About the LifeHacker Guy
My name is Adam, I am a self-employed guy in his forties with a First Class Honours BSc in Sports Science from Brighton University.
I am married to a very understanding wife, two amazing and very lively kids.
We currently live in Malaysia having migrated from the UK just after Brexit was announced.
Somewhat ironic as we actually voted to stay in the EU!
I first travelled in SE Asia in 1998 and wanted to live here. And so after many trips out here finally got to make the move.
Life is great in South East Asia and every day we enjoy our lives here.
I am debt free, financially comfortable and I doubt I’ll ever need to endure the daily grind of a day job again…
This is all thanks to working mostly online.
We have been here a few years now and can feel I am getting too comfortable. The drive and motivation to up my game has faded.
I am procrastinating BIG TIME!
I thought about what I could do to give myself a kick up the arse and get more disciplined.
THE ANSWER, this blog.
My Early Life
I was born in Bournemouth in the UK during the seventies and whilst I don’t remember many details before the age of 10, I know I was a happy kid.
My younger sister and I argued and fought often as do all siblings negotiating ownership over toys and parental affection.
We lived a modest lifestyle and my parents took great care of us and taught me early on that if I wanted something I had to earn it. This was through early jobs as a paperboy, working in a local newsagent to doing chores around the house.
Ever since I was a kid I always had a hobby that I would spend a lot of my spare time.
When I was younger it wasn’t that I was particularly anti-social or didn’t have friends. I found myself investing my time and energy into my latest hobby.
Like most kids I went through a few phases; being a magician, BMX, mountain biking, breakdancing, making music, martial arts (Kempo, Taekwondo, Thai boxing, Tai Chi and some Wing Chun) and computer programming.
My dad spent a lot of time indulging my passions even co-developing our own game made from paper mache using plastic toy soldiers (see picture). The game was played by rolling two dice, a normal numbered die and another bespoke one that had a number of actions that could be performed.
We spent many enjoyable hours playing it. We did consider at one stage trying to make the game commercial but it was so complicated that only we could play it!
I would never say I was particularly gifted at any particular hobby but I spent long enough doing it that I got some success.
For some reason when I was 15/16 I started going jogging a few times a week.
I joined a running group (Poole Runners) with one of best friends from school, Colin.
After some dedicated training for 18-24 months I became a fairly decent 10k (33 minutes) to 1/2 marathon runner (1 hour 17 mins).
I can’t remember why but soon I started swimming and cycling. It wasn’t long before I then starting competing in local Triathlon events.
In a number of events I placed top junior and because of my running fitness often was one of the fastest runners there.
Unfortunately I was too keen with the training and didn’t listen to my body. I was overtraining.
This led me into a vicious circle of feeling tired and worn out. Thinking I was losing fitness made me continue to try and train – BIG MISTAKE.
It wasn’t long before I got what I now suspect was glandular fever, making be bed ridden over the Christmas holiday.
Not listening to my body I attempted to get back training way too soon and made myself worse. This led to me experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), similar to myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), and spending 12-14 hours in bed.
I went from Triathlete to suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in a matter of a few months!
My immune system was shot!
And to be honest even now has not fully recovered.
Years and years passed being unable to train or even regularly exercise at all.
With slowly piling on the weight I finally said enough is enough and in 2018 I have started slowly to exercise and look at my diet – there will be a post on this soon.
The birth of “Collusion” – Getting into electronic dance music
Without being able to exercise left a big void in my life and often felt depressed – I was missing the endorphins for sure!
I re-discovered my love of producing music and bought a rack of synthesisers with Steinberg Pro 24 loaded on an Atari ST computer. All of this thanks to my student loan.
At university instead of studying sports physiology I was sat at my keyboard composing electronic dance music.
I formed my one-man band and called myself “Collusion” and even managed to create a 40-minute cassette tape that I believe sold all of 20-25 copies.
Funny enough it didn’t make the charts!
You can see I even put a rather fetching picture of me with my Hugh Grant haircut on the side of the tape!
I got some exposure from this and played live (yes none of this miming malarky) at the Student Union bar and at one of the truly awful night clubs in town.
