Happy Millionare

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Find out what every millionaire on the Times rich list has in common

Get to know one of the hosts of Happy Millionaire as Jay Radia opens up to his friend and cohost Dr Rupy Aujla about the origins of his entrepreneurial spirit, the inspiration behind some of his business ideas and how he was able to work in the demanding world of finance with a thriving side hustle. 

Jay recounts some of his highest highs and lowest lows from the launch of Yieldify, sharing details never before disclosed in the media or to his friend Rupy before this recording. 

Budding entrepreneurs can’t miss this opportunity to get an insight into the mind of one of Britain’s brightest tech founders through this frank and funny discussion. 


00:45 – Why are we doing this Podcast?

03:40 – Where did Jay get his Entrepreneurial Streak?

10:12 – Jay’s Teenage Side Hustles

13:11 – Jay’s Fitness Ebooks

19:55 – Origins of Yieldify

23:40 – How to Raise Funds from Friends and Family

29:13 – Becoming one of the Fastest Growing Tech Companies in Europe



So like with us, we've got two, like two friends having a good chat and at the same time providing that deepness. Right. I think right now there's a big. Very long podcast, with a lot of depth, but like that fun banner piece is missing. Yeah. And I, I,


And I think your attention is so important and is the most valuable currency that you have. And so if we're gonna draw down as to why people want to listen to this podcast, what are the sort of top things that people are gonna gain from, from listening to two blokes chat and hopefully, you know, have guests on as well, but like, what are they


So I've tried and tested. This is like, like bringing joy to work is probably been the theme or project that. Been most passionate about it in the last few years. And I've delved into reading loads of books, met loads of people and. I feel like there are so many obvious things that can be done, which aren't being done.

And I feel like this is a great medium for us to share it. And at the same time, you know, as mentioned, like bring on some incredible guests with my friends and some of your friends, and try to pick out those bits, which hopefully people can like use in their work


Now setting up your, is it third company? Fourth company. I dunno how many companies you've done in actually we're gonna do


Things that you've done. Right. And things that you could have


So I feel like each, each company is becoming better, which is good and means I'm getting better. But, um, yeah, I guess look through that, through that process. It's not been easy. As you've, I've made a shit ton of mistakes. And I think I'm excited to share those as well. Yeah. Yeah. And tapping into your


And I think that's gonna lead a lot of people to ensure that they don't make the same mistakes. And also like wherever you are, whether you, you are business person, whether you are an entrepreneur, whether you are working in a startup or established company, I think everyone can. Some tips from this. So on this episode, we're gonna, we're gonna drill down into


You built three companies now worth over a hundred million. You've invested in tens of companies, something like 30 companies. um, but in the start like that. So, tell us a bit about your upbringing. What, where did you get that entrepreneurial

[:came from Africa. So, um, in:

And my parents both came to London and. that was quite difficult for them. Cuz they had like, you know, they had their homes in back at home. They had their path and career and they had their friends and like really that all just got taken away from them. So they came to London with nothing and they couldn't even speak English.

So, you know, for them they had to work hard too. Pave their career. And I feel like through them, like, I think the work ethic came like the reason why I probably work so hard is probably down to them. And also I saw them even hustle. Like my dad was a banker and used to even do some side stuff.

Like I'm gonna used like sell watches on the side just to make a bit more money. And my mom was a nurse she's like one of those selfless people. And even she was like trying to make some side money and like she was selling bags. And I think the other interesting thing was, I don't know why, but like, I went to a lot of schools from like the ages from.

Three to 30. I think I went to five different schools and that meant that every, yeah. Yeah. I went to a lot of different schools. Um, I went to loads of state schools, like really ghetto schools to some private schools. I had a bit of a weird mix. I dunno what my parents were thinking. I think they thought, Hey, let's just experiment and throw 'em in different schools.

