Best selling author & Contemporary spiritual teacher
Allison Sutter, M.Ed., is a best selling author and contemporary spiritual teacher. She is highly acclaimed for her ability to seamlessly blend spirituality and practical self-help information making it relevant to daily life. Allison’s digital courses serve students in over one hundred and six countries. Her most recent book, Accelerate Your Mojo: 7 Simple Steps to Ignite Intuition, Shake off Fear, and Unleash the Real You, is published by Motivational Press.
I’m able to take challenging spiritual concepts and explain them in a way that is logical. So much of spirituality is esoteric and be hard to apply to daily life. Its can seem far removed from every day life. I take “woo-woo” topics and help clients makes sense of them in everyday life, such as “Why does this [insert bad this here] keep happening to me?!” and “How do I change it from the inside out?”
Coming to terms with the fact that I know very little about life and all that goes with it makes me a better version of myself. I spend most of my days trying to make sense of things I don’t understand when it comes to human nature and consciousness. Eventually I figure it out.
Also, looking for the best in situations and people makes me a better version of myself. When I was young, between the ages of 13-23, I was deeply insecure. I didn’t look for the best in people, not even myself. I was skeptical and judgmental and saw life as a glass half empty. It took a great deal of time and energy to shift that perspective but I did. And boy, was it worth it.
In order to continue to be a better version of myself daily, I must look for goodness in others. By virtue of being a certain way (glass half full mindset), I intentionally change my whole reality. I know I must be something in order to see something in life.
My aspirations are really quite simple. I want to continue to grow as a spiritual being having a physical experience. I aspire to know more than I did yesterday, about myself, my thoughts, beliefs and what I’m capable of, so that I can share my experiences with others. I strive to always have enough money for good food, comfortable shelter and travel. I would love to write more books, children’s picture books and adults self-help, and it would be icing on the cake if books helped someone else in some positive way.
I’ve come to understand that having bigger aspirations, especially ones that sound really good on paper or that impress your friends, are not necessarily better for you. What you aspire to depends on you and what will make you happy in this life. It depends on your ability to let go of fear and your willingness to allow in the good that you’ve ask for in life. Aspirations will be different for everyone and its unfair of us to judge someone based on what we think it is worthy or unworthy goal.
My biggest successes are on-going. There are moments when I’m aware of a shift in my belief has translated to an outcome or experience in my life. Life is a series of beliefs manifest and when something good happens in my life, I know I’m making progress in shifting negative or limiting beliefs to something better.
It’s difficult to pick one most challenging moment because each chapter of my life has many of them. For me, the most challenging moments are when I’m asked to step away from fear (I asked myself to do this in my head) and stop legitimizing it. It’s also hard to stop comparing with others and judging the ways in which I think I’ve failed somehow. There’s always something to think about in regards to money, success, body, or age.
“It’s going to be okay,” is my motto. Every time I feel frustrated, worried, upset, or anxious I stop trying to fix the thing I think has gone wrong in that moment and I just breathe. I tell myself it’s going to be okay even though I can’t see how. I’ve trained myself, over time, to believe it. This motto has gotten my through both small and large frustrations. Mottos are only as effective as our belief in them.
My favorite people are those who I know, personally, such as my husband and kids. I tend not to idealize those whom I don’t know, even if they’re well known locally or worldwide.
One of my most favorite places is Maui, Hawaii. We visit Maui every two years and it’s just heavenly. Other favorite places Paris, France, and Charlevoix, Mi.
My gym shoes and fuzzy sweatshirts. There’s nothing better than a good work out to help you feel strong and a comfortable sweatshirt for the nap afterwards.
Writing is my current passion, both children’s picture books and adult self-help. I love creating stories that touch the reader in some way and make their day just a little bit better.
How did you get into the personal development industry?
As with all great change in one’s life, it started with a sense of discomfort that only seemed to get bigger. I couldn’t it avoid any longer.
I’d left teaching early in my career to raise my kids. Eight years into that choice, I realized I needed more from my life. I wasn’t unhappy staying home, not in the least bit. I loved being a mom. But I realized that I needed, and wanted, to do more with my life. I needed to teach, but what?
Going back to teaching standardized education wasn’t a choice; the system is clearly broken. Instead, I started exploring personal development— what it was and what the leaders at the time were teaching. While the advice I encountered was sound and logical (set goals, write mission statements, be positive, get up earlier, take action), something critical was missing. What I was being told to do to solve all my problems, including my deep sense of dissatisfaction and financial struggles, felt dry and impersonal. Not to mention it didn’t work to create the changes I was seeking. I started to question how a ‘one size fits all’ approach to personal development could truly work? Turns out, it doesn’t. Solutions to life’s challenges are actually quite personal and require maximum flexible.
So, being dissatisfied with that I saw being offered in personal development—standardized solutions to personal problems, I created a totally new and unique approach to personal development work. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it doesn’t rely on the teacher (guru, leader, coach) to be the one with all the answers, and gives the power back to the student to question, answer, understand and implement their next best step in any situation. It’s an approach that truly empowers and enlightens. It reduces anxiety, fear, and discomfort while guiding the individual to the most logical and practical next best step in their life. Its a solution that is effective and applicable even when circumstances in your life keep changing. It doesn’t create the answers to problems, instead, it gives the individual the means to determine the best solutions for them, depending on the factors in each unique situation.
Using a culinary comparison, the accelerate your mojo approach don’t help you simply identify a few new foods, it teaches you the basics of culinary excellence so you can prepare any dish with any ingredients at any time—for yourself.
