Ann Marie was living life as a normal teenager when she lost her brother in a car accident. This incident triggered a downward spiral in her life, and many years later she found herself battling depression and severe anxiety.
Determined to get out of this rut, she left her native Ireland, traveled around the US and eventually moved to London where she started a blog to document her experiences.
This blog has now grown into a Business and Life Strategy service which Ann Marie calls A Lighter Side To Life. Through this venture, she guides and mentors individuals who seek to optimize their lives and achieve their dreams.
In this interview, Ann Marie talks about her goals, dreams and her vision for impact.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background
I was born and raised in a little village called Ballyjamesduff in County Cavan, Ireland. I had a simple and normal life growing up. However, everything changed when I turned 18. My brother died in a car accident. A little while after that tragedy, I lost a relationship I had been in for 8 years. This was the beginning of a major breakdown for me.
A few years later, I decided to get a Masters degree in Creative Digital Media. I was nearly done with that program when I realized everything I was doing was not giving me purpose. It was not what I wanted to do with my life. At that point, everything hit me. All the years of hiding my pain and grief fell apart and I went into a spin of depression. I also started to get frequent anxiety attacks.
I needed to get out, so I jumped on the next flight to New York. I traveled around the US for a while before I finally moved to London. Since then, I have been on a path of self-discovery and personal development.
Why did you decide to go into success mentoring and coaching?
After making the big move to London, I started A Lighter Side to Life. It was initially a blog about my life and everything I had learned over almost a decade. It became very popular. I got over 300,000 views in only the first year.
I started to receive messages and emails from people who wanted advice about things happening in their own lives. At that stage, I felt under-qualified to give out advice, but I realized I thoroughly enjoyed helping people move forward in their lives. It gave me a lot of joy to get someone on the right path to achieve the life of their dreams.
I began to sign up for a lot of personal development courses and after about 10 years, I became a trained Life Coach and set up my business.
After running my coaching service for a few years, I realized my style of working had evolved into a strategy and goal setting approach. This new method was having a noticeable positive impact on the lives of my clients, so I decided to switch my career focus to Business and Life Strategy.
How do you balance business development with being an entrepreneur?
Having the right balance in life is essential. It is important to create time to reflect on yourself. This is a key tip I focus on with my clients, and I incorporate it into my own life as well.
In this time you can develop a clear vision of what a “good day” looks like to you. Everyone’s vision will be a little different, but once you have this clear in your mind, you will have enough time to accommodate personal relationships and business demands. Most importantly, you will get precious alone time to reset. This is a crucial part of self-care that we often neglect.
This reflection time, coupled with practicing gratitude and visualization, ensure that I always have balanced days. These balanced days lead to balanced weeks, months, years, and all in all, a balanced life.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced in running your business?
In the past, I have been a workaholic. I will also be the first to say that I am my own worst critic.
I have learned how to say no to anything that does not help me grow personally or in my business. I believe all business owners struggle with this. It is only natural when you are passionate about your work, but it could be at the risk of burning out.
Learning to say no will help you be at your best in every area of your professional and personal life; not only for yourself but for others as well.
What is your vision for the future of your brand?
Success for everyone looks so different. It really comes down to you.
As Alightersidetolife continues to grow in leaps and bounds, I aim to keep a balanced approach to the growth of the business. I love supporting people in developing strategies to create the life of their dreams. I can see how much it helps my clients.
We are evolving into a more global world as businesses and careers surpass borders. I see Alightersidetolife reflecting this. We will grow internationally and establish drop-in centers worldwide. This will allow us to not only reach more people and learn from their needs, wants, dreams and desires but also open the possibilities of a lighter side to life to them.
You can contact Ann Marie on Instagram and check out her website; alightersidetolife.com
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