When I bought the domain mancave.dk back in 2011, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to use it for. I had just started a project to convert my garage in a retreat from the kids and wife, a place where I could decide what went on the walls and how much light was needed. A safe place to have my bottles and other special items which I didn’t want others messing with.
In other words: a mancave.
While building the wall and installing the electrics (by a certified electrician of course!), I thought to myself “…there must be other guys out there who were doing similar projects, so get the domain and let’s share experiences and good ideas. “… and hey, maybe write some articles, tips-n-tricks, product reviews, cool dyi solutions, links to where to buy the iconic Farrah Fawcett poster.”
I wrote a few articles, uploaded some picture, did some research on what else was out there….but as it is with a full-time consulting job, family, house repairs, NFL draft/pre-season/regular season, etc., mancave.dk was put on the back burner.
Comfortable but feeling empty
Fast forward to 2018, and the original mancave room – my hide-away – is filled with the wife’s “great finds”… which she got “… really cheap!”.
My consultancy is doing better than ever, marriage is great (just past 25 years with a fox that still makes me laugh and revs my engine) and the “kids” are growing into successful adults – all more than I could have dared hoped for.
But I find myself wanting something more creative than delivering projects which are quickly forgotten or planting this year’s harvest. I guess if you were looking at my Ikigai, you would find me in the “Comfortable but feeling emptiness” area:
Some other guy my age might have had an affair or bought a motorcycle, but me – I’d prefer gardening, wood-working, some kind of programming/website design or binge-watch a series.
A fateful trip…
Recently, speaking with one of my buddies, Morten, I quickly realized that he was in a somewhat similar situation. He, like me, stood before an impending deadline where he wasn’t sure where the next paycheck was coming.
As a freelance consultant, I was used to finding new gigs a few times a year. He, being a journalist, had been in the same company for the last 30+ years, but it had just been “right-sized” again and this time he was on the wrong side of the sizing.
Morten had traveled with me to Copenhagen for a quick trip and we were on our way back on the ferry from Zealand talking. I had just put together a quick homepage for him (mortenguldberg.dk) and he was frustrated that I had just advised him to write a few articles centered around the services he was offering before going live.
His response was, “… but I also want to write about the NFL, serial killers and movies!”
Then it hit me – mancave.dk was just collecting dust. So why not dust it off and see what could happen?
Besides, I had a contract ending 1 June ’18 and my plan was to catch-up on projects around the house and “be creative” for 2-3 months. I had other projects in mind but who could turn down an opportunity like this?
Almost coyishly I said “Well, I have this project we could try…”. As I was telling him about my original plans for mancave.dk back in ’11, I could see the wheels turning in his head. This new website would allow him to write whatever he wanted while keeping his (creative) writing chops active.
And for me, this was just what I needed. A partner to climb this mountain and who had a passion for writing.
My only “condition” was that it shouldn’t feel like work. We should commit to moving this forward and achieve our goals, but once it started feeling like yet another story that needed to be sent to the editor or another steering committee presentation that needed to be written, then we should take a step back.
Road map for mancave.dk
So where do we go from here? Who knows… and it will be interesting looking back on this article in the future to see what we really did, but for now, these are the ideas:
- write at least two article pr week
- involve other contributors to the site
- produce at least one podcast episode pr month
- send-out a curated monthly newsletter
I hope you are willing to join us on this journey. If you have any ideas for where we could take this, then please contact us here or on one of our social media channels.
© 2018, Jim Morris. All rights reserved.
From Tampa, Florida; Moved to Denmark in ’92. I’m a serial almost entrepreneur (I have a lot of ideas but tend not to act on them) and work freelance as an IT consultant. I take care of the backend but will write occasionally when Morten lets me. Go BUCS!