Whilst I was no Prodigy (who I admired back then), I got better and enjoyed literally hours and hours immersed in composing and creating music.
With a heavy heart, all my music equipment got sold in my last year of university though to pay for living expenses.
Recently I have bought new music software and have been blown away with how far the computer music technology has moved on.
Bored cubicle worker to working online
I first experienced office work at 16 after leaving school with the bare minimum needed to secure a job (5 GCSE’s at C – amazing eh?). Check out the awesome picture of me opening presents for my birthday in the office!
For two years I worked doing data entry for an insurance company processing credit card transactions. It was incredibly boring but gave me money to follow my passion for buying expensive mountain and road bikes for my Triathlon training.
Doing this job taught me two things; firstly how to type numbers really fast, and secondly that I didn’t want to work in an office job like this for the rest of my life!
So after two years I knew that I needed to get out of there and do more fulfilling work, so I quite and enrolled in college to study A Levels to then get into Brighton University to study Sports Science.
It was whilst studying that I met one of my best friends David, who was big into tech and building / destroying and hoarding computers.
(In fact his dorm room and later his house bedroom looked like a computer graveyard!)
Spending time with David exposed me to IT and most likely inspired me to learn and develop skills as a web programmer.
Leaving university with great degree I began slowly learning HTML and built some terribly websites for early clients. With persistence and thanks to some businesses willing to give me a try and friend recommendations I managed to get some freelance clients so I could work for myself and be independent.
As well as working contract positions as a desktop publisher at various banks in the city of London I managed to get some savings and start to become financial dependent.
Failed and thriving online businesses
I used my skills as a web developer and programmer to frequently travel, even moving from the UK a few times to live in Germany and Thailand.
When I settled back in London I collaborated with a few joint ventures.
As with all business ventures there were mixed success.
I was involved with a content management system start up, recruitment profiling start up (cheers guys for screwing me over), worked solo and in partnership in affiliate marketing (or performance marketing as its not called to not sound so sketchy!).
These ventures started out as a solopreneur to partnerships to having staff in a bricks and mortar office.
I have gone full circle though and realised that having an office with staff responsibilities is not for me.
After selling my interest in my latest joint venture I have enjoyed a sabbatical or “mini retirement” as I have been calling it for the last 12 months.
But not its time to get back to work and to start learning new things – this blog will help my journey!
How I Made Money
I often get asked how I made money working for myself the last 20-years. Well mostly I made money online in a few ventures from working as a freelance web programmer, being an affiliate marketer to owning products and selling them online.
Check out my post on how I made money online for the full story.
Inspiration for starting this blog
I have tried other approaches to self improvement from the classic New Years resolutions to certain life changing events, such as getting married, birth of my kids and more recently my “mini retirement”.
Recently though when following a new diet plan recommended by a friend I had to change a few habits; namely avoiding milk.
Now this is no biggie except I really started to miss my morning, mid morning, lunchtime and afternoon coffees.
I experimented with taking black coffee with coconut oil and soon grew to enjoy the taste. So much so that 3 months on I rarely drink milk in coffee or tea!
What struck me is that within the course of 3 weeks I changed what was a 20 year habit.
If I could do this simple act what else could I change?
So my intention is simple. I will detail my attempts to change parts of my life for the better and share the journey here.
But I want to be 100% clear – I AM NO GURU and never intend to be.
If this starts to sound like one then please call me out on it.
Who is this blog for?
Writing here on this blog means I make a commitment and will be held accountable, as in the end of the day my friends and family will see this and hopefully track my progress (and not call me out too many times!).
Whilst I am writing this mostly for myself I hope others are inspired and able to have some useful takeaways from my efforts.
If so great, this will be even more worthwhile!
Lets kick off with…
I have a long list of habits both bad and good that I wish to look at, so where shall I start?
- Reduce my shopping habit
- Learn to be more productive
- Build a new online business with sustainable revenue – I have created a supplement business and go through each step of my journey.
Before you go, can I ask a quick favour?
If you find the content on this blog useful or know someone who would, then please share this on social media or even email.
Please spread the word, I would be forever grateful.
You can connect to me via social media on the following channels: