Vested Capital
Vested Capital

Episode 0 · 1 year ago

(EP0): Why The Rebrand To 'Vested Capital' And How Yaro Has Built Capital In The Last 20 Years

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Welcome to episode zero of Vested Capital.

Although the title may be new, the show is still hosted by me (Yaro) and will continue in a very similar style to what you are used to from The Yaro Podcast and before that, the Entrepreneurs Journey Podcast.

Why Vested Capital?

Vested Capital is about how to make money and then put that money to work to make more money -- in other words, how to vest your capital!

I'll still be doing interviews with entrepreneurs, but I'm going to expand the scope of the show a little to include anyone who is making and growing capital in unique and effective methods.

I'll be talking to startup founders, entrepreneurs who've enjoyed big exits, angel investors, venture capitalists, crypto leaders, tech stock traders, real estate investors -- all sharing how they made capital and put their capital to work.

Capital (money), as I explain in this episode zero, is an incredibly powerful force for change. Having capital gives you options, you can invest, start new businesses, secure your future, buy property, and open doors to amazing opportunities.

Of course to make capital you first need cash flow and profits from something, so I will be asking our guests how they got started and track their entire journey to wealth.

How Yaro Has Made Money

For this episode zero, I thought I should tell the story of my own process to build income streams, start businesses and invest to grow my capital.

If you are familiar with my background story, much of this will not be new to you, but if you have never come across my content before, this episode will give you a solid overview.

Talk soon,

Yaro

Podcast: https://www.yaro.blog/pod/
Blog: https://www.yaro.blog/

Hey, this is yarrow and welcome to episode zero of the vested capital podcast. I'm also recording this on video using the Riverside Dot FM new podcast recording platform for both video and audio podcasts. Bit of a trial run for me and it's also something very exciting for me because this is the start of a brand new reboot or a rebranding of my podcast. If you are a long term follower of the Yarrow podcast or, before that, the entrepreneurs journey podcast, which is started all the way back in two thousand and five, then you'll know my work and this won't be that different to what you're used to. For me, this is still very much an interview podcast, very much about startups and business and entrepreneurship, but I'm expanding a little bit to look at all aspects of basically vesting your capital, so growing your capital, and that includes making money, like generating cash flow businesses, but then I had to turn that money into capital that both gives you opportunities to make other investments and also grows whether you're working on it and not working on it. So we're going to talk to experts and just have general conversations about what you'd expect from startups, entrepreneurship, venture capital, Angel Investing, as well as maybe other forms investing that people are very much used to, like investing in stocks, buying real estate, maybe more modern versions like cryptocurrency. Everything that I'm interested in we're certainly going to be talking about and I'm looking forward to speaking to some amazing guests over the coming months and years. I'm also, of reddicating myself to being consistent. Obviously this show is the well, I can't prove this, but I'm pretty sure it's the longest running entrepreneurship podcast, definitely one of the earliest podcast if you count my start all the way back in two thousand and five. I have removed some of the old episodes though, because, frankly, they're not very good and I don't really want to have them in the feed for this show, so you won't be able to go back that far. I think can go back to two thousand and seven for the earliest episode currently on this podcast feed. But going forward this is going to be called best the capital. We're going to do it on Youtube, we're going to do on a podcast and we have some great guests coming up that I'm really excited to share with you. For today, though, I wanted to do an introduction to myself. What allows me to have some sense of knowledge and experience to talk about these topics. Basically what I've been doing for the past twenty years in the world of capital and and basically me what I've been doing to grow my own capital. So it's a topic that I think everyone's interested in. We all want to know when to make money. But one thing, I think that I really want to highlight as we kind of start start this deep dive into my own history is the power of capital. I know when I first got started, early on, I had no capital, as most people in this world are who are not born into a rich family, who did not inherit something or have something handed to them. You got a zero bank balance, unless maybe your parents or your grandparents give you a, you know, a few thousand dollars here in there. My for me, that's about it. I had an allowance and I had, you know, birthday money, but pretty much every penny I made going forward was by myself. And it's hard because without capital, it's difficult to make capital. Without money, you can't invest that money. Without money, you can't buy something by a business. So you have to start from scratch and then over the years, as you kind of see through my own story, which I'm going to share in the moment for those of you who are new to yarrow and who I am, I really learned the power of being able to take capital and also cash flow, two very linked things, and turn that into more capital and more cash flow, which I think is what I really find fascinating, what I get excited about, because, hey, you only have so many hours in a day. You can't really spend all your energy on twenty different ways of making money, personally, because it's just not possible. So you have to find ways to leverage, one of my favorite words. You're going to hear me use this a lot on this show and if you dive back into my past episodes. Leverage is something I get very...

