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Property, Women in Business

From Zero To £20k A Month w/ Heather Smail

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Transcript

Unknown Speaker  0:01  

The purpose of wealth talk is to educate, inform, and hopefully entertain you on the subject of building your wealth. Wealth builders recommends you should always take independent financial tax or legal advice before making any decisions around your finances.

Christian Rodwell  0:20  

Welcome to Episode 163 of wealth talk. My name is Christian Rodwell, the membership director for wealth builders. And I'm joined today by our founder, Mr. Kevin Whelan. Hi, Kevin.

Unknown Speaker  0:29  

Hi, Chris, good to see you again. And great news that we've got another fantastic intake of wonderful new people deciding to take responsibility to build their own financial independence. And I'm so pleased for them because there's so much conflicting noise out there isn't there. And all of these challenges and the economic wind that's blowing on us is off, obviously blowing a lot of people, of course. But we're so pleased we got a bunch of new people joining us so that they can build a financial fortress for themselves and buffered themselves against this economic wind. And speaking about economic wind, you know, the last one was COVID. And we've got a guest today, who smashed it out of the park during COVID. Right?

Christian Rodwell  1:14  

Yes, she did, indeed. Today, we'll be featuring Heather smail, who is the founder of blonde property. And Heather has worked it or is working with some of our wealth builder members right now and fantastic reviews and feedback. And Heather's got a really amazing story, which she'll be sharing with us today. Very inspiring. And I guess really, you know, today we're focusing on whilst it's a property strategy that's helped Heather achieve financial independence, the message today really is of mindset and resilience. And of course, mindset is step one, in our recurring revenue, roadmap cabinets, you know, starting with the end in mind, but also, you know, really understanding what's important to you and, you know, headed talks about freedom today being you know, something that's of utmost importance.

Unknown Speaker  1:55  

I think it's critical to revisit step one, from time to time. And Chris, you will know that I'm a great teacher, and all of my acronyms, and probably my favourite one and the most often used as the ROI. You know, I think we've got up to 11 ROIs. Now that we can, you know, we can lay claim to ownership of, but the one that I like most, and I'm not going to steal his thunder, but the one that I like most, that's critical, because it gives permission for the journey to start, is a reason to overcome inertia. So many people get stuck with a kind of self determined belief that, oh, well, I can't do anything with COVID. I can't do anything in inflation. I can't do anything until we know who the new prime minister is, you know, I can't, I can't, I can't. And what we're saying is, you know, that you will never be wealthy unless you can overcome the inertia and take those initial steps. So we're so pleased to hear. And I resonate very deeply as people will very soon realise with the story of Heather, and what were the reason, or more than one reason, actually, that she overcome her own inertia, and is now not just financially secure, not just financially independent. But beyond that, and as on a pathway to something quite spectacular,

Christian Rodwell  3:21  

I think. Yeah. So we'll hear from Heather how, you know, relatively modest upbringing dealing with tragedy, and now generating over 20,000 pounds a month in recurring income. So it's a bit of a longer interview today. So I think let's head over and listen to our conversation with Heather smile. Heather, welcome to wealth talk today. How are you?

Unknown Speaker  3:42  

I'm good. Thank you, Christian. And yeah, thanks for thanks for speaking to me today.

Christian Rodwell  3:46  

You're welcome. I believe this is your first ever podcast. Is that correct?

Unknown Speaker  3:50  

It is yes. I was quite amused. And when you said, you know, you've done a couple of podcasts. But no, I certainly haven't. A brand new experience. And like, say I'm in your or your capable hands.

Christian Rodwell  4:05  

Yes, it was definitely not my first but yeah, good to have the world exclusive here with you anyway. And it's such an amazing story that you have Heather. So, you know, I cannot wait for you to share this with our listeners today. But I think the best thing is probably just to have you introduce yourself and your company, and let everyone know what it is that you do on a day to day basis at the moment.

Unknown Speaker  4:27  

Yeah, so absolutely. So I'm My name is Heather smail. My company is bond property limited. I set that company up around about two years ago now during COVID. And basically, what do I define myself as a property developer, property investor, property trader as well. And that's something that I've been doing for the last 12 years. 12 years ago, I bought my first investment property pretty much by chance. And only Intel, and sorry, I only ever intended to have one property, that property as an additional pension fund. And then now 12 years later, I find myself approaching 30 properties in the portfolio, I've done a lot of flips, I've lost count of the amount of flips that I've done now, five years ago, I took the decision to leave my day job as a buyer, and work for myself full time, which wasn't an easy decision to make, because it was leaving behind a good job and lots of financial security. But I had this burning desire that I needed to work for myself and be my own boss and make my own decisions. And in the last two years, especially through word of mouth, I've started to work as a, I don't like the word sorcerer, but that is essentially what I do. But more of a consultant, a property consultant for clients who are looking to start their property investment journeys themselves, and know very little about it, and have seen the results that I've been able to achieve, which has allowed me to achieve some, you know, a good degree of financial freedom. That's a that's a new word to me, but essentially, is that and they have, you know, asked me to mentor them and to coach them, and to also assist them in finding good investments for to help generate their own wealth and to pass that wealth on to their their children.

Christian Rodwell  6:42  

Yeah, no, that's a great summary. Thank you, Heather, and you talked about the portfolio you've got there? And can you just give us a ballpark figure, you know, in terms of recurring income on a monthly basis? Where that where that places you are?

Unknown Speaker  6:53  

In terms of recurring income at the minute, that gives me around about 20,000 pounds a month?

Christian Rodwell  7:00  

Yeah. And, of course, you know, we help our members to really pinpoint what it means to them to be financially secure and financially independent. And, you know, it's a different number for everyone. But you mentioned about leaving your job five years ago, and did you have a target in terms of income before you made that decision?

