Strategically Innovate and Disrupt with Amilya Antonetti


USO 37 | Innovating StrategicallyDisruption happens when you are ahead of the curve. This doesn’t mean you get to be in that position once an idea sparks. Amilya Antonetti believes that innovating strategically creates disruption as well as develops a confidence that tells you that you can start things without people telling you to. She sees that this constant is in every person, giving them opportunities no matter what industry they are in. Learn how this internal framework can become your drive to start making things happen.

I have one of my very favorite people with you, one of the busiest people I know. Her name’s Amilya Antonetti. She’s a human behavior expert, a coach, a television hosts. Maybe you’ve seen her on Steve Harvey or on Fox Business. She’s a speaker, an author, a spokesperson for different products. You’ll see her sometimes on the home shopping networks. She does all kinds of interesting things.

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Strategically Innovate and Disrupt with Amilya Antonetti

We met in very unusual way. I was invited to get my tail down to San Diego to meet with Brian Tracy and some other people. You’ve been the one that I’ve been following and watching do all these interesting things on more of a national scale. Thanks for being here.

My pleasure. I adore Brian Tracy. He’s awesome. He was definitely one of the leaders in our industry passing on great wisdom, him and Zig Ziglar and John Assaraf and all those guys. I’ve had the pleasure to work with all of them. I love the doors that they knocked down for us.

Brian really is. Zig’s gone and Wayne Dyer’s gone, but Brian Tracy is still there as this wonderful white-haired guy that people are still getting to learn from. It’s neat to have these little private meetings in a little small room with some of these legends. That’s how you and I met. What I’ve wondered about as I’ve watched you do all these things out there on television, I remembered getting one of your books from you early on. It was a little recipe book. You have a new book out now. I’ve watched you for a while. Let’s start off with a little bit of history about Amilya Antonetti. Where did you grow up? You’re from the East Coast, aren’t you?

I’m a mutt. I always tell people I’m not really from anywhere. I’ve moved 36 times in my life. I am where I am at that moment and that is home to me. I really can’t say I’m from anywhere specifically. I lived all over the North East. I lived all over the South. I went to early high school in Atlanta. Then I went over to California and went to California High. I traveled all through Europe in the beginning of my career. My family all left. I’ve literally have 36 addresses to my name that you just put it in pencil now. I’m not that buck mentality of, “Here’s my name, here’s my address, here’s where I live.” I live wherever I want to live.

Where are you living right now?

I’m bi-coastal. I live in New York and Los Angeles and I back and forth about ten days on each side of the coast.

You grew up all over the place and you said you were in Europe in your early career. Tell me about your early career.

USO 37 | Innovating Strategically

Innovating Strategically: You can’t look in the rear-view mirror. You will fail if that’s where you’re looking.

I started intelcom and I was offered an opportunity as a really young girl. I started my first business at seventeen. I was in high school and I sold it at nineteen. It put me on the map because remember then there was no Oprah, Martha Stewart. The only other two women that I saw doing anything was Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters. Here, I’m seventeen. I’m in high school. I started this company, I sell it and people are like, “She’s a girl.” I was like, “Yeah. I actually am.” I’ve got an opportunity from Siemens, they said, “We need to diversify and pay more attention to women.”They gave me an opportunity to come to Munich and studied to be a hardware engineer. I was like, “What a great opportunity to just learn,” and so I did. I was young, what did I know? It really gave me this amazing perspective on infrastructure and how big companies grow and all of that. Then I came back and my territory was the United States. I thought that was so bizarre because I was so young. I was working with people who at that time I thought were old because they were in their 30s and 40s. I took all of that learning and I decided I was really going to build enterprises.

I wanted to build a massive company and do a major disrupter in a huge category, because I’m an entrepreneur at heart. I was learning and studying. Other people went to college, I studied in corporate America. That’s exactly what I did. I created a huge company, Soapworks. It had 49,000 employees. I ended up selling it to one of the big boys and then turned around and did it again and again and again. As women grew over the ‘80s and ‘90s, I started really aligning because there wasn’t that many of us. I quickly became friends with Anita from The Body Shop who, unfortunately, is gone now and Sara from Spanx and Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey and all these other women who came up all around these areas in different industries. It was an amazing time and it was such a learning time. I was building companies, that’s what I was doing. I went to household and then HBA and then got into this space.

