This week we are talking about adventure, starting new things, and how to be the CEO of your own life. Amber McCue joins me for this lively conversation! Amber is a business coach, podcast host, and founder of Right on Time Living. In our conversation, she shares her “right on time,” mantra, being aligned with your values, and building resilience.
From being a single mom at the age of 18 to owning two companies that allow her to work from anywhere. Today Amber runs her businesses anywhere around the world from Chicago to Africa. Through her books, speaking, and in her coaching programs, Amber partners with business owners around the world who want to get more done, realize their dreams and get freedom for themselves.
- Amber moved 15 times in one year. She explains how she did it and some strategies she used to deal with change so often in a one-year timespan. (6:42)
- The ‘right on time,’ mantra. (7:02)
- The way that we act or speak reveals our values. Sometimes it is very clear when we are or not in line with them. (13:38)
- A fresh start doesn’t always mean committing to a drastic new course of action. Amber shares ways you can start and move forward from your new beginning. “A small step can have a big impact.” (18:12)
- Amber’s photography business shut down and grew during COVID, she explains how that was possible. (27:20)
- The three habits of a Modern CEO to implement into your life. (42:03)
From being a single mom at the age of 18 to owning two companies that allow her to work from anywhere. Today Amber runs her businesses anywhere around the world from Chicago to Africa. Through her books, speaking, and in her coaching programs, Amber partners with business owners around the world who want to get more done, realize their dreams and get freedom for themselves.
Longer version (the above text plus): Amber studied Organization Development in Johns Hopkins’ MBA program, co-founded Three Boudoir, which creates photography experiences for women, and runs Amber McCue & Co, a modern business growth consultancy, which operates globally.
McCue is the founder of Right on Time living and the creator of several noteworthy programs for busy women and first-time business owners, including her signature How to Clone Yourself (which accomplishes exactly as it sounds, sans sheep), the most comprehensive program to learn how to run a business, The Modern CEO, and she is the host of the Right on Time podcast, a brand new way for freedom-seeking entrepreneurs to stop letting their business run the show, and start running the show for themselves, instead.
For me right on time, like, if I physically stand there with my arms wide open, like whatever it is, and it's not even a detachment, there's a non-attachment that comes with it. It's totally right on time, and we're gonna figure out what it is.
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast episode number 422 with guest Amber McCue.
Welcome to make some noise podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insights to empower yourself. I'm your host Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.
Hello there beautiful people. I am so excited that you're here. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. The first one for 2022. And it's episode 422. So look at that. I know that I promised you this year starting in the new year, we were going to do things a little bit differently on the podcast. I just was going to organize the topics that I release every week and I am I still am, it's just not going to be in the very first week. I tend to jump into things very quickly. I drive my team nuts with the rate at which I change my mind and make decisions. And everybody has to scramble. So I decided not to do that. Maybe that was my new year, I hate the word resolution, but just a goal of mine. Just be more intentional about things and do your due diligence, as my friend Amy Smith likes to say. Which I do a little bit of an eye roll because due diligence is not my specialty. However, I digress. If you haven't heard we are going to put topics into themes or categories starting very soon, quite possibly next week, if not, definitely in January 2022. And the first theme is going to be all about, like the big therapy topics. How do we heal with trauma? Like so everything, I'm going to be answering a question trying to answer a question. And the first theme is how do we heal ourselves? I know no easy feat, right? How do we heal ourselves? So I'm gonna have various experts on talking about different modalities of healing. We're gonna talk about EMDR, we're going to talk about just a lot of things. All that to say, make sure that you are subscribed to the show, Make Some Noise Podcast, that way you are notified of new episodes. Okay.
