Dear Phoebe and Nelson, in the light of Steve’s sudden demise, I wanted to start to write my memoirs, to tell you more about my entrepreneurial journey so far. Why would I want to do that? Especially as you don’t really like to read yet, and may never actually read this at all?
I believe that, by telling you my story, but also, more importantly by sharing the books, tools and techniques that changed MY life, you can improve your lives too, maybe by becoming a full-blown entrepreneur or business owner, or maybe just to start a little something on the side of your day job.
That’s ok too.
Did you know that, if you just buy 1 x one bedroom flat a year, for five years, rent it out and just sit on it, in a normal housing market, you will most likely become a millionaire in 10 years? That’s better odds than the lottery but still people blow so much money every week on buying tickets.
They are just buying hope!
And actually, if you start to take action, you can get that for free!
What about a “not so normal” housing market?
Well, if it takes 15 or 20 years, would that be OK?
So you don’t have to give up your day job, you just have to open your eyes, ears and perhaps most importantly your MIND, to become financially successful as well as happy, fulfilled human beings.
But creating an extra income on the side of the day job, especially online, can boost your ability to do things like invest in property.
So let’s get started shall we?
My entrepreneurial journey starts with the huge influence my mother had on me. You know her now as a distant grandmother figure who you don’t know, but who sends you money (always welcome) and confusing emails sometimes.
My mother Patricia was a raging entrepreneur by nature and never could sit still, always looking for a better way to do things, how to improve things, always moving furniture or rooms around and even houses and countries all through my childhood.
She was a talented performer and a dancer in musical theatre, a career she had to give up to become a wife and mother. This is where the first of her lasting legacies to me came from; she really impressed upon me that you must never be dependent on a man. When I think about how tough women had it in those days – and we are only talking about the early 60’s. There’s a popular programme now called “Call The Midwife” that really shows clearly how difficult it was for most working class women.
I was born in 1961, went to school in the 60’s and 70’s but I left school as a delinquent under-achiever who scraped five ‘O’ Levels but could have done so much better. I was always in the A stream by the skin of my teeth but hanging out behind the bike sheds with the smokers and the bad boys and girls.
No college, no sixth-form, no idea of what to do. I jumped from job to job, always searching for the ‘one’; the job where I would shine, where I would fulfil the true potential I knew was there.
When I started my first ever business at the age of 8 years old my idea was to rent out, or even sell, the many paperback story books I had already accumulated from older relatives, second hand shops and jumble sales. I started well recruiting my 6-year old sister, Heather, now an international opera singer and still dining out on the story, on a payment-by-results basis.
I moved from one start up business to the next, always searching for my big break. No training, no business skills, no idea. However I was a voracious reader and in between the horror and sci-fi stories, I was buying “How To” business books and occasionally bought a ‘self-help’ book such as ‘How To Become A Woman of Substance’ and ‘How To Love A Difficult Man’.
It took me 28 years to realise that I needed a business mentor or I would probably never achieve any business success at all. I was growing up in a family with no money and no business people in it, much less successful business people. My early business ventures were pretty much doomed to failure.
I launched a flat-finding agency, I produced New Romantic waistcoats and became a freelance fashion designer supplying designer shops. I also helped my severely non-entrepreneurial husband start his own dance music compilations record label, Esoteric Records, with moderate success for about 3 years.
Things improved a bit at the age of 38 when I saw the light, took responsibility for my own success and results and started my quest for financial freedom. I met a pivotal mentor who recognised the entrepreneurial fire in me and gave me my first taste of being paid by results – uncapped commission payments, heady stuff!
I have told the story many times of how I met my first mentor, who became one of C4’s first “Secret Millionaires”, Gill Fielding.
Gill had loads of experience of creating wealth through investing in property and the stock market, and she’s an utterly brilliant speaker but, having come from the corporate world herself, she didn’t really know how to start and grow a new business from scratch, on a shoestring.
We started a company together but after 6 months amicably agreed to go our separate ways, Gill wanting to reach more people to “light the spark of financial possibility” as she calls it. Gill bought me out and, in the process, gave me the first inkling that an idea, turned into a business, might have an asset value.
Next I bought my run-down hotel The Acacia for half a million pounds but “no money down”, gutted it and started to market it online. I regularly quizzed my accountant and my bank manager about the businesses they saw every day.
What separated those that succeeded from those that failed?
I got some very interesting answers.
I’ll tell you the rest tomorrow as that’s already an awful lot to read!
In the meantime you can find me at any of the following places online:
p.s. I’ll tell you more in my next blog post – are you enjoying the story so far? If so,
just hit the comments link and let me know?