Jodie Preiss – Creating powerful Collective Ripples

Meet Jodie Preiss

Jodie is the Founder of Creative Ripples, and has a sweeping vision to positively influence and shape our self-perception by distributing new messages that we’ll see throughout our day.

Tell me a little about yourself – where are you from and who and what is important in your life?

I was born in country Victoria, growing up on a dairy farm, and when I was little all I wanted was a little girl right next door to me. Our closest neighbours actually had five girls, but they were a kilometre away, which is a huge distance for a 5 or 6 year old!

It’s not surprising then, that I loved going to boarding school for Year 7 – I was at a girls school in Geelong (an hour away), and so had friends nearby all the time. I kind of feel like I had the best of both worlds, because I also went home most weekends, so got to have some time to myself as well. It’s only now that I realise my boarding school experience may have been very different if I was there all the time – because I only function well with solitary time, and that would have been impossible to find regularly in the boarding house.

Yet, whilst I kind of moved out of home aged 11 and 3/4, I had an incredibly close relationship with my mum. We would regularly both answer the phone knowing it was the other. And that continued until she passed away in early 2009.

We all have previous chapters in our stories – Tell me about your working life/business experiences before now?

After school was University, and then I moved to New York for work – yes, my very first full-time job was in New York! I had completed university with a degree in Business, and a major in Tourism, only a few months after the pilot’s strike in Australia. So there weren’t too many jobs here. I was incredibly fortunate to learn about an Australian travel retailer and wholesaler there, through a family friend. And about six weeks after I mailed off my resume, I was on a flight to New York, aged 21. I learned a lot about business and managing staff from my three years in Manhattan, and I fell in love with the city along the way. Even now, all these years later, I still call it my second home.

When I returned to Australia I continued working in the travel industry for many years, until I went on maternity leave. When it came time for me to return to work after having my son, however, an ownership change in the business I had been managing meant that the goodwill I had built up was now gone, and they needed me to prove myself all over again, wanting me to work full time. Full-time work was not only challenging but expensive (hello child care!) – and they were uninterested in accommodating my desire for part-time work, despite the fact I’d been working a couple of days from home since my son was a few months old. So only a month into returning to work, I resigned – motherhood was far more important to me than work.

About 18 months later I began sessional teaching at a local TAFE college, and then, when H was almost four, I stumbled upon the perfect job, three days a week in marketing at a K-12 independent school. H could attend the early learning centre, and later primary school, I had really flexible hours, with built-in before and after school care if required, and I worked with the most amazing people.

This job was to last me several promotions, a seat on the Executive, continual part-time work and the most amazing support during the illness and subsequent passing of my mother in 2009. I also worked for a sometimes difficult, most likely narcissistic boss, and after five years, and a whole new perspective on life after my mum’s passing, I decided that I needed to do something radically different.

And that began the development of my entrepreneurial spirit, along with the start of my exploration into who I really was, and what was I here to contribute.

Please provide a snapshot of your business

Collective Ripples is currently more a vision than a business, although that will begin to change in 2020. I have found myself here through lots of meditation, journaling, therapy, challenges, and following the seeds of my intuition.
The basic premise is to provide us all with opportunities to create ripples of goodness, kindness and love to our fellow beings. To create a moment of joy, or laughter, or love in someone’s day, and perhaps even turn their day around completely, through the message they see.I want to influence and shape new messages that we see throughout our day – society (and advertising) profits from our self-doubt. And, I believe, in turn, negatively impacts our internal voice. And I want to change that.Collective Ripples will exist to help shift that self-doubt, and hopefully, allow us to believe in ourselves and our abilities a little more.A ripple begins with a single action. But it’s when tens, or hundreds, or thousands of single actions unite together, that a wave of positivity can evolve.

I saw this quote a few days ago – “Individually we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean”. And it explains everything I would love to see evolve from Collective Ripples.

This will take the form of sticky-notes, advertising space, events, and a group of individuals, all wanting to join me in creating this change.

Assuming you are now in “Your Next Chapter”, what led you here? Tell me about your purpose, your why, the difference you want to make, who you are called to serve?

The past two years have been challenging to say the least. I had thought that 2018 was tough, but I really feel like I was brought to my knees in 2019 because of the upheavals of 2018.

In January 2018, after being incommunicado for almost a day, my sister-in-law and I found my brother dead. He had died by suicide sometime earlier – possibly even the night before.

The following weeks were harrowing, to say the least. Not only was I processing my only siblings’ death, but we unearthed a mountain of secrets that my brother had been keeping from all of us. Among other things, we learned of a bitcoin investment that went completely balls up in the 24 hours before he died. Although we will never know, as he didn’t leave a note, it would seem that this secret was the fuel to a bonfire waiting to ignite.

Prior to all of this, I had been deep in the research and development of a new business idea, which I had originally intended to launch the very week that my brother died. Before Christmas I had made the decision to hold things off – thinking at the time I was procrastinating, but with hindsight recognising that the universe had been guiding me.

Just as I was feeling my way back into this business idea again, I was dealt another challenge. In early March 2018, exactly six weeks to the day since we’d found my brother, I found a lump in the side of my left breast. After an agonising wait to see a doctor – only three days, but it felt like weeks – the lump had disappeared by the time my appointment came. However, just to be sure, my doctor ordered a mammogram and ultrasound. Another couple of days wait, and I remember after my mammogram the woman saying to me “best of luck with everything” as she went to chat with the sonographer who was to do my ultrasound.

