Hello and welcome to this episode of the career success podcast. I’m Jason Connolly, and in this series we speak to leaders in the world of business and people have had tremendous career success.
We speak to people across a wide range of different industries and different sectors. We lead the way in conversation to understand what makes someone successful, the challenges they’ve overcome, adversity faced, and what success means to them. We will discuss the lessons learned along the way myself and my guest will give practical advice on how to grow your business. Climb the career ladder. And in the coming episodes we will also speak to authors of many best selling business titles. If you are some of it has a passion for business in your career, then this is the podcast for you. In this episode, I’m absolutely delighted to be joined by Stephanie Taylor. Stephanie is co-founder of HMO heaven and rent to rent success. She started HMO heaven along with her sister Nikki at the age of 45 and has grown this property management business and attractive contracts worth a multi 1,000,000 pounds. She’s featured in entrepreneur magazine, The Telegraph newspaper. Property investors today and many other media titles. Stephanie was a teenager mom and struggled financially and dealt with feelings of shame and low self worth for many years until a life changing moment a few years ago but changed her path forever. Stephanie launched venture end success to inspire others to believe bigger, be bolder, be game changes, for good through ethical property investments. It’s great to be here. Jason, thank you. So Stephanie, I guess first of all, tell us a bit about rents event success, an HMO. Heavenly, it’s an interesting business and it seems to be going from strength to strength. Yeah, so let’s start with the first one. The first business that I set up. As I mentioned there at the age of 45 we I didn’t think I was a business person or a person to attract business success or that I had the right connections or money or the right knowledge to really be successful in business. I thought that was something for other people and. A little I had that light bulb moment and I thought what kind of business could I go into because I kind of thought it was a mysterious world where where? It’s lots of things that I wouldn’t understand and I thought you know what property property is something that I can see around me that normal people can do and be successful. So I started attending these events. You know networking events, property events, took people were talking about what they do and I was totally blown away by what people were doing. In my words, in inverted commas, normal people coming successful in property and some of the things that they were doing, they hadn’t needed huge amounts of money to start up, and one of those strategies is called rent rent and it’s where you can make money from properties that you don’t own. So rather than needing say £50,000 or whatever it is as a deposit to buy your first rental property and then take it from there. You can rent properties from other people, do them up, refurbish them. And then rent them all again as high shares with the HMO stands for House of multiple occupation. So our first business is transforming these house shares from hellish to heavenly, so are making beautiful, affordable homes for people and doing it in an ethical way where everybody wins ethical isn’t necessarily a word that I always associate with property and landlords, Stephanie. So that’s quite against the grain of ordinary. There tell us more about that. Yes, say we we started off. My sister Nikki and I and we saw what other people were doing in the house share market and we thought you know what we can do better than this. We can raise the standards. I tell you what Jason in the first ones we did. There were some fluffy questions in there we had. We had all sorts of froufrou frippery but but at the basis of it we just wanted to make it really comfortable for people and to create somewhere where people loved living even though they were very affordable. So when you when people are paying for high share, it’s what people think of as a students let. But it’s for young professionals to have each have their own bedroom and then the sharing the lounge and the kitchen. That’s how it normally works and the and the bathrooms. And that just went great guns and because we were bringing this new approach to it and in the title we called ourselves HMO Heaven which sort of made us hit those higher levels. We’re always striving for not just good but exceptional. We want to deliver something that’s exceptional. For all of the landlords we work where we want them to be delighted that they’re working with us for all the housemates who move in, We want them to be delighted to be were to be living with us and have even for the contractors and all of the team, the cleaners and our team. We want everyone to feel delighted to be working with us and that’s what we strive for in every different part of the business is really clever business model is. It’s normally when I kind of associate landlords and renting out properties. It’s I’ve not used to seeing this intermediary model to me. It’s something quite knew. Yes, there’s normally in a state. Agent, but that’s not someone I would associate with the heavenly process. It sounds like there’s a lot of unique selling points there, but it sounds like what’s quite fundamental to the success of this is this. Is this kind of changing the experience for landlords to people who are renting properties. I even the strap-line heaven. It do you think that’s what’s kind of at the pillar of your USP that makes you? You know different? Does it go further than that, or does it stop there? Yeah, it does go a bit further than that because. What what I found through my own life experience and we were chatting earlier Jason that you know we didn’t