My parents grew up poor. Eight-people-living-in-a-one-room-apartment poor. Food-stamps poor. “You’re a busboy, and maybe one day if you work really hard you’ll move up to being a waiter” poor.
When I was a kid, my parents constantly emphasised how important financial freedom would be, and what one must be willing to do to achieve it. I eventually retired early, at 28, with a little over $US2 million. My entire career totalled less than seven years before early retirement.
Here are six building blocks that helped me get to multimillionaire status quickly.
Average habits lead to average outcomes — if you want an above-average net worth, you need to make above-average efforts.
WHEN Katelyn Matheson was 18, she decided to earn a little extra pocket money by selling homemade cupcakes at her local farmers’ market.
She made a few hundred dollars after selling 150 cakes after her first day — a fortune for a teenage TAFE cookery student.
But word of mouth spread, and within days she was being inundated with orders and requests via her Facebook page.
Soon, she was baking 5000 cupcakes a week to keep up with demand, and her business, Cake Creations by Kate, was born. Support this industrious girl & buy herproducts Australia.
“I was still living with mum at the time and I did it all in her kitchen — poor thing; I took over the house,” she said.
“It turned into a massive thing. On Friday nights there used to be cars everywhere on our street with people lined up at our door to pick up orders.
“It started out as a way to earn a little bit of extra money while I was studying but all of a sudden, people were asking about the cupcakes non-stop. I didn’t predict it would get this big.”
Ms Matheson remembers setting up trestle tables throughout her mother’s house one night to hold 4000 cupcakes that had been ordered — that was her mother’s breaking point, and the teen realised it was time to take the business to the next level.
She decided to lease a shop at her local shopping centre, but centre management asked her to trial a temporary, pop-up store first as they were concerned the then-19-year-old was too young to handle the responsibilities of a long-term lease.
They shouldn’t have been.
There was a “20m line” of eager customers waiting from the moment the store opened — and Ms Matheson had completely sold out within an hour-and-a-half.
She signed a lease almost immediately and today Ms Matheson runs two stores with a third set to open in inner-Melbourne’s QV centre this month, and with more pop-up stores to follow.
She’s also established partnerships with corporate and wholesale clients including ANZ, Crown Casino, Myer, NAB, Optus and Telstra and has branched into wedding cakes and party favours as well.
I’m the luckiest girl is the world to have this amazing lady as my Mum, she is always so caring and puts everyone before herself, she is my biggest fab, she always supports me no matter what & her kind heart and generous natures makes everyone smile around her. Thank you Mum for being the best Mum & I hope all the Mums have a great day and get spoilt with love today
And it seems the cupcake business is a lucrative one — Ms Matheson is on track to make $1.6 million by the end of 2018, well before her 21st birthday.
She said the degree of her success had been “crazy” — but insists getting rich was never her objective.
“It’s absolutely never been my goal and I’ve never lost sight of my passion on this whole journey,” she said.
“I don’t wake up thinking about money. People say I must love making lots of money on big days like Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, but that’s not my goal — I love what I do, creating desserts people love, and I never let money get in the way.
“But it’s nice to be so young and have the opportunity to make some money and be successful. I never came from a really wealthy family and my family always taught me the importance of genuine hard work.”
Ms Matheson said her success had happened so quickly she has had little chance to enjoy it, working around the clock and investing a lot of her revenue back into her company through kitchen supplies and equipment to streamline the business.
And she stressed her phenomenal success has also come with many challenges.
“It definitely hasn’t all been smooth sailing. It sounds like it’s all rainbows and unicorns but it has come with a lot of hardship. Especially being so young, there are challenges when you start making money — I was investing every single cent into new equipment, with one machine costing $35,000,” she said.
“And it becomes harder the more staff you employ. Next week our 20th staff member will come on board and it is hard to manage so many different people, but I’m learning to be versatile and a strong, independent woman.”
She said the secret ingredient to her success has been hard work, quality ingredients and treating staff well.
Ms Matheson’s signature cupcakes include Rainbow, Salted Caramel, Triple Chocolate and Jam Donut.
