Tej Singh: [00:00:00] I looked at it and said, can I not make money when I sleep? Can I not, like, invest? Now I've got a bit of a cash pot here. Can I not invest? Is there nothing else I can do, or buy, or build, that will just bring in money? That I don't have to be sitting there making cold calls? That I can wake up one day and say, I'm gonna bake bread!
Tej Singh: And then I saw a property and I thought, Huh. It's an asset. I can leverage it. You just know. And in England it's a good asset. Everyone talks about, it's quite a cultural thing. And so then that led me into, into property development.
Amardeep Parmar: Today we have Tej Singh, who is the host of TED Talks. He runs and acquires multiple businesses, a property developer and an author. In this episode, we talk about his journey from being a rebel as a kid to doing a degree, which he then didn't know what to do with, struggling to find a job, being fired from a job, and then exploring different options and then settling on things that he then really enjoyed.
Amardeep Parmar: Then he hated, and then he [00:01:00] started again. So he's had this rediscovery journey multiple times, which I'm sure many of you can relate to. We also talk about how he's able to take that experience and his success, but also not let it lose sight of what's really important in his life. And how he tries to keep himself balanced and grounded.
Amardeep Parmar: So let's go into the show. So Tej, obviously now you've grown a big audience and you've got to the position you have, but when you're growing up, would people be surprised you went on to do what you did?
Tej Singh: I think people wouldn't be surprised that I have my own businesses because I think I was quite rebellious.
Tej Singh: I didn't really want to listen to authority, whether that was my mum or the teachers, uh, or anyone. And so I think that definitely would make sense. My dad would say, yeah, you're always going to do that. It was obvious. I think not being in science because I studied biochemistry would surprise some people, but I do use science.
Tej Singh: I think we use it in every day and health and nutrition. I use it a lot. Just like personally, however, being on social media, doing this, talking in front of cameras to you, you know, publicly, I think [00:02:00] people would be very surprised primarily because I was quite angry growing up and I was quite insular, like I wouldn't be an, I'm an extrovert now, at least I am publicly, and back then I was the total opposite.
Tej Singh: It would be minimal words, grunting, you know, like what teenagers do, minimal kind of communication, not talking to a person, let alone a group. Not because I was scared of it, just because I just didn't really want to. And I think it can still be like that. You know, kind of behind the scenes. But yeah, having a podcast and public speaking in front of hundreds of people, they would be very surprised, I think.
Amardeep Parmar: You said that you were angry like growing up, like what was that about?
Tej Singh: So my parents divorced in 2002, I think. So that is the only thing I can point to that would have caused anger, sort of anger, resentment towards that whole issue. And so like growing up, it kind of caused issues. I would say it caused issues interpersonally.
Tej Singh: So with friends, colleagues, teachers, things like that, it didn't really affect my grades. The grades were still good. You know, mum pushed me to make them good. I was in a fairly [00:03:00] good kind of school. Nothing, it was in Southall, so it wasn't like, you know, the best in the country or anything. So yeah, it mainly affected that.
Tej Singh: It didn't really affect my studies and hasn't really ever affected my academia.
Amardeep Parmar: What made you get into biochemistry then? Like you said, cause it's not from what you're doing today. It doesn't think, Oh yeah, he did study biochemistry. It's not an obvious thing. Right.
Tej Singh: So I studied biology, chemistry, psychology, and media at a levels.
Tej Singh: So all the ologies, all the sciences, all the studies, right. Of something. And I fell in love with a certain part of biology and a certain part of chemistry. And I realized, this is actually what biochemistry is. It's those specific parts that I liked. Um, and then I liked them so much and I thought I want to study this more.
Tej Singh: However, I'm also a bit reluctant to do a science because I don't want to just be wearing a white coat, like being a petri dish, doing all that stuff. And then going to university solidified, I can't do that. So big up the people who do because they change the world, right? I'm responsible for so many advances.
Tej Singh: [00:04:00] And, so I went ahead to study it, but at the same time I realised that with a degree in biochem I could, I don't know, be a banker. I could, I could have a multitude of jobs because it was a science and it was seen as like a good degree and it was at King's, it was a good university. So it was, it was kind of twofold.
Tej Singh: It was, here's a backup if I want to work, not in a lab. But also, I really love this and I can't see myself at this point studying anything else. I considered, like, I don't think I considered much else. You know, looking back, people might say, did you consider business studies? But I'm like, yeah, but the people who are teaching it don't run their own businesses.
Tej Singh: They're teachers. So I'm like, I'm not going to learn anything from you. So I'm not interested in this. So for me, it just made sense. I just loved it. I was so passionate about it.
Amardeep Parmar: And then, so once you studied that degree, right? What then happened? Because obviously it's said, you don't want to be in a lab coat.
