47. (S2E11) Andy Frisella & Ed Mylett Saved My Life with Amanda Catarzi

Today I’m talking with the one and only Amanda Catarzi. Not to sensationalize, but this is one of those episodes that is going to grab you by the throat and take you on a rollercoaster. Hopefully by the end, it will inspire you take action, and in the takeaways, I’ll tell you how you can.

Raised in a cult, a survivor of sex trafficking, and now owner of a content agency, Amanda Catarzi has seen it all.

After escaping her trafficker, Amanda dedicated the next 10 years of her life to fighting sex trafficking. She counseled the New Zealand Government, wrote federal legislation, and has gone undercover to bust trafficking rings.

Amanda is now a Fractional CMO – that’s a Chief Marketing Officer – and runs a successful content agency, Inkery Co. She is also a seasoned keynote speaker and is passionate about helping others find their voice and use it effectively.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Zen Rabbit. You hear a lot about the Great Resignation lately and that’s not happening so much because people simply want more money. Studies show it’s because they want to work in a culture that values them and thinks holistically about their happiness and well-being.

This is where the F*ck Being Fine program for companies comes in. Through it, managers and their teams learn how to stay calm and grounded no matter what. It’s designed to move participants to stop pretending everything’s fine when it’s not. And inspire them to upgrade how they respond to stressful situations.

If this sounds like something that would be valuable in your work environment, message me at Lori@ZenRabbit.com or text me at 571.317.1463.

Amanda’s hype song: Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked by Cage the Elephant

Business website: https://www.inkeryco.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amanda-catarzi/

Personal website: https://amandacatarzi.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InkeryC0

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandacatarzi/

Her marketing group coaching: http://www.inkeryco.com/marketing-made-easy

Safe House Project: https://www.safehouseproject.org/


[00:00:00] Lori Saitz: Hello, and welcome to Fine is a 4-Letter Word. My guest today is Amanda Catarzi. Welcome to the show, Amanda.

[00:00:08] Amanda Catarzi: Thank you for having me. I'm happy to be here.

[00:00:12] Lori Saitz: Yeah. well, let's not waste any time jumping right into the first question, which is what were the beliefs and values that you were raised with that shaped you into the person that you became?

[00:00:27] Amanda Catarzi: well, they weren't, they weren't the best. Uh, there are ultra conservative, very. Dogmatic kind of ideas, because I was raised in a cult, which was an ultra conservative Christian cult. So if you are familiar with Amish community or a Mennonite community, not saying they're Amish at all or they're cult at all, but those kinds of ideologies taken to a new extreme and thrown in a little bit of child bride and military stuff in there.

And then you've got ATI.

[00:00:58] Lori Saitz: Wow. All

[00:00:59] Amanda Catarzi: So basically.

[00:01:00] Lori Saitz: So

[00:01:00] Amanda Catarzi: That's where I started. I was, I was groomed to be a wife, a baby maker, ultra submissive quote, unquote godly woman.

[00:01:12] Lori Saitz: That is hilarious to me because, and I'm super excited for my listeners to get to know who you are because. You are like the exact opposite of that.

[00:01:25] Amanda Catarzi: Um, my mother would be collecting her pearls right now.

[00:01:30] Lori Saitz: right, right, right. Yeah. So what, so how did you, how long did you live in that world?

[00:01:38] Amanda Catarzi: was basically born and raised in it. So my parents were looking for homeschooling curriculum. This is back when homeschooling was not popular. And there was no re there were no resources for homeschooling. So this cult offered that they had a homeschooling curriculum to teach your child how to be a godly good person, which was really appealing to them because their upbringings were really not great, uh, really dysfunctional.

And so they wanted something different for us and that, and that's what appealed to them the most. So they were trying to do their best. And so all through high school, I was raised in this culture, um, in groomed in this culture to be this submissive meek woman, uh, with a bright countenance and no rebellious spirit in my eyes, uh, which obviously did not stick.


