Jan. 11, 2023

Navigating The Mental Health To Be a Multi-million Dollar Entrepreneur with Amy Porterfield

Today, we sit down with Amy Porterfield, an ex-corporate girl turned online marketing expert and CEO of a multi-million dollar business...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/navigating-the-mental-health-to-be-a-multi-million-dollar-entrepreneur-with-amy-porterfield/#show-notes


Today, we sit down with Amy Porterfield, an ex-corporate girl turned online marketing expert and CEO of a multi-million dollar business, where she’s helped hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs turn in their two weeks’ notice and trade burnout for freedom, income, and impact to discuss the importance of mental health in the journey to business success. Amy shares her personal experiences and advice on how to prioritize self-care while building a thriving business. Tune in to learn valuable strategies for navigating the mental health challenges that come with entrepreneurship and come away with actionable tips for maintaining your well-being along the way.

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Transcript

Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. I'm very excited to be back with you with another episode with my guest, Amy Porterfield. Amy, my friend, how are you? What is happening in your world today?

Amy: Hey there, friend. I am good. I'm busy and doing lots of stuff in the business and it's nice to sit down and talk to you and probably in ways that I don't usually do on podcast interviews, so I've been looking forward to this.

Michael: Yeah, me too. And I appreciate you greatly for popping in here. I know that we're gonna be able to create just a ton of value for people. You know, one of the things that has always attracted me to the work that you do, and I'm gonna date back a little bit here. In the beginning of my journey, I came across this guy, you might have heard of him, called Brendon Burchard and through him I went through this a deep dive and subtly I was in this world. And you were one of the people, and I actually gotta share this with you when we were in New York together, you were one of the first people that I actually was like, oh, they're keeping it real like they're not fluff bullshit, they're not out here selling lies, they have worked with some of the greatest minds on planet Earth. And through their own willingness through determination and finding the courage to face their fear, they've been able to build something spectacular. I've seen you speak on tons of stages and you know, you're not a hard person to find, but what I'm really curious about and where I want to start this conversation is, where are you at now? Look at your life, where you're at, the things you've built, what you've created. How does Amy Porterfield go about her day-to-day life to continue building and expounding on the life that you once thought that you could create?

Amy: So where am I now? You know, I've never ever been in a place that I felt like, okay, I've made it. I've done it. We're here. And so, because I've never felt that way, even though I'm living a life right now beyond my wildest dreams, my husband and I constantly are like, how is this happening? But at the same time, I'm always looking to grow to better myself. I'm pretty hard on myself, I have to be very careful of that. So, I'm always thinking like, what do I need to improve? What do I need to focus on? So, it's constantly growth and learning in this world over here.

Michael: Yeah. And in that, as you're stepping deeper into it, like how do you facilitate the spaces that you are growing in? Because I think, and especially when you live in kind of the personal development world, it's easy to get overran by, oh, I need to read this book, go to that conference, get involved in this thing. Like, and I think people as they get deeper into the journey, even with stuff here and Think Unbroken. Hold on, wait a second. What do you actually need? So how do you kind of facilitate that? I know I need to grow, but discovering like this is the plant I should water, right?

Amy: Yes. Okay. So, this is a great question because I am constantly focused on like what is my focus right now? What is my priority? And one thing I teach my students that I try to do myself is I don't want a lot of balls in the air. I don't want too many things that I'm trying to work on and I really am careful about shiny object syndrome like that looks good, that looks good. So, my whole growth of my business has been let's focus on just a few core things at once and do 'em well and do 'em over and over again. So, I look at my personal development at like that as well. I am someone who has struggled very much so with depression and anxiety since I've been very young. And so that focus this year because last year in 2021, somehow or another, I got deep into depression, it's just like I woke up one morning and I thought, how did I get this far into feeling this way again? So, I climbed out of it in 2021 and 2022 it's all about, let's not go back there. So, it's my morning routine that I'm focusing on, it's my nighttime ritual that I'm focusing on. I don't have a lot of room to focus on, a lot of personal development so, it's those things that I do in the morning and evening that I focus on the most.

Michael: Yeah, the most crucial and critical. I interviewed Gabor Maté, who is arguably the leading researcher, doctor, speaker in the trauma space. And I remember he told me depression is when we depress things down, we hold them down and because of that, they tend to kind of rule our life, like you and the huge reason I created this show as battling massive depression and anxiety in my life and in fact, attempting to take my life in the past. One of the things that I've held onto, and I don't know if this feels true for you or not, but I've come to realize that this too shall pass, there's this space of understanding like, you know what, maybe if I just keep going, not in that weird, like I have to push myself to the fucking brink, ‘cuz obviously that doesn't work. But like, can I brush my teeth today? Can I put one foot in front of me? So, clawing yourself out of that like what was that experience like for you, if you're willing to go into it?

