Join me as I talk to Deirdre Amies, Intuitive Business & Money Coach – our very first International Guest!

She talks to me about starting a business while still working in corporate and being Mum to two boys, the inevitable burnout that came with that, and how she makes sure she doesn’t reach the same point with her own business.

We also cover CrossFit, spinal surgeries, learning to walk again, and how to find the fun in everything, even your business!

If you want to find out more about Deirdre, you can find her here:

FB page: www.facebook.com/deirdreamiescoaching

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/deirdreamies

FB profile: www.facebook.com/deirdreamies

Deirdre also hangs out in our FREE Facebook group, full of likeminded business owners who want to focus on sorting all the health-related shit that’s holding them & their business back.

Come join us!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/thefoodninjadojo

Transcript
Hayley:

Hi, and welcome to the Fit For Business podcast with me, Hayley Field, also known as the Food Ninja. I'm here to chat with business owners about their health and how it impacts their business and vice versa. And to share with you all the latest tools, tips and strategies that are working for myself and my clients. Hope you enjoy the episode.

Hayley:

Welcome to the next episode of the Fit For Business podcast with me Hayley Food Ninja, and today we have our first international guest! I'm very excited... All the way from Australia. We have Deirdre, is it Amies, am I getting that right?

Deirdre Amies:

Amies, as in more than one, Amy!

Hayley:

Amies? Oh, that's such a good way of remembering it! So welcome, Deirdre, and thanks for being my first international guest.

Deirdre Amies:

Well, that is super exciting. I am so, so happy to be the first from the other side of the world. I was actually just thinking today 'Oh, it's a bit cold', and then I thought 'No, I'm talking to Hayley today. She would totally rubbish me saying it's a bit cold'. So no, It's not cold.

Hayley:

Yeah, I guess you probably can't do that cold water exposure stuff in Australia can you? There's nothing cold...

Deirdre Amies:

Well no, the pool's still pretty cold... So, yeah, I think you're gonna be my inspiration for some cold water therapy through the winter.

Hayley:

Amazing. Oh, I'm gonna keep an eye on you for that, how well you're getting on... So could you tell everyone a little bit about who you are, what you do, and your kind of journey to self employment?

Dierdre Amies:

My first disclaimer is that I live in Australia, but I'm actually a kiwi, so if anyone is picking up on that little twang in my accent that's why, I've got a hybrid thing going on. So I am an intuitive business and money coach, which is a bit of a slightly fluffy way of saying I help people sort their stuff out. But it's also, I do what it says on the box, helping with your business and your money.

Dierdre Amies:

So I'm helping creative online entrepreneurs from around the world to sort and simplify their stuff, so that they are actually making life changing and income changing shifts, they're no longer discounting for silly reasons. And so they're more profitable, and they're no longer over delivering either, which is massive. I know that you're big on this whole burnout 'don't do it' thing, and I am too, so high five on that. My background is, I came from corporate, I sort of fell into that I grew up in an entrepreneurial family and shied away from it, because I saw them all burning out!

Hayley:

Oh wow! Enough to put you off doing it yourself?

Deirdre Amies:

Yeah, growing up in a tourist town, and everybody was working seven days a week for 9/10 months of the year. You only ever took a holiday in the winter. And I was like, but I want to go to the beach and I want to play in the sun and have fun and actually enjoy summer. I don't want to be serving people.

Hayley:

That's so interesting, because I don't know if you know, but I lived in Ibiza for five years. And everyone was like, oh my god, I bet that's amazing. I bet you're at the beach all the time. And I was like actually no it wasn't. First of all, it's so fucking expensive to live there that you had to work all the time to be able to afford it. Second of all, you know, even though I was working online, all of my friends had businesses so they worked all summer so I had no one to go to the beach with anyway if I'd had time. And then thirdly, a lot of them were so sick of the island by the winter they'd all leave and go off to India for three months or something so I'd be sat there on my own, so people I don't think people realise that you know, when you live in a kind of, and I still live in a tourist town now, really, I live in Bournemouth by the sea, but I think people don't realise that it looks lovely, but it doesn't mean you're on holiday all the time.