Amardeep Parmar: What were your first steps of like the adult world?
Tej Singh: So in, in between that, I studied abroad at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill for my second year, which is where Michael Jordan's from. Jay Cole is kind of from there as well. And that was incredible. And just by doing that, I [00:05:00] think it kind of, because, you know, you had to pass or fail and I passed. I'm not saying I was a strong pass or I was, uh, you know, far from failing, but I was a pass and that's all that matters.
Tej Singh: It was a lot of fun that kind of showed me. Damn, like when I finish this degree and I have to go get a job, I'm not really going to have this kind of life unless it's, you know, two weeks of the year when we go on holiday or something. And I think something kind of set off there, but I ignored that. It just faded into the background.
Tej Singh: It was like, get a job, do your thing. So I came back. finish my third year. And then I left uni and I was like, right, I need to get a job. Obviously, I was living at home as Punjabi boys do for as long as I could. And I thought I've got a degree, right? I'm going to get jobs straight away because that's what they say.
Tej Singh: Come, you know, get a good degree or, you know, employers will be lining up for you. That was not the reality. And I think any graduate probably even now knows this, like you come out. And you're like, Oh, so I'm applying for like 40 jobs a day, 20 of them I don't even really want, I'm getting like one interview a week.
Tej Singh: I think I [00:06:00] had something like 30 conversations, like pre interviews or interviews before I landed something and it was an internship. I was like, so why did I spend three years? And luckily it was three grand a year then, but you know, nine grand for this. So I go into the internship at a company in Battersea, like medical communication, so marketing and sciences, which is what my A levels were.
Tej Singh: It's kind of full circle. Did that, uh, then got an actual paid job because of that. Experience helped so much, right? As, as they always say, you want, we want a degree and we want experience and we want both, but no one has that when they start out, so did that, go into a paid job and then just started feeling things about being paid to work and not being paid to work past five.
Tej Singh: You know, I don't know if you've seen this in your previous jobs or your previous guests, but like, I think it's quite normal in most industries, right, to, you get paid from nine to five, whatever it is. But if you're there at 8. 30, maybe if you leave at 6, you don't technically get paid for it, [00:07:00] right? And a lot of jobs don't have bonuses, so we can ignore that.
Tej Singh: And this kept happening and they would all be in the office until six and I was like, you lot are weirdos man. Why are you here till six when we stopped getting paid? And I said to the boss, the managing director, I said, um, his name was Terry. I said, Terry, so you know, we've been working past five. Like where do we log that to get paid?
Tej Singh: And he goes, he goes, Ted, she goes, no, no, you don't get paid for that Ted. So I said, okay, why am I here? I really don't like you or this enough to do that. And that then set off something in my head that I can't do this.
Amardeep Parmar: I think that's a really interesting point because a lot of people, you do that extra work because you're building towards something, right?
Amardeep Parmar: If you're building towards something you care about, it's worth it. But if you're just working hard to get a promotion of a job that you don't really want, then it doesn't make sense or not. And I think sometimes people really need to think about that. Are they just working hard to get the next level, but they don't even want to be there anyway.
Amardeep Parmar: So it's kind of like zooming out a bit of like, am I working hard towards the right goal? [00:08:00] Or could I be using that time in another area? And then, so what happened after that?
Tej Singh: So, you know, that's a really good point. I didn't think of it like that because in my head, I was so well, without realizing I was so uninterested because if I was interested, of course I would do what you said, which is it's for a promotion.
Tej Singh: It's for a pay rise. It's to show them I'm capable, but that thought. Never occurred to me until now, till like seven years afterwards. So thank you for that because yeah, it makes sense now. What, like why kind of people would do that. So I kept thinking this and I thought, well, if I'm going to, I think I was on 20 grand, right?
Tej Singh: Like back then that was a normal London salary for graduates, right? I lived at home. So, I mean, it was just 20 grand a profit if you think about it, right? After tax, I was like, great. But then I thought, yeah, but if I'm not getting paid to do it after hours and, you know, I like it, but I'd rather just be playing Xbox or something or traveling or whatever.
Tej Singh: Let me get a job that pays me more. I then went back to that internship and said, Hey, I've got experience. I see you're hiring and you pay way more. What's your vibe? Uh, and they said, yeah, cool. And then I think my salary went [00:09:00] up to 26 grand, which it's a big percentage jump. So I said bye to these, uh, the company I worked for in Richmond.
Tej Singh: And I said, I just said to them, I'm resigning, blah, blah, blah. Here's why whatever. See you later. And they were like, Oh, you should have given us a chance. And I dunno, I just thought whatever. Um, and maybe I should have, right? Because maybe they could have paid me more, but, and that's a tip for people listening is actually before you jump ship and run somewhere else, think of what you're in and how that could improve because they may turn around and say, you know what?