You said household and then HBA, you know all these terms. You can see from my luxurious hair that I don’t pay much attention to health and beauty.

The health and beauty were brought by HSN and Shop NBC back then. I learned all about the infomercial world and electronic retailing. My career took me into that direction. Then I started working with athletes, musicians and celebrities and what I still do now, crisis management, and really helping them build their companies after building a dozen of my own. I became a media person because there really wasn’t that many women in the same field as I was. I’m in technology. I’m in finance. I’m in investments. I’m in this big disruptive space is where you really just don’t find a lot of women.

You started out with Siemens and then you decided to be disruptive and Soapworks was a big success story and that came out of a necessity.

When I wanted to bring green mainstream, green was a color. The only other alternative was Seventh Generation, which is Jeffrey Hollender.

Procter and Gamble.

I didn’t want my product in some of these off-the-wall stores. I wanted it in mainstream America next to the big boys. That was a crazy idea. People were like, “You’re never going to get human and earth-friendly on the main store shelf.”I’m like, “That is what’s coming next.” I’d always been ten years before everybody else. I did that with household and health and beauty aids. Then I did it again with another product that I ended up selling to Johnson & Johnson in a different category. Even now, I’m one of the experts on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology which I got involved in five years ago. People just now start talking about it.

People are just now hearing about blockchain. I’m sure some of the people here are folks that are trying to make a decision like to jump from a job into starting a business or they’re still working from the spare bedroom or from their front seat of their truck or whatever. Then there are others who have been attracted to the show because it’s about being unshackled. In other words, instead of your business running your life, your business can become an asset that you own and you direct, but it doesn’t tell you what to do. You’re owning it, not it owning you. You’re saying, it’s such a fire hose of things that you’ve done. You said you’ve tended to be ahead of the curve. You’ve ended to be ahead of the curve. You’ve been ten years ahead. You’re five years ahead on blockchain, ten years ahead on green home cleaning products and so on. A lot of times when people are ahead of the curve, think about AOL was the ahead of the curve or Atari was ahead of the curve, but they didn’t end up becoming these wild success stories that came a little closer to when the public was waking up to these ideas. What kind of counsel can you give to people who have got a really good idea? They’re ahead of the curve and they go out and talk to people and people go, “That’s amazing, but I don’t know what to do it. I don’t have any context for what you’re talking about.” What are some things that you could pass on from having multiple successes of being at the forefront that people could take back and go, “Here’s the way I can rethink the circumstance that I find myself in being ahead of the curve.”

USO 37 | Innovating Strategically

Innovating Strategically: Just because I was ahead of the curve does not mean that, I hit it at the right time.

First of all, just because I was ahead of the curve does not mean that, I hit it at the right time. That’s never quite right. In hindsight that’s what they would say is 20/20 because you’re like, “I could have held on longer, I should have started whatever.”You can’t look in the rear-view mirror, you will fail if that’s where you’re looking. When you talk about timing and innovation and entrepreneurship and all that, it’s an inward combust. The world or the universe or whatever you want to call that energy is bigger than any one of us. It has a mind of its own and actually a sense of humor. This whole thing about entrepreneurship is an inward connection with what you’re here to do. Every one of us, whether we’re an entrepreneur or not an entrepreneur, are pulled here to do something. They always say, “It depends if you read some of the books, The Soul’s Code or stuff like that, we know exactly what we’re supposed to do before the age of five and then our parents talk us out of it. They say you can be a doctor or a lawyer or an MBA. In this quest, you figure out what is my purpose, how do you see me, recognize me, value me for who I am, what’s my unique ability? What is this whole thing called life? The closer we get to death, the more we want to leave a legacy.

You’re here as you evolve from your 20s to your 30s, your 40s, your50s your60s, this all articulation are basically the same thing. Take any millennial right now or younger the Jones, and they’re going to tell you, “I want to do something with purpose. I’m going to do something with passion.” We just called it something different. We wanted the Golden Watch or whatever it was. We want to be valued for who we are. We want to be different. We want to be seen. It’s all internal work. It has nothing to do with what job, what opportunity, what invention, what timing, who you tell. It comes down to, if you are put here to invent whatever, it doesn’t matter who you tell because somebody can’t steal your purpose from you. You’re put here to do it. Even for myself, from the green mainstream. They were all around me, but I had this inward passion that I was going to somehow change something. As much as people did try to steal it from me, maybe my timing was right or whatever, I made a mark on the human and the earth-friendly industry. I changed what was and now it’s common vernacular about alternatives and being green and all of that. There are all kinds of stores. I had my little role to play in it.

