Hi, my name is John. I’m a freelance developer.
Still figuring this one out if I’m being totally honest but I’ve spent the last few years working hard towards building a systems for me and my family to thrive.
Each year, I conduct an annual review but I feel as though these shouldn’t change too frequently and that they’re pretty deep-rooted in who I am:
I try to frame any tricky decisions through the lens of my priorities. These are non-negotiable:
- My family
- My physical/mental health
- My friends
- My finances
I’ve been a freelance developer since 2009 and contracting since 2012. In that time, I’ve run a couple of small side-business and bought (and then closed) a tutoring company. Right now, my focus is solely on my contracting business Tweak Digital (trading as the rather aspirational Tweak Digital Holdings UK Limited).
I was born in Belfast, to Irish parents and spent the first few years of my life in Scotland. When I was 5, we moved to Manchester and I grew up here. I studied mechanical engineering at Sheffield University for four years and after getting an expensive degree (that I’m yet to use) my then-girlfriend (she’s now my wife) left the UK for 6 months to teach English in Thailand.
6 months became almost 2 years and honestly the time we spent abroad remains a period of my life that I’ll always cherish. It completely changed our outlook on life, we made some amazing friends and saw some incredible views. We might have attended a few full moon parties as well.
I know that I think differently to most of my friends, but I think that’s a good thing.
I once bought £1052.84 of Lego to take advantage of a generous offer on Clubcard points, to convert them to Avios points, to fly me and Michelle to Dubai in First with British Airways for example. If you know, you know!
I love learning languages and while my Spanish is pretty good, I’ve got a bit of French, German, Arabic, Italian and Thai in my locker too.
I got into strength training when I was about 20 and loved it. During my time in Thailand, I stopped strength training and took up Muay Thai. Upon my return to the UK, I took up CrossFit. I’ve been a keen cyclist at some points in my life too but a lot of my time for fitness has been eaten up by my kids…c’est la vie!
I fell in love with the idea of becoming a business owner after reading The Four Hour Workweek back in 2007. I actually went to the UK book launch and met Tim Ferris when the book was released here in the UK. That said, I kind of lost my way with business ownership and got sucked into web development.
Building websites was always a great way of procrastinating but hey, it’s led me into a very cushy career as a freelance developer. In more recent times, I’ve become interested in FIRE (financial independence, retire early) not necessarily with a view of retiring early but perhaps being able to.