It’s no secret that I like to champion women who do meaningful work online, especially the ones that dedicate their lives to empowering other women. In fact, my blog is meant to be a resource for women who are looking to walk the same path. So, to celebrate & encourage them, I reach out to these modern superheroes and interview them.
This month I had a virtual chat with Amy Young, life coach at Amy Young Coaching, dating and relationship expert, Youtube sensation, baby podcaster and my super insightful (and always hilarious) business mentor.
This interview is really close to my heart because I get to share a small snippet of my amazing conversations with Amy, with whom I’ve worked closely for the past year, and I am confident that you will walk away from this interview with a new sense of purpose and a lot of practical solutions to common problems that aspiring entrepreneurs face.
And because Amy is such a captivating speaker (just take a look at her Youtube channel), I wanted to capture her full essence, so I’ve decided to do something I haven’t done before: I recorded our talk (with her permission of course) and I’m giving you access to the full interview for free! Just insert your email address below and you can watch our entire conversation.
If you want to make sure that you’re not missing out on any nuggets of wisdom that she shares about finding your life or career path, dealing with impostor syndrome and being recognized as an expert, mastering your work-life balance, infusing your personality into your business to set yourself apart, developing a healthy money mindset, starting your coaching practice and much much more, be sure to sign-up above.
But without any further ado, here is a shorter version of the interview transcript (and a million of thanks to the gorgeous and incredibly intelligent Amy for taking the time to share all this amazing insight):
💎 Hi Amy! Would you mind telling people a bit about you and the work you do online?
Well, first of all, let me just say thank you for inviting me to be here! I am so excited to be getting to sit down and chat with you. So who am I?
I am Amy Young. I am a life coach and an online creator and I work with single women. The majority of my work online is focused in the dating and relationship realm, so I really tackle tough topics that are love related from a female empowerment perspective (such as how you can experience more satisfaction and success in your love life).
But I also tackle just everyday frustrations. So my work in general, when I think about it, is very broad spectrum, but usually, when people come to work with me it’s usually because they have been struggling with guys & dating.
What else? I’ve had a Youtube channel now for five and a half years and that’s the primary place where people visit with my face and my voice. And my home on the web is amyyoungcoaching.com, which I’ve just re-launched, and that’s where I talk more about my coaching work and how I help individuals.
💎 Speaking about your voice, you’ve recently launched a podcast. How exciting! What can you tell about that?
So the podcast is called “Just What You Needed” and it’s basically formed of these half-hour episodes that are digging into one primary struggle that I see the majority of my clients (or the majority of people that I connect with) going through.
An episode just went out this morning about quitting comparison and how we can stop comparing ourselves to other people. Because that leads to nowhere good, typically. For some people that may be a really great motivator, but for most people that just makes us feel really crappy about ourselves.
The name of the podcast, “Just what you needed” came from the kind of feedback I usually get when people will reach out to me and say “this video was just what I needed to watch at this exact moment”. I really liked that idea of being able to meet people exactly where they are, give them just a little microdose of just what they needed.
💎 If memory serves me right, you started your professional career as a waitress and a stand-up comedian in New York. Is that correct?
Originally I was an actor before I was anything else. I graduated from college and decided, okay, I’m really gonna go for this acting thing. And I was living in New York, so I was auditioning and booking some really small parts in mainstream TV stuff.
A lot of people at some point, we’ll tweet at me and be like, did I just see you on Gossip Girl? (And the answer is yes. I had a very small part in an episode of Gossip Girl.) But then as I was doing that, I discovered that more than anything else, I loved doing comedy.
So I started doing improv and stand-up comedy. And that was when I started my Youtube channel as well, as kind of a creative outlet just for me. And then it morphed into this coaching thing. So that’s kind of the long story extremely short.
💎 What I’m interested to know more about is this transition and how you found your path. How did you get to this point – running a successful coaching business?
I don’t necessarily think I was doing any of this consciously at the time, but looking back, what really served me on this path is that I was constantly paying attention in my life, and that’s a big kind of broad-spectrum rule that I have for people. If you wanna change your life, you have to pay attention to it.