Tej Singh: We undervalued you. Sorry, here's money. They probably won't, but they might. So I left to go there and then blah, blah, blah was there for three or four months. They were paying me 26 grand number to do shredding. Am I the most overpaid shredder in the world? I just thought, cool.
Amardeep Parmar: There might be some people listening now who want that job.
Tej Singh: So they can have it because you can put your podcast in and just shred all day. I just thought, why are you not paying me this much money to do this when I can also actually do the job? Anyways, culture's got toxic. I got fired, which for me was a pivotal point because I think when anyone gets fired at [00:10:00] any stage of life, you're a bit like, Oh, you got bills, got this, got that.
Tej Singh: But they kind of call me down in the room. You know, I walked in, I saw the HR lady's shoes because she had these like strong boots on. I was like, Oh no, I'm in trouble. Why would we be in a meeting one on one with a witness? We got in and she said, you're not performing the same. You were an interview. I said, I'm definitely not because I've lost all interest.
Tej Singh: And then she fired me and I felt relieved. Why? Why would I, I spent three years, all this money and, and I felt relieved. So I went home, told my mum, which I think the silence from a Punjabi mum is worse than words sometimes. And my dad is just a bit of a hippie. He was like, cool, what's next? And I was like, cool, I got you.
Tej Singh: And then, yeah, that ended my career in being employed. I haven't been employed since and I pray to all the Gods that I never have to be employed again until I die.
Amardeep Parmar: So then what was, what did you do there? Because one of the interesting things I think as well, [00:11:00] right, you said you had this degree, you then struggled to get a job, you then didn't enjoy your first job, you left it, got fired from your next job.
Amardeep Parmar: Where was your kind of self confidence at this point as well?
Tej Singh: I think maybe it was arrogance or naivety or confidence or all of all of the above because I kind of thought, well, there's a million jobs in the world. This is just not for me. And then I thought you've got a degree that you can use in other fields.
Tej Singh: And this is why you did it. Because younger me knew how fickle older me is and wasn't still is, and it was preparing for something like this. But I think also I thought, you know, I wasn't, you know, some people when they're like 17, they're at the school gate, selling sweets, being entrepreneurs. They had a hundred K stuck.
Tej Singh: That was not me. Like, I rate those guys, like, incredible. I was just like, you know, I'm, how old was I? 22, 23. And I said, I live at home. I'm going to live at home for as much as I can. Let me just do some silly shit now that could generate some money. [00:12:00] And so I had a friend who had a recruitment business who was probably four or five years older than me.
Tej Singh: So he'd been to jobs, whatever. And he said, Oh, it's really easy. I'll show you the way I'll give you mentorship. I'll set you up everything. I still haven't got that. To this day, I'm waiting for this mentorship. So I said, all right, let's start a recruitment business. And then after reading about it and understanding it, it was a case of, and it's not simple, it's not easy.
Tej Singh: I'm sorry. It is simple, but it's not easy. It's very difficult. Emotionally, very difficult. I got the process. You need candidates. You need clients. You need to match them. You need to communicate. You need to cop. Okay, cool. Whatever. Let's test my skills. I hate cold calling. I think let's just try it. So I set up a recruitment business, age 23.
Tej Singh: From my dad, DG, my grandma's house in Southlaw in the conservatory with no heating on, single skim walls, like typical desi conservatory with a computer, with a LinkedIn premium thing, 40 quid a month and I had my first placement. I think it was at the end of a month and I was three grand and there's a rebate period.
Tej Singh: So it wasn't a hundred percent [00:13:00] mine, but it's three grand. And I thought, so I was getting paid, what was it? 26 K a year, whatever that is a month. That's not three grand a month. And I did this in a month. And I actually, you know, I'm new to this. I'm not good at cold calling. What's going to happen in a few weeks and a few months when I get better.
Tej Singh: And then essentially continued to recruitment business for three, three and a half years. And then I did some in house roles at like Babylon Health, which was a GP. I think it's gone bankrupt now,
Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. Just recently.
Tej Singh: but yeah. Um, yeah. So yeah, I built a marketing team for them. So, uh, and I worked with them in a children's book company called Wonderbly, which used to be based near here, actually just contracted for loads of money, having fun.
Tej Singh: I got sick of it. You know, it was golden handcuffs. It was making money, but I hated it. So again, there's this theme of, I'm making money, but I hate it. And then I change, which I think at the end of the podcast, people will detect a common theme here.
Amardeep Parmar: But it's also a good thing, right? Is that a lot of people hate their lives or they're not happy.
