I'm so excited to introduce you to John Lee. He's one of my absolute new favorite humans. I met him on the 27th of December in a new app call Clubhouse.
In this podcast episode we are going to talk about how he wanted to carve out his own path to freedom and not work all of the time like his parents did. How he went to college and then went from broke to becoming a brilliantly successful entrepreneur.
And even how he made his first million dollars at 27 years old.
Then we are going to dive into one of his most masterful tricks on how to save time. And that report he wrote is going to absolutely blow your mind.
I hope you enjoy one of my favorite humans as much as I do. Enjoy!
Visit https://www.Gary.club for direct access to Gary Henderson!
Podcast family I'm so, so, so excited to introduce you to John Lee. He's one of my absolute new favorite humans. I met him on the 27th of December in a new app called clubhouse. And today we came together for a recording of a podcast episode where we're really going to dive into talking about how his parents spent all their time working. And he wanted to have his own free time. He wanted to have his own path and not be like his parents, how he went to college and then went from zero to becoming an entrepreneur, how he made his first million dollars at 27 years old. And then one of his most masterful tricks that took him to where he is today. He wrote a report to save time. And this report that he wrote is going to absolutely blow your mind. I am so, so, so excited to introduce you to John Lee. You're listening To the all the way up podcast is where I bring some of the most amazing people in the world into a private conversation to help you with your business. We share lessons, stories, and insights from entrepreneurs who've been right where you are and have gone on to do Epic things on their very own, all the way up church. I'm just so, so happy to introduce you to John Lee. Thank you so much for having the show. I really appreciate it. And the, what you're doing, the value that you're adding to the communities out there, especially in clubhouse is amazing. So thank you for that. Oh, thank you so much. So, John, what made you want to become an entrepreneur? Well, I started working in my mom's Chinese takeaway as a dishwasher, and I never really saw my parents. So not until the age of really low 11 years old, 10 years old around that, you know, getting on to school. And I missed out on so many different weekends with my friends and, you know, parties, artists puffy, you know what I want freedom. I don't want to be working in the job when I'm older. So, I mean, it's always been there in my, but I still got a job. I still worked in the, I guess, corporate creative world, but that's kind of what pushed me to want to become entrepreneur because I wanted to, I guess, have my own time. Yep. Money runs the world because money buys the one thing that we can't buy and that's time because when you have money, you have time to do what you want, whatever you choose, if it's more work great, that's what you choose. But when you have the money, you have the ability to buy all 24 hours a day of your time, if you choose to do so. And if you don't have the money you can't Well, exactly. And that's it. And this is why people need to learn this because we only have 24 hours in a day. What do we do with it? Yeah. You wanted to have your own time. You said your own time. And I think this is interesting and you and I are spending hours and hours and hours a day right now working. So what do you mean when you say you wanted to have your own time? Well, back then it was, you know, not to have to work the job and work for somebody else. And I guess time, meaning is it your time? Was it somebody else's time? Cause we all have 24 hours in a day. Gary is what we choose to do with it. The problem is most of the times people are working eight hours a day for somebody else to spend three hours commuting. They sleep eight hours are really the only around six, seven hours a day of their own time. So for me it was always, well, you know, life is not just about existing is about living is about doing what you really love to do and what you're passionate about. And so for me is if I could, I guess, buy back my time that I can do whatever I want with it. That is brilliant. And it's such a fascinating concept because they teach us, you know, go to school, get a nine to five job, raise the kids, go be great parents. And all of a sudden you get like one hour, if that to yourself, then you usually have to find it either super late at night or super early in the morning. They don't teach you that you can not go to college or go to college. If you want, they don't teach you that you can go out on your own and do some fun things. I was just talking with the founder of chirp the back roller that got funded on shark tank. They did the largest valuation in shark tank in the largest valuation coming out of shark tank. They did $900,000 for 2%. Wow. And the way he started the company was he sold door to door, pest control for a summer. And he made a hundred thousand dollars in three months. So he made enough