Amanda Munday is the best-selling author of Day Nine: A Postpartum Depression Memoir, a Tedx speaker, a childcare activist, and the CEO and founder of The Workaround— the first co-working spaces with childcare in Toronto and only one of less than a dozen in North America. Oh, and a single co-parent to two cute kids under age 10. Sit down already, right?
When lockdowns meant Amanda’s co-working and childcare business had to shut down until further notice, she began appearing in and on media outlets to sing the battle cry of small business owners and working parents. Many moms we know were feeling the burden of invisible labour and a lack of leadership guiding us in how we were meant to handle working from home while homeschooling kids and avoiding a scary virus, and Amanda was giving us a voice.
Amanda came to Kickstartology angry, burnt out, hoping we’d have answers. But also highly intelligent and used to finding loopholes, she was determined to prove that even we couldn’t help her slow down.
So I laughed pretty hard when she said on a call this week, “I used to be somebody who took pride in how hard and long I worked. And now I’m someone who honours rest and breaks.” Since her time in Kickstartology, she’s changed some massive pieces of her life; leased her dream car, moved into her dream house, is dating a different calibre of women (her renewed energy has improved her dating options), and re-opened her thriving business to profits and new locations on the horizon, and even found time to take care of herself.
What was your big a-ha moment? The point at which Kickstartology felt aligned with what you were hoping for?
Oh, Stephanie gave me so many good ones! But one big a-ha was, “You need to drop the ‘I’m a broken, scorned poor entrepreneur’ story.” It was effective to do the ‘small businesses getting crushed by COVID’ narrative thing you’ve been doing in the media, maybe in 2020. But this narrative that you are a small business owner who’s struggling is not serving you. Oh, we have to let that go.
And that hit me in the face for a long time. Like, holy fuck, you’re right! It’s all about how I’m showing up in the world, how I perceive my daily life, and even the stories I’m telling myself! Revenue for my business is almost dollar for dollar, whether I’m crying about being ruined by a pandemic or pushing to change the world. But in one case, I am consistently growing step-by-step, a little bit every day. And in another, I’m telling the story of getting my ass kicked, “It’s so hard, everything is challenging, and I should quit.” And “My business is never going to be what it was before COVID.” And Stephanie imploring me to “Let that go” was probably the biggest a-ha. Ever.
How has your self-image changed since joining Kickstartology?
I am working on it. I wouldn’t say that I’ve shifted all the way to an exclusively positive self-image, but I am more comfortable and accepting of where I am at this moment. Accepting that I sometimes make decisions that are not the best for me personally or for the business. I learned I can’t do it all by myself, I need to outsource some things, and I need to take breaks. Pausing the workaholic addiction was one of the more frustrating challenges I took on with Kickstartology. I resisted this work for a long time until I learned that I’m not some fucking enigma who can write a book and run a business and have hours to take care of these kids and have a beautiful relationship like Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach without breaking down and getting sick… This self-image of “I’m a powerhouse”—what does that even mean? The more realistic view of who I am is much more comfortable for me today.
How has your life changed as a result of Kickstartology, and how would your life be different had you not gone through the program?
Kickstartology’s philosophy and pedagogy are next level. It has completely shifted my thinking on so many different avenues of my life, not just my career. How I look at dating and navigating coming out later in life, for example. Flipping my thinking from “this is a hardship” to “what if this was easy” took a lot of ongoing, daily work. But now I see the value in so many areas. For instance, I have been thinking about joining F45, and I keep [going back and forth on] “Will I like this? It seems intense.” Is there an easier program, or should I just run outside and save money? Then I think, “Why am I dog-paddling around thinking about doing the thing? Just do the thing!” I literally have Kickstartology in my head when I realize I’ve been thinking about doing something for too many days, and zero progress has been made. Now I hear our weekly coaching calls in my ear telling me to “Stop thinking about doing the thing and just do the thing, and if you don’t like it, then who cares! Try F45 once, do one 45-minute cardio class, and you’re done.” Instead of spending all my time thinking but staying stuck in, “I’m the kind of person who wishes I went to F45. But I just don’t want to go, I want to sit here on TikTok.”
