Amber Lilyestrom Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Amber Lilyestrom
Amber Lilyestrom is todays guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast.
She is an expert on branding a business to reflect personally your own identity.
She is of total belief that the personality of a business should be linked intrinsically with that of the owner.
If you are a serious and professional type then your branding you should emphasise that.
If you are a crazy, fun loving person, then hey throw caution to the wind.
As she says ” It’s time to Step in to YOUR power. I stood in your shoes. Anxious, afraid, paralyzed and unable to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
I just knew the things I was doing weren’t it. After a life-altering experience with the birth of our daughter, when I stopped breathing on the operating table of a routine c-section, I knew it was time to make a change.
It had awakened in me a feeling like nothing I had experienced before and with my daughter’s birth, I was reborn. I was ready.”
It’s a common theme, that so many times in peoples lives its those earth shattering, scary moments that really wake you up and helps you look for a new future.
How The Dots Joined Up For Amber
And that was the case with todays guest.
As she says again “We only get one shot in this go-round.
So I took the leap, I left my 10-year career and the safe nest of my alma mater and decided to launch my own business.
Looking back, it was the greatest decision I could have ever made for my family and for my LIFE.”
So how did she know what direction she should be going in when she decided to take the leap of faith and go it alone?
And does she find the subject of branding to be something that is almost universally made more complicated than it actually should be?
Well let’s find out, as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Amber Lilyestrom.
During the episode we discussed such weighty topics with Amber Lilyestrom such as:
How she played a role in the company that she worked for and felt stifled when the role kept her feeling small, and she knew she couldn’t be small anymore.
How when she has a big decision to make she will always ask her younger version to see if it hold true to the life values she had when small.
How she feels that she everyone in life can have a pair of magic scissors that can cut the ties that anchor them, and when they do its “UP” time!
How she wrote a letter to her older self to tell herself what she wanted to in her life, and believes it as a hugely powerful way to set your goals and targets.
How she so wants to be present in the life of everything her family does, that she wont allow her focus to move from the here and now.
How To Connect With Amber Lilyestrom
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Full Transcription Of Amber Lilyestrom Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello there, everybody. Welcome to another episode of the powerhouse podcast. In fact, I don’t call it a podcast. I call it a radio online show. That sounds better. Welcome to Join Up Dots. This is Episode 308. We’re coming from the UK. And of course you can get us wherever you are across the world. And I saw the other day that we are actually in my world’s official favourite country. Bora Bora. I’ve always mentioned Bora Bora. I don’t even know where it is, but it’s somewhere on the list and it sounds very exotic. So welcome to all Bora Bora, people, whatever you call yourself. So thank you for Being here. Now today’s guest is an expert on branding a business to reflect personally, your own identity she’s up total belief that the personality of a business should be linked intrinsically with that of the owner. So if you are serious and professional type and your branding should emphasise that if you’re a crazy, fun loving person when Hey, throw caution to the wind, and she says it’s time to step into your power. I stood in your shoes, anxious, afraid, paralysed and unable to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I just knew the things I was doing worth it. After a life altering experience with the birth of our daughter when I stopped breathing on the operating table of a routine c section. I knew it was time to make a change. It had awakened in me a feeling like nothing I had experienced before. And when my daughter’s birth, I was reborn. I was ready powerful stuff. Now, it’s a common theme that so many times in people’s lives, it’s these earth shattering scary moments that really wake you up and help you look for a new future. And now was the case with today’s guest. And she says again, we only get one shot in his go round. So I took the leap, I left my 10 year career and the safe nest of my alma mater, and decided to launch my own business now looking back, it was the greatest decision I could have ever made for my family and for my life. So how did she know what direction she should be going in when she decided to take the leap of faith and go it alone? And does she find this subject to branding? To be something that is almost universally made more complicated than it actually should be? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Amber Lilyestrom. How are you?
Amber Lilyestrom [2:39]
I’m fantastic. David, how are you?
