Most people would expect that getting expelled from school not once, but twice, would set you on the path for a lifetime of struggle. But for Jack Henderson, it had the opposite effect.
He left school at 15 years old, bought his first property three years later and now, at the age of 22, has a $3 million property portfolio.
Jack told Bushy Martin on the Get Invested podcast that school was setting him up for failure.
“My mindset when I was young, and it still is the same now, I don’t generally like to listen to people that aren’t in a position that I want to be in, or they haven’t done something where I look at it and go, ‘well, I want to learn from that person’,” he said.
“I guess when it came to teachers telling me stuff, when I was learning about history or when I was learning about Saturn or Mars or whatever you have to learn in school, my mindset behind that was, ‘Really? Is this going to help me in the real world?’
“I reckon for 80% of my classes the teacher would say, ‘no, you’re not welcome in the class, Jack. Go and sit in the principal’s office’. So it was useless me being there anyway.
“Yeah, I was a pain in the arse and I had attitude and all the rest of it. But they (teachers) all had one thing in common they said about me, it was, ‘whatever you do in life, you will be successful at’, so I guess they could see something in me, but it just wasn’t school. That wasn’t for me.”
Jack’s school struggles put unbearable pressure on his family, teachers and himself.
“I think it almost made mum and dad divorce, it was tears, and it was just constant stress that was not needed, because at the end of the day, regardless of whether I finished year 12 or not, I was never going to university, so really it was no benefit to me.
“I left school, went and worked with dad and I sort of thought to myself, ‘I’ve backed myself into a corner here. I’ve got no formal education. I’m working in a dead-end job. I need to do something with myself or my money.’ I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder. Obviously people’s perception of you when you get expelled from two schools isn’t the greatest. They think you are going to be a deadshit, in a way.”
But when weighing up his options, Jack realised he had something his mates didn’t: cash. He was earning $1000 a week, living at home with few expenses. So he saved most of his earnings and spent his nights researching property investment. In just three years, he was ready to buy his first property. And it would change his life.
“I was educating myself from 15 when I got expelled, until 18, when I purchased my first (property),” Jack said. “And mate, it’s just been a ride from there. I purchased my first 18, second at 20, third at 21, and then I’m just about to purchase my fourth at 22.
“The thing is, you have to live at the same time. A lot of people want push you to ‘save, save, save, invest, invest, invest’, and then obviously live when you retire. But there’s a lot of people that don’t make it to retirement, so I think it’s about finding the happy medium of enjoying lifestyle but also being quite strict from the investing side as well.”
Jack’s story isn’t about rejecting education, in fact it is quite the opposite – like many people, Jack struggled in conventional education environments but thrived when learning from expert video and podcast content, and experience.
“The first thing to invest your money and your time in is yourself, I believe, because without education and the mindset you need, everything else isn’t going to happen for you.
“If investing is what you want to do, then definitely invest in yourself first, get educated, podcasts, a mentor. Not even one mentor, a lot of mentors I think, is critical. And then take the lead.”
Listen to the full interview here.
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