MARY HYATT: “Being in alignment, to me, is being in integrity, structural alignment with the most-true parts of who you are. So being out of alignment would be—I think this is really common for women—it's like chasing this definition of success that isn't true to who they really are. It's sort of this arbitrary definition that somebody in the industry has said, ‘Okay, here's what it looks like to be successful. Here's what you got to do. Sacrifice everything along the way.’ And so there's a lot of pain involved. It looks like a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety, a lot of saying yes when your internal wisdom is saying, ‘Don't do that. Stop. Wait,’ and you're going, ‘Okay, I have to do this out of obligation, or this is what everybody says to do.’ So there's this element of self-abandonment that has to happen when you are out of alignment.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY PORTERFIELD: Welcome back to another episode of Online Marketing Made Easy.
Today we're talking about something that most entrepreneurs experience at some point in their journey, and that is burnout, exhaustion, and overwhelm. I know that you've experienced this before, because many of you have shared it with me, and I have as well. So I recently went through a time in my business where I was feeling frazzled and disconnected and depleted. This happened last year in a really big way, and I talked about it publicly. But then, also, just recently, coming off of Digital Course Academy and jumping right into my book launch, I realized, “Holy cow, wait a second. I think I'm trying to do too much, too fast,” and I started to feel those feelings of being depleted. So now I can really identify it quickly. But in the past, it's something that kind of just lingered and lingered and lingered till it became really bad that I had to face it. So I've come a long way, but I'm just here to say I've absolutely felt depleted and exhausted in my business, and I've had to kind of recalibrate a few times.
And I think for those of us who are building businesses and have teams, even small teams, this shows up in a really big way because we feel guilty. We don't want to let down our team. We don't want to make it so that if we can't get something done, then other people on the team can't get their jobs done. And then we start to hustle, and we're doing it for all the wrong reasons. And basically, this means we're out of alignment, which we're going to talk about in this episode.
So I was doing some research before I jumped on, and according to the Center for Economic and Business Research, 92 percent of small-business owners have at one point or another experienced mental-health problems, especially in the last two years. They talked about how the pandemic has really shone a light on a lot of people struggling mentally, but many, many business owners. And so the link between mental health and burnout that's left unaddressed, it's a big topic, and we need to talk about it. And that's why I invited my very dear friend Mary Hyatt on the show.
So Mary is a holistic mindset coach who helps entrepreneurs create a life and a business that lights them up from the inside and doesn't burn them out. And she's coached some of the top female entrepreneurs and C-suite executives and business owners and also has built a seven-figure business, one that she operates from a place of grace and ease. She definitely has her boundaries set, and it's a really cool thing to watch.
So we talk about how you can design a life that anchors to the most-authentic and -real parts of who you are, and take an approach to business that isn't about adding more things to your to-do list, but one that partners with your heart, body, and soul.
Now, I really love this conversation, and Mary has been a friend of mine for years and years, but, also, I worked with Mary many years ago at the time that I was getting out of my partnership. So we'll talk a little bit about that right from the get-go. But I've experienced the work that Mary does with her clients, and it changed my life. So I wanted to have her on the show to talk about some of these really important topics, so let's get to it.
Well, hello, there, Mary Hyatt. Welcome to the show.
MARY: Hey, girl. Hey. I am so excited to be here. This is a conversation I feel like that is way overdue, and I cannot wait. Cannot wait.
AMY: We’ve had some sort of this conversation over drinks many, many times.
AMY: And every time we get together, I'm like, “You need to come on my podcast. We need to talk about this.”
MARY: I know.
AMY: So I'm glad we finally are making it happen.
MARY: Me, too.
AMY: But before we dive into all the things, first, let's talk about how we met. I was trying to think, like—
AMY: —it feels like it's been so long, but do you remember how we met?
MARY: It's so funny you said that, because, like, I can remember, like, early memories, because I think it's been, like, I don't know, maybe, like, eight-ish years. But I feel like it was at some event in Franklin, and I was doing some yoga or something like that, and we had dinner at my parents’ house—
MARY: —and we instantly connected. Is that what you remember, or was it—am I getting that right?
AMY: Yes. No, it was some mastermind event. You came to do yoga with all of us, and then we, you're right, had dinner at your mom and dad's house, and that's how we became best friends.
But, I know you know this, but you might not know how much I've talked about it. I talk about this in the book. I don't name you, but I mention that getting out of my partnership was sparked by a conversation with a good friend. And you were that good friend, where you brought up my partnership, and I said, “Don't ever do that again. Let's not talk about it.”
AMY: Remember that?
MARY: Yes, definitely. You're like, “Uh, not going there. We cannot have this conversation.” And I was just, like, “Girl, we got to talk about it.”
