// PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

How I overcome a £65m property portfolio collapse with Gavin Gallagher Transcript

Greg Wilkes (00:01):

The construction industry can be a tough business to crack from cashflow problems. Struggling to find skilled labor and not making enough money for your efforts leaves many business owners feeling frustrated and burnt out. But when you get the business strategy right, it’s an industry that can be highly satisfying and financially rewarding. I’m here to give you the resources to be able to create a construction business that gives you more time, more freedom, and more money. This is the Develop Your Construction Business podcast, and I’m your host, Greg Wilkes.



Greg Wilkes (00:42):

So our podcast today, we’re talking to Gavin Gallagher. Now, Gavin was recently a guest at my live event in London just a few months back, and his story was absolutely incredible, and everyone there at the event said, we really loved it and we learned so much. So I thought it’d be awesome if we could get him on the podcast so you could have a listen too. Now, Gavin is an expert in property developing. His story is fantastic because it starts from really rags to riches and then how when he was at his peak, it all went wrong. But what’s fascinating about this story is how Gavin got himself back on track again and the mindset and resilience it took for him to be able to do that. So there’s some real gems and lessons that you’re going to be able to learn, and I know you’re going to enjoy this one. Gavin, welcome to the podcast. Great to have you on.


Gavin Gallagher (01:26):

Great, Greg. It’s great to be here and nice to see you again after London.


Greg Wilkes (01:31):

Yeah, and that’s why I wanted to have you on this podcast because London was a resounding success. So I had many talk to me afterwards and say how interested they were in your story and how inspiring it was. So I thought, well, we need to spread the message to a few more, so let’s get you on.


Gavin Gallagher (01:45):

Cool. Let’s go.


Greg Wilkes (01:47):

Brilliant. So Gavin, for those that don’t know you, maybe first of all, you can just introduce yourself and tell us what you’re currently doing.


Gavin Gallagher (01:55):

Alright, Greg? Yeah, so Gavin Gallagher, I go by Gavinjgallagher on all my social media because I found out that LinkedIn has 47 Gavin Gallagher and I’m a real estate investor developer. And more recently I’ve become an educator. So I’m trying to coach and mentor people to try and sidestep some of the landmines that I stepped on in my career. I run a large business, a business park, an office park here in Dublin, in Ireland, and it’s part of a family business. I’ve been involved since my dad passed away when I was 21. And so it’s a big place, 40 acres. We’ve built all of these office buildings and we have, well pre-pandemic, we had about 9,000 people working here every day. Today that number is probably closer to 3000. This whole work from home thing has created a bit of a problem for us all to try to deal with,


Greg Wilkes (03:02):

I can imagine, and problems and getting over problems. Is your middle name Gavin, isn’t it from your story?


Gavin Gallagher (03:07):

Resilience? It’s all about the resilience. Every challenge is simply a test and are you worthy of this test? And that’s kind of the mindset that I’ve developed over the years.


Greg Wilkes (03:19):

Yeah, I can certainly see that. So Gavin, maybe to just let the audience know how you initially got into property, it’d be fascinating to hear your story and maybe right from the beginning. How did you initially get started in your property developing journey?


Gavin Gallagher (03:32):

Well, I mean to go back very briefly, I had no clue what I wanted to do as a kind of a young kid growing up. And then suddenly we went on a family holiday to America and we landed in New York City. And just the first day in New York City was so impactful on me because I was just looking at these towers that were kind of skyscrapers everywhere. And I can remember in Ireland we have nothing like that. Even today we have nothing like that. And I was just blown away by this. And I came home and spent months drawing very obsessively, drawing skyscrapers and scaling them up and getting them, comparing them to other buildings in Ireland and various places around the world. And as I was doing that, relatives would be saying, oh, Gavin, I can see you’re going to be an architect. And so that planted this seed in my head that I wanted to be an architect, even though I didn’t really know what was involved.


