I find myself strangely stuck for words, looking for the perfect beginning to a conversation with a new audience. Seeking perfection has a tendency to get in my way at times and so I am just going to jump in and start on a topic I know a lot about… My story, warts and all! 

I am one of the luckiest people alive: I grew up on a dairy farm in country Victoria, Australia went to boarding school, trained to became a nurse, married the love of my life, brought four children into the world . 

In my 20’s I gave up my career as a nurse to care for our children and I started renovating to keep myself challenged. As time went on I got more and more daring. I had a go at everything including subdivision and development until eventually I bought a run down business to renovate.

It was a corporate café and catering business, which I renovate both physically and financially. 

I had my own private master chief experience but mine had the real bits, the long hours, the sleepless nights, the staffing issues, the training, the temperamental chefs and the no shows. I should have been suspicious when the two owners before me walked out in despair but I don't give up. So I kept at it until finally I dragged it kicking and screaming back into the black.

It took me two years to get it singing, the problem was that I stopped singing. I knew I wasn’t coping but it was such a great business that I couldn’t let go… until I finally had a melt down. 

When I had a diagnosis of cancer I was slapped with the reality of what I was doing to myself: killing myself slowly and cheating my family of my time and attention. 

I was filled with grief for the time I had not been present .I resolved to spend the second act in my life on my terms. The business sold quickly, I had major surgery and spent time recovering, getting my self back to health.

I then made a decision to make my income from my passion for renovating but I was still really struggling, I was feeling, angry, guilty, worthless and a general all round failure.

My kids were telling me I was “psycho”, my husband was agreeing and I felt like I had the world against me. To appease them I sought help.

It was then that I made the remarkable discovery that was to change my life forever.  I was diagnosed with depression.

Up to that point, I didn’t know that other people didn’t spend days stuck in the same negative thought patterns, or lay awake most nights worrying irrationally when there was nothing to worry about.

I was lucky, I responded to treatment quickly and it was like someone had turned on the lights.  I realised I had been suffering from this curse all my adult life.

Suddenly I felt well and alive, so I could live like I’ve never done before. I started the renovating business, and through that have learned skills I never thought possible. I now work part time renovating property for myself and teaching women who want to get ahead financially how to leverage their natural abilities to become highly paid professional renovators. I love my life and feel that the world is my oyster.

I was lucky enough to make a wise choice in marriage and next year we celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We have sold our big family home and down sized to an inner city warehouse conversion (renovate by me, of course). 

Through my articles I will be sharing with you the joy of renovating, insider renovating tips for you to use in your own home and most importantly my mission for transforming the financial future of women.

Photo Credit: Dru Bloomfield via: imager.io, cc

Bernadette Janson is a professional renovator and founder of the School of Renovating, founded with a mission of helping women to secure their financial futures by learning how to do renovations within a proven system. Visit www.theschoolofrenovating.com to learn more about Bernadette.