Amy Lombardo, Founder of True Nature Wellness
Over the last fifteen years, Amy Lombardo, has pioneered breakthrough innovations in evolutionary personal growth programming and coaching for students, teachers, caregivers, visionaries, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and socially-conscious businesses. Amy’s highly motivating and authentically inspiring teaching style has led to her regularly being sought out by celebrity activists, higher institutions of learning, national non-profits, and high-end international corporations and philanthropies. Her dynamic background in Yoga and other Eastern philosophies; contemporary somatic practices; vision-based empowerment models, interpersonal communication and organizational culture theories; and leadership training allows Amy to blend ancient wisdom with modern education techniques and business savvy to deliver an experience that is at once heartfelt and embodied while still being powerfully practical. Exploring the connection and harmony between the intelligence in the mind and the wisdom within the heart, Amy hopes to unleash people’s potential for radical compassionate action in the world and in their lives in order to support greater peace and harmony for all beings. For her full bio, please visit www.truenaturewellness.com or visit her video blog at www.confessionsofawarriorwoman.com
What piece of advice can you give to women just starting their own business?
Replace the idea of perfection with excellence. Perfection is some arbitrary benchmark we put outside ourselves to evaluate whether or not we are being successful. If we meet our perfectionist goal, somehow we’re deemed worthy. But if we fall short even a little bit, we feel like we failed. This is not a very empowering mindset, for an entrepreneur in particular, because the road to success is paved with a lot of mis-steps.
Rather than set yourself up for a lot of self-criticism, try embracing excellence instead. Excellence means bringing the best you are able to bring in the current moment unfolding before you. Some days our bar for excellence is much higher than other days. It’s important to be flexible and accepting of yourself with wherever you’re at. The more you embrace your humanity instead of clinging to the illusion of perfection, the more authentic you become. Authenticity attracts clients. Pretending to be perfect does not. As long as I’m doing the best I can with whatever situation is in front of me right now, how could I ask myself for more?
What has been the key to your success?
For me, being successful first starts with defining what that looks like according to my values. A lot of times, our definition of success won’t match up with what the outside world tells us is successful. I’ve always been really clear with myself about my values so I could lead my work endeavors from that place.
And it’s important to know your definition of success will evolve. In the beginning for me, success looked like getting as much experience and exposure to different teaching, coaching, and writing opportunities as I could. At other times, success looked like carving out larger amounts of time for myself to be able to do extensive travel. And now, success looks like doing higher leverage work that connects with more people in leadership roles. My willingness to be firm with my values (the reason I do my work) and to remain flexible with the way I carry those values out (through different service offerings over the years) has allowed me to have a successful career on my terms. It’s also had the added benefit of making me very resilient, relevant, and fresh in the constantly fluctuating market of the coaching/wellness industry.
Please tell us about a woman that inspires you.
Do I have to only pick one? There’s so many women that have inspired me for so long. On the personal level, I’d have to say my mom is at the top of the list. As a single mother, she raised 5 daughters all on her own while holding down two jobs. Whenever I have a rough day where I feel overwhelmed or like I can’t do it all, I remember the struggle my mom had to deal with all those years. Her undying love for her children, her perseverance, and orientation to service made the life I have today possible. I still don’t know how she did it all, but the fact that she did gives me the confidence to go bold with my dreams, and I have so much gratitude for that.
How many hours do you work a week?
Hmm, I’ve never really counted. But I so love what I do that it’s safe to say, there’s not a day that goes by where I’m not doing something related to my work. One amazing benefit of being a coach and consultant and a yoga teacher is that when I’m working, I’m always spending time with people who are trying to uncover or access more of their potential. That’s incredibly exhilarating and motivates me to keep aiming for new edges in my own growth. Sometimes I’m at a computer for many hours on end. Other times, I’m teaching retreats for entrepreneurs in exotic places. Other times, it’s a yoga class by candlelight or one-on-one work with an up-and-coming woman visionary. I probably put in way more hours than I realize. If it doesn’t feel like work, do I have to count it?
What are some ways that you manage your work life balance?
This is always an area that requires constant re-evaluation. Staying committed to certain daily rituals is a must for me in order to give myself structure and consistency in a job where my weekly schedule is constantly changing.
Every day I meditate in the morning, followed by some journaling. I do yoga every day in some form or another, and I really prioritize proper sleep. I do so much better when I get 8 hours, and if I don’t get a solid night of sleep, which can happen a lot, I make sure to take little power nap breaks during the day to recharge the batteries when needed. If I couldn’t nap, I’d be in trouble! I also try to have at least 20 minutes outside in nature everyday, even if it’s just a walk around the block, to remind myself there’s a larger world out there than just what’s on my to-do list.
What does career happiness mean to you?
Right now, career happiness means challenging myself to keep staying on my edge and being vulnerable in taking new risks so I can keep growing personally and professionally. It also means coming up with innovative ways to find “win x 4” situations. I’m really excited to start creating new ways to collaborate with others, especially other women entrepreneurs, that means a win for them, a win for me, a win for the client, and have some philanthropic component to them as well. I think women entrepreneurs are going to be the leaders in this kind of dynamic collaborative way of doing business in the future. If we can have wins all around, why not?
What percentage of your shopping do you do online?
Probably about 50-60%. Time is limited and shopping online is one way I can save a lot of time in my busy schedule. I almost always shop for gifts for others online. I love to buy books online and frequently purchase online educational programs for myself too, in addition to other basic stuff like cosmetics, office supplies, and day-to-day things.
What’s a form of self-sabotage you have to watch out for as an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur, there’s certain aspects of your job that you’ll love, and other parts you’ll actively avoid. For example, I’ll find myself constantly initiating the “fun” stuff or starting another creative project instead of addressing those behind-the-scenes admin details. For me, this can be a form of self-sabotage if I don’t watch it. I try to practice having gratitude for the less glamorous parts of my job too, as they provide me with an opportunity to practice discipline, stay focused, and keep my business running smoothly.
How do you give back?
Being of service is one of the core values for how I run my business. It gets weaved into my work in a lot of ways. With larger programs, I give a portion of the proceeds to charity. Other times, the theme of service gets weaved into my offering to the client. For example, in some of my yoga teacher training programs, there’s a unit on service and a requirement to do some form of service as part of your certification. Other times, I donate my coaching services to certain individuals who are in extreme circumstances. For example, I’ve coached homeless women before, helping them to get back on their feet. Other times, I’ve coached women entrepreneurs in developing nations who are trying to start a new business in incredibly challenging settings. These end up being some of the greatest success stories I have to share in my work. Being of service always ends up bringing so many gifts back to you.