Retire early: how to turn your side hustle into a million pound business

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Pension: Expert gives advice on preparing for retirement

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The business man in his late thirties came up with his niche business idea after spotting a gap in the market and working on his side hustle for just two hours a week. He spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about how he did it and how others can follow in his footsteps.

Sometimes business ideas come along by accident as Antoine Bellot knows only too well.

The dad of two has made most of his fortune from property, however one of his businesses was borne by accident.

Antoine explains: “I decided to buy stills camera lenses and have them converted into cinema camera lenses.

“I only started off wanting to buy one set of lenses for my own production company, as I wanted to save money on renting them.”

He continues: “But when I had them made, I was instantly flooded with offers from industry peers wanting to buy them.”

At the time, there was a 24 month lead time for conversion, so he ended up selling his and charging a premium.

“I quickly did the maths and accessed the time versus demand value, so bought enough original vintage lenses for five more sets all at once.

“I then put them all into production and had them all sold before they came out of the factory. It was literally a copy and repeat model after that.

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If that wasn’t impressive enough, he also has a £15 million property portfolio and some great advice for others looking to follow in his footsteps.

He says: “The digital age allows us to learn and develop ourselves in any area we choose in a couple of clicks.

“If you want to delve into specific areas, then reading books on investing will give a deeper understanding.

“Research a market, immerse yourself in it, look for an opportunity and test the water.”

However, he urges people to be careful before investing too much money in a venture unless they can dip their toe in the water first.

As well as studying books like Think and Growth Rich by Napoleon Hill, Antoine advises speaking to a broker and making a five year plan.

He explains: “This would just be a way to evaluate your current income, speak to a broker and find out what you need to get on the ladder.”

A five year plan is recommended because it could take this long to build a deposit and earn enough money to qualify for a certain level of mortgage.

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For anyone who might have left it a bit late to work out their retirement plan, property is a great investment option as opposed to more traditional investments such as stocks, and ISAs, he says.

“There are advisers out there that live by the property investor model.

Speak to them and get them to show you some examples and alternative figures.

“You must truly understand the property investment model before you invest. Do not rush.”

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