The Interview Series: Spotlight on Amy Kuretsky

Tell me a little about you and your company. 

Silver Shade Group | Entrepreneur Spotlight: Amy Kuretsky

Hi! My name is Amy and I'm a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and health coach. But really what I do is help driven, type-A creatives balance their hustle with their health. I truly believe that as entrepreneurs, we are our businesses' most valuable asset - so let's start treating ourselves that way!

How long have you owned your own business? 

I've been working with clients for three years now, but I filed the paperwork to make it legit before I was even out of grad school! (Calling me an over-achiever would be putting it lightly.)

What made you decide to start your own business?

Honestly, there's not a ton of jobs out there for acupuncturists, so I never really considered any other option. But looking back now, I don't think I would have been nearly as successful or happy if I had been working for someone else. I had a clear vision from day one of what type of clients I wanted to work with and practice I wanted to run and there was no way I was going to dull down that vision - even for the sense of security that being an employee brings. I knew I'd get restless and that wasn't something I wanted to happen.

What was the best advice you received when you started your career?

Honestly, in grad school I had a great health education, but not much training in business. I was taught about how to write a business plan and do market research - but it was the type of market research where you search for statistics and competitors in your area. Not the type of market research where you actually go out there and hear what your ideal clients are struggling with - what they are desperate for your help with. I think the only advice that really stuck with me was this: When things are going a bit rough, ask someone out for coffee. Not necessarily a mentor or someone with more experience than you - just anyone. Because you never know how your expertise can help another person or how that type of real connection with another person can help your business in the future. I truly believe that I've grown my business so organically because I'm generous with my knowledge and people genuinely trust me. 

What do you wish someone had told you when you started your business?

That I don't need to water down who I am in order to have a thriving business. I'm not your typical medical professional - I have tattoos, ride my bike to and from the office, and swear like a sailor - all things that would normally keep me from working in a traditional clinic. But I never wanted to work in a traditional clinic or work with traditional clients. And the more I started actually be my authentic self at my clinic, the more of my ideal clients started to walk through my door!

What are the three skills that new entrepreneurs need in order to succeed? 

The ability to listen. Entrepreneurship is all about solving someone else's problem. But so often people just get an idea and run with it, before ever figuring out what problem it's solving.

Being a skilled communicator. You could have the best idea or product out there, but if you can't communicate the value to your potential customers, you're shit out of luck. Sorry, but true!

Knowing when to push forward, but also when to pull back. Entrepreneurs naturally have a strong internal drive. But it can't always be go go go! Our bodies aren't meant to function at high velocity forever. Eventually they give out. The best entrepreneurs know when to hustle, but also know when to enjoy the flow.

What routines do you have in place to help your days run smoothly? 

While I've always been a morning person, I only recently started working out at the crack of dawn. Nowadays, by 8am I've already gotten up, meditated for a few minutes, worked out at the gym, had a protein shake for breakfast, and showered. Whereas I used to drag myself to the gym after a long day at work, now I seriously feel like I'm on top of the world before my guy has even gotten out of bed.

My other daily habits are:

Meditation - Sometimes long and quiet, sometimes short and active. I don't believe that there's only one way to meditate. I think if you can find quiet focus in any activity, then that can be considered a meditation.

Breakfast - I know it's weird for me to consider that a habit, but I always find it fascinating how many of my clients skip breakfast and then complain of having low energy. Food is energy! My breakfasts are easily the most nutritionally dense meal of the day.

Bullet Journaling - I've always been a sucker for my calendar, but committing to writing daily was never quite my cup of tea. But a couple months ago I started bullet journaling and I'm totally hooked. I can keep track of my daily to do's and priorities, my never-ending list of content ideas, and wedding planning reminders (oh yea, I'm planning a wedding this year too!) all in one place. Plus, it's given me a place to do more introspective writing without it feeling like it's this 'heavy' thing. Every morning I'll write out my gratitude list, recall any dreams I might have had, and then pick a tarot card and journal my interpretations for a few minutes. And then every night I'll lay out my priorities and to do's for the following day - this way I fall asleep more easily and without that constant "I have to do this I have to do that I can't forget this I can't forget that" dialogue running on repeat in my brain.

How do you find balance as an entrepreneur? 

This is something that I struggled with a lot when I first started my acupuncture practice right out of school - I was working a lot of nights and weekends (when people most want to get acupuncture) and feeling completely drained. How was I suppose to advise other people on their health when I wasn't leaving enough time for it myself! Well, I have a history with Crohn's Disease (an autoimmune condition of the gut), which is what drew me to more natural healing methods in the first place, and I knew that as much as I loved my job, it wasn't worth getting sick over again. So I thought about what was really a priority in my life and then started scheduling my life accordingly. Now, I don't go out on the town every night or stay up till 1am as much I used to, but I do move my body daily, get lots of sleep, and spend time with the most important people in my life regularly - and that makes me happy. For me, balance is all about priorities - and knowing that my priorities for one day might be totally different than my priorities for the next. That's ok. The hardest thing for me to do now is to remove the word 'should' from my vocabulary. Releasing the shame around 'should' is the most balancing thing of all.

What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur? 

Making my own schedule! Granted, over half my work is client calls or patient appointments, so I don't have quite as much flexibility as some entrepreneurs, but I still feel pretty flexible.

What do you do to unwind? 

Ride bikes with my guy, go for a walk by the river, binge watch Scandal from time to time, have friends over for dinner, board games or bonfires - and of course, get acupuncture! 

What is a project that you are working on right now or just finished? 

My new website (www.amykuretsky.com)!!! At the time of writing this, it hasn't even gone live yet! It's been a lot of work moving from one URL to another, but I am 100% certain that I'm going to be thrilled with the result! 

Silver Shade Group | Entrepreneur Spotlight on Amy Kuretsky

How can people get in touch with you?

I'm on Periscope and Instagram daily, but you can also always email me directly at amy@amykuretsky.com