by Niall Doherty


I haven’t been sleeping a lot this week, mind too excited with the upcoming launch of this guide teaching people how to work online and travel the world. I lie awake at night with thoughts of how to make it better, come conscious an hour before dawn with an idea of something else to add. It will be the best thing I’ve ever brought into existence.


I’m very aware of the voice of self-sabotage within, telling me I don’t need to spend all these hours on graphics or formatting or a thousand other little things. But what that voice is really saying is that if I don’t give it my best shot, then I’m off the hook should it fall flat; I can take solace in knowing that I didn’t really try, didn’t really care. But I do, and so I will.


It’s not Van Gogh’s art that hits me so much as his story. At the museum I spend more time reading about his life and work than looking at his paintings. He only began at age 27 and died ten years later. He got so good so fast because he was very systematic and disciplined in his work, always pushing to experiment and learn from others.


Clothing budget reset with the calendar flipped, I visit five different stores and try on seven different shirts before buying just the one. My rule is that I have to love the clothes I buy; liking isn’t good enough. So I look at many and try on a lot, and make myself walk away if it’s not perfect.


We hit the beach as everyone else is leaving. Dark clouds are moving in and the wind is picking up. Ten minutes later we’re cold specks in a dull sea, but happy just the same, feeling again like we’re part of this planet. Later we sit behind clear glass drinking warm tea talking about biting nails and watching porn and sometimes saying no words at all.

Hanging with Vinny Van G. I posted a few notes from my visit to the Van Gogh Museum over on Facebook.

Hanging with Vinny Van G. I posted a few notes from my visit to the Van Gogh Museum over on Facebook.


Working full-time now on the guide and prepping for the launch. A lot hinges on how this thing fares. I’ve defined success as selling at least 100 copies the first week, affiliate sales not included. That would make it a $5k launch or thereabouts. If I hit that mark I’ll invest a lot more time and energy into it. Otherwise I’ll flip my focus back to freelance.


She wants more than I’m willing to give. We talked about this before, but seems we need to talk about it again. This is good for me though. I’ve always struggled with setting and enforcing boundaries, but I’ve been stronger about it since moving here, sticking to my priorities, not willing to budge. I’m not such a nice guy anymore, but probably a better man.


A friend asked me today what’s the biggest threat to a successful launch of my guide on the 21st. I think it’s exhaustion. I’m averaging 6.4 hours of sleep so far this month, about an hour less than usual. You only get away with that for so long before a crash comes. I’m making good time for sleep, but still lying awake at night with the wheels turning.


Trying to fit in some client work between everything I’m doing for this guide. Typical that old clients would come out of the woodwork around this time, when I’ve already got my hands full. I’ve turned down some work offers, trying to push others to next month. I could have gotten a chunk done this evening but really needed the downtime.


I want a business like my body. I look in the mirror and like what I see. Room for improvement, certainly, but overall it looks good and performs well. And how did I get this body? By exercising regularly and eating pretty healthy, day after day and week after week for several years now. I’ve been disciplined, and persistent. I’ll get there with the business, too.

When in Amsterdam...

When in Amsterdam…


Neither of us have driven a boat before, but we’re in one now, navigating the back canals of Amsterdam, struggling to keep the bow straight and avoid floating tourist buses. I read this morning that these waterways were dug by hand in the 17th century, the houses alongside built on pylons driven into the earth by manual labor. The more I learn about this city, the more I love it.


It’s 1:39am on a Monday morning, been working away here for several hours. I’ve shifted to American time, looking to be well in sync with most of my readers for the launch next week. I usually take Sundays off but wanted to get a first draft of the guide out to a few people today. It’s uploading now. Yoghurt to celebrate.


Wondering now if I’ve seriously under-priced this thing. Showed a friend the launch page today and her first comment was that the price was too low, and one reader I gave a sneak peek to has already claimed one of the coaching packages, saying it’s “amazing value!” No way to know where the sweet spot is. Only time will tell.


Running through De Pijp on my way to the park, and I’m a well-oiled machine. My body takes firm steps, turns tight corners, feels no pain. My mind is sharp, aware of surroundings, looking forward to another day of fulfilling work. Perhaps it’s this overconfidence, this illusion of invincibility, that leads to me hobbling home a half hour later.


Running on fumes now, chugging green smoothies to try offset the lack of sleep. The guide launches in six days and there’s a lot left to do, feel like I’m juggling knives. I’ve barely left the apartment since Saturday. Not sure I’ve ever worked this hard on something, or cared this much. It’s a beautiful time in my life, in an exhausting kind of way.

Cheat day at the office

Cheat day at the office

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