Midlife and (peri)menopause can shake our confidence: belly fat in our body, the fear of bursting into tears or rage, unpredictable cycles, and the list goes on.

It really doesn't have to be that way.

Amy Schmidt of Fearlessly Facing Fifty says we all have a kernel of confidence within us, and if we can tap into it and match it with our new creativity, power, independence, and hard-earned experience, we are genuinely a force to be reckoned with.

Listen to her conversation with Gennev CEO Jill Angelo for information and inspiration.

 

 

Have you experienced a resurgence of confidence and creativity, or are you still waiting for that fire to ignite? We'd love to hear how you're taking advantage of this very productive time of life or what you need to get going. Join the conversation on Gennev's community forums

TRANSCRIPT:

Jill Angelo

We are live welcome to the generic weekly webinars series. I love this time because it's when we get to get out of our own homes, if you will, and businesses to talk about what other people are doing in, you know, women's health and in menopause and in the second half of life for women. And today I'm, I'm just really honored to have Amy Schmidt of Fearlessly Facing Fifty with us. So welcome Amy.

Amy Schmidt

Oh, thanks so much Jill. I know it's a mouthful, isn't it? I had to run through that several times when I, when I started, when it got the name Fearlessly Facing Fifty. That's a lot of F’s.

Jill Angelo

My first question and even before you introduce yourself, Where did Fearlessly Facing Fifty come from?

Amy Schmidt

Well, you know what? It came because all of this really happened about six or seven months before I turned 50. So the fearless part was a word that I love because I look as fear at fearless, as being brave and so fearlessly facing being brave, facing 50. Because you know, it's, it's a big number. It's, you know, it's, it's out there. I mean, I'm 50 and I can remember my mom turning 50 and sitting there and thinking, looking at her when I was about 12 and thinking that's an old mom, you know, she's getting ready for a birthday party and here I am 50. So I think the Fearlessly Facing Fifty part for me is really my story. I just decided that I had been, as you'll probably hear along this interview on a journey like most women and just have decided I'm going all in. It's, you know, if not now, when, why not be fearless?

Jill Angelo

That's great. Well, let's back up then as we, you marched up to 50, like tell us introduce yourself first of all and just explain what you do.

Amy Schmidt

Yeah. Okay, great question. You know what? I think I'm like many women. We kind of mastered the art of reinvention. I think that's really what we do. So over the course of the last 27 years, I've been married and married my college sweetheart. I have raised three children. My, our youngest is 16, so we still have one in the house, but two are basically grown and flown. One is a young adult working in New York city. The other one is a sophomore in college. You know, when I look back and I think 27 years ago where I was, I was in news broadcasting and journalism. That was my passion, writing, storytelling, broadcasting, and then has the trajectory of my husband's career started to take off. And I think this is synonymous with a lot of women that were born in the late sixties, early seventies.

A lot of us kind of said, okay, we made the choice too, I stayed home and started following this trajectory of, of Tim's career. So in 1997, I stepped away from after broadcasting going into corporate America and had my daughter. And from there, you know, art of reinvention, you just pick up, we moved a lot of times because Tim's trajectory was about every two to three years we were moving. So 11 moves, one abroad for six years, three kids later involved in everything under the sun. Like a lot of women, you know, they immersed themselves in their community. I continued to write I sat on boards, I did all of the stuff that I was doing and enjoying it, but then all of a sudden we moved back to the United States. I had lost my parents gone through some health issues myself and said, you know what, I gotta start doing some stuff for me. And so it was a little bit of a pivot and I just decided it's my time and I have a voice and I'm very passionate about, as you'll hear about women and empowering and encouraging women just to put the fear aside and just to forge ahead. So that's kind of, you know, from broadcasting to writing to community involvement to mom, daughter, wife, all of those things, you know, that's pretty much my story.

Jill Angelo

It's a lot of, a lot of roles to fill and and a lot of women are doing the same thing, you know, they're, they're doing it all. One thing I wanted to ask you when you, when you knew it was time to start doing something for you, was it a moment? Did it, was it over time and you were just like in this uncomfortable place and all of a sudden you're like, I got to do something for me or talk us through what that felt like and how did you know?

Amy Schmidt

Ah, that's a great question. You know, I think it's through this, this part of life for women. You know, you look at this journey and all of a sudden you get to this point and you're a wife and a mother and a daughter and a sister. But where did Amy go? And I think it really hit me one time when my husband was getting ready for work and the kids, I'm getting ready to get him off to school and he yells to me and he says, Hey Amy, Hey mom, would you grab the dry cleaning? You know, on the way home, no problem. Of course I'll drive. Yeah, we'll get the dry cleaning, but I'm not your mom. I'm Amy. And you have those moments. And you kind of just continue to forge ahead and think. But it was a little bit of a stop me in my tracks moment because I thought, where did Amy go?

You know, you lose your identity. So for me I had lost my parents when we lived in Germany, which was a big part of it is a big part of my story and it's in my book lost both of them and I wasn't able to make it back in time to see either of them, which is, is really at this age when we're dealing with aging parents and caregiving and things like that. And I was a country away. I was in Germany. That was a challenge for me when we got back to the U S I had some issues with just anxiety, which was a lot menopause based, perimenopause based, all of those things kind of culminating. But yet I was having all of these conversations with my friends and we're all talking about the same things, hot flashes sleepless nights, anxiety, all these things. And I'm thinking, you know what, there needs to be a voice out there advocating and opening the dialogue for women. That was my moment when I said I'm going to do this. I'm passionate about it. My network is broad. I have the wonderful friends and community all over the country and world. So why not start sharing this and inspire each other to start talking about things that otherwise we kind of just push to the side.