I love what you just said that maybe I was ahead, maybe I didn’t know I was trying to do something different, but I made my little mark. A lot of people are very afraid to play big. They want to play small. You talked about internal work so it makes me wonder. What do you suppose it was about you as this young woman? I don’t know how old you were when you actually started at a young child that you couldn’t use normal cleaning products around. You were obliged to find an answer.

I sold everything I had. I maxed out 51 credit cards. I borrowed from every friend, family, you name it. A bank was not going to give me a loan. That wasn’t happening. You are all in when something feels right. It doesn’t matter if you’re asking the girl at the bar that’s way above your pay grade or if you march in to tell your boss what you really think or if you decide to go all in on your career. When something hits you a certain way and you’re dialed in to just believe it without the facts, without support, without logic. All the things that I’ve ever done that were meaningful made no sense to anybody, but me. The people around me now are conditioned to realize, if I get a dog with a bone, I’m going. I don’t do it because I think it’s going to be successful. I do it because I believe it’s right. I believe it because I believe it’s needed. I believe that it’s a pathway to other people who are going to do things after me. It’s never about me. It’s about me in the play of all of us together. We all do our little spark and create magic.

Something she just said that was phenomenal to me was sometimes we go through our life with a level of insecurity and we’re doubting ourselves. Am I worthy? Am I good enough? Is this a stupid idea? My parents told me it’s not very good or my friends all think I’m crazy or my spouse is worried about our savings. Almost everybody that I’ve ever met who’s really successful is lopsided. They probably have a perfect imbalance life because in order to really be successful, you have to be willing to put some things to the side and go for whatever. The Olympics just concluded. Those people that are competing in the Olympics, they didn’t have all the social experiences. They didn’t go out and have big drinking parties. They were ice skating or skiing or curling, or whatever they were doing. They were doing that. You just said without support, without everybody’s encouragement, without the world telling you that, “Here we’re going to lift you up and make this possible, you just have to go for it believing with all your heart that it can be done.” We’ve heard that in Walt Disney story and we’ve heard that with Edison and we’ve heard it with Ford and all these people who just said, “Whatever, I don’t care if the world says.”Now, we have people seriously like you who are a powerful voice for a small business, but a powerful female voice for entrepreneurship.

USO 37 | Innovating Strategically

Innovating Strategically: It’s not about the thing behind our name or your resume or your bio, it’s the people that you have in your life.

I’m an odd duck and I’m happy about that. I don’t follow what somebody says because they say so and that doesn’t matter if they have a whole bunch of letters behind their name or not. If something doesn’t feel right to me, I’ll ask questions. If I don’t believe you, I’ll challenge you. I’m a force to reckon with because if I really believe that this is the way it should be or this is the right path. You better put your big boy pants on because you’re not going to beat me because I’m relentless. I don’t require food and sleep. I think a lot of entrepreneurs are like that and I think that the sadness is that we’re so conditioned for popularity and we’re conditioned for approval and we’re conditioned for the logic and the factual data. Yes, do I try to fact check my instincts? Sure, I do. The older you get, the more you do because you know where you’re good and you know what feels right, you know what doesn’t. You start to surround yourself with other people who are your cheerleader. If you’re not around people who celebrate, you’re with the wrong people because that’s what we learn. We learn to move closer to the things that celebrate and enhance who we are as people and we move away from things that are negative and just hold us back. Not everybody’s for everybody. I’m not an average person and I’m not for average people because I’m a handful. I love who I am and I think I’d become more of who I am each and every day and the people around me reflect that.

When was the time that your instincts actually failed you or got you in trouble? You’ve had this successful career and they just keep getting more successful as far as I can tell. My guess is that it hasn’t all just been this one line that just goes up perfectly.

No, it never is. There’s no such thing as balance. It’s ebb and flow, that was a word for nature that actually worked for me. What ebb and flow really is, is that if you don’t touchdown on either side for a long time, you are imbalanced. The ebb and flow between give and take or family time and work time. That ebb and flow is how we’re designed. The word balance means stagnant. Who wants that? Somebody using that and now people keep going, “I want to be in balance.”You want to be stuck? No, you don’t. You want to be an ebb and flow. That’s what the whole learning process is.