Also, if you feel like you need some extra support, and you don't know what to do, then you can apply to work with either one of my lead coaches, Liz, or Sabrina, or myself. Wait, is that grammatically correct? I think it's, or me or me. Okay. AndreaOwen.com/apply. And I was thinking about, like, what are some of the takeaways that clients have? There's all different ones, it really depends on what you want to change in your life, either. What what do you want more of ask yourself that question? What do you want less of? One of the themes that has come up recently, well, probably with the vast majority of my clients, is self-compassion. They typically don't come for me for that. Like, they're not like, ah, I need to hire somebody that's going to help me with my self-compassion. No, they usually come to me because they feel like they need to do more. And what we work on is lots and lots of self-compassion, lowering your expectations, having you accept and understand and really know that you are just one human being and you cannot do all the things. And then that also morphs into having some hard conversations sometimes with people in your life, whether that's your partner, or your boss, or your coworker, or sometimes your mother about things that are okay, that are okay, and things that are not okay, and being very intentional and conscious when you have those conversations and not just going in blind or cold and just having it turned into an argument because nobody wants that. But anyway, AndreaOwen.com/apply. Filling out that application will also help you get clear on what it is that you want. It might take you five minutes to fill out, it might take you an hour because you might have to keep coming back to it to really think about some of the questions in there. And then from there, you will get an email letting you know what your next step is. Maybe it's getting on a phone call with Liz or Sabrina or myself if it seems like a better fit for some of the work that I do. AndreaOwen.com/apply.
Alrighty then we are talking about adventure, we're talking about starting new things we're talking about, like how to be the CEO of your, your own life. And Amber McCue is here I had such a great time on her podcast, which I'm going to put the link in the show notes because she's such a fun person to talk to. And for those of you that don't know her, I'm gonna tell you a little bit about her. And please know that even though her bio says she works with entrepreneurs, this conversation is not just for entrepreneurs, I made sure of it.
From single mom at the age of 18, to owning two companies that allow her to work from anywhere. Today, Amber McCue runs her businesses anywhere around the world from Chicago to Africa. McCue is the founder of Right On Time Living and the creator of several noteworthy programs for busy women and first time business owners, including her signature, How To Clone Yourself, which accomplishes exactly as it sounds, sans sheep, which is the most comprehensive program to learn how to run a business, The Modern CEO, and she is the host of The Right On Time Podcast, a brand new way for freedom seeking entrepreneurs to stop letting their businesses run the show, and start running the show for themselves instead. So without further ado, here is Amber.
Amber, thank you so much for being here.
Andrea, thank you for having me. I'm so pumped.
I'm so excited to talk to you. And I have so many questions that I'm truly truly intrigued by just out of my own selfish curiosity. And I want to start with that you moved, is it true that you moved 15 times in one year?
Yeah. Okay, true story.
First, first, why, and then second, how, and third, I think what I'm most curious about and that would be helpful for people is, what kind of strategies did you have or did you employ, if any, with that kind of change over and over again, in a one year period?
Oh, my gosh.
That takes resilience.
You know, it really, it really does. And it's in a moment like that when you sort of test all the life lessons and all the things you've been collecting for a lifetime. You're like, do I, do I have this? You come up this. We were actually Andrea, this story is just incredible. And I'd say it starts before the year of the move. And this is part of that resilience story. It was, I'd say 2014, I started talking about this idea called being right on time and I would say to my clients when they thought they were late for a meeting, or they thought that they you know, they missed a meeting or a call with me. I'm so sorry I'm late, I'm so sorry, I missed that, I'm so sorry. And like, you know what, you're right on time. Like, it's all right on time, you had something else come up, I get that. You know, you get stuck in traffic. So you were late getting home for the zoom, I get that. So it started saying to my clients, you know, you're right on time. And then I realized in the summer of 2016, like this was a real thing. There were a lot of things around this right on time way of living. And I started sharing it with my clients more openly. But it wasn't until the fall 2017 when I realized I wasn't gifting this idea of right on time to myself, I was still pushing myself. I was still I still had that pressure on myself. Those feelings of feeling terrible when I was late, or I needed to cancel something or move something or whatever. And so I gifted that to myself in the fall of 2017. And then it came true in a big way in 2018. AndI was standing in a really an empty apartment, because we were supposed to be moving to the Democratic Republic of the Congo on March 13, 2018. And my husband called after they moved everything out. This was the Thursday or Friday before we were supposed to move. And he said oh, honey, I just got some news. We're not moving. No wait. Too late. Everything has already moved. The van has left Annapolis.
Oh my gosh.
It’s done, it's over. We are moving actually it's like well, we're not going to the Congo. And I don't know where we're going. So this started, my kids were still in school. It's March, and we had an empty apartment. I was left with eight suitcases that we were taking to Ethiopia with us. No no no, to the Democratic Republic of the Congo with us to meet our things there. So we had to find a place to stay and we started Airbnb hopping and we Airbnb and hotel hopped 13 times and then we landed in Ethiopia, where we ultimately moved to in August 2018. And we moved a couple more times when we got to Ethiopia before we landed in a place where we'd be for two years.
