Property Investory
Anthony Spagnolo - From Accountant to Property Developer: Principal of Agenzia Property
October 25, 2020
Anthony Spagnolo is not only the principal of property advisory business Agenzia Property, he is also a qualified accountant, licensed real estate agent, builder and mortgage broker and is an active property investor and developer. Join us in this episode of Property Investory to hear how Spagnolo made the jump from accountancy to the property and development space and how he continues to gain valuable experience, as well as adding to his skillset by diving into a variety of projects.
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Tyrone Shum: Spagnolo followed in his father’s footsteps as he managed the family’s accounting firm for 12 years. He is used to wearing many hats, as is often necessary within family businesses. 

Anthony Spagnolo: At the same time, my father was actually in the property development space, which he focused on while I managed the firm. However, that wasn't always going to be my end goal, I couldn't see myself as staying an accountant for my whole career. So when we got out of the accounting firm, I began to get more involved in the development space. 

In a family business you wear many hats, which I found to be true as I also enjoyed the project management of our developments, it was always something that interested me. So even when I was making career choices earlier on, it was a decision between construction management and accounting, so I was ultimately able to revisit that. 

While I was still involved in the family business I also decided to get my builder's licence which prompted me to do some of my own small scale developments such as townhouses and duplexes. That’s currently what I spend a lot of time doing today. About 18 months ago I also set up a property advisory, combining my skills in the accounting space with my knowledge of property. I just enjoy helping clients experience the same journey that I have in property development and help wherever I can.

His switch from accounting to property development was, however bold, the right move for him. This was where his true passion lay.

Anthony Spagnolo: It’s not very common for accountants to jump into property development like I did, however when I think about other accountants at the firm that I managed, they would eat, sleep and breathe accounting, they would know tax law inside out and that’s just not me. A lot of people, when they meet me, will ask, ‘What, you’re an accountant?’ I guess I just don’t fit that general stereotype or mold.

So, why did he do it?

Anthony Spagnolo: The reason why I got into property development was that I needed a new challenge and so obviously it started out with one investment property and that's passive income and then builds up. I was always focused on going to that next level in the development space, whilst also continuing in accountancy.

Spagnolo Likes to Stay on Top of his Game at all Times

A typical day for Spagnolo is a mixture of overseeing the progress of personal projects and also involves working at the property advisory business.

Anthony Spagnolo: Essentially, I'm dealing with clients on a daily basis, which will include finding new leads and following up client briefs for clients we're working with. So a lot of my day is spent on the phone as well as sourcing properties, dealing with our agents or property developers. In between all of this I've also got projects running and will constantly be managing the progress of those projects. This probably doesn't take up as much time as working at the property advisory but you never want to take your eye off the ball.

To keep up with the many moving parts involved in his business Spagnolo likes to stay educated. This makes him a trusted property advisor and a clever investor.

Anthony Spagnolo: When we sold the accountancy firm back in 2010 we essentially replaced it with the property advisory and a close friend of mine who does all of my digital marketing is very niched in the finance and brokerage space. This prompted me to get my broking license so that I could have a better understanding of the industry. For every property purchase for a client we need to know the weight of structural loads and other things, so studying for my broking license helped me understand that a bit better and I've also got support from some tangled brokers.

After Contemplating Which Career Path to Take, He Came Full Circle in the End

Both personally and professionally, Spagnolo has always been based in and around his home town in Western Sydney.

Anthony Spagnolo: I grew up in Western Sydney and lived in Bossley Park and Horsley Park, attending St Gertrude’s Catholic Primary School in Smithfield and Patrician Brothers' College in Fairfield. I remember we used to go a little stir crazy when we would see girls on the bus, seeing as though we attended an all boys Catholic high school. It was a little bit awkward going to an all boys school around that age and still trying to figure out how to talk to girls, to the point where i think the study actually became secondary. But I think I worked it out in the end. Our office even from that point was always in around that area in Fairfield, so I've always been based professionally in Western Sydney.

When deciding what to study at university and ultimately what career path he would take, Spagnolo took his Uncle’s advice and played it safe.

Anthony Spagnolo: When I was trying to decide what to study at university, I had a conversation with my uncle who is a solicitor. He advised me to get a degree in law or accounting, both steady and respectable professions, and to study construction or something in the development space later on if I wanted to. 

