Building Character, Brick by Brick: How LEGO Mimics the Process of Personal Growth

Just as the vibrant LEGO pieces come together to create magnificent structures, our life experiences, both significant and seemingly trivial, shape us, brick by brick. Each piece, each memory, each learning curve, intertwines to craft the intricate design of our character. Join me on this journey, as we draw parallels between the assembly of LEGO structures and our own personal growth.

Foundations – From Beginnings and Experiences

Like the foundation of any great LEGO structure, our character’s foundation is laid early in life. Our environment, the people we interact with, and the experiences we undergo, act as those foundational pieces, setting the stage for future growth.

  • Escaping from limitations: Escaping the UK in 2014 was a foundational moment. It was not just a geographical move but a journey from the known to the unknown, a step into carving out a unique identity distinct from societal expectations.
  • Seeking new horizons: Reading fiction, from Terry Pratchett to “Lord of the Rings,” was not just about escapism but a subconscious quest for broader perspectives. On this foundation of expansive horizons, autobiographies came to enrich the understanding of individual paths and successes. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s journey, for instance, exemplified the metamorphosis from bodybuilder to governor.
  • The power of mentorship: A brick can be a guide. A friend, Jarek, dramatically amplified the understanding of photography in mere weeks. Like a crucial LEGO piece that gives structure to an entire section, a good mentor can redefine our trajectory.

The Catalysts of Change – Unpredictable Twists and Turns

Every LEGO builder knows the exhilaration of suddenly spotting an unconventional way to use a piece, leading the entire design in a fresh direction. Similarly, unpredictable events can dramatically reshape our life’s path.

  • The unexpected allergy: When a cat entered the flat in 2012, it seemed a simple addition. However, this led to an unexpected cat allergy, resulting in three months of antibiotics. This chain of events potentially cascaded into a diagnosis of diabetes. Such unexpected events remind us of life’s fragility and our adaptability.
  • Reinvention through adversities: Our protagonist’s life showcases a series of transformations. From battling drug addiction and alcoholism to evolving into a systems administrator, then to a dating coach, fire performer, and ultimately an entrepreneur, each phase was a brick added to the character’s intricate design. With every twist, a new identity was forged, and previous versions were rebuilt, just as one does when assembling a LEGO masterpiece.
  • The magical lens: Embracing practices like witchcraft and hermetic magic served as unique tools for self-reflection and understanding. These mystical bricks, like the elements of earth, wind, water, and fire, correspond with values and energies, offering a unique lens to perceive life.

The Power of Visualization and Imagination

Building with LEGO is as much about visualization as it is about the physical act of assembly. Before placing a brick, we imagine its fit, foreseeing the design’s evolution. Similarly, visualization plays a significant role in personal growth.

  • Mapping the Future: A fan of lifestyle design, the act of consciously envisioning a desired future, the protagonist believes in visualizing success paths. Like picturing a LEGO design before its creation, visualization becomes the compass guiding decisions.
  • Childhood Curiosities: Memories of crafting a submarine from LEGO, while inspired by the 1960s TV show “Stingray,” show the boundless creativity of a child’s mind. The final structure may not have been a perfect replica, but it was an embodiment of imagination.
  • Harnessing the Meta-Universe: An investment in a metaverse project, Decentraland, saw its value skyrocketing. Here, the blend of visualization, through a crafted sigil, and the virtual space represents the bridge between imagination and reality.

Sharing and Community – The Cornerstones of Growth

Every intricate LEGO build becomes even more special when shared and appreciated by a community. Our protagonist’s journey is much the same, with communities and relationships acting as both foundation stones and sources of inspiration.

  • Finding a Tribe: The online community, Dynamite Circle, proved pivotal. Acting like the strong interlocking LEGO pieces that hold the entire structure together, this community brought mentorship, friendships, business opportunities, and alignment of values.
  • Detaching from the Toxic: Like a misfit LEGO piece that obstructs a perfect design, sometimes our immediate environments can hinder growth. The protagonist’s journey with housemates and family, while emotionally complex, underscores the importance of discerning which connections nurture growth and which stunt it.
  • Blogging as a Beacon: Documenting a two-decade-long transformative journey is like presenting a LEGO masterpiece to fellow enthusiasts. The blog stands as an inspiration, a mirror reflecting challenges and triumphs, influencing and resonating with others.
  • Mentorship as a Blueprint: Just as LEGO sets come with guiding manuals, mentors like Jarek and Jon Myers illuminated paths in photography and entrepreneurship, emphasizing design, growth, and the subtle art of creation.
  • Gathering for Growth: Community gatherings, like Dynamite Circle conferences or Valencia Entrepreneurship meetups, became analogous to LEGO conventions. These were spaces to celebrate shared passions, to learn, and to grow together.

Evolving with Time – Adapting and Scaling

As LEGO enthusiasts progress, they transition from simpler models to intricate designs, each phase demanding new skills and adaptability. Our protagonist’s entrepreneurial journey mirrors this evolution.

  • Reinvention: Leaving the UK marked the pivot from a software engineer to an entrepreneur, a transformation as significant as moving from basic LEGO blocks to complex Technic sets. Subsequent challenges, like a business acquisition and the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, only honed this adaptability.
  • Guided by Values: Every LEGO masterpiece is a result of a vision, held together by consistency in design. Similarly, every business decision, every hire, and every strategic move was guided by values. This principled approach reiterates that integrity is the glue that binds success.
  • Acquiring Skills: Just as a LEGO builder learns techniques over time, from simple stacking to understanding gear mechanisms, our protagonist journeyed through coding, understanding human behaviors, team management, startup dynamics, and finally, the nuances of investments and personal branding.
  • Avoiding Distractions: Like a misplaced LEGO piece can derail a design, distractions like excessive traveling or being in unproductive environments can hinder growth. Recognizing these diversions and realigning becomes crucial for consistent evolution.
  • Staying Updated: In the LEGO world, new pieces and designs emerge, challenging builders to adapt. Similarly, staying abreast of trends like crypto, AI, and ever-evolving marketing strategies ensures that one remains relevant and poised for growth.

Balancing Depth and Breadth – The Power of Focus

In the vast world of LEGO, there are collectors who acquire diverse sets and those who delve deep into mastering a specific theme. The challenge is finding that balance between depth and breadth, and our protagonist’s journey offers a nuanced perspective on this equilibrium.

