EXCLUSIVE: How $4500 grew ... and grew ... and grew

It was nearly 12 years ago in November 2002 that Dominic Whitehand, his wife Sharon, and Jonathan Odria each put $1500 down on a table - and began WhiteGold Distribution.

For the first eight years or so they didn't take a cent out of the company, constantly reinvesting year in, year out. They didn't take even take out a bank loan. True!

Now they can celebrate, although sitting on the opposite side of a table from the trio, a mere 30 minutes after they have formalised the deal - selling a majority shareholding in their company to Exclusive Networks Group - that not only gives them financial security but takes their company to a new level of possibility, they remain almost serious. Shell-shocked, perhaps. Happy, yes. But quick to stress they have a job to do.

Sharon, WhiteGold's operations and finance director, says it is still surreal because "the boys" are out there all the time while she's in the background number crunching, grinding everything.

"I work hard," she says. "I do what I have to do but it has been very hard sometimes. This deal means less sleepless nights than I've had in the past. It's not an easy thing to do to grow a business from scratch.""

Her husband (and the company CEO) cuts in, "There's no degree out there in how to run a distributor business."

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