Amy Jo is presenting The Burned-Out Sexuality Professional. Check out Amy Jo's bio here. How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change? I thrive on thinking outside of the box and challenging others to do so. I have been actively seeking and creating new models for working successfully in the sexuality field, with paychecks that match the gratification of doing the work. I have totally transformed my life and business through my pursuit of business knowledge, changing my business structure and my mindset around money. I launched SPECTRA because I am now committed to helping other professionals do the same for their sexuality work so that more of us can thrive and be in the abundance that is energetically aligned with sexuality, which is truly about expansion and evolution. I still hear people talk from a place of “there’s not enough” or from a place of competition and I know it doesn’t serve us and that it’s just false. I am here as an example of how there is enough, and sharing the knowledge of “how” is what will make our field stronger and more visible in the world, which means we truly get to serve in the way we desire to. Who or what was a catalyst for you? I’m so blessed to have so many amazing mentors—not just in the sexuality field but in all areas of my life. Watching many of my mentors, most of whom are women, struggle with money and not meeting their financial needs has been a huge catalyst for me. I knew there was something we were missing. I knew I could figure out what that was and that there is some piece of wisdom that I was not getting from my mentors, as much as I learned from each of them in many other ways. I actively sought out new mentors who I knew could help me get to the other side of the lack mentality that I had been steeped in so I could make the money I want to make AND do the valuable sexuality work I want to do. And now I am a mentor to others so they can have both. What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now? I think far too many people come to the sexuality field embracing the idea that they are doing the work out of their passion and goodwill, and that they don’t need to be paid for it, or that they “shouldn’t” because their devotion to the cause should be enough. I really want to challenge that. Our work is valuable, and we need to believe and understand that value in order to effect real change. When we value our work and ourselves as professionals, we raise the bar for the entire field in terms of the professionalism, public visibility and financial solvency we’re able to work with. This is an amazing time for us: our field is growing and we have an opportunity to create and develop it in the way that will sustain us and our businesses so that we can truly serve the world with our gifts, because the world sure needs them. I also think we are far too steeped in our own shame and that we need to begin to look at how we shame each other for asking questions, for raising issues, or for not doing things they way we think it should be done. I have watched many educators, advocates and activists use shame as a way to point out how wrong a colleague is or how problematic someone’s approach/language/point-of-view is. If we do not address the way we shame each other, then we simply reproduce the same shame that we are ostensibly here to help people with. Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, The Burned-Out Sexuality Professional, to CatalystCon East? We must address burnout and how to take better care of ourselves. We will not survive if we keep running ourselves down to the bone and not getting the return on what we give. Sexuality professionals are notorious for not taking care of ourselves and for a high level of burnout because we give give give, and don’t allow ourselves to receive what we need for our work. The irony (and incongruency) is that we teach people about giving and receiving! In my session, I’m not only going to address the personal care aspect of taking care of ourselves; I will also discuss how we need to structure and do business in order to sustain our work and provide quality services and products to our clients, students, customers and constituents. Whether you own your own business, do it on the side, work at a non-profit or in some other capacity, this workshop will address the key components required to thrive in this field for the long term. I’ve worked in it for nearly 20 years and I’ve seen many of the pitfalls and I know a thing or two about what it takes to do our work well. Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself. I am a novice surfer and I can stay in the ocean all day long and be the happiest girl on earth. I see surfing as such a metaphor for life: risk-taking, the power of thinking you can do it, and enjoying the ride. I’m currently relocating back to California to hopefully live the surf lifestyle I never got to! That’s self-care! Learn more about all our amazing speakers here. Register for CatalystCon East here.