2013-04-04 12.17.25 HDR

A monastery I visited yesterday

Couple of days ago, I was having lunch with the lady who is buying the apartment in North Bulgaria with her son (and for her son). We were chatting amiably, she was telling me about her life, the things she believes in and her job: she works in a gambling salon. My memories of gambling fever (mine, of course) were interrupted by my phone ringing. I picked it up and heard a voice asking:

‘Professor Nedeva?’

I couldn’t answer! Who the heck is ‘Professor Nedeva’? I am just a ‘Doctor who can’t make people better’ as my son used to say when he was about four and had to explain to his friends what his mummy did for work.

Then it all became clear! John had sent a document I need to be able to sort out the administrative mess here by DHL and had addressed the parcel using my newly acquired title.

But this made me think and consider the situation I find myself in; namely, that this year two of my big goals have been achieved and every time, after the initial euphoria an emptiness has set in.

First, at the beginning of February, we paid off our rather large consumer debt (£100,000/$157,000) in three years. It felt great…for about a week. After that, if you could believe it, I started missing it. Thinking about it, it wasn’t the debt as such that I missed but the focus, determination and ingenuity that it brought with it.

Second, last week I finally got a chair at the University of Manchester. Why ‘finally’? Because I have been working towards it for a very long time; but for a long time I also refused to ‘play the game’. I didn’t move just for a chair; I didn’t publish when I had little to say; I didn’t target journals just because they are the once valued by the organisation – I published because, and only when, I believed I contribute value and in the journals that reached my communities.

In this troubled time for British academe, getting a chair on my terms feels great; it is like getting to be white rapper like Eminem – coming through the ranks, rather than through clever marketing. But I can still feel the emptiness moving in!

I am finding that achieving our BIG goals, wonderful as it may seem to be, has a major problem:

Achieving these leaves emptiness where craving and focus used to be!

So my pressing question at the moment is: what next? We did set ourselves another BIG financial goal – to make £2.5 million ($4 million) in five years. But what would my new professional goal be?

Mundane musings

Having told you, my friends, about my deep existential concerns it is time to turn to more mundane matters.

  • It is so hot in Sofia that I am literally melting away. Not kidding! I went to a shopping mall (about ten minutes’ walk away) and I lost couple of kilos; unfortunately mainly water which I quickly replenished. It is so hot that the washing was dry in three hours – between 8 and 11 pm. Running is our of the question and a gentle stroll to the nearest park may be on the cards later.
  • There have been developments about selling the property. Talking to the notary, it transpired that there are two ways to do that: a) as a British citizen in which case I’ll need documents we already have; and b) as a Bulgarian in which case I’ll need Bulgarian documents; tomorrow I’ll start the procedure for checking that I am still a citizen. This means that even if sorting out my status in Bulgaria is delayed, we can complete the deal in August when we’ll be here for holiday anyway.

Good news all around!

Now, let me offer you a very brief round of the posts that caught my attention this week.

You know that I like posts that give me puzzles and make me think rather that offer me solutions. In this respect, Pauline rarely disappoints; and this week she asked whether it is better to work and be broke or to live on welfare. Have been thinking about this one ever since I read the piece and my answer is by far not simple. In fact, I probably will write about this one soon. My choice will be to work because what I do is not only about the money. But I do realise that for many of us this is not a real choice and welfare can be the only option. I won’t see people on welfare as ‘social parasites’ or ‘abusers’ though; it is just that from time to time people need support to get on their feet.

Len Penzo continues his series about way to prepare for a complete economic collapse. This week he is discussing was to cope with water supply disruptions. This may sound a bit dramatic to some readers but I’ll have you know that I agree with Len: one day the sh*t is bound to hit the fan and a complete economic collapse is a clear possibility. Don’t know about you but I’d rather be prepared!

I love learning new things; and this week Krantcents did offer me the opportunity to learn something. Have you heard about Xanatos Gambit? Neither had I until I read the article on Krantcents: go read it and you may learn as well how to win even when you lose. Great, uh?

Lately I’ve been interested in entrepreneurship from two different points: a) because I am/want to be one; and b) because I have been working on entrepreneurial universities and invited to talk about that as academic. So, when I saw a post on the forty excuses entrepreneurs ought to overcome to succeed my curiosity was excited. It turned out to be even better: it is a quiz! And guess what? I came ‘top of the class’, a natural go-getter who stands a good chance to succeed in business. Bring it on!

Marie at the Prairie Eco Thrifter asks whether parents should pay their children for grades. She has done her best to present both sides of the argument but…you know me; I have little patience with this kind of thing. My answer is: hell, no! I am all for incentives but I am not paying for grades. People can get far by using external incentives but they can get so much further by developing motivation!

Finally, Seth Godin published a brief piece on the two states in which we alternately operate: the lab and the factory. One of these is about ideas generation and testing, and insight type creativity; the other one is about repetition, standardisation and stabilisation. Both are needed for success but, in my experience, we have a leaning towards one of these. For me it is the lab. How about you?

How has The Money Principle been doing?

Last week we were included in a carnival with the guest post by Pauline Five businesses you can start today with less than £100.

Yakezie Carnival at Financial Conflict Coach

Also, my friend J$ included my post on the seven steps to debt busting as one of his fave reads of the week. Incidentally, I did enter the Tour de Personal Finance on My Personal Finance Journey with the same article (some of you may remember that I did win this one last year and still hold the Yellow Jersey).

Just for curiosity

Did you know that US Doctor’s group (AMA) has officially recognised obesity as disease. Strangely enough this coincides with bringing on the market of new anti-obesity drug – Belviq. Don’t fall for it! Most fat is a lifestyle choice and not a medical affliction – so hit the broccoli and get this body moving!

This is all for now; speak soon.