Amari Ice: From a Corporate Job to Entrepreneurial Matchmaker s2e11
Amari Ice: From a Corporate Job to Entrepreneurial Matchmaker
In this episode, Dr. Angela digs deep with best-selling author and matchmaker Amari Ice to find out how he went from the corporate the life to the the entrepreneurial life with his book.
Listen To The Show:
Podcast: Download (33:58, 31.1MB )
Learn how to make $10k with your book at PageUpPodcast.com
In this episode you will learn:
- 1:16 -Do I need to learn a new skill to write a book?
- 3:16 -Should my book topic be broad to reach the most people?
- 6:03 -How long will it take to write my book?
- 8:44 -Can I keep my job and a business around my book on the side?
- 10:42 -Do I have to sit quietly at my desk for hours to get my book done?
- 12:28 -Do I need a coach to get my book done?
- 16:09 -Will support from other authors help me get my book done?
- 18:31 -Can I sell a program I haven’t written?
- 21:12 -When is the right time to write my book?
- 23:32 -How do I know I will succeed?
Full Episode Transcript:
AL: Hey there, Dr. Angela here, the Author Incubator, and I’m so excited to be joined today by my guest Amari ice. He is the author of lasting love at last. And I’m really excited to share with you a Mari story of becoming a best selling author. We’ve worked together for less than a year. I think we started working together in February. And we’re filming this now in November, so not quite a year and it’s been an amazing journey. And I think if you’re in a place where you’re wondering, how could becoming an author changed my life, especially if you’re somebody who’s still working in a full time job kind of making that transition to being a solopreneur. I think Amari story will really help you to kind of clarify what is actually possible. So Amari, we’re going in the Wayback Machine. Take us back all the way to February like a whole nine months. Tell Tell me like when you joined the Author Incubator when you made this decision to work with us to get your book done, where were you what was going on in your life? And why did you want to write a book?
AI: Hmm, I’ll actually take you back to December.
AI: So I decided to write a book because I was working in the healthcare field and specifically working with black gay men around empowerment, social, mental, sexual health. And I’ve been coaching for about four years at the time. And when I work with clients, I like to give them like books or other resources to reference outside of sessions because people generally don’t remember most of what you talk about. And so I look for books on black gay relationships, and couldn’t find any sounds like okay, I’ll put together a resource to give to the people that I work with handouts. So I kind of expected to just write this book and stay working where I was working. I loved what I did, and just you know, have something to give to people.
AL: So to tell you a little secret when I got your application, I was super excited. And so I did what I do when we get all of our applications, which is I googled you because I like to stop the hell out of people who apply to work with us. I was like, Oh, this is good. I haven’t seen a book on this topic. I googled you, you were all over the YouTubes. I found so many videos of you. So you had a pretty high profile job, serving the community that you actually care about and still serve with your book.
AI: Yeah, I was doing a lot of events like every single week, I was hosting another event for my job. So it could be something on relationships or a money workshop or a retreat something different every single week.
AL: And you were you said you’ve been coaching for about four years as a part of your job. You were actually paid a salary to coach people, I think for most people. That’s kind of the dream. Yeah. So you needed this resource for work clearly, you could have written that book or another book, that book was probably slightly different. But you could have written a book as a resource and been done with it. Where do you get the idea? Like, Hey, I might want to leave this amazing job and go do something else.
AI: Who there was that my so it was, it was a very interesting dynamic. So before I finished the book before I even started writing the book, I just finished grad school. So I have a MBA in marketing. And so I was kind of already planning to do something different, but I thought it was going to be still in the same field and that started applying to jobs. I worked for the hospital system MRO I started applying to other jobs in the hospital system. You know, I was just gonna do something was just basically like, want to make more money want to have more responsibility, and more impact, like that’s what it really was about for me to really be able to make a bigger difference than when I was making, right so it was just divine timing and Back to the whole, like, what made me write this book question? Yeah, at first I thought about writing like a book about everything. So it’s gonna have a chapter on relationships, a chapter on money, a chapter on coming out to your family. But I realized knowing myself that it was probably gonna take me two years to write that book,
AL: which is still amazing. Most people spend 20 years Yeah,
AI: but the way my attention span is said, I was like, yeah, I’m not gonna write that book. So I asked myself, What do clients come to me about the most? What do they really care about? And it was a no brainer, I’m gonna write the relationship, but
AL: is that just organically people would always ask you about
AI: Yeah, and most of my experience my education, I studied communications in psychology. So like the foundation of healthy relationships. I’ve always been fascinated with people in personality. I’ve been hooking people up since I was a little kid, like it was just my nature.
