Today’s episode of the podcast is an interview with the lovely Amy McLaren who is the CEO of three passion-led businesses – Lady Strength where she takes women on trips that get them to leave their comfort zone, a charity called Village Impact where they help build schools in Kenya and a luxury Airbnb!
KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST
- Take one step at a time and just put one step in front of the other.
- You can learn so much about yourself when you are put in an uncomfortable situation.
- It took 3 years for Amy to write and publish her new book.
- Your legacy and the impact you have on the world starts from the little things we do every day.
- We can all do more good in the world.
- Giving back doesn’t have to be a huge gesture – you can start small.
- Just be kind – in life and business.
- You may never know how much of an impact a simple act of kindness can have one someone.
- Living with passion doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t have to change your whole life.
- Do more of what makes you happy and brings you joy to fulfil your passion. This could just be small moments of your day, not your whole life.
- There is no point doing something that makes you unhappy or feel unfilled.
- We are all here for a purpose and to do something.
- People never forget how you make them feel.
- It is important to encourage our children that they can have what they desire, but they have to work for it!
- Take a moment to check in with your life and ask yourself if you being intentional with your time and what you are doing.
- If this was it – would you be happy?
THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE…
Do more of what makes you happy and brings you joy!
HIGHLIGHTS YOU SIMPLY CAN’T MISS
- An introduction to Amy – 05:00
- Women in business – 18:45
- Turning passion into purpose – 21:46
- The myths about living passionately – 29:48
- Leaving a legacy – 35:04
- True happiness in your life – 45:05
CHECK AMY OUT:
Hello, and welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. How are you doing? So if you are new around here, welcome, it's lovely to have you here. If you've been listening for a while then welcome.
You're still very, very welcome to be here. Also, if you've been listening for a while and you feel like sharing this podcast, I would be so very grateful. It's like with everything you have to just keep working at it and working at it and working at it. And even though we are over 200 episodes, we still keep, to keep having to work at followers and get the podcast in front of people. So I would really, really appreciate it. And by all means, tag me in, and then I will share your post to my audience. I would really appreciate that. So anyway, thank you for that. Um, okay. This week we have an interview. And it's a really, really good interview.
It's with a lovely lady called Amy McLaren. And you know, when you meet someone or you talk to someone and you think, “Oh my God, you are like so genuine and nice, such a lovely person.” Well, that's exactly what I felt when talking to Amy. She was just so nice. We had such a nice chat. It was really, really good.
Amy is a mum of two. She's a CEO, adventurer, a tea lover. When I say I love tea for those of you know, I mean, gin. So I don't think she means that, but I think she does like gin as well. A ceiling pusher, first-time author and a people connector, experienced maker ride-or-die friend, Peleton crusher, wife, Airbnb entrepreneur, and Founder of Village Impact and Lady Strength.
That's an amazing bio. So basically Amy came on to talk about the fact that she has a new book coming out. The premise around the whole book. So the book's called Passion to Purpose and she's put together this book to talk about how you can take yourself from living with passion and having a life full of passion.
And we talked about that a lot. We talked about kind of the the journey she's gone through with the various different businesses that she's got her charity, which, oh my goodness. Like when you hear what she's done with this charity and, and the lives that should have impacted is huge. Her business Lady Strength when she does masterminds and adventure travels and that sort of thing.
And then, as I said, this brand new book that's come out, which I've already gotten order and I will link to it in the show notes. Amy has had a really interesting and busy life like this lady has got plenty to do, and yet somehow still manages to achieve amazing things and live a life that she absolutely loves with passion.
And I just think it's such an amazing message. I'm really excited to hear for you to hear this episode this week. Because I think we need to remind ourselves that we're not just doing this for, you know, we're not just in this business thing and we're not just like running these homes and families or whatever we're doing for the sake of it.
You know, we get one life. We need to enjoy every flippin at moments of it. We need to embrace it and, and do things that lights us up and we enjoy. And I just think it's really interesting to hear. The kind of take that she's come from and some of the stuff she's done, it's been really, really amazing. So I am going to let you just get on and listen to this episode, here is the lovely Amy McLaren.
So I am super excited today to welcome to the podcast the very lovely Amy McLaren. Amy, thank you so much for joining me.
Amy: Oh, thank you. It's um, it's so fun. Cause you're, you're being British. It's like, I am British myself, so I like, I love chatting with people from the UK. It's my day.
Teresa: Got me. Cause to listen to you, Amy you certainly don't sound British. Like this.
Amy: No. I know, but I still say a few words. Um, but you know, I was born in Oxford, England in a little village, uh, born in the Marlcliff but grew up in a little village called Tackley um, near Banbury, Kidlington area. Um, yeah, so I am UK. I still call myself British. Um, but I do sound very Canadian as well.
Teresa: I love it. I love it. I love it. So Amy I'm really excited for this conversation. Say you've got some great stuff to share with us, but let's just by the start by introducing you to my audience, tell them who you are and how you get to do what you do today.
Amy: Sure. So my name is Amy McLaren. I am a mom. I have two young kids. I have a ten-year-old daughter who I think sometimes is 16.
I don't know how that goes. Um, and I have a little, um, we adopted a little boy from South Africa and his name is Sam and he's seven. And I also have, I guess I'm a fur baby mom. We have a golden labradoodle. That's like my home life. And then I'm an entrepreneur at heart and I have, um, a few passion-led businesses.
