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"It was definitely one of the most stressful times for us.

We were living month to month in London not knowing where the next mortgage payment was going to come from," Xochi said.

Her plans for them, despite her wealth, are simple."One of my concerns for my children is growing up with your parents having a lot of money.A trait she said she got from her dad - a now retired junior college financial aid advisor."My dad is Mexican and he grew up as a normal chauvinistic Mexican and he expected my mom to do everything for him.In the second of a regular series of features profiling influential women in Silicon Valley, Maggie Shiels talks to Xochi Birch - co-founder of social networking site Bebo.

The tale of Xochi Birch's success is common to Silicon Valley.

This was in 1999 when Xochi left a job as a computer programmer at an insurance company to go self-employed.

"I was never a big company type of person and my ideal job was to be self employed.

As a serial entrepreneur, alongside husband Michael, she has spent years starting companies, building them, scrapping them, moving on, beginning all over again. Their biggest success was with social networking site Bebo (Blog Early, Blog Often). The teen favourite now has than 40 million international users.

Third to Facebook and My Space in the US it is the number two social networking site in the UK and number one in Ireland.

"It was really a self updating address book and photo sharing site," she said "The first month we got a million members and I think that's when we realised we had something but we didn't know then what to turn it into because we had a million members but nobody was coming back." The next six months were like walking a tightrope as they worked to persuade people to come back and see what their friends were doing and upload photos.