Today’s guest blog comes from Mindset & Self-Care Coach Amy Stammers as she tells us her journey of creating the life and career she dreamed of.
Her story is one of ups and downs, challenges, and bumps in the road and how she found her path to becoming an entrepreneur doing the one thing that made her heart sing!
Do you want to wake up eager to start work for the day?
Do you want to be excited when you think about work?
Do you want to feel fulfilled by your work?
Do you want to feel joy in your heart when you accomplish something in your work?
I know I struggled to feel positive and enthusiastic about my 9-5 job. It was like Groundhog Day, every day, walking the treadmill of life. The thought of doing this until I hit retirement age (which is currently 63 for women in the UK) filled me with dread.
I knew I had many transferable skills - I knew I was good with people. I knew I was creative. I loved acting and public speaking; being centre of attention. But what could I do with that?
When I was at school, I always said I didn’t want to be a teacher. Yet, the careers adviser, and also my parents (my father and grandmother were teachers) laboured the point that it was a good, stable career for a woman and that I was well suited to this role.
The idea of a girl being an “entrepreneur” was unheard of.
Twenty years after leaving school, with a degree and a couple of post grads behind me, multiple jobs in education, pastoral and care industries, and a couple of years of being a franchisee, I decided to “go it alone”. I set up my own business. I became an entrepreneur.
I fell into it. I was just doing what felt right at the time. It was what I needed to do. It was heart-led. I was doing what made my heart sing.
I was on maternity leave after the birth of my second child.
She was a “high needs” baby (and is still challenging at 3.5 years old), needing to be with me all the time, only sleeping if she was on me in a sling, constantly breastfeeding.
Having had a successful home birth, despite having gestational diabetes, I decided to train as a hypnobirthing instructor.
I was passionate about this at the time. However, when it came to scheduling classes, I struggled to do this with a screaming toddler who would not leave my side.
As my daughter got older, I realised I had fallen out of love with hypnobirthing and the birth world. A few fellow “baby business” colleagues were also reconsidering their path and went on to coaching in other areas.
When my daughter was a year old, my husband was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (also known as High Functioning Autism Spectrum Condition).
Things had been tricky at home and at his work for a while, so this diagnosis helped to explain a lot of his challenges and behaviours. But as a wife of an Aspie (informal term for a person with Asperger’s), I was lost.
I was exhausted, confused, unfulfilled. I felt I had no real purpose in my life.
I did lots of research into Asperger’s Syndrome and discovered there was very little support out there for spouses or partners of Aspies, and any groups there were in existence were mostly American based and seemed very negative to me.
So, I set up my own online support group for Aspies’ wives; a safe space for neuro-typical women to support each other, offer self-care tips and share positive stories of living with a partner with Asperger’s Syndrome.
It was what I needed at that point in my life.
As I reflected on my journey with my husband with Asperger’s, the adjustments I’d had to make in terms of my mindset, expectations and how I had needed to focus on my own self-care, I created various online courses.
I was able to create these with ease, as I was using my innate creativity and also utilising my teaching skills as the courses were content-rich, demonstrating strategies to cope better in a neuro-diverse relationship.
Content marketing came naturally to me, and I soon had a strong following of fellow Aspies’ wives.
Not deterred by being on camera, I started to do regular live videos on social media, talking about my experiences and giving guidance to other Aspies’ wives about how to improve their life.
I was given opportunities to give talks about what I did at local networking meetings and as a guest on a relationship podcast.
Here I was, doing everything I was good at and everything I loved!
Yes, I was making it up as I went along, making my own music, but it was exciting, fulfilling and every time I talked to someone and helped them to come up with an action plan to better their life, my heart sang.
I am now proud to be a Mindset & Self-Care Coach, refilling the lives of Aspies’ wives.
So, how can you find what makes your heart sing?
How can you become an entrepreneur or a small business owner that is heart-led?
Here are some things to think about:
Your greatest achievements
List 3 greatest achievements in your life.
Where were you?
Who were you with?
What were you doing?
How did you feel?
What did you want to do when you were a child?
What skills did these roles involve?
How did you feel when you imagined yourself in that role?
Your skills and passions
What are you good at?
What are your natural talents?
What are you trained in?
What interests and hobbies do you have?
What do you enjoy doing?
What topics or causes are you passionate about?
What do you wish for, for yourself, for the future?
What does your ideal day look like?
Where are you?
Who are you with?
What are you doing?
How do you feel?
But how can you make money by doing something you love?
That’s easy. You can learn business acumen.
There’s lots of courses out there that teach you how to market your products and services, how to get yourself noticed in the market place etc.
But no-one can teach you how to be you; what’s in your heart; what makes your heart sing.
People are crying out for heart-led services and products.
People buy people.
Anyone can Google ‘How To’ guides or go to a chain store to buy a generic piece of art, but those items, although practical and easily accessible, are heartless and impersonal.
In my industry, life coaching, there are many of us out there offering our services to help people to transform their lives, have better relationships, grow in confidence.
There is no such thing as a saturated market or competition. What makes every individual coach get clients is themselves.
When you do what makes your heart sing, and grow a heart-led business, you step into your authentic self.
You can sell your services and products with integrity, because you are not actually selling.
You speak from the heart about your business rather than being sleazy and salesy.
You are connecting with a potential client or customer and sharing your heart with them. Continuing with the music analogy, you find that you are singing from the same hymn sheet as your ideal client.
Only this afternoon, I was on a call with a potential client. She wasn’t in my Aspies’ wives niche, but she was attracted to me rather than any other life coach, because she could relate to my experiences, and what I talk about on social media and in my copy resonated with her.
She said that she felt I understood her and could empathise with her situation. As we continued to explore why she was considering working with me, it became apparent that we were very similar characters.
We had that connection. And when you have that connection with someone, then you will do whatever needs to be done to get a piece of that person, whether it be buying their services or products.
People need YOU. People want YOU. People will buy YOU.
Take some time to find out who YOU are; what is right for you to do; what you need to do; what makes your heart sing.
And do it.
Amy Stammers is a Mindset & Self-Care Coach. Her business, The Teapot, was initially launched as a Facebook support forum for Aspies’ wives in April 2017, and it has now grown to offer online courses, meet ups and retreat days.
Amy works with women who have lost their way in life, whether that is due to being in a neuro-diverse or co-dependent relationship, a carer for a member of their family, suffering from “empty nest” syndrome, or approaching retirement.
She also runs workshops and speaks at local events and she aspires to speak alongside Tony Attwood, the world authority on Asperger’s Syndrome, and at the National Autistic Society annual conference, in the near future.
The Teapot: Refilling the Lives of Aspies’ Wives