Amy Scruggs is a classically trained pianist and vocalist who has been performing and singing her entire life.
Amy’s music career started in country music as she has been playing the piano since she was only 4 years old.
Together with her eldest son Ryan, the accomplished pianist has opened for country music greats like Trace Atkins, Clint Black, Charlie Daniels and many more while touring.
Today, Amy has transitioned into an accomplished Jazz vocalist and pianist with recent openings for Tony Orlando, Chubby Checker and Frankie Avalon.
Amy is also a renowned host of The American Dream TV and the “face and voice” of Mutual of Omaha Mortgage.
In an exclusive interview with Glamour South Africa, Scruggs reveals all about her journey that spans for more than two decades in different careers.
Where did your journey and ultimately someone who runs her own business begin?
After honing my skills throughout 20 years of diverse careers in business and entertainment, I started media coaching for professionals and entrepreneurs to come alive on camera and maximize their media opportunities in today’s digital world.
I had previously been my own manager as a recording artist since the early 2000’s and along with my experience in business development for mortgage industry sales teams; it created a perfect recipe to launch and run my coaching business.
I have always enjoyed running my own ship and I love new challenges and growing something from the ground up.
In your career, what have you picked up as a valuable weapon/best practices?
Taking “failure” out of the vocabulary. I do not believe that the word failure should be as scary as society makes it out to be. It is just trial and test runs.
If something does not work, then there are so many other great things to try and do. I have always been more afraid of doing only one thing or staying in a box then trying everything I can.
The confidence it takes to be a performer transferred just as well to the confidence it takes in business, sales, public speaking, training, and TV hosting.
If something does not work, then I let it go. I love the challenge of finding the things that do work. I get bored easily and the thrill of taking on something new and seeing it come alive is addictive.
There are plenty of things that I have tried that did not work, but that is all they are, just things that did not work. I do not use the word fail. It is just life, it is just living, trying, and doing.
What sparked the passion and vision?
My passion for helping people. In the process of hosting TV interviews with hundreds of business professionals, I enjoyed helping them to be comfortable and confident for the interview. My phone started ringing with colleagues asking for additional help for their speaking and marketing needs. I have a niche market style of coaching for real estate and mortgage professionals, entrepreneurs, small business owners and sales professionals teaching them to be their best in any media situation.
My favourite moment is when I see someone become confident in their speaking skills and mastering the delivery of their specific and unique message. I truly do love people, and media coaching was the next perfect chapter in my journey and diverse career.
Please give us 5 tips we can use if we were to follow in your footsteps, what are the pros and cons of the industry?
Be patient - No business is in full swing overnight. It takes dedication to the long game of follow-up, continued education in your field, and relationship building in order to generate sustainable growth. Coaching is a saturated industry.
Love what you do - You have to truly love working with people in order to build lasting rapport that is both professional and familiar. Coaching requires a genuine desire to empower others with new life skills, and an unwavering dedication to their success.
Turn liabilities into assets - It is important to identify the “pain points” for each client you coach so you can effectively provide them with the tools to overcome areas of discomfort and achieve their goals.
Be accountable - Accountability, both to yourself as well as to your clients, is essential when running any business. The time with clients is an important personal element; however, a solid foundation as a business needs to be properly put in place in order for this time to be productive.
Prioritise organisation - Goal setting, follow-up skills, bookkeeping, scheduling, and organisation tools are just as essential (if not more so) than time spent with clients.
Give us 3 things that most people do not known about you?
I was classically trained in voice and piano since the age of 4 and have opened shows for some of country music’s biggest artists sharing the stage with my oldest son on lead guitar.
I am a proud wife and mother with 6 kids. My 4 kids are the ages 29, 23, 21 and 15. My husband’s 2 kids are the ages 30 and 26 and 1 granddaughter age 10 months.
I have an autoimmune adhesion disease that has shut down my digestive system and I live on liquid meal replacements, supplements and IV nutrients.
What’s your pick me up ’motto’ when you are feeling down and how do you deal with challenges?
“Just keep swimming”. My proudest moments of success are the private ones where I found the strength and drive to keep going. The moments when I realise that adversities can not beat me. Once you see what you have built from the ground up starting to work, something inside you changes to desire and strive to keep it going.
I know that if it all gets taken away, I have the ability, strength, and talent to create it again. The highs and lows are more extreme, but that is where the feeling of living my true self and passion was never more real. I feel the endurance in the success. I would advise anyone who has dreams to do anything they desire and to not give up.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received, and what has been your biggest challenge in life?
Do not let go when it gets tough. The best success stories are made right at that critical moment. Do not let anyone ever tell you that you cannot do it or to focus on being “safe”. In 2007, I had what I thought was a safe career vanish overnight. When it was all gone, I knew that there was nothing to lose.
I discovered that the more risks that I chose to take, the greater the joy and reward. Risks are hard work and require tremendous perseverance, patience, and some partial resistance to pain. However, to go from hearing 20 or 30 “no’s”, to finally get a “yes”, there are not words to describe the personal joy, pride and empowerment that happens from that.
Do you have any advice for people who are going through the most because of the pandemic which has affected everyone across the globe?
Life is always changing moving and challenging us to the brink of what we can handle. We are not the first generation to experience difficult years and crisis. History tells amazing stories of nations and communities of people overcoming devastation and change.
We have in us the ability to find joy in pain, strength in difficulty, and new opportunity from devastation. The year of 2020 has shown us what some of those situations can really look like. The core of our spirit can shine through anything. Serving others that are struggling more than us can bring joy.
Finding moments of love and laughter can lift our perspective and taking each day for only what it holds can ease anxiety and fear.
Think about a time in the past when good news or a miracle happened when you least expected it. Tomorrow it could happen again; so, let tomorrow come. Today we can choose to be the best we can be with what we have been given.
How did you keep yourself mentally stable during this unpredictable period?
I create opportunities for new networking connections, trainings and goals each week. I am meeting more people through this amazing virtual world than I did in my commuting routine prior to 2020.
I have excitement connecting with new people around the world who are also breaking through the fear and uncertainty and “shifting” into new opportunities, ideas, resources, and friendships.
My network has grown substantially, and it creates happy and healthy mindsets to adapt to this new way of relating. Although I do mis face to face interactions, taking advantage of a zoom lifestyle has fed my joy and continued need for friendships and growth.
Last but not least, who is your biggest inspiration and why?
Anyone that has overcome adversity and is using that experience to help and empower others. I have so many great people that have come into my life over the years from all walks of life and careers that are survivors, difference makers and positive people who chose to not let challenges turn them negative.
I love the everyday hero that chooses to do the right things, work hard, and empower others. We put so much emphasis on celebrities while they’re ordinary people who do amazing things for others, there are so many incredible people in the world that never get the recognition for the lives they have impacted. They are my inspiration.