DURING the day, Brisbane Qld Australia teen Jack Bloomfield heads off to do school like most other 16-year-olds.
But when he gets home, the Year 11 student immediately jumps on his computer to manage his e-commerce side hustle business.
It’s a venture that’s paying off far greater than the part-time jobs most other teens have on their resumes.
Since launching his parent company BloomVentures at age 15, Mr Bloomfield now operates a number of e-commerce stores, including Best Bargain Club, which all sell a variety of different products from novelty items to skincare products online.
While he declined to reveal his company’s total revenue income and stressed that his earnings varied from week to week, Mr Bloomfield said that during a strong period, he was he was making “north of $2900 a day”, and bank documents revealed to news.com.au supported his claim.
“Currently, I am turning over just north of $2900 a day through multiple ventures but primarily Shopify and e-commerce,” he said.
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“Between the age of 14 and 15 I was trialling different side hustles like Forex trading. I made a few thousand dollars here and there but I got my big break when I was 15.
“I got into the world of e-commerce, and I began selling carbon fibre money clips … then I scaled it all the way up through a method called drop-shipping.
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“I now have over five e-commerce stores turning over thousands of dollars per day … Through that time I have scaled my personal brand up and I now have more than 12,000 followers on Instagram with hundreds of connections within Australia and overseas.
“Last year I started to aggressively build the business and I started to get real numbers in December last year, and from there it’s been nothing short of wonderful.”
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The teenager said drop shipping — a method where the seller doesn’t have physical items in stock, instead transferring orders to either a manufacturer, a different retailer, or a wholesaler to then ship the goods directly to the customer — has been the key to his success.
When he was 12, he sold greeting cards online via a virtual application that allowed customers to choose different options and write their own messages.
He followed that up by creating an online platform which helped patients and doctors keep track of all their health records in one place. [Australia health plan example]
But these days, he’s fully committed to e-commerce.
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“I’m in grade 11 right now so there’s a fine art to time management. I’m working constantly, as much as possible, from 3pm after school to 10pm,” he told news.com.au.
“A lot of kids complain they don’t have time but then they spend hours playing games, talking to their parents, doing their homework and watching TV but I believe you can use every minute of the day effectively, it’s just an excuse to say you don’t have time to start a side business.
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“If you look at how you use your time in the day you could probably find at least a few extra hours.”
After school, Mr Bloomfield plans to skip uni and instead focus on his business full-time.
He hopes to eventually move the business overseas to the US.
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“After I finish school I plan on pursuing the business full-time — I’ve learnt so much in the last two years, it’s phenomenal, and I don’t feel uni is the right step at this point in time,” he said.
“My parents own a business and they’re my inspiration. I’ve seen them working so hard to get results and I’d much rather work for myself because it’s directly proportional, the amount of effort I put in and the reward I get, compared to working for others.”
The sports enthusiast said he spent at least 25 hours during every working week on the business as well as most of his weekends, making sure Facebook ads are working correctly and checking his virtual assistants are filling all orders.
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Mr Bloomfield said he had mentored “hundreds” of people over the years and that he wanted to inspire others to believe in themselves and achieve their goals.
He said other people hoping to launch a business or side hustle should find a good mentor, read books and take online courses to build up their skills.
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On 14th June 2017, Awin brought together their annual series of vertical events to present, ‘The Science Behind Ecommerce’ a one-day affiliate marketing conference debating the science and theory of online marketing, user experience, and website conversion.
A supply chain financing company with its roots in regional Queensland Australia, Greensill, has become the country’s next $1 billion-plus unicorn, thanks to a $US250 million ($336 million) venture capital injection from growth equity firm General Atlantic, which also creates the country’s newest top rich listers.
Queenslander Lex Greensill started his own finance supply-chain company that’s now worth $2.2 billion. John Chapple
Greensill, founded in 2011 in London by Bundaberg-born farmer Lex Greensill, 41, provides businesses in industries from telecommunications to manufacturing with working capital based on their invoices, allowing them to be paid faster and fulfil the work, without shortening payment terms for the buyers.