Deirdre Amies:

No! Well, people think that everyone in Australia goes to the beach for Christmas. No! I couldn't think of anything worse, to be honest. But yeah, so, I totally shied away from all of that because I was just like I just don't want to do that and ended up being of service working in corporate admin. And just sort of progressed through the ranks and I was an executive assistant in various forms for basically 25 years. Looking after other people, making sure they had a great experience at work, organising their day... At the end of it, I was just burnt out, stressed, unhappy, wondering 'when the hell is it going to be my turn to feel like I'm getting ahead and actually contributing something amazing'?

Hayley:

Wow. So what was the kind of turning point or the kind of jump off point, if you like where you just thought, 'I'm sick of this shit?' What could I do that would be less stressful? I know that's what I thought 'what can I do that would be less stressful than corporate? My own business?'

Dierdre Amies:Yeah, yeah, so:Dierdre Amies:and thought, a two and a half:Hayley:

That's awesome! And I think it is very often that when we sort of get backed into that corner, or have those experiences, I think that's what makes you a successful business owner, because you're just like, I know what the alternative is. I'm not going back there, and this has to be a success. And you know, I know, I certainly felt like that, and I've got clients who felt like that as well, so, do you think that having that background of having been in corporate and done a lot of things that you didn't necessarily enjoy, do you think that gives you this kind of drive to be successful?

Deirdre Amies:

Yeah, I know exactly what I don't want to do. And it's actually surprising, most people don't know what they want. 'I don't know', so they stay in the comfort zone. I didn't know what I wanted, either, and I knew, I was very clear on what I did not want and it was to be getting pushed around and paid rubbish, just all that corporate bullshit to deal with. So I was like, yeah, I'm just, I'm not doing this ever again, if it came to the crunch, and I've talked about this with my husband, if it came to the crunch, I would just go work in the supermarket, or I'll go and do a baristas course or something. And I'll make coffee.

Hayley:

Yeah, something that you can just leave there when you leave. Right? Because that never happens in corporate does it, even though you have working hours, it always sort of follows you home, doesn't it?

Dierdre Amies:

It really does. Yeah, I had to set a boundary with most of the bosses that I had over the years that just because I have a mobile phone does not mean I'm going to answer it at 10 o'clock at night. You have to say that. Yeah. Especially when they're overseas and on a different timezone. And I'm like, no! I can't even hear my phone ring. It's on silent in the kitchen.

Hayley:

Yeah, so obviously, you started your business. And I assume, obviously, since then you've had zero problems, right? And nothing's, you know, you've had no problems with your health or anything like that.

Dierdre Amies:

No, no, it's been great. So great, that I gotta say the hardest thing was actually juggling the full time corporate while I was in the early stages of my business, because there was all of this pressure from all sides. Plus, I've got a beautiful husband and two boys who are now 18 and 21. But at the time, they were a bit younger, still needing to be driven around, so there was a whole lot of family stuff as well. And that was probably the peak of my burnout in that phase. So, one tip that I'm just gonna fling out there right now for anyone who's just getting started in business. Hang in there. Because it's a horrible phase when you're juggling everything, but if you push on through in the right ways, you will be able to break free of it.

Hayley:

It's difficult, isn't it? Because we're obviously, you know, talking about how you don't get burned out, you can design your business how you want and, you can design your life how you want so that you can have a successful business and not suffer these issues. But with business, there is always going to be that period isn't there, like you've described, where it's gonna feel really horrible, just because it's something you choose to do, and no one's telling you what to do.

Hayley:

There is still this period where it's going to be really fucking hard. And I think just making sure that you have that understanding, and that feeling that it's temporary, and there's a solution to it, and, not do that thing that a lot of my clients certainly do when they first come to me, I'm like, 'Okay, well, I think maybe we should plan in a bit of downtime in two days each week' 'Yeah, when I just finish this one project, then I'll do that'. And I'm like, yeah, do you know what? When you finish that one project, another one will come along, and then another one, and you'll be like, 'Yeah, I just, I just need to get this done, and then I'll do that'. But you don't, do you?

Dierdre Amies:

No! It's the whole 'I'll be happy when..' concept. And yeah, 'I'll get to that'. And you just keep de-prioritising your own health and wellness. And as I just said to my son the other day, you got to look after your body, because it's the only place you've got to live. This is it! So take care of it. And you've got to prioritise yourself, and so I've actually started calling self-care, 'soul care' instead, because it's good for my soul. And it helps me focus on not just me being self, it's when I look after myself, I can help so many more people, because I've got the energy and the focus, and my brain is firing on all cylinders.

