I’ve had it in my head for years that I know nothing about investing, but that is not true.
Starting to realize, I’ve had a keen investor’s sense all along. Just didn’t have the financial habits or know-how to put that sense into action.
Wanna say it was 1995, but possibly a couple years before then. That’s when my family first subscribed to AOL. My first experience with the Internet. I was a teenager.
I knew right then that I was breathing down the neck of the future. I was awe-struck. I instantly realized a hundred different ways that the Internet was going to change and improve my life permanently.
Meanwhile, many people around me laughed the Internet, and computers in general, off as a fad. I recall even in the early ’00s, after computers were clearly on the fast track to societal ubiquity, hearing the increasingly outmoded chortles of those who thought it was all just a fleeting fad.
By the early ’00s, computers had already become fully integrated into my life.
I had friends all over the world. In the late ’80s, I’d had a penpal in Australia. It took weeks-to-months for our letters to arrive. But not anymore. Communication with anyone, anywhere, was virtually instant. As someone that felt generally more comfortable with writing than speaking anyway, I felt like instantaneous worldwide written communication was straight up heaven-sent, just for me.
Internet dating. I started immediately. Ever since I was fifteen, probably 75% of my romantic relationships started online. I’ve been in several relationships with people I didn’t end up meeting in person, but those still matter to me. Because what I knew when I was fifteen and what I still know is, that the Internet is an authentic form of human communication. That’s part of what makes it important.
I was in one of the world’s first cyberbands, starting in 2002. Take the concept of Internet friends/relationships, apply it to a group of people all over the world working from separate locations, and make a band out of it. Cyberband. Our drummer was in Poland. Female singer lived in Staten Island. Founder and synthesizer guru from Mt. Laurel, NJ. I was in Lansing, MI (or wherever else I ended up). Then we were joined by Dirk Försterling, of Dortmund, Germany at the time.
While some people were writing the Internet off as a cesspool of trickery and human fungus, I was busy making music with people all over the world and forming life-long friendships. With my friend and collaborator Dirk alone, I could think of dozens of ways that our friendship inspired me to be a better, more culturally-sensitive, compassionate, dynamic, and well-rounded person.
Now, what does any of this have to do with investing?
Well, everything. I invested my time, energy, heart, hope, creativity, and passion into the Internet while a lot of the people around me didn’t see what I saw.
I did not invest money (other than as a consumer), because I did not have any intellectual framework established for financial investments.
If I had been money-minded back in those days, I could have become extremely wealthy by backing emerging tech companies.
I wouldn’t have invested in AOL, by the way. Even back then, I could tell that its proprietary rigidity did not leave much room for future expansion. The time to invest in AOL would have been before I even knew what it was; I am certain a lot of people made a lot of money from their stocks when families like mine bought into its user-friendly nature.
Someone I consider a financial mentor, James Altucher, made his first millions from the tech surge in the ’90s. He realized that everyone was going to need a website, before everyone realized they were going to need a website. So, he learned to make websites, and designed HBO’s first web presence. He had vision, and he jumped right in there.
I learned to make websites too, but my mentality was more, “How can I use this to serve myself?” rather than, “How can I use this to serve others?” Of course, serving others is a form of self-serving, and self-serving, when done properly, is a form of others-serving. Back then, I just wasn’t thinking in terms of hiring myself out to others, perhaps also because of timidness and lack of self-confidence.
James Altucher also saw Facebook’s potential as a multi-billion company, right as they were on the verge of becoming one (but the media mocked his predictions anyway).
I saw Facebook’s potential too, but I wasn’t thinking in terms of money. I saw Facebook in terms of what it could do for people, and how it could connect the world even more than before. It was the most streamlined (while also being robust) social media experience yet, and probably still is today.
If I’d thought of Facebook through a financial lens back then, I could have capitalized on that and would have become very wealthy.
But see, I didn’t know I had an investor’s sense. I was too up-close to myself. Trees and forests and all that.
Plus, I’ve had some kind of wicked mental block against learning about and comprehending Economics. Some combination of self-limiting beliefs, poor habits, and a rather annoying philosophical aversion to playing by the rules of a society I’ve often seen as fake and meandering.
I feel ready to transcend that hot mess, though.
So, next time I realize the probable potential of a new product or service in the world. I won’t think only in terms of, “What can this product or service do to make my life better?” I’ll add, “How can I use this product or service to make the world better?” and, “What can I add to the mix to make this product or service even more effective, and to make its benefits known to others?” and, “Do I have any money available to invest to support this powerful vision?”
So, do you want to know what I think the ‘next big thing’ is?
I’m still educating myself on the nuances here. If you want a link to a great resource on the topic, contact me and I’ll send it over.
But I don’t think it takes a genius to see that our banking system needs an enema in the worst way. Our economic systems are entirely too entrenched in special interests and greed-based desires and practices.
You know how I said I would not have invested in AOL? That’s because it was too reliant on itself rather than being interdependent with other systems. It’s unlikely for such a system to be sustainable moving forward, because it doesn’t naturally play well with future innovations by other companies.
Banking in the U.S. is similar. If you want to predict the future of anything, look at trends that open up the world and dissolve social, economic, and political barriers.
And think in terms that go beyond borders and nations. Each country having its own money may seem normal because we’re used to it. It’s a proprietary nuisance. Like with AOL, that paradigm probably won’t survive in the future because it creates barriers to working and playing well with others.
Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin was the first) seem a likely solution to this problem. But when it comes to unifying global currencies, we could be looking at a process that will take decades. Or maybe it will happen much sooner. The point is, though, that the potential here is enormous.
And like with the early days of the Internet, and again with Facebook, lots of people have no clue about this potential.
But they will…
And by the time they do, it’ll be too late to take advantage of the boom.
Because the exact moment when it catches on for the masses, is when the boom will happen. That’s when the people who saw the boom coming and invested, can make a whole lot of money in a short period of time.
Word from the grapevine indicates that a massive boom in cryptocurrencies is about to go down. As in, before the end of 2017. Possibly before the end of October, 2017. If you want to know more, get with me. You can also request to join the Launch Your Life Facebook group, which would be perfect for discussing strategies pertaining to investing, wealth, and the future.
So, have you ever seen the potential brilliance in an idea before anyone else did? Think about it. I’m sure lots of people invented cellphones in their minds before someone figured out the technology. Then, other people refined the technology. And that process will continue. The difference between the people who daydreamed and the ones who made it happen is that the latter seized an opportunity.
You don’t have to be an inventor or a tech genius to seize opportunities…
You just have to go for it.
Well, and also educate yourself, learn from your mistakes, make improvements when you can…
But really, just go for it.
Also published on Medium.