So I have my charity that I started called Village Impact with my husband, where we help build schools in Kenya. And then I also have a brand called Lady Strength where I love getting out there and traveling around the world and taking women on really trips that are pushing them out of their comfort zone in a lot of different ways through Lady Strength.
And then my most recent passion-led business is I'm a luxury Airbnb that I just started. So I'm definitely a passion-led entrepreneur.
Teresa: And you are busy. Like that is a lot of stuff. I mean, I have an 11-year-old girl. I totally get the going on 16, like.
Amy: Scary. Right. It's scary.
Teresa: You try and think back in there.
I'm sure. I wasn't like that. I'm sure I wasn't that confident and that kind of like. So aware of the world and stuff, but they're hilarious. They have grown up so, so fast. And now I don't know about your daughter, but mine won't let me choose her clothes.
Amy: No, I know I've I haven't had that for a while and my daughter is really into.
Which I guess is a good thing. She loves comfy baggy big clothes because she just likes to be comfortable. So I'm kind of like, whoa, that's good. At least I'm not fighting like. Short crop tops and all that other stuff. Maybe, maybe it'll come. I'm not there yet.
Teresa: We have the crop top thing and we are real time.
Luckily now it's like, it's not crop, but it stops at her waist. So I can just about manage that. But yeah. Children aside life is crazy busy. So tell me about, did they come in the order in which you said, so was it the charity first, then your business and obviously the, the Airbnb. So tell me about the charity and what made you even start down that route? Why you wants to do it?
Amy: Yeah. So, absolutely. So first of all, like you said, these three businesses did not happen overnight, and nor did they happen in the last, like they happened, like you said, in a sequence. So the first one for me was my desire to give back and creating Village Impact. And I, um, like as I mentioned, I grew up in the UK.
My parents were wonderful. We did a lot of traveling, which I miss. Like I travel a lot now, but being in the UK, you're so lucky because you get to go to all these different places for like a weekend or whatever you want to do. So we did that as a kid growing up, but my, my parents were really good and showing that we can give back in all these different ways.
So we were at soup kitchens. I mean, we had strangers over for dinners because they had nowhere to go and my mom wanted to give them a home to come to, like we were like shelters. So we did all this growing up and that kind of thread of giving back and the desire to help more kind of carried on through my twenties and I volunteered at the hospital and was always doing something.
And, and then my husband and I started a business together and we gave some of those profits away, but my charity really started. And it sounds so funny. Cause at the time I wouldn't have seen it as a pivotal moment in our life by any means, but we were sitting down watching TV. And at that point in my career, I would, so I was a teacher by trade.
I went to school for teachers, teachers college. I taught grade 1 for 10 years. At this point in my career, it was like my seventh year and I was not enjoying it. I felt really trapped. My spark had like completely gone. So we were anyway, we were sitting down one night watching Oprah's Big Give and for anyone that has seen Oprah before, I mean, everyone loves Oprah and wants to be Oprah.
Of course. So we were watching the show, this Big Give show. And I said to my husband, I'm like, oh my goodness. I'm like, I want to do what she's doing. Like, I want to go back to you know, traveling overseas and helping abroad because growing up in all of my twenties, I was living with Thai families. I was in refugee camps.
Like I was immersed in completely different cultures. And I like truly love that. I love learning from other people and what I can, you know, learning from other cultures, because I think there's so much in that. And, um, I was kind of in teaching and I didn't feel like I was filling my buckets or going up that way.
So we've watched this show and, um, my husband doesn't drink, so, and that's okay. He loves water. I should drink more water, but he loves water. I was drinking my wine. Right. And we're sitting there and we're watching the show and I just said like, that's what I want to do, but I want to do it. At an international scale because that's what brings me joy.
Like that's what opens my heart. Like that is truly what I love to do. And he, and I'll never forget. He's like Amy, he's like, he's like, when do you want to do it? And I'm like, well, Christmas. Right? Cause as a teacher, you only get two weeks off. So he's like, okay. And I'm like, all right, let's do it. You're the business guy.
Like you, you make the money. I think of how we can make the money and I'll organize because I don't know. I don't know about you. I love organizing stuff.
Teresa: And especially trips and things like that. And yeah, having it all there, making sure everything's all done. Love it.
Amy: Yeah. So we did and we sat and I, so, um, we did, we organized a fundraiser and we basically asked seven, um, entrepreneurial friends at that time, if they would share their predictions for the upcoming year in their business.
And they're like, okay, that sounds good. And they did. And when then we charged people to listen to that advice and. Um, at that time, it was a teleseminar, which is essentially a webinar that people paid to listen to that information. And we raised $14,000 and it was crazy. Right. And like two days. And we, so we took that money.
We took it down to El Salvador. We helped at an orphanage. We helped at a school. Um, we did, we lived with a family in there, um, up on the top of the mountain. They didn't speak English and we didn't, and obviously, I wouldn't expect them to, but you know, there was no, it was a little hard to communicate a little, but I love that stuff.
It was fun. And we learned a lot and we helped and we're coming back that day and on the plane and students like, okay, I think I know what you want to do. And I'm like, And then the next Christmas we did the same thing. We raised some more money and then we went to Africa and that's kind of like the start of what now, you know, like, and again, 10 years later, that's not overnight 10 years later.