AMY: Exactly. And so it broke me wide open and turned into the most amazing experience afterwards, so I’m always indebted to you for that. And a lot of, you know, what you shared with me along my journey of getting out of my partnership, I think, probably, those conversations will find themselves in our conversation today—
AMY: —because there was a little bit of overlap there. So I'm excited to get into all the things we're going to talk about today.
But before we do, my audience, some of them might be new to you. So in your own words, tell everyone a little bit about yourself.
MARY: Yes. Well, it's so funny because I was thinking about how to describe myself, as I always do, want to, like, update that description. And it came to me in the shower this morning, actually, and I had to get out of the shower really quick and write it down, because I feel like it's easy to say, “Hey, I'm a coach. I work with conscious execs and conscious business owners, entrepreneurs, but there's got to be something better.” So the phrase that came to me was soul strategist.
MARY: And I really like that because I'm not just about numbers and metrics and helping you create a better business based on strategy. Like, what lights me up is doing that in a really conscious way that's connected to your heart, to your soul, that helps women really get back in touch with their emotions, their body, their own internal wisdom, and design a life, design a business that really turns them on to whatever would bring them pleasure, whatever would bring them fulfillment, whatever would bring them purpose. And so to me, that is always a piece of what I do. There's a consciousness to it. Obviously, I am—you've probably shared in the intro—trained in hypnotherapy and yoga and breathwork and meditation and embodiment work. So I bring that into the coaching container because it's a holistic approach to running your life, at the end of the day.
AMY: Absolutely. Okay. That's actually—you said it perfectly. And I like your—
AMY: —say it again. Soul…?
MARY: Soul strategist.
AMY: Yes. That’s really good. You need to put that into your marketing more.
MARY: I know. I was like, okay, let me change this on my Instagram real quick. So probably, by the time this comes out, it will be on the website.
AMY: Perfect, perfect. It’s good. I like it. And knowing what you do and how you work, it's perfect for you.
MARY: Yeah, yeah.
AMY: So, many entrepreneurs have created a business with the intention of it giving them more freedom, something I talk about on the podcast all the time. But at times, they become exhausted from the hustle and grind that comes along with that. And I love what you do because you have a really unique approach to helping business owners go from feeling burnt out to totally alive and in total alignment with their businesses. I've seen you do this over and over again.
AMY: So can you tell my listeners a little bit about that specific approach and what getting back into alignment is all about? And also, what does it look like when you're out of alignment?
MARY: Yeah. I kind of want to start there because I think when we use this word “alignment,” I feel like, even more so today, it's become a little bit of a buzz word. And yet I kind of feel like nobody's really slowing down to look at, okay, well, what does that actually mean? Like, okay, great. That sounds good in theory, but how do I get into alignment? Because for me, I want to help my clients create soul-aligned success.
And so we’ve got to define, okay, what is alignment? And I want to start with what it's not. So this metaphor came to me a couple of years ago as I was thinking about this. Have you ever been to the chiropractor? Have you ever gone?
AMY: I have.
MARY: Okay. So I'm really holistic. As you know, I love essential oils. I love alternative medicine. I do all the things to support my body really holistically, and so I go to the chiropractor regularly. And I was thinking about this idea of the spinal alignment, like, when you’re in structural alignment. And the reason people go to a chiropractor is that there's some either bulging disc or a bone that's out of place. There's a pinched nerve, and that's causing discomfort. That's causing pain. That's causing something that is, like, this is just not in structural alignment. And so you go to the chiropractor, and of course, like, boom, boom, boom, you get adjusted, and you come back into alignment. And that creates a sense of relief, a sense of like, oh, there's an absence of pain here.
And so being in alignment, to me, is being in integrity, structural alignment with the most-true parts of who you are. So being out of alignment would be—I think this is really common for women—it's like chasing this definition of success that isn't true to who they really are. It's sort of this arbitrary definition that somebody in the industry has said, “Okay, here's what it looks like to be successful. Here's what you got to do. Sacrifice everything along the way.” And so there's a lot of pain involved. It looks like a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety, a lot of saying yes when your internal wisdom is saying, “Don't do that. Stop. Wait,” and you're going, “Okay, I have to do this out of obligation, or this is what everybody says to do.” So there's this element of self-abandonment that has to happen when you are out of alignment. There's a lack of boundaries. There's a pursual of goals that are sort of just for the sake of the achievement. And they don't feel good. They don't light you up. They don't create a sense of fulfillment or inspiration.
And when I'm working with my clients, like, they start their day with this overwhelming sense of dread. Like, it's just, they wake up, and they're like, “I don't feel like I know what else to do. I need to keep this machine going. I've got to keep this beast going.” And yet there's resentment that's being starting to stack up. There is oftentimes a lot of anxiety, a lot of depression.