Jill Angelo

You know, I think that's so inspiring because to think that, okay, what I'm experiencing might be something that other women are experiencing. It's our native. We naturally think we're the only one or we're going crazy or what's wrong with me. And instead you took that and flipped it and you said, I hate, I bet there's other women that are going through this. Talk us through a little bit how I think that's brave and bold and thank you. You know, cause you're, you're touching women. You like, you're reaching them. Talk a little bit about. The notion of fear because it's in, it's in your, your title of Fearlessly Facing Fifty. Talk A little bit about that because I think fear is something we don't, we don't want to talk about it. It makes us appear vulnerable.

Amy Schmidt

Exactly. And I think we do all have fears. I mean, we do, we all have them. And at this age we start fearing things about our health. We start fearing things about our parents falling or not taking medicine or fearing about relationships that are changing and should we have done something different. So fear is a part of everything. And I think that what we need to do as women and what I really love is that we've all got this confidence that's just kind of hidden under these layers because we've been doing so many things and so many experiences and we just keep it all going. That's just what women do. We mastered the art of reinvention and multitasking. And so, you know, you just have to overcome your fear by honoring your confidence and finding that again, finding that voice and realizing that this beautiful piece of art that you've created, this masterpiece of all of these things along your journey all fit together and you have an incredible story to share.

And I think that's where women get stopped because they think, Oh, I wish I looked like I did 20 years ago. Wow, I wish I still had that. You know, that heart of flutter with my husband that I don't have as much anymore because everything's changed. Or I wish I could still ski the black diamonds without wearing that. I'm gonna need a knee replacement or something because you know, that's where we are. We have those fears, but we can't allow them to stop us. We just have to continue to make a plan to forge ahead. And I think women just need to switch that lens a little bit instead of looking back with that Norman Rockwell-ish, you know, memories of things in the past and the kids with the sweaters that matched and everything else is to shift that to living in looking forward and all that you can accomplish and do, whether it's enrolling back in school, if you haven't finished.

I've met some incredible women that have just taken on these journeys, these new leaps of faith and said, you know what, just going to do it. Volunteer for an organization, write a book, you know, start a podcast. All of those things you can do. So that's kind of where, where it all comes from. So it's everybody's fearful of things and we are, we have a tendency to do that to ourselves. You know, we, we get so fearful of not having it perfect or waiting for everything to be perfect, that know we just can't do that. We just can't wait. We just got to jump in. And like my book is called Cannonball  and I'm a big believer in just cannon balling off and making this huge splash. That's what we have to do.

Jill Angelo

Well let's, let's talk about that because you started when you, when you decided, Hey, I'm going to bring my story to life. I'm going to start reaching other women and building this community of, of women like me. You started with a podcast and, and your, your community and your following has grown. And so there's a hunger for the message that you're bringing and it's, it's culminated very soon in, in your first book that you're publishing. And so I want to talk about Cannonball. I love the title, but you know, it's my favorite swimming move. But you know what, talk about where you started and why podcasting. Cause you obviously leaned into your publishing or your media background or your news caster background.

Amy Schmidt

It did. And I do look at that as all little pieces of the puzzle. For me, it's all allowed me to have more confidence in doing this. So, you know, six months before I turned 50, I said, you know what, I'm having these conversations. Like I said with women, we're all sharing this common thread. Just now need to start talking about this stuff. We need to start talking about menopause. I never talked about it with my mom. You know, we never had those conversations. And so I put in a local Facebook community group. I said, you know what? Anybody know how to start a podcast because I really had no idea. Was it a button on your computer? You know, who knows? I wasn't even really an avid podcast listener at that point. And this wasn't that long ago. And podcasts have been around forever.

And so a really nice young guy, I could be, his mom came over and sat down with me in my office and said, okay, Mrs. Schmidt, tell me what you want to do. And I said, well, first of all, you can call me Amy and next, you know what? I want you to show me what I need to get, but I want to do it. I want to be this, this, embrace, this lifetime learning, which I think we need to do as women. I want to do it soup to nuts, show me what to do. So we added things to my Amazon cart. I became an Amazon affiliate. He set me up to do that too. I had no idea. And you know, many trips to Google, to the genius, I mean to the genius bar at Apple and you know, they'd be like, Hey Amy, what are you working on now putting together this podcast?

And so for me, the interview part of the podcast is very easy because that's just part of kind of my wiring. I think I'm a conversationalist by nature, so that's very easy. But you know, the technical part of it, editing and producing and all of that, it's all self taught. I mean, I learned it. This young guy came in and kind of helped me set some things up, but I do it all soup to nuts. So it just shows that you don't have to be technologically crazy savvy to start something like this. And so I pride myself in that part of my story because it wasn't perfect. It still isn't perfect. And I can still remember that day when I pushed the record button and just went for it. Took a deep breath and just said, I'm just going for it. And with that, it's just been incredible. And I think I'm a true Testament to the message that needs to get out there to women. Women thrive on community, they thrive on connection and conversation. And in this podcast is just, I love to share these stories. So these incredible women doing amazing things like yourself, just incredible. You know, it makes you path your, your cross paths just cross with such inspiring women. You just want to keep going. You just crave it.