...excited about because it allows you to get more from less. It allows you to tap into resources that will do work for you, and I think there's leverage available in all kinds of different business models, all kinds of different ways to invest and grow your capital. So we'll definitely hear more about that and I personally have experienced several forms of leverage, which you're going to hear about in a moment as I share my story. So capital is the theme. Making money is obviously the start of capital. So I want to take you back in time to late s when I was about eighteen years old, and that was the first time where I was kind of out of my own. I guess I was, you know, in university. I was very, very motivated to make money. It was not ray motivated to go to university and study, but you know, everyone else was doing it. I will stop for a second here just in case, because it might be some of you listening to this who are a long term yarrow followers and you probably heard these stories before, because I have certainly written about them on my blog. I've shared them various times on my podcast. I've done a life story kind of podcast. Maybe, I don't know, fifteen when I'm in at Lang, maybe ten years ago. I think back then. Obviously more's happened since then, but some of this will be a repeat, but I hope you'll still stick with it. For those of you who are new, this is a great way from me to introduce you to myself and obviously what I've done in terms of my own capital. So, continuing that story, I was in Brisbane, Australia. I'd entered the University of Queensland to study a business management degree with no really intentions beyond just having something to do going forward with my life. Now, in a case of very fortuitous timing, as I was eighteen, it was one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight, and that was the start of what you'd called the dotcom boom, or maybe even, you know, the middle part of it, and there were Internet companies all over the place. It was a crazy time with crazy valuations. If you live through that experience. It's crazy to think some of you listening to this might not have been around when that happened, but that was when I was just getting started and it was really, really influential on my own thoughts and ideas and motivation as an entrepreneur. That is the one thing I was certain about. I needed to be an entrepreneur because I need to make money. I needed capital, I need to have cash so I didn't have to get a job, so I didn't have to do all the normal things that it seemed like everyone else around me were doing. And bearing in mind this is also a time in history when we didn't have examples like we do online today. You couldn't just open up youtube and hear about so many people teaching or telling their stories of how to make money, how to start a business. We didn't have podcast we didn't have social media. We basically had websites, basic static website. So there wasn't a lot and there weren't a lot of kind of role models and mentors to follow. There were a few. Richard Branson, I read is Richard Branson. I read his book back then. That was certainly influential. I did read some other books that were about entrepreneurs, about companies, so that was having a bit impact, big impact on me, and I was reading about making money, to some of the classics like the richest man in Babylon, think and grow rich one minute millionaire. These certainly were getting my juices flowing. But I was most excited about these entrepreneur biographies, hearing about how Ebay got started, hearing about stories from like Amazon, really the early tech companies at the time that were becoming the big superstars, and of course those two are still around today. So for me, I decided to get into building a website as my first kind of exploring possibility of an online business, not really expecting it to become much. To be honest, it was more of a hobby because it focused on my hobby at the time. When I was in university and also in high school, I was one of those kids who played a card game called magic the gathering, which I'm happy to say is still booming today. It is a massive game now. It's got a bit digital online version, but back when I played it was nothing but the cardboard. If you never heard of magic the gathering, look it up online. It's kind of like a strategic card game. I can look at it sort of like maybe a poker, but certainly way more complex, way more cards, with a nice dose of fantasy and...

