Vincent Nee’s story stands out not because he was born into a normal family and worked himself up the entrepreneurship ladder. Rather, it is the path that he had chosen to take in his career that sets him apart from all the other entrepreneurs.
Like many other teenagers going to college to pursue a degree, Nee had dreamt of the traditional path of continuing his tertiary education. However, he soon found out that classes had become boring to him. He wanted to become rich and make money, and soon realised that a college degree wasn’t the only way for a person to become rich.
He started researching and looked for books that would steer him in the right path until he stumbled upon Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. In a nutshell, if you’ve read the book, it discusses building wealth through real estate investment.
And that really hit Nee’s curious nerve. He began asking questions about real estate, hoping to understand what this all truly meant. Once, when he was at his friend’s rented house, he was curious as to how much the monthly rental was. Upon asking and doing his own research, Nee realised that the house owner was reaping about 70 per cent profit just from renting out the property.
Without any savings or a job, except for pocket money from his parents, Nee started toying with the idea of creating a hostel, where he would rent a home from the proprietor and therefore, sub-rent spaces to customers to improve his yields.
Together with his college mates, who believed in his passion and direction, turned into business partners. They began to receive excellent rental returns within a brief period. And it was only a year ago that the young man dropped out of college to concentrate exclusively on the hostel business.
As luck would have it, Nee ran into financial problems when he lost RM150,000 in multi-level marketing and forex trading businesses. To settle the debt quickly, he took on three jobs and expanded his hostel business from ten to twenty houses. With RM40,000 income every month, he managed to recover his losses but suffered another dip soon after when his former business partners and staff swindled RM500,000 from the business.
It was hard to imagine how he had felt back then, to have your close friends betray you like that. “Not to deny that I strongly felt the pain from this incident. However, without pain and suffering, we would never learn from our mistakes. To make it right, going through pain and suffering is the key to all windows of our life,” said Nee.
“I tell myself that wounds would stop hurting over time and to turn every bitter experience into profound wisdom. Taking this incident as a life lesson, I put my life on the line to win this battle.
The only way to win this battle is to maximise your own value. So then I spent hundreds and thousands to attend courses obtaining knowledge about property investment as well as corporate management,” he further added.
By the age of twenty-one, Nee had rented ten houses and had been earning RM20,000 a month. During those turbulent times, Nee sought the help of many people, but no one gave him the advice nor help that he truly needed.
Nee shared that although the incident was disappointing, he would never blame anyone but his poor management capabilities. “I’ve learnt to be more aware and sensitive toward corporate partners as well as team members since then. I believe that trust is the key in a business where we can achieve a win-win situation and hold all relationships firmly.”
When asked if it was still possible in this current market to have started his own entrepreneurial career by subletting hostels, Nee said, “The word impossible is not in my dictionary. There are still dozens of demands
in the renting industry as the number of students and working adults are increasing over the years. However, I strongly advise that investors should conduct thorough research prior to starting any business. Research on key aspects such as location, target group, basic rental management can help to minimise the risk of failure.”
From being heavily in debt to becoming a multi-millionaire, Nee has somehow established himself as a young man who does not give up easily. He has set an example to many youngsters that one should not just throw in the towel when faced with difficulties.
You may think that after all these hardships, he would be extremely calculative when it comes to monetary matters. “From my past failures, instead of changing the way I look at money, I have come to a firm believe that a person should have the right state of mind and appropriate knowledge before investing in anything,”
“But I would also recommend everyone to read the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki as it is the most influential book to me. It has totally changed my view on money before I started my business. It furthered my understanding of different aspects in the real estate market such as the housing industry, fund flows and passive income. Without the inspiration and knowledge obtained from the book, I would not have succeeded at this point.”
Additionally, Nee has mentioned that attaining financial freedom is probably the best thing one could ever want. However, money was also a key factor that propelled him to the path of knowledge because, in the end, what makes him feel secure is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability. He said he had spent a lot of money to gather knowledge and experience from famous mentors because he believes that knowledge is what will lead him to earn money efficiently.
Now that he’s earned millions, he’s inspired to set up an institute to educate individuals on how to generate wealth through real estate. This has led to the inception of Vince Academy.
Vince Academy started out as an educational platform which provides high-level knowledge and information sharing from their experienced coaches. Undeniably, textbook knowledge is important, but it will
never be perfect without real time experience sharing. Therefore, their coaches would turn their real time experiences and strategies into lectures for the academy members. The academy strives the best education
resources to equip and empower individuals and organisations to succeed financially. It aims to lead people to the path of financial freedom.
Apart from mastering the ways of trade in real estate investment, Vince Academy advises members on property management, such as picking the right properties and tenants, renovation alternatives and offering trouble-free services for shareholders in lease holdings, utility bill deposits and house maintenance.
Vince Academy aims to empower and coach other property investors who are struggling, just like Nee during his early years. Despite having the risk of creating more competitors for himself within the industry, Nee believes that it is important for people to share information since everything is almost obtainable with a click of a mouse. Nee said, “I have always encouraged people to share their knowledge. In the olden days, people would refuse to share their knowledge because they think they will lose that exclusivity and their valuable knowledge. However, in this information age, I would be more than happy to coach and share knowledge with others so that we can achieve a win-win situation. Having one more person doing what I do is not going to take anything away from me. It’s just going to make that person more prosperous and it has nothing to do with me. Therefore, sharing is greater than withholding your knowledge.”
Since its inception, Vince Academy has had more than 700 participants registered. Nee hopes that the Academy will have more than 10,000 participants and assist at least 1,000 clients to become millionaires in the next few years. In fact, Nee envisages that his academy will someday be a public-listed company.
He said that in order for him to achieve this vision, the core principle he always holds on to in his corporate management is “teamwork”.
Nee said, “It is undeniable that we can’t succeed in being the best or being the fastest alone. Alone, we can only do so little, but together we do more than you can imagine. I’m glad that I have a reliable team supporting Vince Academy and we are still searching for valuable talents to join our team.”
“BUILD TOGETHER, GROW TOGETHER, WIN TOGETHER. I would ensure that our team members are growing together when the company becomes stronger. I want all my team members and employees to reach their personal goals when they are helping us to build a company. Employee recognition is one of the keys to success in a corporation,” Nee added.
You don’t really need a college degree to become successful in life. Does it provide you with a stepping stone? Yes, it does, but in Nee’s case, it proved otherwise. Sometimes, if not most, street smartness brings you further in life. All you need is to know what your goals are and what needs to be done in order to attain those goals.