Unknown Speaker  7:20  

I didn't actually I was, what focused my mind was that I actually went on to a, I believe it was called a discovery day call with a property sorcerer. And this was like a Zoom meeting with about 10 to 10 of myself, so 10 potential clients. So this sorcerer, who is quite, you know, a big company that does this. And for some reason, I ended up on this discovery day thinking that they would, that I would just let them find property deals for me. And there was a guy on there another, another investor, like myself, and he got asked the very direct question of what do you want to achieve as a monthly income? And he said, I want 10k A month. And I thought, actually, that sounds alright, I'm going to, you know, I want 10k A month as well. So that focused my mind for the first time on a monthly sort of goal to achieve. And but the main thing that happened is that following that Zoom meeting, I actually realised that the deals that this sourcing company was presenting to us weren't as good as the deals that I could achieve. So that really made me think, actually, I'm doing better than this, and why am I even sat on this Zoom meeting, right now. I'm gonna pay potentially pay somebody else to find properties for me, when I've been doing this, you know, for years, and not even realised how, you know, the, how good that was compared to this big company, who were charging, you know, quite high fees to find properties that I just thought were quite mediocre. So I came away from that Zoom meeting with to two things going on in my mind. And one was to achieve that 10k A month because I thought that's a nice figure. And that's beyond anything at that point in time that I thought I would achieve. But I actually went down and sat and looked at an Excel sheet in my Excel spreadsheet, and thought, You know what, I could actually achieve that. And the other thing that happened is that I came away thinking, You know what, I'm a little bit better than this. And I realised, but what, what happened is, I've never had until that it was only three years ago that I actually went to my first networking meeting in property. I never knew a single other person who was a property investor for nine years until three years ago, when I went to a networking meeting via a friend. And she said, Do you want to come along? And I said, Yeah, okay, what's what's all this about? And then went into that meeting and thought I was quite nervous, actually, when I first went in there and thought, you know, there's going to be people in there with hundreds of properties in their portfolios, and I think I had about 10 or 11 When at the time, and actually left that meeting, I realised there was only one person in that room that had more properties than me and more experience. And that was a bit of a game changer as well. So in terms of achieving that monthly figure, there was that definite point when the 10k a month became almost like a visual target that I had to achieve. And then subsequently, I did achieve that, which wasn't too difficult, because I was probably up to like six 7k already. But the last two years have actually then doubled that to the 20k a month. So the 10 years previous to that almost took me it took 10 years to build that 10k. But then in the last two, it doubled. Now, so that's that realisation that, you know, all of that work that you put in to chip away for all these years. And it was difficult because I had a full time job. I had my daughter, I was a single mom for a time as well, which will I'm sure we'll talk about. So it's not been an easy ride. But it's certainly it's my world now has just become immense. It's just opened up and I can see that sort of compounding effect really starting to kick in now.

Christian Rodwell  11:20  

Yeah, yeah, I was just going to say the same thing that the compound effect really has accelerated you, hasn't it? And, you know, I want to take you back in a minute to obviously kind of where this all began, and obviously, the journey you've had up until today. But it's Yeah. You mentioned the last couple of years, especially but we all know, the last couple of years was in lockdown, right was during COVID, where we couldn't even go out and do anything. So yeah, you bought 13 properties during COVID Sat, right?

Unknown Speaker  11:53  

So what happened is that I had a bit of a mindset change. So COVID COVID happened in it, and then something happened to me, that infuriated me and set something something a lie inside me. So I did not like the fact that you know, that the government was saying, you can only go out for for one hour of exercise per day, you can only do this, you can only do that. And I watched my daughter, not being able to go to school, and she's an only child. And she was she would have been 12 years old at the time. And she loves school, she loves learning. And it really, really affected her in a very negative sense. And it became a very, very difficult situation to home school. And for both of us to just, you know, it was a very depressing, psychologically quite damaging time potentially. And we got through it, and she's absolutely fine now. But the upshot of that was is that it just something in me clicked. And I thought I didn't want to, you know, my freedom is is everything to me. And I hadn't really realised how important it was before because it had never come into question. So, and also the on the news, it was saying, you know, there's going to be a 20% Dip in house prices, we're in for a, you know, a massive shock. But I noticed because I've always got my eyes and ears to the ground. In terms of property, I noticed that that wasn't happening. And it started to see, there was little signs that it was going the other way. So I thought hang on, the couple of things kicked in. I wanted that 10k a month, I was frustrated at being told what to do. Because in many respects, that's happened to me all my life, and I just had enough of it, you know, 44 years old. Now, I just thought that's, that's enough. Now, my daughter was suffering, we were also friends. So I just thought, right, focus on getting that 10k a month, I set myself a target of buying eight properties that year. And it then just started to the momentum started to build very, very quickly because the market took took an upward trend. And in fact, in Nottingham sure, in some areas, we saw up to 30% capital growth in 12 months. And luckily, because I had my eyes and ears to the ground, I was able to spot this happening and just jump on property after property and buy, buy buy and it was lucky that I'd actually gone through a refinancing exercise just before that time. So I did have a cash pot ready to purchase property. The main goal of that was to generate income so I wasn't necessarily looking for property deals where they required any particularly extensive refurb it was just to to build up that cash flow so that I had safety and security and, you know, it essentially bought me a level of financial freedom. But what did happen is that along the way About 13 properties, and eight of those properties turned out to be all money out deals. So I don't know if people are aware of what normally our deal is, but it's where you for one reason, and some of them weren't even full refurbs they tend to be a full reefer where you buy a distressed property in a bad state, and you go in and you refurbish that property, and you add value. And then you refinance that property, and it's you've added the value and the mortgage comes through, and you you get all or nearly all of your money back out. Some of these some of these, I didn't even really need to do that much too. There was there was one, for example, the seller was in America, and needed to have a fast sale, and I purchased a property for 65,000 pounds. From them, it was on the market 75 grand, but I managed through my negotiation skills to get that down to 65 grand. It's that was 18 months ago, now. It was just refinanced recently, the value is 105,000, there was no refurb required to that property at all. So it's just literally been very flexible with your approach and understanding the sellers position and being able to you know, help them out of a situation that they might be in. But then you are also capitalising on that as well and and generating the increase in value that way. But yeah, it was quite phenomenal. So I did I bought 13 properties in 12 months, and also bought some properties for investors as well. And yeah, eight of those for myself turned out to be all money out deals.

Christian Rodwell  16:44  

Yeah. So I think it's clear for anyone listening now whether you're, you know, a highly committed highly hardworking individual who really knows what she's doing. But I think the fascinating thing here that you mentioned is you have no real training, no education, up until just the last few years, when you even realise that there was this world of property networking events that was going on. So So perhaps, you know, we can we can go back to kind of What first got you into property? And, you know, and you know, early years for you, Heather, and I know some of the difficult times that you've had to experience along the way.

