I’ll be honest; life coaches are a dime a dozen. This is a good thing because every person who seeks guidance prefers to be handled with various degrees or finesse. That said, there are life coaches, and then there’s Amy Smith. She is one badass Joy Junkie. I came across Amy’s work and instantly loved everything about her – from her story to how she enables others to summon their joy.
Read her story, in her own words. Her interview feels like a mini-coaching session. You’ll love her, too!
What brought you to create The Joy Junkie?
I was toying around with names and branding ideas for my company and I loved the idea of becoming addicted to something that was really good for you! It seems so common that people are addicted to alcohol, gambling, even Facebook, and there isn’t enough addiction to one’s one happiness and fulfillment! I also knew that I wanted to really create a community of like-minded spirits who were passionate about living their greatest life, but didn’t necessarily resonate with pebbles, streams, and waterfalls. I wanted people to know that you could drop and f-bomb or two, talk about sex, and really be your real, authentic self AND nurture your own spirituality and growth at the same time. I really created a biz for others who are just like me… a little bit badass, a lot into growth, and wanting a real, no bullshit guide to handling life and love. I find the more authentic I am, the more I attract the perfect audience. It works out so nicely that way. [grin].
The way you were making a living before – tell us how it opened
your eyes to wanting more so that you would feel fulfilled in your career.
Oh, wow… how long do you have? This could be lengthy. I’ll try to be brief. In a nutshell, I had that sinking, pit-of-the-stomach feeling you get when your intuition is screaming at you that something is not right. For eight years I worked for a prestige cosmetics company and for a handful of those years I was a corporate trainer: traveling, educating, living the so-called “dream”, and dying a slow death. I knew there was something else I was meant to do but I felt like my makeup artistry and training experience was ALL of who I was. I had a horrible quarter-life crisis. I didn’t want to be defined by my career anymore. And I sure as shit didn’t want the corporate bullshit anymore. I did have a really sweet situation, however, so I took my time. I knew that if I left this field, I wanted the next career to really be a massive chapter in my life. I allowed myself to tap into what I really needed. Over about 3 years of soul searching (while working at the same company), I realized that my next career needed to be creative, I needed to be my own boss, I needed to be involved in public speaking, and I needed to be making a radical impact in the world. Slowly but surely, I became aware of the coaching profession and fell in love. There was a time when my career in makeup was extremely passionate for me and I was hugely fulfilled. I think the biggest lesson I learned was to allow myself to no longer be passionate about something that no longer fueled me. And that was okay. I also learned that I no longer wanted to collapse ALL of who I was into one role in my life. I still work on not allowing my work to consume my life. It’s a challenge, but I’m so much more conscious about my choices now.
What is the biggest common issue that you see amongst single people/ people in relationships that causes unhappiness?
Of course, there are plenty of issues that I see repeatedly, but I will say that for both those in relationships as well as those who are single, I commonly see a massive struggle with relationship to self: Their self-worth and self-image. How people speak to themselves and treat themselves is often directly related to how they function inside a relationship or how they feel about dating altogether. It has been my experience that the people who are the happiest in a relationship are those who really love who they are as individuals. I would say another massive issue I see in couples is lack of care-taking for the relationship on a daily basis. I see plenty of people who allow routine to take over and completely forget to nurture their union. I often speak about creating consistent ways of connecting on a daily basis to avoid waking up one day and realizing that you haven’t really had a date with your spouse in years.
What would you say to those who are severely unhappy in their lives but don’t know where to turn/who to talk to?
This is a tricky one because it really depends on the individual. The coaching world and profession is equipped to handle and support clients who are not dealing with clinical issues such as depression, addiction, suicidal tendency, etc. There are, however, plenty of resources that can be extremely helpful. We are so fortunate to live in a time and age where so much helpful and supportive information can be found online. I would say that the best thing you can do is to seek support. Don’t wait for it to come to you or someone to suggest something to you. If you need community, search out facebook forums and discussion groups, look at options available in your community, and do some research. If you are struggling, the worst thing you can do is stay silent. If you feel like your life simply needs direction, accountability and support, working with a coach may be the best option for you. I personally still work with my own coach and can not imagine my life without that sacred time. If you feel like your issues may be more clinical in nature, I would suggest discussing it with your family doctor first and see if a therapist may be a better option for you. We are so fortunate to have such a wealth of information available online and many self help professionals such as myself, offer free downloads and resources that can be extremely empowering.