Each week, SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.
Name and role:
Toni Planinsek, founder of Planinsek Property Group
Tell us about your role. What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I’m an educator and women’s advocate whose late – but stellar – foray into the real estate industry has been nothing short of remarkable. Prior to my real estate career, I was principal of a leading Melbourne private girls’ school (she has a Master’s Degree and several post-graduate qualifications). I took pride in educating girls to be independent thinkers who were going to make a positive difference in the world.
How/when did you know this what you wanted to do as a career?
This career move came about because of breast cancer 15 years ago. A change had to be made and I decided it would be into business as I had never had the opportunity to work for myself – and I was up for the challenge. So at the same time as undergoing cancer treatment, I studied and did a real estate licence course.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I believe you should try to live a balanced life and I practice what she preach by learning French, doing Pilates, travelling overseas as much as I can, eating out and generally enjoying my small tribe – I’m a doting mother of four children and nine grandchildren.
Did you have a mentor? Who/what helped you to get your career off the ground?
I believe “education is everything”. This is because I was given the rare opportunity, as a bright student, to focus on academia at a time when most girls were being groomed for office jobs and marriage! I’m very fortunate to have been educated by strong women who set an example of what education and determination might achieve.
What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path, and since then?
A second occurrence of breast cancer came as a bit of a shock six years ago. As usual, I used my high energy and positive attitude to focus on surviving and getting on with the things I still wanted to achieve in life – one of which is to attend my two- and three-year-old granddaughters’ 40th birthdays!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?
As the founder of Planinsek Property Group, and as a passionate property investment adviser, I think women of all ages should have the skills and confidence to seize control of their financial destiny. My book, Her Property, is a resource which aims to empower women with the tools and up-to-date independent advice needed to make savvy first-time decisions about property investments.