Tell me about when something went wrong and how you found your way out of it.

Absolutely daily something goes not the way that I want to. I think Oprah said it best. Oprah said that when she got the advice from Maya Angelou. Maya said to Oprah, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” She was saying to Oprah that she needs 29 times of an experience before she actually believes them. I’m guilty of the same thing. Most of the things I’ve really truly, truly learned, I didn’t learn it the first time or the second time or the third time because I’m stubborn. I’m absolutely stubborn. I’m rooted. My hardest lessons hurt like hell because I don’t want it to be true. I believe in people. I am an optimist. I don’t want to believe that people are wired a different way, but some people are. Every one of those experiences where I was like, “I cannot believe that just happened to me.” I’ve had people steal from me. I’ve had everything you think of has happened to me. I’ve been at the low going, “I have no idea how I’m going to pay payroll. I have no idea how I’m going to make them. I have no idea how I’m going to get out of this.”The thing about it is in those moments is when you grow, it’s when you shed your skin. It’s when you stretch. It’s when you get to the next level. It’s when humanity happens. Somebody walks into your life and opens a door for you or gives you an act of kindness that causes you to go on that you did not believe in that moment. As much as you feel like shit; that somebody would come in your life and make you feel magical. That’s the whole point. That’s why we have hope. It’s why we have faith. It’s why I tell people the most incredible thing that you have is your network and your time. It’s not about money and things. It’s not about the thing behind our name or your resume or your bio, it’s the people that you have in your life. It’s the experience. It’s the time that you decide to share with somebody. It’s not the to-do’s that fill your calendar. It’s the thing that you would intentionally put on it.

We hear about the five people you surround yourself with the most, you’re going to become the average of those five people. You just hit on it. Some people who I spend all my time with my little kids or I spend all my time with my extended family or whatever. It’s the people that you choose, not the to-dos, not I have to go to the family birthday party. I have to go to this meeting. It’s the people that you say, “When I have discretionary time, these are the people I want close to me.” I have to stop people a lot of times like in these interviews because they say these golden things and I’m like, “I hope that didn’t just go pass the audience.”It’s the people that you choose.

Remember, your have-tos are still your choice. All of that noise, I have to go to this birthday party and I have to have to have to, who says you have to? My family is not my obligation. The time that I spend with my family who I absolutely love, do I spend enough time with them? Probably not, but I spend time with them with intention. I spend time with them with very carved out opportunities to exchange the best of who we are and reflect on how little pieces of my family made me who I am. I don’t show up for obligations. You’re not going to find me at a wedding. You’re not going to find me at a funeral. You’re not going to find me at birthday parties. You’re not going to find me at those things because that’s not what fuels me. Being in my life means you’re going to be without me more often than you’re going to be with me but I promise you the time you’re with me you will never forget.

I’m feeling that right now. What I want to do is I want to keep picking these little nuggets out for people. I love what you’re demonstrating here. We’ve had a lot of really interesting guests on the podcast and what I typically do is walk them through the arc of their life. I think we’ve covered enough varied things already. There is no reason to go back and try to force that arc. You do all this stuff with entrepreneurs, you’re working with athletes, you’re working on television, you’re doing all this varied stuff. What do you see as one or two constants among the people no matter what industry they’re in, the people that are getting the opportunities? I’m going to assume that one of them is this ability to go ahead without having the whole world tell them that it’s okay. In other words, they’re going to be driven because they’re just driven. Besides that, what are some characteristics that you’ve noticed in others and maybe if you’re being introspective, you see them in yourself as well. A lot of times we see them in other people easier than ourselves. What are some things that you see and are those things, are they just a birthright or can they be developed?