Amardeep Parmar: But [00:14:00] then sometimes I think what happens is sometimes and I think happens to me and other people in the past is that it's, you're unhappy, but you know the situation, right? Where some people would rather be unhappy and certain than risk being worse off and taking a risk. But it's like, if you're already at a base level on happiness, how much have you got to lose potentially?
Amardeep Parmar: And it's all, every financial situation is different. There's all these different things taken into account, but you can often test things on the side without taking the full risk. See if you enjoy it. If you enjoy it, then invest more time in it. So. You had the recruitment business and you were working for these other people as well?
Tej Singh: So towards the end of it, yeah. So I had my own, I was doing a few bits on the side, then I was in house, so doing like all of their recruitment and hiring for a certain part of the business.
Amardeep Parmar: And whereabouts are we now in terms of what year are we at?
Tej Singh: So this would have been four years afterwards, or twenty, so I would have been about twenty...
Tej Singh: seven? Yeah, no, 2026, 27, I think. Um, I don't know what year that was. I'm sure you can work it out. And yeah, I was, I was just getting sick [00:15:00] of it. Even the in house stuff. I looked at it and I think at one point I was getting paid like 450 quid a day, which given my experience at the time was a lot. I was good and I bought a vibe to the office, which you can't put a price on really, you know what I'm saying?
Tej Singh: But it was definitely overpaid. They tried to bring me on permanent. I said, you want to put me on like 30 grand a year? I was like, no, I'm see, like, I'm not here for this life. I looked at that and said, you know what? That's a good amount of money. But surely I can make a thousand, you know, a day, whatever it is.
Tej Singh: And then I thought, and I kept thinking, right, I'm putting in six hours, I'm 50. I'm doing 20 hours in one month and I'm getting a placement. That's three grand. And money's not everything. And I'm sure we'll get to that, but. I, I looked at it and said, can I not make money when I sleep? Can I not, like, invest?
Tej Singh: Now I've got a bit of a cash pot here. Can I not invest? Is there nothing else I can do or buy or build that will just bring in money? [00:16:00] I don't have to be sitting there making cold calls. I can wake up one day and say, I'm going to bake bread, you know, like I did on Monday. Like, I'm going to get up one day and...
Tej Singh: I don't know. I'm just going to do whatever for an hour. Like, is there nothing I can do to do that? And then I started listening to some podcasts, which there weren't many around. I wasn't there very good, very salesy in property in, you know, self development, reading books, things like that. And then I saw property and I thought it's an asset.
Tej Singh: I can leverage it. Okay. There's, I think, I think, and you know, this is, you look around, I have actually got a family who own property, but you just know in here, like, oh, uncle's got property, this, that, and the other. You just know. And in England, it's a good asset. Everyone talks about it. It's quite a cultural thing.
Tej Singh: And so then that led me into, into property development.
Amardeep Parmar: You said you listened to a podcast as one of your educational sources for starting their property world. With your, your own podcast, did you start that quite quickly along that journey or what made you start your own podcast to share your own [00:17:00] knowledge on it.
Tej Singh: It was the other podcast. They made me start it because a lot of the time the people asking questions were very experienced, uh, which is great because then they can help you. But at the same time, it was a sales pitch. They were very short podcasts, very much like, Hey, so, um, how do you know when the plaster is done correct in a house?
Tej Singh: And they would say, well, you go up to and you check this and check that. But anyways, the rest of it's on my so, and you know, okay. And also because the people were experienced, I felt that whether it was their experience, whether it was their choice, they weren't asking the questions that I wanted to know the answer to.
Tej Singh: I was like, like, I don't even know what a skirting board is at this point, I don't know, like flipping heck, I need to know the basics. And so I thought, hold on a minute. I want to know these answers and I also want to learn and I also don't want to necessarily pay to learn, which maybe was a mistake. I don't want to pay to learn.
Tej Singh: I'll do a podcast. And I looked around and I saw actually people in property have really bad [00:18:00] personal brands and still do to this day. Some people, a lot of people have good ones, but there's a lot of bad. So I thought, wait a minute, if I work on my brand and my podcast, I can give them a spotlight. I can have one on ones with people and learn.
Tej Singh: I can then have relationships with them and learn and they can kind of act as my mentors, friends, my networking. I don't have to leave the house because back then it was like on zoom. And so it just made sense for me to help other people spotlight them, spotlight myself to create a podcast. Podcasts are hard as you know, because at least when I started, it was mainly audio.
Tej Singh: The audio apps are like a one way channel. You can't comment. You can't like you can't. It's just, you put it out and it's like, what the, how do people find me? Through SEO? It's actually not as advanced as maybe it should be. So you have to use other forms, Instagram, YouTube, et cetera, to like push people towards it.
