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How my journey from stuck to soaring is going to help you go from expert to thought leader…

…and all because I’m the Phoenix flying solo and soaring high!

Long post warning: this is a life confessional so bear with and come with me on my journey as I dust myself off and rise up from the ashes and end up with something that has been inspired from my darkest of hours…

For someone who trains and encourages entrepreneurs how to be super visible, some of you may be wondering why I went slightly off radar over the past 9 months. No, I wasn’t carrying a baby…but I am doing something else rather life changing and super challenging and, as the statistics say something that 42% of the married population does: getting divorced! (Thank you, Emma Heptonstall, for that stat!)

So as they say, stuff happens and life gets in the way…which is why I haven’t been as prolific with my Facebook Lives -yes, I always recommend my clients do videos and lives to help raise their profiles and engagement ;-) but sometimes you just can’t put on that happy face for the camera for the hundredth time when you’re not feeling it.

I like to be authentic (I know some people HATE that word!) and mean it, so I felt it was best to keep a lowish profile and focus on my family and securing press successes for my lovely clients.

It is so incredible how mysteriously everything works (I would say Universe but I am a newbie to all that but am loving it TBH!) and how over the years I have attracted clients who have met me just where I’m at.

For example, take the lovely John Kenny, he’s a transformational relationship coach. He was introduced to me by Janet Murray as he wanted help to promote his new book. When I did a VIP Day with him it became clearer and clearer that his incredible insights and knowledge would be life-changing for me too.

Or take Janet Taras, we worked together as she was launching the motivational rap side of her speaking business and she wanted publicity to share her killer raps with the business world. When we met up in London, she gave me a powerful pep talk and showed me her method of ‘get it all off your chest’ rapping. Brilliant!

Or Jenni Hallam – now Jenni is a female empowerment expert – she managed to secure a double page spread in The Mirror as she used the power of her mind to get up and walk again after an operation which had left her unable to walk. She was my first intro to NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and she kept me grounded and strong.

Or Lenka Lutonska – Lenka joined my PR Mastermind as she wanted help promoting her new book (she’s just snagged a 3-part series for Forbes doncha know?!) and it turns out she is a Master NLP Trainer, so guess who has just graduated from her NLP and TimeLine™ Therapy course…? Yes MOI!

I could write a huge long list to personally thank everyone who has encouraged, supported and loved me during this difficult period, but you all know who you are. Go on then, here are a few names: Helen, Ruth, Jessica, Noor, Helen, Nicki, Josephine, Janet, Lenka, John, Jenni, Lynette, Tatiana, Celia, Peter, Cara, Sara, Match, Katrina, Janine, Jo, Helen, Nina, all my NLP course sisters, Claire, Andy, Julie, Veronica, Adele, Josie, Sue, Chas, Suzy, Sean, Felix, Nina, Fiona, Lisa, Cathie, Michelle, Hannah, Thomasin, Janette, Sarah, Kevin, Trish, Suzi, Kati, Terry, Linda, Sam, Lizzy, Robbie, Debbie, Cassie, Lisa, Leeza, Tamsen, Pauline, Rebecca, Kathy, Claudia, Emma, Lorna, Dee, Fran, my mastermind sisters, Ru Paul, my two dogs Perry and Elbow…now I’m terrified of leaving someone off…so if you’re not there, you really ARE!

Now let me tell you this. In the few times that I may have ‘over-shared’ on Facebook… remember when I celebrated being able to drive on the motorway again after having had a panic attack on the M25 a few months earlier. This meant travelling back to see my family in the Midlands (motorway route: 3.5 hours) via the Google Maps ‘avoid motorways’ route which took around 6 hours – my poor kids and dogs in the hot car with me sweating at the wheel! All of your likes and comments really helped me as I realised that I wasn’t alone with this motorway phobia - some people even gave me their strategies and tips for coping. So thank you lovely community, you are amazingly supportive.

I call this the ABCDE of the past 9 months (it’s not over quite yet but the finish post is in sight):

A) Additional Needs Mum and making lots of new friends on this journey

B) Business as Usual – keeping the business running and helping clients get masses of press coverage despite it all!

C) Cancer: my sister Fiona had a mastectomy a few weeks ago. We work together and she is such a rock to me

D) The Big D…well, I’ve talked about that!

E). Empowered and excited with a new lease of life!

Mind you, looking at my list: ‘B) Biz as usual’, business has been good with some incredible new clients who have all been super relevant to my current situation – hello Lisa Wolfe! And as you’re sitting here reading this, you’ll be asking what next?

Well, a phoenix is rising from the ashes because even in this maelstrom, I have created my BEST programme EVER! Yes it’s true. Enter the new PR Mastermind: Expert to Thought-leader.

I may have been under a (Sharon) stone visibility-wise but I have been networking with some amazing journalists, namely two who write for Forbes (one of whom is now on my stellar team of PRs and journos!), helping out the producer of the Jeremy Vine Show and generally expanding my Little Black Book of contacts.

More often than not, I have clients coming to me as they want to be something more than an expert, they want to position themselves as a thought-leader in their industry, so with this in mind I created my bells and whistles mastermind that will help to skyrocket your confidence and visibility using my excellent contacts, NLP training and talents from colleagues.

I am making this an intimate group where you can really step into your power and own your place in the mass media. I only have space for 8 awesome people who are ready to be seen by millions. Is that you?

So even when the chips are down, one can come up with mastery. So please take heart from this if you’re in a bit of a sticky situation right now. You can grow from where you are, and you don’t need to sink down deep into the black hole that is luring you in…you never know what you can turn around even in your darkest hour.

Now, back to what you’ve probably been asking yourself whilst you’ve been reading my life story…why FitzGerald?

I’m going from Ruiz to my Irish great-grandfather’s surname FitzGerald, which has become a family heirloom as it gets passed to every newborn in our family. I’ve got to get used to saying “Hello it’s Amanda FitzGerald, The Ultimate Door Opener” and if I revert to my married name when doing a live or recording, I am sure I will be forgiven as I have had it since 2004!

So please change your address books and phones to my new name and welcome in Amanda FitzGerald, YOUR Ultimate Door Opener as a new chapter is just starting!

To celebrate my new name and brand, next Thursday (June 27th)  I am hosting a very special insider's PR Masterclass on how to get into the No 1 wish list publication, Forbes and I'd love you to join me if you're looking for a new chapter in your business life where you can. Sign up by clicking on the pink button below and see you there! xxx