A long title needs a long intro! This story is meant to be read from start to finish. I hope to provoke you to push yourself towards achieving what you WANT to do, not just what you think you CAN do. For the record I’ve been asked this question 5 times in a week now, hence this thorough explanation.
If you’re feeling lazy, this entire story can be summed up in one formula:
1)Acquire knowledge + 2)provide value * 3)get noticed = 4)end goal.
1 is needed for 2, which is necessary for 3.
The quantity of 3 determines how quickly you get to 4.
But there is one caveat to that.
If you plan on persuing your dreams half-heartedly, then this article is not for you. If you want to give it everything you’ve got and work hard, however, then here’s my story…
Today is exactly one year since I first heard about blockchain. For some time now I’ve had the dream of being able to retire at age 30, and learning about blockchain made that dream turn into a plan. So I made a rough sketch of that plan and followed it — with ups and downs, of course. I’m 22, so still plenty of time to go!
I should probably mention that before hearing about blockchain I had absolutely no technology experience or knowledge. I had also quit school at age 16, and I had severe depressions about half the year, every year.
So, in order to reach this somewhat optimistic goal of becoming financially independent at age 30, I realized I had to (and still must) do the opposite of the norm. Why? Because society tends to push us towards things that keep us locked in a specific role: Work your way up in a job hierarchy, get a mortgage, make a family, teach your children to do the same, and the cycle repeats.
This was never that attractive to me.
I’m also a pacifist hippie, so being a criminal supermind doesn’t really fit my personality… although it would be pretty interesting to try out 😆
For me, life quality goes up as the time you spend working decreases while the financial outcome increases.
In other words, the ratio between work and money should look like this:
So I set 6 dilemmas to track for the entrepreneurial activities I needed to do:
- Physical vs digital
You can only sell an object once, but you can sell a digital item forever.
That rules out any sort of physical work, but just selling stuff online is not that interesting (unless you made it yourself).
The same goes for manual work, i.e. “what you put in is what you get out” — such as doing translations online.
One page = x dollars, which doesn’t scale well (I did this for 3 years).
- Invest vs work
While I did try the investing route at first, I simply didn’t have the starting capital to achieve anything meaningful. Sure, I managed to convert $2k into nearly $50k last year by investing in ICOs, but then 2018 came along, and the rest is history.
So how about working for a crypto company instead?
That might be a more reliable way to get good financial results.
- Established vs startup
Founding or joining a startup usually scales better for you long-term, especially if you can get shares. People in established companies are often stuck for years with salaries just high enough as a carrot to keep them there for decades, hoping they’ll eventually get that crucial promotion.
What usually happens, though (and no employer will openly admit this), is that the individual becomes so good at that one role that the employer will do anything to keep him locked there.
- Shares vs tokens vs a high salary
“Six months [in crypto world] is comparative to five years in a traditional venture market.” — Kavita Gupta, fund manager at Consensys.
I think this speaks for itself.
Regarding the salary, I also opted for a job with a lower monthly payout in fiat, but with a much higher reward in tokens for staying at least a year and a half. Not an existing token, but the company’s own soon-to-be-launched token. Maybe I should write a similar article about how to spot a good vs a bad token (i.e. a “shitcoin”)— let me know in the comments.
So right now, if the token value doesn’t move in either direction, I’ll be getting my monthly salary + almost 7x that number in tokens every month for 3 years after the first 18 months.
5. App vs protocol
The company’s product can act like an application (like a hotel chain, web bureau, or Litecoin), or a protocol (like Airbnb, WordPress, or Ethereum). The protocol-like business will scale considerably faster, if done right.
Watch THIS if you’re new to that kind of thinking.
6. In-house vs remote
I have to enjoy this job for at least a few years, so being able to work from home or on the fly is extremely important to me. If there’s one thing that kills my creativity, it’s routine. And creativity is what I use every day to get what I want in life.
I recommend listening to 🤘this song🤘 while reading on. If you can do that while reading this then you can literally do anything🤪
Regarding point 1, while it was technically possible to scale my previous freelance translation business indefnitely, I also have to find my work interesting, and I was getting kinda tired of it…
Here are two very different examples of how you can scale an otherwise manual job such as translating online:
a) When you’re good enough you will get more clients than you can serve. Simply set up a referral deal with a few competent colleagues and earn a percentage of the money they get from your leads. Keep doing this and eventually you won’t have to work at all. You become the employer, kinda.
b) One colleague fed his 10+ years of legal translation documents to an AI he built, which allowed it to spit out 99.99% correct legal translations automatically. In other words, what previously took him 8 hours to do manually, he can now do in 5–10 minutes automatically.