Tej Singh: But because I think I started out quite early before podcasts were big and before property podcasts were big, it allowed me to maybe have a bit of a headstart and a jump on it. And people always said from [00:19:00] day one, we love how, almost how innocent your questions are and almost how genuine they are because you sound like you don't know them.
Tej Singh: And that's us. And we feel that we connect with you. And obviously over time that changes. So that's why I started it.
Amardeep Parmar: It's interesting. One of the things I do, which surprises a lot of people is that I don't do a lot of research before the podcast, because then the questions I'm asking you are the questions I actually want to know.
Amardeep Parmar: If I've been researching you for two days or three days, Then I'm asking questions from an educated perspective, rather than, okay, I know the basics of who you are, but then what do I want to know more about? And hopefully the audience wants to learn that too, right? Going into that, like starting a podcast, right?
Amardeep Parmar: For a lot of people, that's really scary, right? Were you at all put off by that? I guess the cold calling experience, for example, would that have helped you? Because you've got a bit more used to... Just putting yourself out there and maybe failing
Tej Singh: Massively. That helped me in life because like rejection is like, okay, cool.
Tej Singh: Next, you know, just one no close to it. Yes. So it helped massively. I think it also helped me just be sort of enunciate my words as much as I can [00:20:00] and speak clearly and, you know, and then over time learning public speaking also help with that. So I think for me, when I start things, maybe it's blind confidence.
Tej Singh: Maybe it's just, well, if you can do it, I can do it. If she can do it, I can do it. So let's do it. You know, it's kind of, I think sometimes it can be as simple as that. And so it wasn't scary. And I think What at that time made it less scary for a lot of people was there was not really video. It was mainly just audio So it was never like, oh I have to public speak, I have to speak in front of a camera which a lot of people are not comfortable with.
Tej Singh: So it was just me in a room with a microphone like this with nothing You know, just literally there in the conservatory talking into it and putting it out there. So I think I understood from my recruitment days that well, you know, the first few months are gonna be crap. No one's gonna listen No, my mom's not even gonna listen.
Amardeep Parmar: That's such a huge point, right? Because so many people, I wanna start a po, Oh, I wanna become a full-time podcaster. And the amount of you probably get the same thing. Right? It's just that's not how it works. Like it's gonna suck for a while. But the only way to learn is to suck for a while. You keep [00:21:00] doing it.
Amardeep Parmar: Like nobody watches my first ever episodes. Right. I'm 240 something episodes in you. Like way further along than that, I think. Right. And But you've got to be willing to suck in order to get good at something. And it doesn't matter what it, for example, we both danced, right? We were both crap at the beginning of this.
Tej Singh: Yeah. Big time.
Amardeep Parmar: But you don't get better unless you're willing to have that bit at the beginning.
Tej Singh: It's true. No, people don't want, it's like everything in our body, right? Enzymes have an activation energy and there's like this graph and it's kind of like they need, I can't remember what the exact temperature is, but at 38 degrees, you know, body temperature, they're not really doing much.
Tej Singh: They're kind of chilling here because there's not enough energy to get them to work. And it needs to just pass, I think it's 40, just to get past that activation energy. And once they're over that hill, It carries on, it does work. But getting to that point in business, that activation energy takes years, weeks, months.
Tej Singh: It takes 2000 cold calls. It takes, I don't know, reading 400 legal packs before auction. It takes doing 250 podcasts, looking back and thinking, I hope no one watches that first one. But now [00:22:00] you're like, yeah, we're good. Like, and people commenting, wow, what a transformation. So people, and it's very hard, right?
Tej Singh: Because when in an employed job, Have you had to do that much hustle and not get? you know, and like get a root, it doesn't happen. And to feed yourself to do that, like there's so many aspects to that hustle, that activation energy to get to the point of it being rewarding, that if you, especially if you don't have people in your network have done it, how do you know it's ever going to come when you're sitting there in your house, in your flat?
Tej Singh: You're at your kitchen, you know, table growing your business and you're like, I've done 40 calls and no one said yes, like, how are you supposed to know what to do? Right?
Amardeep Parmar: And one of the things you mentioned earlier as well as about building that personal brand and how important that was in order to get you ahead into the podcast and you, it also helps you learn, right?
Amardeep Parmar: Because you had a brand where people wanted to talk to you because that's one of the things people sometimes don't get as well as like, if you message me from a private account where I can't see anything about you. You don't have your name on there and you're [00:23:00] asking me for a load of advice. And it's like, well, I don't know if you've done any work.
Amardeep Parmar: So, and on that personal brand side, cause we've mentioned it there about a lot of people in real estate have terrible personal brands. ‘Cause one of the things we generally do, and some people listening is going to be offended by this, we don't get real estate people on because generally the personal brands can often be quite slimy.