...beautiful card design, beautiful artwork. You've got your dragons, your elves, the traditional fantasy elements, and I love the game. Is certainly for about five years of my life, from about two thousand from about sixteen years old to about two thousand and twenty one, I played competitively. I traveled a bit around the world as a professional magic the gathering player, even representing my country in Australia. I was on the national team. I came in the top four in the national championship championships in Gosh, can't remember now. Think it was ninety nine. Anyway, that got me a trip to the states to represent my country and it was a really fun game and I still have fun memories of it. And nowadays the cards, speaking of the topic of capital, are a form of investment. So if I had kept a lot of my cards from back in those days, I ended up selling my collection, I'd actually have a form of investment now, because some of the cards, specially things like the power nine, the early cards in Beta and limited. I'm talking magic the gatherings. That probably don't mean anything to most of you, but some of those cars now worth as much as even I think they're pushing for the number one valued car being a Black Lotus. I think it's pushing half a million now. I know there was some sales, certainly in the multiple six figures. So it's it's kind of like baseball cards, basketball cards, as those really big cards that have a lot of value. In my case, though, I decided to start a website back then and it was a place to talk about the game itself, to write tournament reports, which are kind of like reporting back on how you went in a magic the gathering tournament. I got guest writers in. There were news groups back then. They're kind of like the early online bulletin boards, and I was involved in this community. I started this website mostly for the Australian marketplace to begin with. Eventually made it a global brand and it became serious when I read just the domain name mtg Paradisecom, which was the first time I really had a proper to main name as well with a global brand. At that point I expanded to include a forum where people were trading cards. I even rolled out an ECOMMERCE store where I was buying cards at wholesale selling from my own collection, and the end result of that ECOMMA store as well as as well as from some advertising income, was, I guess you could say, my first real online business, although I really see it more as a side hustle type of thing because it wasn't a lot of money. It was a thousand dollars a month at most, but an amazing early experience in things like how to get traffic to your website, how to build a community, how to even just design a website, install scripts like forum software, and things like that. So this website is responsible for, if we're talking about capital, you know, getting me from zero to kind of like tenzero dollars in my bank of savings, which was pretty huge me at the time, for sure. Fast forward a couple of years. Still have my card game website, but I start a second business called a better editcom. It was an essay and thesis Editing Company. I was not the editor, though. I was hiring freelance contractors. Back then. This is before we had up work or any of those kind of mass market freelance sites, fiver and so on, but there was a site that you could tap into for things like language translation editing services. In our case, though, for my company, wasn't too hard to find contractors because they were just coming to us. It was a case of supplying demand. We had much more supply than we had demand, so there was always a pool of potential candidates. My main job with that business I set up the website. I went to university campuses in Australia and also Canada when I traveled to visit family there. I put up posters, I did Google searchings, an optimization during the first few years of Google becoming a dominant force then and it grew and became what I call my first real business because it was a full time income for me. It was also the business I focused on one hundred percent for the first time in my life, and that's an important point. Before that, you know, my card...

...game business was a side Hustle while I was at university and doing other things. Once I graduated, I look for a job. I kept a couple of casual, part time jobs I had of the university, maybe twenty hours a week working at the library doing a bit of Web Design for the business school, but most of my time was growing this essay and thesis Editing Company and during its prime, I had it for about five six years, it was making about a hundred thousand a year. So it was a salary for me, not a big salary after you take out all the costs of running the business, paying the contractors, but it was a great lifestyle business and it was my first taste of, I guess, freedom because it was very easy to run. It was completely digital, so I could travel with it. It was completely, I guess, driven by other people's skill set, so I didn't have to be the one delivering the value I was the connecting person there and it was a great experience as well, with a lot of effort in searching optimization. So learned about link building and key words, content marketing, that sort of thing. That was my early step into that world. I did eventually sell that business and I did also eventually sell my card game business. The card game business was sold first. I got about thirteen and a half thousand, if I remember right, for that company and I or website. Basically I sold it to another car trader that was in the Community of the forums I had there. And the essay editing company, better editcom. I eventually sold to a person who actually applied to become an editor, selling that one for over I think it's about a hundred thousand us. So no, not life changing forever moments, but big money. My first ever big hit a capital was actually selling better at it. Seeing that hundred thousand dollars dropping in my bank account was massive and it allowed me to then take, I guess, the next step in growing my capital to buy my first property and also to buy something that's not a great asset. I bought a brand new car. Don't really recommend doing that unless you you know you love cars that really need one. But I was willing to reward myself after lots of, like about seven years of hard work, and bought myself a car as well. And and that was, I guess, the very, very early day. So by this point I'm like twenty five years old, twenty six years old, and actually got into blogging prior to selling the essay editing company. Was a couple years before I sold it, friend of mine told me about blogging and podcasting. So it's kind of like we're connecting the DOTS here. The Dawn on my podcast hit because of that essay editing company, because someone told me about blogging, which then led me to research podcasting as well. So it's all connected. Super early days, blogs were the first form of social media back then, sort of like two thousand and four, two thousand and five, and podcasting was so new I called it audio blogging in fact, not podcasting. So now I just got my I had an eye river, which was a competitor the ipod, and it had a little microphone on it. I sat and recorded my first ever episode kind of like this, but it only lasted for fifteen minutes and I was rambling off the top of my head about kind of marketing topics and I published that on my blog and it then got listed through an urt ss feed, as we still do today, and became the very first version of the entrepreneur's journey podcast, the same name of my blog when it first started as well. Entrepreneurs Journey. Now I did not see this coming, but that blog took me to some amazing places and some amazing experiences and some huge money. That was actually the business that eventually became my first source of seven figures, so over a million dollars in sales. I will tell that story in a moment, but I want to explain a little bit about the early days, because it was very much the early days. This was when you could write a blog post and Google would just send you traffic automatically, which is not so easy today. But I got into it. I love writing about starting a business, sharing stories from running my card game business, from running my editing company. I had lots of content to share. Wasn't a great writer to start with, but practice you know, you write. Start writing a blog post every single day and suddenly you're doing great. An audience start to grow too. So Google was sending me traffic. I was connecting with other bloggers. There was a few other people who are rising up with me at the time,...

