Sandi Amorim is an instigator, a coach and writer on a mission to crush ‘someday thinking’ from the face of the Earth!
She has more than a decade of experience as a solution-focused coach and NLP practitioner.
But that’s not all!
She’s also a photographer and is creating an interactive course inspired by the work of Hafiz and beautifying her class material with the amazing photos she takes and shares with her friends almost daily.
What strikes me the most about Sandi is her ever-fiery passion to inspire women to give up their limiting beliefs, stories and excuses.
Day by day she provides them with insight, tips and resources and helps them understand and eliminate the fear of failure and sometimes the fear of success.
And she comes from the heart in all she says and does.
You can find more about Sandi by visiting her buzzing website called Deva Coaching, a place where heart-warming and fear-busting conversations take place on both personal development and business growth.
In this interview with Sandi Amorim, you’ll find out about:
- how her photography business enabled her to become a coach
- why training is not enough to become a coach
- why her independent streak became a challenge and what she did about it
- what her internal guidance system consists of
- how launching a blog unleashed her creativity
- what she gets her energy from
- what is in the works for her, and
- what she has now that she wished she had earlier
INTERVIEW WITH SANDI AMORIM
When and why did you start your own business?
I’d taken the leap into self-employment a couple of years before becoming a coach, my passion at that time being photography. In its two years of existence, my photography business taught me so much that would later help make my coaching business a success.
One of the lessons showed up in the feedback I heard often from my clients; they loved the photos I took of them, and let me know how unusual that was. That intrigued me and as I began to pay attention, I realized the secret was the conversations we had.
I talked to my clients during the photo shoot; asking questions, getting them to think of things that felt good, places they loved, happy times – anything other than the fact that a camera was pointed at them. It worked by putting them at ease so that they could in turn show up, natural and at their best.
Eventually, the conversations became more satisfying than the photography, and as the saying goes, when one door closes another opens, and I discovered coaching.
One weekend into my coach training I registered my business, on fire with this new passion, and it’s been 12 years of doing work I love since then.
What is it that gives you your unique edge and sets your business apart?
In the beginning, the challenge was explaining what coaching was to people. As a relatively new profession, a lot of my energy went into educating people on the work I did and how it could benefit them.
Now, thanks to the Internet, the challenge has shifted to standing out from the crowd. There are thousands of coaches and coach-like businesses offering their services online, and it is essential to know what sets you apart.
The first thing that sets me apart is my passion for training.
I have spent a lot of time and energy on learning many ways to help people heal and move forward in the past 15 years. From neuro-linguistic programming to leadership training to communication skills, I love the field of human potential.
But I also truly believe that training isn’t enough; you’ve got to have a fire in your belly and a willingness to do what it takes to keep your dream alive and to keep making a difference. That’s how I’ve continued to grow and develop an online presence, while I’ve witnessed so many return to jobs and corporate life.
My willingness to do what it takes also sets me apart as a coach, not just as a solopreneur. I am willing to say and do things that make a difference, even if it takes being with discomfort. That’s what makes a difference for clients.
All the training in the world will not help if the coach isn’t willing to lead by example and go beyond what’s expected. It’s this passion for making a difference that lead to my commitment to obliterating ‘someday thinking’ from the face of the earth.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve experienced as a solopreneur? How did you solve it? And what was the lesson you learned?
The greatest challenge, especially as a solopreneur with a strong independent streak, was letting go of doing everything myself.
Reaching out and asking for help, working with other professionals, learning how to collaborate – all these steps helped my business grow, and helped me become more creative and better at business!
What is your compass for finding your direction in your business?
My values act as an internal guidance system, always leading towards more of what I want in my life and business. They let me know, physically in my body, when I’m making decisions that are not aligned.
I have learned to trust them implicitly, and have developed a practice to deepen this further. I’ve also become more interested in developing intuition as I find it closely related to the connection to values.
How does your business support and nourish your inner life as a creative person?
After years of having my online presence consist of a simple website, launching a blog unleashed my creativity in a way I hadn’t expected. Writing became a daily practice, and my love of photography returned as I began to take images with my blog in mind.
This new connection between images and words has been incredibly satisfying, and my value of creativity has been recharged.
What drains and what energizes you? How do you tailor your business so that it keeps you energized?
I believe that everyone and everything is either giving you energy or draining your energy, and it’s worth the time to pay attention to both in business.
When I’m taking actions each day that align with my values I feel a surge of energy that lets me know I’m on the right track.
As an extrovert with introvert tendencies, I’ve learned to balance my online and solo interactions with very select in-person interactions to keep my extrovert side happy.
When I connect in both ways, my energy stays pretty consistent and plugged in!
I look at my schedule each week as a creation, and I choose very consciously what goes into it.
I remember years ago how I’d often feel drained and overwhelmed by my schedule. Now, it energizes me as I review it on Monday morning and see all that’s on my plate for the week.
From the people I see in person to my clients (mostly virtual) to the creative work I do to grow my business, I’ve done my best to honor that which energizes me. It’s not always easy to set my schedule this way, but it’s worth the effort.
What is your definition of a “thriving solopreneur”?
My online dictionary reminds me that “thrive” means: to prosper; be fortunate or successful; to grow or develop vigorously; flourish, and I totally agree!
I think it’s important though to consider what this means in all areas of you business.
For example, people often fixate on the financial aspect of prospering, but when you consider all the areas of your business and life, how else does it show up?
For me, thriving has meant primarily having the freedom to do what I want when I want.
Of course, this takes having the business generate the income needed to follow through, so it definitely includes making money. And I use that word intentionally as so many creative solopreneurs struggle with this, and/or avoid this aspect of their business.
Focusing on abundance and prosperity may feel good, but you’ve actually got to know how much money you need to grow your business and have the kind of lifestyle you want. Otherwise, why are you in business for yourself?
What are your plans for the next two years?
My plans for the next two years are mostly creative, with three writing projects in the works; an interactive course inspired by the work of Hafiz, a collaboration with my husband who is also a photographer, and a book that is part memoir, part coaching, on what it takes to thrive in relationship.
I am also inspired by my collaboration with you Cigdem, and look forward to how we can help our members thrive together in the Circle of Cohorts!
If you could start your business all over again, what is one thing you would do differently? Why?
If I could start over again, I’d get the right kind of support, and get online sooner. The lone ranger syndrome that afflicts many creative solopreneurs can keep you small.
In the three years that I’ve been actively developing my business online, I have grown and connected with more people than the many years beforehand.
Connection is one of my core values and it has really helped me shine online.
What is one nugget of wisdom you can offer a creative solopreneur who is just beginning?
Be yourself – reliably, without apology, without comparison. When you show up authentically with all your gifts and geniusy self, people can’t help but take notice!
And one last tip: Get the right kind of support from the beginning! Don’t waste your time and energy in reinventing the wheel. Instead, reach out and connect with others who can help you grow and thrive.