  • Specialization vs. Generalization: The LEGO universe is vast, with multiple themes and styles. Early on, the protagonist grappled with the same dilemma – should one be a jack of all trades or a master of one? The journey taught the importance of setting a clear goal and leveraging both personal skills and the talents of others to achieve it.
  • Prioritization: Just as a LEGO enthusiast might prioritize building a cherished set over others, the protagonist emphasizes the importance of health and well-being, echoing the sentiment that foundational well-being is the bedrock upon which all else stands.
  • Core Values: Every intricate LEGO design adheres to certain principles of construction. Similarly, the protagonist’s overarching value resonated with the ethos of a Royal Marine, demonstrating that an unwavering core philosophy is crucial for consistent growth.
  • Navigating Contradictions: In the realm of LEGO, one might occasionally encounter design dilemmas. In life, the protagonist too faced moments where values clashed. Yet, by establishing a value hierarchy and learning from each experience, these contradictions became opportunities for introspection and growth.
  • Documenting the Journey: Just as LEGO builders might document their processes, noting challenges and solutions, the protagonist’s reflective writing became a roadmap for self-understanding, ensuring external actions mirrored internal philosophies.

The Final Piece – Aligning Internal and External Worlds

Completing a LEGO masterpiece brings immense satisfaction, a testament to hours of dedication and patience. As we approach the culmination of our protagonist’s journey, we see a person whose internal and external worlds are in harmonious alignment.

  • Understanding One’s Self: Just as each LEGO piece has its unique place in a set, understanding oneself ensures each decision, action, and interaction fits seamlessly into the mosaic of life.
  • Living by a Schedule: In the LEGO world, methodical building often yields the best results. Similarly, our protagonist emphasizes structured living, with clear demarcations for work, relaxation, and personal growth.
  • Seeking Autonomy and Freedom: Each LEGO builder cherishes the freedom to create, to innovate. This sentiment is mirrored in the protagonist’s pursuit of independence and freedom, vital for expansive growth.
  • Learning from Conflicts: Occasionally, a LEGO design might seem misaligned, prompting revisions. The protagonist’s journey too had its conflicts, but each was a learning curve, guiding future decisions and strategies.
  • Continuous Reflection: The best LEGO builders often revisit their designs, tweaking and optimizing. The protagonist’s continuous introspection, through written reflections, ensured personal growth was always on an upward trajectory.


Building character is akin to creating a LEGO masterpiece. Each piece, each experience, each challenge, and each triumph has its unique place. Our protagonist’s journey, spanning continents, careers, and life stages, is a testament to the power of resilience, adaptability, and unwavering core values. Like any LEGO enthusiast knows, the joy isn’t just in the final structure but in the process of creation.

Reflect on your life as a dynamic LEGO set. What pieces define your foundation? Which ones are you still searching for? Remember, each piece, no matter how small, contributes to your masterpiece. Begin today by documenting your journey, setting clear goals, and surrounding yourself with a community that supports and uplifts your aspirations.

Understanding and Embracing Your Value System: A Guide to Authentic Living

In a world filled with diverse personalities, various opinions, and incessant external influences, navigating through life’s myriad challenges and crossroads can be a daunting endeavor. One of the most profound tools we possess as individuals, often overlooked, is our value system. It’s the compass that guides our choices, influencing not just what we do, but how we feel about it.

What is a Value System?

At its core, a value system comprises the principles, ethics, and moral standards we hold dear. Think of it as your internal GPS, consistently guiding you towards actions and choices that resonate with your soul’s deepest truths. While the world around you fluctuates, these values remain your steadfast companions, helping you make decisions that feel right at a fundamental level.

Why is a Value System Important?

A well-defined value system acts as a beacon, illuminating the path when the way forward is murky. It ensures alignment between your internal beliefs and external actions, leading to harmony, authenticity, and fulfillment.

However, this isn’t just about personal feelings. Living in alignment with your personal values has been proven to act as a buffer against mental health challenges, establishing a firm foundation of resilience and mental strength.

External Values vs. Personal Values

While many of us feel we understand our values, the truth is, external pressures often cloud our perceptions. Family expectations, societal norms, and even the well-meaning advice from friends can influence us into adopting values that don’t truly align with our core beliefs.

The repercussions of living by someone else’s value system, as you might guess, can be detrimental. It’s akin to wearing shoes that look fantastic but don’t fit. Over time, this misalignment can lead to feelings of confusion, burnout, anxiety, and a sense of being perpetually adrift.

Discovering and Embracing Your Personal Values

Navigating through life requires more than just knowledge of your destination. It demands an understanding of who you are, what you stand for, and where you want to go. This realization was a profound turning point in my own life.

My personal value system revolves around health, leadership, sacrifice, and family. While each of these terms may sound commonplace, their meanings and implications for me are deeply personal and unique.

1. Health (Represented by Batman): Health isn’t just about physical well-being but encompasses mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects too. Much like Batman, I value the harmony between mental fortitude and physical endurance. To me, Batman epitomizes the culmination of rigorous training, correct nutrition, and mental strength.

2. Leadership (Represented by Iron Man): Leadership, in my eyes, is not just about leading others but also about guiding oneself. It’s about being the captain of my ship, ensuring I maintain my chosen path, just as Iron Man exhibits leadership of the Avengers through his decisions and actions.

3. Sacrifice (Represented by Black Widow): Life is filled with choices. Every decision, no matter how trivial, involves letting go of other potential paths. Black Widow, with her intricate past and complex decisions, embodies this value for me.

4. Family (Represented by Stitch from Lilo and Stitch): When I speak of family, I don’t refer to blood ties, but the bonds I’ve chosen to form and nurture. Stitch, with his steadfast belief in the Hawaiian term ‘Ohana’ – meaning family, encapsulates this value. Family, as Stitch puts it, means nobody gets left behind.

These values, embodied by characters, serve as personal totems, reminding me of the path I’ve chosen, especially during challenging times. Sometimes, small Lego versions of these characters accompany me, acting as tangible reminders of my commitment to my values. You can follow their journey here if you like!

The Perils of Living Inauthentically: Why Embracing External Values is a Dangerous Game

It’s been said that authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we truly are. However, in today’s era of perpetual comparison, fueled by social media’s relentless churn, living authentically has become more challenging than ever before. The consequences of ignoring our true selves, of sidestepping our genuine values for someone else’s, are dire.

1. Chronic Stress and Burnout: When every action, decision, or thought is filtered through the lens of another person’s expectations or societal norms, it’s akin to perpetually wearing a mask. This constant self-monitoring and adaptation lead to chronic stress. Our minds are in continuous conflict, trying to balance external demands with internal desires, leading to burnout.

2. Mental Health Implications: Living inauthentically has deep-seated psychological ramifications. Symptoms like anxiety, depression, and a pervasive feeling of emptiness become commonplace. It’s as though you’re living someone else’s life, and your own is passing you by – a feeling that can lead to profound sadness and desolation.

3. Reduced Self-worth: Continually sidelining our true selves and values leads to reduced self-esteem and self-worth. Over time, we begin to feel that our authentic selves aren’t “good enough,” and we need to fit into a predefined mold to be accepted or loved.

4. Missed Opportunities: One of the most profound tragedies of living inauthentically is the myriad of missed opportunities. Whether it’s a dream job, a passion left unexplored, or relationships never pursued – living by someone else’s values keeps us from experiencing life’s true potential.

