I’m really pleased that you have found my site. I guess you are interested in getting a better return on your investments, making your money work a lot harder for you or acquiring a very high yielding property portfolio? As you know, this will enable you to buy back time from your boss, quit your job, cut down your hours, choose what job you do without looking at the pay check first, or have the benefits and security of a large additional passive income stream.
I initially started investing in property because I knew there had to be more to life than working 11 hours a day until I was 65. After embarking upon my own property journey, my mission now is to help other people just like you, lead the life you want to. However before we get into that, I would love to tell you my story, so you know a little bit more about me, my values, and why I now do what I do.
Today I am a successful property investor and business owner, but if you had been with me when I was growing up you’d have seen that my upbringing meant I had to grow up fast, from an early age. From the age of 13, out of necessity as I was the only person in my household with an income, I started two businesses in order to support my family. In hindsight, this is probably where I get my entrepreneurial spirit from! I would run down to the bakery at 5am on a Saturday morning to collect orders for the 110 boys in my boarding house. It cost me 40p to buy an Ice Bun (sorry Jamie Oliver!) and I charged a pound – I used to make up to £90 for an hour and a half’s work every Saturday! 😉
My second business was cricket coaching on holiday camps and on Sunday mornings at Esher Cricket Club, in Surrey! In 2007, when I finished school, I decided to take what I thought would be a “Gap Year” using the money I had managed to put aside.
Getting out of my bubble
Then having just turned 18, I jumped on a plane to India by myself without even a guide book. I had quite literally the time of my life, as I got myself into all sorts of situations: acting in a Bollywood movie, dancing in Holy Festivals, and going on a camel trek out into the Rajasthani desert. It was the first time I had really felt completely comfortable with who I was, and the first time I realised why I hadn’t always fitted in at school (and now I realise that’s a good thing 😉 ). I met a Sri Lankan couple in Colombo who took me into their very humble home for 3 weeks, and helped me realise that
Life is what YOU make of it
And I decided then that life was too short not to live the life you want to. If you don’t follow your dreams, then are following someone else’s, and I had to choose my own path! I knew from this point on that I wanted to follow my heart not my head and that I wasn’t going to live a “normal” life – whatever that meant…
I somehow managed to navigate through India, Sri Lanka, Japan, China, Thailand and Malaysia – before the money I had earnt ran out. (don’t you hate it when that happens!) I was determined to be self-sufficient, so I sold my camera, guide book and watch and headed to the airport to catch my flight to Australia. I arrived with $66, and after my long distance bus ticket, I arrived on a friend’s doorstep in Merimbula, NSW with $10 (this is no exaggeration!). I worked 4 different part time jobs: flipping burgers, in a pub, in a club and in a chocolate shop. I wanted more and went to Melbourne to find it.
Day 1 in Melbourne – I bumped into a rough and ready Aussie called Louis, who I got chatting to. After a few minutes, he said that I had exactly what he was looking for (whatever that was) and asked me to interview for his company. I got the job, which he only told at the end of the interview was 100% commission based face to face sales- “Which is great because if you are good, you get very well rewarded” he assured me… I was more than a little sceptical but having just paid my rent, and deposit on a place, I was back down to my last few dollars- I had no other option but to take the job. If you were there with me on Day 1, you would have seen a bewildered backpacker being swarmed by thousands of people on the busy streets of Melbourne. To make matters worse, I was on negative money by lunchtime because I hadn’t sold anything and I had just bought lunch! Louis then taught me about
the importance of never losing the smile on your face
He called losing your positive attitude “negging out” and I quickly saw that this applied to every area of my life, because getting angry/grumpy/frustrated only worsens situations.
I picked up sales pretty quickly, and by the end of my first full week I had broken the Melbourne office’s PB. Within a month, I was consistently topping the tables for the whole of the Australia and New Zealand campaigns! I was consistently earning over $2,000 each week after tax, and had started dating a beautiful lady, my boss from the Sydney office. Not bad for a backpacker! 😀 Having learnt to sell, I taught others to do the same, and managed the recruitment, training and personal development of my team, Midas Marketing. I discovered the power of leverage and passive income, and I was now generating overrides from each one of my 15 strong team, even if I wasn’t working. There’s something in this I thought… and suddenly going back to University in England to study “War Studies” at King’s College London was not particularly appealing, so I contacted them to let know I was applying for residency in Australia and wouldn’t be returning!
But not everything is always smooth sailing…
Unfortunately, whilst living the high life, a very close family member tried to take their own life. I realised that I had to head home in December 2008 as there are some things in life which you can’t put a price tag on.
