After over a decade of friendship and support, Leanne catches up “Rich Woman” owner, Kim Kiyosaki, to chat about business success and women’s increasing role in it.

Visiting Kim in her home in Scottsdale, Arizona, Leanne discusses how much has changed since they made their original ‘Rich Woman’ clip together back in 2009.  “We’ve grown our business, to multiple properties. We sold the management aspect of the properties, which we used to take care of ourselves. We have now started acquiring building services. A lot of the business is from government contracts with us renovating, plumbing electrics etc. we’ve got a pipeline of acquisitions for this first half of the year and are working on that.”

Having moved into business acquisition from properties, Leanne discusses being financially free: “We’ve had a fantastic time, we’ve had our ups and downs. We’re good at taking action and taking everything on board and applying it. In the seminars, so many people will read the books, take the course, but only a small percentage go out and do something with the education.”

Kim describes how there has been an increasing female demand for financial education around the world with her Rich Woman Cash Flow clubs, exclusively for women, becoming more and more popular. Speaking about an event she hosted in India, she explains how the dynamic completely changes when men are not around. “These were a group of women who were doctors, lawyers, business owners, investors, all sharing and helping one another with whatever issue they have at the time. It becomes a safe place for women, they can create friendships and their genius and who they are comes out.”

“They’ve done studies here in the US of the Fortune 500 companies, and those that have women in board level, management level, outperform the companies that do not. There’s a huge need for the energy, the personality and knowledge that women bring to business and investing. The world’s pretty messed up, look who’s been in charge. I think we need that female energy, thinking and mentality to turn things around. More and more women should become role models. Too many women are depending on other people to take care of them. Now is the time for women to step up and take a leadership role.”

What would the entrepreneurs say to aspiring businesswomen today? “Go out and do it, take action and learn from your mistakes. Fail fast, learn quickly and it’s not all that bad. If you see a problem go and solve it. If you were to invest in a small property and you see a problem, fix it. Start small ideally with a mentor. Not a college professor, someone who is doing exactly what you want to be doing. Make sure you’ve got a good team.”

In our latest instalment, CEO Graeme Carling talks about the importance of his commitment to success throughout his entrepreneurial journey, and how fear seems to be a consistent factor in why people aren’t willing to make that commitment.

Speaking from Scottsdale Arizona, where Graeme’s journey really began in 2008, he walks us through the last 12 years. “I came to my first seminar out here in Arizona in 2008. The seminar was called ‘How to Predict the Future’ and it was right in the eye of the storm of the financial crisis.

It was a huge event, there must’ve been 800 or so people attending. People from all over the world, all with the same concerns and challenges, and people wondering what was going on in the world, but more importantly it was entrepreneurs and people who are wanting to get on in the world.”

This seminar was the start of Graeme’s entrepreneurial journey, and would contribute to changing Graeme and his wife Leanne’s life dramatically. But over the years that have passed, Graeme’s found that disappointingly less than around 5% of the people who go to these seminars actually do anything with the learnings.

Graeme would go on to attend a lot of conferences and seminars to build on their financial education after attending that first conference in 2008 and it was the start of a shared journey with his partner in business and life, Leanne. They attended every event together and became incredibly successful entrepreneurs together.

“We bought into it and made sure that we then implemented the lessons, learnings and the education we had. Because the education is just the starting point, the act of going out and doing it and taking action – that’s where it all starts.”

A lot of people were just there for the thought of it. They wanted to do it but when it came to the crunch they just didn’t go ahead do it. I’m not sure why that is, but I think a lot of it’s driven by fear.” Throughout the seminars they attended, Graeme and Leanne found that a lot of people just like going to these seminars as a social or networking event.

Graeme and Leanne quickly adopted a strategy of avoiding networking events. They completely stopped attending anything with likeminded people who, like them, didn’t have anything at the time. “We wanted to be surrounded by people doing significantly greater, who had achievements and were far further don’t the road than us. We were laser beam focussed on what we wanted to do and what we want to get out of it.”

Instead of going from guru to guru, Leanne and Graeme identified two mentors who they look to for advice who specialise in the areas that they want to excel in to keep their focus where they need it to be.

Graeme identifies procrastination, lack of a solid plan and lack of determination as the killers of successful entrepreneurialism, and sums up his commitment to success with “Top guys are hardworking, ruthless, determined and have a clear plan. It’s hard work and a lot of the gurus make it sound simple. But just because it happened once, doesn’t mean it’s permanent – you’ve got to keep working and keep pushing it. You have to keep going. That’s what we’ve done from day one.”

In the latest instalment of our Business Insights series, CEO Graeme Carling and our Mergers and Acquisitions Director, Leanne Carling discuss why work-life balance doesn’t apply to successful entrepreneurs, and how their dreams changed with success.

“We wanted to become financially free to be able to do the things we wanted to do, whenever we wanted to do them. We had the dream to retire early to the beach and live off our income and do nothing. The reality is we would have been able to do that fairly quickly.”

The power couple describe how they quit their jobs and had quick success acquiring property which would’ve allowed them to retire to the beach early on, but when they actually reached that stage, they couldn’t think of anything worse. “We realised that we were trying to live our parents dream. We love work!”

“The reality is that when you get to a certain point, where we are, the idea sounds horrible for us. We work harder, longer, we take less holidays. It’s the complete opposite, but we love that! We’re never on holiday, we’re always on it. We started with nothing and you can’t get where we are without complete and utter commitment.”

When it comes to work-life balance Graeme and Leanne tell of how alien it is for them to hear from accountants or other employees that they’re out of office or have their phone switched off. Their commitment is full on, but for Graeme and Leanne, the sacrifice is worth it. “We never thought we’d get to this point, we absolutely love it. We enjoy the responsibility and commitment.”

