Balancing the Grind with Amanda Chase, Chief Growth Officer at Deep Blue Company

Amanda Chase is the Chief Growth Officer at Deep Blue Company, a group of businesses with one unified goal – to improve the sale-to-settlement journey for all Australians.

Learn about the daily routines of some of the most successful people in the world. Sign up to our newsletter today & receive a free gift that will help you achieve your goals!

1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I started out in a grad program with Ford Motor Company in NZ, where for the first two years I took on a new role every 6 months. This gave me real insight into the importance of having a holistic view of a company and encouraged me to ask questions about the bigger picture.

From there I moved to Mazda NZ, and eventually across the ditch to Mazda Australia. I had the incredible experience of being a national product manager which meant I was able to test drive vehicles around a proving ground in Hiroshima before they were released in Australia! 

After nearly 10 years in auto, I completely changed gears and moved into attractions and events. Which took me from Zoos Victoria (Melbourne, Werribee and Healesville Sanctuary) to Australian Grand Prix (Formula 1 and MotoGP) and then Victoria Racing Club (Melbourne Cup Carnival).

The experience in events was an adrenaline rush, there is something about everyone having the same goal that all converges on the dates of the event that pushes past some of the often mundane politicking in organisations, and ensures that everyone comes together to create something great. 

After another 7 years I changed direction again — this time to digital, and I became the head of marketing for REA Group ( among others). This was really the first time I had experienced an entire business that actually truly cares about leadership and culture in a really authentic way.

The chance to become a genuinely better person each day while learning and delivering at pace is now something I look for in any organisation. In my experience, to find those opportunities you need to look for places where people have curiosity, conceptual capability and low ego.

Which brings me to Deep Blue Company where I am currently the Chief Growth Officer. DBC is trying to build a better way to buy, sell and settle properties. It’s full of whip-smart, low ego doers who are trying to solve a shared problem. It’s a scale-up, with a mad pace and genuinely amazing people.

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

You mean after trying to shove toast into my 10 year old and get him to put his socks on before leaving the house, right? Honestly, every day is a little mad —with over 100 staff, there are always things you can’t prepare for. Typically I spend most of my time in meetings with my leadership team and direct reports and answering ad hoc questions through Microsoft Teams.

Structure for the week comes from weekly sessions. My can-not-live-without assistant is constantly shuffling things around when need be, and making sure I’m available for anyone who needs time.

There’s a mental and psychological shift for each meeting, as each person or team each needs something different. Sometimes my work is to unblock or approve things or give advice — and sometimes it’s pure motivation or self discovery and learning work.

No day is ever the same – however Fridays I try to keep as free as possible, I’m usually pretty mentally exhausted by then so having a “slower” day definitely helps.

3) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

To me, it’s all just “life”. I love working as it gives me a sense of connection with people and a purpose where I can get up and contribute to something bigger.

To keep a sense of balance I made the decision 12 years ago to move to the coast, so I actually live in Jan Juc (the start of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria). Seeing the ocean in the morning helps, meditating every day before work and doing yoga a few times a week also sets me up to approach the world in the right way.

I also don’t work weekends. I use them to spend time with family and friends and to make sure I am where I am. 

4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

This is probably highly embarrassing to share, but during covid, I taught myself how to crochet. I find it weirdly meditative! So now I’m regularly pumping out blankets, cushions and all sorts of random knitted things to my unsuspecting (but politely grateful) friends.

I’m not sure it was life-changing, but it has genuinely made me realise that we can all learn creative things if we have the time and headspace to do it. It made me a little proud that I could also learn a new random skill.

To be honest, I really should have focused on playing guitar but that just feels a tad out of reach at the current moment.

5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Wow this is hard to narrow down! Books and podcasts are a huge part of my life. The books I choose to read are varied, and they’re usually a reflection of my capacity and my mental state at that point in time. 

I’ve noticed that I would often read challenging books when I wasn’t being very mentally stimulated at work (e.g. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig, Neurosis and Human Growth by Karen Horney), or I’d read easy fiction when my brain was being used to full capacity at work (The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion, All Our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton). 

Some non-fiction goodies I particularly enjoyed were Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler, The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (much harder going), and The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi.

My favourite podcast is ‘Making Sense’ by Sam Harris, but I can only cope with it in the morning when my brain is more switched on. In the afternoon I’ll flick to ‘This American Life’, or ‘Hidden Brain’ or others that don’t take up much thinking space and are more for entertainment.

6) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Julia Gillard and Grace Tame. How they can achieve balance when their lives are so exposed, I’m not sure where or how they find the counterbalance to that. I think it would be incredibly hard and just shows the strength of these individuals.

7) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

I just have a reflection, and that is, it is weird that I now completely understand what my parents were always saying: “everything in moderation”.

It’s effectively a way to say – find balance, or the “middle way”, and that takes effort. 

What I have now learned is that balance can be perceived over different time horizons – you may want to ensure you have “balance” every day, or maybe you achieve balance over decades. Our lives are not static, we are not the same people at 20 as we are at 30 or 40 or 50, and our lives look different at those times.

If you have time and desire to dedicate to your career early on, or maybe later on, then do it, but give yourself a break when you have kids, or a life change that means you don’t have the time or energy to dedicate the same amount to your career. 

So I guess my advice is – find balance in who you are, how you turn up and accept where you are now. 

Before you go…

If you’d like to sponsor or advertise with Balance the Grind, let’s talk here

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.