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About Me

Lea Jovy-Ford

The journey of self discovery is an ongoing work in progress and, in my experience, is underpinned by the need for radical self honesty and awareness. This is what I know about myself, so far…

Personally…

  • I’m Lea (pronounced Lee-UH NOT Lee), although the name my birth mother gave me was Jovy.
  • I’m Filipina, was born in HK and adopted by English parents from birth (who were given just 7 days to prepare for my arrival).
  • I left management consulting with Accenture to re-train as a holistic health coach after my Mum died unexpectedly in 2003.
  • After spending over £10,000 in qualifications to change careers, I realised I actually disliked working with clients as a personal trainer and holistic health coach. DOH.
  • I have two gorgeous children, Milo and Samson. But motherhood is definitely NOT the be-all and end-all for me.
  • I’m married to Becky after coming out in 2016. (And I absolutely believe most women are more sexually fluid than we dare to admit 😉)
  • My core values are freedom, integrity, excellence and empowerment.
  • I’m ridiculously logical, intuitive, spiritual and highly creative – but not in a classically artistic sense.
  • If you’re into Myers Briggs, I’m an INFJ. If you’re into the Fascinate system, I’m the Victor. If you’re into Human Design, I’m a Manifestor.
  • I’m 5 feet and 1.5 inches – the 0.5 is very important. If you’re also this short, you’ll know. [UPDATE: I measured myself in 2022 and somehow I measured 5 feet and 3 inches!!!]
  • I have a very British accent (as I’m frequently told by US clients) and also speak a bit of German, French, Spanish and Italian.

Professionally…

Combined with almost two decades of entrepreneurial experience running a range of my own businesses since 2004, I also have extensive management consulting experience both with one of the world’s largest consulting companies (Accenture, with whom I worked with clients such as BT, Vodafone, Compaq, and more), as well as start-up experience at a smaller boutique consulting company, which I helped set up in Cape Town, South Africa.

During my time as an entrepreneur and business owner, I’ve:

  • Qualified as a REPS Level 4 personal trainer, a CHEK-certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach, a Metabolic Typing Practitioner and an NLP Practitioner.
  • Created a global movement, which garnered international media interest and caught the attention of big brands such as Dell.
  • Worked with hundreds of clients to help make the online business revolution work for them.
  • Written, self-published and sold a number of ebooks; the first back in 2007 before everyone was doing it, and created and sold numerous online courses, programs, and other digital products.
  • Blogged on various blogs since 2005; including being a ‘professional’ blogger (i.e. being paid to blog) for a year.
  • Built several remote-only teams to run and grow my own businesses; including my current start-up, Omnis Education, which reached 6-figures within 6 months, raised $0.5m in 3 months and is now valued as an 8-figure business.
  • Organised and hosted the first (and second) ever national UK conference for illustrators, featuring industry-renowned keynote speakers and panellists at each.
  • Been listed in Forbes magazine’s Thirty Women Entrepreneurs To Follow.
  • Been featured in national and international press. You can see some of these mentions at the bottom of this page.

My CV

Past Projects

Below are several of the ventures and projects I've brought to life since 2004. Not all of them have been great successes but each one has been great in its own special way!

Rescue Desk
(2014-2018)

A global Tech Helpdesk, supported by a team of 4 women, for complementary health and wellness business owners.

The team kept clients websites up to date, troubleshot all their online tech problems, and helped set them up and use online tools more effectively.

zero2illo
(2010-2014)

With my then-husband, Jonathan – at the time an aspiring illustrator – we organised the first UK conference for illustrators in 2012.

With 100+ illustrators and some of the biggest names in the illustration industry, we followed up with an even bigger and better conference a year later.

Startup Training School
(2011-2014)

Outraged at the exorbitant fees charged by most web development agencies, I decided to teach others how to do it themselves.

To launch this business, I hosted a global event for almost 1,000 women to show them how to get a WordPress website up and running in just one day.

Dot Net Connector
(2011)

I spent an entire year writing About pages for other solopreneurs, small businesses & a couple of fairly large businesses). Why focus on About pages? Because they're usually the 2nd most visited page on a website so they're pretty important.

Shine & Glue
(2007-2010)

A web design and development agency (with personality!) that I founded with my then-husband as we travelled the world, providing affordable branding and websites to freelancers and small businesses, globally.

FitProToolbox
(2008)

I founded and ran an online marketing agency for wellness practitioners, providing white-labelled animated exercise graphics, self publishing support services, branding and websites for my fellow health professionals.

Location Independent
(2007-2018)

After embarking upon  a digital nomad lifestyle in 2005, I blogged about our adventures, coined the phrase and grew the blog into a 25k-strong community. The site has been featured on the BBC, in the Guardian and other worldwide media.

Get Better Abs
(2006)

My first experience of self-publishing was producing this co-written ebook on how to get a flat stomach, the healthy (read: long!) way. The ebook came bundled with access to a range of tailored online workout programs illustrated with animated graphics.

ActivOne
(2004-2007)

My first and only 'offline' business located in Nottingham (UK) – providing fitness training, holistic health coaching and corporate wellness programs to 3 of the main law firms in the city, as well as individual support to their partners and solicitors.

PR & Media

In The Press

I have been interviewed, featured & mentioned in global media outlets over the past few years including:

  • Financial Times ~ interviewed for a feature about “Nomads of the working world”.
  • BBC Click ~ featured in “Technology allows digital nomads to work anywhere”
  • The Guardian, Careers, UK ~ featured in “Work’s a beach: meet the digital nomads making the world their office”.
  • The Guardian, Travel, UK ~ featured in “The escapees travelling the world while working online”.
  • The Guardian, Life & Style, UK ~ featured in “This column will change your life: 9-to-5 or free and easy?”
  • La Repubblica, Italy ~ featured in “Bauman, un mondo senza regole: “senza la solidarietà, la libertà è un’illusione”.
  • China Trends magazine, China ~ featured in an article.
  • Cosmopolitan magazine, Italy & Sweden ~ featured in articles about location independence.
  • The Sydney Morning Herald & The Daily Telegraph, Australia ~ featured in articles about location independence.
  • Fast Company – interviewed about being a domain name addict (!).
  • Mixergy – interviewed about location independence.
  • Featured as one of  Forbes’ Thirty Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter.

I’ve also written for various publications, including:

  • Juggling motherhood and nomadic entrepreneurship here on Forbes.
  • How to launch a website with a fanfare (vs. deafening silence!) here on Forbes.
  • Going from consulting to entrepreneurship in Time.
  • A tip for balancing entrepreneurship & parenthood on Inc.

I’ve also been featured in a number of books including:

  • Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim
  • Screw Work, Let’s Play by John S. Williams
  • The 9-to-5 Cure by Kristin Cardinale
  • She Takes on the World: A Guide to Being Your Own Boss, Working Happy, and Living on Purpose by Natalie MacNeil
  • Be A Free Range Human by Marianne Cantwell

I have spoken – virtually and in person – to audiences globally including:

  • At the Freshmen Seminar, American College of Management and Technology, Dubrovnik on “The skills that open up doors & opportunities in today’s world”.
  • At Hult International Business School, Dubai campus for the “Pocket MBA for Women Who Aspire to Lead” Program.
  • At Escape The City events, on digital nomadism and getting started with location independence.
  • Numerous online podcasts and interviews with fellow digital entrepreneurs.