Alex Reinhardt sat down for an extensive interview with the Russian OK magazine. In this interview, Alex talked about PLATINCOIN, sharing his tips on overcoming crises and reacting to criticism, while also discussing the problems and victories he’s faced in his business.
The interview was published in Russian, but we have prepared special translations into other languages for our community. Read the interview and share it with your partners!
Alex Reinhardt: “My journey didn’t start at level zero – it started at sub-zero”
A professional speaker and coach, the founder of 18 digital projects, an expert in financial technology, investing and launching new products, told OK! about the PLATINCOIN cryptosystem, his ability to overcome crises and properly respond to criticism, and about the problems and victories he has faced in his business.
Alex, tell us how your company – PLATINCOIN – was conceived. What was your journey?
The journey was rather difficult, but it’s also connected to the most significant growth I’ve achieved in my entire life. It all started when I found myself in a very difficult situation. I recently talked about it in an interview with Forbes. I was betrayed by my business partners, people who I considered to be my friends, and I had to pay the banks a rather large sum of money in a very short period of time. I was looking for a way out of this situation, and that was when I learned more about cryptocurrencies. In just four months, I earned several hundred thousand euros thanks to this new knowledge and my sales skills. Of course, I had heard about Bitcoin before, but at that point I fell in love with cryptocurrencies completely and irrevocably. I realized that I wanted to create my own cryptocurrency and help people increase their income. It was very important to me then, and it's still important today.
In 2016, I gathered a team, and we started creating the PLATINCOIN platform. We’ve been developing this platform for five years now. You could say that this journey didn’t start from zero, but at a sub-zero level. After getting out of huge debts, I realized that I was capable, that I could work with this platform, that the future was waiting for me. It was as if fate itself guided me further and it became clear that I could be here and fulfill my potential to the fullest. I really believe that.
PLATINCOIN is a comprehensive cryptosystem with marketplaces, crowdfunding platforms, payment systems, currency exchanges, and its own exchange. I’m a big believer in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. I am absolutely convinced that this is the technology of the future, and I see how it is already changing people's lives.
In which other areas have you had a chance to work?
My whole life and career have been about sales. Even in high school, I successfully earned money as an insurance company distributor. As a university student, I wrote business plans for startups and helped them find investors. Over several years of such work, I helped young companies raise a total close to half a billion euros. That is, I’m good at sales, at developing business models, and it’s no surprise that I’ve dedicated 10 years to these areas. At the same time, I have always been interested in new technologies.
What kind of education did you receive and what experience did you leverage to create the platform?
I am a lifelong learner. I am obsessive when it comes to learning, I can get some insight from literally any conversation with almost anyone, from any book, any interview, and I can’t imagine my life without learning and development. In my childhood and youth, I had a photographic memory. Today, the large volume of new information interferes with my memory, but my brain continues to work very quickly, and it needs to consume a huge amount of information. So my day begins with working out at the gym, and at the same time I watch a lot of motivational and training videos. After that, I make sure to take notes, I write down anything that caught my eye, seemed interesting and useful. Yes, I have these daily lessons while running, but I can't limit myself to that, in fact, it's only the beginning. Over the past two years, I have spent over a million euros on my training - I don't consider it an expense, but an investment. That is, I invested this amount in myself, in my education.
I was lucky to study with the best trainers, the best mentors, the strongest salesmen and the most powerful businessmen in the world. I'm not sure if all their names need to be mentioned, but nevertheless I can say that I was trained in Canada by Marilyn Atkinson, the creator of coaching. I studied with Tony Robbins and Grant Cardona. I can count many others among my coaches and mentors - thinkers from the past who have taught me a lot through books, recordings of speeches, biographies, and autobiographies.
All of this helps me to improve my understanding of people, the market, and, in some ways, even myself. It helps me to see which direction to pursue to be on the cutting edge of progress, which is very important to me.
What are the most impressive and significant results in your company’s history? Which memories bring back the strongest emotions?
The main result is, of course, the hundreds of events we have organized. But the most powerful emotions came from our largest events - in Berlin, when we had just launched the company, and in Dubai, when we gathered in a huge hall at the fantastic Atlantis The Palm Hotel. The awards ceremony followed by a white party on the beach was unforgettable. Naturally, all the events we’ve organized all over the world were also very emotional. I have traveled with presentations to over 90 countries in the last four years - from South Korea to Argentina, Brazil, Chile and so on. So I literally traveled to every continent and talked to a huge number of incredibly interesting people. I am proud of this, and it is also a very vivid experience for me - the experience of getting to know our partners, their culture, traditions and views.