Now we have quite a big nonprofit. We have a small staff, but we built 15 schools, um, helping over 5,000 kids. And we partnered with the government. So we're really big on partnerships and community-led. And we partnered with the government. So our schools are built and the government sustains them by supplying the teachers.
And essentially run some. And that was a really big for me, like Stu and I were to walk away. I never want something to crumble, so they, um, they would still happen. Everything would still go on. Um, but that's essentially my long story like Village Impact. And then just as Village Impact has grown I've, I love the travel and pushing out of my comfort zone, which created Lady Strength which is only really a couple of years old or a few years old. And then my Airbnb experience, we've always invested in real estate, but never short-term rentals. And that's really come about in the last year. Um, cause I really believe we'll get one thing going right before you, I can't do all those things at once.
Teresa: And that's the thing, you know when we said at the beginning and I was at I bet that is a lot of work, but of course what happens is you build it and then you get processes and systems and team, and then you find, you can pull away from the everyday grind of it and do something else. So tell me about Village Impact because I mean, that is just phenomenal.
I don't know. And I think you'll probably younger than I am, but I don't it's my age. I'm 40. I can't remember three, two.
Amy: I'm not, I'm not far behind you.
Teresa: Recently. I've got really passionate about the injustice of some of the things that are in this world and how people have to live or how they're treated.
And, and more and more, I'm starting to think. I'm starting to see that growing the business I have and growing my own wealth can now impact on other people. And that's exactly what, you know, what you guys have done. You've, you've built something to impact and help other people. Was there a point where you were like, geez, I'm out of my depth on this because I wouldn't even know where to start.
And especially in teaming up with, you know, the government and that sort of thing, like how did you know how to do this?
Amy: Oh, I, I didn't, I did, I didn't at the start. It was messy, like so messy. Like when we started, we, um, we actually were running the fundraisers through our business, so we were paying tax dollars on the donations personally, and everything was such a mess. Um, but I didn't know what to do. So to me, I Googled like how do I start a charity? And I literally found a good lawyer in Toronto who still works with us today. And I said to him, I'm like, “Okay I want to start a charity. What do you think?” And he actually said to me, which was great advice.
He's like, “Well, do you want to start a foundation? Or do you want to start a charity? Because if you want to start a charity that is essentially another corporation it's another business.” And it is, I mean, a charity, like I have a board of directors, I have some staff it's, it's run like a business. So that was a good eye-opener for me in a great conversation.
And I think a lot of people don't realize the options or different things that you can do. Like you don't have to start a big nonprofit. There's the option of a foundation or these other little things that you can do. So now I've gone on a chance. We were just talking about that and I want to make sure I answered your question.
So, no, it was never, it was messy at the start. Do you know what I mean? It was like, I just put one foot in front of the other, and then it's grown over time. And now I have a greater understanding than what I did. I didn't know how to start a nonprofit 10 years ago and working with the government has come from just our relationships that we've built on the ground over time.
So we've managed to build some really great relationships with the Kenyan community and they've led us to be able to have the relationships that we do with the government today.
Teresa: That's amazing. And I think there was a few really good messages in there for, for people who are listening, one, you just took one step in front of the other, and I think sometimes we get so sort of concerned by looking at someone who's way futher ahead in the journey of us and thinking, “Well I could never do that. How on earth could I ever do that?” Well, yeah, but you couldn't do that on day one and you get to that point and another thing, I think that is so important and funny enough, I've just been early on today. I was writing some emails cause I batch write emails and things, and I was talking about, you need, you need a team.
And if that team is a good partner or a VA or community, or, but it is about networking, it's about like knowing you can't do this on your own and building those relationships and things. Isn't it?
Amy: Yeah. Like we it's, there's a whole team that comes with it, like you said, like, and it's not, I think as a, as an entrepreneur, as a mom, as like a woman, it's, it's a team in my business, but it's also a team at home.
Like I, I, we got help at home early on for the things that I don't like to do and that my husband likes, so we could spend and be more present with our kids and be more present in our business. And I think a lot of times people get caught up on having to do everything ourselves. When we can do, we can have a greater impact working together and get further when we ask for help or we bring people on to help.
And I know it's hard at the start I know with our charity and our trips that we do, and other things. Like it's hard to let go of some of those things, because it's your baby, right. And you've like, you've built it and it's, but you can get so much further when you just get a little support or get people around you to help.
Teresa: Hmm. Yeah, no, I love that. So tell me about the, uh, the next business, because this is really interesting. Like, what do you mean by traveling come out of their comfort zones? What sort of things are you talking about?
Amy: Yeah, so I've, um, I've always loved to travel, as I said, and I, I'm the kind of traveler that don't get me wrong.
I love luxury trips and you know, where you sit, you drink your pina coladas, you relax, don't get me wrong. And there's a time and a place for those absolutely. But then I also love trips where, you know, I get off a plane and there's, know brand new culture. There's a brand new language. Like, I don't know anybody. Like, that's exciting for me.
Like I've traveled by myself. I've traveled with my family. I've traveled with friends. Um, and so I really think you can learn so much about yourself when you put yourself in these uncomfortable situations and you learn even more about yourself when you're surrounded by other supportive women. So over the last couple of years, I've done a couple of trips where through the Lady Strength brand.
