A Brave New Year!

A Brave New Year!

2012 wasn’t an easy year for me, because of my divorce. But it’s typically in those times, when many things you believed in have been put upside down, that you re-think what you want to do in life.

Times like that bring the ideal opportunity to change things even further and finally start doing those things I always dreamed of.

So, I started 2013 with renewed energy and I have set some challenging goals:

  • Sports: do sports at least 2 times per week, preferable 3 times.

    Also learn front crawl swimming because I can only do breaststroke now. I’m already following swimming classes every Saturday since early January.

    Doing sports is very important to me, because I have to sit behind the computer all day to do my work, so I really need the body movement. And I believe that “Fitness can Help Through any Transition in Your Life“. An interesting article, btw.

  • Music: spend more time on my favorite hobby. This means listening to music, finding new and interesting new bands, enjoy some dj-ing at home and attend concerts and festivals.
    Of course this is not a big challenge for me, as it is my favorite hobby, but I neglected this hobby too much in the last year because I was too preoccupied with other things.
  • Social: spend more time with real friends and invest more in those relationships. I’m aware that I also neglected this during my marriage and divorce, but this will definitely change!
  • Business: start my own business. This is happening already and I’m all excited about it!

    This is the reason why I’m posting this only now and not in begin of January, because obviously I didn’t want my boss to find out yet. But meanwhile I have quit my job and I’m busy now starting up my own consulting company.

    I’m already assigned for 6 months on a first project, so things are looking bright. 🙂

My summer challenge

My summer challenge

Since I traveled to Thailand and Indonesia last December the location independent dream never left my mind. I have been reading a lot of blogs about internet business and listened to every episode of some very very interesting podcasts.

Then 2 weeks ago my wife and me went on holiday to beautiful Mallorca and I decided to not take a laptop and have an internet-less holiday. But I brought a hardcover edition of The 4 Hour Workweek and I read one third of it during this 8 days holiday.

I discovered that the book is far more interesting then I expected. I still don’t believe it is possible to work only 4 hours per week and make a living out of that, but the book is full of ideas on how to be more productive and stay focused on what really matters.

In my job I have no problem to stay focused, because there is a structure and a boss that I gave a commitment to. If I have that structure in place, then there’s no problem for me to deliver. But I have to stop procrastinating and learn to deliver too if there is no one actually waiting for it.

And then I read about Sebastian Marshall’s productivity run and I decided to have my own challenge for this summer.

I defined my goals for the next 2 months and the challenge is to stay focused to achieve those goals. The goals are not hard to achieve if I can keep focused.

This is the end of dreaming and the start of actually getting things done!

[fancy_header]The Challenge[/fancy_header]

These are the actual goals I have set:


  • Stay fit: I commit myself to do sports 3 times per week, of which at least 1 time swimming and 1 time gym. The 3rd time can be either swimming, gym or jogging. I was already doing 2 times sport per week before my holiday, so I guess it won’t be too difficult to achieve.
  • Reduce information consumption: this is an idea from The 4 Hour Workweek that should help me to stay focused. I plan to use the rescue time tool to monitor how much time I spend on social networks and information sites that are not useful to achieve my goals. This time should be reduced by at least 50% by the end of August.
  • Launch a niche authority website by the end of August. I already defined the subject, registered the domain name and installed WordPress. As I plan it to be an authority website I will have to write a lot of quality articles on the subject.
  • Continue to improve my personal website = www.wouter.net: revamp the about page, do some linkbuilding, write more quality blogposts, etc.
  • Write a blogpost every week (probably in the weekend) about how I’m doing with my goals.


And now it’s time to stop working for today and watch the second half of the European Football Championship’s final. 😉

My Entrepreneurial DNA

My Entrepreneurial DNA

In DC, the private network for online entrepreneurs that I recently joined, someone mentioned BOSIdna, a tool to test your entrepeneurial dna.

Since I’m wondering if I could be an entrepeneur, I decided to take the test. The result is quite remarkable because it is spot on! It is pinpointing the exact reasons why I’m hesitating endlessly to start my own business, even if I always wanted to start a business.

According to BOSIdna I am an Opportunist Innovator:

Click on the image to see a bigger version.

It seems clear that I will need a good partner if I ever want to become an entrepreneur. I was already aware of that, but it’s good to see it confirmed once again.

So, I guess I will never be the guy in the ferrari. 😉

Dreaming about location independence

Dreaming about location independence

Everyone who knows me, knows that I have been travelling a lot since I became 30. In those 6 years I have made an intercontinental trip at least once per year. And after every trip the feeling gets stronger that I want to travel even more. I try to make every trip as long as possible, but I only have 5 weeks of paid holiday per year and from time to time I need smaller breaks from work as well. This means that the longest trip so far was only 3,5 weeks and it will be hard to make a longer trip.

Working on the beach

But this travel virus has really bitten me hard, so I started dreaming about a life in which I can go wherever I want, all around the world and still continue to do my job. I work as a webdeveloper, which is in theory something I can do from everywhere, I only need a laptop and a working internet connection.

Meanwhile 2 women from Ghent, Ine and Catherine, whose blogs I was already following for quite some time, started their first experiment in lifestyle design: nomadz.nu. They proved that it is possible to run a business in Belgium and do the work remotely from 3 different countries. It goes without saying that this made me dream even more.

Another website I then discovered was Tropical MBA: “Start and Grow a Global Business From Your Laptop”. Seeing that other people can pull off a business like that is really inspiring.

So since then I’ve already spend many many hours reading about location independent businesses and about making money online. In my next posts I plan to go into more detail about more interesting websites I discovered and maybe also about some ideas I have in mind.

It’s been too long!

It’s been too long!

So…. it’s been more then a year since I last posted on my blog. Shame on me!

In that previous post I wrote about our trip to Thailand in November 2010. What have I been doing since then? Well, I can summarize it in one sentence: I’ve been working hard and saving up all my holidays to be able to make a nice trip to Thailand and Indonesia in the end of 2011.

And that holiday was just fantastic! My intention is to write more about it soon on this blog and write reviews for TripAdvisor and TravBuddy, but meanwhile I will just post this amazing view on Mt. Rinjani on the island Lombok in Indonesia:

Mt. Rinjani on Lombok, Indonesia