Soul Searching

Posted on Sa 19 Juli 2008 in misc • 3 min read

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    I did quite a bit of soul searching when I was away on vacation about life, work, and this blog. The most important thing I realized was that I start too many projects and don’t focus my time effectively. I’m involved in so many activities that it’s stretching me thin and taking quality time away from my family.

    Right now I’m involved in two professional societies, one as President and the other as Past-President. I’m a manager at work that requires my constant attention, I’m a landlord that always needs to fix stuff and find tenants, and my family is growing more active as the kids get older. On top of all this, I usually wake up early and write this blog.

    I spent time thinking about my priorities and opportunity costs (that MBA sure comes in handy) and realized that I had to prioritize my life based on the things valuable to me. So I listed them from highest to lowest priority.

    1. Family (love them to death, very valuable)
    2. Work (it pays the bills)
    3. Landlord / Rental Manager (it pays another set of bills)
    4. Professional Organization: President and Past-President (it doesn’t pay my bills but eats my time)
    5. Neural Market Trends (eats my time and makes a little bit of money)

    Right off the bat, I should serve out my term as President and Past-President and then stop volunteering for those organizations. Next, I considered shutting down Neural Market Trends because it competes for time and no matter how much I love writing it, coming up with quality content takes up a lot of my limited time. I thought, “I use my Rapid Miner models to trade and position my accounts, so why not free up some time by shutting down the blog and concentrate on that? My models make me money, this blog doesn’t.”

    Then I thought about the time when I had members, protected posts, Forex trend forecasts, and sent out a weekly S&P500 Market Timing/Volatility Report. I had over 100 members, that signed up for free, and things went smoothly. The goal was to monetize the members section at some time in the future. For reasons, unknown to me right now, I abandoned the report and the member section dwindled.

    This had got me thinking that if I want to continue writing this blog and not have it eat my time without making it worthwhile, maybe I should monetize the members section? The trick to making this work is providing content that my readers find valuable and would be willing to pay either a monthly or quarterly membership.

    While I mull this idea over, I’ll be opening up the membership section for free again (signup or login here) and will give members who sign up between now and when I start charging, 3 free months of access. I’ll start post protecting new and improved S&P500 market timing posts starting this Sunday and gradually add more content as things move along.