Unknown Speaker  17:23  

Yeah, definitely. So I've not, I've not had an easy life. I'm not I wasn't I sort of state on my Instagram page that I sort of came from nothing and I've gone to something. So basically, when I was a very young child, we we were fairly well off. My dad was a an accountant, chartered accountant by trade, but he was a level where it was a financial director. So he ran his own his own company, when I was four years old, he became mail through an operation that actually went wrong. And that that is a whole other story that is a big, you know, a bigger story. But he nearly died following that, and his life was saved. But it meant that he then went through 13 operations within the next 10 years. And he was he tried to resurrect his, his business and you know, it was it was a real real business value was, you know, pretty high flying back in the 80s. This was because I was born 77. So this would have been 1981. And anybody that remembers the 80s knows that it was a big boom time and but then we had the big recession at the end of the 80s. So in a nutshell, we, over a course of a number of years, we just went from being fairly wealthy, because he couldn't really work again to any money that he had saved up and any kind of insurances, they they didn't cover everything that a growing family would need. So when I was aged 12 We finally lost everything and our house was repossessed. And we move to a pretty rough council estates in Mansfield and not to share. And my life just my life completely changed then, but I was well aware before that point that we were sort of we didn't seem to have money we hadn't. So had a big house, but we eventually but we just couldn't sustain sustain that and we lost it all. And from that point on, I just watched my mum and dad, really, really struggling. My mum were both lovely, lovely people and my mum had various jobs, but essentially she'd been she'd been a housewife. She'd been a mum. And eventually my father died when I was 17. And my mother and I were in we were poor. We didn't have anything I was. I was you know, the kid at school that never didn't have the Nike train units that everybody wanted. I never had anything like that we, you know, we shopped in charity shops and we had a budget, I still remember budgeting with my mom in, in Tescos, which was the local supermarket and we had a set amount of money that we could spend every week. And it was it was low. It was you know, my mom was a fantastic cook, she could make lovely meals from hardly anything, but I couldn't do things that my my friends were all doing. I couldn't go places that they could go to. And then following that, my mum, my dad died, he was 55 and I was 17. And then my mum actually died when she was 60. And she she really was as fit as a fiddle. She was, you know, a very healthy fit lady, but she, she got lung cancer. And it she she died and I was I was 23 when when she dies. So that that was absolutely devastating. My dad had been ill for so many years that I kind of was always on edge thinking that he you know, how long will my dad be around as a child growing up, and I was aware of that, but my mom's illness came out of the blue. So, and she was just an incredible woman. So my absolute inspiration so to lose her. It still gets to me now and this is like you know, it's 20 years ago. So again, we you know, I was I was 23 at the time didn't really I had a decent job but it was quite low paid off. I think what happened to me is that I just had such low self esteem coming from the council estate coming from you know, losing everything everybody being ill things happening in life, it just, you know, I was I was always clever at school, I was always able to get top marks in a lot of different subjects. And I did well at uni, and but it just felt a bit rubbish really, which is understandable looking back. And then. So I was with my partner at that time who I met when I was fairly young. Just just before my 18th birthday, and then we we actually or he managed to buy a house that we lived in, when I was nearly 20. So quite young moved out. My mom died when I was 23. And then I lived with Damon. And

Unknown Speaker  22:26  

we were very happy and then completely out of the blue when I was 29 years old and he was 34 he was five years older than me. He got a cold and felt unwell as you would and got headaches. And then the call went away and the headaches didn't go away. So we went to the doctor. And in a nutshell, we saw eight different doctors, we ended up in a&e and he collapsed. We were released from a&e and then he collapsed in the carpark and because he was you know, as a big, strapping six foot four guys really healthy as young, they did a blood test which showed there was nothing wrong, they said. So he collapsed. He eventually scanned him and it and then he he had a massive brain tumour. And this was in November. And then he died in the January January the 20 sevens. And we've been together nearly 13 years. And I was pregnant with our daughter at the time. So it was it was just that nearly destroyed me if I'm honest, completely because it was just I could feel myself getting a bit emotional now Christian, sorry. But it was just completely and utterly mind blowing that your life will just, you know, I'd had this all my life where unusual events had happened. People being ill one after the other, but that nearly tipped me over the edge because, you know, it just felt completely at rock bottom, you know, there was not a single aspect of my life that remained the same after that point. And yeah, that was in January 2007. And my daughter I went through the whole pregnancy of course myself was quite unwell lost lost quite a lot of weight just through not not really been able to just been in a whirlwind of like, what is going on this is this is crazy, you know, this world is just crazy now, and I've always been a very grounded person and you know, but I just kind of felt like I was losing the plot which understandably you would do. So went through the pregnancy loss a lot of weight whereas, you know, a lot of women will actually put a bit of weight on I went the other way, had a fantastic midwife who I give her all credibility for in many ways. I'm saving my life because I was just at the point where I just didn't even want to be here. And she arranged that I saw a fantastic counsellor who's only know her name is Rachel. And she transformed my mindset, and my thinking, and actually kept me in this world. And from that, from that point on, it's just, it was horrendous, because I was, you know, my daughter was born I had to I was, I was a single mom, then I had some fantastic friends. But it changes relationships with a lot of people, you know, there are some people that you think will step up to the mark and be there and they don't they, they just, like, they disappear, because they realise it's such a serious situation that they can't cope with it. So, you know, they always death brings out sometimes, obviously, the best thing people sometimes, but it can bring out the worst in people as well. It was a very bizarre period of my life. And but yeah, following on from that, a couple of years after that point, I met my partner. And, yeah, we're very, you know, very happy now. But I'm very conscious that my life seemed to be picked up from one life and I was on a certain path, and then it just got just everything just got wrenched away, ripped away. And I was put on another path. And

