How Dato’ Michael Mastered No-Money-Down Property Investing

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Most successful coaches pay a bit of lip service to their business failure – and many even try to conceal their failures. 

But Dato’ Michael Tan, award-winning Regional Investment Edupreneur, has no hesitation sharing his very turbulent life. 

Michael openly talks about how a financial crisis led to a crumbling business, millions of dollars lost or stolen, deep depression that brought him to the very brink…

… And even landed him in jail. 

But for him, this failure and many others were the catalysts of change that let him learn, grow, and eventually, succeed.

Today, he is the multi-millionaire owner of several businesses, tapping into property investment, agriculture, and education across multiple companies in Asia.

In this interview, you’ll learn about:

  • His inspiring story and what drives his success across MULTIPLE industries
  • How to turn mistakes into rare opportunities for growth
  • How a simple method allowed his workshops to get a 100% success rate from participating students

[00:00:00] Terence: In this episode of Founders Go Naked, we’re very, very privileged to have Datuk Michael Tan join us. Hey guys. Datuk Michael, how are you? 

Welcome to Founders Go Naked with Dato Michael Tan

[00:00:11] Dato Michael Tan: I’m good. I’m doing very good. Okay. Happy New Year.

[00:00:13] Terence: Happy New Year. So Datuk Michael here is a regional education entrepreneur. So what that means is he is not just in one country, but he has his fingers in multiple countries across the region.

[00:00:30] Terence: And he has been teaching property investing and You know, basically how to manage your finances for over 10 years, I believe. So he’s very well known in the region. So we’re very privileged to have him here. And he’s got multiple businesses as well, which I’m sure he’ll talk about tonight.

[00:00:50] Dato Michael Tan: Uh, thanks for inviting me over Terence. It’s been, it’s a really good honor to be here. I think there’s been many things that’s happened in my life. I hope I can share as much as I can.

The Entrepreneurial Journey of Dato Michael Tan

[00:01:01] Terence: I’m sure you’ve got plenty. You’re just being humble. So Michael, tell us a bit about, you know, a brief history of your entrepreneurial journey in the past. I know 15, 20 years. Where did you start and how did you get to where you are where you’re owning multiple million dollar businesses across the region?

[00:01:24] Dato Michael Tan: Well, uh, it’s a funny story. I guess it’s a funny story to me. To be honest, I started as an engineer and I actually started by being in Singapore.

Singapore and studying over there. I studied really hard. I actually had traditional parents, which they, you know, they told me, you know, son, study hard, you know, get good grades, go out there and get a good job. But then, you know, hopefully you can get a retire or something like this. So I followed that path pretty much along that way in the first few years.

And I realized very soon that it wasn’t a path I wanted to do. So, I always had an entrepreneur spirit in me. And so, I went on this journey and I, and I want to give this first piece of advice before I tell the rest of my story is like, you know, don’t follow what I do. You know, if you ever decide to quit your job and go straight into a business, don’t do that yet because it’s quite suffering.

But that’s exactly what I did. I quit my job as an engineer and I went straight into business and, tried my hands on it first. I was miserable at it. Yeah, there’s a leap of faith. Yeah. And that was that was that was the first lesson I learned that, you know, as much as we have aspirations to go out there to try something we realize we don’t have the equipment or the knowledge to do so.

And so what saved me, uh, I failed miserably first, but what saved me after that was the fact that I got myself a mentor, right? And that person taught me how to go out there to do business pretty well. 

I want to share two parts of my story of my success. 

The first was I got a business mentor and he taught me how to do business pretty well.

And so, after one, two years, no, I left him already and I went on my own and I went on to my second failure in my life, right? Even though I was doing pretty okay in my business, but I was hit by the financial crisis of 2008. That’s how old I am, right? So in 2008 I had a, there was a subprime crisis in the US I was doing financial businesses and that took a tumble because of US.

And I went into another situation where I lost money, my business. And then I had my second mentor came to me and this person came up and, well, I looked for that person. And that person taught me how to do property investments in the worst of times. So, that’s where I actually went on to my next level of my life, where I went to become not just a business entrepreneur, but also an investor.

So I paired that two up together and that has been a beautiful journey until today. And that’s where I got this nickname of an edupreneur, right? I firmly believe in education, I really do. If it wasn’t for people telling me what to do, if it wasn’t for the fact that I was humble enough to ask for help very early on in my life, I think I may not have gone on this journey until today.

So, and I was also very blessed because I had great people help me along the way. I call them my guardian angels. People were far more successful than me at that time. And they’re still willing to lend a hand, be patient enough to guide me along the way and, tell me the ropes of things. And that really, really gave me, the belief, not just in going forward, but also the faith in mankind, you know, it’s like, wow.

