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Ep. 101 – A special Trio Chat for International Women’s Day: How an awarded business woman and a brilliant, 19 year old student founded an entrepreneurship


A special Trio Chat for International Women’s Day Show Notes

Adriana Cecere

Runs an Alignment and Growth consultancy for leaders, based in Syd-ney, Australia. The methodology has been proven, developed by model-ling strategies Adriana used whilst starting, developing and selling more than ten multi award winning enterprises over the past two decades.

Labelled, the “Back Pocket CEO”. Adriana is the Author of an Amazon #1 best-selling book. She works with Business and Industry Leaders on their development, Business Alignment, Transformation, and Growth.

Her big picture is to make a positive impact by helping Leaders across the globe and make a difference in their lives, that of their business and the greater community.

More recently, jointly with Mikayla Jee has commenced a program to in-spire and empower women across the globe be the best version of themselves and follow their dreams.

As an Advisory Committee member of The Buttery Foundation Board, she supports and promotes development of their programs, designed to rebuild and empower people recovering from substance abuse.

Mikayla Jee

Since I was young I can remember taking an interest to business, innovation, entrepreneurship and individuality. When I graduated from primary school at just age 11 I wrote in my yearbook that when I grow up, I want to be an entrepreneur.

Now, at 19 years of age I am currently embarking on my personal and professional journey studying and working as part of the UTS Bachelor of accounting Co-operative scholarship program in the university of Technology Sydney.

I have experienced six months as a financial analyst at American Express, have performed a sales assistant role at Pandora Jewelry from the age of fifteen and have assisted with the tutoring high school students in addition to numerous community and personal engagements, developing myself in order to create financial freedom, success and happiness in my career and life as a future businesswoman.

Most passionate about

  • Adrianna – I’m based in Sidney, Australia. I run a consultancy firm, helping businesses to improve and get to their next level. Over the past two decades, I’ve started, developed, and solved more than 10 successful enterprises, many of which have been multi-award winning, and my passion now, is helping young men and women in general globally to achieve their goals and become the best version of themselves.
  • Mikayla – So, similarly to Adrianna, I’ve always been passionate about personal development and also development in others and helping others reach their potential, confidence, and empowerment. As a young woman, I find empowering women empowering for myself, so that’s something I’ve passionate about. I’m currently 19 years of age; I’m based in Sidney, Australia. I am currently studying at the University of Technology Sidney as part of a Bachelor of Accounting scholarship program where I work closely with financial institutions as well as embarking on my studies to develop myself as a hopeful future businesswoman and future business leader, so that’s where I am at the moment, and in terms of my vision for the future, I would love to continue to develop myself and hope to inspire others in their professional and personal development and also reach self success and freedom in my career and personal life as well.

 Why women? There are so many available programs for inspiring women. Don’t you feel any entrepreneur needs empowerment and a jump-start to success?

  • Adrianna – It started when we were discussing different synergies and how we’d like to inspire and our passion for that. We ran a couple webinars and then we thought there’s something in this, let’s keep developing it, so been working passionately for a few months now and our aim of the program is to reach as many women globally that essentially feel that there is a better way and they want to improve their lives and that the program will help inspire and empower them to firstly, recognize what it is that they really want, and then, similar to the coaching, we hope to guide them and keep them accountable in a nice way and help them to create milestones to achieve their new way of living, achieve their next mile stones, and achieve the life that they envisage and want, and we’ll help them through that process from the onset on through holding their hand through that process to achieving their greater goals and then starting to live a life that is different to what they currently living.
  • Mikayla – We definitely have the same vision in that empowerment and helping women reach their goals in both their professional and personal lives, and I feel, from my point of view, I’m at an age where I’m very much in a position where I’m just starting out, just starting my own career and professional journey so I’m very much experiencing issues and challenges faced by young women hoping to get into business or young women already in business and I see this program as a great way to build that confidence and also set up that skill set that’s really necessary for women to achieve anything they want to essentially because once you are equipped with the confidence and the skillset, the skillset being goal setting or time management and things like that which are often overlook in university courses and things like that. It’s very easy to be taught the content of particular skills that will equip someone in the work force or in their personal lives that are often overlooked and I’ve seen that through my studies as well. I’m very lucky to be in a course that does equip me with these skills, but I see amongst my friends, amongst my peers, that it’s one of those missing puzzle pieces and I feel as though this vision can hopefully bring it all together and inspire women and help equip women with those skills to achieve anything they want to in their life and really be happy in themselves and create whatever they would love to create.

