Who Is Lea Jovy-Ford?
That’s a very good question and one I’m still figuring out!
A life-changing year in the run up to my 40th birthday in 2017 resulted in me divorcing my teenage sweetheart, starting a relationship with a woman and building a blended family with 4 young children between us. I also finally started to explore my adoption, something I denied having impacted me whatsoever until that point!! I then moved house and got married in 2020 in the middle of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
This 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. It’s not always a pretty picture or an easy process!
At the moment, this is what I know about myself…
- I’m Lea (pronounced Lee-UH NOT Lee), although the name my birth mother gave me was Jovy.
- I changed my surname in 2019, from my married name of Woodward to my original first name, Jovy. Having married in 2020, I am now Jovy-Ford!
- 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 LOVE food and I most definitely live to eat. I eat mostly organic food, though I am partial to the odd gourmet burger and fries.
- My favourite colour is a deep teal. I also like black, although my eldest (transgender) son constantly reminds me this isn’t actually a colour.
- I left management consulting 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, Mali 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.
- I have a very British accent (as I’m frequently told my US clients) and also speak a bit of German, French, Spanish and Italian.
Combined with over a decade of entrepreneurial experience running a range of my own businesses, 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.
- Worked with hundreds and hundreds of clients to help make this online revolution work for them.
- Created a global movement, which garnered international media interest and caught the attention of big brands such as Dell.
- Written, self-published and sold a number of ebooks; the first back in 2007 before everyone was doing it.
- 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.
- Partnered and joint ventured successfully (and sometimes less so!) with numerous colleagues and business owners.
- Built several remote-first teams to run and grow my own businesses.
- Organised and hosted the first (and second) ever national UK conference for illustrators, featuring industry-renowned keynote speakers and panellists at each.
- Coached, mentored and consulted for hundreds of business owners online, through programs, courses and private consulting.
- Been listed in Forbes magazine’s Thirty Women Entrepreneurs To Follow on Twitter.
- Been featured in national and international press. You can see some of these mentions at the bottom of this page.
What People Say About My Work
I was referred to Lea by a colleague, at a time where I needed help but wasn’t sure if my business was at quite that level to justify paying for it – a classic chicken and egg situation. I knew I had to just do it – I’d already thought about it for way too long. So I signed up and then came across Lea’s Mastery Days which sounded like exactly what I needed. As a business mentor to others, I needed to walk my talk and find a mentor myself.
But again I hesitated…until one day, I knew needed some outside help to structure all the BIG things that I wanted to do in my business. I felt my angels shout at me to contact Lea, so I did. All I can say was that it was the best money I ever spent!
Lea listened to my dream and my vision. She understood me completely. She knew EXACTLY what needed to be done so we set to work writing it all down in formats and structures that seemed to make it all very simple.
We ended the day and I had a whole new business in place. It was incredible, and so too is Lea. She really helped me see the light of what was possible, she lifted a weight from my shoulders and helped me start a whole new path in 1 day. She is my earth angel!
After my Mastery Day, I had the most wonderful afternoon – I took the kids to the playground and to the café for a treat – I actually switched off and felt I deserved the break. This is what I want to do every day. I cannot express the gratitude for all your help and wisdom.
If you have any doubts about investing in working with Lea, all I can say is what is the cost of not doing it? You will spend longer trying to figure this stuff out on your own and possibly not get it all done.
Lea has a wealth of experience that can really help you and direct you and your business. I can highly recommend Lea. Go for it!
This offering has been a complete game changer for me. Having a group of women to bounce off ideas and thoughts is an amazing resource to have.
Being able to share things from my life to hear the perspective of others is an experience I cannot recommend enough.
During my 2.5 years of self employment, I’d never invested in a business mentor. I guess I liked the idea of doing well without any assistance (that’s the control freak in me)!
Although my business was doing quite well in certain areas, I had definitely got myself stuck in a rut. No matter how much I tried, I seemed to be always working in my business and rarely on my business. I was frustrated and needed help!
To be honest, in the hours before I met Lea I was a little apprehensive about how much we could achieve in the time I had booked with her. However, after leaving Lea I was pretty much heel-clicking my way down the street with excitement!
I had learned so much from her. I came away with loads of ideas I could implement and a clear vision of how to move forward. I also felt really positive and at ease about everything. I think that has something to do with Lea’s energy and positivity.
I’ve worked with Lea in the past and always come back because I know there will more be “aha!” moments with her, and it’s been no different this time round.
Lea’s ability to ask the right questions that really push you, whilst still offering support and encouragement is fantastic, and it’s great to be doing so with a group of people who are also working on their personal growth and development.
Although the themes covered are deliberately challenging and go quite deep, elements such as the chat group and video get-togethers makes it really easy to talk about what you’re experiencing and going through in a friendly, natural way.
Being a part of this group epitomises everything I love about working with Lea – it’s like having the friend who isn’t afraid to ask the difficult questions because she know’s it’s best for you in the long-term, but is there supporting you all the way (and inviting you over for pizza to talk about it)!
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.