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Carol Jones

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Great example of productocracy. Congrats!

G'day @fastlanedoll from Oz,

Thank you for dropping in!

You're right. We are. In the true definition of @MJ DeMarco in his book, 'Unscripted'. A productocracy. Growing without advertising or marketing. Depending on the recommendations of existing customers. Who refer new customers.

But. It's not for everybody.

It really is hard work.

It requires constant communication with existing customers. Keeping our website relevant for visitors. Creating emails that will keep customers. Who reorder, maybe, once every 3 years. Interested in who we are. And what we're doing.

There are simpler ways to grow a business.

But there is no simpler way to keep existing customers.

It works for us.

And it means we don't need to go on a constant merry chase to find new customers. They find us.

On the other hand. If you want to be an Alibaba. Or Amazon. This is not the path to follow for quick results.

Welcome to The Fastlane Forum. I hope you find what you're looking for in the forum. ~Carol❤
 

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Mackenzie

New Contributor
Sep 25, 2019
9
13
13
Hi @Carol Jones and everyone,
I hope you’re doing great. Like I promised, I will be writing an update on the decisions I made thanks to you and the M. Fastlane book.
1. I kept the morning pages. It‘s really relaxing. I sometimes write a lot and sometimes a little less. But it’s a super useful tool to know what’s good and what’s not. I hope to finish my red notebook and buy a new color. May be something more interesting, as an artist I love to customize everything.
2. I have also made the decision to make my WordPress/WooCommerce site. It was ok at the start, but the more I worked on the theme the more issues...after 15 days, I reached a point where I was finally proud of my website. But it was really difficult. It’s not 100% done, but the base of the pyramid is finally correctly built. Now, it will give me independence from Etsy and I will make an easier professional growth. Now it looks like I’m doing serious business, which is very important. I spend long hours doing my designs, so being taking seriously is MAJOR!
3. Father wise, I made some progress. I understood that if I’m contently angry at him, it makes him more alive in my mind and inside me. Which takes away my focus. Moreover, it makes me more linked to him, while I wanna break free. So that is major too. I’m glad I finally understood this!
4. Finally, I have been good keeping up with my yoga. I have a bad neck, because I work too much at my desk. But I’m an athletic person, so I need to do my yoga and play some tennis once week. So far so good, but I know it won’t be perfect. So that is a learning curve too. I can’t expect myself to be at 100% at the start. So I take baby steps, without being lazy.

Voila, I can’t wait to read more of your comments and everyone else’s. I have taken some decisions, not drastic, but good enough to stir the ship in the right direction. :)
I hope all is well on your side,
Thanks,
Mac
 

Carol Jones

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 5, 2017
325
2,694
644
Rural Australia
Hi @Carol Jones and everyone,
I hope you’re doing great. Like I promised, I will be writing an update on the decisions I made thanks to you and the M. Fastlane book.
1. I kept the morning pages. It‘s really relaxing. I sometimes write a lot and sometimes a little less. But it’s a super useful tool to know what’s good and what’s not. I hope to finish my red notebook and buy a new color. May be something more interesting, as an artist I love to customize everything.
2. I have also made the decision to make my WordPress/WooCommerce site. It was ok at the start, but the more I worked on the theme the more issues...after 15 days, I reached a point where I was finally proud of my website. But it was really difficult. It’s not 100% done, but the base of the pyramid is finally correctly built. Now, it will give me independence from Etsy and I will make an easier professional growth. Now it looks like I’m doing serious business, which is very important. I spend long hours doing my designs, so being taking seriously is MAJOR!
3. Father wise, I made some progress. I understood that if I’m contently angry at him, it makes him more alive in my mind and inside me. Which takes away my focus. Moreover, it makes me more linked to him, while I wanna break free. So that is major too. I’m glad I finally understood this!
4. Finally, I have been good keeping up with my yoga. I have a bad neck, because I work too much at my desk. But I’m an athletic person, so I need to do my yoga and play some tennis once week. So far so good, but I know it won’t be perfect. So that is a learning curve too. I can’t expect myself to be at 100% at the start. So I take baby steps, without being lazy.

Voila, I can’t wait to read more of your comments and everyone else’s. I have taken some decisions, not drastic, but good enough to stir the ship in the right direction. :)
I hope all is well on your side,
Thanks,
Mac

G'day Mac @Mackenzie from Oz,

We have a tendency to trivialise our achievements.

Your comment:

"I have taken some decisions, not drastic, but good enough to stir the ship in the right direction".

I'm on the outside. Looking in, Mac. And this is what I see.

1. Your Morning Pages are cathartic. And transformative.

On another forum I participate in. Morning Pages is a hot topic. And the resistance from non-converts is astonishing.

Your acknowledgement: "...it’s a super useful tool to know what’s good and what’s not".

Is a big step forward in understanding where you've come from. And where you want to be.

2. Committing to creating a WooCommerce site is challenging. And not something many people would be prepared to take on. I know. I've created several shopping carts. And it's not something I look forward to doing again.

But.

This comment sets you apart from most people who want maximum results from minimum input.

"Now it looks like I’m doing serious business, which is very important. I spend long hours doing my designs, so being taking seriously is MAJOR!"

Presence. Perception. Positioning. Is everything in business. Too many people just don't get that. You do. You should be very proud of this realisation.

3. Finally separating yourself from the anger and mayhem your father causes in your life.

"I wanna break free. . . . I’m glad I finally understood this!"

People go through their entire lives never being able to do that.