I’m the Chief Digital Strategist and Marketing Officer for Steve Harvey. He is incredible. He is absolutely hands down the hardest working man I have ever met without doubt, without pause. It’s not that he’s the hardest working man now that he has eight shows. He has been the hardest working man his entire life. I always tell people move away from these judgment of whether you like or don’t like or agree or don’t agree, who gives a hoot. He has a work ethic that he has instilled in not only himself but his children, his employees, his people. He inspires me to work harder than he does. To show up amazing. He doesn’t show up halfway. He shows up amazing. Anybody who will ever tell you that they met him, he was amazing. I’ve worked with Oprah and Ellen. I’ve worked with them all and I watched this man give of himself with such gratitude. I love the fact that he’s an outwardly spoken man of God. I love that because it’s what he believes and he inspires people. I don’t touch myself to how I agree or don’t agree or whether it works for me or it doesn’t work for me. All that noise gets in your way from true learning and appreciation for who somebody is. Remember I said to you, what people want to do is be seen, heard and recognized for who they are, but that has nothing to do with me. I’m trying to see you. When I see him, I see such inspiration, such beauty, such commitment, such passion, and a talent that is unbelievable. He can absolutely take anything and make it funny. That’s a gift. It’s a gift that’s been in him his whole life. I look for those types of gifts in every single person that I meet. I tried to see what is their unique ability and how are they using it.

I’m privileged that I work with so many athletes, musicians, entertainers and sports, but I also work with so many business people. People who have this thing that they’re trying to articulate and transmit to the world. Some people do it with technology, some people do it with social influence, some people do it within their companies or within their family. You get the person on the block who’s that person. You’re like, “Hi.” Everybody has it. When you see it and recognize it and celebrate it and others, you attract more of that back to you. I’ve just gotten really, really good at being a cheerleader and I attract the most amazing people. Hopefully, turn around and share my unique ability back to them. If you’ve ever seen a group of entrepreneurs do a think tank or get around the room and a little bit like what we’re doing with Brian Tracy, getting around the room and what happens is they group think.

They realized that to do something great, doesn’t happen as a solo act. It never does. It’s never about you. It’s about you in a special combination with these other elements that all of a sudden make magic happen. You see it in sports all the time. You see it with a team of people who come together and they’re not supposed to win and they absolutely are the underdog and there’s just no way they’re going to and they do. We saw it with the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Eagles. You can’t plan magic. You can’t be bought. It isn’t planned. It’s a combination of one moment in time and it happens. What you start to do is you start to either really, really like that and get closer to it, realizing that it’s unstable. You’re standing on quicksand. Sometimes it really works, but sometimes it really fails and you’ve got to be in it for the experience and nothing more than that. That’s what I say, when people say they want to be an entrepreneur.

USO 37 | Innovating Strategically

Innovating Strategically: You’re going to hit no a million times more than you’re going to get yes.

Are you a big believer in saying yes to many things or are you a say no kind of person? Steve Jobs said one of the things he was most proud of is everything he said no to.

This is where men and women really show up differently. This is one of those gender things that for the most part is fascinating to me about human behavior. Women notoriously, not always, but generally speaking say the word no, and then explain. “Amilya, I really want you to come over on Friday.” I go, “I got carpool.” All these reasons when the reality is I just want to know yes or no. Men are very good at saying no with no explanation whatsoever and because of that, I think men often don’t get as derailed as women do because we feel obligated more than you do. Men don’t feel obligated to be nice. We do. We want to deliver the message but also not hurt your feelings. Men really don’t give a hoot. They’re like, “Nope. Not going. Not Interested. I don’t like golf. I won’t be there.” Versus, “I’m going. I don’t really golf but I know everybody’s going. Yes, I’ll try.” We do all this nonsense as women.

For me, I have a firm belief that there are a couple of things that give you unbelievable power and one of them is the power of no. I love no because no is going to make you better. No means you haven’t hit my benchmark for my time. No means you have to grab my interest. No is serving you better than me saying yes, and that works from personal to in business, in finance and investments. It’s when I say no that I have your attention because now you put on your A game. As entrepreneurs, you got to get really good at no. You’re going to hit no a million times more than you’re going to get yes. There’s no fun in yes. There’s just no fun when something works, when it’s easy. It’s the thing that keeps us up all night is when it’s not working and we know it shouldn’t. We’re trying to figure out how do I morph it into the right combination of words or the right combination of elements or people or whatever it is to make it work. We’re jacked by the no. We’re not amplified by the yes and so I’m a no person.

I just heard something else that was phenomenal. You said that at 2:00 in the morning where we’re wandering, walking the halls of our house or stressing out, most people see that as a really negative down time. I loved how you just presented that that’s the put up or shut up part. That’s either I’m going to step up to the challenge or I’m going to shrink into my little hole. If you’re up at 2:00 in the morning and you’re wringing your hands, that’s different than I’m sitting there going, “I have to figure this out. I’m going to solve this problem. I’m going to come up with a solution.” I’ll just echo what you said. “Through the most spiritually enlightening moments of my life happened in those wee small hours of the morning 2:00, 3:00 in the morning when I woke up stressed out and I found a path out of the mess.

