The Biggest Obstacle for Women Renovators

The podcast for women who want to create income and a life they love through renovating

Join serial renovator Bernadette Janson as she explores the ins and outs of renovating for profit!

Bernadette has over 30 years of experience in the renovating for profit business. She’s a registered nurse, a renovator, a mum, and a teacher.

116 – Bernadette’s 2021

On today’s episode,

What motivates you? What keeps you going? What are your goals? How do you get there? These are just some of the questions that I ask myself because as a renovator and a business woman, mapping your plan is critical. Apart from that, taking care of yourself is the most important thing so I make sure that along with my busy life, a happy and pampered Bernadette gets the highest priority in my list. With that being said, in this episode I am sharing some of my 2021 health and travel goals and how we go with our current projects.

Listen to Episode 116: Bernadette’s 2021

Episode Highlights

  • [00:00:29] Wind under my wings
  • [00:01:57] The big news
  • [00:03:29]  What’s the point of being retired if you can’t travel?
  • [00:03:49] Completing our retirement plan 
  • [00:04:44] Changing how I operate in order to free me up
  • [00:06:13] Crowd funded the project
  • [00:07:25] We don’t have to worry about bank interest rates
  • [00:07:58] Complete the two current projects
  • [00:09:00] The biggest problem with renovating
  • [00:09:58] Exciting plan for Darlinghurst 
  • [00:10:59] 92 goals that I want to complete
  • [00:11:41] Hands Across The Water
  • [00:13:56] Growing the She Renovates podcast 
  • [00:14:36] Flipping websites
  • [00:15:26] Travel and health goals
  • [00:16:27] It’s not achievement that makes you happy, it’s the process


“It really keeps me motivated if I keep thinking about the things that I haven’t done, the things that I’d find fun to do exciting and so on.”


Hello! It’s Bernadette, back with another episode of She Renovates.  Today I am going to be sharing with you my goals for 2021. So I started planning this towards the end of last year.  I’m already into the year, but unfortunately fortunately, or unfortunately I am still completing  some projects that I committed to in 2020.

Before I get into that, I want to just share a couple of really lovely reviews that we received. Firstly, from AP Sydney, it’s really unfortunate that iTunes won’t give us your proper name, but anyhow, and what it says is,

Amazing tips. I’ve learned a lot and inspired enough to start my own journey. Thank you.

And the second ones is from Nash Face,

Love it! Great podcast. I honestly dream of renovating, but I haven’t yet taken the plunge, but this podcast has taught me so much for when I do start, which I will soon, hopefully. Great host.

Thank you to those two beautiful people who left those reviews. As I say, often, it really puts wind under my wings and gives me the motivation to go on. My mission is to share the joy and the magic of renovating and hopefully shorten your learning curve. So, let’s get into the episode.

Bernadette: I think Probably the best thing to do is to share what has informed my plans up to this point. The big news is that Stephen  has decided to retire, which absolutely thrills me. He’s been working four days a week for quite some time and he never likes to leave  mid project. So he’s currently the project director on the redevelopment of the Penrith Hospital. It’s quite a major project and the stage that he’s working on is completing in early next year. And I know that it’s going to happen because he is training his replacement.  So I feel reassured that I can actually bank on it happening.

I’m well aware that he’s not going to give up work completely and nor would I want him to. I think that he has built up an incredible repertoire of skills over a career in construction. And that would be a shame if he wasn’t to continue to use those in some form. My understanding is that he’s going to do that in more of a consultative role. Which basically means he’s not going to be doing the daily grindstone going to work every day and that we will get to spend more time together.

I really hope the borders have opened up because what’s the point of being retired if you can’t travel? And I love our country, but I have my heart set on three months in France. So I hope that the borders are open by the time that happens, but it’s not happening until early next year.

