Hey everybody, welcome back to the show! We’ll have a great topic to discuss today with my friend, Richard Brown. Richard is joining us from the UK and he’s an international investor, investing in 4 countries and he’s a member of our Investor Fuel Mastermind! Today, we’ll talk about how can you go bigger and how investing in 4 countries and living a life of flexibility causes you to think outside the box. It’s a great topic! Let’s go ahead and get started!
Mike:Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the show. We’re going to have a great topic today to talk about with my friend Richard Brown. He’s joining us from the UK. He’s an international investor. He invested four countries actually, and he’s a member of our Investor Fuel Mastermind as well. We’re talking about just going bigger and how investing in four countries and living that life of flexibility kind of causes you to think outside of the box. How can you go bigger? It’s going to be a great topic.
Professional real estate investors know that it’s not really about the real estate. In fact, real estate is just a vehicle to freedom. A group of over 100 of the nation’s leading real estate investors from across the country meet several times a year at the Investor Fuel Real Estate Mastermind to share ideas on how to strengthen each other’s businesses, but also to come together as friends and build more fulfilling lives for all of those around us. On today’s show, we’re going to continue our conversation of fueling our businesses and fueling our lives. I’m glad you’re here. Richard, welcome to the show, my friend.
Richard:Hey, it’s great to be here, Mike. Thanks for inviting me.
Mike:Yeah. Yeah. It’s funny when we first started, I’m like, “Well, where are you now? What country are you in?” You’re an international man of mystery, so glad to have you here.
Richard:Thank you. Thank you for saying that. It’s funny enough, actually, literally last night, I was on an airplane. I just landed at London Heathrow airport, flown in from Amsterdam and somebody had been in contact with, we’re looking to do some work together, he said, “I’m going to call you Mr. Holiday. Are you on holiday?” And, you know, to make him feel better, I said, “Well, actually I’m stuck on a plane at Heathrow. They need to get some buses out and there’s no buses.” So it’s not quite as glamorous maybe sometimes as it sounds, but I do spend a lot of time in planes between my properties.
Mike:Yeah. But the great thing about it is the freedom and the flexibility to kind of do what you want and live how you want to, right? And so, you have a unique story and it’s exciting. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started in real estate investing?
Richard:Yeah, sure. Thanks for that. As you probably tell, I’m mature in age. There’s a five in my age, and it’s not 35. Basically, long story short, I had a corporate career. I know we had a conversation before, Mike, and, you, you know, you had a similar background in many ways. I had a corporate career. I was the first in my family to go to university and I did the whole matrix thing, followed the sort of path I thought I should do, but there was always something inside of me burning, which, you know, just didn’t sit right being in that environment. It was always a bit of a misfit. And I mean that in a nice way.
I have entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve tried a lot of things, frankly, in my earlier years, you know, whilst I was in corporate land. I was making good progress in my corporate career, but always dabbling and doing other things.
And needless to say, I didn’t really get the whole personal finance thing properly despite the fact, funny enough, that I was working in financial services. So I was working in business-to-business financial services in, you know, sometimes for banks, but more often for manufacturers who I was helping manufacturers to sell more equipment using financial services. That’s my background. And, you know, then I kind of I got what I call my eureka moment in my mid-40s. I was assessing in what we call a pub beer garden in the UK. And I was kind of just doodling on a napkin. And as you do when you sat on your own on a summer’s day with a pint in your hand, I was working out . . .
Mike:My best ideas come at the bar, usually, so yeah.
Richard:Well, it seems to be the case with me.
Mike:They think they’re the best at the time, at least. But you go ahead.
Richard:No, no, no. It was leveraging compound growth of real estate investing. That’s what I was doodling and I just went, “Wow, I kind of didn’t get this.” And I kind of worked out that, you know, the conversation had had about a few weeks before with a financial advisor who told me to fix the big hole I had in my pension, I’d need to stick away a substantial part of my salary, which I could not afford for 25 years to get half reasonable pension. I was like, “Well, how am I going to get out of this mess?” You know, I was really worried about my pension. That’s where it started. And so, I kind of, you know, realized the whole compound growth and etc. And then so up four years later, after that moment, I had what I call my second first investment because I did actually have an investment before, but that didn’t sort of stick.
And so, this was right about 2009 by the time I invest, started investing properly. So roughly 10 years ago. And since then, you know, well, basically, just to cut a long story short, I fixed my pension problem with my very first investment property.
