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My meeting with former Michael Jackson’s bodyguard Matt Fiddes.

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This post is about my mentor Matt Fiddes.

I mentioned in my previous post about my property journey. During one of the property events I met the former Michael Jackson’s bodyguard-Matt Fiddes and I was surprised that we are the same age. Matt Fiddes and Michael Jackson

Matt Fiddes is an expert in Martial Arts, fitness and entrepreneurship. Was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year 2022. Over 30 years he built multiple streams of business income. Worked with the world’s greatest businessmen, entrepreneurs and celebrities.

He has the biggest Martial Arts and Dance Franchise in the world. He also helps entrepreneurs with his business advice and the recent passion project of Money Freedom Club, where for a small fee anyone can join his network and learn from him through his membership site. 

Matt Fiddes is known for his anti-bullying campaigns.  

He was bullied at school from the age of 5, for being a small skinny kid. At the age of 7 one of his colleagues suggested he go to martial arts school and he joined a local one. As a tall boy, he had long legs and easily performed all kicks and he loved it. His goal was to be like Jean-Claude van Damme.

Then his grandfather who was involved in sport saw potential in Matt. He took him under his wing and started to train him with weight lifts and gymnastics. Matt trained hard.

His parents were against his passion for martial arts, as they saw it as legalised violence, from their lawyers-background perspective. They wanted him to be a vet as he was unknown for his love for animals. Matt persisted with his training and within five years he achieved a Black Belt. 

Martial Arts school.

At the age of 16, Matt decided to open his own martial arts school. To learn the craft he started to work at a fitness club.

While helping people to lose weight and get fit, he was also training to be a qualified personal trainer.

He moved to the Devon area and started a job in a local leisure centre as a lifeguard, still looking to open his own martial arts school. He worked hard on his marketing and started to get his first clients. 

He had a friend who came back from America, who shared with him how Americans run this business overseas and become multi-millionaires in this niche. They had better standards and a better way of running this business.

That ignited him. At the age of 17, he saved money and went to San Francisco to a big congress with around a thousand business owners in the martial arts and fitness industry.

There he met a successful fitness coach who owned 6 schools.  He was so impressed with Matt and allowed him to follow him for a week, and take plenty of notes on how he runs his business.

Learn and implement.

Matt came back from the USA and started implementing what he learned. It was a total mind shift for him. He turned from teaching fighting towards family entertainment and education.  

He was the first in the UK to collect payments from his clients by direct debit.  Introduced more family-oriented classes and started to give kids homework. He was the first in the UK to add music in the background during some classes. 

All improvements shot off his business, while he was still learning, regularly visiting American mentors to learn how to push it even further. He was opening new schools and teaching karate.

While still 17 years old, his second school became the biggest martial arts school in the UK with over 700 members and he was making £80k a month. He opened 5 schools and he became a millionaire by the age of 20.

His mentor advised him to put all the money he earns into a property. Matt was making around £120k back then and was able to buy 5 houses a month. Matt bought his first rental property at the age of 18. 

His sudden success drew the attention of a local reporter, whose kids were attending Matt’s classes. He knew that Matt was bullied at school and now he drives a new Porsche at the age of 18.

He thought that would be a good story for a local newspaper. The purpose was to give good examples to other kids on how to achieve goals, not drink or smoke and be successful.

They did an interview and a photoshoot, and the following day Matt was on the first page of every newspaper. On the back of this, Matt was invited to multiple TV shows about how a bully boy became a millionaire in his early 20ies.

This attracted the attention of Uri Geller, famously known for bending spoons, owner of many businesses and multimillionaire. Uri wanted to make an anti-bullying video and during this cooperation they became best friends. Uri started to mentor him and pushed him to buy more properties.

Matt felt stuck with his 5 schools that he opened in the rural area of Devon, far away from big cities. 

At this point, he didn’t know that Uri Geller was a very close friend of the pop star Michael Jackson. 

One night Uri called Matt at 3:30 am and asked to come to his house, without much more explanation. When Matt entered the room he was welcomed by Michael Jackson and their friendship began.

MJ became also his mentor, teaching Matt how to take his martial arts school business to the next level. One day Jacko pulled a napkin and drew a business plan for Matt on how to grow a franchise. Michael Jackson was keeping him accountable.

Michael Jackson’s trial in 2005 had a big impact on him.  When it was over MJ never was the same. The last time Matt spoke with Michael was two days before his tragic death.

With the death of MJ Matt realised how many true friends he had. Many that stayed in touch just to get closer to Jaco, never spoke with him again.  

Matt Fiddes is an incredible businessman and actively promotes entrepreneurship. He wanted to slow down after reaching 40 years of age, but then Boris closed the whole country down. He had to support all of his franchises through this difficult time. Matt and his team came up with ideas to stay afloat and grow the business even more.  

That’s why every day people ask for Matt’s mentoring and support. That motivated him more than ever. He still invests in properties and mentors people. 

Now he has over 1700 martial arts & dance schools mostly in the UK, Europe and also in Australia and South Africa.

My biggest takeaway from meeting him was his advice to first look after your health.   Then you need a personal financial plan in place to cover the costs of material things and the lifestyle you want.  

Then create a business plan on how to achieve it. He is truly passionate about helping others become successful entrepreneurs outside of the traditional school system. 

In his MF.Club he gives access to 350 hours of recording with different specialists in many different fields. He has expertise in mentoring people from how to start and scale the business to grow it with licensing and franchising. 

