140: Why Not Now with Amy Jo Martin | Tanya Dalton
Amy Jo Martin podcast interview on The Intentional Advantage
September 17, 2019   |   Episode #:

140: Why Not Now with Amy Jo Martin

In This Episode:

We have to start challenging ourselves and asking those tough questions if we truly want to make an impact. Today’s guest is Amy Jo Martin, the author of NY Times best-seller Renegades Write the Rules and host of the Why Not Now Podcast. We discuss exploring questions with yourself such as, “why can’t I make an impact?”, “why not now?” “if not me, then who?”. She shares how she started her first business, Digital Royalty before exiting it in 2016 to pursue Renegade Brand Bootcamp, a mastermind for female founders and entrepreneurs. We chat about slowing down, unglorifying busy and living at a sustainable pace. She shares her experience of being a millionaire while feeling physically and emotionally bankrupt and why you need to take action on moments of bravery.

Show Transcript:

The Big Idea

Start asking the tough questions.

Questions I Answer

  • How can I be braver?
  • What does it mean to play full out?
  • How can I hold myself accountable?
  • What can I do to take more risks?

Actions to Take

  • Why not now? Whatever it is you’re wanting to do, make a plan, take action and go for it. Make that first tiny step that you need to make to get yourself where you want to go.
  • Order my Book, The Joy of Missing Out

Key Topics in the Show

  • Amy Jo’s approach to slowing down and taking a sustainable pace

  • When Amy Jo recognized it was time to walk away from the chaos

  • Amy Jo’s mantra “play full out”

  • How our life’s experiences are meant to help others

  • Amy Jo’s advice on putting mechanisms in place to hold yourself accountable

  • Taking action on moments of bravery

Show Transcript

Welcome to Season 11 of Productivity Paradox with Tanya Dalton, a podcast 

focused on finding true fulfillment and happiness through the power of productivity. Join Tanya this season as she explores the theme of small changes for big impact. To get her free checklist, Five Minutes to Peak Productivity, simply g

to inkWELLpress.com/podcast. 

Now here’s your host, Tanya Dalton. 

Tanya: 

Hello everyone. Welcome to Productivity Paradox. I’m your host Tanya Dalton, and this is episode 140 where we’re going to ask the question today, why not now? And I have a special guest today who’s going to be helping us answer that question. Amy Jo Martin. Amy Jo is the author of the New York Times Best Seller Renegades Write the Rules and she’s the host of the Why Not Now podcast. In 2009 Amy Jo founded one of the 

first social media agencies called Digital Royalty to help corporations, celebrities, and sports entities humanize their brands online through social communication channels. She’s worked closely with renowned brands such as Dwayne, the Rock, Johnson, Hilton, Shaquille O’Neal, and Nike. After a successful seven-year run, Amy Jo exited Digital Royalty in 2016 and she has since launched the Renegade Brand Bootcamp, a three-month intensive training mastermind designed to help female founders and entrepreneurs own their voice online and grow their businesses. 

Tanya: 

She has a social media following of more than 1 million people and was named the third most powerful woman on Twitter by Forbes Magazine, Amy Jo calls the black Hills of South Dakota home along with her husband, their son and their two Aussie shepherds. Amy Jo is the ideal person to have on for this podcast season where we’re talking about small changes for big impact because she’s going to be asking us why not now? So, let’s go ahead and dive in. Amy Jo, I’m so happy to have you on the show today. 

Amy Jo: 

Thank you for having me Tanya. I am excited to be here. 

Tanya: 

Absolutely. So, I want to dive in to this idea of renegades because I know you wrote an amazing book called Renegades Write the Rules. So, I’m curious, can you share with my listeners, what do you think defines a renegade? 

Amy Jo: 

I love it. Great question out of the gate. So, renegades are a disruptor, but they are not a destructor, if that makes sense. So, we’re looking at someone who thrives in getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. The unknown is like candy, someone who is willing to kind of shake 

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hands and make friends with adversity because anytime you innovate, you’re going to have that shadow of adversity. And renegades, they don’t ask a lot of permission. They just ask for that forgiveness when necessary and they write the rules, they truly do, and they rewrite them and rewrite them. And innovation is messy. So, they’re used to getting their hands dirty. 

