LeBron James is one of the best basketball players to ever live. He is also one of the smartest based upon the business decisions he made.
There is no argument over James ability to make money. He is one of the highest paid athletes in the world. However, there are hundreds of examples of athletes who made a lot of money only to end up broke. In fact, this also extends out to movie and rock stars. The number of them who fell prey to different antics with their money is enormous.
To reach the point he did, James had to transcend his earning power. This is where James excelled. His net worth is an estimated $450M while his take last year was a cool $89M.
There is a lesson in there for everyone involved in cryptocurrency. One of the largest benefits of Web 3.0 is going to be the idea of ownership. We already see the first phase in that we now can own our money as opposed to having to hold something the banks create. This was a big step forward and will, at some point, be followed by the ownership of our data. In the meantime, we are seeing the beginnings of being paid for our attention, something that was profitable for the mega-technology companies.
James illustrates the value of ownership. He also showed how long term thinking and investing come into play.
In an article that discussed James four best decisions, we can see how this can apply to those of us involved in cryptocurrency.
On a number of occasions, James asked for ownership in deals. Having a piece of the action is often enormously more profitable than the salaries paid. Actors and actresses learned this lesson long ago.
Lebron got a partnership agreement with Dr. Dre on a headphones line that he was starting. Instead of opting for the traditional endorsement deal, James got himself an equity position in the company. When the company was sold to Apple, James position was a cool $50M.
He did the same thing in his acquisition of a 2% stake in Liverpool F.C. Instead of buying in, where he risked his own money, James was granted the stake in the team in exchange for listening to pitches about other investments the group had. James' contacts were also certainly a factor.
Long Term Thinking
When James entered the NBA, like most players these days, he was offered a sneaker deal. Of course, being Lebron James, the numbers were higher than your classic sneaker deal.
Many would look for the highest bid. This came from Reebok who was looking to expand its endorsement field at the time. It offered $115M to James which was a lot bigger than the $87M that Nike offered. James was thinking long term however.
He opted for the Nike deal because he say that company as a better fit as s partner. It could pay off tremendously since he has a lifetime deal that could pay him $1B.
That is definitely a much different approach that is not commonly taken, especially by 18 year old kids who are offered over $100M guaranteed. It turns out to be very astute.
Everyone loves pizza.
This is a simple concept that led James to invest in a pizza chain that paid off handsomely. Who needs a ton of market analysis when you have that type of logic?
James gave up his McDonalds commercial to "buy" into Blaze Pizza. Once again, he worked out a deal for a substantially discounted ownership stake in exchange for his influence. It turns out his two stores are now reported to be 21.
Blaze Pizza became one of the fastest growing pizza chains in the United States. It is unknown exactly how much James put in but it is now worth $40M.
James is a lesson for everyone. Looking at the dates on some of the projects, many of them extend years, if not, decades. This is much different than the mindset we see in cryptocurrency where "a lambo in 90 days" seems to rule. Many of the start up ventures took years to develop. The payoff was, of course, enormous. However, the time was needed to get to that point.
People look at Steem, as an example, as something that is not going anywhere. It has been 3 years after all and the price is down in the later 1/4 of the front page on coinmarketcap. If something is not done, it will be gone within a year.
This is the outlook many have. Unfortunately, this does not convey the time it takes for something to flourish. In Steem's case, we are not even to the point where massive marketing can occur since we still have a basic on-boarding problem. We could not sign up 5M people even if most were willing to pay money to join. The infrastructure is not in place to do that.
Nevertheless, since that is a problem I feel is being addressed, I think we will see things change next year. This is where individuals having ownership in something is the major game changer.
The problem most of us have is that not only do we lack the earning power of Lebron James, we essentially have a tough time putting much money together for investments. There are a few dollars scraped together here and there in addition, perhaps, to a 401K program. Add all this up, and even with a serious bull market for the last decade, we do not share in it.
Basically, we do not have enough skin in the game to reap the benefits. It might be great that my stock portfolio tripled over the last decade but if I only was able to put together $1,500, that gives me a holding of $4,500. That is not going very far in the United States especially if that is the bulk of my retirement.
I feel that cryptocurrency is going to enable people to have a stake in the game. When it comes to money, it is important to understand it is all a game. There were rules established by others which favors them, not us. This time, we are involved in something that is outside what they constructed. This is our advantage.
On Steem, I really see this scenario forming. The development of Steem-Engine tokens really emphasizes what is taking place. This is our opportunity to invest or commit to different projects in return for a stake. Each time we receive tokens, it is another piece of the pie that is in our possession. Of course, the key to wealth building is being involved in those projects that do grow like a Blaze Pizza and not the ones that fizzled out like eToys.
That is not always an easy thing to do.
However, when we look at this long term, we can see the potential to model what James did. Tokenization enables ownership. Most of the tokens we earn convey a stake in a much larger asset. This can be received as a reward or we can choose to swap others tokens for it. Either way, when it is sitting in our wallet, it has some value. The idea is that some of those tokens are going to grow over time.
Teams need that time to implement their plans. Simply putting something together and seeing it take off will not likely result in a grand story. The crash and burn can be as quick as the blast-off. Instant gratification is not likely to occur. Instead, we see a slow grind forward as projects take each step in their development process.
We are seeing these opportunities pop up all over the place. I am seeing more posts about passive income opportunities within crypto-based projects. These are all worthy of investigation. No matter what the platform, the opportunity is the same. People have a chance to increase, over time, their holdings. This is something that many lacked in the present scarcity based, fiat system.
On Steem, we will see much of this duplicated when SMTs are introduced. This will bring more opportunity for those who are on the lookout.
None of this is going to happen overnight. However, with a long term outlook, we can see the lives of millions starting to change. As the industry expands, this will hopefully branch out into the billions.
The financial opportunities granted to people such as Lebron James might just be available to the rest of us.
This will seriously alter the path of humanity.
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