AL: And I know that you like got into astrology early too, because we all tap into your astrology expertise.
AI: One of my guilty pleasures. Yeah.
AL: And even that, like so that was something that just you always came back to relationships.
AI: Yeah, always. So I decided to write this book on relationships December the first that’s when I had the realization not doing the other book, it’s gonna be about relationships. Literally the very next day, I saw an ad for your program. And I was like, Oh, that’s fascinating, but it was like Christmas break and I was taking the month off. So I didn’t really, you know, pay too much attention. But I’ve made my own plan that I wanted to write this book by April the first. So from December to April, the first because two years was not happening. Yeah. Was my plan. And I’d watched like a few of your case studies and videos like wow, okay. I know I was pretty fascinating, and didn’t apply though, until February. And what really sealed the deal for me was that by joining your program, I was still gonna I finish my book in April. And I was like, holy shit like this is real. Yeah. So most people, I think when they’re thinking about writing a book very often they don’t even set a deadline. So I love that you did that. But I don’t know where this idea got planted. But people think, Oh, it’s gonna take me a year. Like I’m take 20 whatever. 2020 is the year I’m gonna write my book, and they like set aside a year. What made you think that you could do it by April, even between December and April? What made you think you can do it in four or five months?
AI: It wasn’t gonna get done if it’s like, attention, right? And yeah, I guess a part of my experience. So doing events so frequently, literally, every single week, I can see the time it takes to complete a project. And then I can see how long it takes to complete it if I like procrastinate or whatever. And so it shouldn’t really take you that long. If you think about it, like writing papers. And again, I just finished grad school the year before. And if I’m taking four classes, and I Have a 10 page paper for each one doing the same week. And I didn’t write pages exactly right. It did happen. Yeah, that was my life for the last 20 days.
AL: When I tell people a book is like writing 10, 10 page papers. It absolutely is. It’s not my favorite semesters when I’ve had to write 10, 10 page papers, but I’ve had those semesters even as an undergrad. I think it’s my favorite. But you can do that in a semester. So for sure, you can do it in less time. I love that you made that connection. Yeah. When did you think hey, I think I might end up leaving my job instead of applying for another job in the hospital system.
AI: Oh, so for me. It was I’m writing this book. I have this skill set. I know how to write, run a business. everything’s in place. Literally everything. I know how to reach the people that I want to make the difference with because I’m already reaching
AL: And you actually you did a book plan. You also did a marketing play. I did I know. Yeah. Yeah.
AI: So it was literally on the back of like a postcard. I wrote that I was gonna finish it in April. I list it like 12 cities that I was gonna do my book touring. Like, I just had this whole little, like, literally on the back of a postcard the whole plan for the book.
AL: So good.
AI: Yeah. So and then you think, Okay, I got an MBA, I’m pretty entrepreneurial. I know how to reach the market. What made me leave my job. I’d started to like, just do it part time. So my business running my own company. And my name, Amari means love.
AL: And that’s actually the name of your business. Right? Pretty cool.
AI: But I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to make the progress and the impact that I wanted to make if my attention was split, right. If I if I didn’t go all in, I was gonna keep making excuses and To go all in. And my belief is you can either make excuses to have what you want, or make excuses to not have what you want. And this is something that I meant to do. Like I couldn’t not do this. So it was if I know that this is my purpose in life to spread love, literally, I have all the tools right now. I know exactly what I’m doing. Why wouldn’t I? Yeah. And so initially, the plan was to make five K, at least three months in a row before I left my job just to make sure it was viable, which would sort of replace your salary. Yeah, yeah. No, there’s different expenses when you run a business, right?
