EO Member: Andy Hite
Company: Andy Hite Coaching
Years in Business: 3 years
How long have you been a member of EO Chicago?
I have been a Strategic Alliance Partner for one year.
What was your first job?
My first job was working for my father who owned a residential painting company. He had me rolling with one of his painting crews at the age of twelve.
Can you describe your entrepreneurial journey? Where did you start and where do you hope to go in the future?
While I’ve worked for employers at various times, I’ve almost always had a business to run. I started mowing lawns at 12 – when I wasn’t working for my father – which I did for several summers. When I moved to Chicago in the late 90s, I was pursuing my acting career, where I worked as a professional union actor for about five years. The thing about being an actor is you often don’t go to “work” until about 6:30 in the evening, so for many years I owned and operated a painting company during the day.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
My first client, after we finished our agreement, said, “I just want you to know that meeting you and working with you changed my life.” I’ll never forget that day. I have the great privilege of supporting my clients as they create the lives and businesses they envision for themselves. That is the most meaningful work I could imagine for myself.
What daily challenges do you face at work?
I am my own daily challenge! I suffer from imposter syndrome, like many entrepreneurs. And I tend to chase the shiny object. My coach really helps to keep me focused.
What is the best career advice you ever received?
Hands down the best advice I’ve gotten is “Slow down in order to speed up.”
What are your goals for the future of your business?
We are in growth mode. I’m bringing on other coaches and branching out into new verticals. We’re doing more work with organizations and leadership teams, allowing us to impact those businesses more. We intend to impact one million lives over the next ten years.
What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
As I mentioned, we’re working more with leadership teams and bringing more significant levels of leadership to companies outside the executive suite. Some companies are looking to make coaching more broadly available. It’s an exciting challenge building out programs and infrastructure that can provide personal and professional growth to companies of 5 to 100 people.
Who or what inspires you?
People who believe in their own untapped potential. Walt Disney said, “First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And finally, dare!” People who are courageous enough to dream, believe in their ability to create that dream and are bold enough to go for it inspire me.
If you could go back in time five years and share advice with your past self, what advice would you share?
Relax!!! You’re making it harder than it needs to be.
What is the greatest challenge you have overcome?
In middle school, I was bullied quite a lot because I looked different than everyone else. It created a kid with low self-esteem that liked to hide in plain sight. I didn’t believe in myself or my innate value for the longest time. In retrospect, it was my greatest obstacle, and it was also my greatest opportunity and gift.
What brought you to Chicago?
Chicago was merely meant to be a pit stop along the way to NYC, where I was going to be a big ‘ole Broadway star. However, once I began working in the theatre community here and establishing some roots, I fell in love with the city and never left.
How do you find work-life balance?
I don’t much believe in work-life balance, and I think it’s where many people get tripped up. Balance implies an equal measure, and as an entrepreneur, that’s often not possible. I think of it more like a dance between the two. Occasionally work will lead, and then life. The trick is to have strong enough boundaries to choose which one has my attention so that I can be present with it.
When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
I grew up singing and acting. I wanted to be a Broadway star!
What are your favorite things to do outside of work?
I love to travel. I love DIY and remodeling things. Most of all, I love being a child – I’ll never grow up – and hanging with my teenage daughters and my wife.
What’s one thing still left on your bucket list?
To go on an Ayahuasca retreat, which will happen later this year or early next year.
What are you currently reading?
Dopamine Nation by Dr. Anna Lembke and The Last Word on Power by Traci Goss.
If you could recommend one podcast, what would it be?
I like School of Greatness with Lewis Howes. He covers a lot of different topics that cover self-development and business.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Chicago?
True Food Kitchen. There are numerous locations across the country but I just love it. Good clean food.
What is your favorite part about working in the Chicagoland area?
The city itself! It’s alive and beautiful.
What is your top Chicago activity?
Probably Second City or any comedy show. My wife and I prioritize laughter in our lives. We’ve been going for our anniversary for the last 15 years.
Where’s your favorite place in the world to visit?
Costa Rica—hands down. It’s beautiful. The food is great and the people are incredible. Highly recommend it.
Thank you to Andy for sharing his story for our June SAP spotlight. The Entrepreneurs’ Organization is a global business network of more than 14,000 entrepreneurs in 198 chapters and 61 countries. EO is the catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life.
If you’re interested in becoming an EO Chicago member, check our membership requirements and submit an application to join today.