Ep 16

Be Authentic, Show Up And You’ll Get There with Amy Choy 

Amy Choy

Show notes

Katerina: Hi Amy. Great to see you. How are you?

Amy: I am good, thank you. Thank you for having me.

Katerina: Thank you for coming to our podcast. So, Amy, could you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background.

Amy: Sure. So, I am a professional landscape architect. I was born in Hong Kong, grown in Canada, and then I studied and worked abroad in many different countries in the last 10 years, and I’ve been practising as a landscape architect up till this year. And I currently… I am based in Bangkok Thailand.

Katerina: Right. What are you doing in Bangkok?

Amy: So, partially we are still on a lockdown. I did move here while I was on search of projects for my landscape work, and somehow because of this pandemic, I’ve started to do things that I’ve always wanted to do in these last four years. And so since I’d say, a month… five weeks ago I launched my platform called ChicnBliss.com as a health and well-being platform and I’ve been spending most of my time building this community. And then I think… it’s a very vibrant group and I’ve been running a 21 days personal growth challenge with them.

We actually just finished on Friday, we had a celebration on Saturday and an online party. This coincided with a Thailand locked down which has an alcohol ban so it was together at 21 days challenge for personal growth, changing three to five habits that you’ve always wanted to do, or three to five tasks that you want to do that brings you towards a bigger goal. And then on top of that was 22 days alcohol-free so it a very huge celebration. I was actually on Saturday like… obviously now we can drink and.

And then I was… because of this community, I’ve attracted a company called Lifestyle Juicery, they sponsored me to do a six-day juice detox, and I don’t know why I said yes but it was really tough… it was, I would say I’ve done a lot of challenges in my life of personal development as an entrepreneur, and as a landscape person but this was the toughest challenge I ever had to do like drinking six days of like cold raw press juice. I didn’t have baseline food but it was hard like you just feel like your body has been pushed in so many ways.

So, by Saturday it was a huge celebration, and you do see a lot of benefits so it was like, and it continued out to this week. So basically this week you continue to see benefits of, you know, in terms of your well being, your energy level, your skin, psoriasis so. So, yeah, it’s actually been a really lovely week. And I’m really happy and that with this podcast it’s like a massive sharing.

Katerina: Alright, Okay. Yeah. But that’s quite a move from landscaping designs to a health and well-being platform. How did you find this niche? Why there is such a move from landscaping to well-being?

Amy: I have always loved landscape. I still love landscape and public grounds, and when I say landscape, it’s not just like some gardening. So, my very first job that I landed on 10 years, or 12 years ago in London was actually the London Olympic Park. So, I had the joy and the honour to work with the person who directed and envisioned this project, and I was working with all these people who we know engineers to horticulturalists. It was a huge impact on social space, and then you know that it has impacted people’s lives and that has always been my passion, not just … or once space, it was really to change people’s lives and how they interact with each other.

And unfortunately now with a pandemic, the public space is going to completely change right? How we always gonna have that one 1.5 metre distance like I think all the benches are going to change, like, sort of chopped off. And so through the journey of, you know, becoming a landscape designer I sort of stumbled in my own personal journey in terms of my, my own health and well being. So, you know, when I started out, I could do all-nighters, I would work late nights you know like everybody who just graduates. And I would still be able to go out afterwards and it’s just that, you know, as years go by you notice how much it takes out from your health and I think there was a point seven years ago when really culminated to, you know, volcanic explosion… If you remember, like 10 years ago there was an ash cloud from Iceland.

Katerina: Yeah, all the planes were grounded. You couldn’t fly anyway in Europe.

Amy: Yeah, I was like that… I was on a massive burnout. I had… my family has psoriasis, but it was never to the state that I had… I basically had psoriasis, psoriasis that covered maybe 60-70% of my body and I would look like I was burning in fire. So, that was how how how difficult it was in terms of psoriasis and then I started to realise that the health part of me was so important that I didn’t choose, I was choosing career over health. Like I still remember this moment I told my principal which is directed…

Katerina: Are you saying that your problems with health were caused by toxic stress that you experienced at work?

Amy: Yeah, it was stress, stress, a lot of anxiety, stress from, you know, if you’re going to have a job because we did come up from recession 2008, stress from China striving to be the best… in the female professional world… perfection in a landscape world, and also moving around and always trying to be the best, and maybe internally that I have this, you know, try to be like really perfect and, and I think it certainly has to do with a level in the mindset. Because I remember that moment that I was full of psoriasis scratching like a monkey you know and I was telling the director that I will finish this deadline and I’ll go look at my psoriasis. And she was like, I think you should do that now, not after you finish the deadline, you know, but that was how I was and it was so painful to have to choose to take care of my psoriasis. It sounds ridiculous now but at that point, it was really difficult emotionally very difficult to choose to, you know, take care of my psoriasis and not be thriving in my career. I think at that point I was only 30–31.

