The “Crew to Captain” series of books plots a course from starting your own business, through growing it and taking it to the next level, then easing into semi-retirement, and finally progressing to full retirement. It’s similar to Shakespeare’s idea of the “7 ages of man”, but in this case there are 4! There is also a sidestep into how you go about setting yourself up as a sole practitioner consultant.

From Crew to Captain (2010) takes you on a journey through 3 important phases:

Reflecting – what does it take to make the transition from working for a big institution to working for yourself … and is it for you?

Planning – how do you prepare for a successful launch?

Doing – how do you go about implementing your plan?


A Privateer’s Tale (2014) is about the transition from a big institution to a specific area of activity, namely consultancy. Above all else, it will show you:

What good consultancy looks like.

How to win clients.

How to keep them happy, so that they come back for more and tell other people about you.


Commander of the Fleet (2015) was written to help people, having proved to themselves and the market that their business model worked, figure out how to take it to the next level. You will learn:

How to create a value business capable of sustainable, profitable growth.

How to deal with “growing pains”.

Specifically, how to move from being a sole practitioner consultant to running a consultancy practice.


These 3 books are known as the “Crew to Captain Trilogy” and are also offered as Executive Summaries named, ‘A List of Lists’.


Changing Tack Part 1 (2020) effectively created a bridge for people looking for an intermediate step between full-time employment and full retirement. This book is for you if:

You are contemplating this transition and want to ensure you achieve it with “eyes wide open”.

You are keen to learn from others who have done this or are doing it.

You don’t know what you don’t know in terms of considering all the options open to you.


Changing Tack Part 2 (2022) takes a look at progressing to full retirement, whether from a part-time or full-time working situation. This book provides you with some issues to consider in terms of:

Retiring – your financial position means you can do this.

Repeating – you want to carry on because you are having so much fun and/or you need the money.

Reinventing – you genuinely believe you have at least one more activity to explore and/or you need the money.


‘From Crew to Captain’ Podcasts

I was invited by Alex Ede of PRISM Brain Mapping to chat about my book trilogy ‘From Crew to Captain’ for PRISM’s “Brain Behaviour Business” – The B3 Podcasts

The 3 podcasts are:

‘From Crew to Captain’ – Making the transition from working for a big institution to working for yourself.

‘A Privateer’s Tale’ – making the transition from working for a big institution to operating as a sole practitioner consultant.

‘Commander of the Fleet’ – taking your business to the next level.

You can listen to the podcasts here.


Reviews [not sure where these should go!]

Changing Tack

Denise McQuaid:

“Semi-retirement may still be a pipe dream but David has created a fun and engaging bible to support reflection and planning.  David’s insight will fast track you towards building a successful plan, one where you have considered all options and eventualities.  Highly recommended!”

Paul Gosling:

“The idea of a portfolio working environment has been on my mind for a few years.  With David’s help, I have now managed to get things organised!  It has been about the fact that my working time is not all down one avenue.  In essence, not being at the coal face or having choices has made me more strategic and focused.  Early on, I recognised I did not want to average more than three days in front of clients.  With David’s guidance, my diary now works that way each week.”



Changing Tack 2

Liz Sebag-Montefiore:

“David’s invaluable easy-to-read books are packed full of useful content, that combine his deep understanding of the theory and practice of business with ‘real world’ advice based on his own extensive experience.  David offers constructive advice across his series to present readers with an opportunity to confidently move forward whether you’re looking to start or grow your own business, transition from working full-time to semi-retirement, or make the move from semi-retirement to full retirement.  Highly recommend!”

Professor Steve Thomas

“David and I joined Bayes (formerly Cass) Business School on the same day in 2006.  Although the main focus of this book is later life career change or indeed lifestyle, wisely ignoring conventional and outmoded ideas of ‘aging’ (much as David himself!), a lot of David’s contribution of late has been working with our world class MBA cohorts whose single biggest motivation for seeking a qualification is indeed to Change Tack, possibly industry, seniority level, or simply role within an organisation.  And as cuh David’s unique range of experience in financial services, entrepreneurship, charity work and education has served hundreds of students and working professionals very well indeed.

“As with David’s other books, Changing Tack is full of entertaining insights which you will find very useful indeed.  Go on, you will enjoy the book – you may even Change Tack!”