Join Australia's most dynamic and respected property investment community

How Hard Do You Want It?......Or Go Hard, Or Go Home!

Discussion in 'Investor Psychology' started by skater, 6th Nov, 2015.

  1. skater

    skater Capitalist Premium Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,411
    Location:
    Sydney
    Warning: This is a VERY long post.


    I grew up in a lower working class area. My parents didn't have any money. We rented a lowsy miners cottage on the escarpment in Wollongong. It was small, cramped and drafty. We had no carport, and a dunny out the back. We didn't have a road, as it was a very bumpy dirt track to get to our home. In order to get to either the bathroom, or my sister's tiny bedroom, you first had to go through my parents bedroom. My room was a converted verandah.

    I remember going to a friends home after school the first time, and looking around in complete awe! I told her parents how lovely her home was, and how lucky she was, but with hindsight it was a simple, modest 3 x 1, nothing special, but worlds away from our home.

    I loved to roller skate, but my parents couldn't afford to buy me any, so I got a job, and bought my own. The skates cost $99, and I earned $15pw (no cheap imports back then).

    I wanted to learn to figure skate (it's called Artistic Skating, but we'll go with figure skate, for ease of understanding), but there was nobody to teach me, and even if there had been, my parents wouldn't have paid for the lessons, so as soon as I was old enough, I bought a car, & took myself off to lessons.

    I started doing this at age 18, when most people start between the ages of 7-10yrs. I was determined and represented NSW every year at the National Championships which was in a different State each year. I paid my own way on my average wage, as well as renting a small unit. It was very expensive, but I always found a way to do what I wanted to do. My parents never saw me compete.

    I bought my first PPOR at age 26, which was slightly better than my parent's home (it was very hard to be worse), it was a very old, ugly, unique home, but it was all mine. I met my Husband who also came from a very working class family, who also completely supported himself. We married, I gave up work & had babies. He got retrenched! Interest rates climbed!

    We hung onto our home by the skin of our teeth. We cut out ALL spending for over two years. We ate NOTHING other than rice, pasta, rolls of devon, some eggs, noodles and whatever veggies were cheap & in season. The only presents the kids received were handmade out of whatever scrap we were able to find. We worked whatever jobs we could get. I sold Avon door to door with two babies in a pram. I sold Tupperware at night. Hubby sold vacuum cleaners door to door, we cleaned Sani bins, did telemarketing. Literally ANYTHING. It was very hard, but we got through it.

    We eventually got through it all, and by fluke found someone who could ‘reduce your mortgage’. Heard what they had to say, which included buying in IP, the use of LOC’s and they’d monitor it all for a price. Being of working class, we’d never dreamt that we could own more than one home, and had absolutely no idea where to start, but this talk sowed the seeds of what we have today. We did a heap of research, found out how to do it, found an area we could (just) afford, and went for it. We bought a clapped out, down on it’s luck property, gave it a quick reno & rented it out with positive cashflow from day one.

    Things were looking good on the home front, so we started a new Business. We were undercapitalised from day one, which became apparent all too soon. We were losing over $1000pw, and were tied to a two year lease. The landlord was a Solicitor, so there was no getting out of it. We didn’t want to have to declare bankruptcy, so we devised a plan. Hubby travelled to Hornsby from Wollongong M-F for work, while I looked after the Business. The kids worked beside us after school and weekends. Saturday was the busiest day of the week, we both worked all day from 8.00am to 11.00pm. Hubby & the kids looked after the Business on Sundays, while I worked elsewhere.

    We sold our home, before it was taken away from us, and kept the funds available to fund the shortfall on the Business. We moved into the cockroach infested upstairs office of the building for the next 18months, and all meals were cooked in the pie oven.

    Once we’d completed the lease, we closed the business up, spend some of the remaining funds by taking the kids to Disneyland (their reward for what was very hard on them as well) & moved to Sydney near the job that Hubby then had.

    About 6 months later we bought our next PPOR, right smack bang in the middle of the housing department area. Saved, bought some IP’s, the kids were doing well at sport & then WHAM! CFC hits! Interest rates go up, Hubby gets a new job & loses 6mths of pay due to his new boss (long story, it’s on SS as well) and lastly one of our Agents embezzles $25k. For the third time, it’s back to strick budgeting in order to get through it.