The capital raise, which is the first for the previously bootstrapped company that had only taken capital from family and friends, values Greensill at $US1.64 billion and makes Mr Greensill and his brother Peter, who runs the family sugar cane and sweet potato farm in Bundaberg, collectively billionaires.
“The business is extraordinarily capital efficient and we’ve invested fully ourselves in growing the business because we wanted to maintain control,” Mr Greensill told The Australian Financial Review.
“The firm is still substantially owned by myself and the staff and I’m very proud of that … Dozens and dozens of our employees have become millionaires on the back of this.
“We weren’t looking to raise at all. General Atlantic approached us and the strength of their experience in multiple markets where we’re looking to grow, combined with the capital and expertise, made it worthwhile. But there are no plans to raise again or do an initial public offering.”
The investment from General Atlantic, which gives it a minority stake in the company, will allow the business to aggressively expand in major markets where it’s only got a small presence – China, India and Brazil – as well as rolling out in Africa.
From Bundaberg QLD to London
Having been raised on his family farm and seeing his parents deal with long payment terms, Mr Greensill worked full time in a law firm after finishing high school and undertook a law degree by correspondence.
After becoming a solicitor, he joined a few start-ups based in Sydney during the dotcom boom, one of which was in supply-chain finance.
This venture ultimately failed and Mr Greensill went on to be involved in a few other start-ups, before making the move to London and eventually starting Morgan Stanley’s supply-chain finance business, before moving to Citibank during the global financial crisis and becoming managing director of its supply-chain finance business for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“I ultimately decided there was a bigger opportunity outside of the bank because so much of the market was not being served by them and they weren’t adopting technology at the pace I thought they needed to,” he said.
“Our business model is that we work on an industrial scale. We’re low margin and we’re passing through the advantage of the extraordinary access we have to Greensill Bank [in Germany] and capital market financing through to battlers in Australia and the 56 markets we serve.
“Full enrolment online takes under one minute and in terms of accepting legal terms and conditions, it takes just one click. We marry our financial and capital markets technology as one of the biggest bond issuers in Europe, together with access to the enterprise resource planning systems of our customers in order to make credit available.”
‘I’m a farmer at heart’
Greensill bought a German bank in 2013, whose balance sheet it uses to invest in its various programs.
The company is growing at around 300 per cent year-on-year and in Australia it has gone from providing $US800 million in working capital to businesses in 2017 to more than $3 billion in the first six months of 2018.
In 2017 it made a profit of $US32.9 million on $US115.9 million in revenue.
“We see ourselves as the Amazon of the working capital world … We’ve come a long way, but the marketplace we play in is quite enormous,” Mr Greensill said.
“Our market share today is about 0.4 per cent, in a market with the potential size of a $US3.5 trillion asset requirement. That’s the market we’re going after. We want to go from 0.4 per cent to [the full] $US3.5 trillion.”
Mr Greensill’s brother Peter also sits on the board of the company, but day-to-day runs the family farming business, which is separate to Greensill.
While the company was founded in the UK, Greensill is still registered in Bundaberg and Mr Greensill, who was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire last year, has no intention of ever changing that, admitting he’s still a farmer at heart.
“Bundaberg is my home. It’s where I came from and I visited there about eight times last year with my wife and. We have never considered the thought of changing our roots,” he said.
“I’m a farmer at heart. Whenever I’m home I jump on a tractor and have a play. I don’t think of myself as a corporate titan.”
AUSTRALIA’S best-paid CEO has made his fortune selling pizza, it has been revealed.
A new report by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) named Domino’s Pizza boss Don Meij as the country’s highest-earning CEO, after he took home a whopping $36.84 million last year.
The pizza boss made his dough after he exercised options to acquire shares worth $35.7 million.
Don Meij beat out Westfield’s Peter and Steven Lowy, who made a combined $25.9 million in 2017, and Macquarie’s Nicholas Moore, on $25.19 million, for the top spot.
After the news broke, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the pay packets of our company chief executives were “extraordinarily high”.
