It must seem simple for me to say to you that anyone can achieve what I have with the right mindset and education, but I do truly believe that. I went from a council estate to become a multi-million-pound property investor.
I’ve always been naturally drawn to sales, but not everything in my life has come easily and I was certainly not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. My mum – a single parent who raised me on a rough Essex council estate – was my early inspiration, and throughout my life I’ve realised that it’s so important to be optimistic and positive, whatever your circumstances. Even as a young boy, I’d never shy away from a business opportunity. I’d sell sweets to other kids at school and wash cars for our neighbours. This led to a job as a local market trader, where my boss Tim taught me everything he knew about the art of negotiation. I learned the lingo, how to sell, how to build desire. By the time I was 15 years old I was knocking on doors for a double-glazing sales company, where I refined my technique and mindset. I got an unbelievable amount of “no’s” but I just thought “the more no’s I get, the closer I am to a yes!”.
As I built my career and got a job at a large international marketing company, I succumbed to the destructive world of drugs. My relationship at the time had ended, and my house became a party house. I was burning the candle at both ends to cope with how hard I was working and resorted to taking cocaine and drinking. The company I was working for eventually folded, and I decided to set up my own company which grew to a 50-employee venture. Wanting to build on my success, I decided to invest in property overseas, but I made every mistake in the book: I invested in an area I was unfamiliar with, took on too much risk and eventually lost 2 million euros.
At the same time, my drug use had started to become unmanageable, and I began actively trying to stop using. I got myself into rehab, but after just 62 days I was using again. I knew something had to change, so I committed myself to rehab in South Africa for six months. That was the start of learning how to live my life again. I haven’t touched drugs for nearly 12 years now and am so grateful I took that leap. That experience taught me to surround myself with likeminded achievers and those who are focused on making a better life for themselves and those around them.
After returning to the UK, I founded Sprint Energy Solutions, a company that sold renewable energy products. While the business was very successful, it lost momentum after the government cut incentives for homeowners to use renewable energy. Working closely with professionals in the building industry, I now had a lot of great contacts, and one day met up with Jay Munoz, a professional property investor and chartered civil engineer working on some huge property projects in London. We hit it off immediately, and a few meetings down the line decided to go into business together, founding Assets for Life in 2015. Assets for Life is dedicated to helping new and existing property entrepreneurs and developers accelerate their success through world-class training, mentorship, property portfolio strategies, tools and resources. I realised that I could provide a blueprint and an approach as well as mentoring those who wanted to achieve their investment and property goals.
Being part of a meaningful and active community is key when you’re an entrepreneur, so as well as delivering training and mentoring to all of our great students, we run charity events every year and donate to a homeless shelter in Colchester. Together with Jay – who is Colombian – we established a project to build houses for families in need and have completed three houses so far. I believe that it’s so important to have the fight and determination to stay resilient and keep aspiring for better, which I have achieved both professionally and personally.