September 20, 2020

RCC 108: Reinvention with Amy Word

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Reinvention isn’t easy and it often takes major courage, especially when you’ve invested a lot in something, like your business or relationship. It takes true bravery to walk away from something that’s not working and build it up again, and I have the perfect guest to talk to us about reinvention today.

Amy Word is an empire-builder, entrepreneur, community visionary, a budding politician, mom of three, and she knows a thing or two about grit. She has never been afraid to reinvent herself, and she’s on the show to share her journey of reinvention over the years, and how she was able to pivot during the height of the pandemic to keep her businesses thriving.

Listen in today to discover what it takes to lean into the fear of reinventing yourself, and how you are truly not stuck, even when you think you are. You can set yourself up now for your best chapter ever in life and business, and I know that Amy’s wisdom is going to inspire you to tackle reinvention from the inside out.

No matter how shaky things might feel right now, you can create a major turnaround in your business by registering for Finish Strong. It’s happening virtually this October, and this event is going to help you whip a plan together so you can finish 2020 feeling proud, powerful, and successful with extra money in the bank.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • The most common blocks that arise when it comes to reinvention.
  • How to make small attitude shifts that will help you get past these blocks.
  • What it takes to lean into the fear of reinventing yourself.
  • How Amy was able to reinvent herself multiple times over the years.
  • Why mastering the ability to pivot is so important.
  • How coronavirus impacted Amy’s restaurants and how she showed up.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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  • Amy Word
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  • Check out my digital program, In Demand.

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Rich Coach Club, the podcast that teaches you how to build your dream coaching practice and how to significantly increase your income. If you're a coach and you're determined to start making more money, this show is for you. I'm Master Certified Life Coach Susan Hyatt, and I'm psyched for you to join me on this journey.

Hey coaches. I have a powerful question for you. Are you brave enough to burn it all down? Brave enough to walk away from something that’s not working? Brave enough to try something new? Brave enough to begin again? Today’s episode is all about reinvention. Reinventing your coaching practice, reinventing a system, habit, or routine. Reinventing yourself.

Reinvention isn’t always easy and often takes major courage. Later on, you’ll hear a conversation with Amy Word, a woman with serious grit. She’s got a story of reinvention that you will love. Let’s get this show rolling. Here we go.

It’s time for your two-minute pep talk. This is the part of the show where I share some motivation to get your week started off right. Okay, so what’s one part of your coaching practice that you want to reinvent? What’s something that needs a makeover? Some fresh energy? A new approach?

Maybe it’s your website, maybe it’s your newsletter. Maybe it’s your pricing. Maybe it’s your attitude, or maybe there’s an old system or routine that just isn’t working for you anymore. When you feel the urge to reinvent your business or life, it can feel exciting. And of course, it can also feel extremely scary.

Tons of fear and resistance can arise, tons of limiting beliefs, tons of mental blocks. Let’s look at a couple of the most common blocks that arise when it comes to reinvention and how to get past each one. Here’s a big one. If I do this, everything will fall apart.

Often, when you’re on the edge of reinvention, this fear comes thundering into your head. If I do this, if I change something, if I try something new, everything’s going to fall apart. A major catastrophe will occur like if I stop checking email 453 times a day my business will fall apart. If I take a vacation, everything will fall apart. If I hire an assistant and start delegating more, my assistant will probably make a mistake and then my brand and reputation will fall apart. If I work four days a week instead of five, there’s absolutely no way I can get everything done.

Okay, if this particular fear is arising for you, here’s what I recommend. Remind yourself that whatever change you’re making, it can be temporary. It can be a trial run, an experiment. You can always go back and change back to the way it was if you want to.

So instead of thinking everything is going to fall apart, you can say to yourself, well, let’s try this change and then let’s just see. Let’s try for two weeks and let’s see how it goes. That’s a small attitude shift that can make a big difference for you.

Okay, here’s another big block that arises for people. It sounds like this. It’s too late to change anything. I’ve already invested so much into this, so much time, energy, and money, I can’t turn back now. I’m stuck with this and that’s that.

It’s really hard to walk away from something or change something once you’ve already invested so much into it. I get it. It’s hard to walk away from a 20-year marriage, it’s hard to walk away from a $10,000 website, it’s hard to walk away from a career that you’ve worked so incredibly hard to build, even if it’s a career you don’t enjoy.

You might feel like this is what I’ve got, it’s not really what I want but I’m too far along now, and I can’t change things now, it’s just too late for me. If you’re noticing this thought in your mind, here’s a replacement thought I want you to try instead.

