A new type of rich – Q&A with David Sawyer – PR Consultant, Author and FIRE evangelist

“The New Rich (NR) are those who abandon the deferred-life plan and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility.” – Tim Ferriss

I am fascinated by people who take the Third Door option to life.

For those not familiar with this term, the analogy is life is like standing in line to a club. The first door is for the privileged and connected, they walk straight in, the second door is for those prepared to queue and wait their turn. Then there is the third door, it is for those people that head down the alley and climb through the bathroom window or persuade a cleaner to let them in through the fire exit.

These are the people who think differently, they haven’t got it all figured out, but don’t have access to the first door and are not prepared to queue waiting for the second door.

To hijack and slightly tweak the concept from the godfather of the third door, Tim Ferris (The 4-Hour Work Week), he identifies people that he calls the “New Rich”.

These are people who choose experiences over things, people who don’t live in the 5x9x5 cell (5 days, 9-5), people who haven’t necessarily struck gold or are wealthy in the traditional sense, but live comfortably and frugally, simplifying their lives, using geographical arbitrage and a whole range of tools to escape. They focus on what I call proportional income, in that time invested has a direct and proportional result.

The New Rich: David SawyerQ&A

To better understand the mindset of the New Rich, I am interviewing people living alternative lifestyles, this week we hear from David.

I first came across David while wanting a refresh on my financial literacy knowledge. His book is excellent, with key messages from 100s of books all woven into one coherent viewpoint. This is hard to do and he has done a superb job. I get frustrated by books that are really just a blog post spread over 300 pages for a few ideas repeated, this is the opposite and a great investment of your time.

Where are you from?

Mid-Cheshire in England.

Where are you now? Why there?

The south side of Glasgow. I moved here with my job and it’s a lovely place to live.

What formal study have you had, have you used it?

MA (Hons) His/Pol and a journalism course. My formal education helped me get a start in journalism and gave me critical thinking capabilities that have been very useful as a PR consultant.

At a high level, what has been your career path so far?

I started in journalism. I moved into public relations in 1997 and spent four years working in Dundee. I joined one of the world’s largest PR firms in 2001 and worked my way up to become head of office (the Glasgow office) for five years. I set up Zude PR (a Glasgow-based PR consultancy) in 2014 and have been doing that ever since. I took a year out between 2017 and 2018 to write and self-publish a bestselling book (doing everything myself), before returning to the day job I know and love.

How did you get into what you are doing now?

I wrote 100 letters to market research consultancies and local papers asking for a job. The acting editor at the Rutherglen Reformer in Glasgow thought I’d been a red coat at Butlin’s (I’d actually been a green coat working the dodgems) and decided it’d be a laugh to give me a start in journalism.

How many hours do you work a week?

It varies. On average, anything between 30 and 55.

What is the best advice you have received and why?

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. What’s the worst that can happen? And even if it does, we’ll be there to help you tidy up the mess.

What was your biggest learning on your journey?

Discovering the predominantly US financial independence movement. It gave me a latticework on which to hang all the things I’d learnt.

What do you do in terms of financial planning?

My partner and I have a clear vision of what we want to do when we’re financially independent. This keeps us going through thick and thin. We budget and record all expenditure. We have a monthly savings target. We invest in the portfolio of predominantly index-tracking funds outlined in my book, RESET. Once a year we rebalance and up our monthly savings to take account of inflation.

What does being Rich mean to you?

Freedom to do things in line with our values. Having F.U. Money.

What is your number one bit of advice you can give to someone looking at shifting towards a new rich lifestyle design?

Commit to lifelong learning, in the true sense of the word. Sponge it all up and find an experimentation ground to test out your worldview. I have two, running and my business.

What’s next?

Continue to work hard providing PR consultancy services to clients old and new through my company, Zude PR. Continue to work hard introducing more and more people to the unconventional early retirement plan outlined in my book, RESET.

How can people learn more and support what you are doing?

If you need PR/digital marketing services, my company website is https://zudepr.co.uk/.

If you are interested in buying a life-changing self-improvement/personal finance book, you can get the first 8,000 words for free at https://zudepr.co.uk/reset/ or go to Amazon and buy it direct. The Kindle is £2.95 while the paperback is £9.99 (albeit Amazon periodically discounts it).

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