Martin: Amanda, where are you located and what is it that you do?
Amanda: I am located in Long Island, New York. I won’t even give a specific location, because it’s actually kind of broad considering we’re only two counties. I am a kitchen and bath designer/project manager, interior designer, kind of the Jacqueline of it all.
Martin: Nice, sweet. Well, hey, the question we have today has to do with motivation and who doesn’t need that, right?
Amanda: Right, exactly.
Martin: The question is this: is there anything in your past that has motivated you more than anything else? This person, I don’t even remember who it was that submitted this question, but they said such as living out on the streets for four days or something like that. Is there something in your past that has motivated you more than anything else?
Amanda: Well, I’ve only lived on the streets for three days. I’m kidding.
Martin: Oh, well then we can’t use that one.
Amanda: No, so to give you a little bit of a background, my father is a contractor. He’s specifically a master electrician, but sort of the Jack of all trades. That’s why I always refer to myself as the Jacqueline of all trades. He always made sure that I was never defined by my role, like he only has two daughters and he always made sure that we were next to him, always doing something. If we chose to keep going, then we will like to work with our hands. My sister didn’t really care for it. She tried it, but it wasn’t her thing. That being said, from a young girl, I sort of was a tomboy. I grew up on a block that had nine boys and I was the only girl. There was many, many kids, but obviously all boys. Whatever they did, I did. No one defined me by my gender and I kind of always just had something in mind that I wanted to do and I just did it. There was no borders, there was no ceilings, nothing. My parents never did anything to make me feel like I had to belong in a box as a girl. As I started to get older, I got very infatuated with aviation. I started flying at 16 and it was-
Martin: Literally, right?
Amanda: Yeah, literally.
Amanda: Literally, so when we’re talking about things that motivated me, this was the pinnacle or the epiphany in my life that I had had that sort of made me feel that nothing was a limitation. I started flight school unfortunately three days before September 11th. Me being from Long Island, which is only I was 60 miles from New York City, it was very impactful for our family, for our neighbors and friends. It changed the way I viewed aviation. I started a class with 88 students. I was one of three girls that were in the class. Our instructors were all ex-military and in order to be part of the program, which was basically a vocational school that you went to in addition to your high school, you had to have very strict grades in order to be part of the program. Of those 88 students, by the end of our first year, just due to sheer just weeding out of kids, there was 45 of us left, 42 guys, three girls. Over the summer, you had to get seven hours of flight time, you had to get three certifications, you had to get your private pilot’s exam, your written, with an 80 or better, even though the FAA requires 70 or better. You had to get your fundamentals of instruction certification and your advanced ground instructor certification, all with 80 or better plus seven hours of flight time.
That was just in order to come back for your second year. I was so determined, so my senior year, we all came back to school and there was 20 students. We were 17 guys and three girls. Just making it, making the cut for me was really empowering. The fact that all three of us girls were in the program still was empowering in itself, but on December 10th, 2002 was the day that I actually soloed an aircraft by myself for the first time. Being 16 and flying an aircraft on your own and your life is truly in your hands, you’re still an adolescent, you’re still under your parents’ control, but I have to tell you, that moment was so freeing and so motivating. I’ve never felt peace like I felt peace at that very moment. I haven’t actually felt that again. It sounds crazy. It’s probably what very few get to experience, but the silence of being on my own, I sort of made a decision in the air at that time that nothing was going to be a boundary, nothing was going to stop me.
I love aviation, like you wouldn’t believe, but my passion has always been actually in construction. When I went back to college later, I want to say later in life, but I was 21 when I went back to school, I went back for interior design. I originally went for aviation management with a focus in commercial aviation. I just fell in love with what I did and I am so passionate about it, I think I’m probably mildly obsessed, so I think you kind of have to be to sort master something, but-
Martin: All right, so let’s summarize this.
Martin: You, at a young age, became a pilot. You were able to pilot your own aircraft by yourself and that did something inside where you said nothing is impossible, I don’t have to live inside boundaries and that has brought you to where you’re at now. How has that made a difference in your life now as a business person?
Amanda: Being able to fly and have that independence really made me feel that there was nothing that I couldn’t do, there was no glass ceiling. It drove me to try hard at everything that I did and give everything 110% and every day I go to work and I’m with a client or contractor and we’re talking about a project and we’re with them for minimum a month, sometimes maximum six months to a year, I literally give them everything. I give them my all. I give them 110% and that same drive that I had to prove a point in aviation is the same drive I have every day that I’m at work for what I do. It’s a love/hate relationship I suppose with construction, because when things go wrong, they really go wrong. If you love it enough, you nurture it and I think that that’s sort of the balance between the bridge of aviation and this industry. Not many do it, but the ones who do I think are fully passionate about it.
Martin: Do you see yourself going back into aviation later in life?
Amanda: Maybe a cool job would be to design the interiors of planes …
Martin: Oh my.
Amanda: … or airports or something of that nature.
Martin: How cool is that?
Amanda: Yeah, that would be awesome. I like to do a lot of volunteer work too and I was part of a civil air patrol, which was a really awesome organization and as an adult, I think I would volunteer to go back and do something for them as well, but-
Martin: Right, so we’re almost done here. I want to know what would you tell someone who are in business who’s struggling with motivation right now?
Amanda: You have to ask yourself if it’s something you really want. Is your motivation or lack of motivation driven because you’ve had a few bad projects? You have to look at yourself and you have to say, “Okay, what can I do to change this to make my life better? Am I disorganized? Am I not following up because I’m shuffling too many things? Do I need to be more picky with my clients?” Maybe not take everything that walks in the door, maybe you need to actually vet your clients more to make sure they’re lined up with your morals. Maybe you need to start realizing that there needs to be a work, life balance. I think often that’s what kind of kills a lot of people and if you can reflect on those things and figure out if anything stems from there, then I think you can easily fix it. If you’re not motivated and it’s not any of those things, then maybe this industry is just not what your passion’s in. Maybe it’s something more specific.
Martin: Wow, good stuff. I think we’re going to end it right there. Amanda, where can people learn more about you and follow your journey online?
Amanda: Well, you can follow me on Instagram at giulianodesigns and I’m also on Facebook at Giuliano Designs.
Martin: All right, awesome. Check her out, go say hi, and if you’re lacking in motivation, maybe listen to this again a couple times and with that, Amanda, thank you for coming on today. Really appreciate it.
Amanda: Thank you, Martin. I really appreciate it as well.
Martin: Amanda, where are you located and what is it that you do?