Nothing inspires success like success. YBI takes a peek at the stories behind the winning ways of some homegrown success stories to see what lessons can be learned for the rest of us.

If you’re looking to build wealth over time you need to make your money work for you says Australia venture capitalist Hugh Bickerstaff. Bickerstaff should know, as Chief Investment Officer of Investible, Bickerstaff is a canny investor. Over the years he’s backed unicorns like Canva and startups such as Inamo and Five Good Friends. Diversification is one of Bickerstaff’s key takeaways.

Speaking to Stockhead he commented: “The thing about early-stage investing is that valuations are low, so potential returns can be really high but you’ve got to do it on a portfolio basis.”

When speaking with potential early-stage investors, Bickerstaff warns never to put all your eggs in one basket, instead measure out your investment. Do your sums and divide it by three or four he suggests.

“You’re going to be investing over a three or four year period, and you don’t want to make all your investments straight away,” he says.

“Then divide that by 10, because you want around 10 investments each year to build your portfolio towards 30 or 40. So that’s the kind of thinking that should drive your individual cheque size.”

For twins Sana and Mona Ali, building wealth has been a case of slow and steady wins the race. The Pakistani born migrants came to Australia at the age of 15 and settled in Sydney with their family. It wasn’t long before the teenagers realised the opportunities their new homeland could bring and they set about working and saving to create a better life for themselves. Ten years ago, with the aid of the first home buyers grant, the twins bought their first property for $40,000 in Parramatta.  But it wasn’t long before the duo set their sights on making a second purchase.

Speaking to Smart Property Investment Sana recalls: “Moving countries was a huge personal challenge. We were living in a low socioeconomic area of Sydney and we just saw people around us living really good lives. It really pushed us and made us wonder, ‘What if we could buy more than one house?’”

Seven months after purchasing their first property, the girls added a second to their portfolio. As the market boomed the sisters sold off their first two investments for massive profits and used the funds to purchase their third and fourth properties. It wasn’t long before they were leveraging that property to buy their fifth.

Today the girls are known as ‘The Property Twins’. They have a portfolio with over ten properties and have opened their own property investment service.

The pair advise investors not to be afraid of starting small… After all, look at where it got them!

Entrepreneur Nick Bell, founder of digital agency Appscore suggests if you want to achieve success in life you should always look for a mentor.

Bell told that building strong networks were essential to his success and he advised investors to steer clear of get-rich-quick schemes, suggesting if something sounds too good to be true, that’s usually the case.

“Ninety-nine-point-nine per cent of the time, they lead nowhere,” Bell said. “You’re better off buying a lotto ticket or donating your investment to charity — wealth is built with the long-term business plays.”

Perseverance paid off for Canva founders Mel Perkins and Cliff Obrecht. It took three years for the couple to raise the funds needed to get their graphic design platform off the ground. Speaking to Kochie’s Business Builders Perkins said, “We knew that it was a great idea, we just had to convince investors…”

After many pitches and knockbacks, the duo finally secured $50 million in seed funding and was able to build out the platform. Today the business is valued at over $1.3 billion and used by millions of people and businesses around the globe. And that’s one hell of a success story!