And so, but ever since then I would say life has really changed for me. And so, I, I’ve always felt that I healed my psoriasis as you can see, and holistically, and I always thought that the experience that I went through for psoriasis and burnout and obviously burnout leads to massive anxiety, panic attack depression. And those journeys are meant, not just for me, and to share with other people. And I’ve contemplated for a long time when I get this now and then, so I have always wanted to build a platform to share this journey and knowledge to benefit out of people who may be suffering… actually, whether you’re female not only can young generation coming out you’re coming in, you have massive stress and anxiety and you’re being loaded more and more things you know you’re being pressed to do things with lesser time, it’s not getting better at the moment you know and you know one person doing like five people things you know so I and so I somehow always said, I’ll do it later. Now that I settled myself first I’ll do it later.

Which partially was true I needed to take care of myself, but by this year I was going to you know sort out a landscape position first and now get to this website and that didn’t happen because of the pandemic. And so I saw I was sitting down with so much time and then my friend who is an entrepreneur, so why don’t you do it now and I was like oh I know and then I want to do XYZ. I was having a lot of plans to see it perfectly. And then she just pushed me like give it a like do it like every single one and a half weekend so far I just like launched it, and I just basically I launched it… I launched a community online, and that was writing quotes stories and I ran a challenge and that’s how it started. And I’ve been doing that now for the last five days. And it’s actually a real joy, I’ve been getting a lot of positive energy from them. I feel great for being able to share. And it is really amazing to see how many people out are also having the same situation, you know, wherever they are, people would from Indonesia to Singapore to LA or the UK or, you know, people from their 30s still having a job to like in their 40s and being a mom, you know, everybody is going through the same you know the same situation, you know, and especially with this pandemic.

The stress level, and anxiety, the feelings of not knowing what’s going to happen, it’s shared among like basically everyone globally, despite, you know, wherever you are, whichever nationality, ethnic, ethnically and your age. So for me, this jump is interesting, but I’m really enjoying it. I do still love my landscape, but I really have to say I feel a sense of fulfilment whenever I feel that I’ve helped people, especially with this 21 days challenge you really see people wrestle with certain habits they want to change because of their mentality. And it really, you can really see somebody has grown over that 21 days… even myself there were things that it was hard for me but with the group was so much better.

So, I really appreciate that move. It’s totally different. It requires a different skill set, different mentality. I think landscape in a professional design consultancy world, requires you to have a certain level of pride in your work. As a designer I have to spread — this is my approach, you know like, I can do this you know what guys like in the health and well being is more of a collective platform. And you, you basically have to give your kindness and care and then, you know, to see how people change and to nurture them and then you receive in return.

So, a totally different state of mind. But I feel I’m making a much bigger impact on more people in a shorter period of time, and I feel like the, you know when you give you get. So, I also feel I’m getting positive energy back and I’m receiving so much more so I’m quite happy in terms of, you know, having this platform, and you know.

Katerina: Yeah, cuz it’s interesting, you’re saying you are following your passion as is obviously it’s, it’s coming from your experience of dealing with stress and you want to help other people but at the same time, health and well-being industry is absolutely massive right… And it’s so competitive as well. How do you stand out from all this noise because there are so many experts, and there are so many trainers in well being, you know, experts and coaches and all that… How do you attract people to your community? What are some strategies you use to attract people to your community? Because it’s it is a competitive industry to run.

Amy: Yeah, I agree. And I can see some call friends who are in the same community can be actually quite stressed. I can see that there’s so much noise. You know ongoingly. I think that was part of this is part of my, my doubt, and “what if” that I’m dealing with on a daily basis right now because I’m on the moment of kind of voting, and like authentically my own programme to attract the right audience. And so, I haven’t really engulfed in that level of competition yet. But I can see, I understand what you’re saying.

I can see how competitive it is, and I can see how it’s going to be even more after this pandemic because this one is going to become big. This industry is going to basically, perhaps the key of, you know, all the industries, and everybody’s not diving into it, but I suppose for me, as I establish myself I would think that because I, I have, I’m basically sharing a journey that I’ve gone through myself. I really that… it’s uniquely from me. And I know it’s… it’s living proof that I have done it. And I’m able to connect with the people who might be in the same situation similar problems is just online… some communities… I have written to people who said they want to commit suicide… had suicidal thoughts, or have anxiety. And you do see typical responses for things that you get from you know other people have certain quotes. But I think I wrote her something that really touched her heart.

Katerina: Are you actually contacting people through… is it a Facebook you’re using?

Amy: It was one of those you know those mindset inspiration quote group, and then this lady was posting herself like I have so many suicidal thoughts right now… I don’t think this… and I feel like, you know, totally worthless and people are telling her to snap out of it and I was like oh my gosh, so I just rolled from, you know, having been through depression, you know, major depression episodes to her… and really, from my heart to tell her that okay you know this is what state you’re in that. This is what you really need to do, you won’t be able to do these things and here and I copied the link that there was an online counselling help.

