“We need to be more vocal about abuse of all kinds and let people know that whatever happened to them is not their fault”

With Fitness Trainer, Amanda Edell

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The shame around being abused needs to end. Many kids have been abused and carry these issues into their adult lives. This pain is often never healed. We need to be more vocal about abuse of all kinds and let people know that whatever happened to them is not their fault. Healing this childhood trauma will make for millions of stronger, healthier happier adults living in America.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Amanda Edell, a certified Online Personal Trainer, nutritionist and freelance writer in NYC.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

As a kid, I grew up in a toxic and abusive home. My father was in jail most of my life and my mother was an addict. I didn’t know what my future had in store for me. College was a far fetched dream and expectations of me were low. I didn’t have much hope and confidence in myself…that is until I discovered running.

My track and cross country coaches were the people in my life who set me down a completely different path and changed my life forever. Sports saved my life and my coaches and team became my family. It gave me the confidence I needed as a young kid and opened new doors of opportunity for me that never existed before.

I chose coaching as my profession because I wanted to help people the same way my coaches helped me back then. I want to inspire and empower people. I want to give them hope and help them see that despite the hardships we all have in front of us, we all have the power to make positive changes in our lives.

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

I was asked to speak at my high school on career day to juniors and seniors about three years ago. Life has a funny way of coming full circle because I remember being those exact kids and looking up to the “adults” coming in to speak to us! Now, 20 years later, here I was speaking to the younger generation, probably sitting in the same exact seats I sat in, talking about my life as an entrepreneur. My younger self would have never dreamed of that moment.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Thinking I didn’t have to market my business. Coming from a huge corporate gym setting, marketing was not something you had to worry about. But as a freelancer, your marketing is your survival. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had to educate myself on how to market or hire someone to do so because my business literally started to fail. Sure I was a trainer and a coach, and I knew my stuff when it came to that. But I knew nothing about marketing and how to run a business from the back end. As a result, I had to work for another trainer to pick up extra pay while I learned how to run a successful business of my own. Going into entrepreneurship, it’s important to realize that mastering your craft is just as important as having a successful foundation on which that craft can build off of. You can be the best trainer in America, but if your marketing sucks, no one will know you exist.

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

I’m the underdog. I’m the person who no one believed would make it and despite all the doubting, I still rose to the top. This is resilience. I teach my clients and everyone I work with how to be resilient.

Some days will be great, other days are going to suck. That’s life. My goal is to teach my clients how to gracefully deal with these inevitable highs and lows and grow from them.

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

I am! I’m working on a new project to help people tap into their mental wellbeing. You can say it’s a form of meditation of which I’m striving to educate people about. But it’s not meditating…

Here’s the reality- health is a huge spectrum and being aware of our thoughts and having the ability to slow down especially in this fast paced world we live in is crucial to staying healthy. Our mental health is just as important as our physical and I want to integrate more of that for my clients and for the world. Not everyone can sit down 2x a day for 20 minutes and meditate. Luckily, we have alternatives…

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

Always point out what your team is doing a good job of first before giving the constructive feedback. Let your team know you appreciate them. Actually say it and mean it. Encourage them to look at obstacles and failures as opportunities to learn and grow.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

Being competitive is healthy and can be an incentive for people but I think It’s important to also let your team know that there is room for all of us at the top.

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?

My high school cross country coach, Coach Cotter. Coach Cotter came up to me one day after school and asked me to try out for the cross country team the next day. Little did I know that single question would set me down a completely different path for the rest my life.

We recently got to catch up at a local Hofstra cross country meet last year. We spoke on a lot of different things including life, work and family. We joked and laughed just like old times. We were able to pick it back up like we didn’t miss a beat. More than a decade later.

But before we parted ways, I made sure to express my sincere gratitude to him for everything he did for me growing up. I told him how much he impacted my life and how much of a positive influence he was.

I mentioned I would not be the coach I am today without him. All because he gave me that one chance.

He believed in me.

I try to take everything I learned from him and apply it to my own coaching style today. I know from him and from my own experience that sometimes in life all we need is that little push and just one person to believe in us.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

By empowering people and letting them know despite the cards they were dealt in life, there is always room for change and growth. You just have to want it and not be controlled or paralyzed by fear.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Know and accept that you will fail. Adjusting your mindset to see failure as an opportunity is key.
  2. Take the necessary steps TODAY to prepare for your future success tomorrow.
  3. Don’t let fear rule you. We can either run the day, or the day runs us.
  4. Be open to learning and constantly improving your craft. Work with other people. Hire a coach. Network. Learn, learn, learn!
  5. Be OK with things not going according to plan. Learn how to be adaptable.

You are a person of great 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. 🙂

The shame around being abused needs to end. Many kids have been abused and carry these issues into their adult lives. This pain is often never healed. We need to be more vocal about abuse of all kinds and let people know that whatever happened to them is not their fault. Healing this childhood trauma will make for millions of stronger, healthier happier adults living in America.

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

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react.” — Charles L Swindoll.

This was my mantra my entire life. Mindset is everything and you can take the challenges that are thrown at you on a daily basis, complain about them and let them bring you down OR you can let those challenges motivate you and use them as fuel to help propel you into the future. The choice is entirely up to YOU.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US 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 🙂

Will Smith. He’s been such a positive influence for my generation and to this day impresses me with his light hearted nature, wit, humor and positivity. He’s always had a style, class and charisma about him. Growing up I idolized him on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air as I’m sure tons of parentless kids did as well in the 90’s. Today, he’s a success in his own right and just like wine, gets more and more fine as he ages. I’d like to believe in a past life not too long ago, we were married. No disrespect Jada.

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