You are the only one that can control your destiny! – Claire McGrath – London UK

I have got to say I don’t think I am inspiring person. Others may see things differently but I am just me. Being me means that I have these amazing hair brain ideas which later turn into reality. I must say, a lot of my success has come from making something from the moment in time, the right here, right now.

I grew up in a family of 9 kids (was a Brady Bunch) we didn’t have a lot of money because my parents put us all through good schools, they had to work hard and I believe that it where my work ethic has come from. They work hard and they play hard- I fortunately or unfortunately inherited this too!

I was not particularly smart but I had a brother my own age and growing up he challenged me because he was naturally smart, I have always had to work hard to achieve. So, I think that is where my competitive nature began.

I left home at 18 to be a nanny in the UK, I loved it so much that I decided to move here forever, held down a good job, but when I decided to move home because we were expecting a child at the ripe age of 24, our world just about came crashing down. My husband couldn’t get a job due to his Visa, I couldn’t work because of being pregnant and having a baby (no one wanted to employ me not through lack of trying). We decided to move to Brisbane where my parents had a property business that they were happy to employ us in for an interim period.  That is where I fell in love with property.

I was too proud to ask my parents for any more help, but some weeks we would have less than a $1 in our bank account and with baby and another on the way, we found it difficult to make ends meet. Pasta was on the cards most nights! When we had a bit of money we would buy lottery tickets and I tell you we were being looked after. Whenever we won the lowest division which happened a bit, we would hold those tickets over until we only had the $1 in the account and use those to survive to the next pay day. I ran 3 jobs and my husband finally got a job, funny enough with an English company.

I worked looking after my family properties on a very part time basis but decided to do my REIQ certificate and then I researched the best property managers in Brisbane so I could learn the trade. I ended up in New Farm with Harcourts New Farm. I learnt from the best in the industry. There I met Martin Millard which was a turning point really. I had just had a Cancer scare had to have half my Thyroid out and we weren’t getting ahead in life. Martin asked me to join him and Sally in starting a property management business with Harcourts Solutions, I thought this was a great opportunity to really start providing for my family and putting things in place to set us up.

I had never signed up a management agreement and really, I was an assistant property manager, but I thought what have I got to lose! I was so nervous but it has been an amazing business and yes were there low days, absolutely, did I have a cry here and there, yep sure did. However, Sally and I got up every day put our big girls pants on and kept moving. We grew the business from 0-940 in 7/8 years.

4 years ago, my husband I came back to England, the first time in 10 years, we saw an opportunity here to perhaps do a Real Estate business here but differently. Last year was the hardest year in my life, I was sick almost the entire year, I was the fattest I had been in my life and was not happy. It has been 4 years in the making but this year I sadly sold my share of Harcourts Rental Management Solutions back to Sally and Martin and perused my own goals. This year has been an amazing, but challenging year and after 4 years of planning, meeting people and researching I have literally just opened a ‘Winkworth’ office in Surbiton in the UK.

I can only say the things I have learnt is trust in yourself, believe in yourself, don’t always listen to what people tell you. If you have a feeling deep down run with it, go for your dreams. Treat people with kindness and love yourself. Today I am lucky to say I have two healthy boys, a loving husband, two dogs and two rabbits. I have lost 14kg and still going, and I could not be happier, however I have done this. My moto is where ever you are there you are. You are the only one that can control your destiny!