So, this is my journey as well. So I started an education program. I started sharing and teaching along the way as well as a sense of giving back. Right. And it has done wonders. It has come to a point where not only is it, very enriching for me to grow in my business, but also very fulfilling to have this community of people around me that grows together with me.

So that’s where I am right now. I run multiple businesses. One of them is in education. That’s my passion business. That makes me the least amount of money, but the most amount of fun. Okay. I run a property management business, property investment business. I run a, I invested in a plantation, two plantation companies and I have several companies in the region, right?

in Thailand. In Hong Kong, in Singapore, right? And of course in Malaysia. So, I’m fairly busy. I keep myself busy. And this is, well, in short, that’s what I’ve done until today as a summary for myself as introduction.

[00:05:43] Terence: That sounds like a lot of things, Michael. I mean, you know, one of the cool things I like about you is that you actually, keep, practice what you preach. You’re not like some of those gurus that had one success, and then they are like, just like teaching and making tons of money from teaching. But you actually walk the talk, right? And you’re doing property investing, investing in businesses and what have you, right?

[00:06:10] Dato Michael Tan: I guess I constantly intentionally fail just so I can share more to my students, I guess.

I think that life is a journey. I have to be a bit selfish about this as well. I’ll be honest with you, Terence. It’s like, sometimes I feel that when I share, it’s actually my way of learning as well, right? The more I share, the more I understand some of the things I’ve done wrong, you know, and it’s a way for me to document like nowadays with all this right now, I’m sure I’m going to watch this podcast one day and say, Oh yeah, those are the things I did and how I improved.

So it’s, it’s a two way thing. And I also want to do this. I want to share this with you. One of the main reasons why I’m doing this is also because again, I was an engineer. I never started. I didn’t have miraculous gifts. I didn’t come from a rich family. I didn’t come from a great background. I didn’t come from a supportive environment as well.

When I wanted to start a business, my parents were not totally against it, right? So, you know, I feel the stress of any young person, any person, as a matter of fact, who has aspirations to become more, you know, and it’s so hard to get sources or credible sources for people or right people to guide you along the way.

And I’m just doing my duty. I can tell you this right now, I’m doing this for the 30 year old me or the 20 year old me long time ago, then seeking out there for knowledge and hopefully get some good guidance along the way. That’s awesome.

[00:07:34] Terence: So, Michael, I mean, when you were an engineer and you were in Singapore, you know, Singapore obviously pays like top dollar for engineers and stuff. I mean, what were the reasons that motivated you to say, “Hey, you know, I’m just leaving all this behind and all the comfortable job and all the perks and everything. And I want to be an entrepreneur where there’s no certain income and I could be, you know, on the streets next month.”

[00:08:00] Dato Michael Tan: Okay. On the spot. I tell you.

It’s being brash, young, and stupid, okay? Well, at least you’re honest. At any one point, I mean, at one time, I was like, Oh, I can be better than my boss or something like that. And I probably taught something like that to one at life. Seriously, it’s like, I wanted something more. Well, okay, um, I think it’s also behavior.

Me, like, right. I’m not a person that is, can comply to certain standards, you know, as Singapore is a very, you know, fine country, right? It’s very systematic to five. You just do your job. So you just deliver your results, your KPIs. So it was very mundane to me. And to me at that age, I would say, Hey, I went all the way to Singapore.

I went all the way out of, you know, my country. I wanted to explore more. And I guess it was that adventure that I wanted to look for. And so, yes, I did take a risk. I tell you, I had my regrets. Like I said, when I jumped and I left my job in Singapore, I went back to Malaysia. I started this business and I went back to almost poor.

I realized the value of money as well. And there were times I did have that regret, but what kept me going was, What kept me going along that way, after I had that job, okay, to fulfill my satisfaction of adventure was the fact that I was growing. I really was. The very first part of entrepreneurship that inspires me and I can tell you is the growth.

Best journey in my life is my eyes were awakened. I had learnings day after day. I humbled myself down. I now know why my boss is so stressful and I admire him more. You know, it’s like, yeah, my ex boss, I said, Oh, now I know it’s not easy to be a boss. You know, and, it really gave me the lessons in life that I would never have learned if I kept just being in the job.

So, yeah, those, that adventures were the ones that kept inspiring me to go forward and yeah, it was no regrets until today.

Facing Challenges and Embracing Failures

[00:10:11] Terence: All right. So, I mean, if you had to turn back time and go back to that point in time, would you have done it any differently? Would you have just taken, resigned and just went off and did your own thing or would you kind of do it more gradually?

[00:10:27] Dato Michael Tan: That’s a very good question. So let me answer it in a very short way and then maybe I’ll give a long answer to it as well. The quick answer is no, I never. And before it sounds so simple, let me tell you the troubles I’ve got involved in, right? 

