The Crypto Rabbit Hole
From Beginner to Six Figures
Blockchain technologies are the great disrupters that will change society as we know it. It’s the dawn of a new age. Cryptocurrencies, NFTs, DAOs and the Metaverse will conceive generational wealth and innovation like we’ve never seen before. The Coles Report is your secret weapon to learn, interact, benefit, and grow in this brave new world.
Creativepreneur (cre-a-tive-pre-neur) noun- an entrepreneur who fuses a passion for the creative arts with business to expand income and/or influence.
In the summer of 1995, I began a career as a financial analyst. As a recent graduate of Creighton University (Omaha, Nebraska) with degrees in finance and marketing, I was continuing along the path that was expected of me. Even though my greatest passions/desires at that time were to own my own business and be creative (primarily via music). I had just finished four years of college, been adequately programmed to be a worker bee, and stepped up on the first rung of the ladder (or was it a hamster wheel?).
I often thought back to my childhood which was full of music. In elementary school, I played a few musical instruments before settling in on the drums by the age of 12. In the 2nd grade, I started writing songs. There were countless talent shows and a few plays along the way. Even though being creative gave me life and allowed me to experience the world in the most colorful, enjoyable, and fulfilling way, the idea of a career in the arts wasn’t even an afterthought. So, I did what so many of us do – follow the career/life path of least resistance.
So, I did what so many of us do – follow the career/life path of least resistance.
Now, back to my early career. I was a financial analyst for Union Pacific Railroad (Omaha, Nebraska). Since I was also born and raised in Omaha, the ‘O’ was all that I knew up to that point. A somewhat segregated Midwestern town that gave birth to both Malcolm X and Warren Buffet (each of whom would inspire and inform me at different stages of my life), my hometown instilled the values of family, community, and work ethic in me. I honestly wouldn’t be the person that I am today were it not for my family and Omaha, Nebraska.
The Hamster Wheel
From Monday to Friday, just before 8:00 am, I would arrive at my cubicle at Union Pacific Railroad (U.P.). As much as I loved financial analysis, I knew early on that I could not spend the next 40-50 years of my life on that hamster wheel. Furthermore, a few of my buddies who did not end up going to college had started building their own home recording studios. It was the mid 90s, so the studios certainly weren’t state of the art by today’s standards, but new music was being created, captured, and replayed daily. And to me, that was simply AMAZING!
Before long, I was running to these home-based recording sessions every day, 7 days a week. It was a cathartic experience for me. I had found nirvana. At first, I was mainly writing and performing songs that I had written. As time went on, I began learning how to produce the music, as well. Recording and audio engineering came a little after that.
Going to work at U.P. got a lot harder during this phase, which was about a year out of college. In fact, many days between cranking out return on investment (ROI) analyses and economic development spreadsheets, I’d be writing songs. The clock couldn’t move fast enough for me. All I could think about was getting off work and recording new music.
The Tipping Point
My passion for creating music got so strong that I ended up investing in my own home studio equipment. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to ensure that I could constantly create. Within months, I, along with my buddies Dre and Lucky, produced and recorded a song that ended up getting airplay on a local radio station. That was the tipping point for me.
Just shy of two years at Union Pacific Railroad, I decided that I had to follow my heart. Unsure how to really make it work, I applied and was accepted to the Wharton School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to embark on an MBA. My girlfriend at the time lived on the East Coast, and this move was the transition that would allow me to be with her, try to elevate my music career, and step off the hamster wheel. I boarded a Greyhound bus in the fall of 1997 with a keyboard and a duffle bag. I arrived on the East Coast. However, I never set foot on Wharton’s campus. My girlfriend and I didn’t make it either. But the music has been in full effect ever since.
The Crypto Rabbit Hole
After more than two decades I have found my sweet spot as a music entrepreneur (a creativepreneur – if you will). The entirety of that journey will unfold, in time, in The Coles Report.
I bring you to this point to tell you about my introduction to crypto.
After more than 20 years in the music business, I started doing research into how the music industry would change in the near future. I was interested in technologies and innovations that would alter the way my industry operates. I came across an article that mentioned how record labels, managers, and middlemen in general would no longer be necessary because of the “blockchain”.
I had never heard of this “blockchain”, so I continued to research. I found that there were online platforms that supported recording artists by allowing them to be totally funded directly by their fans and supporters. The “blockchain” that made this possible was called Ethereum. The more I read about Ethereum I was so intrigued that I invested in some Ether (ETH), the native tokens of the Ethereum blockchain, using an app called Coinbase. Within a week and a half, I had profited more than $1,500 on that investment.
Within a week and a half, I had profited more than $1,500 on that investment.
I talked to my wife about this Ethereum and how I thought it would change the music industry, as well as many other industries. My wife is very risk averse, so it took some prodding. After a couple of days, she decided to also invest in ETH. Another week or two passed, and her investment had grown significantly. This was mid-November 2020 when Ethereum’s price was around $500. As of this writing, ETH is $2,639. I have seen it grow as high as $5,000 per ETH token.
Now I was starting to peek down into the crypto rabbit hole. The idea of investing excited me. It reconnected me with my financial analysis roots. It was literally like coming full circle in my career. From finance to music, then music to finance – a creativepreneurial yin/yang.
I sat down with my wife to talk about investing a portion of our savings into crypto. As you can imagine, that was initially met with hesitation. But I felt like it was time to buy some Bitcoin. At the time, Bitcoin (BTC) fluctuated between $16,000 and $18,000. Fortunately, after a few days of persuading, my wife agreed to investing in BTC. As of this writing, Bitcoin is $38,213. I have seen it go as high as $69,000.
Our modest investments, which came from both income and savings, had increased our portfolio by multiple six figures within 4 months. I was now a believer. It changed everything. I knew what the future had in store and blockchain and crypto were smack dab in the middle of it.
Our modest investments, which came from both income and savings, had increased our portfolio by multiple six figures within 4 months.
As of this writing, I’ve been active in crypto for around 15 months. So, I’m still learning. But I have dedicated nearly 1,000 hours to researching and investing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies in that time. I have found crypto, NFTs, DAOs and the Metaverse to be absolutely fascinating! The possibilities are mind boggling!
The purpose of The Coles Report is to share all that I have learned up to now and continue my journey down this rabbit hole with you. I’ll share the pitfalls that I’ve experienced so that you can avoid them. I’ll also share the strategies that I have employed that have compounded my investments. Technical and fundamental analysis will also be explored along the way. However, this is not meant to be financial or investment advice. It is information, education, and entertainment that I hope will provide you with inspiration, motivation, value, and enlightenment.
…this is not meant to be financial or investment advice.
As a creativepreneur, I look forward to sharing my thoughts and insights into the creator economy, which the blockchain will totally influence, as well.
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