[00:02:30] Lori Saitz: No, no, it did not. Um, okay. So, and you're saying we is who, who

[00:02:37] Amanda Catarzi: oh my brother and I have an older brother and he’s fantastic. That's uh, and so we were partly shunned because we have. Two kids in our family. So in this cult it's super normal to produce as many babies as possible. So families were normally seven children or more. Um, so the Duggar family from TLC, the 19 and counting family, they're part of ATI.

So, um, they, you try to have as many kids as possible. And if you don't have many children, then your quiver is empty. Uh, which is a biblical term for not having a lot of kids and you're basically shunned. So we're kind of shunned.

[00:03:17] Lori Saitz: Alright. And then did you, after you grabbed you graduate from

[00:03:22] Amanda Catarzi: sure. Technically

[00:03:23] Lori Saitz: in that you or did you

[00:03:25] Amanda Catarzi: I got, I got my GED,

[00:03:26] Lori Saitz: All right. Okay. so.

you never actually went to a public school. Alright. And then what, what, where did you go from there? Did you decide that, like I'm not living this life I'm going to leave

[00:03:40] Amanda Catarzi: no, I wasn't that

[00:03:41] Lori Saitz: or did your family leave as a whole.

[00:03:43] Amanda Catarzi: We left as a whole. There were a couple instances where we just did not fit in and I was not the submissive type, uh, even back then. So I caused a lot of trouble. Um, I was sent to Indianapolis training center at one point to kind of be taught the way. A good woman and that didn't work.

Uh, so they were kind of done with us and we had graduated high school, my brother and I, so were, we were done with the curriculum to a certain degree and through the choices are continuing the program and go to their college Verity, which was in Flint, Michigan. I don't know if it's still there or not, um, or to leave.

And so we just ended up going to a community college, which was my first public school experience. Blew my mind. So then we just kind of slowly integrated back into society, but the, the belief systems and everything that is instilled as you, as a child were already laid, basically at that point, which set me up for failure in the future.

[00:04:49] Lori Saitz: tell me more about that. What w so what, before you go there, what was the thing that was most surprising to you? Like out in the, the rest of the world?

[00:05:01] Amanda Catarzi: I think I was shocked how men and women interacted with each other. That was probably the most shocking. I'd never seen people talk to each other act with each other in that way. Um, just like all over each other or even in a, um, like the same level in equality. It was cause I wasn't supposed to talk to man.

Um, I wasn't supposed to even start a conversation unless they engage me in conversation. If they did, it was usually to do something. It wasn't just to talk or to be friends. So that was very strange to me.

[00:05:37] Lori Saitz: Hmm. Okay. And then how long, like, tell me the process of how you kind of, uh, integrated into public life.

[00:05:48] Amanda Catarzi: it was just a slow process. Um, I was always drawn towards music. And back in the day, you could go to Walmart and you could scan a CD at a listening station and listen to a section of the song. And so I got caught doing that a couple of times and I was always drawn to music. I love music. I was, you know, I played piano.

I played piano and jazz band in college. So it's always been something that's been a part of my life. And so there were moments of like that where my mom would just kind of like, okay, she just kind of gave in and, and then we slowly, okay, we got our first pair of pants and make sure they weren't too tight.

They were baggy they're bell bottom. And there were still a lot of really hardcore. Conservative ways of living that we were still abiding by like nothing on your shirt. Cause you don't want to cause a man to stumble by looking at your chest. Cause he has to read the words on your shirt. Cause it's totally my fault if a man can't control himself.

Right. So, um, so there was, there was still like some conservative values in. Um, we just kind of slowly integrated out of them. And then when I, so this was took a couple of years, this took about four years. And then by the time I decided I was going to go to school in California, which was the worst thing I could possibly do because California is Sodom and Gomorrah of the United States.

So, and I went to an ultra charismatic Pentecostal ministry school. So that was my rebellion right there, but my parents didn't think I was going to do it for some reason. Um, but then. Packed up my truck and drove across the country and they're like, oh shit.