Unknown Speaker  26:25  

that's when I was working as a buyer. And I had a very steady job and kept working. But then just got to the point, like say, it was five years ago, so I would have been 39. And I thought, you know, what I, life is just so sure, I'm aware every single day that people think they have all the time in the world. And you, you only get this, you know, we're here all the time, you get one chance. But I thought do I actually want to sit in this office, you know, and it was a great job being a buyer, you meet people all the time, and I'm a very sociable person. So I love that aspect of it. I love making decisions. I'm I'm a very decisive person. I thought, do I actually want to do this for somebody else? Or do I just want to have a go? And it just came down to a conversation that I kind of had in my own brain? I thought, well, you know, what, if it all if it all fails, and I can't make it work, then I will just go to a job interview, and get another job. And that's it. And then, you know, go back to where I am. But it was just that desire to, to just work for myself to not to just do this for me. And yeah, and that's, that's what led me to leave that job. And that that took many months of you know, and in the end, it just came down to a conversation where I had a boss who was a little bit of a micromanager and just told me that I couldn't go on holiday. And that was it. And I just thought, you know what I am I am going skiing because it was a skiing holiday. And I thought no, I am. And that was it. And then it was just the you know, all that build up. It was just one conversation. And then and that changed my life again. But it was something positive that I had been in control of doing. So yeah, that's led me to where I am. But certainly when I left my job, I went through a period of looking back now if I was depressed, and I'm not sure I've been depressed, in the sense, I don't suffer with depression, I'm a very positive person. And I absolutely love being alive. I love meeting people of everything about life. So I've been through tremendous periods of grief, which have made me feel down, but the actual, when I left my job, because of that mind, I just lost my you know, you're not getting dressed up to go to the office every day, you've not got the phone ringing all the time. So for about two or three years, I felt lost, I was still carrying on with property. And I was still making money. And I was still but it was a very lonely period, because I didn't have the interactions. And that I do now. And I've built my network up now in the last couple of years, and now that is all in place as well. So I just feel like so many aspects of my life have all clicked at once in the last, you know, even in the last 18 months, two years. But literally every single week, something else will click and fall into place. And you think wow, that's amazing as well. So it's kind of come full circle now and it's all come together.

Christian Rodwell  29:30  

Yeah, no, it's great to hear now. There's so much kind of positive energy around and that's obviously what's attracting all the good people to you, however, but thank you so much for sharing that. I know, obviously difficult to reflect back on that but important. I think it's such an important lesson for people because everyone's going through struggles, right? We all have things in our lives and you can make one decision to go one way or another to go another way. And yeah, it's not easy to keep focusing forwards and keep believing that, you know, good will come. But, you know, for anyone even you know talking about the job there, you know someone who feels like stuck in a rut, but is just letting that time continue to go on and another year go on and nothing changing. You know what, what kind of words of advice would you give?

Unknown Speaker  30:17  

It's difficult, isn't it? Because people are, you know, I deal with many of my clients. Now, the consultancy work that I do is I'm sure. So it's not necessarily just about property, because it's often to do with their mindset as well. And the advice that I would give is that it's hard if you you know, if you've not had people die on you, I've got I've got I know, people that have never had a single member of their family die or a friend die or anything like that, and they just are quite blase about I've got all the time in the world. So it's very difficult to, to realise that you haven't got all the time in the world, and that you really need to push yourself to make the best of what you can in life. There are some people out there who who just aren't ambitious and who don't, don't want to do that. And that's fine. That's taken me a long time to accept, you know, I've got a friend, she just said, I'm, you know, I'm really, really happy just the way I was she she kind of just plods along, that she's happy with that. And that's the realisation as well. But certainly for people who feel like they're stuck and have this, you know, desire to change, and perhaps, you know, work for themselves or set up a new business and become an entrepreneur or that kind of thing. It's not necessarily the big, you don't have to make a big sweeping gesture to get yourself to where you want to be. It's the consistency of this, those small elements of determination. And when I look back, I realise that, I mean, I read, I read a book, it's the slight edge by Jeff Olson, and somebody recommended this book to me, just just maybe, I think it was like 18 months ago, and I read it and I thought, hang on this. This guy's right, it is fantastic stuff. But I realised that that's just naturally me. I am that person that if I see something on the floor, that's not in the place, it should be I will pick it up as I'm going past. And that's if you apply that mentally to other aspects of your life. It's like, hang on, you can actually squeeze that in whilst you're doing something else. But people, you've got to be very disciplined. I think there's some key words as being disciplined with yourself, and realise, and having patience as well, because people, they do like three things and then expect their life to change. And it's, it's not going to happen. It's the consistency of the small efforts that you put in, and being consistent with yourself. So it's discipline and momentum. They're my favourite words at the minute. And that's what I would say to people. It's, it's just having people talk about drive and determination as if it's some huge, big thing. And it's, it's kind of, I don't think it is it's, it's the innate nature of yourself. It's what's embedded within you. And if you haven't naturally got that, then you need to speak to somebody, perhaps like myself, or that there's plenty of other people out there that can can fire that up inside you.

Christian Rodwell  33:13  

Yeah, well, I know when we spoke last time, Heather, we talked about Jim Rohn. And one of Jim Roans. Quotes is discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments. So I think you're spot on there with with that one. Let's just, I want to want to take you back to that first property purchase 12 years ago, that kind of, I suppose, you know, lit the touchpaper for everything that you've done for the next 25 that followed. You know, tell us about that first deal for someone who's listening now who's maybe right at that first point themselves.