And then also somebody else follows up with, you know, a hotline that they could call. And I was surprised it nearly drew on like you know 10 or 15 people who respond to me saying I wrote really well. But I think the person ultimately did get help. I didn’t… because it was you know it was just in a big community 50,000 people. I see the danger of people who would just tell them like, oh yeah you just snap out of them, you’ll be fine you know… you can’t do this.

Katerina: Yeah, that’s the worst thing isn’t it… It’s the worst response you can get out just gotta get over it and you know.

Amy: Yeah I’ve gotten that before. And so I’m happy to tell us… I think in Asian culture is a little difficult for people to deal with emotions. So even my parents still sometimes having a hard time talking about depression. In two weeks it will be the first time that I haven’t had a relapse in four years which was supposed to be a … diagnosis from a psychiatrist, and so I’ve made holistic changes that have transformed me to make friends with it and not to relapse from it.

And I’m extremely happy about it. A lot of celebration, but I do understand like the time I had that breakdown always comes from a combination of stress, and you know, a definition… a condition that’s given to you from your culture, from the society, from the in industry. So the easiest example would be… I was always delivering landscape projects at my best, and you know I have an impeccable portfolio, but people who are still people who are like, you know, directors and executives who may not see the value… will still always tell you you’re not enough. You deliver a four project in 10 days there was for six like two months — you’re too slow, you delivered something that seemed that within like one month that’s for one year.

That’s because it’s in China, I guess it’s also for the rest of the world but for especially in China, you’re not enough right so you have to do it faster, you know. And there was this sense of you have to do it efficiently but it may not necessarily be effective right so brings new… end up being revising and revising and revising and that really draws your… your mental health down because you don’t have time to recharge. You’re not getting recognised, you’re not getting a raise. And for me, especially coming out of recession, always last in first out rule… So, every time going in and press three months. And then when there’s no job you’re made redundant.

So, you’re doing all your hard work, you’re doing everything that you are supposed to do, and we were made redundant right. So that took a toll on me like for a straight you knows five-six years of that and it ultimately led me into like to see this massive breakdown… along with other things. And so I have had people actually at that point who didn’t understand me, who didn’t know who I am, and they will just tell “Oh you’re just snap out of it, just be happy, you know, you have so many things.” And, and in hindsight looking back right now, it was, it was wrong, like those people like those things that they say it’s funny we see that as well but if you are ready, in this kind of condition… it’s not really your choice to say “snap out of it” because you have, in the face of so many things that are stressful. You know, either like a challenge, from your firm, your colleagues… in front of you. And then you know you also have a lot of things that you have to deal with in your personal life.

And so, especially I guess for entrepreneurs, it must be additionally challenging because if you are in that situation, then you may not have the colleague or you know the organisation as support right? So… and because it’s going so fast right now, like you say that, even for the health and well-being industry, every single day there’s like materials coming out every five minutes, you know. Facebook is a great place to show what you can do, but it’s also the place where it’s so difficult because it’s got information coming out every two minutes you know and you’re like, you’re going through this like you know it’s like Avengers End Game… like this tunnel you know it’s like, you don’t have time to digest.

So, coming back to that question I guess like I was so… actually I felt overwhelmed at the very beginning because I have people who are also creators of their own community. And if you want to support you’re going to around like five-six community and then you want to do well being your own platform and then you want to learn from your online coach and then at the end you’re like so frazzled. And finally, I talked to one friend and I just sat there I was so … about it, I just didn’t know what to do. It’s just too much, and the end… at the end I was like you know it just stops comparing to other people.

First of all, you know, there are some people who really can go 24/7 without a stop, and in social media. But that’s not me, and I know that if I do that it’s just non-productive for me. And then the second thing is I stopped comparing to people because I know there will always be people who might have more readers, more members, more followers, more ideas. And I think it’s ultimately your own journey because if you compare to someone there will always be someone better than you. And if you compare on Facebook. That’s the worst because it compared to the whole world. And so I kind of come to terms with that and then also overcome the feelings that I was feeling slightly guilty that I wasn’t as active as my other fellow creators. Because I… you know they are supporting me so I feel that I support them.

But then I thought, you know what, like, I shouldn’t think that way. I would love to support them. But I wouldn’t want to think that they will only support me if I support them like that’s a totally wrong mentality. And I have to go back to thinking that you know the constants that without the things I’ll do will have a real impact on people because it’s uniquely me. And so I kind of went from that place and then so since then I felt a lot more peaceful, I’m like, much less anxious and stressed out, and you know I feel I can choose so I chose, I choose a few groups I really would dedicate to. But I don’t feel bad if I can’t come into the group today. No, I can’t attend your life right away. I feel okay because it’s just impossible, like if we think about a real life time frame like it’s impossible to support 20 Facebook groups, every single day and be able to also do your own content. I think it’s, it’s not healthy. And it’s counterproductive to those groups because they only see you… you become like a bot.