    Moving back to the rollerskating of my youth, both the kids, and Hubby also skate. It’s extremely expensive and we’ve been able to take them all around the Country for their various competitions, including representing the Country. In one year alone, all four of us were selected to represent Australia. Four of us at a minor international meet, and three of us at World Championships. That year’s total bill for skating came in at $36k. I was sure glad I had a heap of equity that year.

    Time moves on…we buy our next PPOR in a better area, buy some more IP’s, oldest child gets a job, youngest moves away & marries & it’s just the two of us. Sydney boom means that a heap of properties have increased in price, and it’s time to downsize so that Hubby can retire at age 50.

    So….why did I tell you all this? It wasn’t to gloat, it was to say that if we can do it, on well below average incomes for most of our working life, that anybody can do it. The thing is that most won’t.

    Why is that? Well, I’ve known for many years now that I don’t think like an average person thinks. An average person gets average results, and there’s nothing wrong with that, only that I don’t want to be average. I’m willing to do what it takes to get what I want. I’m willing to sacrifice and work hard, and that is how my whole life has been lived. Hubby is the same.

    Going back to that little girl, who wanted her first pair of skates, to doing the hard yards to excel in competition, to being self-funded retirees, Hubby is 50 and I’m 53. In every step of the way, I have never believed that it’s too hard, or I can’t do it. It’s all about attitude, and not making excuses. It’s about realising that sacrifices are only temporary. It’s about saying “How can I do that?” instead of “I can’t do that”. It’s about trying, failing, getting back up and trying again. It’s about how much you really want it, and how hard you are willing to work to get what you want, and in investing, it’s not so much how much money you make, but what you do with what you do get.

    In fact, back in my 20’s when I first started coaching, was a poem that I printed out and gave to each of my students. It was as true then, as it is today and it can be applied to anything that you feel is worthwhile in life, whether that be sport, investing, or even learning to cook.

    I tried to add it, but couldn't. It's called 'The man who thinks he can" by Walter Wintle.

    Today, there is so much more information available that anyone who wants it badly enough, and is willing to sacrifice a little will do so much better than we have done. I see a huge wave of young, hungry newbie investors at the meet-ups. They are not making excuses, but are getting out there and doing it. If they can't afford in Sydney, they go where they can afford. I have such a huge respect for them, but what I don't respect are the whingers that say that it's too hard. Yes, it's hard! It always was, and it always will be, but it IS achievable.

    And looking back now in hindsight, maybe it is our working class background that has shaped our thinking. We wanted to do well, but all we had to compare to was the way we were brought up. We didn't strive to buy the biggest & best that we could afford. We bought as soon as we could buy something small & modest. We never bought lunches, coffees or went to restaurants. We lived below our means. Even now, I don't consider that we are rich. I feel as if we are now middle class, but with the means that we can live how we want without the constraints of a job. We could push on, and attain much greater wealth, but we have attained what we set out to do, and are more than happy with the result
     
    Rclank1422, KMD, vbplease and 65 others like this.
  2. Wukong

    Wukong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    210
    Location:
    NSW
    Well done @skater, thanks for sharing!
     
  3. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,474
    Location:
    Sydney
    You and hubby are smashing out the essays today Skater!!!

    Well done to you and your family.
     
    Esh and skater like this.
  4. House

    House Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    13th Sep, 2015
    Posts:
    767
    Location:
    Sydney
    Incredible story. Triumphing adversity and penury to come out on top... when is the book coming out?!
     
    skater likes this.
  5. skater

    skater Capitalist Premium Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,411
    Location:
    Sydney
    Hehe, yep!
     
  6. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,254
    Location:
    Sydney
    @skater - Can i make a request? - Can you write something up on how to raise kids to ensure they aren't spoilt brats and understand the value of money?

    Your kids are now adults and have their heads screwed on right, I would like to learn the life lessons you gave them :)

    PS: Awesome story. Your husband mentioned "with a bit of luck" in his other post - but I disagree with him on this. Reading your story reinforces a belief i have - there is no such thing as luck, just opportunities you were aware of due to hard work and the desire to succeed :D
     
    devank likes this.
  7. skater

    skater Capitalist Premium Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,411
    Location:
    Sydney
    Well.....I could, but they are very different individuals & have very different outlooks, and both of them read the forum. I might get into trouble.:p
     
    Rugrat likes this.
  8. MsAli

    MsAli Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,147
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Very inspiring @skater ! Jim Rohn says "If I can do it, you can do it".