And of course the second part of that is we need to complete our retirement plan. So we have a development that we have owned for quite some time. And now it’s time to get on and get that completed. It was on our to-do list in 2020, but we all know how 2020’s wind was. And when COVID hit, we looked at it and thought, “you know what? We think we might just wait and see how the market goes,” because at the time the rental market was really sad. And so we thought we’ll just wait a little while and see what happens. And I’m actually so pleased we did that because I had such a big year last year that I don’t really think I would have coped  too well with another project  on my plate. Which brings me to the next point. 

In the course of my reflection over in preparation for this year, I have realized that I have put a massive amount of effort into building up The School Of Renovating and not just the business side, building up the renovating side of it so that we’re able to offer amazing options to our students.

So I’ve done a lot of projects with students and I’ve been very, hands-on supporting them through different projects and testing strategies and so on. That’s really been at the expense of my own personal goals so I’ve done a bit of resetting and decided to change how I operate in order to enable me to free me up, to be able to think about some things.

And it’s not that I won’t be continuing to give amazing service to my students, but I’m just going to do it in a different way. And so that’s really what brought me to the decision to establish we’ve given it the name as the class project. Basically  that’s a large joint venture, which will be funded by various people in our community in which I’ll do two projects a year and they will be our teaching projects.

And we’ll probably experiment with different strategies and locations, but at the moment it will be close to home because it’s just easier for me to operate, but maybe along the line, I might partner with some of our really accomplished students with that project.

But the other thing about it is that we crowd funded the project. I think I’ve got sufficient applicants. I’m sorting that out this week, but basically mean we’ll be able to act quickly because we won’t be having to worry about banks and that will be the project that I- so what I’ve been doing is doing a video inside our closed Facebook group every day on the project. So they get that experience via that project. And the good thing for the investors is that I’m not allowed to guarantee returns, but we work on roughly 10% profit per year and we’ll be doing two per project. So I’m expecting that the profit will certainly be a lot better than bank interest rates.

The third thing is that we don’t have to worry about bank interest rates, which makes a big difference to our holding costs. So all in all it will make the whole, though, that project just much easier to manage.

I am doing that project through property circles that I’m able to have up to 20 people. In that joint venture. And as I say, I put the expressions of interest out last week to our community. And from what I can see, we have enough in order to be able to get started. So I feel really good about that.

Once we’ve got that all set up the trust is set up. I’ve just got to get, basically get the money into the bank and then start looking for a property, which will be interesting because the market is making that a bit of a challenge. Of course, I also need to complete the two projects that I’m working on.

I gave the Arncliffe project three weeks from where to go and it looks like that target is going to be reached. We started week two this week, and I’m pretty happy with how that is going.  This is a project that we’re doing for an investor. We always get an appraisal before we start. We get the real estate agent to give us an idea of what it would get in its current condition.

And it came back as being higher at 500 thousands. And he felt that with a renovation, it could get high 600 thousands. The owner has committed 35,000. So basically got a 30,000 budget, plus 5,000 for styling and contingency.

From what I can see we’re actually doing really well, budget wise as well, and we’re doing really well timewise by the end of next week, it should be just about done. The biggest problem with renovating is waterproofing and the whole wet trade situation in the bathroom. So we’re not taking tiles off. We were going to resurface, but apparently there is a drought on resurfacing materials in Australia at the moment. We’re having it tiled from ceiling right through to the floor, but we’re not taking the tiles off underneath.

They were quite solid. Basically everything else in that bathroom will be new in the kitchen where pacing some of the cabinetry. The base cabinets were just changing the doors, changing the panels, but we’re putting a lot of effort into getting that place looking really schmick. I would really like  to keep the 700,000 goal if we could, but we’ll see how we go.

The second project that I’m still on is Darlinghurst and that’s coming together quite slowly, but it’s happening. Once again, we don’t have a loan on that, so I’m not really killing myself getting it done. I have got a very exciting plan for that. It’s so exciting that I’m not telling our agent because I think he’ll talk us out of it, but I’ve decided it’s a great opportunity to be experimental. So I hope he’s not listening to this podcast because otherwise I might get a grilling, but anyhow, and yeah that’s, that’ll keep me busy for the next month or so. 