AI: And that was like, way before I didn’t even like put in my resignation letter yet. And I just realized, like, I’m not really going to be able to do this the way I want to, if I don’t go all in, I believe in myself. I know I have everything that I need, why not just do it.
AL: So you sign To write your book, you’ve got some revenue goals, you’ve got some goals for when you want your book finished. And now you’ve got me harassing you on a daily basis on the daily. What was the experience of writing your book like? So first of all, most people think writing a book takes a year. Most people think writing a book is a solitary thing. You’re going to go get a cabin in Maine, I think and right, that’s what you’re supposed to do. What was your experience in in the Author Incubator, actually writing your book?
AI: So I’m working a full time job in an awesome relationship. I have family, I was doing extracurricular stuff, and you have a job that has events every week. So right deadline driven jobs. People are coming to the event. So you work from 1030 in the morning to nine o’clock at night. That was my schedule during the week because we had events. So How the hell did I write a book and the simple Answer is on my phone, I literally spoke my chapters into my phone. So I made a little outline. This is what’s going to go in each chapter. And these are like the main points. And I just thought, what would I want to say about these different things? So before I do any of the research before I look at the stats, or think too much about it, let me just get everything out of my head that’s in my head right now. So on my lunch break, or on the ride to work, or the right from home, I’m just talking into my phone. And at the end of the week, I will organize my thoughts.
AI: So and you did speech to text so you weren’t getting transcripts. So technically, I didn’t write a book I spoke
AL: about. A lot of people do talk their book in the program. Yeah. So you’re like, you’re just I’ve got an hour. Here’s what chapter four is about. Let me just talk about all the stuff and literally I’ve finished a chapter in less than 45 minutes. Yeah, the entire chapter that when you write is like 1520 pages. 45 minutes or less. Right? And that was a with the thinking with the let me say that over like, all right, yeah.
AL: So how did you find the experience of so in the program, you had deadlines, you had their calls with me like, did all of that make it easier and more likely that you would finish? Or did it feel like oh, I don’t know if I need this information or have it was beyond helpful.
AI: So one of the things that I know for sure as a coach is that there’s three reasons why we fail at any goal we have in life. The first is not having a plan. Obviously, I had that. The second is not having accountability, whether that’s self accountability or having the accountability of a friend, a coach, a mentor, to keep you on track for implementing your goals, right. So I knew that With everything else going on, I needed some accountability and having those weekly calls, being able to ask you questions and having the support of the community. Like it was totally integral to that process and made it that much easier. And I finished my book by the goal.
AL: Yeah. Okay, so wait, there’s three things though. accountability. I want to make sure I haven’t.
