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Is your life full of joy? How much time do you spend being joyful instead of wishing you had more opportunities for joy? In this episode, Janine Hamner Holman sits down with Amy Eddy, an account advisor and keynote speaker expert, to discuss the cost of negative self-talk and a lack of joy.

GUEST: Amy Eddy | LinkedIn, Instagram, iFLOURISH tickets

HOST: Janine Hamner Holman | [email protected] | LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram

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What am I paying attention to today? We all have these selves, these masks. A few years ago, one of my first podcast interviews was with a gentleman who talked about all the different masks we wear at work and in our dating life. We have so many different selves we project, some of which are intentional and some of which are operating in our unconsciousness. 

One of the questions my coach always asks me is, who do you want to be? When she first started asking me that question I didn’t understand. I want to be me. I want to be authentically me. What she was pointing at was, how do I want to show up? What are my best qualities I want to embrace in a meeting with this client? In talking about this opportunity or whatever it all might be, what is the best way I want to come off?

What’s the impression I want to leave someone with? What do I want to call someone into? What’s the opportunity I want to bring somebody into? I got thinking about that the other day when I was working with a client. They are at a crossroads in their business. They own a vegan bakery here in Los Angeles, and they haven’t leaned into being a vegan bakery because many people who aren’t vegan say, “Well, a vegan bakery, that doesn’t sound very yummy.”

wearing a mask

The reality is you would never know. I had one of their chocolate chip cookies and it was literally the best, not only the best chocolate chip cookie, but maybe the best cookie I have ever eaten, maybe even the best baked good I had ever eaten. My family’s from the south and people down there, they know how to make baked goods and it’s extraordinary.

We were having this whole conversation about how you’re at the point where either this bakery needs to figure out how to start turning a profit or you need to close it down. She desperately doesn’t want to close it down, it’s in a neat neighborhood, and it’s helping to transform the neighborhood. She loves it and it’s her baby. 

We started, and she’s not even vegan, but here she is, she’s owning and operating a vegan bakery and not being a vegan, but loving the community that has gathered around this bakery. 

She was talking about doing a stickering campaign in one of those super hip L.A. neighborhoods, and people would put stickers all over lampposts and different things. Doing a stickering campaign would bring people to the website to get a custom cake made, which is one of the things they do.

I asked her if it would say vegan bakery on the stickers and her business cards. Her first answer was no. I responded, “You’ve been doing it a certain way for a couple of years. You’re getting the results, you’re getting what might be the opportunity to try something different because we’re at this tough point right now. How about we lean into your vegan angle and try it out?”

She got super excited and as we were having this conversation in person, which doesn’t happen that often these days, I could see a change happening in her body, in who she was getting to be, how she was embodying that idea, and embracing her position as a leader in the vegan community and in changing the conversation that for foodies, vegan food isn’t food and some other category, but why does it have to be that?

Can you be the tip of the spear changing the conversation for foodies that vegan food is food? Man, this food is yummy. I don’t want to give you a plug because I’ve divulged a little more than I would normally if I were going to plug her bakery. Check out some vegan bakeries in L.A. and give them some love. 

baked goods

With that, I want to introduce our speaker for today. I am so excited to introduce Amy Eddy. She is with Big Speak, which is a speaker’s bureau. She also has this amazing organization focused on having women step up… just like I was talking about with the young woman owner of the Vegan Bakery… step into their leadership, step into their authenticity, step into who they know themselves to be, or who they hope maybe they are or could be. 

It’s called iFLOURISH. Isn’t that awesome? She has a cool story I’m going to let her tell about the birth of iFLOURISH. With that, welcome to the show, Amy.

Thank you so much for having me. I’m starving for a cookie now. 

Amy’s joining us from Santa Barbara, California. To drive from Santa Barbara down to L.A. for a cookie might be a little excessive…

I don’t know, it sounds like it might be worth it if I can time it right with the traffic.

It would be worth it. On Thanksgiving, we had a whole host of people over, including my best friend. I walked up to her and I said, “Open your mouth.” Because she’s my best friend, she opened her mouth. That’s what we do for our best friends. 

I’d been parsing out little pieces of this cookie, just enjoying it over several days. At this point, this cookie was six days old. It might not be so yummy still. I stuck the cookie in her mouth and she took two chews and said, “Oh my God, what is this witchcraft?” A six-day-old chocolate chip cookie, and it was still so good her characterization of it was witchcraft. 