Accountancy was the obvious choice for me, as I worked at our accountancy firm during my school holidays and whatnot with my father and so I had a bit of a taste of it. I thought anything finance based or analytical would hold me in good stead for down the track and so I went down the safe path and studied a Bachelor of Commerce Accounting at Western Sydney University in Parramatta. Sometimes I wonder whether it was the right decision, since I ended up in the building and development space anyway, but all roads lead to somewhere I guess.

But when eventually moving into the development space, his skills in accounting were put to good use.

Anthony Spagnolo: I find that everything in life is more analytical, even with property. It’s crunching the numbers among other things and so I never really got away from accounting, I still use those skills today.

Spagnolo had Lots to Learn From His Family

Rather than branching out after university, Spagnolo continued to work within the family business. It made the most sense for him to remain at the accountancy firm and proved to be a smooth transition.

Anthony Spagnolo: When I did work for the family accounting firm, my father didn’t want me to report to him directly, to keep some semblance of a professional workspace. I dealt mostly with the manager that worked there and it often felt like I was working elsewhere. However, I will admit that I still got special privileges. I didn’t feel the need to leave the family business once I got my own client base, which was pretty easy. It may have been good to work in a larger firm and get a different level of experience but I think I always knew that it was going to be a stepping stone, so that's just the way it unfolded.

His family’s accounting firm was a decent sized operation that handled a variety of clients and services.

Anthony Spagnolo: We probably had a maximum of 15 staff and dealt with individual tax returns, company clients, self managed super funds and more. It was a bit of a mixed bag.

Spagnolo learnt a number of important lessons through his close work with so many businesses and based on his experience, he realised that while you could have a good business and look like you’re in a good position, cash flow is king.

Anthony Spagnolo: If your debtors aren't paying and you've got bills to pay yourself then there's always going to be challenges, and cash flow was the biggest challenge facing businesses.

Positive cash flow from the property advisory business allowed Spagnolo to generate another income stream and this meant that he could spend more of his time investing and working on developments.

Anthony Spagnolo: My strategy for property is to hold as much as possible, so when I was doing projects I didn’t really have that cash flow business anymore and so would have to sell along the way. However, I found that the property advisory lets me get back to my roots and requires me to deal with people on a daily basis, which is what I like to do.

He takes advantage of the downtime between developments, finding opportunities to create incoming revenue.

Anthony Spagnolo: As I’ve seen with other successful developers and property investors who I’ve worked with, having that side income really helps, even if it's just a normal investment you’re currently dealing with, you need time for assets to go up in value just through capital growth. With some of my developments, there's a DA process to go through that means it is a year or so before we actually turn dirt. When you have those projects that take around a year just for the groundwork to be completed, I’ve found that I had a little bit more capacity on my day to day schedule and needed another challenge.

You Start to Really Learn Things When you Get Involved and Get Your Hands Dirty

His property investing journey began in the role of a silent investor. Although he valued this experience, he was eager to learn more and get more involved in projects.

Anthony Spagnolo: During my time at university from 1999 to 2004 or 2005, I was working in the family business. I was working as an accountant up until 2010 or 2011 so for around 12 years. During that time, as I mentioned we were also working in the development space, so my first investment was sort of close to home and was just the standard rental property. My father did a subdivision of blocks and so that's where I built my family home, which is where I still reside today. 

However, I was an investor then in some land subdivision that we did in Caboolture, Southeast Queensland. So we didn't always go the route of purchasing investment properties ongoing and instead had access to those projects in the role of an investor. 

Sometimes I look back and think it was a little bit of a jump and I don't feel that I attained as many skills earlier on because I didn't really run the projects. I had knowledge of what was going on, however I think I needed to be a little bit more hands on to get that experience.

Since selling the accounting firm almost a decade ago, Spagnolo jumped into the development and property investing space full-time, gaining that hands on experience that he was seeking.

Anthony Spagnolo: I started working on larger scale projects within the group and we've had some other partners whilst working on apartment buildings of 70 units, some commercial properties, we built a Bunnings at Rockdale and some rezoning processes on the Central Coast. At the moment, we've got a bulky goods project that we’re currently rezoning in Campbelltown, Western Sydney. I’ve been able to get a feel for the whole space by getting involved in a variety of different projects.

So what was his role?

Anthony Spagnolo: My role within the bigger projects was more so project management. They weren’t personal investments, I guess it was just within that larger scheme of things and I enjoyed getting involved in different projects in any capacity to learn more.