money to fund his entire life for three years while he was building his company and growing it. But there's not really a lot of path for people to say, you know, you can go work your tail off in your own job or whatever you need to do, but you can also just sit here and have fun and you can sit here and do what you want to do and buy your own time and make your decisions and make a lot of money. So I think it's super important to, to share with our listeners that there is a path to that. So you own it so nicely. And so elegantly and you come from such a place of service and full of heart. And I think that if you would have just landed there when Randy and I were talking Rand Fishkin, the founder of Moz, whenever I did his chat for our podcast, we were talking about the generational wealth and the generational wealth gap. And most of the successful entrepreneurs in the United States come from generational wealth. The story we hear is not generational wealth. Bill Gates founded in his garage. No bill Gates parents were loaded. Yes, it may have been founded in the garage, but they were loaded. It's generational wealth. And there's not a lot of room for someone to come from the trenches, you know, having to sacrifice, having to go out and grind, having to work. And then when you get here, I think that's where the difference has made. And I interviewed Jesse Eker, T Harv, Eker son, and Jesse told me that his dad told him one thing and it changed his life. And his dad said you have broke people habits. And I refuse to have broke people habits. So if successful people that I admire and are doing great, things are out here grinding. And like you, I have no reason not to go grind and hustle just like you. I appreciate it, man. I appreciate it. That did you go to college? Did you take a traditional path? You know, for me, people always ask me, is education important? Well, there's two types of education. You've got yourself education, your formal education. And they're both important because they both give you both experiences. So if anyone listens to show us, send my it to school, well, I think that you should, because you know, you have a different experience, a different perspective. So for me, I didn't do very well in school. I'm dyslexic, you know, I wasn't really good at reading exams and I wasn't good at that stuff, but the only thing I was okay at was art, you know, and I went to school and the only university I could get into that I was, I guess, qualified to get into was an art school where they taught animation. So that's what I kinda got into the creative field of animation and Gordon study in school go to university and I got a BA degree and that was in computer animation. So I do have some qualifications. Yeah, I didn't. So I didn't take that path. I graduated high school. I had opportunities to go to some bigger universities. I went to a local college. I transferred to another university or another college and made it another semester and got bored and left and went and got a job and made that about a year and then went and started my first company when I was 20. So I took a totally different path. All right. So you went to university, you got your degree. Well, what happens? You know, here's the thing that happened university. So when everyone was going out, you know, spending money on alcohol and cigarettes, I would save my money and I would go to these networking events. So you know how I became an animator, the story there was, I flew to a networking festival called the 3d festival. And I spent all my money like stylish. I had no money to eat or anything. I just spent all my money out and I flew there. But you know what happened there going, there was so many of these amazing speakers in the industry. And what I learned from that was, it's not who, you know, it's, who knows you. And so from speaking to all these speakers, I finally got a card. His name was Chris cook. It was the manager of passion pictures where they did the whole gorillas band. And so I worked there for like a month. I was a runner and then the nights I would learn to anime. And it was amazing because there's two people out of my entire team who had already secured a job before graduating that's because the context, because it's not who, you know, it's, who knows you. And I thought that investment of, you know, eating beans on toast for a semester was certainly worth it. Yeah, it is. You know, I did the same thing. I was talking to one of our friends that we've met Chris Winfield and Chris had an event back in 2012 and I wondered on his stage and he didn't invite me. And I went to his event and I paid my fee and I paid my money and I got there next time he had an event, I want it on his stage and he didn't invite me. So I paid my fee and I went to his event. I didn't pay my fee again. I ran my own events and I bought my own stage. I wiggled my own way. And I had some like insanely amazing speakers, like, you know, Peter Shankman coming on stage. So pulled and cultivated what I knew to do, but it was because I had to, because I didn't have another choice. I spent a hundred grand in a two day period that I didn't have, like, we