(04:33)
I just sort of thought, well, if it means doing more of this that I clearly love doing, well then that’s great. And the idea of just being this guy that’s building big, impressive structures like that, I kind of thought it sounded like the ideal thing to do. So I went from being kind of a person who had zero interest in school. I was a really bad student. I had absolutely no clue. I used to get one out of 50 spelling tests and stuff and suddenly became hyper-focused on getting the results needed to get into architecture. So got into architecture, started working as an architect after a couple of years of studying, but my dad died in the middle of all of that. And I suddenly realized that I had to roll up the sleeves, get involved in the family business. I was too young to know much, but I still had to get involved.


(05:27)
So made a lot of mistakes. And then over those years I kind of dabbled in property and architecture. I ran the two side by side. I even came up with, it sounds cringeworthy now, but my company at the time that I came up with was Galdevar Gallagher Development architecture. But people used to say, Gavin, that sounds more like a dinosaur, a Galdevar. So anyway, I started this, but the really impactful moment was I was around 25 or something like that, and I bought a little site in the west coast of Ireland and I bought it for 25 grand. So not a huge amount of money. And I thought, I’m going to be a developer now I’m going to the dev into the business. And I started looking at let’s go and build a couple of houses. So with my architectural skills, I got planning for four houses and then I thought, okay, now let’s go and do the construction.


(06:26)
And I thought, okay, I’ll hire a builder and the builder will come in and do the work for me and then I’ll just sell and make the big profit. And I had no clue. I was absolutely clueless. And I asked a local auctioneer, can you introduce me to a builder, first of all, and can you tell me what I’m likely to sell these houses for? So I was trying to do the calculations and he comes back to me two or days later and just says, “Gavin, I spoke to a builder. He doesn’t want to work for you though. He just wants to buy the site off you with the planning that you’ve gotten.” And I was like, ah, come on, I have to. And the next he goes, he’s willing to offer you 125 grand. And it was like, wow, like five x return on my investment.


(07:10)
Geez, that’s amazing. And so at the same time that was happening, I was spending weeks and weeks doing this domestic extension for a couple. It was my first architectural client. And I can remember thinking to myself, this is so much work to earn a fee of 8,000 and over on the other side with the flip of a pen and a couple of weeks of work, a hundred grand profit. And I just thought there and then forget architecture all into the property scene. And that’s kind of where it went from there and it just snowballed. Next deal I did went really well. The next deal after that really well, and before long I was doing deals that were making millions and it was a very, very fertile time in the Irish market, just, we call it the Celtic tiger now, but the banks were throwing money at clients and stuff like that. And I was able to borrow 110% of the cost of a property and within a few months or a year or so, you’d be able to flip that property and maybe make a million or two. So it was an intoxicating time and I developed a lot of bad habits in that period.


Greg Wilkes (08:32):

Alright, so just to dive into your strategy at that point, so were you always just buying and flipping or were you building anything out or were you adding value by adding planning gain? What was your main strategy?


Gavin Gallagher (08:44):

It was a little bit of everything. I was a real novice and I was learning from everywhere. So I was learning from the architectural sort of stuff, was teaching me certain things. The fact that I was involved in the family business, I was more sitting in on board meetings and overhearing the discussions going on at the board meeting and I would kind of say, that’s interesting. I must look and see if I can apply that in my own personal stuff. So that kind of thing was going on, but was also, I decided when I decided to chuck in architecture, what I decided to do is I’m not going to chuck in my time. What I’m going to do is I’m going to convert, instead of being an architect, I’m going to become what I was calling a development manager. And so I was saying to clients, you come to me with your property and I will run the project similar to an architect, but I’ll actually do all of the funding side of the legal side, finding the tenant, all of that kind of stuff.


