I had heard a lot about Amy before we actually met in person. While I was living in CT for two years helping my sister launch The Perpetual You, she came to town and started knowing all the people I knew. I kept hearing how there was this new “Improv Lady” in town and what cool things she was doing. Normally, these kinds of resounding recommendations would make me seek someone out, there was one thing that kept me from pursuing my normal path with Amy.
I don’t like improv. I am someone who has always loved a very clear resolution (my daughter would even say a predictable and cheesy resolution) in my theater and other entertainment. I don’t care if I’ve heard the story 1,000 times as long as the performance follows a story arc. So I was afraid. I was convinced that I could never really appreciate someone whose entire art form is one that I don’t understand or enjoy.
Boy was I wrong! Not only has knowing Amy brought me so much personal joy and clarity and adventure, the work that she is passionate about has changed the way I look at so many things. Applying the philosophy of yes and to my life has helped me (1) enjoy things that are nothing like what I thought they were going to be, (2) accept where I am and where I’m going at the same time, and (3) open myself up to people, experiences, and places that were not part of my bucket list.
Her passion for Improv and the life-changing effects is contagious and powerful. She has the ability to bring a sense of fun and adventure into everything she does - and that is 2,000% clear in how she runs her business. She’s also a genius travel-hacker, so if more (cheap) travel is on your own bucket-list, you should definitely follow her for tips and tricks!
We are fortunate to live in an age where there are an infinite number of tools at our disposal to help us become the best versions of ourselves. I’ve also learned from Amy that if you have a gut reaction (to someone or something), it’s a great chance to stop and examine if you are avoiding something that truly doesn’t resonate with you or something that has the power to change your life. (Come on, how many times do we claim something doesn’t work for us when the reality is that we are afraid of making those types of changes?)
I hope that you’ll enjoy learning more about Amy and how she uses her values in running her business, spreading the message of improv, and living the we before me ideals.
My takeaway: All strong responses (positive + negative) are a chance to dig in and determine if you are reacting from a place of intuition or one of fear.
Website: The Adventure Project Instagram: @theadventurepro
Tell us about your business. What do you do? Who do you serve? How long have you been at it?
The Adventure Project launched in Denver in 2013 and changed dramatically when it moved to St. Augustine in 2015.
The Adventure Project facilitates playful adventures where individuals and organizations can discover and connect through team building, improv training and custom playshops in a safe, supportive environment filled with laughter - and fun!
Why did you start your business?
After years as an improv hobbyist, I realized that an improv mindset can help people do and be so much more outside of a stage environment.
I started with a workshop helping people create authentic online dating profiles, a workshop that showcased the art of improv in real life environments, and a blog with tips on meaningful travel.
Now, The Adventure Project offers a five-level improv training center, playshops at home and abroad, as well as team-building training for organizations.
What does "social good business" or "values based earning" mean to you?
To me it's about having a mission that reflects a better world. Business is no longer just about doing business - it's how we have have a positive effect on our communities.
What is your favorite part about running a social good business or your favorite experience since you started?
To hear that people I've touched are having better interpersonal connections, more success at work, and are more ready to say "yes" to adventure is really important to me.
I consider improv a "gateway drug" as a tongue in cheek way of saying that once people can embrace an improv mindset - I can instead of I can't, we before me, creating collaboratively - they are more likely to dig into the next thing, whether it be personal or professional.
We're all improvisers, as life is unscripted. However, only a small subset of us have been trained to make the most of the experience so we can be better versions of ourselves.
What is your biggest struggle in running a social good business?
Remembering that it's a business.
I want to reach as many people as possible, so sometimes I take on work that doesn't offer compensation in alignment with the value of the offering. It's important to establish boundaries, so we can serve others and feel good about it.
What would you like most to accomplish in the next year? 5 years?
Every year I touch more and more people and organizations -- that's what I want to continue doing.
In St. Augustine, I'm known as "The Improv Lady" as I've touched people from 9 to 92 since moving here three years ago and the work keeps spreading.
In time, improv will no longer be an emerging community in St. Augustine, and, "yes, and ...” - the cornerstone of improv - will be in everyday conversations around town.
Who are your business icons, heroines or mentors?
What's your #1 tip for someone just getting started running a values-based business?
Don't wait for everything to be perfect before launching, as an imperfect values-based business is better than no values-based business at all.