[00:07:26] Lori Saitz: I guess, I guess she was serious.

[00:07:28] Amanda Catarzi: then I did three years of ministry school at Bethel school, supernatural ministry, which is like Harry Potter school for Christians. Um, and that was a blast. That was actually a really positive experience because I was able to start to figure out who I am. And what I wanted out of life. And if I liked peanut butter or not, if I, you know, I like to music or not, what clothes I like to wear, all those things that usually figure out in your teenage years, I had to figure out in my early twenties.

[00:07:57] Lori Saitz: Yeah.

[00:07:57] Amanda Catarzi: it was like a really transformational process.

[00:08:02] Lori Saitz: it sounds like it, and you were open to all kinds of new experiences. I mean, it's almost like being a baby, right. And learning

[00:08:10] Amanda Catarzi: naive, super easy lead, easily taken advantage of. So that, that's what ended up to lean me into some, some big trouble.

[00:08:22] Lori Saitz: The part where we, where we get to hear about how you thought everything was fine and it wasn’t

[00:08:25] Amanda Catarzi: Yeah. That fight.

[00:08:28] Lori Saitz: Okay. Tell me

[00:08:29] Amanda Catarzi: So once I graduated school, so everything had been severely controlled in my life up to a certain degree, even when I was in school at Bethel, because I have classes I'm going to, I have groups of people I'm required to be engaging with. So I'm having all of these experiences in life where community is created for me, forced upon me, but created for me.

So now that I'm out of school, I'm working. I'm a real adult. Um, I, oh, go ahead.

[00:09:02] Lori Saitz: What, what was, what did it, what career did you go into having Harry Potter, wizardry, um, skills.

[00:09:11] Amanda Catarzi: while I was in school, I did some social work, so I worked with adults with physical and mental disability. Um, and then after that I started actually working for the school, but managing the content of their media company. So they have a massive media company and I was the content manager for all of their websites, which there like 200 or so websites to manage.

So that's where I actually got started in content creation and management.

[00:09:41] Lori Saitz: Okay. Cool. All right. Back to your

[00:09:44] Amanda Catarzi: So, so content management.

[00:09:45] Lori Saitz: just wanted to find

[00:09:46] Amanda Catarzi: Content management for a mega church was my daytime job. That was my daytime life. And then I started, um, I went to an MMA gym close by because I had no community. I was lonely. I was bored out of my mind. So, um, someone invited me to go there. I ended up going there. I was really freaking good at it.

Uh, so, and I enjoyed it. It was super empowering. It was fun. It was a great workout. I lost. About 70 pounds, you know, from college. Yeah. So I cut a ton of weight. I got healthy, I'm running off. I'm like Rocky, I'm doing all this stuff. And these people, my fight team were unlike any individuals I've ever met in my life.

So coming from, again, that super controlled environment where emotions aren't allowed for me to exist as a woman. I've got these people who are extremely dysfunctional, bless their hearts, and they are telling you everything about everybody and how they feel. And what's, you know, all that in the most explicit ways.

Of course. Um, and most of them are fresh off parole out of jail. They got their baby mama. It's a glorious hot mess. And it was fascinating and amazing to me because for once people were talking about their emotions and I was allowed to do that. So me being the go getter that wanted to fit in, decided to tell everyone about.

How I thought about everything and how I was raised and all the rage that I kept inside. And they came to learn that I was very naive and raise in a very dysfunctional, sheltered way. And while some people wanted to protect me, others decided to take advantage of that.

GREG: TAKE OUT THIS PART, PLEASE [00:11:32] Lori Saitz: Okay. And. So how long were you in that.

world and,

[00:11:41] Amanda Catarzi: A couple of years,

[00:11:44] Lori Saitz: okay. All right. Just thinking about what the next question, what I want to ask you next because, um, no, no, no, no, no, it's all good. Um, where do you want to go with this?

