#79: Solo Motherhood & Entrepreneurship After 40 with Amy Salinger

Solo Motherhood & Entrepreneurship After 40 with Amy Salinger

After 20 years of personal styling work in NYC, Amy Salinger used the disruption of COVID to create a new life that falls squarely outside the norm as an online entrepreneur and solo mom. You’re going to want to reinvent yourself after listening! Pay attention to how working with a coach helped Amy get from a stuck place to a life she’s completely in love with.

You’ll hear about:

  • [03:12] How burnout and COVID were the catalysts for Amy to make a shift in her life
  • [07:57] How working with a coach helped Amy to ask the important questions to help her build the life she wanted
  • [16:25] What is has been life to shift her business to be completely online
  • [23:33] Her advice for women wanting to start a family on their own

Mentioned in this episode:

Michelle (00:02):
It's time to stop being the victim of your overscheduled life and become the most powerful version of yourself. Welcome to She's Got Power.
Michelle (00:13):
I hope you're ready for some energy today. Some change your life. Do the thing live like you mean it, energy and get ready to soak it in because my guest, Amy Salinger, she's bringing it . I've known Amy for, uh, like 20 years and I knew I had to have her on the show because she's recently made some very interesting, drastic changes, creating a life for herself that falls squarely outside the norm. As an online entrepreneur and solo mom, over 40 of a sweet little boy, you're gonna wanna reinvent yourself. After listening to this, I can promise you that Amy is the founder of Style Method nyc. She's worked in editorial television and with private clients with her styling services. I want you to pay attention to how working with a coach helped Amy get from a stuck place to a life that she is completely in love with.
Michelle (01:12):
Hey, this is Michelle. I'm interrupting myself real quick because I can, You may know me as the voice of the podcast in your, your buds, but my day job is helping women heal from burnout and chronic stress, dropping the weight, anxiety, the fatigue, everything that goes along with it. I've been doing this for 13 years and it works like this. You go to, she's got power.com/session to request your free 30 minute call. There's a quick form to fill out that lets me see if we're a good fit. And if so, we'll have a chat so I can better understand what's going on with your life and your health. And then if I think I can help you, I'll offer details of my coaching program. It's an investment, it's not a throwaway, but if you're sick of feeling stuck and no one connecting the dots between your health issues, I'm here to help you untangle the knot and start living a more powerful life. Go to, She's got power.com/session. Hey Amy, thanks for joining us.
Amy (02:15):
Thanks for having me. It's been, what did we decide? 20 something years since we've seen each other, something like that at this point. But I'm only 21, so that's strange. Yeah, that is really strange how that worked out.
Michelle (02:27):
I don't really know
Amy (02:28):
How that math adds up, but it's great to see you. You don't look any different than you too. It's amazing. Although you have kind of dedicated your whole career to looking and feeling great. Yes, this is true, this is true. And helping other women to feel the same. It's one of the most important things to me is that everyone is like, Oh, you put clothing together? And I'm like, No, no, no. You're focused on the wrong thing. I create confidence. Very big difference. Very big difference. So you've been doing that
Michelle (02:59):
For a long time, but before we hit record, you told me that you hit sort of a real pivotal moment around New Year's Eve of 2019. So I thought maybe we could start there. Cause that felt like your, your low point or that burnout moment.
Amy (03:12):
Oh, yes. Known as rock bottom. Yes. I was over it. I've been doing this actually since the moment we graduated college. So I started this business right outta college. It took many years to build it up. I eventually landed in New York City and built a very successful in-person personal styling business in the city, which meant running around like a crazy person from stores to people's homes, whatever it may be. It was a lot of manual labor. And I always joked, this is not a career for an older person. And as I went post 40, I was like, I, I literally can't do this, this hamster wheel of New York City. It's, there's never enough. You always want more. You can't seem to get off was not for me anymore. The energy wasn't working with my own personal energy. And New Year's Eve of 2019, I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a very magical and spiritual place with one of my best friends.
Amy (04:09):
And I just looked at her and I was like, I, I can't do it anymore. I can't put band-aids on my unhappiness of being in New York City, traveling the world for months at a time in between my busy seasons was not enough any longer. I still had to come back to New York City and I needed to make a shift. I decided it's time to throw money at the problem. I'm gonna hire a business coach who can help me hopefully shift my business to something different. I had no idea what that was gonna be. Decide another place to live. No idea where that was gonna be. I had no answers to the many questions which would've helped me change my life. And then the pandemic happened and uh, the bottom dropped out and it allowed me to move forward basically. And instead of taking a lot of time to figure it out, I got to do it from scratch. Pretty immediately from the moment I decided I can't do this any longer,
Michelle (05:09):
What a gift. I mean the pandemic was crazy and horrible and just the worst thing that happened in many ways. But I, I saw this, I mean for myself too. I just found like it was a major shifting point in a lot of lives. And I imagine, yes, it would've taken you longer. You may have dragged your feet a little bit, but heck, everybody was leaving New York City.