Richard:Yeah. And I was like, “Well, that was quite easy.” It wasn’t totally easy, but, you know, it was a lot easier than shoving away nearly 1,000 pounds a month into a pension, which I just couldn’t afford at the time.
Mike:For 25 years. Yeah.
Richard:For 25 years. So I fixed my pension and then it’s like, what next? And this has been a recurring thing. So I use a phrase now, I call fix and flex in terms of goals and strategy. So I fixed my goal and strategy. I fixed my goal, which was to plug a hole in my pension and then a found . . . I know, I found a solution pretty quickly, so I had some flex my goals and then, obviously, as a result, I started flexing my strategies as well.
So fast forward to today, you know, the, you know, I’ve undertaken multiple strategies in several different countries, as you’ve alluded to. And I have a portfolio, but more recently, I started . . . I had a step change. Was a chief financial independence, financial freedom within a reasonable period of time, but not stellar? But more recently, it’s just gone on an exponential level. And one of the keys to that was larger projects, which we’re generally going to talk about today as well. So I’ve got portfolio and I’m a developer now as well as an investor. So, you know, touching larger projects and, you know, that sort of thing. So this is a . . .
Mike:Yeah. That’s great.
Richard: . . . quick background. And just to add, by the way, much like you, I’m also a knowledge sharer. We’ll probably talk about that at some point, but [inaudible 00:06:45].
Mike: Fellow podcaster too, and for those that are listening right now, you know, not that you would ever know this unless I told you, but just before we’re recording this, I actually was a guest on Richard’s podcasts. We do this back to back, and so, we’ll give you a link for Richard’s podcast a little bit later in the show.
But, you know, one of the things that we talked about, I guess in recording your show is one of the beauties of attaining financial freedom with real estate investing or really with anything is the ability to give you flexibility to think bigger, take bigger risks, try bigger things, right? Because once you get to a certain point, we’re not saying this to brag anyone, but once you get to a point where I’m not worried about survival anymore, and I hate to use casino analogies because I don’t think that what we do is all that risky, they’re usually the calculated risks, but you’re kind of playing with the house’s money.
So I’m able to take bigger risks and try bigger things, and honestly, you just have the confidence to test bigger things or try bigger things too, right? So I know that’s . . . and truthfully, you know, you went from not investing in real estate to investing in four countries and even in the U.S. you’ve invested in multiple markets as well, right? And so, it’s just like, “Wow, if I can do that, if I could pull that off,” and not that it all always works perfectly, I’m sure, but it just allows you to say, “If I could do that, why can’t I go to the next level, next level, next level?” Right?
And so, kind of show your epiphany. Today we’re going to talk about, I know just kind of going bigger, thinking bigger, doing bigger things, and like getting to the point to where you never think small or play small again, right? Which is how wealth is built, right?
Richard:Yeah. But it’s funny, you know, we’re all on a journey and we’re all growing and developing a ourselves. You know, you and I both, you know, still today, just because we’ve achieved a certain level of success and achievement or attainment, we still got things to learn. And ironically, before we had our first conversation, I had a rather long conversation with a lady who’s helping me write a book or at least promote a book I’m currently in the process of doing. And she was playing back things to me and challenging me and my own thought process about thinking bigger. And I was like, “I thought I was already thinking bigger,” and then she’s challenging me to think bigger still.
So, you know, what happens sometimes is we settle or we get in a comfort zone or where we sort of put some mental barriers around our capabilities. And actually, it’s just if we free them, you know, throw them away a little bit and start thinking a little bit laterally, we can go bigger again. It does make sense to perhaps go in stages because, you know, things can go wrong. You know, if they go wrong with a big deal, it could be very costly.
But so, yeah, I’m doing larger unit developments at the moment, and I’m doing, you know, I’m having these conversations with people and they’re going, “I want to do like 15 deals in the next two years. Do you think that’s doable?” I’m like, “That’s a lot of transactions, just . . . ” You know, that these are rehabs as you would call them. So it’s a lot of transactions. I said, “My latest project is 15 in 1.” You know, so on just one project and I would say my workload is pretty much the same personally as if on the one which is slightly less than 15 units because it’s similar size and ultimately.
