NFTs, The Future of Unique Experiences | Lee Richter
Lee Richter is an award-winning Global Leader, Visionary and Thought Leader recognized for being one of San Francisco’s Top 100 Women Business Leaders for 7 years in a row and Top 100 Fastest Growing Businesses in the Bay Area for three years running. As an entrepreneur since the 1990’s, Lee has built and sold several multi-million dollar companies, is a #1 best-selling author, an Abundance Studios Producer, and a member of the Forbes Business Council!
Expanding on her successful entrepreneurial journey, Lee utilizes her superpower in public relations to connect the business world with the future of business and marketing. She inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to realize the importance of NFTs and blockchain and empowers them to develop and implement a strategy in their company. Lee teaches leaders globally to incorporate NFTs in their business as a tactic to achieve financial and professional success in the current marketplace.
Lee is the founder and CEO of Global Leaders Collective, a company focused on educating and training global leaders in all aspects of the NFT and Crypto space. She launched an NFT Course titled “NFTs 101” in January 2022, she has an ongoing podcast series dedicated to NFTs which can be found on her website nftswithlee.com, she published a new book titled “Blockchain Life” in the beginning of 2022, and is currently building partnerships with business leaders in the NFT community by leading them in launching their own NFT Challenges.
To learn more about NFTs, please visit www.thegloballeaderscollective.com
Alan Olsen: Hi, I’m visiting here today with Lee Richter. Lee, welcome!
Lee Richter: Thank you so much. Out here we are with you.
Alan Olsen: So Lee, in recent months, you’ve had been on a roadshow talking about NFT’s or non-fungible tokens. I’m really glad you’re here today, because there’s all sorts of questions and things I want to learn about it. Starting at the basics, and for the listeners, can you walk me through what exactly is a non-fungible token?
Lee Richter: I’m so glad you’re asked Alan, because starting at the basics is really fundamental in all of this. Understanding this is built on the blockchain, which is a new form of digital currency, the way that we’re working with one another. A non-fungible token is a form of digital ownership, that provides the ability to identify something as an individual unique item, that’s a one of one item, there’s only one and it’s digital. Now, if you think about a fungible token, our number one fungible token on the planet is the US $100 Bill. It’s recognized all around the world, it has the same amount of value. And it has the same amount of exchange value. That is a fungible token, where there’s many, many, many, and it’s recognized, it’s the same value. Now the opposite is the non-fungible token, which is the one of one unique item.
Alan Olsen: When you’re dealing with non-fungible tokens, (I’m just shorten it to NFT’s) a brand new concept. And so person says, Well, can I get one of these NFT’s? And if so, how do I do that?
Lee Richter: Oh, that is a good question, because we all have to go to the basics of getting our first one. Recently, I taught a friend of mine, his name is John Ruhlin. He runs the whole thing called giftology. He has a book and a fundamental way of giving and giving and giving. Here, his very first set of tea, he had to receive it. What we did was we made one custom for him, and we sent it, and then he had to learn the process of: ‘Wait! How do I receive an NFT?’ And the first thing you do is you open a wallet, we recommend people use MetaMask and open a wallet. Then take ownership of that NFT in there. In addition, if you just want to buy one, a good place to go is a place called OpenSea, and in OpenSea you go online and you look at what have artists put up there for sale. So there have been people as famous as Gary Vee, and other people that have put their things up on these kinds of platforms. It could be OpenSea, it could be Wearable, it could be Wax; different places, where artists can, and creators can now post their things for sale. And then collectors can come in and purchase it and put it in their collection. Each one might have a different reason to get though some of them you might get because it is the artist that you love, or an artist that you follow, or an artist that you believe will go up in value. And sometimes you’re buying it not necessarily for the art what you see but for what the smart contract says you get with it. For example, just in October, we had Gary Vee who sold one piece of art that he did it was aligned animal called The Empathy Elephant. That went for $412,000 value. Because somebody thought, wow, not only do I want The Empathy Elephant but I want what comes with it. In this case, Gary Vee had put in the smart contract that for the next three years, you get to sit front row at my conferences. And so that person to them not only was The Empathy Elephant a beautiful piece of art to get, but it was also access to him front row at his events, which I believe this person, that’s what they want the most is access to Gary Vee for his learning for his touch points for being able to you know, get to know each other. So it matters on the value to the person but the one of one that he got was front row seats for three years, and the ownership of Empathy Elephant. Now Gary Vee in the last few months, has sold $90 million worth of NFT’s. The Christie’s Auction House just did an auction for him a live auction. And it was one of the most successful auctions they’ve ever done. But in the NFT market, it broke records. And it’s all because there’s people out there that are collectors that see the value and want to be in the game and there’s only so many he made he made just over 10,000 of them. And so once they were gone, they’re gone. Now I’ll tell you what, it took him 21 days to sell his collection back then when he first launched it would not take 21 days to sell it today because people are onto it and paying attention. And there’s certain people like Tom Bilyeu and other people that are jumping in the game and creating value and creating something where people want to be part of their community. And so right now there’s two sides of the market, the creators and the collectors. And all the reason that we see people coming together is for future value for the novelty but also for the community.
