This week, Billy and Paul discuss the journey of entrepreneurship, the people you must have on the journey with you, and those you will leave behind. The truth is, being in business will change you, your social circle, and other peoples views of you. It’s important to know what to expect and how to manage when it happens.

  • Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey.
  • Who should you associate yourself with?
  • Having the right business partner.
  • Being ok with outgrowing your family and friends.
  • Letting go of the need to be liked.
  • Putting ego aside to support the business.
  • Taking free advice vs paid advice.



BILLY: Hi, folks. Billy Farrell here. Welcome to This Week in Property podcast. I’m here with co-host Paul McFadden. And this week we’re gonna talk about ‘Iron sharpens iron’. Now what does that mean? Well, there’s a number of things. First of all, the words ‘association equals power’. Because, depending on who you associate with, is gonna determine the level of conversation that you’re having, and whether you’re contracting in your life, or whether you’re expanding.

We’re gonna talk about the power of networking, we’re gonna talk about the power of having strong business partners, and we’re also gonna talk about something that’s touched-on not that much, which is about how property and entrepreneurship is a lonely journey. Noe, I think for that topic we’ll come to Paul, because this is something you’ve brought up in the past, Paul.

PAUL: Well, the funny thing is, is that, let’s say, most people come from a traditional working background. No one really starts in business for themselves at an early age. Some do, but the majority don’t. And more importantly, when it comes to property, sometimes that comes off the back of they maybe bought a property, now they want to get serious and has to look at buying property right, or maybe they went and got some education and now they want to become a property investor, whether that’s full time, and the challenge is, is that at the early parts of your journey, depending if you’re surrounded with the right people or not, it can be a very lonely journey.

And you can have a lot of people come against you. Cause the funny thing is if I relate back to myself, and I know you shared the same, Billy, is that both you and I, we grew up in the same place in the south side of Glasgow, and in the early days, i don’t know why it was with us, I really still to this day I don’t get why we were different, and what I mean by that is that, for me, I knew that I wanted to make money, I knew I wanted something different. Now, I’m proud of where I grew up, I still have my roots, and, you know, I know lots of people, who, you know, I came through school with and things, but what I noticed at the early days when I did take that jump to be this entrepreneur, it became a lonely world.

Because when you go out and you start bettering yourself, whether that’s, you know, for me it was going away and learning some personal development to literally get myself brainwashed to thing differently, change my mindset completely. And during those early days, you’ll know this yourself from your own experience that, maybe some of the listeners as well, is that when you’ve been to a course, if you want to relate back to property, I remember, and what I see with a lot of people who come through to our mentorship programs, is that they come apprehensive, not sure what to expect, they go through a four-day intensive with us, they get, I mean, they get unbelievable knowledge at the end of it, they get new way of thinking about things, and once they go back into their world, to their partners, their friends, their family, back into the working environment, it was the same with us in the early days when we went to a Tony Robbins seminar, a Harv Eker seminar, a Chris Howard seminar, we are high as a kite, we are, you know, we see a new how-to in business, our mindsets are totally changed, we don’t see the same way of doing things, and then we come back, and everybody’s looking, ‘Well, wait a wee minute, what’s happened to you guys?’, you know, ‘What’s happened to you?

You’ve changed’, and the reality is, you have. And with that, it could almost start to air lerate people. People don’t want to associate with you, people think that you think you’re better than them, and all this stuff starts to happen, and this is what really starts sparking the lonely journey. Because the funny thing is, is when you start becoming involved in your own business and you start working around the clock on your own hours, you’re not exchanging time, you know, for money, you’re actually working on your own business, because when you know you’re piking up a salary, a wage at the end of the week or at the end of the month, you can go out at the weekends, you can go out throughout the week and have a few drinks and have a hangover, it doesn’t matter, because you’re going in and you’re getting paid for it, but when it’s your own business, and you, you know, go out for a weekend, you can’t afford a hangover, it puts you out your game, and that can affect the money you can go and make.

And then what that means, is when you’re changing your mindset, changing the way you do things, getting into business for yourself, and you’re going away from old friends, and they’re wondering where are you at the weekend, you know, what about the social gatherings that you used to always do, they’re wondering where you’re at, and the truth of the matter is, is your head’s a bit more screwed on, you actually work for yourself, you can’t afford those days off, in the early stages when you’re starting something up, and this is what really sparks in the lonely journey.