Jill Angelo

It feeds you. It's feeds you.  to pause for one second for if anyone's just tuning in. We're live on Facebook and we're also, I'm obviously recording the webinar through zoom. This is the Gennev weekly webinars series. But this is a special edition one. We had an opportunity to bring Amy Schmidt of fearlessly facing 50 on with us today. She's got a new book coming out that we're going to talk about next. But I just wanted to preface Gennv weekly podcast. I'm Jill Angelo, I'm the CEO and founder of Gennev. And again, I'm thrilled to have Amy here.

Talking a little bit about your podcast and bringing stories to light and it fulfilling you. How do you pick the women that you talk to on your podcast? And what do you hope their stories bring to your listeners?

Amy Schmidt

Mm, I love that. You know, and at first it was really just utilizing my network and I think that's something that women sometimes stand back and say, I mean, I talk to women all the time and they say, Oh, Hey, I don't, I don't have a network. I'm not a business person. I don't have a network. You do have a network. And I think my first guests were people that have been a part of my life inspired me in different ways along my journey. And so I said, Hey, would you be a guest from there is kind of culminated into culminated into women reaching out to me and saying, Hey, I have an incredible story. I would love to share it. You know, in my podcast is kind of a three pronged approach. So I share these inspiring stories of women doing crazy cool things.

And then I have experts that come on and talk about top of mind topics like menopause, women's health, anything, aging parents. And then I have celebrities as well that come on and share their journey, which is just incredible. But you know, the women, my whole objective with my podcast and when I sign off every time I just take a deep breath and say, I hope that inspired somebody to take action because that's what it's about. If something in there resonated and I just, I get so much, it just feeds me in such a way. And I learned so much from each podcast, had a wonderful guest on one of my first podcasts. A young woman who is now probably 51, and her son at 17 had a massive stroke and ended up being in a state of Lockton syndrome, which means he can only move his eyes.

He cannot walk, he cannot talk. He was in division one, signed a university of Fort Mercer college to play division one lacrosse. And here's a woman who I know through another friend. So utilizing my network and I reached out to her and you can just hear in the podcast, sharing her story. One was so brave, but it also touched the heart of so many people listening. She got reach-outs from women all around the world that said, wow, I'm a caregiver for my child, or I'm 50 and going through this. And that's, that's the power of the podcast for me, you know, and that's really how I find my stories. I do a lot of research of course, but there's just so many women that have incredible journeys to share. Hmm.

Jill Angelo

That's it's amazing, you know. And even that she would come and share that.

I'm sure in a way for her, it's part of the healing process too, right? We've got a talk. Yeah. What, you know, as you, as you you've been doing Fearlessly Facing Fifty podcast series for how long now?

Amy Schmidt

I started in October was my first podcast. I really launched Fearlessly Facing Fifty in my company back in, I guess it was about June, June or July. But the podcast button actually was like mid to late October, so yeah. Pretty cool.

Jill Angelo

That's amazing. And through that, you have been on this journey of creating a book, Cannonball. Tell us a little bit about the book, first of all it's coming out very soon. Talk a little bit about the book and then let's, then I want to know what was your journey? When did you say I need to start writing this down or capturing it and, and we need to publish this.

Amy Schmidt

Yeah. Okay. Well, Cannonball is, is, I love the title too. And, and my publisher in New York City, we've had to do everything by zoom now, which has been for our first book has been challenging but so much fun. I was a competitive swimmer all my life. I was, that was my identity swimming up and down and following a black line from, you know, early six year old. I think I won the cutest swimsuit in the sixth and under all the way through college. That was me searching for validation and a lot of ways which I've uncovered through writing this book, but to Cannonball for me is a visual. And when I talk to women, I have them just take a deep breath and close their eyes and I say, okay, I want you to picture two diving boards, one low board and one high board.

And standing on the low diving board is a woman in her early thirties. Pretty well put together, has a tattoo on her wrist that she doesn't remember where she got it cause it was a fun girl's weekend and she's got little kids and she's in a bikini and she's to go to the end of the diving board. But she just can't quite get there. She just, she's worried that like keep saying, come on, come on, just go. And she just can't go. She's nervous. And then you kind of look at this high dive, which, you know, back in the day there used to be high dives. Now I don't think they have many more because of insurance, but the high dive, I pictured myself climbing all the way up to the top, not stopping, not skipping a rung, just going all the way to the top and just running and Cannon balling off.

And it's not going to be pretty, you know, I say in the book, it's probably going to, you're going to start ugly. It's going to be uncomfortable. You might need a you know, some type of chiropractor appointment afterwards, but you're going to cannonball off and make this huge splash and everybody's going to be looking at you and it doesn't matter because you have that confidence. So Cannonball for me is my story compiled combined with women stories, inspiring stories that I have run across in my journey and share them as well. And then at the end of each chapter are strategies and reflections that you can apply to your life so that you can find that confidence to just cannonball off and just, you know, go forward.