Extra kudos to you for this breakthrough.

This isn't a trivial achievement. This is. As you say. "Major"!

4. Keeping yourself fit and healthy. Because you recognise that in order to keep designing. You need to make sure your neck is up to the task!

Musicians face the same problem. Especially violin players.

As an outsider. Looking in. I consider these to be very significant breakthroughs. In a very short period of time.

You're on your way to serious success, Mac. I'm in awe of the many steps you've taken to unshackle yourself from inertia.

Keep writing your Morning Pages. It will be a book one day. Everyone loves reading about how people triumph over adversity. And it gives you a history of where you came from. And how much you've achieved.

'Our story. How We Built A Worldwide Business From Broke.' Is my collection of blog posts that I wrote over a number of years. I didn't know about Morning Pages then. But it's the second most popular page on my website.

And.

I'm always amazed at how many customers tell me they've read it.

And.

How much that story influenced them to choose us. Over other companies they were considering making a purchase from.

Over time. You'll find a way to turn your Morning Pages into something similar on your website. Customers love to get to know the person behind the company.

Be proud of what you've achieved so far, Mac. It really is inspirational! ~Carol❤
 
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Mackenzie

New Contributor
Sep 25, 2019
9
13
13
Hi @Carol Jones and thanks again for your great reply! :)

I read your reply and kept thinking about it for a day or so.
I too wanted to look at myself from a none judgmental eye. I can say that I'm happy with where I am right now. It takes a lot of work and courage for sure. The issue why I don't say to myself: "you did great!" more often, is because I'm want things to work like a machine. But I'm human, so that's impossible. :) I'm cutting myself more slack, but I also don't wanna be too chilled either. I guess it will take time for anyone to find their balance. I guess it's like juggling, with no practice and no balance stuff falls off. However, when stuff does fall, I'm learning to get back on track. And that's the most important part. It's hard, because I think we are all our worst critics. But I definitely wanna change that.

The woocommerce took about two weeks and half. I worked none stop and didn't do much creative work. It was really draining, but I looked at the my goal and said:"it must be done". Yesterday, when I finally finished, I literary crashed. I was dead tired. Since yesterday, I took some time off to recharge and kept visualizing what I will create next and what I had to do. It is exciting, but overwhelming too. Which made me realize, I had to organize myself now that my site was done. I have no idea where to start, but I will do some research and see. If you have any suggestion, pls feel free to share :).

About my morning pages, I never thought that I could share them someday to my customers. I'm a pretty discrete person, I'm always hiding behind my work lol (literally). But, I know I wanna tell my story one day. There's so much to tell...I'm thinking about it for sure!

Other than that, thanks so much for ALL you have said! It made me feel so much more motivated. Trust me, I'm proud of what I achieved so far. Slowly and with the right habits, I will reach my goals! :D

Cheers,

Sonia aka Mac :)
 

Carol Jones

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Oct 5, 2017
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Rural Australia
Hi @Carol Jones and thanks again for your great reply! :)

I read your reply and kept thinking about it for a day or so.
I too wanted to look at myself from a none judgmental eye. I can say that I'm happy with where I am right now. It takes a lot of work and courage for sure. The issue why I don't say to myself: "you did great!" more often, is because I'm want things to work like a machine. But I'm human, so that's impossible. :) I'm cutting myself more slack, but I also don't wanna be too chilled either. I guess it will take time for anyone to find their balance. I guess it's like juggling, with no practice and no balance stuff falls off. However, when stuff does fall, I'm learning to get back on track. And that's the most important part. It's hard, because I think we are all our worst critics. But I definitely wanna change that.

The woocommerce took about two weeks and half. I worked none stop and didn't do much creative work. It was really draining, but I looked at the my goal and said:"it must be done". Yesterday, when I finally finished, I literary crashed. I was dead tired. Since yesterday, I took some time off to recharge and kept visualizing what I will create next and what I had to do. It is exciting, but overwhelming too. Which made me realize, I had to organize myself now that my site was done. I have no idea where to start, but I will do some research and see. If you have any suggestion, pls feel free to share :).

About my morning pages, I never thought that I could share them someday to my customers. I'm a pretty discrete person, I'm always hiding behind my work lol (literally). But, I know I wanna tell my story one day. There's so much to tell...I'm thinking about it for sure!

Other than that, thanks so much for ALL you have said! It made me feel so much more motivated. Trust me, I'm proud of what I achieved so far. Slowly and with the right habits, I will reach my goals! :D

Cheers,

Sonia aka Mac :)


G'day again Sonia @Mackenzie,

Being happy where you are. And celebrating small triumphs. Are two different events.

When I first started this business. My new accountant told me that at the end of every month. If I made one cent more than my expenses. I made a profit. And it needed to be celebrated. And recognised as an achievement.

At the same time.

No one in business would be happy where they are. If all they did was make one cent more than their expenses every month.

But the achievement. In itself. Is motivating. And spurs us on to do better next month.

Celebrating small triumphs also changes the chemical balance in our brain.

It releases hormones in our brain that make us happier.

It's often been said that perhaps we can't have a money tree. But we can have our own happiness tree. We can do things that trigger the release of chemicals in our brain that have a positive effect on our well-being.

I'm sure you will tell your story one day. With discretion being the modus operandi. People don't need to know all the details. But how you got from A to B is always interesting to people who do business with you.

So those Morning Pages are important to keep up. Because. We do forget the details.

When I read what I wrote years ago. I'm amazed at how much I've forgotten.

