363 MINISODE Amber Swenor: Make Fear Your Friend

Women Innovating Networking Growing Scaling – that’s WINGS … I’m Melinda Wittstock, my mission is to help women take flight, so on this mentoring minisode of Wings of Inspired Business … we talk about what it means to find and live your truth, in alignment with your soul purpose – that’s s-o-u-l purpose, why that the very thought of that sparks such fear in people, and how to overcome that fear by making it your friend.

Here with us today to provide her insights and inspiration is …

Amber Swenor.

Amber calls herself a dreamer, a life-lover and a business strategist. She helps heart-centered badasses make their dream lives, and profitable businesses, a reality.

Her supershero power? Guiding others to live their truth, by living hers.

She lives life all-out and full of love, thriving on guiding others to unleash their badassery into the world. She helps entrepreneurs and others heart-centered inspiration, supported by proven business and brand strategies that help transform your life and business to where you want it to be. Amber was a 2018 Vital Voices International VVGrow Fellow, and a 2019 Goldman Sachs Fellow.

When she’s not strategizing with clients at Impact Academy or her branding agency Strategic Partners Marketing, you’ll find her rocking with her band, Morningstar.

Amber Swenor is here in just a moment…

And if this is something you think you don’t have time for …you probably are exactly the person who needs to make time. Because you’ll get further in those 4 days than you will in 4 months plus we’ll show you how to turn time from a scarce resource into a limitless one – we call it “return on time” … so you to have all the time you need for business, love, parenting, friends and fun. Wingsexperiences.com/apply

And now to the inspiring Amber Swenor.

Amber is is a Brand Strategist and Impact Coach for Purpose-Driven People and Companies who desire to create massive impact and do good, through their business.

She is the founder of Impact Academy which provides transformational personal and business coaching through retreats, coaching and courses designed for people who desire to live in authenticity and alignment.

Amber is also the founder of Strategic Partners Marketing, a brand strategy and marketing firm that helps businesses do more good, through better marketing.

Melinda Wittstock:          Amber, welcome to WINGS.

Amber Swenor:                Thank you. So happy to be here.

Melinda Wittstock:          I'm so happy to have you on, and I'm excited to talk to any entrepreneur, who, whose purpose is about helping other folks with a purpose, being purpose driven in their business and their life, and I'm curious. What's inspiring you right now?

Amber Swenor:                I strive to help other purpose driven people, and it can sound fluffy to some people, but, and I know maybe we'll get more into my business building journey. As I've evolved, I've really realized that that is my gift, is helping people see their truth and live their truth, and I think I, maybe, kept veering that for so many years, because it didn't feel like a thing. It's really been inspiring, the last couple of years, just going deeper and deeper with what that means to live your truth and what personal transformation is and what's possible.

Amber Swenor:                I've just been having a lot of fun the last few months going deeper with clients. I hosted my first transformational retreat and just allowing myself to be open to what feels more in flow, rather than pushing in a direction I think I'm supposed to go, so just being a little more open to the universe and allowing myself to just be in my gifts. It that, it sounds a little woo-woo, but, honestly, it's inspiring when you reach a point of just allowing yourself to feel in your natural energy of what you're called to do.

Melinda Wittstock:          I love that you said flow, because we really do get into flow when we're doing things that we're meant to do like our actual unique purpose, power and passion. It does. It used to, even a couple of years ago, maybe it did sound woo. Now, it's everything, and it probably always has been. Along the road, of course, in entrepreneurship, there are always challenges. Here on WINGS, we stigmatize those. We like to think of failing forward. What are some of the challenges that you have in your business right now?

Amber Swenor:                Well, playing onto that last point about being in flow a little bit, I think I've, so I've been inspired by people who, when they realized that it's time to pivot or let something go, because it's not so much in flow, and so things… I'm four years into my brand strategy agency, and I have a team, and, well, things, everything's going up. Many things are going awesome at each growth stage, and now that I've gotten to a point of a stable team and I get to take a breather and look back, and I'm not so much in every single day, actively working in the business, I get to work on it.

Amber Swenor:                It's a new opportunity, but it's also to present challenges, now that I'm taking that breathing room to look at it, because when you're so in the grind, either you can have a harder time seeing where we're going. Right now, it's just a reassessing of what's our strategy forward. I've gotten us to this point where I'm like, “Okay. We have a core team of people. I just had my second salesperson start. I'm no longer the person that has to do sales.”

Amber Swenor:                Its just part I think of the natural evolution. I think of them as new opportunities for growth, not as much challenge as I suppose, but I think it's important for any entrepreneur to acknowledge that it's normal and it's okay. There are just new stages of the growth journey, and it could be easy to maybe feel fear, the questions around, “Okay. Should I hire again? Do we have enough, is there enough projected revenue to justify this?” That's part of the growth journey is, you just keep going.