Alan Olsen: Lee I want to take this back a little bit and I want to put an analogy out there that NF ‘s may have been around for a long time. Couldn’t we use an example of a concert ticket? A concert comes into town, face value, $90, but I’m on the first row is so all of a sudden, although I pay $90, as suddenly goes to $300, or to the best bidder, it’s at an NFT?
Lee Richter: It’s interesting that you say that, because in that experience, it’s the same type of experience we build into the NFT. So one of the examples we use is for Comic Con, because a friend of mine [Yara], Shamas had 181 live Comic Cons with 5 million people that came and guess what, every single person that came had a ticket! They had a physical ticket or an electronic ticket to get in the front door. Once they got inside, some people’s tickets got them access to the VIP section, some people got them access to exclusive things like signings by different artists or different superheroes. So you hit the nail on the head. It is just like that experience; however, we’re moving into a place where we’re seeing one of ones, and we can prove on the blockchain that you own that experience until you sell it to someone else. I think the difference is we eliminate the middleman all of a sudden, there’s no need for scalpers. All of a sudden, there’s no need even for Ticketmaster, if we don’t want to, because we can go direct to consumer and the consumer can show proof that it’s the one of one that they own. I love that you get this Alan. We didn’t talk about it ahead of time. But that’s how I see it the most is it’s a ticket for an experience. That’s the number one reason I see.
Alan Olsen: I’m trying to get something really basic and thinking that that one ticket would have a specific seat that would give a specific experience. As I move forward, and again, I’m still at the basics. If I get off track, please put me back in line. When we talk about the world of art, and let’s say that we have a collector who has all sorts of very rare pieces. They put them on the wall, and the person says, “Well, I want that to be my NFT.” However, there’s only one piece of art, and it’s a rare piece. Then the access to that NFT would be just one painting, going to one person. Is that correct?
Lee Richter: Yes! And we just did that with Jon Rowland. And he created some original art. And he gave them as gifts. One of them went to Gary Vee 2500 people were there for him to get for him to witness getting a four by six piece of original art. And with that, we created an NFT that says number one, you own that piece of art that one of one now we authenticated that you own it. And number two, because you own that art with this NFT you’re invited to a once in a lifetime experience. And Jon Rowland is creating an experience for what he calls, “Mosaic Moguls” and they get to come in. With the NFT, not only does it prove they own the art, but it gives them an opportunity to unlock a VIP experience with Jon. Again, it turns into a ticket and an experience. It turns into access. There’s three reasons why I see for an NFT. Number one is like a ticket for admission, it is access. Number one is access. Number two is licensing. Something I want to do over and over again and give to people improve they have the license to use that material or IP over and over. Number three is to authenticate something and say I validate this as authentic. Gary Vee is even using them for speeches at the end where he puts NFT and says, “I want to say that this speech is true. No fakery, it is absolutely my voice in my opinion.” Because right now with the internet, sometimes we can’t tell what’s real and what’s fake. Those are the three reasons. I will say right now the ticket reason is the one I’m looking at the most. I’m looking at my businesses and thinking, “Hey, how do I get my clients have VIP or an exclusive experience?” Once they get this NFT, then they can turn it in or they can gift it to someone else or they can even sell it to someone else. I’m going to add something onto that art though, if that’s okay.
Alan Olsen: Yes! Absolutely! I have smart questions, but go ahead.