So my sort of pay rate, my average hourly rate or day rate for that larger transaction is an X factor bigger than it would have been on a single family home. So this [inaudible 00:10:23] is going to do 15 transactions to get to their goals. Perhaps if it just elevated their thinking and could find a way, because we’ll come onto how we can do this, but could find a way to think a bit bigger, they could get there a lot sooner with a lot less stress, hassle and, you know, mind space, really.
Mike:Right, right. Yeah. There’s no doubt when I, you know, kind of post-corporate America when I left there and got out on my own, you know, I guess there’s like this box drawn around us when you’re working for somebody else, right? Like this is what we need you to do. And nobody ever says it, but it’s almost by design, like don’t think outside of the box, you know, too much, right? Just enough to get to the next box pretty much.
And when you’re out on your own, you know, one of the biggest realizations for me, and I have a son now that’s 12, is, you know, my whole life, my family was very blue collar and hard workers and all those things, but they thought the way to get ahead was to work harder, right? Physically harder, or more time, or whatever, that’s how you get ahead. And I played that game for a long time, but I know it’s about . . . I know now it’s about being smarter and thinking outside of the box. And, you know, one of the biggest realizations I have for my son is that there’s so many ways to make money, right? It’s not necessarily the traditional path. And so once you realize that the sky is the limit, then you start dreaming bigger and you start planning bigger, right?
Richard:You do. And I think there’s else magical happens. And it’s really hard, you know, if you, if you read things like Napoleon Hill, you know, he talks about the power of the subconscious mind, you know, quite a lot and you can read words like that and you go, “What?” You know? But actually, the mind, you know, you give the mind a problem and it’s sort of programmed to solve the problem.
So if you give it a big problem, “I want to achieve this big goal or, you know, this outcome,” and it doesn’t know how, you know, you don’t know how to do it, the mind, subconsciously, is starting to work on fixing the problem. And it can come up with the solution in your subconscious mind, you know, whether you’re dreaming or whatever, or it can bring people into your path, you know. Because it’s like when you’re looking to buy a car, suddenly, you see them everywhere, right? You know, so it just brings people into your path, which starts your thought process is working in a different way, and it’s kind of a magical thing.
So sometimes have that big goal, that big problem, because . . . You know, let’s not call it a problem, but a big challenge, you know, it gets the subconscious mind working in that that’s been a magical thing. But I’m still learning and developing that myself, trust me.
Mike:Yeah. And I think, you know, you’re member of our Investor Fuel Mastermind. I think, you know, you believe this too, is when you start to get around other people and you hear what they’re doing, it’s not a game of one upping. It’s just like when you hear that somebody did something and you’re like, it just forces you to think bigger because you see or think differently, not necessarily bigger sometimes how to solve a problem more creatively, right?
Richard:Yeah. I mean, the power of mastermind . . .
Mike:Around likeminded others, people that you respect, people that are charging hard. It forces you to up your game and think a little bit more about what you do and how you do it.
Richard:It does. So I’ll tell you quick story. You probably know I didn’t manage to make the last Investor Fuel event. I was on a boat in a canal in Holland, and I was getting these messages through. I’ve been allocated to an accountability group as a result of, you know, the session.
Richard:And I thought, “What are these messages?” I don’t know what they are, yeah. You know, and I didn’t really know as an accountability group. I said, “Listen, I can even sit quietly and not join in or you could tell me what’s going on and I can be more active.” And Jamie, you know, quite kindly said, “This is, you know, your accountability goals for the next quarter, you know, three business goals, one personal goal, what are your sort of thing?” I was like, you know, “I can either write back telling I wasn’t there.” But I did. I thought I was on the boat, and I was like, “Attack them away, right? These are my goals.” And I put them out there and they’re now in public. And, by the way, they’re stretched beyond what I was probably thinking I was going to do. So you’re absolutely right and guess what? People are going to hold me to account now as well, aren’t they? So that’s going to be good.
Mike:And most importantly, you hold yourself more accountable, right? Yeah.
Mike:Awesome. So let’s talk about kind of going bigger and thinking bigger. And I know you wanted to go over some different ways to effectively go bigger, think bigger.
Richard:Yeah. I think there’s a lot of things we could talk about. One of the realizations I guess I had recently is the idea of capital. What is capital? And, of course, in real estate, you know, most people would think of capital as being financial capital. So that would be cash, it would be debt finance, it would be equity that comes in from ourselves or a third party. And, of course, you know, it’s a very capital-intensive industry as you well know. And it plays a major part, absolutely.