I’ve got involved in being locked up. I got involved in being beaten up. I got involved in multiple court cases. I’ve got involved with people even breaking into my my premises and stealing stuff. I’ve lost trucks. I’ve lost lorries that belong to me. Yeah. I’ve been called many things in my life. So there has been many mistakes. So when I say no, someone must be probably thinking, Hey, that’s crazy, right?

I mean, would you want to erase all those things and just have a clean spot record, right? And the answer I want to tell everybody over here is no, absolutely not. For every single one of those mistakes, that was where I grew. Right? When I learned to overcome those failures, when I learned to overcome those mistakes, money that I’ve lost my clients. I, then learned to be more responsible to know and understand the value of that money.

Not just for me, but for my customers, right? From getting beaten up, also from dissatisfactions, understanding that we have to play on certain rules and not break them. Otherwise we break them, you get yourself into trouble. So, so many things. So every single one of my mistakes, I don’t call them mistakes nowadays.

As a matter of fact, like I said, failures to me and mistakes to me are like gifts from God telling me that I’m growing in life and I’ll pick them up and I’ll learn from them and I grow. So if I had to turn back time, I don’t think that I would have changed anything. As a matter of fact, I give blessings to every single success and failures I’ve had.

That made me who I am today.

[00:12:19] Terence: Nice. I mean, one thing they say, I’m not sure how true this is, is that the universe will keep on giving you the same lessons or the same, put you in the same situation until you learn from that mistake and grow from it. Otherwise you keep getting stuck there. How  true do you think that is?

[00:12:41] Dato Michael Tan: I truly believe in that. Now, I’m not Christian or religious, but I do believe in God. I will tell you this. I have had situations in my life where I almost went for, I almost committed suicide. Yeah, there was a point I was so broke. I’ve lost so much, like I said, I’ve lost so much failures in my life.

There was one point when I was at the bridge and I was always going to jump over. And I can tell you it was divine intervention. It’s just. You could call it faith in, you know, a higher being that has guided me to where I am today. So yes, I do believe, that there is, you know, a message that the universe is giving us.

We are here with a purpose in our lives. And so that message will continue to give us as a gift so that we grow in it. So we have to be very aware of all this and then take it in with pride, take it with strength and then, you know, overcome it and learn it and then be grateful of it. That my true ways of doing it until today.

The "Gift" That Changed My Life

[00:13:40] Terence: Yeah. I think like so many people think, oh, you know, start complaining about the situation. Oh, why does this keep happening to me? But actually maybe it’s a gift, like you said, right? And, and you just need to… 

[00:13:53] Dato Michael Tan: If you don’t mind, I wanna share a quick story over here. Is it okay About this thing about gifts, right? So let me just share one of these incidents where  I failed in this business. And as a matter of fact there’s a customer that’s quite close to us, and of course I lost money for her, I don’t know, it was a business in and she lost money with me, sorry.

And when she found me, I thought she’s going to beat me up, you know, punch me up already. She said, oh my gosh, you know. And she then, as a matter of fact  instead of punching me, she came up to me and she gave me a big hug. Okay.

[00:14:29] Terence: Okay.

[00:14:30] Dato Michael Tan: And then from there she said, I understand. I will forgive you. And I was utterly shocked.

I was just about 30 years old then. I was really very young and I didn’t understand. And this lady just gave me a hug and she said, Hey, I understand. I forgive you and I want to give you a gift. I go, like, what? And she gave me a ticket to a seminar. Oh, right. And it was, I don’t know if I can mention it here. It’s uh, it’s Million Mind Intensive by T Africa.

[00:14:53] Terence: Yeah, right. 

[00:14:54] Dato Michael Tan: It was a motivational, it was a personal development seminar.

[00:14:58] Terence: Right.

[00:14:58] Dato Michael Tan: And he gave me the tickets to it. I said, I want, I understand maybe you’re not yet experienced enough to run this business, so I want to give you this as a gift so you can learn some lessons. And then from there, I went to that seminar and I tell you, I was so weird because you know, when people are learning and everything like this, I will learn from the experience. And so when he pointed out the mistakes and when I went through all the things and they showed me the mistakes, I was crying my eyeballs out and I was like, wow, I finally learned so many things from that.

So yeah, you know, life works in very mysterious ways. I get gifts from many, many different ways. You just have to accept it and then you go for it.

Overcoming Failures and Finding Purpose

[00:15:39] Terence: So coming back to the point where you said you were about, you’re on the bridge, right? And so you actually physically went to the bridge and were contemplating jumping off? What at that point stopped you?