Amardeep Parmar: As like, I don't know if you're legit or not. And I'm not going to do the. due diligence to work that out.
Tej Singh: Yeah. Yeah.
So if I can't easily verify you, then I'm going to not take the risk of putting in front of my audience.
Tej Singh: Of course.
Amardeep Parmar: And maybe spreading misinformation. And that's when interesting to use that you started, we've done recruitment and you've done other things and you went into property, but then now you're shifting away from that.
Amardeep Parmar: Well, you're still doing it, but you're also looking into buying business and things as well. And what triggered that transition is a natural thing or just. Curiosity, or what was that motivation?
Tej Singh: Yeah. So just on your point about personal branding, I think, yeah, that's such a good point. It, people don't know that they're not on your show or on anyone's show, or they're not winning business because someone has looked at them, [00:24:00] never messaged them.
Tej Singh: They've just seen the shop front. They've seen the brand and said, no, like with restaurants and Airbnbs and like reviews. The amount of, you just don't know how many people have gone to your thing and said, no, you're thinking that's my bottom line. And you'll never read, I mean, you can look at impressions per click, whatever, but you never really know.
Tej Singh: And that personal brand, a lot of people forget like, Oh, but I don't necessarily get that many DMS or I don't get that many likes. It's like, yeah, people are watching, people are still paying attention. And it's those touch points, right? So seven touch points before a sale, I think Google or someone came up with that.
Tej Singh: If you don't do that. You're not going to have the sale. And yeah, I could call you, could text you, could go out for dinner. We could do seven steps and we'd both be tired and broke at the end of it. Or I build a brand and I give you seven steps. I give you seven steps, you seven steps, and I'm like, well, one of you is going to take it in the exact same time that this podcast will reach thousands, hundreds.
Tej Singh: But we're doing it once, in one time frame, in one place, like it's so valuable.
Amardeep Parmar: One of the huge things people forget [00:25:00] about podcasts for some as well is like, for a lot of people who don't come on many podcasts, you Google their name, this will come up on the first page of Google, right? So if somebody's trying to check out if you're Like, Oh, should I, this person's messaged me.
Amardeep Parmar: Do I, are they legit or not? If they know who the BAE HQ are, then they're not like, Oh, okay. This person, like, Oh, there must be like pretty good because they've come on that. Right.
Tej Singh Exactly.
Amardeep Parmar: It's all these different things. It might even watch the episode. Yeah. And they've just seen that. Oh, it's another reference point.
Tej Singh: It's the data point you're giving, right?
Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. A hundred percent.
Tej Singh Everyone knows the Bay HQ, man.
Amardeep Parmar: Exactly. But off the back of that, so with the businesses you then go into. What are they like? What did you diversify into?
Tej Singh: So I then diversified from property into like education and uh, I wrote two books on Amazon.
Tej Singh: So that was kind of, you could call them businesses, but I really want to write a book. I love writing. I know you write a lot as well. Um, and you're very good at it. You and Barack, you know, up there. I saw that.
Amardeep Parmar: I'm going to use that stat until I die.
Tej Singh: You've got it, man. Um, and like I, that was more passion
Tej Singh: of a thing. And Amazon takes 90 percent of your money anyway. So they give me 50p a month and I'm like, Oh, thank you. [00:26:00] Thanks Jeff. I'm glad it paid for the yacht and everything. I, you know, I was doing property and I thought, great, it's an asset. I invest in stocks and shares as well. Like, great. These are all assets.
Tej Singh: And I love property. You know, when we walked in here, I was like, wow, the design, you know, just, I love design. I love. construction and engineering, but I just got bored. I have expiry dates. Everything I do last like two to three years and I'm like, yeah, this is done. And for me, property is something I will still buy, you know, until I die because it is a great asset.
Tej Singh: Can't deny that. But I thought, right, I've got property, I've got investments, I've got the education, got cash flow, got capital appreciation. I've got kind of a few different ticks of like wealth. Then I thought, I have so much interest, like you have so many interests, like in launching a restaurant. Um, I love cooking.
Tej Singh: I love traveling. I've got interest in there. I have interest in cars. So I want to, you know, hopefully try and buy a garage. I've got interest in, um, physiotherapy, so many interests. And I thought, what is the best way to start these businesses or to [00:27:00] have these businesses? But now I'm in a position where.
Tej Singh: So when I started out, when anyone starts out, you have so much time, well potentially most people and not a lot of money. I'm the other way around where I have enough money now and enough investors and I do have enough time, but I'd rather just not, you know, like when you're like, I'd rather just not, and my time is more valuable.
