After years of feeling 'trapped' and stuck on a never-ending treadmill, I finally escaped. What I did was not particularly clever or difficult, but what I had was discipline, knowledge and most importantly a plan. Everyone has the capacity to do it. I want to give you the knowledge and confidence to carry out your own Escape Plan.
After successfully carrying out my Escape Plan and heading into the sunset with my family on our world tour, I found myself one Tuesday night in August, in a hotel bar in New York.
It was week 4 of our 5 month trip, and after an amazing few weeks in Canada we had a complete change of scene, staying in a business hotel in downtown Manhattan.
A dead-eyed, worn out looking New Yorker (me, 3 months ago!) ordered a post-work whiskey on the rocks and said to me "Hey man, what's your story? I saw you and your family at breakfast, and you're the only people in the building who look alive?"
I told him our situation - which I'm not sure made him feel any better.
He responded "How come I can't do that? I earn a fuckin' bundle of dollars." (In that brash New Yorker way, which they can only get away with).
I said "Yes. But how much do you spend?".
He spat out his drink. Laughed, slapped me on the back and said "Bingo!"
This question - coming in various guises, was asked countless numbers of times from Maui, Auckland, Siem Reap to Cape Town.
It always started along the lines of "How have you been able to do this at your age?" or "Where did you get the 'balls' to just do it?"
So much so, that after a while I started to have self-doubts myself about what I had done and whether I could actually afford to do it.
This helped me formalise my thoughts and sowed the seeds for this blog.
The self-doubts were because I hadn't done anything clever … no great invention, no game-changing business idea. But, from a relatively young age I had always been a saver not a spender, I had worked in a business that gave me a great deal of financial knowledge and taught me how to manage risk, and I always had a very clear direction of where I wanted my life to go.
Like most people I never really knew what I wanted to do, but I did know how I wanted to lead my life. And working for the man, 9 to 5 for 40 years was not in the plan.
On reflection, I think being very grounded and having a normal upbringing were two of my greatest assets. It allowed me to go to London from a provincial background and not get drawn into the 'Keeping up with the Joneses' and spending culture that my friend, the New Yorker, had obviously been drawn in to.
This should give hope to all of you reading this blog that currently don't have a plan in place.
You don't have to be particularly intelligent, earn a fortune, or be connected to successfully beat the rat race. Self-discipline, common sense and a clear direction of your end goal will suffice. I can provide the rest.
Over the coming blogs, I will walk you through topics such as cost-cutting (click here to subscribe today and receive a free information pack on cost cutting), when to start investing, how much you need and what assets you should be investing in to get you on the path to financial freedom.
Typically financial books tend to be a dull, dry read, dressed up in technical jargon with investment treated as a dark art known by the few, but kept secret from the masses. Similar to casinos this means that the house always wins and commissions remain high. Like a peek behind the Wizard of Oz curtain, The Escape Plan (TEP) will cut to the vernacular and reveal that there is no black magic, just sound practical advice that can be applied in the real world to make investment interesting and accessible to ordinary people.
In a similar vein, the health and fitness industry does its best to over complicate and confuse people into buying in 'expert' advice for a quick fix. My wife and I have both played high level sport and been involved in the health and fitness industry for nearly 3 decades. We have seen the fads come and go and know what works and what doesn't. We can therefore cut through the BS to reveal how to maximise your results with the minimum of effort. Guiding you to a healthy body by advising what you should be eating, drinking and how you should be exercising. After all, there's no point working hard and implementing a successful financial plan if you've had to ruin your body and health to get there. We want you to come out of this with a healthy body, mind and bank balance ...
TEP is a one stop shop covering all you need to know about saving, investing whilst staying fit and healthy in the real world. Written by a couple from an ordinary background who have had to deal with all the normal stresses and time pressures of modern day living but managed to break free and live on their own terms at their pace. TEP will give you sound, practical easy-to-follow financial advice written in layman's language whilst also allowing you to delete all your spam health and fitness lifestyle emails trying to get you to buy things you don't need. The Escape Plan will hopefully be inspirational and aspirational as well as giving you the confidence that anyone really can do this whatever your income or background. If this village idiot can beat the system (see 'Who is this blog for?'), then surely there's hope for everyone!
Please use The Escape Plan as a free resource, follow the plan and escape ...