So these are all sort of, like, warning signs that you are out of alignment. You're doing things not because it's the truest parts of who you are or connected to your purpose or connected to your calling. You're doing it because it sounds good on paper. Everybody else has told you this is what you should be doing. And so along the way, you're denying parts of yourself. You're having to compartmentalize. You’re having to deny how you feel. Ignore the whispers or the yells inside of your body that are saying, “Stop. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. Rest. Don't go that direction,” and you're like, “I'm doing it anyways. I've got to do it.”
So part of the soul-aligned success is coming back into integrity with the parts of you that are authentic and true and real for you.
AMY: Okay. So tell me this, then.
AMY: If someone is listening, and they're thinking, “Oh, I know I'm out of alignment. Like, she is speaking directly to me,” what is one of the first things that you suggest people do when they realize something is not right?
MARY: So this is—
AMY: It’s a big question.
MARY: It's a huge question, but it's simple to me because it's not like you've got to know the strategy yet. You know, you may not even have the answer of, “Okay, I'm out of alignment, but what do I do?” I think the first piece of this is honestly this radical moment, sort of like a sober moment, where you wake up out of this trance and you go, “Something is not working.” So to me, the first step has to be radical honesty, where you admit that you're feeling deprived in some area of your life and your business.
And to me, it's hard for me to separate those, because if you're not in alignment within your business, it's going to affect your life in some ways. Your relationships are going to suffer. Your health is going to suffer. Your quality of life is going to suffer. And so that piece of being really honest.
And it's kind of, to me, harder than it sounds because oftentimes there's a lot at stake with what we have created, the way that we sort of set up our lives and our businesses. I think about, like, you and your partnership, like, for you to go, “Okay, this is not working,” that potentially means you've got to have hard conversations. You know, in your case, you had to actually have, like, a business divorce, and, like, actually separate, which meant all kinds of financial ramifications and staffing ramifications and just the whole structure of your business was going to have to change.
So I'm sort of admitting like I feel deprived of x, y, z is a very brave first step, but it has to start there. It’s like, “Okay, this is what's getting sacrificed in the name of this obligation or arbitrary definition of success or this list of shoulds.” I got to start with, “Yeah, it’s true. I’m not in alignment.” We start there.
AMY: And that is such a difficult thing to admit, because—
AMY: —in my situation, when you worked on this with me, I didn't want to admit that I wasn't happy in my partnership, because of all the things you said, all the ramifications that were going to follow. I was going to let people down. I was going to disappoint people. I was going to have to let certain people go. I was going to possibly lose money. I didn't know what that was going to look like, lose customers. And I didn't know. And I went to worst-case scenario as well.
AMY: I'm going to guess that a lot of people that you work with, when they are getting radically honest about it, probably do go to that worst-case scenario.
MARY: Oh, yeah. I mean, the reason that people get stuck in situations that are out of alignment is that they are picturing that there's no other option. This is the only way that they can be successful. All the things that might happen if they leave a situation or change a situation. You know, my whole audience is going to stop following me, or I'm going to be attacked and bullied. And this is true for your life. Like, my marriage might dissolve, or I might lose friendships, or whatever it could be. And so absolutely. And that's real. Like, I mean, that's real. There is that moment where we have to, in a way, go to that place, like, go to the worst-case scenario, and then remind ourselves, number one, there's always other options that we're unable to see in that moment. There’s always a way through. So I start with that. And let’s take a moment to feel all of that, to feel the fear, to experience the grief, if there's going to be a loss involved. And then think, like, “Okay, if this could be better than how I'm imagining it, what could be something that could come from this that I'm not even able to see yet? Like, what would open up, what would be possible, what would be…?” Like, I think about, like in your situation, it was, like, how could I be successful if I'm not with this person? Like, this person helped me succeed. Like, what is it going to look like when I go out on my own? And it's, like, I literally remember telling you this, like, “What if you could be even more successful without this partner?
AMY: And at the time, I was like, [unclear 18:12].
MARY: Like, what if your business blew up?”
AMY: It was important that you put that in front of me because that wasn't even an option at the time. So, like, working with a coach that can actually say to you, “Okay, but what if…?” and paint a new picture, sometimes we just can't get there alone.
MARY: Oh, gosh, yeah. I mean, we're operating from our default neurological pathways, which are, of course, going to default to fear. And so having somebody say, “Hey, wait a second.” Imagine if this energy suck—like all the energy you're expending on trying to do something that's not right for you and you know it, or staying in relationships that you've outgrown or simply don't make sense anymore, all the shapeshifting that has to happen, all the sacrifices that have to happen, imagine having that energy available to you to think about new ideas, to create new products, to strategize in new ways. Like, I think people don’t even understand how much pain they're in until that pain is gone, and they're like, “Oh, my god, I was living that way for so long.” And all of a sudden, they had this surge of energy, and it's like, “Oh, my gosh, like, I could do this, and I could do this, and I could do this.” And it is radical how it shifts so fast. Like, it's so cool.