Tanya: 

I think that’s so true. Innovation is messy. A lot of what we go through when we’re making a change, we’re making an impact or when we’re really following who it is we want to be, which is what you’re saying there with being a renegade. It can be a little bit messy because you can get outsiders questioning what you’re doing and all kinds of questions of yourself even. 

Amy Jo: 

Absolutely. It’s like a muscle that you continue to build in and with working it out with practice, your threshold becomes a little higher, so your tolerance for that adversity just grows, but it does take practice. 

Tanya: 

But I would say anyone could be a renegade, right? This season we’re talking about the topic of small changes for a big impact that anybody, no matter how big or small you think you are, whether you have a platform or you’re someone famous or you’re just a regular everyday person living their life. We all have that ability to be a renegade and to really make an impact. Would you agree? 

Amy Jo: 

Absolutely. And that’s where I love the theme of your season. It’s that little and often the micro-steps make a macro impact eventually. 

Tanya: 

I love that 

Amy Jo: 

So, the consistency is that is key for sure. 

Tanya: 

I think that’s so true that I like what you said there about basically small things have that bigger impact. 

And I think that’s why these stories matter, that our stories really do make a difference in our lives. And sharing our stories can make a 

difference in the lives of other people as well. 

Amy Jo: 

Absolutely. And I think in my case, I’ve learned that renegades can have a tendency of being a little bit drawn to or potentially addicted to adrenaline and that unknown and that excitement and that adventure is fueling. And in my case, I actually took it a little far with my first company and it was a wonderful experience and from the outside looking in and things were rocking and rolling, but the pace was a little too fast. So, in terms of kind of running off of adrenaline. It’s very unsustainable fuel, it’s exciting but… And so, I think that this theme of little and often smaller steps adding up day after day can actually get 

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you to the same place as someone who you might be looking over at who’s hustling and just chasing and grinding and grasping. 

And then they have to stop, and rest longer or even quit. So, my philosophy has shifted over the years. It used to be, go as fast as you can, get ahead, make those mistakes so you can fail early and often. And now it’s a much more sustainable pace but I’ve had to learn the hard way. So, a note to all the renegades out there, you can learn from me. 

Tanya: 

Well, I like what you said there about how it’s more sustainable, these little steps instead of hustling and hustling. Because I think there’s that message from society, there’s that glorification of busy and we see that. 

If you’re not hustling, you’re not really moving. And I don’t think that’s true necessarily. I think these little tiny steps we make, they add up and they make a difference. So, you obviously shifted from being a hustler to being a little more focused on these smaller, more impactful steps, I would say. So, what was it that allowed you to make that transition? What was the mindset shift that you had to go through in order to change the way you felt about that? 

Amy Jo: 

There was a bit of a scene actually. So, I was riding the wave as I was with my first company, a 20 something first time entrepreneur who, who didn’t know what she was doing, a first-time rodeo. But that’s all of us, right? I don’t know that any of us truly know what we’re doing, but that being so 

Tanya: 

We’re all fumbling through. 

Amy Jo: 

We’re all students. We’re all doing this for the first time. For the most part, every day is different, but some do have more experience than the others. But it was over a decade ago when I set out to start my first company. I had been working for the Phoenix Suns of professional sports pretty much all my life in different capacities. 

And right out of the gate the company started growing quickly and it was one of those things where I felt like I was kind of holding onto a rocket ship and it looked great, sounded great. The story online that I shared via social media, the play by play was fancy. We hit seven figures and by year two we were working with some of the biggest brands in the world and movie stars and that’s great. But you get the New York Times Best Selling book and all of these accolades and what was really going on behind the scenes was I was averaging four hours of sleep at night, on 210 flights in one year and I was really running out of gas. So there became the scene in the JFK airport where I’m staring at the departure board, I don’t know where I am or where I’m going, which was kind of common. 

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I know often these travelers do that a lot where it’s kind of like, where am I again? This specific 

Tanya: 

Rock stars who have to be told what city they’re in. 