My gosh, I love it. I’m going to delay the conversation, I’ll get in a car and see you in a couple of hours.

Awesome. I’ll meet you there.


Awesome. Let’s get into it. Tell me, Amy, what is something you’ve become aware of that either consciously or unconsciously we are not paying enough attention to, and what’s the cost of that inattention?

The cost is a joy-filled life. That’s the cost. I mean, if you want to get real extreme, potentially your life and your health, but for me, it is a joy-filled life. I jokingly say, my resume is boring. It’s because none of this stuff is on my resume. I feel like in five years my resume might get interesting, but right now I’m waking up to this process. 


It started maybe six or seven years ago. I had a moment standing alone in my bedroom, and I don’t remember what I was thinking about, but this thought hit me kind of out of the blue: “I only feel happy if I’ve had two glasses of wine and I had a good job.”

Let’s pause for a second and get present to that. You were starting to say all the things that are awesome about your life, and yet you only feel happy if you’ve had two glasses of wine. That’s a thing to realize, and even if they’re not entirely true, just that realization is important.

Like you said, I thought my life looked great on paper, but I was completely overwhelmed and stressed and always looking at the things I don’t have, and what’s wrong, and what’s the goal I didn’t meet? I didn’t know what the answer was, but I thought, I’ve got to do something. I’ve got two little healthy kids, I have to change for them if for no other reason. 

It’s funny because I’m in the motivational speaking world. I book motivational speakers every day, and yet that almost was demotivating to me because I mean, these are literally the best athletes in the world, the best most successful businessmen and women in the world, the most inspiring Olympic athletes you’ve ever known. 

Then I would go home and look at my life and go, “Gee, I’m never going to create Netflix. I’m never going to be in the NFL. I’m a loser. Here are all these reasons to prove I’m right.” The thing I wasn’t paying attention to was negative thinking. As you said earlier, it’s not just conscious, it’s unconscious. I think we don’t know a lot of the software running in the background. 

I read this great book by Simon T Billy called Ship Your Brilliance, and I forget the numbers, but it was something like your brain is taking in millions of data points every second, and you’re only consciously thinking, I think 10 things in the moment. He helped me understand I’m so negative that I don’t even know, it’s just running in the background all day long. I thought, “I need to start consuming this product I’m selling at work.”

I’ve got to figure out how to live differently because I’m not going to drink my way through my life anymore. That is not the source of my joy, or at least my peace or my ability to unwind and enjoy the moment for what it is. I started consuming this material, keynote topics, books, and podcasts, and I became a consumer of the speaking industry world, which is funny. 

I had already been in it for a decade and a half at the time, but something changed after that realization. Over the last several years, I’ve been learning a ton about unconscious software running in the background and what I can do to change it. It is not a one-time switch. It is a muscle you have to find and then develop.

It is a habit you have to hone. It’s daily, hourly, even by the moment. For example, if you spill coffee over yourself, the first reaction is “I’m such an idiot.” This probably has happened to those star players in the NFL and the NBL, the successful business people we all look up to. 

This is a human thing that happens to all of us, especially when we’re in a rush and have nine things in our arms trying to get to the car. You’re not an idiot, you just need to put a few more things in your bag.

find the joy

The real benefit of this is I am slowly learning to find the good, to train my brain, to look for what is good in this moment, not just to scan for everything wrong. We have all that neuroscience now that shows you can change the synapses in your brain in a matter of weeks by every day, every night, asking, what are three good things that happened today? 

You could have a sucky day, but there’s going to be three things. The sunrise was gorgeous, I had an amazing cookie at lunch. Everything could have gone terrible, but you will find those three things and then the next day it’s a little bit easier to find those three things. When you start doing that, everything gets better. That joy inside of you grows.

When you meet someone who’s filled with joy, they rub off on everyone around them. I don’t know what the numbers are, but there’s research about how our hearts will become in sync with each other when we’re with people. It’s amazing. For better and worse, our brain is very powerful, and when we’re not paying attention to it, it can lead us down a dark path. 

Life is way too short and full of amazing things to live that way. That’s what iFLOURISH is about and that’s the journey that I’m personally still on, and I’m super excited to see where I’m going to be in five years, in 10 years, and what my resume will look like. Hopefully, it will get some spice, but thank you for asking. That’s what this whole event is about and the journey I’m excited to be on and to continue.

Awesome. When you and I were talking in a previous conversation, we talked about a moment in your backyard. You were thinking about the things that are needed in the world. Can you tell that story, please?

