Going Solo 14. Loggedoff Ltd.

Loggedoff Ltd was born in 2017. My wife, Margaret, observed that “Stuart Lennon, Writer” was messing up the house, eating too much, drinking too much and not exercising enough. James and I had examined hundreds of businesses for sale, but not found one that enthused us both. I started to canvas clients for Lime, and then stumbled across another opportunity.

Pocketnotebooks.co.uk was a website that sold Field Notes and a few other brands of pocket notebook. It was a side project of two guys up in Newcastle. It was clear from their blog that the site was at a crossroads. One thing led to another, and I gave the guys some cash for the name and the stock, and became an internet retailer.

Mistakes

I ignored almost all of the advice that I have given you in this series. I spent too much, too quickly and have spent the last 12 months focused on slimming the cost-base of the business, putting it into a position to become cash generative. The site is now branded as Nero’s Notes, named after our beloved miniature schnauzer, whom we lost last year.

The business remains based in the UK, even though I am now in Cyprus. Clare runs the physical side of the business from a small office in Amesbury, and I fulfil the virtual tasks from my home office beneath the house here.

I’m still too close to the fridge, and there’s a temptation to forego exercise entirely – but that is all about self-discipline. Margaret has observed that my waistline is growing again. This has led me to consider how I look at my various projects.

Realisation

I’m lucky in that I have Lime, SL.com and Nero’s Notes. I am my own boss, and can sneak off to play golf whenever I want. However, I have allowed lines to blur. If there is something organised – then I’m doing that, at any other time, I’m working. If I am not working, then I am feeling guilty about not working. So I exercise less, eat more (comfort-eating) and drink more (escapism).

It is only by writing the paragraph above that I have come to understand the paragraph above. I have had an epiphany. Once I have finished this post, I am going to think about and establish some boundaries for Loggedoff Ltd, for Lime and for this blog. Me being me, I’ll work this out on paper, in my bullet journal.

Lesson

The lesson here is that we must keep an eye on ourselves. It’s too easy to fall into a trap of doing more and more, without focusing on doing the right things.

Next week 1857.

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Living the Dream – 5. Making a living

In posts 2 & 3, I wrote how we were lucky enough to be able to assume zero revenue for the beginning of our adventure. Short-term, making a living is not a priority.

Of course, in the longer term, that’s not sustainable.

Where the time goes

Since 2003, I have been offering training and business consultancy through Lime Training and Consultancy. Latterly, this has involved increasing work in anti money laundering (AML) compliance. The UK and Cyprus are ostensibly at least, governed by the same European regulation, so my knowledge should travel well. Cyprus is an offshore financial centre, and has recently attracted increasing volumes of both Russian citizens and Russian cash. One doesn’t like to cast aspersions, but I suspect there might be some demand for AML expertise.

The Dog's Head
Neros Notes Logo

I invest a lot of time working for Nero, our miniature schnauzer, at Nero’s Notes. All work that can be done from a computer anywhere.

I write, here, and elsewhere. There remains my novel, which languishes in draft form on my hard drive and beside my desk. I plan to get that finished and published. I also intend to write and publish more.

My newest project is 1857, a podcast, that I co-host with the awesome TJ Cosgrove.

Making a living

Ultimately , I hope to be making a living from some or all of these activities.

Mags has recently launched a new venture, pursuing a long-held desire to help others. I will tell you more about that in another post.

All of our projects translate to the new home. Much of my work can be completed remotely, and Mags feels confident that she will find market locally.

Will making a living in a new country be easy? No, of course, it won’t. Just like anywhere else, making money is hard work and the challenge is not diminished by being in a foreign country and culture.

Still. It wouldn’t be any fun without a challenge, would it?