...like Darren rouse from pro blogger and Brian Clark from copy blogger. So connected with those guys and lots of other people, and I also started a newsletter, which was huge. Can't really emphasize the importance of that enough. Having an email newsletter all the way back in two thousand and six when that started, really was the key to becoming what basically growing a business out of that. That became a seven figure business. So through the power are podcasting, an entrepreneurship blog and an email newsletter on these topics, I became what today you'd call an influencer. It certainly wasn't what I'd call myself back then. I had no intention of becoming one. I did not see that as a possibility to make a living like we do today. You know, people people grow up now thinking I want to be a youtube influencer or an instagram influencer or a tick talker or something like that. I'm an introvert. I certainly had no intentions of any kind of fame. The fact that people were reading what I was writing and listening to my voice was already kind of exciting but confronting at the same time. I certainly grew to like it and enjoy it and I love, love and still love meeting people whenever I go to an event or even just digitally online, and they tell me that they read my blog or they listened to my show back in the day or even, you know, in the recent years. So that I get a real kick out of and it was a lifechanging moment because it set me down a path to everything that I've done since then. And in terms of capital, wow, I can't really say enough about the potential and power of content marketing and selling digital products online, which is what I did next. So I'm going to I'm going to basically shorten a long story, because my blogging career in some ways of still going. So it's like a fifteen year journey, but there were about ten years of very concentrated time spent on this business to grow my blog and my podcast into a true digital teaching business. So when I say that at first it started with a membership site which got turned into an online course, which is called blog mastermind, which I sold to my audience who followed me on my blog, my email newsletter and my podcast. That took me from making I think I was making three to four thousand dollars a month from advertising on my blog and affiliate marketing, selling other people's products for a commission. But then I launched this first course, club blog mastermind, and suddenly I'm making ten to fifteen thousand dollars a month and the rest is more of the same. So from that point forward I released another course and then another course. With a good friend of mine and Getton shall wick, we created I think possibly the first ever video course about how to make money blogging, called become a bloggercom we ended up selling a million dollars worth of that course and over the about five years, from two thousand and seven to two thousand and twelve, I just focused a hundred percent on these courses, my blog, my podcast, my email newsletter, and that's how I grew my capital from that sort of one hundred thousand dollar sale of the better edit business to making a million dollars in revenue and a very good, healthy profit margin. One thing I really love about digital teaching product businesses they're very lean, small team. It was me, my web designer, my customer service, email management person, few other people here and there as I needed them, copywriters, web development, that sort of thing, but really very small teams of contractors. So the profit margins were like seventy eighty percent. Maybe some money went to advertising and that sort of thing. So I was talcketing several hundred thousand a year after taxes into my bank account, growing my capital and I was actually buying more property in Brisbane, Australia, where I was born race. So I went from the first property and I grew. I bought a half a million dollar bachelor pad, as I like to call it, in my late S. love that place in Brisbane. Amazing views, great veranda right near the heart of the city. Had some great memories there. So my asset base, my vested capital, was really starting to grow during this sort of five years from two thousand and five to two thousand and twelve and Sevenn years. It really is two thousand and seven, two thousand...