(09:47)
And when I offered that service, first of all, I discovered that it wasn’t dissimilar to being an architect, but I was paid far, far better. But second of all, it meant that I was able to offer to put my own capital into the deal as a partner with the others, but also get paid for that work as well. So it was kind of like I was getting paid on the double, I was getting the investment opportunity and I was getting the fee for running the project. So that meant that people were coming to me with opportunities. And when they came to me with opportunities, I was like, ah, so that’s how they’re doing that. And then I would take that and I would apply it in my own personal stuff as well. And so that’s, I was building, I built a couple of houses. I was also just flipping stuff when I could, but I was always intending on building out stuff. But sometimes the opportunity just arrived and you just had to take it. The money was too good.


Greg Wilkes (10:43):

I can imagine. Yeah, for sure. It’s interesting, I’ve done a bit of developing myself and always wanted to build because obviously just building’s in my blood and nature. But the last deal we’d done, we actually just sold it on just because of the returns, got planning gain on it four times the price that we sold it for. And you thought although it was hurtful in one way to sell it, obviously you think, oh, I could have made a little bit more if I’d have built it. Sometimes just the hassle you think, oh, just take the profit and run.


Gavin Gallagher (11:10):

It’s the return on capital employed and time employed. And it’s like if you can get 2 million in the space of three months versus 2.9 million in the space of two years, you’re kind of hanging in there. There’s a lot of opportunity you can do in those after the three months with 2 million in your pocket. So I see it as the short, obviously there’s your professional pride and you like the idea of getting in and stuff, and that’s where I had to get kind of a bit more ruthless with the way I looked at my time and stuff.


Greg Wilkes (11:46):

So you said you started off first plot, 25,000, made some good money on it. In your peak, what sort of size developments were you doing?


Gavin Gallagher (11:53):

Well, it was one of a snowball. As you get more confident, you start to push it out there further and further. And so one of the deals that I did that worked really well for me, I bought something for six or 700,000, I can’t remember the exact figure, but I can remember within about a year and a half maybe. I sold that investment for 2.7, so a full 2 million profit. And I can remember being really, really like, whoa, that’s amazing. I did this. But then the next deal that I did, which was very close to that location, I bought it. And then no joke, within six weeks of buying the property, somebody came along, a big institution that had seen the site and wanted to buy it, but I had moved too quickly and by the time they had committees had agreed to buy it and all this, they had to come and approach me.


(12:47)
So I sold that for two and a half million profit, six weeks of ownership. And that was the best deal in terms of a return. But then what I did was I started going into more involved deals where I was becoming a promoter and I was going out to investors and I was raising money from investors, I was putting my own capital in, and they were quite long projects. They were two to three year kind of projects from start to finish. And that’s one of the dangers that I found was that you start a project, the economy is performing a certain way, but three years in it could be a completely different thing. So you have to be very careful about that. And I went and I looked abroad and the Irish market was too expensive, and this is a big mistake people make. They kind of think it’s too expensive at home.


(13:38)
I look abroad and of course when you look abroad, you’re complete novice. And so I walked into Spain, I saw this amazing opportunity in my view, went ahead, bought it, and this was a massive deal. It was 42 million and I had to raise 12 million of equity, and then I had to raise 30 million of debt. And so it was a huge deal. Took months to put all that stuff together, flying back and forth to Spain and all that. And I was very enthusiastic about the whole thing. But in retrospect, I realized that execution risk, I had bitten off more than I can chew. I was way out over my skis. I was overconfident, jumped into a deal that really was beyond my capabilities, but I thought I’d made all of these millions up until that point. And so this is just going to be the same except it’s going to be at a different level. It’s going to be a zero added to the usual profits. And it all went belly up really harshly. And it was around about the time that the Lehman Brothers collapsed, but that was my biggest personal deal, 42 million and every penny of it lost.


Greg Wilkes (14:50):

Wow. Yeah. So I know when you were telling the story at the event, it’s incredible, funny enough, I was just watching last night, the big shot at the film, just as I said a couple of times, and it was all about that, the subprime mortgage and what was going on with that. So yeah, really difficult times globally for everyone then. So tell us more about what happened from that then, Gavin. So your money’s in a huge deal. What then happened with you?


