by Niall Doherty


Suddenly inundated with freelance leads, five this week alone, two calls with prospective clients this morning. This after two months with next to nothing. As a friend told me last week, it pays to be patient. “Business is a social game,” he said. “The person with the most relationships, with the highest quality relationships, with the best relationships, wins. That’s the whole game.”


We’re twenty people now, pulling tables together in this bar, laughing and joking and having a good time. Meanwhile, this guy’s been sitting alone with a beer for fifteen minutes. I recognize him, actually. He’s me, ten years ago. So I go over and ask him the question I so desperately wanted someone to ask me back then.


Packing everything again, heading to Las Palmas tomorrow, planning to spend the rest of the winter there. Leaving behind two sacks of stuff, having gone through all my belongings and purging relentlessly. Always a reluctance to do that, always a feeling of relief and lightness once it’s done. Sacrifice. It’s how you get what you want most in life.


Didn’t sleep enough this weekend, now staring down the barrel of a week-long conference. Could get messy. I’m supposed to be speaking in front of 100+ people on Wednesday. Gotta be fresh for that. Drastic measures called for. Skipped a pizza party tonight, stocked the fridge full of salads, will be in bed before ten.


Gran Canaria. You. Are. Spectacular. Big group hike today and we witnessed some epic views. Winding roads from the coast up into the mountains, massive ravines and cave dwellings, El Teide in the distance and pine needles beneath our feet. Then back to the metropolis in search of sombreros with guapas all around.

Spectacular views in Gran Canaria

Spectacular views in Gran Canaria


Staying a three-minute walk from the beach. Only €10 to rent a surf board and a wet suit for an hour. And the conditions here are perfect for newbies. So I get out there and try for the second time. Managed to catch a few on my own, and stood up on the board a few times. Going again tomorrow.


Heart racing, waiting in the wings to go speak in front of 100+ people. Practiced this talk a bunch and met enough of this crowd the past few days that it’s like a room full of friends. But I found out twenty minutes ago that I can’t use my on-screen notes as planned. Thankfully I’ve got backup notecards with the whole talk written out. Actually, you know what? Fuck it, let’s try it without them, too.


Well, I got what I wanted. Spending time alone with this girl, stole her away from the party and now it’s just the two of us in this tapas place, sitting by the window, closing in on midnight, me trying to listen more than I talk. And it’s nice. And I tell her I like her. And tomorrow I’ll wonder if I told her enough.


All play and no work… that’s been my week, and I’m left feeling sick and miserable. It’s been worth it – met a lot of good people at Nomad City and had plenty of fun – but now all I want to do is get back into a routine, to wake up early and not feel like like a zombie, to take deep breaths and break the smartphone addiction. To exercise and meditate and get shit done.


Phone beeps. It’s a match. Someone I know. Hmm. No indication all week that there was interest on her side. And she’s leaving today. So I send a message saying she’s a tease. No reply. I bump into her and friends later as they’re heading out and we say goodbye. No knowing glance, no lingering look. Like a different person.

Speaking at Nomad City (video of my talk here)

Speaking at Nomad City (video of my talk here)


Buying a bike. The guy here isn’t very helpful. I picked one out and brought it to him, asked if he could inflate the tires. Then he promptly disappeared. I take his pump and start the job myself. He sees me and rushes back. Soy el mecánico, he tells me, grabbing the pump. Fine, go ahead. He does the front. Then the back. Too much. The tire explodes. Well done, mecánico. Well fucking done.


Ups and downs with mi español. Felt like I was making good progress last month but the past week in Gran Canaria it’s as if I’m a total beginner again. Some lady buzzed the apartment today and I had no idea what she was trying to tell me. Sometimes I draw a blank trying to say even the most basic stuff.


Almost a year since I launched 3M1K. Someone asked me today why I’m still working at it so much when I could be making a lot more money freelancing full-time. It comes down to impact. With freelancing I can help businesses. With 3M1K I can change lives.


Waist deep facing the ocean, surf board by my side, sun on my face. Behind me on the prom there’s a big digital clock that reads 16:17 and 22°C. I look left and see several hang-gliders floating beyond the auditorium. I look right and see two beautiful women paddling shortboards out into the magic. Life is sweet and I am happy.


I’m good at remembering names. Was out tonight and met a bunch of people whose names I remember. Raul, Ana, Andrea, Marc, Adil, Nicole, Christian. Helps that I don’t drink. But what helps more is just asking people when I forget or don’t catch it the first time. And mnemonics.

New favorite thing :-)

New favorite thing 🙂

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

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