And it's our last one, we did an RV trip down the coast and California. And part of the prerequisite for women to join was you had to be willing to willing to drive the RV. Um, and you couldn't come on the trip. You weren't allowed on the trip, if you can't drive the RV or can't or don't want to. Because I think that's part of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
And what was great on this trip was like businesses were born from that trip. Do you know what I mean? And relationships were formed and some of these women, well, all of them, but particularly one said to me, she's like, “I feel like I've just found myself again. Like, this is what I love to do too, but I never took the time to do it and I never made it a priority.”
And so, yeah, we, we, we did. Because of excursions, we had hot seats and masterminding. We even got tattoos, which was crazy. Like we drove the RV literally into the parking lot. And then all of us went in and we all got a little tattoo. That meant something to us. Um, and so, and that was a spur of the moment, but you know, those things are what I love to do. And I, I do believe when you push yourself out of your comfort zone and you're surrounded by a group of support and women doing something completely different, you just get more creative and you become more alive. And those, you just learn more about yourself.
So I do an adventure trip every year when it's not COVID. Um, yeah, so. Yeah. So I do, and they have that. And then we have a Facebook Lady Strength community, um, that I run with that as well.
Teresa: I think it's funny when I first started in business, I had come from a corporate world and I wasn't, I didn't get the female, like the need for female-only things.
And in fact, I'll be very honest. I was almost anti, I was almost like, you know, if you can't deal with men, then what's the point… And as I've gone on, and again, I don't know what's happened to me recently. I've suddenly started to one, see, I've been doing a lot of research and I've been doing a lot of reading around, so I've just read, uh, We Should All Be Millionaires by Rachel Rodgers.
I don't know if you know her. Great book, but she talks a lot about the factors as a white women, you earn less than a white man. As a black woman, you earn less than a white woman as an overweight woman, you earn less than a slim women and it's just like these injustice are unbelievable. And then I started to sort of look at communities and groups and things and my own community.
And actually, there is something about women being around women. And one of the things that Rachel says in her book is that when women become wealthy, They share it and they do better and good in the world, which you are the perfect example. I, you know, when you are able to raise money, you do good with it.
And she said a very sweeping statement, which obviously is in the book, but she said, you know, when men make money, they give it to man, you know, and they keep it within them. So actually, you know, she's really positive about women and in money and working with other women and, and it, and I actually, like, I think I really started to realize there is so much power in that and having those right women around you and, and just the differences in that really in terms of, you know, being a female in this space and how it can be tricky and that sort of thing. So I love that. I think that's really, really cool.
Amy: Sorry, go ahead.
Teresa: No, no, no. So tell me about now, obviously, you then had your Airbnb, which is lovely.
And I flippin love interior stuff. I'm not honestly, and I've seen the Airbnb I've been on and found it and had a look and it is really peaceful. I don't say there's something about like, so, um, I was talking before. And the podcast listeners know that I'm really good friends of Mary Hyatt and they go to the lake.
Cause obviously the Hyatt’s have a property on the lake. Oh my goodness. Every single time, I'm just like, this just looks the most beautiful thing in the world. So the fact that your property is on a lake is just stunning. But your recent project is to write your book about basically turning that passion into something.
So tell us about like first, I can't even start to think how the hell you had chance to write a book but list about the whole process and how that's come about.
Amy: Yeah. So my book, Passion to Purpose, again, was not something that I wrote in a week or a year. It's like a three-year journey. It was actually supposed to come out last year.
Um, but then with COVID thankfully the publisher pushed it back for me to this year because I was legit panicking when COVID hit and I've got two young ones at home and like homeschooling and trying to get all the last things ready. And I'm just, just like, oh no. And they're like, so they graciously pushed it for me, which I'm super grateful for.
But before that, I mean, yeah, it took a while to write, like it wasn't something that definitely wasn't put together in a second. But I wrote, I wrote it because Stu and I both speak on stage. Now, my husband is more well-known than myself. I'm the person that's behind the scenes that a lot of the times making the, all the details happen and like keep the ship moving.
I don't mind speaking onstage, but I don't love it. I shake, I get really nervous. I want to throw up. But I do because it's like, it helps get my word out about the book. And I want my daughter to see me doing hard things. I think there's value in that too. And my son. But I, every time we would share about the charity, I would have people come up to me and say, “Oh, I can't wait to do that when my business reaches XYZ or, you know, when I have the time I want to do this, or I don't have enough money to do this at the moment.” And it, and it. Um, well, that's all well and good. I think though it doesn't have to be that way. You don't have to have an impact in this world and to make a difference, you don't have to start a nonprofit.
I did because that's what lights me up and it was my passion. You don't have to, you know, start a big nonprofit. You don't have to donate so much money. Like you can make a difference today. Like you can start making an impact today in your family's life and the community, like with yourself, like it's as simple as just saying, please, and thank you or holding a door open for someone or connecting someone that you think in your business would connect with somebody else really well and would work well together, you know?
It's about honoring good relationships and leading with integrity. It's like all these little things are so important and those that's what leaves your legacy at the end of the day. Like I think of, you know, putting your name on a building is all well and great. Like that's wonderful, but at the same time, that's not it like your legacy and what you leave in the impact you want to have starts from all those little things that we do each and every day that then create our lasting impact.
So. When I wrote the book with that in mind, I just wanted people to recognize that we can do more good today. Like, I think everyone wants to do more good in the world, right? Like all of your listeners and our family and community people, we know everyone wants to do good, but we get stuck in this kind of vision that, oh, I don't, I can't do that yet.