Like, you see an emoji or like you know but it doesn’t really give them substance and anyone who is in the health and well being, they would have a certain sensitivity and know if this person is coming in authentically or you know you always know if somebody is listening on the phone or not. It’s the same thing on the internet, you know, if somebody actually, you know, is genuinely supportive, or like whatever… So that helped a lot in terms of reducing the stress level. And then also after that, I talked to my friend… so friends support was very important who is maybe also either doing entrepreneur or doing small business. And I talked to them and I had a plan, I came up with a plan basically I’ll say okay this is what I’m going to do… I’m going to spend this amount of time just doing my own thing. And still, the first thing is to take care of myself, there’s no self — that’s it right… so do that and then do my own content, and I’ll dedicate this amount of time to social media.

So when I’m on it I’m not being swayed from looking at your broadcast and the next things oh, and then afterwards like half days have gone… and my mind’s just overloaded with information. I was very focused like okay, I’m going to spend one to two hours maximum during this time and this is what I’m going to do. I kind of made it a road team. And so if I don’t guess everything that’s fine too. And ever since I’ve done that I felt so much better. I don’t have that social… I guess people call it FOMO, like, like the fear of missing out, and then you have to follow every group, and I was able to like see all these notifications on the little clock the alarm bell, but I don’t go in and react and click on them, a single one of them.

I kind of have my own systems — Okay I come in. I post on my group, and I respond to them, and I post on this and I have maybe half an hour just to be inspired and see whatever I like and then that’s it. So, it really helps like that that helps alone and I think that probably is ultimate to those people who have really successful entrepreneurs out there I don’t, I can see they wouldn’t put 24 hours into Facebook media because like then where do they come out with there with the contents right. So yeah for anyone who does work that’s related to media, I would think, yeah, that that like being disconnected actually helps to connect better in terms of like connect yourself and connect to your audience and will do massively stress and anxiety.

Katerina: Yeah, I mean that’s a great point. So, what’re your views on procrastination though.

Amy: I think it relates… for me, it relates to a few things. I think it’s a lot of fear and perfectionism.

Katerina: So how do you deal with it

Amy: I don’t know if I have gotten around it yet I’m still wrestling with the like… I wanted to launch this website for …, sometimes you have to you, you tell your friends, it sounds really clear and you go off and then, you know, I had all these questions that keep coming back. And so for me, I think some… actually it’s interesting … is about mindfulness and awareness. So the first thing is that I’m mindful and aware that I am procrastinating… that I am like having these doubts and why I’m procrastinating because I’m afraid or maybe it is not the time, maybe it is time to do other things you know. So that level of awareness is number one. Because then you don’t know then you know you obviously are bouncing around, you know, in between on social media.

And then, I think the second thing is, talk to friends who are also in similar… who are entrepreneurs as well who are trying to be entrepreneurs who are starting to be… doesn’t matter and somebody you can trust, who has your best interest and share with them and… and they might tell you something that you never thought of, they will push you in the right direction. They might tell you not to be too hard on yourself… you already… do need some time or like you know just do it, you don’t do… My friend likes to say this and I really think is super accurate, do not do business in your mind, that really kicked my mind because designers like to think a lot… landscape people, we do, architects, I think a lot first never get it on paper because once again, you feel like you know you’ve not done well.

So she’s like don’t do business in your mind’s. I started writing everything out and the community is a great place to flush that out. So, that helped a lot to have somebody who pushes you, and then in the right direction, obviously, and then I think ultimately is really then trust and go ahead and do it. So, if I had done my original plan I was going to build on the whole website, and the whole, all the programmes, and then go and build the community and approach individually just so fancy. In the end, I was starting to community and I was refusing to do life. I was telling my friend I don’t want to do my… one of these guys CBT news and it just turned out to be that way and it worked really fabulously. So, letting go of the part of being perfect, and was a huge one.

And then I think finally the fourth… I said three right so the last one really knows that we are just a work in progress. I think that’s a big one for a lot of people, even for myself like this for designers, we always want to have a beautiful finish date you know. So we plan everything out, we want to go through this whole process and get to that but I think at the moments for a lot of things that we do, personal development, being healthy building your own platform, being an entrepreneur — is never really there’s not really an endpoint that is like a finish right it’s always going to be a work in progress and everyone else yeah yeah and if we really wait until it’s perfected it might be too late, we might never be ready for it, and then and then and then also the circumstances change so acknowledging that we can be a masterpiece, but we are a work in progress, but that is a really big one, to them.

Katerina: No, that’s great, I’m running this you know… I’m recording this podcast, I’m writing articles on Medium… I’m doing stuff you know, for me, but at the same time I’m just thinking “Oh, I just never have time to do like Facebook Live… actually go live and pull my thoughts together”… and one woman entrepreneur said “Why are you not doing Facebook Live?” and I said, “Well, I’ve got so many things to do…”. How do you prioritise? How do I know which next thing you have to do for your business? It’s just crazy right because so many strategies you can pursue…

Amy: Yeah.

Katerina: What do you do? How do you decide what needs to be done next for your business? And would that be the most important thing you should be doing?