5. Physical Health Repercussions: The mind-body connection is potent. Persistent mental and emotional strife can lead to physical health issues. Sleep disorders, appetite fluctuations, chronic fatigue, type 2 diabetes and weakened immune systems can all result from the internal chaos of an inauthentic life.

6. An Unfulfilled Life: Perhaps the most heart-wrenching consequence is reaching life’s twilight and realizing that you’ve lived according to someone else’s script. The regret, the “what ifs,” and the yearning for a life lost can be overwhelming.

So, how does one ensure they don’t fall into this trap?

Awareness is Key: Recognizing the discrepancy between your actions and feelings is the first step. It’s essential to check in with oneself regularly, reflect, and recalibrate if needed.

Seek Support: If you find yourself spiraling into a life that feels foreign, reach out. Friends, mentors, therapists – there are multiple avenues for support. The crucial aspect is recognizing the need for change and taking proactive steps.

While it’s natural to want approval and to fit into societal norms, it’s essential to remember that each of us has a unique path. Only by embracing our authentic selves, our true values, can we experience the profound joy, contentment, and fulfillment that life offers. Anything less is a mere shadow of the vibrant, rich life we’re meant to live.

Values Over Temporary Gratifications

Life, in all its unpredictability and chaos, often propels us to seek solace in tangible or immediate rewards. When we fail to align with our core values or when we lack a profound sense of purpose, the world around us can appear overwhelming and disorienting. In such moments, it’s not uncommon to turn to temporary measures of fulfillment, seeking an immediate salve for the emptiness or restlessness we feel. Yet, therein lies a dangerous spiral.

Understanding the Appeal of Temporary Gratifications:
Why do we so frequently turn to things like alcohol, drugs, or food during moments of distress or dissatisfaction? At the surface level, they offer a promise – a promise of momentary relief, a fleeting sense of happiness, or an ephemeral escape from the struggles of everyday life. They act as shortcuts to feelings we deeply crave, especially when living in disconnect from our authentic selves.

The Illusion of Fulfillment:
These temporary gratifications are precisely that – temporary. They may offer a brief respite, but they can’t provide the long-lasting satisfaction and contentment that living in harmony with our values can. When the effects of that glass of wine wear off, or the sugar rush from that dessert subsides, the void remains, often more profound than before.

The Long-term Consequences:
Relying on temporary fixes not only fails to address the root cause of our discontent but also introduces a host of new problems. Alcohol, drugs, and even food can lead to addiction. And addiction, in its many forms, has cascading effects on our physical health, mental well-being, relationships, and overall quality of life.

Values: The Beacon of True Fulfillment:
In contrast, when we attune our lives to our core values, the sense of fulfillment derived is lasting and profound. Values act as our inner compass, guiding our decisions, actions, and behaviors. They offer a roadmap to a life lived with purpose and meaning. When challenges arise, as they invariably do, our values provide clarity and direction, preventing us from being swayed by transient temptations.

Living Authentically:
By aligning our actions with our values, we create a life that resonates with authenticity. This congruence breeds a sense of self-worth, confidence, and genuine happiness. It’s an internal state of equilibrium that no external factor can easily disrupt.

While the allure of immediate gratifications can be potent, it’s crucial to recognize them for what they are – fleeting and ultimately unsatisfying. In contrast, a life rooted in our true values is enriched with purpose, depth, and lasting joy. Embracing our values is not just a philosophical ideal; it’s the key to a life of genuine fulfillment.

Embarking on Your Value-driven Journey

Identifying and understanding your personal values can be a transformative experience. It provides clarity, ensuring each step you take is in alignment with your innermost beliefs.

Begin with introspection. Dive deep into your psyche and question the choices you’ve made. Were they truly yours, or influenced by others? Characters and personal avatars, like the ones I have, can be a powerful way to remind yourself of these values daily.

Moreover, it’s essential to remember that our values aren’t set in stone. As we evolve and grow, our values might shift, reflecting our current life stage and experiences. The key is to remain authentic and true to oneself, no matter where life takes us.

In conclusion, embracing and living by your value system isn’t merely a path to personal satisfaction. It’s a journey towards authenticity, purpose, and fulfillment. Your value system is your guiding star, shining brightest when the night is darkest. Embrace it, cherish it, and let it light your way.

Every man and every woman is a star

Aleister Crowley

Rich in Personality: Exploring the Traits of the Wealthy

I subscribe to Chamath Palihapitiya’s Substack What I Read This Week, it’s a weekly dose of a dozen or so interesting links, often related, that he recommends. This week’s newsletter featured a paper published in the British Journal of Psychology titled The rich are different: Unravelling the perceived and self-reported personality profiles of high-net-worth individuals.

I’m fascinated with personal development as my personality used to be abhorrent. Over the decades I’ve become someone I actually like, as well as a high-net-worth individual, so I was curious to see if there was a scientific correlation between who I have become internally and what I have achieved externally.

The study was conducted with two main groups of people, all from Germany: the general population and high-net-worth individuals (people with over €1million in assets). The general population group had 22,981 people, while the high-net-worth group had 130 people.

The researchers analysed surveys conducted by the German government on their citizens to come to their conclusions.

Differences in High-Net-Worth People

The paper infers that there are differences between the personalities of high-net-worth individuals and the general population. Here are the key differences:

  • Emotional Stability: High-net-worth individuals scored significantly higher on emotional stability, which means they are less likely to be neurotic or easily upset.
  • Extraversion: Wealthy individuals are more outgoing and sociable compared to the general population.
  • Openness: High-net-worth individuals are more open to new experiences.
  • Disagreeableness: Interestingly, the wealthy scored lower on agreeableness, which means they tend to be more competitive and challenging rather than cooperative.
  • Conscientiousness: Wealthy individuals are more conscientious, meaning they are organized, responsible, and hardworking.
  • Narcissism: The study found that high-net-worth individuals scored higher on both narcissistic admiration and rivalry. This means they are more likely to admire themselves and compete with others for admiration.
  • Locus of Control: High-net-worth individuals have a more internal locus of control. This means they believe they have control over the events in their lives, rather than attributing events to external factors or luck.

The paper does note that these differences are not absolute and there can be considerable variation within both high-net-worth individuals and the general population. Also, these differences are not solely due to wealth. Factors like gender, age, and education also play a role in shaping personality.