Okay, so just out of curiosity, not a lot of heat, you know, people are like, let's move to Colorado or like big adventure, like, let's move to Canada. So what brought you to the Congo? Is your husband in the military? Or do you just like adventure moving to places well don't normally relocate to? Or at least Americans, I should say.
Wxactly. We love to adventure. This is actually a core value of ours is the family for sure. But my husband's in the Foreign Service. So okay, you're supposed to go to the Congo, and circumstances they're changed. They're like, where his French was, they wanted him to get more French or change locations. So we change location.
Got it, because you also you spent time in Saudi Arabia. Was that as a child or when you were married?
Yeah. That was as a kid. I spent five years growing up in Saudi Arabia. Yep.
Okay. Wow. What was that like as a as an American child? You were born here in the States?
Yeah, born here in the States. It was second grade, when we moved to Saudi Arabia. I was in second grade. And it was, you know, for me, it was incredible. I think for my mom, it was a little bit harder because of the restrictions they have and had there at the time for women. But as kids, it was so much fun.
I love that. I was just like, super curious about that. It was a little sidetrack. But I want to circle back to the right on time mantra. And I love, I love easy mantras that bring down my anxiety. I love that for traffic, because I started to employ the mantra, we'll get there when we get there because I just be like, oh, my God, we're gonna be late. I hate being late. It makes me so anxious. But it's out of your control. That's a great mantra.
It reminds me of our mutual friend, Rachel Luna, she always says when there's an opportunity that, you know, she's really excited about and, you know, you know, we tend to kind of put our eggs in that basket and get really attached to the outcome when we want something she uses the mantra which I've adopted is if not this, then something better. So if you saw it opens up, you know, like, it would be great if this happened. And if it doesn't, then there is something on the other side. You know, it will be right on time, ror me. So I love those two monitors together.
Yeah, absolutely. And for me right on time, like, if I physically stand there with my arms wide open, like whatever it is, I do, and it's not even a detachment, there's a non-attachment that comes with it. And whatever it is, it's totally right on time. And we're gonna figure out what it is.
We're gonna figure it out. Yeah, that's such a great parenting lesson as well.,
Oh my gosh, it comes up so often with my kids. I'm late, I'm late. I’m like girls we’re right on time. We're right on time.
Yep, we're right on time. Well, we'll get there when we get there. So I want to I want to switch gears over into values, because values is something I talk about all the time, I wrote a whole chapter on it in How To Stop Feeling Like Shit. And that is something that you implement with your clients. Is that something you sort of like kick off your relationship with them with? How does how does values come into your work?
Yeah, values. I mean, values comes into our work everywhere. In the way that we show up, in the way that we connect, we speak about them. And even if we don't specifically call out what are your values, the way that people speak, reveals values. The way that we act reveals what we value. And sometimes it's very clear that things are out of alignment. And sometimes we're trying to get into alignment with our values. And we are moving toward that. So we definitely speak about it, but we also see it when we're looking for it.
So give us an example like build a straw person and how you can see their values by the way that they, you know, talk and things like that.
Yeah, so I've actually got a very personal example on this. A core value of mine, his family, and I would speak about that. I would talk to my family about that. And I realized actually a few years into running my business. I'm like, wait a second, you are saying a core value is family but how late did you work last night? And you're saying a core value is family, but what did you do all weekend? Right? So how are we showing up and connecting our behaviors with our beliefs.
And I think this is so common in so many areas of our life. But when we operate out of alignment, things feel off, right? We're not showing up with integrity and nothing right happens as seamlessly as it could happen when we're operating out of alignment. So that's my very real example. And once I realize like, oh, my gosh, you are so out of alignment, I give, again, a gifted me this opportunity to reset and get back into flow, which is a great place to operate from.
I love that. And the value around family is a is a pretty common one. And I always tell people, when we're working on values, try not to beat yourself up, if you have what we call aspired values, and that's exactly what you said. You know, like, you have a value around something, but you're not exactly honoring it, and you're in your life. And, you know, people feel like shit about it. And you know, oh, my God, you know, I'm like, okay, take a step back and realize that many times when we do values work, it's kind of like setting goals.
