WE CASE STUDY: Jeanette
She’s ambitious yet humble and inspiringly successful. Redefining what it means to have it all by juggling growing businesses that offer career coaching and business branding as well as rocking a digital innovation career focused on financial solutions.
With generosity at the core of what she does, her projects include teaching marketing workshops, running charity events like The Gingerbread Demolition as well as being heavily involved in the entrepreneurial community.
She’s straight down the line girl you’ll want to have a wine with, preferably in one of Melbourne’s most rated restaurants, as food is a big passion of hers.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m no early bird, so apart from a few emails, I get up in the morning and head straight to work, squeezing in a chat to my Hacker Exchange co-founder in San Francisco on the tram. Then it’s juggling my role at ANZ, meeting new clients for The Hired during my lunch breaks and catching up on other work in the evenings (with maybe an episode of Marvel’s Luke Cage thrown in to break it up!).
I like being involved in the startup community so at least once a week I’ll attend a meet-up for one of these business groups. I also assist with running events for a girls-only entrepreneurial group called Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine, where I’m the Melbourne ambassador. We are similar to the League of Extraordinary Women but slightly less polished and focused more on those just beginning their journey or trying to transition out of the corporate world.
How did The Hired and The Hacker Exchange come about?
I’d been thinking about starting a business for a while. Career coaching and personal branding were something I found myself doing naturally and so often that I thought I might as well start charging for it.
I took a few classes on web design and as part of the curriculum, I put together a website and it pretty much went from there. Before I knew it, I was sending out invoices as a fully fledged business.
The Hacker Exchange is a more recent but related business venture, where we provide skills and internship exchange for entrepreneurial Aussie university students to Silicon Valley.
What makes you jump out of bed and why?
When I see someone with the seeds of an idea or goal in mind and I can inspire them further and put structures in place to make it happen, that’s what genuinely excites me.
Sometimes people just need some confidence, a bit of a spark and the tools to put towards their ideas. And often I can show them a broader spectrum of possibilities to what they envisioned on their own. That moment they realise their potential is really inspiring.
Can you share with us some of your core values?
Generosity is a big one. For me, it’s super important not only with my money but my time and energy. I never want to say, “Let’s be tight with that,” especially to my family and friends.
And having the freedom to be able to travel and take a break, at least once a year.
What is the “why” behind what you do?
I’ve always enjoyed the creative side of marketing and have found that people don’t use it enough when it comes to their CV’s, career plans or even business ideas. Applying that creative stretch really opens up a broader range of possibilities and I love that.
I really enjoy investing in people and helping them take their next step towards success. My role at ANZ is also centred around wealth creation so I love helping in that capacity as well.
Watching someone get that “aha” moment when they learn something game changing or realise they can bust their own myth, that’s really exciting for me.
Prior to joining WE, what was your general attitude towards money?
I used to think that being generous with money meant paying the bill or shouting endless rounds of drinks. Being with WE, I’ve realised that people don’t expect that and more importantly, that type of spending just gets in the way of reaching my goals.
I’ve always just assumed that being young and earning a decent living, would equate to always having money. I realise now how quickly my income is spent without a structure in place. They’ve brought awareness to the fact that my ability to earn money is a finite resource and accumulating wealth in other ways is crucial.
At what point in your entrepreneurial journey were you introduced to WE?
I happened to be seated next to Sarah at an industry awards nights years ago when we were both new to financial services. A short time later I spotted her listed as a finalist for Money Management’s financial planner of the year and sent her a congratulatory message and we reconnected.
I really loved the vision, drive and passion behind what they do and I joined out of mutual respect. They were working hard and I could appreciate that. That was over 5 years ago and my level of respect for what they do has only increased.
What was the standout learning or realisation from your Goals & Values session?
Realising that everything was connected, in terms of my spending habits and what’s important to me personally. That meant that I couldn’t set a goal that didn’t line up with my values. Having someone to keep me accountable to that is important.
Since joining WE, what specific behaviours or habits around money have now changed?
I’m no longer in the mindset of people pleasing. I’m more confident with where my money goes. My spending habits are now thought out and reflect what’s important to me, such as building the business and helping my parents with their retirement.
What has been your biggest accomplishment since joining WE?
Even though I’ve achieved a lot financially, I feel my biggest accomplishments are attitude related.
Gaining the confidence to start and grow my business has been so valuable. I’ve gone from worrying about putting my authentic self out there to saying, “Fuck it, I know what I’m talking about and I’m actually good at what I do!” And more importantly, being ok if people don’t agree with me.
A lot of that has also come from watching Sarah and being inspired by how she takes on challenges. She’s taught me to be bold and become comfortable with upsetting the status quo. I feel like we’re treading a similar path and I’m very motivated by how she grows her businesses.
I’ve also learnt to talk less and do more through Christine’s coaching. She keeps me accountable and motivates me to get things done!
What would you say would be the highlight of joining WE?
Clearing all my personal credit cards which accumulatively were close to $30K. And building a share portfolio at the same time.
Each year I’ve achieved my lifestyle goal of one overseas trip, with a budget of between $4-$6k plus a couple of domestic ones each year too.
Obviously starting and growing my business and as mentioned gaining the confidence to do so. Also, I feel like Sarah is always accessible, if I have a business dilemma she’ll jump on Skype and say, “Let’s talk about it”. We’ve developed a great mentor relationship and that’s been another amazing part of the process.
If a friend or entrepreneur asked you why they should join WE, what would you say?
Being with WE goes way beyond building wealth and having your finances managed. They provide a holistic view of wealth creation, linking everything to how you spend. And they want you to succeed in all areas. I’ve had Christine even coaching me through my health and fitness goals. It’s all important and related. If you want drive-thru insurance, they’re not for you.
The cash flow analysis is also very valuable. You need to see what you’re spending and have it clearly drawn out in front of you. The quarterly catch-ups are also great. They’re regular enough to stay on top of things, rather than the old school way of meeting annually.
I’m also continuously impressed at how on top of technology they are. Rather than feeling threatened, they look at how to use these technologies within their business, which is really admirable.
If you could give advice to a 10-years younger you, what would you say?
Definitely, save more! Be more in tune and listen to your instincts. Don’t people please your way through, you don’t always have to be the nice girl. And don’t take things too seriously. Accept that not everything has to be right and perfect all the time. I’m still working on that one.
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Disclaimer: all information contained within this article is of a general nature and should not be relied upon when making financial decisions. Please consult a professional financial advisor or planner (like us!) before acting.