Episode 018: From Side Hustle to Self Employed with Amanda Amato


Meet Amanda

In the short amount of time I’ve been on my designpreneur journey, I can say more than half of the designers I’ve met are, or started as, “side hustlers” — working a whole other job full-time while pursuing a design business. That transition from "side hustle" to self-employed isn’t just quitting a job & starting a new one — it’s as much a financial & mental transition, as it is a physical one. So I am excited for you guys to hear today’s conversation with one of my fav people, Amanda Amato

Amanda, who last year made the decision to resign from her full time "day job" to pursue AMA Designs full time, grew up surrounded a family-owned construction business. So naturally, she has always influenced by design and architecture. Some of her earliest memories have been playing in her Grandpa's trailer and learning how to read blueprints. Fascinated with the idea that her sketches could become reality, built in stone, she pursued a career as an interior designer very early on.

Today, she is the Founder and Principal Designer of AMA Designs & Interiors, creating positive & supportive environments for homeowners who are starting a new life chapter. Through design psychology techniques, Amanda designs with intention to elevate their living space, as well as their head space.

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Today we’re digging into what it was like balancing the two roles, how she came to that ultimate decision to leave her full time job, and what the transition has been like. I am confident, even if you’re not a side hustler, that you’re get so much value from our conversation, so let’s dive in!

So what did we learn today?

Whether you’re transitioning from a full time job to full time entrepreneurship or simply making the transition from hobby to serious business, there are things that you need to do to prepare! 

  1. Plan out your numbers — which you should be doing anyway! — and plan your exit strategy. 

  2. Think through all the things you weren’t doing before, as an employee, that you’ll be responsible for now that you’re the boss. 

  3. Remember that you always work for someone — that someone is now just the client. The client is holding you accountable.You serve the client.  

  4. And lastly, pace yourself — I’m throwing that one in there as a paraphrase but it’s a lesson that comes up time and time again.

Our conversations with previous guests all come back to pacing yourself — coming up with the plan, adapting your mindset, preparing to hit the goals you’ve set for yourself. 

I’d love to hear where you land on the topic, because I know these are some common concerns, and tough ones to tackle. Be sure to take a screenshot while you’re listening and tag us over at @thedesigninfluence and Amanda at @byamadesigns and let’s talk about what your side hustle juggle looks like.

Thanks again for hanging out with me today and for making me a part of your day. 

Find Amanda Online

Website | Instagram | Facebook


The Influence Directory is an index of courses designed to help you maximize your expertise and influence. From software to strategy, tools to tactics, I have pooled my knowledge and resources to help you learn, connect, and thrive on your designpreneur journey.