AMY: It is so cool. I've seen it happen firsthand, so I know that this is possible—
AMY: —but also, whoa. It takes a lot of bravery, for sure. And I think that those listening, my audience is very brave. They're constantly doing things out of their comfort zone. So if you're listening right now and you're like, “I feel as though she's talking to me,” just know that I know it's very scary to even look at if you are out of alignment in any area of your life.
You're right, Mary. Some people are listening that it’s not their business; it’s their personal life. It's their marriage—
AMY: —their relationship in one way or another. So it shows up in all different ways.
But one thing I wanted to talk to you about, because this is an area that you are such an expert in, is your physical body, and—
AMY: —how does that play a part in getting back into alignment? Like, this is not something we talk about as entrepreneurs enough. But talk about your physical body and getting back into alignment.
MARY: Okay. I'm going to geek out for a second because I so love talking about this. So your body, it is a compass to your truest self. It is constantly communicating it to you. It's showing you the way to align, that your body is always helping you orient back to wholeness.
And so I'll tell you a story of a client that I have who demonstrates this perfectly. So I got on a coaching call with this client, and she has an amazing business as she works with people in the esthetic, like, beauty industry. And so she has this incredible membership, and she teaches people how to have businesses who are in the beauty industry.
And so she was talking to me about this COO that she had, that she’d hired, like, a year ago, and it was a friend of hers. So I didn't know any of this. But she gets on the call, on our coaching call, and she's like, “Man, I got all this pain in my neck.” And she's like, “I'm sorry. It's really distracting me. Like, I'm just feeling, like, oh, I may need to get off the call.” And I said, “Well, let's just slow down for a second, and let's go in to talk to that part of your body. Like, there's a reason that this pain, this physical pain, is showing up in your body.”
So I walked her through this exercise of closing her eyes and sort of starting to focus on the pain, because most of us want to avoid, when we feel any kind of discomfort in our physical body, we want to numb it, avoid it, disassociate from it. And to me, I always know that, like, okay, the body has its unique way of communicating to us, and it shows up in the form of sensations, pain being one of them.
So I had to close her eyes. She starts tuning into this pain that she's feeling in her neck. And I was like, “I wonder why that’s showing up right now. Let's just get curious. Doesn’t have to mean anything.” Of course, for me, I don’t know what her body’s saying, but I know that the body is talking.
So she kind of goes into a meditative state, and I'm walking her through this guided meditation, and we come out of it, and she has this aha moment of this pain in her neck was associated with the fact that she needed to let this COO go, that she had this intuitive hit by tapping into the body, that this pain in her neck was actually indicative of the pain she was experiencing in this relationship with her COO. And she was like, “I have got to let her go.” And she was trying so hard before this, from a mental place, thinking about, “Okay, how can I make this relationship work? I need to have better communication with her and figure out how to get her to perform better.” And in reality, she had this gut knowing for over a year, and in fact, she even shared that the day that she hired her, she knew it wasn't the right decision, but she felt like she'd gone too far down this road, that she kind of had to, you know, stay face and hire her anyways. And so it's been a little bit of, like, damage control for a whole year.
So one of the things that she wasn't able to see because she was out of alignment, and once she recognized this and was starting to come back into alignment, she realized her executive assistant was already doing most of the things that she wished her COO would have been doing. So she fires the COO. She ends up promoting her executive assistant for, like—she gave her a raise, but it was significantly less than what she was paying the COO. So she instantly recouped most of the COO’s salary, promoted this other woman, and all of a sudden, her business is thriving because she's got the right person in the right spot. But that came from tuning into this pain in her neck, leading to this intuitive hit.
So what I always have to remind people is that our physical body holds 80 percent of the wisdom available to us, 80 percent. So just think about that for a second. Like, most of us operate out of the 20 percent that's found in our mental body, and we go through all of our pros and our cons, we start overanalyzing, we start thinking about different scenarios, and we get in this whole dilemma and drama around, “What should we do? Like, I don't know what to do. This is not working.” But when we slow down and we drop into the body and we learn how to communicate with our bodies, we learn how to interpret the language of the body, the information, that 80 percent, comes so quickly, and it's not biased by our fears and our old stories and our own wounds. It's like this pure source of information that can help us make decisions so quickly that are in alignment—again, it's always orienting back to wholeness—that are in alignment and so true for ourselves. So it’s pretty amazing. The physical body really is a huge piece to this whole staying into alignment idea.
AMY: It really is. And it’s been foreign to me for so long. The only reason I know about this and that it works is because of you. And two things that have helped me. Number one, getting quiet. Like, actually taking a moment. You know that I lost my voice for off and on for, like, a month.
