Amy Auset Rohn
Spiritual Teacher, Psychic Medium, Harpist, Photographer.
Tell us a bit about the business that you are creating?
I actually have three businesses that I operate from home/wherever I am that, while they each can function on their own and have their own platforms, I am in the process of dovetailing them so that they work more closely together for each client. My first is my spiritual work and business of teaching, coaching, and providing psychic readings and mediumship. I write a blog at least twice a month and offer various classes and workshops both online and on location as well as work out of a local metaphysical store about 8 days a month to give readings. My music is another part of my business and I play at local events (art gallery openings, dinners, weddings) as well as perform for local nursing homes during their holiday events and general entertainment throughout the year. My music is also tied into my spiritual practice as I offer special Soul Song Recordings, which incorporate numerology and your name into a unique piece of music that aligns you with your soul’s purpose and brings healing. I also am a photographer and have done everything from events, headshots, weddings, maternity, newborn, senior pictures, and product photography. I have started offering special Soul Essence Portrait sessions to help my clients see a part of themselves in a way that they haven’t before that brings healing to their self-image and self confidence.
What are your three core values in your working life right now?
Authenticity. Self love. Perspective.
What’s the hardest part of running a business from home?
I love to watch movies! When I take a break from working for lunch, and I still have things to get done that day, I have to make a conscious effort to watch something that is NOT a movie or all that entertaining so that I will turn it off and get back to work rather than just curl up under my fuzzy blanket and chill out on the couch the rest of the day! I also tend to try to keep busy on just doing things for fun and adventure and have to reel myself in from time to time to not take so much “time off”. The best thing about what I do for work, however, is that it all feels like play and taking time off to do the things I enjoy but there are definitely some “work” aspects to it, like the marketing, blogging, and keeping the websites up-to-date.
What’s the most rewarding part of running a business from home?
The absolute best thing about running a business (or 3!) from home is the joy of getting all my blogging and emailing and music recording and photo editing done while in my jammies and fuzzy slippers! I will sometimes just get up, wake up leisurely for about 30 minutes to an hour and then gather all my paperwork and laptop into my bed and work on things from there until lunch. It’s nice, too, to watch the weather and schedule my working in the home office days on days that are going to be rainy or extra cold or snowy and plan other fun adventures for the better weather days of the week.
What fears did you have about starting your business?
The biggest fear…fear of failure! I’ve been lucky in that these businesses have not had to fully support me financially and have provided me and my family with a more supplemental and “emergency fund” income. I have been a work-at-home mom for 20 years and took care of the farm, the kids, and the bookwork for our subcontracting business. My personal growth in business started to grow when the kids got older and I had more time to devote to doing the things I enjoyed doing that brought in some money. In that respect, I have been very fortunate, but I still fear failing.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running your home based business?
Working for yourself is one of the hardest but most rewarding things you can do. If you have a dream, a talent, or some creative gift that has the potential to create an income for yourself, then never give up on that. It takes time to build a business and it is helpful to remember that every winner of the Best New Artist on the Grammy’s has been out there playing in bars, traveling in hatchbacks, and sleeping in their clothes for years before making it to that stage. Never give up. Keep trying to learn and make connections and doing what you can to be successful…even if that success “only” means providing extra income and brings meaning and joy to your everyday life.
How do you find the right balance between being a partner, wife or mother and running your business?
While the kids were younger I tended to work on things while they were at school and my husband was out working. My husband would hold down the fort anytime I had to teach a class on a weekend or weeknight. I kept my schedule pretty flexible but tended to focus on getting tasks accomplished based on the time frame I had to get them done and what I had to do to reach those deadlines. I prioritised and made lots of lists and kept a calendar so I knew when things were due and could sort of work backwards from there.
On a scale of 1-10 how much does your business light you up?
Definitely a 9 or 10 because I love everything I do! I love the creative outlets, the connections with people (on this side and the next), the accounting, the website design, the writing of the blog, the opportunity to take captivating photographs, working with interesting people, taking my business on the road…all of it!
What do you wish you had in your business that you are still seeking?
I would love to have someone to give some of the back-end computer work to do, like setting up online courses and the corresponding platforms and email scheduling that goes along with that. A sales agent would also be nice…to make calls, send emails, and schedule my workshops. I don’t mind doing these things, as it helps me to learn and become well-rounded but it would just be nice some days to not have to handle that.
In moments of doubt, how do you overcome it and lift yourself back up?
I start to look at all the things I have to offer. I look at my body of work - all the pictures I’ve done for clients and the course handouts and my music and I realize, “Hey, girl. You’ve got something amazing going on here in the world! Keep it up!”
Who is your support crew if you have one?
Well, that is actually what my husband does a lot of for me! I’ll complain about things being slow or not having as many clients as I want and he will always encourage me to hang in there and keep going. I also have some great friends and other family members in business for themselves and we talk about the latest and greatest trends and fun online resources as well as some of our frustrations in doing business and how to work through them.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
Well, it’s maybe not the most poetically phrased piece of advice, but it’s the first thing that came to my mind when you asked this question because I do think of it often. A wise person once told me.