[00:12:01] Amanda Catarzi: Well, that's when it all went downhill, real fast.

[00:12:07] Lori Saitz: I all went downhill real fast. Okay. So at this point you thought everything in your life was fine, but is this where you started seeing maybe it's not so fine?

[00:12:17] Amanda Catarzi: Yeah, I'd seen cracks of it before, like walking into a grocery store by myself for the first time and going to buy food. I did not know what to buy, cause I didn't know what I liked because I was never given that opportunity to discover, do I actually like peanut butter or not? I was just given peanut butter and you eat it and you say, thank you.

So that was, I know it sounds small, but when you're a 20 something year old woman and you don't even know what you like to eat and you don't even know how to buy groceries, and that's a very scary, and that makes you feel so vulnerable. So when I'm now around people that are expressing their vulnerabilities, I feel seen and heard for the first time in a long time.

And again, that was manipulated to work against me. And that's where my trafficker met me, uh, was at this gym.

[00:13:14] Lori Saitz: Okay. So that's where you met him at the gym.

Um, was He part of the, this fight club?

[00:13:23] Amanda Catarzi: He was someone that would come in. So normally when you're an MMA fighter, which I was heading towards that career route, um, basically is you have a conditioning coach. You have a ground coach, you have a boxing coach. Um, and you have someone doing all your nutrition. So you're, you're you have these four people basically inside your life, inside out, they know everything.

So he was my boxing.

[00:13:48] Lori Saitz: Gotcha. Okay. And then you went on to develop a

[00:13:52] Amanda Catarzi: Y'all y'all y'all y'all. He showed me a lot of special interests and, um, started giving me free training sessions, one-on-one training sessions. And so I thought, you know, I was flattered. I was a young girl. He was somebody who was respected in the society around him. He was a world champion boxer. He was promising me all these incredible fight opportunities.

I was enamored. Yeah. So we started dating.

[00:14:20] Lori Saitz: And as, as well, and as anybody would like it, it's not necessarily because of the background that you had, like, if somebody starts showing you attention like that, and it would be natural to assume that that person was, had your best interest at heart and was actually interested in you.

[00:14:39] Amanda Catarzi: And he was very kind to me. He was very generous. He was very nice to me initially, which is also referred to as a Romeo pimp. So that's when they're very nice to women. They think they're in a relationship with them, a loving relationship, and then it turns, um, and it turned.

[00:14:59] Lori Saitz: How long did it take to do to turn.

[00:15:01] Amanda Catarzi: six months.

[00:15:04] Lori Saitz: Okay. And then how long were you in It before you went, wait a second. This is not this isn't, this doesn't seem right.

[00:15:12] Amanda Catarzi: It took me a while. Uh, and I don't know if it's from all getting punched in the head a bunch or what the deal was there. But, um, it took about eight months for me to realize that this wasn't what I wanted, but. I think I probably realized that earlier, but you disassociate so far from your emotions when you're experiencing trauma and abuse that you don't let yourself have those thoughts.

And especially because I had violated and given up so much to get to that point, I wasn't willing to walk away with nothing. Like, you feel like you need to walk away with something of like, this had to be worth something like all this pain had to be worth something when really it wasn't worth anything.

And that's a painful thing directly.

[00:15:56] Lori Saitz: I yeah, I can imagine words, other people that were on your team. Did they know what was going.

[00:16:05] Amanda Catarzi: I think they knew to a degree. I don't think they realized how nefarious it was.

[00:16:15] Lori Saitz: okay. Bless you. Who, so how did you manage to get yourself out of this relationship? Like where you cause. are in this. And they're, you know, when you're in an abusive relationship, you're afraid to leave because you're the person is threatening your life or your physical wellbeing. Is that, what did you

[00:16:44] Amanda Catarzi: yeah. Oh yeah. All the time. Um, he, I mean, he, I, even though I was a fighter and I was doing fights every weekend, so he was technically laboring labor and sex trafficking me. Um, so, uh, the labor trafficking was him making me fight every weekend and him getting the profits off those fights, um, which was going to be invested into my fight career.

