Crypto Investment

ZOMG! IT’S ALL CRASHING!


Cryptocurrencies are having a rough go of it lately, and there’s a lot of fear in the market right now with articles like this springing up everywhere:

But, are they really doomed?

Only if you’re not thinking about them correctly.

Cryptocurrencies aren’t an experiment in non-fiat approaches to money. They’re an incredibly powerful dynamic that hinges on multiple disciplines like the internet, cryptography, powerhouse computing, and more. It can be a complicated subject, but here’s what’s at its heart.

Treat crypto as a trading opportunity, and you’re going to lose everything. Treat crypto as an investment opportunity, and you have everything to gain.

Take the long view. Speculators are losing their shirts as the brand new market finds its legs. Remember, people tend to vastly over-inflate a new technology’s short term capacity, and vastly underestimate its long term possibilities.

Not All About Confidence

Commentators love pointing to the “falling confidence levels” in crypto as a currency, but here’s what they’re not talking about: crypto’s cap isn’t based solely on the market’s confidence in crypto. Its value is also a function of the market’s distrust of traditional fiat.

Crypto and the decentralized approach to transactions are a direct assault on the FED’s continued efforts to deflate the dollar’s value.

Zoom Out

But, before we get bogged down in the “traditional vs. new blood” conversation about fiat vs crypto, let’s take a minute to zoom out and ask:

What is crypto good for, anyways?

Bitcoin was lauded as an ideal currency due to its distributed, trustless, cryptography-backed nature, but with transaction fees (or mining incentives if you prefer) skyrocketing, its viability as a day-to-day option for purchasing small goods has evaporated with them.

Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily.

Function of Money

In the history before money, exchanges were done directly. One thing for another; barter.

Bartering is extremely limited. What if I have something you want, but you don’t have something I want? No trade is possible, and we both lose out.

And, what if I want to move somewhere else? If all my value is stored in actual goods, I could potentially lose everything I own in one fell swoop.

That’s the two purposes of money:

  • Facilitate trade by abstracting goods & services away from what they are to a representation of what they’re worth
  • A store of value

The first money technology was receipts for rice stored in government silos. Then metal coins came along which was a significant advancement in market potential. Now, a single coin could represent massive amounts of actual goods.

Then, along comes paper money, but you have to trust the government who is in charge of printing the money to not print too much of it (otherwise its value goes down due to that pesky supply/demand thing).

Problem with paper currency, however, is its lack of privacy (try moving anything over $10,000. There’s a hell of a lot of paperwork. Why should I have to get permission from Dad to get what’s mine?), tons of fees (every time someone’s involved in a transaction, they get their cut. When completing a payment there are multiple banks, intermediaries, processing houses, etc involved), possibility of false duplicates (forgery, anybody?), and on down the list it goes.

Cryptocurrencies solve all those problems.

At the barter level I have to trust you. On the paper currency level I have to trust the government. On the crypto level I have to trust thousands of years of scientific progress and math.

So, while traditional entities like government benefit from centralized control of fiat currencies, cyptocurrencies offer a bright future & alternative to staying in a rigged game against progress and development.

Buy in for the long haul, and you’re betting on human progress.

It’s a sure thing in my eyes. But don’t just trust me; it’s smart science, too.

Objections, Your Honor

Whenever I talk with anyone in sales, this question invariably pops up:

“How would you suggest I deal with objections?”

Short answer:
Don’t do anything objectionable.

Long Answer:
Take a seat.

Objections can take many forms. Maybe it’s about budget. Timing. Needing to talk with a partner before making big decisions.

Whatever they’re telling you, it’s a smoke screen.

The reason they give is never what the objection is truly about. No matter what the excuse, here’s the real issue:

Lack of Trust

Maybe they don’t trust you. Maybe they don’t trust themselves. Maybe they don’t trust whatever you’re selling to do what they need done.

Maybe they don’t trust their ability to do what you say they can do.

Maybe they don’t trust their team to follow through.

How do you find out?

You’re not a mind reader, so the only other option is to treat their objection as a request for more information. They need to know more about you, what you’re selling, other people who have bought from you previously, their results, how people like them have fared with your services, etc.

Objections are really only objections when you’ve done something inappropriate. Otherwise, they’re a request to build more trust.

People Are Judging You

When I walk on stage, people are asking themselves 2 questions:

  1. Can I trust this person?
  2. Can I respect this person?

In life it’s no different.

Every person you meet is asking themselves those two questions about you in the first seconds of your conversation.

This article is how I, as a professional liar (ie: Mentalist), still get people to trust me despite them knowing I’m going to lie to them. You can apply these principles no matter how big or small your stage; whether it’s on national TV, Carnegie Hall, a boardroom, or a first date.

“An Honest Liar”

That’s one of my favorite sayings from my mentor, James Randi. There’s a 2014 documentary about him titled “An Honest Liar” and it’s an incredible dive into the life & myth of a showman.