had a yacht, we had cigar rollers. We had happy hour. I mean, it was in South beach, ocean front. I rented out the rooftop of the Clevelander in South beach and had a DJ spinning and have my logo on the side on a Friday night at the rooftop of the Clevelander, like big baller status, because it was one chance to come on the stage and do something, you know, taking those risks and taking those chances and, you know, building those connections and building those relationships that got you, your first job, it got me a lot of doors open and it got us where we are today here. Well, It's two ways, isn't it go? There's either you pay your way in or you earn your way in. Yeah. And I think you can do both because even when you pay your way in and I've watched this happen. So, so, so interestingly in the last week or so I've watched people pay their way in, but then when they start to speak, they didn't earn their seat at the table. And it's very apparent that they didn't see it at the table for other folks like me is when I pay my way in. And then you hear me speak. It's very apparent. I earned my seat at the table and I think that's an important thing for people to know is don't go pay your way in. If you haven't earned your seat at the table, if you've earned your seat at the table and all you need is the door opened, then pay your way and get the door open for you. I guess it's the analogy of, let's say you have all the money in the world. You can buy the fastest car in the world. But when you jump into that car, can you race like Lewis, Hamilton, the pain your way, and only get your foot through the door. This is why I love clubhouse so much because people don't know who you are. They know how much money you've got, but when you speak, that's your verification. So you had your full-time job. How long did you work? About five years. I used to work for a company called EA games. So they'd like football games and things like that. And long story short, I was fired from that job because I was too good at my job. At that point, I remember walking out and thinking, Oh my God, I'm never gonna let this happen to me ever again. So what happens? I get another job in the meantime, which happened to be in the film industry and I enjoyed it and it was working on some great projects. But on the side I was doing my side hustle, which was real estate. So what did I start to do? I started to study. I started to do self-education and start to attend networking events, seminars whilst I was in a job. And I never forget this day, the day I quit my job, I was on 36,000 pound salary and I got an offer for 60,000 and I turned it down. Right. I turned it down because I knew to take more money is like putting those golden handcuffs on me. And it depends what you value. Most people, they value security, like for me, security wasn't but of course it was, I didn't have a lot of money back then. I was doing okay, but by no means, was it like financial security? But I thought to myself, if I take this job, I'm telling the universe that I'm not being fully committed to what I want. And I think sometimes you've got to let the universe know that I'm ready and so quit my job. And again, cook, cut long story short. I made my first million with age of 27. That was a real estate. Wow. I learned this from grant Cardone the other day. He said that he goes to zero at the end of every year. I'd never heard him say that. I'd never knew that concept of going to zero completely. And that's kind of what you did. Well, the similar concept in Chinese, it's called breaking the boat. So if I'm in a boat, the only way I'll get to the islands for break my boat, because there's no choice, right? It's that leap of faith. Isn't it. Once you jump out of the plane, you ain't getting back up there. So you got to make those leaps of faith. Yeah. I'd never thought about that. And it's been a pretty consistent theme throughout the several interviews I've done so far of taking that leap, cutting that safety net, jumping out. And it's been an underlying theme across just about every interview that I've done so far. And every conversation that I've had so far, and it's, it's starting to really resonate in my head. Like I know when I did it, you know, I didn't get a big offer. I was just pissed because I finished three and a half years worth of work. In one year I was a computer programmer and I did three and a half years of work in one year. And they told me they were going to give me the biggest raise they'd ever given anyone. And now this, in this one year, my boss was out because he had tore his ACL playing baseball or softball. And they gave me my raise and I was making $20,000 a year in 2001, $20,000 a year. And they said, we're going to give you a 10% raise, Basically what I did. And I said with all due respect, and I have a lot of respect for you, I will give you my 30 day notice. I will fully document the agency management software that I wrote for you. That was your three and a half year plan that I completed in one year. And we will part ways as friends. I was 20. I did take two little other brief stints working for other people to learn some