When Julio De Laffitte arrived in Australia in the 1980s as a 20-year-old Brazilian immigrant he noticed two things: the first was that the problems people felt they were facing in the so-called ‘lucky country’ were comparatively small, and the second was that opportunities for building wealth were within his reach – if he worked hard.
“I came here with nothing and Australia gave me an incredible opportunity to be a real entrepreneur over time,” De Laffitte recalls.
Armed with an economics degree, De Laffitte quickly learned how to comply with government rules and apply them in the best way to grow his wealth. Being raised by a lawyer mum and entrepreneur dad meant that he was exposed early on to the mindsets governing both worlds.
After purchasing three investment properties and consulting an accountant on the benefits of having these assets, De Laffitte learned the value of becoming financially savvy and he began to help others to achieve the same.
“What we need to do is to have a world in which collaboration is a real currency.” – Julio De Laffitte
“I realised that the more you invest, the less tax you pay. The less tax you pay, the more you drive your debt down. The less debt you have, the more you invest. That went into me like a virus,” he says.
The serial entrepreneur then launched a book entitled, Is your accountant an idiot?, a software tool, WealthGoal, and Just Do Life Strategies, a company that’s been in business for almost 30 years that is dedicated to elevating the financial intelligence of Australians.
For De Laffitte, the generation of wealth serves a greater purpose than simply kicking back and enjoying life’s pleasures.
“What we need to do is to have a world in which collaboration is a real currency,” he says.
He believes that financial success coupled with a solid value proposition are some of the key drivers of achieving societal progress and innovation.
“Success is the capacity to deliver resources with a well-formulated idea to make something new happen,” he explains.
A game-changer at heart, De Laffitte founded the Unstoppables movement in 2014 to bring CEOs, business owners, entrepreneurs and trend makers together in order to stretch their minds and shape ideas into tangible outcomes.
“The slogan for Unstoppables is amazing people going to amazing places to produce amazing results,” he explains. “That’s exactly what we’re doing.”
One of De Laffitte’s famous mottos is the idea of going to the edge in business and in life.
Arguably the biggest advantage for attendees of the entrepreneurial think tanks are the conversations that take place in extraordinary settings, which have the ability to transport you beyond the everyday.
“When we say go to the edge, it’s pretty much the edge of what you know. People broaden their understanding so that they can actually make better decisions,” he says.
Who wouldn’t fancy a trip to the wild Amazon or a lush rainforest in tropical Queensland?
However, De Laffitte is adamant that these adventures aren’t for the faint-hearted.
“It is an intense program for anyone who wants to get ahead in life. What I would say to you is you get to live five years in five days,” he tells The CEO Magazine
Airscope, his latest business success story, was born from one such trip. A conversation with a Qantas pilot that initially revolved around creating a drone airline now solves a critical problem: detecting issues in remote locations, including mines and oil rigs, using drone technology.
“Now that Airscope exists, the drones do all the inspections and we notice if something is not right. I can give you the longitude and latitude of that pipe that’s going to burst,” he shares.
Through the power of collaboration and asking the right questions – an area he is well-versed in – De Laffitte is committed to nurturing local entrepreneurship and business ideas.
“Everybody’s trying to relate to what they don’t know through something that they do know,” he explains.
Thinking beyond that which the mind is familiar with can often lead to progress and true innovation.
From an app that can detect glaucoma through taking a photograph to a smart electricity company, a conversation with De Laffitte opens up a world of possibilities to those who dare to take the path less travelled.
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