And that meant that each time I go to like a different school, I had to like make new friends. I like to really. In a way, I could create my new personality. And, um, that just meant that I could probably at the same time, like build relationships with different


Yeah. Cause we've known each other quite a few years now. Like it'll come out, right? It will come out. Yeah. Yeah. The first time we met was like five or six years ago through. Amit who we haven't introduced yet. He's us, he is our sort of like researcher podcast, producer. Uh, good as he's affectionately known or good, delicious, good


He's got lo of nicknames. Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Because I imagine that sort of bravado wasn't naturally there it's something that you sort of had to build up over time.


Like what, why, why is it this's mental happen? Right. But it's, I think for like being a kid in that, like it's hard because sometimes you don't have money, but at the same time, you see the journey, right? You're watching a show in front of you of, you know, someone, I guess, making a, making, making a living in their way.

So I think. I think it's pretty cool.


Yeah. Yeah. I know. I know my mom's. It was a really small part, but I think they did it for a little phase, but I just remember it was like, I was like, go, mom, high five, go for it. Um, yeah. And your


God. So it's so funny. Like every single year, my dad, one of his favourite days in the whole year probably might be his favourite was when the times would release the rich list. So it'd be the Sunday rich list. And like, I remember every single day he would like, or that on that day he would. Walk to the newsagent with a massive green, like literally ballet dancing to the, um, the newsagent, get the paper, come home, sit in his conservatory for literally two hours.

You don't see him. And at some moment, like he'd whistle for me and go, Hey, Jay, quick, quick coming, come in. And then I'd have to sit with him. Like, I'd have to put my computer game down, come sit with him for a little bit and then go through this rich list. And, um, you know, every year this happened and to be honest, I wasn't there.

I was just. Invisible, but I was there. I wasn't listening to him, but then eventually I remember when I was like 11, I was like, okay, let's look at this rich list. And I went through it and I realized quite quickly, that when you go through the rich list, there was a pattern. It was a really simple pattern that most of the people on the rich list were entrepreneurs.

And at that moment, that was probably my first seed plant because I was okay to be on the richness. You've gotta be an entrepreneur. And I remember the massive smile my dad would have when reading this rich list that, that made me think, okay. Um, if I get on this richest, he's gonna be happy.

And at the same time, you know, I'll be, you know, I'll make him happy at the same time. I guess I've been on this rich list. So I think that was the first moment, and I knew I had to be an entrepreneur to be on that list. So I feel like that. Where the first, like the seed, got planted where this has been,


I can't imagine. There, there was much decay on the list at


I thought, why not? Let's give it a crack. It became this weird. The thing that was like planted at the back of my mind. And there are so many things


Making, your parents happy, right? Like putting that smile as your dad had. Yeah, his face and, you know, thinking, okay. Put the dots together, and become an entrepreneur. Dad looks up to these guys or, or women. Uh, I can imagine like that would've been something that was deep suited to your psychology behind wanting to become an entrepreneur.


Again, I went, God, I've seen this list and suddenly it was like, you go this little matrix bearing I, and then you go back and you're just like, oh, wow. It's um, oh, that's what happened? The matrix. Yeah. That's why I'm here. So yeah. Yeah. It's like literally is like, oh yeah. Wow. Okay. That's where that. Thought of me being after I came from.

So, yeah. So, so


So I had this like system that could copy stuff. Um, so that was, um, something interesting also, um, you know, during the time there used to be like POS and Gogos, I dunno if you remember those, that era. So I used to, and I realized there was a lot of value in some of these. So I used to just do a lot of exchanging and I knew which ones were worth a lot.

I did make some good money through that. So,


I always saw I saw a few of my older cousins. They went to uni and they all got these like, you know, really great jobs. So I felt that was the path. And to be honest, I think you. At that time, probably like a lot of us, we just get a push, push, push, and that was the path I took. Um, I studied economics, which was probably the most random degree cuz you economics is basically, if you dunno what you wanna do, you go for economics.

So I think that's the one I chose. And then I'd say, you know, it's kicking the can I'll figure out a bit later while I'll do. Um, so that's basically what I did. Um, and I went into finance as you know, that was my first gig after uni. So, yeah, that was um, Pretty boring times, but yeah, no, I reckon you probably learn a lot.

