From Military To Mompreneur
From Military Mompreneur
Busy military wife, Amanda Koch, is one of the best examples out there of someone who doesn’t give up. After a string of miscarriages, Amanda held strong, changed her diet and lifestyle to have a healthy child. Because of these challenges, Amanda’s passion for health became several successful wellness businesses, helping herself and others to a healthier life filled with safer products. Doing all this while on the move as a military wife and juggling children makes Amanda an absolute rock star in my book!
- Tell us about your business – what’s your mission; your soul’s purpose and why you created your business or service?
Well, I’m a military wife living in Alaska with my husband and two boys. I’m a Nutritional Therapy Consultant, a Pilates Master Trainer, and a Director with Beautycounter. I own a business and blog by the name of My Well Balanced Life, and I help busy women establish well balanced lives of their own through real food, healthy movement, and safer products.
WHY do I do all this stuff?
My why is the 8 year age gap between my two boys. I had a healthy, normal pregnancy with my first, then I had 7 miscarriages in a row with no medical explanation as to why they kept happening. My countless doctors ran countless tests and continued to tell me I was “fine”, but I was anything but fine. My hormones were a mess, I pinged between depression and anxiety, had crippling fear and panic attacks, and suffered chronic pain. I was completely unrecognizable to myself during those years. But through a team of people who helped me clean up my diet and life, I slowly started to heal through real food, healthy movement, and safer products. And then I had another healthy, normal pregnancy.
The struggles in life can be debilitating, but the amazing things that can happen as a result are beautiful. I have a healthy body and family. Because of my struggles, I get to do all these amazing things as my business. God has blessed my life through all of it. But I don’t want others to have to suffer what I went through, and I want to provide ways for people to prosper through these important pieces of a healthy life.
- How do you create, innovate or break the rules in your life/business/organization?
People constantly tell me that I need to focus on just one thing if I want to have a truly successful business. However, I totally disagree. I can’t NOT do all of these things, because each piece means so much to me in my own journey to better health. In my opinion, you need all three to truly thrive in a world that isn’t really all that healthy. Perhaps if I focused all of my attention on just one aspect, I could achieve more notoriety or acclaim in one field. But I don’t really care about that. I just want to help people improve their lives. And when someone comes to me about one of these things, I can guarantee you I’ll figure out a way to incorporate the other two. I always find a way to add it all in!
- How long did it take you to reach important milestones in your business?
I’ll be very honest. My life is chaotic! I’m a type A kind of girl who has learned to chill out a whole lot after being married to an Air Force fighter pilot for almost 17 years. We just moved into our 10th home together, which is insane. The life of a military spouse is one of constant change and compromise. Success takes on a very different meaning than it does when you’re young and full of dreams.
For me, the biggest milestone has been the ability to establish a business which can hang with my crazy nomadic life. Once I made the decision to be an online gig, it took about two years to get things really up and going. I can operate my services and run my blog from anywhere, and I have worked really hard to get to a place where I can make that statement. I live in freaking Alaska, for heaven’s sake. But if Uncle Sam tells us that we’re moving to Italy in two weeks (hello, that would be awesome!), my business doesn’t have to suffer. I did the brick and mortar business thing for years. The online transition and multiple certifications took a lot of time and effort (and money!), but I am now able to really thrive in ways I never imagined possible.
- Tell us about the start-up scares: Was there a moment where you ever seriously contemplated quitting?
Wait. Just one moment? I’m kidding. Kind of. Because life is nuts and I have days where I sit back and think, “Seriously? I’m really doing this??” No one will tell you that starting your own business based on your personal dreams isn’t scary.
For me, the start-up scares were a lot less about the financial aspect and a whole lot more about the personal investment. Am I really going to devote this much time to more certifications? Am I really going to commit myself to spending so much of my daily life on this business? Am I prepared to be so vulnerable about my own health crisis and struggles to make a professional life out of it? All of those things really scared me.
Money isn’t irrelevant, but it’s much less important to me than my quality of life and devotion to my family. I’m an over thinker and can spend hours upon hours coming up with a million what if scenarios. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to just ignore all of my dreams and callings and quit before I ever started, all because I was so afraid of trying and the possible negative outcomes.
- Did you ever fail or make a substantial mistake in business or organization? Any serious Challenges? How did you overcome and resolve it?
Oh man, I am a sucker for an online class or training. You know all those pitches that pop up on social media feeds about growing your email list/improving your brand/creating the best online course/etc? I am your dream client. I will buy ALL THE THINGS. I spent way too much money on trainings that I just never did but just knew I needed.
Now I am not trying to discourage anyone from purchasing trainings — there are SO many good ones that can definitely improve your business. Just try to be realistic about the price, how much time you have, and if they are truly important for you at this stage of your business. I really wish I could go back and slap some sense into my younger entrepreneur self … and take away her credit card. Now I won’t let myself buy any courses if I have an unfinished one. And then by the time I finish my current one, chances are I forgot about the one I would have purchased anyway! I’m ridiculous.
- What action has the most impact that you’ve taken to reach your goal/s?
Devoting the time and going for it. It sounds so simple and logical, but we all need to be very clear about this. You can’t sit back and expect your business to grow without doing something about it.
Nutritional therapy? Go back to school, get the certification, and create programs to help people restore their bodies back to optimal health with real food.
Pilates Master Trainer? Do the 900 hours of education and certification, teach people how to move properly, and train people to be instructors.
Safer product advocate? Research ingredients, learn the current laws, find the companies with safer products, get out there and educate people about the need for stronger protective laws and safer products without harmful ingredients.