That’s where awareness and being present is our gift. I’m a big believer in the alchemists. Something I read every year on my birthday, I’m a firm believer of Bowman’s. We’re given everything we need. We just have to be able to see them. In those moments of real, true feeling and being aware of whether it’s anxiety or fear or trepidation, whatever the emotion is, it doesn’t really matter. You’re totally present in that moment. You’re present just before you jump off a building. You’re present just before you sign the check to go, you’re fully engaged with who you are. Those are the moments of learning. That’s what makes life magical is being fully present. It happens for me a lot of times when I’m with my children, it happens a lot of times when I watched them walk into their pathway with all of the emotions that go with it and I’m so proud of them in that moment. It’s the magic that happens when I meet a friend that I haven’t seen in years and we pick up right where we left off. You learn this gift of being actively engaged and present and aware of what’s happening. What’s beginning and what’s ending right before your very eyes. That is where life is and the more you plug into it, the more you start getting in your lane of what you are meant to do, your purpose. I always tell people, people try to have a business life, a purpose and a personal life. They keep going, “I’m trying to juggle between these two things.” You have one life. You have one bucket of energy. You have one bucket of income. You have one bucket of everything and it is all encompassing who and what you are. Those first two rows of your funeral are the only thing that matters. Everybody else comes as an obligation. First two rows are going to struggle to try to stand before everybody else and explain who you were and what you did and what was meaningful. Everybody else really doesn’t care. Your life comes down to five words on your headstone, comes down to two rows in the funeral and the rest is noise. It doesn’t matter.

Here’s my problem with this interview is I’m having so much fun listening to that I’m not thinking about what I want to ask you. That’s pretty cool. Let me ask you this, you’ve built a number of businesses. The people in this podcast are trying to build businesses. You’ve talked about charging ahead, being your own person, not waiting for all this acceptance. You’ve talked about just what you just said about, what really is the thing that is going to define you to that first two rows of the funeral. As you are talking to this audience right now on this podcast, what counsel can you give people who are trying to figure out, “How do I go from being the most critical employee of my business? I’m the one that everything has to come up through the bottleneck of me to make all the decisions about whether it’s marketing decisions or what we’re going to invest money in or what jobs we’re going to take?” They might have a bunch of employees. What do you tell somebody who’s become the most critical employee of their business? In other words, they might have 30 employees but really they’re just self-employed. They’re like the general manager, not just the buck stops but every decision stops here and they’ve reached a place. This is what I call a shackled owner, somebody who can never really get away from the business. The business isn’t really an asset to them as much as it’s their job. You’ve built real businesses. It doesn’t mean that you’re not involved. It doesn’t mean that you’re not daily paying attention or regularly paying attention. You mentioned Steve Harvey. There was no way Steve Harvey could do eight shows plus everything else he does if he was trying to do everything himself or make every decision. What’s the counsel you give to people to get beyond self-employed and become an owner of a real asset?

I think what happens is that, we trudge along and all of a sudden we wake up one day and we go, “Is this it? Is this really it?” It doesn’t matter whether you’re a business owner or whether you’re in a career or if you’re a stay-at-home mom, it doesn’t matter. All of a sudden, one day you wake up and going, “I sacrificed everything and this is it?” It’s going to happen. Sometimes it happens to you in your 30s. That day is coming. I usually get people, so crisis management is that. You hit this thing and you go, “Is this really how I’m going to live the next 20, 30, 40, or 50 years of my life?” Deep inside the person is going, “No.” This is when you see the worst happen, this is where you see somebody do some major life shift. I come in. I’m really good at that moment. Here’s what I do, I’d take people through a real reflection in the mirror and that really is the hardest thing for anybody to do. I challenge you too, just go stand in front of your mirror right now, look yourself dead in the eye and tell yourself your real truths, because you’ll probably look away. Most people do, and that’s okay.

