5 Lessons Amy House Taught Me About Business Without Even Realizing It
Guest Blogger: Aquila Mendez-Valdez
Owner of Haute in Texas
At first glance, one might think that Amy House and I are competitors. We both reside in San Antonio, we both operate marketing agencies, and we both run in similar circles between various organizations.
But rather than operate from a scarcity mindset, in the relatively short time I’ve known Amy it’s instantly apparent that she is an “all boats rise” kinda gal.
To that end, she’s actually taught me several lessons which I’ve applied to my own business, and I don’t know that she was even aware. I have a feeling her philosophies might be of use to you as well, so I’d love to share them with you.
Full disclosure: I’d also like to note that Amy did NOT ask me to write this. I promise it is being written of my own volition! 😉
1. Humor is your friend in business and life.
Anyone who has spent more than 10 minutes with Amy has probably heard her sharp wit, and enjoyed a chuckle or two. She (correctly) believes that people need a little joy in their life, and business doesn’t have to be an area where we turn off our sense of humor. Clients and prospects appreciate seeing you let loose a little, and letting your personality shine through. If you have the perfect opportunity to crack a joke in a professional setting, I say take it!
2. When in doubt, give a gift.
A few months ago a mutual contact of ours was having a grand opening, and Amy wasn’t able to attend due to her schedule. Rather than shrug it off and send her well wishes from afar, Amy came to a totally separate meeting with a gift for the business owner in question, with a request for help making sure someone in our group could get the gift to her in time for the ribbon to be cut.
It’s worth mentioning here that I am not Southern by birth. So it is not always in my natural nature to remember gifts for all occasions. Therefore, I was incredibly impressed that Amy had not only prepared a gift for the celebration, but had the foresight to have it prepared and the logistics sorted out so it would be delivered in time. Now THAT is thoughtful on another level.
How can you make your clients feel special like this? Whether it’s a physical gift or a touching gesture, find ways to add a little sparkle to the days of others.
3. Network With Purpose
I have never met another business owner who is as strategic and intentional about their networking as Amy. She doesn’t waste a moment, and if she doesn’t know everyone in the room when she walks in, you can bet she will by the time the caterers have served dessert. She is excellent at making quick but impactful connections, and she doesn’t hesitate to make helpful introductions to other folks when it’s in everyone’s best interest.
Case in point: when another colleague had a need for a specific type of marketing services, Amy looked around the room and immediately pointed in my direction. She could have very easily turned that finger toward herself and her agency, but she felt we were a fit, so she passed on the opportunity without hesitation. Those are the types of business decisions that lead to fabulous karma down the road. And it does, indeed, always come back to you tenfold.
4. Protect Your Time
Now that you know Amy is a power networker, you may think she is constantly spread thin and overcommitted. The opposite is actually true. In a recent NAWBO Scale Up session, we were each going around the room and discussing how to manage our time. Is time blocking the answer? Saying no more often? Amy piped up and said she has officially declared she will no longer be available for evening events. It’s a hard line she’s drawn for herself personally and professionally, and my jaw dropped.
I have young little ones and home, and yet I feel immense pressure to attend multiple events all over town each week, at all hours of the day. But here was Amy, growing just as quickly, if not more so, than my own business, and she was saying no more. May we all have the fortitude to decide what truly serves us and what does not in 2022. Trust that career opportunities will still be there for you if you prioritize family or other obligations. It goes back to the age-old question of having it all: you CAN have it all, just not all at once.
4. Believing In Others Is Our highest Calling
In PR and Marketing, we have to believe in others with all our hearts. It can wear on you, having all the faith in the world that a client’s project or product will take off, only for it to experience challenge after challenge. I believe Amy and I are similar in that we put a tremendous amount of faith in our team, our clients, and ourselves. But it’s easy to doubt.
There was a moment a while back when I was telling Amy about a very scary, very big new initiative I’m launching soon. I ended my update with, “I hope it does well, we’ll see…” Amy looked me straight in the eyes and said with all the conviction in the world, “It will.” How many of your “competitors” would have that much belief in you? How many would be willing to give YOU that boost of confidence when it would be just as easy to make a snarky or undercutting comment? That’s just not at the core of who Amy is.
I hope Amy’s business prowess inspires you as it has inspired me. They say empowered women empower others, and nowhere is that more obvious than in Amy’s actions every day. Onward and upward, for ALL of us!
With a decade of industry experience in both the blogging and public relations field, Aquila Mendez-Valdez launched Haute in Texas in 2011 as a personal blog where she still writes in the hopes of providing women with fun, intelligent content they can use in their everyday lives. Through its growth and her own professional growth with one of the top PR firms in South Texas, she developed a specific expertise in helping her clients propel and curate their online and in-person presence. Word of mouth and a results-oriented approach has helped Haute in Texas grow into a full-service agency, specializing in digital marketing, media relations, and community programming. Aquila’s combined passions of public relations and influencer marketing often collide with a one-of-a-kind approach to living the haute life.
In addition to her responsibilities as Owner of Haute in Texas, Aquila also serves as the Marketing Chair for NAWBO San Antonio, on the Advisory Board for the Kronkosky Place, on the board for the Marisol Deluna Foundation, and the Nominating Committee for Fashion Group International’s San Antonio chapter.