And now we talk about power of association, which is about having strong business partners, iron sharpens iron. That part follows off the back of this, but we can maybe talk about the people who come against you, how you deal with that. Let’s jump into that.

BILLY: Okay, so, just going back a bit. When people do attend our Protege courses, they get excited, they get fired-up. They’re clued-up, fired-up and ready for war. Then they go back home, but their partner hasn’t been through it. So they’re just, you know, getting on with life. It’s funny because when I, I’m sitting here on this camera right now, this will go out to thousands of people, loads of folk will talk to us, there’s a bit of respect there, et cetera. But when I go home tonight, it will be, ‘Can you wipe the baby’s bum?

Can you put the bins out? Can you make me a cup of tea?’, right? Which is fine. It’s normal life. So other folk are living their normal lives, and we’re overhearing this crazy rush, and, like you, I remember in the early days, coming back from these courses, these events, and you’d be all fired-up, and I used get really wound-up about this, Paul.

Because I remember one specific event when we were at London, it was you and I, Richard Swan and a few others, it was John Kehoe ‘Master Your Mind’. And we were back, and, so we’ve had ‘Master You Mind’, had a ‘Light Warrior Training Camp’, I mean, come on, these names are brilliant.

PAUL: Yeah, cool names. These are the type of names you couldn’t tell people you’ve attended.

BILLY: That’s what I’m saying. Because I was back after that event and my dad says to me, ‘So what was the event called?’, and I’m like, ‘Just a business thing’. He’s like that, ‘How was it called?’, I was like, ‘Master Your Mind’, he’s like, ‘What? Master your what?’, ‘Master Your Mind. Alright dad’. And then that was it, the slagging took place. But I remember coming back from this, and it was all about the law of attraction, and positive focus and all that, which was great, if you use it on a practical sense, right? Don’t get me started on that subject. But I remember coming back from this and my dad was like, ‘What is this thing you’re on? Why do you need that? I’ve done this and I’ve done that’, and he wasn’t doing it on a badness, but then a load of folk were being quit negative, they didn’t realise they’re being negative family.

They were just getting on with their lives, they were just moaning about work, getting on about their day, talking about this person, that person, whatever. But me coming from this extremely heightened state of awareness, I’m getting in there and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, shoot me’. This is absolutely depressing. And I found myself not wanting to sit among those kinds of conversations. Equally, when I was twenty-one, the day I stopped drinking alcohol, which I didn’t touch a drink for about eight years, now it’s just a wee wine now and then, whatever, light.

I’ve no interest in getting drunk. But back then when I stopped drinking, I was the life and soul of the party. And then when I stopped drinking, I started reading Tony Robbins. That’s when the entrepreneurial journey began for me. And when that happened, I still tried to go out with my friends and be the sober one who proves that you can have fun without a drink. It didn’t work. I started hearing different levels of conversation.

And I’m like, here I am sitting at Tony Robbins, who’s talking about growth, mindset, flying his helicopter and acting like a child on Christmas Eve, writing your goal list, and I’m like, cool, I’m doing all this and then I’m getting out with my pals, who, no fault, no problem, it is what it is, it’s their interests, it was mine until a point, they’re talking about football, getting girls, getting into bother, all sorts of silly stuff, and I just found myself thinking, you know, that’s not the conversation I’m interested in anymore, and people would say to me, ‘You’ve changed’, like you said, and when they said it, part of me was thinking, ‘No I’ve not changed, I’m still me, I’m still Jenny from the block, I’m still Billy from the block’, you know what I mean?

I’m still me, right? But the reality is, I wasn’t me and I had changed. At the core I was still Billy, and I wasn’t trying to be better than anybody else, I was trying to be better than me of yesterday, which to this day I still try and do every single day. So you do change. And folk who are going down this road of property, you’re gonna come up against it. So as we move into this conversation of association, iron sharpening iron, the ‘Iron sharpens iron’ part comes when we talk about sharp minds working with other sharp minds, which is where you’re headed, but before we get there, when we talk about association, you really need to think about who you’re surrounding yourself with. What kind of conversations are you listening to?