Amy: Yeah, I am. So, what it felt like in the moment was there I got scared when there are mornings I didn't wanna get outta bed because the business I built is my baby. I've never given birth to a child, but I do feel like I've given birth to this business and it's everything to me. Unfortunately, probably too much of my identity is tied to it so that's a whole other story, but it's the truth. And so, when I didn't wanna get outta bed in the morning when I literally couldn't find happiness in anything that is when it started to scare me because I thought, this is so much bigger than me, and this isn't just take a walk and it's gonna go away, kind of thing. And so, for me, that's when I just realized, holy cow, I need to do something about it and that's when I started to reach out. I called a therapist; I started getting recommendations for a therapist. I started doing things bigger than just what I could control. I talked to a doctor about do I need medication? I chose not to go that route, but it was definitely on the, on the radar for me at the time. And so, I just started reaching out. I'm not one to ask for a lot of help, but that felt it was too big for just me.

Michael: Yeah. And in asking for help, I think that's one of the things people get caught up on because they'll see people like you and they'll see people, I mean, you could name the list, right? And they go, oh, their life is perfect, there's no way they struggle. But it's like, I think we're all reconciling with darkness. Right?

Amy: Absolutely. And that was something, I gravitate toward people in the online space that will really share that kind of stuff, but it's interesting. I have unique take on it, or maybe not new, unique, but my own take on it that others won't necessarily agree with actually, maybe you won't even agree with this. But when I share things online, I like to share from a point of my scabs and not my uzi wound that's still there. And so, it's kind of gross to say it that way, but if I'm in it deep in it and I don't know what to do, I'm trying to navigate it myself, I am not one to jump on Instagram and be like, Hey guys, I'm deep into depression this morning I couldn't get outta bed and I wanna cry all, just wanted to let you know. I don't do that, it doesn't feel right or authentic to me, and I want to process my own things before I go tell the world about it. And so, for me, I am more quiet when I'm going through something. I am very introspective about it but once I start to see progress, that's when I'm willing to share my scabs, meaning things have kind of been just like kind of healed over a little bit, maybe not all the way, but I've got some thoughts or insight about what I'm doing to move forward that just works for me and I love that of others as well. I don't necessarily wanna be in the total messy in the moment with someone seeing them have a breakdown. I don't want to see that from them, but I do love to see what did you do to overcome it? What worked for you or how are you moving forward? That's just what I love. So, I look for people that will be honest and share that kind of stuff.

Michael: And I'm actually an entire agreement with you. And I've actually got raped over the coals a few times now for calling people out for crying on the internet.

Amy: And it's hard for me to see.

Michael: And I think about that and it's not that, maybe that's not a healing space for you, but my thought has always been like, how is that actually helping people? Right. Because nobody comes through this unscathed. You have a 0% chance of not suffering.

Amy: It's so true.

Michael: You know, and I think in that one of the things that, that you can do is kind of pause and take inventory of your life and look at it and think about moving forward. And I think people kind of get caught up in this idea and this notion that somehow, they're less thin because they have emotions and feelings and I think it's especially difficult when you're a public figure. And so, you know, when you kind of navigate this and you get to that place, and I think this question will actually apply kind of across the board, but at what point do you start to feel like, oh, I've kind of reigned this in, I have a little bit more control over my life, I'm feeling like the sunny days are sunny again, like what does that feel like? What does that look like if you painted a picture of that?

Amy: When things start to kind of shift for me.

Michael: Yeah, exactly.

Amy: Yeah. So what that feels like and what that looks like for me is that I find myself in a moment where I'm with somebody, I'm on a Zoom call with a team member, I'm with my husband and I'm just laughing about something or smiling about something where it just came natural all of a sudden where I hadn't heard that laugh or I haven't seen myself smile in days or weeks. So, I just noticed those little moments of, Oh, I also am very aware when my mind gets quiet, when I'm in depression or anxiety, it is going very fast, lots of thoughts and I can't seem to just take a breath. So, I'm looking for those moments, and here's the key. I have to look for them. You have to find evidence that things are going to be okay or looking up for you. And so, I make it a practice. When are the moments that my mind feels more quiet? When I just let out a laugh because something feels good? And I do this practice and I do this all the time, in the moment when I feel good or happy, I say it out loud. I feel so happy right now. Like my husband's very used to this. I'll be cooking in the kitchen. I feel that calm. I feel really good right now, and I have to voice it to remind myself, because my mind loves to look for the darkness, it's a scary thing. Loves to look for the darkness. So, I vocally, or I say it out loud, I feel good. I feel happy, and it just kind of puts me into that state so that has been, it's so silly, but so helpful.

