'I worked for the uber rich for 18 years. Here's what it's really like.'

Before Jodi Finnan was a high-powered business owner, she was the winner of 2004's The Bachelor UK

Back then, she was known as Jodi Plumb, and was on the reality dating series to win the heart of Jamie Williams. After she did just that, Jodi jumped right back into her career, working for high-powered CEOs and a few A-listers you've most definitely heard of.

She tells Mamamia that working for the rich, anticipating their needs, and essentially managing their lives is a job that happened naturally for her.

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Video via Mamamia.

"I've worked with very big, very high-profile individuals and CEOs throughout my career, and right from the beginning," Finnan explains. 

"Going on TV [in 2004] just gave me even more exposure to the media world and to high-profile individuals. It was quite funny actually because when I went to work for the CEO of Warner Brothers (who owns the franchise for Bachie), they didn't actually know that I had won The Bachelor in 2004 until the international Christmas party."

Before starting her own business six years ago, Finnan spent 18 years working closely with budding entrepreneurs, celebrities and top CEOs. 


She served as an EA and Chief of Staff for former Sony Music CEO Denis Handlin, who left the company in 2021 after 37 years as reports surfaced of an allegedly toxic workplace culture under his leadership.

More than 20 former employees stepped forward to tell their stories after working at the record company. The allegations made against Handlin took aim at his supposed temper, drunkenness and belittling of staff members.

While Finnan recalls witnessing employees "crying", she noted his tough management style worked – until it didn't. 

And although she can't speak for the other former employees whose accusations saw Handlin depart Sony Music, she survived and thrived.

She also worked for Coca-Cola, former CEO of David Jones Mark McInnes, Mark Scott from ABC TV, and even had a brief stint with chef Jamie Oliver (who she says was one of her favourite people to work with).

Finnan did the job, and she did it well – because there is a certain set of talents one needs to work for people with huge wallets. 

Aside from having a thick skin, knowing how to play the long game was a skill that couldn't be taught.

Jodi Finnan. Image: Supplied.


Finnan shares that while she got to rub shoulders with some of the most famous people in the world, she didn't allow herself to lose focus.

"It was part of my job to look after these people, and I just didn't get starstruck," she confesses. "I'd have to go to the stadiums they'd be performing in, welcome them and their manager in, entertain them, have a drink ready – all of it."

Working for the rich and powerful takes a lot more than having a thick skin, though. It's a mental juggle, Finnan explains.

"You have to know that you can handle these things," she shares with Mamamia. "I'm a people person. I've got quite a lot of energy. I want my clients to be successful and if they're having a tough day, it's my responsibility to turn it around, take their stress from them and boost their morale."


In her almost two decades working for high-powered people, she's collected plenty of incredible stories that could only involve the elite.

"I'm an organiser but last-minute situations are sometimes just out of control. One time, we were on an island for a festival and there was NO accommodation left," she recalls. "I was relocating people from their homes and putting them into hotels on a completely different island."

Not every experience with her employers has been enjoyable, though. Upon moving to Australia in 2015 and working as a temp executive assistant for a female business magnate, Finnan learned she was her boss' 14th EA in just one month.

"She was just a powerhouse but I saw she'd gone through almost 14 executive assistants and I was like, 'Why is this happening?' But then you realise it's because she has no management or people skills," she laughs. "That's really only the bad experience I've had... I lasted the longest with her. I was there for a month."

Now, she runs a virtual assistant agency where she manages people's daily lives. Without disclosing how many clients she actually has, Finnan explains her business works like a small boutique where she can be available to those who work with her, 24/7.

Her expertise allows her to offer packages for clients ranging from $1250 a month up to $6500. 

And because of her career working with wealthy men and women, she's never needed to advertise her business. They've always come to her.


"I haven't advertised for what I do. Everything is all from referrals," she shares before explaining how her own reputation working for high-powered CEOs and celebrities spoke for itself. 

"Most of these people needing EAs, They're paying a full-time salary. So my approach is to have a structure in terms of how I communicate. My premise is, 'I'm here to execute everything you don't want to do so you can concentrate on what you do best.' And it's always worked for me."

It's different working with people instead of for them, the says, but the opportunities that followed after almost 20 years of running around after the rich have been fruitful.

"When you're in a role, there's some form of a job description. But with a business, I had to start from scratch. You're running their team, analysing how they're operating and making strategies to run their life better.

"Every single client is different. I'm not working for just one person, I'm working with multiple people at a very high level. And I love it."

Jodi Finnan founded her own virtual management business in 2019. She also hosts courses for others interested in managing their own virtual agency.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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