And one of the things that, you know, is involved with going bigger, particularly if you’re looking at larger real estate deals, it’s more cash or more financial capital to be able to go bigger. And so, we can just pause on that a little bit because one of the game changes for me in the last 18 months or so was two things. And one was having access to what I call development finance. I don’t know if you have the same terminology.
So development finance is also funding. If you think about a real estate deal, you’ve got the property and you’ve got rehab at a single family home, or if it’s a larger project, the development costs and all the fees, etc. A big chunk of money and often you need to fund the rehab costs and the extra costs out of cash. So if you go bigger, you need a lot of cash. So one of the things I put into my subconscious mind if you like, was, “Well, how can they get access to more cash to do bigger deals?” And development finance is one of those vehicles. And you can get development finance from institutions, but you can also get development finance from private individuals or, you know, non-mainstream institutions. So that enabled me to scale.
And the second thing was at equity finance, so bringing in partners to the business, essentially, who would bring, you know, equity capital, risk capital into the business. So it wasn’t all, you know, oftentimes it was me providing the equity capital. So I was saving, and generating, and hustling, I guess to generate equity capital. And my limits were how much capital I could raise, which would determine how many deals I could do, which would determine my volume and my outcomes.
So I started thinking about this and, you know, we started basically attracting equity finance, attract, you know, qualifying and attracting for development finance and suddenly doing deals, 10X at what I was doing by having access to this financial capital. So finding capital is actually a major part point in it and I’ve just kind of relayed back to the whole subconscious mind thing and that mastermind in the connections and community, but I think it’s not the only form of capital that we can utilize. And so, I don’t know if you wanted me to quickly just sort of relay what those are and we can drill into some, if you think are interesting.
Mike:Sure. Yeah. Let’s just go over them and then we can kind of drill at each one if you want to.
Richard:Might need to use my cheat sheet just so I don’t forget any. So got financial capital, obviously. We’ve got knowledge capital, social capital, emotional or spiritual capital, systems capital, human capital, brand capital, and finally, natural capital. So that’s . . .
Mike: The one you said . . . Oh, brand. Brand, okay.
Richard:Brand capital. So, in fact, I can tell you another story from another conversation. I don’t know if I can name check. Can I name check any other Investor Fuel members?
Mike:RJ Bates, yeah.
Richard:RJ Bates. Thanks. The third, I believe. I met him the very first time I came in the group, which is, you know, a few months ago now. First of all, he was the only person who connected with me on social media there and then at the meeting. Only one. What was he using? Social capital. All right.
Then we had a conversation and I saw his presentation at the time and he talked about $0 marketing and I said, “What do you mean by $0 marketing?” And he was basically saying, “Leveraging social media to convey the message and people attracted towards you as a result of that.” And so, this is the idea of social capital. So it’s your network. It’s, you know, people in your reach through, you know, social media platforms, etc.
You know, most of them are free. There’s no fee to pay or they could be low cost if it’s like an institutional membership or something like that. And it’s something that we can scale and all we need to do is tell a story sometimes and if we tell a story, people like stories and, you know, it’s amazing.
There’s a guy recently who’s doing videos on LinkedIn and he recently had an expandable ladder, you know, and he was going in his property and he’s like, “If you’ve got a high ceiling, you’re going to need an expandable ladder and you can put it in the trunk of your car.” I was like, “Who is this?” And he’s like . . . He said he had a massive response, so people, you know, just connecting with him, still having conversation with him and actually ultimately leading onto potential opportunities as result of sharing, not just his expandable ladder story, obviously, but other ones I’ve said.
Social capital, you know, is underutilized one and this idea of $0 marketing really stuck with me, RJ utilized. And it can take time, of course, to build your social network or your wider network, but there’s ways of getting through a lot quicker. But I think tell everybody what you’re doing, but if you’ve got more reach and scale through these networks, it can attract more people towards you and it can have either zero cost or very low cost as well.
Mike:Yeah, we could probably have like an entire show on just on this, right? But I think to put . . . You know, a couple thoughts that come to mind are a lot of us use social, like we spend way too much time on it, but it’s not directed at a business case necessarily, it’s just interacting a whole bunch of crap, right? Like who ate what and where am I right now? And here’s a picture of this or that, right? Which is fine. But, you know, like you said, RJ has found a way to build relationships with people that usually then eventually come outside of social media. Like the relationship is made and now let’s find some ways to work together. He’s done a great job with that. In fact, we have this million-dollar meeting coming up here in just a couple of weeks. He’s actually presenting just on that, actually. Same topic. Yeah, very similar. So awesome. That’s great.