Jill Angelo

I love that. And before we start taking some questions, when is the book expected to come out?

Amy Schmidt

May 19th is what we're shooting for. Yeah, the interior design is going right now and it'll be available on Amazon. It'll be available in bookstores too, but Amazon will be the way to get it now. So and I think we're going to give away a copy on a this, which would be great.

Jill Angelo

And we'll, and we grabbed, I think, one of the exercises that you've got in the book. So we're going to talk about that a little bit later, but just did it from your Instagram feed. So well, good. Well first of all, I want to invite people to ask questions. We will make this a fluid conversation. I know I've kind of been drilling Amy with my questions, but from time to time we'll certainly take your questions. So please via the chat or via hand raise, you can submit questions either way.

We do have a question that I'd like to take now from Debbie and Amy, This is for you Conducting a job search over 50 can be so competence defeating as age discrimination is a real thing. What are some competence builders you would recommend for the well-seasoned job seeker?

Amy Schmidt

That's a great question and I would love for this person to reach out to the podcast and go ahead and search Fearlessly Facing Fifty podcasts because two weeks ago I had on Lori Knutson, who talked about this very thing and it's a two part series. The first part dropped. And it's all about finding that confidence and selling yourself in your resume and building your resume. And I think one of the pearls that that I've learned from this and you know, reapplying in the job force and things is that women, we second guess ourselves right off the bat, you know, we look at the job qualifications and we say, Ooh, I can do that. Not that, Oh shoot. Nope. And then they just say, I'm not going to submit my resume. I'm just not even going to do it.

So I always say in my book, I said something about your finger hovers over the send button cause you just, just don't think you've reached all those qualifications. Whereas men will look at it and even if they don't have the qualifications, they submit it, you know? So it's, it's that difference. So I just encourage you to put together your story of all that you've accomplished and what you've done and, and you know, and then talk to somebody like Lori who's a career specialist that can kind of put that in a way in your resume because resumes are different now as we get older. There's certain things that you do put on there and there's certain things you don't and then just go for it. You know, what's the worst case scenario is kind of how I go through life. What's the worst case scenario you learn from the experience. Even if you don't get the interview or the job, you've still, you've still accomplished so much just in pushing send.

Jill Angelo

Yeah. You know, and I think even to add on to that is stay authentic to who you are. If you're worried about appearing old, you know, lean into that wisdom. You have experience that a younger 30 something or 20 something won't have. I was on a just a happy hour webinar with another community the other day and, and they, one individual in particular was talking, he was he was in his, in his late fifties. He had worked at Airbnb and he said, all my colleagues, in fact, my boss was not even 30. And he said, you know, I said to my boss one day, or my manager, like, I'm, I, I'm not contributing in the same way. And the younger individual, which I thought was kind of insightful for a 20, something kind of said, you know, I hired you for your wisdom, not, you know, your tech or digital savvy or your startup savvy. I hired you for your wisdom.

And I think too often we undermine the wisdom that we carry. And I think to even see it, like you said, you know, even consulting with Laurie or even with a man that you might trust, if you articulated your accomplishments, you know, to a guy, I bet they could pitch it in such a way that you'd be like, Whoa, I'm all that, you know. So like, right. Just to add to your comments I think there's, we undersell wisdom and use somebody else to, to help kind of pitch that back to you.

Amy Schmidt

Yes. Use your resources. I agree a hundred percent.

Jill Angelo

Do you, Amy in, you know, the conversations that you go through, like, do you see trends. Like is it a lot of looking for jobs? Is it restarting careers? Is it dealing with anxiety? Is it dealing with divorce? Like are there certain amongst your community that you see time and again, or is it, is it a huge diverse kind of set of challenges and opportunities?

Amy Schmidt

Great question. You know, it's a lot of what you said. It's a lot of reentering the workforce, but it's also, I recently had a round table with a group of women that have been with the same company for 25 and 30 years and you know, they're worried that all of a sudden they're going to go in and they're being downsized or you get those words, I'm sorry you're not, you know, you're not, you're not going to be in this position anymore. We can offer you this, but you know, it's, it's, it's that whole shift. So I see a lot around career, a lot around fear of getting back out in the career and feeling outdated around technology. I see that a lot. There's a trend around women thinking, Oh, I don't know about social media. It makes me too nervous, but yet then we become antisocial and we actually need that connection.

So some things around technology, a lot around relationships whether it be with your spouse or partner, whether it be with your adult children, your parents. I see a lot around relationship changes and just embracing those changes and realizing that it's all very normal. And silver divorces, that's something we have coming up on our show notes. It's very common. We have a lot of health issues. We have a lot of menopausal issues, a lot of questions about hormones and you know, all those types of things that we deal with as women. So it's very multifaceted and I think that's why the conversations around midlife and beyond are so important because they are so multifaceted. They really are. It's driven by so many different things.

Jill Angelo

Yeah. Yeah. You know, I think this next question, we just got another one in. Kind of takes us back to the title of this webinar around creativity and confidence and menopause and during this kind of menopause time of life and this individual, Jennifer says, Amy, how do you think we could use this COVID situation to help grow our confidence and creativity?