Graeme and Leanne believe that work-life balance is a myth for entrepreneurs, and being there to solve problems around the clock has been key to their success. “Anyone who has been super successful will be all in. We don’t work a limited amount of hours each day or week. We’re fully in the problem solving game as entrepreneurs.”

Part Two in our Business Insights series, our Mergers & Acquisitions Director, Leanne Carling and CEO, Graeme Carling discuss how working together in business and marriage makes them stronger.

“When it comes to ambition, we always try to push the envelope.” Graeme explains how he and Leanne create unachievable goals for themselves, in order to keep striving for the best. “You’ll never exceed your wildest goals, we want to do the best we possibly can. We set ourselves huge goals that we’ll never achieve in our lifetime.”

Each other’s wingmen, the couple describe how they both know each other’s goals and how holding each other accountable is one of their keys to success. “We’re each other’s fiercest critics and biggest supporters. We always want the best for each other and push each other to the greatest potential.”

Graeme and Leanne discuss how having completely different skillsets and outlooks on things works perfectly in their partnership. Their trust in each other that they’re both getting on with what they’ve set out to do stems from over a decade of learning business together.

“Since 2008 we’ve been learning together. Pretty much everything we’ve done together, we’re following the same path. We consciously make an effort to stay on the same trajectory. This strategy has absolutely worked for us.”

United Capital have announced another top appointment further strengthening their growing team. The building sector investment firm, who acquired £30million turnover business Saltire Facilities Management last month, has announced the appointment of Paul McGillvery as Legal & Commercial Officer.

After the company’s most recent acquisition, the group, which includes former Scotland top 500 building services firm, McGill, and Angus-based electrical services firm, Alliance Electrical, now employs over 400 people and records a collective annual turnover of around £40 million.

Paul McGillvery, an experienced contracts manager, joins United Capital having spent the past two years as Commercial Contracts Manager at fast-growing business water supplier, Castle Water. Paul will support the United Capital team with legal matters, manage risk across the group and will maintain oversight of all company contracts.

United Capital CEO, Graeme Carling commented; “Paul joining our team is another great appointment for United Capital, and one which will support the group as we continue to expand.  Paul will work across all group businesses to support them as required and oversee all commercial contracts. His expertise will allow our operational teams to remain focussed on the day job, safe in the knowledge the legal and contractual stuff is well taken care of.”

At the end of 2019 United Capital set out ambitious targets to acquire businesses with a collective turnover of £300million within the next three years. The latest appointment signals the company’s commitment to reaching those targets.

Speaking of his appointment Paul McGillvery commented; “I am excited to join United Capital as they continue to expand rapidly. Graeme and his team are hugely ambitious, and I am looking forward to supporting the group as we move forward.”

As part of our Business Insights series, our Mergers and Acquisitions Director, Leanne Carling discusses the importance of recruiting good advisors from the get go. From her background in property acquisition to acquiring profitable businesses, Leanne’s experience working with advisors spans over 13 years.

Leanne’s advice to people starting out in business is to recruit good advisors from the get go “It might be expensive to start off with, however it will save you a lot in the long run.”

She explains how when her and her partner in business and marriage, Graeme, were starting out, they sourced cheap advisors, a decision that would go on to cost them a lot of money further down the line. Leanne’s advice for people starting out is to make sure you have professional law firms, accountancy firms and bookkeepers that will keep you on the right track.

Leanne’s strategy is to seek out advisors that are going to take her to the next level, and advises to “Look for advisors that are at a higher level than where you are at the moment. You’ll find as your business grows, and you grow as a person, you’ll change advisors. You might want to change them for different deals, you might have certain advisors that are more qualified in that sector.”

What to look for in advisors?

Be sure they are performing in your sector, they’re fully qualified to give you advice and they’re walking the talk. Be careful who you take advice from – family members, friends, teachers – are they qualified to give out the advice that you’re looking for?

Leanne sums the importance of advisors up with her top tip: “Get great advisors and don’t be afraid to change!”

In our latest Business Insights update in the series, our CEO Graeme Carling discusses how United Capital go about acquiring deals with the company’s no-nonsense attitude.

Over the past 13 years, Graeme and his partner in marriage and business, our Mergers & Acquisition Director, Leanne, have been involved or made over 1,000 deals. They follow a policy and view that when value is clear, decisions are easy.

With their wealth of experience over the past 13 years, Leanne and Graeme know intuitively when a deal is good and if they want to get involved. They’ve taken this approach to their business acquisition model for United Capital and pride themselves in their ability to make decisions quickly, and in letting potential sellers knowing whether they’re interested or not.

Graeme says “When you’re at our level, you don’t dither or delay. Professionals know instantly whether it’s a good deal or not. So when we’re analysing deals, we know very quickly if that’s going to fit our criteria and if we are going to be interested.”

A lot of the options that come through the pipeline, aren’t in Graeme and Leanne’s interests, but the volume of options allows them to analyse their options quickly.

Graeme and Leanne rely heavily on their combined gut feeling, which stems from their experience and the deals that they’ve been involved in. “We are in an aggressive acquisition mode, actively seeking deals. We don’t mess about, it either fits or it doesn’t. It’s strictly confidential and we will let you know as soon as possible if it’s not for us or if we are interested.”

We’re always looking for profitable businesses with good, secure contracts and a solid, experienced management team who would stay on post-acquisition to manage the business. If you’re looking to sell up, get in touch today with an honest and realistic valuation and we’ll let you know if we’re interested!