Anytime I’ve ever wanted to change anything in my life, I’ve needed a goal to drive me and keep me motivated.

One of my first grand plans was to buy a property. Actually, not just one. I pictured myself as a property mogul and imagined owning a dozen properties.

I subscribed to Australian Property Investor magazine and each month saw another 20-something year old bragging about their swag of properties. I’m pretty competitive, so those 20-somethings spurred me on. If they could do it, so could I!

Buying my first property was the hardest. After that, it’s meant to become easier, so I just had to keep focused on my goal. I had a firm belief that I could do anything I set my mind to (my mother was always reminding me).

The biggest achievement along the way was my newfound ability to save money. Once I’d mastered that, I felt that I had the world at my feet.

It took around four years for me to save my house deposit. I was 28 and I’d managed to save $70,000. This was considered a miracle!

I had a substantial deposit and I made an appointment with my local bank manager. I told him my story and that I had worked overseas, and showed him how much I was earning and how much I had saved. He closely inspected my documents and I was beginning to get nervous.

He looked up from my documents and slid them back to me. The look on his face made my stomach drop. I knew it wasn’t going to be good news. “I’m sorry, I cannot help you. You do not qualify for a loan,” he said.

I was floored, shocked and defeated. Thankfully it was only temporary because I still had my goal, my mother’s voice in my head and my fierce competitive streak.

It took me a few years to get back on my path, cost me more to get into the market, but I did it. I educated myself, found there were other options than the local bank, successfully secured a mortgage and then an investment loan, and then another.

It always starts with a goal – but it must be a compelling goal. Compelling enough to get you through your set backs and speed humps.

Having a good cheer squad and the right advice and support also helps.