Being able to stand with your own truth is the beginning of what life is really about. Here’s what you do. It doesn’t matter whether you work for somebody else or whether you do this for yourself. The first thing you need to really define is what is your value? What do you as you, in your language, value? What means something to you? Is that X amount of dollars in the bank? Is that the way your husband or wife looks at you? Is it the vacation? What is it that you value you? Just think about it. That is all your life will have. If I had these things, I would feel joy, happiness, bliss. That takes some work because people are very good to be able to tell me what they don’t want, but they don’t know to tell me what they do want. If you can’t just define in real clear articulation what it looks like, what it feels like, what it smells like, what it feels like for you from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed for one glorious, magical day, how can you steer a team to it? How can you build the company to it? How can you build the marriage to it? How would you even recognize it if you don’t know what it is? I think that’s step one is to put together, Steve has a vision board. I have a vision board. Every one of my clients has a vision board to clearly put together a collage of pictures that tells you what you would see, feel, hear, smell when you’ve got it.

Then once you’ve got that destination, that’s where you’re going. Then you need to show it to all the people that are in your life to see if that’s where they’re going too. My ex is my best friend and I’m so grateful for that because one day when he and I were doing our vision board, what we noticed was that his board looked completely different from mine. That we were going into very different directions. That what I consider to be bliss and happiness was actually his living hell. I didn’t turn into the girl that he had on that vision board. I’m like, “You should have that girl but don’t make her me because that is my hell.”We were able to transition our relationship into really amazing cheerleaders and support for wanting each other, even though we were going in a different direction. Ending something positively as your support system is a good thing. Something ending just means something else is beginning. I think we have to do that in our careers when we try so hard. You’re getting out of college and paying off this and jumping ten years into a career to wake up one day, “This feels awful.” That’s okay. What do you wanted to feel like? You have to do the sweat and the heavy thinking on where are you going and what does it look and feel like and what other people look like and what’s happening and where are you spending your time? It’s why I tell people I actually don’t work because I’m doing every single day exactly what I would be doing if I designed it because my life is absolutely 100%by design. I do the things that I absolutely love and I work with people for some things that I have to do that I don’t really want to do.

USO 37 | Innovating Strategically

Innovating Strategically: You do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.

Denzel Washington says it best. Denzel Washington says, “You do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.” That’s a wonderful thing. This front work, the thinking, I believe that success is 50/25/25. 50% of it is in the thinking, 25% is in the planning and 25% is in the execution. Can’t just jump to the end because you had missed 75% of it. This is what I help my clients do. I help them really do the heavy, heavy questions and answering. Sometimes it’s not pretty to find out what it is you really define as your reward language when it looks like you’re moving closer to what that is and not farther away from it.

You talked about the one, two, three. You have a formula that you teach people. What you were just talking about, is that the formula?

The beginning of it is the thinking.

If you got to know what the finish line looks like, you have to be able to define your success.

You’re going to define what the end looks like, right when you’re defining your bull’s eye. Then you have to define what means of transportation would you like to use? Do you want to fly there? Do you want the train, the car, are you walking because we have exact same vision, but if I want to fly and you walk, we have a problem.

Define that in a business situation.

In a business situation and you see it each and every day. You get your team together and somebody is paralysis by analysis. They don’t want to move until they have so much information. Then somebody else flies by the seat of their pants and then you’ve got a disjointing between the different team members that you’re adding to put around you. As a leader, you have to first to define where are we going and then have to define how we’re going to get there. That was buy in from the people around you. For me, I’m not a fact finder. I’m a total pain in the ass because I want to have a lot of facts to support where I’m going, but I go based on my instinct. My instinct is my quick start. I’m so a nine quick start, but I’m also nine fact finder, so there’s a problem but that’s what tells the people I have around me. I have the people around me, the facts and figures and support because I know that as I move, I need the substance as well to feel booted. That’s in my language, that’s not somebody else’s language. Once you define where you’re going and then how you’re going to get there, then it’s a matter of creating what is the plan, the blueprints. A step-by-step guide on how you’re going to define those little pebbles, those rocks that gives you the marker that you’re going in the right direction. I always say this is the breadcrumb part of the exercise. That breadcrumb is what gives you the confidence and the reassurance that you’re going in the right track. These are the omens that you’re going to see along the way that gives you that universal energy that what you’re doing is working. As entrepreneurs a lot of us need those. Then what happens is when you bit into little bite size pieces, all of a sudden you start moving in the right direction. You start attracting the people that match your core values and your mode of transportation. That’s the big shift. When I worked for entrepreneurs that is what I see is when you put the thinking, planning and then the doing in that order, things start to move.