Hayley:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And, like you said, you can perform well in your business, but it means more to people around you as well, doesn't it? When you're looking after yourself, you can be a better wife, partner, parent, friend, all that kind of stuff. So it's not just about 'self care, I need to go and have a bubble bath or anything'

Deirdre Amies:

I don't do bubble baths.

Hayley:

It's like I always say to people, if you think that you can fix three weeks of absolutely hustle and grind bullshit in your business by having a fucking bubble bath... it's not gonna happen. Because self care doesn't necessarily mean that, does it? It means being confident in having downtime, so that you can process your thoughts and emotions and express yourself appropriately to the people around you and just be less of a dick, generally, stuff like that.

Deirdre Amies:

God when I think back over the years, so, hubby and I have been married for 25 years, and when I think back on how many times I've been such a bitch, because I'm cranky, or I'm hungry or whatever, don't mess with my sleep. You'll see the worst side of me if I don't get enough sleep. So yeah, look after yourself.

Hayley:

Absolutely. Yeah. Obviously, you had that period where you're kind of doing everything working business, Mum, taxi, all that kind of stuff, and you mentioned there that you were sort of getting close to burnout, overwhelm that kind of stuff, how did you recognise that? And what did you do to change that situation?

Dierdre Amies:ing through the early part of:Deirdre Amies:

And she was like 'oh so sorry, I didn't realise' and I'm like 'hold that tongue...' So, yeah, it was a very, very interesting time. I know that meditation is brilliant, but when you're in the thick of it, when you have fully stressed, it's not possible. An important part of your brain just shuts down. You can't be creative when you're stressed and overworked, which is why I love working with creative people, because I can see that stress and stuff showing up in you and here's how you can minimise it. So yeah, just meditation. I was trying to exercise. But again, just too much going on. And actually, the job had to go.

Hayley:

Yeah. Which is a great way of getting rid of stress, isn't it?

Deirdre Amies:

Although it didn't just vanish overnight, it took probably only four months to really start to feel like myself again.

Hayley:

That's good!

Deirdre Amies:

Yeah, I was quite impressed with that.

Hayley:

And I think it's important, maybe for people to realise the difference between stress and what you're describing, because I always talk to my clients about how to reframe stress, because stress is always seen as kind of like the 'bad guy', when actually, it's just a natural physiological response. And it is super useful to us. Not when we're heading towards burnout, but, when I get a client who says to me, 'I'm stressed', I'm like, well, great, that means that something that you care about needs your attention. That's what stress is, it's like, 'hey, I really care about this thing' and actually, the physiological responses of stress, like narrowing of focus, and better cognitive function until it becomes burnout is actually really useful to us because it's kind of a physiological point of view, we're actually using those stress superpowers to find a solution to whatever's going on. So in that respect, stress is great.

Hayley:

But what you're talking about is an underlying chronic stress about things that you actually didn't have any control over. And I think when you've got a job, and you've probably got very little control over that, that's when I think it starts to become burnout, doesn't it? And that being in a situation you don't want to be in, not necessarily caring about that job anymore or anything, and losing that kind of sense of self and sense of purpose, isn't it 'oh great, my sense of purpose is to come to this job every day that I don't really like and it's causing stress'. I mean, that's the difference between stress and burnout, isn't it?

Dierdre Amies:

Yeah, look, I couldn't give a fuck about that job, by the way. Sorry, if any of my former co workers ever listen to this. Love you. But I didn't love the job at the end. And I think everybody knew that because I was burnt out. And there was just no coming back from it, within that environment. So, yeah, just, it's not a good place to be, I don't want to see anyone ever get to that point. So whatever we can do to help people manage that stress in an effective, healthy way. That's a good thing.

Hayley:

Absolutely. It's all about the coping mechanisms you use, isn't it? And do you know, I've even had a couple of clients not so much now, because I think people have more awareness of it, who actually thought, (someone actually said this), that having coping mechanisms is for weak people. And I said "everyone needs a coping mechanism, because you can't avoid stress, you have to cope with it somehow". And there are actually really healthy ways to cope with stress so that it doesn't become burnout. So I found that really interesting.