Right. That's what I was told. Um, and then the sex trafficking. A series of manufactured accidents and rapes by him. Um, so usually. The areas that I was involved in, the groups I was involved in, they wanted that scenario where they could, I would fight and they would overpower me and rape me. So that was something that was part of the whole experience.

Um, so if you can imagine the kind of individuals that take joy in that, these are the kinds of people we're dealing with. So, um, To get away was a little complicated, but it was super easy at the same time. I don't know that the toxical they have over you mentally is the most difficult spot to get away from.

So I'd actually gone to see somebody and I was supposed to train with him and fight with him. And then. Do stuff with him. And I did not feel like it for whatever reason. I was sassy that night I was being rebellious. I was like, no. And so I knocked him out. I ended up knocking him out. His name was shameless or his fight name was shameless.

Um, which is kind of ironic. And so then I, I left the gym and as I'm leaving the gym, a Canadian in a Cadillac runs through a light, runs a light and T-boned to me and my truck and totals my truck. Um, and there was a cop right by. So he saw the whole thing. That's the only time I've ever been knocked out was by Canadian and a Cadillac.

And, uh, I woke up to him. That's my, that's my claim to fame. Right. Never been knocked out. Um, and so the Canadian, the cattle. Or no, not her. The police officer behind me, uh, was prying the door open when I came to. And so I came to and he said, oh my God, I thought you were dead. And so, um, I texted, I'm used to head trauma at this point.

It's super normal for me to have concussion. So I didn't think anything of it. I'm like, I'm good. I'm good. I'm good. So I texted my trafficker and said, Hey, I just almost died in a car. And I remember this clear as day and he says, is your face fucked up? And I said, no. And then he says, well, at least you're still fuckable.

Um, and at that moment I was like, maybe this isn't the relationship that I want to be in anymore. That was, that was my it's not fine moment. And I wasn't like, oh, it's all clear to me. I'm being, traffic's like all the, I wasn't like that. It was like this isn't the life I want. Something's not right here. I need to get away.

[00:19:43] Lori Saitz: That was like your, your wake-up call was getting hit by this

[00:19:47] Amanda Catarzi: Yeah. She saved my life a hundred percent. So yeah. So that was

[00:19:52] Lori Saitz: Does she know that? Did you ever tell her

[00:19:54] Amanda Catarzi: no. I don't even know who she was. Yeah, that'd be cool. I don't even know if you ever hear this Canadian lady, this. Um, but no, I have no idea who she is or whatever. She, I think she was like a student at the school, but school was so big at that point that, you know, um, and so then I had to, he wouldn't even come get me.

So I had to call a John to come get me and take me to the Haas, to my, um, my apartment. I had an apartment in the city. Um, and so I stayed there and then I realized I couldn't order a pizza. I couldn't understand how to do. I couldn't understand where they took my truck or I wasn't able to put information together.

I wasn't able to finish sentences. So I decided it was time to go to the ER at that point. And I had severe

[00:20:41] Lori Saitz: Right, right.

[00:20:42] Amanda Catarzi: I had a severe brain trauma at that point. So

[00:20:47] Lori Saitz: Wow. Because of the car accident or because of all the fighting or the

[00:20:51] Amanda Catarzi: probably the combination because I'm getting concussion every single weekend or so. I mean, even if you went up. You still getting punched in the head, you're still getting hit. So there's a good chance. You're going to have a concussion, every single fight.

[00:21:07] Lori Saitz: Did you have any friends?

[00:21:09] Amanda Catarzi: Uh, I mean, Depends on your definition of friends. I guess I disassociated so far and I was living this double life completely. So during the day I go to work, I help with all this church stuff, you know, I'm this person. Um, and what really annoyed me is after the fact that it took me a while to get over this is, um, once it all came out that this happened, I had some of my old coworkers be like, I knew something was wrong and I'm like, bitch, why didn't you say anything?

