Be your own boss: Local man’s hypnotism business grows during pandemic

Starting a new career always has its challenges, but how about picking up a new profession at 50 years old? We talked with a Newburyport man who became a hypnotist, helping hundreds of people quit smoking.

As a stay-at-home dad to twin daughters, Andy Morris had a bunch of part-time jobs. But at 50 years old, he started a new career path after he saw his wife successfully lose weight with the help of a hypnotist.

“I don’t want to spend too much money, I don’t want to take too much time, but I said you know I think I could do that hypnosis thing,” said Andy Morris.

He trained with the National Guild of Hypnotists and started ‘Better Life Hypnosis’ in 2011.

“I was a chronic smoker,” said Karen Marena, a former client. “I loved smoking.”

Karen Marena is one of Andy’s former clients. She smoked for nearly 30 years, but after one session with Andy she never picked up a cigarette again.

“I walked out got in my car and drove away,” said Marena. “I’ve never done that before. I always got in my car, lit a cigarette, drove away.”

Andy opened an office in downtown Newburyport. But when the pandemic hit, it forced him to go remote. He says it actually helped his business. Andy now has clients from all over the country.

“When I started going remote, it took a little while to get going but all of a sudden instead of just the Newburyport area, now I can do this remotely and I developed a system of doing it remotely on my computer,” said Morris.

Andy spends the first half of his sessions talking to his clients face to face and explaining what will happen.

“Second half you’re in hypnosis, you just need to hear me,” said Morris. “And they get to do it in the comfort of their own bedroom or their couch.”

Andy admits some people are a little skeptical. But his client Michaele from Illinois had been a smoker since she was 14 years old and was willing to try anything to quit.

“You can’t wait for Andy to wave a magic wand, but if you want it badly enough it will work for you,” said Michaele.

One big difference about going remote for Andy is that it’s a little harder to wake up his clients if they fall asleep during the session.

“I’ll say hello and if they don’t answer I’ll just text them,” said Andy. “They’ll eventually come out of it. I always count them out.”

Andy has helped hundreds of people quit smoking. He says his business’s success is two-fold: his clients have to believe they can do it and he has to believe in himself and what he’s doing.

“You got to keep pushing, you got to figure this is what I believe in, I’m good at this,” said Andy. “I believe in this, it works, I just got to keep trying and adapt.”

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