Amy Schmidt

Hmm. Wow, Jennifer, that is a great question. I think it's searching within yourself and I think, you know, women tend to kind of put themselves on the back burner and now with this COVID situation you might be navigating completely differently with a house full of adult kids again like I have. And then there's that whole new level of stress and sometimes you tend to put yourself on the back burner.

So I think making yourself a priority again is really what we can do at this time. Use this time to, you know, use the time because I am looking at this as a bit of a gift of time that we never have. And when we fast forward six months, we're going to crave this time when we're back to our originally scheduled programming. So use this time to kind of turn that lens inward and say, what is it Jennifer, that I really want to do? Where can I really add value? And then take those steps on that journey. You know, it's something, it's a, it can be a real time for self discovery.

Jill Angelo

That's great. I even saw a post yesterday around what things, we don't want to go back to normal. And I, I thought that was kind of an interesting way to think about how can you use what's happening that you actually like right now to become your new normal, you know, coming through this scenario.

Amy Schmidt

Yeah, that's, that's a really interesting thing because, you know, when do you ever have dinners with your kids and your family all sitting around the table? I mean, those are things that we will crave at times. So just take each day and look at it as a new opportunity.

Jill Angelo

Do you think that as you crossed that 50 year old threshold, your obviously your confidence, you've talked about the bravery and the confidence that you've had to just like hit that button for the first podcast or what just do it. But creativity, have you felt that it's gone up or changed as the older you get?

Amy Schmidt

Yeah, I think so. You take more risks around it, you know, because you know there's always going to be judgers. So it doesn't matter. Even with writing my book, I mean I have started this book, Jill, I can't tell you how many times. I mean I really have, I've started and stopped it because of fear getting in the way of me not being confident with thinking people were going to read it or thinking it was going to add value. So my creativity is, has really, really grown and I'm wanting to learn different things. Like I really am embracing this lifetime learning. Maybe because I have a little bit more time. My kids are older, I have a little bit more time. I have a great relationship with my spouse who's able to say, you know, what? Pursue that honey, pursue that passion. So I feel very lucky that way, but I do feel like, yeah, it just, it is a time to be creative and really reflect inward and find out where your gifts are because everybody has them.

Jill Angelo

How how about for the woman who feels like she doesn't have as much time? Are there suggestions you have for allowing your inner creative to come out or to explore or seek that out?

Amy Schmidt

Yeah, I think it's just really taking that time again to really self reflect and find where your passions are, whether it's enrolling in a class, you know, maybe you've always wanted to take that art class. I mean, I talked to so many women and that is a common thread. I've always wanted to take a watercolor class or I've always wanted to learn how to take, you know, wonderful photographs, all of those things. So you have to just, even if you're busy, take that time, make it a priority and put it on your list of things you want to accomplish. You don't have to have a massive, huge list, have one thing and set three little goals to get there every day and then you'll accomplish it. You know, I think there's a lot of ways we can do that.

Jill Angelo

Yeah. Yeah. One thing that we saw you posted I think in, it's, it's called “Reflections on accepting your imperfections.” This, this is something I think I don't know if this is a chapter in your book. I know you've highlighted Cannonball at the end, but can you talk a little bit about reflections on accepting your imperfections and you even offer like a little exercise on how to think about it, but I just, I love that notion around accepting. What do you perceive as your imperfections?

Amy Schmidt

Yeah, I did develop this slide. And it'll be a portion of a actually portion in chapter one that talks about what women really struggle with is waiting for everything to be perfect. You know, and having that fear of it not being perfect, but you know, nobody else is going to realize that it's our own worst critic. So I love this little exercise because it is being self-reflective. It's saying what are three things that, you know, maybe it's a character trait that you don't think represents your best self or behavior you want to change or habit you've tried to kick. Think about those and don't judge it. I always say that, don't judge yourself. Nothing's nothing. You know, in college when we used to be, everything was graded on a curve. Nothing is graded. Don't judge yourself. Just write them down and then identify three ways in which you're going to improve those inner, you know, those imperfections. Because there are little steps that you can take to do that. And I think we have to recognize that nobody's perfect, but that's okay. You know, that's just a part of life. And once we accept that and we work on it, you know, magic happens.

Jill Angelo

I always have to go back to, and, and for those of you who are viewing this, I know we'll make this on demand after both in video and an audio and podcast. And we're displaying kind of this slide in this exercise in the book that Amy pulled together around reflecting upon and accepting your imperfections. Amy, was there have you, is this like a trickle down effect where you're like, okay, I'm not great at time management? Okay, I just accept that, okay, I'm going to do these things to try to improve it and then you find another one and, or is it like, qhat if you feel overwhelmed in the amount of imperfections that you have and you just kind of don't know where to start?

Amy Schmidt

Oh gosh. I hope nobody gets to that point, but I know it's easy to do. No, I'm going to limit it to three and that's it. And really think about it. And we don't have that many imperfections. We really don't. But if there's little things you want to work on, and I'm sure there are a few, limited to three and then three ways you can improve it, that's all you have to do. It doesn't have to be one. And if you can't come up with any, that's fine too. You know, maybe you just feel there aren't any imperfections and that's normal. That's all right. But your imperfections don't be too hard on yourself. We are our worst critic. And you think about it every day when you look in the mirror, what's the first thing a woman says?