There followed what seemed to be neverending tests, two separate biopsies, and eventually a diagnosis of breast cancer – but not in my left breast! More tests and I made the decision to have a double mastectomy, which was scheduled for early May. Initially, it was thought that I wouldn’t require any further treatment, however, the lab results after surgery indicated a reasonably aggressive type of cancer, with some lymph nodes already impacted. So after 6 weeks recovery time from surgery, I began what would be five months of chemotherapy.
Needless to say, all the emotions regarding the death of my brother had to get shut up in a box and moved to the back of my mind whilst I focused on my surgery, treatment and recovery.

It was early in 2019 before I started to feel a little more normal again – although I know now, that there is a vastly different new normal both physically and emotionally. As I started to feel stronger, I began once again exploring what I might like to do with my life going forward. There were fits and starts of action, as I was regularly challenged by the emotional toll that therapy, meditation and writing a book (a memoir of my 2018 – working title is My Golden Year) were necessarily bringing up.

But in all of that, I began to reimagine what I would like to do, and how I wanted it to look, knowing that it would likely be some time before I would feel inspired and energised enough to take something on full time.

And that was when Collective Ripples was born. It encompasses bits and pieces of what I had previously worked towards before Rob died, but in a softer and simpler way. Far more reflective of who I have become in the past two years.

Whenever someone has asked me about the difference I wanted to make, for years I have joked “I want to change the world”. And that dream still exists. However, I recognise, that I can change the world, by changing myself, and by helping individuals to change themselves along the way as well.

Leaving positive words of wisdom, in the form of sticky-notes, is something I’ve been doing for years, and I love it. So the idea for Collective Ripples has been born from that. Recognising that the messages I leave for others, were written as much for me as they were for them.

What did you find most challenging about getting started/moving in a new direction?

Getting out of my own way. Whilst the past couple of years have encouraged me to look at my life in a very different way, there are still many of the old beliefs and conditioning lingering. Add that to the fact that I still get really tired (chemo brain is a thing, is similar to baby brain, and apparently can last for up to 5 years post-treatment).

So this has all moved way slower than I’d anticipated – I had plans to kick this into gear many times during 2019, but I came up against a lot of self-doubt, as well as a lot of days or weeks where I was exhausted or really really sad, or angry – and in those moments I had to accept that my own self-care and self-reflection was far more important than Collective Ripples at that moment.

What have you found most fulfilling?

I absolutely love getting messages from people to say that one of my messages has made a difference to their day. Or when friends share videos with me of others leaving sticky-notes saying “this made me think of you.” There was one particular video doing the rounds of social media last year that probably 30 friends tagged me in at different times. I love that people connect me with leaving notes of positivity!

Knowing that what I am creating can have a positive influence on someone’s day is amazing. And leaving the notes for a stranger to see is such an amazing feeling, even if I never know what their response might be.

Have you experienced self-doubt? What causes it to flare and how do you work through it when it hits?


It particularly flares for me when I’m tired, or particularly busy with life, and don’t get to spend time with my vision for Collective Ripples. I am much more adept at recognising it these days, and so take a break. Do a meditation. Or spend time in nature. Then, I make sure that I set myself some really easily achieveable small goals, so that I am able to recognise and celebrate my achievements and progress.

How do you feel you have grown since you started?

These past two years have been the most challenging of my whole life, but obviously not because of my business dream.

However, I recognise, that even before all of that, my desire to build something of my own, that was making a difference in the world was really important to me. And, with that, I recognised, that there was a lot of healing and self-reflection that needed to occur before that could really become a reality for me. I kind of feel like the past two years were the kick I needed to dive deep, let all the emotions bubble up, and work out what was really important in my life.

What has been most effective for you when it comes to sharing your message and attracting clients?

I am just beginning this part of things for Collective Ripples. However, I know that when I’m sharing honestly and openly, that is when the greatest response is received. What I’m doing is less about attracting clients as such, and more about attracting followers – people who also want to see some positive change in our world. And I know, that I’ll find those people by being completely myself.

Have you developed any particular habits/strategies that facilitate getting things done in your business?

Self-care! That is the only way that I can get things done. Tired for me now is about 100 times more than it ever was before, so making sure I walk every day, meditate most days, and eat as much “real” food as I can is essential to me being able to get things done. And sleep! Sleep is my super essential, non-negotiable habit – when I get tired, I sleep less, so making sure I maintain good sleep habits is so important, especially when life gets busy.

Why do you feel women in the 40’s and beyond make fabulous entrepreneurs?

We have lived. And we have lost. And through all of that, we are able to discern what is truly important.

What would you say to other women who are standing on the edge of their own Next Chapter, not sure if they can take the leap?

There is more time than life. I’d love you to stop and really take that in – there is more time than life. So make sure you are focusing on the right one, because time will always be there, but one day your life may not. So take the leap, and see where it leads.

What’s next for you? Share your vision!

Collective Ripples billboards sharing positive messages. And one million+ sticky-notes in circulation. Collective Ripples events. Some big dreams to consider once I get the foundations in place.

When I’m facing something new and challenging I…
Take a deep breath and dive right in

I know my greatest strengths are…
Inspiring a difference

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…
When I’m stuck, ask “what would success do?”

One of my favourite books is…
Anything by Brene Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, Clare Bowditch’s memoir

My favourite Podcast is…
Apart from yours, I also love Good Life Project – Jonathan Fields

My favourite business tool or resource is…
My intuition…. and Canva!

My favourite quote is…
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples – Mother Teresa

Not many people know that I…
Am deeply spiritual – meaning I incorporate my heart, soul, and mind into all that I do.

You can connect with Jodie here.

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Angela Raspass

Mentoring women in their 40's and beyond to build sustainable businesses blending contribution, fulfilment and financial reward.

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