No. You don’t. But when my mother started to get a bit out of hand on the water, I knew what it was to have someone who knows exactly what they’re doing so you don’t get stranded.”
In 2007, a friend of his in his early 30s took in a cat he’d brought down from the States. She was terrified of it, he says, and would bark as she walked by with a water bowl. So he put her on a diet of raw egg crackers.
“After she was a little bit better, she started walking the dog by herself. It ended up being a good thing. I was pretty lucky to have had that experience, and it’s helped me with many things in life. Because when your mind is on another thing, it’s very difficult to focus on a difficult task.”
As a teenager, he attended a local church and went to a music college. He’s a member of the Young Life Church of Melbourne, as are many of his family and friends. If you’re living in a house you don’t own with children who need a space, it can be very difficult to find a job that pays your rent.
“All the guys you meet in the church, they work odd jobs. They don’t have kids because they’re not in a position to take care of them.”
He worked part-time jobs and worked at the local McDonald’s. Eventually, his mother and sister were able to put him to work on a farm near the family homestead in a part of Melbourne where the unemployment rate remains high at around 14 per cent.
“You have to pay your own way. My mother used to work at McDonald’s and at times we couldn’t get to work at our job. But she was kind enough to let me go get my things from the office and work off my own pay. That helped me to start a bit of my own business.”
It was in that moment of desperation — the days when he was literally starving — that he found the motivation to work hard instead of playing it safe. He worked tirelessly and eventually he started making his own money.
“I had no family to come to for help and for help to help me. When you’re young and you have a little bit of cash, you think it’ll last you forever. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. It only lasts for seven years.”
It takes some hard lessons, like the day he broke his ankle,
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