Julian Musgrave has always been skeptical of accepted systems. A few months shy of 15, he decided school wasn’t for him. He felt confined and wanted to try something different. After complaining to his mom one too many times, she told him he could quit if he could get a job. She figured that Australia’s nearly 25% unemployment rate and 18% interest rates at the time would make it impossible for a young teenager to find someone willing to hire him.
Julian proved her wrong with lightning speed. Four days later, he moved 2,000 kilometers from home to work as a cowboy on a million-acre cattle station. A few years later, he realized the benefit of having a high school diploma and returned home to finish school. He went on to join the Australian Army as an infantryman.
After being diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, an autoimmune disease that causes incredible pain in the spine and large joints, Julian was medically discharged from the Army. From there, he took a myriad of other jobs: earthmoving, mining, welding, fabricating, you name it, he probably did it.
A Career Reset
Next, he worked as a productivity coach in different mines. But after a few too many times of being carried off airplanes in bone-crushing pain, he knew it was time to give his body a break. He started looking for a less physically-taxing career.
A move to Perth, Western Australia, and studying to become a mortgage broker, started him on his current career trajectory. He claims he hadn’t written anything longer than a grocery list for nearly 20 years when he suddenly found himself taking a certification test to work in finance. In Perth, he met his future business colleague, Dr. Tony Pennells. The two men went on to start three businesses together, including a mortgage business and a financial planning business.
It’s “What Can We Afford?” Not “How Much Can I Get?”
In the mortgage business, they saw client after client racing headlong into debt. Instead of asking “what can we afford?” their clients would ask “how much money will the bank give us?”
This was another system Julian recalls questioning. The people he worked with saw no problem with enormous debt loads and gave no thought to buying houses, cars and electronics—all far outside their means.
Erin is the managing editor of MindShift.money and the owner of Lane Change Media. As a business owner and content provider, she takes her personal motto, “Don’t slow down, just change lanes” seriously. She lives in Los Angeles and has far too many pets.