Amy Roscoe’s star shines bright.
Since graduating from WorkBC Chilliwack’s Self Employment program in 2013, the 39-year old mother of 4 has started two thriving businesses – one in personal care, one in self-empowerment – both dedicated to helping women and girls live their best lives.
As part of our Small Business Month celebrations, we spoke with Amy about her early days as a new entrepreneur, how she discovered her true calling, and sharing her message with the world. Our conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
GT Hiring Solutions: You graduated from the WorkBC Self Employment program 5 years ago. How’s it going for you?
Amy Roscoe: Before I started the Self-Employment program, I’d never held a job for as long as 5 years. The fact that I still love what I’m doing now is better than any salary I could take.
For the first 3 years of my business it was just me, and I was working out of scarcity. I was working 6 days a week, pretty much any hour a client wanted me. If my kids were in bed and someone wanted to book an appointment with me I was like, “OK”.
At the beginning money was more important, so I sacrificed personal time and family life for the business. Now I have 4 staff and that business is self-sustaining. I can take time off for family or my other business, and it still operates very functionally.
So now I have my family life, the business is still able to run, my clients are taken care of, and my staff has the hours they need. It’s a smooth operation!
GTHS: Those early years of your business, where you were making sacrifices – that’s where a lot of people give up. What was it that allowed you to push through?
Amy: I put all my eggs in one basket. I watched both my parents do it so I always believed I could. I didn’t have a Plan B. I kind of did an ‘if you build it they will come’, but it was really like an ‘if you build it and work your butt off they will come’.
My motto during those times was “If I’m awake, I’m working.” I could be in line at the grocery store and I’d get a text message from someone wanting to book an appointment and I’d use the calendar on my cell phone to schedule the appointment.
So when the kids were in school or my ex-husband had them I could work, but when they were home and awake I wanted to spend time with them. I didn’t want to put my kids in daycare and pay someone else to raise them.
After 3 1/2 years I was working the most I wanted to and making the most money I could by working by myself. At that point I was working 50-60 hours a week and I didn’t want to work any more than that. That’s when I hired my first employees and could schedule my time AND my time off.
GTHS: And now, in addition to your first business, you’re also a coach and speaker. You’ve even had time to write a book! How did you decide to pursue that path?
Amy: (Laughs) I know, right? All this free time!
One of things about my job at Sugar’d is I get to talk to women all day long. And over the last 5 years I’ve watched a lot of these women grow up, have families, and start careers. And because my job there is removing body hair, there’s a level of intimacy between me and my clients.
I hear about their lives, the challenges they’ve faced and overcome. I’d listen, give some advice, and hear about how it worked out the next time they saw me. And at the same time they’re seeing me grow my own business, hire staff… I grew with them and they grew with me.
Then some clients started to say “I’m thinking of starting a business, or going back to school, or making a big change, and YOU did it, so how do I do it?” It turned out I was already doing ‘coaching’, I just wasn’t charging for it!
All of a sudden I had a portfolio of stories from women I had coached through different parts of their lives. And with social media it was pretty easy to ask “If I did coaching, would you be interested?” And the response was amazing – it was huge.
So I started coaching women about opening their own businesses, about having a social media presence. And then I started coaching women on stepping out of their comfort zone. In turn, I stepped out of my own comfort zone and discovered something I was incredibly passionate about.
About a year ago I discovered that helping women, although I enjoyed it, wasn’t exactly the right step for me. I wanted to go back about 15 years and help girls who are at that pivotal age, trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. I thought maybe I can help girls make decisions I didn’t make at that age, and avoid the pitfalls some women deal with later in life.
So my book “Be Your Own Super Hero” is primarily aimed at middle school-aged girls to help them think about who they are, not just what they want to do when they grow up. I was a B student, and kind of slipped through the cracks in school. And I think there’s a lot of girls like that. So if I can help them figure out their strengths and passions, they may be able to find a career that fits them at a much younger age than I did.
GTHS: In your experience, what’s the most important thing a girl at that age needs to consider to find the career that fits them?
Amy: The first step, the biggest thing, is to ask ‘what do I enjoy doing that I’m also good at doing’?
We spend so much of our lives at work. And although I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing something you don’t love, I think the person who wakes up knowing they love what they do, even if it pays less, is going to be the happier person. And I think the person that figures that out, earlier in life, will be in a career for a lot longer, instead of changing careers as often as the average person does.
I want to make work feel like fun! So if a woman or girl can find something they love, and something they’re good at, and make a profit while they’re doing it – that’s the triangle of perfection if you ask me.
You can find out more about Amy and her work at: http://beyourownsuperhero.today/