Spagnolo got involved in these larger projects through his network that he had built when working at and running the accounting business. 

Anthony Spagnolo: I helped some clients with projects along the way and made some good connections. It just helped to get me some clients initially, then as I mentioned, the family business was also property development and so we were also working on those projects. This is where I really got my teeth into things, and then to tell you the truth, the sourcing of sites, because obviously I was at the point where I was running jobs. 

However I had to educate myself on the groundwork of figuring out what makes a good site and the sourcing of space. This included a lot of seminars and studying in online courses and reading of books. Steve McKnight’s online mentoring course is one that comes to mind and then just actually getting into it and being active, looking online for potential sites and talking to my architects and town planners as well. I didn't pull the trigger on my own personal portfolio until a little bit later on. I started educating myself about five to seven years ago. 

My aha moment was around that time, we had several partners in the business and I was always bringing projects to the table but I didn’t feel like I had enough projects in the pipeline. I was waiting for my opportunity and my wife said to me one day, ‘Why don't you just start small? Just look for a duplex or a townhouse and do it yourself.’ That conversation was something that really got me going. 

Western Sydney just wasn’t stacking up, so I started looking in better areas like Eastwood and Ryde and my first projects were located in those sort of areas. I’ve just completed one in Epping and I have one under construction, to be completed by the end of the year in Caringbah South. So through my analysis I found out that in order to make the profit margin that I was setting out to achieve, I had to look in more expensive areas.

The Neighbour From Hell

In 2016 he was struggling to find his first development project to undertake. Eventually the numbers just stacked up on a site in Ryde, Northern Sydney and it felt right.

Anthony Spagnolo: We already had a DA at this site so I intended to proceed straight away and just put a deposit down. As I said you’re never going to know unless you take the plunge, all the numbers looked good so I said to myself, ‘Give it a go’. Then when I was working with my architects I found that in looking at the current DA, I thought it might be achievable to increase it. So it was basically two duplexes and I thought there could be an opportunity to change the design a little bit and achieve four bedroom duplexes instead of three. 

However, that was a bit of a challenge just due to the Ride council changing their LEP because the frontage was I think only around 15 metres and the block was around 580 square metres. This meant that it qualified for dual occupancy under the old LEP DCP however to make the changes that I wanted to make, I could only do it as a section 96. This made things a little bit challenging because the new requirements stated that for dual occupancy you're required to have 20 metre frontage and 600 square meters, so if I went for a new DA it wouldn't have qualified. I had to work with my town planners and architects to get the result that I was always after just for better resale. 

Although the council and the delays caused by the change in design presented their challenges, Spagnolo succeeded in transforming the duplexes from three bedrooms into four. He looks at this particular project as a huge learning experience.

Anthony Spagnolo: The previous design had a lot of steel in it and wasn't really construction friendly, so that was another reason for why I pushed on changing the design. The previous design also meant that at the back of the house it went from a pitch roof  to a flat roof on the lower level where the kitchen was. It looked really funny and I couldn't work out why they had designed it like that. I had no information from the previous owner who was basically an owner occupier, who was then upgrading his family home to move to a bigger place. 

Once I put in my new design I found out that I had objections from the next door neighbour and it was a really difficult neighbour who was very anti development. The reason why there was a flat roof on the back of the property was because this difficult neighbour was actually the President of the Cactus and Succulent Society and the guy that I purchased the property off, actually built that back roof to appease the neighbour because he knew that he had these rare cactuses in a certain location and didn't want to block his sun to these cactus's. 

So something that should have been a quick couple of months turnaround turned into about seven or eight months and extra holding Costs. I offered to build the neighbour a greenhouse at the back of his property, trying to find a win-win solution, but he just wouldn't budge, so that was a challenge that we had to overcome.

Not only did the council and design changes cause delays, but the neighbour’s constant issues with the project cost him three or four extra months that he didn’t anticipate.

Anthony Spagnolo: I distinctly remember the conversation with this difficult neighbour who ended up saying to me, 'Get it through your thick skull. These cactuses have been here for 25 years and I'm not moving'. So he didn't move them.

Sticking it out Really Paid off

So what happened in the end?

Anthony Spagnolo: In the end I got through with my design, which didn’t make the neighbour very happy and he continued to cause a little bit of grief throughout the process. At the time I didn't have my builders licence and contracted the build out to a mate of mine, so he was giving me daily updates on what was going on with the neighbour, but thankfully for me I didn’t have to deal with him very often. But it all turned out well and the project was very profitable.

