My name is Izzy and I am living my dream… almost!
I have a long way to go, but after two decades of working very hard to make other people rich, always putting myself and my loved ones second, it feels amazing to be in this position.
This site is for anyone, of any age, and I hope that by sharing my experiences I can help you too. But you are especially welcome if you are in your late 30s, 40s or beyond and fearing you have left it too late to fulfil your dreams. Trust me, you haven’t. Now is ALWAYS the best time to start!
I am living proof that life begins at 40!
And that it gets better and better the older you get!
What do I do?
Right now, 80% of my focus is on the bathroom business that my partner Dean – aka Baldy – and I are building together. In the past 18 months we have gone from both being self-employed sole traders to a partnership to a VAT-registered limited company – quite the learning curve.
I also have a small marketing business designing and hosting websites and producing corporate videos, although I am not very active on that at the moment – that one probably takes up 5% focus right now.
The other 15% of my focus is this site, which isn’t really a business, but is a record that I am keeping of our journey. I don’t really have a fixed goal, but here are three reasons why I am doing this:
1. It is just such an exciting adventure that it doesn’t feel right to keep it to myself.
2. If I can help someone else through my experiences that will be great!
And most importantly:
3. There’s nothing like broadcasting your secrets to the world to keep you accountable.
I am no expert in the Law of Attraction but since Dean and I made the decision to change our lives, amazing things have happened and fallen into place in incredible ways. Maybe it’s God, maybe it’s the Law of Attraction, maybe we just got lucky. But before I began this journey people told me that once you take action things do start to happen, and I can only agree with them.
Trust me, I fumbled around for YEARS before I finally found my path. I can’t begin to describe the frustration of not knowing which direction to take.
If like me you have tried a few things but nothing has quite worked out, don’t worry. Maybe you needed to try those things to know if it is for you or not. And you will have learned from all of them, believe me.
So how did it all begin?
I am a trained Journalist and spent four years working on an evening newspaper, followed by nearly 20 years working in television, as a Producer and Director, but I always knew I wanted to have my own business.
I was always quite entrepreneurial – I bought some rental property, I started a couple of businesses that never really got off the ground, mostly because of the demands of my day job, so I never felt I was getting anywhere.
Then, on the Hallowe’en weekend of 2013, I stood in the kitchen with Dean as torrential rain beat horizontally against the windows. We made the decision to take control of our lives – the best decision I have ever made.
At the time I was a regular director on the American TV show ‘Househunters International’ and travelled all over the world filming people as they chose a home in a new country, most trips lasting just under a week.
Dean was a self-employed builder, and although he could have got bigger he always had to work around my career. We had vaguely talked about me joining his business, but couldn’t afford to lose my wage. We had a big mortgage, and we felt stuck.
In October 2013 I produced the first ever episode of HHI set in our home city, Leeds, in West Yorkshire, England. It was a love letter, really, from my heart to the city that I adore.
Images of my beloved city of Leeds
The couple were great, filming was going well and it was a joy to be putting Leeds on to the HGTV network but still I always found it super stressful.
That night it was a treat to go home and not to a hotel room, but Dean had been working all day and was exhausted. We both felt like we had to constantly run faster and faster, just to stay still. We decided then and there that we had to take control of our lives.
Five years earlier, my first ever Househunters International shoot took place in West London, with a lovely South African property investor. Her companion was a very friendly Welsh guy called Kevin Green – I didn’t realise it at the time but he was her mentor. He gave me his card and told me he ran property courses. At the time I already owned three houses ‘for my pension’ and couldn’t think what there was to know that I didn’t already.
Oh, what a fool I was!
Still, I kept hold of his card and it was his name that I googled when Dean and I made that decision.
Kevin had a training event coming up in a few weeks’ time, in London. It was a HUGE eye-opener! I realised then how little I knew about the world of business and making money. We signed up for some business coaching and spent the next few days wondering if we had made the right decision.
I also signed up to a superb course a few weeks’ later on Internet Marketing, run by Simon Coulson, internet guru. Once again I discovered just how little I knew about anything!
You don’t know what you don’t know – but once you find out how little you know, that changes everything!
The following few years were spent in a mixture of learning, courses, developing and putting into practice. We were both working full time, and I was constantly away, but where we could we put into practice our new learnings. I started building websites in my hotel rooms, I set up hosting for them and produced a few corporate videos when I could.
In 2015 we had the opportunity to move across the country to do a joint venture with family members – split and renovate their large property, then sell both sides and split the profit. We took the chance, tied up plans, moved over and began the work – then ruined everything by deciding to stay in our new location!
So the first half of the building was completed early 2016 and let to tenants.
The second part has become our home and is still a renovation project.
Without selling, we needed to raise money from elsewhere and so we established Dean’s building business here, with both of us working on it. We were finally doing what we had dreamed of, working together on the same business, and I no longer had to spend most of my time away from home. I am thankful every day that I can stay at home with our dogs (even if I am mostly sat at the computer).
Six months or so in, we decided to specialise in bathrooms and wetrooms. Dean was already an experienced bathroom installer so it was a natural move. Specialising was a huge game-changer. At last we could start to shout about ourselves and how good we were!
Our bathroom business has only been going for a few months so, although the signs are good, it is still very early days. I’m confident we will make it, but I’m not counting any chickens just yet.
And that is only the start of my plans… there are so many other things I am planning to do!
As 2018 begins, we are deep in renovation with this, the second half of the original property. Dean is working all day on bathrooms and late into the night on this house. Life is good, but it’s pretty tough at the moment. And I will NEVER, EVER live in a house at the same time of renovating, ever again. Although I’m sure I have said that before!
When it’s complete, this will become the latest in our property portfolio. I LOVE property, and I’m planning on doing much more in it.
I have a looooooong to-do list. All those businesses I ever dreamed of starting over the years – well, some of them WILL make it.
Ultimately, I want to be rich. Even though that’s kind of frowned upon, even though it’s seen almost as a dirty word. Yes, I want to be rich. Not because I want fast cars and fancy things (sorry, if that’s what you’re into) but because I want to be able to make a difference in the world and to support the things that I am passionate about.
After all those years of wondering what to do with my life, wondering which business to go into and wondering how we would escape the cycle that we had become trapped in, I’m so happy to say we made it.
We’ve finally stopped circling round and round the roundabout, constantly questioning which path to take. Now we are speeding along the motorway, gathering momentum and making progress.
I so hope you can make it here too!