Tej Singh: Let's say that now. And because of that, I'm like, well, okay, I'd rather pay for it. Like just, just, we'll just pay for it because, you know, I could have those 10, 000 hours. I could do the startup and do step one, step two, step, get to step seven and be like, Oh, amazing. Oh, the two years, or I pay you 50 grand for your business.
Tej Singh: You've done all the steps. You're happy with that money. I'm happy to pay you a chunk of money. I didn't have to, I could have taken five grand. Done the same thing in two years. I don't want that. I'm paying for your 10, 000 hours. I'm paying for your steps one to seven, your hell that you've gone through.
Tej Singh: Then I'll carry it on. Obviously there's risks with it. Obviously there's lots of work that goes into it. I have [00:28:00] so many conversations that go nowhere. Um, And it takes time and it takes effort and it takes money. You know, it's different to property. It can't be leveraged as easy. And I thought, okay, it's a business thing.
Tej Singh: How do I do this? And one of my friends, um, called Dee Ludlow, he buys businesses and he's bought them in the US. He's bought some big things. And so I said, yo, teach me that. And so he taught me. And then since then, it's probably about a year, year and a half, I've been doing it. And it's still, I bought my first business and we're still
Tej Singh: looking for more at the same time. I'm not someone who's like, Oh, I need to build an empire. I need a hundred of this. I'm kind of like, okay, if I want to take the cleaning business from it's currently 250 K turnover, I want to take it to 500. I will. But like, I was in a holiday for like a month recently. I didn't do anything.
Tej Singh: I came back and was like, okay, let's time to kick ass, but I'm not bothered by that. So will I buy another two businesses? Yeah, probably. [00:29:00] But then it'll be three years and then I'll be like, I'm bored. What's next? You know, so that's what I've diversified into. And at the moment it's property very small, the M& A buying businesses.
Tej Singh: I'm running my cleaning business. So that's a small portion of it as well. Social media, branding, podcasting, and just trying to enjoy life as well.
Amardeep Parmar: And that's one of the interesting things. I think a lot of people might get to a certain level where they could enjoy life. Yes, but they don't and they keep cycling up, right?
Amardeep Parmar: And I think it's really important for people to realize that because what I see, what I often see is that people right at the very, very top, right? So on the other podcasts have done like Netflix founder, Twitter founder, those kind of guys, they were like, I wish it didn't work so hard because like, what am I going to do?
Amardeep Parmar: Like you can only, like, if you don't really care about your, what are you going to do with a billion, right? It's like nothing. It's if you really, like you said, if you're really interested in what you're doing. Then earning the money is almost like a side thing, right? It's like, say for example, Warren Buffett, right?
Amardeep Parmar: Is that he doesn't need the money anymore, but he actually really likes picking stocks.That's his hobby. And he's getting paid loads of money to do that. And that's the thing that I think [00:30:00] some people forget is like, can you, if you just keep inflating your lifestyle, you're gonna have to keep working really hard.
Amardeep Parmar: If you know what you enjoy, you can like escape some of that trap. And what are some of the mistakes you think you've made? in the M& A side. Like when you've been, you said you've had lots of conversations that have gone nowhere. What do you now do differently than say you did a year ago?
Tej Singh: Yeah, good point.
Tej Singh: And just to go, sorry, go back on your point there about the, that trap of entrepreneurship. I love that you brought that up because I know people who are like me and many people who are like that, who are very much like, okay, we've hit this level. Now here, we've got this Lamborghini here and I like that because I like their cars and I like them, but you know, I just, I, and I, you know, I love seeing it.
Tej Singh: I love seeing their aspirations and their growth because actually sometimes I look at it and say, Oh, come on, get a move on. I mean, it gives me a kick up the arse, but I think in the long run, that kind of hedonistic chasing of pleasures and of materialistic things is great. And it fuels you just like anger can fuel you. They ain't going to fuel you until you're 80.
Tej Singh: It'll fuel you for a couple of years, and your [00:31:00] cortisol is going to fry you and you're done. And then you need something deeper. Same with money. And it takes a while for people to realize. But like you said, with that lifestyle inflation, I think There comes a certain point where you look at, well, some people look at things and say, okay, I want to fly business everywhere.
Tej Singh: How much is that? Okay. I want to travel half the year. How much is that? I want to have it. And then you look at that and you say, that's a lot less than I thought. And I can get it from a lot easier ways than I thought. And I did that. I created property. So I'd have passive income to just support me to do what I want.
Tej Singh: The cleaning business, I don't need the income. You know, the restaurant I'm hopefully going to buy soon, I don't need the income. Like, I'm doing it because I love it. Hey, the income's great. I can, you know, buy a Ferrari with it. Great. Which I will, because I love cars. And I can do whatever with it. But, like, I know when to stop.
