I spent 15 years in corporate so that you don't have to

You're welcome!

While looking after multiple multi-eight figure businesses in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, my role as business CFO consisted of:

  • Collaboration across global teams and timezones
  • Conflicting deadlines, projects and clients
  • Every type of plan imaginable
  • So many meetings on strategy, numbers and teams that it's a wonder I got anything else done

I finally left all this glamour behind to take a selfie with a polar bear.

And because, well,

  • 10 days vacation – unacceptable!
  • People nagging – life’s too short...
  • Dull tasks – is it wine o’clock yet?

But here’s what all that time in corporate taught me

  • Planning is a science based on guesswork that's really an art form.
  • Business is a puzzle and, whether it's a six, seven or eight figure problem, there is a solution.
  • Teams can make or break you
  • Ninja level prioritisation and productivity are survival skills.
  • Numbers are a tool not a taskmaster (even though you may feel stripped bare in front of me, I swear I'm only looking at your data).
  • Murphy’s law is real.  And not only will everything that can go wrong, go wrong eventually, it will also go wrong when you least expect it at the worst possible moment.

So I  set off traveling ticking off place after place, experience after experience filling my feed with drool-worthy food, and taking pictures with Polar bears. I was a walking “tick all the places you’ve been” quiz. 

Somehow, somewhere in between a good cry on my friend’s couch and a cliche trip to Bali (more crying), I created a half-assed plan to “never go back to corporate” 

And I didn’t. But quickly found myself on the burnout, Netflix and burn it all down, merry-go-round that is following everyone else’s advice about growing a bajillion-figure business. 

We’ve been taught that achievement is good. Success looks like lots of money. And 9-5 is the bare minimum. So is it really surprising that we’re constantly trying to win? 


I’m Diane, a spreadsheet crazy, puzzle solving, systems nerd who re-writes 80s music into business theme songs and can make an acronym for any service you offer..

I believe:

  • Life should be an adventure
  • Business should be fun
  • Systems are sexy AF
  • Numbers tell A story not the ONLY story
  • Spreadsheets can save your life or at least your sanity

And here’s what nearly ten years in the small business world taught me...

While big business relentlessly pursues growth at all costs, small businesses tread carefully, wary of the pitfalls of their larger counterparts: toxic culture, bureaucracy, and sacrificing all on the altar of profit.

But it's essentially the same game, just played in different arenas.

Small businesses thrive by playing smarter, not just harder:

  • It's not the size of your resources; it's how you use them.
  • It's not the number of opportunities; it's finding the right one.
  • It's not how many people know your name; it's the relationships you build.
  • It's not the size of your team; it's the culture you build.
  • It's not the amount of data you have; it's the insight it give you.

It's not about chasing the big boys; it's about leveraging their lessons to grow your business.


More about me including the polar bear selfie:

  • When I was ready to quit corporate, I booked a non-refundable hella expensive bucket list trip to Hudson Bay, Canada to get cosy with a polar bear so I couldn’t chicken out. Plans work people!
  • What’s it like to work with me? I think a former colleague summed it up best. He said, “Diane knows her sh*t, gets sh*t done and doesn’t take sh*t.”
  • My life is run on spreadsheets and post its! Case in point…When I was living in Hong Kong, I had a color-coded spreadsheet of all the places I wanted to visit, the best times to go and what to see so I could immediately assess and jump on flight deals. People rolled their eyes until they needed travel advice.
  • I’m first generation South African. Yes I can speak Afrikaans (badly) and no, my accent isn’t that strong as I’ve since lived in the London, Hong Kong and Dublin but it is still NOT Australian.
  • I have all the travel apps – and if you find one I don’t know about and love, we will have to be BFFs.
  • I got to do all of this because I live a pretty unconventional life without commitments or dependants so I get this isn't everyone's reality. My goal is to help you find what works for you.