I think like,


A quick way to probably make money at uni was to like sell like nightlife tickets and doing all that. So I did attempt to do it once or twice, and I was like, God, this is, this is not for me. This is just, is so much effort. So plus I wanted to enjoy uni. So I didn't, I didn't hustle that much. Like during uni I was, I, um, I think I just prom made the most at uni going out and having fun.

Avoid doing any work. So yeah, same with me. You're at


But honestly, I just knew it wasn't right. I, it just didn't feel right. Me being there. I just didn't enjoy the culture. And, you know, I mentioned, I came from this weird upbringing and that my dad was in business and my mom was a nurse and she was loving. And that loving piece, I just didn't see enough in the finance ward for me.

So I knew it wasn't right. So then basically I, yeah, I, I started doing some side things and, um, I think I mentioned to you, my first project was, uh, so I was massively into fitness, so I was like a health Freaker, and now I was going to the gym, like, you know, I was one of those. He guys, and, um, had the six pack and all of that.

And, um, and people used to come up to me and go, Hey, how did you do that? Like what, what have you, you know, what are you taking essentially? But I was like, no, I don't. I have a, a little, I have a method. Um, so I was one of those random folks who, and I wrote an ebook. I wrote the book and sold it online.

This was like now in the, around 20 10, 20 12, around that period. And I was selling these eBooks and honestly, I was making a lot of money. I was selling this ebook. I had to create a website. And, you know, learn how to market. And next thing I know I'm like every time someone downloads it, I'm making like 20, 30 bucks.

So that was my first hustle. I, I very random, I




You're still fit, but like you're not. I don't look at


I realized that there were quite a few fitness books out there, but there wasn't one that was focused on abs. So I found a little niche. There were not that many. So you, you were the abs guy. It was a lot like getting he and big, I guess I was the abs guy for a little while. So then yeah, I focused on that niche and then really I thought, okay, that's one niche.

Okay. Let's find other niches. And like, that's basically where I started. So that's


And then, okay, now you've got a website. How do you now get people to view it? So then I learn about buying Google AdWords at the same time doing SEO. So you're trying to make sure you rank high on the search. So I have to learn all this stuff while having a full-time job. And so I was working like literally when you're working the trading floor, you're working from seven till seven.

This was. My bit to relax. I just wanna


There must have been something else


So I was just like, cause I could decide what the branding would look like. I could decide how it should be marketed. Like when you are working in like a corporate job, you are very confined. Yeah. Whereas this one just allowed me to express myself. So I think that's what it was. It was that freedom that I was probably really striving for or wanting to have.

And yeah, I got to do it through this random, random bloody six platform. Yeah. That's where it all started. So that's interesting. So have you kept up with it? The, a book and, and the no, no, no, no. That stuff. All of honestly that. Once, um, my other business started kicking off. I had to decide where I focus.

So what, what


So like something must have happened along the way that, uh, made you sort of split past. So what?


So. Okay. But what I did enjoy was the creative process of writing a book and selling it online. That's why I did enjoy it. So you know, that marketing piece, I love that piece and um, That's what probably led me to like create other eBooks. And, um, so how, so you went into different


another way, you know me, so you know where it's going, but it's all good. So the next, so, so basically after doing a lot of like, so there's this thing called Google keyword tool. You can go in there and you can see what words people are typing. Man. People are stupid. They no Google keyword to, or less. Yeah.

Some people, some people do, some people don't and then. You can see how many times the word's getting searched. And, um, the, one of the hottest trending words was college dating Uhhuh. Um, so right now, obviously everyone's going to college and everyone wants to learn about dating. They and they didn't.

And they thought like, this is a moment when like Google's taking off as well. So Google's still like, was bigger then, but everyone realizes, okay, go on the internet, you can start searching for stuff. And what we found, what we found was there. That much content out there on college dating. So at that moment, I then started really searching the whole internet, trying to find these college dating experts with the idea of writing a book together with them.

