Anshu Kotak is the author of the best-selling property book Buy To Let Loose and the founder of the eponymous app.
Anshu was a long-standing investment advisor to business leaders of some of the largest companies in the UK. She left her role at Goldman Sachs to pursue property investing full-time.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I was always very academically inclined: I did my maths undergraduate at The London School of Economics, I studied corporate finance at London Business School and I did my MBA at INSEAD. I spent fifteen years in the corporate world, working the required long hours and making the personal life sacrifices in order to climb my way to the ‘top’.
I seemingly then changed course and quit aged 35, just as I was reaping the benefits of my fifteen-year-old corporate career through work flexibility, remuneration; I was an enigma to my colleagues – who quits Goldman Sachs without another job lined up?
Last year I wrote a book, Buy To Let Loose, which is centred on ‘how to buy property & leave the corporate world behind’. I now invest in buy to let property full-time, for myself and for fellow investors. I’m also working on a very exciting startup… watch this space!
Tell us about your book? What was your motivation for writing it?
I wanted to share my story around how property investing enabled me to leave the corporate world behind. Buy To Let Loose teaches you how to create a solid income stream so that you too can ‘Let Loose’.
Letting Loose can mean different things to different people. For me, it meant leaving the 9-5, or in my case the 8-10 plus weekends, but for someone else it can mean retiring early, it can mean starting your own business because you’re no longer scared to lose a salary, it can mean spending more time with your family.
In its simplest form, Let Loose means to spend every day exactly how you want to, instead of our daily lives being driven by the need to pay bills.
And is that what you’ve done? Let Loose?
I realised that my properties were earning me just as much as my front-office full-time job at arguably one of the world’s top investment banks. And yet, I was spending two-thirds of my waking life dedicated to a corporation. Don’t get me wrong; I was one of the lucky ones I actually loved my job. But, were there better ways that I wanted to spend my youth? Absolutely! And so I quit!
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Many! Thinking my rental income was sufficient to live off until I got hit with a big maintenance bill and found myself counting down the days for the next rent cheque to come in… feeling like I’d lost all social interaction, and mental stimulation, going from corporate highflyer to sitting at home every day facing writer’s block… feeling rejected when the first few publishers turned down a book proposal from someone who’s never written a book before!
I’m still adjusting to being self-employed and living the life of an entrepreneur. But every challenge overcome has just made the achievement that much sweeter.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Getting a publishing deal. Many told me that it was an unrealistic goal on my part and that I should just self-publish. But I had faith in my content and persevered. I had always wanted to write a book, since the age of 19, and one of the most treasured feelings I have to-date is when I first saw Buy To Let Loose in Foyles on a shelf right next to Rich Dad Poor Dad, the book that inspired me to build a passive income and aim for financial freedom.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
Planning for it. I strategised on building a passive income. That passive income allowed me to quit my job. That passive income enabled me to wait it out until I got a publishing deal. That passive income is supporting my current startup and my dream to always run my own business. I think it is so important to identify what your end goal is, and to then map out a plan (or multiple plans) that can get you there.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I love mentoring. I find it gratifying. Probably because it is my first ever mentor, Tomas, who encouraged me to put aside part of my salary every month and invest my first real savings into a buy to let property!
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?
Women need to empower women. Believe in one another. Support one another. If all women truly came together, we’d be unstoppable!
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
And if you could give one piece of advice to others, what would that be?
Everyone spends time developing their intellect, and there’s a lot more focus these days on physical wellbeing, emotional wellbeing and spiritual wellbeing. I think it is just as important for us to focus on our financial wellbeing. That means, learn about money, how to invest, how to aim for financial freedom and Let Loose! Because it is only financial freedom that will enable us to free up our time and embrace all of these other aspects of life.