The Highlight Reel
My name is Amanda K. Larrinaga and I’m a five foot nothing Basque girl hailing from Boise, ID. As a high-functioning introvert and lifelong Trekkie, I have spent the last 10 years of my career launching and building businesses and nonprofits all around the world.
After a graceful exit from a Silicon Valley startup, I am on a mission to help entrepreneurs and small businesses change lives and make their mark on the world.
How I Actually Went From “There”…to Here
It started with an obligatory and epic – if I do say so myself – ‘WTF’ moment.
After 8 years of launching and building successful businesses – the first 2 years which were me as a 20 year old doing it on my own – I found myself sitting at yet another desk in yet another city.
We’re getting closer to ‘WTF’– considering after that long and with that much experience, you’d think I would be chanting about my ‘lifestyle’ business instead of staring out of the window of a corner office.
The truth was this: I was exhausted, disconnected, and generally unimpressed with everyone, especially myself.
So on a rare warm fall day in San Francisco – the equivalent of a full moon – something happened.
I spent my lunch hour working through Danielle LaPorte’s ‘Authenticating Dreaming’ Worksheet. I realized after a few short minutes that everything I listed, all of these moments when I felt most alive, were not only startling, but were nowhere present in my life.
I was basically a character right out of Walking Dead–especially after I realized that I could count on one hand how many times I had done any those things in the last 8 years.
I was simply existing, instead of spending time with my favorite niece and nephew–decorating the neighborhood with sidewalk chalk and learning from their spontaneity.
I was simply existing – instead of celebrating my Basque heritage by spending time with my family, enjoying food, talking, and fostering those tight-knit relationships that I love.
And I was simply existing – instead of living my ‘life’ moments – like taking a day off for Thanksgiving or even attending a funeral.
The simple fact is this: I wasn’t living a life.
I was a cog in a wheel–a wheel that had a purpose that I didn’t believe in. And after all of those 14-hour days, the teams I built, the global brands I re-engineered, the VP after my name before I turned 22…
I felt like I hadn’t been working on a mission that mattered.
And when I made a list of all of the things that didn’t make me feel alive, that’s when I really started to think: W.T.F.
I hated being inside for hours. I deplored meetings. I despised repetition. I abhorred biting my tongue and making myself smaller.
To say that I’m not a fan of inter-office politics would be an understatement. I resented being asked to compromise time with my family. It pained me to work harder rather than smarter, because that’s what everyone else did.
So Back to ‘WTF’…
It was that day that for the first time in 8 years that I stood my ground.
I set a boundary regarding my availability over the Thanksgiving holiday. My voice broke. My hands trembled. My face flamed. My boss was so enraged that he told me that he had never been so disappointed and that I should consider my career’s future.
But it was that day that I began planning my strategic disembarkment from the startup world.
6 months later, I tipped my hat to Silicon Valley and exited stage left.
It’s Been a Roller Coaster Ride
It was that easy, right?! I just decided to leave one day and everything magically and immediately worked out. I replaced my 6-figure income. I remembered who I was and embraced her fully and passionately. I rebuilt my damaged relationships and invested in friendships. I was happy, healthy, and having the best sex of my life…
…or not. I left the Bay Area, and 2 years later and I was still figuring things out. I got my ass kicked. And now, a couple of year after that, I still do, on occasion.
What My Story Has To Do With Yours
Early on in my career, I had started a side hustle consulting for nonprofits and small businesses to keep my sanity (although I didn’t see it for what it was until much later. Damn hindsight.).
With these clients, I completely changed my approach. I shot straight from the hip. I dressed to my body type, age, and style. I gave hugs after business meetings and dropped the occasional f bomb. I danced to really, really, stupidly loud music during office hours. I stretched during teleconferences and worked outside in the sunshine. I played to my strengths and refused to touch work I didn’t love. I took my niece and nephew to the pool in the middle of the day without regret or reservation.
It was about damn time.
It was my side hustle that opened my eyes to what was possible outside of the corner office and allowed me to survive financially through the turmoil of such a drastic career and life change.
It also introduced me to just how transformative business ownership can be to the life of the entrepreneur and his or her community. That business truly does change the world, if not merely through the act of changing its visionary.
This Is Just The Surface Of What That Transformation Looks Like
I watched a refugee man with no formal education grow from a teen fading into the background and struggling to be heard, to a man with dreams for his future and a mentor to other refugee business owners.
I worked with a stay-at-home mom who earned a livable wage and found herself through her work on a creative personal development planner while raising a young family.
I partnered with a young conservation startup and witnessed a shift from barely breaking even to funding partnerships with Mozilla Firefox and Disney, all the while expanding its conservation footprint.
And just think – if more of these people, people just like you, had the support and training they needed, we could do more than change individual lives. We could truly change the world.
And it was from this realization that Modern Entrepreneur was born.
So What Can You Do For Your Bottom Line…and Your ‘Why’ Behind The Work You Do?
You can work with me. My Local Marketing Blueprint program is designed with business owners, just like you, in mind. I don’t do cookie-cutter, one-size-fits all solutions. This program not only provides direct access to me, but also lifetime access to the training you’ll need to grow you business, and a group of fellow Modern Entrepreneurs to build your support network. Click here to see how it works.
And one last thing…
Remember that ‘changing the world’ is what you started to do the moment you decided to go into business – it’s the one thing you feel like you’re meant to do.
And if you’re all in, just like me…
We can truly make something amazing happen together.
Sealed with a Bear Hug,