Richard:I was wondering if you want me to go through any more examples, but . . .
Mike:Sure. Yeah, go ahead.
Richard:Yeah, so another one, the second one I mentioned was knowledge capital. And, you know, we’ve got traditional forms of knowledge, you know, formal education would be an example. We’ve got things like professional accreditation and qualifications, would be other sort of examples, but we’ve also got less obvious ones and more subtle ones. So just understanding rules and regulations, policies and procedures, codes, etc. And then learning, you know, once we understand these . . .
So in the UK, for example, a lot of what I’m doing at the moment is converting commercial property into residential property. And I know that doesn’t necessarily fully translate to the U.S. market, but the principle is actually . . . The reason why I’m doing some of this right now is utilizing something called permitted development rights. So if you can think of coding . . . Sorry, zoning. I’m getting the wrong language. Zoning in the U.S. it’s like, it’s pre-approved. It’s pre-approved, this conversion. So you don’t have to go through an approval process and wait for it to be to be done and you can convert, in the UK, a commercial building . . . I don’t know if you can hear these sirens, they’re not for me.
Mike:Oh, you’re fine.
Richard:These commercial buildings in the UK are worth less per square foot or per square meter than residential. So just by arbitrage, to use the phrase we talked about earlier, you can actually improve that value. So there’s lots of examples like that. You can use utilize knowledge to actually gain, you know, gain extra benefit in your real estate transaction.
Mike:Yes. Somebody that knows that information, that has value for you and you’re able to leverage, truthfully, for them, the other side of that is for somebody that has a lot of knowledge, like I do a lot of coaching and mentoring. I have certain relationships, like people often . . . By the way, I’m not asking for anything for anybody that’s listening right now, but somebody yesterday sent me a message, somebody that, I won’t say who it is, but somebody that has a big platform said, “Hey, if you can help me with this, then here’s how you would benefit from that.” Right? Just because they knew I could make a connection and help them with something. And it’s not something that I have time for, but if you have the right set of knowledge, you can insert yourself into deals and into all sorts of things because that knowledge is worth sometimes more than money, right?
Richard:Well, we’re in the knowledge economy and if you look at what are the big corporations in the U.S. are doing, there’s this like this Peyton war. This, you know, rich string intellectual property rights and then fighting over who owns what. It’s like a land grab of intellectual property. Now, we’re opposite. That’s like corporate land. You know, we’re not operating in a sort of large scale corporate America or corporate global corporate business, but, you know, we can learn a lot from what they’re doing.
And, you know, you’re absolutely right that our knowledge has a real value. But equally, just to flip it a little bit, human capital is what it sounds like, but we can leverage other people’s knowledge, you know, through human capital as well. So we can have our own knowledge capital, but we can leverage other people’s knowledge capital with the idea of human capital as well.
So, for example, I have somebody in my team, he’s a contractor or a service provider, he’s not an employee and he’s not a partner, but he’s got 30 years of experience as a building surveyor. He’s a planning consultant, and he knows lots of people locally. And he’s brought me 75% of the deals I’ve done in the last 12 months. So we’re leveraging, we’re layering. So what I’m saying here now is that we’ve got the different components of capital, but we can also start to layer them. So let’s just put one on top of the other, and we can also start to leverage them, which is to multiply and magnify the effects of those. And so, networking and social media is a good example of how to do that.
Mike:That’s great. So talk a little bit about . . . So we talked about the financial stuff, that’s the most obvious one, right? Is financial capital. So talk a little bit about the natural one, the one you said at the end, that sounds the most unnatural in that group, which tell us a little bit about the natural capital. We’re using natural resources, is that what you’re . . . ? Okay.
Richard:Yeah. So it’d be land, it would be solar, wind, you know, etc. Things that are freely, you know, not freely available necessarily, but available naturally. So in the UK where the queen owns most of the lands, so we’re not as privileged maybe to have her rights and privileges, but, you know, so just an example.
Mike:I think secretly, she actually owns most of the U.S. too and nobody just talks about it. That’s a whole another . . . I don’t want to start a conspiracy theory here, but . . .