Like I was trying, you know, I, me showing up to work wearing the same stuff. Five days in a row. Something's not right. There's depression going on there, there are suicidal ideation going on there. There's she's not making it home. Like, obviously something's not. Okay. So that, that like really bummed me out that no one everyone's like, I knew something was wrong.

Did you? Because you didn't do. So, I don't know if you call my friends or not.

[00:22:17] Lori Saitz: I would say no, they were co-workers. I mean, cause to me a real friend would say something like, Hey, something, something doesn't seem right here. Do you need to talk to somebody or something going on? Like just start a conversation.

[00:22:32] Amanda Catarzi: point too, to be fair, I'd probably pushed everybody away to a certain degree as well. So I want to give a lot of people the benefit of the doubt as well. I didn't do myself any favors in that moment either. Um, hurt people, hurt people, right. So I did my fair share of it.

[00:22:51] Lori Saitz: Were you still in touch with your family at this point?

[00:22:54] Amanda Catarzi: Very limited. Um, so that's one thing that always happens with abuse victims as they become isolated from their family groups, from friends. Uh, so the only people I was really talking to on a consistent basis were my fight team. And then maybe once a week, A short call with my parents, but we'd kind of had a Rocky relationship anyways.

They didn't want me out there. They wanted me back and Florida. So that was always a, a tough moment. But, um, my grandma would always send me stuff in the mail, you know, like presence and letters. And my mom would send me stuff every once in a while.

[00:23:31] Lori Saitz: Okay. So you're in the hospital. You have severe brain trauma. And where does this story go?

[00:23:40] Amanda Catarzi: it goes on a little bit of a roller coaster, but it ends well. So, so they made the mistake of releasing me from the hospital. Um, and. My veil is lifted to a degree. Right. So I'm kind of seeing things kind of as they are, but with that comes an onslaught of all the emotions I've been disassociating from it. It was a lot to handle. It was too much. So I ended up, uh, swallowing a bunch of pills and committing suicide right after I got out.

[00:24:13] Lori Saitz: wow. Okay. I did not know this part of your story.

[00:24:17] Amanda Catarzi: Well. Okay. Cause it's a little like nuance here. So, um, That happened. I, I did not really sure how I got okay. Again, how I got brought back to life. I remember somebody pumping my stomach. I remember somebody yelling at me for it. There were a lot of people really mad at me for it. I don't remember being in the hospital, so I don't really remember all that, but I woke up the next day.

Or after, I don't even know how many days passed. I woke up and I'm like, oh, I'm good. I didn't die. And I'm like, God must want me to live. Okay. So then I'm like, I better fight to live. Then if I have this second chance of life, then I better fight, fight for it. So I went and got a puppy as any mentally unstable person would do a hundred percent.

So I went and got a puppy because I'm like,

[00:25:08] Lori Saitz: Here's your support

[00:25:09] Amanda Catarzi: That's my suicide prevention dog. So she's, uh, she's still with me. She's awesome dog. And, uh, yeah, it's, it's worked, obviously I haven’t killed myself yet. Um, and so she was my suicide prevention, how it got a puppy and then I bought a plane ticket home and I literally just picked up and.

Everything. So I lived there for five years. I had career, I had my truck, I had an apartment, I had apartment full of stuff. I packed two suitcases and left. Everything else, broke the lease, ruined my credit. Um, yeah.

[00:25:46] Lori Saitz: When you got into, I mean, you gotta do what you gotta do to save your life. I mean, at that point that's, that was your choice, right? Life or death, and you chose life and you had to do whatever it was going to take two.

[00:25:57] Amanda Catarzi: Yeah. I was very aware that that clear a window of thought was small. And so I had to act within it. Otherwise I'd just get sucked back in. And I knew that. So that's why I that's probably why, like I was like, okay, I'll kill myself. And then that didn't work. Okay. I'll leave.

