The first one was the death of a very close friend of mine, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. From diagnosis to death was less than six months. That really challenged me to think about you don't know how long you've got. Are you happy with the choices you've made? I had to say probably not, nor do I want to spend the rest of my life being told what to do in a big corporation with a relatively small pay raise each year, albeit it felt good at the time. No, I wasn't happy, but also, it taught me to value my friends and my family a lot more.
So that kind of made me think what is life about? Then, when I had my first boy, Harrison, he kind of galvanized it for me. It is about family. It is about friends. I mean, I loved it so much, I've had another two since, which they also have the challenge. I think you can see the timeline. From 2008 to 2009, I didn't exactly take massive prompt action to do anything different, did I? The third thing, really, the catalyst for me was when Kraft took over Cadbury. Despite the headlines, they are a very good company to work for, but it kind of meant my career prospects lay abroad rather than in this country. When I've got old parents and three young children, it was never going to fit for my value sets to move them around the country.
I made a decision then I'd get out. The Kraft restructure gave me the opportunity, through restructuring my team and being involved with the biggest restructure, to kind of get out with a package, so I had a comfort blanket. I could go out there, try , and if I failed, well, I'll just get another job, won't I? I was determined not to fail. I think the difference being I needed to understand what had gone wrong last time I couldn't source these properties and what I needed to do differently this time. Clearly, I needed to go back to school. I read Property Magic in April 2011. I recognized the bloke, Simon Zutshi, because I used to work with him at Cadbury. I thought I could probably trust him. He won't be like the others. I can genuinely say he isn't. He's a one-off, but he's also very ethical about what he does, so I could work with that, and that kind of resonated with my values.
Then, I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which is all about understanding how your assets work for you. The combination of those two things gave me enough of an appetite to think I could probably do this, but let's go and sample it. Went on a Quick Start in April 2013, quickly followed by the Accelerator, where Julie Barlow bullied me, I mean really coerced me, at the end of the day, to sign up with my wife, who was eight months pregnant by then. She was saying, "The two of you can do it. Come on, you'll love it." I was lucky enough to get away with that, but I'm really grateful to Julie for doing it, because I was determined not to get into Quick Start, so thank you for that. I knew all the strategies under Accelerator, but I know I kind of wanted the support. Given that I'd now gotten myself into a position to leave Cadbury, I thought I'd really need to replace my cashflow quickly, so I signed up for Mastermind, because I thought with this bunch around me, how can I fail? I'm glad I didn't see your faces when I made that decision, by the way.
My reason why and my goals, it's very simple, really. Quality time with family and friends. No different to most people in this room. Richard touched on being selfish, as well as the family and friends bit, I want to do things. I want my freedom. I want to choose what I do with my life and to go around the world looking at sporting events with my kids. I'm not going to leave them behind, by the way, and my wife. To take my family around the world to see World Cups, to see golf. If we get any better, to watch cricket. That's what I want, and that's important to me.