Or you have to wait till this, like, and you don't have to do that. Like, you know, we've had giving back, molded into our business since the very beginning. You know, when we gave $50, $10, $5 donated our time. Like it doesn't have to be this big grand thing. And I think that's just where a lot of people get stuck.
So I wanted to encourage readers and women and men out there to, you know, do more good in the world and why not doing it, doing something you're passionate about.
Teresa: Yeah. And again, you said some really good stuff there. So first off I wanted to, and I was thinking about this earlier on. When you said your parents did this, and this is instilled this in you, and now you're going to instill this in your children.
And what an amazing message for you and for you to give to your children like this is, you know, um, as my lovely listeners, now I'm very honest and very open. And my mom growing up. She had a really, they had a really bad money mindset. But one of the things that she would always say is charity starts at home.
Like, and, and I get kind of what she was saying, but she, you know, she didn't see becoming wealthy or earning money as a positive thing to then help others. She just was like, you know, no, we keep it in. And it stays within us. And I guess that wasn't anything I ever experienced. So. The fact that you did, how wonderful is that, that then you've carried on doing that.
And then the fact that your children are going to see that. And like you said, and when I think like my daughter, you know, she knows that mommy works really hard, but if we do these things, because we want to build this life, or I want to do this thing, or I want to, you know, and we, we signed up to a charity where they, you sponsor a child and they write letters and all this kind of thing.
And it's like, and we can do that because of the fact that, you know, mommy works and mommy does this, and so I love all of that. And then you said something about, oh yeah, that was it. You were talking about just saying please, and thank you and I for a long time talks about just being nice. Like…
Amy: Growing up, right.
And just being kind like, I think so many people seem to have forgotten, like how impactful just being kind can be.
Teresa: Yeah. And I think you're right. And I think, in business, in life, just being nice and kind is just a really great place to start. Isn't it? You know, just being the delight of people around you and, you know, thinking about this, like a neighbor lets us park on her drive because she doesn't drive and we've got a few cars now.
Uh, teenage stepson and various things. And, um, so, you know, we take a flowers, around. And it's just like, we really appreciate the fact that you let us drive and you know, and that just a tiny, thank you. So I love that. I love the kind of small things. I know that also in your home life, you do things at Christmas, like pay for people's Starbucks or haven't you done it, what you pay for people's food shopping, but you don't tell them.
Amy: Yeah, we don't. So we have kind of this tradition at home where, um, on Christmas Eve, we go out as a family, just the four of us. And we, we go to Tim Horton's or Starbucks and we go to the cash and we give like a gift card and then we save for the next 20 people that come in, or however long that card lasts the gift card and we pay for people's team coffee and we sit down and the kids just watch people's come in and watch people's reactions.
And like, it's just, it's just a fun way to give back. Cause I think I do believe there's power in giving back like anonymously and not having people know that it's you. But then I think there's also power in sharing what you're doing to inspire other people. Because you know, when we started our charity years ago, we never, Stu and I never really spoke about it. Like we kind of was like, “Oh this is just like this little thing that we do.” And then one of our board of directors like said, why don't you share it more on your social platforms or, you know, and to share. And we're like, “Well we don't want to bother people or bank people feel like this is just like what we like to do.”
And he's like, “Yeah, but, are you aren't you proud of that?” And I was like, “Well yeah.” And he's like, “Well you could inspire people to do more good if you were to share.” And I think a lot of times, like you don't realize and meet yourself, don't realize like, you know, the impact that we can have. And we don't even know.
I mean, I'm sure everybody's impacted someone some way and you have no idea how you've done that or you'll never know. Do you know what I mean? So I think there's the balance of doing things random, randomly and like anonymously so nobody knows,. But then there's also the power of standing up for things you believe in and, and sharing that because that, in turn, inspires other people to do the same.
Teresa: Yeah, absolutely. It gives them permission to go “I can do that too.” or “I agree” or whatever. Yeah. That's awesome. When I think of like people who have passion for things and go for like a passion-filled life, sometimes, and you might think differently and that's absolutely fine. I'm always happy. Like sometimes I feel like people think you can't have a passion for something, and earn money or, and be wealthy and, you know, but look at like some of the biggest people in the world, like Beyoncé and how much money she gives away and how much, like, what are those myths that people have about if you're going to do a passion in life that, you know, that's it, you can't earn money because of it.
What are those kinds of things that come up?
Amy: I think there's definitely, like you said, that one where, you know, you have to be really wealthy to live passionately. Like you, you can't do that until you have so much money in the bank, but like, that's just so wrong. It's not true because you know, if you're passionate about birds or whatever it is, you can do something that costs no money and still put that into your life.
Like, you know, with the traveling with me. Yes. It was a lot cheaper when I was by myself, in my twenties, backpacking through Europe and like Asia, but I did it on a shoestring budget. Like I, you know, I saved where I could and I think oftentimes people think, “Oh, it just, it's just so expensive. I can't do that.”
And, and my thing is, yeah, you can, like, there's always ways that we can do it and do it cheaply or free. Like, do you know what I mean? It's and it doesn't have to be like, I think people have this also this, um, notion that. Oh, I've got to change my whole life. And it's not about changing your whole life at all, because there are things in your life that are meant to be there and a part of your story, but it's about sprinkling on little things that make it more passionate and more brings you more joy.