grow up with privilege. Let’s let’s put it like that. Quite the opposite. And and So what I see is that everyone we try to encourage is believe bigger, be bolder, be a game changer because for most people there are underestimating what they can achieve. Or for many people they are. So that’s the first one. Believe bigger, the next one be bolder is about not hiding being OK. With that you might fail. People might not want to say they’re going into a new kind of business or whatever they’re doing, but it’s just to be bolder and step into it. On the final one, which is relevant to this question, you’ve asked me is be a game changer and that’s what we’ve brought to the essence of our business as well. And by be a game changer. First of all, it’s you’re being a game. Changing in your own life through the business that you’ve created. Becoming more of a leader in your own life so that you can become more of a leader within your business. So and finally, you’re being a game changer in the community and also in the world because the wealth that you create through your business as well, we believe it should be used to leave the world a better place. And so through our business as well, we work with a charity which houses vulnerable women. We work with several different ones, but each time we have transactions within our business. We’re also going to our charities as part of it, so it’s part of the day today of our business operations is that we’re giving with giving, and that’s really changed noise. I think there’s so many businesses out there. But say we are ethical with this without the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. And I love that. I think the thing when I speak to you Stephanie, and even before we started speaking before we recorded this app. So did you just eradicate positivity? I just feel that from you, you know, I absolutely love that. Believe bigger, be bold and be a game changer. What a great set of kind of mission statements or values, so to speak, for you to have. It’s obviously being hugely successful. You been in the media. You’ve got this business, which is doing great things. Multi million pound contracts this that and the other. But I think you touched on it there Stephanie. It hasn’t always been that way and you came to business quite late. In your mid 40s and it was somewhat difficult starting life for you. You meant you know in when we spoke. Initially you mentioned feelings of shame, low self esteem. Until that life changing moment change that career path, there’s going to be people out there who listened to this who are maybe thinking, you know, this is me. I’m feeling that way. I’m having these feelings I may be having self doubt. I maybe later in life. Can I do it? Tell us about this story ’cause it’s really interesting are they? We maybe had a different trajectory, but I had my son when I was 18 and my mom had me when she was 18 as well. Yeah, yes, if you lived in bedsit land, you said I did, yeah me and my mom. We grew up in a bedsit. We were there for years. It’s a story where my speak openly about this, but my biological dad. When my mom arrived back from me with the hospital, all her stuff was on the doorstep. Yeah, well that that’s a shocking story. So I was 18 and I think some of the reason why I was even in that relationship. It all speaks to that same thing. You know, low self esteem and but Alex was a lovely baby. I mean happy goggle I hear from the stories of people who have more than one that oftentimes one was a really lovely, joyous baby and the other was really difficult from a parenting perspective. Alex was lovely. I really enjoyed the pregnancy as well, but it was a tough time in terms of, you know, you know, but you know it wasn’t the plan to you know. Get pregnant at 18 I was at college at the time and I just didn’t realize it. But when you look back I can see I. I just felt ashamed. I felt I couldn’t really lift my head up and it was just little things like it just felt like there were so many humiliations in each day. World it won’t even just simple things like going shopping as it was used to be pound 90 that you get on a weekly basis in cash. You’d have to queue up to the post office each week ’cause you was on benefits there. Yeah, you know getting help. Yeah well originally I started to go back to work and I hadn’t made admin job because it didn’t have any qualifications and also didn’t have this great confidence. If you’ve got great confidence, you can sometimes leap up higher but I was on this low paid job and I would leave the house with. Alex, in his pushchair 6:00 AM in the dark go to the nursery, drop him off. I mean, it’s just things that people are doing everyday, so I’m not. That’s more than a full time job. There’s people out there at the moment who you know absolutely in that position and it’s really tough and then get on the bus and then go to this job and then come back. And then it’s 6:00 PM as well. By the time I would pick him up and coming back home. And that’s what I thought I should do because I thought there was a lot of shame within having the benefits. And that if you can work you should work, but eventually. It full time job in itself. Those Stephanie’s you know having a child, you would, you’re juggling two full time jobs. Well somebody the nursery a comment was made I was well maybe this is going a bit too. TMI too much information. I don’t know if it’s relevant is that there’s going to be people listening to this and people out there who are having a similar experience and thinking this, you know, this is me. So I I think we, you know, I think that there’s not too much information at all. Well, I was expressing milk and that’s as graphic as we need to go straight. In the bottle, right? OK, I was talking to the one of the nursery staff about it and I just saw this look of disgust go across her face and I just thought she didn’t intend to and I just