My journey to financial freedom wasn’t always smooth. But put away the violins! If you are expecting a rags to riches story, I am sorry to disappoint you.
After studying Civil Engineering, and armed with additional business management studies, I worked all over the world on exciting infrastructure projects. From my last corporate role where I was responsible for making sure $12 billion was spent on effectively, I now spend my time doing what I love most – walking my dog in beautiful places, exploring the world and teaching others the recipes for wealth so
that they too can can be free to live their lives on their own terms!
I grew up in a nice home, on an average street, with nice, average siblings. I am a twin and the fifth of six children. My mum was a housewife and my father worked exceptionally hard to provide for his horde. I received a good education and had good opportunities.
When I was about 16, my father said, “Ann, you are the only person that can ever truly look after your financial well-being and your financial future. You can’t hope that a pension, a husband, a job or the government will ever do it for you.”
He planted a seed in me which didn’t immediately take root, but it did germinate and eventually grew and grew!
But first, I had to make a few mistakes along the way.
I was 22 when my dad died. I had no idea how to manage, invest or grow money. So I started with the only recipe I knew – get a good job, work hard and hope like hell there would be something left at the end of it all!
I got stuck in. I studied. I got a good job, I earned money. And then I spent it on loads of stuff – well, that’s just what you do isn’t it?
When I got my first job, I was suddenly being offered money all around – store cards, credit cards, overdrafts. To be respected, successful, and fit in – I could have it all and right now. I had a good job, I could pay for it later.
So that’s what I did. I bought an apartment with a enormous mortgage, filled it with furniture bought on credit. Then I met a man. He wined, dined and courted me. We went on wonderful holidays (all on credit). Impressing each other – we decided to get married.
We got the nicer car, better furniture, a bigger home, to go with the nice new marriage. Eventually I saw that all of the “stuff” which we had accumulated for exactly what it was: an enormous burden.
I felt suffocated and terrified that this was going to be my life. I saw ahead of me a life of stifled mediocrity, being held back from doing the things I really wanted to do with my life because the hole that I had dug was too deep to get out of.
When my father died, he told me to make sure that life meant something, to live with passion and adventure, to live a full life – a life where I had spread my wings, where I’d pushed myself, where I had fulfilled my life purpose. Here I was, only a few short years later, doing exactly the opposite. We were more than a year’s worth of salary in debt.
By using the steps and strategies that I now teach, we were able to get rid of all of our consumer debt in 6 months! In fact, we ended up with enough money to backpack around the world for a year without having to work – and that’s exactly what we did!
The lessons learned during this time set me up for my subsequent journey to financial freedom my wealth success. I had learnt the first key wealth skill: how to spend less than I earn, and to save. I’d also discovered a key element of Wealth Recipe #1: Pay yourself first.
The second leg of my wealth journey started when we arrived in Hong Kong, after travelling up the Yangtze River.
I thought this city’s cool, I’d love to work here for a while so I did. But the next step on my journey was Money Anorexia. I believed that I needed to control money to feel safe. So I stayed out of debt, spent as little as I could and saved. I had gone from one extreme to another. I lived in a state of fear and deprivation. I didn’t realise back then that money needs to flow and move.
And then the only thing that could happen did – my life blew up in a spectacular way. I lost my marriage and the money that I had held on to so tightly.
I spent many days reflecting on my situation. I realised that having money was not an end in itself. Living a wealthy life is about adventure, experience, joy and relationships. And thus the third leg of my wealth education journey began: my journey to financial freedom and true wealth.
I studied hundreds of books – on debt, property, investing, even inspirational books. But nowhere was everything put together in a simple, straightforward way that would inspire practical action. I attended seminars and trainings and tried numerous investment strategies. Through all of this, I realised that there were actually only a few core recipes to wealth.
Once I mastered these recipes, financial freedom came very quickly. I also discovered that what I needed to become and believe about money to create wealth as well as keep it and grow it. But most importantly, I realised that I could have a rich and full life while keeping and growing my money and become financially free!
It took my eight years from that afternoon that my husband left me to become financially free. I enjoyed the journey and really experienced wealth. I travelled around Australia on a motorbike, renovated three homes, lived in Australia, the UK, the USA and France. I became an NLP master practitioner and trainer, hot air ballooned over Palm Springs and the plains of Africa, white water rafted down the Zambezi, and canoed through the Okavango delta and more. All this at the same time as having a full time job and an incredibly successful career.
During this entire time, I kept applying the core recipes: spending less than I earned, always paying myself first, and consistently growing my wealth. I found that by putting a strong financial foundation in my life and just applying these core recipes over and over again while I focused on doing my best in each area of my life, with passion and joy, wealth would flow in. And it still does!