[00:15:59] Dato Michael Tan: Well, okay. So, I was actually pretty depressed at age 30, when my business I lost about 6. 5 billion. I couldn’t sleep. Yeah. I lost everything. Okay. And I moved into a very low cost flat with my wife and kid. At the time,  I just had my newborn.

So the pressure of me was really bad. And, so what happened was I wouldn’t, at about one, two o’clock after the whole family had slept, I would wake up. I would just, you know, wake up and I’ll wander the streets, like a mad man, you know, trying to figure out what to do. And one night it got to me too bad.

It was like, I just couldn’t handle the pressure anymore. Like I said, there were people chasing me for money. There was, you know, court cases and everything. So I couldn’t take the pressure, I was going to jump. So, you know, at that point when I was at that bridge and I was crying and everything, I think at that point I said, Or maybe there was this, like I said, there was this divine intervention.

 It just made me realize, Hey, look, your life may not be worth it, but what are you leaving behind for the ones you love, Right? And my wife, I thought about my wife. I thought about my son. I said, okay. And I don’t know what happened, but maybe it was a voice within or voice above that told me, don’t give yourself the chance, but give yourself a chance for your family.

 Do it not for you, but your family. So that night made me had the decision to say, okay, if I’m not worth fighting for and fight for the ones I love.

[00:17:31] Terence: Right.

[00:17:32] Dato Michael Tan: And that gave me the true power to go on. So every time I feel defeated, I just look at the people around me that, my loved ones and I see how much more I can give to them.

And that really now inspires me. And that inspired me at that time to go on in my life. Yeah. So, that worked, and it  gave me the energy and then I went on from that.

The Importance of Purpose and Mindset in Overcoming Adversity

[00:17:52] Terence: That’s amazing. So, I mean, it sounds like you had quite a few of this low, um, you know, times where it’s like stock market crashes, I would say, uh, in your personal life. So it, apart from, you know, having those people around you that you love, can you suggest other strategies for that you have used that can help people come out of the rut faster or those downtimes faster? 

[00:18:24] Dato Michael Tan: Well, okay. So what are the things that, well, so first thing first is like, yeah, I think what I want to, what I want to say is ground yourself to have a purpose in life.

Like, what are you fighting for? You know, if it’s only material goods, like money or something, it’s not going to inspire you. So for me, how, why am I where I am today? Why I play the game today, it’s not inspired by money, but the purpose that I live, right? So if you give yourself that one purpose, go bigger than just money itself, maybe it’s for your family, maybe it’s for people around you, maybe it’s for other people, right?

Maybe it’s to make a difference in the world, who knows? If you put that into your head, I guarantee you, you’re going to go further than most people. That’s number one. Number two, I have this, I have a regime and mindset’s really important. So for me, it’s how I overcome all this is a very strong mindset.

I have beliefs. I have, at one time I had declarations, I had 17 declarations I say to myself every day, right? Affirmations. And that really helps me, right? It gives me that strength to go on. I’m a human being. I have my good days and my bad days. And so by having all these regimes with me and systems and structures in my head, it builds on to it.

So I go very strong on that. The other one thing I also encourage a lot of people is health, you know, going fitness. It’s really very good. So I’ve been jogging for the past 15 years of my life. Not because I like jogging. Okay. It is because It is a mental breakthrough as well, right? To push the extra mile, to push the extra kilometer, to wake up that early and do it every day. The discipline I have to do that helps me as well. Of course, it gives me 

[00:20:07] Terence: faith. Every day for you? That’s pretty much every day for me. Wow. Right. That’s good. How, how long do you jog every day? 

[00:20:17] Dato Michael Tan: Right now I’m doing, on normal days, I do five, right? On the weekends, I do 10 to 21. Evening.

[00:20:26] Terence: That’s yeah, a quite a long distance.

[00:20:27] Dato Michael Tan: Ah, okay. But yeah, yeah. But sometimes I tell you the story, but this is that, you know, it’s not about the running. It’s about what the mind actually tells you. Like, let’s say, you know, if you’re not used to running, like, let’s say the 10 kilometer when you hit your seven kilometer, you’re going like, Oh, can I stop right now?

Can I, can I give up now? And it’s mind over matter. When you get a cramp and go like, Oh, it’s painful. I got to stop. Oh, it’s raining. I got to stop. And they might say, just finish the job, finish the job. So every time I cross that line, when I finished that run, I reflect back and it really helps me a lot.

So life is like a marathon. Being successful is like a marathon. It’s not a sprint. A lot of young people nowadays think like, Hey, uh, I just want to get that and I just want to do it in three days, three weeks. Success is, is always going to be a marathon. 

