The old wood floor of Lucid Coffee Bar creaked beneath my feet as I shifted my weight anxiously from side to side, awaiting Susan Hyatt’s arrival -- I would be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly nervous.
And for good reason, to date, she was and is the most highly decorated of my dreamers and one I have been following for years. Master life coach, a self-made millionaire, relationship guru, highly successful internet entrepreneur and writer.
Her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Oprah.com, Oprah Winfrey Network and Woman’s World. Her fame has grown to such heights that some of America’s biggest brands, like Seattle’s Best Coffee and IKEA, have struck up brand partnerships with her.
Simply put, Susan Hyatt is the shit.
Fortunately, my nerves quickly dissipated as the door swung open and a pair of piercing blue eyes waltzed in and greeted me like an old friend. Susan was dressed to the hills and was as down to Earth as anyone I had ever met.
After grabbing our coffees, I led her up the stairs to the lofted seating area residing above Lucid Coffee Bar, where she shared with me her journey, her wisdom on Entrepreneurship and her belief that anyone can make a living on the internet, doing what they love.
“I was a burned-out workaholic real estate agent. I supposedly had it all… on the outside, it appeared that way. But, on the inside, I thought, “Is this it? Because this blows.” And I felt guilty and ungrateful for feeling this way. I had this great husband, beautiful children and thriving career. But I would watch shows, like Oprah… and just feel so envious of people who were doing things that they loved.
I felt like somehow I had missed the boat. In school, I was always an honor student and involved in a million things. But I was never a standout athlete or the best singer in the chorus. I never really had my thing. So, when I saw someone who was super gifted and excelled at something they absolutely loved, I would just think, “Gosh, where is my thing?”
I discovered my answer to this question after hitting rock bottom. It was Easter weekend of 2007. My mom was coming to visit and I promised her that I would not work during her stay. There was an out of town customer that I had shown houses to several times, and they made a surprise visit for the weekend, called me and said they wanted to make an offer on a house we had previously looked at. I ended up selling the house on Easter weekend, it was the biggest sale of my career, but I was furious. I had literally worked the entire weekend.
I remember my mom gave me a good “Southern Mama” smackdown. She told me she was going to watch the kids and wanted me to take the day to relax and figure some things out.
That afternoon I cried in my kitchen because the only two things I could think of doing on my day off was laundry and grocery shopping. Besides work, I didn’t really have any other activities or passions.
It was this moment that I turned my life around. I booked a flight to Phoenix to attend a conference held by my favorite life coach, Dr. Martha Beck. Before I knew it, I was a certified life coach myself coaching women on many of the things I had previously struggled with.
I never knew I was an entrepreneur. But, I feel safer creating my own paycheck than I do working for someone else. I think most people are surprised to find out I make a living from my laptop. I get a lot of mail from people saying, “oh my God I can’t believe you’re in Evansville, Indiana.”
I actually enjoy being here and then traveling to where I need to be when I need to be there. Because I can enjoy a low cost of living and a pretty low maintenance lifestyle. I think it’s a part time job just living in New York or Los Angeles.
There are so many ways you can package the things you’re passionate about in a way that isn’t selling your soul to the devil but is funding the whole thing. The internet is the wild wild west, there is so much opportunity there for people interested in following their passions.”
As Susan and I parted ways for the day, I reflected on the last bit of wisdom she left me with -- "The internet is the wild wild west, there is so much opportunity there for people interested in following their passion."
It hit home. For the first time in history, the internet provides something beautiful -- opportunity. It does not discriminate against education, location, religion, gender or color. If you have a solid wifi connection and a drive like Susan's, it will take you places you could have only dreamed of, while making you money all along the way.
Keep killing it, Susan Hyatt.
The Final Five
What is a daily routine that keeps you on your “A” game?
“I do this little exercise that is basically thought work. It’s called ‘Dial It Up’. I assess how I feel and think about what I have going on for the day, and then I think about how I would rather feel. It’s like picking out your wardrobe, sifting through your thoughts and deciding which thoughts and feelings work for the day.”
What book do you most often gift to other people?
“Finding Your Own North Star by Dr. Martha Beck. In my opinion, it is hands down the best self-help book ever written. She is hilarious and intelligent, she got her Ph.D. from Harvard. She combines life coaching, science and humor in a way that makes it very easy to understand. That book changed my life.”
What is your vice?
“Letting go of control of what my children do. So, parenting is really my Achilles heel. Those two are so incredibly strong-willed and they are amazing human beings. They are way better humans than what I could have ever imagined. My greatest blessing and hardest lesson has been to learn to let go.”
What is your superpower?
“Empathy. I think ultimately it is being able to stand outside of someone’s pain, understand how they feel and then help them.”
If you could have a billboard at the busiest intersection in the world, what would it say?
“Please, for the love of God, GO FOR IT!”