Of course, product launches and preparations are always very emotional, because every time the entire team works extremely hard. When we launch a new product on the market, update the product line or somehow expand the company - it's always a celebration. Knowing about the huge amount of work behind each event, I always worry about how the audience will accept it. I ask myself, will they like it? Have we thought of everything?
Another very emotional moment in my memory was when we launched the PLATINCOIN blockchain. We did it in the Bahamas with my partners - we literally pressed the "launch" button together and it was such an adrenaline rush! It was like launching a rocket into space. It was the same when we launched PLC Secure Box or when the App Store approved our app that we had been working on for two years. All in all, every success at the company creates unforgettable emotions.
What do people most often say about your company?
You know, people say different things - there's the haters, and then there's the loyal fans. It's the same as everywhere else. I mean, that's life. In general, I think that the haters are my biggest fans, who just have this kind of twisted love for my company. Otherwise, why would they waste so many nerves and time on me? And then there are the people who truly believe in me, in our company, and in our product. They are living proof that we are doing something useful, something cool. Of course there is a third "layer" of people - those who just don't care. That's okay, too. But it's good that these people are few in number. This shows that we have an extremely extraordinary product - it doesn’t leave anyone indifferent! Let some people even have negative emotions, but any emotions are worth a lot.
What image are you trying to create for your company? How should people see it? Which values and ideas do you want to convey?
People should see a high-tech company that is changing the world, helping people increase their income and grow professionally, making life easier and better. It should be a company that gives ordinary people all the opportunities they didn't have before. It's high-tech, and it's a product for people and about people. Those are all our values.
How do you see your company in three years?
I hope that in three years our work will be just as intense and impressive, but on an entirely different scale. By then, we will have several dozens of amazing products, our community will increase tenfold, and maybe even by a factor of one hundred! We will continue to transform the market, as we are doing now, only even faster and more efficiently.
Why do you do what you do?
You know, I’m a visionary, that is, someone who looks into the future and believes in the latest technologies. At the same time, I am a fighter. Since I was a child, my life has been a constant challenge and struggle. After all, I come from a very simple family, and I am also an immigrant. For a long time, I struggled with poverty: second-hand clothes, food stamps, the same jeans for many years, which always had to be mended... In general, my childhood was no picnic, so I know the price of victory. And I also know the price of defeat. I've been through it all. Frankly speaking, I still have that childhood pain, so I understand people who can't afford to just go to the store and buy what they want, what their child wants. There were times in my life when we lived on fifty euros a week as a family. It was only enough to eat, and I already had two small children at the time. Of course it was very hard.
When I created PLATINCOIN, I wanted to bring progress to this world and help everyone who was in the same situation as I was once. I wanted anyone to be able to improve their life, earn a passive income, and finally live a life of pleasure instead of struggling to make ends meet. In short, I just really wanted to do good. To create valuable products that change the world... And I think I succeeded. PLATINCOIN has already changed the lives of tens of thousands of people, helped them earn a decent living and take care of their families. I also founded a crowdfunding company for charity projects. Many of them have already received funding, which I'm very proud of. In addition, we've launched a cryptocurrency-based marketplace where you can actually get goods for free - simply by freezing your funds. In general, I have always thought in a very unconventional way. I've managed to combine my desire to help people with my desire to create cool, innovative products, and that's awesome.
But the most important thing for me, of course, is creating new things. Because I am a creator by nature. Not a day goes by that I don't have a new idea or concept in my head! I have had an inquisitive mind since childhood and I am happy to point it in the right direction. At one time, my ideas seemed crazy to others, but now they are making a difference and changing the world for the better. Just knowing that makes me incredibly happy.
Top 5 books that had the strongest impact on you?
Oh, that’s a difficult question for someone who reads as much as I do. Let me give you three of my favorites. The first is definitely Grant Cardon's book, The 10X Rule. The second book is The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. I have loved this book since I was a kid, because it is about a very enterprising, quick-witted and intelligent boy who became a leader. You can see why I was attracted to it. And, of course, "D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers", I adored this novel about heroism, nobility and friendship.
Top 5 movies that had the strongest impact on you?