Have you ever wondered how all those details in autobiographies people write are remembered?

They're not.

These are people who kept copious diaries all their life. And what they wrote triggered the memories that become the details.

I hope we stay in touch, Sonia. And best wishes for the future. Which is a bright one for you. ~Carol❤
 

pdarryl2

New Contributor
Feb 4, 2020
1
1
11
Good morning from rural Australia,

In a nutshell, my partner and I design and make textile products that are simple solutions for difficult problems. We have 400,000 customers in 30 countries around the world who think our products are the best thing since sliced bread. The icing on the cake is that all our products are made with love and care in rural Australia by men and women who have a disability. We are renown for our simple solutions that work. When others don't.

That's the event.

The process is this.

In 1992, my partner and I lost everything in Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating's 'recession we had to have'. We closed down two businesses. My partner's 12 year old architectural practice. My market research consultancy. We farewelled 16 loyal and supportive staff. We sold our home of 22 years. Two cars. And our personal possessions. To pay off what debt we could. And made a scheme of arrangement with our creditors to pay off the remaining debt.

Poor as church mice. We left the city lights of Sydney Australia. For a rural life in a remote village with no internet access. No email. Not even call waiting. But it met our most important criteria. We could live in a farmhouse whose rent we could afford to pay. The village was heavily affected by a severe drought. And the house was not a desirable place to live. But it was our safety net.

We made a decision to find our way back by utilising simple solutions. Our skills were in design. And research. So we reinvented ourselves as designers and makers of textile products. Our first product didn't capture the hearts of the marketplace. But our second product did. We redesigned the humble ironing board cover utilising a low tech solution to make sure it was firmly anchored to an ironing board. So it never moved. Which is what makes people hate ironing.

If you make one good product. Customers want more. So we designed 6 more textile products. And today we have more than 400,000 customers in 30 countries. Without any retail distribution. And all done online today. But in the beginning, it was all mail order.

We've been down dark alleys. Wondered if we were certifiably mad to keep doing what we were doing when ironing board covers are not top of mind with most people.

But we discovered they are very top of mind with men and women who must iron.

Even though the subject is not sexy, our products, and our story, have been written about in every major publication in Australia.

We've been featured on mainstream TV. Interviewed on radio. Included in two books. The latest being 'Hunch' by international best selling author Bernadette Jiwa. I'm the 'Ironing Whisperer' on page 73.

The process of working every day is what got us to where we are today.

We did what everyone said we couldn't do. We built a worldwide business from broke. On a remote rural property. Before the internet and email came to our rural village.

I'm here to mix with like minded men and women. I have 35 years of business experience to share. I've done the hard yards. And would love to be of help to those of you who can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And. I want to travel further along the road to wealth.

It will be a pleasure to meet you. ~Carol❤
Great Inspiration my friend!!!
Good morning from rural Australia,

In a nutshell, my partner and I design and make textile products that are simple solutions for difficult problems. We have 400,000 customers in 30 countries around the world who think our products are the best thing since sliced bread. The icing on the cake is that all our products are made with love and care in rural Australia by men and women who have a disability. We are renown for our simple solutions that work. When others don't.

That's the event.

The process is this.

In 1992, my partner and I lost everything in Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating's 'recession we had to have'. We closed down two businesses. My partner's 12 year old architectural practice. My market research consultancy. We farewelled 16 loyal and supportive staff. We sold our home of 22 years. Two cars. And our personal possessions. To pay off what debt we could. And made a scheme of arrangement with our creditors to pay off the remaining debt.

Poor as church mice. We left the city lights of Sydney Australia. For a rural life in a remote village with no internet access. No email. Not even call waiting. But it met our most important criteria. We could live in a farmhouse whose rent we could afford to pay. The village was heavily affected by a severe drought. And the house was not a desirable place to live. But it was our safety net.

We made a decision to find our way back by utilising simple solutions. Our skills were in design. And research. So we reinvented ourselves as designers and makers of textile products. Our first product didn't capture the hearts of the marketplace. But our second product did. We redesigned the humble ironing board cover utilising a low tech solution to make sure it was firmly anchored to an ironing board. So it never moved. Which is what makes people hate ironing.

If you make one good product. Customers want more. So we designed 6 more textile products. And today we have more than 400,000 customers in 30 countries. Without any retail distribution. And all done online today. But in the beginning, it was all mail order.

We've been down dark alleys. Wondered if we were certifiably mad to keep doing what we were doing when ironing board covers are not top of mind with most people.

But we discovered they are very top of mind with men and women who must iron.

Even though the subject is not sexy, our products, and our story, have been written about in every major publication in Australia.

We've been featured on mainstream TV. Interviewed on radio. Included in two books. The latest being 'Hunch' by international best selling author Bernadette Jiwa. I'm the 'Ironing Whisperer' on page 73.

The process of working every day is what got us to where we are today.

We did what everyone said we couldn't do. We built a worldwide business from broke. On a remote rural property. Before the internet and email came to our rural village.

I'm here to mix with like minded men and women. I have 35 years of business experience to share. I've done the hard yards. And would love to be of help to those of you who can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And. I want to travel further along the road to wealth.

It will be a pleasure to meet you. ~Carol❤
Great Inspiration my friend!!! PDARRYL
 

Carol Jones

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 5, 2017
325
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Rural Australia
Great Inspiration my friend!!!

Great Inspiration my friend!!! PDARRYL

G'day @pdarryl2 from Oz,

Thank you! I love knowing that my story inspires you.

And.