Biggest Challenge

  • Mikayla – I think, for myself, the biggest challenge I’ve faced in regards to business is having that self-confidence to thrive and show what I’m able to do. Last year, I was able to work in an international financial institution in a finance role. I was grateful for that opportunity. I found that the biggest roadblock, for myself, was myself.
  • So when I started my work at this finance role, I was in a team with individuals a lot more mature than me, a lot more experienced than myself. I was in a team of four people and one of the women had actually gone overseas so I was taking over her role while she was away plus the work that I was already doing. Some of the tasks that she’d been doing were a bit more complex than anything I’d ever experienced or ever been exposed to.
  • It was daunting because I had a lot more responsibility and a lot of tasks that I’d never actually done something this difficult and it was in the moment, I was initially a little bit worried, like I hope I do it correctly, I hope I can do it to a great standard, I hope I can understand what’s going on because I’ve never been exposed to something like this, meaning this particular role and her financial controllership position she was doing and it was through developing my own skills and supporting myself with a great bunch of colleagues and family and people who I knew would support me and believed in me and allowed me to equip myself and set out what I needed to do to get this particular role done and how I needed to approach in a way that was best for myself and best for everyone around me. So, it was that particular task.
  • Adrianna – I try to look at things objectively and each time that I’ve come across what could be referred to as a challenge, has always been relating back to similar to what Mikayla said, on the flip side, me either not having enough space in my day to be creative and find a solution or it has stemmed from me needing to reach out to a mentor or coach, which I like to do to gain the clarity to come up with a solution so the challenges are always there. I feel that it depends on how we focus on them. So what I learned early on was that I used to do things by myself and quickly learnt that I needed to have a mentor and like-minded people around to help support me. The importance of community can’t be understated.
  • Thinking back, it was before I fully realized the importance of community, coaches and mentors, it was probably when I was 23 years old. At that age, it might not seem like a problem, but I’ve achieved a lot of my goals already, so I had a couple businesses, I’d already pretty much designed the premise for one business, I had a nice partner, whom I’m now married to, so people at that time was that I had achieved so much that I didn’t know what was next and I was so consumed in what I was achieving in the moment I didn’t pull my head out of the sand so to speak and reflect on what’s next. Also affects my achievements because did really quickly and really young but I hadn’t planned for the next stage and the next milestone and the next lot of visions to actually have something to focus on. So, I felt quite down, because I thought, My gosh, I should be so grateful because I’ve achieved so much, but I didn’t feel that I had anything more to achieve, so that, to me, was quite a learning experience for me and that was quite challenging to think, ‘I’ve achieved so much but what’s next?’

Most Inspired or Thankful

  • Adrianna – In 2007, my business was scaling very quickly and I knew that I needed to change the way I was servicing our clients to scale and still do a good job and have a way to ensuring the quality was there. I’m a very face to face person and I like to be in front of the client and I changed the way I was servicing people and the programs to service people online and remotely. I was quite nervous because I’d never done that before and I’m, like I mentioned, a person that prefers to be in front of the client and working with the client and writing the business at their location. So, I tweaked the programs and changed their forms so they can be able to help people in a remote setting and I launched it.
  • I was totally humbled by what happened next, as somebody who was working for me put me forward for an award and at the back end of releasing those programs I was recognized by New York’s Consulting Magazine in ceremony in London, as a global influence in innovation and I remember, when I found out about it, my legs were like jelly, I felt so humbled. That was something that was quite challenging for me to make that change, but on the flip side, once that way of servicing people got shifted and changed and became successful, it was a nice reward for me and also we work with clients so I could help more people globally and scale my business and still service people and achieve good results.
  • Mikayla – The course that I’m currently in now is the University of Technology Sidney Bachelor of Accounting scholarship program so what it is, it’s a course a very intensive, inclusive course that helps to develop business leaders, so whilst we not only learn the theory in relation to business management and accounting, but we get experience with industry leaders where we get placed in fulltime internships, we get experience with CFOs, global leaders, different programs to develop ourselves, and it’s a very amazing program to hopefully to develop future business leaders such as myself.
  • When I was 17 years of age and just finishing high school, I knew I wanted to hopefully get into this program next year and to put things into perspective, there’s over 1000 applicants and 28 positions each year, so it’s a competitive course to being in a range of different applications and group interviews, and face to face interviews and it was something that I was really striving towards and it was the entirety of 2017 that I was applying, going to interviews, and waiting for answers and things like that. All I know is that I really longed for this opportunity and I worked really hard to secure one of those competitive 28 places.
  • In December, I got a phone call from the director of the course saying that I have secured a place. When you’ve worked so hard for something, to hear that you’ve achieved what you set out to achieve, it’s a feeling of pure happiness and feeling so proud of yourself and very humbled as well, it’s an extremely humbling feeling and now, in the position that I’m in being surrounded by 27 other individuals that are likeminded, very motivating people it’s very inspiring because I love to be inspired by people close to me. I think that phone call and hearing that I had secured a place in one of the University’s most prestigious scholarships is honestly such a great feeling.

The next webinar about Adriana and Mikayla will take place on March 16th 2019

The best way to connect with Adriana and Mikayla:

Adriana Cecere

Mikayla Jee

More resources for Entrepreneurs

  1. Don’t Miss – Customer Focus Strategy & Execution: Market Analysis for Fundraising
  2. Hayut Yogev’s Latest post100 episodes. And I never thought I would ever have my own company.
  3. Former interview: Don Philpott – “… You must address the customer, you must get the customer’s feedback, you must actually talk to customers…You MUST do the work”


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