Richard:I can’t change that. You will have to get a sort of fact-checker on this one. But so, for example, I’ve got a development going on at the moment and one of the issues was energy for the development is, and it’s, you know, we had to upgrade the energy supply, and I was very keen to try and look our sustainable energy. And so, we looked at fitting solar panels to the roofs and we also looked at alternatives as well, which weren’t that viable, so there is a viability element to it.
But the point of having the solar energy, apart from it being sustainable and therefore a good thing to do for that reason, it also meant I became an energy supplier and that had a return on investment in itself, which improved the returns on that particular transaction as well as, you know, providing energy for the occupants of the building and, you know, helped to sort of improve the returns as well as having the green sustainability agenda as well. So ironically, though, natural capital is probably one of my lesser capitals I still need to work on.
So I can’t give you lots of examples, but just to get us thinking in a slightly different way that how can we utilize some of the natural resources around us. One of the obvious ways is that, you know, we can use . . . some land that hasn’t been developed. That would be an obvious.
Mike:Sure, sure. That’s great. I think as a whole, what I want people, you know, we kind of said the show is about thinking bigger, not thinking small anymore, and one of the things that I would say like in Investor Fuel Mastermind, the common theme I would say is people that are operating at a higher level are often thinking, “Who do I know? Or who do I know that know somebody that could help me do what I want to do,” right?
There’s a lot more JV-type activity, ways to work together to collaborate, because I think you get to a point to where in this business or any business, you have capacity issues yourself. You either don’t know stuff, or you don’t know how to do it, or you don’t have the funding you need or whatever, but it doesn’t mean it’s not out there, it just means you’re not connected to it yet, right?
Richard: Yeah. You know, we have limitations on our own resources, time being one of them. You know, and our own knowledge being another one. Skills, you know, again. So I think having people around us. There’s a phrase I like to use in this sort of situation, is that, “People who know how usually end up working for people who know why.” I’d like to think that you and I might know why and that, you know, we’re surrounding ourselves with people who know how.
Now, that doesn’t sound terribly win-win. And so, you know, I think there has to be a give and a get out of this as well, it’s not just taking from people. But generally speaking, the, you know, everyday people, you know, the guy I was talking about with 30 years’ experience, he’s not super ambitious. He knows far more than me in his field of specialty, but, you know, we’re working together and he’s very happy with what he’s doing and the arrangement we have. I’m very happy to have him on the team because he knows so much more than me.
So, yes, I totally agree with you. Working in collaboration, in partnerships, whatever form that takes, and having access to the skills and resources. Like, for example, when you do bigger deals, you can afford more resources. You can afford more specialist professionals to come in and support you. In fact, you have a line item in your budget to provide for exactly that, whereas on a single family [fleet 00:29:53], for example, it’s me, or it’s me, or it’s me, you know, doing that same thing.
Mike:Right, right. Yeah. There’s this . . . And there’s also this, you know, in terms of thinking bigger and thinking outside of the box, how do I solve these things? And I don’t know who knows this, but let me go. Like I’m investing in multifamily deals now. I’ve been doing it for . . . we just got our third deal under contract. I don’t know how to do 90% of what has to get done, but I found somebody that does and I plugged into their system and their knowledge, right?
And so, I think a lot of times, we’re also, one of the things that holds us back as entrepreneurs and even as real estate investors sometime is, especially if you started in the single family house game and you’re doing deals, you found the deal, you found funding for it, you flipped it or whatever, or you got it under contract and then you sold it, is it’s all you.
And sometimes it’s hard for us to break out of like, “Well, why would I give up half the profit to somebody else to partner with them?” And it’s like, “Well, what if together instead of, you know, maybe each deal has half the profit, but what if you could do five times more deals?” Right? And I think it’s that real . . . It’s really probably more of a business maturity thing, you get to the point where you’re like, “Huh? I can grow faster and yes, my piece is smaller, but I’m collaborating and therefore . . . ” By the way, it’s more fun too because you’re not by yourself.
Richard:Well, I think sometimes you need to give to get. And I think so, you give away more, you give half your profit. It’s a lot. But, you know, so, for example, some of the conversion development deals I’m doing the moment, they have a higher profitability than some of the single family stuff I was doing in the past. So the cake is bigger, so my half of the cake is bigger as a result. And so, yeah, absolutely. I totally agree with you. If you collaborate with other people and you give something up, you’re going to get more in the end. I think I also agree with your sentiment of, you know, working in isolation is, you know, it’s a lonely old game sometimes. In fact, on a very serious note, it could lead to mental health issues. You know? No, I’m not really joking.