...and twelve, and it was a great time and it was just amazing time online as well as a person who was selling digital products, it wasn't as crowded and noisy as it is today. It felt like it was crowded and noisy to me at the time, but it was so much smaller than it is today. Now everyone sells a course or has an e book or something like that. So I actually went through two phases. I'm not going to tell the second story. Basically, I rebooted that business again, creating new versions of my training. I wrote three books, launched the brand new membership site called the Laptop Lifestyle Academy. Shout out to everyone who's still in there, and I made another million dollars in sales of my products and services, some of which I'm still actually running right now. I still teach or coach for blog mastermind. Two point. Know, although it is not the main business I focus on right now, it is still definitely a part of my life and I love coaching and teaching and writing and podcasting, as you're hearing me now here for this episode. Zero of vested capital. So that kind of connects the dots. For very much what I would call almost like the first half, and I would call that me becoming an adult, and certainly my capital grew the most that ever did in my life. It was an amazing experience and it very much, though, was based on my own work and effort. So it was me creating a whole lot of content, growing three different businesses and great journey, certainly great gaming, the foundation for what's come in the last sort of five, six, seven years. So I just want to kind of cover a few more stories to bring it up today. I don't want this episode zero to be too long. Obviously we have lots coming up for you with this show, but I do want to finish my story because from the kind of two thousand and fifteen onwards, things start to get much more diversified and certainly not relying on my own effort nearly as much. But first of all I have to tell you about something that you call a failure, because hey, they do happen, and you know I was always trying new things as well. So around about two thousand and eleven, two thousand and twelve, I launched a startup. I really call this a start up because I had to cofounders. Shout out to Walter and Mick. The company was called Cranky ads. It was meant to be, or was, a an ad platform to connect bloggers with advertisers. So my vision for it was a facebook stock community. Do you where bloggers would sign up, advertisers word sign up and they'd find each other. They'd be able to kind of search the social graph of blogging, of content sites and advertisers to connect and do deals to make, you know, add purchases so the bloggers can make money the advertisers could reach new audiences. Unfortunately, I really learned for the first time how hard it is to develop software. The engineering side is a challenge. Walter was my engineer, Co founder and it was just slow going. Walter was working a lot of hours and at the end of the day we ended up closing down that business after about two years of working on it. I would say it was full time. We were kind of part time working on it. The biggest lesson there was a simply the difficulty of engineering. I we did, you know, have some users because I was able to tap into my own audience. Learned a lot about the startup world. We almost decided to take on venture capital. We did a number of pitches in front of angels and some venture capital options, but we turned down going down that route because we didn't want the responsibility to investors if we were not sure where the company was going. So at the end of the day. After two years, we decided to close that one down. Great experience again, lots of learning and really my first exposure to this venture capital world from the side of being a founder, which was, you know, not that big a deal in the sense that Australia and venture capital is not a huge world. For that getting better, but obviously everything was happening mostly in the United States, in particular San Francisco at that time. So, putting Cranky ads aside, close that one down. I was still doing the blogging and podcasting. I actually decide to leave Australia around two thousand and fifteen...

...as well and go to none of them than San Francisco. So I decided I wanted to explore more with the world, but also I wanted to live in a place where I thought I could meet more entrepreneurial minded people, people who wanted to do non traditional you know, get a job, have a career lifestyle, which was still very much the most common way of living your life where I was from in Brisbane, Australia. I just wanted to meet more people doing amazing, exciting things in the world of business. So I packed my bags, headed up to San Francisco, got myself a little condo apartment in the Marina district of San Francisco, which is a lovely place to live. Did a lot of walking around and met a lot of people, but mostly I was there thinking and planning, still growing my my guest was second version of that teaching business I had, but most of it was kind of like settling in. What I want to do? Where do I want to live? Do I want to stay here to want to keep traveling? I ended up deciding to continue to travel. Actually went to Vancouver and spend some time there. I did a bit more traveling around Europe potentially as well. As you'll see us, this story continues. Let me try and connect the dots here. So, after deciding to leave San Francisco, which, to be fair, I only decide to leave because, as great as it was, I didn't feel it was good enough, that I had to stay there and pay the premium, because at the end of the day, it was very expensive. I was I had a little bachelor of the pad. I was paying almost three thousand us a month to live there. Moving to Vancouver my costs cut in half, and NCOUVER is an expensive city. So you know, San Fran schools very expensive, but I want to continue traveling. So I ended up traveling over to Toronto, or I have family, and then I went over to Europe and began a bit of a European adventure, which I won't dive into how it all connected, but I found myself in Ukraine for the very first time, which is actually where my father's side the family is from. If you're ever wondering where the Yarrow Star Act, that's my name, comes from, it's my dad side of the family and that was the first time where actually ever met some other yarrows when I went to Ukraine, as a few of them there are Yaroslav, the more common version of it. So I'm in Ukraine and one of the people I meet there is a gentleman named on three who works in the local government. He's young, but twenty five years old, and really he's clearly an entrepreneur, wants to get into the you know, having his own business, having his own control over his capital, his income, his growth, his money. But he's in the government and he's rising fast there too, so it's clearly a smart guy. We start talking. Actually I found myself in a unique situation where I didn't know what to do in terms of where I would go next, where I would, you know, go back to Canada. SETTLED DOWN IN MY mind. I had kind of plans for heading to Montreal and getting into property, which will play a part in my story coming up, but I wasn't sure if I want to do that. So I actually ended up being kind of persuaded by own three we were there. I remember this conversation and very carefully killer clearly. We were in a cafe in the Viev in Ukraine. Great City. If you get a chance to get to L VIV, go there. Amazing Vibe, good texting, amazing food, culture, architecture, more coffee shops in one city per capita than any other city in Europe, I believes. If you love coffee, great place to go. And I was there for a few months, just being a digital nomad, you know, living there very affordable. Comparing San Francisco to the Viv, oh my gosh, it's probably ten percent the cost of living in San Francisco. So I'm there with Andre, we're sitting down. He's telling me about an opportunity that's come up to take part in a Green Energy Initiative that the Ukrainian government was pushing forward to essentially pay a tariff, which means they pay a higher rate or a guaranteed rate of return when they buy the electricity. So the government buys electricity generated from wind farms, from solar energy and so on. So we had an opportunity, thanks to on therese connections in the government, to set up solar farm if we could find the funding. Now, in a case of another way, I grew some capital. This...

