A new type of rich – Q&A with Jen Clements – From Bryon Bay to Exploring Nomad – Not your typical Legal Suit

“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: Jen Clements Q&A

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

What I love about her story, is that she realised she didn’t need to completely shift her career to live the adventure and lifestyle they want as a family. She has been able to shift the paradigm so it works for her. This is a great example of lifestyle design.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from Cape Town, South Africa but immigrated to Australia in 2015.

Where are you now? Why there?

I’m currently in a caravan doing a big lap of Australia, but when we’re not travelling, we’re based in Byron Bay, New South Wales. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful spot. Stunning beaches and nature. The weather is incredible. It’s full of healers and open-minded hippie-types. We knew the first time we went there on holiday that we wanted to make it our hometown. And, after putting our minds to it, we made it happen.

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

I have a South African Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and the Australian equivalent which I recently completed to re-qualify as an Aussie lawyer. I use these qualifications on a daily basis (not surprisingly, considering I work as a solicitor). 

I love studying and have done a bunch of other short courses, as and when I felt I needed or wanted to do them – property law courses, human resources, sales, even make-up!

Give us the highlights package of your career so far?

Launching an Australian property management tech business to the South African market was an incredible journey that ultimately ended in acquisition.

Signing the Supreme Court Roll of Solicitors in Australia was pretty special.

And any time I see my written work published online or in the press, it’s a highlight!

How did you get into what you are doing now?

Up until last year, most of my roles were in the area of property law, management and tech. And whilst I had built up great experience in the property arena, I wasn’t fulfilled. I then came across Her Lawyer and couldn’t believe the alignment. It’s a progressive NewLaw firm (meaning it’s virtual). It’s female focused, servicing ambitious women in business. It’s run by an incredibly inspiring woman who’s outlook and values mirror my own… They were hiring.

I poured my personality into my covering letter and expressed my enthusiasm so eagerly I risked scaring them off! But I didn’t. It was a great match. After a few virtual interviews I started working as solicitor in commercial law, helping awesome women start, grow and protect their businesses.

My boss is based in Sydney and when I landed the job I wasn’t travelling. My husband and I decided we wanted to do a big lap of Australia, caravanning with our kids for 12 months before out eldest started school. I put the idea to my boss 6 weeks into the job and thankfully she was supportive.

Now I can work from anywhere, as long as I have internet and mobile reception. I’m incredibly fortunate.

How many hours do you work a week?

30 hours per week. 6 hours per day Monday to Friday. I break my 6 hours each day into 2 shifts. The first from 5.30-8.30am and the second from 1-4pm. This gives me a 4.5hour break to go exploring and adventuring with my family, every work day!

What is the best advice you have received and why?

That we truly have the power to design our lives through intention, visualisation and manifestation.

What was your biggest learning on your journey?

To have faith that everything on your life path is ‘on the way’ and nothing is ‘in the way’.

There have been times when I couldn’t for the life of me understand why something I was pushing hard for didn’t happen, only for something SO much better (and that I hadn’t even considered) to present itself. Less control, more surrender and acceptance – that’s probably my biggest learning.

Followed closely by being your authentic self. I used to think that to be professional I had to be some kind of robot who uses the right language and knows all the answers. Now I’m actively myself in all my interactions and am comfortable saying ‘I don’t know’ when I don’t.

What do you do in terms of financial planning?

Uh-oh… not as much as I probably should be doing!! I know what’s coming in each month and I keep track of our expenses (nothing fancy – just an excel spreadsheet categorising our expenses at the end of each month).

My husband and I both have a healthy aversion to debt. So, except in the case of real estate, we’ve never bought things we can’t afford to pay for upfront. We’d rather save up and buy the item for cash later rather than getting it now and paying it off plus interest. 

What does being Rich mean to you?

‘Rich’ for me is having abundant health and happiness, connected relationships with my family and friends and the freedom and ability to spend my time however I choose. 

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

Get clear on what it is that you want and then take a methodical approach to making it happen. If, like me, you want to have the laptop lifestyle while remaining employed, I’ve written a detailed how-to article which may be useful to you. You can read it here.

What’s next?

This is a really great (and important!) question. It’s one that my husband and I are currently grappling with. If we continue to travel full-time past the end of this year (which we are tempted to do), we’ll need to home-school our eldest. We need to ensure that whatever comes next is beneficial for all involved. Whatever it is, it’ll be great. Watch this space 😊 

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

Do you know of someone who meets my definition of the New Rich? – I’d love to feature them, please get in touch.

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