Mike:It’s limiting. It’s limiting, right?
Richard:Yeah. So even if it’s just your wellbeing, it’s a good idea just to get out there. In fact, I had this conversation recently with somebody I’m working with and he said, “I’m really struggling to get things done.” And I said, “Well, you know, what’s your environment?” And he said, “Well, I’m working from home and the kids are on holiday and I can’t seem to get anything done.” And I said, “Well, is there a co-working space near where you live?” He said, “Yeah, there’s one fairly close by.” I said, “I suggest at least one day a week, a couple of days a week, you go there and you just sit there and work for the day.”
And he reports it back to me out to the first day. He met new people, he was much more productive. Obviously, there’s the focus, he was in flow, but he also started to, you know, get the human contact. These people are maybe in a different field to him, but it was started, that journey. He’s now been working with someone he met at a networking meeting, they’re going to do a JV together, you know, and he’s progressing at a faster rate as a result of that.
Mike:Yeah. That’s awesome. That’s awesome.
Richard:I too work with lots of third parties on my projects. In fact, that was a game changer for me. As I mentioned, I had access to alternative sources of finance, but also people, you know, who bringing in different ideas and different viewpoints, which is really, really good.
Mike:No doubt. No doubt. Well, Richard, maybe you could share, what’s some advice you would give to people. The theme of our show here today is about going bigger, you know, stop thinking small if that’s what you’re doing now, kind of know that the sky is the limit. So you started . . . You were in the corporate world, did a deal and it probably liberated you. You realized, wow, I how much money you could make or help you towards your retirement and now you’re investing in multiple countries. Now you’re starting to do bigger deals because you’re thinking bigger.
You know, based on knowing that maybe if you could compare yourself, you’re probably thinking bigger today. You obviously, were thinking probably small when you worked for somebody else. Help people bridge that gap. What’s the single biggest lesson to how they could start to just kind of think bigger and be willing to take on bigger opportunities?
Richard:Well, there’s more than one thing, but I think first thing, obviously, is with our own mindset. And so, the way to help with, you know, expanding the mindset is to be well-read. Now, that’s an old phrase, to be well-read, because in the modern day, we were watching a video or one another. So, you know, it’s just knowledge, resources, have access to knowledge resources, open your mind to different ways of thinking from different types of people.
So I listen to podcasts, for example, on science and, you know, other topics, which gives me ideas, which gives me, and obviously people who are ahead of me . . . This is the second point really people ahead of me in the journey, I can learn from and copy and perhaps, you know, in a mirror.
But I think the other thing I really wanted to say is have someone who can challenge to your way of thinking. I think I mentioned that the person who’s helping me write a book, challenged me. And I was like, “Hey, I’m doing pretty well now.” You know, I almost slightly defensive when she first did, but then I thought about it for, “No, absolutely right.” So instead of thinking, “How do I find a couple more investors who can bring X hundreds of thousands, X millions of dollars to me, why don’t I go for a bond, you know, with like 10, 50 million or something?” And then suddenly, it goes into the subconscious again.
So she challenged me and as a result of her challenging me, I was able to start thinking in a new way. So really, it’s getting access to information, people who can help us to expand the horizons and challenge our thinking so that, you know, we’d don’t put a glass ceiling on our capabilities. That’s probably the biggest way I’d answer.
Mike:So the community part or being around people that kind of push you forward too. Would you mind, you joined Investor Fuel fairly recently. You’ve been to one event. I know you are coming up to the next one here soon. Would you mind just sharing a testimonial of your experience at Investor Fuel? You came from overseas to attend our event, our first international member, which is fantastic, but would you just kind of share your experience with the group and maybe what you thought it would be like and how it actually was?
Richard:Do you want me to be really honest?
Mike:Please do. Yeah.
Richard:Well, so the reputation, false one probably, but the reputation of American events like this to a Brit is like, it’s going to be overwhelming and, you know, soup hyped up, and, you know, lots of chest pumping and stuff like that. And we Brits are a little bit more reserved, and we don’t tend to kind of go for that. So I was a little bit nervous, you know, going in, wondering what it might be like.
