One of the keys to success is persistence. And for Richard, his persistency in finding a broadcasting job in another country helped him achieve today’s success. In this episode, Adam Stott talks with Richard Black about his broadcasting career and property investing journey.
Richard shares how his broadcasting career began, the struggles that come with change, and how he created income with properties. He is a big believer in how you change is how you succeed. And because of his decisions, Richard was able to become a successful broadcaster and poverty investor.
Richard Black is a professional TV and Radio broadcaster, journalist, producer, and property investor. He works for Sky News Australia, ITV in the UK, and BBC Radio. Richard is produced, presented, and reported in broadcast format across the UK, regional, and international networks. For the past 20 years, Richard brought, sold, owned, renovated, developed, and leased numerous properties.
- Learn how Richard became a broadcaster
- What is the worst but the best decision he made for his career
- The reason why he leave a secure job and flew to Australia
- What are the challenges Richard faced in chasing broadcasting jobs
- How he creates income with property investment; and
- Discover how he incorporates broadcasting and property to tell stories
Please note this is a verbatim transcription from the original audio and therefore may include some minor grammatical errors.
Hey everybody, Adam Stott here. Thanks for checking out my podcast Business Growth Secrets, you’re absolutely in the right place. This podcast is going to reveal to you all of the secrets that you’ve been looking to discover. They’re also gonna allow you to cure your cash flow problems, attain more clients, bring in more leads for your business, and create systems and processes that give you the growth that you want. You are going to discover the business growth secrets you have been looking for. I’ve used to sell over 50 million pounds worth of products and services on social media and help clients everywhere to grow their businesses on demand. So that’s how I got started on the Business Growth Secrets Podcast.
Hello, everybody, and welcome to this very, very special episode of Business Growth Secrets. You’re here with your host, Adam Stott. I’ve got a super guest with me today that has a very, very interesting career, that’s gone and done some amazing different things. And we’re going to be talking today to Richard black. Richard is a former journalist and broadcaster. He is currently a property investor, and a successful property investor at that. And he’s also now a podcaster. So I really, really came to hear about the twists and turns of that career, you know, and really uncover some business growth secrets today. So welcome on. Richard, welcome. How are you?
I’m good. Thank you. Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here. It really is. Thank you.
Brilliant. I can’t wait. Richard, so why don’t we just kick off by maybe talking about, you know, your career path. I’m always a big believer in how you change is how you succeed. Of course, you’ve had a really successful career in journalism, working for BBC and many other TV companies and networks. And then you’ve gone off and you got really deeply involved in property investments. I’m keen to hear about how that happened. And of course, then the current podcasting movement that you’re starting as well. So why don’t you tell us where it all started? So, some of the, you know, the key things for you in terms of growing your career over the years.
Where did it start? It started, I suppose, or when I was, heaven, in my early teens. For some reason, I always ended up connected to broadcasting in some way, whether it might be one of my best friends. Middle school was a chop called Jamie Treacher, who at the time in the mid 80s, his dad was Bill Treacher who was the actor at the time, who was the character of Arthur Fowler in EastEnders.
And when we’re thinking yeah, we and of course, at the time EastEnders was huge. I mean, it’s big now but I mean back then when you only had four channels, EastEnders would regularly achieve 20 million viewers an episode. It was that time of those big storylines that still crop up every now and again today.
So, Jamie and I were thicker season and I always got dragged along to these things that his dad would be releasing balloons with a group of local school children or you know, opening fates and and and so there was that and I always you know, Jamie and I like I say with thickest thieves that made us go but then we parted because he went to a different high school and just you know, when you’re a kid things move on. I got asked to join the school choir and within the first fortnight we bizarrely ended up on BBC songs of praise. And it was again it was a blink and you miss it moment but there I was.
Actually quite important. Yeah.
I got a camera then. You know I went off and did High School and it wasn’t cool to be a performer at high but certainly in my high school so I kind of brushed this desire to be in front of a microphone microphone away. And at that time, I really enjoyed designing things and creating things more so I love my design classes and things like that.
So I always thought I wanted to be an architect and went off and did a level and failed miserably. Terrible are really good oh level results. GCSE is two A’s, four B’s and four C’s. But my level was a disaster. I hated it there and I went to see the careers advisor at Sixth Form College and said to her. I remember to this day, I said, you know, so I wanted to go into broadcasting, and she just looked at me, she was just sort of, I suppose she would have been in her mid to late 50s At the time, gray hair, poor choice of fashion. And, she looked at me when I went to school with [00:05:26-00:05:27], and then you have to be that sort of person to be in that sort of industry, you’re not a go and do something more conventional.
