From Big Four To Startup Success: How Tragedy Led Entrepreneur Jane Lu To Follow Her Dreams

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Following the suicide of a young employee, Jane Lu, a self-made billionaire entrepreneur, has spoken about the culture of working at a big four accounting firm.

Self-made multi-millionaire Jane Lu understands the pressure of working for a big four financial firm better than anyone, as public scrutiny of such entities has risen following the suicide of a young employee.

After three years as an accountant at KPMG, the 36-year-old moved on to Ernst & Young, where she worked for more than two years as an analyst.

“I loathed it,” she recalled her time in the big four accounting firms. The wealthy fashion entrepreneur claimed she spent countless hours toiling away in spreadsheets while working for accounting firms.

“I was staring at the spreadsheet for hours,” she recalled the memory.

“I had this sensation of epiphany that I’d wasted three hours. I was three hours closer to death, yet my life hadn’t improved.”

It was a moment of enlightenment for Ms Lu, who recognized that the pressure was inimical to her objectives.

“I couldn’t imagine doing this for the rest of my life,” she said.

The entrepreneur – who called herself “The Lazy CEO” – now spends her time focusing on working smarter rather than harder.

She left EY in 2010 to launch her online fashion firm Showpo out of her parent’s garage.

“When the global financial crisis hit, I was suddenly jobless. That’s when I realized I needed to start my own business,” she explained in the How I Made It podcast.

Ms Lu has “always believed that work should be enjoyable,” according to the Showpo website. She has worked hard to create an inclusive environment of people who share her passion, which has fueled her stratospheric success.

Today, Showpo employs more than 100 people and has won multiple awards.

Ms Lu is one of the most successful businesswomen in Australia, with an estimated net worth of $50 million and a spot on the Financial Review’s Young Rich List every year since 2017.

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