Amy: Yeah, yeah, it does happen. And then you just said…

Katerina: Look, I said to her… I promise you you know I’m gonna go live in May and August and start sharing. And then, today… oh, another day is gone.

Amy: I will introduce you to my friend — she’ll make you do life challenges every day… And, now she is like, Oh my God, your LIVE is so long now. I think yeah I think it’s okay not to do everything all at once. That’s all I’ve learned too but you know something comes to you that’s, I think, mindfulness and awareness is very important because if you have a deeply ingrained intuition, this is something that you need to do now — then you do it right and then versus like… trying… some people always tell you not out of bad intention you know they’re always like great people but maybe it’s just not your priority, or maybe you need to do these things before you get to that. So I think that mindfulness and awareness is so key and so important.

Katerina: Yeah. So, what would be your advice to say you know, starting interpreters because we know a lot of people now lost their jobs, so they’re changing the direction and thinking maybe doing some other stuff for themselves. Where would, where would you start if you started from the beginning, what would be the starting point if you were just a starting entrepreneur.

Amy: I think if, because for myself, I have had this idea for a long time, and then it comes from my journey. So I would say if somebody in the current situation where they’re switching to entrepreneur, and they may need to find out what their real passion is. They might need to explore that what they really want to do, because of the danger of just diving into entrepreneurship, to do anything. We can always say I want to you know sell juice or do that and it won’t last because it’s not something that’s your calling.

And so I think it’s worth doing some courses to explore that to find something that you really want. And the reason why right now I’m like super happy doing this you know generating content free content is that I really love what I do. And so I think that it’s like the real first step. And then the second step is really to get a tribe or your community or your friends support so I, and I think that was for me was timing that that was a time I talked to a lot of people and they say to do it — you sound like really passionate but I never got around to have a group of entrepreneurs surrounded… surrounding me. That will also push me towards what I wanted to do. And it’s just coincidentally this January, and maybe it was time that I met these people who know this taking me anywhere you doing, have you done your Life, you know, they really focus. And that’s so very important. And for, they’re so supportive and whatever that I’m posting they’re always responsive you know whatever it is like they just like it’s like family and friends, you know, a universal global family and so to have, you know, it’s really important to have that support and also they are struggling as well so there is a struggle that is I struggle and when we have that similar shared background, no matter where we are. And so it’s easy to, to talk to each other, and you feel supported.

And whereas if you go at it on your own, you may not find that level of support, which makes it extremely difficult, especially if you have only friends who are still in the corporate world because it operates in such a different way. And so, yeah, I tried and the support community is very important. And then lastly, I would really try to pace out in terms of because it’s so easy to just dive in… I’ve seen people join so many groups so many webinars so invest in all these courses and then you absolutely do none of them at the end because he is so overwhelmed and the walk-in and that’s interesting, oh, that’s interesting.. oh, that’s interesting. Yeah, 24 hours a day we couldn’t do it so it’s like you need to do a screen test and go to these free webinars or watch the introduction.

And then, yeah, be inspired, but don’t make any decision… just pace yourself out to see what really resonate with you, what really may benefit you… you can talk to your friends about or the tribe or community about it and then decide on you know a few things to take. Because it’s that level of competitiveness that you will get a lot of once you open up to this industry you get approached by a lot of programmes… things, groups, communities. I’ve been approached by a lot of people, you know just randomly and if you’re not able to pace yourself or feel that you just like raw dive in and grow like that’s gonna burn you out really quickly.

And so for entrepreneurship, it’s not about Fast and Furious. It’s actually about slow and steady and so, and then, yeah, because if you do Fast and Furious you are getting yourself burned out really fast. And then lastly is to show up every day and this I learned from my friend, she’s really persistent, I do have days I’m like.. Oh, she is super persistent, she shows up every single day since she started her journey as an entrepreneur, and it doesn’t matter rain or shine, she feels good or feels bad or she’s getting business or not whatever happened she show up and do a life every day.

And I’m really amazed by her tenacity. But, I mean, ultimately, it really changed, it changed her energy it changed the way. It changed her own belief, and it actually attracts people. And it is true right if you, the only that, if you show up every day for you know what you’re doing, you’re gonna get something because this is what I believe as the universe will always give you something if you show every day. You’ll be the last one person because everybody else may have given up, so if you just started you definitely will hit like certain rocks or you might stumble, you know, just like never give up. You can question your can… flags but never give up by just keep showing up in different forms different media different ways and, you will actually then get to where you want to be.

Katerina: Yeah. That’s great advice from you. Do you think it’s… I’ll show up… one day after I celebrate my son’s birthday… and have a good night sleep… This is… this whole program is about excuses and procrastination…and anxiety…

Amy: That’s great and I’m saying this but in a way it’s easier to say it and then done and also, we all fall off the path but you know it’s Okay if we fall off the path, just come back to it. I’m taking that advice from my online coach and you do see the changes. It’s kind of small, sometimes it’s a small change but you see the change like when we were young we were learning some new skills or new habits… it’s kind of, it looks tiny on a daily basis but over time it’s just compounded and you see the difference. So, I’m trying to remind myself on a daily basis of that and obviously, no one is perfect… I’m not perfect… my friend is perfect, she is really great at it.