You know, that's sort of the point like you have this map, or this North Star, about looking at what's important about the way you live your life. That's really it. And so for anyone listening, who has no idea where to start with values, ask yourself that question. I have to always have two questions: What's important to you? And then the next question is what's important about the way you live your life? And start there. Because I, you know, I also want to say, how you feel like we go through seasons, where we're just killing it with our values, and everything's great. And maybe it happens for like, a year or series of years or series of weeks, and then it all falls apart. That happens.
Every year, I have a busy season in my businesses, you know, you things ebb and flow, of course, like, okay, it's a little bit busier right now. And my I couldn't, my value of family, you know, looks like it's falling apart. But I know that it's coming. So what can I do? I can communicate with my family and say, okay, guys, it's gonna be a busy season, here's what I have coming up, I'm probably, I don't work weekends, typically. But I'm probably going to have to work the next three weekends in a row to prepare for this and the way that I want to prepare for this. So we rally around that we adjust the family supports. So when we can see something happening, I think, you know, embodied in my value a family is okay, we're gonna talk about it, and we're going to support each other through this, and I'm going to leave that guilt trip at the door.
Leave the guilt trip at the door. Yes, yes. Yes. Yes. Okay. So on the topic of ebbing and flowing and, you know, seasons changing in our lives, so you have a blog post that I really liked, and it's called What's Better Than Starting Over, and it's, it's about fresh starts. And you talked about that a fresh start doesn't necessarily mean can, you know, having a drastic new course of action. So can you talk more about fresh starts and how someone can start moving forward from their new beginning, because sometimes it's, it can be daunting.
Oh, my gosh, it can feel so daunting to, I mean, we've, you've been there, I know it like to want a change in your life. And, you know, maybe we don't see the path forward right away. But we've got the like, something's got to change. Something's got to be different. And I sometimes feel this pressure like, okay, in the past, I would have felt like, change it all, burn it down, I can't do this anymore. And I work with a lot of business owners in my consulting business, and actually, even in my team and my photography business. You know, it's got to change now, we got to throw it all out. No, no, no. Like, we've done some really good things. Recognize that and honor that.
And what I find Andrea, and I'd be so curious, what your experience with this is, is a small step can have big impact. And one small step reveals the next step. And truly a fresh start and a new beginning can come, the moment you declare it is a new beginning. And you don't, the change can be as simple as I'm showing up different today. Right? I'm going to walk with more confidence. I'm going to put my shoulders back. For me on my entrepreneurial journey, I knew something needed to change when I was in corporate, but I didn't step into growing the business right away. I started just by mixing up my routines like I took a different route home from work, to start to get things in my brain firing in a different way. So there's this opportunity to embrace that fresh start. Honor what you've done so far and build upon that and where you're going may look totally different, but it's gonna start with the first step.
You know, I haven't I love that answer, and you know, what I think I love the most about it is how you simplified it and broke it down into small, digestible baby steps because I'm with I'm that same way where it's like, okay I need to start over, like let's just burn the whole thing down and build from scratch. And that's dramatic. It takes so much work and not necessarily what you have to do. But when you said that part about just taking a new route home from work, like, I think that when we do small things like that that may seem innocuous and just like that they don't matter, it can change. Because what I'm thinking of is that can shift what your mind sees your thought patterns, and then that leads to different kinds of creativity. And then the world you know, just can come wide open. And people might not see any changes at first, you know, and they might be like, forget it. But patience, so much patience.
Oh much patience. So much right on time reminding. And what you said right drama in that burn it down, like okay, fresh, like clear the slate, everything's gone. That resonated with me so much actually one of my values, I embrace no drama for this mama. And that came from me having a very dramatic childhood, and embracing drama and being very comfortable in drama, and extremes. And look, you know, that's exhausting. Yeah. So for me, there is a different way to show up. And it for it was a complete retraining from the way I grew up, which was extremes.
We tend to we tend to try to manifest our patterns back, don't we? Subconsciously.
Like, wait a second, I don't want to live my life that way. Like, well, one end to the next. Oh, there's got to be a less exhausting way. And there is.