So how do you get a room full of people to trust you when they know you’re going to lie to them? Tell them you’re going to lie to them. That’s the “honest” part.

Be up front with people about what you’re looking for. Own up to what you want out of life.

If you keep people guessing as to your intentions, they’re not going to trust you.

It also helps to love your audience.

My great friend David Hira is one of the best speakers in the business. He worked in the corporate world for years as an executive of a major company before going full-time with his speaking career.

He told me about a conversation he had with the daughter of an old-time magician named Thurston. She said her father would stand behind the curtain as people were arriving, and imagine every seat in the auditorium and tell each person who came to see him perform, “I love you!” Every single seat.

When he was done, they’d open the curtains and he’d step forward radiating his love for the audience. His audience would immediately feel the warmth in his smile as he genuinely loved his audience.

Here’s an excerpt from “How to Win Friends & Influence People” where Carnegie interviewed Thurston about this, too.

Thurston had a genuine interest in people. He told me that many magicians would look at the audience and say to themselves, “Well, there is a bunch of suckers out there, a bunch of hicks; I’ll fool them all right.” But Thurston’s method was totally different. He told me that every time he went on stage he said to himself: “I am grateful because these people come to see me, They make it possible for me to make my living in a very agreeable way. I’m going to give them the very best I possibly can.”

He declared he never stepped in front of the footlights without first saying to himself over and over: “I love my audience. I love my audience.” Ridiculous? Absurd? You are privileged to think anything you like. I am merely passing it on to you without comment as a recipe used by one of the most famous magicians of all time.

How could you not fall in love with someone who radiates that kind of love for you?

If you want people to trust you, you have to be warm and genuinely be interested in letting people past your defences.

“I don’t get no respect!”

Rodney Dangerfield was a comedian who used that catchphrase for decades. His act was one story after another about how the people in his life would walk all over him.

It’s absolutely hilarious. . . until it happens to you.

Respect is a function of how competent people think you are. Dangerfield’s character was a bumbling idiot, so it made sense that he’d get no respect.

Audiences want the performer to be competent.

There’s nothing more awkward than watching a magician bumbling his way through a routine. He lacks the skills, polish, and experience to do his job properly. It shows a lack of consideration & respect for his audience, so it’s no mystery why he would lose the respect of the crowd.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Ironically, however, in life off-stage too much focus on competence is actually hurtful. Too often people focus most of their energy on developing the work skills (competence) at the expense of the people skills (warmth & trust).

If people don’t trust you first, your skills will be seen as a threat.

Make sure you’re not missing the human element of the equation. That’s why the social butterflies seem to get all the promotions & opportunities even if they may not have your skills.

Learn how to connect with people first. Let them know who you are. Then they’ll care about what you can do.

Once you master that, you’ll make friends everywhere you go!

Like vs Trust

If I’m going to have surgery done, the single most important factor in deciding who my surgeon is (besides what insurance I have), is whether or not I trust they can get the job done right.

I don’t care how terse they are in the consultation. I don’t care that they didn’t ask about my hobbies.

Trust is all-important.

But that’s not the end of the story.

High School Debate

I took debate as an elective in high school a whopping 6 times, and participated in tournaments enough that I earned a membership in the National Forensics League (NFL).

NFL debate tournaments were hosted at a variety of surrounding high schools (complete with trophy ceremonies, and everything). This is where I learned how to be comfortable speaking in front of a crowd.

The set-up is like this: There’s a “should” statement called the Resolution. For example, “We should respect the right to life.” Then you’re assigned the Affirmative role (you support the resolution), or the Opposition role (you argue against the resolution).

The Affirmative debater would go first to build their case. Then there’s 3 minutes for cross examination where the Opposition could ask clarifying questions. The Opposition could choose to go with the straight refutation strategy (only focus on why the Affirmative’s case doesn’t hold water), or the Refute & Build strategy (argue against Affirmative, and then present their own case to go against the resolution). Then Affirmative has a chance to speak again before the Opposition has the closing remarks.

That’s my whole world from 9th grade on through into college.

What does all this have to do with liking & trusting?

Everything, really. The question of whether trust or likability is better is a perfect example of a beginner’s debate tactic:

The false dichotomy: A logical fallacy that artificially assumes there are only 2 outcomes when there are, in fact, many other possibilities. Often called black-and-white thinking.

The question “which is more important” tends to direct your thinking into focusing solely on one or the other, instead of realizing you’ll do a lot more business with both.

Turns out, doctors who spend a little more time with patients, being personable, paying attention (instead of only looking at their charts), etc. are sued less often than doctors who are more to-the-point.

It’s in everyone’s best interest is the doctor is, in fact, trustworthy and likable.

Same goes for you.

Sure, I can do business with someone I don’t like if I trust they’ll deliver what they promise, but I’m going to continue doing business with someone I like and trust.

Being one doesn’t preclude your ability to be the other. It’s not a binary system. Being likable and trustworthy will gain you business, as well as prevent you from losing business in the long run.