This Is Why You Shouldn’t Trade Time For Money

by Ben Handler

September 16, 2020

Buyer's Agent Oliver Jackson on why you shouldn't trade time for money

Oliver Jackson:

Yeah, I, I now focus 95% on investors and my thing is buy something 60 seventies eighties we value our potential, so something that can be renovated so you can increase your equity and something that can be subdivided. Not everyone subdivides it’s only a small number of people that want to go down that path because you need the cash take some time. Some people think it’s stressful, I help them with that, but some people still don’t want to do it, but I still like to buy properties. It can be renovated at Valley a hundred percent

Ben Handler:

Welcome to the Buyer’s Agent Institute Show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyers agents to bring awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing to people to bring awareness around the value that buyers agents are providing to people who need help buying property. Our goal is to strip back and dive into the remarkable journeys of buyer’s agents who are paving the way forward in one of the fastest growing career sectors in Australia. Right now. Our guest today is Oliver Jackson. Oli comes all the way from Melbourne. He’s currently running his buyer’s agent business called living property. He’s got a very colourful background. He’s worked in three different industries. He’s worked in hospitality, he’s worked in fitness, and he’s worked in construction and he’s own businesses within these sectors or some of these sectors before. So he’s got an understanding of what it’s like to be an employee and a business owner.

Ben Handler:

And while he was doing all of this, he built a portfolio. He built a portfolio worth around $3 million. So he’s got a knack for investing and he’s also renovated properties himself. So he really gets in deep with what he does with these property investing for his clients. Oli’s now buying on a national level across different States and I’m really excited to dive into his story because he, as I said, he’s got a very colourful story. So today I’d like to introduce Oliver Jackson. Welcome mate. Thanks for having me buddy. Good to have you. Here it is. It’s going to be here. I remember when we first spoke, you were, I believe, driving. I was driving, I think you were, you were working construction, so you were driving from near the Mornington Mornington potential area into the city. So it was obviously probably, what is it, a one and a half, two hour commute?

Oliver Jackson:

Yeah, two and a half hours every day. Both ways.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, I mean that that must be, I mean, how did you, I mean I know you, your education, you like it, so you’d have been listening to podcasts and doing like reading, listening to audios and stuff. But that commute, I always think about when I’m driving out of the city and I see people stuck in traffic. I was like doing that every day. Like dude, that was that. Was that a trouble?

Oliver Jackson:

The trouble for it drove me insane. It was, I’m 45 cause I was in construction so it was a six 30 start. So you know, you’re, you’re 45 minutes on the way to work. Not too bad sometimes two and a half hours on the way home. I mean you can, you can listen to a hundred podcasts a week or you know, do two or three audio books a week, which is great. But you know, you don’t want to be sitting in traffic so you can read a book. You know, I’d rather be at home sitting on the couch reading a book. So yeah, it was after about three or four years made it got, yeah, it was pretty torturous to be honest. And you got two twins? Yeah, I’ve got three year old twins, boy and a girl. So you’re very cute on it. I’m sure you’d prefer to be spending time with them, which you do now, right? 100% right. I’d rather you’re sitting in traffic driving home for two and half hours thinking about your kids when you get home. But by the time you get there, after a long day at work and then a whole day, a two and a half hours of driving, you get home and you’re like, ah, drained. I’ve just noticed you’re wearing quit the nine to five tee shirt.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, respect. I’m not wearing mine minds be kind, but I guess they’re both good t-shirts. Digressing, seq then. So one thing I didn’t mention, I said you’d worked in construction. We always see getting paid a really large salary. You’ve run your own business in hospitality and also fitness, but you also have worked in the circus.

Oliver Jackson:

Yeah, I grew up in a circus when I was a kid. Um, it’s like my second family. So we, I grew up in camera, but travel with the circus pretty much up until the age of 18, 19. Um, yeah, pretty different. Awesome childhood. Um, I still go to the circus regularly and yes, it’s still family.

Ben Handler:

What was your role in the circus?

Oliver Jackson:

Uh, I was a clown. There’s like a acrobats, a bit of juggling used to do the flying trapeze and stuff, but not, not in the show. It wasn’t that good. Should we do some juggling now? Maybe not for now. I’m assuming. You’re still quite good.