I think I like the idea of that being exciting. But in reality, it's not. And that's the part that I need to be very cognizant of. That it's not exciting. It's not, it's energy consuming. It's yeah, I could go on and on about that. But you made me think about something recently, because over the last handful of years, I have wanted to have new friendships. And it's been a very slow process. It's just how things go. I mean, especially moms, we get just caught up in the rigmarole of parenting in our children's lives and trying to get everything done. And friendships ended up being the very last thing that we concentrate on. And I do have, I have some very great friends, but they don't live near me. So I'm thinking of like local mom, friends, you don't they don't have to be these like intense, amazing friendships, but just people like can hang out with and like go shopping with and go to Starbucks and stuff. So I am planning, there's a couple of things that I'm doing intentionally. There is a running group that is not far from my house that meets twice a month. So I'm going to go to that. And of course, I decided to go in December when it’s freezing. I also have not run in I don't even know how long. It's so it's going to be rough. But I'm going to do it anyway.
And also, I am going to start fresh by this is going to be hard, and I've been agonizing about this for weeks, I won't lie, there's a local Facebook group for local moms and there's no there's a few 1000 moms in there. And I'm going to be incredibly vulnerable. And basically, like throw out a like a want ad. Like I seek out… I've been typing it up in my notes app and deleting and revising and like telling people what I bring to the friendship and you know, I'm an eight on the Enneagram and an INFJ and an Aries. So if that feels like it's not a match, then then I'm okay with that. I'm totally gonna tell people, like, hey, I would love some friends, like let's meet up and go out on a date and see if it's a fit. And like that's a fresh start. And that is that's a little bit drastic, like I don't recommend that for everyone but, but it's taking action on a fresh start that I've been like kind of complaining about for a long time.
Yeah, but it's also so pure and so simple. Like I immediately thought of my daughter who is, my 10-year-old daughter now, and when she was like in that five to eight range, she would walk up to people and say, I think we should be friends. Can we be friends? Let's be friends. And I remember distinctly thinking like yeah, this could be so easy. Why are we overcomplicating it as adults and you are bringing it back to simple like, hey, let's new friends.
Well, exactly. Well anytime. I find myself stuck or complaining about something. I eventually asked myself like, what would I tell a client at this point? What assignments would I give them? What challenges would I present to them? And this would be one of them. Like you can't, friendships are very much the same as romantic relationships. You can't just wish for them to fall into your lap. Do they happen that way sometimes? Absolutely. But for the most part, like we have to put ourselves out there and take action and kind of more or less tell the universe that we're ready for something to change. And so this is my way of doing it. It makes my stomach hurt, but I'm gonna try anyways.
Oh, I am so excited to hear how that goes.
Oh, gosh. Okay, now I'm really gonna have to do it because I talk to you about it.
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I want to ask what happened during COVID? Didn't it shut down and the end and you ended up growing it or something?
Okay. Tell us about that. What happened?
Yeah, so March 2020, we return from Ethiopia because of the COVID situation., and nobody, right, we weren't quite sure what's happening, what's going to happen, what's gonna happen in Africa's like, just so many question marks and uncertainties. But one thing that was very certain, in April, businesses were starting to shut down across the United States where our photography business operates. And we were shut down for four months. And early on in this process we thought, what are we going to do? We've got a team, we had two full time team members, we had contractors, we were just starting to step transition from a contractor model to an employee-based model. And so we did two things. The first thing we did is we started virtual photoshoots, which were a lot of fun. But they didn't quite have the traction and starting any new business takes a lot of work. So we also at that time in our photography business, were operating in six cities. And we thought, you know what, now's the time. We've been wanting to grow into more cities, we have space now in this time of COVID to step into that, and we made you know, what was a risky, but a very strategic decision to say we're not going to stop. This is the time where we're going to open in 10 more cities. So in the middle of COVID, we started marketing that we are coming to your city. Clearly we can't shoot right now everything shut down, but as soon as we can reopen, we're going to be ready. So we took that time to market, to invite people, to get their photo shoot so they could be first in line when we can open up for the actual photoshoots, and we soft launched in those cities. And you know, as I look at that, I think okay, yeah, that was crazy. Like a little bit risky, a little bit like wild water you doing. And also so beautiful, like most big decisions and big steps are. And ended up being one of the best things we've ever done in our business. And yes, Andrea, we grew. Like we more than doubled. Well, we crossed our 2019 revenue in 2020. And in 2021, we have more than doubled that revenue, all because of the foundation we laid during that four-month shutdown.