Tej Singh: And I have stopped. I've had like, I'm like Eminem. I've had like four retirements, mini retirements, because I'm like, that money's cool. Like, but now I'm going to actually do something or like enjoy myself and [00:32:00] stop this, you know, I appreciate it is very hard to stop. I don't know. There's just, I think it's reading a lot of stoicism.
Tej Singh: I'm reading a stoicism, but I'm kind of just like, well, if the lifestyle costs, I don't know, four grand a month and you're making seven, like, are we not chilling? Okay. Yeah. We should make 14 just to be extra safe, but we're chilling. Let's spend time with family. Let's travel. Let's, let's, let's just do things.
Tej Singh: Let's be human. Let's be present. Let's not be chasing something endlessly. So Yeah, that's a really good point you made. And then on your question of M& A, what do I do differently? I've become more myself. So at the beginning, I'd have calls with everyone and it'd be such a, Oh, tell me about your business.
Tej Singh: Tell me about stuff. Oh my God. It's amazing. And now I'm like, how much do you want for it? What's the net profit. Okay. Here's the rough valuation. Are we aligned? We are. Okay, cool. Tell me about the business. You know, and if they go on like, so we started in 1964 and I'm like, sorry to interrupt you in. I don’t give a sh__t.[00:33:00] In brackets.
Tej Singh: But what I'm saying is look. You know, I don't want to waste your time. Don't waste my time. Let's just get to the point. The money is the most important thing. You know, I spoke to someone yesterday. I said, within, I saw it within two minutes, he said, I want a nine times valuation. I said, bro, where are the three?
Tej Singh: Like, I don't know what you think you're getting nine for that industry. But anyways, you've got my details. Stay in touch. Bye. And that's cool. And some of them may come back. Most of them won't. Fine. That's one of the things I've learned is just look, they want to know how much you're going to pay for it.
Tej Singh: As much as you want to know how much you could pay for it. Um, yes, someone to talk about the business, but just get to the point. ‘Cause that that's the main thing that matters is that valuation at the level. I'm buying. I'm not a VC, so I'm not buying levels where it's different. I think sending way more outreach.
Tej Singh: I started off sending like hundreds of emails. Now I think I have 9, 000 on the database and it made every day I get leads at the end of the day today. probably three or four more leads. Three will say no, one might say I'm interested, but it's just upping those level leads. [00:34:00] Um, and being more selective with it.
Tej Singh: I only want to buy in certain areas and certain industries before, you know, I was way too selective. So for me, getting straight to the point and being more selective. which may be our life lessons in general, um, has helped massively from what I started in M& A.
Amardeep Parmar: So we're going to have to go to a quick five questions because it's time now.
Tej Singh: Let's do it.
Amardeep Parmar: So first one, who are three British Asians that you'd love to spotlight and that the audience should be paying attention to?
Tej Singh: This is a good question. Guz Khan from Man Like Mobeen. So funny. So, so funny. Um, and he does a lot of, uh, stuff for injustice at the moment, I think, which is really good.
Tej Singh: Um, appreciation. I'm trying to think. This actually highlights how many I'm not aware of, or I'm not following. I would say, so I want to shout out my friend, where Shaz, Shaz Ahmed. I think you might, he might message you a couple of times. He is a mortgage broker and he's your biggest fan. He kept messaging you that.
Amardeep Parmar: You need to get to hedge on the podcast.
Tej Singh: Listen, what can I say? I'll send him, I'll send him the cheque afterwards. He, um, he's the best mortgage broker and like such, [00:35:00] such a good friend to me. So I want to shout him out. He's doing, he is doing bits, not just in his area of mortgage broking, but actually as a, as a networker and as business person.
Tej Singh: So definitely give a shout out to him. I want to shout out, Raf Sappera because his music is banging and the lyrical skill and the skill in his voice to sing like Gawali music, to sing like sad songs, to then do Bhangra, to then, like, when I hear his stuff, I just don't believe it's one man. I feel like he's got a band of five people doing it, but like his vocal range is incredible, and I appreciate him coming into the scene new.
Tej Singh: And like, I just want the next album, please, Raf .
Amardeep Parmar: So next one is, if people want to follow you, find out where should they go to?
Tej Singh: @tej.talks on Instagram, and just type in tejtalks into everything and it will all come up.
Amardeep Parmar: And is there anything you need help with right now that maybe the audience could help you with?
Tej Singh: Ooh, if anyone is selling their business, or is a [00:36:00] good business broker, or know someone selling a business, pay referral fees, etc. Get in touch. I'm happy to have a discussion, happy to assist you. If you've never sold your business before or bought a business before, happy to just have a informal chat about it.Really.
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