Ben Handler:

Cool. So it’s interesting. A lot of the discussions I had with people on, on this show, they’ve transitioned from a lot of the, a lot of the careers. There’s been some level of unfulfillment, some haven’t, some have actually enjoyed what they’re doing. But I know your last role was in construction and you obviously commuting a lot. It seemed like you underground. So what were you doing in construction?

Oliver Jackson:

Um, so I worked in high rise construction, so see if MEU union work. I was a fencer, so I used to build fences, um, a lot of carpark onto groundwork. So in a car park, 12 hours a day, and then I was making two 50 to 320 grand a year. So pretty good money, obviously pretty hard to leave. Ah, that’s why every construction work in Melbourne. It does it for 30 years because where else can someone go and make 300 grand a year to work in the construction side? You know? So it is pretty hard to leave that kind of grind when you’re making that kind of money. But um, yeah, I’m glad I’m out of there.

Ben Handler:

Not much sunlight. Yeah. It must be tough conditions being underground like that all day.

Oliver Jackson:

Yeah, my days. It’s a different vibe, that’s for sure. You’re in, you know, Fluor lights, concrete construction work is 12 hours a day, even 12 hours a day in any building or any job’s hard enough, let alone on a half-finished building when it’s freezing cold in Melbourne in winter. It’s pretty taxing.

Ben Handler

This may be a generalizations, so I, I’m assuming this or you can call it out if you think it’s completely off, but I would think, I mean, I studied construction university. I was supposed to get any construction. I didn’t get into it, but you would think that most construction people, they get a lot of them that do get paid. Well, some don’t. But you’d think that a lot of them just spend their money stupidly, like they would come out of their careers. Tradies especially not with a lot of assets that may be incorrect. Do you, I do think there’s truth to that. And B, what prompted you to start investing in property?

Oliver Jackson:

80 to 90% of construction workers piss their money away. You know, everyone’s got the newest mellow, they all drink too much. When you’re working that many hours, your wife and your family, it’s depressing. So a lot of the guys drink a lot like gamble, you know, you’ve got a load of spare time when you’re driving. People gamble heaps. So you know, everyone’s not overly educated like a lot of the laborers and so on. Um, know I wasn’t, I was never went to uni. I never had a degree, like my $300,000 a year and I never had a degree. You know what I mean? It’s, there’s a lot of people like that, so a lot of people would just piss their money away. Like when you’re making that kind of money year after year, you just think it’s endless. I’ve always wanted to get into property when I was younger, but I was too busy partying when I was, you know, my 18 to 25, um, always thought about it. So as soon as I had the money coming in, that’s the first thing I wanted to do. Plus I was really handy on the tools for my job. So it kind of just all made sense.

Ben Handler:

You and so I’m assuming you were renovating the apartment.

Oliver Jackson:

It’s 100% yeah. Every property I’ve ever bought, I’ve renovated myself. Wow. Good thing about construction is every single trade. He’s on site every day. So I just got an electrician, a plumber, everyone from site paid them cash off the work to come and help me. So it was great. It was pretty good for that.

Ben Handler:

I like that. And so maybe not the cash part, let’s just until the text about, so what about, you just bought something recently. I know for a client, a subdivision. Yup. Have you ventured out now completely with your clients that you’re buying investments for where they’re looking for renos? Some of them are doing a strict buy and hold, some are doing subdivision [inaudible]. Are you now working with a whole mixed bag of clients?

Oliver Jackson:

Yeah, on our focus 95% on investors and my thing is buy something 60 seventies eighties evaluate potential, so something that can be so you can increase your equity and something that can be subdivided. Not everyone subdivides it’s only a small number of people that want to go down that path because you need the cash takes some time. Some people think is stressful. I help them with that, but some people still don’t want to do it, but I still like to buy properties. It can be renovated

Ben Handler:

at value a hundred percent yeah, I agree with that. Even if it’s a small like cosmetic Apple paint or just something basic and you spend $10,000 it’s crazy what the difference, what you can do in terms of upside. Yeah, I agree with that. That’s a big one. A lot of people think they need to do at least structural renos. Yeah. Money. You don’t need to know

Oliver Jackson:

30 grand. You can do a house like, you know, it’s paint and your kitchen. Bathroom is, things are cheap these days. Um, it’s not that hard to do. There’s a so many companies out there that can help you do it. It’s, it’s not what it used to be.