Sure. Again, I’ve been in a speaking bureau forever. There are a couple of different speaker series here in Santa Barbara. We have great connections to all these amazing people. Some of them are in L.A., and it’s easy to get them up here, Big Speak should do this, and Big Speak is in the business of doing other things. 

A former employee at Big Speak who is now a dietician, an expert in intuitive eating, and a local business owner. We ended up in one backyard because all of our kids were playing together. It hit me out of the blue, I had to do it myself because I knew these two amazing women who are experts on topics that I lay in bed and think about at night.

I have two other women in my life who are experts in areas that I also lay in bed and think about at night. I thought I was probably not the only one who wakes up worrying about finances. Am I spending too much? Are we saving enough? Should we put more money away for retirement or can we spend more now because life is short and we don’t know how much time we have? 

There’s a clinical psychologist in town I’ve benefited from learning from. I know all of us women and moms and humans, we’re all wanting to make sure we’re making good food choices. The local business owner is an expert in helping women change the definition of what healthy looks like. She owns a gym. 

She went through her own metamorphosis. Now her gym is all about community and encouraging each other. Health has nothing to do with the number on the scale. It has to do with moving your body and celebrating your ability to grow your strength and be strong and feel those endorphins after working hard. 

women together

I thought, I know these four women who are helping me in these areas of my life, and they’re all disconnected, but connected because we’re all thinking about these things, worrying about these things, or trying to make a change. When I had that moment thinking, I needed wine to feel happy, even then I didn’t necessarily have the hope it could get better. I just knew I had to do something. 

There are a lot of people who don’t have the hope that it can get better. They don’t try anything. Our event has four different experts who are going to give us a ton of great information, but I feel like underneath that, the day is about giving women that little tiny seed of hope, even if it’s a different area of their life we don’t address during the conference, that they would go home and think they could try.

If more women were willing to give it a shot, whatever it is, it would be such a better world if we were just on and had the hope we could make a difference, even if it’s in our own life. You don’t have to go join a nonprofit and save all the whales. Making your own life better is going to better the people around you. 

Amen. What if we can turn down the volume of that voice in our head saying all the negative things?

One of the things I’ve learned as an armchair neuroscientist is we all have that voice in our head. For most women, of course, not all women, but for most women, the purpose of that voice, well, for all humans, the purpose of that voice is coming from our limbic system, which is our fight, flight, freeze center in our body. The only purpose of that voice is to try and keep us safe.

The problem is, for most women, that voice is measuring us against some idealized version of what the perfect woman would do. The perfect mom, the perfect woman, the perfect wife, the perfect employee, the perfect whatever. 

She would have her sh!t together at all times. She would never spill coffee all over herself. She would never yell at her kids. She would never tell her husband to f#ck off. She would be delightful in every moment, she would be the perfect employee. Of course, she would be a perfect business owner, make all the money, and give it away to charity. She would be this ridiculous, unattainable… she’d weigh seven pounds, but be incredibly fit and have perfect thighs and all of the things. 

That’s not possible for any human. The idea that we can do everything and be everything to everyone in every moment of every day is ridiculous.

That’s not the voice men have. Men’s voice in general is comparing themselves to a better man. A better man would’ve taken out the trash. A better man would have not yelled at his wife or yelled at his kid or done whatever it was, but it’s a better man. It’s not a perfect man. 

It’s not surprising that you go to the beach and you see men who are 50 years and 30 pounds past wearing a speedo, still wearing a speedo. No woman or most women would do that with that same level of confidence because they’re comparing themselves to a better man, not some ridiculous idea of a perfect idealized woman.

What if we can turn down the volume of that noise in our head? What if we can introduce compassion to the noise? One of the tools I have often heard people use is to give that voice a name and give it a Bertha, give it an old-fashioned name. 

turn down the noise

You would love to create distance between yourself and thoughts you might have, and that voice that truly is not you, that voice says to you things that you would never say to anybody, you wouldn’t say it to your worst enemy, the things that voice says to you. 

What if we can have compassion about that voice and create compassion for ourselves, then what’s possible? How can we lean into our brilliance, our beauty, our special gifts?

You said in a previous conversation that you heard somebody saying, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” I wrote it down. We have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and recreate what we’re up to in the world. 

I flourished. I’m doing it with my consulting business I created almost seven years ago. We have so many opportunities to expand who we are. What if we are the ones we have been waiting for? What if we are the ones the world has been waiting for? What can we empower ourselves and others to be?

