And now for something completely different!
Although I personally focus on the web, lifestyle design comes in many forms and I took some time recently to interview Christine Cronau who created her own low maintenance income through the property market.
I was very inspired in the interview and her perspective is deliciously uncomplicated…
You created your financial freedom through property, but this wasn’t your profession. What motivated you to make the change? Did you know what you were doing when you started?
I was motivated to make a change because I wasn’t happy at work. I loved the type of work I was doing, and I loved the people I worked with, but I didn’t like the management. I wanted to be more independent.
I read the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki, which introduced me to the idea of financial freedom; of my money working for me, instead of me working for a salary or wage.
When I started, I had no idea what I was doing. The only experience I had in property was purchasing my own house, but it seemed like an area I could understand.
I started reading about investing in real estate, and also went to a 4 day course in Sydney. I was working at the time, so I did all my research and reading on the bus to and from work.
I started small, with a house in Julia Creek for $35,000. I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing so I could minimise any risk. I then moved onto a small block of units in Mt Isa. With further research, I realised that I could make more money with commercial real estate, so that became my next goal.
I looked for exactly the right property for a year, but it was well worth the wait when I found it; I was able to become financially independent with that one deal.
That must have been an exciting time! What you have done is what many people aspire to, what do you think has set you apart from others in the property market who don’t end up with financial independence? Or who take 20 years instead of 3?
I tend to go about things slightly differently. My actual goal was financial independence, and that is what I intended to achieve. A lot of property investors don’t actually realise the full potential of property.
They are trying to build a nest egg for the future, many are satisfied to negatively gear, and ‘hope’ that they will have an eventual capital gain.
I wanted to make my profit when I bought, not hope for an eventual profit.
It sounds like your mindset was hugely important; do you have any tips for people who are looking to achieve their own life changing goals?
Yes, I think mindset, determination, and perseverance are the most important aspects.
My tips would be: don’t let the naysayers pull you off track, dream big so you can achieve big (it is amazing what is actually possible), and keep focusing on the goal.
With every set-back, I sometimes got discouraged for around 5 minutes, before I started planning the work-around, and what I needed to do to keep going. Expect to have issues. How you problem-solve and keep on track will determine your success.
Thanks Christine, and now at a more technical level… the property market in Australia has been booming, and many predict it will take a dive in the near future.
If this happens do you think there will still be plenty of options for people to create financial independence as you have done? How would you teach someone new to the property market how to replicate your success?
I think you can do it in any market because you massively increase the value of the right property. So, if the market goes down, you will most likely still be ahead. However, I am currently taking a rest from property, and concentrating on my book, Great Health is a Piece of Cake.
Only because I think property in Australia is currently in a bubble. I think property is always a good investment, and will eventually go back to its normal upward trend, but I am sitting out until the bubble bursts a little more.
And, dives in the market are always a great opportunity for investors. That is a great time to jump in and make even more money.
One last question for you! What is one thing you wish you knew earlier?
I would like to have known that when you try to do something great, others can often feel threatened and try and deter you or pull you down. You will suddenly have friends and family telling you ‘that’s impossible’, ‘you can’t’ or they will start talking about you behind your back.
Of course, once you achieve success, the opposite occurs. Everyone, who previously gave you a hard time, wants to be your best friend, and help them invest their money. My advice to people starting out, is:
- Don’t listen to the others around you who suddenly become ‘experts’ and tell you what you can and can’t do; you can do just about anything when you put your mind to it.
- Be selective about who you speak to about your grand plans (find some like-minded people to share with).
- Passion is the key to financial success, in any area. Remember to dream big! We are only limited by our own minds.