Hayley:

I think it's part of this, what you were talking about in your video that I watched the other day that I'm very passionate about is this kind of hustle and grind. That's why I've basically got this podcast because I want to get the message out there that you don't have to be that kind of business owner to be successful. But I just thought it's very interesting that this client was very much into all of that. And they were like, well coping mechanisms are just weak people.

Deirdre Amies:ty, like 'hello, we're not in:Hayley:

It's not 80's Wall Street is it?

Deirdre Amies:

Exactly! We're not having to snort ecstasy or whatever drugs it is that people do to be able to continue to perform it's go and sit quietly under a tree for 15 minutes. I will feel better.

Hayley:

Oh, I feel like that's just good life advice for any situation... 'Just go sit quietly under a tree for 15 minutes'.

Deirdre Amies:

Timeout. Put you in the naughty corner.

Hayley:

Definitely. So obviously when you got rid of the job and sort of repaired yourself, or the sort of damage done by that, how did you then move forward with having your coaching business but also making sure that you didn't end up in the same situation as you did when you had a job? Because obviously, when you run a business, it's all very new and exciting first of all, and we all work too much, and all that kind of stuff. And I always think, you start off your business doing the thing that you love, like the same as me, like the coaching and stuff. And then you're like, oh, but now I have to do fucking videos where people are going to see me and I've got to do accounts, and it all becomes a bit hard again, doesn't it? So how did you, or how do you now make sure that you don't go back down that road of getting a bit overwhelmed and burnt out?

Deirdre Amies:

I break things down. Because, my whole thing is, well, two things: fun and simplicity. Don't overcomplicate shit. Nothing has to be hard. Nothing about life or business has to be hard, keep it simple. Break it down into small pieces. So, I'm a person that will leave doing my tax return til the very last, like, I'm sitting there with a pile of receipts, adding things up with zero clue how much money I've actually spent in my business over the past 12 months. Because I don't want to look, it's too awkward and it's going to be bad news. It's never bad news. But, that's the story that I would tell myself. So, I just got so pissed off with it one year that I'm like, right every month, and then I changed it to every week, I'm going to look at what's come in and enter it into the spreadsheet and just keep on top of things. So by breaking it down, I was actually able to send my stuff to the accountant, like four months earlier than I normally would.

Hayley:

Wow, did they drop dead with shock?

Deirdre Amies:

Yeah, she was shocked. Like, she's like 'what's going on?' I'm like, just getting myself organised here, just getting my shit together. Being a proper grown up business owner. Yeah, that's one of my biggest tips for anyone is keep it simple. Don't add 'doodads' and 'bits and bobs' just because they look pretty or they sound good. You don't necessarily need a team.

Deirdre Amies:

Just do what you can handle, make sure that you're breaking it down. And I even break my whole week down into blocks of time. So client calls are there, and then self care, soul care, lunch break, I even have in my Google Calendar, I've got lunch, go out and play.

Hayley:

Nice, I like that!

Deirdre Amies:

Yeah, just to get out of sitting here, because this would have been the corporate situation where you sit at your desk and you eat your lunch. Don't do that, change your environment, move, go outside in the sun, we generally have plenty of that here, but...

Hayley:

Alright, don't rub it in.

Deirdre Amies:

Yeah, just break. Like I say, break things down, move yourself around, change your environment, whatever it takes to keep things fresh, because otherwise, you're just going to be hustling and grinding and literally grinding yourself down into a pile of dust.

Hayley:

Exactly. That's such a good way of putting it. And, I said to you earlier that I watched a video that you did the other day, and I really liked just what you're describing there, you've designed your day in a way that works for you. And it sounds really obvious, but with probably all of the people I work with for a company and they're going like 'oh god, I've got to do this and I'm doing this, I don't really feel like it', people set up businesses because they don't want to conform to the norm if you like, and then you find out that they've set up their business and they're conforming to what they think they should do as a business, so that fucking morning routine, like we're talking Miracle Morning, I'm a business owner, I've got to like get up at 5.30 and then have a cold shower and then do three pages of journaling and blah, blah, blah, and then I've got a launch, I've got to work a 14 hour day and what I loved about your video is you said 'find the fun in your business'. And I say that to people all the time.