There’s a few things you know, already, like, first and foremost, being in an environment and around people, you said around your[00:05:46-00:05:47], that kind of gets you seeing a different world doesn’t it and opens up a bit of desire and a lot of people don’t realize that. But when you’re around people that are successful, and you see a different way of life that gets you pretty dialed in, you know, of course, then having somebody tell you, you can’t do something. People can make two choices there. They can choose to embrace that negativity and that fear, or they can choose to rebel against it. Of course, I’m sure that you chose to rebel as well.
Yeah, right. Eventually.
You know, how did it impact you somebody saying, Hey, you can’t do this, Richard. Like, what? What did that because I had that sign. So, I honestly had the same thing.
I was basically, I never, like I say out of my I never forgot the words. As you know, we’re sitting here now 30 years on and I still have that woman’s image in my head of her telling me and the way it was the way she told me it she she appeared to imply that I was not of any worth or significant enough to go into this sought after job or this sought after industry that just wasn’t for me, and it ruled me. Yeah, but I stupidly listened to her.
And I went off, I left a level where I couldn’t go to university and I couldn’t be an architect because I did not want to go into education for seven years, which is what at the time you needed to do to be an architect. So I went and made what I think was probably the worst decision I made, because if it failed, what I know I didn’t want to do. So, I went to work for a building society, I was really good at my job. I was brilliant. The customers loved me andI sold all sorts of products, home insurance, current accounts, I was brilliant. My area manager used to say to me, you are one of the most influential and productive people in my area.
Again, I was so bored because I was just good at it. But it was rubbish. And the only reason I did it was because it’s what my dad had done for 25 years. So, it’s all I knew, it delivered him a secure income, it delivered us a lovely home. And I thought that’s what you wanted at 18, I thought I was going to go off and find somebody to marry and buy fast growing trees in a garden center on a weekend and, you know, drag the vacuum cleaner around and go on my two weeks holiday year.
That was what I thought life was going to be going forward. But I just couldn’t carry on and I left there and I went to work for a big insurer. And I worked in the marketing department which created the pretty brochures. So again, I thought I was in a glam job, I thought you know, I’m not in a call center for this big insurance company. I’m in a decent job where people are creative, and it’s good, and it’s fun. So I can remember sitting in that office of about 100 people and I looked up the office on it was about half past three on a Friday afternoon. Not one person had a smile on their face. And I thought, oh my god, I’m in what is known as the grammar school graveyard.
This was one of these big city employers who subbed people out of their high school days that, you know, age 16 and 40 years later, you would get spat out with your pension scheme and your savings plan and good luck. And the intervening 40 years was you look over your shoulder and where did it go? I thought I can’t do this, I can’t do it.
So, I handed in my notice the next week, I had nothing to go to. I had about two grand savings in the bank account. And I had a little sports car that my wages had bought me. I was into my clothes, I had a lovely… you know what stuff there’s and I purchased a ticket to Australia. I got my visa and I was just under the age of 22 at the time, so I was welcomed as a, you know, potential citizen in Australia.
And I went on a working visa around Australia but colleagues at that insurance company thought I was nuts. They looked at me when I handed in my notice as if to say, have you gone absolutely barking mad. We give you a pension scheme. We give you 20 days of holiday a year, we give you a savings plan, and you’re just gonna throw it all away and book, Japan Airlines flight to Sydney.
And I was like, yeah, I can’t do this. This is not me. Um, and I got on that plane. I had nothing but 25 kilos of luggage. And the cheap ticket, believe me, was in a seat that was about the size of a handkerchief. I flew for 18 hours to Japan, stopped over in Japan, sat there for 10 hours, got on and then flew to Cairns, in North Northern Australia and Europe and Queensland. And I thought, You know what, stuff this, I’ve come this far.
I started knocking on the doors of TV companies. Now your listeners in Australia will know that every state and every kind of region in a state has its own TV company. It has your channel 7, 9 and 10 and the ABC and I think there was an SBS back there. But each one has its own center in Cairns and Brisbane because the country is so big. Every little city, if you like, had its own station of that affiliate of that bigger broadcaster. So I just went knocking on doors and I knocked on every radio station door in Cannes and I knocked on every door of the TV companies.
