NUNN IS THE WISER!

The Non-League Football Paper - - NEWS - By MATT BAD­COCK Check out Benny’s of Lon­don at www.ben­nysoflon­don.com or to speak to Nunn about prop­erty and de­vel­op­ment, email him on ben@fn­prop­er­ty­group.com

How Da­gen­ham’s Ben Nunn jug­gles a National League ti­tle chase with his out­side busi­ness in­ter­ests

BEN NUNN is more likely to be found speak­ing to sup­pli­ers in China than sit­ting on his sofa watch­ing TV af­ter he’s fin­ished train­ing with Da­gen­ham & Red­bridge. Or work­ing on his prop­erty busi­ness rather than catch­ing up with the lat­est boxset.

In fact, the 27-year-old says he hasn’t watched telly prop­erly for two years as he pours his pas­sion into the busi­nesses he owns with part­ner Sa­man­tha.

It all started when they re­turned from trav­el­ling across Asia, Aus­tralia and New Zealand – a trip that saw Nunn take a break dur­ing Bore­ham Wood’s Con­fer­ence South pro­mo­tion season be­fore re­turn­ing to help them over the line – and read a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

Within an hour they’d signed up to a sem­i­nar about prop­erty in­vest­ment and de­vel­op­ment. A week later, their sec­ond busi­ness was born – a men’s groom­ing com­pany called Benny’s of Lon­don – af­ter at­tend­ing a course on how to sell on Ama­zon.

They source the prod­ucts from China, work with pack­ag­ing and de­sign com­pa­nies, im­port the goods and sell across Europe and to the US mar­ket.

“We sort of fell into it all,” Nunn tells The NLP. “The thing that started it off was read­ing a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. That lit­er­ally led us to the prop­erty course and changed the mind­set of work­ing for your­self rather than for some­one else.

“The big­gest thing is, ev­ery­thing is go­ing to be a risk. The idea of the book is that you want to cre­ate a free­dom. You want to be­come wealthy but you want to be­come wealthy in time, so you can do what you want, when you want.

“I read a book a month and lis­ten to two or three au­dio­books a month, all on mind­set, time man­age­ment – ev­ery­thing.

“I get up early and work be­fore I go to foot­ball. I work as soon as I leave foot­ball. I don’t re­ally watch telly. I just think if I watch two hours of a pro­gramme, it’s two hours I could be work­ing. That’s the mind­set I’ve got. I’m lucky I’ve got Sam, who is on the same page as me oth­er­wise it could be dif­fi­cult.

“She’s got an­other busi­ness her­self, which is a cloth­ing brand called ‘Pretty Lav­ish’ and is do­ing ridicu­lously well. So it’s crazy at the mo­ment.”

With a pro­mo­tion push with John Still’s Dag­gers also a big pri­or­ity, Nunn knows he has to get the bal­ance right.

Bal­ance

On days off from foot­ball he is of­ten check­ing on the prop­er­ties they have, mainly, in the northwest.

Nunn be­gan his ca­reer at Bos­ton United and played for the first team be­fore their dou­ble rel­e­ga­tion out of the Foot­ball League.

He moved onto Garry Hill’s Rush­den & Di­a­monds, had a season at both Cam­bridge City and Bishop’s Stort­ford be­fore join­ing Chelms­ford City for just over two sea­sons.

Five years at Bore­ham Wood fol- lowed, in­clud­ing two in the National League be­fore join­ing Still’s side in the sum­mer.

“I was com­pletely hon­est with John and said what I’ve got go­ing on and how much time it takes up,” he says. “He’s been good with me. I’ve had to miss one or two days train­ing since I’ve started and, as long as it doesn’t af­fect games, he’s been fine with that.

“I re­spect that when I’m at foot­ball, I’m not work­ing. It’s prob­a­bly why the bal­ance is work­ing be­cause of John – with his dis­ci­pline I can do both.”

Nunn be­lieves other foot­ballers can do both too. In the volatile foot­ball in­dus­try, where a full-time ca­reer can be ended by in­jury or even a man­ager’s de­ci­sion, Nunn says it’s vi­tal play­ers think about life af­ter the game.

And he wants his story to en­cour­age other play­ers to give it a go them­selves.

“A lot of play­ers who have played at a good level have got sav­ings,” he says. “They’ve prob­a­bly got enough money to do it them­selves but they don’t know where to start. I’ve been work­ing with a few play­ers in prop­erty de­vel­op­ment. “Say they have £10,000. We give them ten per cent re­turn a year and that way they can fol­low us for the first cou­ple, get in­ter­est on their money and once they’ve got an idea of what they’re do­ing they can go off and do it them­selves. “Be­cause we’ve got so much knowl­edge un­der our belt now re­ally want to help play­ers who have got money but don't know what to do. They leave foot­ball and they’re try­ing to re­place the in­come.

they’ve lost. They start from scratch with a coach­ing job or go into trades and labour. “If they’d been clever with their money when they had the money, say they’d picked up a cou­ple of houses a year for the last five years of their ca­reer, they prob­a­bly would have re­placed their foot­ball in­come. Then when they come to re­tire they’ve got the same in­come for the rest of their lives. “Be­ing com­pletely hon­est, I don’t know what help the PFA give play­ers at higher lev­els as far as man­ag­ing their money and knowl­edge of in­vest­ments. I’ve not played at that level so I don’t know what help they get. “But I do know there’s a lot of play­ers who have come down from that level who are on their last cou­ple of years play­ing and they don’t know what to do. They’re start­ing their coach­ing badges and try­ing to stay in that way be­cause foot­ball is all they know.

“Whereas if they’d been clever five or six years be­fore, they could have gone onto so many other things with­out hav­ing to stress be­cause of mort­gages and kids. It be­comes a lot more dif­fi­cult to do any­thing like this when you have those com­mit­ments.” Com­mand

Nunn’s aim is to grow his and Sam’s busi­nesses so they be­come self-suf­fi­cient and he can re­tire by the time he is 30.

But on the pitch there are big goals too, none smaller than the Foot­ball League place Da­gen­ham are chas­ing.

Tues­day’s draw with Alder­shot saw them slip to fourth in the National League ta­ble. But in a tight divi­sion that is cry­ing out for some­one to take com­mand of it, Nunn is con­vinced they have the tal­ent to achieve their goal. “We have got ev­ery­thing we need – man­ager and squad – to win this league,” he says. “And win it early. We’ve only lost two games so far. But we need to con­vert the draws into wins and get con­sis­tency. “If we can get a good run un­der our belt, it’s for us to win. But we can’t just talk and noth­ing hap­pen. We’ve got to ac­tu­ally do it on the pitch. John is say­ing ev­ery game, it’s our time to grab it by the scruff of the neck and re­ally kick on.” Trav­el­ling, chang­ing his mind­set and work­ing for him­self has im­pacted Nunn on the pitch too. “It’s all helped me as a per­son, know­ing what I want and be­ing more fo­cused,” he says. “Men­tally you’re clearer with what you want to do and you be­come more fo­cused and to the point. “When you go to train­ing, you’re there to train and work as hard as you can. When you leave, you work on the busi­ness and work as hard as you can – rather than drift­ing into foot­ball, go­ing home and sit­ting on the sofa.”

WORK ETHIC: Ben Nunn is jug­gling a ti­tle chase with Da­gen­ham un­der John Still, inset left, with his busi­nesses, inset right

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