The difference between motivation and discipline

It’s an interesting thing this process of change.

Often, the need for change is forced upon us. And, other times, we drive change when we simply get sick of our own shit.

But, the real challenge comes when the honeymoon is over. When your commitment to change wavers. When it gets hard. When the gloss has worn off.

This is the point where we pull out our excuses and justifications about why change can’t happen. Now. Next week or even ever.

I am just not feeling it is a dressed up way of us describing that we have lost our motivation. And, we sit and wait for the motivation fairy to turn up and sprinkle her magic dust.

Here’s what I know.


In the form of self-discipline will beat the Motivation Fairy everytime.

But only if we identify discipline as a form of self love.

For you see, if the goal is to become fitter, faster or better at anything and we identify that this is an investment in self; then it is far more likely that we will find the reserves to make it happen.

Meaning, that if we link the action, the effort to self, then it is done.

Self-discipline. Doing things EVEN WHEN WE DON’T WANT TO is the key to change. Because it serves us. And, the bigger versions of ourselves.

Meanwhile the motivation fairy is waiting in the sidelines with her magic dust.

When you are finally sick of your own shit

As a former single mum and small business owner, I have my own list of bad habits. Life long bad habits.

Habits that many of us, Mum’s especially, know. Putting ourselves last. Making things right for others. Tripping around on not enough sleep. Not making our health and fitness a priority.

These days, life has changed, but these old habits continue to follow me around. And, not exercising regularly, or consistently, is simply one of my life long bad habits.

Earlier this week, I was challenged about my ongoing lack of action on my health. Once again, I told my war story about how I am just too busy for exercise.

You want an excuse, I have got one. I am too busy. I have deadlines. Customers. Kids. I have a pretty list of jobs that justify why I can’t commit.

In a conversation with a mate, I had to fess up that I still had not made my health a priority; no matter how much I talk about it. Intellectualise it, justify it or plan it.

We had a nice conversational diversion about the difference between motivation (I want it) discipline (I do it) and self discipline (I do it for me), but once again, it was an intellectual conversation.

The gamechanger, in the end, was actually very simple.

When you finally get tired of your own shit; you will do something about it.

Said, with love, this direct piece of advice was the gamechanger. Because the truth of it is that I was not yet prepared to do the work to make the change.

So often we resist change because we are not yet prepared to do the hard work necessary to make things happen. Our excuses are much more comfortable than the effort required.

So guess what happens. Nothing.

And, this week. It finally happened. I am sick of my own shit. Sick of the stories. Sick of the excuses. And, sick of the hypocrisy.

Imagine. A Project Manager, leader and planner not being able to own her own shit or get the stuff done that needs to be done.

So watch this space. Health is a priority. A priority that has been carved out of the busyness and excuses. Standards have been set.

So, if you, like me, are finally fed up with your own shit; and want to do something about it, come and have a chat.

No obligations. No pressure. No sale. Just a chat to work out the how, the what, the when of the change that you need to make.

It might be about Property. People. Life. Business. It’s simply a Life Health Check.

One hour to hold yourself accountable. Accountable for your own shit.

So flick me a line below and let’s chat.

The importance of you

Today’s inspo comes from our good friends over at Raptchau Hair & Beauty, a team of superstars who are dedicated to helping us feel better.

Now Linda is a self-made woman who is in trusted position to many. She hears our fears, weaknesses and hopes and dreams; even on the days when we don’t say them out loud.

So it comes as no surprise, that she gets just how much we juggle and prioritise EVERYONE and EVERYTHING, including the INTERNET above ourselves.

Now the self care industry, as a whole, can get a bad rap. They prey on our insecurities and vanities with false promises. Promises that a new colour or a new set of nails will makes us feel better, or at the very least it will provide us with a momentary numbing affect.

Numbing of our anxiety. Anxiety about ourselves. Anxiety about work, family and relationships. Numbing with whatever poison we choose. Beauty treatments. Alcohol. Sex. Bad relationships. Drugs. Gossip. Food. TV.

But in fact, this is not the self care that we truly need.

