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Aligning Interests and Seizing Opportunities

Hey everybody welcome and to yet another edition of the strange soliloquy is from a very secluded soapbox, yeah, I’m Dennis Lewis, I’m here in front of the funky wallpaper. And today I’m going to confess you guys something I’m not as prepared as I sometimes M for these are for these videos. I have a structure every day of the week, that kind that I like to follow.

But I have to admit Thursday’s are a little bit. I’m still trying to grab the the essence of Thursdays, I’m going to give you a forecast that tomorrow is going to be awesome. We have a really great guest tomorrow who’s going to be on Fridays is the day that you get to listen to people smarter than me. But today, I’m going to use this time to reflect a bit on something that I think I think it could provide a bit of insight and value to you. And the truth is over this month in a few days. Is that we’ve been under pretty much pretty severe lockdown here in Spain. I have been not just doing these live streams, but I’ve been having many, many conversations with entrepreneurs and some of them are, you know, bit from big companies summer from very tiny startups, from, you know, from the US from Europe, from Asia, from all around the world. Companies, entrepreneurs in the blockchain space entrepreneurs in e commerce space entrepreneurs in doing all sorts of different things. And the truth is, is that I think that this this time, this exercise of being just in contact with people and establishing relationships and and listening, you know, has has has been really eye opening for me, you know, anybody who knows me knows that I always close my emails with my magic formula and The magic formula is listen think do and for me the the first part of the equation and they have to go in order is often the hardest.

It’s listening and listening isn’t just hearing and my wife says I’m selectively deaf. And that’s probably true. But the problem is not hearing it’s, it’s actually paying attention. And being an active listener and listening to what people have to say is is a very, very powerful skill to acquire. And I’ve worked on that a long time. I think it’s because it’s not my it doesn’t come easy to me by anybody who’s heard me tell the story of my grandma who told me you know about open my eyes to the fact that I had two ears and only one mouth when I was just a little boy knows that. You know, listening is not is something you have. It’s a skill you have to acquire So, during this period of lockdown, I’ve had the opportunity to listen a lot. And I’ve gone through kind of my history of some of the conversations because I like to take notes. I like to write things down. And one of the things I’ve really noticed is that it despite being a time of very lots of uncertainty, and there’s no doubt about that, I mean, everybody is worried everybody is concerned, rightly so. And as entrepreneurs, everybody is, you know, this, this came is a pretty big, you know, slap in the face to all of us. I mean, you know, maybe maybe some of us some people were more precious than others. Some people saw it coming sooner than I did. You know, but the truth is, I think most of us were kind of caught by, you know, wow, this is a lot bigger than what We thought it was going to be this is a lot more real.

And and it, it made us aware of how absolutely fragile. Some of the constructs that we kind of take for granted are, you know, the the financial system, the economic system, the the, the underlying pillars of how we do business and what we count on, has suddenly evaporated in many ways. And things we’ve learned as as a society are, I believe, and I hope I want to help is that leadership matters. I think we’re seeing examples all around the world. We’re seeing examples in Germany and New Zealand and Iceland, where you know, of in South Korea and Singapore where leadership has proven that it’s effective, and they’re able to respond really well and in this time of adversity, and we’ve seen examples and I’m not going to name them because I think you all know which probably you all can imagine in wherever you’re from, who they might be. have examples of really poor leadership and and and leadership that hasn’t risen to the occasion. And we’re seeing the results of that and you can you can never before have we seen such graphic results, you know, you could you can line the results up in coffins, and it’s really sad to say and compare, and you can compare, you know, what good leadership produces and what poor leadership produces. But one of the things that I’ve also noticed is that this is a time also of opportunity, and convulsion and crisis produces change. Wherever there’s change, there’s opportunity.

You know, it’s it’s when you’ve been in a sort of in the financial sector, like, you know, and like blockchain like crypto, you’ve, you’ve probably learned by now that markets, you know, the, from a trading point of view, the worst thing possible is a flat market. You know, it’s the ups and the downs where fortunes are made and sometimes have made on a on an hourly basis, and sometimes they’re made over many, many years and centuries. But it’s those ups and downs that that that movement, that energy that is being moved in a market that that creates prosperity. And the same is kind of true in in just the real economy. I mean, this is obviously hurting many, many, many businesses in many, many, many people and there’s no doubt about it that you know, this is a terrible thing that we’re going through and, and I really feel for the people that are hurting But as an entrepreneur, I’m also able to look back and say, but there has to be something positive we can take out of this and there has to be lessons that we can learn. And that we can apply and that we can use to make our businesses stronger to create new opportunities for for people for hiring people for, you know, rebuilding a, a new, a new structure, because things are going to be different, and they’re not going to be the same and jobs that have been lost, many of them are not coming back.

And this should serve as a call to action to all of us to say, as individual entrepreneurs, as members of society as a society in general that, hey, we need to be making fundamental changes. And some of those fundamental changes maybe, you know, maybe we need to think about Andrew Yang’s idea. Freedom dividend or a, you know, universal basic income, which is not something that necessarily should go against capitalism and free market, you know, dynamics, it could be a, a strong base because of the fundamental changes that were already we’re going through with automation and, and the and the transformation of how how our society works anyway, this is just sped things up. It’s just taken, you know, what was maybe going to be happening in four or five, six years and crammed it into four or five, six weeks. If that hurts more, no doubt about it, but maybe this is, you know, we can learn from this and we can say, What can we do? How can we make the result better? And the things I’ve been seeing are that the opportunities that I’m seeing are coming from the ability to align interests. to, you know, to see, to talk with one entrepreneur and and hear about what they’re doing and the and the problems they’re facing and talk with another and then see this problem aligns with this solution.