Developing the Personality of a High-Net-Worth Individual

Based on the findings of the paper, here are ten steps that could potentially help you develop personality traits similar to those found in high-net-worth individuals:

  1. Develop Emotional Stability: High-net-worth individuals tend to be more emotionally stable. This means they are less likely to experience negative emotions. Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy can help improve emotional stability.
  2. Cultivate Extraversion: High-net-worth individuals are often more outgoing and assertive. You can work on this by pushing yourself to take part in social activities, speaking up more often, and building your confidence.
  3. Embrace Openness: Being open to new experiences, ideas, and creative thinking is another trait common among high-net-worth individuals. Try to step out of your comfort zone regularly, learn new things, and embrace change.
  4. Work on Disagreeableness: This doesn’t mean becoming unkind or rude, but rather being less concerned with pleasing others and more willing to assert your own needs and interests. This can involve setting boundaries, learning to say no, and standing up for yourself when necessary.
  5. Boost Conscientiousness: High-net-worth individuals are often more organised, reliable, and disciplined. You can work on this by setting goals, creating routines, and developing good work habits.
  6. Cultivate Healthy Narcissism: While narcissism is generally seen as negative, a certain level of self-confidence and ambition can be beneficial. This involves believing in your abilities, striving for success, and not being afraid to stand out or take the lead.
  7. Develop an Internal Locus of Control: This means believing that you have control over your life and outcomes, rather than attributing events to external circumstances. You can cultivate this by taking responsibility for your actions, making active choices, and believing in your ability to influence outcomes.
  8. Embrace Entrepreneurship: Many high-net-worth individuals have gained their wealth through entrepreneurship. If you have a business idea, consider pursuing it. Even if you don’t want to start a business, cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset—being innovative, taking calculated risks, and learning from failures—can be beneficial.
  9. Seek Continuous Learning: High-net-worth individuals often have higher levels of education. This doesn’t necessarily mean getting more degrees, but rather committing to lifelong learning and self-improvement.
  10. Understand and Adapt to Cultural Contexts: The paper suggests that the relationship between personality and wealth may vary by cultural context. Understanding the cultural norms and expectations in your environment can help you adapt your behaviour and strategies accordingly.

These suggestions are based on general trends observed in the paper and your individual results may vary. It’s also important to note that while these traits are associated with high-net-worth individuals, they do not guarantee financial success. Finally, it’s crucial to maintain balance and authenticity, adopting these traits should not come at the expense of your well-being or personal values.

My Approach To Personal Development

I think I started to develop my personality around the age of 25 when I first started therapy, I didn’t really consider what I was doing as personal development, I just thought of it as getting help when needed on things I was having trouble with, I didn’t have a mindful plan of action or approach but looking back in hindsight there was definitely a pattern that helped me become the person I am today.

  1. Therapy: I’ve been in continuous therapy now since roughly 2005, when I was 25, I’ve had different types over the years from counselling, to cognitive-behavioural therapy to more recently working with a Jungian Analyst. This has helped me develop a deep sense of emotional stability whilst learning different tools and techniques to help me get through life as well as being a journey of personal discovery, I’ve learned a lot about what intrinsically drives me than I would have expected.
  2. Acting Lessons: I took acting classes with Rachel Blackman from The Matrix Revolutions and other Hollywood films, which helped me become more expressive, more confident and more extraverted. They also helped me understand body language, to better represent how I was feeling or wanted to feel.
  3. Improve Comedy: I spent a few years doing Improv Comedy courses with The Maydays, initially doing an Improv Skills for Business workshop that lead me to consistently rehearsing and doing stage performances. Like the acting this helped me become more expressive, confident and extraverted but more than that it helped me take risks in a safe environment and realise that it’s ok to make mistakes (in front of a live audience). Having to go out on stage and literally make things up to make people laugh was incredibly challenging but forced me to cultivate extraversion and embrace openness.
  4. Sala Classes: Going to Salsa classes was a game changer. As someone with social anxiety that didn’t like clubbing, it was an opportunity to interact with loads of different people, in a night club setting, during the early evening, completely sober and learn how to dance. This helped with confidence, cultivating extroversion and to embrace openness.
  5. Fire Shows: My most favourite thing ever was joining Poi Passion, learning circus skills and eventually becoming a professional fire performer, performing with other circus companies, festivals and private weddings and birthday parties. This helped me cultivate extroversion, embrace openness, embrace entrepreneurship and develop an internal locus of control.
  6. Social Coaching: With all the socialising I was doing I became a social coaching instructor for PUA Brighton, teaching guys social skills and how to talk to women in day time and evening environments. This helped me cultivate extroversion, embrace openness, embrace entrepreneurship and develop an internal locus of control.
  7. Working Out: Maintaining a schedule of going to the gym, training in martial arts like Muay Thai and BJJ helped boost my conscientiousness, build and maintain routines and was a continuous learning environment. It also helped me feel more confident and better about myself cultivating some healthy narcissism.
  8. Taking Pride In My Appearance: When I first moved to Brighton I was clinically obese and the clothes I wore on a day to day basis probably cost under £3 in total, I looked how I felt about myself. By learning about nutrition and working out I lost a lot of weight. By studying fashion and how clothes could co-ordinate I started to take pride in my appearance which help me feel better externally as well as internally. Clothes don’t need to be expensive, they just need to fit well and co-ordinate. Developing my own sense of style helped cultivate some more healthy narcissism and portray myself to people in a way that was congruent with my internal state.
  9. Owning My Own Businesses: Building, operating and living from my own business endeavours forced me to embrace entrepreneurship, develop an internal locus of control and seek continuous learning. I am now completely responsible for myself and my actions with no excuses. I have learned that there is no such thing as maintenance, we are either growing or dying and only I am responsible for my future.
  10. Antinomianism: Leaving the UK has let me remove all outside influences so that I can discover who I am inside with out letting the environment shape me. This has led to all 10 of the personality traits of the high net worth individual, including letting me work on disagreeableness. As everyone in my life is new it is really easy to set healthy boundaries and not do things I do not want to do, such as drugs or alcohol. I am constantly saying no all the time to things that will sway me from my path and this is helping create an unwavering core strength that I was lacking before.

I didn’t mindfully plan these actions, but I did see gaps in myself that all these little things helped. Since the pandemic I have been out of habit with a lot of these things but now have a greater awareness of things in my life that I feel are lacking and can be improved.

Chicken and the Egg

Reading this paper and looking at these personality traits, I have to ask the question, which came first, the personality trait or the wealth? But looking at myself and the last 15 years of my life I think the answer for me is they both developed alongside each other, once I made the decision to work on myself, but at different rates at different times.

Why I Bought A Rolex Starbucks

Last year I bought a brand new, Rolex Starbucks.

i dont know if you guys have seen the meme of all the gurus saying everyone in america would make it if they just stopped buying starbucks coffee?

Moguls like Kevin O’Leary can be very judgemental about people’s coffee habits.

Medical schools are advising students to save money by not buying Starbucks.

TikTok is full of financial advisors.

Drinking a coffee a day in starbucks made me very successful.

Every day, for several years, I would wake up, get dressed and immediately go straight to Starbucks, order an ice grande americano, then read for an hour before heading to the gym. I did this in every country I lived in, Thailand, Spain, China, Japan and Vietnam, religiously.