AI: I was leaving that one for later. Little cliffhanger right now, just kidding. mindset. You have to become the person who mentally and emotionally has the result or the desire that you want, before you get it. Like, if you want to become a millionaire, you don’t get the millions and then develop the Millionaire’s mindset. You have to have the mindset, and that’s what generates the millions, which is why you probably heard a lot of people who like win the lottery. And you know,
AL: I did a book on that. No, yeah, I did a book about lottery winners. It was in my early 20s and Had to interview lottery winners. And almost everybody who won the lottery had not only lost the money, but they lost the money. They lost relationships. They lost even more money than they had. Yeah. And I interviewed too. I interviewed 80 people for that book. And two of them, they had a positive experience with the lottery. Both of them already had money before they won. Exactly. It’s a financial investor. They already had, like, people in their family who had money who talked to them about, you know, investing how to use it. So that is one of like, the big and obviously, you know, I talked about my weight loss journey a lot. Because I thought, well, you lose weight. And then yeah, because it just made sense. I go, you lose weight, and then your problems are solved. And I’m like, how come when I lose weight? I seem to have more problems. Yeah, it makes me just want to eat a brownie. Right? And I think this is so key. A lot of people ask me even after they sign up, they’ll be like, Oh, can I do one on one? sessions with the Oh right. And this is the whole trick of the group and you were sort of a ringer for me, which I appreciate but when you’re in the group, everybody already knows that you’ve committed to your goal. Mm hmm. So everybody will treat you like you’re gonna get their yearbook done right right in their head. They’re thinking I don’t know if I’m gonna finish but that guy for sure is and the power of the group of having everybody see you as the person who finished Yeah, it’s I’m basically brainwashing everyone. Which is like Who was it? Yeah, exactly. I’m a big fan of brainwashing. Go into the program. We’ve had three people not finish one of them died, which is a pretty good reason if you’re not going to finish out of hundreds 421 people, something like that. And I think that this is like the magic of the mindset. Like even if you even if you try to come into that group, as You’re gonna fail, like, Can you imagine what would happen if you posted in that group or on a weekly call? You’re like, I don’t think I’m gonna do this. Wow. Like, it’s just everybody would send you messages and call you and come by and what do you need? And like, there’s just so much love and support that it’s like, you’re the only person who might have a doubt that you’re gonna finish. Mm hmm. Everybody else is behind you. And that belief, like, I feel like a lot of people, in my experience have likely never had that before, like so many people holding space for them at the same time. And that just that intention, just that holding of the space by other people is enough to get most of us through. Yeah, like it’s the power of prayer or positive intention, or that’s what support is it’s holding space for you to succeed.
AI: I think like sometimes people hear that concept of holding space and it seems like we were out there not practical or applicable to your life?
AL: Well, all teachers do teachers know that you’re gonna be successful. They meet you where you are, but they don’t say you’re gonna be where you are forever. They say you’re gonna rise to this bar. This is my expectation of you, right by the bait here, right do not waver on their expectation. They call the kids up. They call the students up to that level. Yeah, that’s what happened. That’s what holding space is.
AL: So I know obviously, you would not join the Author Incubator for the purpose of making friends cuz that’s sort of frivolous, but have you had any friendships or relationships that have come out of work?
AI: Like, I can’t even count? Like, so many.
AL: And Was that something you expected going in?
AI: No, I didn’t. Not expected but it wasn’t even a thought like, oh, like, I want my damn book. I want my book. I want the result. That’s why I joined the program like, this is what I want to do. And I see that this is a very awesome opportunity for that to happen. I wasn’t thinking about friends or community, I didn’t even know how big the community was. And that was really cool to see that there were so many people on the same path. Like, I think when I when I joined, there were probably maybe 24 people or something like that altogether. like half of them had already started their books like the month before the other half. Were starting with me. So that was really awesome to see.
AL: Yeah, yeah. So one of the things we do in the program is I have you actually start selling create the program or the product that you’re going to sell after the book is done. And to start selling. had had you sold like that before? What was that like for you? Was that intimidating? Was it validating? How did you experience that part of it?
AI: So the short answer is no to all Three questions. So I had an experience selling like that before. When I was like a kid I had a job at Best Buy, but I was the phone operator. Yeah, for the most part, cuz voice and personality. So customer service, but um, no, like the majority of my career I’ve worked in nonprofit in the healthcare industry in, you know, empowering the LGBT community. So I had never sold anything for money. But for me, I guess it was just a transferable skill in terms of to get people to come to an event. It’s free events, right? Yeah. But you’re still selling. Exactly. And one of the things that I realized both from like my marketing education, but also like, personal experience, we’re all always selling. If you’ve ever gotten anybody to do anything, you sold something. Yeah. If you got your partner to agree to go to the movies with you, you sell it if you’re in a relationship, right, so Oh, yeah. Great. Like to get your kids to eat dinner to eat there. vegetables, you sold something like all of that is selling, it’s just getting someone to do something that they haven’t necessarily done or aren’t currently doing.
AL: So you were actually writing your book working a full time job starting to sell your program. And did you actually generate any revenue before you wrote your book? Did you get any clients before for?
