by Niall Doherty


I’ve decided to phase out the freelance stuff. I have nice clients and make a decent living from the work they send me, but this isn’t my best contribution to the world, not by a long shot. I need to be spending more time producing content and building products. That’s how I’ll make the biggest impact, how I’ll reap the biggest rewards.


There’s a government office in my hometown where you can go and they’re supposed to help you set up a business. Except when I got there they didn’t seem any way interested or knowledgeable. Just three people punching the clock and collecting checks. Yeah, that’s probably a bit harsh, but more and more lately I’m feeling bombarded by incompetence.


We haven’t been in touch for a few weeks now, and she hasn’t been active on Facebook. I wonder how she’s getting on. Could just message her and say hey, but I’m a bit too stubborn for that. I think she’s being stubborn, too, not messaging me. I read back over some Momentos about her earlier today, brought back fond memories.


Decided to stop being stubborn and messaged her last night. She replied saying she’d been wiped out the past few weeks, suffering from dengue fever and salmonella. All that “she’s being stubborn” shit was just in my head. I like to think I’m more mature-minded than most, but I still make lots of assumptions, project my own fears and insecurities onto others.


Someone told me recently that they’d much prefer a heart attack to heart failure. And seeing what my grandmother’s going through, I have to agree. She’s mostly bed ridden now, confined to a hospital, confused and disoriented much of the time. I don’t want to go out like that. Put a needle in my arm and send me to sleep, let me die with a little dignity.

Walking along the River Barrow, near St. Mullin's in Ireland.

Walking along the River Barrow, near St. Mullin’s in Ireland.


There’s something about a lone, tall tree in a field that appeals to me. Saw one today on a walk along the river at St. Mullin’s. I used to see another all the time on the way home from school. Back then I never knew what it was about that scene that resonated, but I think I get it now.


Four in the morning in a taxi to the airport and I’m thinking of ancient Greeks. “Know thyself,” they used to say and inscribe. Is there any better life advice in so few words? I’m 33 years old and feel I’m knowing myself anew every month, becoming familiar with my strengths and weaknesses, how to accentuate and compensate.


Back to the sanctuary after ten days away. The plants survived and I had a cleaner in. It was nice being home but I’m eager now to get stuck into a few solid months of work. I have books to write, courses to create, products to launch. Get back to me in January and we’ll see how the empire is coming along.


Somehow my phone died overnight and I had no alarm this morning, ended up sleeping in for more than three hours. When I eventually awoke and realized what had happened, I shrugged it off and began my day as planned. There was no boss to call, no explanations required, no apologies needed. One of the joys of working for oneself.


Hadn’t seen her in a month, dropped by today and met her son, was a little awkward. I’m not used to being around kids, not sure when to indulge them and when to draw the line. Anyway, was good to see her again, we had some time alone with the boy went to bed. I find it easy to be present in her company, not sure why. She relaxes me somehow.

Another workday in Amsterdam.

Another workday in Amsterdam.


Steven Pressfield writes about turning pro. That’s what I’m trying to do here in Amsterdam. The last few years I’ve only survived rather than thrived in business because I was distracted by travel and women and a different business plan every minute. But now I’m focused and committed. No travel, no sleepovers, stick with one plan for the long haul.


And then along comes a test of the mighty variety: received an email this morning asking if I’d be available to discuss a freelance gig in the $7k range. A job like that would mean postponing all the personal projects I have planned, only worth doing if I’m super-excited about the opportunity. And I’m not, so I’ll pass. Focus, focus, focus.


Launched a quick, 24-hour sale of the guide yesterday, giving folks one more chance to buy before taking it offline to transform and expand it into two products which should be ready by January. Just shut the sale down a few minutes ago, ended up with 13 sales amounting to $875. Pretty good start to the weekend methinks.


Another thing that pulls at my focus is libido. Feeling it strong the past couple of weeks. And I know I can go get laid regularly if I put the time and effort into it, but that’s time and effort taken away from working on the goal I value more. So I lie on the couch on a Saturday night watching comedy and trying not to watch porn and feeling frustrated.


Struggling with a feeling of hopelessness today. Maybe I’m just tired. But I read patronizing comments and about rape punishments and I think about all the work I want to do and I question my ability to do it and meanwhile I feel lonely and sad and then I get angry at myself for feeling this way because look at where I live and all I have.


Reading Pressfield again. This helps: “Sometimes Resistance takes the form of sex, or an obsessive preoccupation with sex. Why sex? Because sex provides immediate and powerful gratification. When someone sleeps with us, we feel validated and approved of, even loved. Resistance gets a big kick out of that. It knows it has distracted us with a cheap, easy fix and kept us from doing our work.”

Visiting a floating cat sanctuary in Amsterdam, with filmmaker Sam and fellow bloggers Savannah and Jess.

Visiting a floating cat sanctuary in Amsterdam,
with filmmaker Sam and fellow bloggers LC, Savannah and Jess.

In the comments below, let me know which of the above Momentos is your favorite. Which can you relate to?

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