Melinda Wittstock:          Gosh, yes, and also just being able to let go of something you've mastered, because something that was working in the early phase of a business stops working later on, and your role has to change. It's like you have to master something else, let go of other things, right? We have to retire the control freak inside of all of us.

Amber Swenor:                That's very, very on point advice, and I'm taking that in myself right now as well. It's so true.

Melinda Wittstock:          Gosh, but it can be easier said than done. What are the top three pieces of advice you would give a female founder, a woman entrepreneur, a woman on business?

Amber Swenor:                Sure. Well, and I think this may resonate a little more with… It could resonate with anyone. A lot of my audience tend to really be this, heart-centered women, I think just from my own background and being heart-centered, but leading in business and leading around business strategy, but really just going for my dreams and overcoming challenges like we all do. Really, that is the first piece of advice: follow your dreams. It sounds so cliché, but when we really ask ourselves at our heart level, we know what we want to do.

Amber Swenor:                It's just other irrational fears and things that stop us. I think it's so important to be aware if there's something we already know in our core we want to do and we're not doing it. We really need to get real with ourselves about what's getting in our way, so you can work through those blocks.

Melinda Wittstock:          Yeah. That's really, really good advice. Yeah. Gosh, easier said than done, but it's great to have people around you though that can mirror back to you and help you see those-

Amber Swenor:                Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:          … blind spots for sure.

Amber Swenor:                Yeah. We can get in our own heads and a cyclone of second-guessing ourselves. Yeah. Along those lines too, I think to make fear my friend. It's, I think of fear as simply a thought that holds space in our mind, and I feel that we get to control what shape that fear takes. We can just acknowledge it and set it aside and move through. It's just a, like I said, the more we go inward and really look at, “Okay. Really? Why am I afraid to do this?” Then, you start calling it out and saying what those fears are, you realize that it's just something that's holding space in you.

Amber Swenor:                I just think of it as, “I walk with my friend every day. I walk with fear every day.” It's the thing that, every day, I can just wake up and have no fear, because fear is just a friend. Then, the third thing is, women in business is, that the fear… Don't have that fear around investing, and I think that's, comes in, probably, the earlier parts of the journey.

Amber Swenor:                For me, it was hiring before I thought I was ready, but knowing that if I wanted to grow that company beyond me, and we're still pretty small, but we added seven employees in two years, and so that was a lot of big growth for me, but it was being investment-minded and always thinking forward. I feel that if you wait until you think you're ready, or you wait until you think the revenue is there, then you're already behind the eight ball, so-

Melinda Wittstock:          It's so, so true. You really do need to get out of your comfort zone. I like what you said about thinking in terms of investment. Women in business, really, we need to think a lot more about the leverage that we can get. There are all kinds of studies, Amber. I'm sure you've seen them. That, folks who hire quickly, within the first six months of starting a business, do much, much better than everybody else. Congrats on growing quickly. You've grown, seven people in two years. That's the good… That's a lot to absorb in a lot of ways and a lot of change, but that's fantastic.

Amber Swenor:                Thank you. Yeah, it was… In the beginning, I had a few contractors. I was a year and a half in before I hired the first employee, and now we've just hit four years in business, but yes, I, to echo what you said about the studies, and it's a step to get over. I have a coaching side in my business. A lot of those are women in business who've had been stuck for multiple years, and it's a sticking point to move beyond, “Do I want to stay a solo career, or do I want to grow this thing?” If you want to grow it, you have to take that step.

Amber Swenor:                Yeah. I mean, I knew I wanted to grow beyond me. I didn't want to be a solopreneur. I wanted to have greater impact, where an agency, it's a big difference to be a one-person provider versus a full-service agency. It comes down with knowing what you want and owning it and know what you have to do to make it happen.

Melinda Wittstock:          Yeah. It's a difference between creating your own job and creating a business.

Amber Swenor:                Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:          Amber, how can people find you and work with you?

Amber Swenor:                Well, they can go to impactacademy.com, or if you look up Strategic Partners Marketing, is the agency, it's strategiesthatpay.com. It's two different websites. We serve two different audiences, so strategiesthatpay.com is for companies who want to work with us on brand strategy, and impact academy are for purpose driven individuals who want to work with me on their brand strategy in growing their business.

Melinda Wittstock:          That's wonderful. We'll have all of that in the show notes as well. I want to thank you for putting on your wings and flying with us.

Amber Swenor:                Thank you. Thank you so much.

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