Welcome to The Fastlane Forum.

You'll find much to be inspired about here. Plus. You'll meet many people who will help you on your journey to wherever you want to be.

Thank you for dropping in. And I hope we meet again. ~Carol❤
 

Hermilio

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 22, 2020
17
6
15
Brazil
W
Good morning from rural Australia,

In a nutshell, my partner and I design and make textile products that are simple solutions for difficult problems. We have 400,000 customers in 30 countries around the world who think our products are the best thing since sliced bread. The icing on the cake is that all our products are made with love and care in rural Australia by men and women who have a disability. We are renown for our simple solutions that work. When others don't.

That's the event.

The process is this.

In 1992, my partner and I lost everything in Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating's 'recession we had to have'. We closed down two businesses. My partner's 12 year old architectural practice. My market research consultancy. We farewelled 16 loyal and supportive staff. We sold our home of 22 years. Two cars. And our personal possessions. To pay off what debt we could. And made a scheme of arrangement with our creditors to pay off the remaining debt.

Poor as church mice. We left the city lights of Sydney Australia. For a rural life in a remote village with no internet access. No email. Not even call waiting. But it met our most important criteria. We could live in a farmhouse whose rent we could afford to pay. The village was heavily affected by a severe drought. And the house was not a desirable place to live. But it was our safety net.

We made a decision to find our way back by utilising simple solutions. Our skills were in design. And research. So we reinvented ourselves as designers and makers of textile products. Our first product didn't capture the hearts of the marketplace. But our second product did. We redesigned the humble ironing board cover utilising a low tech solution to make sure it was firmly anchored to an ironing board. So it never moved. Which is what makes people hate ironing.

If you make one good product. Customers want more. So we designed 6 more textile products. And today we have more than 400,000 customers in 30 countries. Without any retail distribution. And all done online today. But in the beginning, it was all mail order.

We've been down dark alleys. Wondered if we were certifiably mad to keep doing what we were doing when ironing board covers are not top of mind with most people.

But we discovered they are very top of mind with men and women who must iron.

Even though the subject is not sexy, our products, and our story, have been written about in every major publication in Australia.

We've been featured on mainstream TV. Interviewed on radio. Included in two books. The latest being 'Hunch' by international best selling author Bernadette Jiwa. I'm the 'Ironing Whisperer' on page 73.

The process of working every day is what got us to where we are today.

We did what everyone said we couldn't do. We built a worldwide business from broke. On a remote rural property. Before the internet and email came to our rural village.

I'm here to mix with like minded men and women. I have 35 years of business experience to share. I've done the hard yards. And would love to be of help to those of you who can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And. I want to travel further along the road to wealth.

It will be a pleasure to meet you. ~Carol❤

Whoa, Carol, I have no words. Fantastic story, and thank you very much for your availability here in our forum!
 

Nigel B

Life Long Learner
FASTLANE INSIDER
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Sep 18, 2017
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This thread really is the thread which keeps giving! There are so many inspiring aspects to it, and the clarity is amazing. I have enjoyed following this over it's life.

@Carol Jones Few people take the time that you do to provide feedback - to each and every post, and the value is huge, for those who ask and those who just read more depth to your story.

The "a recession we have to have" phrase is interesting as it is playing out in almost every market globally right now.

So few have the humility to respond in the way that you did to overwhelming debt, and your (then) current income streams to go away. If ever I face a similarly extreme situation, this thread will be my North Star.

Thanks for continuing to post. This, message needs no reply - it's simply a thank you.
 

Carol Jones

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 5, 2017
325
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Rural Australia
W


Whoa, Carol, I have no words. Fantastic story, and thank you very much for your availability here in our forum!

G'day @Hermilio from Oz,

Thank you so much for reading my story. And all the responses.

We all learn from each other. So drop in any time to share information and experiences.

And welcome to The Fastlane Forum. You will love the people and what you will learn here.

~Carol❤
 

Carol Jones

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 5, 2017
325
2,694
644
Rural Australia
This thread really is the thread which keeps giving! There are so many inspiring aspects to it, and the clarity is amazing. I have enjoyed following this over it's life.

@Carol Jones Few people take the time that you do to provide feedback - to each and every post, and the value is huge, for those who ask and those who just read more depth to your story.

The "a recession we have to have" phrase is interesting as it is playing out in almost every market globally right now.

So few have the humility to respond in the way that you did to overwhelming debt, and your (then) current income streams to go away. If ever I face a similarly extreme situation, this thread will be my North Star.

Thanks for continuing to post. This, message needs no reply - it's simply a thank you.

G'day @Nigel B from Oz,

How can I not reply to someone who has read this thread in full! That is an amazing feat in itself.

"The "a recession we have to have" phrase is interesting as it is playing out in almost every market globally right now."

In December 2018, Victor and I sold our beautiful rural property in the picturesque Central Tablelands of NSW. Where we lived for 26 years. And relocated to a hard to believe even more beautiful landscape. The foothills of the Victorian Alps. We purchased a very steep 100 acres in Swifts Creek, Victoria. And are building a house designed by Victor, an architect, on top of this mountain we now own. The house is 37 stories above road level. With to die for views of the farming valley below. And the surrounding alps.

In November of 2019, the fires in Oz started. And kept burning until the end of February 2020. We were evacuated twice because the fires came to the edge of our village.

On 13th March 2020, Australia went into lockdown with Covid-19.