What kind of chat are you following? What kind of debates and negativity you’re allowing to pollute your mind? Because the moment you say you’re involved in property, you’re gonna get all sorts of reactions. Some folk are gonna support you, some folk are gonna come against you from a positive point of view in their mind cause they’re trying to help you not go down this terrible business path, but to get a secure job and keep it, other folk are gonna attack you, some folk are gonna look at you and start justifying their one income when you’ve not said a word about it because they feel inferior next to you, even though they don’t know the reality of what you’re actually going through.

But you’re gonna come up against it from every possible angle.

PAUL: Yeah. I mean, if you’re striving for personal growth, wanting to do better, be a better version of yourself than you were yesterday, if you’ve got that attitude, and unfortunately it’s not the masses, it’s the minority, and you’ve got that growth focus and want to do better all the time, striving for more, it’s not always in the financial terms, just want to be a better person, a better husband, a better wife, you know, better, you know, brother, sister, better whatever.

Then if you’re striving to do that, then you will outgrow others who are settling and that’s the challenge. I mean, the funny thing is, when we relate it back to property, my own story, and Billy, you were there in the early days, you know, when, Social Media for us, we’re probably early adopters, compared to what most people were doing when it comes to Social Media, because Social Media was kinda just breaking into the scene, with regards of promoting yourself and putting yourself out there.

So when we kicked off the Scottish Property Meet, which turned out to be one of the largest property networking events in the UK, the largest in Scotland, and for us, and you remember, we started putting ourselves out there on camera. Now, picture this, there’s me, I’m literary in my early twenties, looking like I’m twelve years old, I mean, I’m growing this beard and I’m trying to put an effort on to make this, you know, a bit older things, but imagine me in the early days. In the early days I looked like a twelve-year-old, on the camera, speaking to professional investors and professional people involved in the industry.

BILLY: And you’ve had no tie at the time.

PAUL: No tie, shirt hanging out – the works. But the point I’m making here is, is that when these videos started to go on Youtube, going out on Social Media, I had my social circle at the time, and I just came out that I’m a property investor, I bought a bunch of properties and now I’m saying it, and I started to get prank phone calls, I started to get people that would comment on social media and things, and slagging for me going on camera, you know, taking the piss. You know, and unfortunately that takes so many people out the game.

We live in a very social world at the moment, where if you can put yourself out there, this is why we’re doing the podcast, first and foremost, we love what we share, we love giving value, we’ve got a message to put out there, and it’s amazing to think that tens of thousands of people that will listen to this, not only when we release this, but for many years in the future. And that’s what I love most about getting your message out there. And obviously, the more you do it, the better you get.

But at the beginning, you make mistakes, it’s not that polished, you’re always getting better in everything you do, and then if you’ve got people coming against you, it’s normally people closest to you, it’s people that you’re just about to outgrow that are coming against you, that can take you off the game, that can take you off the path of actually putting yourself out there. And if you put yourself out in there in the right manner, you can attract a lot of business, you can attract people you can work with, finance – lots of different things.

And this is the things, with the way the world is just now, people need to put themselves out there on Social Media, you know, people, if you want that business partner to work with you, you want to associate yourself with the right people, how are you putting yourself out there on Social Media and you need to realise that when you do this, people are gonna come against you, and you just need to outgrow those, put the out of your life altogether.

BILLY: You need to let go of the need to be liked.

PAUL: Yeah.

BILLY: That’s a hard one for a lot of folk. But the way I look at it is this is your life, you have one shot at this. One shot, that’s it. For all we know, there is no repeat. So what are you gonna do? Are you gonna people-please? Are you gonna say yes all the time when you want to say no? Are you gonna go places you don’t want to go, spend time with people you don’t want to spend time with? This is your life.

Now at Protege I tell a coupe of stories. One, we can relate to Donald Trump now. Used to be Barack Obama, now it’s Donald Trump. Half of his country don’t like him. Maybe less than half, but half of his country don’t like the man. Now, some of them violently, aggressively, murderously. Now if you were employed, and you went into your workplace tomorrow, and half the people despised you, some of them wanted to end your life, how comfortable would you be sitting in the booth at work, or digging that hole at work, or walking through that site? How comfortable would you be, if half the people wanted to end you?