“As someone who most of his life has worked in businesses that I’ve only owned or been a partner in, I find the amount, the pay rates for people working as an employee for a lot of big public-listed companies extraordinarily high,” Mr Turnbull told 3AW radio on Tuesday.
He said Mr Meij’s salary “seems like a hell of a lot”.
“They’d have to be extremely productive,” he added.
The new figures reveal Aussie CEO’s are enjoying the fattest pay packets in 17 years.
ASCI chief executive Louise Davidson told the ABC the results showed CEO’s were not with it.
“At a time when public trust in business is at a low ebb and wages growth is weak, board decisions to pay large bonuses just for hitting budget targets rather than exceptional performance are especially tone deaf,” Ms Davidson said.
According to the survey, median-realised pay for ASX 100 chief executives rose 12.4 per cent to $4.36 million while bonus payments rocketed by more than 18 per cent.
Melanie Perkins, co-founder of Canva. Photo: Supplied.
Online design and publishing platform Canva has become the first Australian start-up since Atlassian to join the elite ranks of Silicon Valley unicorns with a valuation in excess of $US1 billion ($1.28 billion).
The latest funding won the support of one of Silicon Valley’s top five venture capitalists, Sequoia Capital, which was an early investor in Apple, Google, WhatsApp, Cisco, Oracle, Yahoo and LinkedIn.
Canva chief executive Ms Perkins said the money raised from existing and new shareholders would be used to expand the company’s range of online design and publishing products.
“We are in 190 countries, in 100 languages and we have done about 1 per cent of what is possible,” she told The Australian Financial Review in an interview at the company’s Sydney head office in inner-city Surry Hills.
“I know we have a $US1 billion valuation but we like to say we are a baby unicorn,” Ms Perkins said. “There is a lot more to do before we are grown up.”
When asked about her ambition for Canva, Ms Perkins did not hesitate before saying: “I think we can make Canva the most valuable tech company in the world.”
To achieve that ambition Canva will have to expand its market value about 900 times to beat the $US890 billion valuation of Apple, the world’s largest company.
But Rick Baker, a partner of Canva shareholder Blackbird Ventures, said Canva is possibly one of the fastest-growing software companies of all time measured in terms of percentage growth in recurring revenue.
The company earns revenue from a subscription model.
“Canva is making huge strides in democratising design for everyone,” he said. “Its product growth and adoption across many demographics is truly exceptional.”
Mr Baker first met Ms Perkins and Mr Obrecht in 2010 before they had launched Canva.
“I convinced them to delay their first seed funding round until after Blackbird Ventures was established,” he said.
“Our first investment as a venture capital firm was the $250,000 we invested in Canva.”
Lots of smart money has supported the Canva business, including Australian entrepreneurs Paul Bassat from SEEK and Daniel Petre from AirTree Ventures.
The company has attracted heaps of attention in Silicon Valley USA.
Early investors were Google Maps founder Lars Rasmussen, legendary venture capitalist Bill Tai, former Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman and Hollywood actors Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson.
A number of Silicon Valley venture capital firms apart from Sequoia have backed Canva including Felicis Ventures, Vayner Capital, Matrix Partners and Shasta Ventures.
Ms Perkins admitted that Canva’s two major competitors were design software companies Adobe and Microsoft.
But she said Canva was built on breaking down the silos and complexity that are part and parcel of using the products sold by Adobe and Microsoft.
“The world is rapidly becoming more visual, yet traditional design tools in the market are too complicated to use, or so costly that they become inaccessible,” Ms Perkins said.
“Canva is designed to enable individual and teams to collaborate seamlessly, and our growing footprint is evidence of the widespread need that we are addressing.
“This extra financing will bring us that much closer to giving everyone the ability to thrive in an increasingly visual environment.”
Canva’s growth rates in terms of customer usage of its platform have been staggering.
After eight months of existence about 350,000 designs were being created each month. After 20 months of existence about 3 million designs were created each month.
Today, after 52 months in operation, Canva’s platform is handling about 34 million designs a month.