thought. Ah, of course they don’t care about Alex, they don’t. You know, they there’s not even care and you don’t expect them to love like a parents. And that was when I just thought you know what. This is not worth it. All of the things you’re doing. The most important thing that you can do because the money wasn’t very different. Whether I worked or didn’t work because of everything that I said, paying for all the childcare. Yeah, and I just thought you know what you need to just not work. Look after your son and then when he’s older you can. You can go to work and you know take it on from there. Ann and I started doing but that then brought the shame of queuing up for the money and going to the supermarket and having too ’cause it was only 42 pounds calculated. What can I focus? It didn’t want to get to the till. That was the worst moment. If you got to the till and. You didn’t have enough that people were looking, and sometimes they were encouraging or felt sorry for you, and sometimes they were just impatient to get out, but I just hated that. And so yeah, it sounds like a cycle of shame, but you know, obviously you shouldn’t feel that way. But when you’re trapped in that cycle and you’re going around, it’s it’s difficult to kind of escape. It’s hard. Where did you go from there? Because I’m struggling at this moment to see where the you know the kind of success and how this all came about it. Yeah, well Jason. It took decades and yeah, it’s all in your mind set. I didn’t know this at the time I had all these little goals. A little goals gather gather job, you know get a job that we can. We can live on. I did a degree I did degrees with the Open University while Alex was little before I could go to work properly and I love time consuming in themselves those degrees they take years yes seven years but I did I did I did three years. I think it was, and then it might have been four and then when Alex went to school I went to University full time. Rory, you could. You could move some of your points over, it worked and then I completely agree and I did a Masters degree and I was invited to a pHD and all of this. But say it was flexible while Alex was a little and I could look after him and do that and I didn’t feel worthless because I was because you weren’t. You felt that you were bettering yourself for going to the University and you were doing all this. Do you think the University was quite pivotal to your success and where you are now with you know maybe was it with her to say that maybe helps you to break that circle of feeling that shame because you were surrounding yourself by? Well, I’m not sure where you surround yourself by better people, not to put words. Yeah, I think I think it just takes time. If you’re not consciously thinking, that’s one of the most important things that I’ve learned is we all have automated thoughts that take us through every day where we don’t have to think about making a Cup of tea or brushing our teeth. It just happens automatically. From a lot of the thoughts we have about ourselves or automatic, and unless you set the GPS and set the destination and then also set your thinking consciously, then you’re going to end up not going forward as quickly as you could, and I only learned this an really started implementing an action in it. You know, within the last six years and what a difference. I’ve gone from a normal two as you said not only multi million pound. With the business contracts but also with the assets that we own and I can see clearly not everything I needed was already there, but we just need the mindset. I’ve had moments in my life like that as well, where I’ve kind of been trapped in my thoughts. I think when I was in the police a lot I was having these kind of negative thoughts and do you think it’s something that comes with age? Perhaps Stephanie your I think it does. If you’re looking for it, yeah. And for the other, people were not always looking for it, we’re doing our work. And but there are some people have got the spark. Aren’t there? Yeah, the people who are likely to be listening to this podcast. The people who are thinking about, well, actually it’s career success. But people thinking about being successful? Yeah, it. This is all about talking about the story behind that. You know, the success and quite from speaking to so many different people that Rd to success hasn’t just been. I’ve left University or I’ve left gone into a job. There is a big story, often with struggles and it’s it’s not the struggles and themselves which seemed to define someone. I think it’s about how they deal with that, how they process that, how they come through that. Yeah, but the great thing about it is it just makes you. I feel it makes me so much more empathetic. Yeah, because now it’s like there’s a fire in my belly. I I’ve built it decades just sort of passed me by and then since. We you know with conscious thinking, it’s like the catapult and I feel totally driven to share this with people, especially people who were. In my situation situation and that’s where rents to rent success came into it, right? People were asking well what are you doing step what is this thing? ’cause I was I would be putting pictures of the properties before and after and what are you doing? How’s it work and all of that? And and a lot of the time you know in property can seem kind of Scummy and especially with this strategy that we’re talking bout rents to rent because you don’t need a lot of money to go into it. But I just wanted to show the ethical side of it, and so that’s where we started teaching people. And initially we didn’t. We weren’t teaching and we didn’t have a training program. We were just sharing what we knew. But then people get coming back and back and and we thought, you know what? We can write this down delivery, ride a framework and actually work with people over several months to help them to get started