I apologize ahead of time for the long rant, but I had to get this out of my head and I don't really have anyone else to share it with.
Some background: My dad and I have been running a marketing LLC together since 2010. It doesn’t make a lot of money, but it pays the bills. I got into bitcoin heavily around 2017, and over the course of 4 years I managed to stack 2 full bitcoin. As someone who only made about 18k a year, this was a huge achievement for me.
In 2021 I went to my first bitcoin conference, met some people, and through a series of events found myself in Austin, TX with a group of guys who were trying to create a bitcoin startup. Outside of esoteric pursuits, supporting bitcoin is my #1 passion in life, and this startup seemed like my calling, like I was meant to help it succeed.
So I spent 6 months flying back and forth to help in any ways I could (mostly design work). When they got funded, I packed up my car, left my home and a 2 year relationship, and went to be in Austin full-time while living off of my bitcoin savings.
During my first few months living in Austin, I was told they still couldn't pay me anything, but that they could give me a discount on office space. I was asked to “please don’t leave”, and was told that if I stayed and continued to help as I’d been doing, things would eventually come through.
I now realize this was the point I should have left, but I felt like I had found a family who needed me, that I was making a difference, and most of all, I loved what I was doing, so I kept faith.
When the startup was facing ruin due to one of the founders who wasted runway money on personal purchases like a Tesla and pocketing 30k, and was looking for an exit by closing the doors, I doubled down my efforts and did everything I could to keep it alive as we transitioned to new leadership.
And even though I abandoned the LLC with my dad in order to help this bitcoin startup, he continued to support me for taking a chance at trying to succeed at what I loved doing.
Over the course of 9 months I burned through my entire bitcoin savings, and when I ran out of money completely due to a medical emergency, I had no choice but to return home, where I foolishly continued to work on a project for the startup. I even borrowed money from my mom to do so.
What I didn’t realize was that when I left I would be completely cut off from the bitcoin startup I had devoted so much of my time and resources to. It was like I didn’t exist anymore - I got no support and all of my attempts at communication were ignored.
Finally realizing that these people obviously didn’t care about me, I asked my dad to drive with me down to Austin to pack up my office. He agreed to help, and he expected that to be the end of my bitcoin journey.
Instead, I’ve continued to work on bitcoin adoption projects and trying to secure bitcoin freelance jobs.
This is where the animosity from my dad started.
He can’t understand why I continue to work towards a future in an industry which burned me so badly and left me completely broke and broken. It is a point of constant feuding. He never wants to hear the word “bitcoin” again and I simply don’t know what to do.
He doesn't understand that bitcoin is so much more than the startup I was involved with, or the passion I have for the good bitcoin can do for the world. I feel completely burned out - our marketing LLC is defunct after over a year of being stalled, and having no bitcoin while watching the price rise has me in a state of frozen panic as I realize I will never recover anything close to the 2 BTC I had.
I realize it may seem naive to most people that I devoted my time and energy without being paid anything - and even writing this out I feel like a total idiot - but I always kept the faith that everything would work out if I did the right things. It never even occurred to me that I was being taken advantage of for the personal gain of others, or that I, in fact, meant so little to them. It's caused a major depression which I can't seem to find my way out of.
As I've mentioned, I don't really have anyone to share these things with, so thanks for listening. There's a few lessons in here somewhere, for those who will to see it.
1573 sats \ 1 reply \ @anon 9 Nov
I can offer my story, if that helps. I am also a working professional that tries to prioritize working with Bitcoin only companies. I have been very lucky with my resume and even the non Bitcoin jobs I have enjoyed.
You are working in a very small industry. Bitcoiners working professionally for companies know each other on a first name basis. You will interview at companies and run into people who you worked at in previous companies.