...was actually around two thousand and seventeen, which, if you're a follower of cryptocurrency, was the, I guess, the first ever public boom in Crypto, and I'm recording this now in I would call phase too. Obviously Crypto Star with Bitcoin and in sort of late two thousand, two thousand and twelve, but you know, two thousand and seventeen has when went mainstream. It was being talked about on the mainstream news and people were pouring money into it, including myself. So I was lucky in some ways. I made a connection in Toronto in two thousand and sixteen with a gentleman who was in the crypto space and introduce me to this other crypto called atherium. I thought I'd missed the train on bitcoin because it was already worth two thousand dollars. You can laugh at that now, as we talked about it being worth fifty, two, sixty thousand dollars as I record this, but I thought I'd missed the train on Bitcoin. But this new cryptocurrency, etherium, which is even potentially better because it had this power called smart contracts. So it's kind of like developing software on the blockchain. I won't talk about that right now, maybe a future episode, but it was just getting started and it's it was like eight dollars. That's how much the ether, the etherium crypto token, was trading at at the time. So I thought maybe this a chance to get into something a little bit closer to the ground floor. I started using a platform called e Toro to trade. It's really big in Europe as starting to enter the states as well as I record this, and the only downside with you Toro is it was hard to get a lot of money in there once. I had to kind of drop in tenzero chunks at a time, using paypal or whatever method I could, and slowly get money into the platform, and it was actually funny because I'd get tenzero into the platform. I buy atherium at maybe a fifteen price. I'd be trying to get my neck next deposited the platform, waiting for it to clear. A theory would jump to thirty and I'd like, oh my gosh, if I could just get my money in here, I'd be doubling it, you know, every week or so. And you know, to cut a long story short, it was a crazy year if you were involved with crypto. In two thousand and seventeen fun, fun ride. I'd have some some periods where I'd make a hundred thousand dollars in a week, I'd lose fifty thousand dollars the next week. It was all on paper, of course. I wasn't, you know, buying and selling too much. It was a sitting there in my account. To cut a long story short, which will probably be a story I do share in more detail throughout the future, but and will come up as well as whenever we talk about crypto. I was lucky in some sense because I met on three and we then decided yes, we're let's make this solar power plant idea real. I have all this money I made in the crypto space by that point. You know my put in about a hundred and Fiftyzeros us and it was getting close to well throughout the year, be anywhere from half a million to a million dollars in paper gains there. And you know, it was just sitting there. Of course, like everyone else, I was greedy, hoping it would keep going up and I would not have sold it if it wasn't for a meeting on three and making the commitment that we're going to start this solo plant together. So, thankfully, I say thankfully because luckily we had a kind of a deadline of December of two thousand and seventeen to put in my proportion of the investment into this solo plant. So I actually took out half a million dollars to put that into the pure power solar farm in Ukraine that we were building together. So I'll share the story of how we ended up building that and the steps that went to create it. To be fair, and red did most of the heavy lifting and all the work on the ground. We had a partner there. I was more of the financial investor, but if I didn't have that deadline of pulling out that money to put into that project January, two thousand and eighteen hit and then crypto to start to collapse, I would have probably watched my money drop down all the way to where I started. I would have lost it all, but I'd be losing ninety percent of my gains. Thankfully, I locked in at least half of all the gains I ever made because I had to...