Katerina: It’s good that you have such a friend that can give you a little kick under your butt-side and say “Just go for it”. Yeah, it’s good… it’s good.

Amy: That’s important and then so… in the way yeah, it’s a competitive industry, it’s gonna get even more competitive. On the other hand, if you have somebody in a similar industry who can be your ally, your friend — that’s something that’s priceless because they always have your back. And that is the most important.

Katerina: Yeah, and do you think today is a good day to start a new business given the coronavirus pandemic and all that.

Amy: Yes, I would think so. I would think that… The corporate world is gonna be in trouble for a while and… I’ve been reading a book called Universe Has Got Your Back by Gabby Bernstein, and there is this chapter called the Obstacles or detours in the right direction. And her personal experience was about how she was trying to force herself to be pregnant for over a year and that didn’t happen. And then, and then it turned out it was a detour like a detour in the right direction for her to grow herself spiritually, ultimately, she got her pregnancy and a kid. And so… I feel it’s the same for anyone who may have become unemployed at the moment, or you know, quote and quote “stuck at home” — I don’t see it that way… I really do see it’s true it’s a detour in the right direction. And it’s time to look at this moment and see the situations and so what can I do for myself now you know, what I might do I still want to do this when the pandemic is over — the job that you have had before, or is there something that you really really are past passionate and doing that you have procrastinated and put aside for a reason saying you don’t have time.

But you know that you’re now saying that all I know I don’t have a job but maybe this is the time to do it and so I absolutely believe that everyone can, you know, launch something like that and not their own entrepreneurship off from something that they, they have been wanting to do what they passionate about. And I do think this is the right time to do it. And I feel this is the time where if you want to do something you may just go and do it anyways. Nobody knows what’s gonna happen next. And also we don’t want to know if this is going to be the second wave, however, it is a really scary and uncertain time. And so I don’t see why not.

Katerina: Yeah, it might become the new norm actually.

Amy: Yeah, so now what’s gonna happen now and you know and I think the mentality or just find a job, if somebody comes, that’s so that’s not going to be applicable anymore, unfortunately, because every, a lot of people on jobs. So it’s not that you can just find a job and be paid right maybe there is no none out there, and even so, somebody is an as high skill as me in landscape… there aren’t any vacancies right now, because nobody’s developing public grounds. Nobody’s going outside so I really do think like, you know, entrepreneurship in a way I see is like, it’s just a business.

And I think this is what it used to be before anything was standardised or become corporatized that people have small bookstores and we’re kind of going back to that. So, it has worked before, and I guess it’ll work again. And so yeah I would really encourage people to do it if they are in that place right now. But, but do it with like consciously right like… the five things I pointed out, and not dive in with the mentality to say that I must succeed, you know… I must make this amount of money by this time, I think those kind of parameters are what ultimately make people really stressed out and but those are unfortunate the parameters that you’ve been given and conditioned in a corporate firm. Whether you’re in banking or in landscape… banking makes x amount of money by x month, the landscape industry, design industry produces this amount of project by x month you know, so I knew that was a condition that we were given so but hey if you go into entrepreneurship, you can now recondition yourself right? It will take some work, but I think it’s it’s a possibility, and I do encourage… if you have a passion, and you, you are able to tap into your your your passion and your purpose then yeah everyone has a gift you know to offer.

So, I would think anyone can start entrepreneurship at this time, and then, if you feel that you really are not ready to just be on your own, then you can partner with people. There is a whole bunch of people out there who wants to be an entrepreneur group together, and their courses that you know that you can take. And I invest in courses still like not the super expensive really unaffordable ones because it doesn’t make sense but it is a good time to invest in yourself as well. When you’re working normally you don’t have time, ah I want to go out with friends. You do this travel, and now you have, you know, the whole world’s time so there are small courses of free webinars and doing a lot of free webinars and free online YouTubes. I have online coaching that’s like a really decent prize. And so, you know, those are are all great learning experiences and like super highly valuable.

And so for anyone who’s starting that entrepreneurship, they could look into those three sources as well, and comparing myself to other creators in the community — they invest a lot of money and getting coaching. I won’t name names but you know they would pay for big courses who, you know, will tell them they can launch a business but you don’t necessarily have to have… this is again the progress over perfection, you don’t have to have a perfect plan or pay x amount to get certain coaching. Well, I can’t afford it right… so I am not going to go for that but there are other materials that you can tap into to learn and grow yourself as an entrepreneur. So I encourage them.

Katerina: Yeah. Yeah. No… I agree with you. We are… we have, I’ve been in situations… In the past, I did take quite a few expensive courses and it did help me… But I guess all the information is online… if you really can read between the lines and do a little bit of search yourself on the Internet you can find a lot of information without spending a lot of money.

