“Reimagine “success””, With Douglas Brown and Amy Edge

Reimagine “success.” Your version of success does not need to be copied and pasted from what your industry identifies as success. It is not always measured in profits, revenue, or percentages. The real measurement of success is the impact you create through your business. As part of my series called “Five Things I Wish Someone […]

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Reimagine “success.” Your version of success does not need to be copied and pasted from what your industry identifies as success. It is not always measured in profits, revenue, or percentages. The real measurement of success is the impact you create through your business.

As part of my series called “Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started My Consulting Business,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Amy Edge, a former childhood educator turned impact-driven entrepreneur. She is an operations director and project management expert for visionaries and change-makers in the online space. She is also the founder of The Rising Sisterhood Collective, a platform to celebrate, empower, and lift up women as they navigate toward changing their narratives and stepping into their greatness.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

The term “accidental entrepreneur” sums up how I jump-started my career in the entrepreneurial space. About eight years ago, our family was in financial despair and barely scraping by each week. We were also expecting our fourth child at the time. Then the worst happened — my husband was laid off from his corporate job of over fifteen years, and as a result, we lost our first home because we could no longer afford it.

Yet even in the face of this hardship, we were too proud to tell the world we needed help. We were too proud because, on the outside, we had it all together. But when David lost his job, we knew that my measly preschool director salary wouldn’t come close to paying our expenses. We quickly found ourselves loading all our possessions into a moving truck, short-selling our home, and moving to a desolate neighborhood hours away.

There we were, in a new city, in a new house, far away from the people we loved. I found myself wondering — what do I do next? Where can I go from here? David was working two new jobs, putting in eighteen hours a day, and I was embracing — or trying to embrace — my new role as a stay-at-home-mom, which is arguably one of the toughest jobs in the world. It was a time of nervousness and worry. So, I leaned on my grittiness.

I researched how to utilize my natural skills and found an online business I could seamlessly build with zero dollars and massive determination. I worked from my kitchen table, in the early mornings and late into the night, in between keeping everything together with the house and the kids. And slowly but surely, Amy Edge & Co. emerged. It was built around the idea that visionary leaders absolutely needed visionary support though operational and project management, and that I could be their guide to creating the impact they craved.

Within six months of starting my business, I was able to double my former salary and build my new career full-time while also being an active parent and wife. Today, my husband has been retired from his corporate job for over five years, our team has grown, and our clients are scaling empires.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?

A few years ago, I became a partner with our local middle and high schools through our city’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, creating internships for ten high schoolers and providing workshops for our middle schoolers. This mentorship has been one of the most exciting and rewarding areas of my business, but the most interesting aspect is that my daughter, now sixteen, wrote an essay about our entrepreneurship journey that propelled her into the exclusive STEM and Entrepreneurship Program at a local high school. Speaking with the director of the program, and hearing her gush about the essay my daughter wrote about our business, is a moment I will always remember.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There isn’t one particular person who propelled my success forward — rather, it was an experience. In 2016, I attended Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Academy. This three-day event revolutionized my life, my relationships, my family, and my business. After the event, I began to dig deep and determine how I could build a “charged” life and business and live more purposefully.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Recently, I have been diving into how I can grow as a person and push myself to the limit — to embrace being uncomfortable and taking chances. In my experience, it’s only when you are determined to push past those fears that growth and success happens. For too long, I walked quietly along the sidewalk, hoping to blend into the crowds; I sat in the back and told myself not to disturb the status quo. I feared greatness.

Then, I heard this quote from Brené Brown: “You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”

This statement had a powerful impact on me and finally gave me courage to walk against the traffic; to stop shouting into the abyss and instead use a megaphone to share my story. Rather than perpetually thinking I need to play catch-up, I can celebrate where I’m at now, enjoy the things that I’m doing well, and challenge myself while still following my passion and serving my visionary clients.

Okay, super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. We’d love to learn a bit about your company. What is the pain point that your company is helping to address?

Our company strategically partners with visionary leaders in the online space. Through this fractional strategic partnership, we create processes to increase profits, empower their teams, and scale their businesses with complete ease and less frustration.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Our company has a unique ability to dive deep with our clients, with the aim of perfecting their operations and their day-to-day business life. Visionaries often get stuck on how to actually make their ideas a reality, so we step in to support the Visionary and their team to execute those big, audacious ideas on behalf of the whole organization. Our support drives the entire company forward by ensuring that the whole team is “rowing in the same direction” and allowing our clients to remove themselves from the practice of day-to-day management, freeing them to focus on the vision of their businesses.

