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After almost two years of little economic activity, negative growth, and very complex times for companies and entrepreneurs it looks like our ships are probably reaching calmer days. But beware that the sea of business is rarely ever calm. 

A brilliant Greek businessman of the past, Aristoteles Onassis once quoted “We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds. For the sea is rarely ever calm.” This coming from this fascinating man is very true and could be applied to any moments of our business careers. 

Now that we are probably halfway through the worst of the pandemic we must move forward, no matter how complex and difficult things are. Think of all this darkness in the business world during all of 2020 and a great part of 2021. It has been very tough indeed for most entrepreneurs. But it is during these crazy times that lucky spells do come along. When the economy is doing well and everyone seems to be making loads of money it is highly unlikely that you may find a market niche in a hot market. Property developers cannot find land at the right price. Food grocers find it difficult to buy batches of good quality products at discounted rates because the market is loaded with buyers. The stock market does not make much if profits have been on the rise for months. A lot of investors make substantial losses because of entering a market on the rise. Here the old saying of: ‘If you see a bandwagon, it is too late to jump on it’ really applies. Things are not easy during an economic bonanza. 

Trying to get a piece of the action when the train runs well past us is close to impossible. Let us remember the Californian Gold Rush days. A miner struck gold and made himself immensely rich. Flocks of new miners followed suit, joining the area, and some did find a little gold but nothing like the lucky first. Hundreds of thousands started flocking into the Californian rivers digging for the much-valued precious commodity. Only to realise that nothing was left. 

If you see a bandwagon, it is too late to jump on it.

It is fascinating to see how history repeats itself. A recent example is Bitcoin. In 2008 and during a further three years, Bitcoin was trading at $0.01-$20 per coin. Only a few investors took the plunge and invested heavily. Most people did not bother to look closely into it or simply did know anything about it or hardly understood it. It is fascinating to see that in 2017 the value per Bitcoin jumped to an astonishing value of $17,550 per coin, making initial investors hugely rich. This made new investors to get into the game in a big rush. Just like the Gold Rush in California. What the new investors did not realise is that the large profits had already been made and the timing was late to obtain the large amounts of profit made by the brave entrepreneurs that took the initial risk. The bandwagon was certainly formed. 

This even at the time of publishing the article seems to be the trend. There are hundreds of platforms pushing Bitcoin as an investment and different cryptocurrencies forming. The value of a Bitcoin now, at the time of publishing this article, stands at about $30,700. This is huge jump from those early days in 2008. The question is, when did you enter the market? If you do so now you are following a trend that may not take you far. Personally, I would take a very careful approach to all this. If there is one thing to be learnt in business it is that 90% of the people get it wrong. It is only possible to make money if you are there well before the party starts. And this is by no means an easy affair, but certainly not impossible.

The question is, when did you enter the market?

There is no doubt that we are all, to a great extent, fashion or trend followers. Our survival instincts have pushed us over the past to stay together in groups. Do what other successful people do because that gave us in the past the best chance of survival. We tend to follow what we believe to be a successful trend. This happens in sports as well. Many followers want to be Messi, Federer, Tiger Woods. But only the top ten, possibly the top twenty really make it happen. The rest remain wannabes. In the housing market similar situations come up. The last thing you want to do is to buy in a hot market because there will be little margin for you to make a profit. Try and buy during a recession or a downturn in the economy, possibly in the middle of a credit squeeze. That is where you will make a good harvest.

Jumping on a bandwagon with promises of hefty gains by platforms that assure you that the value of bitcoin will never cease going up is unrealistic to say the least. Look out for easier forms to make money. Produce or invest in things that are still safely asleep. There is so much out there to be done. After all the only secret in business is to know something that nobody else knows.

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