Meaning you have to pay attention to what’s happening, what’s working, what’s not working, what feels good, what doesn’t feel good. You have to ask yourself what you want. You have to ask yourself what you’re sick of.
You just have to pay attention to what’s actually happening and what that looked like for me at that point in time and as the years have gone by, it’s that when something stops working (and by stop working, I mean that I wasn’t enjoying it anymore, it wasn’t making me feel like I was moving in the right direction, or I felt like I was really struggling and trying to force things, and I didn’t like how that felt) I had to start paying attention to that feedback.
A really hard realization for me is that when I would have a stand-up gig – let’s say I got the call on a Tuesday saying “we’re gonna have you do a set on Friday night” – I would spend the next 72 hours feeling like I was gonna throw up because I was so nervous, because I wasn’t doing stand-up for very long and you’re gonna suck in the beginning, as I was just getting the hang of it.
I was so stressed and literally nauseous, thinking about going to that show. And granted, when I would do the shows, I would feel amazing. It was the best drug anybody could ever take. I was so happy, so elated. But I had to have a moment with myself of how much longer do you wanna feel this stressed and nauseous for…
And I talked to other people who’ve been doing it for a lot longer they told me that the pre-show nausea, stress, and anxiety go away eventually. But it’s gonna take a few years of feeling like you wanna throw up every time you think about doing stand up to get more comfortable with it. And I have a come to Jesus moment with myself and I was like “I don’t have that in me. I don’t wanna feel that way. I don’t wanna be that stressed all the time. I don’t wanna be this anxious. I don’t wanna be this nervous for the next few years. So maybe as much as I love this, maybe this isn’t my path because it’s really, really stressing me out.”
So if I hadn’t been willing to check in with myself and pay attention to how I was feeling, and if that was working for me, I maybe could have stuck with that for a lot longer. After that I thought, okay, we have to go back to the drawing board a little and figure out what else I liked? What else could I do?
I’d already been doing Youtube for a little while. I knew about the world of coaching because my dad was a life coach, my mom’s social worker and like I had a personal self-help library in my bedroom. And at that point, a few people on my channel reached out to me via my actor website and they were like “We really like your videos, and I’m really struggling with this in my love life. Have you ever gone through something like that?”
And that to me was one of the biggest bread crumbs. (So the breadcrumb trail that I talk about is this: life presents us these little paths of what I call sparkly breadcrumbs. And you know it’s a sparkly breadcrumb if you look at it and you go “That’s kind of interesting. That’s sort of exciting. That could be fun. I kinda like the idea of doing that.“)
For me, Youtube was one of those breadcrumbs. I was like – “I really liked doing this. This makes me feel sort of energized and excited and I get ideas around it. I get inspired around it!” And when there was the opportunity for me to maybe correspond and assist another person who was going through something that I had been through, I was like, oh, this sparkly breadcrumb is like the most sparkly breadcrumb of all.
So I was following these clues. I didn’t know that they were clues at the time. I was just trying to figure out what feels kinda good, what feels like a good fit for me? What do I like doing? And just paying attention and just trusting that if I do that, if I do what feels good, then it’s gonna leave me in a good feeling direction.
💎 What had to change for you in order to make this transition?
I think the number one thing is I had to let go of my idea of how things were supposed to go. It’s a prideful thing for a lot of people and it was a prideful thing for me too to realize that I might have this fixed idea of how my life is supposed to go, but evidently, I don’t really know.
I had to be willing to forgo the plans that I have in mind to experiment with a different plan and see how that plays out. For me, I didn’t know if I was gonna like coaching. I didn’t know if people were gonna want me to coach them. But I said – I wanna give myself permission to at least explore it and see. And in order for me to do that, I had to be willing to say, I don’t know how it’s gonna turn out. And that’s okay.
I think one of the ways we really mess ourselves up is thinking that people who are in a place of success, or who have a shit ton of Instagram followers, or who are making a lot of money or doing meaningful work – that when they started they knew that was where they were gonna end up it.