The Formula for Business Success

[00:21:21] Terence: So, okay, so what kind of businesses have you been involved in, like, in the past? And looking back, I mean, your coaching is one of your, is your passion project. But what other business have you been involved in as well in the past few, you know, in your journey? 

[00:21:42] Dato Michael Tan: Well, the main business I mean is actually property, right? Property investment. So, I started with mortgage brokering first. So I helped with people get their loans. And that was the business I went to travel. But from there, I speared on to property investments. And I grew my empire from properties, right? Within a short period of time, I accumulated about 20 over properties within two years, Right? Within three years, I committed close to 20 million ringgit worth of properties.

And that went on to my next business, which was property management and also bulk investment. So that’s one big part of my chunk of my, business and, investment empire, right? Buying a lot of discount properties also requires a lot of management. So that’s a thing that actually happens that right now.

And then the second one is of course my education, which I teach people how to buy properties, no money down. So that was the trick. The trick is that how I got my property so well is because I mastered the art of buying it with little or no money down. And, that’s how I continue to buy it till today.

And that’s the course I also teach a lot of people right now? Okay. So that’s my education business. It actually generates me a nice, decent amount that I can sustain my community from there. So we have coaches, we have entrepreneurs, after they graduate, we keep helping each other out to go out there to grow.

That’s the other part of business. Then we have our plantations. So I own two plantation companies, one, which is in Malaysia, and they are doing it to do rent and various crops, right? It’s a huge plantation. We own more than about 5, 000 acres of land. And the other one is actually in Thailand, which I actually doing into, medical agriculture.

[00:23:34] Terence: I’m curious, Michael, you, you own so many businesses, do you think running a business successfully, there is a certain formula or, you know, it’s like each business has its own different thing where you have to figure out? 

[00:23:49] Dato Michael Tan: Okay, being an engineer, I’ll tell you this right now. Everything is back to systems. Everything has a system. If you understand the DNA, all businesses are the same. So I have a system which I can put in regardless what business is in almost about 90 percent of the businesses out there fulfilled within this system. I go through the flow, I measure the measurements and it delivers.

So everything is run systematically. If I don’t do that, it’s not going to work. The second thing is team. I always believe in a very good team. I empower the teams. I love the team members. They are the ones that are actually leading the business, not me. I’m just coming here to support. And that’s the, the best part is having the great, the great talents support the system to build the business.

[00:24:39] Terence: All right. And this system you basically customize for each business where you can bring from one business to another, or you kind of need to design the system from scratch for each business. 

[00:24:51] Dato Michael Tan: Actually, it’s the same for all of them. I give an example. Like what I mean is. Basically, the departments you have, you basically have five major departments, your marketing, your sales, your production, your admin and your accounts.

So everything falls into it regardless of what the products are like, right? So you basically have that for your business. We also have KPIs on the sales figures, right? So every company has a sales figure. So the system’s about the same. It’s just that what do you sell, which is different. So we tweak it a little bit, but all of them are using the same formulas, right? And so from there, I have my daily, weekly reports. So nowadays I tend to sit down and do more meetings than actually do, the actual physical work. So like, I give you an example, like Wednesdays, I have two company meetings, the Singapore company and my property company.

And then after that on Thursdays, I have my agriculture company. And then after that, on the afternoons, I have my education company. So those are different days for different company meetings. And it’s the same reporting system, just that different people reporting to me on different, KPIs, but based on the same formula.

So it runs pretty much well.

Passion: The Core of Success

[00:26:03] Terence: Okay. And then the team just executes for you after the meetings every week. Beautiful. Beautiful. So Michael, I got a question. This is pertaining to like, you know, running a coaching slash speaking business, right? If someone is like just starting off and they’re kind of like got a few clients, but they really want to scale to like seven figures, eight figures like you what you have done.

What do you think is the secret to scaling a coaching business?

[00:26:35] Dato Michael Tan: Wow. That’s a good question. And I have to think deep for this one. Maybe I want to answer this other way. Okay. I’m not sure I have to honestly tell you, I don’t know the hidden formula, but I will tell you a little bit about what I think. Is it okay?

[00:26:55] Terence: Yeah,

[00:26:56] Dato Michael Tan: Absolutely, I challenge every coach out there who wants to be a coach, okay? What is your intention? Alright, and I really want to push it that way. Because, let me tell you, I know this sounds really, maybe it’s cliché, right? But, my intention is to change your life. I’m not kidding, Right? I am obsessed in my coaching to change lives.

Now, you’re probably thinking right now. Hey, this guy over here, Dato Michael, he’s just teaching property. Why is he talking about changing lives? Let me tell you the little secrets behind. For me, it’s not about property investment. When a person comes to me and say, Hey, I want to be successful, right? I want to buy a property.