I read all the books. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, The Lean Startup, Bold, Abundance, 4-Hour Workweek, Zero To One, Exponential Organisations, all of them… for years, whilst sitting in Starbucks drinking my ice grande americano.

The books i read then lead me to build my first SaaS business.

That SaaS business got investment from a company in China.

I coded, operated, built a team and marketed that SaaS whilst drinking coffee in Starbucks.

When China acquired the rest of the business, I flew to China with a dozen Westerners and spent 3 months in Shenzhen doing a handover, before I completely exited.

The Chinese offices were brand new and didnt have workable Internet, which made managing a Saas business with a remote team very difficult.

So I moved the team to Starbucks and we worked out of there delivering the handover until the acquisition finished.

Paying $3.50 every day for a starbucks for 4 years netted me an experience and a return more than any other job or investment until that point because I used my time wisely.

Every day I invested in myself, acquiring knowledge and upskilling, to expand my mind and create interesting problems that I then would have to solve.

Paying $3 every day for a Starbucks can make you rich.

Last year I sold another asset that I had built after my SaaS exit, using time I spent in Starbucks reading books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad that discusses the difference between assets and liabilities.

I also learned that the new, green Rolex Submariner model had been nicknamed the Starbucks.

I bought myself my first Rolex, the Starbucks as a talisman to remind myself that how you spend your time is way more important than how you spend your money.

Most people’s problems are due to needing a higher income, not less coffee. The best way to generate a higher income is to self study outside of work and school as neither of those places will genuinely teach you how the world works.

Gratitude 2022

When I journal I always fill out a gratitude template of 6 things I’m grateful for but reading Tynan’s recent gratitude blog post has inspired me to follow in his foot steps and write my own yearly gratitude post. I want to develop as a writer and content creator for personal development and to help better understand my own thoughts so hopefully I will see you this time next year as well!

I’m really grateful for having a stable home. I tried hard to make Madrid work but after a painful breakup followed by the lockdown in 2020 it didn’t feel like a home any more. After re-learning to drive and spending 6 months living out of my car whilst travelling Spain, eventually I moved to Valencia and got a long term rental. I’ve been in Valencia for just over a year now and my flat is the longest place I’ve been able to call home since leaving England in 2014.

There’s art on the walls, rugs on the floor, books on the shelves, blankets on the sofa and Lego tucked away in different places. I’m writing this from Morocco and when I get home, everything will be as I have left it and I even describe it as a ‘home’ as opposed to ‘where I am staying’. My car is even parked in the car park!

I don’t really have much family so I am extremely grateful for the friends I’ve made and kept. I’ve been described by others as an introvert, which I’d agree with. Making, and keeping, genuine connections is extremely important to me but it is incredibly challenging to maintain those relationships with all the travelling that I have done over the years. I consider myself lucky to still be in contact with great friends in England, Norway, Thailand and Vietnam!

I’ve been in Valencia for just over a year now and have a fantastic circle of friends who, like me, travelled there at the tail end of the Covid pandemic to make a new home. Together we’ve had boardgame nights, barbecues, travelled all around Spain and to other countries like Morocco, we’ve even invested in each other’s businesses. Last year my birthday party was described by many as the best party they’ve ever been to, in part thanks to one of my new friends, Kenn, offering to DJ it. Two more friends got married last month and other’s are talking marriage and babies. These guys have helped me get over the lonliness of the pandemic, being hospitalised with pneumonia since getting Covid, several breakups and an irrational fear of public transport thanks to the media. I am truely blessed.

With the world opening back up I’m really grateful to be able to travel again. Driving around Spain was fun but being able to fly is even more fun. The original plan when moving to Spain was to visit more of Europe, which is back on the cards, but I’ve also discovered how accessible Morocco is! There’s a metro stop right outside my flat and it only costs €1 to get to the airport. Flights from Valencia, Spain to Agadir, Morocco are as low as €8, so for €18 it’s possible to get to Morocco and back again!

Since getting diabetes I’ve been forced to make a lot of decisions which are good in the long term but hard in the short term. I’m extremely grateful for those decisions and my health. I’m on insulin therapy now but my recent bloodwork show me to be in good health and blood glucose testing kits and insulin so far have been available easily. I have both feet, I’m able to see with out glasses and everything still works.

My business endeavours and teams have grown year on year. When I left the UK on 1st September, 2014, the original plan was simply to go to Thailand to get my health back and create a clean slate to relaunch my life from, before traveling to Poland to train with the European Security Academy and become a private military contractor. Deposits were paid, background checks were completed and I was due to start training 1st June 2015, before getting diagnosed with diabetes and having to cancel the courses on 11th May 2015.

Since then I pivoted and focused more on business, leadership, teams and marketing and in that time have been able to scale multiple businesses, have a successful acquisition and more recently invest in other people’s businesses, ideas and artwork, whilst still being able to live and work remotely. I am able to live the kind of life people dream about and write about and am incredibly grateful for that.

It might sound silly, but I’m grateful I started this blog. Originally the blog was just a fun coding exercise with a CRM I’d built for a job board. I wrote my own ORM before I knew what an ORM was and an MVC that used XML and XSLT to generate HTML, before APIs and SPAs were a thing back in 2002. The first post was 5th January, 2008, when I launched the code base as a blog to simply document my notes from work.

Since then I’ve migrated to WordPress and published 237 posts, of various quality, which have allowed me to reflect on my journey. Yesterday I found this old post from February 2013 where I dissed Pat Flynn (sorry Pat) and made the proud proclamation that I’d made £0.33. You’ve got to start somewhere and it’s quite humbling looking back and seeing some of the steps that lead me to where I am now.

Lastly, I’m extremely grateful to you guys, my readers. I know a lot of you come here to learn about changing the DRAC password on Dell hardware or how to create an NPM repository mirror, and I’m glad I’m able to help you solve the same problems I encountered during my IT career. Hopefully my writings might also help other disillusioned system administrators or software developers find a way out, if you need or want one, to a healthier way of life. After all, shift work is associated with higher rates of diabetes.

The featured photo is from the surf camp in Morocco I’m currently staying at. Being able to visit here, get surf lessons, warmth and sunshine is incredibly valuable for my mental health, and it’s hard to not be grateful whilst writing this with this view.

Discovering The South Of Morocco

Spain’s starting to get cold and is losing it’s sunshine, also I want to get back to a never ending summer, so I decided to spend a month in Morocco to learn more about this beautiful country.

Surfing in Tamraght

Taghazout is the most famous surfing destination in Morocco, but it’s tiny, lost it’s hippy vibe and has more scammers than soul nowadays. Further down the coast is another town called Tamraght with more surf and yoga camps as well as proximity to the same beaches. I have stayed in a few places and recommend Maroc Surf Camp for basic accomodation, yoga and surf lessons or the Riu Palace if you want more of a luxury resort vibe. The Maroc Surf Camp guys were happy to collect me from the Riu and take me out for surf lessons when I was staying there.