things. I took a job with a sports management firm at one point in time and did a nationally televised high school all-star football game. But other than that, I've been an entrepreneur ever since I was 20. So it's been a wild journey. And I remember back to that leap of faith, whenever I said, I'm going and I took another leap. Wow. Back in 2008, when I started this company, I took another leap and did it again. So I think those leaps are an underlying thread that I find fascinating, All the things that we do lead us to where we are today. You know, it makes the people, we also, when people say to me, what would you change in life? I wouldn't change anything because everything that happened, these rejections, these redirections, when one door is closed, the other one is opening. I mean, everything happens for a reason. I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe we don't realize the reason. We don't know the reason. It's not our place to know the reason just to realize that it happened and figure out the best way to deal with it. All right. So you made your first million at 27 in real estate. What happens next? Because you're 39, right? Yup. So I quit my job and the whole journey between quitting my job and get into real estate. One little piece in that was, I guess, monumental to my success in real estate was getting a mentor. So I just sold my car for 15,000 pounds. And I paid this guy. His name is yang tan, 10,000 pounds for two days of his time. And I didn't have that money. Then I just paid him the money. Everyone thought it was a scam. Everyone thought that you're wasting your money. Why are you doing this? And so that's what kind of led me there. I mean, that's the whole story in itself. But after that, what happens is I start going into real estate and then people keep asking me, Oh John, how do you invest in property? How do you get this deal? I've got this deal. So I started getting known as the property guy. So I start getting text messages. And can you think of a coffee? Can we have this coming up that I'm like, okay. So I wouldn't be spending time with people, like just kind of picking my brains. And then that person would tell somebody else. And they would tell somebody else. And before long everybody would be contacting me. I'm like, this is ridiculous. Like I'm not getting any work done here. Like I've got to go out and have coffee with all of you. So I ended up writing a little report and this report is basically like an FAQ. So you come to me and go says, Hey John, how do I invest in property? I write it down. How do you finance property? I write it down. At least y'all have this whole little guide if you will of FAQ. So next time someone came to me, I said, Hey, you know what? I'm really busy. I really want to help you. But what's your question. My question is, how do you find deals? Okay, I've got it in this report. Let me send it to you. So I started sending this report out to people. So I started saving my time. Don't work hard, work smart, hard. So you work hard, but you do it smartly. So then one day I get this phone call from this guy called Steve Foley. And he says to me, he said, Oh, John, I came across one of your reports. I was wondering if you could be a speaker at one of my events. I'm like, wow, Steve, I'm not a speaker. And so he's not just come along and bring the report and start reading it. And so I did, I stopped speaking and you know what happens? I turn up, there's like six people. There. There's one person that sat in the front and one person just like the butter's even one guy stood at the door and kids. It was really, really bad. Still. I don't know what to do. I said, you know, I'll just take my report and I'll start reading. And so three months goes by, I get another phone call, bring, bring, bring me hello, John Lee speaking, this guy's names. Just want Ryan. I said, Hey, I heard you spoke at Steve's Smith. Would you mind speaking to my investor? Yeah, sure. The other one wasn't so great. So yeah, of course I'll come. So I drive down there takes me three and a half hours to drive down there. And when I arrived, the car parks full I'm, like it must be a wedding on a or something. So I go into reception, I say, Hey, my name is John Lee. I'm the guest speaker for tonight's event. Could you tell him where it is? Is there a story there? I said what? Where the wedding is? You know, that's the event and how went white. Like literally I thought panic. That's it just as said, Hey, you didn't tell me that all these people here said, Oh yeah, Johnny. Yeah. I've got to tell you every there's 250 people here. Wow. My heart how's going, you know, you feel you have something go bump, bump, bump, bump, bump. And you know, when your mouth gets like really, really dry, your hands gets really sweaty. So this is how introduces me says hi, we've got a very special speaker. He's come all the way. Hey, like a flown overseas to be there. Right? He's bald. I'm like, what? Why are you telling people I'm an author? And he said, your report says authored by John Lee. People are really excited and they're expecting something great. So he says, please walk, welcome, Mr. John