By Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, Founder and President of Farmer’s Daughter Consulting, LLC
I launched Farmer’s Daughter Consulting on July 21, 2014, one year ago today. It was the best as well as hardest decision I’ve made in my professional life.
The best refers to the new sense of balance I’m feeling. I was meant to be my own boss, to make decisions about the type of work I do, the type of clients I’ll work with, the days and hours I’ll work, and the policies and procedures I’ll follow.
The hardest refers to the lack of security. There’s no longer a paycheck automatically deposited into my bank account every two weeks, which can be quite unnerving. I now watch my income rise and fall like a heart rate monitor. But due to careful savings and money management, my business bank accounts are holding steady.
As I look back over the past year, I can honestly say I’ve never been happier. And today, on the first anniversary of Farmer’s Daughter Consulting, I’ve never been more grateful for the family, friends, and colleagues who’ve supported me along the way.
Allow me to take some time to honor some of the people who’ve helped make this first year such a success.
- To my mom Rosemarie Myrdal: Thank you for the weekly phone calls where you dispense good advice when asked, and when you listen patiently when I’m ranting and raving. You help balance the emotional Amy with the rational Amy very well.
- To my husband Scott Miller: Thank you for your unwavering support and love. I couldn’t do this without you. Or the swamp cooler in my office.
- To my business partner, friend, and brilliant niece Megan Myrdal: Thank you for taking such good care of Ego, and for doing such incredible work for Farmer’s Daughter Consulting and our clients. This wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without you!
- To my middle brother Harold Myrdal: Thank you for the sage insight into what the first year of business would be like. “The first year is the hardest. You’ll struggle a bit and wonder if you made the right decision. After the first year, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.”
- To my youngest brother Paul Myrdal: Thanks for always being willing to take me on a field tour when I’m home in North Dakota. Your farmer hand photos are priceless as is the information you share that makes me smarter about farming issues.
- To my BFF Dana Zartner: Thanks for the pool party therapy and sage wisdom on dealing with drama. Ti adoro!
- To my dear friend Kim Kirchherr: Thank you for your enthusiastic support and encouragement. You’re the Tigger to my Eeyore.
- To my friend and mentor Barb Pyper: Thank you for always answering the phone, and for being so honest yet reassuring. You’re right; this is hard, but it’s also very fun!
- To my friend and design hero Tom Gooden: Thanks for your amazing work at developing a logo I love and a website I’m so very proud of sharing with the world. Cheers to more collaboration in the future!
- To my friend and colleague Annette Maggi: Thanks for sharing the Powerful Woman’s Motto with me—“Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, ‘Oh, shit! She’s awake!’” The motto sits on my desk, providing daily amusement and inspiration.
- To my school nutrition hero Lisa Feldman: Thank you for providing the opportunity to create Captain Queso. That was by far the most fun consulting project I’ve done thus far. Also, thanks for providing your perspective on business silliness. I now try to avoid it at all costs.
- To my Icelandic brother from another mother, Chef Scott Samuel: Thanks for your kindness and sly sense of humor. As they say, laughter in the best medicine, and you’re my favorite pharmacist!
- To my friend and mentor Mary Kimbrough: Thank you for your honesty and insights. You know how to set me straight when I’m questioning myself and my gut instincts.
- To my hairdresser Tessa Matsis: Hairy and I couldn’t do this without you. Thanks for the laughter, good hair, book reviews, and free therapy with each cut and color.
- To Frank Costanza: Thanks for teaching me about the Festivus Pole. I use mine regularly for airing of grievances.
- To my esteemed colleague Leah McGrath: Thanks for inspiring me on a daily basis to get better at and do more with social media. I’m learning. Slowly. #stand4science #buildupRDNs #fakefncenews #leahrocks
- To my NADA mentor and friend Ashley Rosales: Like Kim Kirchherr, you’ve provided incredibly enthusiastic support for my work at Farmer’s Daughter Consulting. I smile when I think about some of your encouraging comments from the past year.