with the implementation. And that’s how that’s how we started rent success. And the amazing thing about that has been seeing other people come through the same blocks go over, sometimes different blocks, but come over the hurdles and change their change their lives. You’re getting other people to think in. That way you’re going to passing on this success mindset and the success attitude that you have because one of your sayings which really stood out to me is yes, you can. Very powerful. I love that. Yes, and that’s the biggest hurdle for most of us. We might be successful in one area of life like. A lot of the people who come to me and they want to start up their property business. They are successful in their career. You know, lawyers, doctors, you know the IT consultants. They’ve worked their way up within their career. But now they want to do something else and suddenly they don’t have that level of confidence and so that’s where that believe bigger really comes into it because you have to allow yourself to believe success is possible for me. And then you go up the belief ladder from there. Have to kind of get on that frequency in the 1st place. You have to be on the success. Kind of radio station and then fine tuning it from there and then allergy, right? OK, I understand it’s great, but what does success look like and feel like to you? You know, I I’m I’m not going to ask how old you are Stephanie, but stop being in a certain time in your life now what what does that feel like to you? ’cause I’m guessing success has changed as the years have gone on what that feels and looks like. Yeah for me part of success is having the freedom to live life on your terms. And that’s a gift that we have to give ourselves. Partly it does require money, usually to be able to give you the time, freedom to make the choices that you want to make. But it doesn’t start and end with having that flexible income where where I find that success is a couple of things. Say one is having a time freedom to be able to live life on your terms. Having the joy of feel like you’re living to make a difference in some way. Now for some people that could be that they’re looking after their family. That is the difference in contribution. Other people it’s different, but that you feel that you’re making a contribution and the next one is that you’re giving because a part of the joy of making all this extra cash is that you get to choose who to give and you get the privilege of being a giver. You know, when I used to stand in line at the post office, I was a receiver, and I’m grateful that I had that support. But now I get to be the giver and that just feels incredible. It does and I agree with you. I’m now 30 three years old and random multi million pound company and I think one of the best things in feelings in the world is giving back and I believe in what you definitely kind of resonates with me. What you’re saying? I think you know you get people in life who withdraw from a relationship. We’ve been give back to. It’s not always about money. It’s about I think for me that time you give to people and you know. In a balance of a relationship, whether it be a work relationship, a personal relationship, are you withdrawing more than you’re giving? You know what depositing even are you withdrawing more than you depositing? What is that balance and how is that relationship kind of feeling to you? What who kind of inspires you? Where? Where do you get your inspiration from? Stephanie, yeah, that’s a great question. It changes. I am a voracious. Don’t know if that’s the right word, but podcast listener. I love podcasts. So I really love podcasts like your podcasts, because that is what really does. I love the insights. Yeah, you know that people give within within within their answers. That can spark you to a different way of thinking. A different idea because there’s so much in the power of thinking. So if I just pick one and there are so many that I could, let’s get a recommendation. Let’s hear what Stephanie listens to the power of positivity. We love that we love them. Well, one of the one of the podcasts that really changed my thinking was ill is the self coaching scholars. The sorry is the life coach school, the Life Coach School High. It’s by Brooke Castillo. OK, I’ve never heard of it. That’s that’s a new one for me. I hadn’t heard of it and but what? It’s a very much about how to coach yourself, how to change your mindset. The key thinking about it. Is that your thoughts? Create your feelings, your feelings, create your actions. Your actions create your results. So whereas many of us think or behave as though our feelings are the truth, like if I’m sad that is. That is the truth. But the truth is that the circumstance happened and it’s what I think about that circumstance. That causes me to have the feeling, the action, the results that I have. So when you change the thinking. It really changes everything else, even if the circumstance doesn’t change, it’s having that strong belief system, and I think that kind of theory goes back to his come about CBT therapy. It’s kind of, you know. Whatever you are, your beliefs that feels that feels that, and it’s a circle that just can go round and round. And especially if you’ve maybe got a kind of something happened to you in your life. Or you’ve got that there’s a negative experience that can fuel your behaviours that fill your actions, which actually you go round in this circle. And sometimes it’s about. Actually breaking that kind of negative experience, and I think that that’s where sometimes you know someone’s maybe had an experience. It isn’t good. You can maybe go on and get you know CBT therapy and that can help break that cycle and take someone out of that so I can tell I’m already preaching to the choir with you. Stephanie, with talking about that, but it sounds like a great podcast of the great episodes. What would