Like Gary V, he must have known he was gonna be this like crazy mogul. He had no clue. Nobody who’s in a place of success, especially someone who’s carving their own path, knows what they’re doing or how they’re gonna do it. You’re just putting one foot in front of the other and making sense of it as you go.
💎 For me, as someone who teaches people online, either through digital products or in a coaching capacity, this recurring inner-theme of not being qualified enough pops up a lot. Do you have any tips for people like me who are trying to get into coaching or they want to make a name for themselves in a certain area, but they know they’re not an expert yet?
Yes, so the first thing I would say is you do not need to be an expert to be of assistance. You do not need to be an expert to help another person, to support another person, to be there for another person, to have somebody’s back. You don’t need to know everything. I definitely don’t know everything.
I think we need to realize that we all do have some degree of expertise in our individual lives. We’ve all been through different experiences. We’ve faced unique challenges. We’ve had to learn things either in a formal way through school or through a program, and you’ve also just had to learn things like to get by.
Self-education is such a big thing as well. For me, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would be in the realm of dating and relationship coaching ever, ever, ever. Do you wanna know why? Because my love life was a little bit of a shit show.
When I was in my early 20’s, I was more in the dark than everybody else. I was looking at my friends who are dating people and I was looking at my friends who were happily single. And I was like “Jeez. I can’t seem to nail this thing down.” I was really, really confused.
But you know what I did? I read a ton of books on it. I dated a lot because I was just naturally curious about relationships and people and behavior. And I was kind of boy crazy and just wanted to get some… I was in and out of therapy and without even meaning to, just me living my life was beefing up all of these weird skills in this one arena – in this dating and relationship arena.
And then fast forward some years when people started asking me like, “Hey, this guy told me this, he’s kind of jerking me around. What does that mean?” I was like, oh, I went through that eight times back in 2000, whatever. So I know a little bit about what that means. But I didn’t know it was useful until that moment.
So a lot of it is trusting that you probably know more than you think you do and you need to give yourself permission to name it and claim it and communicate it in some way.
💎 I think you have such a unique personality and it really comes out through everything you do online, from your Youtube presence to your podcast. Even your little quirky and fun welcome video on your new website! My question for you is, how do you get to that point when you’re an introvert? How can you let your personality shine through, especially when you’re trying to build a business?
So the only real answer that I have, and this is the answer that I think a lot of people don’t like, is that you have to do it a sh!t ton. You have to put the reps in at the gym, so to speak, to build the muscle.
Because if you go back and watch my first five videos, I was not full flavor Amy. If you go back and read my earliest blog posts from 2013 or something, it’s similar-ish, but it’s kinda like watered down a little bit because I was just kinda learning the ropes.
I was just getting used to expressing myself or communicating an idea or talking to a camera or editing my videos. When you do that consistently, when you do anything consistently, the only thing that happens is you get better at it.
So the best advice in that specific arena is to put in your time at the gym, be consistent with it because you will get better. And by getting better, I just mean you’ll have an easier time expressing yourself. You’ll have an easier time showing up as who you really are because you’ll just be more comfortable with it ’cause you’re just more practiced in it.
It’s like the first time you drive a car, it’s like, what am I even doing? Suddenly like you drive for six months and it’s a much more of a smoother ride because you’re much more skilled at it. Everything is like that. And self-expression is no different.
I think what’s cool about how it unfolded for me is now people who are creative or who wanna do things in a creative original way, I serve as an example that you don’t have to do it the way that everybody else is doing it because the way that everybody else is doing it, it’s like, we’ve all seen that before. So do it your way. We don’t want to see everybody else’s way. We wanna see your way. Show me you!
💎I know that a lot of my readers are interested in either taking their blog full time or starting a business. What are a few things that you learned about yourself as you grew your business and what tips can you give other people following the same path?
The first thing that’s coming to mind, honestly, and I’m surprised at this is my answer is that I had very bad self-perception. So I’ll tell a story that I highlight that. I was a year and a half into coaching, I was just about to go full time and I was just about to quit waiting tables.