No. It's like, Oh my gosh, my roots. You know, you can't get your hair done. You can't, you know, and I don't think men never look at it that way. I just dropped a podcast today about getting your sexy back and during quarantine because it's really hard to stay connected to your spouse or partner cause you're just not feeling sexy. And I asked, it was a husband and wife I interviewed and I said to the husband, I said, you just get up, shave, you know, put your clothes on. And there's really no difference. And and he said, yeah, pretty much. It's pretty much the same way as women. It's, it's a real struggle right now when we can't, we're not feeling as sexy, so don't be hard on yourself. Don't, don't judge yourself too much, but, you know I hope that's a good answer to that question. I hope people aren't struggling with too many imperfections, but I do think that it is a good idea just to, just to recognize a few.

Jill Angelo

Yeah, that's great. You know, one thing I've even noticed I was on a just a happy hour webinar happy hour, which or Zoom happy hour, which I think a lot of us have probably overdosed on during the quarantine. Is, you know, even people took turns like showing their roots, you know, and and it was just like this moment of human and we laugh and it was great. Because everyone's in the same boat.

Amy Schmidt

Right. Can't change it. Yeah, exactly.

Jill Angelo

I want to remind listeners that we are taking questions, so if you have questions, go ahead and submit them in the chat. And we'll, we'll keep the conversation going, but please submit your questions if you have any. Amy, another question that I had around, you know, just when you think about, you know, now as your audience continues to grow you're in a place of leadership and accountability to these women. How do you deal with that new accountability and burden in a good way? But it's, it's a huge accountability to create a community of women like you've created.

Amy Schmidt

It is. And I think, you know, I had that question recently on an interview and they said how do you get the people for your interviews and how do you talk to somebody like Joan London? And how does that happen? And I think for me it, it is so true because now I am in this role where women are looking to me for messages that are inspiring them. And that's so empowering for myself. I think that it's really building trust and I feel I am very much the real deal. I know, you know, you, you, you're not sitting next to me in a room. But most people that I interact with will say, you know, I am that girl that doesn't like small talk that really digs in deep and gets in those conversations and it's, it's a gift that I've been given and it really is and I'm utilizing that.

I really feel like there's this level of trust between my followers, my listeners and myself and I really value that. And there's been circumstances where certain people have come and said, Hey, we would love to do this sponsor. We would love to do this and it doesn't align with my mission. So I feel very strongly about staying true to that because that's what I'm about my story. And helping that, helping that will empower others that are listening and following me and then taking their advice as well because we all learn from each other. And I think it's very interactive. Building a community is a challenging job, but it has so many benefits for not only the leader but for the members as well. It's an all in one. It's great.

Jill Angelo

What is your mission?

Amy Schmidt

My mission really is just to encourage women at midlife and beyond just to put their fear aside, to just uncover those layers until they find their confidence again. Because I think a lot of people lose that. I think a lot of women lose it. I want them to find their identity no matter what it is. Everybody's circumstances are different. Everybody's story is different. No two are the same. And just for to head and look ahead and look at midlife, not as a crisis, like the first word that drops down when you Google midlife. You know, look at it as an enlightenment, as a time that you can just experience something new. You know, take on a new challenge. Maybe finish your degree, maybe enrolled in art class, maybe volunteer for an organization that you've wanted to but haven't had time. You know, it can be as little or grandiose as you want it to be, but it's all about finding your confidence.

Jill Angelo

What is it about midlife that, that hits our confidence cause it's, it's something as well at Gennev we often, because we're so focused on menopause and you know, more the, a lot of the healthcare side of it, but also the social but you know, one of our early reasons why we started Gennev was really focused on midlife is this point where you're on either a career trajectory or you are, are independent from your kids. You're like, you're like coming up to the peak of something in your life and yet. Whether it's menopausal symptoms around anxiety or can't sleep or brain fog. So there's physical aspects of hitting your confidence. But are there other things, like what do you see in terms of really hitting the confidence at midlife?

Amy Schmidt

Yeah, I think the, the menopausal, you know, all of those symptoms around what we experienced, the expanding waistlines, the leaky bladders, all of those things that we experience as women definitely just make you feel like, you know, really, it's like puberty. There's a beginning and end, a middle, you know, you're going to get through it. Every woman goes through it. But the physical parts of menopause are difficult. The emotional parts are equally as difficult because you do all of a sudden have this onset. I did, and I talk about it in my book of anxiety. I never really had anxiety before and all of a sudden it just kind of came out and trying to balance that and figure that out and being uncertain and not being able to open the dialogue up, being afraid to talk about that, thinking, Oh my friends are going to say I'm crazy.

Or you know, that type of thing. So all of those emotional parts, and then you also look at just your role. Your identity is completely changing. You know, you're completely need to differently as a wife, you needed differently as a mom, you're needed completely differently as a wife. Everything, you know, everything changes. You get these points in your life when you're dealing with aging parents. I saw it with mine, you know, that's a challenge. And then you just take it a little bit lower. And that's a challenge with your siblings and your relationships and dealing with your parents. So there's so many facets, but I think that's why this part of life is so challenging because we, it's easy to get stopped and stuck. It really is. It's, it's easy to get stuck in there, but you just have to keep going.

