Elizabeth Ploshay with Bitcoin and Bryan Freeman with ...

Bitcoin, Startups, and Suicide: Being an entrepreneur is hard

For over a week now, I’ve been trying to write a year in review piece for Satoshi Forest. The words, which usually just flow like a spigot when I’m passionate about something, seem to just dribble out. And what little eeks by is hardly print worthy. Maybe it’s just writer’s block? Writer’s block happens. Or maybe I’m not as passionate about Satoshi Forest as I used to be?
But, I am passionate about Satoshi Forest, perhaps more than I ever have been. And writer’s block, if it is the culprit, cannot explain why I haven’t responded to Elizabeth Ploshay’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, in a timely fashion. I guess I’ll have to donate now. You see it’s not just the Satoshi Forest year in review, it’s everything. Emails from friends I haven’t responded to, phone calls I let go to voicemail, new endeavors at Sean’s Outpost I let sit unannounced (http://blockchain.satoshiforest.com/). And then it hits me. I’ve been here before.
I’m really depressed.
And it seems to be going around.
Since the tragic suicide of Robin Williams, four (4) people close to me have also tried to kill themselves. One succeeded. An anecdotal survey of my friends has seen an equal uptick in the number of people talking about or attempting suicide. It’s been really disturbing.
In the preparations for the Bitcoin in the Beltway conference this past June, I had one of the more surreal conversations of my life. An east coast sales director for Marriott called me wanting to know if bitcoin was linked to suicide. They had heard of the tragic death of Autumn Radtke in March (http://nypost.com/2014/03/06/bitcoin-firm-ceo-jumped-to-her-death-neighbo) and were concerned about hosting a conference for a technology that was making people kill themselves. I was sure he was joking. He was not. The conversation I had with him must have allayed his fears. #BitcoinBeltway went great, can’t wait to do it again next year.
Obviously, bitcoin does not cause suicide. And while we are quick to sticky a “suicide prevention hotline” when the price crashes, bitcoin is not causing depression. What we may want to look into is something that is not bitcoin related, but more something that comes part and parcel with “bitcoiners”.
The woes of entrepreneurship and startup culture.
Being an entrepreneur is fucking hard. Really hard. Most people don’t even attempt it.
It might not feel that way to you, but likely that’s because you surround yourself with other entrepreneurs. Your friends work at startups. Your trips are to startup conferences and conventions. Your news feed is bitcoin and hacker news. You are firmly in the echo chamber.
Most people will never try and build a product or company. So most people will never experience what it is like to fear you won’t make payroll and someone else will not be able to pay their rent because of you.
Most people will never know how difficult it is to raise money. To get someone else to believe in you enough to open their checkbook and support you financially. The hours you spend and the mental strain that comes from hearing “No” again and again and again. And if you get a “Yes” the pressure doesn’t dissipate! It increases! Now it’s your crazy idea and someone elses money you’re responsible for.
Being an entrepreneur is really hard.
And we are really hard on ourselves. We are afraid to show any weakness. Because we’ve been taught being weak or vulnerable is to be shunned. If someone asks you how your company is doing “We’re killing. it.” probably comes off your lips before you’ve even processed the question.
It is statistically impossible for everyone to always be “killing it”.
But ask at your next mixer or meetup and almost everyone will be “killing it”.
And that pressure to succeed, to perform, to win is immense. And I think that pressure may be even worse in bitcoin.
Not to everyone, but to a lot of bitcoin early adopters, and especially to a lot of early bitcoin entrepreneurs, bitcoin is a promise. A glimpse of a better world free from the inequalities brought by our legacy financial system. So if you fail in bitcoin, it is easy to feel that you are failing on that promise too.
I’ve felt that way. Felt that if I screw up I am screwing it up for every non-profit and charity. That they will somehow not get the benefits of bitcoin because I failed. I see it in others. Just a week ago at #Cryptolina I talked with a group of brilliant entrepreneurs who were convinced that if they didn’t beat an incumbent payment solution to market, they had lost the war. And that whole segment of the market would NEVER benefit from cryptocurrency.
Being a bitcoin entrepreneur is hard.
And I don’t have the answers to how to deal with all the pressure and depression that come from doing what we do. But I have learned a couple of things and maybe someone else that is experiencing depression or having dark thoughts can read this and gain some value from what I’ve learned. And even better, maybe someone that has dealt with depression in the past can riff on what I’ve said and provide some insight into how they cope.
1) You are not alone.
When you are depressed, it seems like everyone else has it all together and you are the anomaly. That’s not true. They probably don’t have their shit together either. And everyone has problems we don’t see. Everyone.
Some of the greatest entrepreneurs and investors of all time have had brutal fights with depression and suicidal thoughts.
READ:
http://www.inc.com/magazine/201309/jessica-brudepsychological-price-of-entrepreneurship.html
2) Bitcoin needs you and it doesn’t need you. And that’s ok.
Bitcoin needs you. It really does. But it doesn’t need only you, it needs all of us. You are not the single point of failure. Bitcoins success is just a decentralized as the blockchain. So give yourself a break. It’s ok to make mistakes and it’s ok to fail. It’s even ok to fail spectacularly.
Think back to how many times bitcoin has been declared dead. How many times has the price crashed? How many times has a major bitcoin institution been corrupted/hacked/found to be a scam?
And yet, here we are. An you are here too.
3) It is ok to ask for help.
This is hard to learn. We come from a self sufficient culture. And if you ask for help, people will realize that you are not as awesome as they thought you were...BULLSHIT. Asking for help has ZERO bearing on how awesome a person you are. In fact, your friends WANT TO HELP YOU. Being there for you in a moment of crisis is something your friends are probably really down for. But if you ignore them or won’t tell them you are having problems it is really difficult for them to help. Talk to someone. If all else fails you can always call…
THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
I know all of this might not make a difference. When you are caught up in your head in the middle of a depressive episode nothing seems to help. Try to find something that you can concentrate on just to get you thru the worst of it. For me, I go play with my kids. It helps me. Sometimes more than others.
If you are feeling down, try to talk to someone. And if you see someone feeling down, try to lend a supportive ear.
Bitcoin needs you alive.
submitted by SeansOutpost to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Australia's first Bitcoin Scholarship Awarded