The idea for Canva had its roots in the lounge room of Ms Perkins’s family home in the northern Perth suburb of Duncraig. She and Mr Obrecht started a printing company called Fusion Books, which printed school yearbooks.
Cameron Adams, a former Google engineer, joined the company as a co-founder before its first round of seed funding in 2013.
A YOUNG rich lister who made his fortune off the back of Australia’s capital city property boom says his generation needs to stop buying $4 coffees and travelling if they want to own a home.
Developer Tim Gurner, 35, is worth nearly half a billion dollars but has delivered a brutal smackdown to some would-be first home buyers struggling to get a toehold in the market.
“When I was buying my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for 19 bucks and four coffees at $4 each,” he told 60 Minutes in a segment exploring Australia’s housing affordability crisis.
“You have to start to get realistic about your expectations. There is no question we are at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high.
“They want to eat out every day, they want to travel to Europe every year. This generation is watching the Kardashians and thinking that’s normal. Thinking that owning a Bentley is normal, that owning a BMW is normal.
Mr Gurner, who ranked 157 on this year’s Financial Review Rich List after making $473 million in 10 years He started out by>>>>…MORE
It is one of the richest families in the country, and now the low-profile Rae family of Perth has pocketed more than $300 million from the sale of its New Zealand fuel retailing business to Caltex Australia.
In 2010, the family sold its Gull petrol retailing operations in Western Australia for an estimated $500 million
Now it has offloaded its Kiwi interests, Gull New Zealand, for $NZ340 million ($324 million) to Caltex Australia.
A few years after the sale of the WA operations in 2010, the Rae family’s fortune was estimated by The West Australian newspaper at $392 million, which has been pumped up significantly with Thursday’s sale.
The family moved into petrol retailing in the 1970s after Gull’s founder, Fred Rae, had spent time working in both the house building game as well as building grain silos.
It built its stake in the fiercely competitive fuel industry by sticking to a low-cost strategy, which in New Zealand has seen it rolling out unmanned petrol stations, helping it carve out a handy 5% share of the market from the majors.
Gull New Zealand is an independent fuel importer and distributor, which brings with it a fuel import terminal at Mount Maunganui, on the north island, and the company’s petrol stations and retail outlets.
Caltex has established a large fuel import centre at the recently closed Kurnell refinery site in Sydney, while also establishing a buying and trading arm in Singapore to supply its Australian operations.
The New Zealand acquisition “optimises Caltex’s infrastructure position, builds trading and shipping capability, grows the supply base and enhances Caltex’s retail fuel offering through low-risk entry into a new market”, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
It was acquiring the company on a multiple of 8.2 times the forecast earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation for 2017, it said, which will decline to around 7.5 times taking annualised synergies into account. The acquisition is expected to increase earnings per share from the first full year of ownership.
Gull operates 77 retail sites in total, of which it controls 55 sites. Around a third of those are unmanned. It also operates a further 22 supply sites. The company sells about 300 million litres of transport fuel annually.
The Mount Maunganui terminal is the largest facility of its type in New Zealand, with total storage of about 90 million litres. Its retail network is concentrated in the northern half of the north island of New Zealand, and “is well placed to profitably grow via new to industry and/or new supply site expansions”, Caltex said.
Caltex would retain Gull’s brand, management and employees, it said.
Gull has a reputation for being a low-priced market competitor by operating a large number of unmanned outlets with payment by Eftpos or credit card, with no retail outlet. Its outlets are concentrated near its import terminal, with negotiations in the past with rival importers to acquire competitively priced wholesale product blocked when it has sought to expand onto New Zealand’s south island.
The bulk of the country’s population is located on the north island, with Christchurch the largest city on the south island.
The purchase by Caltex follows a period of upheaval in the New Zealand market following the exodus of US group Chevron, which operated the Caltex brand in New Zealand. This was bought for $NZ785 million ($750 million) by Z Energy, which now has close to 50 per cent of the local market.
Ratings agency Standard and Poors said the purchase “will enhance Caltex’s regional supply base, adding scale to its trading and shipping activities”.