    Thanks for sharing. Great example of making use of what you have! And as you said it always has been, is and will be hard. Those who want to make it happen, will make it happen. You have to go for the absolute best possible 'you' and that is different for everyone. The idea is to not settle for less than you can be and only you can decide that for you. It takes a lot of character building & change to realise that.

    Well done on your achievements!
     
  9. skater

    skater Capitalist Premium Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,411
    Location:
    Sydney
    That's right! I'm no more special than anyone else! Anyone can do what we have done!
     
    Leo2413, Catalyst, MTR and 1 other person like this.
  10. skater

    skater Capitalist Premium Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,411
    Location:
    Sydney
    LOL! We had our share of bad luck along the way too.
     
  11. mouseburger

    mouseburger Active Member

    Joined:
    20th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    44
    Location:
    ACT
    Thanks for sharing @skater. I've been following your posts on your investment journey - inspirational stuff! You and your husband have done really well, and it's proof that if people can achieve if they're willing to work hard, make their own opportunities, and not be deterred by setbacks.
     
    skater likes this.
  12. Michael_X

    Michael_X Mortgage Broker Business Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    295
    Location:
    Gold Coast/Sydney
    Thanks for sharing Skater!

    I still remember the first time I read your story on Somersoft, it was a great turning point for me. No matter the circumstances, if you want something badly enough you will find a way.

    Cheers,
    Michael
     
    skater likes this.
  13. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    5,545
    Location:
    Sydney or NSW or Australia
    Esh and skater like this.
  14. Soul

    Soul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1st Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    90
    Location:
    Melbourne

    Very inspiring Skater! Your story reminds me of my parents life, they had to start three-four times from scratch.

    Coincidentally, your business part is similar to my mentor's life in early 1990 when Australia was going through a serious recession. She used to run a corner store during day time and worked as a kitchen hand at nights. Her hubby also did two jobs for a long time. She knew nothing about cookery and now is a Sous chef in one of the well known restaurant in Sydney and had built a multi million dollar property portfolio along the way.

    As Neil Walsh said: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
     
  15. alexm

    alexm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    304
    Location:
    Sydney
    @skater , reading your story reminds me of my background as well (even though i'm younger than you). Great attitude, well done.
     
    skater likes this.
  16. Steven Ryan

    Steven Ryan Mortgage Broker Business Plus Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    2,458
    Location:
    Sydney & Gold Coast
    Thanks for sharing. Always great to read these stories of where people have come from, the challenges they have faced, and the results they have produced.
     
  17. sash

    sash Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    3,214
    Location:
    Sydney
    Congratulations Skater...wow you have been through a lot!

    I won't lie to you ...I have been very fortunate and did not have to go through what you and Andrew have had to go through.

    Comparatively...I came out of very comfortable background. I was not given the money to invest I did that all my self. But readying your story...you did it tough!

    Just remember to spoil yourselves now....go in splurge because the hard work and the laser like focus over the last couple of years needs to be enjoyed..and there should be no regrets in the coming years...



     
    Catalyst, Soul, MsAli and 1 other person like this.
  18. skater

    skater Capitalist Premium Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,411
    Location:
    Sydney
    LOL! That's the abridged version. The whole story (the early years) is back on SS somewhere.

    I've got two holidays already booked & paid for, for next year. I lined up a third, but Hubby insisted that two was plenty.:D
     
    Leo2413 and Perthguy like this.
  19. Greyghost

    Greyghost Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23rd Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,259
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Skater I can totally relate.
    We come from working class family too.
    my mum was single with me 9, my brother 5, both ADHD kids, (our father didn't pay child support to her), had govt assisted housing - right on the vline tracks, our house got robbed many times with my bed sheets even getting stolen.
    She drove a beaten up 83 Gemini that overheated if you took it more than 20kms.
    We had charity food hampers..

    But our step dad came along and our lives changed dramatically ( he was a manager for a big tobacco coy). From then on we lived decent middle class lives (private high schools, sports, overseas holidays).
    My mum passed away this year (52), but my step dad is my role model and he is a father to me.

    So I think those years have shaped me also and I think differently to many others as well. I have not been privileged with parents who were financial mentors and helped me on this journey, but my childhood definitely sparked the fire within..

    I am truly humbled by your story skater. You are an inspiration to others out there. With children, multiple set backs, you still have achieved so much..

    I really enjoyed your post.
    Made my day
    Thank you....
     
    KMD, jim1964, tomlemke and 7 others like this.
  20. MsAli

    MsAli Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,147
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    @Greyghost - well done. You might relate to Tony Robbins story :)
     
    skater and Greyghost like this.