Leslie Josel (@order.out.of.chaos) is my hero. That’s what I said to myself after spending just a few moments with her when we first met.
How did Leslie and I meet? At the annual Professional Organizers in Canada Conference several years ago. FYI, Before I was writing, I was all about organizing. I channeled this passion into a unique family calendar. You can read all about it in chapter 20 in Get Up.
Truth be told, I still love organizing, especially when I get to write about it!
Regardless, from that moment on, Leslie has been my go-to for anything ADHD and organizing-related. I have been following Leslie on social media, since forever and admire all that she does and says. The proof is in the pudding, right here.
How could I not ask her to be a mentor in Get Up? I mean, this woman walks the walk – to the “T”.
Below you will find all the reasons why Leslie Josel is my hero, and I can guarantee that I am not alone.
Who is Leslie Josel?
I’m a short-haired, yoga-practicing, fast-talking, sneaker-wearing, ice cream addicted, coffee-drinking, concert-going, beach-loving, Jeopardy-watching, special-needs advocating, native New Yorker.
I’m also the immensely proud mom of two terrific imperfect kiddos. Wife to a super-bright guy, and a humbled friend to many wonderful people.
I run Order Out Of Chaos, a virtual, global community whose mission is to ensure ALL students have the necessary skills to be successful in learning and in life. In my spare time, I’m an Academic-Life coach for teens and college students with ADHD, a three-time award-winning author, weekly columnist for ADDitude Magazine, and international speaker.
How did you get into your line of work?
It all started with my son. When he was 5 years old he was diagnosed with ADHD. Finding ways to teach him the skills to untangle his world became my passion…and my business. I learned systems and strategies that brought order to the chaos in our home and at school. But the most effective “research” I did was to talk to parents like me to learn from their experiences. And then share information and provide support.
Editor’s note: She had me here. This is when I began to say these five words: Leslie Josel is my hero. And then, with no surprise, this happened…
Parents started coming to me in droves for education, systems, and strategies to help themselves and their children. My newfound expertise launched Order Out of Chaos®, whose mission is to provide hands-on education, guidance, and coaching to parents and their students through our customized products and programs, so all children – both mainstream and with learning difficulties – can develop the necessary skills needed to experience success in learning and in life.
What is your typical day like?
There is no “typical” day. And I think that is why I love what I do. When you are an entrepreneur you have a lot of control over your clock and calendar. So some days I start late and work late and others it’s the complete opposite.
Some days are filled with coaching with students and parents. Others are very meeting “heavy”. These days might include team and production meetings, calls with those I’m collaborating with such as a writing assignment, speaking engagement, or a publisher.
Other days are strictly creative. Writing my columns, developing webinars and programs, crafting powerpoints for talks. I do none of this alone. It’s a lot of balls in the air to keep straight so I’m lucky that I have an incredible team that holds up all the walls for me.
I love working at night which I know most don’t. The end of the day lends itself to a slower and quieter pace and I do my best thinking then. I also try to take some “me” time on Fridays. Pre pandemic I was traveling all the time and rarely home. So this has been a really nice change of pace.
Share a rewarding lesson that you will never forget.
I think the biggest and most rewarding lesson I’ve learned over the years is how to truly listen. In business. With my friends. My students. And of course my family. To really truly listen to someone, not interrupt, and not needing to get the last word. To not have to fix or offer a solution. It’s the toughest thing I have ever learned and by far the most rewarding.
What is your favourite book and movie?
Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman. I lost my mom when I was 15 years old. She was terminally ill my whole life. Losing my mom so early in life completely defines who I am. I discovered this book years ago and it was life-changing for me. No one had ever talked about losing a mother in the way that Hope did. It was as if she lived in my head.
I still go back to this book from time to time when I’m feeling lost and vulnerable. This year in particular.
As for favourite movies, it’s hard to pick just one! I’ll watch everything from Hallmark to Documentaries and everything in between. But movie musicals are probably my all-time favorite genre.
Favourite food and activity to unwind?
That’s an easy one. Ice cream. All-day. Every day. Sometimes more than once a day. And coffee. If it’s coffee ice cream, well that’s just next level. 🙂 To unwind, in the summer it’s swimming or the beach. And when the weather gets cooler it’s walking or hiking. I love to be outside. There is something about fresh air that instantly relaxes me. And at night it’s all about binge-watching television. My days can be tough so escaping with great television is a real treat.
Let’s unpack your quote: “There is no learning without pain. And that’s the step most of us miss. To truly understand something, it’s got to hurt.“
True learning requires some serious heavy mental lifting. And that extra effort requires us to push ourselves, work harder, and dig deeper. It requires us to get out of our comfort zone. Ask questions. And since our fallback position is to avoid pain at all costs, to truly learn something you might have to experience some pain and discomfort.
What springs to my mind is the famous proverb necessity is the mother of invention.
It’s amazing what can grow from your own home. From helping her son to helping thousands of people maneuver the ADHD world. A venture that only a few can accomplish. Leslie does this so well, in her generous, patient, and modest manner. Leslie Josel is my hero. This is my story and I’m sticking to it.
One more thing. How lucky am I that her wise words are shared in Get Up?