It is never too late to begin again. It is never too late to be brave; it is never too late to become the person I’ve always wanted to be. And today is the entry point. Today is the first day of the rest of my beautiful life. You are not stuck. You are free. The cage is open, the door is unlocked. You can walk right out.

And everything you’ve invested in the past, everything you’ve learned the hard way, all of that is setting you up now for your best chapter ever. Are you brave enough to burn it all down or burn away the parts that aren’t working? If you’re brave enough to do that, the rewards are immense. The best is yet to come. Pep talk officially complete.

Okay, today you’re going to hear an excerpt from an interview with Amy Word. Now, this woman knows a thing or two about grit and that’s why I wanted to bring her onto this episode. She’s actually a guest on Go Time TV. She’s a restaurant owner, a budding politician, a mom of three, and one thing I love about this woman is that she is not afraid to reinvent herself. We actually met way back in real estate and we’ve both come so far. I’m so proud of her, so let’s dive into this conversation.

Susan: Amy.

Amy: Susan, good morning.

Susan: Thank you for being on Go Time TV.

Amy: Of course, of course.

Susan: So the episode is about grit and reinvention and you are someone that I have known, I was trying to figure this out. We met when our kids were in pre-k?

Amy: Yeah, maybe even pre-school. I think Ryry and Izzy were like, three or four.

Susan: Yeah, I think so.

Amy: Yeah and Emily and Andrew weren’t even in school yet.

Susan: Right, and for viewers, Cora changed her name.

Amy: Oh, that’s right, sorry.

Susan: No, it’s always a good story. Cora reinvented herself in high school. She went from Emily to Cora. I love that story too. So you are the perfect example of a mom, a business owner, now running for political office. I’ve watched you reinvent yourself multiple times over the time that we met. So 19 years ago. And I wonder when you decided to run for public office, let’s talk about that. So you’re running for school board.

Amy: I am. I’m running for district school board for EVSC. I just filed like, two weeks ago so this is all still kind of new stuff. School board doesn’t have as long as an election cycle as normal ones do. Typically you file in January the year before and this isn’t until August to file.

So it’s definitely a 70-day whirlwind. And especially this is a new thing for me, another reinvention, if you will. So learning all the things and appropriate filings and all the documents that you have to have and making sure that you do everything absolutely correctly.

And being the first time, having not done this, it’s not like I have campaign managers and all the things because it’s still just a pretty - it’s a race. It’s still a county-wide race. 140,000 voters. But it’s not some of the bigger races so there’s not like there’s consultants and things that help with school board, so it’s a lot to learn.

Susan: So that being said, when I met you, you were transitioning from being a teacher to a realtor.

Amy: Yes, that’s how we were both realtors.

Susan: And from real estate to bar and restaurant owner. So each time you’ve reinvented yourself, were you scared?

Amy: Oh my gosh, petrified, yeah. That’s the question that people will ask, and I’m sure they ask you the most like, how do you decide to take those next steps, or even when I formed the Franklin Street Events Association or any of these other non-profits or front porch fests, how do you do it?

And it’s one of those things, first of all, the more you do it, it’s like, riding a bike. It’s like riding our Pelotons. The more you do it, you get more confidence in yourself that you’re able to pull these things off. But even then, there’s always that fear before you step into it.

You just - at the end of the day, you have enough confidence in yourself and that no matter what happens, it’s all going to be okay and you’re able to pivot and turn in all these different ways to make it work. And so there’s always a ton of fear. There’s always that.

Susan: I think that that’s such a great point to make because I think many of our viewers will watch these episodes and see amazing people like yourself that I interview and think, oh well. They’ll attach to some reason why you have it and they don’t. And I think one of the things that you’ve mastered is that ability to bet on yourself and that ability to say okay, I transitioned from being a teacher to a realtor, I happen to know from your personal story, you cashed in what to invest in becoming a restaurant owner?

Amy: Yeah, my teacher retirement. The little bit that I had. I had just enough for a down payment. Literally every penny that I’d had. And I’d been in a really kind of not good personal situation in the years leading up to that and so it was - Lamasco literally became my life boat in a way. And I remember even sitting looking in the mirror like, no matter what it takes, hell or high water, you’re going to get your ass up every day and you’re going to make this work.

And when you sometimes get yourself in a position, there isn’t a choice not to fail. And not that there weren’t not successful things along the way, but the option of failing was just not on the table. It was not going to happen.

Susan: Do you guys hear that? The decision was made that I will get up every day and be devoted to this new path no matter what.

Amy: No matter what. No matter what. And I think sometimes people do - again, maybe sometimes realize there were lots of failures in all of that. There are things that don’t launch like you should, there are decisions that you make that didn’t necessarily turn out the way that they should. But again, you’re able to pivot and still make all of those things okay.