Gareth Williams of Sydney has become Australia’s first Bitcoin Scholarship winner today, after the country’s first Bitcoin scholarships were received and judged by a panel of Bitcoin experts.
Williams essay was unanimously deemed worthy of first place by an international panel of judges, including author Dick Bryan and International Bitcoin Foundation board member Elizabeth Ploshay.
Gareth will receive 7 bitcoin for his essay from Sydney based Bitcoin buy and sell service ‘Bit Trade Australia’. 7 Bitcoin is valued at over $5,000 AUD.
In second and third place, receiving 3 and 2 Bitcoin respectively are Gitana PS and Gijutsu Kakumel, for their essay submissions answering the question: ‘Digital currencies and the future: Will Bitcoin change the world?’
Williams is a Sydney based Java programmer who states he’s been interested in Bitcoin for a long time.
‘I feel that Bitcoin, just like the Internet in the early 1990s, is a technology with enormous potential which is largely under-appreciated in the mainstream,’ says Williams.
‘I talk about it enthusiastically with anyone who will listen, but until I wrote my entry for this competition I'd never stopped to organise my thoughts on paper. I thoroughly enjoyed doing so, even though I never expected to win!’
Elizabeth Ploshay of the International Bitcoin Foundation was particularly impressed with Gareth’s work.
‘An individual could read Gareth’s piece and easily grasp the core concepts of Bitcoin, the fact that it is a movement with many facets and additionally, reasons why Gareth and many others support bitcoin’ says Ploshay of Gareth’s essay.
‘I truly appreciated his clear writing style and his discussion on the future potential of Bitcoin as a platform for further technological development’.
The opportunity was made available to citizens of Australia and New Zealand in November 2013, when Bit Trade Australia announced the scholarship to drive awareness of digital currency and Bitcoin.
‘We’re incredibly excited to be able to facilitate education and knowledge sharing around Bitcoin’ says Ronald Tucker, Head of Marketing at Bit Trade Australia.
‘The idea for the essay competition came out of our desire to raise awareness around the security of bitcoin versus traditional payment methods such as credit card transactions and cash. As more businesses adopt Bitcoin in Australia we’re excited to share people’s thoughts and insight into how this will impact the Australian economy.’
When the scholarship was announced, first place was sitting at a value of just over $1,000 AUD, but in three months that value has risen to over $5,000 AUD due to the growth and ever increasing value of Bitcoin.
‘We had a fantastic, diverse set of high quality essays- They address different aspects of Bitcoin – from its emergence as an alternative money in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, to issues of the role of trust in financial markets, and the possibility of using the technological innovation within Bitcoin to apply to other social possibilities, like on-line elections,’ comments Bryan.
‘Many also address the criticisms of Bitcoin: whether it is merely a temporary device of speculation and its reputed connection to illegal trade. This is what makes explorations of Bitcoin so important, and this essay competition so interesting.’
Joining Bryan on the panel was Elizabeth Ploshay, Chair of the Education Committee for the Bitcoin Foundation, local Sydney Bitcoin enthusiast Max Kaye and Bit Trade Australia Markets Analyst Hugo O’Connor.
submitted by btradeaustralia to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Does Bitcoin Make Sense for Your Organization? Naation - YouTube Bitcoin CEE Slovenia - Day 2 'Fake Bitcoin' - How this Woman Scammed the World, then ... How To Trade Bitcoin Cryptocurrency for Beginners - YouTube