...put it into this solar plan. Now, of course. funnily enough, if I kept all my money in the cryptocurrency, holding it to today, it would be worth two a three million dollars instead of, you know, whatever I sold it at. But that would have required me to hold it all the way through the two thousand and eighteen crash, losing eighty percent of its value, and keep holding it two thousand and Nineteen, two thousand and twenty, believing that crypto would eventually take off, which I know myself, I probably would not have done. I would have pulled that capital out and put it into other projects. So I'm very glad and very happy that we did the solar energy plant in Ukraine. You can see some pictures of that on my blog. It's something I'm very proud of because it's green energy. Use cryptocurrency to produce something that's green energy and it's helping Ukraine as well, you know, growing the local economy. It's providing energy locally as well. So very fun project and very different from anything I'd done before, you know, as a information marketer, online marketer, jumping into solo energy left field. So great experience and love to talk more about that in the future as well. But want to keep going here. So after the solar farm was done, I actually did eventually decide to move back to Canada. I did a bit more traveling, went to Europe, Germany, a lot of visiting some conferences, wrote a book while I was traveling around Germany and Amsterdam and to the UK, but eventually found myself back in Montreal and decided to finally do what I actually had the intentions of doing, which is invest in property. I should mention I did actually purchase a property in Ukraine, primarily because I was there and property is very affordable. It was a fiftyzero dollar apartment. I put some renovations in it. I wouldn't see that technically as an investment. It was simply because I planned to be there because of the solar farm and it was nice to have my own place in Montreal it was more about investing. So I decided to take the capital. This my capital I gained from, obviously my previous businesses, but also from selling my property in Australia. So by this time I've left Australia. I've been out of the country for about four years. I decide to really truly leave felled. Sold all my assets. They're all my properties were sold. Eventually, didn't happen all at once, but eventually they were sold. So I had this capital I wanted to put into property. I knew Canada was still booming. I fell Vancouver was very, very pricy, Toronto very pricy, Montreal fifty percent off compared to the rest of the big cities. So I was thinking this is the next place to get into property. Plus a great, great city for buying multi unit places like duplexes, tlex has. I've never had one of those before, so I wanted to get into that as well. So, again, to cut a long story short, I ended up buying three properties. I now have a triplex and a Condo in APLEX and another unit I'm standing in right now in a duplex, and I hope to buy the one upstairs at some point in the near future when the current owner decides to leave. So I'm going to save my stories about property as well for the future, but it certainly has been so far a mixed experience, horrible and some levels due to unforeseen repairs surprises that have been needed, some big money has been sunk in and then, of course, positive side, the gains have been good. The capital growth in Montreal has very much kept on par, trying to catch up to Toronto and Vancouver. It's grown ten to twenty percent a year in capital gain as well. So it's kind of offset the cost of reinvesting to do repairs and I was able to spin out some of those capital gains a refinance to buy, you know, the second or third property. So I'm not going to go into all that detail because obviously it's a lot that's going on. But that meant that I had property investment. I had a proper in Ukraine, had a solar farm in Ukraine, still had my coaching business and the last couple of stories have to kind of wrap up my story. Thank you for still here listening to me. I know this is a long story. It's just me talking, just me rambling. That will not be the future this is going to be very much an interview...

...based show, but I want to introduced those of you who are new to me so you know a bit more about who I am. Around about the same time as I was in Ukraine starting the solar plan, I also, I hustle, decided to do a little experimenting in the world of Angel Investing. Now it wasn't the first time I actually made an investment in someone else's company. Go back in time, all the way to two thousand and seven, when I was still getting started with my own blog, actually connected with a friend named Albert's Falla in Australia and he had a blog he started kind of around the same time as mine about cars, called car advice. His blog, however, went down a different track to mine. I was sort of a lifestyle blogger running my own company. He went down the venture capital route, got investors, got a partner and grew a team and eventually that company was doing as much as, I think about twenty million dollars a year in advertising revenue and and they ended up selling to the nine network big media and TV channel in Australia for sixty two million, I think, was the final combined price. Of Selling that company and because I was so close to him and, you know, talking to him about our companies on a kind of monthly basis, there was a few opportunities to invest and I finally grabbed one. I was probably one of the later opportunity should have gone an earlier, but I did drop a fairly hefty chunk of my profits from my own business into investment and his, which resulted in not a huge game. Three times my money back, little less than that, maybe two and a half times my money back, but it was my first taste of, you know, Angel Investing. I didn't really think about it that way. I just happened to a friend with an opportunity. Fast forward, though, to two thousand and seventeen. I'm like, I got some capital, I want to experiment in Angel Investing, and that's actually when I discovered Jason Calcannis and his podcast this week in startups. It's a long running podcast. I knew about Jason Prior to that, though, because back when I was early days blogging, he was the guy who first sold a blog network. So he's the guy who started blogs like in gadget a bunch of other wellknown blogs that were bought by AOL for twenty something million dollars, if I remember, because I remember the news, because I was, you know, sort of in the middle of my first two or three years of blogging. It was exciting time. Blogging was huge, and then I see this news this this young guy named Jason from New York cells this collections of blogs, it was called weblogs, Inc to AOL for some twenty plus million dollars. So that was the first time I heard about him, but I kind of, you know, didn't really follow him back then. Now, with his podcast, which he's been running for a long time. I think he started a similar time to myself, can like two thousand and five. With his podcast, I never really pay attention to it, but I got into angel investing. I read his book, which was a big factor and convincing me to get into it, and he also has an angel investing syndicate. So that's a place where you can basically join a group of people who all put in the small amount of money together to invest in a startup, led by a lead. In this case Jason is the lead. He runs the syndicate, he finds the investment opportunities, the startups that you can invest in. He then presents that to the syndicate and you can invest, you know, anywhere from two thousand and Tenzero twenty thousand. That's kind of like the typical ballpark range. But if you have a few hundred people doing this, there's a lot of money going to these startups, with Jason being the you know, the lead and representing the syndicate. So I learned about that through his book. I learned more about Jason and his story being one of the early investors in Uber and calm and, you know, amazing and, more importantly, learning about the the potential of the rare, very rare outcome of getting some kind of a Unicorn, as they're called nowadays, billion dollar start up. Plus if you get into these companies, as you probably you know, heard about some success stories over the last even as a record, this has been so many, you know, door, air, Benb, coin, base, so many companies float and if you're one of the people who were there early, you're...

