Becoming financially free starts with a millionaire mindset. I decided early in life that I wanted more from life, and I started working hard to achieve it.
I paid off my first asset (worth over R1 million) at the age of 22. I knew from an early age that I had to have the focus and dedication to make my dreams a reality. Fuelled by my dreams and destination I wrote my book “How to become a Millionaire at 22”. My team and I are currently touring the country sharing my story and how to do it as well as teaching a wealth mindset and how to become financially independent to people all over South Africa
- Background on yourself – birthplace, formative years etc.
I grew up in the Moot, Pretoria. My parents weren’t wealthy, I didn’t come from a generation of wealth. One of the most important lessons my dad taught me early in my life is that if I want to become a millionaire, I have to learn from a Millionaire. I realized that if I want to be different and do things differently I have to acquire knowledge, I have to broaden my mind. I started reading business and entrepreneurial books of millionaires and billionaires at a very young age. The things I learnt within these books pushed me to start a lot of small businesses while I was still in primary school. At first the businesses were just to generate pocket money to buy candy at the tuck shop or toys for myself as my parents didn’t give me an allowance. My businesses were very successful and at 19 I was able to buy my first property.
- Where were you educated, qualifications, etc.
I went to HTS John Vorster Highschool. before I studied Industrial Engineering at the University of Pretoria. I completed my degree in 4 years and worked one year as an industrial engineer in the industry. I am currently a full time entrepreneur.
- How did you first become involved in property?
I read a lot of business books when I was very young and started a lot of small businesses. I noticed that my dad was always working long hours, leaving at dark in the morning and returning at dark. My dad also had to work nightshift sometimes to be able to provide for our family. I quickly realised that it would be important to build a passive or constant stream of income to enable me to live the life I wanted to. A constant stream of income enables you to dedicate your time to building your dream life instead of being forced to work 9-5. I found that property is a great way to establish that passive income.
*I always loved building forts when I was younger – that’s probably where my love for property came into play
- Briefly describe your first experience and investment in property
I bought a broken down property in a middle class neigbourhood that nobody was interested in. I did all the maintenance and construction needed on the property. I put on my shorts and tank top and asked my family to help me renovate the house. We literally worked with shovels and pickaxes in the dust and rubble. I worked very conservatively with the renovations and only spent money on the absolutely necessary parts of the property. After renovating the house, I rented it out.
While I was still in university, I generated a lot of income from my property, but I didn’t spend it. My friends bought nice cars and flats, whereas I lived very conservative. I still drove my old car and stayed with my parents. I invested all of the income I received from the property and other small businesses back into this property. I continually expanded it a bit year after year to increase my Return on Investment and after 4 years I completely paid off the property and all the extra renovation costs.
- Give us some of your highlights of your biggest achievements in your career so far
I bought my first property at 19 – 2012
I reached my first million at 22 – 2015
I quit my day job as an Industrial Engineer and became a full time entrepreneur- 2016
We published my first book “How to become a millionaire at 22” -2017
I was featured on TV, radio, newspapers and even the Entrepreneur Magazine – 2017 – 2018
The best highlight of all is to see all the entrepreneurs and school students’, all over South Africa, eyes light up when I tell my story – knowing that I have inspired them to do something great with the potential they have.
- What have been your best and worst experiences in investing?
My best investment is still my very first property. It has the highest Return on Investment and still the most stable investment after 6 years. When my other properties were empty for some months, this one never failed me.
My worst investment was in Bitcoin. Enough Said.
- What were some of the most important lessons you learnt from the experience?
The most important lesson I learnt from these experiences is that you should only invest in things or endeavors that you are very knowledgeable about. I only buy properties in a 5km radius of where I live. I know my area very well, I drive through the streets every day and grew up here. I know all of the property price ranges by heart. I know where the turf soil is, that cracks up a house and I know where industrial areas are that creates a lot of unwanted foot traffic. I know which areas are more likely to be targeted by criminals, in turn decreasing the selling price. I know the people staying here and I know where the new developments are being planned that will increase the value of my properties. I make it my business to know.
