Fighting time and looking forward

Over the last month, I’ve come to realize that maintaining this blog is going to take a LOT of work. If I compare the free time I have available in a given week to the time it takes to write just one entry, it’s obvious that it will be almost impossible to keep posting on a weekly basis. Right now, I’m writing this from the passenger’s seat of my colleague’s car while carpooling to work.

Another reason why it’s been more than a month since I’ve last posted is that my next subject has proven quite elusive. This post is intended to break the deadlock. Right now, I’m just going to outline the general idea of my next few posts and nothing more. I hope that this will bring some clarity to my thinking and clear a path forward.

The Universal Income Theory

More than a month ago, I came up with an idea for three blog posts. The first would be about risk management, that’s the one I’ve already posted. The second would explain the concept of Net Present Value (NPV). NPV is a calculation method that accounts for the fact that receiving $100 ten years from now is worth less than getting $100 today. In the third post, I wanted to bring these two concepts together to compare some income-generating models like investing in real estate or starting your own business.

As I was exploring this concept, additional topics and insights kept popping up and eventually, I uncovered a much more ambitious project. Privately, I’ve been calling it my Universal Income Theory. It sounds a bit pretentious, but what the hell, I’ll use it in public too. I’d like to explore this idea in a series of articles, comparing the three main ways of generating income: starting your own business, getting paid by the hour, and passive income. I even have a few titles ready (titles are easy):

  • Selling Your Life By The Hour
  • The Myth Of Passive Income
  • The Entrepreneurial Sacrifice


I would like to compare these strategies, using risk management to account for the possibility of heavy losses, using NPV for discounting profits that are gained far into the future, and using hourly rate as the bottom line criterium for deciding which strategy is the best use of your time. In addition, I also want to relate this to the classic dichotomies of active vs passive and scalable vs non-scalable income. Overly ambitious? Yeah, probably.

Writing this series will hopefully help me to figure out some of this stuff for myself. I certainly don’t have all the answers right now, so I hope that as I write about my Universal Income Theory, it will reveal itself to me. Over the last year, I’ve been struggling with the idea of selling my life by the hour, I’ve been feeling more and more compelled to entrepreneurship, and I’ve explored ways to generate passive income. So far, I’ve been unsuccessful in resolving this conflict, so maybe it’s time to face my demons head-on (and in public).


There’s also another series of articles I’ve been thinking about: a Heuristics series. From Wikipedia:

Heuristic ( /hjʉˈrɪstɨk/; or /hyoo-ris-tik/; Greek: “Εὑρίσκω”, “find” or “discover”) refers to experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovery. Where an exhaustive search is impractical, heuristic methods are used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution. Examples of this method include using a rule of thumb, an educated guess, an intuitive judgment, or common sense.

Right now, I’m thinking about three “Heuristics”-posts (again, titles are easy):

  • The Simplicity Reflex
  • My Intuition Challenge
  • Stay Cool! (Like Fonzie)


Finally, I’d like to write a negotiation primer. I’ve discovered that by practicing my negotiation skills in rather modest ways, I’ve still managed to gain a bit of useful experience that I’d like to share. Especially because we Belgians are by nature very timid and awkward about negotiating, so I think huge improvements can be made with little effort.

So as you can see, I have no shortage of inspiration or motivation, only a shortage of time. But I am dedicated to keep this thing going, at least until it proves utterly impossible to keep up, or until I have no readers left.

Whatever happens to this blog, I’m glad that I followed my urge to start it. It’s already delivered its first major insight, that

Writing is not only registering, it’s also processing.

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2 Responses to Fighting time and looking forward

  1. Jan Straetemans says:

    Great to find this new post.
    Looking forward to the new entries. Looks like this is going to be a very interesting thread of posts. Keep up the good work!

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