Updated: 2 days ago
I might be mad but I decided I'm going to share some things that I've never shared professionally before… in the hope it might help somebody who feels a bit lost right now.
I was absolutely and disappointingly - bang average at school. I struggled to revise and retain the necessary information to pass exams. So when it came down to it, my results at GCSE were really poor. I still remember results day and thinking I'd messed up my whole life. I felt embarrassed at telling my parents my results and what was worse, was the feeling I knew I could have done so much better. I'm now 44 and I really feel that the 'system' in the UK is completely broke. Many successful people did nothing at school but then flourished later in life! At 17, I was lost and had these useless grades staring back at me on my CV - all my friends went to college and I went and got a YTS job on £40 a week. (Remember them?) My YTS job was gardening for the local council. I actually enjoyed it and went on to become qualified in amenity horticulture at Reaseheath college.
When I say ‘enjoy’ obviously it was no fun in the pouring rain or blizzard conditions in the winter. I don't miss not being able to feel my toes and fingers on winter days. But I did know pretty quickly that gardening was never going to give me a decent enough income.
I soon left, in the search for better pay. I wanted to be able to buy guitars, go out with my mates, and have fun on the weekend - and so I ended up doing various jobs in logistics and warehouses for a few years and went from job to job. It was slightly better pay but still nothing above average. The work was often boring and mind numbing and it was just a means to an end. I was that person that lived for my days off and fell into that trap of hating five days a week and living for two! I felt in my early twenties like my exam results really did affect my chances in life.
I regretted not trying harder and doing more. I felt like I was always just going to ‘plod along’ in jobs, I just didn’t enjoy. I couldn't see any other way for me. But good timing was on my side I met an amazing woman and luckily I managed to somehow get on the property ladder and buy my first house with my fiancé. We soon found out we were pregnant and life suddenly felt like it was finally coming together for me at last. I had my own house, I was a Dad and l had a fiancé.
But on one cold October evening, my world changed forever in a split second.
The Police knocked on my door to tell me that my fiancé had suddenly passed away. She was on her way home from a works conference, stepped off the train and collapsed. She had a fatal heart defect that cut her life short - she was just 28.
My whole world came crashing down and I went from feeling like my life was finally coming together to being completely and utterly broken and I also became a single parent overnight too. My son was a week away from turning one when this happened.
I’ll be honest this period of my life is now all a bit of a blur, I found it unbearable at times. One day led to another and another and months passed me by. I had all my dreams wiped out and taken away from me and I had this new role as a single parent to try and cope with.
I remember getting through the long days and just lying-in bed every night, thinking… What the hell do I do now? How do I move forwards and build a life again? I just felt empty and lost for a long time. It was the worst time in my life and could have broken me for good quite easily.
Thankfully, I eventually managed to get myself back on my feet and start enjoying life again, thanks to my family and friends and a lot of two steps forward, three steps back.
It was over the next few years, I decided to set about learning about property and investing. I had a passion for it and wanted to follow a passion, because life was just too short to waste doing something that did not light a fire inside me. I loved watching all the property programs on TV and loved the idea of doing houses up and converting things too.
When I found love again with my now Wife (Claire) - I decided to move into her home and I rented my home out to tenants. I became what people call an 'accidental landlord.' This was my first step into investing and property (kind of).
Later I learned about 'creative property strategies' especially sourcing and deal packaging and trading properties. It was this that flicked a switch in my head. I knew I could do this and make good money.
It amazed me that you could make money from property you didn’t own, if you knew how to apply certain strategies. I knew a few guys at this time, who were making money and I definitely found it all very interesting whenever we chatted about what they were up to.
It was also around this time I got asked to work a Saturday at the last minute by my boss at work.
No notice at all and what was worse - I'd already made plans with the kids and family. I told him enough was enough and knew that I just had to go full time in property. I never worked the Saturday and never worked for anybody else, ever again.
Not my finest hour, but the fear of HAVING to earn money - really does have a way of focusing the mind! But I don’t recommend it to anybody, let me just put that out there!
This was to be the moment my life changed again, but this time for the better!
I slowly began property sourcing and I also managed to build a small rent-to-rent portfolio that gave me income that dwarfed any day job I had ever had. There was no looking back when I got to this stage.
Over the next few years, I learned, I got educated and I focused on building my income further. I worked every day of the week for years - apart from the odd family holiday. But it never felt like work to me. I turned my hand to flipping and really loved the process of taking a beaten up property and creating something new and homely.
I also became an agent too and that’s when sourcing and working with investors really took over my life completely.
Then in 2017, along with two other guys who were also sourcers, we got together in my office one night and we decided to set up a kind of property sourcing / estate agency model and then we would franchise it around the UK and scale up.
The business model did change slightly as we got started but over the course of a few years we became the UK’s biggest property sourcing network.
As a franchise we went from zero to 50+ offices all over the UK within 18 months.