AI: Well, not from the book itself? Yeah. So because I said I was already coaching so I had clients, but I hadn’t like sold from the program. So for me,
AL: When did you like sell like your first client? Like, was the book finished? Was it published? What was your first dollar on the wall?
AI: For the lasting love it less it was 1700 dollars. And so I’ll give you my timeline and understand the way that this worked for me. I left my job because I couldn’t focus on my business. And that was
AL: I seem to remember there were a couple challenging. Yeah, phone calls to where you were like, I know you hit your deadline, but you were like close on a deadline. You were like,
AI: a lot going on. Yeah, like family stuff. Like every everything always happens for everybody when you try to do something a car accident, cellphone. We got into a car accident, like yes, car was totaled, but we walked away, no injuries, which was awesome. So so many things are happening. But I left my job at the end of June, in July. I said I need to take this month off and just like decompress. And so we traveled
AL: get your book published I think June 28. the very end of June
AI: I literally left my job the day before the book was published. In July I traveled July’s awesome my birthday month I went and saw family. I finished my matchmaking certification, so I was already getting that as well. And July was just chill and make peace month and transition to the next mindset. August was my first month in business. Okay. Yeah. And in August, I grossed $12,000. Because I was all in. Right. And so like, that’s been my average every month.
AL: That’s amazing. Yeah. So you were, you had basically replaced your salary, and then some.
AI: So, literally two days ago, I look back at all my numbers. And I realized in the last three months, I made more than I would have if I stayed working at my full time job from the end of June through the end of this year. So literally, like, in one quarter, I made half of what I made at my other job. That’s incredible. So in my first quarter,
AL: and your very first quarter, yeah, not just one random quarter. I know. We know. I don’t have a crystal ball, right? But if we did if you were to take a guess, if you tried to stay in your full time job, still do the book tour that you said you would do still get clients still get your certification as a matchmaker and kind of do both things kind of keep the security of a paycheck and health insurance presumably it was hospital. So health insurance to paycheck and all those things and built your business. How long do you think it would have taken you to get to $12,000 a month?
AI: I just got like really uncomfortable because that same bought about the book taking two years. Yeah, I thought it was probably gonna take me a year or two to actually be able to do that. And that’s what made me decide to go out like I told you the plan was to make five k A month before I quit my Yeah, this is what it was the realization that I could not realistically do that without the time to focus. So I made a bet on myself, which was like, if you’re gonna bet on anything bet on you, you’re the only person that you can control. You’re the only thing that you have any real say in in terms of what’s going to happen. So rather than invest in a stock or in someone else to make something happen, I bet on myself. Yeah. And it was the best decision I ever made.
AL: I love that. So I love betting on myself too. It’s so fun. I’m like the best stock ever. Okay, here’s the thing, that I, I will make my crystal ball prediction here. I think what most people think is I’m gonna keep my job full time. I’m going to do this other stuff part time, once I get to five k a month or whatever their number is, doesn’t matter what the number is, then I’ll know it’s safe to quit my job, right? And what happens is a year passes maybe if you’re lucky, two years pass and you haven’t hit those revenue goals. So you’re Kind of proving, well, I’m not ready to leave my job yet. And then you have doubts about maybe what your business is, or if you’re any good at this or if you’re, you know what, what you’re missing. And I find that people change their business, they start, I don’t know, selling crap on Etsy or do another stuff, like they start getting distracted, then they’re split even more. And then what I find is people don’t leave their jobs. The same reason people don’t write their books. I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna do it tomorrow. Later, once everything’s aligned, we always two things. One, we always put everybody else before ourselves generally. Hmm. Right? So if you don’t prioritize your goals, they’re not done.
AI: There’s no one gonna do that.
AL: We’re going to run everybody else’s business, right? That’s what’s gonna happen. The second thing is if you Don’t think that you are going to be able to do something. If you don’t believe that it’s possible for you, if you don’t see that this is something that can be real for you, you’re not going to do the work to make it happen. Right? So you have to see it, you have to believe it. And like I said, before, mindset is most important. So before you even had the plan, or the accountability, like, it’s the mindset that you need to work on, I think that’s one of the things that’s so powerful about your program. You take people through the journey of really developing the mindset that they need to get there. So I was ready before I even implemented the plan of leaving my job or anything else. My mindset was all the way together.
