Have you ever lived in an international space station or have lunch on the Titanic in a submarine? Nik Halik has. Nik is the founder and CEO of the Financial Freedom Institute, a global wealth strategist, a successful entrepreneur, and international speaker. He had a lot of things going against him at an early age where he was basically confined to his bedroom. That brought him to declare war on negativity, and on the hospitals and doctors who said he has to change the landscape of his life. Nik believes that decision was purely his to make and he wasn’t going to allow somebody else’s opinion to define his reality. Nik shares his awesome journey of being basically limited to pursuing his major goals in the last 32 years of his life.
Listen to the podcast here:
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Declaring War On Negativity with Nik Halik
I have the opportunity of interviewing Nik Halik of NikInSpace.com. Nik is the Founder and CEO of the Financial Freedom Institute, Money Matrix Global, a Cofounder of the Intelligence Group of Companies. He is a global wealth strategist, a successful entrepreneur, international speaker and has lived in the International Space Station as a private space explorer and had lunch on the deck of the Titanic in a submarine. The Thrillionaire, Nik Halik, thank you so much for joining us.
Seth, how are you?
I’m glad to have you on the show. To make you the adventurer and the entrepreneur that you are, what was your childhood like?
My story will provide inspiration and a vision. I was medically confined to a bedroom, like the pharmaceutically addicted boy in the plastic bubble-type lifestyle. I never joined academia until about the age ten. For me it was the grind, battling with my health. I was placed in a bedroom for the first few months of my life. I’ve always had a lot of things going against me. What brought me to declare war on negativity and the hospitals and the doctors was that I have to change the landscape of my life and that decision was purely mine to be made. I wasn’t going to allow somebody else’s opinion to define my reality. I drafted my screenplay, which has now become my top ten list of goals that now have pretty much been my major pursuit of the last 32 years in my life.
How did you get started in business?
My original inspiration was both my parents were illiterate immigrants who had migrated to another country from Europe. I was made in Greece, I was raised in Australia. I will probably see my father one week of every month. My father was a truck driver, driving up and down the coast laying concretes. My mother was working at Toyota back in those days. It was almost like a sweatshop. She was doing thirteen-hour days, six days a week. I never got to see my parents growing up. My sisters were the ones who raised me. My main goal is to financially liberate my parents. For me it was, “What can I do to emancipate and provide that liberty and freedom for them?” That was my thinking there to going into business.
What was the first business?
The first business that I started was a music school. I opened up the Note for Notes Guitar Clinic. This is pretty awesome. It was amazing. I had no idea what I was doing. I had a very unique skill. I was very passionate about it. There was a strong demand in the marketplace. It’s what you do in life, you’ve got to find the best intersection between skill, passion and the market demand. I found my sweet spot. Guitar, music and teaching guitar were that sweet spot. I advertised at some of the other local music stores and literally within about four weeks, I have twenty students. I was charging $25 an hour, which was pretty crazy back then. The reason why I charge $25 an hour because the lessons were about $15 back in the day. Now, they’re at $14. The reason why I charged $25 was I inherited a special skill from my father’s. If you want to call it the genealogy pool. My father had perfect pitch for music. By default, I also developed a perfect pitch and I started to refine it. Perfect pitch allowed me to transcribe guitar solos from Led Zeppelin or Van Halen or Gary Moore, all these musical artists. I was able to transcribe them notes for notes. Back in the days, I buy the records and tape cassettes and then teach it to my students. I had a special skill, I’m going to charge $25 an hour. That was my first business.
Then how did you get from that to the amazing businesses you’re running in different industries now?
I started the Note for Notes Guitar Clinic at age fourteen. I age fifteen, I’ve discovered leverage and I employed five other music teachers and we were charging $25. I was paying the music teachers $10 and I was pocketing $15 of every lesson the teachers taught. From my early days, at the age fourteen and discovering leverage at fifteen, I sold that business for $30,000 when I was seventeen. With $30,000, I’ve moved to Hollywood, California to look for a band, to basically become a rock star, join a touring band, get signed up and just tour around the world. Have a lot of fun, meet a lot of women, meet girls, make a lot of money so I can send money back to my folks and just see the world. I found myself in the United States. I haven’t had a job if you want to call it. I always have been a hustler. I’ve just been an entrepreneur from day one and one thing led to another. I joined a rock band. We got signed up and toured around the world over a decade. I developed a two to one passive income ratio. 80% of my revenue was going towards properties and I’m sending money back home to my mom and dad so that they can retire. I was living off the other 20%. I managed to buy a lot of investment properties. It was in 1998 that I left the music industry. I took two years of my life, a sabbatical and just became this vagabond, this cyber gypsy traversing the planet. Then in the year 2000, I resurfaced and declared that I would be a full-time businessman.
How did you end up eating lunch on the deck of the Titanic?