South Morocco Discovery With Intrepid Travel

I wanted to learn more about Morocco so booked the South Morocco Discovery tour with Intrepid Travel. If you decide to do this tour there are a few things of importance to note. Bring a water bottle with you, the tour guide provides fresh water along the route and having a water bottle makes it easy to refill. On a few nights you will be limited to a small over night bag, i.e. when you are in the Atlas mountains and camping in the Sahara, the rest of your luggage will be stored securely. Trainers were fine for the hiking.


I left for Marrakech a few days early as I knew there were some things I wanted to see that weren’t part of the official tour, namely the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. There are long queues at the door so it’s best to book your tickets online 24 hours in advance to skip the queues entirely! I recommend getting the combined ticket that lets you in to both the museum and the Jardin Majorelle, which is absolutely beautiful.


We left Marrakesh early in the morning and headed out to a small town in the Atlas mountains called Aroumd, where we got to start our adventure. After being dropped off by the mini van, we left our main luggage in a hotel and started a small, 1 hour, 3.5km hike up to the guest house we were staying in.

Upon arriving at the guest house, we were welcomed with traditional mint tea and lunch, followed by another hike of just under 4 hours, there and back again, to a shrine in one of the peaks. Whilst the guest house was cold, there were plenty of blankets and more importantly plenty of hot water in the morning, but I did get up first!

Ait Benhaddou

The next morning we hiked back down the mountain to the hotel we left our luggage in and boarded the minivan for the drive to Ait Benhaddou. The small town of Ait Benhaddou was built around 1,000 years ago and was an important point along a caravan route. Now it’s slowly being restored whilst being a tourist destination and featuring in films and TV shows like Time Bandits, The Jewel Of The Nile, The Living Daylights, The Mummy, Gladiator and Game of Thrones!

Ouarzazate – Zagora

In the morning we headed out to Ouarzazate and the Atlas Studios, Morocco’s version of Hollywood! Here they filmed Cleopatra, Black Hawk Down, Prison Break, Game of Thrones and more.

We did a tour of the Atlas Studios were we visited sets from Cleopatra and Gladiator and saw stunt cars, buses, trucks and planes from Black Hawk Down, Prison Break and Jewel Of The Nile.

Tamegroute – Erg Chigaga

Leaving the hotel we headed to the Erg Chigaga dunes for a night camping under the stars in the Sahara. On the way we stopped at the town of Tamegroute where we got to visit the local library and the underground Kasbah, before continuing on to the dunes, a camel ride and a camp fire!

One of the things I didn’t expect was just how amazing the stars are in the desert, that far away from light pollution!

Oulad Berhil

The next day was an 8 hour drive to Oulad Berhil by minivan. We were up early and driving so we could catch the sunrise from the sand dunes on the way back to civilisation! We stayed the night at the market town of Oulad Berhil.

Taroudant – Essaouira

We headed to the windy city, Essaouira, also featured in Game of Thrones where we would stay for 2 nights. Essaouira is a really cool city, it’s got a bit of a hippy vibe, a beautiful beach, lots of shops and is popular for kite surfing. In the morning we did a tour from a local guide, then the rest of the day was for ourselves, mostly walking, shopping, eating and visiting hammams and getting henna done!


Eventually back to Marrakech! The trip back from Essaouira to Marrakech took about 4 hours but then due to Morocco winning a world cup game took an extra hour whilst inside the city to get to the bus stop. Because the roads were locked up we then just walked back to the same hotel we started off at, not really a big deal.

This was our last night together as part of the tour, in the morning I took a taxi back to Tamraght for another week of surfing to book end the entire trip!

Travelling With Insulin Around Morocco

This was the first time I’ve travelled internationally since going on to insulin therapy for my diabetes so I was a bit apprehensive as I wasn’t sure how it would be received or whether I would be able to keep my insulin refridgerated.

The Maroc Surf Camp was really awesome, they let me store my insulin in the camp fridge and I also stored cool packs in the freezer. Whenever we went to the beach I would just bring my insulin in a cool box with the cool packs, really easy!

The Intrepid Travel tour were also really accommodating. Our guide, Mohammed, would help me at every destination talk to the staff of the hotel or guesthouse to get my insulin in a fridge and my cool packs in a freezer. The one day in the sahara that we did not have a fridge, a big ice box and a lot of cool packs were bought to last the 48 hours. It was also pretty cold at night anyway so would probably have been fine.

This trip has gotten me back to travelling again!

Financial Responsibility

I’m a massive advocate of personal responsibility and accountability, in all things, especially when it comes to health and finances. But I didn’t always use to be this way.

After graduating with 2 degrees I didn’t want to do and entering the job market out of necessity rather than choice, I ended up keeping up with the Joneses whilst drowning my misery in distractions. This lead to me maxing out my credit cards, and taking consolidation loans, multiple times whilst also permanently living out of my overdraft.

Eventually, I’d amassed a debt of roughly £14,000 across my credit cards, my overdraft and loans, and was paying off around £400pm just on the interest.

Taking Financial Responsibility

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

Peter Ducker

In 2009 I started using a personal trainer at the gym and we were tracking all of my macros in my diet as well as the exercises and weights I was doing at the gym, I was losing weight and feeling great. Measuring and tracking had created an environment of accountability and responsibility towards my health, so I wondered what would happen if I started doing a similar thing for my finances.

Using the free Google Spreadsheet tool I created a finance tracking system where I accounted for all my income, all my outgoings, and all my debt repayments and by October 2010, after having crushing debt hanging over my head for nearly 9 years, I paid off all £14,000 in debt and became debt-free for the first time in my adult life. It was an amazing feeling. The original spreadsheet from 2010 is attached below!


After the success of paying off all my debts, I had discovered newfound freedom. Before things like saving for a mortgage or pension seemed out of my reach and genuinely impossible, but now I had created a method of being accountable and responsible for my finances. After clearing all my debts, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was forced to move from the shared apartment I was living in and opted for a more expensive 1 bedroom apartment all for myself for the first time in my life. This caused my outgoings to increase, but also my ambition. I wanted to learn how to drive as well as save money. In much the same way I created the Debt Management spreadsheet in 2010, I created a Savings Management spreadsheet in 2012 to track my savings and stay out of debt. Below is the real spreadsheet I used from 2012 to track all my incomes, my outgoings, and ultimately my savings. I managed to grow my savings from £752 to £5,060 from March 2012 to December 2012, by being accountable, responsible, and mindful about my finances. Not only did I spend the entire year out of debt, for the first time in my life I had savings!