Michael: No, it's so true. Actually, I resonate with that a ton by nature, am a catastrophizer and it's weird because like in the crux, like in the belly of it all, I'm like, the world is fucking doomed and we're all gonna die. And then I pause and I go, that's not true. I have so much empirical evidence that I can leverage in my own confirmation bias to be like, wait a second. Maybe this isn't true. I was speaking with Grant Cardone once on his stage during 10X Bootcamp, and he told me personally after he had made a decision to invest in Think Unbroken, which was a really incredibly beautiful moment, I was kind of like immediately shifted into, oh shit, you know, in my head, and it's like he could read my mind and he goes, Hey dude, just take your flowers. And what that actually meant what that kind of sat in me was this idea of like, actually, you know what, maybe you actually have done really beautiful, amazing things and you also have to acknowledge that.

Amy: Okay So good. I'm so glad you brought this up. I literally just made; I can't believe I'm saying this TikTok video. Yes, I have a TikTok channel, whatever, but I recently just made a TikTok two minutes before I got live on here talking about self-sabotage in this thing where something good is so perfect for what you just said, something good happens to me, like I recently got a massive book deal so amazing beyond my wildest dreams. I celebrated for one minute, and then my mind rushed with what if I can't produce? What if I don't sell enough books? What if I look like a fool? What if I can't write this book? I mean, I couldn't even, I didn't have time to pop a champagne and have a glass, and I was so upset later when I thought about that like I didn't even allow myself to sit in the good. I do believe, just like Grant was telling you, allowing yourself to sit in the good just a little bit longer is a daily practice I try so that every time I sit in the good, just a little bit longer, I know it's uncomfortable, Amy, but just sit with it a little longer before your mind goes to what could go wrong. And I think the more I do that, the longer that's going to become, they're all just little habits. Right? And so, what you did was exactly what I did as well.

Michael: Yeah. You know what's really interesting too is I reflect on a lot of the things that I've been able to do in my life. I really do truly mean this like, I shouldn't be here, I should be dead or in jail. And the momentary celebrations often have felt overshadowed by the need to sabotage, which I've had to do all the therapy for. And today it's very, where I sit in it and I have grace, I have compassion for myself, and it's literally the foundation of what I teach my clients, it's like, hold on, wait a second. You are not your worst fuck up. You're not. You're not your worst mistake. But this idea, I want to go into this TikTok and yes, everyone has a TikTok, it's fine. Two-part question, a – how do you actually define self-sabotage? And then b – how do you recognize it?

Amy: So, for me, I define self-sabotage as not allowing yourself to have something good stay in your life. So, if something good happens, you're gonna push it away, you're gonna do something to get rid of it, or you're just gonna have a thought that now something bad's gonna happen. So how would you define it?

Michael: Yeah. For me it is unconsciously doing things that I know are to the detriment of the life that I want to create.

Amy: Okay. Yeah, that makes perfect sense as well. Doing something to the detriment of all this good that you could have. Yes, absolutely.

Michael: Yeah. And so, defining it, the thing that it's been able to do for me has helped me recognize it. And so that was the other like, how do you recognize, look, let's face it, you have been able to build a massive online career, you're one of the best public speakers in the country, you've worked with some of the greatest minds on planet Earth. And I know that people are gonna be like, there's no way this person's self-sabotage. Right? But we all do. And so how do you notice it? Like you're getting ready to do a launch or you're getting ready tom write this book and it's like, how do you know if Amy's not doing the thing?

Amy: Yes. Okay. So, one of the things that helps me notice what's going on with me is the art or the practice of journaling. Now, I don't even like to journal. It's just I wish I did, it's not my favorite thing. But every morning if I spend 10 minutes journaling and I do a brain dump, what's going on? Let's see if we can work it out on the paper. When I see all the things that I think are going to happen that in a bad way, all the bad things that are going to happen or when I'm only focusing on the negative throughout all of these pages, I know there's some self-sabotage here because there's always good things happening around us if we look for it, if we allow them to come in.

And so, if all I'm doing is thinking about all the scary things, all the bad things, what I'm afraid of, I'm not letting something good happen in bloom. And to me, it's like the evidence right there, you're self-sabotaging.

Michael: Wow. That's really profound. It actually makes me wanna go and look at some of my older journals now because I am a journal, journal, journal, whatever, you know. And so, I always have kind of looked at being a writer before anything before coach, before speaker, before a podcast host. And now I'm very curious if that's the kind of language that I was actually putting in that journal and if maybe we could make meaning of that ‘cause I'm always pushing people here like go journal, write down, get that stuff outta your head.

