Does going on a 2 month trip to Mexico for $300 sounds interesting to you? What about hiring a virtual personal assistant and outsourcing your life? After reading the book The 4 Hour Work Week I have had a new perspective my own life and work balance . One of the new blogs that I have added to my short list of RSS feeds is TheNewlyRich. I was fortunate enough to interview Jed Wood who is the blogger of TheNewlyRich. Even though his blog is fairly new he provides great sticky content.
Where do you want to live?
1. Please tell me about your yourself (Age, Location, Job, Interests)?
Half-way through working towards my undergraduate degree I got interested in Usability and Interaction Design, which lead me to the Institute of Design in Chicago. I received a Masters in Design, but along the way I became heavily involved with Flash Actionscript. Now I look for opportunities to combine those two interests. After graduating I worked at Bose on the Ferrari Media System. It was a great experience, but I missed the web and was anxious to do my own work. Earlier this year my wife, daughter and I moved back to Chicago, where I now split my time between freelance consulting and working on my own applications. One of those is a web-based card sorting application and the other is a video app that we’ll be announcing at the ISDA conference next week. I turned 30 last month.
2. Describe what TheNewlyRich.com is about.
The Newly Rich is a play on the phrase Tim Ferriss uses to describe a culture he refers to as "the new rich." One major characteristic of this culture is that we value time and mobility as much as money, and learn how to make the most of all three. When I first read 4HWW I was fascinated with many of the concepts, but I could see how people with families might be hesitant to put them in to action. The site is a place for us to share our experiences- both positive and negative- that we have as we implement concepts from 4HWW and related philosophies.
3. How and when did you start your blog/site?
In May of this year I just grabbed the domain, threw a basic WordPress install on there, and started writing.
4. You do a lot of traveling, what tips can you give to save money when traveling?
Southwest is just hard to beat. They never charge you a fee for changing or cancelling your flight. On my most recent trip (from which I’m flying home from as I type this), I got a pretty good deal. But a few weeks later I saw a deal pop up via Ding! that was $75 cheaper for the same travel dates. It took 5 minutes to go online, cancel my previous itinerary, and book the cheaper one. Kayak is also a fantastic tool for exploring multiple alternatives for cities, dates, and carriers.
Beyond that, I’d say just remember that your time is worth a lot. I used to spend countless hours exploring every possible way to save $20 on a flight, even if it meant having multiple layovers and inconvenient airports. Now I keep it pretty simple- find the best deal you can in a few minutes, book the shortest most convenient flight you can, and get on with your life.
5. You have an interesting daily schedule, could you share what it is like.
Waking up at 4 am is a little strange, but for me the tradeoff is pretty simple: I give up a bit of nightlife in exchange for several more hours of productivity, and I have the option of ending my workday in the afternoon. I don’t think I’ll keep it forever, but right now I’m in a bit of an "investment" phase, and I really enjoy working on building up my business. Waking up early is a whole lot easier when you look forward to your work.
6. What is one time saving tip or idea that has really improved your life.
Just cutting down the information inflow. Folks like Merlin Mann have been encouraging this for a long time, but it took me a while to catch on. I used to read (and comment on) so many email discussion lists and blogs. It’s not that they were a complete waste of time, but when I made a careful analysis I realized the return on investment just wasn’t worth it. Now I put those hours into actually making stuff, or spending time with my wife and daughter– both of which are so much more fulfilling than getting caught up in a design debate or listening to some stranger’s rant about Adobe.
7. What is the best or most useful thing you own under $20?
That’s tough. I have lots of favorite Mac applications (Transmit, iShowU, SuperDuper, Mori), but I think most of them were $25-$40. I guess for now I’d have to say $20 worth of storage on S3. With the help of Bandwagon I can finally stop hauling around gigs of music backup, and my wife and I can easily sync-up our iTunes purchases.
8. Can you recommend any books or websites, which ones and why.
My all-time favorite book is probably Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Oh, and Sad Mrs. Sam Sack. As far as websites, my friend and colleague Josh Penrod has been running Amish Robot since before blogging was cool. Dig through some of "most popular" entries on that site when you want a good laugh.
9. If you would like to share anything else please feel free to do so.
For anyone interested trying outsourcing to a virtual assistant, and is looking for an alternative to GetFriday, I’m in the early stages of creating new service. Our assistants are U.S-based and web-savvy. Feel free to sign up and we’ll let you know when it’s ready.
Thanks Jed for doing this interview.