And so after that, I will really just have that one project. Of course I Have a goal to still do a project without two youngest daughters. And I’ve got a few other things in the background, but nothing solid at the moment. So I’m just really playing it by ear and feeling quite comfortable with what I’ve got in terms of my  renovating goals.

The other thing that I wanted to share with you I’m not going to share all of it with you because it’ll take forever, is that when I was doing my planning this year, I actually put together a hundred- well, I’m up to 92 goals that I want to complete. And I did initially say I wanted to complete them before I die , but my family told me that was too depressing so I’ve just said a hundred things that I want to do. And I thought I’d just share a few of them with you. I don’t really care whether I get all of this done or not. It really keeps me motivated if I keep thinking about the things that I haven’t done, the things that I’d find fun to do exciting and so on.

But I’m just going to pick out a few to share with you. Now, one of them, and that probably won’t happen this year, but it’s something that I am thinking about all the time is that Stephen and I have a real affinity to an organization who looks after children , they have orphanages in various parts of Thailand.

And they look after children who have been at risk and they initially started when they provided homes for children that were orphaned during the tsunami, but now they have branched out into various different areas. And one of the things that they have done is taken over a home that accommodates children who’ve been born with HIV AIDS.

They look after children that have been rescued from the sex trade. So they do amazing work and we have been to one of their orphanages and just been really blown away by the quality of the care. And it’s not quality in a materialistic way.  The children are so loved and  it’s just beautiful.

So we would really like to be able to do more for them and something that we did a few years ago when we were doing the charity ride was we did a renovation for the profit to go to the Hands Across The Water and that was incredibly successful. It took a lot from us because we financed the whole thing and so on.

However, that’s something that I’d like to do on a regular basis, like an annual or a biannual basis, but I’m looking at ways of doing that differently. So that’s one of the things that’s on my list and I’m going to be engaging my community, particularly our Wonder Women in figuring out how we’re going to do that. How are we going to finance it and how are we going to make it something that is sustainable and we can turn over every year or two years to provide income that they are able to rely on. So that’s one of the things that’s on my list.

The other thing I want to do is grow this podcast, so we’re currently getting around about 4,000 downloads a month, which for someone who is lacking in eloquence as I am, I think that’s pretty amazing, but I want to grow up to 10,000. I’m not really sure how I’m going to do that because for me, it’s growing quite slowly, which, from a business point of view is fine. However, from a personal point of view, because I’ve put that down as my goal now business so I’m really looking at how I can grow it. And, I’m calling out to you if you’ve got any ideas I’d love to hear from you.

The third thing that I was going to mention I want to learn lots of things. I’ve got dancing, iPad, calligraphy, painting, lots of things, but one of them is how to flip websites. So some of you may have knowledge of Matt and Liz Raad. They are a couple from Adelaide. They do amazing work with buying, renovating and selling websites. And that’s definitely on my agenda. I’ve had the blinkers on because I’ve had so much work to do on my own business, but I’m thinking towards the end of this year, I will be in a position to be able to start looking at that. I’ve actually been having conversations with one of my team members about that, because I was thinking it might be something that would really help her as well.

Of course I have lots of travel in my repertoire, I want to eat at a Michelin star restaurant. It’s something I haven’t ever done. And that’s one of my goals, travel goals, swim in the dead sea. So I’ve got lots of health goals and I’m really nailing those I saw my cardiologists last week and got such a glowing report. I’m just absolutely thrilled so I’m halfway there.

Mostly due to the 75 hard, which I have actually been quite enjoying. So I don’t think that’s what you meant to do when you’re on the 75 hard, but I am, but some of my other health goals are, there’s a great big Hill in our park. I want to be able to run up it without stopping.

In a few different things like that. I’d like to be able to do a Ted talk. Someone told me the other day, it’s not that hard, so I’ll have to look into that. So they’re just some of my goals for 2021.

