Putting a price tag on your time, the dangers of dopamine stacking, and how to fall in love with failure

Building Blocks: Actionable insights to build an Intentional Life

Hey everybody,

Here’s another batch of actionable insights to start your week off right, so you can be more intentional with how you live, work, and create.

Let’s get started.

Insight 1: Know how much your time is worth

How do you know when to outsource something—whether it’s hiring an EA or paying someone to mow your yard?

Or how do you calculate a baseline rate for client work?

The math is simpler than you might think.

If you want a quick mental model to put a dollar amount on your working time, check out this thread:

Side Note:

I need your help!

I want to turn this thread into a full article, but I’m struggling to find a better term than “(desired) hourly rate.”

One concept I picked up from David Perell in Write of Passage is the idea of coining a term. It helps the concept stick in people’s minds and helps create a shared language (like I do with Intentional Life Design or the Four Horsemen of Fear).

If you have suggestions on a better term that encapsulates the concept in the thread, please reply with ideas! If I pick yours, I’ll give you a shoutout in the article and link to your website (or social handle, whatever you prefer).

Thanks in advance!

Insight 2: Beware of dopamine stacking

Have you ever experienced “Post-CBC Hangover,” where you super jazzed during the cohort, then feel exhausted for days (or weeks) afterward?

Or wondered why you get excited to start a project, then quickly lose all motivation to continue doing it?

According to Dr. Andrew Huberman, it all comes down to dopamine.

And “dopamine stacking” is a major reason people struggle to regulate their mood and energy levels.

Check out this clip from the Jocko Podcast for more:

Insight 3: Fall in love with failing

“We have to embrace failure and almost get a kick out of it. Not in a perverse way, but in a problem-solving way. Life is a mountain of solvable problems, and I enjoy that.”

— James Dyson

Entrepreneurship comes down to tenacity and iteration.

But how do you stay tenacious after hundreds of failures?

How do you collect the right data to iterate in the right direction?

According to entrepreneur Aytekin Tank, it comes down to failing in love with failure.

In this article, he dives into how approaching business with a curious mindset is the secret sauce behind major successes in the business world—including how James Dyson spent five years building 5,127 version before finally creating the world’s first bagless vacuum cleaner.

Question for the Week

If you had another 3 hours a day, how would you spend them?

Whatever your answer is, try doing that first every day this week.

Share Your Insights

Know someone who’d love this content? Share it with them!

My goal is to help entrepreneurs be more intentional with how they live, work, and create.

So if you enjoy Building Blocks, I’ll be forever grateful if you help me spread these insights by sharing this issue with other entrepreneurs.

And if someone forwarded this to you, check out past issues and subscribe here:

Let me know what you think and what you’d like to see in future issues. I’m always working to making Building Blocks more valuable for you.

Until next time—memento mori,

Corey Wilks, Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Executive Coach


Course (Cohort 2 Coming Soon): Intentional Life Design