Yvonne Dam is the CEO of Amaze Yourself and is an online business coach that helps driven business owners to double their income and not their hours.
She has over 25 years of experience in the corporate world, within finance, HR, sales, and change- plus performance management. However, the golden thread in her career is and has always been coaching. From executives to teams to ambitious business owners, Yvonne has the coaching experience.
Being a recovering workaholic herself, she is all too familiar with the downside of being driven and ambitious. Everything and everyone had to move, in the past, for work. Not anymore. She now has optimized her business model, allowing her to take long beach walks and pick up her daughter from school 3 days a week. Through implementing the tools and changing her mindset, she has a thriving business. These tools and techniques are the heart of her coaching program, Be the CEO of your Life.
Yvonne, can you start off by telling us about yourself and why you went into entrepreneurship?
I worked for and with large multinationals my entire corporate career in various senior roles. The saying “time is money” was invented there, and when you combine that with my drive, ambition, and eagerness, you get places. It also meant I worked relentlessly, all hours of the day, putting myself, and my needs aside. I kind of lost track of who I was, and what I needed, as I became more and more addicted to my work. It was not sustainable. I burnt out.
It took me 15 years, a lot of trial and error before I could say I am a recovering workaholic. Then, I discovered you can do so much less but still get the desired results. I longed for more freedom in my life and work and knowing I could help others made me decide to start to Amaze Yourself.
Can you tell us what drives you to be successful as an entrepreneur?
I used to think my ambition drives me. But the longer I am in business, the more I realize it is only part of it. In my previous career, I have often been in situations that didn’t feel right and were not in line with my integrity. What truly drives me these days is doing the right thing. To act and be in line with integrity and respect.
When you have the gift and the ability to help people, and you get the chance to do it, you should. I have many gifts, and one of them is for sure that I can instantly tell you where you can make a bigger impact and how you can save time. I believe it is my purpose to help people to make themselves a priority again. I know I long enough did not.
Tell us about your current role and your vision of helping business owners be better.
I love to break the paradigm that you have to work hard and be available 24/7 to make your business a success. The more people I can help understand that you can get better results even while working fewer hours, the better. I see my work as a pebble thrown in the water; all the clients I help feel more satisfied, successful, and happy. That has a positive impact on their surroundings and so on.
What’s the one or two accomplishments that you’re proud of?
My daughter. Somehow my love and I managed to put this unique human being on earth. She’s quirky, different, sweet, wise, and very strong-willed. She has the ability to connect and talk with anyone, and I mean anyone. She makes my heart sing just by looking at her.
I am proud of leaving my golden handcuffs behind when I quit my full-time job at PwC after working for them for almost two decades in 4 different countries. Seeing the transformation in my clients is what I am most proud of, again and again.
What advice do you have for other up-and-coming business owners and leaders?
Find the one thing you are good at and claim it. We all have something we are brilliant at, a natural thing. Often it is the one thing people scolded you for. Like when you heard in your youth you talk too much, you might be a brilliant speaker or MC. Do find that one thing and embrace it. Go for it, and believe in yourself; not a little bit, not 50% but full-heartedly and completely. Whatever you do, go in completely. Give it your all. Because when you are giving it your all, you can’t fail. You will find a way to succeed.
Are you active on social media professionally? If so, what platforms work best for engaging your followers?
Yes, I am. I am an online coach, as I work with people from all over the world. So, yes, I am online active too. I love LinkedIn as it is my go-to platform for connecting and engaging professionally. I love Instagram for the stories where I share snippets of my daily life. Since I hired someone to post on my behalf, it made me appreciate the beauty of my business and life even more. I also use Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family from all the places we have been. And I have a YouTube channel. Recently I started my own ‘Be the CEO of your Life’ Live Show, which features on all platforms daily and reaches many people.
What is the major difference between being an entrepreneur and working in corporate?