your advice be to someone that’s maybe thinking about starting a business that wants to go out there? Be the creator of their own destiny? But I think you know one of the things that I kind of come across. Some people ask me is I just don’t even know where to start. Where would I start with a business? Do I have to find a new idea that’s total someone isn’t doing before? Where do I start with a business? Where do I even go? Yeah, So what I think? Well, you can probably guess what I’m going to say. I think you have to start with the mind, not the strategy, because when you start with your mind, I’m going to elaborate on that in a moment. OK, the right strategy will actually come to you. Because your mind knows when you ask your mind, your mind is lazy or most of our minds are lazy. So when you say, what should I do about so and so your mind is often tell you on the 1st asking? I don’t know. And also your mind will still be thinking. I don’t want to think about this other. We’ve all been there. But if you keep asking, you know when you sometimes go to bed and you wake up in the morning and you know exactly what to do. That’s because your subconscious mind will work on any problem that you give to it. So this is what I would say to anybody who’s thinking of. Starting up a business is to think about your life. Think about the future. You OK now the future. You already exists in your mind, because when you’re thinking about tomorrow, you’re thinking about future you when you’re thinking about next year, you know holiday. You might take your thinking about future you. But most of us have not consciously crafted what that future you is going to be doing in five years, 10 years or even a year’s time. And when you can, start thinking. What would I be doing in a years time if my life wasn’t 11 out of 10? What would my day look like? Where would I be living? Who would I be working with? Would I be working in the same way that I’m working now? When you ask yourself all of that and you start filling in gaps. Now at first you won’t have the answers necessarily, but if you keep thinking about it for a few days, get a new notebook. Start writing it down, and once you’ve got that written down, you’ll have a lot of ideas about how your life should look or how your life would look if you had. The life that you really want, and then it’s much easier to think what’s the first step I would take towards that sort of lifestyle. What sort of business would give me that sort of lifestyle? What is it that I love doing all that I’m passionate about? All that fits with my skills that might take me closer to that lifestyle. And then you could look around you and say, who else can I see? Not necessarily that I even know who has this type of lifestyle that I’m aiming for. What kind of businesses do they run out of? Those sort of businesses. What sort of business? My I be able to come up with you. I’m not mad and say it’s going to be different for each person and but I think it’s really important to go through that future. You gotta future thinking you know. Yeah, I think it’s it kind of goes back to it’s got elements in there that wandered above the secret and kind of who you want to be thinking. Gratitude and thinking. In that way. I think that’s really great advice and really great exercise for anyone to do. We will. Tell candidates a lot of the time that you want to think where you want to be in 10 years time. Where do you want to be? Give yourself that kind of Emmett Career Mode. See every six months and then almost plan backwards from there. What steps do I need to do to get there so we sort of coming to an end of this? Now we’re running out of time. I could talk to you all day so I think what you say so interesting. You’ve got a book coming out. Went to rent success. The ultimate guide to creating consistent cash flow. A 9:00 to 5:00 and living life on your terms? That’s going to be published late 2020. Yes, yes sounds like good read and so excited about it. It’s what we’re teaching people. It’s the business that we set up. You don’t need a lot of money to start. I think it’s a perfect book. I’m a middle aged mum. I think it’s it’s perfect for all different kinds of people, but I especially think it works amazingly for middle age moms. Oftentimes you’re really well versed in running a household. Yeah, and this is running has shares making creating lovely homes for people, but also having a business that really works. And that can help you to achieve your dreams. Whether it’s for, you know, paying for your children’s University, or whether it’s you know, funding your retirement. A lot of us may find our pensions or not. What we thought they would be. And also running around business. And it’s a fantastic first step to get started in property as well. Sounds absolutely fantastic. Stepping people won’t find out more about you or connect with you. Where can they go? Well, if you’d like to see some lovely before and afters, we’ve got all that at. Hmoheaven.co.uk right? And then if you want to find out more about getting started with property without buying it then it’s all that rents to rent success.com and I also do have a podcast called the rents to rent success podcast which is all about getting started is having tremendous success. You told me about that you heard it first venture in success.com or HMO heaven.co.uk are the places to find you. Stephanie. Thank you so much for joining me is actually being a fantastic episode. It’s bit left me full of positivity myself so I’m sure it’s hard. Exactly the same affect on the listeners here. Thank you for your time. Thanks Jason. It’s been great. That’s it for this week on the career success podcast that was Stephanie Taylor. You heard it. First. Think positive and believe bigger, be bolder and be a game changer. That’s it for this week. Thank you for listening. This is the career success podcast with me. Jason Connolly.