Bitcoin companies are corporations. They are no different from any tech company today. You will be sacrificed and burned. Me and the people I work with have suffered just like you. Every time I have been burned no matter the industry I pick up and start over. It is the hardest thing you will ever do. Chasing dreams in industries that are small isn't something that a lot of people can tolerate. There is so much risk because things move fast and business dynamics can swing so violently in one direction or the other. Just look at the news cycle of Bitcoin in the past year or two. For anyone working during that time it has been rough and so many have found themselves without work.
Remember more than 5 years ago there was practically no such thing as a job in Bitcoin or "working in Bitcoin". That is how new this is. I think it is a deep honor to be able to contribute work to something you love, and I have been able to do that multiple times in my life. To be able to work on something so new and bleeding edge really feels like the unexplored wild west. It is critical to understand how much of a big deal it is for anyone to book any type of work like this on their resume at this early stage in Bitcoins life cycle.
If you already have professional experience, be proud of that. Everyone working in Bitcoin right now is working in completely uncharted and choppy waters. You will run into people you know who have been through the ringer just like you.
Even with an established resume now it is hard to find work because my peers I worked with are doing the same. Because I now understand this and know it to be true, I have shifted my perspective. I no longer blame myself for not getting the job because I know my resume is in the ballpark of my peers. I know that instead it just isn't my time and soon it will be. Eventually I will see some of my colleagues again. Trying to live and survive when the money is not coming in is very difficult, but you do still have to keep some level of hope you will make it.
I see light at the end of my tunnel after a very long time. You will get there also. But you are going to get fucked up between now and then and maybe even some times after too. It is just the natural ebb and flow of life at the end of day. Ups and downs and all of that. Best you can do is try to anticipate and hedge against those moments when they happen, or anticipate your reaction to manage the stress.
We will remember the companies and people that burn us. Whispers of those stories will be told with our peers. We will build an industry that will outlast them. We will place black marks on the names of anyone that did us dirty for no other reason than amoral self-motivation and they will eventually be squeezed out, or left to work at the companies Bitcoiner's have moved away from supporting.
Thanks for sharing your story and your perspective. Maybe I'm not cut out for the professional chop - I don't like holding grudges, I'm more of a "Peace Love Bitcoin" hippie, just trying to help however I can. My willingness to help without reward probably gives people the impression that I'm well off, when really I'm a broke pleb who just is not wired to seek his own.
Thanks for sharing this. I had a nice stack at the end of 2020 but I got cocky and I tried a lot of things: started my Bitcoin business, paid for classes, bought two miners in a shady mining business...
I had to get back to basics. Educate myself on money, Bitcoin and how to stack Sats. I decided to work for other people and take care of my family! Working for Fiat is just getting liquidity for life. No big deal. Stacking sats is better than supporting someone else dream. The biggest lie in any business is that if you do X we will give you Y later. It happens all the time in contacting.
"Do this for cheap and we'll give you a really nice job next time."
There is never a reason for someone not to pay you. Never. "Friends are friends but money is money." Former Soviet Union phrase.
If you have a valuable skill you can earn in any market. Talk to your dad and be honest with him. No one will fully support your dream. That's ok. Support someone else and get paid. Then pay yourself in Bitcoin.
These days I get excited when I get mSats from a lightning routing or I'm about to stack 10,000 sats from using Fold.
Maybe you and your Dad can do a BITCOIN project together. I worked with my dad for many years and he taught me a lot. He's dead now. Enjoy your Dad while you can.
Set up a watch only wallet for him and add some Bitcoin so he can watch it grow.
Thank you for the reality check on the things that really matter. I don't know much longer he'll be around, and the thought of losing him is worse than any amount of BTC lost.
Also, I love the "Friends are friends but money is money" quote - I've always had a hard time charging friends for any services rendered.
With life there's hope. Those who bought Bitcoin when it was nothing to dollar are enjoying it today. Start ups in Bitcoin will enjoy the same hyper increase trajectory. It will be hard but you'll smile when Bitcoin becomes mainstream. Dollar will surely go down for Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is better with family. If you have a family build it with Bitcoin. If you don't have a family that you are connected to Bitcoin is the thread to your extended family.