Ben Handler:

How are you enjoying the new life? Because it’s not easy starting any business, especially being a buyer’s agent. It’s not just super easy. It’s got its challenges. But I also think with the challenges of a buyer’s agent, when you join the career, there’s so many wins outside of the financial gain. Like the freedom and the flexibility and the autonomy that it outweighs a lot of the other stuff, which can be maybe not earning money as quickly as you want it to. What, what’s been your experience?

Oliver Jackson:

The hardest part was going from 300K to, not that that’s a big adjustment, but you know, I built up my portfolio over the years to a point where I could, I could do it. I could, I could quit my job and I could’ve taken two, three, four years off if I really wanted to. So I kind of had that flexibility, which is good. But the time that I have now to do what I want to do is unbelievable. Man. I get some bike, my kids up, have breakfast, I could have lunch, I can have dinner with them. I can block out days like a week, two, three, four days a week. Like you work as hard as you want to. Um, obviously the harder you work and more money you make, but the flexibility of the, of the running of the business is unbelievable.

Ben Handler:

You get to understand work life balance a hundred percent. It’s just life, not just work. Yeah. You get to understand that whole integrated cause when you like, when you like what you’re doing. I’m assuming underground doing a large commute on the way to work and then spending time underground and driving home. I mean there’s not much of the life and the balance.

Oliver Jackson:

There’s a lot of work. I did six days a week, so for seven years, so Sundays, mildly day. And I mean Sunday you just need a rest. So my only real die outside was Sunday cause Melbourne’s pretty cold and winter it’s pretty dark. So I literally woke up, went to work in the dark at five in the morning, got home at seven o’clock at night in the dark. It’s pretty, pretty intense.

Ben Handler:

Must feel like. Yeah, you’re reborn. Don’t feel like, I honestly don’t feel like I’ve worked a day since I quit my job. You said earlier that, which I can understand it was not walking away from a 300 K income, which is big to zero. What really prompted you? Like what was the key thing that prompted you to make that decision? Cause that, that, that you need a lot of courage and you’ve got a family. You’ve got, you know, two young, beautiful kids…

Oliver Jackson:

Before I quit my job, I was doing both. It’s trying to, it was very hard. When you’re underground, you get no reception, pretty hard to have meetings and you rock up and you try to gear and you try to say your buyer’s agent doesn’t really work. Um, I actually broke my hand. I just had surgery the other day and I had three months off. So I was like getting work cover three months off. As soon as I broke my hand I was like, that’s it. I’m never going back to construction again. It’s like it happened. I was in the hospital and that was it. That’s I’m looking back. What was it?

Ben Handler:

Well like I understand it could’ve just been like an intro, something intuitive or outside of the hand, like, and that, that might’ve been it. I’m assuming just that icing on the cake. But was there something, was there a moment or did something happen where you were just like the day?

Oliver Jackson:

I think it was like June 15th. I actually remember this. I was listening to the podcast of you on, um, SPI. That’s when we spoke. I did the cost. That’s the day I decided that’s it. I’m quitting. But I, I couldn’t just quit cause obviously I have a family, I’ve mortgages. So my plan, my plan was to finish the next year in March, but then the hand happened in, uh, September, October. And that was when it was done. So I had already made the plan. It was just my, I had to plan it properly so I couldn’t just quit one day that I planned it, but then it just happened a bit sooner than it was meant to.

Ben Handler:

It’s awesome. It’s awesome. And that’s, yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s what I’m, that my deeper intention that I do with the program is not just to become a buyer’s agent. That’s uh, an output of the service we provide, but it’s to activate change. And so, uh, it’s, it’s awesome to hear that you were inspired and, and you, you are an action taker. So I’m not surprised. You kind of threw the talent like you did. So now you’re running living property, you’re focusing primarily on investment. You’re buying in a few different States. Every state except the Northern territory. Yeah. We don’t, I don’t know any buyer’s agents in Northern territory. Why? No friends to the Northern territory, but, and I believe it’s the hardest state to get your license and yeah, no, not many agents there. Okay. Um, are you doing any principal place residents purchasing?