Unknown Speaker  33:46  

Yeah, it was it was a bit of a strange one. So basically what happened is, so when my husband died, we were actually renovating an old cottage in Nottingham sure where I live. And so I went through not only just been sort of like pregnant by myself, but I didn't have a kitchen floor at the time. Like when I say renovation, it was a full on renovation. So there was bare earth as a kitchen floor. My midwife walked in and nearly went ballistic. But that side, so I managed to renovate that property whilst being pregnant. And then when my daughter was born, she was about to and I just made the decision that I needed to sell it. It was just finished the renovation, it looked absolutely fantastic. And everybody was saying to me, why are you selling this property? It's the best it's ever been. But you know what it was I wanted to leave that property with those memories. I wanted to get to that point where yes, it's the best it can possibly be. And that's what I want to remember because that was something that my husband and I were aiming for together. So that was a big tick in the box. What happened is the property was valued at much more than I realised. So I found a property that I wanted to move to and kind of start fresh And I had a surplus amount of money, which was 80,000 pounds. And that was that was the extra bit that I didn't realise this cottage was worth that much more. So I sold the cottage bought my new house and had 80 grand in the bank. And then I thought, right, well, this is doing nothing in the bank. So I remember, you know, that age old saying, isn't it safe as houses? And I remember my dad, you know, saying get into property, although you never did himself. I don't know why I'd love to ask him that now. But it was that kind of you know, everybody knows that saying don't be so thought. Right. Let me think about buying a rental property are vital. So I found a property in Hucknall in Nottingham show which was a good area because it's got the tram, and good transport links in terms of the M one and it's quite close to town to central Nottingham. And at the time, the market was nowhere near I mean, the market or not huge in Nasution now is on fire. And it's always been quite a fast paced market, but it wasn't anywhere near at that point. You know that it is now. So I went along property was 79 grand. And it was with your move estate agents. The agent explained to me it's a repossession. I said, What's that? And she said, you know, basically, well, I knew what a repossession was, we said it's a corporate sale, blah, blah, blah. And there's all you have to you know, it goes to public notice and all the rest of it. So it's kind of in at the deep end, but it went quite smoothly. So I paid Desco I said, Well, I'll offer 79 grand, I couldn't understand why nobody was offering the money on the property. And she said, Well, it's a roof, that's that's putting people off. And it did need a new roof. And I kept nursing that roof along for six years and then realised that I should have just put a new roof on at the beginning. But that was a learning curve. But I bought the property for 79 grand and got a tenant in there immediately paying 650 The good thing about that property was that it had been renovated by a builder two years before so a full renovation so full rewire full weed, plastering new windows had not done the roof, but he had literally done everything else. So didn't have to do a thing. tenant moves in pain 650. And then I thought, right, I'll come to remortgage this because somewhere along the line, I realised that I can re mortgage it and just get my money back out. And I thought actually, it would, that's good, because then the money is mine. Again, I've got options, then again, and I've got a property. But you've got to bear in mind at this point. I was not a property investor. I knew nothing about property really. But I was quite good with figures being a buyer. So put in an application for a re mortgage. And it came back. This is about nine months later with the value at 120,000. So then they said, there you go, you can have 90 grand on your, on your buy to let mortgage and I thought how's that work? Because I've only paid. So this sounds so basic now. But you know, and at the time being a buyer at quite a decent high level. But I remember being sat with a colleague at work. And he was saying to me, Well, how does that work? I don't really know. It's just weird, isn't it? Like, you know, and then I pay the mortgage, and then I've got this extra bit of cash flow. And that's profit. And he's like, that sounds alright. And I was like, Yeah, that's good. So it makes me laugh now because it just knowing what I know now, but back then it was just, it was just a whole new new concept. And obviously, my daughter was young. So you're juggling, you know, a young child and everything else that's going off in your life. So I've got my 90 grand back. And then there was a bit of a pause, I guess and thought, hang on, I've got 90 grand and then that's when it started to my curiosity

Unknown Speaker  38:49  

with it then started to get the better of me. So I started looking for other potential investments, and then bought another one which needed a bit of a renovation, and then added the value that way and re mortgaged it and then falling off. That was a no money out deal. So pulled back all the money out again and then saw Hang on. That was when the penny dropped. Like this is it click then I was like this is why people in property make money. And then I thought this is dead easy. This is so easy. It's insanely easy. So then I just started to buy a property and to flip but I did a lot of flips in the early days. And thinking about the other day we actually featured myself and Matt Copley of holding copy state agents now. He's one of the directors. They're good friend of mine. I've known a long time. We actually featured in the local Nottingham show Evening Post because I'd renovated a property and he immediately sold it within 24 hours and at the time it was the fastest selling property that anybody's ever sold and they did a big feature on us. So I need to find that somewhere because it is there. And he was he was very Very encouraging towards me, Martin is brilliant, he still is now, and he told me years ago to just is like, Don't your job, you must go into property because you've got a talent for it. But it was the self self doubt and low self esteem that kept me working for other people.

Christian Rodwell  40:19  

So, you know, that was, as we said, 12 years ago, 2010 around about that time, right? I mean, if if someone had have said to you then have in 12 years time, you're going to be generating this amount of money from property every month, you're going to have a client base of, you know, 5060 clients who you're teaching and helping every day, what would you have said,

Unknown Speaker  40:42  

just, I would have thought they were on drugs, or something, I was just sort of, it just, it is just bonkers. is weird, because looking back, I can see, I know exactly every single detail of how I've got to where I've got. So, you know, some people actually get to where they've gotten, they don't know how they got there. I know exactly how I've got to where I've got, but I could not see that back 12 years going on, literally, you know, and that the one thing that held me back was the self doubt. And that's, that's what comes through with so many people that I interact with now. And that is my, that's part of my affiliate, it's like a mission for me is to, to help people to be brave, and to help them to realise that we are actually all so much better than we've been, we realised that we give ourselves credit for, and we can achieve so many things, but we all have our little self doubt and our little niggles and, you know, in many ways, the way that society teaches us to think about money and to think about wealth, and to sort of like know, our place and where we should be, and it's like, well, actually, you can, you can do anything you want to do, you don't have to be born into a certain, you know, certain set of circumstances and stay there. That's the thing. And that's something that I'm really passionate about. And I've, I've had a few clients where I know that I have really helped them to break through that mental mindset. And to me, that's actually almost more satisfying than than finding them property bargain, the to go hand in hand. But when you can, some of the some of the feedback that I've had from clients, and some of the absolutely lovely messages are so they're just so powerful and so emotional, that I know that I've helped them change their lives, and it's also then helped change their children's lives, and it will do, and they've told me that they've, you know, they've been in a cycle for generations of, of, like, you know, in poor finances, and then we finally broken through that for them. So to me that that's just amazing, because nobody should feel nobody should feel low that low in life, you know, there's always a way to get yourself to feel to feel better. And always say to people, if you can't do that for yourself, and even if you're reading books, and it's not clicking, then it is all about networking, it's maybe just about finding somebody like me, that can just help you to put you on the right path. And once you're on that right path, you can achieve all of that yourself. You won't you will not need me then but it's sometimes you just need a little bit of help for somebody to pick you up and put you in the right direction. So important.