David Ralph [2:41]
Did I say your name right? Did I
Amber Lilyestrom [2:43]
yeah, you nailed it.
David Ralph [2:44]
Was it was it spot on because I panicked as it got close? And
Amber Lilyestrom [2:48]
I could tell you were nervous. But you did great.
David Ralph [2:50]
There you go. I won’t mention it again. I’m just gonna call you Amber. So how are you Amber, you are in greater Boston area, I believe. Is that right?
Amber Lilyestrom [2:58]
Yes. I’m actually in the State of New Hampshire. I’m about an hour north of Boston over here in the United States.
David Ralph [3:04]
It’s a lovely place. I had my greatest experience ever Well, I’ve had a few great experiences and probably getting married and stuff would be on the top of it. But um, while watching outside Boston, you couldn’t fold out of a boat without hitting a wall. It was astonishing.
Amber Lilyestrom [3:20]
Yeah, we have some great whales around these parts. I’ve gotten a few of those myself.
David Ralph [3:24]
Is it something that you would actually recommend for people to go there? If we were coming across to Boston? And you were meeting us at the airport? And we said, Amber, show us the best of Boston Boston can give us would that be on your list? Or would there be other things?
Amber Lilyestrom [3:39]
Oh, I would probably take you to Faneuil Hall market to try all the different food there. Check out the kind of historic sites of the city, maybe go on the duck boat tour. But you know, it also depends on what your interests are. And so the whale watch is a great thing. I think you got to make sure you have solid weather because it is awful cold here at different times of the year. Even in the summer out on a boat in the ocean, it can be quite cold and choppy. So yeah, but I great experience really great experience. I had gone on one up at bar harbour, Maine and we didn’t see as many whales, the Boston one was better.
David Ralph [4:15]
I was actually on the boat and the humpback whale. I think it was a humpback actually jumped out the water about two inches away from us, and kind of crashing down. And then it kind of came underneath the boat as I was looking. And I could look right into his eyes. And it was just like, I was looking at that. And there was always um, what you call them biological scientists, Aqua marine scientist, whatever they called. And they were saying you know, we’ve been doing this for 15 years. We’ve never seen it like this before. So I don’t know what this well had smoked or whatever. But it was certainly putting a performance and it was amazing.
Amber Lilyestrom [4:50]
He wanted to make sure you had a good experience over here on on this side of the pond.
David Ralph [4:55]
Absolutely. Like I want to do with you on this show. So thank you so much for coming on the show. That is a very open and honest about page out of all the guests I’ve had. I was reading this and I was thinking to myself, is this your branding? Is your branding? Such honestly because not many people would be talking about, you know, routine c sections and stopping breathing and stop. Is that part of what’s making you powerful?
Amber Lilyestrom [5:23]
Yeah, yeah, I think that is I think there’s this movement, specifically among women, female, whether entrepreneurs or not, around, telling our stories and realising that when we tell our stories, we empower others to do the same. And I believe in branding and in life. Authenticity is is the gift right? It’s like the way to ascension, enlightenment, all the things we want presence in our lives and so why not just show up where you are, tell your story and see what happens. Next is funny
David Ralph [6:01]
because we talk about being authentic, literally every show, if not every show 99% of the time. And until you grasp it, you just can’t grasp it, can you and when you’re in a corporate gig or you’re on a path that’s not yours, the fault of actually just being totally yourself. Seems lazy somehow, he’s like, you’re not putting effort in, but actually, that’s when the Rocket Power occurs, isn’t it?
Amber Lilyestrom [6:27]
That’s right. And, and I think we’re also taught that we have to perform and behave in a certain way. Specifically, we work for organisations and I get that because there’s a whole element to it in terms of, you know, just doing the right thing and representing the organisation that you are working for. So that’s a that’s a safety mechanism for the organisation making sure that their people understand the right way to you know, represent them in their branding as well. So I certainly get that. But it also kind of makes it really difficult for people to figure out what it is that they actually want when they just walk around like robots, you know, making sure that they speak in line and they say everything that’s in the company script.