Blogger? Learn the world of blogging, write good content, do what you can to get your work seen and shared.
There’s no easy button, you just have to put in the work.
- What would you tell your younger/earlier self? Any piece of advice?
Everyone has their mountains to climb and their rivers to cross. No one is exempt from all the trials and tribulations in this life, no matter how lives may appear on the outside. But all the really hard stuff in life makes you better and stronger in unbelievable ways, and it can open up opportunities that you never anticipated.
- What the best advice YOU’VE ever received about pursuing your vision?
If you’re doing this for the right reasons, success will follow. And I wholeheartedly believe that. As I stated before, my ideas of success have changed drastically over the years as I’ve matured, dealt with my own health issues, and moved repeatedly for my husband’s career. As long as I hold true to my goal, helping people live healthier lives, I cannot fail. Sometimes that may mean a smaller amount of people because my time is limited, but I’m okay with that.
To be honest, sometimes that means focusing on just my own family’s health and wellbeing! I may be unpacking boxes, learning my way around a new city, taking on responsibilities because of my husband’s leadership position, or doing the single parent gig while my husband is deployed. That’s my chaotic life, and that’s the beauty of owning my own business. If I need to put on the brakes for a bit, I can do that. And I can still hold true to my vision and purpose. It always comes full circle — there are times when I can really pour into my business as well.
- Has having success in your business/organization or money changed you? In what ways?
To be honest, I think it’s given me permission to be even more devoted to taking care of myself. With success in the health and wellness world comes encounters with a lot of people who are not healthy and well. When you don’t take care of yourself, your health suffers. Plain and simple. I see it every day in my clients, whether it be in a nutritional therapy consultation or an aerial fitness class I’m teaching at a local studio. I know my own triggers, and I know the signs for when my own health is being compromised. I have to take a step back, practice what I preach, and get myself back to good before I can pour myself into others. If I’m not healthy, I can’t coach other people to be healthy. I’ve tried and it just doesn’t work.
- What does a typical work day look like for you?
Typical. What a funny word, right? A typical work day for me is anything but typical, but I love that. I get to do a whole lot of things when it comes to my business.
I help people restore their bodies back to balance through real food. I do one-on-one nutritional therapy counseling. I offer group coaching to people wanting to switch to a real food diet. I blog about food.
I teach fitness classes– Pilates, Barre, and Aerial. I teach private Pilates sessions. I rehabilitate injuries and restore bodies to optimal movement with Pilates. I train people to be Pilates and Barre instructors so they can establish teaching practices or studios of their own.
I blog about fitness. I go into people’s homes and switch out their products to reduce their toxic loads. I educate people about the need for safer products.
I offer an opportunity to take a job with Beautycounter so more people can communicate the need for safer products and establish home based businesses of their own. I coach team members to grow their Beautycounter businesses.
I blog about safer products. I just get to help people in so many ways, and it’s all because I went through a terrible health crisis. I’m still amazed at the good that continues to come out of that place of darkness.
So each day looks different, because I encounter different people and scenarios from hour to hour. Isn’t that cool? I love it. And then throw in the busy schedules of my two boys and all their activities. I squeeze it in when I can and don’t set expectations for myself.
- How do you juggle your business and being a mom? Any great tips?
Oh man, juggling. Always juggling! Because of my history of multiple miscarriage, I really feel like I went to battle to have this family of mine. I’m not going to compromise my boys’ childhoods or our family life for my business, even if that means I have to turn down some opportunities or my income growth is a little slower than it could be. But at the same time, I know I’m a better mother and wife when I have a professional outlet of my own.
My advice is to be true to yourself.
Hiring a sitter so you can get some work done is more than ok. Carve out that time for business so you can devote the rest of it to your family. It really is about balance, and it’s pretty easy to tell when I’m neglecting my mom responsibilities or business duties. I joke a lot with my clients that balance is kind of like a unicorn — a wonderful idea but truly more of an imaginary thing. But I’m always striving for it and can get pretty close!
- Tell us about your most successful launch. What was it for and what really moved the needle for you to make it a success? (If you’re comfortable, please share if it met your goals/expectations or if it earned 5-, 6- or 7- figures.)
This is a weird one for me. Mostly because I never ever dreamed I would be a part of a direct sales company. EVER.
I had a lot of silly preconceived notions about direct sales that were very wrong, so when I added an opportunity into my business I had a hard time getting over myself enough to really do it. When I realized I felt a responsibility to be a part of this company’s mission regardless of the business model, I made a conscious decision to go all in. I put it out there, made it an equal part of my business, and focused on spreading the mission to as many people as I can. No apologies.
When you believe in something, the communication and education are authentic and real. It’s not just about sales and numbers. My financial growth hit 5-figures in a relatively short amount of time, and it has allowed the other areas of my business to grow as well.
- Stevie Wonder or The Beatles? (this, I personally must know.) 🙂
The Beatles hold a special place in my heart because we listen to their records at dinner time. My husband has all their records on vinyl, so my kids put one on the record player while we eat. But if we’re talking dancing, it’s Stevie all the way. I cannot sit still if “Superstition” starts playing. And if you know me, you know that dancing is kinda my thing 🙂
Amanda Koch is a Nutritional Therapy Consultant, Pilates Master Trainer, Director with Beautycounter and blogs over at My Well Balanced Life. After dealing with personal health challenges to include infertility, multiple miscarriages, chronic pain, depression and anxiety, she made healing changes in her life with real food, healthy movement, and safer products. She strives to provide resources for women to live well balanced lives which are realistic and effective. She currently lives in Alaska with her Air Force husband and two boys — healthy, happy, and well.