He’s probably lying on a beach somewhere by now ⛱️
But you’re here to read about joining a top-tier startup, and not automating your manual business.
So, today I’m challenging you to take these 4 and a half steps:
Step 1: Read this article.
Step 2: Watch thismovie as soon as possible! (It’ll teach you to succeed by sheer attitude, will, and creativity💪).
Step 3: Learn something new which concerns your dream job, every day.
Step 4: Teach what you’ve learned & get your name out there!
Step 4.5: Produce high quality content after repeating step 3 a bunch.
Repeat step 1 & 2 when feeling demotivated.
About Step 4.5: I started out by writing guides on how to invest in ICOs and shortly thereafter which ICOs to invest in (yikes), as well as summing up what I had learned in a clickbaity article. The latter actually got me an advisory roleat a FinTech company, which proves my point.
At the time of writing that article I’d been in crypto for just 4 months, and approxmiately 4 months after writing it the CEO of the company reached out.
These things are not as rare as you might think.
Today that kind of content is no longer super attractive, though.
But topics like “how to join a blockchain startup”, “how to spot a shitcoin” or “how to not get 🖕FUCKED🖕 in a bear market” might be.
So I’m writing this piece simply as an open observation of a series of seemingly random and sporadic events that have all lead to a very specific outcome. It is my hope that I can inspire YOU to perhaps start risking more and re-thinking your approach to achieving your professional goals.
If I can do it, so can you! Pinky promise. 🤙
“Failure is simply an opportunity to start again — this time more intelligently”
— Somebody on the Internet
The moment I saw ☝️ quote was the moment I decided to write this story.
But let me just start out by explaining why it applies to my situation…
From age 16 to 21, I have:
- Started a blog about… thoughts!
– This was my way of dealing with boring classes in school.
- Quit high school to travel Europe for a few months, without a plan.
– Started on Cyprus and hitchhiked to Greece somehow. This was when I was first introduced to the beauty of decentralization through the Native American-inspired Rainbow Family. 🏳️🌈
- Started (and quit) 5 different pre-university educations lasting between 1 & 60 days.
– Short attention span when it comes to institutional thinking. What can I say? I think schools need to up their game if they want to stay relevant.
- Worked as a dishwasher for 30 days.
– Sorry to all the restaurant guests for the drum n’ bass coming from the kitchen…💿
- Worked full-time for Amnesty International for like 5 days.
– It really sucked. Like, really really. Kudos to that one guy who signed 10 people per day 👀 👏
- Worked for an animal rights org for 3 months, handing out flyers.
– Muuuch nicer than begging for money on behalf of strangers.
- Started a non-profit called “Free Food Movement” to provide the world with free food through a decentralized farming collective.
– How do you think that went?
- Started a freelance translation company which was my main source of income from age 18–21.
– Crawled my way up from $5/hour to $50/hour. Worked 100 hours some weeks and 10 hours in others. This allowed me to be super flexible with my time and work while traveling.
During this time I translated all sorts of stuff for 30+ different companies. This work slowly introduced me to the tech world which was a nice primer for what was to come.
- Got some work at an organic veggie farm. Lovely!
– Lived there for 18 months, though I spent most of my time translating rather than farming.
- Started an art blog for some friends.
- Started another blog.
- And another one.
- Started a vegan chocolate review blog. 🍪🍪🍪
- Moved to Brno, CZ, to work as an in-house translator.
– A British company hired me to translate Danish texts in Czech Republic… go figure. It lasted 5 weeks. Too corporate. 💼 🤬
- Started a meetup platform for vegans and vegetarians.
– 20 users. Yay.
- Probably started 15–20 websites by age 21.
– I’m not a coder, but sites like WordPress and Squarespace allow you to just point and click. 🤓
In between all of these things, I also worked as a volunteer in Spain, Sweden, Germany, Cyprus, and lived like a vagabond in Turkey for about a month (sorry mom).
DISCOVERED BITCOIN in September 2017!
So this is the interesting part.
From now on I will go into more detail on all the things that happened during the next ~10 months, why they were not random even though it may seem that way, and how you can benefit from copying my approach.