Looking at all these people we see online and on the screen, we think, “Oh gosh, I’m never going to have that life, so I’m not going to try anything.” We get stuck. Reach for the stars! Well, now, maybe just, what’s the one thing I can do today a little bit better?

Maybe touch my toes today, my knees, the floor, or put my palms… wherever I am on that spectrum. Maybe I’m touching my knees, maybe I’m putting my palms on the floor. Wherever it is, because we know those amazing lives we see, we are seeing a tiny slice of their life. In some of these lives, unfortunately, something happens and then we get a bigger view and we realize they’re having a hard time over there. 

Nobody gets out of life unscathed. I did an interview a few months ago with a man named Sean Duff. 

He was the sh!t when we were in high school, and he was talking about how uncool he felt, how insecure, how gangly, and he felt like he didn’t fit in. From sitting where I was, he looked like he had it all. No matter how sparkly and glorious and how much money or how beautiful their kids are or how they overcome cancer or whatever the thing is, nobody’s life is perfect. That’s not how it goes. 

When we can remember that, when we can remember all the things people are putting on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, that’s the highlights. That’s the speaker reel. 

That’s who they want you to see. That’s a curated version of the best. That’s not what their life looks like. No more than it’s what my life looks like or your life looks like. 

How can we take the reality of what our lives look like and turn up the volume with the gratitude, with the juicy parts, and even in the places where we have to stretch and get out of our comfort zone? 

That’s when we grow. Nobody grows at 72 degrees. We grow when we’re uncomfortable. We grow when something is hard.

I love the name iFLOURISH, in part because it’s not you flourish. It’s not we flourish. It’s I flourish. I love that it’s personalized in that way. I love the word flourish, and I love what it is you’re up to. How can people find out about iFLOURISH and the event you are creating?

Thank you so much for asking. It’s on January 20th. It’s here in Santa Barbara. It’s one day from 9 AM to 3 PM and yes, you can follow me on Instagram, it’s IFlourishSB. My tickets are available through Ticket Taylor.

We still have spots available. It’s a few weeks away at this point, which is a little bit crazy for me to think about. I’m super excited to be in a room full of people who are interested and ready to grow. Last year we had some people who were super introverted and I was worried about them being overwhelmed. 

They gave me some of the best feedback. People said they’d never done something just for themselves. They’d gone to things for their kids at school, but this was just for them, and it was fulfilling. Months later, people said they called the experts and hired them to come and help with their family’s issues with food. 

It’s changing our relationship with food and how we teach our kids to relate to food. This day’s not going to solve all your problems, but I hope it sparks something so six months later you can look back and see it was the day you connected with somebody, and that snowballed into something else and life got better.

onward and upward

That’s the goal. I would love to have anyone from your community who’s interested and ready to jump in. We’re learning from and with each other. We have four experts, but there’s also going to be a room full of women at different stages of their lives who are full of knowledge, wisdom, and experience to share. There will be opportunities throughout the day to engage with each other, learn from each other, and be inspired by each other.

Awesome. Such a juicy opportunity. If you can plan on joining Amy… I am planning on joining Amy, I will be there too. If you’re not local, think about flying in. You can fly in and out of L.A., which is probably cheaper than flying in and out of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara has an airport. I have flown in and out of the Santa Barbara airport. It’s adorable. It’s such a cute little airport.

You can show up about 20 minutes before your flight and get on the plane. No problem. Not like LAX.

Not a bit like LAX.  I hope to see you all there. Amy, thank you so much for joining us today. It has been a joy to be with you. Your energy, your enthusiasm, and your joy are infectious, and I feel honored to be in the presence of it and feel so grateful for the opportunity to also share you with our audience. Thank you so much.

Thank you. The feeling is very mutual. I’m so honored and filled up, so thank you.

I am Janine Hamner Holman, and this has been The Cost of Not Paying Attention. Remember, great leaders make great teams. Until next time.

Important Links

iFLOURISH tickets

Internal monologue and inner voice educational information

About Amy Eddy

Amy Eddy headshot

Amy Eddy is with Big Speak, which is a speaker’s bureau. She works as Senior Vice President and a master in keynote speakers. She also has this amazing organization focused on having women step into their leadership, step into their authenticity, step into who they know themselves to be, or who they hope maybe they are or could be. That organization is called iFLOURISH.