Freedom. The ability to decide with who you work, what you work on, and when and where you work. That is all open and up to you as soon as you become an entrepreneur.
Who was your biggest influencer?
I don’t have one specific influencer; there are many—Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, and Stephen Covey, to name a few. But also the person who said I couldn’t do it and that I was mad to leave my corporate career. The people you surround yourself with, the social media accounts you follow, and all that you read and watch all influence you. That is why I am making conscious decisions about which network I join and what people I choose to spend time with.
What is the most challenging part of your work as a CEO?
Letting go. It is always those in-between moments, which are the hardest. Deciding to expand your team, as you know it is needed, even when the money is tight. Pitching to premium clients when you’re still mainly working at your current level. Leaving the network that you know to join and care for, to join the one with the next-level entrepreneurs. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway, all the while staying strong in your belief that you will make it work, as you always do.
What do you have your sights set on next?
I just launched my Mastermind ‘It IS Your Time,’ a group coaching program that helps you overcome procrastination, getting things done, and understand what has been holding you back. In the fall, my new book will be published, ‘Focus and Achieve Better Results’. And I am working on re-launching my Amaze Yourself online academy with several online courses, like ‘How to deal with email overwhelm’.
What is a day in your life like?
Well, for starters, no day is the same, as I am not big on planning, and I like diversity. I wake up (without alarm) and get out to meditate and journal, preferably on my balcony in the early sun. Then I work out, walk the dog and either bring the little one to school or start my workday. My workdays vary but may involve coaching, spending time on social media, speaking to clients, networking, and working on my business. I take regular breaks and go for long walks with the dog when I feel like it. In the afternoon, I spend time with my little one. Some nights I do Zoom calls, as I work with many people in the US, and there is a time difference. And I have certain nights blocked off. Wednesdays are the days I don’t work. I make sure to have enough time for myself, my business, and my friends and family.
Do you have any hobbies?
I love to read, spend time with my family and friends. Especially when there is nice food and good wine involved, and we get to sit together and share stories, simply enjoying each other’s company whether it is dining out or staying in.
I live next to the beach and there is nothing better than to walk along the shore and hear the waves come crashing in. Although it may go a bit far to call it a hobby, I do enjoy going for a run in the woods with my French Bulldog Bubbles.
What makes you smile?
So many things, waking up. When I open my eyes, I see my love, and later on, my little bouncing ball—sitting on my balcony in the morning when it’s all still, quiet and crisp—getting a text message from a client with some amazing results. Thinking about my business and the coaching I get to do. My life. Typing this.
What are you never without?
Champagne, there is always champagne in the fridge. Because I love champagne and I love to drink it to celebrate life and business wins. So yes, I drink it quite often.
What scares you?
How intolerance and violence can take over instantly and make the world I believe in, one where we can all live together peacefully, further away.
What’s your favorite vacation spot?
I am still looking for it. I love to travel. Some of the highlights: with a Jeep with rooftop tent driving through Namibia. Getting married on Bali. Driving from our own home in Durban, South Africa, to the Vic Falls in Zambia. Snorkeling with manta rays in Nusa Lembongan and next to a whale in Mozambique. But also hiking in the Catskills, New York, and my solo trip to Costa Rica.
List any other work, published articles, interviews or accomplishments:
- My book – 50 proven tips to improve your work-life balances
- Be the CEO of your Life / Register to be a guest!
- Absolute Business Mindset Podcast – Mark Hayward
- Declutter Your Life to Create More Time – Lisa Gillbe
- Finding Your Golden Thread Featuring Yvonne Dam – David Shrine
- Finding the Secret to a Better Lifestyle with Laser Focused Time Management – Brian E. Thomas
- Risk Intelligence – No matter your position BE YOUR OWN CEO – Karen Adamsbaum
- Becoming the CEO of your life – Clarissa Kristjansson
- The VERDICT is in – Gerard Fox
- Hacks & Hobbies – Junaid Ahmed