So as Tony Robbins says that it’s not achievement that makes you happy. It’s the progress that makes you happy. So having my goals and being able to tick them off as I achieve some is really one of the things that I do to stay happy and stay feeling alive and motivated.

I want to try Botox just saying so on that note, I am going to call it a day. If you can help me with any of my goals, I would really love to hear from you and where you can connect is in the She Renovates Facebook group. So I’m over there every Thursday. I do a live plus I keep an eye on proceedings during the week, and I’d really love to hear what you’ve got planned for 2021.

So on that note, I’m going to close and I’ll see you next week.

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    Amazing Free Content!LeaLea707 via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 05/22/22
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    “I have been listening to this Podcast for a few years now. I love how Bernadette freely shares her experiences and knowledge of renovating and how to create wealth through property. There are many people out there doing a similar things but Bernadette is the real deal. Her down to earth approach reasonates with me and I’ve learned lots from her. I’d highly recommend She Renovates!”
    Just brilliant!fbegeng via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 03/16/22
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    “I've been binge-listening to this podcast for the past week and it's absolutely brilliant. Bernadette has amassed so much knowledge and wisdom about renovating and she shares it generously and in a really easy to understand way that's inspired me to give it a go. Her advice is practical and I love that she approaches renovating in a really ethical and open-hearted way. Every episode honestly is gold. I also love that each episode is quite short and addresses a specific topic without any waffle. Thank you so much for this podcast!”
    Practical and honest adviceLuke Marland via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 05/12/21
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    “Hands down best renovation podcast there is. There’s no scams or tricks here and Bernadette provides honest and practical advice that you can actually apply to your life. There’s also great insights into the property industry (not just renovating) and Bernadette’s simple approach gives you tools to mitigate risk and fuels confidence to start your own projects.”
    Amazing insights and adviceJennaBrad via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 03/22/21
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    “Bernadette is an inspiration. Warm, open and a fountain of wisdom and advice. I’ve learned so much about everything from renovating to selling to creating an independent future from this podcast. Look forward to every episode!”
    Practical Magic For All RenovatorsJames’ Inspiration via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 12/15/20
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    “If you need to break through any of your limitations to find the joy and success in renovation, Bernadette is your inspiration and advisor with decades of experience. Her down to earth, practical style of sharing what works and how to keep control of any renovating project is worth tuning in for - week after week. I have done a few renovations in the (distant) past and now feel motivated to go again, this time for a change of pace and new horizons. This podcast shows the way. Thanks Bernadette, James Burgin”
    My Guilty Pleasure..Tanned Greek via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 10/26/20
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    “Just dropping by to show my support for your podcast Bernadette. I look forward to each episode and I am never disappointed with the content. It’s such a generous offering and compared to many of the other property podcasts I subscribe to, yours is the clear winner. Perfectly suited to people embarking on a new renovator journey but equally suited to more experienced folk like myself - there’s something for everyone. Keep up the great work. Your honesty is so refreshing! I look forward to future learning and hearing more student success stories. Best, David Michos (And yes... a bloke) 😉”
    You would have to be crazy to miss this !!Lifestylepp via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 10/15/20
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    “If you have any interest at all in renovating, you would be crazy not to listen to every episode! As someone who has done many courses and a project manager by trade, i learn something every time. Bernadette is so genuine and generous and totally relatable. Do yourself a favour and subscribe now !”

    Want more?

    If you want to meet up with a group of savvy renovators. I would say come over and join She Renovates Facebook Group. It’s a completely FREE Facebook group and it is growing at the rate of knots. We hit over a thousand members just recently, and now it seems to have picked up momentum. They are all savvy renovating women and men working their little hearts out to live a better life through renovating.

    The only membership you need to grow your renovation business…

    Wonder Women is a combination of live sessions and pre-recorded content to help you get what you need, when you need it. I know that you’re the expert and you’ve got all of your subject knowledge nailed – now it’s time to build the business behind your renovation projects and stop being the worlds best kept secret. 

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