And that's what happened. So my second book was a college dating book and it's mainly focused on people in us. okay. All right. I'm


Like how does this sort? Converse into unifying, cuz unified is like, Hey, I'll let you explain exactly what unify is to, to listeners. But yeah. Yeah. It's, it's pretty far removed from writing eBooks on different subject matters like


What I learned about was marketing and that's what I got fascinated about. I was like, wow. Okay. So you've now essentially got a visitor to your website through some form of ad. And now they're on your website. How do you make them convert? Like how do you convert that visitor to buy your product?

And for me, that's what excites me, cuz it's the psychology of what is. The, um, written material. What's the picture? What's the image like, is there a specific source that they have to come from so that they're more likely to buy and like that whole piece of understanding the human? So it's, I guess the psychology piece, but at the same time, taking that information to then work out what to show what's that right.

Message. Like that's what excited me and that I, you know, that's what led to unifying. I just


You're you gotta,


You could outsource it to like an agency or use a te use like a website, like, um, at that time it was like Elan, but now it's called Upwork. You can go and then you can find these engineers. And yeah, we opted because we didn't have as much budget as we thought, Hey, just right to an outsource to see what happens.

And yeah, that's what we did. We gave a timeline, we spaced it out and we said, look, go do it. Um, we interviewed like 10, 20 engineers to like everyone wanted, everyone's super excited about the ideas. So they all pitch to us. And then eventually we. One person. And then yeah, we just said, Hey, look, this is your budget.

Please create the magic. And, and in the background, we were then creating the like sales decks, all the material. And, and we were like selling before we had a product. Cause at the same time, we were trying to work out. Do people want it? When, when you give,


To, to sell the product in, to get validation before. Built


Like you're already a really simple experience and then see if you like it because, you know, sadly it's. I know, because I've gone through like probably 39 ideas before you fight. Like most don't work. Like we think they work and we really want them to work and we go ask all of our friends and they go, yeah, great idea ever, but yeah, just, you know, I feel like you have to just speak to your customers as quickly possible and, and ask the shitty hard questions, which it's hard.

Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's an important point


There's like a fine line between faking it until you make it. Mm, that's. And being


Like then it's like serious is official. But at the start, like you can play the little dance, try to figure it out. As time goes on, you have a network you can speak to, to validate the idea. But yeah, it's like you at the start is this. Like dance where you're just like, yeah, faking it to make it. But once you do like yeah.

You know, the time ticks it starts now, so yeah. Yeah. On top of


Like I'm assuming you wouldn't have had like sales straight away. Yeah. Or you would've had setbacks, you would've had people telling. That they're saying gonna work and like, I don't know what your financial situation was, but were you like, self-funding this? Did you have to like sell assets or like, you know, move back in back home with mum and dad?

Like, what was,


Raised small amounts, but it wasn't much. And who'd you raise from? Um, it was honestly like family, friends, it's family and friends. Like it's a very small amount, but I think that's like tougher.


Like my friends and family, although it wasn't much, I just kept them all in the loop of what I was up to. Like they were curious, I was like this random dude who was just. Quit their job in finance and hustling. So like they were curious, right? I think the whole family just thought I was either an absolute weird person who was just gonna be this bum basically or might make it, like, it was one of the two.

Right. And so, yeah, I just kept people up to date. I think one thing I've just realized I'm, which is a quality of mind. I've always been open. Therefore I'm just, I usually just tell people all the hard stuff that's going on. And I think people that pray build a bit of trust with folks as well, so


Yeah. Yeah. I think, yeah, the transparency element will definitely. Come back to it as a theme where when creating joyful workplaces. So you're, self-funding it


Did you have like these deep and meaningful chats?


He just loves that. He loves building, he's not a coder, but he loves the product and understands how it's built. And, and I love the human side. I love interacting with people. I love the process of, you know, getting a product and putting it into the market. So like the go to market, like that's the bit which I love.

