Some people are driven to create wealth. Others are born into it, or they marry into money. For me, none of these scenarios were my destiny. I created my financial wealth because, quite simply, I had to.
My back was against the wall and my hand was forced. As the author and philosopher Ryan Holiday says, ‘The obstacle is the way’ and as it turns out, that is exactly how my story unfolded.
Back in 2013, my whole world fell apart. My husband Adam was diagnosed with bowel cancer, which unfortunately had snaked its way into his liver and left him knocking on death’s door.
Faced with the prospect of losing Adam and raising my two children alone, I knew the life we had worked so hard to achieve could be snuffed out in the blink of an eye. Like many women, I was financially dependent on Adam but this was only because we had decided to invest in his law career while I invested my time into raising our children.
Sadly this meant, at 44 years of age, job prospects for me were lean.
I knew I would have to sell our family home and start from the bottom up. I was terrified.
As fate would have it, I was drowning in despair, when I came across a book called Rich Woman by Kim Kiyosaki. Rich Woman is about educating and empowering women to become financially independent. It is a book written by a woman for women. Reading this book literally changed the course of my life.
For the first time since Adam’s diagnosis, I dared to ask myself the question: ‘could it actually be possible that little old me, Juls, could retain and sustain the life Adam and I had created if he died?’
The book opened my eyes to property investing – something I had always had an interest in. I loved getting the weekly magazine, Domain Review, and poring over all the houses on the market. I also seemed to have a sixth sense when it came to identifying properties that were a great buy. Still, I needed to educate myself and research all things property and I had absolutely no spare cash lying about. I wasn’t sure exactly how this grand plan to buy an investment property was going to work. However, I was determined to find a way.
I attended many property seminars and took nuggets from each seminar until I believed I was armed with enough information to take the plunge and buy my first investment property. Having all that information was one thing, but how was I going to get the money (the deposit) to buy into the property market? I discovered that one way (perhaps the only way) I could do this was to re-mortgage my house. I know some people may be horrified by the thought of re-mortgaging their house, especially when faced with the prospect of losing their husband, however, I had done my homework by researching and attending property seminars where I learned how to access the accumulated equity in the family home. I had to be brave and take a risk. Yes, you have to be able to take a risk but you also need to do your due diligence first and go in with your eyes wide open.
Again, as fate would have it, around the same time I discovered my new purpose, Adam mentioned he knew someone who had bought an apartment and was running it as an Airbnb and was having great success; this was my ‘Aha’ moment. This could very easily be something I could do and it would bring in money at the same time. Things started to fall into place. I would buy an apartment and I would rent it out solely as an Airbnb rental. And that’s exactly what I did, but, it didn’t happen overnight.
After what felt like months of narrowing down the area in which to buy my apartment, working out what I could afford and going to many auctions, I found my dream apartment. It was a one-bedroom in the City of Melbourne which is a traveller’s paradise. From a cash flow perspective, this was a winner.
My Airbnb journey began with buying that one apartment. I spent a lot of time educating myself on how to become an Airbnb host and making my apartment the most attractive Airbnb in the ‘hood’. My goal was to have the best Airbnb in town where everyone wanted to stay and in turn be rewarded handsomely with a high return.
I soon became one of Airbnb’s top Superhosts, which is the pinnacle of Airbnb’s success. A Superhost is someone who provides exceptional service to guests and gets excellent reviews almost all of the time.
By unlocking untapped potential and buying my first apartment, I had unconsciously started on the road to creating my financial independence. Since that time, I have bought more property including doing a magnificent owner/builder project and I continue to build wealth. I have written a book about my experiences as an Airbnb Superhost called ‘Secrets of a Superhost – How to become an Airbnb Rockstar.’
My advice to anyone who wants to start creating financial wealth is ‘just do it!‘ Don’t wait until something life-changing happens as it did for me, to wake you up. You can do this! All you need is a smattering of faith, a dash of courage and a whole lot of grit and determination.
My tips for beginning your journey to creating financial wealth:
- Read great books that will initiate you into the world of financial independence like Rich Woman.
- Educate yourself by going to lots of seminars. In my case, it was property I was interested in. You may be drawn to investing in the stock market. Whatever you choose, learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power!
- Build a great team around you. You need three important players: an Accountant, a Lawyer/Conveyancer and a Bookkeeper. You can’t be an expert in everything. Hire people that know more than you!
- Be prepared to take risks. Fortune favours the brave.
After her husband’s brush with death and faced with the prospect of raising two children alone, without an income, Juls Rollnik embarked on a mission to find financial independence. Along the way she discovered that her uncanny ability to make people feel special and her desire to create a fabulous experience for her guests combined to make Juls a ‘kick ass’ rockstar Airbnb Superhost.