Amy: Yeah, because if you’re just starting — you don’t need to invest that much money right, you can, you know, it’s a starting point you just want to do some mini-course and it’s good to also get a sense of if this is something for you. But if you invest a whole lot of money and then you realise Ah, I don’t want this… this is not my coach. Yeah, that’s… that’s already like a traumatic start so I think like you don’t really have to do that and there are so many like courses. Actually, my online coach offers $1 for 14 days with a lot of free online sessions so there are people like that and this guy’s really famous…

Katerina: What’s happening after 14 days? Are you cancelling after 14 days?

Amy: No… I am already with them for eight months now. But when I started was to pay $8 for 14 days but because of the pandemic they reduced it to $1 for 14 days, and you know this guy is a guy who was a monk before who become this coach. And so, and he offers like values that no one can like, this is like it’s someone that I feel like whenever listen to his life coaching… like you know you get sapped to energies like, you know, like so. There are quality courses webinar out there that is super affordable and, and then, it’s really is true it takes some time to find your niche, your passion, your purpose, and so on. It’s equivalent to how much you put in. It really is that you spend your time looking and talk to people.

And then really become aware of all this is for me that’s not and then it kind of guides you through to, to the point where you feel like, Oh, this is really for me because I… I feel so resonated with my online coach, but there are some people who are so resonated with another coach right so why is that so yeah if somebody’s just starting, like take the time to do it. And then, I think there’s, I saw some people trying to do logos like they invest a lot of money in logos, I think that’s really the last thing to do. I don’t even have a logo right now I was thinking about it right, and I was going to go down that route and, and it’s really true that you know your logo, your company name, all that stuff, it can change in like a snap. Even your website because… I’m a designer… that’s why I haven’t started my website… I’m choosing my template… I’m like every day is changing …

Katerina: Procrastination… [laughs]

Amy: [laughs] Last week that actually, I can change my template, right. So, not to say I come with this template and I never change it so it doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to be there. And I’m always looking at these people who have spent three-four years on the website… I don’t want to do that. I’ve come to realise that so yeah if you want to start it’s not so much and that approach is really out of, like, first your passion, your purpose, and then you know doing some building your community, and then when you build your community, the people that you attract the right people will tell you, certain things like you will know that oh I should go in this direction or I should do that more or, you know, like, I should start building this programme I should post this more.

And so, yeah, that ultimately is the route as quite like you have to ride the waves a bit, and have to trust that process, which is why that’s the difficult part and I think that’s why people start going into… I just … my company for years I do my logo, but none of that matters if you don’t have your… if you don’t know your purpose, if you don’t know your intent, and you don’t know your community and tribe and you don’t get your content, because automate those things or, you know, so-called packaging. And that’s like the, you know, that may be the last bits, if you have your content, and if you really do it authentically then, you know, you ultimately will attract the audience that you want.

Katerina: Yeah, no thanks, thanks for your thoughts, and perhaps maybe the last… well the last but not least… What advice would you give specifically female entrepreneurs? At this point in time, what can you tell the girls?

Amy: This is, this one is a tough one.

Katerina: Because it’s always guys… guys… there are not so many of us right compared to the male entrepreneurs right?

Amy: Okay, I guess before any advice, I just share the challenges…

Katerina: Yeah, something to empower women to become entrepreneurs

Amy: I kind of a challenge is like you give that content and creativity you want to pull that like you know share and inspired and then you get somebody who, you know, look at your picture and it comes in, say hello with a different intent. And then you have to kind of guide them back into the community, or, you know, and then they constantly text you and you have to, you know, stay out of that, you know, your, your community so you don’t want to be rude. But ultimately I encountered that quite a bit and this last five-six weeks. And I don’t think like guys would have that issue. And so I think to be wary of people, maybe with, not some, like not the same level of intent. But at the same time, what I learned and I told myself was that, hey, I can, I think… I specifically told us, one member, I said that cuz he was starting to ask me if I have a boyfriend you know all these questions that were more related to the dating scenario.

And I think I was because I’m much better these days now compared a few years ago so I… I told him directly that, you know, I, I, my intents and purpose of the community… what I wanted to do, and offer, and I wish he would support that. So I basically left that part that he was trying to engage with and express expressed my, my intent and of the community, and then I asked him to support and, and then. So, in return, I got the support that I needed, and the respect that I… I needed. And then I expressed that… I feel that there’s sort of a general assumption that you look pretty, in a certain level that you know maybe these websites for meeting guys you know you’re not, you know, just using that as an image but I assert… I truly believe that if you are female, a young professional and you have something to offer the world and share and inspire people that you are allowed and able to do that.

And, you know, no one should make you doubt yourself, especially yourself. And so when I encountered this situation before I would always like wonder, I was always wondering why, like, I’m sure a guy wouldn’t get this. I’m sure if it’s a guy, I will receive a message you are so cool you know like awesome you know like yeah man. Why is it that with me that I get these messages, and just…

Katerina: It’s not just you… I’ll tell you I also had a similar one I posted something on the podcast about another episode and the response I got like a nice photograph.

