IN MY first book, Advance To Go, Collect $1 Million, I describe a lot of my influences while growing up. A significant one was that both my parents were declared bankrupt.
While this had a really negative impact on my life at the time, it actually was a turning point for me in terms of changing my outlook and giving me the much-needed quality of perspective, that is, being able to look upon most situations and give them a positive perspective.
At the age of 15, the time came to start my first business. Instead of being gripped with so much fear that I didn't go ahead, I chose to look upon my venture from the perspective of someone who had the benefit of both my parents' experience. What worked for them and, of course, what didn't.
If I had let the fear of financial failure hold me back, who knows where I'd be today - probably still living in fear.
Instead, I chose to use that potential fear and turn it into motivation - to learn what went wrong with what my parents did and also what went wrong with other businesses out there.
As a young girl growing up and wanting to rule the business world in Australia, one of the prime role models for me was Poppy King.
She financed her own make-up empire based on the fact that she couldn't find a perfect shade of lipstick. She was my hero - and then she experienced one of the most spectacular demises in Australian business history.
For a while, some of my best mentors were those who had failed. After all, you can't learn what not to do from someone who always gets it right.
And in my experience, the most successful people out there get it wrong a lot of the time.
So, my parents went bankrupt and it had a massive impact on my life.
Here is a list of other people who went through bankruptcy in their life - which goes to show that one huge event in your life, even as devastating as bankruptcy, doesn't have to be the end of you.
Hall of bankruptcy fame
The famed circus promoter invested $500,000 in a poor business deal and was swindled.
The movie actress declared bankruptcy after losing a lawsuit for saying she would star in the movie, Boxing Helena. As a result, she lost a whole town she owned in Georgia in the United States!
When he was acting in Diff'rent Strokes in the 1980s, he was paid $64,000 a week and was the highest paid child star of the time. After numerous legal battles and medical operations, he declared bankruptcy in 1995.
Francis Ford Coppola:
The Hollywood director filed for bankruptcy in 1992 when he had $53 million in assets, but $98 million in liabilities. He was back on top though in 1993 after Bram Stoker's Dracula.
He declared business bankruptcy in 1994 but is a billionaire today, richer and more successful than ever.
The famous cartoonist filed for bankruptcy just two years into his first company and look how much he ended up changing the world.
The lesson? Perspective is key - the setbacks you have experienced will either hold you back or propel you forward. The choice is yours.
I watched a training video some months ago and an image that has always stuck with me is that of a young girl sitting at the breakfast table with her parents. She knocks her glass of orange juice all over the table and herself.
There's a pause, as everyone freezes. Then the girl throws both arms above her head and proudly declares: "First spill of the day, woo-hoo!"
Perspective is everything.