So we've got this awesome mix. We're both very different, but yeah, we went through loads of ups and downs. Like we have got the good thing is like me and him, like, yeah, we probably. Probably an argument. It's not actually that often like probably once every three, or six months, which is worth talking about otherwise is just like little nibbles.

Cause the good thing is like we know each other so well and we work so well together. So that it's the easy piece, but yeah, we've had some challenging times and tough times. Like I remember there's one period where like, I just didn't know if U if I was gonna make it, I said to my brother, I said, look, I just don't believe in it.

And I, like, I was being a bit of a rebel and I said, look, I'm just going to. Hideaway and run away. Cause they're like, I'm gonna highlight, is this so stupid? Right. But so my way to like say, I'm not excited. I said, I'm gonna create this little blanket fortress in the living room and I'm not interested in UD five, just wanna hide away from it.

So literally I notice this sounds so weird and random, but for like two, or three days, I just built a blanket fortress. I'm like 26, 27. I'm just. Hiding on a sofa. And I said like, I'm not gonna eat. I don't believe in this. And he said, I believe in it, we're going back and forth. The weird thing was yes. Cause I, I read it like those people could survive, um, without eating for of day.

So I thought I'll try that, but I would go shower. So that was one thing I did do, so I did shower, but I didn't eat. But anyway, like yeah, there is, we had these weird moments, um, were like, yeah. Is it gonna work or is it not? But. Fortunately, it did work out. So, hold on. I, so, you built


So like, so the CEO of your, yeah. I just thought, fuck it. Slid it out. no. Okay. No, fair enough. Fair. I mean, I think everyone's got their sort of


So, you know, in the grand scheme of things, building a blanket fortress isn't that bad. It is fine. It's fine. But, okay, so you, you, you built this fortress and the whole no eating thing. Did you hear about that from like Steve jobs or something? Cuz he was quite well known to. Experiment with different diets


I think also I think it was, um, I think it was just, yeah, reading. I think I read some random article. like reading, like, you know, during, you know, when you're just like a ball, not ball, but just like you go off on a zone on Google or something, or was on YouTube and somehow found it. I thought, oh, that sounds cool.

And then the seed got a planet, then I thought, yeah, let's test it out because I've done so many business ideas and it's not working. Why don't I just try that out? And at the


My brother came into my little fortress saying, JJ, it's gonna work. I can tell you. And it's like, cause like there was this big problem we couldn't solve. And they like literally came my fortress. He said, look, come out and show you something. And then they, like, it was the most like excite I've seen him in a while.

So I believed him. Yeah. So he could, he could have been pranking me. Right. Yeah. But you didn't. And then he came out, he was like, look, I solved. I solved a big problem. And I was like, oh wow. Okay. This is quite cool. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. All


You've got funding, you become one of the fastest-growing tech companies in


We grew the team to like, literally. 200 folks. We had some funding in between then as well, which helped us a lot. And that period just happened. So, so quickly the funding accelerated things from Google ventures and SoftBank. And what was that like? This


You've got like a suite of VCs that everybody would want to have on their


Like everyone was talking about us. It was an interesting fundraising process. Like we did have a lot of people interested, but then a lot weren't interested. And I, I think that was, that did hurt my ego, but I'm not gonna, like I thought, Hey, like we've got this amazing business that's growing. And finding like a venture cap is to invest is a bit like dating.

So you meet lots of people and, um, you sometimes get surprised like, Hey, like I've got everything. Like, why don't you like, like, why don't you like me? And then you get, I got a lot of rejects.


All right. Awesome. Yeah.


Right? Cause everyone always talks about like, oh yeah, we started this company


Like it was weird, but I felt like I was unstoppable. Like we were on the newspapers, we were getting this great, like, you know, great feedback. Everyone wanted to join the company. Um, I even got invited like 10 Downing street. I was winning a war. Like literally it was like all of this happened so, so quickly.