And the more you do that, it is muscle memory. You’re able to say I can do these big things; I can make this happen. It might not be exactly the way I think it’s going to - and it really is. There’s never a time I think anything 100% what I thought exactly it was going to be, but many times it ended up being a better version of what that was. And so the more you do it, the better you get at it.

Susan: I think that that’s such an important point because so often, even with my children, I had this vision of these perfect little nerds. I was going to have these little nerdy kids that did exactly what they were supposed to do. That is not…

Amy: That turned out wonderfully. Tell me more, Susan.

Susan: That has not been my reality. And I look at them and I said to Ryan just the other day, who is now in real estate, he was talking about something and I was like, there is never a normal conversation with you. I love that about you.

Amy: Ultimately, that’s what makes it a million times better is that thank god everything didn’t turn out the way that we envisioned it to begin with.

Susan: I was sort of like, what has happened? And same with business. Nothing looks like the way I thought it would look like and thank god. So you started your restaurant empire.

Amy: I did.

Susan: You, at one point, had three restaurants, you sold one, you have two very successful restaurants now. We’re sitting in one of them.

Amy: Tada. Amy’s on Franklin.

Susan: I was actually on your bar earlier when you see social media.

Amy: We were talking about pictures on the bar.

Susan: And so they were like, do you think Amy will get mad?

Amy: I’d actually be highly disappointed if you didn’t take a picture up there. It’s a rite of passage.

Susan: It’s a rite of passage. So you have two very successful restaurants here locally. Coronavirus hit, and I bet that wasn’t in your plan.

Amy: It was not in the plan. There was no - I looked, there isn’t actually a book out there, how to run a restaurant during a pandemic, and I hope no one ever has to write one. But it was, and I remember this day distinctly. It was at the end of March and we absolutely get shut down. The bills between the two places come in and it is astronomical six figures.

There’s no income coming in and it’s just like, oh my god, I don’t know how we’re going to do this. And I had one of those moments, I was sitting in my car, and I just crossed 41. I pulled into Bosse parking lot and I was like, you have to get this shit together. You’re having some thoughts that are just not good right now and I’m like, I have got to get this together.

And I was like, I had one of those moments, I looked in the damn rearview mirror and I said, get your shit together and we can do this, we can make this happen. And then from that moment, we pivoted to multiple different avenues to try to make it work.

Lamasco, we were able to use there. We closed at night, and I opened up - I worked on the tech end. So people were able to buy lunches for the hospitals. We fed almost 10,000 front-line workers. People were buying us from all over the country. It wasn’t just - it was my network everywhere.

So it was one of those things. Not only were we able to keep a good 25% of all my employees, all my full-time employees were still able to stay on, but then we were also doing some good for the community as well. So we completely pivoted there, we did the same thing here. We did the steak and takes where we had the whole meals and you grilled your steaks at home.

Susan: I think we picked up a couple of those.

Amy: You guys picked up a couple of those. And even in reinventing the menu, making it more like a family pickup kind of thing and just every day utilizing - what can we do to keep alive? And we more than kept alive. And I think when people see that, I’ve had more people not necessarily comment on the product we were selling, but more the ability to pivot.

And people, they like to see that. They like to see that someone is working their business hard, even if it’s not necessarily exactly the way they thought it was going to be. It’s inspiring. It’s inspiring to see that in others and in ourselves. It was awesome to see, and if I cry, I’m sorry.

Susan: I’ve almost cried a couple times.

Amy: Listening to my crew, my peeps here, seeing their proudness and their accomplishments and being able to do that and realizing that they’re a part of this whole thing and there are some days, Jerry would come down, Jeremiah. We refer to him as Jerry. And he was like, I’m just so damn proud of us, we’re staying alive, we’re making it. And I was like, dude, we got this.

Susan: Oh for fuck’s sake. I mean, come on.

Amy: And watching what we’re talking about grow inside of them and that they realize we’ve got this, we can do this, we can make this happen, we’re going to survive, we’re going to find a way to do it. That is an awe-inspiring thing. That is an awesome thing to be a part of and to feel for sure.

Susan: It’s an unstoppable spirit that is infectious. And it tears me up to think you were a block from my home in that parking lot.

Amy: Oh literally, that was a block.

Susan: A block from my home.

Amy: Susan Hyatt powers were there; they were coming all the way down the street.

Susan: But seriously, I would talk about you a lot and I would actually get on my class calls and be like, quit your bitching. My friend Amy owns restaurants and let me tell you what she’s doing right now. We do not have the luxury of feeling sorry for ourselves right now.