I can easily take all of the variables into account when looking for a profitable property, variables that someone from outside my area would not know anything about.
Only invest in areas that you are very knowledgeable about. It increases your opportunity to make more profit and deceases the risk factor of your investment.
- Please share your top business and investment tips for our readers
Don’t “over-invest”: To many investors want to repaint the whole house, put new tiles and granite tops, take out all the perfectly working utilities and replace it with the newest golden taps and toilets. This is completely unnecessary. Only spend what is necessary to get the best Return on Investment.
I once spent a whole weekend repainting the ceiling of one of the bathrooms in one of my properties. I noticed that the paint was starting to peal from the ceiling because of the steam and moisture from the shower. It looked really bad. I scraped all the old paint off, sanded the ceiling, painted an undercoat, sprayed water protection on and finally painted 3 coats of new white paint. Very proudly I called my tenants to come and look at the hard work I put in. “Look! I fixed the ceiling”. Their response was: “It looks nice. What was wrong with it?”
Keep on “re-investing”: As soon as you start making money, don’t spend it all. Keep on putting the money back into your properties and investments. Live lean and conservatively whilst building a massive empire. You will quickly find that money creates money and by re-investing your returns, you will start to build “money machines” that can print money 24/7 so that you can shift your focus to LIVING LIFE instead of worrying about a paycheck.
Get your hands dirty: Don’t be afraid to jump in and do the hard work. With my last property I renovated, I saved more than R800 000 of building costs just by doing it myself with my own team. Outsourcing is expensive as you are paying someone else to “create value” for you. Rather create the monetary value yourself by putting in some elbow grease.
Keep on building your mindset: Never stop reading or consuming knowledge. I am constantly reading books, meeting with other investors & entrepreneurs, reading the latest property and tax laws etc. Your actions gives you a good indication of what you think about. If you are constantly reading and thinking about business, investment opportunities and building wealth, then that is exactly what you will do.
Make sure you have a SUPER team: I cannot even imagine to count how many times my family and people close to me have assisted me in my journey. From my dad fixing a broken geyser at one of my properties while I was on holiday and my mom showing a new tenant the house while I was writing exams, my brother managing my building site while I am away for business and my partner making a late night coffee when I am filing my tax returns.
You need trustworthy people in your life that you can always depend on. Without these people the whole cart can tip over very quickly. Make sure you invest in the people close to you, the Return on Investment here is unmeasurable.
- Do you consider yourself a success and if so what does success mean to you?
Yes I do, I believe success is when you are able to live your dream life without constraints from other people or your bank account. When you have freedom to make your own choices and CREATE your own future. When you are able to make a difference in your community and a change in the world for the better, then you are successful.
With my book “How to Become a Millionaire at 22” my team and I are traveling the country, making positive changes in our community. I work with so many entrepreneurs every day, helping them to build their businesses and inspiring them to achieve greatness. I do what I am passionate about all the time.
We can see the changes in the people’s lives for the better. We are leaving our mark in this world. That is what I consider as success.
- What makes a great property investment
Elbow grease. Too many investors buy “finished” completed properties with low Return on Investment. A great property investment is if you can buy a property with low value in a high value area. Turn it into a high value property. Get your hands dirty and CREATE the value. Don’t be a consumer. Be a CREATOR.
- What is your life philosophy?
You can create your own dream life and future by applying the correct amount of hard work, passion, dedication, guts and persistence. Don’t blame anyone else, take responsibility for your success or failure. You decide how your future looks.
- What is your favourite quote?
Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right – Henry Ford
- One adjective to describe yourself
- What one thing would you like to do to make an impact on the world?
I would like to change people’s mindset about wealth and teach them the correct financial concepts so that they can also become financially independent to fund their dreams and passion.