MILESTONES: Laying Business Foundations
Chris Sales represents the Sunshine Coast’s next generation of business people. He believes in a healthy work/life balance, giving back to the community and creating your own luck through hard work and perseverance. In February, his business Luxe Commercial celebrated its first birthday – an impressive milestone for the startup, which prides itself on doing things a little bit differently.
Life changing milestones
Signing up to Kawana Waters nippers, 1990
I love the Sunshine Coast lifestyle and everything that comes with it; the water and the weather. I’ve been involved with surf life saving since I was five years old. Now I’m a patrol captain at Kawana Waters. I volunteer as much as I can at the club as a way of giving back and supporting my local community.
Starting my first business, 2003
I started my first business, trolley collection, after graduating from Siena Catholic College in 2002. I was 18 at the time and wanted to take a more hands-on approach to business, rather than pursuing a university degree. I saw an opportunity to improve the trolley collection service and increase profitability through improved systems and procedures. I learned on the job and within three years went from having 12 to 125 staff and an annual turnover of $3 million.
I volunteer as much as I can at the [Kawana Waters Surf] club as a way of giving back and supporting my local community.”
Buying my first property, 2007
Buying my first property at 22 was a leap of faith. It taught me a lot about goal setting, responsibilities and the property industry. The Warana house was across the road from the beach and I spent a couple of years enjoying the lifestyle before undertaking a full renovation. It was a steep learning curve on how to manage a job and that you really do get what you pay for.
Losing my mentor Brian Barr, 2011
Sunshine Coast GP and cosmetic surgeon Brian Barr and I met through triathlon training. He could out-swim, ride and run almost anyone, regardless of age. Despite our 40-year age difference Brian became my mentor and a confidante. He taught me about training, business and life. When he died from an aggressive form of cancer only four months after he was diagnosed, I was at a loss. It taught me how precious life is and to make the most of every opportunity.
Launching Luxe Commercial, 2015
Launching Luxe Commercial in February 2015 wasn’t a decision I took lightly. I was determined to do business differently and it was always going to be a risk to try something new and untested. In February this year, we celebrated 12 months in business, having gone from a two-person start-up to a full-service sales, leasing and property management agency servicing the entire Sunshine Coast. Luxe employs seven full time staff and we’ve completed 73 successful transactions to date. The work is as hard as it was 12 months ago but it’s humbling to achieve results for clients who have put their faith in us. It’s what drives you on to bigger and better things.