Amazing. Holy crap. I did not have that same experience during COVID.
Yeah. And you know, one of the delivering happiness has a value, I'm so glad we started the conversation speaking of values, delivering happiness actually, I don't know that this is one of their values, but it's a value that I've embraced in a mantra I've embraced, called flipping the pancakes. And on one side of the pancake, maybe it's burnt, at least my pancakes burn on one side, usually. And then, but the other side, we flip it. And then, you know, I present the pretty side to my kids when I'm serving up those pancakes. You know, we're flipping pancakes, and there's opportunity on the other side of every rough situation we find ourselves in.
I believe that. I truly believe that. And I love hearing stories like that. And, and like for the record, my mental health just like took a nosedive in 2020, and that's why I think things turned out the way that they could, but had that not happened, I know that I could have like, stuck to that kind of mindset. And I just, I want to just say that too for the sake of total transparency is that sometimes, you know, for people who really struggle with their mental health, like we get to a point where we have no control of our thoughts, of our beliefs, and it can be a scary place to be, and I just encourage anyone out there who has been in that place, or if you're in there, right now, get professional help, because we can't, we can't fix it on our own. And yeah. So I have, but I love stories like that, like it just gives me so much hope that down like you can change your attitude. You know, obviously if you're, you're of sound mind, and congratulations. That's amazing.
Oh my gosh, thank you, you know, and speaking to the mindsets, and the mental health and all the emotions that come up. It's funny because in the middle of COVID, someone asked me, a client actually asked me she's like, it feels like you're doing really good right now. Like, how are you doing so well?
Did they mean emotionally and mentally or…
Yes. It was my client who's a therapist.
Oh, yeah. So they're especially suspicious.
Exactly. So I did some research on that. And I said, funny enough, I just researched this because I'm like, why am I doing so well? And, and if you look at my personality types, like, oh, I'm born and driven and designed to thrive in challenging situations, which is why I probably had to retrain myself off of some of that, that no drama, no drama anymore. I don't want to live like that, actually. But I'm born to thrive. And it's funny this year, as things have started to, you know, I wouldn't say they're back to normal. But there's a normalcy that is being established this year, even though it's a new normal, and it's very different. Now is when I pause and like, okay, my thoughts are coming back, you know, that are things I have to reexamine and reset on. Because I can get into those moments of crisis, really, and evaluate and process very well. And then I come out of it. I'm like, oh, no. Okay, now I need to reset and reevaluate and attend to those thoughts that are in my head. So it's interesting, because they can come up at different times for all of us. So being aware of that and recognizing, what are these thoughts? What is this racing heartbeat feeling I am waking up to pay attention to that and talk to someone about it and move through that and address it. So I love that you brought that up Andrea? Because I've got like the opposite side of the pancake for some people, because we're all so unique.
Yeah, it's just it's fascinating to me, because I think you and I are a lot of like in personality and, and in other stressful situations, I have been able to thrive like when my dad died, you know, the grief wasn't linear by any stretch, but I'm really good at compartmentalizing. Like in any type of crisis. I've usually been really great. Like, I'm the one who can completely block out any of the emotions during that time and focus, and I've heard it's a symptom of ADHD that we can do that and then it becomes a strength. But when COVID happened, I was pushed over the edge like I was I was shoved so hard over the edge. I wasn’t just pushed.
And what's interesting is now that it's been over a year and a half, I've had some solid time to reflect and go to doctors and you know, try to get to the bottom of it. I suspect and I see an allergist next week. So I will keep everyone posted on this. I suspect that I have a food intolerance that is starting to catch up with me that I've had forever. I suspect that it's dairy, and it might also be gluten, which is going to like really change my life. But at any rate, I am and please, everyone listening, I'm not a doctor, I'm not a registered dietician, neither is Amber. Just two women having a conversation, but I have a feeling because something doesn't feel right. It feels like beyond anxiety and depression. And my thyroid was kind of out of whack, and then it corrected itself. And then, so they're doing all this blood work trying to figure out what it is. And I was put on antidepressants that worked for a little bit and then they didn't anymore. So my new doctor, she's an integrative doctor, and she all the blood work came back, okay. And she's like, okay, now I want you to see an allergist because I think it might be a food sensitivity. And what's also interesting last thing I'm gonna say about this is that what she told me is that we can have these food intolerances, and they sort of ebb and flow throughout your life. And she said, what she's seen, especially in middle age, is a lot of times when it starts to catch up with you. Like you, you've been able to deal with it, and then you know, perimenopause, and then your body's like, okay, I'm done trying to digest wheat and stuff. So anyway, I'll keep everybody posted. But I suspect that that might be having something to do with my mental health.