You know, but I guess that’s why there are not many Donald Trumps in the world. And the other story that I like to share is about the funeral. About how statistics (I’m paraphrasing), statistics show that at the end of a long life, on average, six people will cry at your funeral and mean it. And the biggest determining factor of attendance at a funeral is the weather. So here you are going through your life, getting people happy who don’t matter. Keeping them happy, saying yes when you want to say no, turning up to things you don’t want to go to, accepting less than what you’re worth, to keep others happy. You’re going through your whole life doing this, why?

So at the end of your life they might turn up as long as it’s not raining. So in my mind, let go of the need to be liked. You need to, as you said, be willing to promote your value. If you’re concerned about what other people think of you, look, you’re human, and it’s natural to go, ‘Oh my, that person is my cousin, and they’re hitting me on social media, they’re slagging me to the family’. Do you know what? Twelve years into the journey, I still get that. And I know you do as well. It’s never gonna go away. Don’t wish it was any easier, as Jim Rohn says, wish you were better able to deal with it.

PAUL: Yeah. Most people go through life thinking about what other people think of them, when the truth of the matter is, they’re thinking about what you think of them. So with this in mind, it doesn’t matter. You shouldn’t get caught up in what other people think of you. You know, sure if that’s people who you look up to, people who are a positive influence in your life. Cause one of the things that we talk about, when we talk about, you know, before you even get out there to raise finance and about who you need to become, and we hit them with some hard facts, give them a reality check, on our Protege mentorship, on of the things we talk about is why should anyone want to give you finance?

Who should anyone want to be your business partner? Why should anybody want to do this deal with you? Why should anybody want to (fill in the blank)? And when you sit and look back and actually reflect and think about why someone should do something with you, that’s important to know. Because what the reality check is, is that people you should be listening to and take note is people you look up to. It’s your mentors, it’s the people that’s closest to you, people that want you to do better. You shouldn’t be listening to the ones who, oh you shouldn’t put yourself out there because of somebody else will think of this, and if they’re coming from a place of jealousy, or a place of trying to pull you back, or trying to, crabs in a bucket.

One crab is trying to get out, what’s happening, all the other crabs grab onto it to pull it back in. And that’s unfortunately what happens is that when you try to better yourself, if it’s positive feedback from people you respect, that’s personal growth, that will help you grow, take that feedback. But if it’s feedback in terms of what I used to get in the early days is, ‘Who are you to be a property investor?’, you know, ‘You don’t deserve that’, as you said earlier on is that, it’s not made for us.If that’s the chat you’re getting, you need to take yourself out of that equation, don’t listen to that chat, cause you’ve outgrown them already if you’re totally thinking differently.

We need to be aware of this, that people will try and pull us back all the time. And as a new conversation, a new way of doing things, a new way of thinking, the more that you associate with people who are further down the journey that you want to get down.

BILLY: It needs to be the right people. Because there’s a lot of social media commentators, there’s a lot of folk who appear to be doing well, but the facts don’t lie, and some for are bigger voices than they are at practically applying. Some folk on full-time employment and yet they are moderators on forums where they’re talking talking talking on social media, throwing all this expert advice and all that sort of stuff. Wee Brian. Brian Wrighton at the Protege event recently, talking about tax.

And he says, somebody asked on the group the difference between this sort of company and that sort of company, and Brian is like, ‘If you want to ask a question, there’s entire books written on each of those subjects, don’t ask it in a damn Facebook forum’. You know, get expert advice. Get the proper help, support and mentorship from the people in the right position to give it, don’t listen to all the chickens and the pigeons and the seagulls flocking about. Be an eagle, soar above the lot.

So to get rid of this stuff, first of all, let go of the need to be liked, have a bigger block list than most people’s friend list. Tune in to people who are talking the language that you want to hear, listen tooth’s podcast, and study and immerse yourself in it, make it who you are rather than something you’re just listening to, you know. And that getting to know the people who are talking the language that you wanna talk.

Now when we say iron sharpens iron, this is where we start to move into this conversation about getting mentors, about getting business partners, about having good people in your life. You know, some folk can be scared of working with business partners.Do you want to touch on that? Why they might be scared?

PAUL: Let’s touch on it in a second, Billy. I just want to touch on something, because we’ve got a lot of youth that listen to the podcast.

BILLY: Yeah.

PAUL: You know, I mean, I still hope to think that I’m in my youth, you know, in my thirty-one.