Amy Jo: 

Yeah. Well I heard that you go at that point, probably a bit of a rock star. I couldn’t remember where I was, where I was going, finally figured it out and I walk over to fill up my tank at Starbucks and I went to sign the receipt and I couldn’t remember my name Tanya. I stood there and I get full chills and tears in my eyes won’t even tell the story because it was the lowest of low. It took me way too long to remember my name and I walk over and sit down after that. And just the tears, not the hysterical, ugly cry, the, what have I done tears and I had done it. 

Thad created a situation where I was emotionally and physically bankrupt and I was a millionaire. And those two things clashed in such a way that I knew there had to be another way. And I pretty much decided from that point on, life’s got to change. And so, it was messy to untangle this machine, an engine that I had created, and it was completely my doing. So that was the big wake up call. I mean I’m lucky to be alive. I was going at such a pace and there were some health issues and there was just a lot of depression that was behind the scenes. But on social media and in front of the camera it looked great because I was telling 

that story I thought I should tell. To kind of answer your question here, one of the biggest lessons that I continue to work toward and learn is understanding when to make things happen versus when to let them happen. 

And I was becoming so good at forcing things and sometimes it would create a home run and more than often it would be a disaster because it wasn’t supposed to happen. But I knew I could out of sheer force of will. So that’s my barometer these days. Am I supposed to? Is this something that one of the times where I push on the gas or do, I need to ease up and there was zero easing up back then. So hopefully I’m getting better at that one. 

Tanya: 

We’re all works in progress. First of all, how incredibly brave you had to be to take this facade that you had created basically where everybody‘s looking at you from the outside saying, “She has it all together.” And then to be so raw and vulnerable to say, “I’m going to walk away from that.” 

That yes, you guys all think that I’m doing this great job, that’s incredibly hard to walk away from. I think because we all put forward these masks of what life is like, right? That life is amazing, life is great. Look at my Instagram, right? Everything looks incredible. But meanwhile for so many people we’re falling apart at the seams. We’re struggling to get things done, we’re forgetting our own names. We’re losing who we are in the 

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throes of the busy life and the busy day. So that must’ve been incredibly difficult to then untangle yourself from this life that you had created. And so, I just want to say, first of all, kudos to you because that is incredibly brave and it’s really hard to walk away from. 

Amy Jo: 

Well, thank you. It was a humbling season. 

Tanya: 

I can imagine. How do you know when to put your foot on the gas and when to maybe tap the brakes a little bit? 

Amy Jo: 

So, I have been really practicing listening and this whole intuition thing that I had always heard of. And I knew it was something people talked about, but I kind of thought it was a bit of an excuse or just a very intangible thing. And I’ve tried to make it more tangible. Historically, I’m a very linear thinker. I love my spreadsheets, I like things to be as clear as possible. And so, if someone would’ve said to me several years ago, “Hey, what’s your intuition saying? What’s your gut saying?” I would just be like, “Should we get out a magic 8 ball?” Because this woo session. 

Tanya: 

What do you mean? 

Amy Jo: 

It feels WOO, yeah. What do the numbers say? So, I buy it now, I get it. It’s science actually. Physiologically I’ve been learning more how to read my own physical cues. Like how am I feeling in my body? Which was such a foreign concept to me. But you can back this up with science. So, I do like it and my spreadsheet girl made friends with my more kind of spiritual girl I guess you’d say. And it’s a nice mix. I love a good pendulum swing and I think I’ve tried to do the 180 at first, but that middle ground of having a little bit of both is where I like to play. And 

there’s still a work hard, playful side that’s hard play instead of hard work I would say. I don’t hustle necessarily, but I do work hard. I love what | do. So, I listened to my body and I have some amazing support around me, and I learned to sleep again, 

And meditation has been huge. And for someone who also wasn’t super bought in on that concept, I’ve really changed my tune. 

Tanya: 

Thave too. I think you’re right. I think we think sometimes these soft 

things are soft. Even though there’s hard evidence to back them up and we feel like it’s too woo woo, this idea of visualization or the law of attraction or meditation in these things. Because we’re so busy hustling, We‘re so busy working hard and that can’t work. Listening to your gut, come on, just take a chance and let’s keep on moving, right? Keep moving forward. There’s a lot to be said to that. Listening to your own 

voice inside your head, listening to what your body’s saying to you. I think that’s really powerful. It is definitely a mindset shift though. 