Amy (05:26):
Everybody was leaving. I like to say I am totally aware how hard Covid was for a lot of people. For me, I was covid grateful because what it allowed me to do is I was already very, this was a beautiful thing. I already had decided I'm cutting the court like I'm ready to change my life completely. So when Covid happened, I didn't even have to make that now. I just had to say, All right, how do I, to make that shift, what am to that of work? But to mentally be in the place that you're prepared to make that ship, I think is one of the biggest hurdles of changing your entire life. At 41 years old and I, I was ready and the world was on pause. What the heck was I was doing, everyone was at home. Nobody was like, Hmm, what am I gonna shop for?
Amy (06:16):
What am I gonna get dressed today? It's like, what pair of sweatpants am I putting on? That's not exactly a big uh, business moment for me. So everything had stopped anyway and it allowed me the time to shift everything and the p p e-log was made for someone like me, right? It allowed me to float through those very long months of not really making any income to have the ability to shift my life. And I gave up my apartment in New York City. Within a month I move, was living in the guest room at my brother's house in the woods in Rhode Island. And I had to really sit with that, that discomfort of the unknown. Cause I did not know what I was doing with my life. But as my business coach said to me as she encouraged me to give it all up without knowing where I was going, Be grateful for the comfortable place emotionally and financially that you are in to rebuild the like that you want. And that was what I needed to hear. To just sit in this place where you just go, the net will appear. If you build it, they will come. And that was what I had to do. It was, it was terrifying though. I'll be totally transparent.
Michelle (07:34):
Well you've never exactly been a cookie cutter kind person. Like it doesn't exactly surprise me that you're like even just to start a business straight out of college, very few people do that. We usually get that entry level job doing some terrible stuff in an office. You went right for it. How do you think working with a coach helped you to make that next big shift?
Amy (07:57):
It was desperately needed, to be honest with you. She guided me and she became much more in that moment. And I think this is what's, what was beautiful about her. Her name is Allison Task and she's an incredible force. She really focused more on the life stuff because I was very lost it, everything. It was just a blank slate. Where do I wanna live? How do I wanna, what do I wanna do to make money? Do I wanna stay being a fashion stylist? How do I shift that if I wanna do it, do I wanna just give it all up and travel the world with all of my savings? I could do that. Do I wanna be much more locked down and buy a place, have a baby? I mean, it was all over the place and started from the bottom up. What kind lifestyle do you wanna have was the big question.
Amy (08:43):
And we kinda of started from the bigger vantage point, How do I want my life to look? What makes me happy? And then we worked our way inward and I think due to the fact that again, the world was on complete pause, I had time. I luckily had savings and the government assisting me in this moment, um, and a safe place to live that was virtually free. I had the ability to really stop and spend that quality time with myself and look inward and make decisions. And that was a blessing that like in the quote unquote real world, I never would've had this time or experience. And it allowed me to really develop what I wanted. And she was with me the whole way seeing her every single week, working on homework during the week. And as she says, people usually see me for three months. I saw her for nine. Cause that was how much work I really had to do. And the hand holding that it required at that time and best money I spent.
Michelle (09:45):
Wow. Cause I mean, you're a mover and a shaker. You're not like someone who's never gonna do anything. And so for you to say, I need a coach and to take full advantage of that support along the way, I mean, I just think that's a cool story. Sometimes people think, Oh, that's for people who can't get anything done. But you can get lots of things.
Amy (10:01):
No way, no way. This is, I, I'm, I'm very big, especially cuz my industry is in this world outsource a problem. Who can do everything? Nobody is good at everything. That is not the way humans are built. And so if you can access somebody and you have the finances to do it, because I understand that is a big part of it. I think that it's vital to get assistance because lot of times you just can't get out of hat things and then you're yourself up because can't do it. It's need guidance. It's, I joke with people, I'm like, why is my job weird? We hire interior decorators, We hire hairdressers like you need help doing things and it's ok, first step, admit that you need the help. And then everything's, you know, smooth sailing from there.