”Don’t let anyone shit in your oatmeal.”
I’ve always appreciated that one!
What’s a brief summary of the pathway it took to get to where you are now?
Well, once upon a time I was a little girl growing up on a farm out in the country of central Indiana. I loved horses and drawing them took up a lot of my spare time. I practiced and practiced but I never got things looking “real.” Not the way my mom did…she was amazing! I also loved to write and I wrote about horses in that special romantic way that adolescent girls do. Horses and pictures of horses and the words…it was all so spiritual and nuanced, light and dark, shadows and contrasts. My family was quite religious but there were aspects of hard religion that did not feel right to me. I felt that there was more to it. I began playing piano in the church when I was only 11 and could only play the notes as they were on the page until a guest pianist visited when I was about 16 years old and lit that little church baby grand piano up like Jerry Lee Lewis himself were sitting there! I was hooked on making the hymns sound like he did…all rock and roll, all patriotic, all soft and classical and all over that keyboard…so I asked him if he would give me lessons. He taught me how to play by ear and how to put my music theory into practice in a fun and engaging way. This was the biggest and most important thing for my musical career when a little over 30 years later my husband bought me my first harp. I took a few lessons, played written music and learned fingering for a year and then music started coming to me, which had never happened before. Although I had since left traditional religion I had embraced the Other Side and felt a close connection to the gods and goddesses of Ancient Egypt. It was through these beings that I was led to a special way of composing music. My first CD was recorded and available a year later and I began to create more personalized songs for people using the same compositional techniques to provide healing music that was unique to each individual. My love of art gave me my gift of composition with images and I took a few classes on how to use all the buttons on my camera to create the images I saw in my head. I started out with horses and landscapes and then moved on to storytelling and portraits. It was exhilarating to get it “right” and not have to draw and erase and have everything I turn out like Picasso was my biggest inspiration! (Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy his work very much!) Everything seemed to come together for me in such a beautiful and organic way over the years and my work comes from the heart and from where I’ve come from. I think that shows.
How important is grit, determination and persistence to you in growing your business?
Extremely! You can’t give up if you have a dream or a talent or a drive to create a life you want based on your work. Everyday you have to remind yourself that you are living the world’s best success story and those are always filled with moments that either take you out or bring out your best because you weren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves and go in deep.
Which of your personal traits are you most proud of?
My love of adventure and my willingness to try things even if it means I do those things by myself. I’ve worked hard on myself and learning to be okay with being alone. The feedback on how inspirational my life journey has been to others has been something that gives me a lot of encouragement when I’m having a down day.
What’s the hardest thing about being your own boss?
Staying on task! I can get a little sideways sometimes and scattered in my work. Calendars are a must even if they sometimes make me feel like a control freak! They help keep me focused and my time better organized. They take the place of a boss for me.
What sacrifices have you made starting a business?
Probably the biggest sacrifices have been time away from family events when I had a class or other work schedule conflicts. It didn’t happen too often but when it did, it was hard.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Reading books, poetry, looking through magazines at the fashion ads, sunsets, shadows, long walks in the woods or sitting by a pond, watching people and listening to stories. There is always a story and I love to try to capture that in my work…the stories of the gods and goddesses, the stories of an expectant mother, the stories of a high school senior, the stories of those who have passed on and are no longer with us.
Life. Life and the expression of it is inspirational to me.
Who’s a woman you deeply admire?
Oh, my…I have a handful ranging from close friends who have overcome cancer, started their own businesses, and write books to family members who inspire me with their tenacity and courage to be themselves, start somewhere new, and build a business from scratch to women who are public figures that have overcome so much but continue to move forward. To narrow it down is really challenging but I deeply admire Terri Irwin. As a woman who was thrust into the spotlight when she was happiest as a partner, she has continued to have such grace and strength to move forward. She has business savvy, emotional tenacity, and a focus on her mission in a way that inspires me. She reminds me that we don’t move on from great loss or challenges in life, we always move through them and that love…always love, will be the wind in your sails. Her love story, both in her relationship and in her relationship with herself is beautiful and I would absolutely love to meet her someday.
What do you still want to achieve on a personal level?
I would love to write a book and put out another CD or two! I have the ideas and the music but need to get them on that calendar I talked about earlier!
What do you find most frustrating about your home workspace?
Right now I’m living in an apartment and there are times that I want to record a song for a client or record an audio for an online workshop and the neighbour upstairs is moving around too much. I have to try to squeeze those things in when it seems that they are not home!
What is the favourite thing about your workspace?
That it can be my bed, my dining room table, my green velvet wingback chair in front of the fireplace or a hotel lobby in Cairo, Egypt! It’s got the flexibility to travel anywhere I want to go!
Name one thing you can’t live without each day.
Chocolate. Definitely chocolate.