They said no. And I went then got a bus ticket down to Brisbane, which again, was about a three day journey on a coach and did the same thing again in Brisbane. And that was where things shifted. First of all, I found Australia quite hard. I found that people were quite unforgiving. And I don’t know whether it was just because I was another gold digging, hoping to, you know, where they…
Really knowing especially for the audience. What makes you keep knocking on doors when you get to know how you mean, you know, I understand I’ve been in exactly similar situations in my life where, literally your persistence, and funnily enough, I was watching a great film the other night. Which I don’t know if you’ve seen it yet or not. They film King Richard, about Venus and Serena Williams. Yeah, not on doors, knocked on doors, got face slammed nonstop. But he just had no intention of ever given up. So he got what he wanted. And typically, if you don’t give up, you do get what you want. Right? So what made you keep going?
I don’t know. You’re asking me that now. It was just this. I have come this far. Richard, you have just traveled across a planet to be here. You need to take a few more steps, a few more pushes, you need to shape how you’re approaching these people or these organizations and maybe just maybe you can leave or something into one of them.
So yeah, there I was in Brisbane in a youth hostel. Living in a bunk bed. I mean, you know, I had nothing. My credit card had been ripped off by the company that I bought the bus to get through. I got this credit card statement that showed I was about 12,000 pounds, a fraudulent transaction. Everything was going wrong. Everything I’d come on this journey to this fantastic location. There were palm trees, it was warm and sunny. And I was gone. I was on the backside of my life, I really was. I was alone, as well. And anyway, I’ll always remember in Brisbane.
All of the TV stations were on at the time on this road called Mount. There were 7, 9, and 10. And they were all in a line on this road. Well, I’m Little Richard from Norfolk. I had no idea how big Australia was. And the guy giveaway was on the road named Mount Kufa. It was a bloomin mountain. It was a great big and of course, quite naturally you would think, of course, TV antennas have to be on the highest point to get the biggest broadcast rates. Well, of course, I got this. I started walking, I climbed this mountain from my youth hostel. But I got halfway and I’ve run for taxes and I didn’t realize this was so big. And again, I was going. I was like, right, Richard, no, you come out here to do this today. You aren’t doing this.
You are not going to stop until you get something. And I walked into the ABC now to throw in Brisbane. No, we’ve got nothing for you. Walked into channel nine on Mount. No, no, no, no, no, we got nothing for you. In the end, I went to channel 7 and never got to 10.
And I went to channel seven and the receptionist was a bit of a bit brittle. With me, and I stood there. I said, hello. I’d like to speak to the head of your newsroom, please. And she said, oh, he’s not available. I said, I’m sorry. Somebody must be available. It’s a television newsroom. Somebody’s in there. She said, Well, I can’t let you in. And I said no, no, no. I said, I’m sorry, madam. I’ve just come across. I’m going to be transparent with you. I’ve come across an entire planet to be here. I just walked up a mountain. I am not leaving until I have seen somebody from your newsroom. And unless you want to manhandle me out. I’m not going anywhere.
She really looked at me glazed. And she said, Hang on a minute. I don’t know if some guy from the newsroom, I can picture him. I can’t remember his name. And I said, Hello. I’d like to work in broadcasting. I’d like to work in journalism. Here I am. I’ve come from England. I accept. It won’t be a paid job. Please. Could I spend some time in your newsroom? He said, Yeah, all right. I said, he said, Yeah, okay. Come here for a week. Next week. He said, you’ll be photocopying the scripts. You’ll be making tea you’ll be doing you’ll be emptying bins made by us see how it works here. We’ll get you to do some stuff. It’s fine. That following week, I met some of the most wonderful people again. I can picture them, I can’t remember their names.
And they were so kind to me, at Channel Seven in Brisbane. They had this program called Today Tonight, which is basically their regional output for their regional news. And it was such good fun and the team on it was so lovely. But they said at the end, you know, we’ve only got this week, you know, we haven’t got a paid job for you. I’m sorry. But at the time, channel 7 was funding a new venture in Sydney, part funding called Sky News, Australia.