Michelle (10:49):
Wow. You're really, really exemplifying like everything I'm about this season. People who are making their own path where there is no path. And that's exactly what you just described and kind of thinking, well what are my values where the, this idea of what do I want my life to look like, What it should, should it be based around? So one was this idea of getting off the hamster wheel of New York City. And and another point you must have said, another value of mine is starting a family,
Amy (11:16):
A hundred percent New York City for me represented kind of, there was a lot of being stuck because in New York there is, I like to say there's kinda like a couple ways that you can live in New York. Totally like broke. I'm just outta college, who cares? You have like five, you're going, you don't care. Kansas Day doesn't really matter. When you hit around that 30 marks in New York, you can keep going on that path for quite some time. You start to be like, ok, I can't live like this anymore. I need to get a place of my own. Then there's like studio life, right? And you live in one room and like that's because that's what you do in, in New York and you're in this bubble where this all seems normal to you once you start to hit the mark, which is where I was at.
Amy (12:01):
You're like, I'd like a wall in my apartment between my bed and my kitchen. Like this is just not doing it for me anymore. And I was, had been antsy for aqu get into the next phase of my life. And for me that meant owning a car, owning a home, having a family, getting outta the rat race of life. If you get into the millions of dollars, you know range, you can do that in New York City. But I started to think as I was in my client's absolutely phenomenal homes cause I work with high end clientele. Even if I had this kinda money, would I wanna live this way? And when the answer was very clearly no, it was time to go. I have have not found that Prince charming yet. And so I had to make the decision, which was really hard for me and I'm sure hard for a lot of people that I needed to move into the next phase on my own.
Amy (12:55):
And I was reaching an age where I had to make a decision. Did I wanna a biological child? And if I did, I had to, I had to do it. I had to go in on. And again, the pandemic was that push to say, all right, it's time to get into the next phase. And that next phase is me powering through on my own. And it was terrifying. It was overwhelming. I would not suggest doing every single thing at once by the car, by the home, get pregnant, have the um, That's exhausting. Yes, probably separated out. But you know, I always knew even during the hardest times, there was like a solid two months where I was barely making it through the day. Because even just changing your location, it's, you're changing every government document. There's a lot to it. It was exhausting and overwhelming and I was either in tears or bordering on tears and I just knew that it was the right direction and if I could just get through it, get to the go to sleep, get to the next day, it was all for the right reasons. And when I got to the other side, I was like, and I could breathe. I was like, this is amazing. So yeah, you gotta be powerful. You gotta be ready to do it. You have to be mentally strong. But do I like being in the next phase. I'm
Michelle (14:15):
Very happy. It reminds me of like cleaning out a garage or maybe cleaning out a closet or something where something you have to make a mess sometimes before you can clean it up. Cause I mean, yes, that was an awful lot for you to go through at once. Not to mention the pandemic.
Amy (14:28):
Oh yeah, there, that whole thing. And living in my brother's house with his family while I was doing this at 41 years old. Like there's a lot on the emotional side of it for sure. But I kept reminding myself with the pandemic and I had one friend in particular that we kinda coached each other through this that it, again, you had to live in a place of gratefulness during the pandemic cause it was, was so easy to slip into a negative place that if you could stop and go, What am I grateful for today in the short term, it would get you to the what am I grateful for in the long term? And I really focused, I mean, I had time on my hands on all, all the work on myself. I would wake up every day. You have to create your own schedule when there's no schedule cause of the pandemic.
Amy (15:16):
And I was journaling every day. I was meditating every day. I would do yoga classes with the same YouTube instructor every day. And it was really about keeping myself in that positive forward thinking place. And the, my business, I wanna say it wasn't an accident, but obviously I didn't know when the vaccine was coming out my business in terms of like preparation and getting everything in order. My business coincided with launching at the exact moment of that the vaccine came out. Right. And I, I think it was a little bit of a happy accident and a little bit of like, I could see there was gonna be a light at the end of the tunnel and I had to get my ducks in a row and there was a lot of ducks to get in a row for that moment. And so that was kind of the push that I needed every day when I woke up, there will be an end to this and Amy, you need to be ready. And I was,
Michelle (16:09):
I mean like so many yoga teachers, other practitioners, people who work in person had to make that pivot quickly. And now it's like, Oh, we're just gonna do this now. We're gonna do this thing online. So how has business been now that you've shifted into an all online space?
