Inspiration

Power Pack | Renovating for Profit founder Cherie Barber

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Cherie Barber is a full-time professional renovator, her own TV show in the US called Five Day Flip, where she renovates an entire house, inside and out, in five days. She also has a regular TV renovation segment on Australia’s Channel 10’s The Living Room. Among her full time TV commitments, I squeeze in my own personal renovation projects.

She is also a property educator, and runs intensive three-day workshops, teaching people how to buy and renovate properties for profit, using my proven Renovating for Profit formula. I’ve taught over 9,000 students the art and science of flipping houses over the last six years and I’m immensely proud of many of them for putting their learnings into action.

What prompted you to go into this field?                                                                                       

I’d been a professional renovator for more than a decade, with a wheelbarrow full of profitable projects under my belt. People were often asking me how I did my projects and I started to realise just how much knowledge and hands-on experience I’d acquired in the process – learning the hard way, of course. In my first few years, I made so many expensive novice mistakes that could have been easily avoided if I’ve had the right training early on. It was a lightbulb moment – why don’t I put all my knowledge and lessons learned to good use and start training others? As a female in a predominantly male-dominated construction industry, I knew I could bring a unique perspective to things. And with so many people approaching me for information and advice all the time, I had confidence there was a gap in the market I could fill. Renovating for Profit was born in 2009 and more than 9,000 students have now been trained in my methodical approach to making money through renovating – in any property cycle.

What have been the biggest challenges you faced?

Building a business from nothing and quickly growing it into a large enterprise, with a large number of staff, was difficult. My business grew rapidly from the outset. I was great as a renovator, but had no experience whatsoever as a CEO. Having to become a manager, trying to keep all my staff happy and motivated, that’s been a real challenge. I have so many balls in the air, juggling all my speaking commitments, training workshops, TV renos and my own personal renovation projects, that striking a healthy work-life balance has been very challenging. Throughout all of this, I’ve raised a 9 year old daughter as a single mum, dedicating time for her amongst all of the craziness.

 What did you do to overcome those challenges?

Getting the right staff in place and building the confidence to let them take control – that was a big breakthrough for me, as I’m the first to admit I’m a control freak and a perfectionist, which makes it hard for me to delegate. Appointing a management team has been a big win as it’s now freed me up to focus on the big-picture stuff and be the public face to my business. It’s also given me the ability to focus solely and mesh two things I really enjoy doing, renovating and television. . I’m still working on the work-life balance thing. I try to be at the school gate every day at 3.10pm to pick my daughter up. Learning to say no to the small stuff has given me the ability to do this.

From your experience, what are the 3 key pieces of advice you would give other women?

1. Don’t be afraid to take a risk

There’s a saying I strongly live by: the greatest risk of all is to take no risk at all. Put yourself out there, and you’ll reap far more rewards than sitting back and waiting for opportunity to knock. This definitely can come with its fair share of knock backs, but my advice is – don’t let this affect your confidence, there is no better reward then getting back out there and succeeding. For me, that means stepping outside my comfort zone, doing things I haven’t done before, regardless of how scary or daunting they may be. Five Day Flip was an example of this. But by pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, you grow as an individual and realise you can do things you never thought you would have been capable doing. And that feels good.

2. Stay true to yourself

Despite your successes or failures, fame or fortune, always stay true to who you are. Personal integrity, honesty, kindness and generosity go a long way in the harsh business world. And if you ultimately find success, pay it forward, and help others who have been dealt the hard knocks in life. I know I will go to the grave feeling good about what I personally did in the world.

3. Hard work and persistence is key

Find something that really floats your boat, work wise, then give it your all. Be prepared to work hard, make sacrifices, and have your life unbalanced for a while. All successful business owners have one common thread, we all worked really hard to get where we all got and persistence will absolutely pay off in the long run. The hard work and long hours will seem like a distant memory once you’ve ticked off your goals and looked back on your achievements.

 

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