When is it OK to start a new job?
A former rugby league player who left his job as a nurse to start his own physiotherapy practice says he feels he’s finally started his own business after nearly two decades of struggling to find funding.
Key points:Natalie Kostenovic says she feels she has finally found a “place” for her business after years of struggle to get funding from the State GovernmentNatalie is an experienced athlete who played for the Melbourne Rebels and was one of the first people to open a gym in Melbourne after being diagnosed with cancer.
She says she had been living in a nursing home for years and wanted to start her own business, which she called “New Life”Natasha Kostensic says she felt she had finally found the right place after “living in a place that was closed to me” and that “nothing would help me”.
She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2013 and was put on a “continuous treatment” plan for 12 months, but her treatment became more intensive after her cancer worsened in the winter of that year.
After she started working, Natasha said she was able to find a place where she felt “safe” to start running and fitness classes.
“I was getting up in the morning, I was feeling good, I knew I had a lot of things going on in my life that needed to be addressed,” she said.
“So it was about getting into a business that could give me a chance to get back on my feet and to start to get my life back on track.”
But after more than a year of living in the nursing home, she says she decided to start New Life Fitness after she found out the facility’s owner was also on the government’s Health Insurance Rebate (HIRA).
“The nurse said, ‘You know, it’s a good idea to start this place because I want to give you the same kind of treatment and care that I do, and I think you’ll be happier’,” she said, adding she thought it would be “nice to be able to provide the same care that you do”.
Natasha said when she started, the fitness center was just a few hundred square metres and she was “very happy”.
But after she got out of the nursing house, she said it took several months for her to get a licence and get a license plate.
“The plates were so expensive that they were going for over $500,” she told 7.30.
“We were only able to get plates in Victoria, so we just had to get our drivers license and our health cards and then we had to put it on our licence plate, which was a very, very expensive plate.”
Natasha has since been able to pay off the entire initial investment of $200,000 with the help of the HIRA and now she has “only” $150,000 left to cover her costs.
“It’s a very tough thing for me to get on and I feel like it’s kind of the ultimate, ultimate, life sentence,” she added.
“At least we’re able to afford to have the plates in our garage, but we’ve been able through the whole process of getting this licence plate to pay it off and get it out of our garage.”
Natalia said she felt like she was in the same boat as many other people, but she also felt that her experience could be useful for others.
“If I had the experience of someone else in my situation, I would say I can definitely relate to their situation,” she explained.
“Hopefully, I can get the message out there that if you want to be successful in life, it really doesn’t have to be hard, and that you can start now.”
And that’s something I’m going to do for a long time.
“Topics:health,health-policy,community-and-society,health,community,community_and-organisations,health_management,healthcare-facilities,nursing,healthpolicy,melbourne-3000,vic Source ABC News’ First Contact