Firefly Wealth's Adele Martin (left) with client Alisha Hannah


ADELE MARTIN Firefly Wealth / Proprietor and Financial Adviser

Alisha was actually one of my first clients when I started my business six years ago.

She was pregnant with their second child and came in with her husband. She was about to go on maternity leave, but after their first baby they hadn’t really adjusted their income so their credit card debt had escalated and they were really stressed. They were both quite emotional in that first meeting, we needed tissues!

When Alisha was going to have their third child we started to look at what else she could do, which brought up the idea of quitting her corporate job and investing in her business, The Bliss Cartel.

We took our time and eased into it by getting some money behind them first and setting up an emergency fund. One of the other things we did was test their spending, so I put them on a spending plan. I’d been tracking their spending for years so I knew exactly what they had to do. It’s not like they had to give up anything, they just became more conscious of where the money was going. Now she’s full time with the business, selling these beautiful bath products at markets and online, which means she doesn’t have to pay ridiculous amounts of day care fees as well.

She’s quite a driven individual and is really willing to take advice. I have one child and I struggle; she has three children, her husband does shift work, and now she’s running a successful business. There are days when she gets up at 5am and packs up the three girls to go to the markets and it’s just so impressive. That’s why I had her on my podcast – her story is really inspiring for other mums that might be trying to juggle 50 things.

She’s also very creative and talented. Alisha and her husband Pat are great as clients. I get the majority of my clients now from Instagram and they’re all virtual but we sometimes still meet in real life – the last time we met was actually in a restaurant owned by my husband.

It’s not all about having more money, success looks different to everyone. Most people want to have some sort of life along the way, or some kind of side-hustle.


ALISHA HANNAH Business Owner / Client

When we met I was pregnant with my second daughter and we weren’t sure how we were going to survive maternity leave, because we were living week to week. We just needed help.

Then an ad popped up for Adele on Facebook, and she didn’t look like the typical financial adviser –you know, a middle-aged man – it was this young girl, really relatable and likeable. I said to my husband: ‘look, what have we got to lose, let’s just go and see her’.

The first meeting was emotional. Basically, we just laid it all out on the table and said ‘this is our financial situation, it’s pretty dire… can you help us? Tell us what to do, whatever we need to do, we’ll do it!’. There were tears, it was a real emotional release.

We just wanted to know how we could have a buffer of money. We were struggling to save and we wanted to buy a bigger family home, and set things up for our kids so we weren’t struggling through their life.

Initially it was slow going because I was pretty pregnant, stressed and emotional, so Adele gave us constant positive reinforcement and reminders that we were doing the right thing. She helped us set up a budget that wasn’t too restrictive; she’s really big on not wanting ‘budget’ to be a bad word.

I eventually started a business of my own called The Bliss Cartel, and Adele became my business mentor. It started as a side-hustle, just selling one or two things a month on, then I told Adele I wanted to make it a proper business and she said ‘yep, let’s do it’.

About two years on and I earn more from my business than what I did from my job as a risk and compliance manager at the bank. Plus, I’m home with my kids, so it’s awesome.

The whole idea of going to a planner and revealing your darkest secrets about your spending habits, is really daunting. It needs to be personal; you’re so much more comfortable talking to someone that cares about your life, as opposed to someone that just cares about your finances.


Tahn Sharpe is a Sydney-based financial services journalist with a background in financial planning. He writes on advice, superannuation, investment, banking and insurance issues, is a certified SMSF Adviser and holds an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning. Contact at
One comment on “In their own words: ‘There were tears’”
  1. Avatar Daryl La' Brooy

    Well done “Professional Planner” for shining a light (to use Adele Ferguson’s words) on the fantastic work done by Adele Martin for her client. There are millions of stories like this across Australia carried out by tens of thousands of advisers every year. You are finally providing some balance to a very negative and lopsided debate that has run for too long by journalists with an agenda elsewhere in the media.

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