Amy: So, powerful. I hope one day I enjoy it and love it. I don't know why I struggle with it so much, maybe you know; I've never thought about it this way. I wonder if I struggle with journaling so much because I do have to face the things I actually don't wanna talk about. So, if I am sharing my fears, if I am putting down on paper what I'm worried about, and I'm a natural worrier, so there's lots of worry. Sometimes I'm just like, I don't wanna deal with this. I wanna pretend like it's not there. I wanna go do my work, do another Facebook Live, do another TikTok that is not healthy, you have to deal with it. So I think now maybe it's because of that, but journaling doesn't have to be all negative. There's so many amazing prompts you could do about what you love, what you're grateful for, what you're looking forward to. I probably don't do that enough.

Michael: Yeah, and I think, I don't either. I don't think anyone does. I mean, especially not in this society, right? Where everything's negative all the time, always, you really have to be cognizant of that, right? And I mean, I think often you cannot hide from yourself and that's true of my journal, of my mirror, of this show, of the things that I create. And it's like, I remember when I was in my twenties, like I was working for a Fortune 10 company. I have no high school diploma, no college education. I was making six figures, it's very improbable but I was deep, deep, deep into self-sabotage. And I've shared this on the show before, by the time I was 26, I made a million dollars and I was 50 grand in debt and you talk about hiding from it, like the bills would come and I would put 'em under the other bills and I would stuff them down. And then my sister would call me and she'd be like, why are these people calling me? And it's like inevitably. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try to run from yourself, you have to recognize you're going to discover who you are. And I think like innately as humans, it's part of suffering to look at the truth. But it's also the very thing that frees you, you know, which leads me to thinking about your journey. You know, you go back, I would dare say there's a lot of people who would literally kill for the job that you used to have and people would look at that and go, how could she ever give that up? And I'm wondering how much of that experience, and if you wanna talk about the job, you're more than welcome to, but I'm wondering how much of the experience of that moment in time, which has now transformed you and your life into what it is was about you honoring your truth and your authenticity?

Amy: So, such a great question. So, I worked for Tony Robbins for almost seven years as the director of content development. So, I got to travel the world with Tony and the team and work on the content that he does on stage, like unleash the power within and date with Destiny, anyone who knows Tony knows those events, and it was incredible. It was an incredible experience. And one thing I've never, ever, ever talked about is that every day I thought I was going to lose my job or get in trouble or do something wrong, not because of the environment that Tony Robbins environment was incredible and I loved working there, and Tony was good to me, it was more so all my demons, all my fears, all my insecurities, it was a really amazing job and I was scared I wasn't worthy of it or that I was going to do something wrong, and that's that self-sabotage. I got something great. I got, you're right. I got a position and I got paid well, and I got to travel that many people would've loved. And I thought, maybe I don't deserve this, or maybe I'm not good enough. And so, I really struggled through that experience and kind of haven't really thought about why some days were really hard, I loved it and I kind of silently struggled behind the scenes with my own insecurities. But when I officially decided to leave, it had nothing to do with not loving my job, and it really probably didn't have anything to do with those insecurities I even mentioned, it came to a point that for the first time ever, and I had been in corporate since I left my days of college, it was the first time ever I thought, I want to do something on my own. I want more freedom. I wanna call the shots. I wanna be more creative. I wanna build something for me. So, it was something that, it was like God guided, because for me, I didn't have confidence at the time. I didn't know what the heck I was gonna do on my own. But there was this knowing that I do want something different and something really exciting. So, I don't know how that all came about, but it really did happen that way.

Michael: Yeah. And there there's a calling to it, right? Like, what I'm curious about is, ‘cuz I think a lot of people feel that, right? Whether it's jobs, relationships, anything that transpires in our life, we often feel pulled to, this is the thing that I need to do. And my argument for myself to do the thing is to recognize that if I don't, I'm going to die with regret. And that to me is honestly the most terrifying thing on planet Earth. And so, what was kind of the timeframe, if you can remember between you starting to have these ruminations to the execution of walking into arguably one of the greatest jobs in America and being like, I'm out.

Amy: Yeah, so it actually, there was a very specific moment that happened. So, I'd been there for about, I don't know, six years or so. And Tony had a meeting at the San Diego headquarters where I worked and he brought in a bunch of internet marketers, they were all men, and it was Brendon Burchard and Frank Kern and Jeff Walker, and the most amazing internet marketer guys. And I didn't know who any of them were, but what happened was Tony was starting to do more stuff online, building up his digital course library, all that good stuff and he was just curious how these guys were running their business. And so, he went around the table and he is like, tell me about your business, and all I heard them say was freedom like they talked about creativity, freedom, lifestyle freedom, financial freedom, they were calling the shots, they had time to be with their families, they were going on vacations, they were living really good lives and that's kind of what they were talking about as they went around the table. I took, oh, I forgot to tell you that I was invited to that meeting to take notes. I sat at a different table. I was not part of the conversation, but I was asked to take notes ‘cuz one of the things that Tony does really well is he documents everything and he goes back and he studies it. And so, taking notes was just a normal thing we did for everything.

