After founding, running and managing several small businesses herself, in January of 2017 Amy started a new journey: coaching other small business owners. One year later, we sat down with Amy to discuss her coaching practice.
How do your balance small business ownership yourself with coaching other entrepreneurs?
I really believe that being “in the trenches” is an important part of keeping my finger on the pulse of what the day-to-day challenges and victories (not to mention emotions) of business ownership entails. It’s almost like raising a newborn….one can so easily forget the logistics of what life is like in those stages after they’ve moved on. I really feel that being actively engaged in that entrepreneurial lifestyle lends credibility, understanding and empathy to what my clients are going through.
I time-block adequate periods where I either focus solely on my own business or solely on coaching and making sure that I am present in each of those situations.
Why did you choose to help entrepreneurs in the small business journey?
Owning a business can feel incredibly lonely. It’s an entirely different lifestyle, sacrifice, reward and decision-making process that can look absolutely insane to an outside person who’s never experienced it. Understanding that, I really wanted to create a community of small business owners who could come together to network, support one another and build friendships. With this idea in mind, I started gathering other women in business to brainstorm and really just hang out together. My coaching business really just evolved organically from there.
What do you feel makes your coaching style unique?
I have spent a tremendous amount of time studying and experimenting with techniques that improve emotional resiliency as it pertains to both business and personal life. So many women quit because the emotional rollercoaster of being in business just feels too hard. Or they feel like no one else has ever experienced the rejection, chaos, loss of sleep, etc.
One of the hardest things for me as I have navigated the ups and downs in business was to be able to step outside of what others were doing or saying and make clear decisions to move forward with what I was convicted about without it affecting me personally. Because of this, I went to work on understanding and mastering the emotional components to being and staying in business. These components are often overlooked entirely or given too little merit in traditional business coaching roles. The emotional resiliency that provides the thick skin and backbone it takes to be a business owner can be learned and is at the crux of my coaching business.
How do you find a way to rest in the hustle of coaching and mentoring? (In other words, how do you take care of and invest in you?)
We set clear and non-negotiable boundaries with our time. While exceptions and urgencies occur, my husband and I have an “elbows out” mentality around our personal time, which we had to learn the hard way. Like many entrepreneurs, one day we looked around and our business had overtaken our lives. We’ve gotten very good at saying “no, thank you” to opportunities that don’t meet our vision or aren’t the right timing and excellent at defining boundaries in business and personal relationships. We also put our phones away from 5-8 p.m. unless there is a predetermined meeting scheduled. That is our family time and time we unplug entirely. We do this as much as possible on the weekends as well.
What is one word of advice you would give to an entrepreneur just starting their journey in small business ownership?
Learn the skill of using “no” as a complete sentence.
To learn more about Amy and see her in action visit her at:
http://www.stepoutstayout.com and on Instagram @amy_shimek