Amy: And I felt sorry for myself for about 30 minutes.

Susan: You got about 30 minutes.

Amy: And that’s okay. That’s the thing too, we’re allowed to feel what we feel, we’re allowed to feel those things, and I did. And I thought - and I was having some crazy thoughts like oh my god, my kids are better off if I’m not even here at this point, we’re going to lose everything.

And I was like, sister, you’ve got to fucking get it together. You can’t - and in some ways, it is, when people are looking to you, you’re like, you have got to get this together. There’s a whole bunch of people that are going, “Amy, what do we do?” And I’m like, what do we do? I need someone to ask what we do.

Susan: What do we do? We show up.

Amy: We show up. We show up anyway. And you just keep plugging away, even when you feel like you’re just - your wheels are spinning in the sand and you’re not moving forward. You’re moving, and that momentum is - because we’re actually really not stuck. We think we’re stuck at the time but we’re not. You are still moving forward, even when it doesn’t feel like it. And I think it goes back to the more times you do that, the more that you can see that, you realize that.

Susan: I survived that. We survived the pandemic.

Amy: Yes we did, yeah. And that goes back to what I was saying about confidence. Once you’ve done it enough, you start to realize, we’ve got this, whatever it is. If my restaurants can survive through the pandemic, we can survive anything.

Susan: I’m always like, I raised Ryan Hyatt. What y’all got because this isn’t an impressive drama to me. So at what point - was it the pandemic that sparked your interest in political office? At what point did you decide, you know what, because I happen to know you are on record as saying I’m not running for political office.

Amy: Yeah, I said that. And literally everyone, especially those in the political world, they were like, you just don’t know it yet, you are. And I’m like, I absolutely don’t, I can get so much more done outside the political arena. I just do stuff and ask for forgiveness later. Doesn’t really work that way in politics. Well, it depends who you are.

But typically, that doesn’t work that way. And obviously the pandemic is having some time to reassess some things, even seeing how other operations, including school board and school corporations. Seeing how people have reacted to these kinds of things and realizing that I have a very unique skillset that would be highly utilized, whether it be school board or I sit also on the board of zoning authority or any of those things. I have a very, very unique perspective.

Susan: What’s your biggest hope when you get elected to school board?

Amy: To go and make appreciable change and be willing to be a listener because there’s a lot of voices. Teachers are in a really, really hard pinch right now in so many ways, even before the pandemic. And I think this just brought to light, A, their importance, B, we don’t value them as we should. And so being able to be an advocate in all possible ways.

And I think that’s what we both do. I think we are advocates and advocacy is really the number one thing we kind of do. You can call it different names and different things, but I mean, I think that’s our gig, man. And so being able to be an advocate for our parents and teachers and students.

Susan: So I love asking people this question. There’s a couple questions I ask a lot. One is what do you want people to say at your funeral about you?

Amy: Oh gosh, that is a good one. That I loved hard and I gave it my all.

Susan: What about your grandchildren? That hopefully aren’t coming for a while.

Amy: My grandchildren. With a five-year-old that’s always - Izzy and Andrew don’t have children for a long time. That I was tough as nails, that I never saw a challenge that I wasn’t willing to take, and that I loved hard.

Susan: Tough as nails. What’s something you want to be tough as nails about in office?

Amy: Another good question. Not being afraid to make those hard decisions. And I think again, the more really hard decisions you make, you get better at being able to make those and trusting your gut instinct. Also your gut instinct with a lot of research and data, and all of those things put together, I feel very confident going into decision-making, whatever that table looks like. I know I have what it takes to be able to be there, to make the hard choices.

Susan: What’s something when you look at the position of school board, what’s something you’re witnessing that’s happening that breaks your heart?

Amy: So I actually sent out a questionnaire. It’s the first time I think in the history of anyone running for school board that they did this. I sent out a Google survey and I’ve had close to 10% of all the teachers respond. Statistically speaking, you can make quite broad assumptions when you get about 10% of a population when you’re polling.

And so I asked the top 10 things that teachers were seeing a problem and I also gave an open-ended question to let them expand upon that a little bit more, and to see how low morale is. And to just hear these stories, these teachers that they care, they care so much, and they just are not - they don’t have the tools to be able to get what’s done to make sure that student outcomes are where they need to be.

And so just hearing those very personalized stories, it’s just hard. And you want to be able to - whether it’s helping make sure that state policy is better, funding is different, how we allocate that funding is different, and just making sure that - also seeing such a disparity between the haves and have not schools.

