Today’s ON THE SPOT with Emil Juresic features a brilliant builder at the top of his game – Neil Hipwell of Futureflip, whose story shows that no matter the starting point, with resilience and hard work it is possible to build an incredibly successful business from scratch.
Watch the interview to hear how Neil has been able to achieve all this, and find out his best tips for building and for business!
Neil did not have the easiest start to his career education-wise, and he explains that he was not the best student in his class – quite the opposite, in fact.
“I was pretty bad at school, I had dyslexia, ADD – but I was always very good at sport,” Neil explains.
Neil’s background in sports taught him valuable lessons which he has been able to implement in his business – footy fields and athletics practices are where he first learnt the importance of resilience and consistency.
When you found that part where you wanted to give up, where you wanted to slow down or stop – push harder than you’ve ever pushed. And that’s what I did for business.Neil Hipwell, Futureflip
When training to get to go pro, Neil started getting injuries and realised it was no longer possible to reach the elite level, so, he swapped his running shoes for a pair of steel toe caps and started a carpentry apprenticeship.
His work ethic and pace impressed his boss at the time and Neil himself realised that this was something he enjoyed and was good at, so he decided to go all-in and launched Futureflip at the age of 18, alongside his building course.
The negative comments from Neil’s teachers stuck in his mind, so he was determined to prove himself and get the life that he had been dreaming of.
I think it was because I was such a deadbeat at school that I had this hunger to make something of myself.Neil Hipwell, Futureflip
Instead of partying and going on holidays like all his friends, young Neil put all his time and effort towards building his company.
“All my money I poured back into Futureflip – I’d buy trucks, trailers, factories, whatever I needed for that to flourish, that is where I spent my money,” he says.
The first five years were the time of massive investment as well as huge growth for Futureflip. Neil started to realise how all the effort was eventually starting to pay off and they were able to take on bigger and bigger projects, always having a huge focus on the design.
“I’ve now got architects on board, interiors architects, we’ve got a whole design company,” he explains.
And because Futureflip is a one-stop-shop for new homes, people know they can actually get everything they need delivered – on time and on budget.
I know the cost of everything so I can control the budget as we’re designing as opposed to just getting something that looks amazing and then finding out; wow – that’s way over budget.Neil Hipwell, Futureflip
By the age of 31, Neil has already built an impressive property portfolio, and even though it has required sacrifices, he doesn’t regret the years spent grinding, because he knows it guarantees him a ‘really good backend of life’, when he can enjoy the fruits of his hard work, instead of blowing all his money for partying at a young age.
“Do you want that or do you want to just lock yourself in, grind it out for ten years and then live your life from 30 till you die, and you’ll be wealthy,” he says.
Instead of showing off his money, Neil’s goal has always been to become better and better at what he does. He has also always aimed to be able to provide for his family and ‘leave a bit of a legacy’.
Now, as a husband and father, he feels that as well as putting food on the table, it is extremely important to also be there for his family mentally, and he admits that there is still a lot to learn on that front.
“The hardest thing I’ve had to battle with is my mental capacity,” says Neil.
“I’m talking to my kids or talking to my wife, to actually consume what they’re telling me and listen and be there mentally,” he says.
I’ve been building for 17 years now and it’s ingrained in me and it’s my passion, so 99% of my brain is consumed with building and design and it’s so hard to just turn off the switch.Neil Hipwell, Futureflip
And talking about family, Neil has one of his most exciting projects currently underway – his very own high-end luxury home which is the perfect showcase of Futureflip’s speedy quality builds, as it will be ready within six months of its start date.
“It’s the hardest construction I’ve ever done by far,” Neil reveals.
If you want to see the ups and downs of this mega project, head to Neil’s channel, because together with his wife, they are filming a six-episode ‘reality TV-style’ series of the process – and nothing is censored!
On top of that, Futureflip has around 20 multimillion projects a year. OzHomeNews went to check out one of them, so in case you missed it, catch our walkthrough at 11 Hardy Street here!
Neil’s path to success has been somewhat different to many others as he didn’t opt for university or an academic education, but that has anything but stopped this young entrepreneur.
“What you have shown to people is that you don’t need a university degree, you don’t need a law degree, you don’t need an accounting degree to be successful at whatever you choose to do,” says Emil.
Neil believes that it’s crucial to make the decision about what you want in life early on. You also need a great team around you, as well as the ability and strength to push past your comfort zones.
And you have to be resilient, you have to put yourself through things. The hardship you go through and those hard days, the days where you just want to cry – they’re the days that make you who you are now.Neil Hipwell, Futureflip