Jodie Daniel & Ahava Dead Sea Source
MAJOR CATEGORY WINNER: From homeless 15 year old… to online entrepreneur


I guess Jodie was like most 15 year old girls who argue with their mother… but then, maybe she wasn't the same as most. After one of the many arguments, her mother ordered her to "leave home"… so she did! She climbed out a window with a bag of clothes… and never returned.


It was from that moment on that her life lessons of independence, and self belief began. As Jodie progressed through jobs ranging from factory work, to financial institutions, to self employment – she knew that the only person that could hold her back was herself. And she wasn't going to let that happen.


Having no one to turn to (financially or emotionally) would be tough at times. But it only made Jodie stronger, and more determined to succeed in life.



After leaving home, Jodie shared homes with various people. One group were drinking/drug taking teenagers – which Jodie had never been interested in. She realised if she took that path, it would mean a loss of independence. It could result in dependency of a substance… and she couldn't afford to do that. So Jodie made the conscious decision to not "be a sheep" and refrained from drinking & drugs. Jodie carried this philosophy throughout her life. She took some risks during her life, but always knew that she had to support herself – so ensured that she was always financially capable of doing so.


It was Jodie's quest for self improvement against the odds, that shaped her business career. Having left home so early, she had also left school at that age. So uneducated, and virtually homeless… the job opportunities were sparse. Her first job was at a supermarket, then a factory, then an office job in a publishing company. Jodie always gave 110% effort and was given good references. The greatest opportunity came when she was working for a "temp" agency and was given a 2 week position at a financial institution. That 2 week job turned into a year long position! And that position (in Sydney, Australia) led to various finance jobs including 3 years working in London, UK for major financial institutions like: JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and National Australia Bank.


Whilst sitting at her desk at Goldman Sachs, Jodie pondered her future. She was 24 years old. What if she wanted to get married and have children? Would this result in the demise of her career in finance? All that hard work down the drain? This thought process brought her to the conclusion that she needed to be self employed!


So, returning to her home in Australia, and a year of full time study (Diploma of Health Science) Jodie purchased a struggling beauty/skin care salon. And the journey of self employment began. Jodie built up the struggling salon employing up to 6 staff and purchased a 2nd salon for some time.


It was a mixture of hard work, determination, and taking some risks that propelled Jodie onto success. She never had any financial support (from family, friends or banks), and she had the belief that she could achieve whatever she set her heart on. She always said that if she wanted to become the Prime Minister of Australia – she just had to set her mind to it and work hard… and she could achieve it. (ps: she never had any intention on becoming the Prime Minister).


Professional issue

At 35 Jodie got married. At 37 she had her first child. Business at the beauty salon was going well. When she first set up her business Jodie read "The E-Myth" by Michael Gerber which shaped her vision. To have a business that didn't rely on her completely. A business that created a lifestyle… not a business that was her life. With staff and procedures, Jodie was able to travel overseas regularly, and when she had her baby the beauty salon ran fine whilst she was at home being a mother. But at 39 years old, Jodie was pregnant again. And decided that after 12 years, it was a good time to sell the salon. She invested the money from the salon sale into a larger home for her increasing family.


After 13 years of owning the beauty salon, the idea of being a full time housewife and mother was not very appealing. Jodie needed her independence and wanted to provide financially to her family. So she decided to create a home-based business - a website selling the beauty products that she had stocked in her salon. was created in 2007… and initially it was quite amateur, as Jodie had no web design skills, and couldn't afford to hire professionals. Jodie continued to learn through online resources and various forums. Over time she created a professional looking website, and business grew. Always priding herself on excellent customer service, her customers became loyal fans and refer their friends. During the next two years, through the Global Financial Crisis, Jodie's business has continued to grow.


The business is now at a stage where she can afford to hire professionals. But she still hesitates. She's happy with the work load and level of income that her business currently generates. She can look at hiring SEO specialists, a business coach to develop her business future, and a book-keeper to take care of her mounting bookwork. In fact, there are a myriad of professionals and people that she could outsource and delegate work to take her business to the next level and beyond. No doubt this would generate more income. And that would surely generate more hours she would be required to work.


At present, Jodie works in a spare room of her house. Her online image portrays a large company (she has the toll free number and stocks the entire range of products on site). With growth, she would probably need to move into larger premises. Probably need to hire staff. An increased work load would result in longer work hours and possibly more stress. At this stage there are pro's and cons to growing the business substantially.


So Jodie has come to a cross road… and is not sure what path to take.

- Develop her business which will result in more income. More income can provide a better lifestyle for her family. It can provide a better future.

- Or continue on the current road with a steady growth, a business providing a healthy income, that is virtually stress free. Giving Jodie the ability to spend more time with her young family.


Personal issue

Now Jodie is 42 years old, and has two toddlers; and a desire to have a third child. For the last two years she has been working on her online business… and that has resulted in a lot of late nights, when her children are in bed and her husband watches television alone. Whilst her husband has been incredibly supportive and patient of Jodie's endeavours, a 3rd child would be very demanding on time and energy. But at this age, she can't leave it any longer to have more children. Jodie's independent streak and desire for achievement, battles with her desire to spend more time with her family, and aspirations to expand it.


Being self employed for 15 years, Jodie knows how to juggle many balls… copes well with stress and sleep deprivation. Her conviction that she can achieve anything she desires is as strong today as it was 25 years ago.


Jodie is concerned about having more children at 42 years (which would be giving birth 43 years if she fell pregnant within the next six months). She loves her two children, and would be content with two. But she would also love a third child.

Jodie is also concerned of the time required to operate her business when her family needs her attention. Although in good health now… any illness or injury can throw everything into jeopardy.


At a time when many people start planning their retirement… should Jodie consider taking on more work… and more children?