Jody Fenton & Boutique Money Management
Introducing the personal trainer for your finances



Getting to the office before 7am wasn't unusual, it was a great time to read and respond to emails before the rest of the staff started to arrive. However, what do you do when one of those emails is from another senior manager and is telling you they want to override a decision you've made and already had approved by the national management team. Jody knew she did her job well, long hours were needed to cover the workload to the high level of standard she prided herself on. When her boss arrived, Jody approached him about the email, I don't need this crap he told her, "neither do I" was Jody's response and she realized she didn't need nor want to deal with crap like this any longer.


As a child I was often described as a bull in a china shop. I got an idea in my mind and nothing would stop me from pursuing that idea. I was a determined child and quite happy to go out on my own to achieve things that were different from what my parents knew and understood and what my older sibling had achieved. I was never very good at following in their footsteps as somehow that didn't hold the same excitement for me as things that were totally new. This side of me became quite obvious to my parents who enrolled both my sister and I in all the same extra-curricular activities whether it was brownies, girl guides, tennis or tae kwon do and being the youngest I was expected to go along with whatever activity my sister chose. I started rebelling against this at quite an early age, around the age of 6. My early rebellions included simple things like attempting to get different merit badges at Brownies than those my sister had achieved. I then progressed to finding all sorts of excuses as to why I couldn't compete in other activities that I didn't really have an interest in. At the age of 11 I convinced my parents to transfer my extra curricular sport to indoor netball and I found a competition to join that was within bike riding distance to my house that I knew they would let me ride to each week and that I could afford with my own pocket money.

As a teenager I was still referred to as a bull in a china shop and often called stubborn. I didn't want to follow the in crowd any more than I had wanted to follow in my sister's footsteps as a child so I quite happily sought out friendships with different people of different backgrounds and different age groups in a bid to find people like myself. Not an easy task when you are 5ft 7, skinny as a rake and have an older sister already at the same school.

Leading a successful corporate career often means you have to follow in footsteps whether you agree with them or not, sometimes this is easy and sometimes it isn't.


When I left school, I headed straight out to work which was the first chance I felt I had to start doing what I wanted to do, the problem was I didn't really know what I wanted to do so getting paid employment seemed like a good place to start. It was a great place to start as it allowed me to start travelling the world at 19 when I first saved up enough money to leave the country. A passion I still enjoy today and one I am very glad I have indulged in over the years.

It didn't take long for me to realize that although I was a hard worker and my bosses really liked that, I still was a bull in a china shop which made working for someone else very frustrating. I always wanted to try new things, do things a bit differently if I could see it would benefit the business overall but sometimes it is hard to convince general managers that your ideas are worth pursuing and spending a bit of money on.

I was thrilled when I got the opportunity in 2007 to open my own business. Finally I was a bull in my own china shop so I could run around all I wanted without upsetting the boss or owner of said shop. I was able to take my years of experience in finance and investing and instead of just answering the questions of my colleagues and friends, I decided to take the next step and offer the same opportunity to the general public who also need to find answers to all of their money questions.

Being a bull in a china shop is great when it's your own business as you can try new things without a lot of the red tape that slows you down in bigger businesses. I was very frustrated as an employee and senior manager in both private and public companies as the red tape you had to go through to implement something new often meant the enthusiasm and benefit of the change was lost before you had the new process in place. Running my own business meant I no longer had this problem but the problem I now face is that just like my childhood, I don't wish to follow in other people's footsteps but rather I can see where things could be better in the financial services industry and I want to pursue those changes. I am happy to do things a bit differently to everyone else ahead of me and I love to see those changes come to fruition.


The issue with this is how does a small business make a huge change and impact to an existing industry without running out of resources. Changing a company is hard enough but changing an industry is momentous!




When I worked in corporate roles I was so determined to make improvements and changes to these businesses that I often worked 80+ hours per week. This left little time to nurture personal relationships and towards my late 20's I decided enough was enough. I had a gorgeous man in my life whom I knew was special and I wanted to make sure we survived the long hours I worked. Deciding my work/life balance needed a review we headed overseas for a working holiday.


Being a bull in a china shop I still wasn't taking the time to make sure I didn't break anything. I had underestimated the toll my previous career and lifestyle was taking on my health. I didn't notice that I wasn't quite as healthy as I used to be, I was close but it turns out close is not close enough. During our overseas working holiday my health took a turn for the worse and I was diagnosed with cancer. What a shock that was to me, how on earth did that sneak up on me without my knowing about it or having any early warning signs. I had known I needed time out from the stressful jobs and long hours which is why we went overseas in the first place but less than 12 months later we were headed home again so I could undergo treatment. I finally got the time out to focus on me, it was a much needed forced sabbatical.


Once my health was under control my focus turned towards finding a balance between my personal life and my professional life. I knew I would always be a person who put in 110% or more so I took some time to think about what I really wanted to put all of my energy into now that also would give me time for a personal life and to look after my health. What roles would give me the professional challenge I craved as well as giving me time to look after my health.


I decided to embark on a slightly new venture, one I had thought about for many years but never had the time to really focus on as a business opportunity. Now I had the time so why not take up this challenge. In 2007 I started my own financial education business. I knew this was a much needed service and market research backed up my thoughts on this subject. I could easily work the long hours that were needed in a start up business while also working them at times that suited my health rather than when my boss dictated that I work them.


What I still had yet to learn is how to forge a new path in an existing industry and how to turn this market niche into a necessary part of a changing industry. I am still working on this task 3 years later.