810 sats \ 2 replies \ @fm 9 Nov
If you allow me… And im not criticizing your choices here. Your dad is not against bitcoin, He’s disappointed you left your shared business probably. If it was over racing cars somewhere else, he would be mentioning that instead of bitcoin. Give him a chance. Bitcoin doesn’t have to consume your life. You can buy whenever your fiat job allows you. Having a son working on a small company thats yours is probably the dream of many dads. He wants a team buddy. Not sure about your age, but i guess you have time to dedicate to btc. Your dad might not have so much to enjoy you. My 2 sats.. Hang on there!
Thank you, looking at it through this lens makes a lot of sense, and I appreciate you taking the time to lay it out as you did
My 2 sats.
😂🤣😂 Good1
He can’t understand why I continue to work towards a future in an industry which burned me so badly and left me completely broke and broken.
The same thing could have happened in any industry. I don't understand how it's viewed as an issue with bitcoin, except for the fact that it happened to be in that industry. That feels like he's looking for somewhere to place blame to me.
While I agree, I do think the fact that this industry is so foreign to him, and that he has a hard timing wrapping his mind around it how profound it is, has compounded the problem. But yes, he is frustrated and needs to blame "something" to justify the emotions he feels regarding the situation.
Many people are amoral jerks. Bitcoin doesn't change that. It's a good reminder that just because someone works in the bitcoin space, it doesn't automatically make them a good or trustworthy person.
As for your dad, it's understandable that he would get emotional about something that burned you so badly, and it probably negatively impacted his own company as well. All you can do is be humble, but also firm in your knowledge that none of what happened was due to bitcoin itself, but rather due to people behaving poorly (as well as some bad luck). We believe in bitcoin because it's a superior form of money... nothing that happened changes that and over time you will be proven correct and your dad will come around.
Thanks for your input, there is some small consolation in the fact that time will prove to him that bitcoin is real and worth fighting for 🧡
Hang in there. Start-ups are always difficult and most don't get off the ground. You are correct in following your passions. I went through a similar experience in my early 20s working in NASCAR. It chewed me up and spit me out. I know it sounds cliche, but it is true, these experiences build character. Your dad may be upset, but he sounds like a very supportive father and he will always be there for you. Just keep digging and you will come out the other side.
Thank you. I do think that on the other side of all this pain and struggling, I will emerge stronger and wiser for having gone through it. Lessons are definitely being learned every day that I'm continuing to process what happened, and I'm incredibly lucky to have such a supportive father, as you say.
P.S. I'm interested in your NASCAR experience, and what came of it!
I am sorry that you're going through this. Good on you for writing about it. I hope doing so has brought you some peace. Miss seeing you
142 sats \ 3 replies \ @joko 10 Nov
I'm very sorry to hear what happened to you. Unfortunately it sounds like the company you did work for took advantage of you. Of course, in hindsight, once they didn't offer you compensation for your work, you should have run away as fast as possible. They raised money but couldn't pay you? Sounds like scammers to me, honestly.
I can relate to your situation in multiple ways. I'm working in Bitcoin marketing, even though I've studied something entirely different. My parents didn't like the idea of me joining a bitcoin start up, but I thought I should give it a try. What was very important to me back then was that I'd get comparable compensation to what I would have earned if I went the traditional route. Your father is probably just worried about you getting taken advantage of again.
Over time my parents skepticism lowered. They saw my paychecks coming in and me doing well overall. So I think if you're in the position to find a job that pays you well enough in the Bitcoin space, you should take the opportunity. But if you find a marketing job that pays you substantially more outside the Bitcoin industry, just go ahead and stack the difference.
btw: Feel free to send me your CV and I can see if we could find some work for you at BitBox. Paid of course.