Lee. Everyone's like, slept like this. I'm like walking to the stage, like really, really scared. And like, just, I can tell you the, that was going through me, but I read a book once Susan Jeffers feel the fear and do it anyway. So I just took my report out and I just started reading. And you know, as I started to read and start getting into it, I start getting into the flow. And I'll never forget this moment. I mean, you probably understand this. When you finish an event, everyone wants to come up to you afterwards and ask you questions. Right. And I'm doing questions for two or three hours. And as I'm about to go and turn away, a guy puts his hand on my shoulder. I said, Hey, John, I forgot to ask you how much is your report? I see what you mean. You say, you know the report you're holding. Like, how much is it? I want to buy a copy. I'm like, I don't know. I'm 47 pounds. Gary. The guy takes his wallet out, gives me 50 pounds to keep the change. That's what I had one of those moments. Right. So I go home and I say to a business phone, I said, Hey, do you know the thing that we wrote? Like, so we just paid for it. He said, no. I said, yeah, honestly. So then I had this idea of, Oh, we should write a book. He said, well, John, that's ridiculous. I said, why? He said, well, it's two problems on that one. You're not a writer, underwriter two you're dyslexic. I said, good point. But do you know what I realized is that people try to be perfectionist. And I think it's better to be first mover advantage. They're not doing anything at all. So I wrote this book and it was our first ever book. And it was kind of like an ebook it's called the step-by-step guide to lease options. And so we were up until about 1230 at night, we just finished it. We put a little pier, polling, got a little late site together. And we got all our business cards and we got all the little emails address. We put them into outlook. And by that time they didn't have any spam traps back then. So you could send as many emails as you want. So we sent all these emails and I got up in the morning. I kid you not, we saw 369 copies at 47 pound each we mean 17,443 pounds whilst we were sleeping. Wow. When was this? What year was this? Thousand and nine, 2010 around that. That's a long Time to be in the information space. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I started sort of studying this stuff when I was 21 and that was an eye opener for me because I didn't really know about that stuff. You know, I just made money in real estate and people kept asking me how you do it. Right. So I just thought to, to figure things out, start to save my time. And then eventually what happened is we got a book deal, right? So from speaking a lot, then, you know, these promoters would record videos and then put them on YouTube and then people would see these videos. And then one day I get a message from Wiley publishing. You know, they see a video on YouTube. They send a message to Vincent longs, my business partner, his Facebook page. He sends it to me, says, this company wants you to write a book they're based in Singapore where you fly to Singapore. It's just ridiculous. I remember flying out there for a day. And by that time I'd already gained like a little following, not too much, but you know, like five or 10,000 people, it wasn't massive, but that's how I got the book deal. It wasn't self published. It was a book that I walked into the airport. So my book would be on the That's really neat. So you got the book deal with Wiley. And was that like the big tipping point for you and to big audience platform growth or no, no, No. It wasn't people think when you get a book deal, you're going to be famous. Really not the case. I thought a second, I wrote this book and put my heart and soul into this. Why have I been sold like billions of copies? And what I realized was that you got to write the book and you're going to promote it, right. It's not for them to promote. They just kind of stick their name on there. So it was an interesting insight. And that's what I learned. So that's when I started to promote. So for example, people said to me, look, if you want to get your book out there, you need to learn social media. So I'll tell you what happened. And I know the exact date for this on March 31st, 2017, I put a video out there and it was called the 10 habits of self-made millionaires. And this video reach 10 million people, 10 million people. And we had 65,000 likes, 6,000 comments and 44,000 people shared the post. I remember waking up that day and just seeing like, how come all these people like following me now? And I hadn't been using social media back then I'll put a few videos on YouTube here and there. And they did okay. They did like a hundred views, a thousand views here, 200 views here, but I didn't really take social media that seriously. Right? It was only after when that happened. I thought, Oh my God, this social media thing is a big thing. And that's when I started investing in time in videos and content in Instagram, and last what's led to this 5 million people falling into on social media. You know, there's a lot of people