I was in year 11. As a boarder at the Esperance High School Hostel I’d make the long trip back home to the farm every couple of weeks.
On Monday morning, after a weekend at home, Mum and Dad would drive me the 160 kms back to Esperance so I could start another school week.
On one of those trips there was a newspaper in the car. It contained a full page ad for the then-new BMW 3-series.
I couldn’t stop reading and re-reading it. The car was a technological masterpiece.
It’s big claim to fame was an electronic engine management system that meant it would use little or no fuel when going downhill.
Whether or not it was true, I was hooked. I wanted one.
I said as much to Dad.
“One day I’ll have one of these,” I blurted out.
“No you won’t,” he retorted.
I said nothing.
That exchange stuck with me. It gnawed away inside me. I wanted to prove him wrong.
From that point forward I went looking for any opportunity to leverage my time. As a wool presser I busted my gut to get on contract where I was paid for every bail rather than on a day rate. Then, as an office worker in an engineering firm, I grabbed the chance to supplement my income working as a trades assistant at night and on the weekends.
But even these jobs didn’t give me what I was chasing. I was still working for someone.
One day I was kidding around in the workshop with one of the project managers when the big boss came past.
“You’re paid to work, not talk,” he snapped.
Right there and then I thought to myself that I needed to get a job where I was paid to talk, not work.
So I redoubled my search efforts. Soon I came across a motivational tape by Paul J. Myer from the Success Motivation Institute. Myer’s message was simple: “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.”
The message struck a powerful chord. It spurred me to start applying for jobs where I was in charge of how much I would earn.
I wanted to be run my own show, to be the captain of my ship.
I applied for just three jobs.
The first would-be boss said I was too young, the next said I wouldn’t stick around but the third took a punt that I’d be able to sell real estate, despite that I was only 21 and all the other reps were 41.
A couple of weeks after I started, dad rang. He asked me why I thought I’d be able to sell real estate even though I’d never sold anything in my life before.
I said simply: “I will because I’ll make it happen.”
I did and I never looked back.
And yes, I did buy a BMW – a 325i Executive.