My name is Paul Stebles and I guess you landed here because you want to learn more about the science behind property investing. But before I get to that, I wanted to share a bit about me.
I wrote this little bio for more than one reason.
Firstly I wanted to document my journey from failure to success for my own sake, because it’s all too easy to forget sometimes where you started and how far you’ve come and just focus on the things you still want to achieve…
But the second more important thing, is to show how an ordinary person, just like you, can change their life for the better, with a few simple steps.
You see, only a few short years ago, in 1999, I was totally worried about my future and I was insecure and afraid – hard to imagine now – I know!
I had just dropped out of university after my first year and was stuck in my first real job, an accounts clerk for Coates Screen. The people that make the fairy bottle green ink. I had a boss like David Brent from “the Office” and was earning £9000 a year working full time.
This wasn’t the direction I wanted my life to go in, after two and a half years I finally had enough and decided to quit, with no job to go to. I had managed to save just over £1000 and used that to live at home for almost a year, with my parents support. A gentle nudge from my Auntie gave me the motivation to get my next job and change careers to something I was interested in, IT.
For over a year I worked as a Microsoft support guy! If you called the number on the Windows box, you got through to us. The pay wasn’t much better than the previous job, but I enjoyed it much more. But all good things come to an end, as they moved the helpdesk to India for a fraction of the price. A blessing in disguise really! I tried to move to the other helpdesk that was running in the building for Reuters, but the shift work that involved really didn’t agree with me.
So I was back into the land of unemployment. This time not with much of a break as I started contracting for the local Bromley NHS. It was such a shock; I was getting £75 a day, a fortune to me at the time. At first the role was quite a change, driving around most of the day visiting surgeries and fixing their computers. But before long I hit my stride.
Over the course of the next 4 years I slowly began to eke out a little more power to make some of the more important decisions. Then my senior colleague left, and I was the top contractor. Before long the technical project manager above had left too. Sadly the NHS chose not to replace him, so there was no path to progression. But being the top dog with all the skills and knowledge I was able to make some real improvements in the IT system in Bromley.
Over the next 3 years I made massive improvements, implementing full remote access to allow us to fix a lot of problems without driving all over the place all day. This free’d up more time to let us work on bigger projects. After a year of asking, I finally got approval to implement a complete software solution, that allowed us to install software on all the doctors computers without having to sit in front of them to do so. Bromley is now far ahead of all the nearby boroughs.
During this time Grant came to join our team, and he introduced me to the idea of renting properties out. I was finally getting to the point where I could look at buying a house from my modest salary, that I had saved over those 7 years, with few nights out partying, and living with my parents.
I started to look at various houses and flats in the cheap parts of Bromley, and I soon discovered that I could barely afford the smallest houses out there. It was then when I viewed a flat in really bad condition that I stumbled upon a reposed property. I knew straight away I wouldn’t really like to live their myself. At the time I just casually asked the agent, how much something like this 2 bed flat would go for, he said someone just offered £87,000. I was in shock, nothing on the market was close to this.
Grant was kind enough to come and visit the property for me, and he confirmed it was a great buy. I had a tough choice to make, a life changing moment. Do I go the route of most, and buy my own place, or do I buy an investment flat? I’m not sure what changed that day – but I decided to go for it. I threw my entire life savings at this flat, in the end I got it for £92,000. It was a close call, someone almost outbid me on the last day, but thanks to the agent it went through.
Disaster struck when I experienced my first cowboy builder, who left the job after 3 months, with little work done. In fact when I looked at it, he did more damage to the property than good. So I got a second builder in, but I had the same problem, this time I had learned some lessons, obviously not enough though. I had to spend the next few weeks off work fixing everything, and it was one of the hardest times of my life. I had used every penny, and never had my bank account been so low since I was a teenager. In the end it was done, and luckily for me, my girlfriend’s sister was moving out and loved the place, so straight away I had someone to rent it, that I could trust, phew.
Back then I swore “Never Again”. I’d spent best part of a year of my life doing this one property, and up until then, only experienced trouble with it.
6 months down the line, and I had started to appreciate the extra £450 a month coming in. 1 year on, I was able to re-mortgage and take out all of the money I spent on builders, and still have £350 a month coming in. Now I saw the true potential of property.
I wanted to do another one. This first one gave me a big pay rise, and another would do the same. However my Dad wanted me to move out, fair point, 30yr old at home, I can see why. So I went off using my patchy knowledge of property to find my own house. I found one, another cheaper property that needed everything doing, but that was ok, as I could do the place up how I wanted.
Something big changed here, at this point: The thought of a large mortgage around my neck, and no way to save up a big deposit in the future once I was paying all the bills for a house. I was falling into the trap that most of us do, paying the mortgage all our lives and working until we drop. What with the recent government cuts, our department at work only just survived, but we still lost several people who were vital to running the IT department.
I had just come back from a big family holiday in Florida to see the space shuttle launch, a fantastic time. Shortly before I had just completed a big project at work before I left. However when I returned, things had changed somewhat. A host of important decisions had been taken while I was away, leaving me out of the loop somewhat. Then shortly after, I was told that I would need to report back to the office every day. I enquired why this was, and was told someone was needed to cover the phones. Even though we still had one person dedicated to this, despite the recent cuts that cost us the other helpdesk person.