Victoria. The state I now live in. Cannot shake the virus. So Melbourne. The capital. Is now in Stage 4 lockdown. No one can leave their homes for any reason other than to go shopping for food and supplies. The doctor. And one hour only of outdoor exercise. Mask wearing is mandatory at all times outdoors.

My little village of a few hundred people is in Stage 3 lockdown. Mandatory mask wearing. But more freedom to move about.

The strict lockdown has decimated the business community. Many businesses will not survive this. And Australia is back into recession after 28 years.

I am acutely aware of how different my today is. To my today of 1992. I have an established business that is successful. And being online. With an enviable reputation. I get orders every day.

Our house will be finished by the end of October. And we are mortgage free. We own it! Our cars are paid for. So essentially. We are debt free.


But where we were in 1992 seems like only yesterday. So I can fully commiserate with everyone who is going through hard and stressful times. Where the climb uphill will be tortuous.

My stomach tightens every time I think of what so many people are experiencing right now.

Been there! For too many years.

But Nigel. Everything has a silver lining. The strong and resourceful will be like us. They'll seek out a light at the end of the tunnel. And they'll be in a different place. And most probably a better place. And this capsule in time will be the making of them.

We always have choices in difficult times. We can dig a hole and bury ourselves. Or put ourselves out there. And grab a brass ring that will make a difference to our lives.

I'm forever in awe of what Victor and I have been through. And what we've achieved. We're now in a place we never dreamed we could ever be in 1992.

All. Because. We decided. To . . . 'Have a go'!

'Have a go'. It's a quintessential Australian expression. That needs no explanation.

It's a privilege to meet you, Nigel. And I hope you never have to search for your North Star!

Drop in to say G'day any time!! ~Carol❤
 

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Simon Angel

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 24, 2016
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I love this thread! I wish you and Victor good health as you've already worked hard and made sure you've got everything else.

I've got a certain dream to accomplish and then I'd like to move somewhere rural away from the hustle and bustle with my partner in life and not having any regrets of wasted youth, potential, talent, opportunities..

By the way, I'd love to visit Australia one day, most notably Sydney, it's so far away from my country and I've always been fascinated by your architecture over there! My favorite song's also by a fellow Aussie, Kylie Minogue.
 

Carol Jones

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 5, 2017
325
2,694
644
Rural Australia
I love this thread! I wish you and Victor good health as you've already worked hard and made sure you've got everything else.

I've got a certain dream to accomplish and then I'd like to move somewhere rural away from the hustle and bustle with my partner in life and not having any regrets of wasted youth, potential, talent, opportunities..

By the way, I'd love to visit Australia one day, most notably Sydney, it's so far away from my country and I've always been fascinated by your architecture over there! My favorite song's also by a fellow Aussie, Kylie Minogue.

G'day @Simon Angel from Oz,

My apologies for my late reply.

Thank you so much for your good wishes. They are appreciated!

Living the rural life.

I'm an ex-pat American. I grew up in New York City. Until my father was transferred. And I spent my teenage years in a small town of 3,000 people. In southern Virginia USA.

The culture shock of small-town bigotry is something I've never gotten used to. We couldn't escape it in southern Virginia because we lived in the town. And. As my father had a prominent job with the town's biggest employer. We were expected to mingle.

What did captivate me was the life of some of my school friends who lived on tobacco farms. The biggest farm crop at the time in southern Virginia. These friends lived away from the townspeople. And could pick and choose more freely who they associated with.

I always had that lifestyle tucked away in my heart. And. Like you. Was a way of life I aspired to live one day.

Losing everything. As we did in Australia's 1992 'recession we had to have'. Makes decision making easier. When you have nothing further to lose. You can take bigger. And more outrageous chances. Proving the rule. That there's a silver lining in everything.

So Victor and I made the decision to escape to the bush. Where. We hoped. We could better afford to live. And to reinvent ourselves. To do what - was simply a very vague idea.

We picked a very small community of 49 farming families. With our agenda being. We were friendly to everyone. And socialised with no one.

We rented a farmhouse on 135 acres (54 hectares). The owner was anxious to sell. And after years of the drought-affected property being on the market. With no offers. He offered it to us at a very cheap price.

We explained to him that no bank would ever lend to us as we were penniless. He said that if we could afford the rent. We could afford to buy the property. And he would finance us for 2 years. At which time. Even we expected to be back on our feet.

We weren't. But that's another story.

With my experience of small-town life as a teenager. All my expectations came true. 10,000 miles away. Village life is no different to village life everywhere. Gossip abounds. Lies are told about enemies. Entrenched animosity is passed down from generation to generation.

But. Despite that. Everyone comes together in a catastrophe.

We managed our life by being friendly to everyone. By being recognised that we were a local business that supported local businesses by spending its money in the town. But not socialising with anyone. Other than stopping to chit chat to people in the street.

We invited no one local into our home. And we visited no one who was a local.

We had friends outside of this community who we socialised with.

We're all different, Simon.

Some people want to live in a rural community to be an intrinsic part of the community. And are better equipped to cope with the gossip and the politics that are part of community life.

I thrive on the isolation of living on 100 acres (40 hectares). Not seeing anyone other than Victor. Not having anyone visit me in my home.

But. When I go into town. I truly love taking the time to chat with people in the street that I know.

I'm more adept at socialising in small chunks!

Regarding not having regrets. NOT possible! We all have them. Missed opportunities. In some instances. Not using our talent to reach our true potential.

And what's wrong with a wasted youth? Some of the most interesting people in the world have a colourful backstory. Full of blemishes.