Gavin Gallagher (15:18):

First of all, these events, they’re never overnight. They’re kind of like a death by a thousand cuts. And it’s really, that’s probably the worst thing about it, because being boiled alive slowly as opposed to jumping into boiling water, if you jump into boiling water, you instantly know there’s a major problem and you jump back out. But if you’re slowly, you become acclimatized to it. And that’s what was happening to me. And so I was trying to sell, I realized there was a problem, but it wasn’t an immediate, everything has gone to hell. It was just, oh, we’re losing tenants. Oh, people are not doing deals anymore. And then you start decide, okay, I better sell some properties. And I remember trying to agree on a price in a falling market. And one of the biggest problems you have in that situation is that I remember the house that I was living in at the time in Dublin.


(16:19)
It was very valuable house, big huge thing I’d built myself. It was worth five and a half million at the peak, and I was 35 years of age living in a five-and-a-half million home. I felt like it was at the top of the game. And I moved to Spain to go and look after this big huge project and I wanted to keep the two houses, and suddenly the banks are putting me under pressure. You got to sell one or whatever. So I decided, geez, I better go and sell it and pocket the five-and-a-half million and I put it on the market and next minute they offer 3.75. And I’m like, what? That’s an insult. And I turn my nose up of it and then six months later, no offers, geez, we better go and go back to that guy and accept the 3.75.


(17:03)
Oh no, he’s now offering 2.5 and go, what? That’s an insult. And honestly, it kept going down like that to the point where I sold a house at 1.5 and it was the most excruciating thing to experience, but it took about two years for that realization. And if I had just bitten the bullet and took the 3.75, then I would’ve gotten 3.75 instead of this slow game. And that’s one of the biggest things is to take, there’s a lot of very decisive decisions you got to go and make, and it can be very painful, but you don’t bite the bullet. You’re actually going to go down that sort of slippery slope


Greg Wilkes (17:47):

I guess. Sometimes ego can get in the way, not in a bad way, but we want to win all the time, don’t we, as business people? Exactly. And sometimes you think, well, I’m not going to accept that he’s lowered the offer and you think you’re losing, don’t you?


Gavin Gallagher (18:01):

There’s actually, there’s four, I call them the four E’s, okay. Of when you’re an investor and you’re in the property business or in any business, essentially there’s four E’s that will sink you. The first one is ego. Okay? You get a big ego, you get overconfident, and it starts to infect your decision-making. And I should have looked at that in a very cold and rational way and said, you know what? The market has fallen. 3.75 is good, but my ego was telling me, no chance, I’m not accepting that. And that’s the price you pay. Second of all emotions. That deal in Spain, I fell in love with that deal. And that is another major emotional sort of, once you get that baggage, it’s very hard to release it. And you start to make decisions, you start to get advice that might be negative, but because you’ve fallen in love with the deal, you actually ignore the negative advice and you say, that guy’s wrong, he hasn’t a clue.


(18:57)
And so that was the next E is the economics of the deal. You can’t repair an economically badly stacked deal. You can’t repair the damage. And so going in the price that you pay and stuff like that is fundamental. And if you’ve made the mistake, you have to just own up and accept it, take it on the chin. A lot of people, there’s this cognitive bias where they won’t take a loss, they’ll hold the losses and they’ll sell off the good stuff in order to allow them to hold onto the losses, whereas it’s the actual realities. You should flip that and you should run with your winners and cut your losses, but cognitive doesn’t allow you to do that. And then the final thing is events. And people have this what’s known as a continuity bias, and you assume that things are going really well, it’s going to continue to be a really good market like this.


(19:58)
Things will continue to go well. Or if you’re in a negative market, you’ll believe that things will continue to go well, but there’s always the possibility of an event taking place. So 2001, I was actually away in Barbados. I turn on the TV and the Twin Towers are getting hit by the Jets, and it was a huge moment in world history, obviously. But that event, all of a sudden the property market crashed in New York. All of a sudden office buildings in New York, nobody would touch them. The airline industry collapsed completely. The day before that, people were buying shares in Boeing and all of these different companies that sell jets and stuff. And it was absolutely fine. The next morning it’s wiped out. And so events can take place and so don’t back yourself into a corner where something has to go a hundred percent right for you to get out of it because some unknown could come along and throw a spanner in the works.


