WHEN he was a teenager working in his dad's garage – Adrian Portelli always dreamed of owning a Lamborghini.
And now 17 years since his humble beginnings, he has got his dream car and is an entrepreneur with an estimated net worth of £270million dubbed "Mr Lambo".
And alongside his orange Lamborghini, he's also got a £1million McLaren Senna GTR which he had winched 57 floors up into his brand new £20million penthouse.
The extraordinarily flashy act saw him make headlines worldwide – and now he's told The Sun Online about how his rise to wealth came from an obsession to become rich.
The 34-year-old Aussie's accumulated most of his wealth through side-hustles and venturing into the tech industry.
Adrian grew up in the tough west Melbourne suburb of St Albans, where he worked at his dad's truck repair workshop.
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He said: "My family wasn't wealthy and my parents were very hard on me.
"It was the old school mentality, work nine to five, save every penny, get a mortgage, buy a house and pay it off in the next 15 years.
"I saw the hard sacrifices my parents had to make to support our family and I just refused.
"With technology advancements today, there are easier ways to make money.
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"I saved up and put that money towards little side hustles."
A graphic designer by trade, Adrian would eventually pack up shop at 21 and head to the US to dream big.
He said: "Prior to making the move, I told my mum I was going to become a millionaire.
"She replied 'you're a dreamer'."
Adrian's reaction wasn't normal, he claimed it shattered him.
He added: "It broke my heart.
"I wrote down those words 'you're a dreamer' and put them on the fridge so I could never forget that moment."
As he headed for the land of opportunity, he initially moved to Las Vegas to start a chauffeur business but was quickly pushed out by the Russian mafia, he claimed.
Adrian then moved to Los Angeles, where he faced the harsh realities of start-ups.
He said: "I didn't have consistent work.
"I had to work as an Uber driver to make ends meet, doing days on end and sleeping in the car just to keep afloat.
"I was living in a really bad neighbourhood where I had a gun pulled out on me twice.
"I was sleeping on the floor, crying to my mum on the phone most nights… but you just got to keep pushing forward.
"I knew what the end goal was."
His first taste of success came after he adapted his business plan to California, operating four cars that transported high-end clients in Hollywood.
However, that would also come to an end from exterior pressures.
As the cost of living crisis took hold, Adrian got a new roommate who turned out to be a tech whizz.
The men banded together and built a network of like-minded people who began investing and building a few apps.
He said: "Some things worked, some things didn't.
"Uber was fresh back then, so we created an online concierge service for high net worth individuals and teamed up with private yacht and jet owners to create the platform."
The app would evolve into a mega money maker and from there the Australian businessman is believed to have made his fortunes.
He eventually moved back home and now runs a promotional company called LMCT+ and spreads his wealth in property.
He said: "Conservatively, I'd say my net worth is about $500million (AUD)."
The snapshot of his successful enterprise doesn't compare to the self-loathing he went through to get there, Adrian claimed.
He said: "I set very tough goals for myself that you wouldn't even want to talk about.
"There was a Drake song with the lyrics '25, sitting at 25 million' and I remember saying to myself 'that's it, that's the goal.
"I didn't achieve that and I was devastated.
"I am my biggest critic and I used to cry and just hate myself because I thought I'd be a lot further on in my career at that age."
Adrian clearly pursued and continues to do so, but he warned it was soul-destroying graft.
He said: "It's an unhealthy relationship, it consumed my life.
"I burnt more than a decade of my life being absolutely broke.
"I worked seven days a week, you know 15 to 17 hour days, for eight years without seeing a return.
"Everyone is built differently and my mindset worked for me.
"But what I would say is that it has to come from within.
"It is short term pain for long term gain."
Adrian claimed he was so tortured from his past that he used it as motivation.
He said: "I still work every day as if I was living at home at my parents place or sleeping on the floor in LA and just terrified to be in that position again."
While the self-made millionaire admitted he has never been content -there was a short moment of positive self-reflection that encapsulated his success.
He said: "When I used to drive around in that beat up Nissan Micra, I convinced myself I was driving my poster car that was an orange Lamborghini.
"There was only one of those exact models in Australia and when I did eventually have the money, I approached the owner and bought the car.
"When I got it, I took it down the same route that I used to drive the Micra and that to me was an achievement.
"That was the pinnacle."
As for being labelled "you're a dreamer" – that is now the name of his luxury Lamborghini boat currently being made in Italy.
"I can't teach you anything, it has to come from within," he told The Sun Online.
"I brainwashed myself to keep going and wouldn't settle for less.
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"I said to myself 'If I am not making $1million a year by the time I am 30… you know, game over'.
"That was the extreme level I was at."
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