It was necessary to list all the previous events in my worklife to give you some background understanding of what you’re really here for:
How to land a job with no formal education.
From my experience education is fine, but experience is better… sometimes?
In case you don’t remember the first quote about failure, here’s another one:
I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
— Thomas Edison
So, now was the point in time where I adopted the tracking of those 6 dilemmas mentioned before, so keep that in mind while reading the following:
- September 2017 | Quit doing translations and almost literally locked myself in a room for a week to read all I could about Bitcoin, altcoins, blockchain, and smartcontracts (and continued reading 4–8 hours every single day for the next 3 months).
– Big emphasis on the all I could!
It doesn’t matter whether you have 40 years’ IT experience or work in a day care center: The first time you heard about Bitcoin, EVERY explanation of a term lead to further questions in a seemingly endless continuum, right?
“What powers Bitcoin? — blockchain.”
“What powers blockchain? — everyone and no one in particular.”
“And who invented Bitcoin or, errh, blockchain or whatever? — well…”
“So how does the blockchain work? — not the, but a.”
“There’s more? Like what? — Ethereum, Neo, Eos, etc.”
“Et cetera? — no, Ethereum Classic.”
“Two Ethereums?? — no, there’s like six. People forked the shit out of it.”
“Ok, so how many other coins are there? —do you mean coins or tokens?
“There’s a difference? — yes, usually an asset launched on a platform is called a token while a coin is the underlying asset, like Ether.”
“Wha..? What do these tokens do? — well it depends. You decide.”
“Wait, I can make my own cryptocurrency? — yeah, takes like 10 minutes.” “But where does the value come from? — well, you see.. that’s… yeah.”
“Ok but there are other cryptos out there, with value? Can you mention some?
“Stop! Just say a number…— about 5,006 and counting”
“😵 can we talk about something else, please? — Sure, pick a topic:
exchanges, stablecoins, daytrading, TA, HODL, ICOs, market mentality, bounties, airdrops, FOMO, FUD, nodes, oracles, PoW, PoS, PoI, DPoS, PoA, BFT, PoWeight, DAG, the Tangle, Hashgraph, addresses, private keys, wallets (exchange, mobile, web, software, hardware, paper), dapps, gas, mooning, 51% attacks, block rewards, block heights, confirmations, DAOs, hash rates, fees, permissioned, permissionless…
Or would you rather talk about the regulatory aspects behind all of this?
Or the economical implications?
Or how blockchain will completely reshape the world as we know it?
“🤪” — Just buy Bitcoin and you should be safe. Don’t worry 🤞
Alright, so maybe I got carried away a bit. My point is that if you want to stay ahead of the game, you must know more than your peers about not just blockchain, but the surrounding areas as well. If you know more about a certain topic than those around you like blockchain and crypto, you will become the person they ask and refer other to people to. This, in turn, can be turned into an income stream as well.
- September 2017 | Made a simple website to teach crypto basics.
-This was only a few weeks after learning about Bitcoin and served as a good test: Could I explain what I had learned to complete strangers?
By teaching crypto and blockchain fundamentals as well as making “how to” guides for Coinbase and MyEtherWallet, I managed to earn a staggering $60 via my referral link. Woohoo!
I abandoned the project as soon as I learned about ICOs, though.
- September/October 2017 | Started reviewing ICOs on Steemit. Founded an ICO group with 1,500 members.
– This topic was extremely hyped in mid to late 2017. I still believe that ICOs are a fantastic tool for low networth individuals to increase their (our) capital, but you gotta dig deep to find the good ones! On the flipside, I believe they can also be a fantastic tool for projects (WITH A GENUINE TOKEN UTILITY!!) to raise money from the general public.
I also saw a niche in the content creation market since most people wrote short, low quality articles, so I did the opposite and spent at least a day reading the whitepaper 1–2 times and finding all the info I could before even deciding whether or not I would write a review.
This is also when I started a Facebook group for sharing and discovering good ICOs, which grew from 0–1,500 members in less than a month.
A few reviews later I was contacted by the CEO of a company I had featured. He liked my article so much that he spent the next weekend setting up a professional ICO review site for me😍.