Australia's architecture is quite different to the style in America. Unfortunately. Too much of it is being knocked down for the sake of 'progress'. Beautiful buildings that have stood for over a hundred years are being replaced by glass containers that will be torn down again in 20 years.

Kylie Minogue is an Australian institution. No matter where she lives. And she no longer calls Australia home. She will always be claimed as one of us.

Sydney is a very cosmopolitan. Breathtakingly beautiful. Multi-cultural society. There are few cities in the world that can compete with its beaches. Its harbour. Its mix of people from all around the world. And its enviable lifestyle.

If you ever do come to Australia. You also need to visit smaller communities. To get a taste of what the true Australia is. Away from the razzle-dazzle that's Sydney!

Thank you for dropping in, Simon. And I wish you well on your journey to realising your dream. So many people have dreams. But no plan to achieve them. It's a privilege to meet someone who has both.

~Carol❤

2020 September 07
 

Simon Angel

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 24, 2016
414
1,024
360
G'day @Simon Angel from Oz,

My apologies for my late reply.

Thank you so much for your good wishes. They are appreciated!

Living the rural life.

I'm an ex-pat American. I grew up in New York City. Until my father was transferred. And I spent my teenage years in a small town of 3,000 people. In southern Virginia USA.

The culture shock of small-town bigotry is something I've never gotten used to. We couldn't escape it in southern Virginia because we lived in the town. And. As my father had a prominent job with the town's biggest employer. We were expected to mingle.

What did captivate me was the life of some of my school friends who lived on tobacco farms. The biggest farm crop at the time in southern Virginia. These friends lived away from the townspeople. And could pick and choose more freely who they associated with.

I always had that lifestyle tucked away in my heart. And. Like you. Was a way of life I aspired to live one day.

Losing everything. As we did in Australia's 1992 'recession we had to have'. Makes decision making easier. When you have nothing further to lose. You can take bigger. And more outrageous chances. Proving the rule. That there's a silver lining in everything.

So Victor and I made the decision to escape to the bush. Where. We hoped. We could better afford to live. And to reinvent ourselves. To do what - was simply a very vague idea.

We picked a very small community of 49 farming families. With our agenda being. We were friendly to everyone. And socialised with no one.

We rented a farmhouse on 135 acres (54 hectares). The owner was anxious to sell. And after years of the drought-affected property being on the market. With no offers. He offered it to us at a very cheap price.

We explained to him that no bank would ever lend to us as we were penniless. He said that if we could afford the rent. We could afford to buy the property. And he would finance us for 2 years. At which time. Even we expected to be back on our feet.

We weren't. But that's another story.

With my experience of small-town life as a teenager. All my expectations came true. 10,000 miles away. Village life is no different to village life everywhere. Gossip abounds. Lies are told about enemies. Entrenched animosity is passed down from generation to generation.

But. Despite that. Everyone comes together in a catastrophe.

We managed our life by being friendly to everyone. By being recognised that we were a local business that supported local businesses by spending its money in the town. But not socialising with anyone. Other than stopping to chit chat to people in the street.

We invited no one local into our home. And we visited no one who was a local.

We had friends outside of this community who we socialised with.

We're all different, Simon.

Some people want to live in a rural community to be an intrinsic part of the community. And are better equipped to cope with the gossip and the politics that are part of community life.

I thrive on the isolation of living on 100 acres (40 hectares). Not seeing anyone other than Victor. Not having anyone visit me in my home.

But. When I go into town. I truly love taking the time to chat with people in the street that I know.

I'm more adept at socialising in small chunks!

Regarding not having regrets. NOT possible! We all have them. Missed opportunities. In some instances. Not using our talent to reach our true potential.

And what's wrong with a wasted youth? Some of the most interesting people in the world have a colourful backstory. Full of blemishes.

Australia's architecture is quite different to the style in America. Unfortunately. Too much of it is being knocked down for the sake of 'progress'. Beautiful buildings that have stood for over a hundred years are being replaced by glass containers that will be torn down again in 20 years.

Kylie Minogue is an Australian institution. No matter where she lives. And she no longer calls Australia home. She will always be claimed as one of us.

Sydney is a very cosmopolitan. Breathtakingly beautiful. Multi-cultural society. There are few cities in the world that can compete with its beaches. Its harbour. Its mix of people from all around the world. And its enviable lifestyle.

If you ever do come to Australia. You also need to visit smaller communities. To get a taste of what the true Australia is. Away from the razzle-dazzle that's Sydney!

Thank you for dropping in, Simon. And I wish you well on your journey to realising your dream. So many people have dreams. But no plan to achieve them. It's a privilege to meet someone who has both.

~Carol❤

2020 September 07

Hey Carol, my apologies for the late reply as well.

Your post played out like a movie in my head, you are so descriptive! Have you considered writing a book?

Wow, from New York to Virginia to Australia! Do you have any memories from when you were a child living in New York? Do you remember how the city looked, what the cars were like, the neon billboards at Times Square?

Regarding visiting smaller communities, would that imply you and Victor's? Just kidding.

I can see the allure of being part of a small community. Life in the big city just doesn't stop. The Matrix is in full effect. However, out there in the countryside you truly are much more free - clearer mind, closer to nature and oneness with the others in times of a crisis. The only reason I do get it because here in Bulgaria most of us have a village where the family owns real estate, so we go there on a regular basis. It's usually just out of town.