David Ralph [7:11]
I don’t know she get, I don’t kind of agree with what you’re saying with the corporate gig. I always being when you interviewing, if you’re a manager you’re interviewing, you’re generally looking for new blood fresh approach to bring into the business. And it always seems strange to me that we and the companies I used to work for would bring in sort of unique, authentic individuals, and then try to twist them to our way over a period of time and I used to think this is bizarre Why are we bringing these people in for their background experience and their personality or whatever? And just making them exactly the same as we’ve got here already? Shouldn’t we allow them to be who they are and do what they are but it was never the case really, and it is certainly not the case. I’m really speaking about myself, I suppose in that with the wider regard but it was always a case of let’s mode for me. What we feel comfortable with? And that’s gonna be wrong, isn’t it?
Amber Lilyestrom [8:04]
Yeah, well, yeah. And I think that also, we just fall prey to the the pressure to do that, right? Because if you’re the, you’re the outlier, and you don’t really want to fall into that you then become like the alien and the person in the room at the meetings that is being disruptive or, you know, not going with the flow. And so, you know, I specifically work for a large organisation, an institution of higher learning and so there was very clear code around how we needed to represent the institution, you know, and so there was a lot of like, company line and stuff that had to be followed, but you know, it just it just didn’t always work in what I’m referring to. We’re just thinking of some of the folks that in better have were my colleagues at the time and just kind of watching them and seeing them shrivel up a little bit, you know, and, and put their desires kind of aside because of the company culture.
David Ralph [9:00]
If you ever shrivelled up because certainly on your website, you’re you’re blooming forward. It’s very pink. It’s vibrant colours. It’s fun. It’s very girly. Your whole branding seems to be very girly. It’s very sort of, um, yeah. appeals to the ladies, I would imagine. Yeah. And the men as well, it’s very nice to look at. But have you ever had a time when you’ve actually sort of shrivelled up yourself and you become less than what you want it to be?
Amber Lilyestrom [9:24]
Well, I think
Yeah, that’s a really good question. I think that after it my the experience with my daughters for I felt I had this awakening and I knew I need to do something differently, but I didn’t have any idea how and I had been thinking about this before that experience, you know, knowing that something had felt off for a long time and I had tried many different outlets to express that. Whether it was through you know, becoming a fitness, competitor, blogging, doing starting a photography business, you know, ways to really express myself but realising that every single day I was still going to the same place and still, you know, carrying the torch for an organisation that yes, I believed in the mission and I, I love their mission, but it wasn’t what my heart wanted to do anymore. So what happened once I kind of was figuring that out, I had to just kind of go with the flow, you know, because I was still there and I had I didn’t have my plan. And so I felt really stifled, you know, it’s like putting up the pot on the cover on a pot boiling pot on the stove. And so I don’t know if it’s shrivelled up, but just feeling super contained and frustrated and then not able to really do anything, whether it was in my job or in my home life for in growing my business, or, you know, behind the scenes, I felt just so incredibly stuck.
David Ralph [10:49]
It uses sliminess tile, isn’t it? I think most people go through life and at some stage they had those feelings. And they go down the pub and they go down the bar and they say I don’t know, I just don’t know, I just not happy. And it’s a lot, it’s a lot easier. Like I had when I had a boss that joined the company, it was complete cow, and I had something to rally against. And she was the reason I was unhappy and there was no getting away from it. But when you just kind of just don’t feel that it’s happening anymore. It’s difficult to justify, isn’t it?