[00:26:18] Lori Saitz: Cause that makes sense. That's that, that would be the

[00:26:21] Amanda Catarzi: And it works. It works

[00:26:24] Lori Saitz: It worked for you. And I'm, I'm glad to hear that. What were the tools then? Because obviously you didn't just that, wasn't the only thing, like you came home and then everything was fine. Like, everything was great. What, what were some of the tools that you used to move from that place to where you are now?

Because now I want to talk about that for a second to where, where you moved to, but tell me about the tools.

[00:26:52] Amanda Catarzi: so the first tool I used was the internet, um, because I couldn't read anything from anybody. I was, I was a raging asshole. I was so mean I was so horrible to be around, um, PTSD, brain trauma, depression. I mean, all this stuff was coming out and it was messy. I was like a ticking time bomb. So everything would trigger me.

Um, and my normal go-to emotion when I'm not my best is rage. Um, and that's always been a concern. Thing in my life. So learning to undo, that was a process. So, um, the only thing that I could consume at that point was, um, a book called I Am by Howard Falco. It's on my bookshelf right now. And then I started listening to podcasts.

So at that point, Andy Frisella had his MF CEO podcast and he was talking a lot about, um, dealing with PTSD in dealing with mental health as a business owner. And then Ed Mylett. And so those two guys, I listened to religiously, like I consumed all of their past podcasts, all their current podcasts. And they basically were able to help me get to my next level, which got me into therapy, which got me into, um, you know, all the breath work, all the grounding practices, uh, trauma resolution therapy, everything.

So that was, they were the ones that saved my life again.

[00:28:22] Lori Saitz: Wow. And you bring up a point because not every, you have to be ready for the tools. Like they could be available to you, but you're not ready for them. And so you have to find the ones that work for you. For where you are.

[00:28:38] Amanda Catarzi: And like my parents, I moved back in with my parents, which was interesting. Bless their hearts. They, uh, they dealt with me so well, they were so kind. Um, and they invited me in a church and stuff and I felt bad because I couldn't go, like, I just couldn't do it and I couldn't handle it. And I didn't know how to tell them.

Other than be like at that point, but you're right. I wasn't ready. You know, at that point to experience that, because I felt like the church and all the Christian people I was around had failed me. They'd let me fall into this. They didn't care enough. Um, which was a lie of course, but you know, the lie was believing at that time.

[00:29:15] Lori Saitz: that was the story that you were telling yourself. And we all make up stories. I mean, everybody who listens to this podcast has heard all these stories and the. this is what we do as humans. Good, good or bad intentions. Nevermind. Those it's just, or we are story making machines.

[00:29:35] Amanda Catarzi: A hundred percent. W which is why that stories worked so well in marketing.

[00:29:43] Lori Saitz: which leads perfectly into what I was going to ask you about, because now you are the one telling the stories, writing the stories and telling the story.

[00:29:54] Amanda Catarzi: Yeah.

[00:29:54] Lori Saitz: How did you find your way to this? I mean, it's a little bit related to what you were doing when you were working out in California,

[00:30:00] Amanda Catarzi: Yeah, So I run my own content agency now and we really focus on helping a solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, brands find their voice and use it effectively. So much, like I did not have a voice for the majority of my life, a process of finding it was very healing and very interesting. Um, that also being said the entire time I journaled from the time I was like six years old until now.

So I have all those journals on my bookshelf right now. And. So I became a pretty good writer. Uh, if I do say so myself, because it was the only way I was allowed to express myself. So I became a very astute observer and storyteller and point maker. Um, so when I started the content agency, everybody was like, oh yeah, you're a great writer.

We know you're a great writer. So it wasn't a huge leap of any kind. But it fits perfectly. And then I also did about eight years of social work in between that. So I have all of the psychology behind that, how to communicate with people, how to motivate them, to do things with words and how to support others, like what they want to hear, what drives them, their needs, et cetera.