And so I think, right, you know, well grab it, Richard and Ron, and I grabbed what I could and took from them what I could, and I get on that bus and again, got on a seven day journey down the blimp in Sydney, stopping off at Byron Bay on the way and the Gold Coast and all the rest of it. I turned up with my rucksack in Sydney. And I went to see Sky News Australia. I rang John Holmes, checked with John Holmes, who at the time, was executive producer of Home and Away global phenomena Home and Away sold to about 120 customers, countries and he rang me back.
I’ll never forget he rang me. John Holmes, executive producer HomeAway, rang me back and I said, How do I get into this job? And he said, get no. He said use my name. He said, It’s fine. I like you to get to know go and see channel seven, go and see Sky News. I went to see Sky News. And they said yeah, we’ll take you on.
We’ve got a program that we’re going to make for the next three weeks actually called viewpoint, which is a current affairs program presented as John gap field and I ended up being a researcher for three weeks in Sky News Australia in Frenchs forest, Sydney. And amazingly, by sheer coincidence, the executive producer of Sky News Australia with a guy called Angelo Frank. Going back 20 odd years, who is now the executive producer of GB news, the new news channel in the UK. So that shows you what a circle life can be.
I then left that three weeks I went to become a production runner on Home and Away for Channel Seven Palm Beach. Again, I spent a week producing printing scripts making tea for actors on Home and Away left and thought you know, I’ve got from this what I can. I’ve loved Australia and I’ve hated Australia. I’ve loved Australia as I’ve hated some of you and I came Home. Within a week I was answering the phones at BBC local radio. And within three weeks I got my first full time job as a researcher at ITV. The regional iTV here, And then I stayed for two years and then I went off to become a reporter at Central Television in Nottingham.
Then I got made redundant or took redundancy when they got taken over by Granada or merged with Granada and they closed the site in Nottingham, moved it all to Birmingham, came back to North Norfolk, and I ended up at BBC local radio and I ended up presenting news on Radio across eight different BBC counties. And that was my broadcasting journey.
And then I went to Television Center and ended up a producer, the BBC News Channel and the BBC Breakfast for BBC One. In between times, I ended up as a producer for Trisha Goddard program, the daytime chat show, which was later to be replaced by Jeremy Kyle. So it was real. And you know what, when I was chasing those jobs when I was chasing those BBC jobs, Adam, when I was chasing those jobs that people you know, I was told at the BBC. At the time. We don’t have to give you a job. We could advertise this and 3000 people would apply. And I thought no, you know, I got passed, the law of averages said I’ll get to a “Yes”.
Lovely. Yeah. And I think that the key from the stories is literally that every single… No, you get your one closer to a yes, don’t you? And just having that perseverance. Now, the thing is, it’s not normal for white people. No, seriously, it’s for a lot of people. It’s not a normal practice. But if they just got so focused and zoned in on what I wanted to achieve, you can achieve it and it just shows you you can achieve what you want to achieve. You know, from there, I know that obviously you spent a long time in that industry and did very, very well. Very successful in that industry. You then go off to start property investing, you know, you want to just mention that before we saw a little bit about a podcast that you’re now running be really keen to.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, broadcasting was great. And it was fun, and it paid me good wages. It always gave me something to talk about, you can bet your bottom dollar if you’ve ever worked for the BBC, you will be the focal point of a conversation at a party because it’s something everybody’s got in common needs this thing in the corner of their living room as a television and they always have a have a comment about why do we have to have that presented were some awful clothes, do you know her? You know, and all of that. And I loved it.
But there was always a sideline. Again, I grew up in a mid Suffolk village in the 80s, where most villages in Suffolk in the 80s had a housing estate built because that was such a journey of three politics, build, build, right to buy dirt. So as a kid, I always played in building sites. Don’t try this at home. You know, and so I got again, acquainted with construction and building what I thought were nice looking homes at the time and creating a nice house. And it was always a sideline for me. And what happened was when I first got my first role in London and in Italy, I had just bought my first time in Norwich, and it was a drab little top floor X local authority flat that I paid a massive sum of 41,000 pounds for.
Now, that doesn’t sound like a lot of money now. That was four times my annual salary as a researcher at ITV Anglia at the time. So I was like, oh, wow, I didn’t even take home 1000 pounds a month. You know, my salary was tiny, as a researcher, and again, because of the demand for the job. You could never go to management say hello, could I have some more please? Because I just say actually, no, because we’ll get someone in who’s cheaper.
