Amina AlTai is the type of coach who subtly, but firmly, is able to crack you open, find your hidden truths and help you see where you might be getting in your own way. She’s a holistic business and mindset coach, wellness expert and former marketing executive. Amina has successfully created a methodology that supports the health of a business and its people at the same time -- which was born of her own work/life struggles.
Grappling with a fast-paced career eventually led to Amina suffering from two autoimmune diseases and burnout. In hopes of healing her own life, she sought out help in nutrition, fitness and mindfulness from some of the greatest wellness teachers and schools of our time. As many of us know, managing our health and keeping up with the demands of a growing career can quickly drain our personal resources. Amina has synthesized what she's learned from coaches and institutions and has dedicated herself to teaching others how to balance a thriving career, body and mind.
In a recent chat, we discussed her journey to wellness, and how she assists others to find their own way. Here are some great takeaways from that conversation.
Recognizing a need to change
"I’ve been an entrepreneur, on and off, for most of my career. Though I started in the corporate world, in my early 20s I launched a marketing agency to support emerging entrepreneurs. I call that experience my MBA because it really drilled some big learnings into me. Agency life can be fast-paced if you don’t set the right boundaries and so I quickly found myself working 80-hour weeks, pulling all-nighters and taking care of my clients and employees long before I’d take care of myself. Eventually, I developed two autoimmune diseases (celiac disease and Hashimoto’s) and my body nearly came to a complete stop. I knew I had to change my lifestyle, so I went back to school to study nutrition, fitness and mindfulness and started applying everything I was learning. I felt so good with all these new tools and boundaries and I decided I wanted to work in wellness full time. So I sold my percentage of the agency to my business partner and eventually put pen to paper and designed a curriculum that was meant to serve every single entrepreneur I’d met when I was at my agency, myself included."
Learning to lead
"What I saw from running the agency for seven years was that many founders are brilliant and innovative and create amazing offerings. And then they are thrust into leadership roles and many of them don’t have the training for that. We lose ourselves in managing teams, running multiple departments, sleepless nights, unmanaged stress and the challenging resistance we can feel in our own companies. So I created a body of work designed to support the mind, the body and the business. Because in my experience, success in all of those areas is intrinsically tied."
Bringing mindfulness to business
"I call myself a holistic business and mindset coach as I’m evaluating what’s happening with founders, leaders and the business as a whole. I examine the mindset and any blocks or resistance. I look into stress and what’s happening in the body and the messages it might be sending us. And then, last but certainly not least, I look at what strategies and tactics you’re applying in the business. When people ask what I do, I tell them to imagine a business coach, a wellness coach and a mindset coach having a baby. That would be me."
The impact of her work
"Three weeks ago I woke up to the most incredible email from a former client. She told me how prior to working with me she was extremely depressed. But while working together she achieved a promotion, a raise, a very prestigious award for her work and a move to another country she’d always dreamed of. She told me she’d never felt so connected to her work or so innately valuable (money and promotion aside). It was one of the loveliest notes I’ve received and fills me up so much. This is why I do this work. Helping people to own and step into their fullest potential is what I’m here to do."
The importance of the self-care mindset
"Self-care work is as important as the work you’re doing in your business day-to-day. The mindset work can be even bigger. If we don’t have those practices in place we can’t show up for the business, or our employees or the big keynote speech."
Her daily routine
"On a good day, my self-care routine looks like this: I wake up early and meditate for 20 minutes. I’m a Vedic meditator and have been trained to sit with a specific Vedic mantra for 20-minutes twice per day. For those who say they don’t have time to meditate, I say we don’t have time not to. And it doesn’t have to be a 20-minute sitting, it can be much less. After meditation, I move my body, usually a mix of yoga, Pilates, HIIT and spin. I find that healthy movement to be instrumental for me in processing what’s happening in my brain. I’ll get my best work ideas while on my bike. I prepare about 75% of my meals to make sure they work for me and my body. I take regular breaks throughout the workday -- usually 90 minutes on and 10 minutes off for a brain recharge. I get acupuncture every two weeks which has been so supportive for my physical health. And I usually head to bed pretty early because nothing says self-care to me like going to bed at 10 p.m.! On a crazy day, it looks like a whole lot less. Meditation is my non-negotiable and I will always take five minutes and do something that brings me joy. Even if it’s just reading a magazine, coloring or watching Friends, I have to have that in there to stay sane."
Would you like to connect with Amina 1:1? Book a session with her on Entrepreneur's Ask an Expert platform. Her schedule is always up to date, you can even record the meeting if you'd like.