A Year of Experiments

Now that I’m back from my sabbatical, after burning out for the second time, I’m going to approach this whole ‘work’ thing radically differently than I have before.

This year I’m going to embrace my experimentalist side.

In this post I’ll keep a running log of my experiments (list below), which I hope will help remind me to stay dynamic with it – because in the end, life is an experiment 🙂

Experimental, by design

Look at this image:

Drifting, By Design, or Driven?

This is an illustration I made using AI for my burnout post. It’s based on a concept I learned from Michael Hyatt at WDS 2014.

For me the two poles are unhealthy places. Too much drifting and I become depressed. Too driven, I burn myself out and become unwell.

This year I’m going to experiment by design.

  1. To find new, healthier channels of expression, and revenue.
  2. To have fun.
  3. To learn things.
  4. Because life is too short.
  5. Because I’ve recently accepted that I am, by nature, an experimentalist.


My overall aim is to end the year with:

  1. Healthy channel/channels of expression (for software and for making).
  2. Revenue from these channels which will cover an abundant life (£10kpm).
  3. A list of learnings, including handfuls of ‘failure’.
  4. A smile on my face.

Experimenting with life’s format

I’ve started the year with a few experiments already. Firstly I’m testing splitting my working week (5ish days) in half and spending half building a new business (second experiment), and half making cool shit.

The actual ratio I wrote down is 40/40/10 – as in 40% time on business, 40% time making cool shit (aka productive play). 10% on life admin, and 10% downtime.

When I thought this up, lots of internal voices resounded.

  • There’s no way you can make a living on 40% time, even as leveraged as you are.
  • 40% time ‘making cool shit’ is just indulgence.
  • Spread too thin – too many ‘priorities’.

Maybe these voices are right. Maybe they’re old voices I can let go of. I intend to find out by actually testing it. What I was doing before (working long biz weeks then filling in with making etc.) did not work.

The Experiments

So here’s my list of experiments for 2024:

  1. 40/40/10 time – In progress – Jan onwards.
  2. Biz – Small bets2024 Entrepreneurial experiments post here
    • BuildProfit.io – A course and tools to teach software engineers marketing – Jan-Mar. First foray after being back on the tools. Early data suggests medium market interest, but going to finish it up to ease back into the swing of things and start the funnel forming. Paused.
    • Blogging & X – In progress – Jan onwards.
    • BurnoutNutrition.com – A tiny warm-up project. Realised I needed to ease back into things; collecting together all of the burnout nutrition notes and scientific papers I’d read during my bouts of Chronic Fatigue. Shipped.
    • Project Pages – Reboot of an old plugin I had sitting in the stables. V2.0 brought it up to date with modern WordPress standards and added a lot of new features and improved styles. I spent a little longer than I’d planned for on this, but I’m now back in the groove. I also made a ‘pay what you want’ PRO version for launch.
    • AI Exploration – {In the lab oven}
  3. Making
    • YouTube maker channel – Preparing – May onwards.
    • Food Forest #3 – Planted.
    • Cabin in the woods – 80% complete.

If you’re reading this and you’re curious, I challenge you to make an experiment this week, and share it below in the comments or tweet me how it goes.

Let’s make mad sh*t.

I’ve made a lot of things in my life, and I intend to make a lot more. My biggest goal is to make a good and happy life.

Join my journey to authentic autonomy; let’s make craft software make money!

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