that this would be a reality check and enough to get me down off the pedestal.
I suppose, as per my 6/2 profile in Human Design, with the 6 line, it’s part of my blueprint to play the role model here in this lifetime. And I guess that doesn’t come from having made all the right decisions all the time, but also through the tough learning of hard knocks. And watching $2 million CAD vanish - reminded every fucking day of how much smoother everything could be flowing, had I made wiser decisions on how to manage that... that’s some hard fucking knocks, alright. Like, there are no words to convey the anguish of the impact.
So why share this...?
Cuz there’s probably something to learn in it.
Granted, I wouldn’t expect too many of us to stumble into an opportunity where we’re gonna make $2 million with Steemit again. But maybe it’s not about the amount of capital.
Maybe it’s about cultivating the maturity and wisdom to manage what little we have responsibily. To keep our feet on the ground, aware of the risks we might not comprehend when high on hopium, and plan better in advance.
Lord knows, having gone through all this, I’ll be at least a little bit smarter than when the next round of wealth flows in. And I wouldn’t expect it to be as huge as the first, which maybe is a good thing.
And hopefully, by reading this, you may gain something worthwhile to take away and implement in your mindset and financial planning, so as to fortify your financial future from the same types of mistakes I made in my naive enthusiasm that crypto was going to the moon and we’d all be rolling in Lambos sooner than we actually deserved it.
Or who knows. Maybe this is just some first-world-problem shit I needed to vent out as a part of some healing process I’ve put on hold that couldn’t be procrastinated on forever.
After all, there’s at least some of you whom have been an integral part of this journey and have shown your support all along, so it might only be fair to be transparent in how this unfolded - as it never would have without Steemit or some of your contributions along the way.
Blah blah blah.
So there ya go. Decode the puzzle pieces, and be fucking smarter in your money management than I was...