Samuel Leeds interviewed by talk show queen Trisha Goddard!
The inspirational story of how Property Investors founder Samuel Leeds repaid his former teacher for always believing in him has been broadcast to audiences across the UK and USA.
The presenter, who made her name on the ITV morning talk show Trisha, said it was a story that needed to be told. A video of the star interviewing Samuel was also screened on social media platforms including talkRADIO’s YouTube channel.
During the show the multi-millionaire property entrepreneur said he never forgot the way Deborah Hey-Smith always had faith in him even though he was constantly in trouble at school.
When she was made redundant years later, he became her teacher, empowering her to become a successful property investor who now enjoys a healthy passive income.
And that certainly impressed the celebrity host who was also ‘wowed’ by Samuel’s alternative views on education.
Samuel described how he suffered from Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and even sat on a special needs desk at school.
He told the talk show queen that as a pupil he was bereft of hope and had low expectations.
“I was often getting detention and one time I got suspended from the school for a week. It wasn’t for anything really malicious or really bad. It was because I was so bored. I just did not like school at all.”
But Mrs Hey-Smith was one of the only teachers at the Emmanuel School in Walsall who he felt encouraged and understood him.
“She seemed to see something that the others didn’t. For a start she seemed to actually like me. You kind of know if someone doesn’t like you – kids aren’t stupid. If they just talk about you in the staff room and roll their eyes you almost live up to that. With Mrs Hey-Smith I used to always be really good in her class because I thought, well she likes me and I don’t want her to stop liking me.”
He also revealed that it was Mrs Hey-Smith who enabled him to believe he could have an exciting future.
“She used to tell me I was going to be so successful and that she was excited for me. I thought it was really weird, but I wanted to live up to the belief that she had in me, even though I didn’t have that belief in myself at the time.”
Asked if she had been right in predicting a bright future for him, Samuel replied:
“Well, success is subjective, but I’ve been very successful in business, and I’ve gone on to become a multi-millionaire. I’ve got a very large property portfolio. I restore buildings, I build houses from scratch and I’ve got a castle that I own – a Grade II listed building. I’m also happily married with three absolutely beautiful children, so I think she probably was right!”
Trisha was bowled over by his response.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, so how did you get from that kid who couldn’t sit still and had dyslexia and ADHD – because this is a powerful message for any other kid who’s been labelled with those things or been told they have conditions. How did you get from that to where you are now?”
Samuel replied that when he was at school, he believed there were just two options. You could either go down the academic route and go to university or do something practical with your hands such as being a builder. He said he even thought of becoming a dustbin man because he was hardworking, fit and enjoyed being outside.
“‘What I didn’t realise was there was a third route which was entrepreneurship. I think a lot of schools don’t teach kids about money, about finance, about being a business owner. When I left school at 16, I read a book by Robert Kiyosaki, who I actually know now. It was called Rich Dad, Poor Dad and that book was all about money, and it was about passive income and real estate.
“I just thought, you know what, I failed in school, but why don’t I just pursue this path?”
He started attending business events and learning about property and investments. Over time, he became a letting agent and an estate agent. He bought his first house as a teenager and from then on just started accumulating properties.
“When they went up in value, I refinanced them and bought more. I pulled investors in, and I just got really good at it.”
Samuel stressed that part of his mission today is to impress on youngsters that it is possible for them to become business owners and investors.
He told Trisha about his charity in Africa and how he is in the process of building schools in Uganda in liaison with education officials there.
“I’ve said I’ll pay for the buildings as long as you let me have an input in the school curriculum.”
Trisha was amazed that all this had started with the belief Mrs Hey-Smith had in him becoming a success.
They kept in touch after he left school, and he felt shocked to see how little income she had compared to him.
“I didn’t realise that teachers weren’t paid that well…I was buying nice houses, going on nice holidays and she couldn’t afford to do that a lot. I thought that it wasn’t really fair that she was struggling to keep up with a mortgage.”
When Mrs Hey-Smith, 64, lost her job, she called Samuel, explaining that she was disappointed with her pension and asked if he could help.
“I became Mrs Hey-Smith’s teacher in business, and I helped her get on the investment ladder. Now she owns a string of properties and gets paid as a full-time property investor. She’s come out to Africa with me to help with my charity work in Zambia and Uganda, and we’re really good friends. She is now financially independent.”
Trisha, who was recently interviewed herself by Piers Morgan as part of his Life Stories TV series, said she loved the way Samuel had repaid Mrs Hey-Smith.
“Oh Samuel, gosh did we need to hear that story today. I love that. I love how it comes full circle. I so passionately believe we funnel too many children into university, into higher education.
“I think there’s a lot of them who don’t need to be there, who buckle under the stress and have all sorts of mental health situations because basically that’s not where their heart lies.”
Trisha believes Samuel’s backstory could be extremely powerful for any young person who might feel they are at a crossroads in life. She asked what his advice would be to young people who do not want to go to university and do not know where they are going in life.
“Well, I think it’s important to know that there is another way and that is to be an entrepreneur, to be a business owner,” he said.
“You go to school to learn how to get good grades so that you can then get into university, so that then ultimately you can get a job. And the reason for a job is to make money. But you can skip the job part and you can go straight into just studying money and learn how to make money.
“There are certain kids that I see today, who stand out a mile because I can relate to them. They are doing things like paper rounds and washing cars. If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit to make money, I would say maybe consider going down the business route because there is a third way.
“Just because you might not be good in school doesn’t mean that you won’t be successful in life!”
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