So I've got a little story on this. Can I just can I, please. Okay, so it's so funny. I am getting a food sensitivity test done in the next week or so as well. Because when I was, what's 10 years ago, when I was pregnant with Audrey, my migraines came roaring back, chronic, like boom bad. ER, regular visits. And I was trying to figure it out, like what is happening, I looked in all the places and I went to an integrative doctor, and she did the food sensitivity tests. And I found out random things. I was living in Maryland at the time crab was impacting my body, egg yolk, gluten, dairy. Also, garlic. When I eliminated garlic, garlic was creating like, almost like the heart attack, panic attack, anxiety, whoa, whoa, whoa. So anytime I would have because I did an elimination process and tried to introduce some things like, oh, no, this garlic is not good for me. So it's funny because, um, you know, and there are ebbs and flows. I moved to California, I could reintegrate all those foods with no issue. Move back to Maryland allergies, different climate. Chicago is not great for me. Like so depending on where I am in the world, my body is showing up different. And so because I'm feeling some things again, I'm like, okay, food sensitivity test, you've tried a number of things, you've gotten tests, everything's coming back, fine. Let's dig into this a little bit more and see what you need to reduce again. So I'm so there with you. It's bizarre how food can impact us and impact me at different times in my life, depending on where I'm living even.
Yeah, it's I wonder who knows, because we moved to North Carolina about six years ago and I'm trying to put a timeline on it. But also, the one thing that has come up again, that I have not struggled with since after my son was born and he was born 14 years ago, I had severe postpartum anxiety. I've struggled with anxiety forever. But my anxiety was so severe after he was born to the point where I could not drive anymore, I was having severe driving anxiety, panic attacks, and it was like borderline psychosis, I was starting to believe things that weren't actually real and medication helped a lot. And I've been so much better. But recently, my driving anxiety has come back. And I didn't know that that was actually a thing. But we were in the car a few nights ago, in Las Vegas, which is, you know, I'm in a different location, it was dark, and it's only when I'm not driving. My palms, Amber's like, I don't remember the last time my palms had been that sweaty, and just the armpit tingling and I'm like, oh my god, this is a panic attack coming on. Please don't happen here in the car. Please don't throw. So anyway, I googled it and found out that people who have been in previous car accidents are much more highly susceptible to have that which I have been, and also people who have previous trauma, even if it's unrelated to driving at all.
So it's like, god damn it. I like hate that we live in this new millennium where we have so much access to information and I'm like, can I just be like oblivious and not have to overthink it? No, but it is helpful and, and I I save This, I tell this story, I know, we've kind of gotten off track just to be transparent, because I think that, again, seasons like, this is a season of my life, where my mental health has gotten a little wonky. I'm so lucky and blessed that I have the resources and access to professional help. And I also have really great friendships where I can come to my friends and my husband and say, like, I'm falling apart, like. I need some support. And sometimes the only energy I have is reserved for my clients and my children. And that's it. But I also know that this too shall pass, like, I'm going to come out the other side and it's going to be okay, and I, I have always had that my heart goes out to anyone who's in a place of hopelessness. And I hope that they hear this message and understand that I'm, you know, we're talking to them, and that, that there is the other side, and to just please keep, you know, you're right on time. And, and keep asking for help.
Yeah, it's so true. And sometimes, you know, those right on time moments when we were coming back from Ethiopia in March 2020, I was like, where is the right on time moment, like when, whereas I was looking everywhere for like a golden egg. And it took a little bit to see it. But like, keep searching, keep searching. It's coming.
Yeah, just keep swimming? For sure. Well, I want to ask you one more question before we before we close up, and I want to switch gears a little bit. And so I know that you help a lot of business owners and people who identify as CEOs, but this can, I know that this can help anyone because I am a true believer that women are leaders, whether they are leading their family, or you know, leading in their, in their career, or whatever. So you have like three habits of a modern, quote, unquote, modern CEO that anyone in any career can implement. So what are those?