144 sats \ 1 reply \ @toshi OP 10 Nov
Thank you for sharing - I'm glad yours is a success story! In hindsight, I may have initially appeared more interested in helping than I was in getting compensated, and not as vocal as I should have been about the reality of my situation, especially as my situation became more dire. Then it became a classic sunk-cost fallacy.
I would be psyched to do some work for BitBox, will send over my info!
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A lot of people got screwed over by Kyle's actions and quite frankly any startup in any industry could have their fair share of this. I'm sorry this happened, you're a very whole hearted compassionate dude and it's a great thing you have a loving family.
It's been rough for a lot of people and hiring is almost non existent. We all know it's not bitcoin's fault, but take a break from what has hurt you, it's not doing you any favors right now. Take advice from someone trying to help you out of a bad situation. He had faith and trusted your judgement before but the risk didn't pay off. There's not a lot of reason to double down and expect the same people to trust you again for similar situations. Acknowledge their pain too.
Keep it a side passion if you can, but taking a step back would probably do you a lot of good. It's going to take time to heal and thinking about it isn't going to help.
Thank you for the kind words of wisdom, Tony Giorgio. It means a lot
So many mistakes man
Here are some things I learned the hard way.
Family > Bitcoin Health > Bitcoin Happiness > Bitcoin Life > Bitcoin
Some people have the luxury to not have to care about a few of those things (for example if you're a 20-year-old in your basement, feel free to pull all nighters in the name of Bitcoin).
I have two kids, a loving wife, I am 40 years old, and have a lot of responsibilities. When I first learned about Bitcoin I was so shocked that I spent every extra second of my time in the name of Bitcoin. After 3 months and becoming overweight, I realized it was a poor idea.
BTW I did try to apply into bitcoin jobs and got a few interviews, even for high-profile positions. However as @anon said, the industry is very small and in the end they are just companies. These enterprises are composed of people who have the same issues as those who don't work for BTC companies, or I would dare say even worse as many get strapped with the volatility, and the supply is so much lower than the demand. They can afford to not care about their employees.
What did I do instead? I took a regular job at the fiat mine (which wasn't that hard to land), and then try to buy some sats with whatever I have left. I have a big family, but even if I can only buy a little bit here and there I'm happy. Consistency is key.
Call your dad! Bitcoin won't die until 2140 (lol j/k). We will.
Wise words my friend.
Great insight. My situation is very similar
Making lucrative money in BTC space is going to be hard because it's not a scam like all of the shitcoins and crypto scams. Get a secure fiat job and buy bitcoin.
Sounds like you are a hard working and dedicated individual. No one can take that from you and it is always needed. Keep your head up. Don't fault your dad too much, parents just want what's best for their kids and it's hard enough to understand bitcoin let alone when he associates it with a difficult time in your life.
Keep working hard and stacking. You will get there and your dad will come around eventually.
All the best.
I remember this post by @Rsync25 https://stacker.news/items/204274 I was so impressed when I read the first time. The stoicism from Hal and how he faced life and all that came to him with a mix of respect and gratitude. And even when the ALS was so bad
It has been an adjustment, but my life is not too bad (...) That's my story. I'm pretty lucky overall.
Don't despair, don't give up, you only really learn through these kind of situations. When things are running smoothly and life is easy, you tend to stay in the comfort zone and stop striving for a better a future. Be grateful to your falls, they forge your character.
Wow, that hits. I had read this in the past but the reminder is well appreciated. Hal's ability to stay positive despite the overwhelming negativity of his circumstances is a beacon of hope, to say the least. Thanks for sharing!
There's shitheads everywhere and bitcoin doesn't fix it.
Thanks for sharing your story, you can rest assured that it helped more people than are posting in the comments.
Thank you, I'm typically a black box when it comes to sharing my personal thoughts and experiences unless asked directly, but something has been urging me to share this, so I hope it manages to reach anyone who might benefit from it.