Hayley:

It's your business, run your business, don't let it run you and do it in a way that you love. It's your fucking business, you can do whatever you like, the amount of times I've had to say to people do whatever you like, I don't understand why you're just thinking that you have to do all of these things and essentially give yourself a job in your business, so I really loved that about that video, and it sounds like that's what you've done.

Deirdre Amies:

Oh, absolutely. Yeah. I'm always saying to people 'permission granted', whatever it is. You don't need anyone's permission, but if you feel like you do here it is 'permission granted' for whatever it is. So it's a lesson that I had to learn as well. So I actually had to give myself permission to only work with clients face to face (zoom). I don't do anything in person anymore. Only in the mornings. I'm not getting on a call at 6am Just no. I don't have to do that. But I get that that works for UK clients because otherwise it's getting a bit late in the evening, but I can't do it anymore. So sorry, UK peeps.

Deirdre Amies:

Yeah, give yourself permission. I've blocked off a lunch break. As a reminder to myself, soul care happens in the afternoon. And I learned that by trial and error, because I was trying to push through with a project I'd set myself a deadline, I was in the zone, and then I just suddenly realised my brain is no longer functioning in the afternoons. It's that traditional 3pm slump that people get, which I mainly attribute to the crappy food that people eat, but it still happens to me. And it's more of a mental energy, it's not physical, I'm just tapped out by one o'clock. So usually between one and two, I'll go and do meditation, or take a nap.

Hayley:

Yeah, I'm a fan of naps. That's really interesting, because I get clients to do a little exercise, because this is all to do with your ultradian rhythm, the same way as you sleeping in cycles, you have those cycles when you're awake, and it's called your basic rest activity cycle. So quite often, I'll get clients to do this exercise, and we track every hour, how are you feeling? Alertness, do you feel alert? Or do you feel sleepy, all of that kind of stuff. And then we'll get them to sort their tasks that they need to do in their business into high energy and low energy. And I just said, well match the tasks to how you feel, you're allowed to do that.

Hayley:

And it's quite interesting with creative people that you work with, a lot of them do their creative tasks, when they're starting to feel a little bit more tired, because that's when your subconscious brain will take over, and you get all these amazing ideas about stuff. That's why we're always getting really amazing ideas in the shower and stuff because you've kind of switched off haven't you?

Deirdre Amies:

I'm the same with meditation, I quite often sit down, I'll put my headphones on, I put an eye mask on just to really try and block everything out, and then the downloads come and I'm like, god dammit. And where's my notepad quick or grab my phone and record a note in otter or something just so that I can capture it, so fun times. Where were you when I was trying to figure that shit out myself? I mean, obviously, I figured it out. But it did take a long time. I could have done with you, like, yeah, that makes perfect sense.

Hayley:

At least you did figure it out, you would be amazed at the amount of clients I have who've been in business for, like maybe 10/15 years and have not figured out that they're allowed to structure it however they want.

Deirdre Amies:

I know it's crazy!

Hayley:

Yeah, it is, or, because we both work in the online space, obviously, and that is so prevalent, isn't it? You've got to have a morning routine, I think we made a joke earlier before we started recording about cold water stuff like going in the sea, but at the moment that's very fashionable, isn't it like online business owners, morning routine cold water therapy, and again, conforming to what they think they should be doing rather than what actually works for them.

Deirdre Amies:

Yeah, just work it out. Obviously take the information from everybody, but do what feels right, what feels fun, and good for you and gets the results. Don't just push on and do something because it's trendy. It's miserable. Don't do it.

Hayley:

I say that to people about their diets and stuff all the time. Don't eat things because you think they're healthy and you absolutely hate them. I mean, how long are you going to do that for not? Not very long, probably. It's just that we all still want little rules about what to do, even though we don't really like rules, apparently, and that we don't like the things that we're doing. We just carry on doing them.

Deirdre Amies:

Oh, well, I can't eat that. I can't do that. Of course you can.

Hayley:

Yeah, why not? And talking about doing things in your own way. I know that we've talked a little bit or, on your form you put a little bit about exercise and stuff. And you talked about doing things, something that I love CrossFit and stuff and discovering that that kind of stuff doesn't really work for you, and that's due to some kind of health stuff that you had to go on earlier in your life, isn't it? Do you want to talk a little bit about that and how you've managed to work round that or with that to actually be a really healthy version of yourself.