And I got to be honest with you, I was really blown away. I was overwhelmed because there was none of that at all. There was a lot humility, a lot of, you know, sharing. In fact, that was the overarching theme from my visit, is that people were coming up to me and willingly sharing things, you know, independently. Somebody even brought me a coffee. It’s like, “Would you like a coffee?” I’m like, “Yeah, that’d be great.” You know, and he went and made it himself because some machine was broken, you know? So he made the coffee and . . .
Anyway, there was lots of sharing. There was lots of giving. There was a real giving mentality. And so, it wasn’t this sort of rah-rah that was, you know, that sometimes I was afraid of. It was really giving and there was lots of fantastic people who are obviously very, very successful, but they have this humility, this giving heart and in gratitude as well.
So I didn’t expect you to ask me to give a testimonial. So this isn’t rehearsed. This is literally my reactions from it. And I went away feeling part of a family. When I was going in thinking I was going to be going into some sorts of, I’ll say chest pumping, you know, adrenaline-fueled, a positive speaking event and it wasn’t anything like that. And I’m very happy to be a member, I have to say. And hopefully, I’m giving back as well into the community at the same time as receiving.
Mike:That’s awesome. Thank you. Yeah, and the truth is, is I appreciate you sharing that. And yeah, I apologize. I didn’t ask you in advance, like, “Would you mind giving a testimony?” Honestly, I prefer that there at the end of the day, like this is not . . . nothing we’re doing here is scripted, right? But I wouldn’t ask, I know you would give a good testimonial because there’s never been one person that has had anything bad. Not that we don’t get constructive feedback, but, you know, that’s the culture that we’ve created and it’s all by the members, right? We maybe set the tone upfront, but what’s interesting is what you just said is, is based on giving and then you have concern that you’re giving back enough.
And it’s this flywheel of people wanting to help each other and going out of their way to help each other because they feel like they’ve gotten so much that they want to give back. And I think that’s something that we have to our group. There’s a lot of groups out there, but I think this is very unique and special. I have been a part of other groups before, and so we’ve got something pretty special there, so I’m glad you’re a part of it.
Richard:Thank you. I’m glad to be a part of it.
Mike:Yeah. And so, you know, so valuable that you’re willing to travel from overseas, even. So I didn’t say anything to you the last time when I said we recorded your show previously. The first time I’ve ever been referred to is a transatlantic guest, so that was kind of cool.
Richard:And I had forgotten I said that. But there we go.
Mike:Yeah, I wrote it down and I was like, “I’m a transatlantic guest.” So I’ve been called a lot of things, never a transatlantic guest before. So I like. Richard, if folks want to learn more about your podcast or any of the things you’re working on, I know you put out some really good information, where can they go to learn more?
Richard:Thanks for asking. Yeah, so my pseudonym is The Property Voice and so you just plug in The Property Voice and the website address is thepropertyvoice.net and the podcast, funny enough, is called the “The Property Voice Podcast.” So if you just look up those resources, you know, I tend to share with the podcast, I’ve written a couple of books, you’ll find all information on the website. I also write a magazine column and if people subscribe to my website, they can get the . . . normally you’d have to pay a subscription to read the articles in the magazine, but my articles are subscription-free if people would like to just register for that. So happy to share the knowledge in that way. Thanks for asking.
Mike:Well, thanks for joining me on the show today and thank you for letting me join you on your show.
Richard:No, no. The feeling’s mutual. Thanks so much for your sharing as well, Mike. It’s been a pleasure, actually, the two conversations. They may go out on air similar time, so it’s going to be interesting to get reaction both sides of the Atlantic.
Mike:Yeah, it’s always interesting because I’ve been on a number of podcasts and it’s, you know, having done hundreds of shows, it’s always interesting being on kind of the other side of the microphone and being the guest, and I enjoy it, so thanks again.
So, everybody, thank you so much for joining us on today’s episode. We’re going to add some links down below if you want to learn more about Richard Brown and all the great content that he’s putting out. I hope you got some value out of today. If you did, I’d love it if you’d share this show. If you haven’t subscribed yet, subscribe to us on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, YouTube, wherever you might listen or watch. Of course, you can find everything on flipnerd.com and at the investor machine . . . I’m sorry, at the investorfuel.com. I have too many brands that are very similar, so investorfuel.com, you can find all of our Investor Fuel shows there as well. So thanks, everybody. Have a great day.
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