Angela Smith of Lifestyle Tradie on Creating Better Lifestyle and Choice With Your Business

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On this week’s episode, I speak with Angela Smith who runs Lifestyle Tradie – a mastermind that helps business owners in the trades industry who want to understand how to make more profit, have higher control in their business and create a better lifestyle for themselves.

In this interview, we unpack how Angela and her husband, Andy:

  • Started their own wealth creation journey
  • How they began being massively in debt and how they turned this around
  • She shares insights into why business is a fabulous vehicle for wealth building
  • Where Angela sees the best opportunities for 2021 and beyond for business owners

Show Notes:

00:00 – Intro

03:28 – How has your attitude to money and wealth changed?

08:14 – Experiences with investing in real estate

09:58 – Re-investing in your business VS Building wealth outside of your business

16:23 – What does Financial Success mean to you?

18:40 – The importance of being in a business community

23:03 – Thank you

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your origin story.

  • Plumbing company called Dr DRiP Plumbing
  • Off the back of the chaos and the fast growth – from $50k profit to negative $50k
  • Streamlined the business and got out of the business – working 1 hour a week
  • Started lifestyle tradie 11 years ago
  • No one in the industry to teach what they needed to do and had to learn through costly trial and errors
  • Teach trade business owners how to make a profit in their business, gain back time and get a better lifestyle

Q: How has money influenced you as a child, and how has it evolved?

  • Childhood was in the 70s – go to school, uni and climb the corporate ladder
  • Didn’t come from huge amounts of wealth
  • Parents didn’t talk about money
  • Saw them work extremely hard
  • Both worked full-time and weren’t always around
  • Dad worked for Japan Airlines (Director of Finance & HR) – had a great holiday every year and always stayed with family
  • Parents were very generous but no conversation ever about money and no teaching

Q: What impact did that have on your beliefs?

  • Really fortunate to have been around people who have influenced her decisions
  • At 23, made a 13 month trip in Australia and then lived in Canada
  • Came back with a lot of debt and no money
  • Saw lots of friends and family who had bought property and felt they were behind the eight ball
  • Sister told her she needs to buy a house, which Angela was initially not even considering because she had just gotten back to Australia and had a job
  • Sister called the back and managed to find out how much Angela could get as a loan
  • Because of her sister, their mind shifted in how they manage money and consider real estate as an investment strategy

Q: From that moment, how has that evolved/changed since you set the business up?

  • Made some bad real estate decisions – opened their eyes that real estate was important from a wealth creation perspective outside of the business
  • Use the income that she was earning to invest
  • Missed out on incredible opportunities in hindsight
  • Invested poorly – property up on the Gold Coast that is under-performing
  • Also made some significant investments
  • Bought their existing property in Mona Vale 15 years ago
  • Recently bought a commercial property (paid a deposit)
  • Real estate is their investment of choice

Q: There’s a tension between reinvesting in the business and building wealth outside the business. What’s your philosophy and how do you coach this?

  • The number 1 thing is to get the business model right – it’s where tradies get wrong
  • They go to TAFE and learn rules and regulations
  • They end up doing an apprenticeship and their only exposure is with a boss who probably came from a similar training background
  • They fail to invest in themselves and setup to fail from the beginning
  • In a 4 to 6 year TAFE course certificate, they do 6 months of Business 101 but when they’re asked what they want to do when they finish, 99% say they want to start their business
  • What’s critically important for these business owners is to understand their business – hourly rate, quoting, not discounting too quickly, marketing
  • Once establishing foundations within the business, they have the freedom of choice which allows them to either work in the business or to set it up so that the business runs on its own
  • The ultimate goal is for it to provide for their lifestyle or for them to sell the business eventually
  • Once they to the level that they’re financially capable of monitoring and managing the business, does Lifestyle Tradie suggest diversifying their business into other business segments and putting profit aside to set up for legacy
  • Look at 3, 5 or 10-year plans and what goals these are to set themselves up for long-term success
  • The number 1 thing is that they’ve got to invest in themselves – you can make better decisions

Q: What does financial success mean to you?

  • It’s wrapped up with the tagline of Lifestyle Tradie – freedom to choose
  • You want to be able to do what we want, when we want and with whoever we want
  • Impacting lives is critical to the trade industry
  • Money makes your life more comfortable but time is the most critical 
  • When you watch your kids grow, you realise you can’t get time back

Q: What advice would you give to a business owner that is feeling uncertain with the impact of COVID-19. Where do you see the opportunities and how would you navigate the next 12 – 24 months?

  • This is a time for a period of opportunity for everyone
  • It’s made everyone focus more on the things we should have been doing anyway in business
  • Had to get smarter and pivot
  • Understand how to move with these times and be around like-minded people who are positive and action-takers around what you should be doing with your business
  • Getting your business right is more critical now than ever before
  • Be open-minded and avoid having too much pride 
  • Be a sponge, read a lot, be around smart people in your industry, learn and apply – that’s where you’ll see the most significant change

Q: If people want to get in touch with you, where can they find you?

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