Jill Angelo

We had a question come in and this one is near and dear to my heart, cause I get caught up in this all the time. But it's how do I stop comparing myself to women who are so much more accomplished than I am? And even falling into that comparison game, just to elaborate my, I know my own, I'm social media is the worst. I see how other entrepreneurs are about their businesses or you know accomplishments and I'm just like, you know, you go into this comparison place and its such a dangerous spot.

Amy Schmidt

Oh, absolutely. Comparison's the thief of joy. Right? I think Rachel Hollis says that it's, it really is. And, and it is, and it's social media driven by a lot of it because if we took that out of it, we wouldn't have as much of that. But, but there is such a focus on you know, fitness around women and looking a certain way and images and all of those things that we have to deal with. And we've dealt with it since what, since middle school for petes sake, you know, women are always judging. And I write about that in my book too because we just have to forget about that and just like it says in Cannonball, you just go up there and yet as uncomfortable as it is, and it might be ugly, it might not be anything that you think it's going to be and people are gonna be looking at it but doesn't matter. So we really have to just remember that it's our story. And most of the time you know, those are filters on Instagram that are taken off 10 pounds or making less wrinkles or whatever. So it's really not reality. But it's hard. It's definitely hard. And those are the times when you just have to kind of step away and get out in nature, go take a hike, go take a walk, go somewhere else, and then come back to it and you'll have a different perspective.

Jill Angelo

Yeah. It's amazing what, what that, that departure from it does for a person even if they're asleep. All right. We have another question. Do you have strategies that worked for you in initiating those hard conversations around changes that occur during menopause?

Amy Schmidt

Yes. You know, my strategies around that are friend based. I have to tell you, I've had an incredible support network of friends. And I have a great female physician, which I think is another big part of it. But I think as women we just need to, to find our, our, our tribe, our women, and, and talk about these things. And those are really where you develop the best strategies is through conversations like that and asking questions and finding a great physician. And there's so many out there. I'm sure you see them all the time, Jill, that are really passionate about women's health and answer those tough questions and we'll dig deep into those conversations. And that's, that's what you need to do. Those are really the strategies. Find a good friend group and a great physician.

Jill Angelo

That's great. You know, it goes back to we always, we, we often say this menopause starts with a conversation because it kind of normalizes it when you talk about it, just like the showing of the roots on the happy hour, you know, it normalizes and then everyone shares and you're kinda like, Oh yeah, this is just, it's just part of life. And it doesn't become as daunting. That sharing, you know, even from a a physician standpoint, I know a lot of our doctors at Gennev have many of them and the reason why they love working with what we do is they, they love focusing on women's health and menopause. And it's partly because they're going through it or have gone through it and they have had their patients with them all the way through. And so there it is, it's kind of almost like talking to another person who's experiencing the same thing as you.

Amy Schmidt

Right. Exactly, exactly.

Jill Angelo

A follow on question to that came in. Does this play a role in your approach to life now? So in, in terms of you know, around your sorry, I'm going to back up. I just, I misread this. What are your thoughts on your responsibility to support women of future generations and does this play a role in your approach to life now?

Amy Schmidt

Definitely, definitely. You know, one of the things I pride myself most in right now as a mom with a 23 year old daughter is the fact that she's looking at what I'm doing and she's saying, wow, mom, that's pretty cool. You know, like you've, you've figured out this technology thing. My boys have have encouraged me as well. But having a daughter and kind of seeing her and being able to interact with her now and seeing the conversations that I'm having with women, I hope that she will see the value in friendships and community and conversations and digging into those hard things and finding those support groups that you need and reaching out for help when you need it.

That's one of the big goals with my podcast is having women give permission to themselves to ask for help when they need it and to utilize their resources because you know that sometimes we're afraid to do that. So I hope that other generations older and younger are watching and saying, you know what? I can still do that at 70. I still have friends. I still have the value of those friendships or women that are in their twenties are going to be taking on the challenges of menopause and aging boldly, you know, and that's what we really need to do.

Jill Angelo

That's great. We have a question that came in from our Facebook live. Anxiety is keeping this person from being able to look ahead with hope. How do you overcome that?

Amy Schmidt

Hmm. I'm sorry to hear that. That's, that's a challenge for a lot of people and I think anxiety is on high right now just with the uncertainty and our ability to feel out of control. And so, you know, I think around anxiety, you know, there's so many mental health professionals out there that are available to help and resources available. But just sometimes just allowing things to unravel. You know, sometimes anxiety is coming from a position of trying to be in control. And I know I've suffered from that as well where, and especially as women, we like to be in a position of power and we also like to have control of things. And so it's very difficult at times when you're feeling anxious to just allow it to unravel. And just kind of let it play out the way it way it does. And that's a challenge. I challenged my, I'm challenged with it every day, but finding time for yourself, you know, going back to self care seeking out a health professional if needed. Also just taking time to meditate or even getting out in nature I think is so important for anxiety because it allows you to remove yourself from that burden for a bit and just breathe and then come back to it and maybe you'll view it through a different lens.

Jill Angelo

I used to put on the top of my calendar every day, remember to be kind, and it was just like this reminder. Do you even as you were going through your times of anxiety, have something that you said to yourself every day or you know, mantra comes to mind or did you do, you can, are there ways to manage it by even a recurring message that you share?

