I Didn’t Have a HODLing Problem, I Had an Income Problem

Early on in bitcoin’s rise, my family and I would do cross country road trips using bitcoin only. We started in our van and on future road trips we toured in the bitcoin bus, a converted school bus with bitcoin logos on it.

Being into bitcoin since 2013 many people think I’m surely a crypto-millionaire. I’m not. But I will be someday.

For years we basically lived off of bitcoin. Whether it was sponsorships for our tours, advertisers paying in crypto for spots on the liberty beat, or the year I partnered with a wealthy friend of mine and operated a crypto mine in a big utility closet in a San Marcos office building (I actually convinced the landlord to accept rent and utility bills (which were upwards of $2k) in bitcoin).

We knew bitcoin was going to increase in value and that we should HODL (hold on for dear life) but when it came down to the choice of feeding our kids and paying rent or HODLing, we chose to provide for our kiddos. Now mind you, back then we lived in poverty much of the time.

I hadn’t had a “real job” since 2009. I was self-employed trying to make it as an activist, getting paid to do what I love.

Man oh man it was hard. We had the electricity cut off more than once and had to move out of our apartment for being behind on rent. Being dependent on crypto is great when the price is going up. But when the prices busts and you are stuck sitting on a bitcoin mining operation that costs more in energy than the value of the btc you are mining, it just doesn’t work.

It was that adversity and struggle that fueled my desire to never have my kids live in poverty again.

I later came to realize that I didn’t have a HODLing problem, I had an income problem!

If back then I had the mindset and entrepreneurial skillset I have today, when faced with the choice of HODLing my cryptos or cashing out to feed my family, the decision would have been simple.


Looking back, I’ve realized that the value I provide in the marketplace has risen with price of bitcoin.

While it was easier to bring in loads of btc and other cryptos back then (we sold breakfast tacos for whole bitcoins at PorcFest for example!!!), because I didn’t have my money right, I wasn’t able to HODL any of them. Crypto came in, crypto went out.

Now that my business provides thousands of people with high quality plant medicines and unmatched customer service and my crypto consulting business has dozens of loyal clients, I’m no longer fighting to survive. In fact just the opposite, I’m thriving!!!

My money mindset and skillset are in a better place so it’s easier to stack crypto even though the price is 10 – 100 times higher. Imagine that!

And that my friends is the moral of the story, the wealth you are able to attain is commensurate with the value you can provide to your fellow human beings.

And with that, I’ll leave you with a quote from the legendary Zig Ziglar – “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

John Bush is a radical activist, entrepreneur, and father of two based in Austin, TX. He owns Brave Botanicals which offer high quality kratom and CBD and founded the Freedom Cell Network, a mutual aid society intended to help individuals secure their inherent sovereignty.

Join the discussion

Further reading

Live Free Now w/ John Bush