Bitcoin is a distributed, worldwide, decentralized digital money. Bitcoins are... jump to content. my subreddits. edit subscriptions. popular-all-random-users AskReddit-news-funny-pics-gaming-aww-worldnews-todayilearned-videos-tifu-mildlyinteresting-gifs-LifeProTips-Jokes-Showerthoughts-movies-creepy -Music-science-personalfinance-explainlikeimfive-nottheonion-OldSchoolCool-Futurology ... Board Election – Individual Seat (2013) – Winner: Elizabeth Ploshay (Source: Bitcoin Foundation) At the start of 2014, the holders of the two founding industry seats resigned. Charles Shrem resigned on 28 January 2014, two days after his arrest at JFK airport for money laundering and unlicensed money transmitter related offences. Charlie was eventually convicted and sentenced to two years ... Current board member of the Bitcoin Foundation, Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley(13) said in an interview in 2013 when newly elected, that one of her goals as a board member was “to ensure that ... Elizabeth Ploshay: You can use Bitcoin for so many things. You can use it to buy plane tickets. You can buy food with it. You can use it for charitable donations. The best thing about it is you can reach people around the world. There are 2.5 billion people around the world who don’t have bank accounts. You can send money to those individuals without a bank account, so practical things but ... The foundation’s board of directors now included Peter Vessenes, Gavin Andresen, Brock Pierce, Bobby Lee, Jon Matonis, Meyer “Micky” Malka and Elizabeth Ploshay. That same month, self-proclaimed bitcoin millionaire Olivier Janssens offered a $100,000 prize for a software platform that could replace the Bitcoin Foundation. To him, the ...

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Does Bitcoin Make Sense for Your Organization?

Elizabeth Ploshay is an account manager at BitPay, a web platform on which merchants manage Bitcoin transactions. She is in charge of outreach to nonprofits and political organizations. Ms ... Get an additional $10 in Bitcoins from Coinbase when purchasing through my referral link http://fredyen.com/get/Bitcoins Here is a quick beginner's guide on ... Elizabeth Ploshay of BitPay and a Board Member of the Bitcoin Foundation will be in conversation with Alah with a special introduction by Peter Vessenes, Chairman of The Bitcoin Foundation Loading... Onecoin promised the world, but only proved to be a trail of destruction. --- About ColdFusion --- ColdFusion is an Australian based online media company ind... Listen to Elizabeth T. Ploshay, manager at Bitcoin Magazine and board member of The Bitcoin Foundation share with us her background and insights as one of the few prominent voices for women ...

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