So, I took the worst notes of my life that day because all I wanted to do was hear about what the heck are these guys doing? And in that moment, I realized, I am not free. I am not free. Every single day of my life I've had a boss from growing up with a really strict father to then getting into the corporate world and boss after boss after boss. And these guys were calling the shots and something in me speak to say, I want to do that. I want to call the shots. I don't even know. I had no idea what I would do, but I wanted out. And it wasn't like I wanted away from the Robins organization. I just wanted a way to do something new different, and on my own. So it was that meeting that sparked it like that and it was a year from that meeting that I actually took the leap.

Michael: Were you thinking about it, every day?

Amy: Every single day. And I had to be careful, and I teach my students this as well. I didn't wanna have one foot out and one foot in and do a terrible job and then leave the Robins organization and not have any respect for my coworkers or Tony or anything like that. So, what I did instead, instead of like being like, I don't wanna be here. I don't wanna be here anymore. I thought, how could I wasn't ready to leave. I have anything put together to leave and go out on my own and so what I did is I decided, can I change my job here to learn some skills that I don't have that could be really helpful when I eventually do leave, and because I had been with the business for a long time and had good standing there, I asked to move to the marketing department. Then I asked to work on our digital course launches], then I asked to work from home, and then I asked to go part, all of this happened over the year and it was so perfect cuz the business was transitioning at the time they were making huge changes. So, I just kept getting yes after yes, after yes. So I feel very fortunate, but my friend reminded me today about something else we were talking about, you never get what you don't ask for. So, I wasn't afraid to ask for it and that helped.

Michael: Truth. I mean, that's why you're here right now. And I mean that like, it's because, you know, you look at it in anything that you want to build it starts with belief. And I get told no all the time, all the time, every single day, multiple times a day. But you have to be able to leverage your belief in yourself that you can do it. And I think that people get stuck in that all the time. And when I first started my first business when I was 25, I walked away from a Fortune 10 company that I'd made a million dollars at, and I started to become a wedding photographer. And my friends were like, you're a psycho. Good luck. You don't have a high school diploma; you don't have a college education. You'll never be this successful. Well, on a long enough timeline, I was the number two wedding photographer in the state of Indiana, printed and published in tons of magazines, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And now I don't share this a lot on the show, but one of my companies is a retail company in the photography space. And that was because I just believed that I could, that doesn't mean I didn't suffer, that doesn't mean it didn't suck. Like I don't know if you'll agree with this or not, but I'm really curious to your thoughts. I think a lot of entrepreneurships is dealing with the suckiness of the mundane.

Amy: Amen, brother. It is so true. I don't think we talk about the suckiness enough. You know, I called a good girlfriend the other day, and she's in the internet marketing space. And actually, I'll give her credit, if you guys know Jasmine Starr, she's amazing, but I wanna give her credit for what she did. I call her all the time. We do voice texts all the time. And it's so nice to have an entrepreneurial friend that you could bounce things off. And I called her complaining, today I have to do this and I have to do that and I have to do that. And why do I keep doing the stuff in my business that I don't wanna do? Because you hear all the time, if it's not a hell yes, don't do it. But here I was making my TikTok videos and doing some interviews I didn't wanna do and getting on the phone and reviewing something, whatever. And I was complaining and she's like, but what do you want? Do you want X, Y, Z which is my goals. I'm like, yeah and she's like, sometimes it sucks, sometimes you gotta do the things that you don't wanna do and sometimes entrepreneurship is sucky to get you to the ultimate reward of whatever you want. And in that moment, I was like, I'm fine with this stuff. I'll do this stuff all day long because I know what I want and where it's going to get me. And so yes, there is suckiness in being an entrepreneur.

Michael: Yeah, for sure. And my life mantra, which I probably should get tattooed on my face, is no excuses, just results because when you really think about it you've never done anything in your life that was easy. We choose our suffering. And so, when you talk about these goals, when you talk about the things you want to create and the willingness to go through the pain of building them, how do you keep yourself going? When you're in those moments and maybe you don't have the conversation with Jasmine and you don't have that leverage, and you don't have the reminder and you're like, ah, fuck, I just wanna watch TV all day, knowing that and sometimes, look, you gotta watch TV all day, let's call it what it is. But when it's not that, when it's not that, and its actually procrastination, when it's actually fear, when it's actually stuckness, how do you propel yourself forward anyway?

