Losers have Goals. Winners have Systems.

I’ve been studying copywriting. Every evening, I sit down with a pot of Chamomile tea and write out an advertisement by hand for an hour. Yup, my life is all rock-star living. A few days ago I was writing out a classic ad for a subscription to the Wall Street Journal. The ad starts with … Continued

The secret for a more interesting life: take more risks

Risk

I’ve been trying to take more risks. It’s why I gave up 2500 euro a month in income. That steady stream of cash was stopping me from pursuing other sources of income with any sense of urgency. It’s also why I tried Karaoke for the first time last Saturday, singing a duet of “I’ve had … Continued

How I optimize decisions

Caro taking stock in Portally

Every so often my brother rings me on Skype to ponder for an hour on whether he should quit his highly paid job in the Oil and Gas industry of Canada and go live on a beach in Costa Rica. It’s a bit of a dilemma: earn a shit ton of cash in a boring … Continued

How Parents Get Things Done (Or How I’m Testing Having a Child)

Uncle Tom and Auntie Caro

Just under a year ago I became an uncle, so I’ve moved to New Jersey for three months to look after my nephew. It’s been enlightening. I’ve tested home ownership (hated it), and now I’m testing another cornerstone of traditional living: babies. This much is clear: when you have a baby, time management takes on whole … Continued

A Productive Time in Ireland: The Art of Doing Less

Icelandic Viking Ship

A few years ago, I was sitting in my favourite restaurant in Munich. Caro and I were scheduled to leave for France a few days later, so Caro was saying goodbye to the folks at the restaurant who she’d worked with. Stefan, the restaurant manager, asked us what our plans were for France. Caro pulled … Continued

Portfolio Careers: A Jack of All Trades and Happy in All of Them

Caro trying out for a position on the family farm

Over the last few months I’ve been engaging in multiple pursuits: legal translation, sales, copywriting, marketing, web development, to name a few. I don’t have one job; I have a bundle of them. In 1984 Charles Handy named the concept of several occupations instead of a single job a portfolio career. Back then, he argued that … Continued

Ferraris and Farmers: A Weekend in Champagne Country

Tom at the Veuve Cliquot Sign

Caro’s grandmother rang us on Skype, being the high-tech senior citizen that she is, and asked us if we’d bring her and the grandfather on a jaunt up to their friend’s vineyard in the Champagne region. Such opportunities to bath in Champagne don’t come very often so we jumped at the chance. It’s also interesting … Continued

The Myth of the Office and Cargo Cults

Thomas at work at a surf camp

During World War II, the Americans set up air bases across South Pacific Islands. The native islanders were intrigued by these uniformed men radioing to the skies and receiving load after load of cargo from sky ships. The islanders concluded that the cargo was the key to the wealth and power of these Americans. They … Continued