Amy (16:25):
Sure. I, it has been magical to put it in, uh, a very small sentence if youll, it, it's not even a's just a word to put 'em into word. It's been magical. Again, part of the covid grateful fall for me is that I had worked, worked digitally prior to the pandemic. It was not a, it was kind of fly by the pants knew to get it done. I've been doing this for years. But all, all of those clients that worked in person, uh, there was no way. They're like, No, you come to my home. Like, no, we shop in person. Like I'm not doing this over a video. This was not something that they could process would be an option. Once the whole world went digital. They were like, Oh wait, I can do this digitally. I can do this digitally. So why not be able to do shopping online fittings virtually closet consultations virtually once they were the best way to put it back into a corner with the operating system of the world. Then it became apparent that like, sure, why can't I see my silences online? And for me to build my entire business digitally not only made sense for me and changing my lifestyle and moving out of New York, but my clients were now receptive to it. And that was always the big piece of the puzzle that was gonna be a problem. And here we're now the world is, you know, back to being in person, but my New York City clients, Oh I see all of them virtually. So it's been magical. There we go. Rounded
Michelle (17:55):
Up. I'm so happy to hear that. Now of course it's also different cause now you have a baby. So yes. Tell me a little bit what it's like to be a mom now in your forties for the first time.
Amy (18:07):
Yes, I had him, It's a trip on so many different levels. I had him two weeks before I turned 42. I was incredibly lucky. I got pregnant pretty much immediately at 41 years old. Even though the numbers did not speak to that, even my doctor was like, Oh my gosh. Like I am, She was surprised at how quickly I got pregnant, but as my friend joked, I think the universe has been waiting for you to have a baby for a long time. So all in all, it was a very easy experience and I feel very lucky for that. I still was not a fan of being pregnant, easy or not. I'm like, Oh my God, this is exhausting. But now, you know, I thought having the baby would be more exhausting. It's not because the secret is I've had the most perfect child in the entire world that this is not me just saying it.
Amy (19:01):
Everyone is like, when they meet him, they're like, I thought I had an easy, this is ridiculous. And I, it really is. He sleeps 13 hours a night. He takes three naps a day. He smiles the rest of the day. He was eight months yesterday. Aww. And I think having a child later in life, and I am very, very close with my niece and nephew who are six and eight years old. So I'm, I've been around children intimately, if you will, for a long time. It's just different. I have been waiting for this moment for a while. It wasn't like him coming into my life, changed my whole life. My whole life got set up and had this beautiful space to welcome a child into it. My whole family, my brother lives 30 minutes from here. My parents retired here, They moved here two weeks before I bought my home. I'm in Providence, Rhode Island. So my whole family is within 30 minutes. And this is like the family baby. And it has been delicious and amazing and wonderful. And I'm so happy and grateful to be a mom because it's everything I had longed for it to be. And I now created the life that allowed a child to come into it. And it's everything I could have imagined. And I'm so happy with what I created. And I give myself mad props, if you will.
Michelle (20:25):
Oh yeah. You better be very proud of yourself. Cause you orchestrated this entire scenario and saw it through. I mean, it sounds like you've had some really amazing support along the way.
Amy (20:36):
Oh my gosh, no, there's no question about that. And when I finally made the very difficult decision, I don't wanna say that I took this lightly. I mean this, I fought this for years. I have one of my best friends has two children on her own. And so I've seen other people make this decision much earlier than me. And when I first, my first session with the business coach, which was just before the pandemic started. So our work, I had already decided to hire her, but our work didn't officially started until after, after the pandemic. She asked me, you know, Do you want children? And I was like, Definitely. And she's like, Would you have them on your own? And I was like, hell no. Like I don't wanna do that. This is not something I'm interested in. This is not how I envision my life.
Amy (21:18):
Now remember, my life was very different at the time and I didn't know what was about to happen. I was very anti, I did not wanna do it. It was scary. I didn't have the finances in New York to do that. No way. Once everything had shifted, she worked with me. We, my life was starting to really come, coming to order. If you'll the new version. She asked the question again. She said, It's to you this question again. And I was like, so resistant. And she said, Me, you are open to having a child in any way possible adoption, fostering, there's many different ways to bring a child into life. And I think that's absolutely beautiful. She said, If you wanna have one biologically, you really have to look it. It's time. There's no like find the man, decide whether he's the one, like you've run outta time.
