My Life + Business

So here is my story, open, authentic and real

I live on the Gold Coast having moved here in late 2017 with my husband and two beautiful children. They are currently 12 and 13. The Gold Coast is the fifth Australian city my husband and I have lived in. The others include Newcastle, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane. 

I grew up in Lake Macquarie, NSW next to Newcastle with my Mum, Dad and two older brothers. I come from a family of business owners. My maternal grandfather built a very large successful trucking and earthmoving company called E&K Harvey.  My Pop was an inspiration to the entire family and especially to me. Not only was he kind and loving, he was dedicated and a hard worker who never gave up. My mum often told stories of Pop driving trucks for hours on end between Sydney and Newcastle long before the road was sealed, let alone a freeway; to support his wife and children. Pop was the first businessman I knew.

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My Pop and I, on my wedding day Sept 2001.

My parents have been in business for as long as I can remember. They had a building business and roller door company together when we were kids. Then my Mum had a number of successful shoe stores in my early adult years. Mum had endless ideas and concepts for business. I remember she came up with a concept for a Sephora/ Mecca type store a good 35 years ago when makeup was only sold over the counter at David Jones or Myer. Mum has always had a project or a business on the go. 

Dad is still working now at nearly 77 years old, he is a master craftsman and builder. Having run his own building business for 50+ years, he lives and breathes it everyday. I don’t think I have ever heard him complain about work. The weather and the occasional difficult customer but never the work. He has built thousands of homes, offices, workshops and warehouses. Dad has the ability to see a house and its possibilities in seconds. 

My two brothers have also had their own businesses over the years. I feel like business is in our DNA. All my life I have loved business, I love reading about businesses, how they got started, successes and failures, their owners and their wisdom. As a teenager I used to read the Business Review Weekly (BRW) for fun. My favourite issues were the BRW Rich List and BRW Young Rich List. This is something I thought everyone did till I met my husband and he had never heard of the BRW.

My first business

My first business was in year 4 at school. I collected up all the smurf figurines from around our house, whether they were mine or not and sold them to kids on the playground at lunchtime. I made great money but got into a bit of trouble at home when my brothers realised what I had done.
My next business venture was charging the kids at school 20 cents for baptisms which I delivered by filling an orchy bottle with water and poking a hole in the lid. I then said some religious words and splash water on the kids. Money poured in on this occasion. However, as I went to a catholic school this wasn’t appreciated by Sister Marie our school’s principal and my business was shut down instantly along with a few lunchtime detentions.
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I was an above average student at school with a love for the arts like music, visual art, dance and theatre but I had an insatiable desire to work. As soon as I was at legal working age I got a job at McDonalds. I loved being in the business, seeing how it worked, what the processes were and I learnt as much as I could from an early age. 
Over the years I have worked at Hoyts Cinemas, a receptionist, as a Travel Agent, Hotel Front desk, Wedding Coordinator, Hotel National Sales Executive, Sales in an IT Company, National Sales Manager, Director of Sales and then finally a General Manager.  My career wasn’t something I planned out or dreamed about, I had no specific aspirations to achieve a certain position.  It was something that was happening in the background while I built side businesses. 

The side hustles

I have always had a side hustle of some kind. I have always looked for ways to get out of my job and to be a business owner. Whenever I didn’t have a side hustle I felt like something was missing. Even when I was at university I switched to distance education so I didn’t have to go to lectures and could focus on my book of business ideas or earning money to get into business.

When I look back, I felt these side hustles were failures because they never turned into big businesses. However, now I realise they were just side hustles, they were never going to be a billion dollar business, they served a purpose for me, they helped me understand how business worked, what skills were needed to run a business and not just be a sales person. My side hustles include selling Nu Skin Cosmetics, a bookstore, a bead importing business, my first online business was a silver jewellery store on eBay, Online bookstore, Hair accessories website and a self help website for women called Happy Women. This last one was long before its time. 

Looking for more

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Like I said above, if I wasn’t working on a side hustle I felt like something was missing in my life. When I turned 30 I started to think maybe it wasn’t the business that was missing from my life, it was a piece of me that was missing. I started to think that maybe the missing piece was having a baby. Afterall, I was 30, we had been married 5 years and together 10 years.
Lucky for me somewhere deep inside I knew it wasn’t a baby I needed. I felt like there was something missing in me. A hole in my heart. On the surface I was the happiest of people. I would go to work shining and smiling endlessly but I felt empty and sad inside.
I remember going to the GP and telling her about my feelings, my sadness and she told me to eat better and exercise more to feel better. Then I went to a psychologist. I went 3 times and she told me I was fixed and I can go out confidently into the world and I would be fine. Obviously I wasn’t fine and I seemed to be getting worse. In the few years previous to this I had left my very well paying job as the QLD Business Development Manager for Australia’s largest hotel company, worked at Bunnings, worked in a candle store and ended up working part time at the casino because my husband worked there and I needed something low key. Meanwhile I picked up a book my mum had given me “ You can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. I started reading it and everything in those pages was describing me. It was like this lady had written this book for me.
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A few weeks after I picked up that book I met someone who changed my life forever. I sat down in the staff dining room at the casino with a bunch of people from the department I worked in. Across from me sat an 18 year old girl, Jess who had started around the time I did. We ended up being the last ones left at the table. We talked about our lives, our families and realised we had a lot in common. Her family life had been very similar to mine growing up and at the end of the conversation she said to me “Have you ever been to counselling or seen someone?”. I told her of the GP and the psychologist and she said “No, someone you can really talk to.” I told her I hadn’t and she connected me with Anne.

Coming back to me

My first session with Anne was brutal. She asked why I was there and I said “Because I don’t know if I want to have babies.” She answered with “ Oh no babies for you right now, you have a whole lot of mess going on inside we need to sort through before you bring some poor innocent baby into the world” and that was the beginning of a journey that changed everything for me.
Anne taught me the skills I needed to be happy in who I was and what I was. She showed me how to use my mind, change my mindset and my self-talk for good, how to handle other people, how to handle conflict, how to truly love and be loved, how to bring the positivity inside me to the surface and how to be a real version of me everyday. I no longer needed to pretend. I no longer needed to hide and I could heal my past hurts. It wasn’t a quick fix, actually it took years to undo the old and rebuild the new and I still am working on it almost daily.
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As a result of that work, the healing and the support, I have everything I could have ever asked for. I am happily married, I have two amazing children who I am teaching the same lessons to, I have a successful business and I am surrounded by kind loving people.

In this life you have one thing, you. How you treat yourself will determine your entire life. Life and business are roller coasters, however if you can provide yourself with love and support the roller coaster will be a little less crazy and a lot more enjoyable.
These are my beliefs and they reflect how I work with my clients. If you want a better life, to enjoy your business more and expand your mindset to create financial success contact me today.

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