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Amy Jo: 

Absolutely. Well and just to add to that, I work with a lot of female entrepreneurs and one of the things that I see happening is we think we want to create X, Y, Z company in order to get what we want. To feel better, but it’s truly an inside job first. There’s nothing you’re going to 

create or change about your career or a business concept that is going to do the work that needs to be done inside first. And so, in my case, 1 just wanted to design my own day after leaving the NBA and I did for the first few months. But then it grows and grows, and I created even a bigger trap for myself. And that might’ve been the perfect scenario for someone else, but I didn’t want all of that anchor and that huge responsibility and that mass kind of weight. 

I wanted mass freedom, I wanted to be able to explorer the creative side more. And so, we can easily fall into creating something that is what we were actually wanting to get away from. And it’s so easy to do. And I see 

it happening a lot that it’s so important to set those intentions on the front end because it’s not supposed to be that hard. It’s like a big secret. I realized I don’t work as much. I enjoy it more and I’m more successful than I was then. And it’s like, Whoa. 

Tanya: 

Yeah, it’s a mindset shift to realize you can work less and live more. It really is live more by doing less that when we focus on fewer, we’re really able to dive deeper and we’re able to do better work. And now I do want to talk to you in just a minute about this idea of play full out because I know that’s been your mantra lately, 

But first, let’s give a quick shout out to today’s sponsor. Today’s episode of the podcast is brought to you by, well me actually because I really wanted to do something to really help bring about a little more joy, a little more happiness in your lives. And as you know, my book, the Joy of Missing Out is coming out in just a few weeks. And I wanted to do something to help you rediscover your own joy. So, I am going to be offering a free challenge called Five Days for Finding Your Joy. This challenge will run September 23rd through the 27th and each day there’s a video talking about a technique to discover what cultivates and brings you joy. And as with most things that I teach, I’ve done a ton of research to make sure everything I’m talking about is scientifically based and valid. I didn’t want this to be some surface-level fluff type challenge. 

My goal is that by going through this challenge, you are going to be more mindful and more aware of the things that bring you joy, not the superficial stuff. Along with the video each day, there’s an exercise designed to take no more than 15 minutes, but it will work to get at the heart of what truly does bring you joy. I would love to have you in the challenge. It’s absolutely free, but it’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re going to have some Facebook lives. We’re going to have some prizes. So, don’t miss out. Just head to joyofmissingout.com/challenge to sign up. I would love to see you there. 

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NOW, Amy Jo, since the birth of your son Lincoln, who is totally adorable and so cute, you leaned into this mantra of play full out, which also means prioritizing full out. So, could you share with my listeners a little bit about what that means for you? What does that mean to play full out? 

Amy Jo: 

Yes. So yes, it’s kind of incredible. My son was born three months early, so he was a surprise. I was on a layover in Denver by myself at the airport and went into labor. So here I fast forward and I’m living now in Denver with my husband for three months. And I just started learning and accepting these gifts that Lincoln has given us and one of which is play full out, play big and play to win versus not to lose. And all these things sound so cliché, but I literally would hear these kinds of messages. And they would talk about woo woo and I think it was just my soul trying to tell me, “Hey, I’ve got something here for you.” So, what it means to me is that doesn’t mean work harder. It doesn’t mean add more things to the to do list. 

It means get crystal clear on what you want and then do it and play bigger. And so, I mean when you come across a situation where it really is life and death and, in this case, Lincoln was two pounds. It’s very sobering to look back at the way you have been living. And I thought | had been playing full out. I mean I’m renegade and so on and so forth. And I have, but there was so much more room to get focused and you know the little things that we’ve been thinking about doing forever or the big things, do it now. Do it now, today, start today. 

And the things that you haven’t been wanting to do that you’ve been doing, stop doing shit you hate. Like absolutely stop. Find a way, delegate, delete, whatever. So, it sounds very simple, but when something big like that happens, hopefully the clarity that I’ve gotten is finding its way to other people just through kind of me sharing Lincoln’s story because I don’t believe you have to go through that in order to have a shift like this in your life. I think you really can embrace the ripple effect of other stories and hopefully that’s happening. 

