Lillie is the director of a Sydney-based industrial property trust, with over 15 years of experience and now the author of “The Money Factory”.
Lillie’s Industrial Real Estate Journey
Just over one year ago, Lillie Cawthorn was working behind the scenes supporting her husband as he focused on developing their successful industrial real estate business which was jointly purchased.
Prior to meeting her husband, Lillie had spent her adult life working in France. She worked as a tourist guide in the French Alps in winter and then in Turkey during the summer months. She later moved to Paris and was employed by a major travel insurance company in their medical call centre. Lillie met her husband whilst on holiday in Sydney in the late 1990s. Together they worked out a plan to purchase an industrial real estate agency where he was working as a sales agent. They agreed to pool their financial and intellectual resources to achieve this and in 2006 secured the business.
To enable her husband to transform the business by growing and modernising it, Lillie agreed to take responsibility for the business book keeping in addition to home and family responsibilities to enable her husband to concentrate entirely on enhancing the business. However, this meant giving up her career to work from home. This change resulted in virtually no interaction with their business customers or indeed others in the business world. Lillie slowly began to feel isolated, frustrated and bored with her behind the scenes role. As the business became increasingly successful, all the achievement, recognition and acknowledgements for their success were directed solely to her husband. Consequently, Lillie became more and more dissatisfied and withdrawn.
In May 2015 she attended a workshop for budding authors that would change her life forever. The facilitator advised “to grow your business and write a book about it”. Having previously attended a book writing workshop, Lillie saw her opportunity and, feeling hugely excited, hurried home to tell her husband of her intention to take their business to the next level by writing a book about it.
His response was a resounding “No”! Worse still she was told, “You are not writing about my business”. A terrible argument ensued that could easily have destroyed the marriage.
Early the next morning, before attending day two of the author’s workshop, Lillie did some soul searching. Loving her husband and not wanting to destroy their 20 year relationship, she felt sad, trapped and depressed. However she also realised that it her life and happiness was being stultified. She simply was not fulfilled as a work behind the scenes wife regardless of the wealth they had accumulated. On impulse, she took a piece of paper and wrote: “I am so happy and grateful for my kind, loving, supportive, understanding husband” and left it beside the coffee machine before leaving for the workshop.
Driving into the workshop, Lillie started to reflect and anger started to build. As she thought of all she had given up – her country, her career, her friends, and 15 years of her life, she decided “I’m going to do this. It is my life and I’m not going to be told what I can or can’t do anymore!”
After much soul searching she decided to commit to write her book. Lillie announced that she would write her book with a focus on women. It would provide an insight into the lucrative industrial real estate investment sector that was almost entirely a male domain and thereby empower women to consider this investment vehicle.
The Money Factory – How Any Woman Can Make $30,000 to $100,000 Passive Income was published six months later and became a best seller, receiving massive media attention. It is the only book of its kind on this subject in the world. Fortunately, her husband became her biggest supporter, readily admitting his initial reaction had been ‘knee jerk’ one. He also understood that their lives would change, for the better.
Lillie now facilitates and presents at workshops aimed at informing others on how they can earn a passive income by investing in their own factory or small warehouse.
1) Surround your self with experts to do the things you are not good at.
There is so much ‘other work’ to do that is not directly related to your specialty, that nevertheless has to be done in order to get your message ‘out there’. It is easy to become overwhelmed and disheartened trying to learn these extra skills. If you try to do everything yourself, you quickly become overwhelmed, disheartened or burn out and ultimately give up. Learn to delegate 80% of what you do, to some one who does it better than you do. Concentrate on your core message and do what you do best.
2.Embrace mistakes and change as part of the journey.
Finding the right people to help you on your journey involves a lot of trial and error, as does finding the right platforms and advertising campaigns. Learn to monitor everything and change quickly if something is not producing the desired results.
3.Manage your expectations.
People are fickle. Managing your own personal expectations is more important than getting your hopes up listening to empty promises from others, whether it be customers or promoters. By devising an excellent business plan that attracts, promotes, demonstrates, sells and follows up your customers, means you concentrate on the targeted numbers required to achieve a final sale.
We hope you have enjoyed another in our series on Enterprising Entrepreneurs, feel free to connect with Lillie through our webiste.
Lisa & Jo