Sure. I’ve got the systems to teach the person, I’ll teach the person, but what I’m looking for when I see the person is what’s stopping him from being the success he wants to be. And I go deep, I ask him the questions that stops him, maybe in his past, maybe some characters. And I try to tweak it to break through and look for the breakthroughs.

So when I coach, what I’m looking for is the breakthroughs, right? And I do everything and anything necessary. So I know this sounds funny, but even in my coaching programs, which is a technical coaching program, right? It’s all formulas and systems. People cry, people break down. Okay. They have this, they, for me, that’s the greatest for people when they have this self awareness that go like, wow, I realized now why I’m stopping myself from being successful.

And when that big true happens, when you see your clients have that, I tell you the spark in their eyes, the success and they, they become a totally different person, with less limitations, right? You are a success. So that’s how I created a successful coaching business is that I went above and beyond just delivering property results to them.

I delivered life results to them and that made me and if you do google me and check me out or even my programs that made this whole program a very raving success because you create what we call raving fans, people will swear by you who tells people hey go see this guy if you want. There’s more in your life.

Andthat, I believe, is my secret recipe.

[00:29:15] Terence: Mm.

[00:29:16] Dato Michael Tan: Yeah.

[00:29:17] Terence: Yeah, I mean, Michael, I hear you because I actually met some of your students before at a birthday party like two months ago, you know, the party we went to, and they were actually thanking me for doing your advertising because they were saying, Hey, if you didn’t didn’t do Michael’s advertising, we probably won’t be here today, you know, and they were so grateful.

And I was like, Wow, this is like, Michael really delivers the goods, you know,

[00:29:45] Dato Michael Tan: Okay, well, thank you very much. It’s uh, it’s good to hear that as well. But I think that yeah, for me was actually the one fun part about it is that, I did it out of, I think one of the things I want to say is this I know it sounds a bit cliche, but do what you love, love what you do.

I really love what I do. So if you’re going into this coaching or any business, I believe you must have some sort of passion in it first. Because that passion really, you know, makes that extra mix that is the extra sauce that makes you special, you know, so I would encourage those that are going into the business or are doing that business find a spark within you because that will really be your signature.

[00:30:34] Terence: That is your, I guess unfair advantage, isn’t it if you have that passion, you know. No matter what happens you just continue to do it because you just love doing it and you wouldn’t do anything else. Even if you do it for free you will also still be doing…

[00:30:51] Dato Michael Tan: And if you do that, I tell you your clients can do that one. They know that wow, this guy is like crazy You know, he’s he’s not doing it just for the money. I pay you. I’m doing it he’s doing it because she really wants to do you can see it and it’s infectious. It’s really infectious. It will affect your team affect your clients And he really will just It will make a difference.

[00:31:13] Terence: I feel. Yeah. I think that’s a brilliant advice because I think so many coaches that I know they maybe do a course and they think they’re told that, Hey, if you become a coach, you could make six figures, seven figures, you know, in a short period of time. And then they jump into it maybe for the wrong reasons.

But I think it’s so important to come back to the why.

[00:31:35] Dato Michael Tan: The why is important to me. The why is important. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, I feel that because if, let’s say if you don’t have it, and even if you, I’ve seen people work very hard to get those six biggest self figures and it’s, yes, you can do it, but if you don’t have a strong why, you also make it a burnout, right?

After a while you just got, and you won’t understand why. So I always tell people, always go back to your fundamentals and if you ground yourself and you find out who you are, I think wealth success comes to you much easier. Yeah.

[00:32:06] Terence: Hmm.

[00:32:07] Dato Michael Tan: And more in a more fun way too. Yeah, it’s a more fun way as well. You know, you, the best part is it that, I can tell you honestly this is that I wake up every day looking forward for the day ahead.

And I really want, see, so to me right now, maybe go back to the story of the engineer and today, you know, what’s the difference? When I woke up as an engineer, I dreaded the days, I longed for the weekends, you know, I just say, Hey, I just can’t wait for Sunday to come. And when Monday comes, I just don’t want to wake up.

Right? And that was a horrible way for me to live life, dreading five days and only wishing for two days in my life today. Every day I know a lot of people will call me a workaholic, but I don’t feel like I’m working. I wake up every day looking for a day.

Can you imagine and it makes me fall sick lesser? It makes my life a bit more fulfilling and like I said, it’s it’s not it’s not a burden I don’t feel too tired. It’s it’s a better way of living your life. So I would encourage people I mean how many of you wish that you could wake up every day looking for the day ahead?

Balancing Business, Family and Personal Time

[00:33:16] Terence: So Michael, I got a question though. Like you’re running so many business, you’ve got so many meetings, you’ve got your speaking in public and you’re doing seminars and webinars. How do you find that balance in life? Like, how do you find time for your family? How for exercise you mentioned already, but other aspects of your life?