Oh, my goodness, I completely agree with you that women are leading in so many different ways in so many different areas. And one of the things that can help us as we lead is to get elevation on each situation. You know, so often we're in the weeds, and there are things happening, and we're just moving step by step, oh, great. We're just okay, whatever. But when we get elevation, and we look at the big picture, we set intentions on what we want, and where we want to be going. And even if we're searching for something, what are we looking for? Just defining what it is, or defining that we don't know, right? But getting that elevation above what's happening, can help us set a path forward for the vision that we have for our life, for our family, for our kids, you know, for our careers, etc. So this is number one, get elevation and set the intention for where we want to be going.
Number two is one step at a time, right? So oftentimes, as we see this big picture, we're searching, like, I just wanted to happen, there's a little bit of, you know, my impatience in there. So right on time, yeah, one step at a time. We don't need to boil the ocean because this is not a thing, this is not going to happen, hopefully not even with climate change. So one step at a time, and not skipping to the end. So oftentimes, this is something great leaders do, but they build the plan first, and then we step into action, we don't just dive into the deep end of the pool without some support and without a plan of action. So So one step at a time and build that plan to go along with it.
And then third, get support, right? Get support, whether that's in the form of a team, whether that's it, like I mentioned, like rallying my family, and bringing my family into what I'm doing, because what I'm doing certainly impacts them in terms of how the business performs, how my career goes, but also in the fact that I am not as present for that season. So get support. Coaches, mentors, therapists, your support team, and our support team in our lives and our careers and our businesses can look like a lot of different things. But make sure you've got it in some way shape or form.
I love the simplicity of that like to me that is like going back to basics and things that even that I forget to do. I'm definitely a fly by the seat of your pants type of person and sort of build a plane as we're flying it. Which drives may seem crazy. They've kind of learned to, well, no, they're good about like, forcing me to plan things ahead of time and ask me questions that I don't even think about because I like to, you know, do it differently. But it's, and I know you're big on planning and that you have a yearly, I think it just passed. Right. You have a yearly Planathon?
Exactly, yeah, we just wrapped it up the Planathon, we make those plans. And in all, this is so simple, Andrea. And I look at like, there's a lot of complicated stuff happening out there. But our brains like can’t process all of this all at once. So okay, what do we need to take through first and what we as humans do not operate linearly, like it's all over? Yeah, we've got to reply, like kids just knocked at the door. Okay, back in here, you know what is happening. So when we can bring it into a linear flow, it's much easier to get people on board, it's much easier to execute on because as much as we try and multitask, like things are really happening one step at a time. So when we can break that down, it just, it allows for me, you know, something else I just realized, it allows me to appreciate each moment a little bit more. And then when the chaos comes, we can appreciate that too because it's inevitably there will be a point where there's a little bit of chaos. So if we can streamline you know, some of the other things, and allows me to have those opportunities to appreciate.
For sure, amen. To all of that. I 100%. Agree. And thank you so much for being here. Where do you want people to go to find you? I know you're at AmberMcCue.com but on social media, or free gift for anybody?
Oh, my goodness, you know, yeah, I'm an AmberMcCue.com. Instagram at @AmberMcCue, all the places. And if anyone is thinking like, I've got a lot going on right now, how do I start to streamline? I didn't have a free gift in mind. But it's so aligned with a conversation of starting to prioritize where should I focus first. And if you go to AmberMcCue.com/prioritize, it'll take you to a guide that helps you thinking think through prioritizing everything.
Hmm. My audience loves a good worksheet. So AmberMcCue.com/prioritize. That will for sure be in the show notes along with your social media handles. Thank you so much for being here. I've loved this conversation. It went in a direction that I had no idea it was going to go in, but love your candidness. And thank you.
Thank you. It's been such a pleasure, Andrea.
Alright, everybody. Thank you for listening. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye for now.
Hey, everyone, thanks again for listening to the show. And just a quick reminder that if your company needs a speaker or a trainer, I might be the right person for you. I speak and do keynotes on confidence and resilience for mixed audiences as well as do trainings on The Daring Way, which is the methodology based on the research of Dr. Brené. Brown. So if you think it might be a good fit, hit me up at support@AndreaOwen.com or head over to my speaking page AndreaOwen.com/speaking.