“Whenever I start to feel this is hard, I can tell that I’m not in my flow and something needs to change.”
These aren’t the words of someone who has lived life with a fixed-mindset, letting opportunities float by. They’re the words of someone who has spent their life looking for the next project to conquer.
Sunil Jaiswal has been successful in a quite a few fields—music, programming, real estate, website investing, and Mentoring. There has been hardship but he has always had his compass in hand.
Sunil grew up in the UK. His family immigrated to India when he was 13 because his father retired at 42. He remembers going to his first computer class—a new topic in a new school in a new country. With over seventy students in attendance each week and one computer to share between them, he spent all the time he could on the BBC Micro, an 8-bit home computer that you hooked up to a television screen.
At 16, Sunil won a competition for software coding. The following year, he was disallowed from entering because the judges believed he had an unfair upper hand. But there is no such thing as bad publicity. He was able to catch the eyes of IT recruiters who took him on at 19.
He dropped out of school to pursue his career. With pen and paper, he wrote code for an IBM mainframe that his employers had on time-share with other companies. He continued this tedious task for nine months before being poached by another company who offered to pay him four times his previous salary, working on the same mainframe.
With this company, he visited the United States to code for Walt Disney’s warehouse system. He made good money and put it to good use.
He spent $2,000 on an electric guitar.
“When I first heard Joe Satriani play guitar, I was ready to give up. I was like, ‘I could never be that good.’ Then I remembered it wasn’t about being good, it was about playing the music,” says Sunil.
This wasn’t a vein two grand thrown away by someone who doesn’t value a dollar. Sunil had a keen interest in music and had been playing in the Indian metal band Millennium. He loved his time spent with his guitar and it eventually interfered with his employment.
He lost his second job and—to nobody’s surprise—carved himself a place elsewhere. Sunil promised the owner of a 3D animation company that with his help, the entrepreneur would be freed up to make money elsewhere.
“You should be in sales,” said the owner, who accepted, and paid a pretty penny for the privilege of Sunil’s assistance. Sunil made good money there but was worked to the bone.
Millennium was still recording when the owner of the studio they played at started pursuing 3D animation, Sunil saw an opportunity to streamline his life. He was able to secure employment with the studio, learning about music production along the way.
Millennium was selling albums and appearing on MTV. In 1994, they opened for the band Deep Purple, who said they could make the young internationally famous. Two years in wait, and Deep Purple didn’t follow through on their promise. While Sunil was passionate about the music they were creating, he craved fortunes beyond what was on offer from the industry.
So, off he went, back to the UK.
Sunil remembers, “A lot of people told me, “Sunil, don’t come to the UK. It’s bad. There are no jobs available.” But I went anyway.” Three days after arriving to the UK, he landed a programming job.
Within nine months of being hired, he was given a position in the London offices. They eventually lent him out as a consultant when he began taking the train each day from his hometown to work, riding first class in jeans and T-shirt.
One day, at the station, a purple book caught his eye.
This drove Sunil to ask himself the question: How can I make money without having to work for it? He knew that he was well-paid. He also knew that the company he worked for was hiring him out as an IT consultant for multiples of what he was getting. He wanted financial freedom.
Today he says, “Financial freedom doesn’t really exist. It’s financial choice. Because, even me, I’m “financially free”. I work pretty hard. I’m doing what I love. But it’s my choice. I can choose do it or not”
Sunil’s consulting contract was abruptly ended. Ever the optimist, “That was kind of good timing. I thought, ‘I’ll start my IT business.'”
He based his IT company in India, and, at the same time, he began investing in real estate. He had a partner in his company. “To know yourself is the most important trait of an entrepreneur. Hire for your weaknesses. You can’t be everything to everyone.”
In 2003, he retired from his IT business. He was making more money in real estate.
A business mentor, Robert, had given Sunil a book called Finding Your Uniqueness. While there was no revelatory moment, Sunil woke up a few days later resolved to teach others how to achieve what he had in real estate.
He gave his portion of the business to his partner. Sunil says, “I just wanted out.”
Eleven days later, he ran his first real estate course. With eleven people in the room—nine of them friends who were attending for free—Sunil presented his ideas about real estate. He was shaking with excitement at the end of the day, and the people in that room loved what he had to say. Together, those who attended the course went on to invest over 4 million pounds in property investments.
By 2005, Sunil was running a multimillion-pound business teaching people throughout the UK how to make money in property. He charged high prices for his courses.
“If you pay $200 for a course and you’re not going to do anything, yeah, it hurts, but not that much. But if you pay $10,000 for a course…”
It’s Sunil’s way to leverage loss aversion. It’s easy to take a class and shrug off what was said. It’s harder to take a big hit to the wallet and ignore what you’ve learned. In his days teaching in the UK, those high entry fees led to 70%-80% success rates among those who attended his courses.
Most importantly, he had built up a successful community. While he instigated discussion on forums in the beginning of orchestrating the group, once a hundred people were involved, it became self-sustaining. There were ten or more posts a day. There was a feeling of excitement and possibility, competition and support.
“One plus one is greater than two,” says Sunil. “When they see people in the community, just like them—a teacher, a mechanic, a housewife—and they’re making $2,000 or $3,000 a month from one property, it completely changed them.”
Around this time, Sunil sold his portion of the company and headed back to India.
Back to India
One day at his friend’s office, a real estate agent named Manish pitched him a business plan for an Indian real estate exhibition in Dubai. He had written it on scraps of paper. Sunil thought it looked great, but had one question, “Where is Dubai?”
Within a few years, Sunil was on top again as the CEO of the largest exhibition company of Indian properties. Then came the recession of 2008-2009. The company fell on hard times but recovered in 2012. Knowing the company was solid, Sunil stepped down as CEO to pursue other opportunities.
In 2015, Sunil sold his shares in the exhibition business. This is when he ran into the work of Jeff Hunt. Sunil says one of his biggest mistakes in life was not investing in mentors sooner. He would not make that mistake again.
He went right to the source. He called up Jeff Hunt and ask for his help investing in websites.
Sunil became a part of the Rhodium Community, a group of website investors, and his interest in online real estate bloomed.
He moved to Columbia with his wife, and enjoyed some free time, when the desire to teach and build a community grew too strong to ignore.
Now, he splits his time between Dubai, the UK, India and Columbia. He takes calls with clients to help give them actionable strategies for the goals they set for themselves. He spends time on investing in assets both real and virtual, and formulating plans.
Sunil’s goal now is to build up a community on FlipMinds.com. He wants to teach more people how to gain financial choice through real estate, website investment, and entrepreneurship.
There are a few things that Sunil credits his success to, but the most important is who he surrounds himself with. This is the true environment hack: to have those around you support you, challenge you, and inspire you.
That is who Sunil fills his life with, and the kind of person that he wants to be for others.
Mistakes are everywhere, and of course you can’t be successful unless you make them. There are some mistakes you can try and avoid but if you’re not making enough mistakes, you’re not getting enough experience and you’re probably not doing enough deals.
Before you go to the estate agent, make sure you do your homework!