TRUE LIFE: AMI'S INTEGRATED HUSTLE
Ami, 34, Career and Business Coach, Recovering Corporate Attorney, Art and Travel Maven
Ami is co-Founder of The Integrated Hustle, and the founder of Watkin Legal and CUBAFRIDA. Ami came to coaching through a long winding path and the realization that working with your superpowers rather than against them is the best way to live! Ami has worked with and alongside attorneys, academics, creatives and businesswomen and businessmen to dive deep on the core of what makes us tick. Ami's strength lies in building connections, developing new relationships and forging ahead through unchartered territory, even when it's daunting. Above all, Ami lives and works from the belief that a happy and successful life is one lived with personal and professional integrity and authenticity.
What is your primary source of income and what other revenue streams do you have? Right now, my primary source of income is my work as a corporate attorney. I work with small business owners and entrepreneurs to help them negotiate day to day business legal needs. We’re slowly growing the Integrated Hustle (woot!) and I also have a small business importing artisan goods from Mexico, CUBAFRIDA, though frankly where that will go at this moment is very TBD.
What preparations, if any, did you take before you launched your first passion project/business/entrepreneurial pursuit(s)? (i.e., Trainings, Fundraising, Research, etc.) The two biggest biggest things I did were to (1) save money to get myself financially ready to take the leap and (2) do a lot of emotional work to get myself ready for this whole new existence. I followed the Go Big or Go Home approach, and quit big law without a single client of my own, but with big dreams about how I wanted to live on a day to day basis. Knowing I was financially secure made me feel emotionally free to be bold. But beyond that, oh baby I sure could have been more prepared. Accounting - what’s that? Business development? Work in progress. We’re getting there. I’m getting there. The thing is that it’s very ok to not have it all sorted and to figure it out later!
Has it become a business that generates steady revenue? Lawyering has evolved pretty organically and generates relatively steady revenue. I’m fortunate to have a strong support network of people who have been kind enough to make referrals. The practice fits and starts, but things continue to move in a positive direction every time I start to get nervous. I’ve learned to trust the process more (alongside continued networking and putting myself out there).
How long did it take you make your first $1,000.00? I made my first $1,000 within the first month.
What was the biggest surprise about what it takes to generate revenue? I never cease to be amazed at how many conversations you can have with prospective clients that just go nowhere, or by the fact that clients sometimes arrive on my doorstep from the most tenuous of connections. I am still very much learning how to find and reach my target customers and clients to make that revenue stream more steady. It’s a long game. Success and stability don’t come easy!
Work, Life and Spirit Balance
Have you achieved your version of work/life balance? If yes - what does that look like? If not - what do you need to do to get there? Yes and no. Yes in the sense that I have gotten back to many of the things that make me feel more like me: I cook more, I exercise more consistently, I see friends much more regularly. No in the sense that life without structure has been weird, and I’m working on maintaining more consistency during the work week so that I am efficient during my working hours and can more effectively disconnect at the end of the day and on weekends. It’s a tricky balance, though I’ve gotten much better at over the course of the past year. Also if someone could make wifi that only works for work purposes and nothing else to improve work productivity that would be great.
What do you do to reduce stress, take care of your body and clear your mind? I live in an awesome neighborhood and so I spend a lot of time strolling around and getting outside when I need to take a break and reset. I am a fairly consistent student at Brooklyn Yoga Project and periodic participant at SoulCycle. I never regret time or money spent on making my body and mind feel better. Finally, I breathe. I sit on my floor next to the window, set a timer for five minutes and inhale for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts. Those 5 minutes work wonders.
If you could go back in time, what 3 pieces of advice would you give to yourself when you first began? (1) The bad things you are most afraid of almost certainly won’t happen, so just GO FOR IT. (2) The more open you are, the more the world will rise up to meet you, so open your heart and mind and keep telling people about what you're doing that makes you feel alive. (3) Give as much as you get - be generous with your time and experience. So many people have helped me along the way, it’s a privilege to repay the favor or in turn pay it forward.