Because, the team over at Raptchau are onto something bigger. They understand that the self care we truly need; is the type that we administer ourselves.

For what they know. And, so do we. If we are truly honest. That, if we just breathe, once in a while, and look after ourselves; then the whole shooting match get’s easier.

You know the type of breathing that the airlines promote. Put your oxygen mask on first type of breathing.

Because this type of breathing is the truly important type. The type that makes us slow down and question ourselves. The internet can wait type of breathing.

So this week, take some time for some self care. By all means, take a walk, have a massage, treat yourself to a facial.

But do the breathing, not the numbing.

Because in the pause. Everything happens.

Clarity, motivations and insecurities are identified when we take the pause. When we face the truth, with out our preferred numbing technique, we open ourselves up to something bigger.

Take the time, this week, to focus on the importance of you.

For, if you do it right, it won’t be easy; but it will be worth it.

What is the reward for solving problems?

How does your ideal perfect start to the week look like?

Does it look something like my fantasy Monday? On a Monday, I go to gym, early, do a killer work out and then return home to wake up the teenagers. The teenagers then prepare nutritional breakfasts for themselves and attend to their chores without complaint and/or asking.

After dropping teenagers off to school with all of their required gear, homework done and a healthy lunchbox, I then roll onto work.

Arriving at work a latte is waiting for me together with my team who are all up to date on their tasks and are attacking the world with vigor. There are no concerns from customers and my bank account has miraculously filled over the weekend because of my purpose drive contribution to the world.

Ha! Or is your Monday more like my reality TV version. A hats off, tits out kinda day where I lurch towards some sort of dream that I have it all together.

See the thing is. We are sold on the idea that life was meant to be easy.

And, that if we are just organised enough; we wont have any problems. In fact, if we are just enough, everything will be ok.

Pretty enough. Smart enough. Fast enough. Organised enough.

But, here is the paradox. Our real growth comes from solving problems.

Life isn’t about living without problems. Life is about solving problems.

I am sure that you will, as I have, reflect that our greatest personal growth has come from the toughest times. And, the things that we are most proud of are when we have sorted some shit out.

Hard messy, difficult stuff. Stuff that asked us to grow as person. Build new skills. Be vulnerable and be wrong until we got it.

So here is another way of looking at our imperfect Monday’s. Perhaps Monday, and every other day, is simply an opportunity to perfect our craft, and solve problems.

A smooth sea never made for a skillful sailor

Because here is the real killer. What do we get as a reward for solving problems? More problems.

Again, the paradox of growth is that when we master problem solving at level one, we get to graduate to level two and solve some more.

So let’s, together, work this game of life out and see if we can find ways to hack this by leaning into problem solving as an opportunity for growth.

Want to tackle problem’s head on and live life on your terms??

I am offering a one hour Life. Health Check. (valued at $500) with me, for free. 

I would love nothing more than to chat to you about where you are at; what you want to do with that house, that business or that relationship. 

And, let’s be clear, it is just a chat. No obligations. Just a chat to see how you might like to live life. On your terms.

Flick me your details below and we can chat!

And, if at the end, we can find something in common, then great, and if not, you can just keep up to date, via our blog and mailing list about what we are doing next. 


Tall Poppies

A great independent story yesterday, from Indaily, on the development of the OTR brand in South Australia, reminded me how quick Australian’s are to cut down our tall poppies.

Love them or hate them, the growth from small business smoke retailers to arguably one of SA’s largest, and most recognisable brands, the Shahin family have simply shown us what strategy, vision and bloody hard work can do for us all.

Likely, this summary of their journey and their market driven approach will attract it’s fair share of arm chair critics, justifying their complaints with some tale of injustice.

At the other end of the scale, I also had the pleasure of working with one of the smartest women I know, a Doctor no-less, a Doctor of Philosophy. This intellectual super power has published 5 books, numerous films and screen plays, completed a PhD and raised independent free thinking humans.

And, yet. What is holding her back. The judgement of others. The fear of feedback from those that haven’t. Stepping out into the publishing world means exposing yourself to the critics and people with tastes different to our own.