(21:06)
You do have to be a little bit more conservative and you start, and I always just talk about realism. You’re an investor or you’re a contractor, you’re a developer, whatever it is, it’s unrealistic of you to assume that you are always going to be correct. It’s that you’re not going to make a mistake. People make mistakes, investments go wrong. It is part and parcel of the nature of the business that you’re in. If everyone was able to make money in investing, sure everyone would be out doing it. And only a certain number of people are successful at it. So if you’ve made a mistake, just take it on the chin. It’s like it’s going to happen. So don’t do the Hail Mary where it’s all in on one deal, and then you’re assuming that it’s a binary outcome. It’s either a one you’ve won or it’s complete and total loss. And so try to avoid those


Greg Wilkes (22:03):

For you to be able to whittle that down to the four E’s. I think that’s incredible. It obviously shows you’ve had a lot of thought about this and analysis of where it went wrong and what you did. We spoke about when you thought back to how things went. We spoke earlier about resilience and discipline that’s been needed to get you out of this and get you back on track again. What lessons have you learned there and how has resilience played a part in getting you back to the top of your game?


Gavin Gallagher (22:30):

It’s very important. First of all, I wasn’t the most resilient person in the moment because you go through really difficult times. I went from the big mansion and flying first class everywhere and having just this idyllic lifestyle, driving fancy cars and stuff. And all of a sudden I lost it to the point where the bank came in and did a full sweep on all of my income. And I literally, I had to ask my brother for help just to be able to live in accommodation. I couldn’t afford the rent. And so that was the lowest moment, and that was a moment where it’s incredibly dark. And I can remember that point when there’s this been slope where you’ve just been falling down and down and down and down and down and down, and you start to think like, God, there’s no recovery from this.


(23:22)
You feel like a real victim. And it was only when I stopped the victim mindset and what I like to call the warrior mindset. And that is where you accept that. Do you know what, I’m to blame for this? Up until that moment I was blaming everyone else. I was like, the banks are bastards. They should never have done this to me and blah, blah, blah. And that’s a victim mindset. You’re blaming everyone else for the situation you’re in as opposed to just owning up and saying, you know what? Nobody forced me to buy that 42 million deal. I should just take this on the chin. And then the second thing is the realization that there’s nobody that’s going to come along and rescue. You have got to dig yourself out of this hole yourself. And so that is the first thing. Second thing is perspective.


(24:10)
Is this a major health issue that is terminal? No, it’s not. You’ve lost a lot of money. Yes, it’s painful. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but in the scheme of things, there’s people out there who have a sick child who might have leukemia or something like that. When you take some perspective, you realize that you know what? I’m being a big wuss here. I just got to dust myself down and say, you know what? I went and I did a binary deal. I gambled on a binary deal. The outcome turned out to be the zero instead of the one, and therefore I deserve this. And so going forward, I’m going to obviously be a little bit more cautious. And then you start to look at, okay, what are the resources available to me today? I’ve lost my money. Yes, but I still have a huge bank of knowledge I can lean on. I have a network. I have over a thousand contacts in my phone. I can pick up that phone and I can ring somebody who can introduce me to somebody or can access somebody or open a door somewhere. And so you just have to, a lot of the time, the problem is not a lack of resources, it’s a lack of resourcefulness. And if you’re just more resourceful and you start looking at what do I have? Rather than focusing on what you have not, then you’ll start to recover, I think.


Greg Wilkes (25:34):

Yeah, that’s really interesting. So obviously from being the lowest point in your life at that time, how long did it take for you to get out of that and get your mindset back in the game again, sometimes we can wallow away in self-pity for it can take people years, can’t it? And they never get back into it.