Deirdre Amies:

Yes. So as a kid, I was very active. I was just thinking about this the other day. I've not intentionally, there was no 'oh, I've got to do this'. I was swimming every single day, I was riding my bike and just having a blast, I would go to the local swimming pool and smash out a kilometre. Just for fun.

Deirdre Amies:

It was a bit of a shock in my early 20s. Obviously, I'd discovered alcohol by then, and exercise had sort of fallen by the wayside unless you call stumbling home from the pub exercise, and we had been married maybe 18 months, we got married very young. And I was like, 'why are my legs not working particularly well', something's wrong with my knee. And then there was just weird things going on, and I just kept putting it off and putting it off. And eventually people around me were saying, you've lost a lot of weight and you actually don't look healthy, can you please go and see your doctor and I'm like fine then and, and she ran some tests, and she told me afterwards that she thought I had multiple sclerosis.

Deirdre Amies:

The good news is it wasn't but she referred me to a neurologist who also thought I had multiple sclerosis. It turned out after an MRI that I had a benign tumour. They didn't know it was benign at the time, but I had a tumour growing inside my spinal column, crushing my spinal cord. So, it was not inside the cord, I think that's quite an important distinction to make. It was just crowding it out, and if we hadn't found it, it would have actually just severed my spinal cord eventually. That was a bit of fun. There's 24 year old me going 'what the hell', I'm just getting started in life, and I've got to deal with... I don't even know what this is. I had surgery. Thankfully, they discovered that it was benign, they just whipped it on out of there. Did a lot of physical therapy. But I still have a numb patch down the side of my body because they had to cut nerves. That affects my balance. A lot of things that I used to do are just a whole other level of hard. It's a bit like pushing through mud sometimes.

Deirdre Amies:

So I adapted to that, and then when I was 28 after having had a baby, I'm like, oh, something's not right here. Oh my god dammit. And I had sworn after the first one, I'm never going through that again. I think I jinxed it, because what do you know, it was back again when I was 28. And so I had another surgery, I had to learn to walk again. Post-op second time I was better, 'better' in air quotes. It took a few more years before I decided 'I am sick of just trundling through life', I was just sort of sticking in the status quo, walking around, I could run but I hadn't really given it a good crack. And I think I was mid 30s when I went, 'I don't want to feel like this anymore. There's so much more that I'm capable of'. And I really wanted to push the boundaries. And so I joined a boot camp that some friends were running, and that was amazing. Then he bloody went off and joined the army commandos. How dare he?

Hayley:

That is very selfish and inconvenient.

Deirdre Amies:

So rude! But I'm also very grateful to him because he introduced me to CrossFit. And so I did go off and join a regular gym with a personal trainer for a while because I don't like having to come up with my own workouts. Let's just put that out there. I just want to rock up and have someone say, here's what you're doing today. And I'll go 'fuck. Alright then' Let's get on with it.

Deirdre Amies:

So yeah, I eventually dived into CrossFit proper, and oh my god, I loved it. And I was just so determined to be at my fittest and healthiest and most awesome by the time I turned 40. Definitely achieved that, but around the same time I also stacked it in the office one day wearing astronomically high heels and ended up needing a ligament reconstruction. That actually put the kibosh on doing CrossFit but what that whole phase taught me was that regardless of what limitations you may think you have, you're capable of so much more. It really is your mindset, whether it's food because I was being hyper disciplined with food. I was doing CrossFit six days a week and just loving it, lifting heavy weights and running long distances. As a fellow crossfitter, I'm sure you're familiar with the workout called mirth? Yeah, I did that.

Hayley:

Yes, it's amazing. I've done it a few times, using different ways to break it up and stuff. Yeah, I know people make fun of CrossFit and say, 'you all drink the CrossFit Kool Aid', and it's like a cult and stuff, but I think it's quite difficult to describe, I think it's a feeling of going through something that at the time feels very traumatic with a group of people, isn't it, and it's very bonding, and for me, and maybe for you as well, as a woman, to be able to go and just chuck heavy shit around, and people go 'wow, that's amazing'. That made me feel strong in a different way than just feeling physically strong.

