Editor’s Note: I’ve always wanted to live in a farm (still working on it). The huge green field, the birds chirping coupled with clear blue sky and the lack of noise – what could be better? But there’s one problem: the commute. My plan is to continue working on the train, but Wendy has a different idea.
She’s working online instead. And if you think that’s impossible for you, get this: Wendy was a full-time housewife. She decided she wanted more out of her career, care for her children, study for a degree and live in a cattle station – at the same time.
Now THAT is a rich life.
I grew up in a small town of about 350 people, thinking that a girl from a small country town is just a nobody destined to go nowhere. I always figured that I would have a mediocre office job until I had babies and then spend the rest of my life as a mum at home, just like my mum has done and her mum before that.
And that is exactly where my life took me.
Then a few years ago, I read a quote that said ‘It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you are’ and that really got me thinking… but I had young kids and was totally focused on bringing up my babies! Any minuscule thought of a career was lost in a haze of sleepless nights, nappies and tantrums!
So I stuck the quote to the back of my toilet door to muse over for the next few years!
My husband and I have always had dreams, but always thought of them as just that – dreams! We have always had a dream to own our own cattle station, but never thought we would ever see it happen. We started to bring this dream to fruition a few years ago though when we started our little hobby farm of 378 acres in the Flinders Ranges and bought 13 cattle to breed.
We knew it wasn’t as big as we had hoped for but it was a start! We wanted to get some experience running our own business and maybe use it as a stepping stone for moving onto something bigger and better.
Then last year, the suggestion came from my Dad ‘There’s a great cattle station in the middle of WA, why don’t we buy it and run it as a family?’. At first I was very hesitant and scared about going to a dusty cattle station, hundreds of kilometers from civilisation – even though this was what we had dreamed of.
And then I realised that I can’t let my fears hold me back – this is a fantastic opportunity for my family and I to live out our dream of owning a cattle station and live the lifestyle we’ve always wanted.
We put our funds together, signed a contract and searched for a bank to fund our dream. Months later, we are still going through the purchasing process, but every day brings us a little step closer to our goal.
As I have a little experience in finance, my Dad decided to nominate me as future bookkeeper for the station. My knowledge in accounting was basic and I thought that I might struggle with some aspects of it.
So I set about to find myself some basic training in preparation, but the more I looked, the more I realised – why would I stop at basic training when I can become a certified bookkeeper? But I live in a small country mining town 6 hours from Adelaide – nowhere near a university!
I did some more research and found myself an online university who not only offers certificate IV in bookkeeping, but also certificate IV in accounting if you do only 3 more units. Perfect!
After raiding the savings account that we have been putting aside for our kids to go to university, I started my course a few weeks ago. Thinking that I would just use my knowledge to do the books for our station, I then I started thinking – why restrict myself? I can register as a BAS agent at the end of my course and even though I will be located in the middle of nowhere, with access to the internet I could start my own online BAS agent service.
I am currently juggling family life (3 kids – 8, 6 and 4 years old), a shift working husband, community commitments and a university course.
But I am making it work, because I know that I can. I no longer see myself as a stay at home mum who is destined to spend the rest of her life just cooking and cleaning – I now see a successful web based BAS agent, living out my dream on our own cattle station!
And who knows what I might dream up next!