Regarding Sydney, it just looks special to me. I remember visiting the really small Isle Of Man near England (known for being the home of the Bee Gees and hosting TT races) and I was fascinated by the change in architecture, even though it was just a few houses and such. I haven't gone anywhere else abroad and I'm certain that Rome, Sydney and a random city in Japan would culturally and architecturally shock me.

I've got a question for you, Carol. What is the most interesting thing you've seen out there in rural Ozzie? The milky way? Big foot? UFOs? Ghosts? Perhaps neither of these?

This was all very interesting to read and think about. Thanks a lot for sharing, Carol!
 
Last edited:

Carol Jones

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 5, 2017
325
2,694
644
Rural Australia
Hey Carol, my apologies for the late reply as well.

Your post played out like a movie in my head, you are so descriptive! Have you considered writing a book?

Wow, from New York to Virginia to Australia! Do you have any memories from when you were a child living in New York? Do you remember how the city looked, what the cars were like, the neon billboards at Times Square?

Regarding visiting smaller communities, would that imply you and Victor's? Just kidding.

I can see the allure of being part of a small community. Life in the big city just doesn't stop. The Matrix is in full effect. However, out there in the countryside you truly are much more free - clearer mind, closer to nature and oneness with the others in times of a crisis. The only reason I do get it because here in Bulgaria most of us have a village where the family owns real estate, so we go there on a regular basis. It's usually just out of town.

Regarding Sydney, it just looks special to me. I remember visiting the really small Isle Of Man near England (known for being the home of the Bee Gees and hosting TT races) and I was fascinated by the change in architecture, even though it was just a few houses and such. I haven't gone anywhere else abroad and I'm certain that Rome, Sydney and a random city in Japan would culturally and architecturally shock me.

I've got a question for you, Carol. What is the most interesting thing you've seen out there in rural Ozzie? The milky way? Big foot? UFOs? Ghosts? Perhaps neither of these?

This was all very interesting to read and think about. Thanks a lot for sharing, Carol!

G'day again @Simon Angel from Oz,

Have I considered writing a book?

I love telling stories. And. Communicate best when I'm telling stories. I also love writing. But I've no book in me, Simon. There's no burning desire to see my name on the cover of a book.

I have very vivid memories of my childhood in New York City.

I lived with my father, mother and older sister in a brownstone with massive mahogany front doors. On the upper east side of Manhattan.

The sounds of street sweepers at night. Garbage being collected and the cans banging on the ground in the early morning. Car horns blaring. People shouting. Were all part of the background noise.

I played mostly with boys. And developed a considerable amount of street cred with my prowess at throwing a lasso. And catching those runaway bandits when playing a cowgirl from the wild west.

We lived across the street from an iconic Catholic Church. So Saturday weddings were a big part of the day. All the neighbourhood children lined up outside the church to shout and throw rice when the bridal couple left the church. I'm sure our enthusiasm was never appreciated.

On Sunday evenings in summer. We walked to concerts in Central Park. Not rock concerts. This was pre-rock n' roll. But band concerts.

We walked everywhere. Or took the El.

My dad took me shopping with him on Saturday mornings. And we always travelled on the El.

We went ice skating in winter at the outdoor rink at Rockefeller Center.

My aunt often took me to Radio City Music Hall on Saturdays. To see the Rockettes.

Every Saturday at noon. On the dot. The hot dog street vendor came. And my mother treated me and my sister to a kosher hot dog. I can still taste them. And have never tasted a hot dog as good since leaving New York City.

Every Friday evening in summer. After dinner. My dad and I would walk up the street to the drug store on the corner. Where my dad would pick me up and sit me on a stool at the soda fountain.

The druggist would pour me a glass of seltzer water. Which I sipped slowly. While my dad and the druggist. Who were good friends. Would discuss whatever was happening in the world.

I would take in all that was happening in the drugstore.

It's where I became an expert eavesdropper. And an ardent observer of people.

My grandmother often took me shopping with her to the greengrocer. And then to the poulterer. Where she picked her chicken. The poulterer killed it. And she took it home to her apartment to defeather it. Which I helped her with. My grandfather's favourite dish was chicken fricassee.

My days going to the poulterer with my grandmother, however, were numbered. It was when I described in great and vivid detail to my mother my version of a chicken with its head cut off. That my mother banned my grandmother forever from taking me with her shopping for chickens!

In summer. After dinner. My older sister and I would sit on the steps of our brownstone. And eat our ice cream cones from the ice-cream vendor. And eye off each other's cones to see if one was bigger than the other.

A walk through Central Park in winter was never complete without a bag of hot buttered chestnuts from the street vendor.

I could fill a book with my memories of my childhood in New York City. There was always something happening. It was then. And still is. A very vibrant city.

Regarding Sydney. It is very special. There's no other city like it in the world. The Sydney Opera House. The Harbour Bridge. The fireworks on New Year's Eve. The farmers' markets. The historic Rocks area. With its original buildings declared a national treasure. All the special events that take place throughout the year. And the 'best ever' Olympic Games of 2000. Set it apart from other cities.

She is very brassy. And a show pony.

But Melbourne is not to be missed either. It's been voted the most livable city in the world several times.

And it has a different ambience.

More subdued.

The trams. The back lanes with coffee houses. And superb eateries. The suburbs with old money. Preserved historic buildings. And its picturesque tree-lined streets and parks. Are enchanting.

What is the most interesting thing I've seen in rural Australia?

There are many.

A full moon. Setting in a cobalt blue sky. At 5am on a very hot summer morning.

The night sky. Which is a blanket of stars. Night after night.

