Leanne Nicholson

Oraco Marketing

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Where did you grow up and where are you based now?

I grew up in Beaconsfield, Victoria and I’m still based here.

What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’? 

Believe it or not, I wanted to be a Graphic Designer. I was always drawing and painting, so I knew I wanted to do something creative. My uncle was a Graphic Designer and introduced me to it. He was a huge inspiration to me.

When and how did you transition from working for someone else to working for yourself?

I started off as a freelancer while working as full time Graphic Designer for a few different companies. Eventually, I decided to drop to part time work so I could spend more time on the business. I did the part time thing for a year and finally took the leap to full time last year.

What’s your why?

To do what I love every day, whilst helping other business owners do what they love every day. To have more freedom, flexibility and time for loved ones, and to support causes close to my heart.

What do you love about what you do?

I love creating. It’s always been a part of me and I don’t feel complete without creativity in my life.

What’s challenged you most since being in business?

Stability. It’s been extremely unpredictable in terms of workflow and cash flow. It’s hard to get used to, but I’m slowly learning to manage it.

What are your greatest achievements to date?

The most rewarding part of my business is hearing my clients’ feedback at the end of a project. When I have successfully interpreted their brief, understood their brand vision and created something that is authentic and unique to them. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing my clients happy.

What are some of the lessons you’ve learned along the way?

I’ve learned to value myself and my time. Unfortunately, I had to learn this the hard way, as many of us do. 

What’s the toughest decision you’ve had to make since running your own business?

The toughest decision was definitely going full time. I didn’t feel ready at the time, until someone asked me, ‘Will you ever feel ready?’. It made me realise that it wasn’t something that I could prepare for, or build up slowly, because a business can’t grow unless you put 100% of your time and focus into it.

What are some resources you or your business can’t live without? 

I couldn’t live without social media. It has connected me to my clients and other business owners, and really extended on my website. I also love my marketing and design books, magazines and websites. They keep me up to date with the latest design trends and technology.

What advice would you give someone wanting to start their own business or change jobs to an industry/role that they’d love?

Go for it! It might sound cliché, but life is too short to be in a job that you don’t absolutely love. We spend a large majority of our time at work, so we should be doing something that makes us want to get up every day. Something that we are passionate about.

Same goes for those considering starting their own business. If you truly want it, you will make it happen. There are great resources out there now and fantastic networking opportunities. Make the offer, be authentic and don’t give up.

What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?

I’m super passionate about wildlife and habitat conservation. I always donate, volunteer and contribute wherever I can. Some of my favourite organizations include Sea Shepherd, Wildlife SOS, Surin Project and Orangutan Project.

What does your ideal day look like?

My favourite days are the ones that start with PT or a run/cycle. I then have a big breakfast and a shower to prepare for the day’s work. I start off by answering emails and going through my tasks. I then spend a majority of the day designing, while I listen to music and getting regular visits from the dogs.

What’s one of your favourite quotes?

Become loyal to your innermost truth. Follow the way when all others abandon it. Walk the path of your own heart.

Who or what inspires you? 

Ethical businesses and organisations with an inspirational WHY. Especially the non-profits dedicated to changing the world for good… And of course those who volunteer in some of them.

A few organizations that inspire me include Sea Shepherd, World Vision, Oxfam, Orangutan Project, Surin Project, Thank You, Wildlife SOS, One Girl…

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