The most successful relationships in business and life are built on a foundation of trust. But this is easier said than done.
Paul and Pascale Averill have learned this on their individual journeys and also as a couple.
Today, the Averill’s are a powerful duo. They’re successful property investors, with a growing portfolio of nine properties across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Pascale is a clinical dietician while Paul is a health and wellness podcaster and massage therapist.
But both have had to overcome personal challenges along the way. Paul told Bushy Martin on the Get Invested podcast that his life was very nearly derailed by his own trust issues.
“The trust thing actually fed into all (my) entrepreneurship because I think what was probably holding me back is that I couldn’t trust anybody to work with them,” Paul said.
“For me, I think there was my dad leaving. I saw some traumatic things happen, not in the family just externally, which made me think that I had to be very safe in my life. I didn’t want to take any risk.
“But I think what it fed all of that stuff fed for me into a lack of self-worth. If I’m not worthy, then nobody really would want me anyway, so why would I bother trusting them? So it’s sort of a very self-fulfiling prophecy.”
When Paul and Pascale met, they bonded over a love for dancing. But they weren’t to know that dance would play such a crucial role in their self-development and relationship evolution.
“Dance is a really good metaphor for the adjustments that we had to make in our relationship together and the way we work together,” Pascale said.
“I was used to dancing on my own as an individual, and was moving to dancing (with) a partner for the first time. What that means is relinquishing control. And even though you dance in partnership, there is one person that is the lead and one person that’s the follow, and it has to be that way.
“So in my dancing, I really struggled with following. I could say that would be similar in many things, in a partnership, where I found it hard to not be in control of something.”
And it was dance that enabled the couple to turn the issue of trust from a weakness to a strength.
“I think a huge part of our trust came from those beginning stages, because we’re dancing what is known as a sexy dance, a partner dance, and traditionally you go out for an evening, so there’s parties that are put on, and you might spend 90% of that time dancing with other people,” Pascale said.
“So we’re talking up close and personal with a stranger where there’s parts of your body touching and you’re staring into each other’s eyes for two minutes. A lot of people that don’t dance find that really hard. What we’ve had to be is 100% transparent because we knew that this is so risky.”
Paul said it has led to an openness that has underpinned their marriage.
“That’s (openness) a foundation for us that now we are together and unified and we have a family,” he said.
“We have this bigger picture that we work on together, and we talk about it a lot, and we’re very open in our communication. There’s an open landscape of dialogue there where we can just say what we need to say, there’s no offence taken, there’s no blame given, and it’s just this open playing field. You can actually just talk about anything and be okay with that.”
Trust has been a huge factor not just in the Averill’s relationship but also their property investment strategy.
The couple took on a significant redevelopment project in the United Kingdom, which meant building a team in another time zone and long-distance project management.
While there was much research, education and preparation, there was still a step of faith.
“There’s probably a stage where you just have to go with your gut, because you never 100% know,” Pascale said.
“And fortunately, these guys that we work with now they’re very experienced, and we got a good feeling from them, and it’s turned out really well.
“We have the agent that rents out the property, we have an accountant, we have lawyers, and we had to jump around, we have mortgage brokers. So there’s the whole team that we have to put together, and we did have to go through a few different people before we found people that we were happy with, and we lost a bit of money along the way. Fortunately not a huge amount, but there was money leaking out here and there, paying for people that didn’t come through for us.
“Now we have our solid team, we feel like we’re in a really great position to then springboard forward with that trust behind us. We’ve done the hard yards.”
Listen to the full interview here.
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