It was one particular day, that I remember well, I was due to go to a surgery to replace a printer. I thought out of courtesy I would ask permission to go, despite our helpdesk guy being around on the phones. I was told to stay put. I couldn’t fathom it, I was being asked to sit there twiddling my thumbs waiting for a call, even though we had several logged calls I could go out to. The helpdesk guy was dumbstruck too. Something broke in me that day. I felt I was being punished for doing my job properly.
The NHS is strange organisation at best, with money being wasted or miss spent everywhere. One thing I also saw, was that after a little while the NHS mentality slowly spread to all of its new employees. There was a point most people stopped fighting the system, and just accepted it and added to it. I simply refused to become another inefficient worker, after all my recent achievements to improve the IT in Bromley.
This, combined with the new found chain I felt around my neck from the mortgage, really took me to a dark place. The thought of being required to do this, and work for the rest of my life for an organisation that was wasting public money on such vast scales, and making daft decisions that punished me for working hard.
I fell into depression, and for the first time in my life, went to my doctor, who I of course knew, for depression. I battled with this for months, hearing nothing from them. Waking up each day in a state of Anxiety was horrible. I tried to help myself over the summer; after research online, I found Tony Robbins, and began listening to his CD set which helped a lot, but didn’t address the underlying problem. After the summer had been and passed, I decided to seek out more help myself. I signed up for a life coaching session with Clara. Oddly, at the same time, the Bromley mind team found my lost form, and referred me to see someone. For a period of several months, I saw one person a week, alternating between the two.
It was after the first session with Clara, as I was searching desperately for a way to stop the 9-5 every day, without just giving in and quitting, that Clara recommended I read “Rich Dad Poor Dad”.
I could barely put the book down, I read it cover to cover over two evenings. My life felt changed forever, finally a way out. I searched long and hard for the no money down deals, but soon discovered they were a thing of the past. I then sat there thinking of creative solutions, and remembering something from the book, I looked up bridging. Each day I would go and speak to Grant at work, but he told me those things weren’t possible any more, or were very risky.
During this time I was fighting the urge to go on medication for my depression, I had the tablets sitting on my desk, tempting me for an easy fix. After seeing the side effects some people have though it put me thoroughly off, and I couldn’t believe that just taking a pill would solve the problems that were underlying causing my feelings.
Clara presented me with an opportunity to join a company called USANA, which sells the highest quality nutritional supplements in the world. After watching some of their videos, I decided to try their products myself, to see if they worked. I was shocked, after only 3 days of taking the vitamins my energy levels shot up, and my mood improved dramatically. I began to look into this further, and realised I must have been quite badly vitamin D deficient, and that was making the low feelings much worse. After feeling the results myself, I decided to join, and became an associate with USANA.
I thought there had to be a way to do this property stuff without having to spend 10 years to save up another deposit. So I went searching again and found Progressive Property. I went to one of their beginner events the “JV Buying Frenzy” and the stories I heard there inspired me. It was possible, and if they could do it, so could I. I took the bold decision to sign up for their full package of courses, to change my life.
Meanwhile I carried on reading self-help books, and found Shafin De Zane, online, I found his videos on YouTube were truly inspirational, and watched them over and over several times. I continued to read: Robert Kyosaki’s second book. Clara also recommended reading “The Four Agreements”. I read this book twice over, it resonated heavily with me, and have begun to apply its teachings, along with Don Miguel Ruez’s follow up book, “The Voice of Knowledge”.
Going to the first Progressive course was a lesson in facing my fear and going for it. I met many fantastic people, one was Clare, who I got on with really well, and we both had similar goals to get cash flow going fast. I found we were mailing each other regularly, so suggested we set up in partnership. I learnt so many things over the next few months, and changed my life completely. I gave up playing the computer games all together, as I used them as an escape. I decided that if I can master those, why can’t I master the real world, and have real world adventures too.
I found Clare really helped spur me on, especially when carrying on with the 9-5 each day, and each night I was able to work on the business.
I have since set a goal to go to space by the year 2017, using Virgin Galactic. Something I could never have dreamt of before learning about property. I plan to use Francis and Emily’s Multi Let Without The Sweat plan to achieve this.
I have now begun to master my own emotions, through more self-help learning’s and book, I can often reverse my mood, and take control of my future. This science of learning these techniques also fascinates me, along with the quantum physics world that supports many of the findings these books have come to.
I have always been a keen science enthusiast, and loved studying it at university. It’s here I decided to combine the property investment potential with the science behind becoming successful. I see other people around me that could benefit so much from property, but have mindsets that limit them. Others have the right mindset, but don’t understand the principles behind investing.
It’s my goal to help others take the journey that I have to become free from the daily drudgery of life that so many of us have come to accept as normal, and using science I can formulate this into a distinct plan of steps to achieve this. With the many methods of investing available I can tailor a program specifically to your needs and advise you, step by step on how to achieve your goals.
I hope you give me the opportunity to help you, please feel free to email me, I would genuinely love to hear from you.