Oliver Jackson:

I was, but I’ve gone to the investment of, I was finding, um, being a marriage counsellor too much with the principle place of residence, too much, a lot of emotion, a lot of indecision offended, quite difficult. Not difficult, but it was just when you’ve got someone dealing with, let’s make some money, this is the numbers with an investment property, this is your return. This is what I want. This is what you’re going to get. Simple. It’s, everyone is on the same page, but when you’re talking to someone buying a home for the rest of their life, it’s an amazing feeling. Buying it for someone and being involved in it because you’re in their life for the rest of their life. But to get there with some people is very difficult, especially when husband and wife most of the time aren’t on the same page, but they don’t tell you. Do you know what I mean? You think at first it’s all good and then as time goes on, you realized, hang on, these two years, I’m agreeing on this. And it just, it was very draining. So I uh, yeah, I’ve gone to the investment model and I’m loving it.

Ben Handler:

I see. I mean, I always say there’s a lot of emotional investment. I still believe a different emotion. Sidestepping what’s, you’ve obviously the, you’ve done a lot in terms of transition with your career in life. What’s your definition of success now? Fright. Time freedom.

Oliver Jackson:

I mean, you need money. Money’s great, but it’s time to see my kids grow up, to be mentally fit, physically fit, have time to, I’m training for a marathon at the moment. It takes hours of running, of stretching, of yoga, of fitness. It’s pretty hard to do that when you work 12 hours a day. So that is all in my actual daily calendar. I have my running, my yoga, my meditation is in my calendar, so I cannot book that in for any clients or anything. It’s all in there. I couldn’t have any chance I could do that before.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. I mean we were talking earlier, you came from Melbourne today. You had a coaching session with someone today or for the whole day and you said you got up at what time? Three 30 to go for a run to actually go for a run or run a three 30 ran to the gym, the train did something. I got caught applying here at 6:00 AM unbelievable health is important and we were talking about, this is for me, I mean it’s number one. Number one you have to be able to serve yourself or you can serve others and time. Talking about time, I meantime am the most important thing on this planet. The only thing you can’t buy more of. Yeah. And so it’s just nice that you’re valuing it more and you appreciate it more and you’re more aware of it. I mean I, I, I feel like I am to an extent, but at times I’m not, and I feel like a lot of people who are stuck in jobs that really don’t need to be there. It’s true, sometimes it’s, to me it’s a true definition. They don’t appreciate time enough. I’d say.

Oliver Jackson:

I don’t understand a lot of people that like, I don’t think they’ve hit that aha moment where they like you don’t need to be here. What are you doing? Like it’s just the rat race. Like they’re stuck in that habit. It’s like to break that habit. He’s so hard for so many people, like how many people are unhappy? Like probably 90% of the world are unhappy with what they do. It’s, it’s crazy. So to break that habit was quite confronting to actually do it. But you know, when you walk through the role of mirrors and the other side, it’s amazing.

Ben Handler:

How have you changed now since you’ve stepped into this new role as a business owner? Working in property, building relationships, serving clients, uh, getting your time back, more freedom, seeing your kids, spending more time in the sun, repairing your mitochondria. No, just getting healthier. How have you changed every way possible now?

Oliver Jackson:

I’m much more calm, relaxed, much healthier now feel I feel, I’m like, I’m 25 again. You know, I’m nearly 40. It’s crazy that I feel younger than I’ll get with felt fitter, healthier. I’m pretty much in every way. The most important thing is just to ha get to hang out. My kids, like when you, when you have kids and then you’re at work all the time, you never get the same. It’s like what’s the point in having him? I can’t, I didn’t get what people have kids if they’re gonna be at work all day because when they grow up, you can’t, you’re not going to get that time back again when they’re young.

Ben Handler:

It’s an interesting one. I mean I don’t have kids, I’ve got cats and sometimes I feel guilty seriously, just not spending enough time with them and I get that and, and that, and I would feel guilty if I had kids that I couldn’t spend time with them. It’d be challenging not seeing them grow up and being there with them. And so I’ve been, but you know, some people could argue and say, well we have to work, but I think we’ve all had choices with what we decided to do with our time and how we work and how we make money and we’ve all got choices. Right, exactly.