[00:33:38] Dato Michael Tan: I’ve done this, this to you right now. I am the worst person there is to work life balance cause to me, there’s no such thing. Yeah, that’s the, I don’t mean, I hope this doesn’t come with any discouraging for those new young entrepreneurs and I’m not encouraging people to burn work all the way out.

So 24 hours, but I just have to tell you my own personal life and that is that I don’t have weekends every days. Every day for the past 21 years, I’ve been putting it into my businesses. Like I said again so I know this sounds a bit, like I said, cliche, but I found, I really believe in what I do and let’s say like in the education business, I love that.

I love that because it’s changing people’s lives. So when I fly to Thailand, when I fly to tomorrow, I’m going to Sabah, I’m going to see you there. I’m going to Sabah. If I want to go to Sabah, when I go to Hong Kong, when I go to Singapore, when I come back, I go somewhere else, I look forward to what’s going on.

So, yes, it’s very driven. I’m a very driven person in my life. So I would say that 70 percent of my life focus is on it’s actually into my business and that’s not so good for my family. So I have to honestly say I’m very blessed because I have a very strong and very supportive wife and a very supportive family that understands my work.

So they are flexible and they work around my time. I wouldn’t recommend that for everyone. I think you have to really work and connect with your spouse and your partner and make sure that there’s a proper communication and understanding. So I work out a system with them as well that I have certain days in a year where I allocate only to my family, but the rest of the time they allow me to do what I do best and what I love.

Right? So my life isn’t work life balance. It’s, it’s very focused. 70 percent would be, I would say strongly to my job, my business.

[00:35:44] Terence: I guess the reason you don’t burnt out is because you love what you do so much. So work and play is kind of like the line is blurred. Would you say that’s the reason?

[00:35:52] Dato Michael Tan: Yeah, it’s like, yeah, I mean, okay, I do. Okay, so here’s a couple of things I also want to share is that I do have my me times as well. So I allocate certain times, but like end of the year, like I just came back from a 10 day retreat, man, no phone calls from my, for my business associates, you know, pure time. I choose this time to spend with my family.

I have other times where I spend like three to six days on retreats purely just to cleanse, you know, detox on the mind and,  get myself ready and also to recover. So yes, I do have that in sequence. That’s number one. Number two is this. I don’t take a job as a job. I love challenges. I love the growth.

So when I go into it, that’s what I focus on the growth and on the growing and on the learnings and the challenges. So every time I go into it, it becomes something I’m looking forward to do. So yeah, I look at it in a different perspective.

[00:36:53] Terence: Yeah. Wow. That’s, that’s, that’s very enlightening. Just looking at it in a different way. So it doesn’t feel like work. And it also needs to schedule those rest times, those downtime. So that’s really cool. Yes. 

[00:37:08] Dato Michael Tan: Yeah. So I have a certain ritual. I like, yeah, there’ll be times that I go and in the mornings, so I have a ritual in the mornings as well. So, that’s where I wake up about six and I go for my activities, my, I had, I spent two hours at the gym after which then I do my planning and then after I go to my work.

So there’s a ritual that I do and it helps a lot as well.

[00:37:30] Terence: Yeah.

[00:37:30] Dato Michael Tan: Yeah.

The Success Formula for Seminars and Webinars

[00:37:31] Terence: Awesome. So Michael, um, I’m just curious as well in terms of like running seminars, running webinars, if you had to boil it down to one or two success factors to make your webinars or seminars successful, uh, what would it be?

[00:37:52] Dato Michael Tan: One of the things I’ll say is results from my customers.

[00:37:55] Dato Michael Tan: Yeah, I run this for our No Money Down. So let’s say for our property seminar, No Money Down, it has a 100 percent success rate. And when I mean a 100 percent success rate, I mean our coaching programs, right now we’re taking about 70 people in. Previously we took about 112. All of them got their properties No Money Down.

Right? That’s, that’s the obsession we have. So if you boil it down to it, to me right now, success of my clients, success of my students are very important. We deliver. So that would be one of the things I look into into my programs. 

[00:38:34] Terence: How’s that possible, Michael? Cause some people would just attend the seminar and say, Oh, okay, I’ll, I’ll put it off till next year or whatever. So how do you make them actually get off their chairs and do something about it? Right. 

[00:38:48] Dato Michael Tan: Well, when I say the 100 percent success rate is when they come to the seminar for the three days, they then attend the three months coaching from that coaching perspective, then that’s going to be a hundred percent.

Still, that’s pretty amazing. Yeah, there is. Yeah. I want to tell you this right now. It took us five years to get to a hundred percent. I’ll be honest with you. When I first started it, I had a 10 percent success rate and then this obsession, like I said, the obsession for me to keep on perfecting it, it went to 30, then 50, then 70%, then just one year after, like five years, it hit a hundred percent.