To create this new approach to personal development instruction, I did some soul searching, researching, and investigation. Using my background in traditional education, mixed with my spiritual understanding and practical approach to challenges, I created a totally new methodology for personal development work.
And that’s how I ended up in this industry. I saw a problem; I developed a solution.
Any emerging industry trends?
As I look into my crystal ball …. I see great changes coming.
I see advancements in not only our understanding of human consciousness, but a rising level of the collective consciousness itself. Why does this matter? Because when people become more self-aware, more centered and connected to who they really are, they have more control and ideas about to improve their overall health and happiness. They have a greater capacity to harness the power of imagination, innovation and motivation, solving many of the problems we face not just as individuals but as a human race such as climate change, pollution, and disease progression.
Most difficult moment in business?
The most difficult moment in business was starting a business. The beginning is so difficult. As any new entrepreneur knows, defining who you are as a coach/teacher and what transformations you offer your clients is the most difficult part of any business plan. Defining your target client/target market is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of any business and if you don’t to it, if you assume your product or service is ‘for everyone’ you’re setting yourself up for failure. No product or service is for everyone. Unless you create a niche for yourself, you’re going to struggle to sell your goods/services.
It can be a bit scary for someone starting a new business to narrow down their target market. It can feel like you’re leaving money on the table by excluding certain demographics. But alas, as any lucrative niche business owner will tell you, they’re doing just fine because their customers can identify themselves immediately from their marketing and promotional materials. Instead of scrolling on by, they click because they see themselves needing what is being offered in the ad.
Ideal experience for client?
Accelerate Your Mojo is for you is you want to better understand your negative (and positive) emotions such as fear, worry and anxiety and know how to turn them around every time they show up. Sometimes, depending on the subject, worry and doubt can show up all day every day. Knowing what these emotions mean and what to do with them is priceless. It can mean the difference between unmanageable and manageable stress levels. It can be the difference between a life well lived and a life held hostage by negative emotions.
How do you motivate others?
I don’t motivate others, not really. People typically contact me because they’re sick of fear and doubt running their lives. They come to me ready to change, ready to do the necessary work. They start a conversion with me open minded about trying a new approach.
Pain, especially emotional, is a terrific motivator in and of itself. I don’t usually have to do much motivating to get my clients to do the work they need to do to feel better more consistently. That’s the great thing about working in personal development. It’s personal. It really has very little to do with me. I’m simply a guide and a teacher. I show students a path to feeling better and we walk that path together. I point out ideas along the way, make suggestions about ways to move forward, but they typically don’t require motivation from me to make changes.
Career advice to those in my industry?
This will sound harsh, but it doesn’t mean to be. It also doesn’t apply to everyone; I’m generalizing when I say ….. Personal development coaches, life coaches and self-help gurus can stop telling their clients what to do and when to do it. That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be some type of system in place that the coach has set up. There should be. You need to have a structure of some sort set up or there’s confusion on the part of the client. Where things go wrong is when the coach doesn’t understand or trust that everyone has an inner guidance system that is their best source of advice as to what to do, what action steps to take, next. Where I see a need for change in the idea that is a person doesn’t follow the advice of the coach that they won’t ever be successful. That’s simply not true.
Having steps, or a system, in place is critical for student success. However, this system might not be ideal for every client you enroll.
With Accelerate Your Mojo, I understood that for a system to work, and be viable for the masses, it has to be easily personalized. For example, if setting goals doesn’t work for a client but all you have in your box of trick is goal setting, can the system be changed to accommodate this clients unique needs?
AYM students learn to understand their inner world and it’s connection to their outcomes and experiences. I’m happy to say that after a short period of time working together, students typically no longer need me. That’s a good thing! It should always be the intended outcome of coaching to empower the clients to be functioning independently, regarding the topic of study they chose.
Goal of the Day: I don’t set goals anymore. Instead, I create projects, explore ideas, and take inspired action.
Thought of the Day:
Okay. Now you say, “Control freak who?”
Action of the Day: Whatever feels the best regarding any of the multiple project I’m working on.
Deed of the Day: Make my kids a yummy breakfast and lunch.
Tip of the Day: Don’t yell at your kids. Lean in close and whisper; it’s much scarier.
What I love most about living in Chicago is being near the water. Its also got a lot of great night life and cultural institutions.
My favorite breakfast is waffles with chocolate chips and strawberries.
What am I doing at:
6:00 AM—Hitting the snooze bar until 6:15 am
10:00 AM—Eating my midmorning snack while I think about the projects I’m creating.
12:00 PM—I eat leftovers for lunch since I don’t eat eggs, dairy or gluten. [Yah, I’m one of those people.]
7:00 PM—Fixing dinner for my family. Much of my life revolves around food.
11:00 PM Sleeping. My body shuts down around 10 PM. I just have to go to sleep.
I need a good strong cup of Irish tea in the morning and about 15-20 minutes of Stephen Colbert video clips to start my day. Usually a glass of wine, a book and/or some Netflix rounds out the end of my day.
I’m not really enjoying social media right now. It’s kind of making me sad because I realize what a waste of time it is.
Everyone should try rock climbing at least once. It’s pretty intense. You’re all brave and shouting advice to your friends from the bottom and then the minute you climb up a few feet you realize how scary it really is. It takes intense focus to remind yourself that you’re safe even though it doesn’t feel like it. Kind of like life, yes?
I enjoy getting lost in a good book and great music. It’s fun when I can do both simultaneously.