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Ep 38: Surviving a Brain Tumor and Thriving as a Business Owner

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“What you believe matters, but what you do about what you believe matters even more.”

— Johanna White

For most of her life, Johanna White was be paralyzed by fear. Fear of being late. Fear of change. Fear of uncertainty.  Then, when she was 25, Johanna faced a battle most anyone would fear: a brain tumor, and along with it, actual paralysis. She couldn’t move the left side of her body. She couldn’t talk. She couldn’t swallow. The anxiety Johanna had always struggled to suppress only made her symptoms worse, so at that point, she made a decision to be done with fear. In this episode, we hear about how healing her mindset helped resolve Johanna’s symptoms. Johanna also explains how she founded three companies while battling her brain tumor and has continued to scale up her design business, Design by Jo.


  • What it means to live a “full” life 
  • Overcoming extreme anxiety and decision paralysis 
  • Getting a new lease on life at age 25, when doctors discovered a brain tumor
  • Growing from a commodity graphic designer to specializing in brand identity design and custom websites 
  • Misconceptions about graphic design services 
  • Helping clients build a brand that grows their business 
  • Knowing your value, showing your value, and setting your rate to reflect the value you bring your clients

Connect with Johanna:

Design by Jo https://www.designbyjostudio.com/

Instagram @designbyjostudio

about helen ngo

Helen Ngo, CFP® is a financial empowerment coach dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs own their worth, flip their money scripts, and smash every ceiling on their way up. The Self-Made CEO®, founder, featured speaker, and host of the Live & Earn podcast has unlocked the key to financial freedom that most people get wrong.

Use this simple, uncomplicated planner I created to help you stay on top of your money and create predictability in your business.