Amy Schmidt

Yeah. Well my, my mantra that I have always said is I haven't peaked yet. I'm just getting started. And I think that that's just been my thing for so long, even before I launched fearlessly facing 50. But for that person that's struggling with anxiety right now, just realize that there's so much more to live for and you haven't peaked yet. There's so much more out there waiting for you to experience and you'll find it, you'll find it, you'll uncover it.

Jill Angelo

Great. what, you know Amy, you've come through a lot and you've been on this crazy journey since last October and launching your podcast and building your community. Any things, any surprises to you in these last, you know, month and a half during the Corona virus or the COVID or any realizations that are, are unexpected to you or surprised you during this time?

Amy Schmidt

I think it goes back to my following am my, in the support network that I have of my listeners and my people that engage with me and actually now trusts me to answer questions or we, we engage in dialogue about that. That's been really eyeopening for me because it just shows, like I've said so many times during this webinars that it's the power of community and feeling connected to somebody. And so those aha moments come often for me now when all of a sudden somebody will reach out and say, wow, that really resonated with me. And that opens a dialogue. So I think that would be how I feel about that.

Jill Angelo

That's fantastic. One last call for questions. If we have any questions that people want to submit, please do. One quote that we found or I found on your Instagram is “your only limit is you. Don't allow fear to get in your way.” Your only limit is you. Can you talk a little bit about that? I think that's so powerful because we don't, we think everything else is limiting us. And in my mind, it, it takes you out of being a victim to putting you in control or at least in a place of power.

Amy Schmidt

You know, it all goes back to you can't get in your own way. You just can't. I mean, you know, and things are going to unravel the way they unravel, but you have to make a plan. And I recently had May Musk on the podcast just last week. You know, she has an Instagram following of 300,000 people, some crazy thing. She's the mom of Elon and two other children. And she talked about the power of planning and realizing that women, we're just resilient. We just, you know, plans may not go the way they go and there's going to be things that stop us in our track and we’re fearful of before then, but don't get in our own way and stop, just keep going. And I mean, think of how many times you've started something. I mean, like I said, with this book I started at so many times and I got my own way, and you can't allow yourself to do that because then look what would have happened. I wouldn't have been able to experience what I'm experiencing now or sharing my message with women about, you know, finding their confidence and being able to uncover those layers and find their true gifts. So everything reason, everything happens for a reason. I know it's an old statement, but it is true. And just don't let your feet don't let your fears inhibit you from moving forward. It's all about living and looking forward at this point in life.

Jill Angelo

That's great. So Amy first of all, this has been delightful and it's been awesome just to, it's like we get a one on one conversation with a bunch of friends. I know it's all around us, you know, what's kind of next, you know. Do you, so you you know, in terms of thinking about next steps or you need the book will launch do you have Birch or future endeavors that you want to like continue to build on this notion around Fearlessly Facing Fifty?

Amy Schmidt

Yeah, definitely. I do, you know, I look at the next decade as like one of the best decades yet I really do speaking engagements. I'm going to be doing quite a bit of speaking with women's groups and such, and I shouldn't just limit it to women, but I do women navigate to my message. But I won't, I won't shy away if there's men. But you know, I'm going to be doing that. I'm going to be doing some workshops. I want to do a big retreat next spring of 2021 is what I'm trying to do, kind of a summit of women leaders. And it'll be a two day retreat that talks about building confidence and having different breakout rooms and leaders talking about certain facets of middle life, you know, midlife and beyond, which will be great.

I'm going to be doing a kind of a Facebook series that's going to be coming up with everything, how it's been slowing down and we've been working from home. We'll probably be launching that more in the fall, but it'll be round table discussions around all of the top of mind topics around midlife — interactive conversations with women. And so just continuing on that journey really, and just getting out there and talking to women and leading workshops and inspiring change, inspiring action.

Jill Angelo

But, you know, and I, I lied when I kind of was saying, this is my final question, but what do you, you know, as you take these workshops and these conversations, how do you see its role in the workplace?

Amy Schmidt

I have a couple of women that are good friends of mine that are corporate executives and work in New York City and other big cities around the country. And they've said, you know, I really want you to come in and talk to us about the value that we are adding. Even as working women that are working 80 a week, 60 hours a week, and very high level jobs. We still need to uncover our confidence in certain ways. And so I'm really looking at partnering with some big organizations and talking to their female employees and kind of strategies around confidence and you know, not losing your identity, not just being multi, you know, being multifaceted and that just having a single dimension of just being that working executive. So I think that's to come as well.

Jill Angelo

That's fantastic. Well I'm a huge fan, we’re a huge fan of yours at Gennev. Love what you're doing. We need more of it especially right now. So just one final reminder to everybody. Amy Schmidt, Fearlessly Facing Fifty. You can find her on Instagram. Your website is also FearlesslyFacingFifty.com. And the book Cannonball, May 19th. Awesome. And it'll be on Amazon. I'm assuming people can go to your website too.

We're also going to be giving away a free copy to one of the registrants of this webinar. Awesome. I'm excited about that. And again, thank you. Thank you for what you're doing and thanks for joining us today.

Amy Schmidt

You too. It was fabulous. Thanks so much.

Jill Angelo

All right, thanks everyone for joining. This will be, this is recorded. It will be available on demand, so anyone who's registered will receive a link and we'll share it up in social channels as well. So thanks again. Have a great rest of the day, everybody.

 
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