So, you know, I had to move to London and I started renting the flat out and it paid for my life in London really. And I started creating this income and it was like, oh, actually, I could do quite well. I had this tiny little flat that cost me 40 grand. I’m earning five 600 quid a month. This is a bit crazy, isn’t it? Then whilst I was in Nottingham, my brother came to me and said actually I’ve seen another flat. Do you fancy going for it, and we went for it and renovated it and spent 3000 pounds on the renovation.
And again, started renting it out and thinking, wow, this is doing quite well here. And it grew from there. I bought one a year for about 10 years, dipped them up, I’m not a developer of how I know, buy great big fields and build housing estates on that’s not me, I buy something that’s rubbish, and turn it into something great.
And that is, I think every building has value, it just needs shaping into what we see it should be and how it should be lived in. So I’ve over time done about 20 to 30 houses that range from little one bedroom apartments all the way through to a 500 year old grade two listed cottage, top down renovations. Either I’ve kept them and rented them or sold them on and and again, quite ethically I do if I do have sold one, I’ve always sold it to a first time buyer or somebody that wants it rather than somebody that’s going to use it as a cash cow. Quite simply because, as you know, I have to work hard for my first time and I value that and I think it reasonable that we’d be allowed to buy houses to live in. It’s a rite of passage.
You ended up combining the two and obviously you want to mention that you have your own podcast, you want to mention your podcast.
Yeah, the podcast is called Homework. Home:work. Website is homework.co.uk. It’s been extraordinarily successful. I’m so incredibly flattered and enamored. It’s been so good. And we are a magazine program where we follow everybody on their property journey. It started off my first guest chat with Dr. Martin Scurr. And he was brilliant.
He and his wife, Rachel, had done the escape to the country. Now Doc Martin, as he’s known, is the medical adviser to the ITV show, Doc Martin. And he has just sold his house and bought a complete dumb [00:27:23-00:27:25] would argue in the most delicate place is in the middle of nowhere, the drive to his home is is from the main road is four miles long. It’s a beaten up derelict old farmhouse in the middle of a national park on an island, he’s in his 70s. And it was a great, great story. You know, you kind of start on a podcast at that thought to discover what makes people tick.
You know, he had this fantastic career, both as a GP but also in broadcasting advising programs like Doc Martin and other dramas that involve medical issues. And so he’s renovating that now and I’ve got to go back. I put a call in this morning to go back and see, we’ve had people like Jonnie Irwin, from BBC, who has escaped the country and has just moved to Newcastle. And, you know, basically, yeah. He was saying that, you know, I thought I was gonna sell my Hartfordshire pad.
And, you know, people say to me, oh, wow, I’m gonna buy a multimillion pound mansion and gleaming new cars. And no, it’s not like that at all. You know, property everywhere is expensive. There is no, you know, bottom line now. And there’s also lots of advice about what to buy, where to buy, how to go about buying, and I’m really, really enjoying it. We’re sponsored by Savills estate agents of Norfolk, they have been brilliant with loads of support. So yeah, and I’m impressed by the social media bounce with the podcasts. I mean, I know that some of our posts get 12 and a half/15,000 views and clicks so I’m really really pleased and it’s every fortnight on your podcast, download platform of your choice.
Perfect. Well, look, I think it’s been amazing hearing the story is great that you brought together your experience in broadcast and the property journey you’ve been on. You know, and I think there’s a real story today of persistence and if you’ve been listening today, you know, I think your business grow secret from today really comes from riches story around persistence, you know, and actually having an end goal, looking at what it is you want, and then not being prepared to accept anything other than success. Right? If you cultivate that mentality, you can create it.
I think Richard’s really gave a great example of doing that. And of course, go and check out his Podcast homework. And you know, check it out, find out I’m gonna have a list of myself. I know you’ve had some great guests on as you mentioned plus from home in the home in the sun as well and you really, really networking and building relationships with key people in the property sector and bringing their voice sounds awesome. So big thank you Rich for coming.
We’ve had a great chat before and a great chat during. I think it’s been awesome to get to know you.
So big thank you to everyone listening today. If you’ve enjoyed it, please don’t forget to subscribe. And also make sure that you go and give us a lovely five star review. If you’re enjoying the conversation. Well done everybody. And I hope you enjoyed today’s business first. Hi, everybody, Adam here. And I hope you love today’s episode. I hope you thought it was fabulous. And if you did, I’d like to ask you a small favor. Could you jump over and go and give the podcast a review.
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