“We view New Zealand as being a low risk market for expansion of retail fuel assets,” it said.
Australian Jewellery designer Samantha Wills went from a Byron Bay NSW flea market stall to becoming an international exporter. Here is her story
Australia’s global jewellery tycoon
Samantha Wills grew up in small town NSW and now controls a global empire of jewellery from New York.
Think of women who have risen to the top of Australian entrepreneurship and the list gets thin fast.
Ever rarer is a woman who has succeeded with her own name as the brand, who has become a celebrity herself in the process.
Samantha Wills, who grew up in Port Macquarie and now lives in New York, is a tycoon of her time.
Samantha Wills’ jewellery is now stocked in 80 countries. Photo: James Alcock
Personable, open and yet at also guarded and private, the 34-year-old businesswoman appears to effortlessly blend an air of celebrity with social media fanaticism and a unique product.
But she says success has been a hard slog and she wants the many young women who worship her to know just how difficult it’s been.
“I think millennials are a generation of ‘slashies’. They’re a DJ/entrepreneur/fashion designer. With all those slashes between your job titles, you lose depth and integrity,” she says.
“Narrow down what you want to be good at, then focus on that. It might not work for the first six months or the first 18 months but it took me 12 years to become an overnight success.”
While she doesn’t go into gruesome detail, Wills was clear that growing a business took a hit on her personal life.
“I think the downside of having success was that when my friends were going off and having a good time, my business was in its infancy so I couldn’t have those normal early 20s experiences.”
Wills started her company at the of age 21 after moving to Sydney.
“I was working in retail during the day and making jewellery at night to sell at the market. A friend offered me a spot at Australian Fashion Week which would cost $500. I though I would possibly make enough to cover the cost of the stall, but I ended up writing $18,000 of orders that day. I quit my job the next day.”
Now Wills is turning over $10 million annually and is stocked in eighty countries around the world. She has offices in Japan, Korea, Europe, the US and Australia.
Wills credits much of her success to her business partner Geoff Bainbridge who was able to commercialise back-end production and helped launch her to into foreign markets.’
 Presenting our bespoke couture pieces, in New York City, for Fashion Week 2012. – SWx #BelieveBig – LAUNCHING JUNE 12th, 2016
“Naively, when I first went to the US in 2010, I thought I was going over with a successful Australian brand and that would be enough. You think you can replicate that over there and it’s not the case,” says Wills.
“You need a much more refined offer. You need to know who your business competitors are and your media competitors. We ended up doing 18 months of research about the US before we moved our first order.”
The orders started coming thick and fast once actress Eva Mendes was snapped on a red carpet wearing Wills’ Bohemian Bardot ring. Wills’ jewellery has also been worn by Katy Perry, Miranda Kerr, Lady Gaga, Kate Bosworth, Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Lopez.
“That ring Eva wore continues to be our best seller and we’ve made it now in 150 colours. It kind of became our signature piece.”
Sometimes (and only sometimes…) the @samanthawillsofficial PR Department, let’s me play with upcoming collections…. These are definitely my lust haves; the ‘Spanish Moss Grande’ earrings, in Amethyst + Rose Gold… Just added to the Waiting List at samanthawills.com (Which I’ll too be joining, because they won’t let me keep them). -SWx #SamanthaWills#SamanthaWillsOfficial ? @alimitton | ?? @stojb
Wills has recently signed to be an ambassador for Optus’ Believe Big campaign targeting small businesses.
“We filmed a campaign flashing back to 2004 through to my life now. I really want people to know the struggles and hurdles of funding success.”
While Wills credits her naivety for much of the company’s strengths, she sometimes regrets the decision to get going without any formal business training.
“Every day I wish I’d studied business or management. But, I learn as I go. I might have learned the harder way on the job.”
Asked why a New Yorker is the right person for this campaign, Wills says she still considers herself not just Australian but a “small-town” Australian.
“I still go to Port Macquarie five to six times a year because my family live there. We stock the range at one shop in Port Macquarie and every time I notice the town is really growing and evolving very quickly.”