Travis Parker is the Chief Operations Officer for IRA Bitcoin LLC, a financial services company based in Calabasas, California, recently launched a new solution for investors seeking to purchase and hold cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Ripple in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401k.
Leveraging strategic partnerships with highly rated IRA custodians, established cryptocurrency exchanges and secure digital wallet providers, Travis leads a team of experienced financial advisors at IRA Bitcoin LLC who have developed a simple, safe and IRS-approved process for facilitating fund transfers, executing transactions, settlement and account reporting.
Previously, Travis was Global Sales Director for a leading foreign exchange brokerage firm and trading company based in London, UK.
How did you get started?
My team and I have been involved in digital currencies for several years – really since its inception and we have been investing in Bitcoin for even longer. Most of our management team had extensive background experience in Fintech and Forex. When cryptocurrency started to gain some mainstream traction, operating as a legitimate and recognized digital currency, it naturally attracted our interest.
What inspired you to start this business?
We have seen tremendous investor interest over the past several months as the dramatic rise of cryptocurrencies has generated widespread media attention and people are learning about the potential future growth of alternative currency and the unique advantages available when holding these assets in tax-advantaged retirement accounts and we saw an opportunity to educate and facilitate clients in this often-confusing area of investing.
Our proprietary system for a cryptocurrency IRA enables you to cash out your positions or cross purchase other cryptocurrencies easily and securely, allowing the account to be fully managed at your discretion while simultaneously allowing the IRA custodian necessary oversight of your IRA account
How do you make money?
The old-fashioned way, we earn it.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
The phone started to ring and emails started to pour virtually immediately from our launch.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I think anyone who started as early as we did in the cryptocurrency space had a mix of hope and certainty. It wasn’t about if, but rather when, this evolution in finance was going to go mainstream.
How did you get your first customer?
Our first customers were current and former clients from some of our other business ventures who had positive experience working with us and trusted us and our valued our experience.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
This advice is an oldie but just as true today as it ever was: talk to your customers and make sure that you and everyone else in your company who interacts with the client in any capacity delivers the strongest level of client service. If you make a mistake, and mistakes happen (hopefully rarely) make sure the client knows that you are proactively fixing it to the absolute best of your ability. Some clients won’t care, but others will and they will be a loyal and loud advocate for your business.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I think entrepreneurs all share some similar habits to varying degrees: Obsession, Passion, Drive, Dedication, Work Ethic, etc. but for me the one trait that I feel makes me successful is resilience. the ability to bounce back from a huge failure, and not be presently affected.
Every year colleges and business schools graduate thousands of incredible, gifted, smart people armed with MBAs, and aspirations. They make plans for their own business, but when they put all of their emotion and effort along with years of their lives into it and it doesn’t succeed, they quit.
Failure hurts and affects everyone in a number of ways. If you can’t get back on your feet after failure, when the next opportunity presents itself you won’t be willing to take the same risks you did when you first hit the ground running and you’ll never be able to make it as an entrepreneur in this day and age.
Some people strike lightning in a bottle with their very first idea and avoid this, but most, 99% of us, wont. Failure can be crippling in a number of ways. We put so much effort and passion and time into an idea and, when we walk away with nothing, the natural tendency is to protect yourself, and not allow these kinds of vulnerabilities to be exposed in the future. However, the problem with this is that, if and when you do finally succeed, it will be because of the passion and supreme personal effort you put into the project. Resilience in my opinion is the X Factor that separates the people who succeed from those who end up settling.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
I think launching our Website and sending out our first round of emails to friends, colleagues and clients and closing our first sales will be something I remember for a very long time.
What does the future hold for your business?
This is the most exciting time in the history of financial technology. In 2017, Bitcoin was one of the strongest performing and most talked about financial products of the year, vastly outperforming other major indices. At the end of 2017, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished (+25%), gold (+13%) watched in awe as Bitcoin increased by 1318% — and the best is yet to come!