Someone also made this neat video for the site:
But the greed took over around the time I discovered bounties — a way to get tokens for doing online marketing, basically, and soon I would only review ICOs with a really good bounty programme. This left a bad taste in my mouth so I stopped after only a few weeks after launching the website. 😌
In late October I also closed the group. The spammers got the better of me, and I hated spending hours every day moderating people who acted like bots (or were they just actual bots?🤖)
However, these ICO review articles led me to get noticed by a Google-backed startup in the e-commerce sector. In short, they offered to hire me on 2–3 occasions during the next 2–3 months, but my passion wasn’t for e-commerce so I ended up turning them down. From all of my past experiences I’ve learned that I simply cannot perform if I don’t absolutely love what I do.
- November/December 2017 | Nothing, but not really nothing.
– So at this point I had spent approximately 2 months soaking up everything I could about blockchain and ICOs. I was getting a bit fatigued at this point, but I kept getting my name out there in local and international Facebook groups and ICO Telegram channels.
I’m sure there were blockchain veterans cringing super hard whenever I would answer new members’ questions that I had just learned the answers to myself. But this, to me, is how you learn the fastest — if you can’t explain a concept then you probably don’t understand it properly, which brings me back to point 3 & 4 in my 4.5-step challenge to you up top. ☝️
Every day I would give helpful and clear answers to people asking how to do this or that, because when you’re seeking answers to basic questions like “how do I set up a MEW,” any halfwit giving you the exact information you need will look like an expert to you, in that moment. And others will start noticing.
- December/January 2018 | Made a local online crypto school.
– Depending on when you read this, that👆 domain might have expired.
Anyway, “Kryptoskolen” literally translates to “crypto school” and was a nice way to market and spread what I had learned thus far, for free.
The front page was a simple primer of what exactly Bitcoin is, and then I had written guides on:
– How to get started
– How to use Coinbase
– How to use KuCoin
– How to set up MyEtherWallet
– The 6 cryptocurrency wallet types
– What is blockchain?
– Crypto glossary/vocabulary
There were also guest-written blog posts and an advertisement for a local crypto coach + a bio page where I showed off my amazing ICO investing skillz.
Kryptoskolen had its own Facebook group with ~200 members after a few weeks. However, I was overcome with winter depression, so I stopped this project after about a month and actually put crypto aside for just as long.
In January I did a talk on how I invest in ICOs (because at that time I had 30 x’ed my portfolio), and I also gave 2 private coaching sessions for $90/hour. I could have just continued doing this, but as mentioned I was too depressed to think about money at the time.
- February/March 2018 | Joined Backed.
– While not being super excited about crypto early on in the year, I was still decently active in local forums. Kevin, the founder of Backed, noticed this and offered me an advisory role in his startup. This quickly turned into something more and before I knew it my title was “Managing Partner,” and my responsibilities included everything Kevin was too busy to do + a high hourly rate in equity for doing so.
Kevin taught me a lot about the traditional finance world, startup life, and living amongst celebrities ✌️😆 as I stayed over from time to time and worked out of is apartment.
This guy makes an 80-hour work week seem normal.
This life and line of business did not appeal to me, however, so I resigned just a few months after working there.
- April/May 2018 | Worked on my own crypto concept for a while.
– So, here’s the deal. Plastics are fucking up our nature.. There are two approaches to fix this: a) make and implement biodegradable alternatives and b) clean up the existing waste. Both are needed.
My idea was an answer to the question “How do we clean up Earth asap?”
What if anyone could earn money by collecting plastic and disposing of it?
This Vision Deck was an attempt to consctruct a decentralized, community-controlled concept to facilitate this. In essence, we would have a token (EARTH), a blockchain (EarthChain, probably a Steem fork), a platform (clean2earn), and an organisation (DecentrAlliance).
In time this org could then facilitate other activities as well:
However, around this time I had already spent all of my savings and on top of that I didn’t quite have the mental capacity to spearhead such an undertaking, so I stopped working on it for now.
If you want to develop on this concept, feel free to reach out or steal it.
Just notify me if you succeed👍
- July 2018 | Applied for a few positions on crypto.jobs.
– Now it was time to use all those past experiences and projects for something bigger than myself. But I didn’t just want to pick the first thing that came along. I had to stick to the initial plan of increasing my knowledge and finances exponentially, not just linearly.
While after just a few days of searching there were offers on the table with 100–200% more $ per month, none of them had the same potential for exponential growth as AnyLedger. This whole article is basically an explanation of why that is my opinion, but let me briefly reiterate …
– AnyLedger is a blockchain company with a digital, infinitely re-sellableproduct — SaaS/BaaS (Software/Blockchain-as-a-Service).