AMY: And the first question you said was, it was something along the lines of, “What are you not saying?” Was that what it was?
MARY: Yeah. Yeah. Because immediately when I heard your voice, I was like, “Hey, what's going on here?” because the throat, that as an energy center, is your expression. It's expressing your truth. So any time there's a block there, whether that's like, “Oh, I have thyroid issues,” or “Oh, I'm unable to use my voice. It feels blocked. It feels stuck,” or like, “I'm losing my voice. I've got laryngitis, or I have a sore throat,” to me, I'm like, “It's something around expressing your truth. What are you not saying?” And the body is showing you that, hey, there's a symptom here that's communicating something.
So, okay, to finish that story, what did you figure out?
AMY: Well, I started to think about what I wasn't saying, too. It's so funny. It's exactly what you just said about an employee. I had to have a really hard conversation with an employee that I did not want to have. And now, looking back, I have since had that conversation, several conversations, and my voice is very strong now again. And it took a while, but I also was very resistant to having the conversations because I knew what it would lead to.
AMY: But so I've seen this happen multiple times with me. But again, I had to get quiet, and I had to ask the question that does not come natural to me. You know that being in the woo-woo world is not something that I feel comfortable with or comes natural, but I believe in it. So when I asked myself, “What am I not saying? What is my body telling me?” asking that question really helped immensely. So getting quiet and asking the question, for those of you who have never done any work like this before, to me that was really helpful.
MARY: Yeah. And what you're doing in that is you're accessing your intuition. Like, all of us have this amazing source of wisdom. And my personal belief is that we have the answers inside of ourselves. Like, so often our first instinct is to go to somebody else to receive direction or guidance or support. And in reality, it's, like, the best source of guidance is internal. It's already within us. So if we can learn to kind of move that external knee-jerk reaction to go outside of ourselves and flip that and bring that internal. And again, the slowing down, the getting-quiet part of that is creating a sensitivity to listen and hear that inner guidance, that inner voice as whispers that are speaking to us all the time.
And it's a skill set. Like, it truly is something that you can learn and cultivate and nurture and develop, to where if you're in a dilemma and you're like, “Okay, I don't know. Should I do this, or should I do this for my business? Should I hire this person; should I hire this person? Should we go in this direction for the launch or this direction for the launch?” any time we're in this analysis of what is right for us, to me, the best source is not to create this list of pros and cons, although that may be a place to start, but something that looks good on paper. We might have a different intuitive hit that's like, “Yeah, this looks great. Like, it checks all the boxes, but there's something inside me that I can't explain rationally. It's a gut knowing. It's a gut feeling. Like, this is not right for us. This doesn't make sense. I think that if we go this route, we're going to regret it.”
And so to me, any decision, I'm always going, okay, what is my inner yes? What is my inner no? How can I learn to, without a shadow of a doubt, trust that inner yes, trust that inner no, and drop back into the body? Ask myself those questions, and avoid sort of getting into that place where we go against our intuition, because we've all done that. Like, woo-woo or not, we've all done that, where we've gone against what we know is right. And it sucks, you know. Like, we regret it. We're like, “I knew it,” you know?
AMY: Oh, I've done it so many times, I don't even like to admit it.
AMY: So when you're talking about this, like really leaning into your own intuition, into your body, where does—you've talked about embodiment work. What is embodiment work, and how does that relate to all of this?
MARY: Embodiment work is inhabiting the body. It's getting in the body. And so, as I was mentioning earlier, it's like we usually glorify the mental body. We want to analyze. We want it to be rational. We want it to be logical. And so embodiment is recognizing that we have other bodies besides our mental body. We have our physical body. We have our emotional body. We have our energetic body. And we also have this overarching, I don't know that I would call it a body, but connection to something higher than ourselves, whether you call that, like, a spiritual connection or whatever. So embodiment is allowing all of those parts to be online and to fully embody that.
Like, my whole brand is Living Fully Alive, and that is embodiment. Being alive means we are experiencing this spectrum of emotions, the good, the bad, the ugly. And usually, for most of us, we compartmentalize our lives. So it's like, “Okay, over here, I can be this person. Over here, I can be this person. I'll show this person a little bit of myself. This person gets more of me. This person gets less of me.” And we're not fully embodied. We're compartmentalizing ourselves. We're disassociating from our emotional and energetic and physical bodies.
So being embodied is really inhabiting the self and using somatic tools, so body-based tools, to live our lives. So again, we're not just coming from the brain; we're really going into, okay, there's more wisdom here. Let me bring all of that online. Let me learn how to regulate my nervous system, using the tool of my body. Let me learn how to regulate my emotions, using the tool of the body. Let me learn how to access my wisdom and intuition by using this tool of my body. And then we begin to really act in our lives from a place of aligned action that's truly embodied, that's, like, fully informed by all parts of ourselves.