Amy: Yeah, oh I don’t understand…

Katerina: How do you respond to that? Cos’s harder for us to do business, being entrepreneurs because we are because we’re not just dealing with… you know, in the male-dominated world. But also we get the oddest comments from the other part of the population who do not really consider your… you for your knowledge but they’re kind of looking at the picture right?

Amy: This happens also in actually my landscape industry so that happens all the time throughout my 10 years, and I have additional challenges to get ideas through because I know whatever I say if I’m a guy in a suit somebody will tell me that “Awesome, cool idea man” and then because I have female long hair and the dress that I get challenged with my idea… but how do you realise that how to do that, how to do that as in like I have to do more and more work. But I finally come to realise that that was the situation, and then so basically I stand on… I try to stay calm — that’s a really big one.

And then I would just we, I would always say thank you if it’s not an offensive comment like if they say a nice… Thank you so much, but I’m aware of what may come next. I say thank you for the compliment. Thank you for joining my community, and so and then see what they say and then I will try to steer them to come back to the community and say hey you know, this is what I’m doing I would love for your support, and I have had situations where people start making more comments on my physique. And then I would then become more direct, I would just say, I would appreciate it if you stop doing this and try to be supportive, if you really continue in this direction, then I wouldn’t think this is the community is for you.

And so, then there was, yeah there was a guy who was trying to flirt with me and I asked him to join this challenge I thought you don’t even know who I am like you know he was trying to. I didn’t talk to him, and I just see no just said thank you yes we sorry that I couldn’t get back to you right away. I’m trying to talk to you all the individual members but this is a challenge that’s for you, not for me I hope you will join… it will benefit you. After a few hours, he actually said sorry to me and he’s been supportive ever since. So I think it really has, you know, you really have to stay super calm and non-reactive. And then whatever they try to project you … they trying to project like come from that point and then we like yeah. But I don’t want to perceive it at that point that when we direct it, you know, and then two scenarios will happen either you get the respect that you want and then they will support or that they’ll continue and that when which then you know they shouldn’t be in this community anymore and then you just have to get rid of them.

I have had one member and this last month because the, I did a juicing week last week, as I said at the beginning of the podcast and I helped this company post some healthy images, healthy images with the juice and I saw some unsolicited pictures I don’t want from someone I don’t even know. And I just basically blocked them out. And, unfortunately, every female where we see this kind of situation like you were saying they comment on your photo. And, and, you know, not be taking you seriously for the things that you’re trying to do. And so it’s a lot of mental strength that you have to have, but it really ultimately is a few things but you don’t let it in, first of all, you don’t let it in. If you let it in, it’s gone as you’d be in my feelings so bad, and I have gone through that stages before.

And so the song by Taylor Swift The man is like the song I’ve been listening to for a long time. And when I heard her, I oh she’s going through the same thing, right, if you remember she was going through a situation she was trying to sing some songs, and then you know that these guys are always giving her trouble. And so, and I thought, Oh, so it’s not just me, it’s actually like celebrities, every woman in different nationalities, different ages so then I stopped letting it in and then because I was like thinking before why it’s always just me. Let’s not.. let it stop that.

And then the second thing is I become aware that say intention, I can like you know divert them. and I search my own image, this is the image I want you to see right this is me, you know it can be pretty face, I can be you know feminine but I can still do all of this, right. So, and I deserve that respect and then you use words to communicate that. And then lastly, like, you know, we know that we act like that we … from them it doesn’t like it really is someone who’s in that other direction and just kind of let them go. So those are the three things I do and unfortunately I encounter them every week… is really annoying because then I think for like a long time for like a year or two I just don’t know why is that this… if I’m a guy like…

Katerina: But you see you you’re running a community for you know health enthusiast, my page not the Mental Wealth for Entrepreneurs… my other page is just my sort of my personal sort of professional page and I’m talking about artificial intelligence and job automation and the impact of AI on on on on on employability and all that. So you know you wouldn’t expect someone just coming in just… making comments about but I’ve had people messaging me with some strange kind of comments. But, yeah, I guess this, this happens and like you said you have to try to be kind of…

Amy: Try to see if they’re actually interested in it. Yeah.

Katerina: Yeah, and I am telling them like your job is going to be automated.

Amy: Yeah, great I received a compliment. Thank you. First of all, I received your compliment. And then the second thing is… automation…

Katerina: Yeah, girls advice from Amy — be strong, follow your passion and put some boundaries and yeah… and don’t pay attention too much.

Amy: Check the price for all my other stuff and…

Katerina: Thank you so much for coming to the show. It was great talking to you… I mean I could talk to you for another couple of hours I think. Thank you so much and good luck with everything with your platform and we’ll definitely hear more from you in the future.

Amy: Yes, thank you so much for those.

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