Um, so definitely the first myth being yet cost too much money. I just, that's just not true. Like, you can still fulfill parts of your passion by finding free events or, you know, finding events that are cheaper or connecting with other people that have the same passion and doing it on a budget that fits you and it's, and it's all about, it's not, it's not a time suck.
Like it's not meant to be like that. Do you know what I mean? Like living a passionate life is doing things that you love and that could be doing something you love five minutes of the day or five minutes of a month or five minutes of a week to start. Because at the end of the day, too, like when I think of my daughter, like when I'm actually doing something that I brings me joy and I'm passionate about it, she sees that and my son sees that.
And do they want grumpy mommy that is frustrated with all these things, right? No, absolutely not. Does still my husband want grumpy wife and like, no, like I don't even want that. I mean, we all have those days, but then at the same time, like it's important to honor what we love because it brings out the best version of who we are and to being the best version of myself, I've got to do stuff that I enjoy.
And that doesn't mean like that's disaster changing your whole life. But what it does mean that you can find five minutes to put in the things that you do love. Yeah. And
Teresa: I was at a party at my neighbor's party, actually where, I didn't know anybody there. We just he invite us over. And there was a guy there her brother and they were talking about his job and he said, I said, “What you do?”
And he said, “I work in a factory.” And he was kind of a bit like, “oh, you know, embarrassing.” I said, “But do you like it?” And he was like, “No I hate it.” “Um, what you're doing then?” Like I'd had a few wines by that point, Amy was a little bit more forthcoming than I would be and I was like, “Why are you doing it?” And he's like, “Well you know, cause it's a job.” I'm like, “You could literally die next week. Like you get one life. Why?” I said, “What would you love to do? Like, if you could do anything?” he said, “I'd love to do photography, but it's a dying art and it's.” and I was like, “It's certainly is not. And why not just do it?” And he's like, well, I said, but what's the worst that could happen.
Like even if he just gets a camera and starts taking some photos, like, I'm not saying haven't done your job, you know, so your job and, you know, take a huge risk or whatever. I'm just saying, do something he loved because I just couldn't imagine. Um, And doing the jobs and being a business owner. And like, I work really hard, but I flippin love what I do.
So it doesn't feel hard. It doesn't feel like, “oh, I've got to do that again.” You know, I just can't imagine people who, and I know lots of people like this and I'm sure you…
Amy: But there are, there are lots of people, right. That are out there and it, and it is it's heartbreaking. Like I reminds me of when I was teaching, there was, um, our French teacher in the school and she had always wanted to go to Paris and she's like, “When I retire, I'm going to go to Paris and I'm going to do this.”
And I'm just like, “Oh my goodness. Like, you could go to Paris this summer. You could go to Paris this Christmas.” And I don't even know if she ever went. And I taught at that school for like seven or eight years and she was always talking about it. And I'm just like, There's certain things in life you're not supposed to put off, like, you know, you can still do them smartly or you can still incorporate it somehow in your life.
And it's like you said, with your friend in the photography business, like our photography, get camera, take some photos, go take a course. And you've got to follow those crumbs to where they lead, because that's when I started my nonprofit and the other businesses. It was all following these little things to get to where it was.
And if you ignore them and you don't follow them, like you say, you're going to be not fulfilled.
Teresa: And what's the point, you know, I'd like to dive, to dive into a little bit more about why it's important to leave that legacy. Why. You know, and, and I remember, I think it was seven now. I think it, I don't know what book it was.
I thought it was seven highly habits, highly it would be, but I don't think it was that one, but they talked about, imagine a, you know, you're a funeral, you walked towards the coffin and you look in and it's you. And what do you want people to be saying about you? What do you want people to be thinking about you?
And, you know, it was really hard hitting because it suddenly made you think. “Yeah. What if, what if that was it? Like. What would they be saying?” So why for you is important to leave a legacy?
Amy: Yeah. It's, it's important for me. Cause it's, you know, it's, it's for my kids. It's for the community. It's, it's like, we're all here.
I believe for a purpose. We're all here to do something. And whether that's, you know, start a nonprofit or not, or, you know, be put peoples, I don't know, just whatever it may be. I believe we're all here for something. And now it's, you know, I have, I have a million ideas going through my head. I'm trying to bring them down to one.
But it's no, it's, it's totally, it's, it's important for me, number one for my kids, but I think it's also, like you said, it's for, I want to leave this world or this earth, I guess you could say leave people feeling good. Because I think when we, when we're our true selves, when we leave people feeling good and we're passionate about something, it then inspires them to make a difference and so forth.
And it's like a ripple effect. So if I'm truly going to do that, I know that it will have a ripple effect beyond what, it's here from my like beyond what I did, it will then go on to other people as well. But no, it's, there was a quote. I put it in my book and I forget who said it, but it's like the quote where, you know, people will never, never forget how you made them feel.
Do you know what I mean? Because that's a big part about leaving a legacy too. It's like, yes, money is wonderful and like we're using it now to fund our overhead of our charity. And like we've incorporated in so many different ways, but it's also how people, you, you make people feel every day. Do you know what I mean?
And that's more remembered in everyone's hearts than the financial part at the end of the day, too.
Teresa: Yeah. When did you last go out back? So I see given COVID, to the schools, when were you last able to go and visit and how often would you normally go if it wasn't COVID?