I used the $20,000 I had saved to help clear this person out of their debts but I needed more money to keep the bailiffs off their back. Through a little bit of luck, and application of the persistence and positive attitude I had developed on the streets of Melbourne, I asked the parents of the children I had coached over the years at my local cricket club to help me out. I am so grateful to Andy, Marta and Hamish for putting me in touch with HR in Citigroup, Red and Attachmate, as I passed their interview processes and was rewarded with graduate scheme paying jobs in banking, PR, and IT sales in London – I hadn’t even been to uni!
I then had a life changing realisation
During this time however, it hit me that the 6am train to Canary Wharf wasn’t quite as glamorous as I thought it would be.
After I had cleared the debts, I wanted the time to think about how I was going to earn a living without 60 hour weeks, manic deadlines and moody bosses. I decided that uni would be the breathing space I wanted to think about how I was going to earn a living doing something I loved and I went to the University of York to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics. It was at this time that I won the “Surrey Young Coach of the Year Award” which was presented by my childhood heroes, Alec Stewart and Graham Thorpe. I used the free publicity I got across the county to launch my children’s birthday party company, HOWZAT! Cricket, which has gone from strength to strength, following glowing testimonials from some very high profile names. HOWZAT! now runs in Surrey and Yorkshire all year round and we have some fantastic coaches on board. I had some people wanting to invest in the company and take it National, however I still knew there was an easier and more stable long term business to be my primary focus…
It wasn’t until the Summer of 2012 that I really had my light bulb moment and I knew how I would achieve the ambitious financial goals I had set myself. I was doing yet another internship, this time with Procter and Gamble. In my first week I was presented with a brand new company BMW and I was once again caught up in the corporate world of KPI’s, targets and meetings (not to mention the pre-meetings to discuss what would be discussed in a meeting!).
Although the company ethos was fantastic, and everyone who worked there really was a pleasure to work with, I realised that I wasn’t passionate enough to spend the next 50 years of my life in the company. I also remembered making money from each one of my team member’s sales in Australia, and thinking that no matter how much I make for myself at P&G, someone at the top is making far more! I opened my mind to other options and somehow came across the infamous “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. I read it in a day. Everything made complete sense as I didn’t want to be trading my time for money, as no matter what I was earning per hour, I still had to keep on trading it. I wanted to be working on my business, not in it, and only if I chose to!
For the 6 weeks before my final year at uni started, I was reading for 14 hours a day. I devoured book after book on wealth creation and business, and I decided that property was the perfect vehicle to provide me the stability, leverage and opportunity that I wanted to create my financial freedom.
A tale of two cities…
My boss from Australia is now my fiancée, and she moved back to the UK in 2011 after a successful 5 year career in Melbourne! Katrina was just as excited as I was after discovering the principles of passive income and we realised that our money could be working smarter than paying down the balance of the mortgage on our apartment.
A new chapter
After some thorough research, we attended a property investing seminar, (The Progressive JV Buying Frenzy) in October, and the rest as they say is history! We decided that property would help us lead the lives we wanted, and we don’t do things by halves! So we maxed out credit cards (and took out new ones and maxed them as well!) and signed up for a training package to teach us how to build a substantial property portfolio, fast, as a result of learning from our expert mentors’ mistakes!
I also put my final year of university very much on the back burner, as I realised that I had got caught up in the rat race of Uni and despite achieving a 1st in my second year (including 100% in Economics in Years 1 & 2 and my AS levels!), I realised a 2.1 would do me just fine and I wanted to spend my time on something more productive than writing another essay!
We found our goldmine area to invest in Yorkshire and went on a rampage, viewing up to 35 properties a week, and attending up to 10 networking events a month. The result of the experience I gained from the expert mentoring I received from the multi-millionaire Roy Inman, as well as practical experience of negotiation, viewings and building relationships with estate agents, is that we can now pick up properties at a substantial discount, with yields ranging from 8-30%.
At this time, as we only had enough money for a deposit on our next investment property, we did a Joint Venture with a family member for the costs of refurbishment, and the property provides us (after all costs) with over £1000 each month. We also had our other property rented out at £500 per month, which meant that aside from my Birthday Party business, and Katrina’s motivational speaking business, we had more income being generated passively from property income than it cost us to live.
As a result, we are able to do something quite special- work because we choose to as we enjoy it! And from there, it has been taking off – as without financial worries or bosses’ targets (apart from the ambitious ones we set ourselves!), we have the time and the freedom to grow our portfolio so much quicker and we now own and control nearly £3m of property, which generates a passive income of over £10,000 pcm. Even more importantly than finances though, we are able to enjoy life so much more.
We now help other individuals and investors makes their money work a lot harder for them either through giving them a substantial return on their investment, or by working to build them a portfolio.
If you know anyone who this would appeal to, then I would love to chat with them and discuss how we can work together to achieve their goals.