This week we’re featuring local Westchester mom Laura Amigone, a College Success Coach and the owner of Rudder Coaching. Laura is a mom of 5 (yes 5!) children and she runs her own full-time college coaching practice. My favorite part about connecting with all of our amazing local moms is of course learning about their businesses but mostly I love hearing their drive and passion behind what they do. Laura is so energized talking about her work and it’s incredibly inspiring. After talking with her I felt motivated and excited to get organized and start creating better habits around my work. Read our interview with Laura below to learn more about her family, what she loves about our little pocket of Westchester and how she got to where she is now. She also gives some great resources for parenting college-age children, and she share some sage parenting advice that I think we all need to hear over and over and over again.
Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
I’m originally from Bethesda, Maryland, and now a proud New Rochelle resident.
How did you decide to settle in the Sound Shore?
We moved here from the city when my husband got a job in Greenwich, and I was still going to be commuting into Grand Central, so the Larchmont/New Rochelle area was a great fit.
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
We have five kids, Cole (11), Luke (9), Timmy (7), Lillian (5.5), and Sloane (4).
What do you love about living in the Sound Shore?
So much! We love being near the water, close to NYC of course, and then so many beautiful parks, skiing nearby, some family nearby in New Jersey, and great neighbors and communities.
What are your go-to restaurants and shops in the Sound Shore?
Go-to restaurants would be Dubrovnik, Croatian restaurant, in New Rochelle for the amazing fresh fish – I’ve never had a meal there that hasn’t been amazing. And then next would be Alvin & Friends for Afro-Carribean Soul food, so good, and fun music on Saturday nights. We had a private party there and everyone loved the food and the vibes.
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family?
I love when we all get into the car and go find a new hike. One of the many silver linings for us during Covid was how many new hikes we did together as a family, some close by that we now can fit in as some activities have picked back up – the Twin Lakes trail around the reservoir along the hutch is great place for the kids to explore and feel like we are really away.
How do you spend “me time”?
Saturday mornings I try to get out early for a long bike ride, or a run while listening to a podcast.
How did you get into your field?
Like many people mid-career, various twists and turns have brought me to my current endeavor. I started teaching high school after I graduated from college. I fell in love with education, but teaching literature wasn’t the right fit. I became passionate about college access and then moved into five years of college admissions as I earned a Masters in Counseling. For the last ten years I have worked as a guidance and college counselor at Xavier High School in NYC. I started researching college retention and persistence, and had an ah-ha moment when I realized the self-coaching work I was doing for myself, would benefit young adults in college. I then decided to get a Life Coach Certification, and finally to leave my job, and go all in on coaching college students as a College Success Coach.
What age group is Rudder Coaching most beneficial for? Do you have a key audience?
Yes! College students in any year, or just recently graduated from college. I teach young adults how to make small changes to get different results in their lives. My college clients tend to be students who are managing college, but not thriving, who feel like they are not making the most of their college experience. Through 1-on-1 coaching we work on their time management, decision making, career planning, and confidence building.
I wish I had this coaching in college!
What’s your favorite part of owning your own business?
The possibilities are endless. I’m so excited to not feel constrained with what I can earn and what value I can create in the world.
Are there any books or podcasts you recommend for parents or students about transitioning to college?
Oh definitely! The Stressed Years of Our Lives; Helping Your Kid Survive and Thrive During Their College Years by Janet Hibbs and Anthony Rostain is a must read for any parent approaching the transition into college for their child.
Parenting with Perspective with Ben Pugh is a great podcast for parenting a teen in general.
The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo is the life coach that helped me change my life and ultimately showed me that coaching was the perfect career for me.
Has COVID-19 impacted your business?
Covid helped me finally decide to go all in on my business since I could work from home and no longer commute into the city. I’m eager to get out there and help college students who are acutely feeling the impact of Covid, along with families who are paying tuition for a vastly different experience. I know the tools I teach college students will empower them to have the experience they want no matter the circumstances.
How do you juggle motherhood, parenting and your professional life? Any tips for keeping it all together?
I realized early on that for me to build a business, I needed to bring my role as a wife and mother along with me as an entrepreneur, not to think that my parenting and household responsibilities were going to be constraints. They were going to be assets. How? I tell my kids and husband about my successes and challenges, bring them along for the ride! I manage my mind and emotions around my business so that I can be present during kid-time. I don’t do it perfectly, but I try to remind myself that I’m choosing to do the things I do each day because I want to, not because I have to.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
Love the journey. I’m in no rush. “There” is not better than “here”. It just looks different. This mindset calms me down and actually helps me show up as a better mom, wife, and entrepreneur.
To learn more about Laura and Rudder Coaching check out her website and give her a follow on IG @manorandwoods on IG.