We stand out because we are 1000% dedicated to moving the needle forward and creating a massive impact within our clients’ audiences, through the value of always leading with service.

When you first started the business, what drove you, what was your primary motivation?

When I first started Amy Edge & Co., financial security was the driving factor to creating success. I wanted out of feeling “stuck” and unsure if there would be enough money for the next week’s grocery bill. I was fueled by the resolve that we could rise above our current situation, and I knew success was achievable through determined and aligned action.

What drives you now? Is it the same? Did it change? Can you explain what you mean?

My motivation now is more like a constant “nag.” It is a pulling and a calling on my heart that knows there are more women to impact and serve. It is a compelling urge to continue supporting like-minded visionary leaders as we build and create solutions for women to step into their own greatness and to rebuke failure.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

There are always new projects happening — each quarter is full of them. These new endeavors are like a shot of caffeine for me. I thrive on taking my visionary counterparts’ audacious ideas and breaking them down into actionable plans that allow us to bring them to life.

Some of the client projects that we are currently working on are a leadership program for teenagers and youth, virtual experiences for women-entrepreneurs, and crafting a unique app for the coaching space.

Does your company have a sales team? If yes, do you have any advice about how companies can create very high-performing sales teams?

We do not have a sales team.

In your specific industry, what methods have you found to be most effective in order to find and attract the right customers? Can you share any stories or examples?

The most effective strategy for the business I work in is repel marketing. Oftentimes, we cast too wide of a net to attract an audience, but when we do this, the result is that you may connect with no one. Repel marketing allows you to find the right people who will actually convert into clients. When you can pinpoint that ideal customer or client, you’re stepping into a new level of scaling possibilities in your business and your profits.

Based on your experience, can you share a few strategies to give your customers the best possible user experience and customer service?

It’s really simple, in my opinion, but truly investing in your customers’ success is one of the best ways to support your students and clients. In our digital world, it’s even more important to go the extra mile or provide that special touch. When you can come to the table with a commitment to service, they feel supported and valued. For instance, when one of our clients’ students experienced a devastating loss in her family, we kept her in our prayers, we sent flowers and food, but even more importantly, we checked in on her. We asked her, “How are you doing?” — and not just the day later. Even after the dust settled, we reached out and showed that we genuinely cared about her.

It’s these small tokens of service that show your clients and students that they are more than just a line item on the budget report. They matter. Their mission matters, and we want their mission to be successful.

Thank you for all that. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started My Consulting Business”? Please share a story or an example for each.

1. Cast a vision full of purpose, because clarity is paramount to success. My visionary clients often come to me with a massive idea that seems like the best next step, and they want to transition all of their energy there; however, this new project doesn’t always fit into their long-term goals or even their revenue needs. So, we must reflect back and always put our projects through the filter of “Will this support my goals over the next three to five years?” If not, then we scrap the project for now.

2. Scale your business through “grittiness.” Grit is passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals. It is the ability to pursue the things you feel passionate about and persevere when you face obstacles. There are always roadblocks, but how we overcome them is where the difference lies.

3. Reimagine “success.” Your version of success does not need to be copied and pasted from what your industry identifies as success. It is not always measured in profits, revenue, or percentages. The real measurement of success is the impact you create through your business.

4. Don’t glorify hustle. The business world tends to view hustle as a badge of honor, but getting stuck in the hustle is not going to fast-track you to success. Instead, structure your business strategically, so you are only focused on the revenue-producers and impact-changers in your business.

5. Build a team of experts, and delegate to them. Allow those experts to create processes and operations that can be duplicated and replicated without you needing to “touch” or move projects forward, so that you can focus on the big picture.

And here is a bonus tip (always the over-achiever!): Go with your gut. Listen to it. Your gut will always lead you in the right direction.

Wonderful. We are nearly done. Here are the final “meaty” questions of our discussion. You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I have begun working on a passion project and will be releasing a new book soon — The Rising Sisterhood. The book and community reinforces the idea that nothing is more powerful than a woman who courageously believes in herself and her ability to fiercely impact the world — except for a whole tribe of like-minded sisters. Through this passion project, we have been able to build a platform for women who may not have had a place to share their testimonies and impact other women with their narratives.

We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the U.S., with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

My teenage daughter introduced me to musicals a year or so ago, with the first musical being Hamilton. We listened to the soundtrack on Spotify during many road trips to softball games, and we’ve also seen a version in our local theater. Since then, it’s become the anthem behind writing my latest book, so I’d love to meet Lin-Manuel Miranda one day. Plus, if he came to dinner, I would literally be in “The Room Where it Happens.”

Thank you so much for this. This was very inspirational, and we wish you only continued success!

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