Amy: Because I do all the time. So, this is a great question. How do I propel myself forward when I don't have, if I'm not calling someone, if I'm not asking my husband for advice or calling a friend, and it's just me. What I do is I do it anyway, even when I don't want to. Here's what I do, I don't allow myself to have the chatter around, do I wanna do this or not? How am I feeling around this? I don't wanna get outta bed. I wanna watch TV all day. I don't allow myself to have the conversation. It's like, hmm, nope. We're just gonna do it. We're gonna do it uncomfortable. We're gonna do it in fear. We're gonna do it when we don't want to because I am always clear about what I want, what my goals are always. And so that's always gonna drive me. So, I guess my answer is I cut off the chatter, like when you say, no excuses, just results. I don't even let myself have the conversation in my head, that has always helped me. And I'm very clear also, this is a little trick, it's so silly like I'm not gonna say anything profound on this podcast, but I can promise you there's things I can suggest that people have heard of that are not doing. Like, are you doing it? You might have heard it, but are you doing it? And one of the things that helps me immensely is I do not go to bed until my next day is planned. I know exactly what's happening the next day. I know the meetings; I know the things I need to do. I know how it's going down. So when my feet hit the floor in the morning, I might not feel like it, it does not matter. I know what I'm doing, and that has helped me a lot as well.

Michael: Yeah, that's helped me, that's literally the first thing that Brendon Burchard taught me was, oh, control your calendar. Let's talk about this for a second. Take entrepreneurship out of the damn equation. Control your calendar. Control your life. And this upsets people, I actually got canceled on this in 2020 by the way.

Amy: So, what do you mean?

Michael: If anyone remembers me getting canceled ‘cuz I told people that they were wasting time and I said that one of the most important things that you can do when you've been allotted the space to create is to actually create. And one of the things that I have found to be incredibly profound and life-changing for me, ‘cuz Amy, I swear to God, there's nothing better than getting stoned, playing video games and eating gummy bears.

Amy: Okay. I've never done that, but wow, if you say so.

Michael: But I'm given this context because how does that align me with my goals? How does that push me towards my mission? How does that help me change the world? It doesn't, so I disallow it and the way that I disallow it is by not having white space in my calendar. But I think that people just don't even know where to begin. You look at this and what you've been able to create and build in your life by saying, I don't allow myself to go to bed before having that, but I'm gonna guess that probably hasn't always been a part of your vernacular, right?

Amy: Oh, absolutely not. I would please, I'd wake up in the morning and I'd write a list of 50 things I need to do, I could only get to 10 and then end the day like I was a failure.

Michael: How have you been able to reframe that, to build that habit and then to execute against it effectively?

Amy: So, one thing that I did when that happened so often that I got to the point and said like, this is not working. So, I got an executive assistant a few years back and I told her this is a technique, but it has helped immensely. I use a project management tool called Asana. You can use any project management tool, that's the one I like, and I also use Google Cal, of course. So, there is not a day where every task I have in Asana that I need to do has a time chunk on my calendar. So if I can't realistically get it done, it has not even been assigned to me that day. And I work closely with a virtual assistant to help me do this. But when I say I wake up in the morning and I know exactly what I'm doing, it's not just a to-do list, it's actually in my calendar, this is a chunk for that, this is when I'm going to do this, this is when I'm going to do that. Now, I like white space, but the way I see white space is buffer like I used to set my calendar so tight that I literally had no time to go pee in the day, it was this and that and that, and I can't even think. So, I like a little buffer throughout the day, but I know exactly what I'm doing, so that's how I overcame that I actually got into action. I'm all about processes and systems to streamline your day.

Michael: What do you think? Maybe it is the calendar, but what are some of the systems or processes that you've added to your life that most foundationally impacted you, that are accessible to anybody?

Amy: So, one thing, this is gonna sound a little bit weird that I'm using this as one of those strategies or systems, is I moved to a four-day work week. My entire team of 20 virtual employees all over the US, a year and a half ago, we moved to a four-day work week. Now what that did and why I became more efficient and I started to get more done is if you only have four days to get the same amount of work done, you're gonna tighten up how you do it. And so we put systems and processes in place to allow this to happen and one of the things is meetings. We had to stop being in meetings all day long because nothing gets done when you are in a meeting, there's a lot of ideations, but you're not getting anything done. And so, we said, if you want a meeting, it has to be 30 minutes, and if it needs longer, you need an agenda to explain why we have to meet for more than 30 minutes. And then there's two days a week on our team, then nobody's in a meeting, they're just getting it done. And so, things like that, less meetings, more dialed in meeting, huge for us. And then in addition to that, I make sure that my days are set up in a way that I'm actually not running errands in the middle of the afternoon. I'm not doing a doctor's appointment here or there. And this is, might seem a little weird and rigid, but because I work a four-day work week, I can save all that for Friday. And so, I am just in like, and my husband teases like, have you been anywhere today? I am like, no, I don't even drive my car Monday through Thursday I am in it, but I get Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I do not work nights; I do not work weekends and I used to all the time. And so that also has allowed me to have stronger mental health to have three days that I actually unplug.