This little light of mine.

I am going to let it shine.

To be a creator, a thinker, someone different in Australia means to expose yourself to our infamous ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome‘. That we even have a colloquial, easily understood name for it is sad.

So perhaps, this week, we should just take a leaf from Scott Morrison’s hymn book and simply back ourselves in. Back ourselves in, despite the popular opinion and arm chair critics.

If we are to survive the information age, we need more free thinkers, creators, inventors, doers, writers, entrepreneurs and artists.

For these people will hold the mirror up to us, not to show us our inadequacies, but to show us simply what is possible.

Let us let that little light shine.

Fear driven decisions

Recently, I had the privilege of working with a client who was faced with a life changing decision. It was a sliding doors kinda moment.

It was a say ‘yes’ to this offer and open the door to freedom, choice and a new story, kinda situation. Or it was a ‘no’ to the offer and stay stuck, doing the same thing over and over hoping something might change.

The story whizzing around in my client’s head was that the human behind the offer was ‘out to get him‘ and punish him, rather than release him.

Why are they treating me like this?’ and ‘Why are they out to get me?’ he complained.

Backwards. Forwards. Stuck in the story that they were out to destroy.

Eventually, I simply had to ask and do a reality check with ‘are we actually talking about the same person?’

No. And, there it was. The light bulb moment. It wasn’t who my client thought it was. It was someone completely different.

And, this became the game changing moment. It wasn’t them. It was someone else. It changed everything. Perspective. Decision making. Equilibrium.

Because my client had so convinced himself that he was giving his power away to them;he was fully caught up in a fear based decision.

Once we dealt with the facts, the person and then the opportunity, we could move forward and put his fears to one side.

For both of us, there was the moment on the other side of the storm, where we both knew that all of that stuff in his head, and gut, had nearly and completely derailed his freedom to choose.

He had given away his power to choose, because he was caught up in his fear based decision and his own story.

A decision that would ultimately change everything for my client. Life. Love. Home. Career. Future. Everything. All very nearly lost because of a fear based decision and a story that was rattling in his own head.

Want to overcome fear based decision making and live life on your terms??

I am offering a one hour Life. Health Check. (valued at $500) with me, for free. 

I would love nothing more than to chat to you about where you are at; what you want to do with that house, that business or that relationship. 

And, let’s be clear, it is just a chat. No obligations. Just a chat to see how you might like to live life. On your terms.

Flick me your details below and we can chat!

And, if at the end, we can find something in common, then great, and if not, you can just keep up to date, via our blog and mailing list about what we are doing next. 


How to live life your way

Ever been stuck on the wrong side of a good decision? A decision like ending a marriage? Quitting a job? Or going broke?

This is the Kerry Swan Story. Kerry has been at the bottom, with loads of debt and little kids.

For me, starting a property investment portfolio wasn’t a choice, it was a necessity.

At 38, I found myself with 2 little kids and a large sexually transmitted debt from my ex husband.  It was either sink or swim. 

At the time, juggling little kids, a full time management consulting business and life, I learnt the hard way about the highs and lows of property investing.  And still am.

The STD was a life-long lesson.  It fueled my ambition and drive, partly because the bank was on my arse, and partly to prove a point.

The STD also gave me something to focus my anger at the post divorce mess – but more about that another day.

Along the way I have worked out that I look at things differently.  Rather than sit down and feel sorry for myself I have had to hatch a plan to generate income.

At the time of the big D, I was working as a Management Consultant helping businesses to plan, write and implement business growth projects.  I was really fortunate that my work kept me focused on the big picture, but more importantly, that I got to work with people that wanted to make change happen.

Truly, at the time, if I wasn’t getting paid, I would have done it anyway!

This orientation to making change fitted well with me and I was really at my happiest workshopping a problem, with a client, and then creating the solution. 

So with the funds from consulting and some great family support I have been able to turn a post divorce STD, and one unholy mess, into a $5million commercial portfolio in less than ten years.

But, more importantly, over the last ten years, I have had the opportunity to move from the management consulting game and into the property business.

