Lea Schodel worked as a financial advisor for 17 years before she decided that while money was her passion, it was not in a nine to five office situation. As she climbed the corporate ladder, Lea realised that money did not equal happiness and her richest clients were often the most stressed and bothered.

Leaving her job in financial services, Lea co-founded Wellthy, a financial program focused on empowering individual perspectives on money. The organisation delivers workshops and seminars helping people to take control of their financial health. “Whilst the left brain, typical approach of using logic, numbers, spreadsheets and projections to address money related issues is necessary, we also need to introduce the right brain elements around empowerment, feelings, values, desires and goals. It’s a head plus heart approach to money,” Lea said. “I also found it slightly ironic that often those people requiring the most support with their finances, can’t afford the financial advice. In creating a social enterprise, I wanted to foster an inclusive environment where anyone seeking financial education or support with their relationship with money, could access it.”

Lea’s teachings about money are not traditional. One of her pet peeves is the word budget and prefers the much less restrictive term intentional spending plan. “Initially the combination of mindfulness, personal wellbeing and positive psychology with personal finance was met with a little scepticism. However, I’m a big believer that just because something hasn’t yet been done, or isn’t yet the norm doesn’t mean it can’t be! I’ve always been someone to look at ways to do things differently. I get inspiration from just about everywhere and am always seeking to innovate and create!”

Lea is a wild and free spirit that also happens to ooze determination and success. “When I started in the industry 17 years ago, it was very, very male-dominated, however slowly we are seeing more women entering the financial services space. I think women bring a different toolkit to the profession with more emotional intelligence and a softer approach to what is a topic that often stirs a huge range of both positive and negative emotions.” Lea has an approach to finance that is creative, enlightening and enjoyable.