Amy Schmidt is the host of Fearlessly Facing Fifty, a podcast for women in midlife and beyond filled with inspiration, advice, and resources for navigating their fifties and beyond. One of her mottos is, “it’s never too late and you’re never too old” to follow your dreams, begin your dream project, or make any other major life changes.
Amy doesn’t just talk the talk – the process of creating this podcast was her own inspirational journey from challenge to triumph in midlife. She realized that many of her friends around the same age had similar worries, problems, or insecurities that she could address on a larger scale. Once she got in front of the mic and started bringing on guests, the feedback was phenomenal and she was able to create a trusting, safe, inspiring community of women.
Read more from Amy Schmidt below and listen to Fearlessly Facing Fifty™ here (leave a review, too!):
Tell us what your podcast is about in 3 sentences or less!
Encouraging women at midlife and beyond to take on the challenges of this life phase. Each week we open the dialogue on top of mind topics for midlife women, through sharing stories of incredible women, providing insight and knowledge from experts and inspiring women to take action and not let this phase of life allow them to lose their identity.
What’s a quote or piece of advice that you try to live by?
“I haven’t peaked yet, I’m just getting started.”
Connection and leadership
One thing on your bucket list:
To be on Hoda and Jenna as a guest talking about midlife women and how to uncover their confidence that may be hidden. I want women to cannonball with confidence off the high dive and not give a ‘hoot’ who’s watching, or that it may be uncomfortable. It’s their time and I want them to make their splash with confidence.
“Confident” by Demi Lovato
Last Text Message You Sent:
Life is good! All good news.
What was your first job?
Lifeguard and swim instructor
Any unusual hobbies?
Not really, but photography is a hobby of mine.
Biggest Pet Peeve
When people don’t follow through.
What inspired you to start your podcast?
Everyone has an extraordinary story, right? I started in journalism and was ready to set the world on fire at 22. I have moved 11 times, lived abroad with my family for 6 years, have raised 3 kids, been married 27 years, and took on the role of ‘traveling spouse’. A decision that I made and have no regrets about.
I did all the mom things…PTA and Booster Club President, JR. League fundraising chair, sat on community boards and always kept writing. After losing my parents and while living abroad, I realized that all of the conversations I was having with friends revolved around the uncertainties and challenges of midlife as women. Career, family, relationships, health, grief, everything we go through as women – we share a common thread.
Six months before my 50th birthday, I was a guest on the Mel Robbins show talking about turning 50. From that moment, I decided to go all in. I learned soup to nuts (from a millennial) how to set up a podcast. After many trips to the genius bar and searching the internet, I learned how to edit, produce, and record my podcast. I pushed record back in October 2019 and went for it.
After the recording I sat back and was proud of myself for taking action – not waiting for it to be perfect, or the timing to be right, or for the ums to be edited out. I went for it.
The response with thousands of downloads has been so inspiring. I am now a trusted voice around midlife and I take such value and honor in that. My mission is to share stories of incredible women that have taken on the challenges of midlife and made a difference. It’s never too late and you’re never too old. I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years bring my way…
Tell us more about your work/life outside of your podcast.
I was a stay-at-home mom since leaving corporate America and having our first child in 1997. I’ve always been a writer and the power of internet allows you to publish in a variety of places. My career path was to be the next Joan Lunden or Oprah Winfrey – I love to make connections through conversation and build a community of trust. I am a first time author. My book Cannonball! Fearlessly Facing Midlife and Beyond is the “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” for midlife. It is my story and inspirational stories of other women combined with reflections and strategies to apply to your own life so that you can cannonball with confidence.
What is your show’s USP?
My exclusive content is how I share the stories from incredible women – they find their voice and become fearless – brave to open the dialogue on topics that are things we need to talk about and be challenged around. I also feel that the balance of thought leaders and experts sharing knowledge inspires women to take action.
I recently had an episode of an incredible woman who’s son experienced a stroke at 17. She is his full time caregiver along with two other children. The vulnerability in her voice – and the way she opened her heart to share her journey touched the hearts of so many listeners. It’s the power of building a community of trust.