I remember having a conversation with my then boyfriend, who was also an online entrepreneur, and as we were talking I told him that I just feel like I never get anything done. And I’m always so behind on everything. I’m just lazy. I just have this problem where I’m just like not on top of my shit, and I don’t know what I’m doing. I feel like things aren’t moving.
And he was like “I’m sorry, what are you smoking? What are you talking about? You’re about to quit your serving job. You have more clients than you’ve ever had before. Your Youtube audience has tripled in size over the past two years. You’re putting out weekly blog posts. You get a lot done. And you’re actually pretty on top of it. It certainly seems like you know what you’re doing because things are moving in this good direction.”
And I have to really like pause and question myself and be like, what is the story that I’m telling myself about myself? What is the self-perception that I have and is it accurate?
And that’s something that I see a lot with my clients. People just have a really weird perception of themselves. Really challenge those assumptions that you have about yourself because they might just be flat out wrong. It could just be a really old story or something from the past that’s just kinda haunting you, that’s just not true anymore.
So challenge your self-perceptions and trust that you will get better at things and that you will grow. And especially if you can apply a growth mindset, it’ll be a lot easier as you go along, because being a business owner is you have to wear all these different hats.
💎 Speaking of coaching, you have a really good blog post that advises people who want to start coaching. Do you have any other tips for aspiring coaches?
One of the first things I would say is specifically for coaches is – start coaching. Now! Start coaching before you’re ready to coach. Coaches are called coaches because they coach people. They’re not called coaches because they have websites and blogs and Instagram accounts. So really decide that you can work on all of that stuff. You can get an online following, you can build your website, you can write a book or whatever. But if you’re not coaching people, what are you doing?
It’s never too early to start putting yourself out there, and if that just means going to friends and people that you love and trust who support you and say: “I’m really trying to get serious about this whole coaching thing, and I’m gonna be taking on a few practice clients. If you know anyone who you think would be interested in getting some life/career/relationship coaching, let them know that I can really, really help them. And I’d love to have a conversation with them.”
Get that ball rolling just so that just so that you start getting used to what that feels like, and you start getting used to it’s like to identify with yourself as a coach and how to have coaching conversations, how to schedule coaching calls. It’s a weird muscle group that you have to start strengthening.
💎 I know that you describe yourself as a life coach but our work together is mainly based on you giving me some awesome business tips and advice. You also mentioned being open to working with people in a business mentor capacity, and I just want to say that I highly recommend it and that you’ve been instrumental in the work that I’ve been doing online for the past year! Is there anything you want to communicate to the people watching/reading this that might be interested in working with you?
I’m so glad that you brought it up and it just thrills me to know that this has been beneficial and that it made a difference because you know you are one of my favorite people. And, yes! I always say to people, if you’re curious to work with me or you think it might be a good fit, you can always email me and I can give people more insight into what that looks like.
The exact breakdown of what my consulting services look like at this point are still getting ironed out. But I obviously have a blast talking about this and I have a lot to say once you get me going. So anybody who’s doing anything that’s meaningful to them on the web or who want to be of service in the world, those are my kind of people.
Don’t be shy about reaching out and letting me know if you think that setting up a call sometime or having my eyes on your goodies, so to speak, would be beneficial.
💎 On that final note, I just really want to thank you for being such an inspiration because you’ve really pushed and encouraged me to open my own blog coaching services, and now I have paying clients as a result.
And you really are an inspiration for me too! We really do, we learn from each other. And I’m so excited for anybody gets to work with you because your wealth of knowledge and expertise, and just the humility and thoughtfulness and humor that you bring is really, really valuable.
So if anyone listening to this is on the fence about scheduling a call with Ana, get off the fence. What are you doing up there?
A million thanks to the brilliant Amy once again! If you’re eager to connect with her & find out more about her work, you can head over to her website, follow her on Instagram, listen to her podcast or subscribe to her Youtube channel.
Whatever your platform of choice is, you definitely need more of her wisdom nuggets in your life. And if you watch to watch the full interview (I had to cut out some of the transcript short because otherwise I was dangerously close to publishing a 10,000 words blog post) don’t forget to insert your email address to get access to a recording of our chat.
Comment below and let me know, what was your favorite takeaway from this interview?