Lindsey Dang is the Founder & CEO at Lindsey’s VCE Tutoring, a boutique tutoring company that delivers personalised tutoring programs for students.
Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?
Hi there, I am Lindsey – the founder and CEO of two education startups, Lindsey’s VCE Tutoring and Wrise AI.
I was born and raised in Hanoi, and moved to Melbourne before I turned 16. I started my Bachelor of Laws and Arts at Monash University in 2019, and pivoted to entrepreneurship at the end of my first year, learning as much as I could to start my own business. I never knew what I wanted to do, but I knew I enjoyed creating things and reading; creativity was the one thing I was absolutely sure about.
I was fortunate to graduate VCE with the results I desired, and started tutoring as soon as I could; my favourite part was, unsurprisingly, creating systems, resources and innovative ways of communicating complex literary ideas to Year 12 students. With the support of those around me, I launched Lindsey’s VCE Tutoring overnight – a boutique tutoring company that delivers personalised tutoring programs for students.
The website was makeshift and unrefined, but it helped me get my first 200 students and hire my first 5 tutors. Fast forward to 2023, I never stopped teaching and reading, even after our team grew from 1 to 20+ tutors. I still love working with students as much as I did in 2019.
As Lindsey’s VCE Tutoring takes shape to be a community to passionate readers, writers and tutors, I found myself fiddling with a new idea – a software, an AI-powered teaching assistant, that helps teachers and tutors declutter their lives. I launched Wrise AI this year with my co-founder An, to help teachers manage their students’ assignments and grade essays faster. With this afoot, I am still learning, experimenting and iterating as I move forward.
We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?
My day usually starts with an iced coffee (and a 30-minute jog or pilates session if the weather does not scream ‘stay home’). With that said, I do allow myself to have later mornings here and there, and ease myself into the day.
Most of my work commitments are quite deliberately scheduled after 11am, including team meetings, teaching, training sessions for our tutors, or chats with the agencies and consultants we work with. Before 11am, I block out from 45 minutes to 1 hour to reply to emails and engage with the team on Slack.
I also try to keep the number of meetings under three to leave some time for more creative work – such as reviewing current projects, developing a curriculum for teaching, writing books and blogs, or light reading. We alternate between working at our CBD office and from home, depending on the plans for the day; if the work is collaborative, I’d prefer meeting up with the team in-person, sometimes at a cafe.
I end the day with another Slack update, thanking the team for their awesome work and answering any questions each member may have on current projects. If I have a tutoring session scheduled in the evening, I’ll rest for a few hours, have an early dinner, and log onto Zoom to teach.
Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?
I had not consciously or actively thought about defining my work life balance (early stage founders who are passionate about their projects don’t usually see “work” as work). However, this isn’t to say that I’m always on the grind, hustling for achievements.
I don’t believe in defining work-life balance through a rigid split and time allocation; instead, I prioritise energy management, particularly, my mental and emotional energy, as I find myself doing my best (most creative) work when I am at high energy or feel at ease.
None of us can stay at high energy forever, so I have some non-negotiables too. For instance, regardless of how busy life can be, I will always make sure that I have enough sleep, and, as soon as energy-draining tasks creep up to take over my life and impact my relationships and those around me, I will make immediate changes.
I prioritise quality work, for instance, an intensive, high-energy co-working session with the team, over energy-draining meetings that can easily be replaced by succinct communication.
Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?
I started planning my nutrition and meal prepping 4 weeks ago, and it was a life-changer. I found myself stressing less during the week and feeling more energised with no meals skipped; no compromises were needed to accommodate a busy schedule.
We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?
This may be a niche recommendation, but I love Jessica Holsman’s book, Work Life Balance: How to Find Your Flow State and Create a Life of Success (emphasis on “Flow State” – incredibly important for creatives). I got each of our team members a copy and we love how actionable the advice is.
Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
There are a lot of narratives out there that try to quantify “success” through specific metrics, more than often, promoted by people who have already achieved what they consider their own ideal version of success or a fulfilling career.
I believe the most rewarding approach is to align with your own vision and passions—those things that make your heart sing. By balancing this with empathy, learning that those around you, your employees, co-workers and partners included, also have their own versions of success, work can be happiness-inducing, which allows you to define and achieve success on your own terms.