PAUL: I know, exactly, it’s weird. But the idea is, is that we’ve got a lot of listeners who are in their late teens, early twenties, and they still have an influence from their parents. Or, you know, older generation. And the older generation, unfortunately, and I know this from my own experience, when you tell them that you’re gonna go and invest in yourself, whether that’s a personal development course, whether that’s a property mentoring education, whether it’s whatever topic subject, if it’s not through a college, a university, you know, it tends to be looked at, ‘Oh, you know, that’s too good to be true. Don’t do that, it’s a scam’. And that can stop people growing.

The youth especially. Because this is why I couldn’t tell, you know, my family, oh, I’m away on a course called “Enlightened Warrior Training Camp”, you know, “Gorilla Business Intensive”, you know, “Master Your Mind’, all these type of catchy titles, okay. Oh, it’s a business seminar I’m going to. And the key is, is that they don’t mean any harm, they genuinely try to look out for you, but it’s a different generation. We live in a world just now where, you know, at your fingertips you can information now.

All be it, whether it’s the right information or not, it’s a different story. But as long as there’s some credibility behind the source of where you’re gonna go and train and they’ve got the knowledge that you want to gain, then don’t be afraid to invest and just realise that it is your journey and that your parents or older generation that are there to try and, you know, I wouldn’t say belittle you, but try and steer you away, then don’t let them, because they’re just trying to be protective but it’s a different generation. It’s a different mindset now.

So when we touch on business partners, we want to touch on that because a lot of the younger generation that get put off sometimes from people who are not getting the realm informed information. But we talk about business partners and what we want to look for in other business partners, people that we can, if you want to go back to analogy of iron sharpens iron.

BILLY: Some folk are afraid of having a business partner. Because let’s face it, there’s a lot of muppets out there, right?

PAUL: True, yeah.

BILLY: Can you touch on that before we get into this?

PAUL: Well, listen, I had many business partners. Trouble is when you’re involved in property, especially me in the early days, I couldn’t get mortgages. So I never had good credit, which was fine, it never held me back. You know, I made some poor choices growing up and using credit cards and loans to further my education rather than, you know, using them in the manner that you’d probably use them now, as a, you know, as a right way of using finance. So in those early days I had to, you know, joint venture with people.

And what I found is thats, this is why we’ve got a whole section mapped out in Protege about finding the right joint venture partners, what to look for, you know, how to secure your own interest, how to get expectation and all that stuff up front. Because, if you don’t get the right business partner, it doesn’t mean the first person you meet that you happen to get on with, it means that you, you know, you’re likeminded with them. Doesn’t mean that both of you need to go and jump in together and be in business for the rest of your life. It could be based on one transaction.

It could be based on a handful of transactions, but communication is key. What is the outcome that both of you want to get out off working together? You don’t need to be in business for life, remember that. Let the first joint venture you go and do, let the first deal you do or the second deal, let those deals be judged on how they turn out, what kind of result did you get. And if that works out well, and both of you still working great and you’ve got good synergy and, you know, the iron sharpens iron, there’s gonna be sparks.

So when there is some sparks, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Know that that’s a good thing. Some of the meeting that you and I and Stephen sit in, when we’re sitting in meetings where, you know, high level chat. Sometimes you agree and I don’t agree and vice-versa.

BILLY: It can get heavy.

PAUL: I know and, but at the end of it, we’re getting out having a laugh, you know.

BILLY: It stays in the room.

PAUL: Because it stays in the room. And one of the big things is a tip for whether it’s your significant other or business partner, is never go to sleep off the back of an argument. Settle the argument, get that sorted before you go to sleep, don’t let it fester away. Because the more you let something fester away, it’ll just grow into something else and it can end up being a downfall of that relationship in the first place.

So I guess when we look at business partners, is that sure we want to see if there’s so complementary, you know, skill-sets, you know, can you bring something to the table that they don’t necessarily have? And then let success be measured off the back of the first deal, the second deal, and then if you believe that you’re gong into business for much longer, then that can eventually blossom, into something that can end up being a very fruitful joint venture going forward.

BILLY: Now that’s a great way of doing it because a lot of folk do believe that this is my business partner, we’re tied together. So what you’re actually saying is bit by bit, step by step, rather than just jumping in, all guns blazing, because even if you do, the visions have got to be aligned. What both of you want from that transaction, that joint venture, that deal or long-term? It has to aligned.