AMY: Okay, that is beautiful and absolutely necessary.
AMY: So when you're talking about this kind of taking it back to this idea of getting aligned, what are the different areas of our lives that we need to consider when taking aligned action?
MARY: Yeah, okay. I love this so much because there's four factors, I feel like, when you're thinking about aligned action, meaning your behaving, your external world is matching up with your internal world. So, okay, I've got this hit, and now I want to take action that feels in alignment with my truest self. And in order to do that, we've got to consider four factors.
So the first factor we have to consider is our energetic capacity. So any time I'm thinking about making a decision, moving forward on something, I want to know, like, do I have the energetic capacity to say yes to this thing? If I think about when I'm out of alignment, that decision is going to feel taxing energetically, draining energetically, like the environment, the people. It's like, you know, have you ever been around people that you just feel are like leeches, that are just, like, they just, like, suck the life out of you? You're like, “This is draining. Like, they are literally draining my life force from me.” That would be, to me, out of alignment, right? It's like it's taxing your energetic capacity. So when I am looking at moving forward on something, I want to consider, “Hey, where's my energetic capacity? Do I have energy for this right now? Am I in the energy of flow? Is this life giving or does this feel life sucking?” So that's kind of the first factor is I want to consider my energetic capacity.
The second is looking at my emotional capacity, and this is a big one because most people will override their emotions for a temporary achievement. And we're not considering how something is going to feel not only when we hit the achievement, but along the way. Okay? So, like, I want to know, if I'm going to be in alignment, I want to know that this is helping me feel what I want to feel most of my life. Like, it's contributing to a sense of peace. It's contributing to a sense of joy. It's contributing to a sense of confidence, as opposed to out of alignment would be, oh, my gosh, I'm in, like, a constant state of fear. I’m in a constant state of depression or dread or exhaustion or worry or anxiety.
And like you were saying earlier, Amy, obviously your audience, like, they know what it feels like to be out of their comfort zone. Like, that's the good kind of anxiety. But what I'm talking about is when it is draining you emotionally, it's like—you know that feeling when you're just having a hard time? You're like, “I'm on the struggle bus right now.” Like, emotionally, like I'm not doing great. And that's what we want to consider. Like, where are you at emotionally, and is what you are looking at creating going to feel expansive, or is it going to feel contracting? And contracting would be like heaviness—again, we're going into the body to feel this somatically, feel this as a sensation—does it feel heavy? Does it feel constricted? Does it feel tight? Does it feel like pressure? And so you can use your body as a compass to go, “Okay. Does this feel as an aligned action? Is it honoring my emotional capacity?” And you'll feel that somatically first, and then you can kind of name it as an emotion. So that's sort of the second factor for this.
Are we cool to go to third?
MARY: All right. So the third factor is considering what you value most. So this is where we've got to look at, okay, what are my values? because if I, again, try to move towards a goal or create a business that sounds good on paper but isn't in alignment with the quality of life that I want to have, the values that I hold, it didn't matter if it sounds amazing or it's going to make you an insane millionaire. It’s like, wait a second. This is violating what I hold most dear in my life.
And so for me, like, I had to really get clear on this for myself and recognize, like, how I've been building my business. This is about two years ago. I created a membership group. I had all these women in this group. And I tell you what, like, after about a year, I was hating it. I hated creating content for it. I was frustrated with it. It was something that I began to dread. And I was like, okay, this is so interesting. Like, why? Like, on paper I was making money. It sounded good. People were responding to it. But it was violating my values of intimacy, because it was a lot of people, and intimacy is one of my top values. Intimacy, freedom, variety. And it doesn't really violate authenticity, but that's kind of my fourth value. But I had to slow down to go, “Okay, what do I value? And how is this out of alignment?” Well, it's violating these values. It's violating what is most important to me.
So we've got to design our business in integrity with what we value most, as opposed to creating it in a way that violates the things that really matter to us. And that can be all different things and really is very unique person to person. So that's sort of the third factor.
AMY: That’s powerful. One important thing there is you have to know what you value. And if you haven't spent a little time saying, “These are my values,” then you wouldn't be able to check it against anything.
AMY: So I think that's important to do that work.
MARY: Totally. And you do have to do it. Like, I actually took a day to kind of think through what my values were—
AMY: Yes, definitely.
MARY: —and I looked at my life and figured out like, “Oh, these are the common themes that are showing up, that I always pursue these things that fall in these categories.”