Michael: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me. I was on the bandwagon for a long time of the No sleep Warrior mentality, and when you really start to understand the negative impact of that lifestyle, like you pay a toll. And I definitely paid some heavy tolls for that. Right. And putting yourself in this position of that, I wouldn't call it workaholism, but just going, burning the candle at both ends. And look what I think is interesting, it's different for everybody, right? I think about, John Maxwell, once I was having a conversation with him, and he says, you know, in that John Maxwell voice that he has, he goes, you know, people always want to be where I am, but they've never want to be where I've been, right? That was the same reaction I had. And so, well, I'm gonna ask you a really pointed. Was it worth it then all those nights, all the pushing, all the struggle, all the, I'm gonna do whatever it ta like, was it worth it to now have today, four-day work weeks? 

Amy: Never been asked that question. So, my gut is absolutely worth it, it was all worth it. I wouldn't change it for the world, that was my gut. But then if I was really digging deep and being honest, what I would want to say is that, yes, it was worth it, was it necessary? I don't know. I don't know if I needed to do it that way to get to where I'm at today. And here's what I mean by that, I came up in the online world when the hustle mentality, like you said, was all anyone talked about. No one talked about four-day work weeks or not hustling or doing less, but making more that was not even a conversation and this is not a knock to the guys, but it was a lot of bro marketing. You know that term and it was just mostly guys. I never saw a woman teach much of anything online 13, 14 years ago, and so I just was like, okay, this is how you do it. Now, I felt like I feel like sometimes I do a little bit of I did a disservice to my students who have been with me for years and years, ‘cuz I only knew the hustle mentality, it's just like in the last two years that I've talked about is hustling absolutely necessary to get to where you wanna go. In the first few years I think it is. I think you need to say yes to most things. You need to work all you can to get it done. I actually do think we are one two of entrepreneurship, you're gonna hustle. Do you need to continue that? I do not believe so. And I continued it till just a few years ago. So that's the long answer to that.

Michael: Yeah. What caused you to shift that? Because like even, you know, I know there's a lot of people who are listening who are entrepreneurs or they're working two jobs, some by necessity, unfortunately because of the world that we live in. But what started to become the shift for you to be like, actually no, maybe I don't have to do this to myself?

Amy: It was when I was making millions of dollars and not happy, making millions of dollars and thinking, what am I doing all this for?

Michael: Say that again, millions of dollars and not happy.

Amy: Not happy, like that blew my mind. Like I thought that once my business made millions of dollars, everything would be good in the world. Now, I didn't say that to myself, but I know it was back there unconsciously. And then I got there I'm like, I am so freaking tired. I am so burned out and my marriage to my husband Hoby is everything to me. And he came to me at one point, this is many years ago, and he said, I don't even see you anymore. I don't even know who you are, like this is not what we signed up for, this is not the journey we wanted to be on. And in that moment when he seemed so sad, so disconnected from me, it scared me, it really scared me. I thought, I'm gonna lose my husband and so that was what finally. I think relationships always can kind of bring us back to reality and that one scared me. So all the burnout, all the fear, and then Hoby saying that, I was like, okay, I'm paying attention.

Michael: Yeah. This has been my experience, there's nothing external that will ever bring you fulfillment that will ever bring you love, that will ever bring you peace or happiness, contentment, compassion, joy, happiness. Right? And I think building it inside of yourself is, incredibly difficult, but the most foundational important thing that you can do. And I'm curious, going in maybe closing a loop here, standing in the kitchen saying, I'm happy, loving this moment, like what brings you joy now? What brings you happiness? What are the things that make you feel that?

Amy: So, we have a lake house, it's not things that make me happy, so stay with me. But when I moved from Southern California where I was born and raised my whole life to Nashville a year and a half ago, and we bought a fixer upper lake house about an hour and a half of where we live now. And going there on the weekends and just sitting and being quiet on this little deck overlooking the water just those moments bring me absolute happiness because it's the moments when my mind is just quiet for a second that I tell myself it's all okay, Amy, you're gonna be okay, you're safe, you're protected. It's all good. I have to tell myself this a lot in those moments I am impure bliss. I love it. Another thing is we got this old used boat, ski boat and we go out at nighttime when the sun's going down and I have this playlist that I created that I love and I literally just, no one can hear me cuz the boats so loud, I sing at the top of my lung, the sun's going down, Hoby’s driving the boat. I'm Sydnee at the front, the wind in my face. I am very happy in those moments, but I wanna tell you the truth about those moments because I'm someone who deals depression and anxiety. I'll be happy and I'll be singing and then in the flash I'll be like, yeah, but what if this launch doesn't work out? Or what if that employee that you love so much quits? It's like the weirdest thing. And then I'm just like, no, no, no, I'm good. I'm here. I'm safe. I'm protected. And so, I have to bring it back a lot and I hate to say this, but that happiness doesn't come naturally to me, but I sure welcome it in as much as I can.