In 2014, I was just arrogant enough and slightly crazy enough to hatch a plan that involved me getting my real estate licence and starting an agency from scratch.  At the start it was simply motivated by my need to manage my growing property portfolio, but as this thing got legs I started to look at our local market more critically.

I discovered a gap that was being created by the arrival of The Bend Motorsport Park and the likely need for serviced accommodation (we had none) and in particular, I could see that during construction and later people would need somewhere to stay. 

Life. People. Property. Coorong.

This niche was behind the creation of Coorong Realty, a boutique property business that is focused on the emerging needs of visitors to our region.

It has been one hell of a ride and something that I am very proud of.  From nothing we have created an accommodation business that includes a laundry service, a cleaning service and soon to be released tour business.

We have also been fortunate to work with a range of like minded entrepreneurs and Mums and Dads that have got on board and created their own versions of accommodation.

We are now working across the Coorong region with offices in Meningie and Tailem and a regular team of ten.

Social media, self belief and an eye on the horizon has helped us immensely, but it is early days yet. 

The Coorong Realty Team. Live. Work. Play. Hard.

Of course, none of this has come easy, or without pain.  I have a war story for each chapter, but they have always helped us improve our game.

My old mates, the banks, love to remind me when cash is low.  Bootstrapping this business and property portfolio is never ending.

And, the people side of property never ceases to amaze me.  Most of the life changing decisions that we are entrusted with have nothing to do with property, logic or numbers, but really everything to do with emotions, fear and change. 

Thinking back to the good old days of consulting, and I realise that while I was working on big picture stuff, it’s not until you have sat with a vendor whose arse is owned by the bank or helped an elderly man sell his home to fund dementia care for his wife that you really understand what it is to be human.

So this is the short story version of a life to date.  There are plenty of stories to come about managing people, managing systems, business start up, cashflow and growth. 

And, if you have made it this far, you deserve a break.  

So why not join me on this crazy ride and come and have a chat??

I am offering a one hour Property. Business. Life. Health Check. (valued at $500) with me, for free. 

I would love nothing more than to chat to you about where you are at; what you want to do with that house, that business or that relationship. 

And, let’s be clear, it is just a chat. No obligations. Just a chat to see how you might like to live life. On your terms.

Flick me your details below and we can chat!

And, if at the end, we can find something in common, then great, and if not, you can just keep up to date, via our blog and mailing list about what we are doing next. 


Life is to be lived. Let’s have some fun on this ride.

The stuff between your ears

Working in real estate is a great opportunity to see how our perceptions impact our results EACH and EVERY day.

It plays out, just about every time, that what we think will happen, generally does.

Take the difficult home owner. If we walk into a meeting, with the view that she is going to be difficult and not sell at THAT price. Guess what. Likely that she will be difficult.

But, if we walk into the same meeting, with a more curious approach, we are way more likely to find a better outcome. Maybe not the sale. But some way to help and support the home owner.

And the really interesting thing that I have found is just how reactive we all are to the ‘market‘.

Our 24 hour media cycle and social media consumption feeds our belief system with so much information, both real and perceived, that we are quick to regurgitate the populist opinion, whether we have any evidence or not.

The ‘market’ is between our ears

If we just take a step back from the emotionally charged imagery, quotes and talking heads, that swim around in our digital world, we might just ask ourselves ‘is this real?’.

So before we write off the difficult vendor or the market as being flat, let’s consider for a minute, just what is the truth of our own reality.

And, that could just be that ‘the market is between our ears‘.

Or simply, what we think, we believe and that becomes our reality.

Give me a mountain

To be a human is to grow.

And to grow, we all need a job to do.

Like an Australian Kelpie, we all need a job to do. The Kelpie is never happier than when put to work on a task.

For the rest of us, we need to master a skill, grow a skill, build a family, lead a community or create a business.

The alternative is for things to stay the same and risk stagnation or death by decay.

Without purpose, mastery, or simply a job to do, the holy trinity of depression, illness and anxiety can creep in and slowly choke us.

Give me a mountain, any day.

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