Christian Rodwell  43:33  

Yeah, the, you know, cornerstones of wealth builders, education, support and connection. And obviously, we said, you know, you didn't really have the education part and you know, you've kind of self taught, but but having the right support around you, which obviously now, you know, is so valuable with the team that you've got, and obviously the connection, right?

Unknown Speaker  43:52  

I think that's going back to it. I've never been on a property training course, I'd love to actually go on one now. But all of the people that I've met in property, keep saying, No, you, you just be like, you don't need that. But I'm kind of curious now thinking I've never been on one, I want to go on one. And I can't find one. So for me, it was just instinct. And it was just that. It was it was in a nutshell, growing up and watching my mom suffer with being poor. And her world became very limited. And it was just that desire to provide a better upbringing for my daughter and to make sure you know, she's short on family. We don't have a lot of family at all. None really. She's just kind of she's got me and she's got my partner, John. But I thought the one thing that I can give you is opportunities and I'm going to work my damnedest to make sure that you have the opportunities that I didn't have early on in life because there's, there's one thing one thing I wish that had happened is that I could have achieved what I've achieved sooner. I'm not especially old, I'm 44 But you've conscious that You know, if you'd achieved had have achieved this 10 years ago then, but then I don't know, it's relative, isn't it?

Christian Rodwell  45:08  

Whatever, whatever age, we'd always hope we've done it 10 years ago, right. Now, you mentioned opportunities there. So I'm curious. You know, we're recording this podcast today, July 2022, we've been on this kind of amazing bull run of the last eight years in property where it's just going up and up and up. And you said, it was easy, when you first did that kind of beat, you know, by refurb refinance, pulled the money out, you did it again, and the penny penny dropped for you. If someone was starting today, with the market the way it is today, do you think it would be as easy for them to build the same wealth and the same size portfolio over the next 10 years?

Unknown Speaker  45:48  

Possibly not. But if they put the effort in, possibly not in a broad in broad brush terms, but I have had people like, you know, we've we've talked about before Christian, they're saying the market is there are no deals out there. Quite frankly, that's a load of rubbish, because there was always a deal out there, if you can be bothered to find it. And if you put yourself in the position of making sure that you're connecting with the right people, and acting professionally, and giving them confidence that they will sell to you, there's always deals out there. And I've had plenty of them, myself, and plenty of them for clients. And these deals are good, they've been all money out deals in the last 12 months. I mean, I've had the eight for myself, I think there's another six for clients as well. So that is people just look at me as like, well, you're not that can't be true. But literally, I can back that up with all the figures I've got on spreadsheets, amazing deals, a lot of these direct vendor deals, people that want to, they don't want to go through state agents, so they want to sell quickly to reliable investors and reliable clients. And I, you know, I always pre approve all of my clients and make sure that they're in a position to move quickly and, and I've got everything in place, so that we aren't, the last thing I want to do is let anybody down in the chain. And it's, it's that level of consistency that that gets you build your reputation, and word of mouth passes on. And then some of your say, oh, you know, so and so he wants to sell this property actually had a will know, usually the buyer itself, or she'll have clients that will buy it,

Christian Rodwell  47:30  

just to round things off, then Heather was, you know, such a joy speaking with you and, you know, so inspiring to just to hear everything you're doing and achieving. But wealth builders, we obviously talked about building wealth across multiple pillars. Now, you know, property has served you very well. However, you're now building your own business, right, which is pillar number five and, and, like so many people who are successful in property, but many people with a fraction of the experience and success that you've got, who then turn that into IP, so teaching others and, you know, writing books and creating different assets that can help people so you know, kind of where do you where do you see that expanding for yourself?

Unknown Speaker  48:12  

Um, I think it's funny that you mentioned writing books, because I actually, when I was younger, that's, that's all I wanted to do. I was I was English was my best subject. And I had a fantastic English teacher, and he said, You must you must be an author, you must write books. And that is a that's, yeah, that's been something that has been put on the back burner for me. And I never thought I would be doing what I'm what I'm doing now, even though I absolutely adore what I do. Now I love every single day is so different. And that's what I love. I love variety, and the spontaneity of not knowing what's coming next that That, to me, is daunting for some people. But now I thrive on that. So like every day is a little challenge. But going back to writing, I would love to actually start to write books. And I've already made some steps towards that. And I think that's going to go down to different avenues I think certainly a book about my own personal experiences in life with a view to that being of some benefit and some inspiration and some help to other people to give them hope that you can survive your darkest moments. And you can you can, you will come back stronger. Definitely. And also to I've been asked by a few people to write a book on property and building portfolios and, and that kind of thing and just my experiences. So they they are different, different aspects of writing that I'm going to explore along with all the other stuff that I do, which is you know, renovate properties and work with clients and, and that kind of thing.

Christian Rodwell  49:52  

Ya know, very exciting looking forward to that. And I guess just the final question for you here there is, you know, what's your vision now moving forwards? Do you have you set some new targets for yourself that you want to achieve?

Unknown Speaker  50:03  

Yeah, I think I'm gonna go for the well, I've learned a lot actually about visualisation and visualising your goals. And that's something that I'm continually learning about week in, week out. And I think it actually works, I literally do. There's, there's plenty of evidence out there that it does work. And certainly when I envisaged the 10k a month target for my income, that was very clear to me. And I did write that down and that, that I just then made it happen. So going forward, I am, I want to push it to 50k a month. And I also want to make sure that with part of that, that I'm paying some of that knowledge forward and helping others I have actually helped this was to clients that I've actually helped for for free, because of their sort of financial circumstances. And similar in some ways to to situation, the situations that I came from. So I just had a bit of a connection with them. But yes, certainly I want to grow the business. I'm at the point now where I'm looking at taking on certainly an admin assistant, and to move that forward. And yeah, just just exploring more adventures in property really.

Christian Rodwell  51:23  

And doing more podcasts, I think, baby, maybe has your first one being

Unknown Speaker  51:30  

quite, it's been really nice, actually. I've not had a million phone calls. And you know, things like that. So yeah, this has been lovely. I've really enjoyed it.

Christian Rodwell  51:40  

Well, I've enjoyed it, too, Heather, and thanks so much. I'm sure everyone listening will have been inspired by your story. And if someone wants to get in touch or follow you on social media, see what you're up to every day, where's the best place to go?