Saving To Leave The UK

Part of the reason I was wanting to save in 2012, and learn how to drive, was because I wanted to do the Mongol Rally whilst also build my own business. In 2013 I had started to make a small amount of money through my own work but decided to take a huge risk and start hiring contractors on ODesk (what is now called Upwork) which I used my credit card to pay for. So in February 2013 my Savings Management became once again Debt Management, only with a big difference. Multiple streams of income! 🚀 I applied exactly the same accountability and responsibility processes to create a new spreadsheet that tracked my outgoings, my income, get all my debts paid off and start saving again. Using this system my net worth went from -£4,588 to £16,499 from February 2013 to December 2013! This foundation of wealth was eventually the safety net that allowed me to quit my job, move to Thailand and start operating my own businesses full time, rather than working for other people! My original 2013 Debt Management spreadsheet is below.

Statement Of Wealth

Now my life is very different, and I’ve had a complete reframe. Rather than have multiple spreadsheets for debt management or savings management, I have a single spreadsheet as a Statement Of Wealth. I have wealth in a few different places and it needs to be tracked differently. This new spreadsheet is less of a micromanaged budget and more of a wealth tracker. Below is an example of my statement of wealth. Whilst all the previous data was 100% genuine, you do not need to concern yourselves with my current financial situation 😝

The Secret

The philosophy behind my financial management spreadsheets and ultimately my statement of wealth are personal to me but hopefully will also work for you.

No One Cares About You As Much As You Do

In order to spend less I’d have to opt out of things. I’d go out on Fridays for 1-2 drinks then leave to be home by 10pm. This helped me stick to my budget but also my health and lifesyle choices as I was regularly training and eating healthily at the time. Whilst my friends would always complain that I was leaving early or encourage me to stay for just one more, there were never any negative repercussions once I’d pushed through the enevitable peer pressure.

Track Everything

I was tracking the food I ate, for my macros, this meant I had a predictable meal plan and food budget. All my bills were also largely predictable so it was easy to work out what my fixed costs were to sustain myself, i.e. rent, utilities, internet, food. After that anything extra could be allotted for either fun, debt repayment or savings. Once you have an idea of how much extra money you really have, you will find it can go a really long way.


I do all my monthly accountability on the 1st of each month, including setting up my journal for the month ahead and my Statement Of Wealth. This commitment to myself means that the work always gets done and tracked. You are the most important person in your life, you need to put yourself first in order to help others and you need to make time for yourself in order to maintain accountability, responsibility, strong boundaries and self-respect.

Multiple Bank Accounts

Most people have just one bank account, everything goes in to it and everything comes out of it. This makes it quite difficult to properly budget. I recommend opening multiple bank accounts. I really had 3.

Income Account

Your Income Account is the account where all your income is received and utility bills and debts are paid out from.

Living Account

Each month (or every two weeks for Americans) whenever you are paid, transfer an allotted amount of money into your Living Account. Your Living Account is the account you use to pay for your food and fun, using the money you have budgeted for such activities. Ideally, your Living Account will not have an overdraft or any facilities to get you back into debt. This is the only card you should carry with you. Leave the rest at home.

Savings Account

Once your rent, your bills, and your debt repayments have left your Income Account and your budget has been transferred to your Living Account, anything left in your Income Account should be moved to your Savings Account, leaving a balance of around £20 in your Income Account so that you make sure you do not go overdrawn.

Find New Ways To Have Fun

I would usually go out drinking or clubbing on a Friday or Saturday. It was a way to be social, meet girls and let some steam off. It would also be very expensive, bad for my health and that lifestyle wasn’t conducive to creating high-quality relationships. Instead of paying £40-100 on drinking and clubbing on a weekend, one of the clubs offered salsa lessons every Tuesday from 7-9 pm for about £6. This meant I could go out, dance with girls, and socialise for a fixed cost and make much better connections. Also, I would feel great at work the next day.

Instead of buying new computer games each month for £40 for my PS3, I would buy second-hand ones at CEX for £7 then once I completed them I would return them in part exchange for the next game. By sticking to a spending limit of £10 per game I was able to play 1-2 new games a month for about £5 a month due to the part exchange cycle!

Read. Libraries let you rent books for free and nowadays Amazon Prime lets you read books for a fixed monthly cost on the Kindle as well. Reading is mindful, relaxing and you get to learn a lot, expanding your skillset, your worldview, and your conscious outlook on life.

Living a healthy lifestyle can also be incredibly cheap and help keep you accountable. I used to go to the gym each morning, then skate to work, do meal planning and meal prep on weekends and spend evenings and afternoons in the park juggling with my circus friends. All of that was incredibly social, helped keep me in shape and would let me develop in new ways.

Using Google Sheets


You can enter all the data and calculations by hand into Google Sheets but it’s easier if you learn how formulas work so the spreadsheet can handle all the calculations for you. The formula in a spreadsheet all start with an = sign.

Referring to a cell in the same sheet

All cells have an ID which is a combination of column (alphabet) and Row (numerals). A cell of ID B4 would be the second column along the top, B, then 4 rows down from the top. If you wanted to refer to this column in another cell you could do with by specifying =B4.

Simple Maths

You can do very simple maths simply by creating an equation using cell identifiers e.g. =B4+C4

Referring To A Cell In A Different Sheet

A Google Sheets spreadsheet can have multiple sheets in it, the tabs along the very bottom of the spreadsheet. In my example Statement Of Wealth, I have a summary sheet at the front which pulls in data from all the other sheets. You can do this simply by specifying the sheet identifier before the column and using an ! as a separator. e.g. =Crypto!B2 will pull data from cell B2 of the Crypto sheet.

Currency Conversion

If you want to convert one currency to another you can use multiply the column in question using the GOOGLEFINANCE function e.g. if cell B4 contains USD and you want to convert it into Euro you can use the following formula =B4*GOOGLEFINANCE(“CURRENCY:USDEUR”)

Statement Of Wealth Template

I have got an empty Statement Of Wealth template with some equations and formulas already in it that you can use as a basis for your own spreadsheet or you can look at the example again from earlier.

Start Today

You might be tempted not to do this, or to do it when you next get paid. For all things involving the self there is no time like the present. You fell upon this page for a reason.

Recommended Reading

HodlBot Review

HodlBot is a self managed crypto index fund. Essentially it maintains a portfolio for you that tracks the top performing crypto projects based on your requirements.

In November 2020 I deposited $250 into a crypto exchange and configured HodlBot to manage it using a HODL 10 Index strategy and in the 4 months since the portfolio has grown to a value of $1,013.11.

HodlBot supports 4 different index strategies HODL 10/20/30 where it rebalances your portfolio to the top 10/20/30 crypto projects as well as the Coinbase Index where it rebalances solely across the top projects available on Coinbase.

You can also create your own rebalancing strategy, blacklist specific projects you do not want to be a part of and define how often you want your portfolio to be rebalanced. I’ve left it at the default setting of once a month.