Amilya, if people want to be plugged more into you. I know you’ve got some things in development, you can’t really talk about them yet, but people can find you on video recordings of you, I’m sure, what’s the way you most would like people if they want to learn more about what you’re doing, they want to follow you, they want to buy your books, they want to go to your events, how do people plug into you?

I’m fairly easy to find, is my website and I also my Human Behavior Analysis is under I am getting closer to being able to be a resource for people to banter with, to be able to give them the next step. I’m doing that via TV, radio, books and speaking because that’s really the things that bring me joy and happiness at this stage in my life. I’m hoping to bring more of it for people. Check in with me in social @Amilya on Twitter. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, all those things.

Do you have a book that you really recommend to people that you think everybody ought to read this book if they’re trying to grow business?

The Alchemist

There’s so many. I definitely love The Alchemist. I think that really helps you realize where you’re going to find those steps. I love Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why. I think he’s brilliant. He’s got a new book out too. I really like his philosophy. He’s just a great human being. I think he’s inspirational. He’s solid. He’s a good go-to guy. I like all of the all steps book. All the things that he does as far as marketing is concerned, because it gives you that perspective. I’ve read everything you can think of from the Purple Cow to Tipping Point and all those business books. I think you pick up a nugget from each one of them. You need to fill your brain with that out-of-the-box thinking and so I think that’s what books like good to great, pour your heart. All those things do for us is they can inspire us to just march to our own tune and whatever that is for you. If that’s yoga and meditation, if that’s reading, if that’s networking, however you refill your bucket to keep believing, to keep going. That’s what you have to do for yourself.

Do you have a quote, a saying, a song lyric, something that just is very inspirational to you? Something you seem to reflect on or you’ve got it up on the wall someplace?

My whole life is full of sayings because I love them. I use music as a tool. I use it before I have to take the stage, I use it to change my mood. I love music. All kinds of music. I think Christina Aguilera’s Fighter is definitely one of my classic go-tos because every time somebody thinks I can’t, I will. That definitely inspires me. I believe that when people show you who they are, you need to believe them. I think that is something that Oprah shared with me from Maya. I keep that lesson with me. I think the quote, “Money makes you more of who you really are” is unbelievably wise. I wish I would’ve learned that years ago. All of those things are my language of how I keep myself moving in the direction of the road less traveled. For me, I’m not on the road that’s evenly paved. That’s my choice. I’m always usually tromping through the dark woods without a light. Those inspirational quotes, my music, my meditation, the things that I allow in my brain as far as reading or thoughts or knowledge, all make me stay on course. The one that you can’t see.

I’m the same way. People tease me, but I put on Frank Sinatra before I go speak. That whole morning that I’m getting ready, it’s Frank Sinatra. I’ll listen to him almost any other time in my life, but there’s a level of cool swagger that I love that he has and it changes the dynamic.

I listen to Michael Bublé before I step on stage because it’s the modern version of some of those classics. You just have to do that thing for you. People have to learn to properly feed themselves emotionally, spiritually because that is what makes your life feel the way it is. I always tell people, “It’s not how much money you make, it’s how life feels each and every day.” That is your bank account, how it feels. What I can tell people is that in this moment right now in your life, you don’t like the way you feel, change it. Do something right now to change it because it will be over in a blink of an eye.

We’re going to end right there. That is a perfect place to end. My guest has been Amilya Antonetti, Watch for her on television. Go to her website, read her books. Amilya has been somebody who I’ve been grateful to know. From a little bit of an arm’s distance but we’ve stayed in touch over the years and it’s meant a lot to me that we have. I’m so excited for your success. I’m so excited for how we’re all going to get a lot more of you soon and we won’t go into that, but just watch your local listings folks. There’s good stuff coming on television. Amilya, thanks so much for being here on the Unshackled Owner Podcast. I’m just really grateful for our time together.

Thank you.


About Amilya Antonetti

USO 37 | Innovating StrategicallyAmilya’s vast expertise and experiences make her a leading business consultant both on air and in real life.

She is currently publishing her fourth book The Conflict Code: How To Get What You Want From Anyone.

Her goal is to support individuals which will directly impact multiple companies, families and communities through her life changing program.







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