My Wife was actually involved too and she was the franchise manager I remember her target was to sell 10 franchises in year one – she managed to do 50 in less than 18 months!
She reminds me of this fact most days, but to be fair, without her in that business it wouldn't have been what it was.
We were scaling fast and I spent a lot of time travelling and getting involved in multiple projects with our franchisee network. I discovered I loved the coaching side of things and also teaching the strategies we had used (sourcing, lease options, assisted sales, flips, developing and r2r) and I also took real pleasure in watching people do well for themselves.
We eventually went on to launch a peer-to-peer property platform that has gone on to fund millions of pounds worth of property projects.
But in 2019 – I decided to step down as co-founder and property director and exit the business. I was proud at what we had achieved and loved what we did as a business and a group but ultimately...
The decision was purely down to me not enjoying it anymore. If I’m being completely honest I had become jaded with working on the business all the time and I always said, when I felt like I wasn’t enjoying it anymore, I would walk away.
There was also the financial benefit of exiting the businesses that meant...
I could at last enjoy the luxury of taking some real time out.
I holidayed with my Wife and kids and enjoyed some overdue quality time with my family. It felt so good to just unplug from everything and switch off after years of hard work, stress and late nights.
But I couldn’t just retire in my early forties… my brain soon began thinking about new projects and that’s when I started PSN Property Education.
With the idea that I would create affordable property training and mentor people and help them in their business all without charging silly sums of money, like a lot of these property gurus do.
I have sat through all the property education seminars/webinars over the years and was always annoyed at how they sell and how they pitch certain strategies as ‘a way to print money’. Then they have people handing over tens of thousands for courses thinking they will be financially free in a month.
I wanted to just bring something else to the table and be ethical about it too. It had to be priced sensibly and give people value for money. So that’s what I have been doing with my time ever since and I really enjoy mentoring people and consulting for UK start-ups too.
My kids left home in late 2021 and this enabled me and my Wife to finally live our dream and emigrate overseas and we bought our forever ‘dream home in the sun’.
I now work a few hours a week supporting people on our mentorship programs and I consult for a couple of UK based start-ups too. The rest of the time is all mine.
I’m now 44 years old and so thankful I got into property and changed the path I was on.
I do look back sometimes and feel like I'm living someone else's life - it's madness!
I often think - would I have done all this, without my life experiences to drive me… and who knows.
But what I can say is without a doubt – that the biggest driver of success in any of my property businesses was consistency and focus on the job at hand.
People that jump from one thing to another, always wanting to find a shortcut to money – fail!
I’m evidence ANYBODY can REALLY change their life- If they want to.
I’m nothing special at all - yet I did something that meant I could say to my Wife – ‘Why don’t you just quit work and retire’. That felt so good to give her that option, after she supported me.
It was our time to live, enjoy the sun and do all the things we wanted to do.
I’m now able to live where I want and do whatever I want every single day and that never gets boring.
Please DON'T let others limit your potential!
Certain people said to me ‘you won’t retire early’ – but for me it was a plan!
It wasn’t a case of hope or wishing it would happen. I had a plan and that plan became reality.
So never let other people (including family) put you in a box - those people that said that to me, had a limiting belief, so they couldn't see it being possible. I knew it was possible and that it WOULD happen!
I hate it when people say to me ‘Oh you're so lucky’.
I’m not lucky at all – plenty of awful things have happened to me in my life.
Luck has zero to do with how things panned out. It has EVERYTHING to do with thinking outside the box, not settling for less and being determined and consistent with goals and actions. Luck is winning the lottery!
I see lots of people struggling day to day and I just thought posting about where I came from might help and maybe inspire some people into thinking – actually there is another way to live your life.
If you feel like you're a million miles from where you would like to be - then just know that things will not change unless you change what you're doing.
Top 10 Tips To Help You Make A Change
Decide what your ultimate goals are and work out how to get there
Consistency wins and builds momentum - this is powerful!
Don't let others tell you that you can't do something
Don't be a busy fool and mistake that for working hard
Focus is key to success - make a plan and break it down into daily tasks
Never judge yourself on what others are doing on social media
When you have a plan - stick to it, live it, breathe it, every damn day
Small steps are the focus NOT big wins (Rome was not built in a day)
Accept bad times and see them as an opportunity to learn
When you have momentum nobody and nothing can stop you!
I've had this blog written for some time and I haven’t wanted to share it for some reason.
I’m an introvert 100% and not a big one for sharing too much online, especially really personal stuff!
I just hope somebody who reads this will relate to it and see there are always options for you and choices to be made – and those decisions can lead to a completely different future for you – like it did me.
So if anybody is still reading, thank you and I hope you see that no matter who you are, where you live, what's in your bank - life is all about choices. You either stay as you are OR you fight to change.
If you would like to have me mentor you forever, there is a limited window of opportunity to secure a spot on our mentorship program. CLICK NOW TO SEE THE FULL DETAILS