Gavin Gallagher (25:51):

I mean, the thing is, when I said earlier, it’s like a death by a thousand cuts, the problem is that it takes you a couple of years to realize that you’re in this situation and it’s not going to be a sudden miraculous recovery. And so I kept on thinking to myself, Gavin, this is just a blip. In a couple of months time, the market will rebound and I’ll be fine. And then you start realizing, Jesus, this is really dragging out. This is a very long recession. And so there’s not an immediate thing, but you’re feeling sorry for yourself every time you get another bit of bad news. And so the thing is, a lot of the time in retrospect, I was fortunate, I didn’t actually declare bankruptcy, but I know a few people who were far more accepting of the situation they were in, and they just said, you know what?


(26:42)
I am not going to be able to dig myself out of this for years, and therefore the smart thing to do is to declare bankruptcy. 12 months time I’ll be back on my feet. And it’s very painful. I certainly looked at it, but I kept on resisting it because it was too painful. But I know people who did it, and they ended up within 12 months starting a new business, getting back on their feet, and they were taking advantage of the low prices and stuff, whereas I was there trying to bail out the boat that was sinking for another year or two. So I’m not suggesting that bankruptcy is necessarily the root for everybody, but I think you do have to just look realistically at your situation and realize that you can bail yourself out, but it’s going to take a period of time and maybe the quicker thing is just to cave in and just start again.


(27:40)
And so it’ll depend on your circumstances individually and things like that. I hung on in there. I did woe for a period of time, and it was particularly when I had to ask my brother, because it was just going from first class travel and the fancy cars and stuff to asking your brother for assistance in just covering the rent. Suddenly I was like, this is the most humiliating thing. And I wallowed for a few weeks in that, and then I suddenly kind of came out of it and thought, you know what? I could just continue to wallow unless I do something about this. And that’s when I kind of started to roll up the sleeves. So I thought to myself, you know what? I’m going to go and I’m going to reach out to people and I’m going to stop being this proud guy with the ego saying, showing off kind of a facade.


(28:34)
One of the reasons I started my own podcast, it’s called Behind the Facade, is because we all have this kind of facade of success that we like to project. And a lot of the time behind it, it’s all bullshit. It’s like it’s a fabrication. So I was still going around trying to let people think that I was the big success, and it was only when I started saying, you know what? This is not serving me. I need to go out. I need to own up to people and say, listen, I am in deep shit here. Can you help me? I’m starting from scratch. And once you start saying that people are more than happy to help, but if you’re still there putting on this kind of veneer of success, people are just like, I’m not touching that guy. He dug his own hole.


Greg Wilkes (29:17):

And then again, it comes back to ego, doesn’t it?


Gavin Gallagher (29:20):

And yeah, your ego is not your amigo. I heard somebody say that recently. It’s a good one.


Greg Wilkes (29:25):

Yeah. So did you do anything to help yourself? You’re thinking of self health books or getting coaches. Is there anything else you did to bolster your mindset at that time to get yourself back on track?


Gavin Gallagher (29:36):

Yeah, very much into self-development, personal development and all that kind of stuff. I mean, there’s various people that I’ve listened to over the years. I mean, a lot of people will look at the likes of Tony Robbins and go, oh, come on. But he does have some fantastic sort of stuff. I work with a guy called JP De Villiers, and JP is a great guy. He’s connected to a friend of ours, and JP works for me. People need somebody who kind of resonates on the same kind of level or whatever, and I get on really well. So JP helped me sort of hone the mindset and start getting things kind of back on track. And sometimes it’s just little simple things that can actually get you back on track. But I think the biggest thing is not to, I think men in particular have a habit of rolling up their identity in financial success as opposed to it being kind of a more rounded success.