It was like, wow. And, uh, it has been maintaining the a hundred percent until today.

[00:39:34] Terence: Wow. Yeah. Cause as you say, the 10%, that’s like the industry standard, right? Where someone attends a you know, high level program and 10 percent of them take action. The other 90 percent do nothing about it.

[00:39:47] Dato Michael Tan: So I know it sounds hard to believe, but, you know, here’s the thing. Okay. 

So how did I manage to get that? It’s because, success breeds success and it’s not me who actually got this. If you don’t mind me sharing a little bit, the uniqueness of this program is that we have a community. So the people who actually, so how did I make this happen was the first 10 percent was a success.

I caught them and say, Hey, would you mind come back and volunteer a time to share and help out with the rest of the people that comes in the new batch and share your success. And they’re like, how long was this thing say, okay, for the next three months, okay, you can’t be in on and off and help out where I’m coaching them.

So they took on the job and they volunteered the time and, they loved it. The funny thing was this, you know,  it’s not that I don’t want to pay. I don’t want to make it into a paid thing. So they come back and volunteer a time. And you know, when they saw other people get successful, like, Hey, can I come back again the next round?

I also still want to coach. So that’s what happened. And then the 20 percent who became successful came back again as well. And so on and on, on and on. Eventually, we have this coaching community of past students that found their properties that volunteers the time to come back and share with the rest of the people how to do the same thing.

And that’s the, that’s the beauty of this, right? It’s a success breed success. And it’s not even me. It is past people coming back to the community and helping the rest. And the best part about it is it’s not just happening here in Malaysia. We have the same community happening in Thailand, right? And we have the same community happening in Hong Kong and also in Cambodia.

[00:41:30] Terence: Wow. Amazing. So why do you think that’s the case? Is it, if you coach them, it’s like, they will be thinking, Oh, Michael Tan is different, so he can do it. But if it’s a peer coaching them, they’re like, Oh, okay. This guy’s kind of just like me. And that’s, is that the reason why you think they experienced that success?

[00:41:52] Dato Michael Tan: But we also have a system whereby, you know, the seniors, right? They have seniors on top of them who have actually bought like three or four, Right? And then the CDS. So I have a master coach right now who has bought a lot. So I’m not the only success right now. We have like multi millionaires in this whole program coming back and volunteering their time to support the rest of the program.

So it’s an ecosystem. So actually I believe if a person comes in and walks in and sees this and another person who’s a very successful coming to teach him, and then on top of him is another person. Another person who is already quite fairly successful, Sylvester helping as well. It’s like an ecosystem.

So what instills in a new person who has never done this before is a belief. It goes like, wow, you know, like, Oh, wow. There’s actually not just one person who’s got it done before, but a whole group of them. I think we can do it as well. So half the battle is already defeated by the fact that there’s so many people coming in and saying, Hey, you know, we have all done it.

I’m waiting for you to do it. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:43:01] Terence: Nice.

[00:43:02] Dato Michael Tan: I love it. So that’s the beauty of things.

Closing Thoughts and How to Connect

[00:43:05] Terence: Fascinating, Michael. Thank you so much for your time. Just to end, if people want to find out more about you, and, you know, how do they get in touch with you, and how do they enroll in your courses as well?

[00:43:20] Dato Michael Tan: Okay, well, look us up, okay?

Just Google this. Find out Michael Tan. LOL at Facebook, and you probably can find me over there as well. If not just right there, get started property investment, no money now. That’s the course that we have. I know it’s a handful of it, but if you type that in, you should get us as well. But you leave me a message in Facebook and, you know, if you’ve heard about this and everything else, more than happy to give you the guidance you want, and if you feel free, then drop by and,  maybe I give you a link to one of the Zooms or seminars that I’ll be having and we can, you can learn more, you can chat more with me then, yeah, but that’s, that’s pretty much how you can get me in Facebook.

[00:44:02] Terence: Okay. So that’s Michael Tan, L O L, live out loud. Oh, okay. Right. So it’s not laugh out loud.

[00:44:11] Dato Michael Tan: It’s Live Out Loud.

[00:44:15] Terence: Okay. Make sure you follow Michael if you want to learn more and thank you for watching this episode.

This podcast is hosted by Terence Tam, author of Lead Surge: 8 Radically Effective Marketing Funnels for Coaches and Experts. He is also the Founder of Radical Marketing, a digital marketing agency that partners with high-ticket coaches to scale their businesses with Webinars – by using a proprietary blend of story ads and battled-tested sales funnels to achieve better returns on ad dollars.

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