Before Kickstartology, I subscribed to a mindset-driven philosophy for moving through life. And what’s good about Kickstartology is it’s not at all about, “Just change your mindset, and everything’s gonna be okay.” You have this workbook where you’ve got to write all these things daily. What are we grateful for? What do we learn? What are we working on? What happened yesterday? What’s going on today? It forced me to actually do what I said I would do! Have integrity for the commitments I made to myself. That daily routine has become a habit for me now. I still follow the workbook prompts every single morning.
What was the most significant realization you had as a result of Kickstartology?
“I already have access to everything I need to be successful” was a big realization for me.
I started Kickstartology when we were in lockdown. So it was very easy to think, “I can’t make money. I’m in lockdown. My business is closed.” But then I got to reopen, and I opened to “sold out!” —because I did the work BEFORE we reopened. Then I leased a new car (this was also part of me finalizing my divorce and needing to take care of myself) that better reflected the life I knew I needed to live—instead of saying, “I should stay small and cautious.” Because how does “small and cautious” reflect the big audacious goals I’m striving to hit? And driving around, I realized that I don’t need to wallow in hardships. I can move through challenges with the attitude of “Do what you can, there are always avenues, and you can make money.” [My reopening] was successful because I was building and working towards success without letting the barrier of being closed stop me.
I was not impacted by labour shortages because I made a decision to keep my staff on payroll through lockdowns. Because that felt like the right thing to do. It was also the more expensive thing to do. Like my shiny new car, I needed to live the way I thought I would in the future, NOW. I want to be the type of employer who pays their team members when unforeseen closures throw us for a loop. Of course, I had to be thoughtful and creative to ensure I was making sound financial decisions, but saying, “I just don’t have the money” is also a barrier. I had to prioritize the action I wanted to achieve. And then we went forward once the lockdowns lifted, and we were okay. My staff returning without delay (because they remained on payroll) meant we could serve more people quicker, getting profitable faster.
I had the same attitude toward dating post-divorce. I could have stayed stuck in a mindset of, “When I’m not nesting, when I move out of this house, then I can date.” Or “Oh, I need to go through more therapy. Oh, I need to resolve my attachment wounds first.” Instead, I tried on “I can start dating, and some healing actually happens in conjunction with another person.” I brought that thinking and accountability to my coaching calls, which forced me to take action and not stall. And that work got me further along in my growth journey because I stopped waiting for some ideal scenario and just went forward and tried it. Some of these relationships were really messy, and some women truly broke my heart. Sometimes I broke my own heart. I was pretty devastated, but I was vulnerable. I was honest. I tried. And I’m better for it.
Why should someone go through Kickstartology Coaching? What would you tell someone wondering if KC is right for them?
You should go through Kickstartology Coaching because there is something for everyone’s learning style. It’s not a typical coaching program. I know, I’ve tried many. There are one-on-one calls. There’s weekly group sharing. There is educational reading and science to learn about why their approach is effective, and excellent emotional intelligence and awareness of how our behaviours and thinking can impact our habit forming. There are a lot of different avenues of the brain that I feel the program hits, and it’s an affordable model for the outcomes achieved.
What’s the value of being in a group?
The value of being in the group is being seen by others. You have people who are following your success and genuinely celebrating it. And then if you show up messy or with a story of “I had a bad time on this date,” or “I’m not doing well at work this week,” you hear someone else in that same place and their problem-solving approach and your feelings mirrored back to you. I truly loved those morning calls for honouring growth and stagnation at times. We would cheer people for small wins, and it felt amazing every Monday morning. “Look at the progress people are making!” “I actually did the drawing I said I was gonna do.” Or “I’m doing my first show.” “Oh, I set up my online store.” You witness people taking small steps, and even if they don’t see it, you observe the impact of people trying to better themselves week after week. I loved knowing that someone smashed the milestone they set out to meet, often sooner than they expected to, and those same people witnessed me. Each week I was genuinely excited to hear about other people’s wins. It was really good to witness people’s successes (and failures!).
If you’re ready to uncover and rewrite some of the stories that may be keeping you stuck, join us at Reset Lab, our free intro coaching program November 7th-11th (live on Zoom) and experience the impact of the Alignment Framework for yourself.
You will come away feeling motivated and energized, with greater clarity, knowing exactly what you are going to do to start moving toward what you want and how to keep going when life or your stories about your life throw you for a loop.
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