- To my mentor and friend Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo: Your kindness the past few years has been so valuable to me. Thanks for taking the time to share your wisdom and some cocktails with me!
- To Barry the Mailman: Thanks for your smile, friendly questions, and consistency with mail delivery. Working from home can be lonely; I consider you part of my team!
- To Kathleen Zelman, Christine Rosenbloom, Sheah Rarback, and Connie Diekman: Thanks for your collective encouragement, wicked senses of humor, and straight talk. I’m blessed to call you four fearless leaders friends!
- To my college friend Cecilia Portoni: Thanks for taking such an active interest in my business. Your questions either lead me to re-evaluate my strategies or celebrate my successes.
- To my brilliant friend and colleague Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak: No one leaves better voicemail messages than you. Period. End of story. I wish you’d call me every day and leave a message that makes me feel so good about everything!
- To my wine-loving friend and colleague Pam Smith: Thanks for your empathy and sense of humor as well as your business and makeup advice. What did I do before MAC?
- To my nutty friend and colleague Carol Berg Sloan: No one does better introductions than you. I wish that every time I speak in the future you’ll be there to introduce me. It’s a bit awkward that your kind words made me purr, but what audience doesn’t love a little purring from the podium?
- To my friend and mentor Jim Prevor: Thanks for the advice to say yes to anything and everything that interests me and that I’m passionate about. I’ve been doing more of that, and I’ve been having so much fun!
- To Carolina, my personal shopper at Nordstrom: Thanks for striving to find clothes that fit my budget and my body. God Bless Eileen Fisher!
- To Eileen Fisher: Thanks for designing clothes that are comfortable, stylish, and go on sale occasionally.
- To my dear friend and muse Chef Suvir Saran: Thanks for being so in touch with the universe that you always call when I most need to hear your warm voice, advice, and wisdom. Thank you also for reminding me of the powerful of gratitude.
- To all my friends and colleagues who reminded me of the Twitter block feature during the Great Grass-fed Versus Grain-fed Twitter Hater Incident of 2015: It’s been two months, the haters are almost gone, and some love still tweets in once a week or so.
- To my CPA, lawyer, banker, and financial advisor: Thanks for all the good advice. I’m trying to follow as much of it as I can. Be patient with me. I’m still learning. And striving.
- To my friend and mentor Stephen McCauley: Thank you for encouraging me to register Farmer’s Daughter Consulting with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The registered trademark status was confirmed July 18, 2014, three days before launching the business, which I took as a very fortuitous sign!
- To my sassy dietetic internship friend Julie Joos: Thanks for showing me how much fun being a business owner can be. The two times I’ve visited you at your store have been very inspiring. I love seeing you so happy!
- To author Allison Rimm: Thanks for writing The Joy of Strategy: A Business Plan for Life and for giving me a Joy Meter, which I use often to gauge the impact of my clients and projects. #avoidhassles #seekjoy
- To my dear friend and colleague Julie Meyer: Thanks for the Skype conversation last fall. Your insights into business management were incredibly valuable. And running into you at O’Hare this summer was a business travel highlight for me!
- To my smart, wicked funny friend Barb Katz: Thanks for the frequent emails that make me laugh out loud. I’m convinced the work we do is all about staying one step ahead of the crazy.
- To my colleague Karen Kafer: Thanks for your lovely email and invitation last fall to become a National Dairy Council Ambassador. I printed your email and keep it on my desk to remind me there are people out there rooting for me.
- To my friend and colleague Melissa Joy Dobbins: Thanks for introducing me to podcasting. Our conversation earlier today was so fun! I’m looking forward to more thoughtful conversations with you in the future. Cheers to farmers and #stand4science!
- And last but not least, to my new boss: Thanks for three-word, one-sentence, no bullshit, year-end performance review. “She kicks ass!” Oh, and thanks for the boots. They’re the best performance bonus I can imagine at this stage of the game! Nashville, here I come!