This is my fourth and final post on Moving Forward and Accepting Change
In my life I have experienced much change in business and in my personal circumstances. Like many people I have adjusted to changes along the way.
I decided to share my story as we are living a world where many people are experiencing challenges. I hope my journey and the lessons I share will help others facing change.
If you missed the first three parts in this series I suggest you do have a read so this one makes sense. You can find them at;
- Moving Forward – Accepting Change
- Moving Forward : Accepting Change – part 2
- Moving Forward: Accepting Change – part 3
Moving Forward and Accepting Change – part 4
In the last post I indicated we were to move from Perth, Western Australia to Sydney on the east coast. The reason for our move was to go into a partnership with another company and market a type of financial product Australia wide.
We decided to go ahead with this venture in September 1995. My husband Ivan and I had the next 6 weeks in the USA. We had planned that trip some time before and decided to go ahead. It started with a business conference in Seattle and then was very much vacation. We flew our then eleven year old daughter over to meet us and then traveled.
It is the longest vacation we have ever had together and in hindsight I am so glad we did even though it meant less time to get organized for the move.
Perth to Sydney
Our office was to open officially in February 1996. We arrived back home in Australia late October.
We therefore had 3 1/2 months to
- employ staff
- find suitable premises
- find people to replace our roles in our Perth Business
- sell our home and
- buy another one and
- find a school for our daughter
- and of course move
As both Ivan and I would be traveling we employed a housekeeper as we did not have any family support on this side of the country.
Our daughter was not at all happy about the move so we also brought her a puppy to sweeten things (or as she would say bribe).
Our cat also moved with us and was not impressed about the puppy.
Somehow we managed it all and our office miraculously opened in February as planned.
Open for Business
The launch of our company was well attended and went well.
Our flag ship product was a new concept and we needed to educate the financial planners about it. We also had many accountants that showed interest.
I was constantly traveling and running training programs. I was home most weekends and then off again. Ivan also did some traveling but mainly it was me.
To say our success was instant is almost an understatement.
We anticipated this product would be accepted but not in the way it was so quickly.
Our products were prospectus offers and had a limit to the number of investors that could participate. Our business partners had budgeted for us to sell the first one by the end of the year.
We sold out oversubscribed in May. Just 3 months into our business.
A nice problem you may think ….but it was not.
We had to return money to many people and we had financial planners very upset. Everyone wanted more product and we could not keep up with the demand.
I know this sounds like a marketers dream but I can assure you it has a downside too.
Our Lack of Systems
We had not expected anything like the response we received and as a very new company were not set up at all to cope with the volumes.
We corrected but it took us some time and was a stressful period.
The Next Two Years
The changes were fast and our growth amazing. We soon grew to a team of 45 people with some Business Development Managers in other states.
Our daughter who worked in our Perth company wanted to come and join us and did so early into the business. Our now daughter in law , who was then our eldest son’s partner also came across to join us. Our son followed so we had three of our family working with us.
We all worked enormous hours and family time became work discussions way too often.
We did once again have a great culture and a wonderful team of people.
We renovated a house in one of the most lovely areas in Sydney. Here is a view from our bedroom window. If you are familiar with Sydney it is Balmoral Beach and looking through the heads.
We also brought a holiday home in a small coastal town.
The world was our oyster – or so we thought.
Over Night The Law Changed – more moving forward and accepting change.
The investments we sold were using current taxation laws of the time. They were based mostly on Agriculture or Research and Development. Investors obtained a tax deduction for investing in them. In most cases this put money back in people’s pockets. This is why they were so popular.
Here is a wine grape project that was very dear to our hearts.
We had attempted to obtain approval from the Australian Taxation Office and were told they did not give pre-approval. We had obtained advice from top Tax lawyers and Accountants.
The Tax Office had accepted this type of investment for many years . We always thought that the day would come when they would change the laws.
What we never expected was that they changed them over night retrospectively. Once again – overnight we pretty much had no product.
The Tax Office announced they would pre-approve these investments in a modified way. We worked with them and our professional advisers for the next 20 months.
We let some of our staff go immediately but kept too many employed thinking we would turn things around. Meanwhile we sold personal investments and raised money to keep the business going.
In August 1999 we closed our doors having appointed an Administrator.
My step son rode home with me in my car. I was sobbing and should not have been driving.
He said to me “one day you will write a book about this” … to which I replied “who would ever want to know about this”. He pointed out it will help someone when I can stand back and look at the lessons.
It has taken me 14 years to write about this in any form. The pain was way too much. We had to sell our home and most of what we owned. But life does go on and we did once again.
I have told a very condensed version here of extreme highs and lows. I could talk about the Law of Attraction and why we had such instant success and why it changed. There is so much to this story that could be told but as this post is already too long I will complete by summing up the lessons.
Lessons from Moving Forward and Accepting Change – part 4
The things we did well
- We had a product that people wanted
- We marketed well
- We offered great support and had good support staff
- We offered awesome software to make it easy for the people selling our products
- We made joint ventures
- Even though we did not have systems set up well in the beginning we corrected that quickly
- We listened to our clients and introduced products they wanted
The things we did not do so well
- We put all our eggs in one basket
- Expecting tax laws to stay the same
- Thinking we could negotiate with a regulator
- Being too successful – how can that be? – the Tax office told me if we had not been so successful they would have let us continue
- We held on too long and should have closed shop earlier
- We sold personal assets and put way too much of our own money in to keep afloat (something I always tell clients not to do!)
- The business was not building residual or recurring income with these products
This concludes my Moving Forward and Accepting Change series. There could be 3 more posts as I have had three more changes since then 🙂
I hope you have enjoyed my journey and the lessons I have learned and shared.
Please leave me your comments below and please share.
Make it a great day.
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