Real Talk // Amy Kuretsky

 
  All photos courtesy of Amy Kuretsky

All photos courtesy of Amy Kuretsky

 

YEARS AS A BUSINESS OWNER: 4

Amy is one person I am SO grateful to have met. She is my acupuncturist, but she is also an entrepreneur and health coach who is focused on bringing balance to the crazy lives of creatives. Read on to see how she balances (and brings balance) to her own hustle. 


You just started a new venture of Heath Coaching, in addition to your acupuncture practice. How did this come about?

I was noticing a trend with a lot of my patients: those coming in with open minds, ready and willing to make long-lasting change in their thoughts, feelings, and actions, were ones that were seeing the greatest improvement in their health. Whereas the patients coming in wanting quick fixes were falling back into old habits and health issues time and time again.

In Chinese medicine, we be believe that our emotions can have as much of an impact on our health as what we eat or how we move. So I really wanted to start diving deeper with as many patients as possible and help discover the underlying thought patterns that were causing these physical manifestations of disease.

As for my current expertise of working specifically with creative entrepreneurs, that came about from my self-study on how to run a business. In three plus years of education learning to become an acupuncturist and health coach, I barely got any worthwhile business or marketing education. So I set out to teach myself through blogs, podcasts, and chats with other business owners. When I started immersing myself in that culture more, I noticed a huge trend of creatives prioritizing their hustle in lieu of their health - a total romanticization of the hustle.

Why does this matter in our industry?

Because you can't have one or the other! Choosing hustle or health? It doesn't work that way. You can't put all your time and energy into your business without having a significant negative impact on the health of your body and mind. And vice versa is true too! You can't spend all day trying to attain perfect health without your business falling apart.

The most successful people in our industry are the ones that understand this, and use it to bring both their health and their business to new levels on a regular basis.

Obviously, our health matters. What is the most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs doing in regards to their health?

That's easy. Skipping meals. How often have you found yourself nose-to-the-computer screen for hours at a time, completely losing track of time, and forgetting to eat lunch.

One of the most common questions I get asked from entrepreneurs is "How do you pull yourself away from the computer to eat lunch when there's so much to do?"

And honestly, the answer to that question is simple: There will aways be more to do. When has your to-do list honestly ever ended? As soon as one thing gets crossed off, two, or three more ideas pop into your head or emails show up in your inbox with new tasks to add to the list. The list is never ending, so it's time to face that reality and treat ourselves like the number one employee we are.

We'd never want our employees to work through their lunch hour so why would we do it ourselves? That old adage our mothers taught us? Treat everyone like you'd want to be treated? The opposite is true too. Treat yourself like you'd want to treat others. (Meaning nicely!!)

Your tagline is: Our Heath Fuels our Hustle. How have you seen this impact most?

Well, this really came about because I was sick of hearing people say that they had to learn to balance their hustle with their health

Because in reality there isn't much balance. Some days i'm lucky if I get in an hour of exercise between walking to and from bus stops and chores around the house while other days I go for leisurely walks in the park, take a class at Solcana Crossfit, and even get some yoga/meditation time in at night before bed.

But everyday there is a blend of all the things: eating foods that nourish my body, being mindful of my thoughts and feelings, moving my body, and hustling out some work. And I know the more I'm able to incorporate the parts that make my body feel healthy, the more I'm able to be present with my patients/clients and produce content that I'm proud of. 

Have you seen a correlation with your clients who have created balance and their creativity?

Absolutely. Think about the last time you came up with a really big idea. I would bet that it didn't happen during your scheduled work hours, eyes glued to the screen. Your idea probably struck you while going for a walk, or taking a shower, or after a nice long nap. Our brains don't like to feel like caged animals - they are the most vibrant when we let them play!

My clients that have shifted their mindset from hustle all day to blending hustle and play are the ones that are making the greatest strides in their businesses as well.

How do you balance your own life between being a health practitioner and an entrepreneur?

I probably sound like a broken record by now, but the truth is all in my mindset. I truly believe that stepping aside from my computer to go for a walk during my lunch hour on a beautiful day is going to have greater benefits for me both personally and professionally, than taking that hour to catch up on my emails.

No two days are alike, but I'm totally ok with that. Like I said before - there's not much balance in my day, more of a blend.  My favorite thing to do when I'm feeling stuck creatively, is to go for a walk. That physical movement helps that stagnation release and I always come back with an overabundance of ideas.

As for the practical things I do on a regular basis? I try to get close to 8 hours of sleep nightly, spend 10 minutes a day being mindful (not necessarily through traditional meditation though), move my body daily (some days crossfit, some days walking), and eating foods my body likes. (I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2005 and learning what foods my body didn't like was life alerting!)

What has been the best thing about your freelance journey?

Getting comfortable in my own skin. In the beginning, as a business owner, I was afraid to specialize too much. I was coming from a mindset of lack. Fear that there wouldn't be enough clients and that I had to be everything to everyone.

But as I've grown and learned, I've realized that my unique experiences, perspectives, and ideas are what my clients love about me. The more I've started to specialize, the more people are coming out of the woodwork wanting to work with me.

Now that I'm at this point where I can easily stand here and say " I work with creative entrepreneurs who need help dealing with digestive and emotional diseases." That's crazy specific! But it's also totally true. those are the people I love working with, so why would I lie and say anything else?

What has been the hardest thing about your freelance journey?

Prioritizing. There that book, Essentialism, that talks about how the word priority was never meant to be pluralized. The whole idea of a priority is that you're choosing that one thing over all the others. How can you choose multiple things at once? I've though a lot about the concept and although I mentally understand it, emotionally I can't agree with it. I suppose that goes with my rebel tendencies of wanting to push back and create my own rules.

How do you actively stay inspired?

By hanging out with likeminded people! No, really. Forging connections with entrepreneurs has been my creative lifeline. I've cultivated a creative pack and they help keep me inspired daily.

I wish I knew this when I first started...

Just be you. Don't try to fit into someone else's mold. It won't work and you'll look pretty fake along the way. If you let your freak flag high in the sky, you'll naturally attract your dreamiest client ever - without having to look for them.