A female entrepreneur who launched her first business at 20 has revealed how she went from being a teenage runaway to a successful businesswoman.
Tina Tower, 35, from the Central Coast in New South Wales, had a tumultuous childhood and ran away from home at 13.
The mother-of-two credits her difficult upbringing with giving her the drive needed to buy her first home at 18 and launch her first business, a tutoring company, by the age of 20.
And now she wants to inspire others by sharing her story.
Tina Tower, 35, from the Central Coast, had a tumultuous childhood, which saw her run away from home at 13
The mother-of-two (pictured with her husband and two boys) credits her difficult upbringing with giving her the skills needed to buy her first home at 18 and launch her first businesses, a tutoring company, by 20
At just 13, Ms Tower fled her home to spend a year staying with friends and briefly with her estranged father before returning to her mother.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, she admits being quite lost when she was young until she came across a book in a shop that changed her life.
‘I saw David Schwartz’s book ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’ – that’s really what set it off. I was hooked.
‘I just went to seminars and workshops and got it all going.’
After scrimping and saving throughout high school she was able to purchase her first home right out of school.
She didn’t have enough money for a deposit in Sydney so she bought an apartment in Canberra for $70,000.
An inheritance of $12,000 helped secure the deal. And in just 18 months she was able to purchase her second home.
During this time Ms Tower made the decision to study business at the University of Sydney, despite having no desire of having a career in the industry.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, she admits she was quite lost when she was young. That was until she came across a book in a shop that changed her life
Tina Tower (pictured) has been celebrated in the Australian business community winning the Australian Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year in 2014 and being the 2017 Entrepreneur in Residence for Australia’s largest business women’s group, Business Chicks as well as being featured on Sky Business, The Huffington Post and The Financial Review
However, during her first semester she was told by her lecturer she didn’t have the ‘right constitutions for the corporate world’, so she switched to teaching.
While completing her teaching degree, and struggling with two mortgages, Ms Tower decided to take up tutoring.
‘I was struggling then I saw an advertisement for tutoring for $40 an hour and I was like oh my gosh $40 an hour – that’s huge. So that’s where it stemmed from to start a tutoring business.
‘I fell in love with business so there was no way I was going back into the classroom.’
She was 20 years old and running a successful toy store and tutoring centre.
Four years later, when the business was flourishing, Ms Tower fell pregnant with her first child and she was forced to reassess how her time was structured.
She decided to branch out and start licencing her own programs and curriculum as Begin Bright, which she eventually turned into a franchise.
Ms Tower credits her success to her childhood – which she admits was far from ideal but taught her a lot
She now wants to inspire other women and has written a book called One Life – How To Have The Life of Your Dreams
When she finally sold the company in 2016 there were 33 tutoring centres across Australia – a remarkable feat for someone who had been told business wasn’t for them.
She then decided to take a year off and travelled around the world, visiting 28 countries, with her husband and two boys.
She says her childhood taught her amazing resilience and problem solving, which helped with her success.
‘When things come up now with serious adulating it’s not a big deal for me because I’ve had a lot of practice dealing with that. When you have been down really low you learn that you’re going to be okay.
‘I know especially in my 20s I was willing to try anything because I knew that if I failed I’d be back to where I started, which wasn’t a bad place to be.’
She now wants to inspire other women and has written a book called One Life – How To Have The Life of Your Dreams.
Her advice to any budding entrepreneurs is to give it a go and don’t be afraid to fail.
‘I always think my biggest metric for success is joy, sometimes we can be stuck in a life that looks good on the outside but leaves us feeling hollow. If you follow the joy you’ll end up doing what you love.’
Ms Tower’s debut book will hit national bookstores on December 2.