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced with your podcast?
Technology is scary…and it’s easy to become outdated. And let’s talk about trying to navigate social media at 50. One time, I recorded an entire Instagram live story with no volume. Another time, my kids told me it sounded like I was screaming and if you know me, you know I’m not a screamer (unless it was the time I delivered my second child…but that’s another story). Yes – challenges and mistakes are part of the journey that I’m happy to share – it makes me real, authentic, and not afraid to get in my own way.
What was one of your favorite episodes you’ve ever done? Why does it stand out?
It’s really difficult to choose one because I have favorites for different reasons – but I would have to narrow it to this one, which is the inspiring story of a Vickie Night, the woman I mentioned above. My other favorite episode was my conversation with Maye Musk and her amazing story of resilience. These episodes stand out because they align so well with my mission of sharing stories of incredible and inspiring women who take on the challenge and don’t give in – they take action. With every episode that I drop, I sit back after recording and my heart fills with gratitude as their voice and message was shared and I’m hopeful it inspires someone to action.
What is one thing you have accomplished with your podcast thus far that you are most proud of?
The amount of the trust in my followers – it is a big responsibility as a podcaster to build trust with your community, and you do that through connection and conversation. I am proud of the reviews and the comments from women saying that my message and content inspires them. That is an achievement I’m very proud of – and heck, at 50!
I also gave my first TEDx talk on November 1. The platform is virtual this year and I am thrilled to have over 25,000 views already. It was an amazing experience to take the stage and share my message of “What does it mean to Cannonball with confidence?” (Watch below!)
What is one major milestone that you would like to accomplish through your podcast in the next year?
I would like my podcast to be the #1 podcast women listen to for midlife advice. I want my followers to grow and trend in the top 25 shows in my category on Apple. I also want my voice to be heard in other places – namely, on the stage through my Cannonball! Fearlessly Facing Midlife and Beyond book launch. My ultimate goal is to have a radio show that women tune into to be inspired!
What is a trend or development in the podcast industry that you foresee happening in the next few years?
I would love to see a women’s network of audio and visual podcasting. More live streaming and talk show formatting.
What is one of the best pieces of podcast-related advice you’ve ever received & why?
Be consistent. Consistency is key. Listeners stay for the host and they’ll also leave if the host doesn’t stick to the mission and provide valuable content.
What is one of the worst pieces of podcast-related advice you have ever received & why?
To give up. You can’t give up – as I said in the prior answer, consistency is key. Keep going!
What are some of your favorite women-hosted podcasts (besides your own)?
Unlocking Us by Brene Brown.
Can you tell us about a time when you took a huge risk/did something you were scared to do, and it totally paid off?
Starting this podcast! And writing my book all in the year I turn 50! Women in podcasting is on the rise – but women 50+ in podcasting is rising too, and that’s pretty cool. I didn’t know a thing about how to start a podcast. Was there a button to push? I put a post out for recommendation in a local FB group to ask if there was anyone familiar with equipment for podcasting and got a response from a 22 year old guy that was a computer genius. He walked me through and from there I taught myself how to edit, record, produce, etc. and it has paid off, as my confidence around the info I share every week is changing lives. I even have the confidence to lead intro to podcasting workshops. It’s been extremely rewarding.
Are there any great podcast-related resources you love that you would like to share?
I run a intro to podcasting workshop – virtually – which isn’t as technical but it’s about building you WHY, WHAT and WHO and getting the basics of building your show and your confidence to launch.
Is there a charity or cause you care about that you would like to share?
How do you feel you’re making a positive impact and generating change through your podcast?
I’m inspiring midlife and beyond women to not lose their identity – to put their fears aside and take action. Find their hidden treasure of confidence again. It’s about the words “just start” or “begin again.” They are powerful mindset changes for midlife women.
Every midlife woman goes through similar changes emotionally and physically, but it’s how we respond to them – their individual sets of circumstances or stories that make the difference. It’s inspiring you to action! It’s never too late and you’re never too old.