Amanda Lecaude – On a mission to set school students up for success

Meet Amanda Lecaude

I spent my childhood growing up in Geelong where I went to school, participated in many sports including netball, basketball, tennis, little athletics, and swimming. My father had his own service station and convenience store businesses and right from a very young age, I was regularly assisting, and as I grew older working part-time.

This experience and the opportunities to learn the management side of the business as well, have had a significant impact in building the foundations of my work ethic and life today. Midway through secondary school, I was very keen to become an exchange student and live overseas for 12 months.

This became a reality in 1988 when I headed to Japan and had the opportunity to live with 5 families and attend school. As you can imagine this was an amazing experience and one I am still very grateful for today.

My other goal for as long as I can remember had been to join the police force as soon as I could. However, it was my parents who suggested that when I returned from Japan I might want to consider finishing Year 12 first. Whilst I was in my final year at school I decided to continue to use the Japanese I had learned and combine this with a business degree majoring in Marketing.

This experience then placed me on a completely different path to one I had been planning for years!

Today I consider myself to be an outgoing, friendly, and energetic person who enjoys life, organisation, travel, good food & wine, and spending time with my family & friends.

I am a parent of two teenage sons who I adore (well at least some of the time) though time is going by too quickly and they are growing up way too fast!

We all have previous chapters in our stories – Tell me about your working life/business experiences before now?

Upon attending university I decided to focus on a career in marketing/business and my first experience was as a management graduate for Australian Defence Industries (ADI). The experience I gained over the few years at ADI was invaluable as I had the opportunity to work very closely with senior management across various businesses.

It was here that I not only developed business experience including marketing but gained exposure to the world of project management and the rest really is history.

Over the next few years based in Sydney and after a few different roles I ended up working in marketing in professional services which are basically the industry I stayed in until I set up my own business.

I worked for law firms, managed a marketing association for marketing & business development professionals working in law and accounting, and then moved into the recruitment of these professionals in that space. Incorporated into my experience over these years was also a move into general management and responsibilities for not only marketing but Finance, HR, and IT.

For many years I had been looking for an opportunity to create my own business but really had no idea until a good friend/work colleague told me she had come across a body of professional organisers. She told me that it was perfect for me based on my expertise in organisation & project management and I am forever grateful to her.

After conducting my due diligence I knew I had found my tribe and something I was passionate about moving into! Little did I know back then that I would start with general organisation and later niche into working primarily with students!

Please provide a snapshot of your business

I feel very passionately about ensuring all children/students have the opportunity to thrive and succeed at both schools and in life and to do that they need to be equipped with the right tools, strategies, and skills.

Organising Students, grew out of my other business, Organising You, whereas an organising expert, I work with many families who primarily get me to come in to help with organisation and clutter in their homes. The key theme is that they didn’t want to pass on any of their ‘bad habits or lack of habits’ to their children.

A little light bulb moment for me was at the time my eldest son was about to go through a transition to secondary school.

I approached his school to conduct a workshop for the Year, 6 students, around knowing what to expect, organisation, and time management as I believed students needed to be prepared for such a major transition in their lives.

Organising Students was born! Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a born organiser with excellent time management skills.

In recent years, when I coupled this with teaching study skills, my life as an Academic Life Coach became a reality.

Now I share my organising and time management skills with students (primary, secondary, and university), parents, and teachers. And I love it!

Assuming you are now in “Your Next Chapter”, what led you here? Tell me about your purpose, your why, the difference you want to make, who you are called to serve?

It’s my mission to make a difference in the lives of students and their families and set them up to succeed at both schools and in life.

I work with both neurotypical students and those with learning challenges (typically Year 6- 12 but sometimes younger)

I also see myself these days as being a self-advocate working closely with families, schools, and other support personnel ie Psychologists, Pediatricians, Occupational Therapists, in partnership to ensure students are supported in every possible way when it comes to their learning and education.

