It was 1984 and I thought I had it all. Our daughter had been born that year; I had sold my accounting practice and was going to be a full time Mum. My only work commitment was going to be doing the accounting for my husband’s business which was a Farm Machinery Dealership in Esperance Western Australia.
Life was pretty good. That was until we got the news that would change everything in our world. The parent company of the farm machinery we sold had gone into receivership.
We had tractors, headers and other farm machinery on floor plan (a system where you pay interest on the items until you sell them – I think it was around 18 per cent at the time!). We also had a high level of spare parts we owned. All of which pretty much became obsolete over night.
There was another parent company that came in to try and pick up the pieces but the bottom line was our stock was machinery that people no longer wanted to buy.
Just over a year later we closed our doors, sold what we could to clear our business debts (including our beach front house) and moved to the city of Perth to start again.
I was as optimistic as I could be and knew I could go back to my profession of accounting. My dream to stay home with my daughter looked like it would not be realized but I knew I could feed us. I have never been one to sit around and feel sorry for myself so I did what I thought was needed and found myself a job.
My husband was not as optimistic as the business had been a family one he had taken over and it was all he knew. One thing he was very clear about was that he wanted to use what he had learned to help people not make the mistakes he believed he had made. Ivan went on to become an excellent financial planner and over time we had our own business with another partner.
What did my husband believe he should have done differently?
It was to not have all of your eggs in one basket. We had a dealership with one organization and we basically lost it all when they had financial difficulties. It was very much like a franchise is today which can be great when all is going well and the company is financially strong.
We later made other business decisions we would live to regret but at this time we were clear we wanted a future business where we did not have to carry stock or debtors. And we wanted to have a business with a recurring income stream (residual or passive income).
Lesson 2 (realized much later)
It has only been in recent years as I have truly understood residual incomes and home based business options that I realize I could have made a very different choice and could have stayed home with my daughter. It is the one thing I truly regret in my life.
I am now passionate about helping people create a business that gives them lifestyle choices.