We have friends that have been on our case to run a marathon with them. They’ve been trying to convince us for ages.
They’re on one of these ‘health kicks’. You know, when you have a life epiphany that says you must now become a marathon runner. Never ran a marathon in their lives. But this newfound enthusiasm is all-consuming.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for it. We think it’s great that someone wants to get super fit and run a marathon. And anyone that does and can run marathons, good on you. It’s a bloody hard thing to do. It takes a lot of discipline.
But for us personally…
No. It’s not something we’ve ever desired or felt the need to do. We’ve been fit before. Probably fit enough to consider a marathon. But the mechanics of physiology work against us.
We’re ‘all torso’ as our Dad likes to remind us. Easy for him to say, at 6 foot 5 and all legs. No, our unique physiology says short legs, lots of torso…all quads, hammys and glutes.
Also couldn’t run out of sight on a dark night.
In other words. This rig isn’t built for running. Can swim. Can ride. Very handy with those two disciplines. Running? Not so much. Hurts the knees, the ankles, and nowadays the lungs.
We tried to explain our situation to our friend. And in a jovial kind of way they said those are just excuses. You could do it if you really wanted to. But we don’t really want to. And then they pulled out the great anecdote that almost every motivational speaker in the world uses,
‘Every marathon starts with a single step.’
Oh dear. It’s a bit of a misquote. I believe the original quote is, ‘Every journey starts with a single step.’ But it’s been taken and moulded to the world of marathons.
And yes, it’s all technically true. But when applying to marathons I think it’s not the single step that starts it all. I think it’s learning how not to die mid-run.
Training is the real first step
‘Die’ is quite the finite term. Some people do die during marathons. This is often put down to certain physiological problems that sometimes remain hidden, such as myocardial infarction/atherosclerotic heart disease.
Many more people simply don’t finish a marathon due to the fact they haven’t trained properly for it. All the enthusiasm and excitement in the world will not get you through a full marathon.
Fact is if you don’t learn how to run a marathon, if you don’t train, you will fail.
Hence the quote should really be,
‘Every marathon starts with extensive training and a race strategy.’
That’s better. And that’s the approach you should take to marathon running — and every other aspect of life where you want to excel.
You might be studying at university. You might be doing post-graduate study. You might be trying to become an expert, a ‘guru’ in your particular field. You may be a bodybuilder, a marathon runner, a video gamer — it doesn’t matter.
Whatever you want to be great at, you must learn, train, and have a strategy.
And that applies to investing, whether it’s stocks, precious metals, fine arts and collectibles, or of course cryptos.
What blows my mind is the intense application of ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) which is everywhere in the cryptocurrency world. In fact, I’d go so far to call it FOMO mania.
We see it everywhere. People that will blindly jump headfirst into crypto without any resemblance of an understanding of what they’re doing. It is throwing money into crypto simply because it’s crypto.
That might sound daft. And it is. But the extent of knowledge that some people take is, ‘It’s a crypto, it must go up, because they all are.’
We’re not kidding here. We see this all the time in forums and chats and different social channels. People that know nothing about a project and just want to contribute because it’s new and it’s crypto.
That has all the hallmarks of a bubble, of the dreaded ‘tulip mania’ the mainstream likes to bang on about.
And well yes, it is a mania. And that’s worrying. But most worrying is that a lot of people are going to lose money. We know this because we’ve seen it before, and it’s going to happen again. We also know this because not all new cryptos succeed. In fact most of them actually end up failing — most have already.
Don’t succumb to the FOMO
Most people out there weren’t investing in and looking at cryptos in 2013 and 2014. We were. And we’ve seen how fast they can burn people.
The 2014 boom and bust of ‘altcoins’ as was the popular term back then, was smaller than it is today. That’s because the mainstream weren’t banging on about it every other day.
But the same FOMO and mania was present then as it is now. The only difference now is that it’s on a far larger scale. And there are even more people investing in this space that have no idea what they’re doing.
It requires some tough love sometimes. And I’m here to dish some of that out.
The fact is that if you don’t take the time to get a basic understanding of crypto, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You MUST understand what a wallet is. You MUST understand how to buy cryptos with fiat money to get started in it all.
You MUST understand the risks of this wild space. You MUST know how to research a development team. You MUST take the time to read a whitepaper. You MUST understand that a huge number of people are trying to manipulate you, scam you, and steal from you in the crypto world.
You MUST understand that you do not start out with all this at full speed. You MUST start small. Start with a little, try, fail, try again, and fail again. But fail small and fast.
We don’t know of anyone that’s been involved in cryptos as long as we have and not seen some kind of failure. We’ve lost crypto before. Both physically, and through no fault of our own.
We’ve invested in crypto that has boomed and busted in the space of a few weeks. We’ve fallen victim to scams and projects that simply picked up and disappeared.
We know all this because we took the time to learn. We took the time to understand. We didn’t go all in on day one — we had self-control and knew that every marathon starts with a heap of training and a strategy.
Do yourself a favour. Take that advice too. Learn. Understand. Start small. Get proper advice. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, show some restraint and don’t succumb to the FOMO.
Editor, Australian Small-Cap Investigator