All of the challenges brought on by this project were worth it for Spagnolo, as he caught the boom of the Sydney market.

Anthony Spagnolo : Because my first development was completed around the time the Sydney market was rising I got an uplift from the growth, so you can factor that in when doing the feasibility. It was definitely a bonus and all came down to hard work and crunching your numbers on the current market situation and then everything else is a bonus. 

He was expecting this project to take longer than it did, considering they faced challenge after challenge. But, when taking the delays into account, the development had quite a speedy finish.

Anthony Spagnolo: It was finished within a year and a half, even with the delays and we had plenty of those. One of the mistakes that I made, being my first real development, was that I didn't allow for the time that it takes to get a strata subdivision. You can be a little more time efficient when you have a checklist, which would include working with your surveyor to get the positive estate tax which is for drainage, you’ve got to get your positive covenant signed off and registered with the bank before you get your certifier to then go through his checklist to give you the final OC. So it was lucky I intended on keeping those finished products. 

Probably prior to having the OC I had an interim OC but until you get the final OC it would probably take another five to six months at the back end of the project to get the strada subdivision. So it’s safe to say that the whole project was a learning experience.

And where do these properties currently stand?

Anthony Spagnolo: So I've sold one of those properties and then I've gone on and I've done another three  duplex developments since then, with one under construction now in Caringbah South.  So it's dangerous to buy and hold, but I had to sell one to find this other project and even if I've got to sell one out of each project as we go, as long as you can sort of realise some profit and hold on to it, refinance at the end to get a bit of equity out, it’s worth it.

Thinking Outside the Box

Over the years Spagnolo has invested in a number of properties and in order to keep doing this strategy he buys and sells some of them. He has held onto six properties and plans to sell off more in the near future.

Anthony Spagnolo: The six properties that I have kept include my home and five duplexes and I've currently got another site under construction. Hopefully at the end of the year there will be an extra two on top of that and we also have some land in Western Sydney for a future residential subdivision. 

Although Spagnolo doesn’t necessarily have a doom and gloom story about his worst investing moment, he does recall a project that had significant delays.

Anthony Spagnolo: In the case of the difficult neighbor we found a solution and we dealt with it, but that was definitely a challenging moment. Another experience that comes to mind is another project that involved working on some duplexes in Epping, that were completed this year. We had some delays through the Parramatta Council because it was essentially on a hill where we put basement parking in. 

The whole process of going through the council which had a committee and required us to submit files to a board was difficult because then they didn't notify us to make any amendments. They then sent back the file and we had to resubmit so that turned out to be another drawn out project. The struggle with the council cost us about six to eight months on that project.

Spagnolo has to think creatively when picking up properties in order to create the most profit, especially when the market is booming and there is a lot of competition.

Anthony Spagnolo: I got this property in 2017 and I thought outside the box in this case. I was going to auctions and missing out on every property that we were going for. We ended up finding this property which was a house on quite a steep hill and looked like a three level house with the garages below and I knew that it had its challenges, including excavation and needing a suspended slab but I was trying to think creatively. So I went to a few auctions around that area and everything was going for over $2 million, one a couple of streets away went for $2.75 million from memory and it was not far from the local school. 

So I found this other site that had about $200,000 of extra build costs on each side, so maybe three to $400,000 altogether. So I picked it up for $1.9 million because even with the extra costs I knew that I would still be ahead when compared to what the other sites were selling for at the time. It turned out to be a good product as you can slightly increase the floorspace ratio as well by having the garages underneath and utilising a little bit more of the land. So I think it still worked out in the end, but it was a complex build. 

I was lucky to have the right architects and builders on that job. Construction started with a little bit of rain and altogether the build probably took us three or four months longer than expected as well. So just throughout the project, that was a pretty challenging one. 

And where is this property now?

Anthony Spagnolo: I'm still holding that property and if i hold something, i try to hold it for a minimum of 12 months. I essentially created a cash flow business to allow me to hold more properties along the way, or at least I aim to. I keep it for 12 months for capital gains and if you're doing it as an investor and not to turn over stock, you're not classed as an enterprise which means no GST implications. So essentially, I'm not looking at it as an enterprise to keep buying, selling or to sell off the plans prior to the build. I intend to use the build and hold strategy, refinance if it’s profiting and essentially get some funds out to help with the next project.