I amassed a lot of properties in the 1990s up until I left the music industry in 1998. I started utilizing a lot of that leverage on my property investments. I was involved in financial markets. This is before me going online. I actually went online for the very first time in 2002. This is the year 2000. What I do in the early 2000s, I went to Moscow, Russia to fulfill a boyhood dream of becoming an astronaut. I originally approached NASA, who basically scoffed at the idea because I have no university credentials. I have no qualifications. I certainly didn’t have any letters after my name. Instead, I found the backdoor entrance, which was going for the Russians who were more interested in how many zeros are after my name. I joined the Russian space program, but it was also for the Russians and my networking with the Russian government that I’ve managed to secure a voyage in a Russian and Soviet style pressurized bioscan to dive down to the bow of the Titanic and fulfill one of my boyhood dreams.
It was one of my original goals which was to have lunch on the bow of the shipwreck of the Titanic, five miles deep. It takes four hours to get all the way down to the very bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean. That was probably a surreal experience and I’ll tell you why, not so much of the Titanic but the fact that the Titanic is surrounded by hundreds of pieces of luggage. These are the luggage of the immigrants who are fleeing the old world and traveling to the new world. My parents came to Australia by boat. They were immigrants as well. Just to see all those suitcases brought a tear to my eye because I thought of my parents. These suitcases were made of leather back in the day and leather does not decompose. It’s incredibly surreal. We were on the bow where Captain Smith once had his hands on that wheel in the deck. It’s a truly surreal and an amazing experience.
[Tweet “A lot of people fear debt.”]
What do you wish you knew when you started that you know now?
I would’ve left home sooner. I’m seventeen when I left home. I would have loved to have traveled. My parents didn’t have the money for us to travel. I was raised in Melbourne. I didn’t really leave the State of Victoria, which is like California. For me, I was longing to travel. The reason why I’ve had this longing to travel is because for the first ten years, I was pretty medically confined to my bedroom. All I had were two windows that I would gaze out as a young lad, as a young boy and stare at the luminescence of the moon. My sisters, I would always command them to go to the shopping center and bring back all these travel brochures about countries around the world. There was this mosaic of the catalogs and travel books, this kaleidoscope of adventures that was basically awaiting me outside my bedroom walls. If only I set out and traveled at age fourteen. My journey was a little bit difficult. I didn’t have the capital. My parents obviously would not have allowed me to, but when I was seventeen I had the financial capital to chase the American dream and I’ve lived in Hollywood, California.
What is then one of your biggest business challenges and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was obviously developing more streams of cashflow. I had amassed so much property that the banks stopped lending me money. They thought I was overly geared. Here’s the crazy thing, a lot of people fear debt. I loved debt. The more debt, bring it on, because debt creates wealth. When I acquire real estate, for example, the profit is in the purchase. I’ve developed some economic cycles and implied fundamental indicators to help me make my decision. For me, the biggest decision was how to generate more cashflow out of a property for example. Property was giving me meaningful capital growth and it basically saves the mortgages, but I wanted additional cashflow where I can monetary arbitrage.
For me, it was just coming up with ideas and develop more cashflow streams. I started doing that by acquiring businesses that were basically hemorrhaging in debts. I was buying businesses that I was able to restructure, change the personality of the company and just rebuild it and value structure by adding more value to the product and the services, and generating more leads for the businesses. From there, I started looking at other cashflow leads to generate more cashflow, to buy more real estate. Then utilize the bank’s money and then recycle the bank’s money to get back into other strategies. I have gotten to a point where I was able to recycle the bank’s money that they’re loaning me and I was arbitraging the bank’s money to make 20% or 30% returns where the bank was only charged me 3%, 4% or 5% interest rates in a year.
What do you like best about your businesses now?
I have a lot more control and a lot more consistency. I have some very simple rules when it comes to business. I want to be in control. I don’t want to be relying to anybody but myself. The individuals that I do bring to my organizations, I find good quarterbacks. For example, if I’m looking at a business and it’s a cash cab, I will maintain that business but I don’t work in that business. I will not operate the day-to-day admin elements of it. I will always find a good quarterback to run the business. Some of them I’ve trained up, a good quarterback they’re on the business. What I do is I give them performance targets and performance metrics and then I give them equity in the business. They’re getting incentivized and they’ve got some monetary skin in the game and they work as if it’s their own business. On the other side, I build brands that I build, and within three, four years I sell them. I build businesses for custom cashflow but I build brands to sell. I never keep a brand. I will always build it, generate an income based on recurring volume or recurring contracts, then I sell that brand usually on a multiple of three or four, if you work in the multiples.
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Make dissatisfaction work for you. My father taught me that at a very young age. I had no idea what he meant at the time. It finally dawned on me. It was a paradigm shift a little bit on the age fifteen, make dissatisfaction work for you. In other words, never be complacent. Always race the bottom, give yourself permission to succeed and cut every sound of retreat and never be satisfied. Never measure your loads. Always be hungry, always be ambitious. Always have that drive because capitalism will always reward those who has ambition and drive and enthusiasm and are willing to sacrifice. I don’t discriminate between weekdays, weekends or public holidays. Every day is a day of opportunity. Then again, I know people who love and take their Saturdays and Sundays off and they do absolutely nothing during the week. That just drives me crazy. For me, if you’re going to go out there, make it count. Even Warren Buffet can’t buy that time. Ultimately, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and respect yourself and just make a conscious decision to change the polarity of every negative circumstance in your life.
