Amanda Kerin achieved two major goals in 2016 – living a laptop lifestyle and being mortgage free by age 40, however, it hasn’t always been easy for Amanda. After many years in the creative industry, working as a Sony award winning Radio Producer, followed by a similar award winning career in Events, she hit occupational burnout. Amanda always knew she wanted to work for herself, and decided to set up her own event’s business. She realized that while she enjoyed the work, it wasn’t fulfilling and didn’t fit in with the lifestyle she wanted long term. She adjusted her sails and retrained as a coach to do what she is truly passionate about –inspiring, empowering, and supporting women to reach their dreams to live a life they love. You can read more about her story on her website here. Read our interview with the lovely Amanda below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I worked in the creative industry for a long time, first as a Radio Producer then as an Event Manager. The long unsociable hours and live show scenarios eventually took its toll on me as I sacrificed my personal life a lot of the time. My health also suffered as I didn’t rest as much as I should have. I was working too hard for too long and eventually I burnt out. It became a work versus me situation and obviously my life and health won! It took some courage to take the leap, but looking back I knew I could never work to that extent again… and I didn’t want to! I wanted to live my life, not exist in one!
Tell us about your business.
I am a coach helping driven women get clarity, find their future direction, and love their life again. I usually work with clients who want to leave their current employment and do work that makes their heart sing. Ultimately, it’s aiming towards freedom and a lifestyle that suits them – success on their own terms!
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Well this is my fourth business; I was so desperate to work for myself that I actually started two businesses on the side when I was still employed! Needless to say, they didn’t get the attention they required! When I took the final leap off the payroll in 2013, I began doing events and started to build my local network both professionally and socially. I met my first client in a hot air balloon from an opportunity at a breakfast networking event! From there is was word of mouth, and that works for my coaching now too, although I market myself online as well. I’ve deliberately built my business so I can work from anywhere, so networking doesn’t play a big part like it used to.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Initially it was running events in my local city about Personal and Professional Development and building my credibility and reputation. When I retrained and made the transition into coaching, I started by offering free coaching sessions which built my reputation by word of mouth. I enjoy writing so guest blogs are fun for me, I also network online and am continuously testing and tweaking my marketing strategy.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
There have been so many! Cashflow has been one in the past as you have no control over when people pay your invoices. I remember a few tense months, especially as I was single and financially responsible for everything! It can also be overwhelming trying to do everything in the beginning, you have to manage your schedule, work on your business, in addition to doing the actual job you are being paid to do. You are always learning, improving, and implementing things to keep moving forward. It’s a steep learning curve in the early days but totally worth it.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I prayed a lot! I trusted things would be ok and they were. I put in a lot of time, effort, and energy into making it work. I invested in a coach, read a lot of books, watched a lot of videos, and taught myself new skills by trial and error. I learnt that I had to say no to things that weren’t moving me towards my goals. It was sometimes quite hard and I did miss out on things but it was worth the sacrifice. I enforced boundaries with people and my time, got clear about what I wanted my life to look like, and worked out how I could achieve that. I always checked in with myself once a week, usually over the weekend, and looked at what wasn’t working for me and made adjustments accordingly… although some took longer than others.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I meditate, journal, and visualize my future and I NEVER lose sight of my dreams – they usually lift me up! If I’m having a particularly self critical day and falling into a spiral of self doubt, I put on loud music and move my body (I might have a quick dance!) or I sometimes put on comedy videos and laugh! I also spend time with the family, walk in nature, or stay off my laptop – I try and switch off basically, give myself and my brain a break, and practice self love and kindness.
How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I concentrate on being me, and my genuine, quirky, energetic self! I provide value to my clients from my life and business experience, along with my coaching skills and the creative exercises that help them move forward to reach the life they want to live. People either vibe with me or not, not everyone gels with everyone, so I focus on being me and bringing all I can offer to the table in helping them achieve their new life.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Focus on one thing, give yourself permission to be who you want to be, and make sure you work on your mindset every single day.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Follow your heart and always keep the future you imagine in sight. You do need to be courageous, take risks, make decisions, move through fear, tweak things, test things, and deal with all life throws at you in between, but you can do it. Believe you can, and you are halfway there. It’s fun, rewarding, with many ups and downs but it gives you the freedom where you can be yourself, and have a lifestyle you love. Look after yourself, self care is critical, because without you there is nothing else anyway! I had a buffer of money to keep me afloat for a certain length of time, try and save enough to cover your bills for 6 months so you don’t have that pressure straight away.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
I have so many! I love all my systems so it is hard to pin point one, but Evernote is up there for the ease of jotting down notes on various devices and the organization of it.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
· Instagram @iamamandakerin
· Twitter @amandakerin
· Facebook www.facebook.com/
· Website www.amandakerin.uk
· Personal Blog – How She Got Over the Fear to Quit her Job and Start a Business read it here.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I read a lot of books. The last one was “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks – it was great.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
I have many personal and business goals. It is just as important for me to focus on personal goals given that I drifted for a long time on the treadmill not giving my own life much priority! For my business, I have client and revenue goals every quarter, I want to start my podcast before the end of the year and write another 10,0000 words on my half written book! For my personal life, I’ve just hit two major goals this year and they have both taken a bit of adjusting to! Mostly now, my personal goals involve travel, particularly Sicily for my 40th in October!