MARY: Okay. So I'm going to move to the last one. We'll go over this one quick. And this is, the fourth factor is the season of life that you're in. So if I'm going to take aligned action, I've got to consider, is this in divine timing or is this going to feel like pressure? And that's different given the season of life that you're in. So if you've got a new house, a new baby, a new relationship, a sick parent, a sick child, like, that's going to come into alignment. Like, if you're going, “You know what? Forget everything else that's going on in my life. I've got to do this thing. I feel pressured,” and you're starting to say yes based out of some other motivation that does not include being in reality of what's really going on in your life. So I always want to say yes from a place of, this feels like the perfect timing.
So we got to consider energetic capacity, emotional capacity, what we value most, and the season of life that we're in.
AMY: That is some good stuff. That’s a great framework.
MARY: Oh, thanks.
AMY: I love that. Yeah.
MARY: Thank you.
AMY: I’m so glad we got into that.
Okay, so while you were going through those four things, I was thinking, okay, there are some people listening that they love this idea of, you know, soul alignment and what that looks like. But talk to me how it can impact your business, because those that are listening, they want that soul alignment, but they want to make some money. And so how can the two kind of live together, and maybe even, like, if you have a story about working with one of your clients and how it affected their business?
MARY: Yeah, absolutely. So I think that this idea, first of all, it makes your business sustainable for the long run. So I think that at the beginning, like, everybody is willing to sacrifice things for a certain amount of time.
MARY: Like, I'll sacrifice the family time. I'll sacrifice, I don't know, maybe your social life, maybe your health, whatever it is. Like, you're, like, willing to do the work and make it happen. But the stress that created your business, to me, is the thing that will take your business down in the long run if you keep operating from that place. So even if you're, like, willing to make the sacrifices on the front end, if you keep operating from that place and you don't slow down to check in—is this in alignment? Is this out of alignment? Does this consider where I'm at emotionally and energetically, what matters most to me, what season of life I'm in?—all of a sudden, there's an element of stress that begins to stack, and as it stacks—and there's, like, a scientific term for this called allostatic load—it taxes your nervous system. And when the nervous system gets taxed, everything starts to fall apart. Like, your emotions, you're just on the edge. You're burnt out. You're snappy. You're not dealing well with conflict. And so you're not a great business owner. You're not a great leader. You're not a great boss. Like, you aren't able to have hard conversations.
You know, it's like, I can remember times where I’d just go into the bathroom and start crying because I needed to have a difficult conversation with an employee, and I had no bandwidth to have that conversation. It was, like, I was stretched so thin. You know, or you're pursuing something that is just sucking the life out of you.
So I think that in order to come back in alignment, the gift that it gives your business is that all of a sudden you are able to regulate your nervous system, which helps you function in life. Like, from a grounded, centered, aware place. You have a greater emotional intelligence, so you have more empathy for your team so you can go, “Whoa, I've been running my team so hard, and they're exhausted. We got to take a second. We need to take a beat and, like, we got to figure something out because this is not sustainable. We can't keep operating at this pace or in the way that we're doing it.” It gives you the opportunity, I feel like, to have more ease, more flow in your business as opposed to constant pressure, constant forcing, constant stress. And I think the biggest piece is, like, the decision-making ability is drastically different. Like, you're operating from a place of intuition. And that, to me, is, like, the secret sauce. That, to me, is the edge, is moving from your intuition rather than obligation or stress or pressure. You get to actually, like, own being in charge of your business and doing it in a way that is really sustainable.
So I'll share a story with you. I have a client that I have that when I met her, she was a part time COO for, like, a bunch of different companies. So she was working with different companies who were launching products, and she was sort of, like, project manager for all of these. And part of what was out of alignment for her was that she had no white space. So she was working all hours of the night, through the weekend. Like, there was never a time that she was not available. She was so available. She was the person that everybody went to, and she had to be, like, on it. Like, make it happen. She was the person putting out the fires.
And so she came to me. She was very, very physically sick. She was in complete red zone, like, exhausted, burnt out, not functioning very well, not eating, not paying attention to her just, like, basic physical needs of, like, hunger and thirst. Everything was getting sacrificed. Her marriage was starting to crumble. There wasn't any pleasure. There wasn't any sex. There wasn't any enjoyment or intimacy in that relationship. And so she was noticing, again, like, this is not working. Radical honesty. This is not working.
And she was so far out of alignment, she figured out, because of one of her clients. So one of the people that she was working with, that she was acting as COO for, it was this one person that was, like, literally draining all of her energy. This client was so stressed out, very unhealthy, a lot of unresolved trauma, was in this horrible cycle of hustle, hustle, hustle, grind, grind, grind in the way that did not account for anybody else's life, quality of life, her own or otherwise.
And so my client was basically having to match this person's unhealth. And so we kind of were able to look at, oh, this is sort of the domino. This is the one thing that's affecting all this imbalance in her life, that's creating a sense of being really out of alignment with who she really was, not working in her strengths, exhausted, burnt out. And so it was like, “Okay, are you willing to see that it's kind of this person?” And it took a couple sessions because, again, she went to worst-case scenario, imagining that if she left this client, it was like, you know, a big part of her business was this retainer that she had with this client. It was like, oh, my gosh.