Deirdre Amies:

Yeah, like I loved going in the office, people will be like, 'Oh, don't lift that I'll get one of the boys to lift that box'. And I'm like, 'I got this'. So that was a whole lot of fun. Just I found it really powerful. And I really enjoyed the community aspect of it, everybody's going through the same torture together, and we had an absolute blast. It was finding the fun in fitness and being healthy, and so it may look like a cult from the outside, but it's a hell of a good time.

Hayley:

it is. And I think that is really inspiring to hear you talk about going and doing something that people assume is fairly extreme after going through that experience, and that really resonates with me, because I had a spinal fusion surgery, so I broke my back and I returned to CrossFit afterwards, but I think the thing that people don't realise, and I assume, because you were younger than I was when it happened to me, but I had been at the fittest that I'd ever been in my life, and it wasn't the physical thing, it was the mental thing.

Hayley:

Because obviously, having surgery on your back, your back is just... it's not like breaking an ankle is it, it's really very invasive, really scary. And I think for me, because when I had my surgery, I think I was 39, I had that feeling of when you start to get to 40, and then I've had something done which makes you feel very debilitated, and you've gone from suddenly being able to lift loads of heavy shit and run around to like, 'oh my god, I'm over the fucking Hill. I'm 40. I've had my back bolted back together, I'm never going to be able to do anything again' blah, blah, blah. And being able to go from that to going back to CrossFit and boxing and stuff like that. I know how hard that was for me, so I can't imagine going through that process once and then finding out you've got to have another surgery and then almost going through the whole thing again, it must have been so difficult.

Deirdre Amies:

It was devastating. But, so the first time I was given the diagnosis, I was on my own, hubby hadn't been able to get away from work. And so I just said, well, we're not doing that again. So the second time, we knew that I wanted him to be there when I got the news. And I remember, it was obviously what we expected. Yes, it's back again, we need to go through surgery again.

Deirdre Amies:

We got in the car, and I cried for five minutes. And then I just somehow snapped out of it. And I'm like, alright, what can I control here? I can control my mindset. Pull things together. And it was a couple of weeks before I was able to have that surgery. And so I was still at work, and the number of people who would come up to me. And they go 'I'm really sorry, I've just heard your news, how you feeling?' and, what I really wanted to say was, 'I'm actually not okay, but I'm gonna smile and just carry on because what fuck else am I going to do?' Like, seriously? 'Thanks very much. I'm feeling great about this, really looking forward to it'. So yeah, it was a huge mental game for me. Not a fun game at the time.

Deirdre Amies:

But honestly, if you can make a game out of any of the challenges that you come up against, how can I overcome this first piece? Okay, cool. Got that. One of the hardest things for me to deal with was, I was given a 20% chance of being able to walk after that second surgery. And ever since then, it's been my mission to challenge things, and don't tell me the odds of you being able to do something because that's just like 'game on!' Don't tell me I can't work full time and be a mum to teenage boys and run an online business because it's all too much. Watch me.

Hayley:

I think a lot of the time, that is a great thing, isn't it? I had something similar where like my surgeon said to me, you'll never do CrossFit again, you'll never squat, you'll never run, you just have to walk and do swimming. And I was like, 'Oh really?' CrossFit six weeks later.

Hayley:

You don't know me!

Hayley:

Exactly! But I think that's mostly a really positive trait to have, isn't it, but I think a lot of the time having that trait and that type of personality can also exacerbate, when being put in an environment like an online business and a personal development environment and stuff like that. It can sometimes be a little bit of a burden, can't it?

Deirdre Amies:

It sure can and I'm constantly having to check myself I'm like, okay, is this actually the thing that I need to be spending my time and energy on? There's three main things: Is it serving my clients? Is it fun? Do I actually enjoy this? And does it make me any money? Because if I'm just faffing about making graphics on Canva for an afternoon, that's all great. It's fun, but, come on.

Hayley:

It's having that little bit of a reality check every so often. Yeah,

Deirdre Amies:

Just a quick assessment.

Hayley:

So, are you now happy with how you've set your business up? And are you happy that you can do everything that you need to do health wise around your business? And do you feel that your business now has a positive effect on your health? Or maybe your health has a positive effect on your business?