Unknown Speaker  51:53  

The best place to go. So if you just type in app at blonde property on Google, it will take you straight to Instagram, Facebook, there's LinkedIn, so all of those will flag up. But I do tend to find that the main influx of people is through Instagram. And that that was a learning curve. For me. You know, people always talk about having a website. I don't actually have a website at the minute that that is working in production. But then so many people have said to me, You know what, Instagram is a great channel to connect. And I do come from a marketing background. And I've realised that as well, you can update it very quickly. And people love seeing, you'll see all sorts of updates on their funny things like when we had to rescue a pigeon from chimney. Well, my handyman did actually not me personally, but the highs and the lows of of property are all on there, along with some very professional and substantial facts and figures on deals. And so it's quite, it's just, it's just daily life. I just post things on there that you know, that happened. And that's yeah, that's quite funny. I get a lot of comments saying, you know, it's nice to see something that's not actually as glamorous as people make out. It is. So you'll, you'll get everything on there.

Christian Rodwell  53:08  

Yep, yeah. Great, Heather. Good luck. With everything moving forward, we'll definitely be in touch. Thank you for being a great guest on wealth talk today.

Unknown Speaker  53:17  

You're welcome. And thank you for having me.

Christian Rodwell  53:21  

Okay, some fantastic words, they're shared by Heather really, really inspiring. And we'll dig into some of those lessons, Kevin, that that we can expand on. For we do that, let's head over to Trustpilot. And we've had a few reviews of last week or two. And let me pull out one in particular, this one is from Rob. And Rob says that he had his wealth roadmap call with myself. And he said Christian was so insightful, helpful and genuine, really listened to me and put together a fantastic roadmap for me to work on. Thanks, again, highly recommend to anybody interested in increasing their wealth. And thank you, Rob, for that. And I have been busy actually, over the last couple of weeks or so because we did a webinar, didn't we, at the end of June, where we just really shared what the wealth builders Academy is, therefore, to help people move from financial insecurity through to financial independence. And we shared the roadmap with around about 200 people on that call. And yeah, we offered a free wealth mapping call for anyone that you were a busy boy, weren't you? So that was a fantastic,

Unknown Speaker  54:29  

no wonder you picked out a little review to give yourself. I appreciate. However, having said that, you know, I think it was really good to give people a bit of an insight into a roadmap for themselves, seeing their money often in one place for the first time actually. And when you do that, it gives you a sense of what your leverage is, you know, certainly the financial leverage. And and I think that's helpful. So even if People decided not to join it, I mean, wasn't right to come and immerse themselves in their wealth, they just wanted to get a sample, you did a great job. So you know, and we're, we're generous with our time in that regard, or we want to be done, we in terms of just letting people know what we do. And then when they're ready. They'll connect with us in whatever ways right for them, and we're happy with that, frankly.

Christian Rodwell  55:24  

Yeah, yeah. So okay. Looking back at some of the things that Heather shared with us just now. And if we focus on step one, again, mindset, often it's really connecting with your reason why, and we've talked about a catalyst that happens in people's lives. And you know, sometimes that's a catalyst that is born around tragedy. And, you know, obviously, Kevin, sharing your story as well, many times on the podcast, that that can be a powerful reason why for people and really kind of set the sail for people to say, Okay, I'm not going to let this happen again, or I'm going to change it. And that very much was the case for Heather.

Unknown Speaker  56:01  

Yeah. And I think she framed it in a slightly different way. I mean, you don't need tragedy to light a fire. But tragedy can certainly be a very powerful word was for me. My reaction was different to Heather's I mean, and also her tragedy was much worse. I mean, she lost her father, and mother and her husband, all in relatively quick succession. Yeah. And that, that, that could set somebody back really, that could knock them completely off course. But she was determined, and that determination is really shone through. So definitely testimony to her resilience. And I think it's important to recognise that resilience is a skill, a quality, in order to not just see what's out there and think, Oh, well, there's no point doing anything. But to almost think she said something about, you know, she realised that life was precious, and we don't have as much time, people will always put things off, or I'll do it, I'll do it next year, I'll do it when the situation improves, they'll do it sometime in the future. And she grasped that opportunity. And, and I think congratulations to her. And I'm sure our listeners will be inspired by that. And hopefully, you can get a catalyst from somebody else. And that's what inspiration is just a way to light another fire. So I very much hope that she's inspired some people to take action.

Christian Rodwell  57:28  

Yeah, and Heather's definitely taking action in a big way herself now and episode two of this podcast, which, for anyone who's listening who hasn't checked into the early episodes, I would, you know, suggest go back, listen to that it was the three Ds are mostly down, most of them only got four. Back in the day, we had three and that was the drifters, the DI wires and the dynamics. And for a long time, Heather was DIY owning it. And we know there are some dangers to that approach.

Unknown Speaker  58:01  

Look, there's nothing wrong with a little bit of dry and dry means at least you're taking action. But I think my own experience of DIY is it took me 15 years to achieve financial independence, because I wasn't really thinking about it didn't have a really clear plan didn't have a guide didn't have a mentor didn't have a roadmap. But now you can get a roadmap, you can accelerate that you can massively benefit from the intellectual shortcuts of people like me, people like how there are many others who would serve as inspiration. And you can achieve your financial independence in a fraction of the time, typically five years now, Chris, and five years of working hard, you know, some sacrifices, sure, but five years to become financially independent forever. It's really not too big a price at least I don't think so. Do you

Christian Rodwell  58:54  

know? No, absolutely not. And obviously, Heather mentioned purchasing her first property 12 years ago in the first 10 years, she obviously saw some growth, but it was in the last two years where that hockey stick effect just absolutely took over. And that's the power of compounding.