Lee Richter: So the thing about the art for right now is you would have a one on one and artists would create a piece of art. They would sell it to one person and they would get paid for that transaction. Now 10 years from now that person could resell it to someone else, but the artists would not be included generally in that second transaction. Whereas now, when using an NFT, you can build in the smart contract or the header or what the terms are. What are the terms of this NFT? One of the terms can be built in that anytime it’s resold, a percentage of the sales goes back to the original artist, and this will live on forever, even 300 years from now, the money can go to their heirs. And so it’s really awesome that now the artists can be included in every transaction, not just the first, not just the second, but in perpetuity, on and on and on forward. There’s already NFT’s that have sold second and third generations, where those artists have been paid two and three times or even more at this point. And that’s great for them, because number one, they eliminated the middleman and number two, now they’re really getting paid for their talent. And they’re getting recognized when somebody else wants it even more. And so when something sells for $100, and then 10,000, and then a million, if that artists put in they get 10% or 20%. Every time that sale happens, they get paid again, and it’s automatic on the blockchain and transparent. So this is one of the ways of the future. This is why the artists and the people in the music industry are definitely paying attention. This is also why people in the real estate market are paying attention because right now, you have a lot of middlemen that needs to be paid. And if you can eliminate those and go straight, you know, to a two or third third person transaction, that eliminates a lot of waste a lot of human error, and now makes things transparent and easier for the consumer.
Alan Olsen: As we’re defining the community of NFT’s, there’s a lot of questions that run through my head. And one of them is, what if I already own a painting, an original piece of art? Then the artist says, well, but I painted that. So I want to make that art my NFT, although I hold the the ownership. I mean, what’s to prevent the artists from saying I’m going to make NFT’s out of that piece of work?
Lee Richter: That’s a good question. I will say right now a lot of those things are being determined. When people come to me with original art, one of the things we do is we go through a checklist of who owns the IP on this? When I mentioned Comic Con earlier, they’re an ideal client for me. Why? Because they own 100% of the IP, he owns 100% of his comic books, he owns the things that he brings out to the marketplace. He doesn’t have to ask permission. I will say right now, the first thing to do is consult with an attorney (an IP attorney). Is it when you got that piece of art? Do you get the rights to reproduce it? Maybe only the family owns the rights to reproduce it and you only own your one of one. Could you sell an NFT for your one of one? Yes, because you could say once you own this NFT, you get this one of one. But if you can’t reproduce it, then you can’t sell it as multiple art. But yet, maybe the artists did retain that ownership. And maybe they can do that it’s going to be case by case. I will see some of the things like the crypto punks that were given away in 2017, that now are worth millions of dollars, the IP went with it. So people who own those not only have the novelty of being the first in the game of owning a really valuable NFT. But they have the rights to reproduce it and put it on sneakers or T shirts or even in a book or a story, whatever they want to do, they can reproduce it if it’s in their agreement when they got it. So each one’s going to be case by case. I think the attorneys are going to be kept pretty busy, though, to solving some of these mysteries for us.
Alan Olsen: Lee I’m, again, at a very basic level, I’m going to make a statement and tell me if it’s true. From what I understand NFTs have been around a long time. We just haven’t called it NFTs. It happens when there is a piece of art or something of rarity that is converted to cash. And it will not always convert at the same rate that you paid for that article such as a ticket or a piece of art or something of a rarity. Now we’re in a world where as we enter a world of digital currency, NFT’s become more important because the rarity of the article will fluctuate depending on where the buyer and the seller exists. Am I on the right track?
Lee Richter: I’m following along and what I’m seeing is every transaction is going to be unique. I do agree with you the idea of one of ones that existed in unique items, for many reasons. That’s why Christie’s was in business to begin with because they often would auction off one of ones whether it was cars or black diamonds or whatever. They already understood this marketplace, yes, we’re entering something different because it is digital. We’re going in and we’re trading Eth and we’re trading digital currencies for the access to those NFT’s as well. We’re not just going in and buying with directly with a credit card, we’re converting to Wax or SWANA, or Eth, to go and buy it. So yeah, we’re dancing in a digital world with digital currency. So it is a different feeling and experience.
Alan Olsen: It’s a whole different way of thinking about the digital world.