Each month HodlBot will rebalance my portfolio to the 10 top performing projects across the top of the market. As a comparison

ProjectPrice 2020/11/14Price 2021/02/12Growth

Looking at the above chart, HodlBot has outperformed simply holding either Ethereum or Bitcoin. We are in a bull market and everything is trending up and this is one of many strategies available. I’m curious to see how the portfolio behaves if it’s left during a bear market.

EthicHub Investment Platform

What Is EthicHub?

EthicHub was formed in 2017 and is a crowdsourced lending platform, offering approximately 15% APR on investments of as little as €20.

EthicHub, for now, is focusing on the coffee growing communities near the city of Tapachula in the Chiapas state of Mexico.

Chiapas Mexican Coffee

Chiapas coffee is some of the best coffee in the world and probably the best coffee to come out of Mexico. The coffee bean planted in Chiapas originally comes from Guatemala but was planted in Chiapas due to the unique climate. The combination of high altitude, warmth, humidity, rain and volcanic soil have created perfect conditions for coffee to grow in, allowing for healthy harvests.

The Chiapas coffee is famous for its aroma, intensity and body, so much so that Starbucks actually offer a whole bean Mexico Chiapas Reserve that they describe as crisp and nutty with flavours of hazelnut and milk chocolate.

The Chiapas region also carries a fine tradition of artisanal harvesting techniques, harvesting the coffee manually and only selecting the best coffee grains that have reached full maturity.

From the FAO site, coffee production in Mexico has been on the decline since 2009. In 2009 In 2018 over 629,799 hectares of green coffee was harvested, producing 158,325 tonnes of coffee.

2009Area Harvestedha765697
2018Area Harvestedha629799
Values from for coffee farmed in Mexico 2009 & 2018

Looking at the data from coffee production is down by 40% from 2009 to 2018.

Presumably, EthicHub seeks to change that by crowdsourcing investment for different coffee growing regions across different parts of the coffee growing process.

Crowdsourced Financing

EthicHub is helping the communities of Chiapas, Mexico crowdsource financing to cover expenses for the following:

  • Fertilising
  • Coffee Harvesting
  • Weed Control
  • Exportation of Coffee
  • Insurance
  • etc

Using the coffee itself as collateral for the crowdsourced loan, which will be paid back upon sale of the coffee!

Whilst the interest rate on the loan is high, 15% APR, the local farmers will actually receive more than if they just sold on the local market to a broker as EthicHub aren’t just raising money for the farmers, they’re helping with exports and sales of the finished coffee too! This profit-sharing allows the communities to receive 50% of the export margin on top of the market rates they would have gotten initially, whilst allowing investors to get a healthy return.

Investment At Risk

EthicHub has achieved 100% success in the repayment of all financed projects since they launched in 2018, financing over 60 agricultural projects and fully repaying 40 of them since their recent press release.

Investment involves risk. As a general rule, you should only trade in financial products that you are familiar with and understand the risk associated with them. The risk warning described in each financial product below is not exhaustive, you should carefully consider your investment experience, financial situation, investment objective, risk tolerance level and consult your independent financial adviser as to the suitability of your situation prior making any investment.

The main reason I’ve written this review is to do some additional due diligence on my own investments because I have currently invested over €2,000 in EthicHub projects.

My Personal Investments

Since June 2020 I’ve tried to invest €100 in every EthicHub project that has appeared on the marketplace

It is too early for any of them to have generated a return yet, the first repayment date is January 15, 2021 so I will update this review as the project commences. My intention is to keep compounding investments in to the project as I believe in what they are doing and am passionate myself about coffee and crypto.

EthicHub Coffee For Sale

If you’re interested in trying the coffee out, it is also for sale from the EthicHub Shop in quantities from 250g to 1kg.

Update February 2021

7 months after my first investment in June 2020, some of the projects I’d invested in started to yield a return, as posted in the above image.

Whilst some of the returns are small, most are all over 5% with a high of 13% and that’s only after 90 to 224 days. Project 97 was actually invested in during June 2020 so a 13% return, in less than a year, is pretty good.

The returns were in crypto, xDAI specifically as it has lower transaction fees than traditional DAI, and pegged to the US Dollar but I immediately reinvested them back in to some new projects.

Actually getting the returns has given me a lot more faith and confidence in the project and I’m going to keep reinvesting as payouts occur, updating this review as I go along.

Affiliate Disclaimer

Anyone investing an amount of €100 or more in a single EthicHub project through one of my links will gain a 5 DAI or $5 USD bonus for themselves and for myself.

Boosting Remote Team Morale During The Coronavirus Pandemic

At the best of times, running a remote team is hard. At the moment the world is battling the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, more and more workers are working from home instead of going to an office. People are in quarantine, unable to go outside and socialise. A lot of what was working before now isn’t, and people are having to change.

I live by myself and work with a remote team of 40 people throughout Europe and Asia, with time zones from the UK to Japan. I have not spoken to anyone in person or been outside, for 2 weeks other than to put the rubbish out.

This is what we did today to boost our team morale during this period of quarantine.

Playing Games Over Screenshare

We’ve had regular weekly meetings using Google Hangouts for the past 2 years. During this pandemic I’ve seen communities come together and use alternatives such as Zoom for the same purpose, to connect remote people together, there are many options

Today at work we played a game, using Google Hangouts that was screen shared from my desktop. The team used their mobile phones as controllers.

That game was JackBox Party Pack 3, is available on Steam for £18.99 and is cross-platform, Windows, Mac and Linux.

As of writing, there are 7 JackBox Party Pack games available on Steam. Each game comes with 5-6 mini-games where you can make guesses, answer questions, draw pictures and come up with funny one-liners! They are all good fun but my favourite game for a professional remote team is Guesspionage from JackBox TV 3 because it will not put the team in an uncomfortable position!

When you start a game on the computer it will generate a unique room code for you. You then visit on your mobile phone and fill in your name and the room code, bringing you into the game.

We also played with my friends, which is what gave me the idea to bring fun to the office!

Rave Reviews

As you can see from the above screenshot, the team loved it and want to play again! We will probably do this every Friday from now on, even when the quarantine is over!

Steps To Play JackBox Party Pack With Your Remote Team

  1. Buy and install JackBox Party Pack (3) from Steam
  2. Start JackBox Party Pack (3) on your computer
  3. Click “Start” in JackBox Party Pack (3)
  4. Go to “Settings” and turn “Full-Screen Mode” to “Off”. Jack Box Party Pack (3) will now run in a window.
  5. Create a conference or meeting using your tool of choice, Zoom, Google Hangouts, whatever!
  6. Invite all your team, friends or family to the conference/meeting. Jack Box Party Pack can support up to 8 players at the same time!
  7. Turn your speakers up so your computer microphone can pick up the sound of the game, this is one time when you do not want to be using headphones for audio!
  8. Present or Share the JackBox Party Pack screen to your conference!
  9. Start a game!
  10. Get everyone to visit on their mobile phones and enter their name and room code!
  11. Play and have fun!