Oliver Jackson:

Wait. And then you know, throwing away my TV was probably the biggest thing for me to do the shift cause I used to go home, watch TV to siren out and I wouldn’t think I’d just be sitting there just watching some Shaun Netflix or whatever, got rid of my TV and started just reading and educating myself and that just opened up my health, my fitness, like my mind. Everything just changed. As soon as I kind of switched it off from the rest of what the rest of the world is kind of doing like I just stopped caring about what everyone else is doing. It is solely focused on that.

Ben Handler:

Throwing away the TV to create the shift. I haven’t had a TV, I can’t even remember how, when was the last time I had its own a TV, but I completely agree with you. TV is a game-changer. People say no devices before bed and all know this and know that most of us throw the TV out because the TV is brainwashing people. It’s, it’s, there’s a lot of garbage on there. It’s negative. The media is or is designed to program us a certain way, so the more we can get away from that, the better. And I, and I think the TV can create dramatic shifts because it’s a, it’s a distraction that we don’t have and so we may pick up another distraction which may be reading a book, which I think is a better distraction at times if it’s a distraction. But I really do believe what you just said is that TV can create the shift

Oliver Jackson:

100% it’s like so many people say that I’d have no time, I can’t, I can’t do that. I’ve got my time. But then they’ll watch seven episodes of desperate Housewives. It’s like what you found for us to do that I’m sure he could’ve have done it. Somebody else.

Ben Handler:

It seems like you’re moving with a new flow. I mean, I didn’t know you very well before. We’ve obviously formed a friendship since you’ve become a buyer’s agent and you’ve, you’ve, you’re transforming a lot daily, which is great to see and you look a lot happier when you see someone, like whether it’s a friend or not a friend who is not really enjoying what they’re doing with their work. Like do you empathize with them? Do you speak to them about it or you just sit there and just let them walk through it or, no, I try.

Oliver Jackson:

I try my hardest to first, it was a real thought. I was crazy. Like why would you quit a job where you get paid so well? And then it was first-year crazy and then it was, shit, I wish I hadn’t done that. So now you can only, you can only try and help your friends like this. You know, why don’t you try it? But people are scared. People are scared to make the shift or they have excuses. I’m like, well, you can do both. You don’t have to be a buyer’s agent. This can be any business tool, any hobby or side hustle you want to do. But then people give you the, I have no time. So, or they drink too much or they have their escapes. It’s like, Oh you can do is try and help them and it’s their life. So you kind of doesn’t want to spend too much energy on other people cause then it’s taken away from yourself. But 100% if I see friends that are unhappy, I’ll just lead by example. Just okay. Believe in the joint.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. Great mate. Listen, it’s been awesome hearing about your shift and the journey from the circus to the Audubon hospitality, fitness, construction, and then having the courage to get out, especially the basement where you’re earning 300 K to really follow a deeper purpose for yourself. A well done. It’s been inspiring to see you do this and live this and it’s awesome. So I appreciate our discussion. So thank you. Thank you very much. Where can people find you?

Oliver Jackson:

LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, all over. Jackson buyer’s agent. Uh, www.living. property.com.au.

Ben Handler:

Okay. Too easy. Well, thank you. Great to chat. So, there’s a story for you and whether you’ve got a diverse background like Oli or you don’t, it can be very challenging to make a change and shift career and change is not easy. Uncertainty is not easy because we all want to know what exists in the future, but sometimes we don’t. We just need to lead with our intuition and I always think a good gauge it’s Sunday night is, is if you’re happy on Sunday night and looking forward to work, it’s a very good litmus test. It’s a very simple test to realize are you actually happy with what you’re doing. So if you’re sitting there and you’re actually not happy with what you’re doing on Sunday night, whatever it is you may want to do, you may want to start considering changing your career. And as Oli was saying, and as we were discussing around time, you can’t buy time. We can buy a lot of other things, but we can’t buy time. It’s very valuable and we really need to use it wisely. So check out our elite livingproperty.com.au national investment model. See you next week.

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