Tanya; 

I think it’s so true and you’re so forthcoming with sharing your story about this and allowing others to see that light of, this is the journey I’ve been through and this is the path I’ve gone and don’t necessarily follow me on this path of blah, blah, blah maybe on this one. But allowing people to really understand what you’ve been through. I do believe our experiences that we have in our lives, they are opportunities to help other people. That’s one of the things that I cling to myself when I’m dealing with a really not so great situation in life is that there’s something that’s going to come out of this, whether it’s helping me or helping somebody else. People really get a lot out of what you share. Do you agree with that? 

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Amy Jo: 

Absolutely. And we do learn what we must teach and that means embracing your story. And there’s something for everyone to pay for it. It is who you are and that’s the one reason why you’ve lived the life and the storyline you have is because it’s to be shared, in my opinion. And so that’s what it’s all about. 

Tanya: 

I think that’s so true. And I know that you ask people this question all the time. You ask, if not you then who? And if not now than when? So, what can you give my listeners as we’re closing out the show? What could you tell them so they can stop questioning whether they are worthy of making the impact? What can you share with them that maybe you’ve learned from the… I mean you have had some amazing guests on your show to really shift through that why not now moment to get them to move from thinking to action. Do you have any words of advice you could share here? 

Amy Jo: 

Absolutely. My number one renegade guideline that I love, and I’ve interviewed now hundreds of people and worked with some pretty big renegades in my career. One thing that most renegades do is they put some sort of mechanism in place to hold themselves accountable. So whatever idea you have as you’re listening to this big, small, personal, professional, do something to push yourself across the starting line today. It doesn’t mean you have to go do it 100%, take that very first step and hold yourself accountable. Don’t give yourself an out. Sometimes that’s as small as telling someone else who will hold you accountable and you know it. Who will hold your feet to the fire. It could be announcing it on social media. 

It could be booking the trip, sending the email, setting the meeting with your boss, setting the meeting with your spouse. Because we have to take action on those moments of bravery because they pass, right? And everything I’ve ever done in my life, that’s been big, that’s been a pivot, that’s been life changing, has been in a moment of bravery. And if you wait it out, that fear will creep in and you won’t catch that window

Tanya: 

That’s true. 

Amy Jo: 

So, hold yourself accountable. What could you do today? 

Tanya: 

Yeah, that fear likes to find all those little tiny cracks and crevices and work its way in and fill you full of self-doubt. I would agree with that. I love that advice. 

Amy Jo: 

So much. 

Tanya; 

So that’s the call to action for today. Why not now? Whatever it is you’re wanting to do, why not right now? Why not as soon as this podcast 

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ends? Why not now? Make that first itty bitty, teeny tiny little step that you need to make. 

Amy Jo: 

Absolutely Tanya. 

Tanya: 

Thank you so much for being on the show today, Amy Jo. I really loved having you on. 

Amy Jo: 

I enjoyed it as well. Thank you so much. 

Tanya: 

I think what I love most about this episode with Amy Jo is truly how she gets us to think about why can’t we make these changes? Why can’t we live that life we really want? Why can’t we make that impact? I want you to ask yourself that question. Why not now? If not now, when? If not you then who? Ask yourself these questions because you know what, you were meant for greatness. So why not go and achieve it now? That’s truly what I want for you out of this entire season, I want you to understand how utterly amazing you are and how you truly can make a difference and make a change. And speaking of making a change, don’t forget to sign up for that free five-day challenge that I’m offering. 

Tanya: 

It all starts September 23rd, but you’ll want to sign up in advance. We’ll be having some little goodies I’ll be sending you before it all begins. 

Simply go to joyofmissingout.com/challenge to sign up. I really want you to rediscover what brings you happiness. I want you to find your joy, so please do sign up. I’d love to see you in the challenge. All right. Next week we’re going to be doing something very different on the podcast, so I don’t want to give too much away, but we’re going to be talking about finding your yes. And we’re going to do it in a very different way than anything we’ve done on the podcast before, so until next time, have a beautiful and productive week. 

Thanks for listening to Productivity Paradox. Now, we’d love to have you join the conversation. To Join Tanya’s free group, simply go to Tanyadalton.com/group. 

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