That’s rough, sorry man, I hope you learned a lot
Thank you, I'm sure the lessons will continue to illuminate themselves for years to come, especially once the sting of emotions attached to the situation has subsided a bit more.
I dare to say the problem is not even Bitcoin itself,b you just got unlucky.
I had a substantial savings many years ago... Due many wrong choices I've made and some lack of luck, everything just vanished.
Sometimes "shit happens" that's the fact... Maybe you've could done things different but you know what... You took the risk, you got the balls to do it...
How worse could have been if you dropped the project and suddenly everything skyrocketed?
You simply don't know... Forgive yourself, stop self pitty and move on.
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Thanks for sharing.
name and shame these pricks who stole your time.and so others don’t get hurt.
you will get thru this❤️
"Money doesn't change men, it merely unmasks them. If a man is naturally selfish or arrogant or greedy, the money brings that out, that's all" -- Henry Ford
The lesson here is that (some) people are jerks. Bitcoin is money.
In my younger days I was involved in a few startups. Not in the Bitcoin space, but I learned some of these lessons all the same. You will meet many people in your life and some of them will take advantage of you. It takes a while to figure this out.
Now that I'm a bit older, I have a better sense of what to look out for. But it took getting burned a few times to learn these lessons. I can honestly say if I had Bitcoin back then I probably would've lost it the same way you did.
I feel sad you lost your 2 BTC. The only thing to do now is move forward. Keep providing value to the world and you'll slowly grow your stack again. But it's not worth getting between you and your dad.
Thanks for your response and advice - it's comforting to know these experiences are fairly common themes of life.
The only thing to do now is move forward.
That's the truth!
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Great story!!
It’s easy for people to say I told you so or why you make so many mistakes but when you are in it you have hope that things will work out and give people benefit of the doubt. When it all blows up hindsight is always 20/20 but at least you gave it your all.
Love the passion for just going for it all!! I do hope you find your way.
Thanks for sharing! The higher the risk, the higher the reward. Nothing great ever happens while staying in your comfort zone. Keep believing and seeing the changes you are making in the world.
Thanks for sharing your story. Things will be better.
Remember, you’re in a better position than 99.9999% of people on this planet simply due to the fact that:
  • you live in the USA
  • you’re young
  • most importantly, you understand Bitcoin and can DCA for decades to come!
You’re going to have an amazing life if you focus on the above.
Your dad’s position is totally understandable. Your lesson is not to blow out your BTC holdings in future out of blind faith in others.
All very true points. With the state of the world as it is, those are certainly things to be extremely grateful for. Thank you for the refreshing perspective.
Why would you spend your bitcoin? Sad
some people have to and those who live on a bitcoin standard spend bitcoin everyday.
in the end bitcoin is stored energy that is meant to be spent (eventually)
Your father clearly cares for you very much, so much so that he feels your pain for you.
I can understand the excitement of Bitcoin clicking and wanting to be a part of it and contribute, I totally get wanting to apply your skills to something you believe in, I felt it with Bitcoin too, just like I did when startups were where it was at, the excitement is infectious and it's great to be around those who also believe in the mission and getting to express your ideas and vision for the future
My take is that being early can be the same as being wrong, yes Bitcoin is a decade old but I still think it's very early, and sure that means greater potential upside for those who buy it or work in/with the companies that ride the wave and capture product market fit in this new economy, but we still don't know which ones will win.
What will be the stand-out software? Layer 2 ecosystems? businesses? physical hardware that will be the dominant players? None of us know, so you are taking a gamble it might pay off it might not and I guess our parents prefer the idea of something being "stable" being "predictable" and Bitcoin doesn't give them that vibe even though it is once you get it
I think there is still a lot of opportunity in fiat markets to monetise your time and skill while the Bitcoin market matures and I don't see why you can't play both sides, if we believe in the bitcoin thesis it will marginalise anything we do in fiat over time so is there a need to rush it?
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