Right. Um, this, some random dude who remembers built blanket fortresses and like, you know, fouled loads of times. And. is now like on, on like magazines and numbers, like what the hell's going on. And what happened was that we grew too quickly at UFI we scaled super quick. Like, and that time to grow that quickly was just, it's either gonna be like the most incredible company or there's an issue and there's gonna have to be a change.

Right. Mm-hmm and unfortunately, what happened was we just grew too quickly where you're doing a start, you have to do forecasting right. What happened was we missed one of our quarters. And when you miss a quarter, That means there's gonna be, unfortunately, some change that needs to happen either.

You're gonna have to, um, readjust the whole model or you're gonna have to, you know, reduce the num you, the people on your team. And unfortunately, like, that's what happened to us. It was probably the most humbling experience. Like I had to, you know, we a team of 200 and I had to, um, lay off, you know, some, some of my team, it was like 25 30 people.

And. It was, I still remember it was like it still gives me shivers, like me just talking about it. I can like feel it inside me cuz I, well, I think it was the right thing. I decided to, um, have the one-to-one conversation with the folks that I had to leave the company. And I think I had 25-30 conversations.

I did the majority of them and that was on. I felt like it was the right thing to do to hear it from me because, you know, I'd let the team down. Yeah. And I still remember, so once, you know, once you do a layoff and there are different ways like to do it, and it's horrible, but it's like you tell the people and then you've also got then after you've given the sad news to the folks who aren't with the business, you then have to go to the existing team and let them know.

And they're really sad as well because yeah, their team, our members are no longer gonna be there. So, you know, at that moment you go tell everyone else. So you've had like, these. Like tough conversations. And you then go meet the team. Honestly, some people are gonna get emotional and cry and like it's, it's hard.

They're like, you're, you know, when you're in a startup, it's like your family. So when I went and told the team like. I remember at that moment, I was, it was honestly like, it was the first time I had to do this. And honestly, I had tears in mind, but I didn't release them. I didn't, I was scared cuz at that time I think I, in my mind, I thought I was unstoppable.

Still. I was going through this weird moment in my mind. I was like, okay, I'm still this unstoppable person, but deep down. I was like really sad if I. If I go back, I probably would've cried for like 10 minutes while giving the speech when, well, the speech was a couple of minutes. Um, but I just held it in.

Yeah, that sucks, man. I mean like


But I think that shows a lot of maturity in that respect, but I guess what I wanna know is how you picked yourself up after that because that would've been a tough thing too. To do, to realize, and then also just galvanize the team and keep that sort of trajectory going and that sort of movement in the right direction, because you still had a responsibility to them as well as your investors to make this a success, right?


You start like, cause you got more money. You can start making all these different bets and like look at different opportunities. And we just went back to the basics. It's such a simple thing, and it's always what everyone guides, you went back to the basics and just focused on a few things before we focused on 10 things, we just focused on three things.

And at the same time, we just made sure we had the right people working on the right things at the same time. I think what was important, was just being honest. I think we'd hide a lot of information at times. I think, you know, that's what tends to happen. Like when you're in a startup like you do, you probably lose a bit of transparency because you might not even know what's going on.

So I think that's the hard thing. A lot of people don't know what's going on. Um, so there can't be transparency. I think, you know, whatever we did know, we'll just be open and sharing. It was, I think that helped and that helped us get. Back into a stage of growth. Um, yeah, that's


Right. So what you did to pick yourself up, you reduced your to-do list, to 10 things, three things in terms of H of importance. Yeah. Yeah. You consolidated the team around the central idea and you, you know, gave them clearer directions. And then also you were transparent and honest in, in your communication.

Um, so I think those three things are really good takeaways for anyone with regards to the position.


Like when we're with friends, we're open and honest about everything, but when we're at work wherever we just think it's different, it's like a different world. Right. And I realize that, Hey, like these guys are my friends as well and why? I will just be absolutely honest. So I feel, yeah, you've just gotta get.

It's all connected. It's all one like whether you're at work or, you know, outside of work. And I think that was something, a big lesson I learned is just, you know, it's all one, be just be open, be that human you want. And that was the human I wanted to be at work as well.

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