The first movie is also "D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers" - the old one with Mikhail Boyarsky. It’s a series of movies about guardsmen, whom I looked up to as a child (and I still do, to be honest). I’m always happy to revisit this film, I know all the songs from it by heart. It is a beautiful and romantic movie. I also love all the Marvel movies based on superhero comics. In general, I really relate to the concept of some sort of "superpower", so I'm a big fan of that movie universe. I like DC too, especially "Superman" and "Green Lantern."
The last one gives me such goosebumps that I've watched it countless times. I feel very close to the idea of this movie - that a man can overcome any fear he has. Probably because I'm like that myself - I like to conquer my fears. Everyone has them, it's normal, but I always try to confront my fears face to face. That's how I grow. For the same reason, I like all movies related to overcoming yourself and personal growth. For example, Star Wars - well, it's a classic, I've seen it a thousand times. A recent series I watched that really hooked me was "The Mandalorian". It's probably even more epic than the Star Wars saga. But I have very little time for entertaining movies, because I invest most of my time in studying. I mostly watch movies when I'm on a plane or having lunch. The rest of the time, I only watch training and motivational videos.
In general, I really like sci-fi movies because I have a very good imagination and a lot of creativity. All these extraordinary movies really impress me, while dramas and psychological thrillers seem a bit boring to me.
What are three rules you follow in both your personal and professional life?
First rule: never lie to yourself or others. This is very important to me. I always clearly understand what is good or bad. I am aware of all the risks. I don’t wear rose-colored glasses. Of course, I am a visionary and an innovator, but I am also very practical and down-to-earth, so I don’t have my head in the clouds and I don’t tolerate lies, either.
The second rule: if you’re afraid, don't do it, but if you have already done it, don't be afraid. That's what I mentioned earlier: fear helps me grow, and once I've made a decision, I take responsibility for it and move forward.
The third rule: If you don't know something, can't do something, or that "something" doesn't exist at all, then create it. For me the phrase "it's impossible" is like a red rag to a bull. I like to prove to myself and others that nothing in the world is impossible. You either do it or you don't do it, and that's it.
What’s a typical day like for you?
My normal day always follows the same pattern. I wake up very early - if I'm in America, I wake up at 4 am, and if I'm in Europem I wake up around 6 or 7. Immediately after waking up, I go to the gym, run and watch training videos at the same time (at least for an hour). After that, I have breakfast for 20-30 minutes and sit down to work. Next, I have about 5-6 hours of work time, which is my most productive time, so I try to get as much stuff done as possible. This is when I can fully concentrate on the important things: no one distracts me, no one bothers me with documents. I just work and that's it.
Then I have a few meetings, followed by lunch. Sometimes, I have both lunch and a meeting at the same time, say in a restaurant. If I’m eating lunch alone, however, I eat everything very, very quickly (literally in 10 minutes) so I can get back to work as soon as possible. I don’t like to waste time, because it makes me lose productivity. Long meals are always torture for me. I find it hard to sit and just chat about life - I perceive the waste of time very painfully and quickly get irritated.
So after I have lunch, I have another 5-6 hours of intensive work. Usually these are meetings, calls or webinars. Then a quick dinner and another three to four hours of work. I go to bed at about 11 or 12 p.m., but if I still have energy, I may watch something interesting before going to bed. But, again, no more than half an hour. This is what my average day looks like.
Sometimes I have as many as five flights a week, so I work a lot on the plane, too. And to save time, I also work in the car, because I have a personal driver for that. I sit in the back seat with my laptop, even in a cab or in line - answering phones, giving confirmations, gathering information. In total, I work 12 to 14 hours a day. That's a normal pace for me. If the day is more eventful, say, too many meetings, I may work for 16-18 hours.
Which qualities are especially valued at the company?
We value speed and efficiency in the company. It’s important for us that all team members be result-oriented. What we don't like, don't welcome, and try to discourage in every possible way is working for the sake of working, just for a salary, without any personal goals or involvement. We don't need that. Only results, and in a very short time. You have to be able to keep up the pace and be productive all the time
Which qualities are especially discouraged in the company other than "work for work's sake"?
No initiative and lack of teamwork skills. Sometimes we are faced with large and complex tasks that cannot be solved by a single person. We have to work in a constant flow, and if one of our team members has trouble with communication, he or she falls out of the flow. We also don't welcome people who have problems with motivation or lack interest in personal and career development. We need people to be passionate about the product, to understand why they're working, who they're doing it for. We need people with fire in their eyes. Those words can be used to describe most of the people on our team, and I’m very proud of all of them.