Over the years he became an expert in using mainstream media to get exposure and build a personal brand. Now he is successfully utilising social media platforms.

He gives his knowledge away for a fraction of what it should cost currently at £9.99 a month. No contract, cancel any time.

He provides monthly ask-me-anything live calls as well as live meetups in his house or other venues.

Twice a year he hosts free for his members Health & Wealth Summit in Tiverton, Devon. Invited speakers are world-famous businessmen and businesswomen. The next meeting is on the 8th of March 2024 and I will be there 🙂 

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Alison Blaire

    Tom, this was so interesting. I didn’t know about Matt and his impressive life journey. I think your takeaways are spot on and are so relevant to affiliate marketing. It is critical that we put our health first; my grandma used to say, “If you have your health, you have everything”, and it is so true. Health is a continual journey of eating right, exercising, and drinking enough water lol. But it is also so important to have a financial and business plan as well. Oftentimes, people jump into things without planning and foresight, and this often leads to bad outcomes. With a plan in place, it is easier to check in to make sure you are heading in the right direction!

  2. Sasha

    Absolutely love this inspiring journey with Matt Fiddes! From martial arts passion to Entrepreneur of the Year, it’s proof that with dedication, we can conquer anything. The focus on health, financial planning, and business strategy is empowering. I am always grateful for these shared stories – they’re powerful reminders of what inspiration can achieve.
    Sasha recently posted…Dog-friendly Road Trip to Florida (Part1)My Profile

  3. Marc

    Hi Tom,
    Great post and fantastic information. One take-away I have after reading your post is that sometimes, the people around you aren’t there for your friendship; but that’s for another post!
    Love the fact that he – Like Dean is pretty much doing – gives out business advice freely to anyone who wants to take the time to listen. These days, that’s the biggest hindrance if you ask me; people want things now and have pretty much no patience.
    Looking forward to reading future posts!
    Take care!

    1. Tom

      Thank you Sandy,
      definetly Matt is a great bussness and entrepreneurship mentor to follow.
      He has many experst at his events online and offline in many areas, including social media.
      Highly reccomend to listen to his hinterviews on manty differen podcasts. Last one I coudnt stop watching https://youtu.be/Mu4dSB_8KOc?si=Bcvbs57bEvG26fW2

  4. Eleanor Hope

    Hi Tom, It’s really awesome that people are talking about health first! I come from the old school where people vied to prove they were working hard. I remember when I first moved to a coastal town & thought I would get to the seaside every day for lunch to find that everybody else ate at their desk or on their way to another meeting!! Today, I hear about working smart instead & I imagine that takes health into account…. Hope to hear more on this topic

    1. Tom

      Thank you Eleanor,
      as you can imagine for Matt health and wellbeing are a priority. I have to admit I have a lot to do in this space, starting with losing weight. I felt bad when I took a photo and saw my fat belly when standing next to the fitness guru.
      One of the sections in the MoneyFreedom.club is called “Healthy body, healthy business” where he has a girl AKA Exercise Engineer presenting about weight loss, preparing for a marathon or exercising at home without gym equipment. She charges fortune for her classes, and Matt allows access to her for a fraction of that, never mind many different experts about business and personal development.

  5. Atif Perwiz

    Tom, well, what an incredible story. It’s amazing how different people come into your life at different stages and how they mentor you and teach you so much. This really shows the importance of networking and getting to know people that inspire you and tell you amazing stories. It’s these meetings with people that if you use to your advantage can change the course of your life. And I think that’s how I feel with Dean Holland. After trying for so long coming across his book and program has already changed my life. I’m not there yet, but I feel I’m on a course to great things. Thank you so much for this. It was a great and inspiring read. Thanks, Atif.
    Atif Perwiz recently posted…Why should you be an Affiliate Marketer?My Profile

    1. Tom

      Thank you Atif.
      I found that Matt Fidess despite his money and celebrity status is a very humble guy.
      I am so glad I can share time with him to learn from his experience. His motto is “Dream, Believe, Achieve” similar to Dean Holland’s.
      You mentioned networking, and I have never seen so many influencers and millionaires at any event. At the last event in Tiverton in September Alfie Best, The Gypsy Billionaire, landed in his private Aston Martin helicopter. Because Matt Fiddes has a few different businesses and knows many experts in many fields, I think this is a good place to be. Inside MoneyFreedom.club there is a ton of information about using social media, Facebook, mainstream media, how to invest in property, how to look after your health or how to build a brand. Some of the learnings I will use in my affiliate marketing too. Last time Matt advised that I should get to £10k a month ASAP and invest heavily in property. I will combine knowledge from beginner’s advantage to achieve that.
      Speak soon.
      Tom

  6. Sherri S Pulcino

    Tom,
    What an incredible story. People come into our lives for different reasons and seems to me that this would be a good person to follow. I really liked his take on his advice to first look after your health. Then you need a personal financial plan in place to cover the costs of material things and the lifestyle you want. Then create a business plan on how to achieve it. This is great advice.
    Sherri

    1. Tom

      Thank you Sherri.
      I think Matt is the person to look at. He achieved a lot at a young age, but with good mentors, he didn’t stop. I think many young people in his position would blow all that money away or develop bad habits with drinking or anything else.
      Mat was banned by Michael Jackson from drinking alcohol until he was 27.
      Now at the age of 45 he wants to give back hence he started his passion project Moneyfreedom.club

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