– It’s a startup which equals higher growth potential.
– The product is a protocol, not just an application — the product allows any company to build their own IoT-blockchain applications without having to worry about the underlying complexity.
– I can get tokens on top of my salary.
– I can work remotely if I want to.
If you scroll to the top and read the 6 dilemmas again, you’ll find that this fulfills all of those main points.
Tips for your job applaction
If you’re still reading then here’s a small bonues to help you get in front of the competition.
- Know your worth.
This can be hard if you have no point of reference, but try to put some effort into calculating how much your time is worth; is it worth 100 bucks per week or 1,000? Keep in mind that you will have to live up to that number every week — your salary expectations/request MUST align with the value you can provide.
- Provide value immediately.
Showcasing your skills immediately shows the employer that you are a)more than just interested, b) knowledgable about X topic, and c) can take initiative (and therefore responsiblity).
It doesn’t have to be anything complicated.
To give a real-life example, here’s what I wrote to Lorenzo after our first conversation:
This is what I sent Lorenzo:
“With regards to website design I think Substratum and Divi are also very great to look at: https://substratum.net/ https://diviproject.org/
I especially like Divi’s simplicity and roadmap design. I think a great way to improve anyledger.io would be to make the paragraphs much shorter and “inspiring.”
So about the Smart Sensors for example, instead of the current text you could write something like “AnyLedger introduces a new level of security to billions of smart sensors around the world while allowing them to automatically monetize the transmitted data.” — with a link to an in-depth article about exactly how this works and why it is needed. So instead of describing the details of “how it works” and “what it can do”, simply explain “what it means/enables” in one sentence with some vibrant colors on the picture, and then the curious reader can click through to the article and read 1000–2000 words about the process accompanied by a graphic display of the architecture. Hope it makes sense. And I really like “We give your IoT device decentralized superpowers!” It’s a nice slogan. But I think it needs some explanation in article form as well, for the average ICO investor. Alternatively, you could change the figures below the slogan (“Embedded Wallet”, Blockchain gateway”, etc.) So instead of having this text for the embedded wallet: “A lightweight hardware wallet running on your IoT device. Built on top of ARM TrustZone, featuring over-the-air updates and blockchain integrity checks,” you could write something like: “Giving your IoT device the power to send and receive cryptocurrency automatically” and then have an arrow/button that shows a longer, more technical explanation below it when clicked. Why? Because even though you are a b2b project, you will still need to have a b2c approach when it comes to your ICO. Words like “lightweight wallet”, “AMR TrustZone” and “over-the-air” will only really make sense for 10–20% of your potential contributors, whereas a simple explanation with easy words will make sure that 100% of your visitors understand exactly what your technology enables. I believe great design is achieved when the user can choose their level of engagement — the tech savvy investors will always read the explanation and the average investors will be content with just reading “what it means” in a simple sentence 🙂
I should note that pretty much none of these changes have been implemented since I was hired —a much more extensive website refactoring will take place pretty soon.
3. Respect yourself.
Remember, they are not just interviewing you. You are also interviewing them — “could I imagine working at this company, with these people?”
Don’t be a job whore!
What’s a job whore, you ask? I see them all the time now that I’m receiving job applications on an almost daily basis for AnyLedger. A job whore will tell you anything to get the job to a point where they completely lose the essence of who they are and what they were there for in the first place.
If this doesn’t ring a bell, good! But if it does, then take a step back and reconsider how you want to be perceived by the people at the opposite end of the table.
THANKS. FOR. REA. DING.
The point of this story is to show you that you can intentionally accellerate how quickly you learn. Yes, I could have stuck with reviewing ICOs up until now and hated myself for it #sellout, but I’d much rather explore, love what I do, and earn a little less short-term in exchange for a higher potential long-term.
I might make an update each year until I’m 30 for those who are curious about this experiment. Let’s see what happens 🤗
Ifthere’s one thing I really want to emphasise, it’s this:
These exact actions are not a recipe for success, but the mentality I have adopted might be. All of the things I did since last year were not random — they boil down to this very simple formula:
And have patience. Good things will come. Now, to fuck with your head:
“If you need inspiring words, don’t do it.”
— Elon Musk
Crypto & Blockchain Growth Hacking. Blogger and entrepreneur since age 16. Deep passion about the mass adoption of blockchain and crypto in all aspects of society. Currently working on decentralized solutions for a decentralized future.