AL: Yeah. And you look around and you see the other people doing it. And I think that’s what’s so powerful about your story and why I wanted to share it is that like, we often will Things are out there. But really what your brain needs is more examples. Like if you want to leave your job, you can leave your job. Yeah. If you want to make 10,000 $12,000 a month, you can make $12,000 a month. If you want to make a million dollars a month, you can do that too. And it’s the more you’re surrounding yourself by that being inevitable.
AI: But you can’t live a life outside of your mindset.
AL: Yeah, yeah, it is totally impossible. If you can’t see it, can’t do it and can’t. So what just in a couple minutes that we have left, I want to talk about what the last three or four months of running your business has meant for the people whose lives you’ve changed. So obviously, part of why we do this is, you know, to control our own destiny and freedom and make an impact and all the things that are about you and your amazing message and by the way, people should get lasting love at last at Amazon, pick up their copy, but what does that meant to your clients? What kind of an impact You feel like you’re having, I just got like all warm give me a lover because for many people who are gay, like relationships are a huge struggle, right? There struggle for anybody. But gay people have some unique struggles like, going back to the mindset thing. A lot of us have been like taught or conditioned to believe that there’s something wrong with us because we’re gay. So there’s something wrong with me, then, by default, that means I probably don’t deserve love. I shouldn’t be happy. Nobody’s going to love me. And that’s what a lot of gay people have experienced just from their families. And we only repeat the patterns that we experienced as kids until we become aware of those patterns and do something different. So you go through life, creating the situations where you attract relationships that don’t last because you don’t believe they’re gonna last because you think there’s something wrong with you and you think they aren’t supposed to The last again you can you get your own.
AI: Absolutely you believe it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy except in this case it was conditioned, it’s not that you decided to believe this, like, it’s the environment. So being able to help people to see that this is possible for them to see that lasting Love is something that they can actually have. And to give them an actually proven process to do that. Like it’s just been amazing. Like all of my clients. I’m trying not to cry now. Like, it really has made a difference. And I’m just so excited to be able to do work that I love. And that is actually changing people’s lives for the better.
AL: So why why love Why relationships I know you said that’s what people gravitated to you for. But why do you think helping people find lasting Love makes the world a better place?
AI: Oh my gosh, because love is one of the most important things in our lives. Like, just about everything we do, we do it because of love. Like love gives us courage, it gives us motivation, or we do it for love. So a lot of people try to get better jobs so that they can impress somebody so that they can be in a relationship. Or I’m doing this for my wife or for my husband or for the people that I love for my children for my family. Love is the most powerful emotion and it’s one of the most, if not the most powerful force in the world.
AL: So that’s why well, Amari means love. That is the name of the business. This is the man best selling author Amari I see as the author of lasting love at last. You are America’s first certified black gay male matchmaker. Yep. But you do you will match any man with the man of their dreams. You don’t only work with black men you work across diverse spectrum. Do you ever work with women?
AI: I’m not opposed to it. So my focus is black gay men, but my skill set allows me to work with anybody I can, as both a coach and a matchmaker, I can either show you how, or show you him.
AL: And I can tell you tell you as read me reading your book as a woman, the tons of lessons that applied to me as well. So if you have been moved by Mrs. Story, please check out his book. And if you feel like you are maybe ready to move on from a full time job, if you feel like you’re ready to make an impact, to make that commitment to yourself, and a plan, accountability and mindset will help you get there because they are the only things that do. I’d love to stalk you on Google as well. Just like guys, Dr. Mari, even if you don’t have to YouTube videos, it’s cool. I want to hear about your book idea and see if we can help you Make a difference. That is what we do here at the Author Incubator. I hope you enjoy tomorrow’s story. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Thanks for having me.
And we are changing the world one book at a time.