Lee Richter: However it’s here right now we’re learning it part of being in the beginning being the top 1% that are here first. I mean, we’re still in that small little percentage of the planet in this in this arena. What’s so interesting about it is some of the rules are being created day by day, and we’re learning and seeing and adjusting based on what’s happening in the real world. And it’s not just America. I mean, it’s in all different parts of the world. When I’m in a clubhouse room, and I’m talking to a group of people about NFT’s. Literally, it’ll be like 30 or 40 countries represented just in people on stage giving their perspective. Here’s what it’s like in Israel, here’s what it’s like in France, here’s what it’s like in Dubai. And I’m seeing collaborations happen, where creators are getting together where marketers are coming in. And we’re attorneys are coming in and giving advice, (by the way), because they’re asking questions just like you like, how does this work? How do I protect it? And if I have something, how do I know if I can do something? Now, I just witnessed Quentin Tarantino in New York City, coming up with a group of people, I was one of the 100 people in the room, Tom Bilyeu was in the room. These are people paying attention to cryptocurrencies and opportunities right now. Here, we were in the room saying, hey, Quentin Tarantino, what can you do with your movies? What could you do with your ideas, and we were bouncing around ideas. One of the things we thought about was taking his script, and page by page turning into an NFT. Well, he owns that 100%; however, he also came up with the idea was seven different clips a minute each that never made it in the movie, and he put it out as here’s seven NFT’s that we’re going to launch. But immediately, within a few days, there’s now a court case around who owns the IP of this. Of course, he wrote it, he would feel like 20 years ago, he put it out there, he’s gonna own the rights to all of it. This is his time to share some. Already somebody is coming and saying, wait a second, you don’t own that all by yourself. Let’s have a conversation about it. So it’s in the news. It’s happening right now as we speak. Something that seems such a great idea is now turning into a deeper conversation. We’ll be watching that case and we’ll see, just Quentin Tarantino, own the rights? Does the studio own the rights? Does he get to collaborate? What is going to happen is unfolding right in front of us. And I’m glad I was in New York in that room, because I saw how innocent it started. And I saw how the spark from the audience was we want more if there’s anything to share with us share the script share anything because he’s like, the only person who ever saw the script was the one person who typed it. So up until now, nobody’s even seen those pages. All of us are like, Oh my God, we want to see the pages. How is pulp fiction written? How is Reservoir Dogs written? So he saw the excitement of the audience and thought, wow, I could bring them pieces that never have been seen. Everyone’s gonna be excited. What if you own a minute of Pulp Fiction, and you have IP rights to reproduce it? Like what could you do with that? So we’re about to see because it’s all being told to us in real time right now.
Alan Olsen: So I’d like to take this a step further. Yesterday, I was visiting with individual, his name is Peter Borash, and he’s one of the founding members of the Robin Hood Foundation. And Peter was talking about Robin Hood Foundation does around $135 million a year in philanthropy and good works. Someone just recently gave a $25 million match grant. They said that, you know, someone will donate, they want to get the money out of the grant to match. And so he was on this this page, but one of the things that that Peter said, he said, You know, it’s interesting how people give, he said, we find that when we put together a foundation event and charge $3,000 A ticket, that we get a tremendous amount of demand for the ticket versus, you know, a $5 donation here. $5, you know that they’re all plentiful, and it wasn’t about the abundance of the cheap. But it was about rarity. I want to take this analogy a step further.
Lee Richter: It’s that access mentality, they have access to an exclusive event. It’s the exact same thing we’re talking about at the very beginning of the show. As the number one reason for an NFT is to have access to have an incredible experience. And so he figured it out in real life.
Alan Olsen: I am very basic but but thinking through my basic understanding the it’s, it’s the community in which the NFT exists. Not just saying, I have an NFT, but who is interested in that same community and who wants access, am I on the right track here?
Lee Richter: 100% That’s the number one thing I’m seeing in the clubhouse rooms is the deep communities being built and how they support each other to the next level. Whether they’re creators, or they are the collectors, the community coming together has, has created something special, that they’re paying attention to all the parks together, they’re lifting each other together the creating. And by the way, one of the things we noticed in some of the early NFT drops was when corporations were there sponsoring it, the community didn’t love it as much they really wanted it to be a natural community supporting each other and being authentic. So that was one of the learning lessons we had with the Floyd Mayweather drop is that as soon as it felt like big business was involved, the community was not as excited about it. It’s interesting, because I’ve had a couple conversations where people where they’re like, I don’t really understand this building community thing. But all I have to do is look at people like Tony Robbins and different people that are coaches, and even our friend Dan Sullivan, he has built an incredible community. Why are we in Strategic Coach? Yes, we love what we learn. But we love the other people in the room. We love the community that he assembles. And because of his brilliance, he resonates. And he attracts people that are also brilliant. We’re like, this community is amazing, right? What he has done is created an experience for all of us.