and I've worked with a lot of big audiences. Like at one point in time, I had access to the pixel data for the makeup company unique. So I've worked in massive, massive, massive audience. And your audience is uniquely engaged with you. So it's not a massive audience that has no affinity to you. Or they're just there. You're not one of those guys that just has a bunch of numbers. Like you have people that are like raving fans. You have people that are showing up. You did it the right way, rather than, you know, just saying, Hey, I got 3 million now, all good to go. And you know, there was that story. What was it like a year ago or so that the girl had like a million followers somewhere and she couldn't sell 20 t-shirts. She had the numbers and she was on so popular, so popular, so popular, but she put out this t-shirt campaign whenever like Teespring or whatever was popular. And you had to sell like 20 in order for them to print. And she never hit the 20 Mark. It went viral because everybody was trolling her on Twitter because that's what you do on Twitter. You go troll everybody else. So when this video took off and you started to see these people leaning into you, and you're probably getting a bunch of messages and a bunch more exposure, is that the tipping point at that point that you knew that like this was going to be a really wild ride? Yeah. In 2018, that's when I started seeing big growth in my social media. And partly because that's where my focus went and I've got this in one of my slides. You see my following kind of flattened in 2018, it's got this exponential growth and that's when it all starts up. And then I wrote a book called business hack, which is the wealth dragon way to operating a business in the digital age. So I started writing about, and that's when everything started blowing up. I mean, it's almost like all these years of being in the trenches was the preparation for where I am today. It makes a lot of sense. So tell us what's going on in your world today outside of clubhouse and networking and grinding and social media. Tell us about the business you run today. I have a company called wealth dragons and that's one of my companies. We do a lot of phobic calls self-education or financial education. You know, we run events in, you know, how to invest in real estate and held, invest in stock, how to start your business, how to become an entrepreneur, how to use social media marketing and grow a brand. So we have different trainings, but we also have an app. So we have an app called wealth dragons. It's almost like this self-development that for Netflix. So it's on the app store and Android. So people can check that out during lockdown we've created or creating, we're going to beat as soon, that's going to be a software it's called Mandy, M E M B B Y. And that's going to be a software that can allow people to create a membership site in 10 minutes. So people can create videos or audio, upload it and get paid for it. And that's something we work. And obviously I buy real estate as well, and the UK is going to be a good year this year. So yeah, that's kind of stuff I'm working on. My goal is for my company to take it to a billion dollar valuation in the next five or 10 years. So that's what I'm constantly focused on. So John, thank you for taking your time today. I know you're a busy man. I mean, you're running a publicly traded company. You're spending hours in clubhouse, you know, you're just busy. So thanks for taking some time. Where can our listeners connect with you? Any social media, if you just go to Instagram and type in John Lee, by the way, if you're going to follow him on social and make sure you're following the right accounts, the blue verified tick, and a lot of people create fake accounts of mine saying, Oh, private, DM job. That's not my, I do not send messages unless it's from my verified account with a blue tick. So if in doubt, please send my office a message, but you can go to YouTube tack in John Lee. You'll see a lot of my videos there as well. So yeah. Any social media? Thank you so much, John. Awesome. I appreciate it. Thanks for taking some time to listen to John Lee and I today, we spent some time talking to you about how you can buy back your time, even all the way up to 24 hours, how you can focus on networking, how you can build an engaged audience and ultimately how you can take a leap of faith, because life is all about doing what you love and going to zero. If you enjoyed today's episode, you're not going to want to miss any of the episodes that we have. So make sure you hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app and you'll get every new episode that we release. Thanks again, podcast family. If you want to get direct access to me, open up your web browser and type in gary.club, enter your email address. And my team will show you a free gift right away. Then I want you to reach out and introduce yourself because I would love to get to know each and every one of our listeners, we reply to every single message we get. So do me a favor and go to gary.club right now to get your free gift and direct access to me and my team.<inaudible>.