Broke, stranded, and desparate

Philip Morgan

I figure it's time to come clean about my sordid past as a Bitcoin speculator...

This would have been some time in 2013 with Bitcoin prices were doing this:


I'd bought a few Bitcoins earlier in 2013 and just held on to them.

Then later that year my wife and I drove from Oregon to San Diego to help her dad move into an assisted care facility.

About that same time, I was waiting for a client to pay an invoice. I did A LOT of waiting for client payments during this phase of my self-employment career. I was constantly having months were there was more month than money, and if a client was even a few days late paying an invoice it could turn into a minor financial crisis.

I should tell you sometime about the time I sold furniture to make a mortgage payment. Anyway...

So here I was with about $50 in the bank and 2 days before I needed significantly more than $50 in food and fuel money to drive 1,000 miles back home.

Then, I remembered the Bitcoin. I checked the exchange rate and breathed a sigh of relief.

I'd have plenty of cashola to make the trip home if I could exchange the BTC for USD. I did some quick searching and found more good news!

Some startup was doing a public demo of a Bitcoin ATM the next day in San Diego. As you can imagine, I was ecstatic!

Just to cover my bases, I dropped the event organizer a quick email to see what the withdrawal limits were on the Bitcoin ATM.

"Oh, sorry, the ATM only lets you buy Bitcoin, not sell it and get cash."


OK, how about a person-to-person transaction? I hopped on whatever sketchy website existed at that time to facilitate person-to-person BTC transactions.

I contacted about a half-dozen people but I could not find anyone who wanted to buy BTC and could meet in person in the next 48 hours to do the deal.

I was getting desperate because I was running out of options.

Finally, with about 24 hours before I needed to head back home, the client check arrived, my business partner deposited it, and I had enough money to make it to the next financial crisis.

Later that year before Bitcoin valuations crashed, I sold my Bitcoin holdings for even more money and bought a set of tires for my car. :)

When my business was in feast-famine mode, there was almost always some minor, temporary miracle that would show up to keep me from complete insolvency.

The permanent fixes involved the following:

  1. Developing a profitable market position
  2. Taking marketing seriously and focusing on high Trust Velocity tactics
  3. Diversifying my income model to include stuff beyond client work

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