Alan Olsen: I’m starting to understand this complex topic and thank you. So then, as an advisor in NFT’s and as a thought leader, a person comes to you and says, Lee, how do I create a valuable NFT? Something of rarity? How would you respond to that?
Lee Richter: Well, first of all, I would tell them to get in as a collector and start looking at what’s going on in the community of NFT’s right now. Go to OpenSea, look for people they like go inside a clubhouse and start learning it from the collector side of it, or the creator side of artists, friends, that they jumped in from the Creator side from the beginning, but just start to learn, sit in the background on the clubhouse rooms and hear the dialogue. Another thing I would recommend is my Instagram, The Global Leaders Collective, we’ve put together a lot of education that’s there for free. The Global Leaders Collective is really how we assemble other global leaders and share their message. We’ve done it on our podcast and we’ve done it in speeches and spoken on their stages. What you get in there, the carousels that my team and I have been learning along the way like what are cryptocurrencies? What is decentralized? What? How do you buy an NFT, all of those are in the Instagram right now. And I have it for free for everyone. So anyone can go in there and see the education we’ve distilled for ourselves. Just go to the beginning and start reading it and get educated. Once you’re educated play in play a little bit, buy a couple, get some cryptocurrencies get in the marketplace. I teach parents. If you have kids that are teenagers between like 16 and 21. I will tell you, they get this they don’t have to unlearn anything, they just jump right in. I have a 17 year old daughter, and I’ll tell you one of the things I’ve learned is they can teach us something right. I’ve had some parents, my friend Darryl and his daughter are doing this a few other people that I know right off the bat, that what they did was they funded an account for their kids, maybe $1,000 or $5,000, if you could, and they do for themselves at the same time. So one of my friends has two boys, the three of them are in a competition now like how can we do in the next? What would we do in the next year to grow this the best we can. But because you’re in a competition, they’re all learning and sharing together and they’re sharing their wins. And they’re sharing, they’re learning lessons. But they’re able to really be in it because the mind when in a challenge engages at different level. So those parents that are engaging their kids making it a fun competition, not only they learning, but the kids are so engaged, that they’re learning and then teaching the parents and so I want that for everyone. I mean, you have such a great family. And that would be super fun to tie into a couple of them and let them grew into what is really, really amazing for them. How do they see it? How are they learning? How did they invest it? You do it with them, of course. At the same time you’re learning from their perspective. I’m seeing with the kids their mind is limitless. When I was just in New York at the NFT conference. There are many, many teenagers that are already multimillionaires, just because they jumped in this game early. They saw the novelty of it. And they invested. And they’ve already cashed out and made millions and millions of dollars. There’s some billionaires in there too, that are barely 21. And it blows my mind to see the limitless thinking that they have because they’re in this marketplace. So I want that for all of us. I don’t want any of us to be left behind. That makes sense. I want all of us to be together.
Alan Olsen: Absolutely love it! Lee what I would like to do, (we’re running up against our time today) but I want to invite you back to take us to the next level today. I just want to stay on the basis of what is an NFT. We’re still learning this world. But would you be willing to come back and do an update for us?
Lee Richter: Absolutely! In January, I’m launching an NFT challenge. It’s at nftchallenge.com And in the challenge, we’re bringing entrepreneurs and people in to say, number one, why pay attention to NFTs? Number two, how is it changing our world? Number three, what tools do you need to get in? And then number four, what can you do for your personal life, but also for your business or for your customers like thinking about creating a strategy, right, not just jumping in and being haphazard, but really creating a strategy that works for you for your life, for your business, and all the way to your community. Actually, we have life, business, customers, and community. I love that you notice right away. It really is about building a community. So my husband’s a veterinarian and what am I looking at? How can we serve our clients more? How can we honor their pets more? How can we create an experience that at the end, they feel like they’re in a tighter and better community? And so I think you’re on the right track. And yes, I’m super excited about continuing this conversation with you.
Alan Olsen: Love it! Lee, thanks for being with us today.
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This transcript was generated by software and may not accurately reflect exactly what was said.
Alan Olsen, is the Host of the American Dreams Show and the Managing Partner of GROCO.com. GROCO is a premier family office and tax advisory firm located in the San Francisco Bay area serving clients all over the world.
Alan L. Olsen, CPA, Wikipedia Bio