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It’s been 10 years …

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It was a long winter in Europe 10 years ago and there was still a lot of snow when we left Hungary on the 13th of March 2003.

It had been a tough winter but it wasn’t the cold that made the place tough growing up there. There had been a lot of desire accumulated in me over the years to break out of those circumstances and leave my place of birth.

The neighbourhood I grew up in with a 'dust of snow'

 

The governance of the country always seemed to be ‘interesting’ and as a child. I obviously didn’t know much about politics and what it was all about, I just wanted my ‘own’ country to be more successful, so people there have a better life and that means I have a better life as well.

To me it seemed that everything was there to succeed but the government and politics did not worry about getting fiscally disciplined and corruption was so widespread that politicians did not really seem to have any interest in prioritising the countries benefits over their own.

After the communism was gone things got a little better at some point and then it’s went all downhill from there. This is while countries like Australia and the ‘western world’ was booming mostly  (Australia has not be in recession for 21 years).

It’s not easy though for everyone to leave their lives behind, and start it over somewhere with a hope of a better life. However, I know that we did not have fertile soil there, that is necessary to thrive and create something that impacts the most amount of people’s lives positively and create a free and happy life.
Some people think the pain for starting over overweighs the benefit of having opportunities in our lives.

I certainly didn’t feel that way. I am not saying either is good or bad, I just think that our purpose is to expand and grow throughout our lives and my contribution there would have been an extremely small fraction of what it is now and the quality of life over there is a big compromise.

Hungary’s economy and residents’ quality of life do not seem to be getting any better. I know the country is landlocked and don’t have much natural resources and so on, however their problem seems to be that the government is not prioritising the country’s growth, they find other things that are more important to them.

I don’t go into politics as it does not matter … results do and it is not pretty over there and has not been since I was born. Government seems to make business so difficult that everyone is taking their ideas and startups abroad and the masses of talented and determined people are leaving the country.

The book The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy  surveyed households with net-worths exceeding one million dollars (USD).
The most comprehensive study ever carried out on millionaires in the States found the following interesting facts on ethnic origin of these households.

The most 4 common ethnic background of the millionaires where in this order:

1, Russian
2, Scottish
3, Hungarian
4, English

The Scottish and English of course have a great advantage of speaking the language while most (a very high percentage) of the Russian and Hungarian migrants arrived in their new country with no English language at all and they certainly had a lot of desire to keep plowing through challenges and difficulties until they succeeded. Keep getting up every time they fall…

Hungarians seem to do far better outside of their homeland…

Maria and I arrived in Australia on 15th of March 2003. Coincidentally, this date is one of the few national holidays in Hungary, celebrating the date of the outbreak of the revolution that grew into a war of independence from the Austrian empire in 1848.

We did not speak much ‘usable’ English ourselves. We had to start low and build it up.

But we didn’t care that we had to take on labourer jobs to be able to start over here and had to pick vegetables and flowers and often accepting any work we could. I was working in a furniture warehouse shifting furniture all day for about 8 months, until I worked out the next step.

Initially I had no idea that we’d be able to build our business so well and become ‘global citizens’, our goal at that point was to be able to stay here and get a good job.

I certainly learnt little about business in Hungary. My parents started their own business not long after the communism failed, running convenience stores and pubs. My dad has a lot of ambitions to make things happen, however business has been tough in Hungary and my parents were working long hours and created a job for themselves.

We spent the first 4 years doing manual labour work and learning English and then Maria landed us an opportunity to get a job with the Queensland State Government.

We both had to work hard for it, but ended up getting a job with the government and we started to learn about the country in a whole new level.

I read the Financial Review every day and we begun to learn more and more about business and even though we had a fantastic life at the government spending our days in the totally awesome Brisbane city during the weeks, I knew there is even more to life that would enable us to touch more people than staying there for long.

After just over 2 years we left our Government jobs and started our own business … we were not even sure what the business would be doing. We had a few ideas but nothing more at that point.

This first attempt ended badly and after 3 months we both had to go back to work. Long story short, we both ended up going back to the same place we’d left 3 months earlier. The most embarrassing day of my life…

Everyone kept asking if I was back to visit, and I had to explain I was actually back to work…  We had to get up again and keep going and get over the disappointment real quick.

I learned a lot from this experience and became even more determined to make it happen and after 8 months, I built up an online business with Maria that was making three times what I was making in my full time job.

I left work and went on full time working from home, building our internet empire … building an online store for outdoor storage buildings.

Over the last 5 or so years this venture become the largest retailer of its kind in Australia – www.cheapsheds.com.au and we expanded to New Zealand last May – www.cheapsheds.co.nz

We sell millions of dollars worth of products a year and get to work on awesome projects like the Cheap Sheds Game.

Melbourne PresentationPresenting to about 200 people about marketing in Melbourne, Au

Our company is one of only 3 ‘online only’ companies that was show cased by the Australian Federal Government. http://www.digitalbusiness.gov.au/your-story/cheap-sheds/

I educated myself on marketing, entrepreneurship and business growth and have been asked to speak at different events around Australia.

We both had to work hard to achieve such a success and from the outside it might seem like ‘luck’ however, it takes work to succeed in any country.

I sincerely believe if you are going to work hard and have the desire to succeed, you are best off moving to a place that appreciates and rewards hard work and gives you a chance to create financial freedom.

We run a truly international business traveling around the world and getting to work with incredible people from many different countries.

Life is very good and it all started with the decision that brought me to Australia this day, 10 years ago.

I must admit it was one of the best decisions in my life and even though we had to work hard and we still do,  we have reached the point when we can do whatever we love doing. All the things that I could only dream about growing up are turning into reality and would most likely have never came true if I stayed where I was and waiting around for things to change.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sean Connolly May 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm

It’s good to know bright ideas + hard work, can pay off. Truly inspirational KP! Thanks for sharing…

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krisztian May 21, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Thank you Sean for the comment, much appreciated.

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