[00:31:15] Lori Saitz: That makes perfect sense because, so we both have this background in marketing, but if you're not in marketing, you don't understand how much psychology goes into it and it's not. Um, it, that is part of crafting messages, effective

[00:31:30] Amanda Catarzi: yep. A hundred percent. It's I mean, it, that's what makes good marketing from bad marketing, right. Is the psychology behind it. So good marketing. You don't even know you're being sold to. Um, and I love it. I love the game. I love the strategy. I love it. All. It gets me pumped up.

[00:31:49] Lori Saitz: Yeah. Speaking of getting pumped up.

actually, before I ask you that question, I have one other question for you and that is how did you choose. Your ideal market. And I don't usually get into this, but I'm, I'm so fascinated because you are very specific with who you work with and is it because those is it because Ed and Andy helped you get to the point where you are now to find your success.

And that's why you target people who follow them. Like, when I say target, like those are your ideal client.

[00:32:24] Amanda Catarzi: Yeah. Um, I think it's that. And I think there's some, uh, redemption piece in there. Um, my trafficker was, was them, but he just chose fear over. Um, so it definitely not to rationalize anything he did or anything he became, but he was raped as a young boy. Uh, so he was an alpha male who didn't have the choices to heal.

Um, and so his choice was either to become a victim or become an abuser and he chose to become an abuser. And that was very, very in the front of my mind during this whole part of this process. Um, and I've encountered a lot of wounded angry men, that if they just had a positive influence in their life, they could do so much good.

So part of it is solving an issue of abuse solving. The issue of sex trafficking is addressing the abuser and their conditioning. And then also, yes, uh, Andy and Ed were huge part of helping me find myself and find my health again. So, um, I love. Redeeming that part of my life by supporting very strong men who are running brands that need help in communicating effectively, because again, bless their hearts.

They are going five different directions and are usually very abrasive. Um, those are my guys. And so I can help them stay true to their message and their calling in a more palatable way so they can reach more people in.

[00:34:00] Lori Saitz: Okay. All right. Very cool. So let's go back to the charged up part where I ask you what your hype song is when you need to get into that, that head space of being, finding your inner.

[00:34:16] Amanda Catarzi: which is funny because I've had a lot of walkout songs for fighting. Uh, so I've had quite a few. When I I've been listening to a lot of queen Herbie, actually a lot of her stuff really gets me hyped. So like her song vitamins is trending right now, but any of her songs makes me super hight. T and T any ACDC, I can't pick one.

It just depends. If I need to step into like femininity power or if I need to step into like masculine power, I go back and forth. I listened to a lot of Rob Bailey and the hustle standard, which is a lot of screamo music. Um, cause the emo kid in me is still alive and well, so

[00:34:59] Lori Saitz: Okay,

[00:35:00] Amanda Catarzi: a lot of that too.

[00:35:01] Lori Saitz: it's all over

[00:35:02] Amanda Catarzi: Yeah. I'm sorry, I can't give you a straightforward answer.

[00:35:07] Lori Saitz: Okay. But if you had to pick one in this moment,

[00:35:10] Amanda Catarzi: Um, I mean, can you, uh, uh, no rest for the wicked by cage cage, the elephant, I think is the name. That's such a good song. Like that songs always like in my heart and I'm always like no rest for the wicked. Um, so that's probably my song.

[00:35:28] Lori Saitz: All right. I'll take it. How can people get in touch with you if they want to continue a conversation with you.

[00:35:35] Amanda Catarzi: Instagram. I live on Instagram. So Amanda Catarzi is my handle on Instagram slide into my DMs. Well, let's talk about marketing and healing and growth. I'm all about it.

[00:35:50] Lori Saitz: Fantastic. Thank you so much for joining me today on Fine is a 4-Letter Word.

[00:35:54] Amanda Catarzi: Thanks for having me.

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