Chris Freeman is the Founder and Lead Coach of the 'Design a Decade' Complete Life Management Program. His testimony below gives an insight into his passion, which is to help bring people to a better life through quality personal management, genuine long term investments and income development training... Enjoy!

Worked for Wages
When I left school way back in 1970 I went to work at Qantas Airways as a commercial trainee. After two years of working in various departments I worked in the Seat Capacity Control Departments for another three years. During my last year there I looked at the people in my department who ranged in age from 20 to 64 years of age.

The young singles like me were having a great time travelling and spending the excellent wage we were earning. We also bought some land as investment.

The ones who had young or teenage children seemed to be short on time and money and their lifestyle had lost its style. The ones my age now, 56 at the time of writing, were doing as much extra work as they could because they had not set themselves up for retirement. I said to a friend I worked with, “We cannot stay here for forty years just to go through that cycle”. My parents then returned from a free trip to the USA, courtesy of my job, to news that I had left Qantas and had bought a lawn-mowing run and there would be no more free trips. This sorted out the family loyalty pretty quickly! They were very encouraging as they had worked successfully for themselves also.

Self Employed
'Just having a go'...

From lawn-mowing to courier to restauranteur, I was looking for higher income and more control but there was little difference in income or hours to get it.

I realised it would have been better to stay with Qantas and used the good income to invest or grow a business alongside the job, so I went into real estate searching for an income that would do that job.

Back to Work
Working in real estate gave me a great income and I bought investment properties to rent out as investments.

Bought a Business
'Still just having a go but with no one experienced alongside me'...

When that company changed direction I became self employed again and put together retail businesses with partners to pay my general expenses and pay for the investments.

I had achieved my goal to be able to live off our business and investment incomes, and moved up the coast to enjoy a great lifestyle while bringing up our young family.

Mistakes and Loss
And then simple mistakes caused us to lose everything and then some! The ever-increasing interest rates reduced our business incomes and increased our holding costs on our real estate. When our largest business had to be shut down it started a domino effect that wiped out all our businesses and investments, leaving us over a million dollars in debt after everything was sold. That sure 'cleared the sinuses'.

Learning from Failure
We celebrate success but learn from failure. I went back to work in real estate sales seven days a week to earn our family income and pay down debt. But I still had the dream of a contented life, so whenever I saw someone with apparent wealth I would ask them, nicely, how they achieved their wealth and more importantly how they kept it. When I tell people that, they assume most of those people told me to 'take a walk'. Nobody did. Some were full of ego and keen to tell me how well they had done, and others were humble but happy to share with some coaxing. It soon became clear it wasn’t WHAT they were doing but the foundational way they went about it that was the key.

Starting to Apply Principles
In 2001 we started to apply these learnt principles ourselves and to teach them to our real estate investment clients It was like pouring a cup of water on a desert to try to irrigate it. There was a massive amount of people who were looking for someone to show them how to build Wealth around a Balanced life. Not specifically which piece of real estate or which stock to buy, but how to systematically build financial wealth and day-to-day lifestyle wealth, safely and progressively to set up life way before the retirement age, without the risk of a fall that would set them back even further than where they started.

Chris is also an emerging author, bringing his many years of experience to paper in his first book Design a Decade, where he continues to tell his story. Keep a look out for his second book, which he is currently working on, and subscribe to his popular blog.