And just seeing that in practice every day what that looks like for those teachers. Even everything from their pay being attached to lower student outcomes. When at the end of the day, sometimes they’ve increased those students four-fold from where they started, but that’s not how it works.

And so then you get some of your best and brightest teachers that - first your teachers literally are eligible for wick, in free and reduced lunch and all these things because their pay is so low, and it’s a horrible nightmare. There’s a lot of things that need to be fixed. And obviously as one of seven school board members, it’s not like I can jump in and fix all of them, but certainly be an advocate for what I can fix.

Susan: What’s something that makes you feel rich that doesn’t cost any money or almost no money?

Amy: When all three of my kids are there and whatever thing it is. What’s that movie? Cheaper by the Dozen? Not Cheaper by the Dozen, where they had all the kids, Steve Martin’s in it, and she goes to the hotel and she can’t sleep. So they bring the 12 pillows up because they’re all there. The nights before - and they’re all there. The whole world could disappear at those moments for me. It’s so rare anymore with Izzy gone.

Susan: What are you going to do to celebrate when you win?

Amy: I’m going to call you. We’re going to have a glass of champagne together.

Susan: Yes.

Amy: We’re going to meet in the Bosse parking lot and we’re going to go.

Susan: Ya’ll hold her to that. Bianca, remind me of that. I’m going to have the Go Time TV RV set up.

Amy: We totally have to do this. We will. We’ll have a glass of champagne in the Bosse parking lot.

Susan: I can’t wait to vote for you, and I can’t wait to support you and celebrate with you when you win.

Amy: Thank you.

Susan: Thank you for being here.

Amy: I love you.

Susan: I love you back.

Amy: I’m going to cry.

Oh hey, one more quick thing. As a coach, you know that change comes from within. You have to change your mindset first in order to change your emotions, actions, and outcomes. Reinvention starts in your mind. However, changing your physical environment can help speed that up. It can help too.

In fact, there’s a whole field of psychology called environmental psychology that studies how your external environment influences your mood and wellbeing. So this week, I challenge you to freshen up the energy in your home, office, or both. Move furniture around, fluff up those pillows, declutter, open the windows, add some plants. Reinvent your surroundings.

Freshen up the energy so that every room in your home sends a new message to you. A message of hope, a message of reinvention, a message that sounds like we’re moving things around up in here. We are stepping into a new chapter and the best is yet to come.

It’s amazing how changing the ambiance in your home can really help change the ambiance inside your mind. So let’s do some reinvention in your space to help accelerate the reinvention you want to do in your business. Tackle reinvention from the inside out. From the outside in too.

Oh, and if you’re part of my Rich Coach Club Facebook group, please post before and after photos of your space. I would love to see, and I can’t wait to share with you the reinvention that has happened in my office. Oh my gosh, it is such a transformation. We literally turned that place upside down. New carpet, new paint, new furniture, new curtains, new everything. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

Thank you for listening to today’s episode. I hope it’s inspired you to reinvent some area of your business or life. Reinvention can be scary, but reinvention feels so damn good. Whatever part of your coaching practice is feeling stagnant, clunky, outdated, inauthentic, or causing you to feel numb instead of alive has got to go. Burn it down and build something extraordinary in that new open space that you’ve cleared. Have an amazing week and I’ll see you next time.

Thank you for listening to the Rich Coach Club podcast. I’ve got one final question for you. Are you ready to finish strong? Look, 2020 has been a challenging year full of disruption. Lots of challenges we’ve never faced before, and maybe you’ve been struggling to adjust, struggling to pivot, struggling to find clients and make money.

Well, guess what coaches, 2020 ain’t over yet. Not even close. Even though this year feels like it’s been 500 years, this year is not over. We’ve still got plenty of time left in the year. This means you’ve still got plenty of time left to get your coaching business back on track, launch a fantastic new service or program, get plenty of clients, bring money in the door, and finish the year feeling strong financially.

No matter how shaky things might feel right now, you can create a major turnaround in your business. A comeback victory. I want you to Google Susan Hyatt Finish Strong and register for an event called Finish Strong. This is an annual event. I do it every October. It’s happening virtually this year, so you can join from anywhere in the world.

The Finish Strong event will help you whip a plan together so that you can finish 2020 feeling proud of yourself, feeling powerful, feeling successful with extra money in the bank. Each year after attending Finish Strong, many coaches go on to their most profitable quarter of the whole year. This event is a mindset boost and a money boost that you need.

Again, just Google Susan Hyatt Finish Strong. You can get the exact link in the show notes because you are not going to throw up your hands in defeat and just coast into 2021. No way. You’re going to finish strong. I’ll see you there.

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