Michael: Yeah, and try to honor it, right? I resonate with that so much. You know, I remember I was speaking at Jen Gottlieb's event back in New York City, I don't know whenever that was. And the second I got off of stage, I was just like, do these people care? Does anything that I just did matter? Am I actually gonna change the world? And like, I can't control that, right? It's natural and in the moment, I reminded myself, this is my version of what you just said. I am strong, I am capable, I am worthy. And nobody would know that in a room of 500 freaking people that that was going on. But we all struggle with it. And in the happiness, there is sadness and I'm a proponent if you can't feel some emotions and you can't feel any emotion, and as much as it sucks to ride the wave, like that is the human experience.

Amy: It really is. You know, I work with a coach and one thing that she reminds me a lot is that. One, I'm not responsible for all the thoughts I have. Two, I can't believe everything, I think. And three, it is very normal to have the negative thoughts, that was something I used to beat myself up for having the negative thoughts and then that's a vicious cycle. But she taught me that very normal to when you get off stage and you just did something big to the stage, these thoughts come rushing in. But where we are responsible for is what we do with them. And one thing she taught me is that I always have to give equal airtime to the good when the bad starts rushing in so equal airtime. So, in that moment when I think, oh my gosh, the business is gonna fall apart, nothing's going to work, I just have to stop myself and say, all right, I see that thought. So today I was able to reach this goal, today, this really great thing happened, and what if we hit our big goals? What am I gonna do to celebrate? Like I have to give equal airtime? So that's helped me immensely as well.

Michael: Yeah, I mean, you know, that's just such a strong and palatable reminder, like, oh shit, guess what? You're a human being.

Amy: You're human. Amen.

Michael: And I often tell myself I'm a robot when I'm in work mode, right? And it's just a little mind trick I plan myself, but we're human and we're going through it, and none of us really know what we're doing. I dunno about you, Amy, but I don't actually know what I'm doing. I'm just trying to figure it out.

Amy: I'm just making this up as I go.

Michael: Yeah. And I think if people can leverage that and sit on that, give themselves some compassion and grace and just a lot the space to just see what happens, it just helps so much and it'll change your life. This has been an amazing conversation, before I ask you my last question, please tell everyone where they can find you?

Amy: Well, thank you so much for asking, and thank you for this beautiful conversation. I have a podcast called Online Marketing Made Easy, so if you love podcasts and you want more advice about list building and webinars and funnels and digital courses, I'm your girl, so Online Marketing Made Easy

Michael: All the things we did not talk about. And I'd like to say this before I ask the last question cuz this matters to me. I've learned so much from Amy and I give this, if I had a stamp of approval, it would get it the value and the content that she creates if you are entrepreneur, if you have a site hustle, if you're just thinking like, maybe I want to pursue it and I don't even know, go and listen to her show because you will learn more from her than you will from pretty much most people.

Amy: Thank you, that means a lot.

Michael: For sure, it's a pleasure. My last question for you, my friend, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Amy: What does it mean to be unbroken? All that comes to mind is self-love. When I love myself, when I accept myself, and all the craziness that I just mentioned, of all the things that go in my head, if I love myself, I think that I will be unbroken.

Michael: Beautifully said my friend. Thank you so much for being here. Unbroken Nation. Thank you so much for listening.

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My friends, Unbroken.

I'll see ya.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken

Coach

Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.

Amy PorterfieldProfile Photo

Amy Porterfield

CEO And Podcast Host

Amy Porterfield is an ex-corporate girl turned online marketing expert and CEO of a multi-million dollar business, where she’s helped hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs turn in their two weeks notice and trade burnout for freedom, income, and impact. Drawing from her corporate knowledge while working with mega-brands like Harley-Davidson and Peak Performance Coach Tony Robbins, and now through her business, her top-ranked marketing podcast, and her forthcoming book Two Weeks Notice: Create a Successful Online Business to Make More Money, Work Where You Want And Change the World (Hay House, February 2023), Amy’s action-by-action teaching style provides aspiring business owners with the tools they need to bypass the overwhelm and build a business they love. Amy’s work has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, CNBC, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and more. In 2020 and 2021, her company was awarded the Inc. 5000 Award as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S. Learn more at AmyPorterfield.com.