Having developed skills in executive functioning over recent years, I also now spend quite a bit of time supporting families to navigate the process of working with schools to develop and implement Individual Learning Plans (ILP’s) for students with special needs and learning difficulties (such as Executive Function, ADHD, Asperger’s and Autism).

What did you find most challenging about getting started/moving in a new direction?

In the early days, it was very much about having so many ideas and goals and wanting to do them all yesterday! Over time I have learned to channel this energy into developing a clearer focus, having a direction/path to follow, and chipping away bit by bit.

What have you found most fulfilling?

For me, it has been seeing the changes in the lives of my students and those ‘AHA’ moments along the journey when a student just gets it and knows what they need to do moving forward.

As I regularly say to my students it is about ‘studying smarter not harder’ and having the right tools in their toolbox that will work for them!

Have you experienced self-doubt? What causes it to flare and how do you work through it when it hits?

I see myself as being quite a confident person however there were times over my journey in establishing my own business that you compare yourself to others and get distracted by what they are doing.

I can report that these days, whilst I still like to see what others are doing, I am very comfortable in my own skin and what I am offering & doing.

How do you feel you have grown since you started?

I feel I have grown in so many ways as a person, mum, partner, friend, colleague, and also in my own business with what I started with and where it is today.

I am very proud of what I have been able to achieve from scratch and for the services I provide to my students, their families, schools, other students, and teachers.

I am also very confident in what I have to say and offer in this space. It is also nice to now be referred to by others as an expert in my space.

What has been most effective for you when it comes to sharing your message and attracting clients?

First and foremost just being myself – I like to see myself as being open, honest, down to earth, and nonjudgemental when it comes to who I am and how I operate my business.

I also like to be seen to share my knowledge freely throughout the process as well as for everyone to see that I have a real passion for helping others & making a difference.

As a marketer by background I personally never seem to have any trouble in coming up with ideas to write or blog about and actually enjoy this side of the business as well.

Have you developed any particular habits/strategies that facilitate getting things done in your business?

As Angela will tell you I am an action taker all the way and I always seem to have no problem in developing ideas and making them a reality. One thing that does assist me though is to have to-do lists and each night I like to have my top 3 priorities (sometimes more) for the next day.

Naturally, sometimes I achieve them and sometimes I don’t – I have learned to recognise that is okay as other things pop up from time to time that needs my focus and attention.

Why do you feel women in the 40’s and beyond make fabulous entrepreneurs?

For me, I feel it is about having life experiences and being open to using our experience and being the best we can in our offerings to others. As a whole, I feel we are more open to listening and learning as well as being more comfortable in our own skins.

It is also about having a passion and doing what we love & enjoy not because we have to but more because we want to!

What would you say to other women who are standing on the edge of their own Next Chapter, not sure if they can take the leap?

Go for it – what have you got to lose! If you don’t take the leap then you might never know!

Often things continue to evolve and change along the way and its important to be open to any new ideas that pop up.

What’s next for you? Share your vision!

To continue to grow my profile as an expert in my field and assist more students and parents along the way.

I am grateful that my business continues to grow and as always I am keen to regularly take some time away from the day to day to reflect and plan the next steps.

 

When I’m facing something new and challenging I…
Try to meet it head-on!
 

I know my greatest strengths are…

My passion and drive as well as my organisational ability.
 

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…

To just make a start!
 

Some of my favourite books are…

I can’t possibly just pick one.
 

My favourite Podcasts are…

This is not something I have put a lot of time into YET.
 

My favourite business tool or resource is…

My diary/planner which I must admit is still paper – it works for me so that is all that matters!
 

My favourite quote is…

Dream Believe Achieve
 

Not many people know that I…

Speak Japanese – many of my students are really surprised when they tell me they are studying that at school and I start greeting them!

 

You can connect with Amanda here.

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Angela Raspass

Mentoring women in their 40's and beyond to build sustainable businesses blending contribution, fulfilment and financial reward.

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