Amy (22:06):
She was born with me and she's like, You need to, you need to do it. And um, I got off that phone call and I was like, but now I can. Now I can. Now I feel ready. Now I feel comfortable. Now I have a lifestyle, I have the support. Everything has come together. And I asked my family, What do you think? And they were like, Oh my gosh, yes, please, let's do this. Aww. And that was all I needed. Oh yeah. They were like, Oh my gosh, how much fun. And it's, it's so much fun. We had family dinner together last night. The kids are obsessed with him that my niece and nephew. And it's just really beautiful to watch, to be able to, um, bring this happiness to myself, but really to bring this happiness to the whole family. And he was meant to be here and he really,
Michelle (22:55):
He was, Oh my gosh, I love this story so much. Yes, , I just like cry with happiness because there are people who have been married for 10 years who bring a child into world with less preparation, less forethought, less wanting of a child. Yeah. You know what I mean? And although on the surface it looks like they have it all just right and close just right. Yeah. Um, it's, it's not nearly as right as what you've created with your life. And I think that is just amazing. What would you tell, and maybe you've had this opportunity, I'm just curious about your, um, advice to women who might be thinking of doing this. Sure,
Amy (23:33):
Sure. I love being in this position. I wanna be as helpful as I can. Cause it's been such a beautiful and positive experience for me. Plus, I'm just, I'm a what? I'm like a very transparent person. So I love shouting from the rooftops. I'm a single mom by choice because like alternative families, it's the way of the world, man, that that's where we're going. And like why not? If you've reached a place where you feel like you are so ready for a child, it ps your soul and you haven't met the man yet. If you'll, I mean, of course I'm speaking two straight couples. Even if you are in a homosexual relationship still, that would be like, you have the opportunity to do it on your partner. Right. Waiting for a partner. Exactly. If you feel emotionally secure and prepared to do such a thing.
Amy (24:28):
I will say for me, the financial element was a huge part. I did not wanna be worried about money. Everyone has a different version of what that, what enough money is, if you will. When I was in a place that I felt comfortable that I could provide for this child, that I could have the comfortable lifestyle where I could actually see my child and not be working all the time and not have that ability. Cause that was a big part of it for me. I wanna enjoy this. Then that was the moment when I was like, I have the support. I'm financially prepared. And Ive gotta tell you, doing it on your own is not as scary as I thought it was going to be. Again, let's note the easy child that I've had, I wanna put that out there. But it's not as scary as you think it's gonna be when you have that type of support and when, I mean, I'm older in life, man.
Amy (25:17):
My life is, I'm comfortable with who I am. I'm comfortable with my world. There's not as many questions as when you're younger. And I think you do reach a place where it, it's now a more normal, And I say normal because I know so many people. I can tell you four people, no degrees of separation that are single moms of pi choice that I know. So it's not like you're alone in this world. Come, come join the group. We like, we like more people and everybody's as positive and welcoming and there to assist you on your journey because we've all been through it and there's message boards, belo, where you can pour your heart out and strangers are happy to talk honestly and openly with you because that's what its, it's a very supportive and beautiful community. Come on down,
Michelle (26:08):
. Oh man. Thanks so much for sharing this experience with us. And if you guys wanna soak up a little bit more of Amy's energy and maybe get your style situation under control, you do free consultations.
Amy (26:20):
I do, I do a 30 minute consultation. You just need to shoot me an email at style method nyc dot and I'm happy to chit chat with you about all things to help you move forward with your style evolution. Like I said, I, I am a creator of confidence. I want you to feel beautiful in your own skin to bring that inner glow on the outside. And I think being able to get dressed in the morning and look in the mirror, do your little model posing. Cause that means you know, you look good. It changes the way you present yourself to the world and it changes the trajectory of your day, your week, your month through life. And that's what I'm about.
Michelle (27:02):
I'm almost positive I've got a picture of us somewhere, speaking of style, wearing skirts and socks up over our knees, dancing to Britney Spears. I'm gonna have to go dig that out.
Amy (27:15):
No, that's, those were not my best style days. We, we, I've matured in my style, if you will. Although that's in style now. That's back in style. It's, That was my Yeah. For I Amazing. We'll stand by that statement. Sure. . Amy,
Michelle (27:32):
This has been fantastic. Thank you so much.
Amy (27:35):
Thank so much, Michelle.
Michelle (27:43):
Isn't she the bow? Hopefully you are absolutely glowing. With that Amy energy right now, I can go take a hard look at your own life. Like what's dragging you down that needs to change. What would you be super excited about adding to your life? What might that path be like, even if it goes outside the traditional lines? This is a huge part of showing up in the world as your most powerful self. Thanks for listening. I'll see you next week.


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