Amanda Suga is the founder of The Illuminary Co., a Hawaii-based, female empowerment company that provides personal coaching services to ambitious working women, moms, and entrepreneurs who want to drop the hustle, work less and create more success in their life and career.
Since 2020, The Illuminary Co. has consistently guided and empowered women to shift their mindset to start living life on their own terms while achieving their big career goals.
For more information on The Illuminary Co. visit their website here.
Here we sit down with Amanda, to know a bit more about her journey as a mindset coach.
Q. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Amanda: While working in corporate marketing, I stumbled across the concept of manifestation and the law of attraction. I haphazardly applied the concepts to my corporate career and was astonished when I was able to manifest multiple promotions, doubling my salary, buying my dream vehicle, travel, designer bags – all the things. I was hooked on the concept of creating outcomes through my mindset.
In 2019, I had my first child and then my priorities shifted. It wasn’t all about me anymore. I wanted to create a better world for my little one and I no longer saw corporate marketing as the avenue to create the kind of impact I knew I was destined for.
Fast forward to the pandemic in 2020 – and it became clear that entrepreneurship was the path that would allow me to create a positive impact while living life by my own rules.
I was laid off from my corporate job at the end of 2002, the literal DAY AFTER I told my husband I had decided to become a coach and was going to get certified.
It was the perfect sign from the universe as well as the perfect situation to be in to pursue my next step.
Q. How did you get started?
Amanda: I worked in corporate marketing for a decade. During the latter half of my career, I worked intensively with a spiritual mentor for many years, coupled with my own experiments in personal manifestation. Mindset work completely changed the way I saw and experienced life. And the results I created spoke volumes for its value.
I started to read more about the neuroscience behind manifestation and began to see that the spiritual and science were basically talking about the same thing.
Understanding the metaphysical concepts like the law of attraction from the lens of neuroscience allowed me to really unveil the power of the human mind.
Once I understood how the law of attraction worked from a more logic-based lens – it became clear that it was not only something that had already changed my life but that it had the power to change the world.
In the midst of the pandemic in late 2020 after being laid off from my corporate job, I decided to become a certified coach.
By January 2021. I had launched my business and was coaching clients – helping them change their own lives.
I was inspired by many of my own mentors and coaches – and also by what I didn’t see in the coaching realm. I didn’t see a lot of coaches who looked like me – so I knew I needed to be in this space.
I invested heavily in my own growth, personally and professionally, working with other coaches like Stacey Boehman, Lindsey Mango, and more recently Simone Seol – all of whom have helped strengthen my coaching skills – but also helped me transition from the corporate grind to create a life I love waking up to while creating a successful business.
I could not have done it without the help of my mentors and coaches. As a coach, I go first. I walk the walk.
Q. What was your biggest startup challenge? What steps did you take to overcome it? What did you learn?
Amanda: The biggest challenge I faced was learning how to have my own back. To trust that I was making the right decisions for me and my business – despite the many business coaches out there who might have a very specific strategy or steps to follow.
When you’ve worked in a corporate setting your entire adult life, following the rules, checking all the boxes, doing all the right things – becoming an entrepreneur can be a bit jarring for your mind.
You’re going from working inside of a very well-defined box – to working in an environment where there is no box at all.
The way your mind works needs to change. The way you manage your time. The way you work changes. You become your own boss and sometimes that’s a very frightening role to take responsibility for.
Ultimately, there is no “right” way to start a business. Just the way you make it right.
Q. What is the Most Memorable Thing You’ve Done Since you Started your Business?
Amanda: The most memorable thing I’ve done since starting my business has been speaking as the featured keynote speaker at MobCon Mini, an online conference event held by The Mob Nation which is a networking community for Mom Owned Businesses.
It was pretty early on in my business and I was asked out of the blue to be the keynote speaker. The founder of the group reached out to me on Instagram. Even though I had never spoken before, I said yes and jumped right in. It was nerve-wracking and I think I also had a cold during the actual event — but it was so worth it.
It felt surreal. Like wow, this is really who I am. That experience really helped solidify my identity as a coach and a speaker.
Q. What is one book you recommend, and why?
Amanda: I love the book The Gap and The Gain – The High Achievers Guide to Happiness, by Dan Sullivan. It’s a really easy read and illustrates so clearly how we are always looking at how far away we are from our goals. — which actually makes them harder to reach. And by simply shifting our focus to how far we’ve come — we actually get to where we want to be faster.
It’s so good! I send it to all my clients and I recommend it to anyone who is a type-a, perfectionist, over-achiever who wants to create a different path towards success.
If you want help with that, it’s exactly what I help my clients with overcoming by changing their perspective.
Q. What are your top 3 favourite online apps, tools, or resources and what do you love about them?
Amanda: I love the I AM Affirmation app. It sends me positive reminders/alerts multiple times a day as well as refreshes as a widget on my home screen. I love getting reminders that help me tune back into positive thinking and gratitude. It’s a much more enjoyable experience than email notifications, lol.
I also love any kind of meditation app. Something that you can quickly pop on to take a mental break. I love Calm or Insight Timer because of the variety of mediation types available.
I also love Instagram. That may make some people cringe but for me, it’s my window into the world of other people, to new ideas, perspectives, and laughs. I don’t spend all day on it, and I try to go on very intentionally when consuming – but it’s also my favorite platform to connect with my people and help them get 1% more towards where they want to be every day.
Q. In terms of legacy, what is the mark you’d like to leave on the world?
Amanda: I want to leave the world better than I found it and to me, that means empowering women, especially women of color and mothers to live amazingly happy lives, create amazingly successful businesses, and make tons of money in the process.
Women are the future, and I’m one small part of making that a reality.
Q. In one sentence, what’s the best advice you’d give to someone just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?
Amanda: To anyone who’s staring out…
- don’t get stuck worrying about getting it right, be willing to be bad at it, because that’s how you’ll get good at it
- self-doubt means you’re doing it right – it happens at all levels of business and it’s not a problem, it just means you’re human.
- hire a mentor or mindset coach, not the one going to tell you to just follow a cookie-cutter strategy. One whos’ going to show you your mind, and give you the tools to empower yourself and create your own path forward. I know from experience that getting help will get you where you want to be faster, with less stress and more clarity. You could figure it out on your own, totally! But why would you want to?
To keep up to date with Amanda and her journey, connect with her on Instagram.