And maybe, you know, the opportunity is bringing them together to create something that wasn’t possible or would never have come about if this situation hadn’t been there. And, you know, this crossing hadn’t happened. And, you know, aligning interests is is where, you know, instead of taking, you know, two trains and crashing them together, it’s taking two trains and pulling them in the same direction, and the momentum is multiplied instead of dissipated into heat and destruction. And by doing that and looking for these opportunities we can we can find ways to align interests inside our own businesses. And inside the art the people we know and, and, and a lot of it is by listening and by you know, really and then thinking about it and saying, okay, there is an opportunity here, there is an opportunity, you know, this this company I know is building something really amazing and it would fit perfectly with the abilities of this other company to build another part that could fit together and together we could build something that is stronger than both of them separate. And by doing that, we’re creating value out of out of imagination. And you know, there’s there’s really not anything better than being able to take something as as abstract and an intangible and converting it into paychecks and and and, you know, abundance and and stability for people. And I think that as entrepreneurs, that’s the mindset we need to be having these days.

That’s what We should be thinking about another lesson I learned is that, you know, not only do I really believe that the rules need to change, and I think I think any of us if we’re just honest, we can look at our particular situations and the way our society is structured and governed and led and and our laws and our in the way we do things and see that this terrible time is putting a spotlight on problems that have been there that were they’re not new problems. They’re problems that were there and that we were unwilling to focus on and accept that they needed solution. And now is a perfect time to really take that step back and say no, these problems need to be fixed. Okay, because these problems aren’t somebody else’s problem. Okay. You know, I’ll tell you as a, as a as an American who has and has lived outside the country for many years has lived inside the country for many years, it goes back and forth. I’ve had the opportunity to see lots of pluses and minuses. And you know that the US healthcare system is a minus. And there is no doubt that, you know, that compared to almost any other developed nation in the world, ours healthcare system sucks, okay, it’s expensive. It’s, it’s unreliable, it is absurd in so many different ways that it produces minimal results for an incredibly expensive class. You know, right now I’m in Europe, and I’m in Spain. Spain has a healthcare system that has weathered this storm remarkably well, given the terrible situation that was here, and the extreme pressure that was put on it.

And it isn’t just a public health system. It’s is a public and a private health system and both it is not, the solutions don’t have to be either or they can be both like it is here. And that’s something that many Americans don’t understand. They think, oh, they’re going to do universal health care, and then they’re going to take my private insurance away. Well, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, I can tell you that, when that happens, that costs to that private insurance will be a 10th of what it is now. That’s what it is here in Spain. private health care comes at a comparable level of quality to in America is about a 10th of the cost. Plus you have universal healthcare as from the government that makes sure everybody has access to health care. And one of the conclusions from that is that this is a problem that we’ve all known as a problem. And we haven’t been willing to solve it because we’ve been thinking it’s somebody else’s problem. Until we face the reality that it isn’t somebody else’s problem. The dangers of somebody without health insurance, you know, getting the COVID-19 virus affect me, they affect you they affect our jobs, they affect our economy, America would be much better served with a with a more robust universal health care system, it would have made response to this catastrophe much better.

So that’s a way of saying these are calls to action to look at what rules need to be changed. Another case is I was talking to an entrepreneur who precisely the other way around is is a specialist in taking advantage of rules that a lot of people don’t know about, you know, specifically in in the insurance sector and and we’re going to have him on for a Friday and you’ll be really interested in we’ll have a good conversation about this. He’s, you know, that’s something and it’s not tomorrow’s, but it’ll be coming up soon. Because Sometimes it’s knowing it’s the knowledge that can allow you to to take advantage of opportunities that you didn’t know existed. Because you didn’t have the knowledge, you didn’t have the education, you you weren’t aware that they were there. Sometimes you don’t see the opportunities because you lack the context to see them. And so by having all of these conversations, I’ve learned a lot. And I’ve seen a lot and, you know, I’m, I, I’ve been fortunate enough to, to be in contact with some really great people. And so basically, that’s the the, the livestream for today. It’s all about aligning interests and looking at the problems and saying, okay, we this is tough, this hurts, there is no doubt this hurts.

But can we take this and build something new on top of it and make it better than what we had before? And I think we can and I think as entrepreneurs, it’s our responsibility to do that. So if you agree with me, please leave me some comments. below if you think I’ve said bar you know, crazy nonsense, tell me and I’ll, you know, if you want to come on and tell me where I’m wrong. Let me know and we’ll do one of these. I have the honor of Friday and we’ll fight it out boo, boo, boo boo. Whatever it is, if you’re bored if you’re looking for something to do this weekend and you’ve watched all the episodes of Picard and you’ve watched all Star Trek discovery, and you’re you don’t know where you’re, you know what, what, what to use, you know, to keep yourself entertained this weekend, then, by all means, go to Amazon and grab my book, Behold the crypto printers. I think you’ll be something interesting for you. If you’re an entrepreneur, you need to know about blockchain you need to know that cryptocurrency is a good way to get started. So you’ll find them on Amazon. Behold the crypto printers look for Dennis H. Lewis. I’m there it’s easy to find it’s not expensive. Take care, stay safe, and definitely tune in tomorrow. We’re going to have a great guest. You’re going to enjoy it a lot and I’m going Looking forward to having that conversation tomorrow. Bye for now.

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