G’day People,

My name is Neil Chantry. I’d like to introduce myself. I’m an “A” Grade Electrical Mechanic.

I’ve spent most of my working life in technical areas of Electrical work, including Electrical for Air Conditioning, Mechanical services, Water and Sewage, Fire protection and Security.

I’ve had a strong Interest in Small investment and Small business over a long period and am thankful because without those interests, I’d have struggled a lot worse after a couple of difficult times.

I’ve been an outdoorsy sort of person most of my life. I grew up dreaming of flying aircraft and was massively involved in Control line Aero modelling. Designing, building and flying model aircraft pretty much set the stage for my life to come, having learned the joy of coming up with ideas, putting them into design and perfecting them. It taught me to love working with Engines, timber and all sorts of associated systems engineering.

As a kid growing up, I had a massive appetite for the almighty $ to fund all of the competitive equipment I needed. The constant need for thousands of dollars combined with parents who strongly believed kids should never rely on handouts taught me to be at least a little inventive on how and where I could earn the required “Mullah”.

Funny, but “the Oldies” might just have understood teaching work ethic a lot better than I’d guessed. By 14yo, On top of my schooling, I had a small lawn mowing round, mixed and sold high performance fuels, cleaned out underground oil tanks, worked in factories and learned to import and sell Hobby components. My other favourite was to buy, refurbish and re-sell old furniture.  Funny, I thought my parents were the meanest in the world refusing to ever give money. By my early 20’s, I got that it had cost my parents a fortune driving me around and supplying paint and sandpaper me to earn every penny I wanted.

As an adult, you realise it would have been cheaper for my parents to give me money rather than surreptitiously subsidizing my jobs. They knew the importance of self-sufficiency in making my own money. I can never thank them enough for those lessons.

The skills learned on the modelling soon needed upgrading when I bought my first Holden. Rust holes so big, you could put a fist in them. A few quick lessons on Fibre glassing and the rust was never seen again. She looked a treat once the final top coat went on. That was the start of a life-time of restoration work.

From there, I obtained my Electrical apprenticeship…………………………… and loved it. Halfway through, I had a rather upsized Oooops and ended up in Hospital for 6 months (If you’ve never asked, that’s how I paralysed the left arm). Finally got back to work, albeit in a different role. That’s where I got to learn the Estimating and Engineering side of the industry.

A couple of cars later came my HK GTS Monaro. My first 240Z followed on from that promptly, yep, another life-time love. Finished in Safari Gold then re-painted in Le Mans red. Selling that paid for the deposit on the first house.

Around this time, I did the getting married thing. Didn’t quite work out so well but, aaaaahhh, there were a few great things come from it.

We started getting into the first property investments and that was set to go really well but a few external influences combined with changing personalities drove a major set of changes……………………. back into the land of Singledom. A really tight road spurred me to push a re-start into property. Some pretty good gains quickly helped get me back on my feet.

A few years fiddling around at a low level eventually led to my first small unit development. After subdivision, I got it up to the signing of builders contracts. At about that time, I made the Not So smart decision to help a life time friend, Craig Bruce, by financing the build of ski boats. (Follow the link and you’ll get the gist of how Craig treats his friends).

During the course of that, I found myself voluntarily submitting to the Love bug again to partner the lady I really thought would be the Love of my life. Moved in together just before the Black Saturday events of ’09, (that story will be on the linked page). That didn’t go so well and caused the need to retire out of the workforce for a while to rebuild. A year later, removing of my “Mr Fun” hat caused another directional shift. Amazing story of how you find out who your real friends are.

Funny, but while I wouldn’t sign up for that ride again, the massive values that came out of it, I wouldn’t trade for all the tea in China. Yes, you know who you are!

I moved back to Melbourne and back to work in the Electronic security field. Tried very hard to rejuvenate the development but construction costs had gone through the roof and after spending most of my resources rebuilding, I just couldn’t make the numbers work. Eventually sold it with Plans and Permits.

The harder I worked trying to find appropriate profitable investments, the more I became aware I needed to Joint Venture on a larger project to find successful outcomes. I understood the need for a platform for Joint Venture partners to meet and join forces so I decided to start JV Introductions to solve a problem that I was having in trying to find JV Partners. That was my first foray into Web development. It didn’t really kick off but I learned some massive lessons.

Once I’d established the Risk/Reward value in Property investing isn’t as worthwhile as it was, I had to find the best fit for my skill sets. A few little ventures brought me to Laundromats, not just owning and operating them but buying dilapidated businesses, refurbishing and re-marketing them. Scoresby Laundry and Dry Cleaning was the first, See the Before & Afters here.

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Neil Chantry