Having experienced financial challenges, divorce, co-parenting, illness and grief, amongst other struggles, mum-of-three Heidi Underwood now wants to teach others everything she knows – everything she had to learn the hard way. She dedicates her life to helping as many women as possible to reach the dreams they once had, but perhaps feel they can no longer achieve. She will help you regain control and make healthy choices for yourself and your family, teaching you how to set boundaries, stop settling for what you believe you deserve, and support you to regain your freedom and be unapologetically YOU! Here she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the passion behind AKITU, her biggest breakthrough, and the pros and cons of running her own business.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Throughout my life, I have encountered multiple situations where I’ve witnessed the devastating outcomes that can happen when people struggle to manage stress. Substance abuse, relationship breakdowns, unsafe environments for children, emotional abuse – I’ve even witnessed it lead to homelessness and death. There are resources out there to assist people who are struggling in these areas, but I wanted to provide natural remedies to address stress and overwhelm early on and focus on early prevention to avoid these awful outcomes.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I wanted to help others – that was always my driving force. I just wasn’t sure the best way to do that. So, as an adult, I decided to close down my business and go back to study. I went through a degree and a Master’s degree all whilst raising my family, and realised how important stress management was in life. Once I started my private practice, I quickly realised that in order to help as many people as possible, I had to figure out a way to reach MORE people than just one at a time in my office. This is where my idea of books and online programs was born.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
My biggest breakthrough was the realisation that I had the ability to reach thousands of people just by adjusting how I delivered that content. I realised that by getting in early and using preventive tactics, we could potentially avoid a lot of the larger mental health issues that can come on further down the road, allowing people to break cycles and change trajectories for their families later on.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
I don’t! Haha. I have found that having a work/life BLEND rather than a balance has helped me a lot. As an example, if I am working on content on my home computer and the kids are home, they will sit next to me at the desk and work on some art or colouring, etc., for an hour or so. After that we will all go have a snack and some outdoor time for a few minutes, then I might allow them the iPad for an hour while I do some more work. Then after that hour, I’ll come out and do some meal prep for dinner, which they will help with. Then we eat lunch together, etc. Each day is different but I’m very conscious of allowing things to flow and try not to overcommit myself with work – I also always schedule in “untime” in my calendar to allow for any spill over from tasks not completed.