Amy: Yeah. So at time just fine. So I haven't been over, we're supposed to be over when COVID hit that year.
So I haven't been over in two years, which is the longest I've ever kind of been away. I'm over there at least a few times a year. And then for our team retreats and just to be in the community and to stay over there. So yeah, usually about three times, and then we have our staff that's there and then our obviously our team on the ground and staff too, but yeah, I'm really missing it. It's COVID I'm the happy the world seems to be starting to open up a little more now, but, um, it's been hard and it's been hard not having our team retreat and being there with them. And you know, you do things virtually, but it's just never the same.
Teresa: Never. Never. And as nice as is that we have this technology, it absolutely isn't the same. Have the children being over. What do they think of you all?
Amy: Yeah, so we incorporate our kids and to pretty much like everything that we do. Um, so they've been to, Marlin's been over with me one, two, she's been three times, um, with me and then Sam has been over once.
Um, and then our trip that we had planned coming up, they were coming over again too. So our we've got it scheduled now for March and hopefully that we'll be able to take them then, but I may be over before them, by myself, but.
Teresa: Yeah. Yeah.
Amy: In March. They'll come, but yeah. And they're, they come to us for business events.
They've been on stages with us. And like, I just think there's so much value incorporating them into the day-to-day in those conversations as well.
Teresa: Yeah. So as a mum, can I ask a question? So one of the things I struggled with the most with my daughter is getting her to appreciate how lucky she is. So we live in a lovely part of the UK.
She goes to a private girls schools. She has a very nice life and all the things she loves and yet sometimes she acts like, you know, woe is her I am so mean for not buying her that latest thing. Like how, do your children, are they able to look at what they've seen and come back and go “Why is this man, like how lucky are we?”
Amy: Yeah. They, you know what, it's, it's been a while and I find they've grown so much right. Since they were there before. And I'm excited to take them again now because they're just that much older. So there are, we do talk about it, but I think this next trip will be the most kinda more impactful one, um, for them, because they're that much older. But it's funny when you talk about kids and yeah, like, I mean, I'm very grateful in our kids.
Like here is living amazing life. They travel constantly. They do all these things. And one thing that's funny when you talk about parents and we've just started to do, and I don't know if it'd be helpful to you or anyone else, but for us, it's like, you know, you have the, “Can I get this? Can I have this? Can I have this?” And like, it was like, “No, no, no.” Like this is so we've actually just done that last three months or four months or so started to say “Yes.” But we say, “Well, how are you going to earn it?” And so I've challenged them to think, okay, well, if you want this, you know, this pair of pants or this book, actually, no, I always say yes to books cause she loves reading and I think that's supposed.
But, um, but for clothes or things that, you know, she doesn't really need, I'm like, “Well you, how are you going to earn it?” And She's like, “oh, okay.” And so she'll do sometimes extra chores. Sometimes she's called the donors for us, for the charity where she'll call and thank them for their donation. But I think there's, I think there's like, there's something in that and in, in challenging our children to, you know, think and be creative and think on their feet of, you know, I, I can get whatever it is that I want.
If I work at it, or I think of an idea or I think of something else, because this is a bit of a tangent. I think it's important. It reminds me of, and I wrote about it in the book. We were out on a hike with some friends and we passed this big, beautiful home. And, and the daughter of my friend was like, “Oh, I, I really want to live in a house like that one day.”
And, and my friend and I love her, but she said to her, she's like, “Well, you need to marry a rich guy.” And I was like, inside, I'm just like, no, no, no, no. And like, I was like biting my tongue. I'm like, and I'm like, “Well maybe Sophia, you can have a business of your own one day and you will be able to do that.”
And like politely said like, “Oh we could do this and that.” But I, you know, and I think like that's still important in how we show up for our children, but then also inspiring them to think by themselves and, and know that they can create whatever they want to create. You don't have to rely or marry a rich guy or, you know, or do any of those things.
But yeah. So anyway, those tandem but I believe, yeah. Inspired them.
Teresa: I think you know, that isn't that funny because that as a female, that is something that we would have heard time and time and time again. Like marry money, like as if it is the way on the certain you could possibly end that yourself. And one of the things that makes me proud just more than anything is that I started the business when I was a single parent with my daughter. I then met my husband who I'm with now. But I've always been independent. I run my own home. Pay for my own car. When I decided that I wanted it to get her to private school, I paid for that. And still do she's, like I said, she's 11. So she's got another, get a five-year I'm not adding it up.
That would make me feel sick. But yeah paid for it. I am so proud that I did this all myself. Like, don't get me wrong. You know, my husband is an amazing supporter and there are times where I lean on him for lots of things, but I know this is me and I've done this and you know, and when I've always strove for bigger things, it's like, but as long as I'm generating it and that's fine, but I think that lesson for the children and I think you're right, like again, getting back to that kind of money mindset thing, you know, being told as a child, “We can't afford it. We haven't got the money.” you know, puts it in your head that it's never possible. Whereas you're saying at anything, yeah, you can have it, but you've got to work at how to get it, which I love that.
Amy: Yeah. And I think, and I think, like you said and know right about this a bit in the book too, where, you know, and to my friends, like she's a wonderful friend, but it's, you know, we don't realize sometimes these, these stories that we're telling ourselves are actually probably her mom's story. Do you know what I mean? Her mom probably said that to her, which then she's saying it on and there are so many stories like that and you know, that everybody has, and I think it's really important to be mindful of, you know, the story that you're telling yourself, is that really your story or is that, you know, somebody else's that you've just kind of borrowed for that time and you're using it.