So part of it was starting to dream about, what if there were two people that would hire you in place of this one person, but it felt so much easier? People that respected your boundaries. People that did not expect for you to work in the evenings or on the weekends. People that celebrated you. People that appreciated you. People that just there was this beautiful sense of partnership and teamwork. And so over the course of working with me for about six months, she was able to leave that relationship with this client.
And I'm telling you, not only did her life drastically change—like, she was like, “I have so much more margin. I have so much more white space. I have so much more emotional bandwidth.”—she was able to bring on two new clients, two people that needed her as COO, for, like, I think it wasn't quite double the amount that this person was paying, but it was probably, like, 80 percent above that. So it was like she was making more money with, like, a fraction of the stress, a fraction of the work.
So this is what can happen when you get into alignment. It's not that you make less and you sacrifice your financial desires. It actually creates space to be more successful. It's just in a totally different way than you were able to see it before.
AMY: Totally different way. For some people listening, this is so in line with how they operate. Other people, this is very new.
AMY: For me, when I started working with you very, very new, but it is incredibly powerful.
AMY: So okay, so before we wrap up, first of all, thank you. This has been so incredible—
AMY: —I've been wanting you to share this for so long on the podcast. But I also know my audience, and I know that some of them are going to want to work with you, coach with you.
AMY: I also know your line up. I know you don't have a lot of space. But can you talk a little bit about your coaching if someone's like, “I really want to work with Mary”?
MARY: Yeah, totally. Well, first of all, because intimacy is one of my top values, I only take eight clients at a time because that respects my energetic capacity, that respects my emotional capacity, and it honors what I value most. So I take eight clients at a time. Through the end of, I think, this year, and honestly, it varies depending on whenever you're listening to this because I have kind of rolling clients, but right now I have space for three new clients, which I'm really excited about, because, to me, it's a partnership. Like, I love partnering with my clients and slowing down and helping strategize to get them back into soul alignment. And so that looks different for each client, whether that's a six-month container, whether that is a year container.
But for anybody who's curious, you can go to my website, maryhyatt.com, and you have to apply to be a client of mine because I want to make sure that it truly is the right fit. Like, if I'm going to work with somebody for six months or for a year, like, it's got to feel expansive to me. It's got to feel like the chemistry is right and that I can really serve my clients and help them in the way that they need help. And so there's an application on my website, maryhyatt.com, that you can fill out. We can have a conversation, look at if I can help you, if you feel like I'm the right coach for you. And it really is a beautiful, intimate process. So I encourage you if you feel like, “Hey, this is something that I actually need help with. Like, I’ve got the strategy from the metrics, from the numbers. I’ve taken Amy’s course. I’ve got all that together, but I want to make sure that what I’m doing really is in alignment with my true self,” like, let’s have a conversation about it so that you can build something that truly is sustainable for years and years to come.
AMY: Well, I just want to make it clear I'm not an affiliate. I just love the work that Mary does. She changed my life in so many ways, and now I get to be friends with her. Mary’s one of the reasons I'm in Tennessee, so that's truly how much I love her.
AMY: And Mary, this has been so, so eye opening. I hope people are walking away with a lot of value. So thank you again.
And again, it's just maryhyatt.com, so you can get all the details you want.
Thank you, my friend, for coming on the show.
MARY: Thank you. Thank you for having me. I loved it.
AMY: So if you've been with me for a while, you know that I wholeheartedly believe that success isn't just about what's on paper, about how much money you make, or how many followers you have on Instagram. I mean, we know it's not about that, right? It's about loving your business, what you do every single day, and most importantly, it's about learning to love yourself. If you ever want to learn to love yourself, become an entrepreneur, because there's so much personal-development work that is essential to your success that you can't help but start to really understand who you are, what you're all about, and ultimately, learn to love yourself, at least if you do the work.
So I got so much from this conversation. It's been a while that I've gotten to work one on one with Mary. So hearing how she works with others, talking about that alignment, getting really, really in tune with your body, something that does not come naturally to me, but I'm all about it because I want to show up in a bigger way. I want to love my life. I want to love my business. And I really want to show up in a way that feels really good to me. So everything that Mary shared here today was valuable to me, and I hope it was to you as well.
And if you feel like working with Mary is something that you want to do, I'm going to encourage that all day long. I think it's a really good move for those that feel called to at least reach out to her and find out more to see if you are a good fit for what she offers. So it's just maryhyatt.com.
All right, my sweet friends. Thank you so much for tuning in. I cannot wait to see you same time, same place, next week. Bye for now.