Joint venture supremo, Peter Halm, shares with Nicola Cairncross, his strategy for surviving if you put him in a city with no contacts, no internet and a $1,000 in his pocket.
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Born in Brighton, England in 1967, I had a standard education that finished abruptly at around thirteen and a half years old. For personal reasons I started work at a very early age.
After moving from job to job for six years I ended up in heavy engineering and property development. I must confess I was doing something right as I seemed to climb the proverbial ladders of employment rather vigorously.
On the 20th September 1991 my amazing and very beautiful first daughter was born. She was without doubt the most amazing thing in my life to date… Sadly my relationship with her mother only lasted a very short time.
In 1999 after working for a very long 19 years I decided to retire!. Well, take a year or few off work and move to the Canary Islands. My wife and I are qualified divers so that was the plan anyway. What could be better than a few years diving and sun bathing, after all I had been working hard and I was now 32 years old.
We arrived in Lanzarote around the end of July 1999, and six weeks later (mid September) I was selling multi-million pound villas to the very well heeled individuals that graced the office of my newly found business partner. Ok not exactly retired but what the hell, I got bored with laying around all day.
I can’t really believe I am writing this but here I go.
We then left the warm, beautiful, luxurious and peaceful Canary Islands In June 2000 because we missed English food and the seasons. And to be truthful when you love excellent quality Spanish red rioja as much as I do it’s not wise to live somewhere where the wine costs less than water.
Now back in the UK and getting on in years at 33, my wife and I settled in Worthing, West Sussex. This is where I met my business partner and friend Andy Shaw.
At the time I first met Andy he was already a serial business man with multiple businesses and a mind for new Ideas and projects. Leaning on my engineering, process and managerial background I gained employment within one of Andy’s companies.
After working closely with the partners for around 18 months we formulated a property investment company. A few hundred flats, houses and a few blocks of flats later, I left the business to focus on my own projects. Land acquisition, building conversions, property joint ventures and the birth of my little girl Alena kept me busy until the great global corruption.
You know? The market traders sold us and each other garbage, the rating agencies lied about everything, the governments procrastinated to the extent that tens of thousands lost their jobs, homes and the banks took us all to the cleaners. Well that’s just my opinion. Needless to say I don’t have a rose-coloured view of that particular time at all.
Time for a three year trip to Prague.
We moved to Prague in March 2009 where my wife and I decided to regroup for a while. I could write a book on an Englishman living in the CzechRepublic, but not today..
February 2012 we returned home to England, working with Andy Shaw on the phenomenon that is A Bug Free Mind.
That’s about it for now. I hope my mini biography wasn’t too exhausting for you!
Find out more at http://abugfreemind.com/nicola