So just being mindful of that, I think is really important too.
Teresa: I'm really conscious of your time. And I'm so grateful you've given me your time. So I've got two very quick questions. What is your dream for someone? And obviously we're going to link up to everything in the show notes. So you can go and find where you can get in this book.
What is your dream for someone reading the book? What, like, if you imagine someone writes you a letter to say an actual, that's a, probably an email, maybe a DM, and actually say, I've read your book and this is what I've got out of it. What are you hoping for when people read it?
Amy: Yeah. I, I hope that, you know, they, people take a moment to kind of check in with their life and, you know, take a moment, check in and, you know, think I'm, am I doing something that I enjoy?
Am I living every day joyfully? And I mean, not every day is joyfully. We all have those days, but you know, am I being intentional with my time and what I'm doing in my life. Because you know, before we know it, like, you know, I still feel like I'm 20, but I'm 41. And like soon I'll be 51 and then I'll be 60 I'm like, and it just goes so fast.
So for me, it's that and I mean, for me, it's a lot of it is women in terms of like, just making the time for themselves and knowing that, you know, they're going to pick something that they love to do and incorporate it into their life and, and see the results of that. Like who knows where that will lead.
Like maybe it will be a business, maybe it won't and that's okay. But the biggest, the most important lesson is like that you're taking time for yourself. You're joyful. And that you're using that to do good somewhere in the world in some way, shape or form.
Teresa: Yeah. Yeah, no, that's great. And so just one quick thing for the next question.
I have this amazing. I read this amazing quote or heard this amazing quote and I don't know who said it. I can't remember. I've tried to find it again. I can't, but they were talking about knowing true happiness in your life. And how do you know if you're really happy and you're living that full and happy life?
She said, if this was it, she said, if, if this was all there was, if this was all there was ever going to be, would you be happy with it? And I sat there and thought now I want so much more, you know, my, my visions, my dreams for things. But am I happy? Yeah, I'm, if this was it, I'd be pretty happy with what this is. So I just love that. I thought that was so, so nice.
So my final question and my listeners know I'm very casual and laid back and the dog is barking. So if you can hear it, I'm so sorry.
Amy: Oh no, it's fine. If we were at home with our dog. The dog would probably be barking too.
Teresa: What's next? Like, have you got in your like notebook bag hidden away this kind of the next master plan?
Or are you just thinking I'll just crack on with these things?
Amy: Yeah, no. So for me, um, my charity is always a work kind of in progress. So we, we want to on the charity side, get into, um, the entrepreneurial side of things. We've had a lot of our communities talk about wanting to learn more from local entrepreneurs and that kind of sites.
So we're kind of dabbling in what was supposed to be this past year that our first entrepreneurial camp, um, led by local businesses in the area for the high school students we had. On the charity side. The other side for me is continuing with our crazy adventure trips once a year when I can get back to those and my mastermind.
But then my, the one that I think is going to change the most in the next couple of years is my Airbnb stuff. I've, I've really kind of, I think found a huge, another huge passion. That's a lot bigger than I thought when I started. So I've always wanted, one of my dreams was always to have my own hotel or boutique hotel because I just love all the little details.
So creating this lake house is a Dover Lake House on Instagram. I, uh, I've really enjoyed it. I've done like backpacks for the kids. I have kids, kid packs, I've done all these extra little things. I've got to like sign out front. I've gotten my bottles of water that have my logo on it. And, um, and I've been finding more and more people have been messaging and asking about this whole Airbnb thing.
So. For me, I want to invest in some more short-term rentals. I really love real estate. Like we have several long-term rentals, but this short term rental business I'm really enjoying. And it's just creating experiences for people and giving them a chance to have experiences and memories with their friends and family.
Um, so I want to build that and get some more in there and maybe start a an Airbnb membership of some type I think is in my future. Being married to a membership guy, a membership.
Teresa: I think you've got the inside scoop on create a successful membership. So I love it. Amy thank you so much. I can't wait to read the book and I'm really excited to see how I can bring more of that kind of, you know, making a difference into my world and my business and my life and leave that legacy of some sort. So thank you so much for being on the podcast.
Amy: Oh, thank you. I really enjoyed chatting with you. I just, now I'm thinking I should have bought my Jaffa cakes and my penguin hiding in my cupboard. I should have bought them and eat them while I can have them.
Teresa: Cup of tea and eat your Jaffa cakes.
Amy: Yes. I'll eat that. Thank you so much.
Teresa: Thank you Amy.
There we go. That was the lovely Amy. I hope that episode has inspired you to want to do great things. I know it's inspired me. I found her really inspirational and really felt like I want to start making a difference in different places in my life.
I do have a life that I love, and I'm really lucky for that. But I am now looking at ways in which I can use my, I don't know my audience or money I earn to then help other people. So it was perfect timing. It was like the universe delivered it perfectly. So, yeah, that was the lovely Amy. I've linked up to everything in the show notes.
Like I said, I've already ordered her book. It's on the way. I think it'd be a great one to read. You know, I love a book and yeah, let me know what you think. If you liked it, then by all means, tag her in, tag me in, let me know what you thought of this episode. Okay. I'll be back next week with a solo episode and I will see you then.