(30:43)
You have the family, you have your health, you have, you know what I mean? There’s a rounded success. And then, no, I have to be driving the fancy car and I have to have the big watch, and I have to have lots of money, and everyone needs to know that I’m rich. Men tend to build that kind of identity, and when that’s stripped away from you, they can actually find themselves in a really depressing state. And a couple of close relatives of mine and friends of mine actually died either through suicide or through drug overdose and it’s very sad to see, and it’s primarily because they tied up so much of their identity around financial, and whereas just having a family, a happy family is actually hugely, is a huge success metric. But a lot of people don’t register that


Greg Wilkes (31:42):

Without a doubt. I was thinking that the book Think and Grow Rich, and so many people misinterpret that and think, oh, it’s just about being rich materially. But it’s not at all acknowledges that in the book that there’s many ways to be rich in life. It’s not, but society puts this on us, doesn’t it? You look at your Instagram feed and whatever else, and it’s all about the fast cars and the nice houses and that success in Insta Bragg world.


Gavin Gallagher (32:04):

Yeah, Insta Bragg is a good one. Yeah.


Greg Wilkes (32:07):

So Gavin, I also know as part of your resilience, you are big into your health and fitness and you feel that that gives you discipline. Tell us a little bit more about that.


Gavin Gallagher (32:15):

Yeah. Well, one of the big things for me when I realized that first of all, I’m not going to be able to, I’m just come to rescue me, I thought, what can I experience a win in every day? I’m fighting the banks, I’m doing all this kind of stuff. That’s hard going, it feels like I’m losing all the time. What can I win at every day? And one of the things I realized that I wanted to win at every day was my health and my fitness. And so I became really obsessive about just getting as fit as possible. So I started, I was doing triathlons and things like that. Then I got into this adventure racing where you’re climbing obstacles and all that, and it’s just, I’ve done all sorts of challenges and set myself these goals. I did a thousand burpees in one go and things like that.


(33:02)
And it’s something that no matter what is going on in your day, I am going to consistently show up in fitness. And that’s something that I am very religious almost about that. And for me, it’s great because there’s a release of endorphins that gives you this natural high anyway. And so you’re starting your day in a really positive way so you can kind of deal with challenges. And I’ll go for, I’ve just moved to a new house and there’s a mountain right beside it. And I try to run to the top of the mountain at least a couple of times a week. And it’s only about an hour all in between getting to the top and getting back. But it’s just a fantastic way. And I’ll think I’ll be kind of reflecting on problems that I’ve got, creative challenges and things like that. And by the time I get back, I’ve already got my day planned. I’ve got things sorted out. So I really recommend anyone who’s struggling with anything to do with challenges in the business or anything like that, either figure out a bit of running or some sort of health routine, go to the gym or whatever. And it’ll probably help a lot just breaking it away from that sense that it’s never ending challenges and problems.


Greg Wilkes (34:16):

And it’s interesting, sometimes it seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? When you’re going through difficulties in business, you think, well, all my time needs to be on the business, but actually spending the time on physical activity. And so true in your mind, right?


Gavin Gallagher (34:29):

I’ve heard somebody say, if you feel like you don’t have any time at all available to do anything other than business or whatever you’re working on, that is a real indicator that you do need to find time and you need to just say to yourself, you know what? And the thing is, what’s all the money in the world? I know people that have focused financial stuff and they become very wealthy and stuff like that, and then they look at themselves in the mirror and they’re like 30 kilos overweight or something like that. Do you know what I mean? They’re like, they’ve lost their fitness completely. And the reality is, is that if that you maintain that you’re going to have all these health issues as you get older, so you’re not going to be able to enjoy the wealth that you’ve accumulated. And so you’ll end up going to the hospital.


(35:16)
And all my dad died, unfortunately. My dad was only 45 when he died, and he had made a lot of poor choices in his life around his health and stuff. He was heavy drinker and things like that. So naturally that’s going to push me towards fitness anyway, because there’s a kind of having seen what he went through. But I see it all the time. I just see people who they think success is financial and it’s not involving your health and your fitness, not involving your family and your relationship with your spouse or your loved one. Things like that I think are also part of the success metric that you have to be thinking about


Greg Wilkes (35:53):

Without a doubt. So with all the lessons you’ve learned, Gavin, tell us a bit about how you’ve now applied that into your business and life now. What are you currently doing?