Spagnolo believes that even due to hurdles caused by COVID, this property is still making profit and holding on to it is just a matter of time before the next deal.

Anthony Spagnolo: I was getting around $950 a week for a property in Ryde and I was projecting on the properties in Epping to get 12 or $1300 a week. Due to COVID kicking in I have put long term tenants in with rent at $1000 a week in one, $1050 in the other one. I believe The Company Connection online was doing executive B&B stays, so I actually had the places fitted out and had some good bookings and then COVID hit and we still had the places furnished. So we had some doctors that were working in a nearby hospital taking one month at a time at the start of COVID, however the whole rental market has been affected. It was because the borders had closed and it was essentially executive B&B stays, so it was more so for corporate people that were working in the state for a longer period of time. 

It wasn’t pigeonholed people working, people wanted it for accommodation and so the projections were really good. The one in Ryde was actually in a similar sort of setup, I was thinking outside the box to manufacture a little bit more income and projections were showing that they could essentially double your income in the second year, I guess because it works on reviews. I’m not necessarily a risk taker, but I had confidence in the model. I had to reassess and pivot back to normal, which included the normal leasehold, yet not getting as much rent as anticipated. However, it's enough to still maintain it on the rent without me having to tip in all that much. 

Although he holds onto these properties for capital growth, they do need money to sustain them and during COVID this has been a challenge.

Anthony Spagnolo: They’re still negatively geared. I work with a lot of clients whether it's investors here in New South Wales or investors that I've partnered with in Brisbane where we get lots of good wholesale stock from. Obviously, if you go for cash flow buying I think Southeast Queensland is a really good option and very affordable, however just at the moment we sell or purchase properties for our clients which have really good yield. So it all depends what specific strategy a client is after and we can cater to that.

Self-educating is Key

Spagnolo says that although he didn’t start out his property journey following a specific and sophisticated strategy, he always stayed educated and he explains why.

Anthony Spagnolo: I just knew things due to being in the property development space and I knew that this was a space where you could make money. Through some seminars I learnt that if you can do the DA yourself, even though the first one that I did was already approved, I could see a way to intrinsically create some value, which included as I mentioned, changing from three to four bedrooms in properties, changing the design and saving on bill cost. I could see where I could manipulate things to a degree to create some extra uplift. I adopted this strategy through just educating myself on what is required.

Although Spagnolo has educated himself in many aspects of property investing, he admits he doesn’t know everything and surrounds himself with experts.

Anthony Spagnolo: Hiring the right people is key. I've got a really good architect from a big firm, some town planners that I work with and have worked with previously on large scale projects. So I had access to the right people, which would be my advice to anyone getting into the property investing or development space, surround yourself with the right people because obviously you can't be an expert at everything. Hire people that you feel comfortable with, but also do your due diligence and make sure that they have got the capabilities to give you the best service possible.

He has created a niche for himself in the development space and doesn’t see himself rocking the boat in the near future. Until he builds things up a little bit, he is happy to follow a rinse and repeat strategy.

Anthony Spagnolo: I’ve seen the shortcomings that can come from working with partners in projects as my father has a business partner and often you may not see eye to eye with your partner. So whilst I can keep it manageable, I will continue to do my own thing. But as I create more of a portfolio then I can say that I might potentially move to working on larger townhouse sizes. I'm happy to proceed this way and just see where it takes me as this is what I understand and can do at the moment.

Learning how to Delegate

Spagnolo explains his role in the development of 36 townhouses in Wetherill Park that he took on two or three years ago, which ultimately prompted him to get another license.

Anthony Spagnolo: Initially we didn't have builders within the business prior to this project, so we would contract the build out and through our network we had some really good builders that we knew personally. My role in those developments was more so just running things behind the scenes, taking care of contracts administration, going to site meetings, getting progress updates and ultimately just making sure that the project was running on schedule. 

As I said previously, you wear many hats in a family business. So at the beginning of the project I was getting finance, dealing with the da process, working with architects on the design and getting the best prices. That had basically been my role throughout the whole process of these developments. The only thing that I probably didn't have as much expertise in was the actual sourcing of the sites, which is what I began to do and develop at a later stage. 

Working on the 36 townhouses is what got me into the real estate side of things, so we began doing some off the plan sales and selling the projects ourselves. Getting my real estate licensee was more so a credential that I thought I needed being that I run the property advisory or buyers agency business.

How does he manage his time between the buyers agency and working on his own projects?