Unknown Speaker  59:10  

Well, that really comes to stage nine, isn't it when we talk about the acceleration. So it's been you can't get there. You know, you can't go from stage one to stage nine on the roadmap without taking steps. So we just encourage everybody to take small steps, one little baby step every month. And if they do that, then they will inevitably get to that compounding spell of being in a car crash. You know, we got seven assets, imagine you've got a car with seven gears. You can't really get very far and one in the first gear. You hear the grinding, you hear the noise, it wouldn't be very comfortable. You could probably get some speed up but you need to go through the gear so you can't and similarly, you can't go from a standing start and a vehicle to gear seven you know the engine would fall out. So you After take small steps. And that's the thing that Heather has taught us. And now she's taking bigger steps, of course. But I think taking small steps, consistently taking action is the key to building wealth not consistently thinking about taking action, or trying to take the highest and best form of action is our paralysis analysis. People sometimes do get overwhelmed by choice of, they get stuck on doing nothing, because they're waiting for all the lights to be green, before they set off on their journey. And of course, that's impossible. So well, yeah, I think Heather did a great job of giving some of the lessons that we teach anyway, Kristin,

Christian Rodwell  1:00:43  

one of those big decisions for Heather along the way was when to leave her job. Something close to my heart, of course, people escape the rat race and, you know, sacking their boss at the right time. And it's the key is the key decision to make. And you know, when is the right time, certainly, we don't recommend anybody kind of jumped ship without having a solid foundation of recurring income and asset income already in place. And, you know, someone listening now, there may well be people kind of not enjoying the day job not enjoying the routine, but kind of fearful and unsure of you know, when did they make that transition,

Unknown Speaker  1:01:22  

or even being in a business, you know, self employed, being a technician doing things that the don't want to do anymore, or even if you love your job, but you just want to not be almost stuck in a place where if you got fired if you got made redundant if something went wrong with the economy, that you're not protected against that. But what I found quite fascinating with Heather's story is she was a buyer. And what she now she's a buyer, instead of buying, you know, whatever she was buying in a business or in a job, you know, buying for somebody else making profit for somebody else. key distinction here, right, that most people are, you know, we talked in a previous podcast. So remember when a few ago, we talked about being in the retail space, or the wholesale space or the creator space. And being in the retail space basically means somebody else is getting wealthy from you. Now, when you're in a job, somebody else is getting wealthy from you. That's just the way is right. So you've got to make profits. So in order for them to make profit, you've got to be paid less, that's just the way in the same way as savers get less than the banks, because the banks are lending money to someone else at a profit. So you've got to understand that in the retail environment, you're always always always going to be the worst off when it comes to value. So she shifted from being in the retail space work for somebody else to buying for herself. And now she's creating because she's now helping other people by, you know, she's recognised, although it took her a while, I think, to recognise her own value. I think she spotted that didn't she, when she went on a course looked around or hang on a minute, I've been dry, I need to go on a course, went on a course looked around, and I want a mini. I think I've done more than everybody else, or most people on the course. And so I think there's a little bit of that. Concern about doing things in a dry, you don't see your own progress. So you don't see how far you've come. Because there's only you watching yourself, which again, is another reason why I think having a community having accountability, you can celebrate the journey, and the progression you make along the way and share with others. And hopefully, she'll be doing much more of that now.

Christian Rodwell  1:03:44  

Yeah, yeah, we hope so. And, you know, great message really, for anyone who's feeling a little bit stuck at the moment, like, everything's too hard, I can't find any deals, you know, everything is possible. And it's all really starts in the mindset. If you believe you can achieve it, then you probably can. So

Unknown Speaker  1:04:02  

yeah, but that sounds a bit too woowoo. For me, Chris is a wealth builder. I'm a very practical guy. What I'm saying is, you know, the principle we follow that wealth builders is who not how. So if you don't know how somebody else has already done it, or somebody else already doing it. So there's a pathway that's already been created. So you just have to be open minded, and not closed minded. I find so many people who are not financially independent, they have a close mind. And that mind is close to what's going on in the world, close to their own ability, close to the risks. I mean, Heather was saying she knew she had a feeling didn't she that if it didn't work, she'd always get another job. She knew she had confidence and knowing I did a good job, I could do a good job at a good job. But you know that that's a key thing. So, so backing yourself, and if you're not comfortable backing up Self, get the support, get a community around, you don't make decisions just on your own, then you can smooth that path. And that's really what wealth builders was created to do, Chris to help people make that journey cross that bridge from where they are now to where they want to be. But being on a bridge with others, reaching forward to ask for help. And then in due course, reaching backwards to help people because you move further along. And that's a really good visualisation. I would have anybody try and internalise to see that well, all you got to do to cross the bridge to the first step on.

Christian Rodwell  1:05:38  

Yeah. And that journey from insecurity to independence, as we've said earlier, is one of you know, around about five years, if you have a clear plan, you have good support, and you're focused and committed. And the best time to take that first step really is today. So yeah, okay. All right, well, we'll be taking a step back, actually, for the next few weeks won't be caffeine, because we're gonna take the month of August off, as we always do, and just recharge and get ready for coming back strong in September. So that final push of 2022

Unknown Speaker  1:06:13  

well as Dr. Steven Covey who's no longer with us, and the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, eloquently describes, you know, step number seven, or habit number seven, is sharpen the saw. So we need to take time out, Chris, we need to get our SAWS out, get our axes out, get them all polished up and ground and ready to carve a pathway for the next batch of willing participants on the wealth builder journey. And a couple of months time we'll be opening our doors again. So if you're inspired or interested in what we have to say, j

Episode summary

Experienced property consultant, developer and portfolio landlord, Heather Smail, shares her story of how she went from a rough council estate to earning £20,000 a month as her own boss. Heather quit her job 5 years ago, leaving behind a good career with financial security, as she had a burning desire to be in control of her own life and make decisions for herself. For the last 2 years, Heather has been a property consultant for clients who are looking to start their own property investment journey and would like to echo her results; acquiring financial freedom with a recurring income of £20,000/month. “Life is so short. You only get one chance!” Tune in to hear the emotional journey that Heather went through in her early life and how that has built her powerful mindset, which helped her to financial freedom.

Episode notes

Experienced property consultant, developer and portfolio landlord, Heather Smail, shares her story of how she went from a rough council estate to earning £20,000 a month as her own boss. 

Heather quit her job 5 years ago, leaving behind a good career with financial security, as she had a burning desire to be in control of her own life and make decisions for herself.

For the last 2 years, Heather has been a property consultant for clients who are looking to start their own property investment journey and would like to echo her results; acquiring financial freedom with a recurring income of £20,000/month. 

“Life is so short. You only get one chance!” Tune in to hear the emotional journey that Heather went through in her early life and how that has built her powerful mindset, which helped her to financial freedom.

Resources mentioned in this episode