Now myself, Stephen and yourself, we’ve got a unique relationship the way we do things. So you and I are on the ground running the business, and Stephen is working on bigger opportunities and bigger deals in the back end. So what we’ll find is that you’re out doing the deals, your out doing the face stuff, you’re doing the deals, you’re structuring the deals, you’re making that stuff happen, I’m in the back room working on all the marketing making business tick over, and then you’ve got Stephen who’s out there working on all sorts of big opportunities to bring them in so we can get hustling on them. So we’ve got a very unique relationship that’s established itself.

But even when that started, we started off on a totally different note, focusing on a totally different venture.

PAUL: And it was focused on the one thing, and off the back of the success of that, led to the next and led to…

BILLY: Cause we wouldn’t have flowed into the next and the next and the next if we didn’t click.

PAUL: Yeah.

BILLY: Now clicking doesn’t always mean getting on. Now we get on great, but as you said, sometimes iron sharpens iron means sparks, it means loving each other and caring enough about each other as partners that you’re gonna get in the room and you’re gonna trash it out. And it’s never from a place of being personal, it’s from a place of helping each other, speaking truth into the situation to support one another, and getting things done. And sometimes if there’s three of us and one doesn’t agree, well, it’s just saying okay, let’s do it, it’s done.

PAUL: The challenge we’ve got sometimes is, I use the arrowhead as analogy, to explain a vision.

BILLY: Yeah.

PAUL: That you need to get behind. Now, the arrowhead could be, let’s use the analogy or use the example of me, you, and Stephen. Arrowhead at one specific side of business could be me, and another specific part of business could be you or Stephen. Now, if you’ve got the three of us lined-up in a row, and we’ve all got our bow, and we’ve got an arrow and we let the arrow go, what’s the chances of all three arrows hitting the bullseye all on top of one another? Almost impossible, alright?

So you need to have one arrowhead, one person that pulls the string back, let’s go, that represents the vision, and what does that arrow have? It’s got feathers.

BILLY: And the stick.

PAUL: Yeah. And that is where you lean in. So you need to get behind someone, so sometimes you need to be in position where you’re the one that’s at the front, leading the vision, leading the charge and other people are tucking in, because the funny thing is, is that that arrow without the feathers it wouldn’t glide, it wouldn’t go the speed it needs to go and wouldn’t hit the target. So everything plays a part.

So in each time when we’re going out and doing things, this is why I see some business partners, first and foremost when I talk to business partners when it’s a, let’s say it’s a pair or there’s three of them working together, I actually set them a little exercise. The exercise is, what’s the vision for where you’re going and what do you want to get out of working together?

And the funny this is, is when I read all three, very rarely are they in alignment. They seem to be all different messages. Even worse, they have different exit strategies, and that is a big big problem. You need to have the same exit strategy. If you’ve not got the same exit strategy, that business is doomed. Let’s say it’s buying property. One person might want to hold property, the other one might want to trade property.

Now, what happens if you want to sell something, and other person wants to hold, that’s a relationship that’s just destined to be doomed. You need to get this up-front, you need to get this out on paper. But most people don’t do that, most people are too afraid to turn around and say, you know, let’s map this out, what we actually want to get out of the joint venture working together.

So when I speak to either a pair, or if there’s three or more business partners, I get them to do that same exercise, to write everything down in terms of what they want to get out of working together and what’s the vision. And then we need to get the three of them together or two of them together, and share their ideas so they can get behind. And what you start to find is that one person will focus on X, the other person will focus on Y.

Now surely there might be a bit of a crossover, but if both of you are just focusing on the one thing together, then it defeats the purpose, there’s no need. Just like you focus solely on marketing, mainly. Doesn’t mean I don’t know anything about marketing.

BILLY: I’m the arrowhead, but you guys are there as well. We make decisions together. And then you guys let me fly.

PAUL: Likewise, when it comes to property, you know a lot about property, you’ve invested yourself, but that’s the focus of where I’m at just now and everybody tucks in with that as well. So sometimes it’s putting your ego aside, ‘What do you mean? I want to be the guy who goes outside and raises finance and wines and dines people and doesn’t have to roll up the sleeves’, but if your business partner happens to be the person who’s the best at wine and dining people, and raising finance and discussing and chatting to people, then you need to let them fly.

