Why I do this


At the time of writing I am one and a half months into my third year as an independent software developer. As of two weeks ago, I work 53 hour weeks, like I did in the first year. The second year I worked a normal 37 hours. A whole year of no alarm in the morning! It was heaven, and hopefully a sign of the times to come.

As I write this, it is sunday, and I am about to work a few hours. I also worked a few hours saturday. Friday it was good weather, so I didn’t get a lot of work done (hence why I have to work now). Thursday I worked literally from dusk till dawn.

At times like these I sometimes ask myself why I do this, like I have a small Sand dan Glokta from The First Law on my shoulders. “Why do I do this?”. My savings rate is already ridiculous, even without working extra hours. I don’t need to do this.

Now is actually a good time to write this blog post, because the results of earning good money early is visible at this snapshot in time.

The equity gods have blessed us in the holy year 2023 (and so far in 2024), and my Holding company investments are up 28,5% for the period, which is about a quarter million DKK. The actual numbers do not matter too much. For some people (which hopefully includes my future self) a million is nothing and for some it is everything. What matters is that, because younger Martin put in the work these past two years and made that million, then the actual number on my investment account is one and a quarter million, instead of just a million, as it would have been had I transferred that million today. This is the potential of frontloading your lifetime earnings.

Of course, 28% increase a year is not sustainable. I will take a massive hit soon, and that is fine. Since I (probably) am in the middle of my earning years, then it would be better for me if the equity markets fell or held steady for the next few years while I put in my principal. The current situation makes for a pretty graph though.

That is the most tangible reason for why I do this. There are also less tangible reasons. Taking on this extra work makes me feel like the main character in my own life. Like I have agency and control. Most people do not get these opportunities. I am incredibly lucky that some things I find interesting (programming, business) are also things that you can make good money from. I want to make the most of it (to the degree I don’t burn out and hate living in the moment).

Since no one will probably ever read this blog (I don’t exactly advertise it), except for older Martin, then this is for you. I am dead and gone now, buried in the past. Most of all, I did this for you. I hope you appreciate it. I hope you live a good life based on the foundation I built.

(Eller måske er det dig, Margit, som læser dette. Hvis jeg er død uden kone og børn har du fået alting og jeg har nok sendt dig et link til denne blog. Jeg er rimelig dum, så jeg er sikkert blevet kørt over af en bus eller sådan noget. Jeg ved godt jeg sagde at jeg ikke arbejdede hårdt, og det meste af tiden var det også rigtigt. Men nogle dage var rimelig fucking hårde. Håber du kan bruge det til noget.)