Meet Amanda Jacobs
General Manager: Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron
Amanda is a leader in the truest sense of the word. A collaborative connector of people with an impressive background in events and the sporting industry, Amanda has overseen some of the world’s more impressive stages such as the Olympics. She is now the General Manager of Blairgowrie Yacht Club, and manages around 40 staff. She is also a sought after leadership contributor and speaker with a heart of gold and clever mind, and is one of the hardest workers I know. She is focused on supporting others to greatness, including small business through her venture Like Minds Create; a support network for entrepreneurs in creative industries. We’ve been working together for over six months on Amanda’s leadership journey, and defining the next platform for her career and profile. Her leadership program for women in sailing, She Sails, She Leads, is showcased here: https://youtu.be/XwZLahDvEb8.
How long have you been running your business?
I’ve been in business since 2016, however my business journey has evolved several times over since that time. In 2016, I started Like Minds Create as an online and face-to-face community for creative practitioners and businesses. While that community no longer exists its key themes of connection, learning and the promotion of great ideas still live on. Like Minds Create now provides a beautiful and helpful New Business Milestone Kit as a gift for the clever ones in your life who are embarking on their first business. Over the past year, and thanks in a large part to the coaching work, I have since returned to my first love of the sports and event industry. Using the skills acquired through Like Minds Create and my career background, I now provide facilitation, training and leadership workshops to people working in sport and event roles. I love it.
As the leader of your business, how would you describe yourself?
Passionate, fast and empathetic. I am passionate about seeing great ideas come to life and enabling people to go further in their careers. Sometimes it just takes one introduction to a new contact or the spark of a new idea to take hold for someone to take on their next challenge or to move forward. Fast describes the pace I can move at when I see a bold new idea that I think should be tested further. Finally, I am an empathetic leader; empathy is the undercurrent of my work.
What is the biggest triumph in your business so far?
This past year has been a game changer for me. My biggest triumph has been the courage and conviction I have found and harnessed this year. I read recently that the most effective leaders have a high sense of self-awareness. Coaching has provided that self-awareness for me and the work we have done on understanding values, leveraging strengths and being able to clearly articulate purpose has been transformational for my businesses and the way I operate. I used to seek out partnerships (often because there was safety in numbers), now I have the courage and conviction to trust myself, to go it alone and lead well. The values of connection and collaboration still exist; just in a modified form with people and experts brought in at the right stage of the project or business cycle. For me it has been a far more effective way to operate in business.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your business so far?
Unpicking the contradictory feelings of failure and achievement around Like Minds Create. In the early days I had big, big dreams for Like Minds Create and I spent a small fortune on trying hard to execute those ideas. It didn’t work for multiple reasons. I felt that the business had failed yet, I still held feelings of achievement over the elements of the business that had resonated with people, that had started conversations and generated new ideas. At the same time I was also being drawn back into the sport and event industry and really enjoying the work. I found it difficult to find the through thread in the new direction my career and business was taking. I now understand that being in business is a series of building blocks and that ‘failure’ is something to be leveraged in the next step you take.
What has surprised you the most in business?
It’s addictive. The ideas that people in business continue to generate that make our lives better, smarter, easier, more interesting fuels the fire. The addiction to continuing to improve both ourselves and those of the lives around us is why I think we can find it difficult to let go of a business when it’s not performing in other measurements.
What is your favourite part of running your business?
The sense of achievement and the continual learning that is required.
What are you most proud of?
Being brave enough to try. Being brave and nimble enough to modify, change, adapt. Being smart enough to appreciate that every lesson we learn in business is valuable.
What are you looking forward to the most in the next 12 months?
Embracing the facilitation and training work and being able to grow this part of the business.
What is your nugget of wisdom for others going down a similar path?
Make time to move, to create and to connect. When we first start out it can be easy to get caught up in the doing, to work long hours, to try to learn all the things. Taking time to look up, to slow down, to exercise, to play and to re-connect with family and friends can be more valuable to your business journey than trying to do one more thing before you close the laptop.
How has coaching helped you in your journey?
In so, so many ways. Coaching has been transformational for me. It has enabled me to be a better leader, a better human and to make better business decisions. It has helped me make sense of the different projects and work I take on; to see the connection between each of these. The work we have done together has helped me to find my confidence again and to cement the belief I have in myself to achieve goals that are aligned with my strengths and purpose. Coaching is an incredibly powerful tool and an investment that I would encourage everyone to make. Ami is a special kind of coach who has the ability to really see your potential and to guide you to unlocking that potential. Thank you Ami!