You need to tuck in and do the hard work. Cause the reality is, the reward’s there for both of you, both of you are gonna get the same amount out of it if that’s the way things are structured, so let the other person fly, put your ego aside, let them be the arrowhead when it comes to raising finance, and you’ll be the arrowhead of being the engine room keeping the business going.

BILLY: So you know your strengths, so rather than trying to focus on your weaknesses, you focus on strengthening your strengths so you can become absolutely solid in that department. Equally, I do the same. Equally, Stephen does the same. So, iron does sharpen iron. And you need to get around people who do share that vision, and you don’t always have to be similar characters, for example, you and I are best mates, we grew up together, we’ve been in business together, everything we do, we do it together, right? And we’re still very different people.

Very different people. And we bicker a lot, but as mates, and it’s fun, it’s a carry-on, but the point is, we don’t always see eye to eyes and that’s a good thing. because we get too thrash ideas out. And every single day if I look at my WhatsApp chat with you, I talk to you more than my wife. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, right? But I talk to you all the time, and it’s always back and forward, ‘Billy, what do you think about this idea? Should we do this?’, me, ‘No, Paul, let’s not do that’, or, ‘Yes, Paul, let’s do that’. Then me, ‘Paul, what do you think of this idea?’, ‘

No, Billy, that’s rubbish, let’s leave it’. And we’ll go back and forward back and forward, nothing is personal, everything is about forward motion. And we know that we need top put ego aside and to agree to disagree on some points, cut the emotion, let it go and just move ahead. So, all good stuff, right? So, people know that we offer paid mentorship.

In my mind it’s the only way to truly get ahead faster. You’ve got a guide, the Sherpa taking you up Mount Everest, or you can do it on your own. Everybody knows that we offer that. But what about folk who want to actually tuck in and learn from someone without necessarily paying for it? So, folk will come to us and they’ll ask to intern with us, they’ll ask to tuck in with us, they want a seat at the table.

So, what would you say to people, Paul, if they wanted to get the ear of a mentor, of someone who is further down the road then them, who doesn’t necessarily offer paid mentorship, but who you might want to just treat well, take out for lunch, get to know them, pick their brain, what kind of strategy would you adopt and how would you foster that relationship?

PAUL: So, I get a lot of people who reach out, get in touch, and sometimes it’s just to ask, you know, for some inspiration, ‘How do you do this? How did you do that?’, and then there’s those who ask the specific questions. Now, you need to be careful, and this is with me when I approach people as well. In the early days for me I reached out to a lot of people who I wanted to be my mentor.

And you need to be careful that you don’t become an ask-hole, right? That’s when you’re constantly asking and you’re never applying. Because there’s a thing where you’ve got free advice versus paid advice. And most of these mentors of people who are further down the journey than you are, they will give you some free advice. But unfortunately that free advice to the majority of people is almost like, ‘Ah, that sounds good’, and they don’t ever go and do anything with it. That’s why paid advice, I’ll give you an example, you’ve got Bill Gates, we’re just about to sit down with Bill Gates for ten minutes.

If that was a free ten minutes, we’re getting to listen what Bill Gates chats and talks about, and it’s great, I’ve sat down with Bill Gates, I got ten minutes of his time, I’m away, I might apply some of the ten minutes he says, I might not. It was free, it never cost me anything, no biggie if I don’t do anything with it. however, if that ten minutes cost me ten thousand pounds, or a hundred thousand pounds, whatever the ten minutes cost, it was an investment made, I’ll be sitting there scribbling down notes, I’ll be listening intently, I’ll be asking key questions, I’ll be listening more than actually even talking, and taking every key point so I can go out and apply that, so I can go and get a return on my investment.

So there’s no reason why you can’t reach out to people, but those people you reach out who give you some advice, for example, if someone comes up to me and asks me specific questions, I’ll help, and if they keep on coming back, you’ll probably hear from me is that you need to go get some mentoring, you need to go get some paid advice. Because then someone’s more invested in actually helping you. And with this case I’ll say, listen, whether it’s with us, or whether it’s with someone else, just choose one and go for it.

By all means, just choose one. One is better than none, whether it’s us or someone else. Because you don’t want to fall into the loop where you’re asking these people question after question, all you are is an ask-hole. There needs to come a time where you need to invest so get some free advice, apply, show that you’re applying, because what I’ll do for someone who doesn’t have the investment to get started in our mentorship, for example, is I’ll set them little tasks and challenges to go out and actually make the money.