Anthony Spagnolo: I felt like I was juggling a lot of projects up until the start of this year. We had three or four sites that happened to be in the DA process or rezoning process at the same time, and so we didn’t have projects where we were actively doing something at that time. In the last month we’ve started a new project in Minchinbury, but as my own business has taken off, I’ve stepped away to look after my own portfolio and projects. 

I've only got one project under construction at the moment and so I decided to get my builders license, but I still have another builder who is essentially running the project for me, while I manage it from afar. I am able to do this because I have good faith and good trust in my builder and that makes it easier to focus on the clients that I'm working with at the buyers agency.

Test Your Limits to See What You can Accomplish

With an exceedingly strong work ethic, Spagnolo continues to add more to his plate, building up his portfolio and strengthening his relationships and reputation at his buyers agency.

Anthony Spagnolo: I just want to prove to myself that I can do it all, and that is the most important thing. I want to achieve more and be able to support my three little girls and my wife and that entails setting goals for myself and then proving it to others as well. My father has been my mentor all along and that means I also want to prove to him or show him that I am capable of achieving success.

Spagnolo understands the importance of having people around you that you can learn from, as he is always trying to better himself.

Anthony Spagnolo: Although there is no one else that I would specifically call a mentor, I've always had other experienced people that I talk to. You can never get enough knowledge and so I’m always looking to pick people’s brains and try to learn something new from them. Since I've had the property advisory business and have worked with a coach in the digital marketing space to get my business up and running, this has now led to a good friend of mine asking me to design new deals in the digital marketing space and he has sort of become like a mentor to me in getting this business up and running and off the ground and figuring out my strategy. That has been a good experience because you got someone to lean on and learn from.

Setting Goals for Yourself

Not only does he find learning material in various resources, he also brushes up on his mindset by looking into stories of inspiration in any capacity.

Anthony Spagnolo: One that comes to mind is Brendon Burchard’s book High Performance Habits. I'll do a daily journal where I set goals for myself, which I think helps solidify where you are, where you want to go and just keeps you on track. Another book that I enjoyed was David Goggins’ memoir, Can’t Hurt Me. It is not property specific, as he is a former U.S. Navy SEAL who has also run ultra marathons and had the world record for most amount of chin ups in 24 hours. It is moreso a motivational book and I've done a couple of half marathons myself last year, which this book inspired. It’s one of true grit and is really inspiring.

Spagnolo also finds that exercising daily helps him stay focused and motivated. This also requires him to keep routines, which is important in his professional life and pushes him to do better.

Anthony Spagnolo: I've done only half marathons and so I was planning on doing a full one this year but COVID hit and so I’ve begun slacking off a bit. I do like to exercise daily however, whether it’s in the gym, boxing, running or playing soccer or football. 

So what would he say to himself ten years ago? Would he do anything differently?

Anthony Spagnolo: I would probably tell myself to keep my head down, work harder and stop messing around. I would have also liked to have been self-educating earlier, off of anyone whether it's just an investor or someone who wants to get into property development. I know that I was probably in a really good situation and I had the great advantage of being surrounded by great people and great opportunities, but I feel that even when you know the starting point and how to go take the next step, you sometimes feel stuck. So I think my advice to myself would be to just start educating yourself and then the rest will come and that daily activity equals success.

Spagnolo could always see the bigger picture in terms of his property journey and therefore believed that he could do it all. 

Anthony Spagnolo: That was probably something that was holding me back for a little bit because you have got to take baby steps to get there essentially.

Over the next five years he hopes to continue helping others who are experiencing the same journey that he has been on.

Anthony Spagnolo: I want to help others build their portfolios and start working towards their futures and if they don't know where to begin, I'm more than happy to give them a helping hand. I’d also like to continue working on my own projects and just see where it goes.

Daily Activity Equals Success

Tyrone Shum: My last question to you is: How much of this is because of your knowledge, your skill and you know hard work, or do you think this is all based on luck?

Anthony Spagnolo: You’ve got to do the research and you’ve got to get in there and be active. Luck can help things along but daily activity, that's the compound effect where little things keep adding up. Eventually, maybe a couple of years down the track you will look back and think, ‘I’ve gotten here by following the steps taking and not skipping any steps’.

He trusts in the process and continues to work harder and harder each day, perfecting his craft and taking it all in.

Anthony Spagnolo: It's a learning experience and you never stop learning or having new experiences, otherwise it can become boring.