In 1970 I was 23, unmarried, and living with my parents with my two year old daughter. One day our neighbour said, “Anne, do you think it’s fair keeping Lisa, what sort of life can you give her? Wouldn’t it be better for her if you gave her up for adoption?”
At that time there was big stigma attached to having a child outside of marriage. I was one of the lucky ones as my parents stood by me, with conditions attached. I had to change my name and wear a wedding ring. Whenever family came to visit my daughter and I had to leave the house, and all signs of a child living in the house were locked away. I had to ring to make sure all visitors had left before I could come home.
Several years later I fell pregnant again and I lived on the poverty line in a cockroach infested dilapidated flat. My girlfriend would visit most weekends and bring me inspirational books such as Think and Grow Rich and The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity. I read and re-read those books and applied everything I learnt. I promised myself that despite the odds I would provide my children and myself with a good life.
I decided the only way to do this was to go into business for myself. I had no money, but I started telling everyone I met that I was operating a typing service. Within 24 hours I had my first job, typing a thesis for a university student. With no typewriter, and no idea what to charge, I borrowed the money from a girlfriend and hired a typewriter. Work poured in through word of mouth and I continued to hire a typewriter until I could afford to buy one. That was the first of many businesses I started, most with no money.
When my son was five years old he attended a child’s birthday party, wandered out onto the deck, and fell from a high-rise building. He died soon after. Searching for a way to create meaning out of the most unbearable pain you can imagine, I vowed that I would do something with my life to help others and even though it took me a few years to find a way to do this, I knew that my life was about helping people believe in themselves and their dreams.
During the eighties, after selling my businesses I was offered the role of setting up and running a financial planning business for women. Six months later I took this over as my own business under a licensing agreement. During this time I started running courses for women who had no money, showing them how they could create what they wanted. At that time I wrote a number of columns for magazines and newspapers and I was a regular guest on TV and radio.
I always knew I would write a book one day and In 1990 my first book Financially Free was released. It became an immediate best-seller. Since I have written several more books including Love the Life You Live and Debt Free.
I started coaching in 1997 and knew instantly I had found my passion. In 1998 I started Hart Life Coaching, a training school which trains life coaches, meditation teachers and money coaches. I have no plans to retire.
I live in Bayview, on the northern beaches of Sydney Australia, one of the most idyllic spots in the world. I have achieved so much of what I set out to achieve as a young woman, not all of it in the way I imagined. And I’ve loved most of my life despite coping with my fair share of challenges, some I write about, some I don’t. I know that it’s not what happens to us that makes us happy, happiness doesn’t come from goal achievement, it’s a choice we make. Giving is something that has always made me happy and that’s what the rest of my life is about, sharing what I have learnt with you.
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