A gigantic super moon. Rising above a ridge. Right outside my front window.

The rising sun. Every morning. When I take a walk at sunrise.

A ewe. Dropping a lamb. Right in front of me.

A sleeping newborn calf. Trying to be taken away by a Wedge-tail Eagle.

Rescuing a kangaroo joey. That got its foot caught in our rural fence. Trying to jump it. And reuniting it with its mother.

Victor cut the joey free. Just as its mother came back for it.

Seeing the joey crawl back into its mother's pouch. Brought me close to tears. Of joy.

A red sky. Over my village. Filled with fire. From the bushfires in January 2020. Was terrifying.

An iguana. Languishing in the fork of a tree on my property. Watching me. Watching him.

The hundreds of birds that fly in. And fly out. Of my property every year.

Observing new life when the chicks turn into fledglings.

And being saddened when the chicks don't survive.

Every day is a wonder when surrounded by wildlife. And every day is different.

I loved my childhood in New York City. And I love living on 100 acres in a village of 268 people. I call both home.

Thank you, Simon, for asking so many questions.

I hope all your dreams come true in Bulgaria. It's a beautiful country.

And yes. If you do visit Oz. You must come and visit me and Victor. In our rural home on top of our mountain. 37 stories above road level. Our views are superb. And breathtaking!

~Carol❤

2020 September 08
 

Ing

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jun 8, 2019
823
783
241
55
Bavaria
Carol, inspiring story!
Sozializing with villagers can be a very satisfying thin, too.
We really did it only after 20 years Of living in our village. ( not with everybody of course, but after some years, you can see, who s on your wavelength)
I wish, we did it earlier.

Keep on going!
 

Carol Jones

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 5, 2017
325
2,694
644
Rural Australia
Hi Carol,

Thanks a lot for sharing your inspirational story that shows what can be done if you are determined enough.

Regards, Marian
G'day @TalmacelMarian from Oz,

Welcome to The Fastlane Forum!

Thank you for reading my story, Marian. It's appreciated.

Too many people want the easy way out to earn revenue. And are always looking for the silver bullet. Which rarely exists.

Fads make people wealthy for a very short time. Remember the Fidgit Spinner? But that kind of business isn't for a lifetime.

Determination. Persistence. Always looking for a solution. Or looking for a new way of doing something. And working in. And on. Your business. Every day. Are what's needed to build a business that lasts for a lifetime.

Thank you for dropping in. And I hope you get to see your dreams become a reality. Drop back in anytime. ~Carol❤️
 

TalmacelMarian

New Contributor
Oct 31, 2020
7
5
11
G'day @TalmacelMarian from Oz,

Welcome to The Fastlane Forum!

Thank you for reading my story, Marian. It's appreciated.

Too many people want the easy way out to earn revenue. And are always looking for the silver bullet. Which rarely exists.

Fads make people wealthy for a very short time. Remember the Fidgit Spinner? But that kind of business isn't for a lifetime.

Determination. Persistence. Always looking for a solution. Or looking for a new way of doing something. And working in. And on. Your business. Every day. Are what's needed to build a business that lasts for a lifetime.

Thank you for dropping in. And I hope you get to see your dreams become a reality. Drop back in anytime. ~Carol❤️
@Carol Jones so nice of you to reply. Only when I have understood that I have actually started to change my life for the better. Took me a while to get outside of my comfort zone, but now I am determind to be a millionaire by 40. Starting at 32, that should be an achievable goal.

Regards, Marian
 

Carol Jones

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 5, 2017
325
2,694
644
Rural Australia
Carol, inspiring story!
Sozializing with villagers can be a very satisfying thin, too.
We really did it only after 20 years Of living in our village. ( not with everybody of course, but after some years, you can see, who s on your wavelength)
I wish, we did it earlier.

Keep on going


Carol, inspiring story!
Sozializing with villagers can be a very satisfying thin, too.
We really did it only after 20 years Of living in our village. ( not with everybody of course, but after some years, you can see, who s on your wavelength)
I wish, we did it earlier.

Keep on going!
G'day @Ing from Oz,

We're all different.

I have several friends who live in rural communities. Who are completely entrenched in their community. They ask people to help them do things. And don't mind when they're asked to return the favour. Even if it's not convenient for them.

I know me. And I'm not a socialiser. I love seeing people on the street. And chatting for 10 or 15 minutes. But beyond that. I want to be away from them. On my own.

I don't ask for help. Because. I actually don't need it. And. I certainly don't want to be obligated to do something for someone when it's not convenient for me.

I've lived in villages for the past 28 years. And have found that people respect my desire for privacy. Because I make it clear to all of them. That. If there's an emergency. I am there to help.

And I have been there to offer a helping hand in an emergency.

Thank you for dropping in, Ing. It's a pleasure to meet you.

~Carol❤️
 

Carol Jones

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 5, 2017
325
2,694
644
Rural Australia
@Carol Jones so nice of you to reply. Only when I have understood that I have actually started to change my life for the better. Took me a while to get outside of my comfort zone, but now I am determind to be a millionaire by 40. Starting at 32, that should be an achievable goal.

Regards, Marian
G'day again @TalmacelMarian,

In today's environment. Your dream is highly achievable. But you will still have to work very hard to get there. And you'll have to get used to being outside your comfort zone for quite some time.

Your dream requires a high level of discipline. And focus. And your ability to not be distracted by bright shiny objects. Or get rich quick schemes.

Fingers crossed you make it to the finish line, Marian! ~Carol❤️
 

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