Because if they’re goon make the money, them that shows me they’re actually making an effort, following advice that we would give if it was paid advice to actually make some money, to then invest in their journey going forward.

BILLY: I’m gonna shift course here a little touch but on the same note, right? So what you’re saying here is that, free advice versus paid advice, you wanna choose the paid advice, and regardless you wanna take any advice that you do get free or paid, and actually use it, right? So you’ve got mentorship, you’ve got paid mentorship, you’ve got training, you’ve got support, that’s one side of the coin. And then, you’ve got folk like the older family member who built a business who’s retired, you’re just gonna pick their brains every now and then and get a bit of help, you’ve got folk who are in business, who you can phone up now and then and ask their advice, right?

So you’ve got that side of things. I wanna say something here. When I got going in business, there was a distant family member who had made several million pounds in a business. It was an industry unrelated to the industry I was involved in. And yet, because that person had been in business, many folk close to me said you need to go and speak to so and so.

But I knew that even though they could give me a certain level of wisdom, put me in touch with certain people and so on, their age, the way they did business, the level of being in touch or out of touch with modern platforms, such as social media, and the advice based on the industry that I was going in to, wasn’t relevant. Does that make sense?

PAUL: Yeah.

BILLY: It wasn’t relevant. So you need to make sure the source that you’re going to is actually a relevant source. They may have done well in X. It’s like you’ve got a butcher and a baker. Now both of them are masters at what they do, but you wouldn’t ask the butcher how to bake bread, you know, you wouldn’t say how do I get a perfect brioche roll or whatever, right? Just the same as the other way around.

So if you are gonna get advice from somebody, paid or unpaid, then look to the expert in whatever it is that you’re looking to get. And my advice to somebody would be, always go down the route of getting expertise to the point that you can call that person and help them, that is what we do in Protege.

But at the same time you want to be building relationships with folk, who are experts, who you can call on for advice. How do you do that? You do that by being a cool person, by building report, by being a normal person, not by putting them on a pedestal, but by having a healthy level of respect, by understanding what motivates them, what their interests are, by taking genuine interest in what it is that they offer, by bringing ideas to the table, by being somebody of note, somebody interesting to the point that Paul and I, we’re siting and talking, ‘Oh aye, so and so, aye they seem to be doing quite well’, because they’re tucking in, they’re saying the right things, there’s a respect there without kissing up, is that fair to say?

PAUL: Yeah. I mean, we get people approach us all the time on the on the internet, and wanting to be close to us and work with us, and it’s a whole general chat, is that, ‘Oh, I’ve got great time-keeping’, you know, ‘I’ll stay late if I need to work on things’ – all the kinda cliche things that you would say if you just want to try and get a job.

You want to come across a bit different, you know, you want to maybe lean in, and from that point of view, rather than talk about all the skills and attributes you’ve got, maybe you should be looking and see what value you can actually bring. And by bringing that value, you make yourself someone, who’s worth investing in. And that’s where you’ve got a greater and a better chance of actually interning with someone else where you can really by returning working ethic, doing something, value, which can end up getting you a full mentorship.

BILLY: Yeah. And do things for free as well. Chip in, bring something to the table, be a support and a help, not a burden to somebody who’s there who can potentially become an ally for you. Great, so, as we start to wrap this up, is there anything you want to throw in before we finish?

PAUL: No, I think we’re all good there.

BILLY: Iron sharpens iron, let go of the need to be liked, start associating with eagles and let the pigeons and the seagulls flock and fly around on their own, and don’t be scared to have business partner, but do your due diligence and step in, lean in, see where it goes, and gage it based on that, don’t think you’re in business with anybody for life, and always take the advice you get from a mentor and implement it and use it.

Okay, on that note, hope you enjoyed this podcast, now if you are interested in exploring the options of mentorship with us, if you resonate with what we say, go to the, check out the video on there, check pout the testimonials from the other folk, there’s no pitch guys, it’s more of an interview, where we’ll chat to you and we’ll make sure that we’re right for you and equally that you’e the right for the community that we’ve built, and if that conversation goes well, then we’ll potentially chat about taking it to the next stage.

On that note, hope you enjoyed this podcast, thank you, Paul, and we’ll see you next time.

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