You said so many things I’m trying to keep up in my notes. There are so many good writer downers in that answer. With all the amazing success you’ve achieved, what’s your biggest challenge now?
I’m a big believer of the power of no. I don’t believe in the power of yes. I don’t believe in all that yes energy crap. I believe in the power of no. My biggest hurdle is we are obligated to a close frame because you’re emotionally obligated, as opposed to using a physical sense or physical logic. It’s a problem that a lot of individuals have where you take time out of your schedule to assist somebody for example, and you’re not going to go and take massive action with it. I’m very specific these days. I learned to work with individuals who are going to be pre-qualified and they’re going to be predicated on the sense that I center and I guard my time a lot more closely these days than when I di three, four, five or even ten years ago. I want to help those who have that desire, that thirst for knowledge, those individuals who they’re going to spring out of bed and just go in there and sacrifice and put themselves on the offensive which is liken to what I do. Their forehand on life’s backhand. They’re the people that I now have time for.
You had lunch on the Titanic, you’ve lived in space. What’s left on your bucket list?
There have been a lot of things. I’m actually conducting a mastermind in a live erupting volcano and I’ll be performing a crazy feat while I’m on there. We’re going to be rappelling down the side of a live and active volcano. We’re going to camp overnight next to the lava lake, which will be a first for history. I’m hanging out. It can be as crazy as all things. Some people might consider that to be incredibly risky. Then again, if you’re working five days a week that is very risky behavior, as far as I’m concerned. I’m always doing something crazy, whether it’s jumping off Mount Everest on my birthday and doing a halo jump or whether it’s rappelling on the side of live volcanoes or climbing one more below the Earth’s surface into caves made out of crystals where the temperature is about 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
For me, I love remote exotic regions of the world. I think that’s probably what puts a smile on my face. I’ve been to 138 countries now. According to the United Nations, I have 56 more countries, then I’ve done the entire planet. I’m a transient. I’m traveling. I’m able to generate an income and work on my businesses because my cell phone is my baton. I’m the conductor of an orchestra. I don’t want to be in the orchestra pit like a musician. I’m the conductor. My baton is my laptop and my cell phone, and I can be anywhere worldwide to conduct business. Even if I’m in a remote region where there’s no cell signal, I’ve got my satellite phone. I’m always in contact with the outside world. I have good project managers, I have good quarterbacks. For me, I’m a creator. I create businesses. I’m a visionary. I have the ideas and concepts and I’ll know how to strategize and they’d be practical and execute these ideas because excellence is a commitment to completion, the commitment to completion and I’ll do whatever it takes. I’m very technical. That’s what drives me in my life and in my quest as I go from country to country to country.
Absolutely incredible story, incredible journey, amazing interview. We greatly appreciate your incredibly valuable time. What is the best place for our audience to go to learn more about you? Do you want to send them to Nik In Space or should we send them somewhere else?
There are about a hundred different websites out there on the web. Easiest thing is friend me on Facebook. One thing is I’m very humble. There’s no ego. I’d love to add value. I’m all about value-structuring lives and providing physical logic, giving you ideas and concepts in relation to whatever you’re pursuing in your life. Friend me on Facebook. It’s just very easy on social media these days. Seth, I want to appreciate your time and for exposing me to your tribe. It’s been a pleasure to enlighten and share some stories about my life.
Thank you so much. We greatly appreciate it.
Seth, my pleasure. Enjoy. See you.
About Nik Halik
Nik Halik is the founder and CEO of Financial Freedom Institute, Lifestyle Revolution and 5 Day Weekend®. He became a multi-millionaire and amassed great wealth through savvy investments in property, business and the financial markets. Nik’s group of companies have financially educated and life coached over 1 Million clients in over 57 countries. Nik generates passive income, building recurring subscription businesses, investing in tech start ups and multi family apartment complexes. He is currently an angel investor and strategic adviser for several tech start-ups in the U.S.
Nik has trekked to over 150 countries, dived to the wreck of RMS Titanic to have lunch on the bow, been active as a mountaineer on some of the world’s highest peaks, performed a HALO skydive above the summit of Mt Everest in the Himalayas, climbed into the crater of an exploding erupting volcano [1,700 Degrees Fahrenheit] for an overnight sleepover and just recently, entering the hermit kingdom of North Korea to expose a sweat shop factory operating illegally for an American conglomerate.
He was the back-up Astronaut for the NASA / Russian Soyuz TMA-13 flight to the International Space Station in 2008. He currently remains in mission allocation status for a future flight to Earth’s only manned outpost in orbit– the International Space Station with the Russian Federation.