...getting anywhere from a hundred to even two, Threezero, multiple time your money, like in times your money like, for example, with Jason Getting into Uber, I think you put in twenty five grand and it returns somewhere between three to four thousand times that. That's rare. It's it's a case of being in the right place at the right time and making the investment. I learned a lot from Jason. I'm not going to talk too much more about angel investing because it is it's a topic in itself. I will say through Angel, through Chasing Syndicate, through Angel List, another place where you can find syndicated deals to invest in startups, through my own network as well, I'm now over twenty five angel investments and still doing more. So if you are interested in potentially you know having myself as an angel investor advisor, love to hear from you. I'm going to be expanding that side of what I do because I'm loving it. I think it's a lot of fun. I love being part of early startups and even just hearing about how they're going and what they're focused on. So I'm definitely putting some more energy into that. It's big part of my capital growth journey for the future and will be a part of this podcast for sure. In fact that the main name for this podcast is my name, yarrow dot VC, so I'm very much connecting it yarrow dot invested capital, the best of capital podcast. So if you want to see the deals I've done so far, you can head to my blog, yarrow dot blog, and I've got them listed there. I will definitely migrate them over to Yaro DOT EC at some point, but for now yarrow dot blog you can see some of the early investments I've made in some companies. And then, to kind of wrap up this story, to give you the thing I'm focused on right now, besides this podcast and my my blog and so on, my main company, my own startup, is called INBOX donecom with I've been running for about for for four years, full time now, I'd say, with my cofounder, Claire. So this is a business that I do love to promote. You'll see me talking about it on twitter. We're doing a lot of marketing, you know, running ads and so on, writing content. Inbox done is a service that basically takes over doing your email and your customer service. So if you're drawing an email personally your inbox is full, we can take over answering, replying, managing eighty to ninety percent of your emails. We can also take over, you know, your customer service. Your helped us tickets if you're running some kind of business where you get a lot of queries. We are team is, you know, US based college educated, English of the first language, great communicators. You know, we're not outsourcing overseas. So it is what we focus on in particular is written communication. So we're very much specialized in that. This business has been a lot of fun to grow. It's very similar to my essay editing company out the connections here are I always fund to talk about. You go back in time, I was running this company early thousands where I connected university students with people who are often university professors, postgraduates great at academic writing, provide essay editing feedback and thesis editing and feedback. Now we're connecting people who have too much email with people who can step in as email specialists and help clear their inbox every single day. So this is very much my startup. We're on track. We're at about half a million dollars run right as I record this annually. Looking forward to getting that to seven figures, hopefully with the next twelve months or so, and I see myself certainly focusing on this company for a good while and you'll you'll definitely hear me mentioned it many times and if you're listening to this and you help with your email or your customer support, get in touch or head too in books donecom I'm the CMO, chief of marketing. Claire is basically the CEO running our operations. We have a team about twenty five and yeah, Great Company and we're really enjoying that. So that's my main, my main kind of cashlow business right now. Still Have My coaching business as well, and then I have all these investments running at the same time. Solar Company, property, Angel Investments. I still have some cryptocurrency now during this new boom, stock investments.

So I got a lot invested capital out there, leveraging my past to grow my future. Okay, so I'm going to call it the end of this podcast. As I said, this is episode zero of the rebrand, the renew vet, the renew the new vested capital podcast. We're going to do some interviews coming up. I'm starting to record them actually next few weeks. Got Some great new guests lined up. Really want to reach people who are doing amazing things with their start up, maybe with investing, interesting ways to grow their capital, interesting ways to generate cash flow. We're going to talk about it. I hope you stick with it. That's it. Please subscribe share with your friends. Can't wait to talk to you more in the future on this podcast. My name is yarrow. I will talk to you very, very soon. Bye. Bye.

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