Gavin Gallagher (36:02):

Well, I try to, I’m still running a business park here, like commercial offices and things like that. But what I’ve decided, a big driver for me is to actually pass on this knowledge that I have and these insights and stuff. And what I realize is that when I was 21 and my dad had just died and I was getting involved in property, I didn’t have a mentor. I didn’t have anyone to guide me. And so all of those mistakes that I made, I realize now if I had just had somebody more experienced in my corner sort of saying, having somebody that you can just ask a bit of advice of and saying, Gavin, don’t do that, or You’re pushing too far or you’re going too hard on this. And so I’ve decided I’m going to become that resource for people in this situation. So I’ve created a podcast that talks about a lot of this kind of stuff, and I’ve created, now, as it turns out, the podcast was popular enough that people started saying, do you do coaching? Do you do mentoring? So I’ve created some programs around that as well. And I have to say, even though my main day job is the property stuff, I really enjoy the insights and coaching and stuff. It’s kind of like just I feel like I’m giving back, which is a nice feeling. And it’s just I’ve been through the wars and I don’t want people who can avoid that kind of pain and negativity and stuff. If you can avoid it, if I can help a few people avoid it, then that’s a great day’s job.


Greg Wilkes (37:38):

Fantastic. And what type of people would you coach with regard to property? What sort of techniques and strategies do you teach them?


Gavin Gallagher (37:47):

It’s a mixed bag. So I have two different things. I have a junior program for people who are only starting out and really haven’t a clue. And so that is, it’s a very easy to get into and really just teaches you the basics. But I have had people who are more experienced people who’ve bought property before and who are looking to kind of scale up their operations and just get more professional about it and perhaps start bringing investors on board. So I have a whole kind of course on how to put that professional veneer on it, how to get yourself out there in front of investors, how to pitch investors. But the important thing is, so I’ve done basically contractors that I’ve had a couple of contractors in the UK join the program because they like being a contractor, but they don’t necessarily like dealing with clients who are difficult or something like that.


(38:40)
And they think, wouldn’t it be great if we could actually be the ones that are building for our own account? And so obviously becoming a developer where you’re the contractor developer, that is one of the things that I’ve seen is quite a motivating thing for quite a few people. I’ve also got professionals and architects and quantity surveyors that are looking to get into the property side of things because we’re all selling our time. And what you want is the passive income that comes from an asset that you’ve created added value to. And when I was at my peak, I had over a million a year coming in passive income, and that was fantastic. Whether you get out of bed or not, there’s 80,000 a month coming in, and that’s a really nice position to be in. Now, I ended up doing a lot of damage to that particular portfolio when I went through the crash and stuff, but slowly rebuilding that situation. And a lot of people, they realize you’re getting older. You’re going to get to the point where your time, even though you’re able to go out and earn a living, there’s going to be a point where you might like it to ease back a bit and will you be able to do that? Are you putting the pieces in place? So that’s kind of what I’m trying to teach, is how to put that passive income into place.


Greg Wilkes (39:56):

So if anyone wanted to get hold of you and learn more about your strategies and things, just name your podcast again, what was it called?


Gavin Gallagher (40:04):

It’s called Behind the Facade. So it’s real estate investment mostly is what we talk about. Mindset, behavior, habits, things like that. And that’s available in YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, all the usual kind of places. And then my own website, gavinjgallagher.com. You can find things about me in there if you want to connect with me. I have a blog that I put out weekly and things like that.


Greg Wilkes (40:33):

Fantastic, Gavin. Well, we’ll put all that in the show notes as well for everyone that’s interested. But can I just say thanks so much for your time today, really appreciate it, and there’s going to be a lot of value that people can take from that.


Gavin Gallagher (40:42):

My pleasure, Greg. It’s been great chatting with you.


Greg Wilkes (40:53):

If you’d like to work with me to fast track your construction business growth, then reach out on www.developcoaching.co.uk.