Deirdre Amies:I don't, I gave up alcohol in:Deirdre Amies:

And then exercise definitely helps the creativity as well. Because just over a year ago, I kicked myself in the butt and decided to do yoga every single day, because I was going down that road of sitting all day, every day because I'm like, oh, gotta be working on the business. Yeah, I caught myself. I'm like, no, no, no, you can't be doing this. I was developing a pain in my left hip ' God am I going to need a hip replacement or something? No, we're not going there. So yoga has definitely been a huge plus for me. And that forces me to make sure I'm doing all the business stuff within this timeframe, because at 4pm every day, that's yoga time. And I've got to be done by then. So it really does help structure the day, both business and exercise.

Hayley:

And do you think that, now that you're doing all these sort of health behaviours, that's obviously having that positive effect on your business in terms of more creativity, more energy? I think people don't realise if you're healthy, it can make your profits healthy as well. There is this direct sort of correlation, isn't there?

Deirdre Amies:

Absolutely. Yeah. When you're feeling good, like I'm a little bit practical, and I'm a little bit 'Woo'. So when you're feeling good, you're putting out the good vibes, you are naturally going to attract the people and the resources and the money that you want. Yeah, it's all going to be amazing. So keep yourself in top shape.

Hayley:

And on that note, for my final question, what is your best top tip for someone who is either just starting a business or thinking about starting a business for them to not go down this sort of hustle and grind route where we know that in a few years time, that's gonna all end badly? How, what's the best way of trying to build your business but also stay healthy and achieve balance as well?

Deirdre Amies:

I'm going to take it all the way back to those spine surgeries. If I had been listening to my body and I mean, listening to the little whispers, I love just reminding people that the universe doesn't scream, it doesn't shout, it whispers at you. So it'll be giving you these little nudges of intuition that you need to pay attention to something, pay attention to those things so that you're in tune with your body.

Deirdre Amies:

If I had listened better back then, it wouldn't have got as bad as it did. And that's how I knew that it was back again, long before mega symptoms that I had the first time showed up. And that's why when I went back to my doctor, I just said, I think it's back and she went, 'Oh, okay. Yeah, I think it is too'. That has been really instrumental in helping me to know when something is slightly out of alignment. So things are going out of balance in the workplace. How can I balance that back with looking after myself better, so that I'm not letting the hustle takeover? And of course, like I've already said, keep it simple.

Hayley:

Yes.

Deirdre Amies:

For the love of God! Don't overcomplicate shit and make sure you're having fun. Do not just be in your work, because, I can get fully absorbed in a project. And we were talking about editing videos and stuff before, I once spent 10 hours editing videos, because I'd set myself a deadline. I'd recorded them all the day before and I'm like 'oh it's only going to take a couple of hours'. No, it took 10 hours to edit and I was just in the zone, fully overcomplicating it, it was not fun. I'm like, 'Oh, this will be easy, this is a lark'. No, it's not fun.

Deirdre Amies:

Make sure you're building fun into every single day. Don't keep putting it off. With this, 'I'll be happy when, I'll do that when', do something fun every single day that is purely for you. If you like ice cream, if you like sunbathing naked, whatever it is, I don't do either of those things, but just random thoughts that have just popped into my head, random examples.

Hayley:

That says a lot about you doesn't it, naked people and ice cream. That is awesome advice, I really like the advice about listening to your body because I feel people are so disassociated from the natural safety nets that our body gives us all the time. So if you think about, your body tells you 'I'm tired', and you're like, 'fuck this, I'm on another Netflix binge again'. Or, your body says, 'Hey, I'm hungry'. 'Oh, sorry, I'm too busy doing these emails', or 'hey, I'm full'. 'Oh, sorry, this food is delicious and I'm eating it while watching TV so I'm not really noticing what I'm eating'. We completely ignore all of these signals don't we, and disassociate almost from our bodies. And so I think that's a really important piece of advice to just listen and try and pick up these little clues that our bodies give us all the time.

Hayley:

Awesome. Thank you so much Dierdre, this has been a really fun episode, I didn't expect anything less from you really, but it was also packed full of really useful advice as well. It's been really interesting to get to know you a bit better and listen to your story.

Deirdre Amies:

Right back at you! So good to actually talk to you.

Hayley:

I know! Amazing. All right, I will be back next week with a solo episode. So until then, take care of yourself.

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