Amber Lilyestrom [11:23]
Mm hmm. And, and, you know, I, I’m one of those folks where, you know, you give me an environment that I’m feeling passionate about, I just go for it. And I I was really achieved high levels of success in my corporate career. I was, at this point, I was a year away two years away from being the president of a major organisation of all sport marketing professionals in the entire country. And, and, you know, I was just, I just was like, I’d set a goal and I would hit it, I’d set a goal and hit I was the youngest person in the whole history of the department to have the title that I had. And so you know, when you were in I was so passionate and so gung ho, I almost felt broken because now I’ve had this awakening and I’m there thinking, I just can’t get fired up about this, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. So now I just feel completely overwhelmed and just drained because I never I wouldn’t stop thinking about it. You know, it just like I’ve been obsessing about what am I gonna do? What am I gonna do? And the answers weren’t really coming.
David Ralph [12:23]
So So what did you do Ben, because this is a nugget of gold here and I’m sure people are leaning into the microphones all over the place, and they’re pressing their headphones even harder into their ear because I think this is it. Amber is going to give me the answer to my life is exactly what I’m thinking. So Amber, what did you do?
Amber Lilyestrom [12:43]
So this might feel a little preemptive, given the the state of the programme, but anytime I’ve had to make a really big decision in my life, and I’ve had to face you know, major change and have a lot of courage. I thought about what little amber would be Want or do or what would she be proud of? And candidly, you know, I got a divorce when I was 26 years old. And the same thought the same thing through in terms of how I was going to figure that out. And I couldn’t figure out my How then either until I asked my younger self, what are you proud of where I am right now what I’m doing? And, and I knew that the answer was you can’t keep doing this because this isn’t this isn’t the destiny. This isn’t where, you know, the vision that I had is such a young child for my life. And so I realised, okay, I have to do something now I have to go for it. And I got in touch with what that felt like and what it felt like David, here’s the thing. You can’t focus on the house so hard that it becomes an obsession. You have to focus on the now. So what can you change in the present moment. So for me, that was coming up with either a programme, a coach, a plan, whatever To start my own business, and at that point, I didn’t even know what the heck I was going to be marketing or doing. I just knew I needed to be an entrepreneur. And I started there.
David Ralph [14:10]
I love that bow. And I know we are going to come to that at the end of the show with the Sermon on the mic. But that is a key value, isn’t it? what you’re talking about is you’re not assessing at that moment in your life with your adult head on with the responsibilities and the mortgage and all the things that sort of go around as what we should do. You’re taking it back to the simple time when you would do what you wanted to do, because you like doing it, which we used to do when we were kids. And I think that’s a brilliant way of thinking about it. And I think you’re the first person to actually phrase it that way in 300 episodes, even though we do touch on it at the end of the show. So what would the young amber have wanted to do even if you’re going back in time and saying, Amber, does this feel right? What would have been embers dream when she was a little girl?
Amber Lilyestrom [14:59]
Well We told amber as a little girl wanted to be a pop singer. She wanted to be a pop star. She wanted to be on stage singing. But she also had a vision for a vision of courage that word has been with me my whole life and the idea and the learning through life experiences that sharing my story of survival. In some cases, I experienced a very traumatic childhood trauma and I and I survived it. That if I had the courage to tell my story, other people would tell there’s two other people would overcome the fear and go for what they actually wanted. They would not let a challenging experience define them and stop them from going for what it was that they really wanted.
David Ralph [15:49]
Did you think there’s a movement towards that nowadays because I certainly do when I when I was, I suppose, when I was a kid, I wasn’t aware of it. But when I was a young adult in corporate land, People used to just go down the pub in the evening and moan about things. But now there does seem to be a movement of people taking more control and trying to find a better way. And whether it’s because we’ve got the internet around us now. And so we can see a different way across the world. And we can see what amber is doing outside Boston, and they can see what David’s doing. And we can see all these people that we couldn’t have connected with 1015 years. But do you think there’s a positive movement of people going, I’ve had enough is down to me?
Amber Lilyestrom [16:31]
Oh, yeah, most definitely. And I think that there’s like this. It’s like an empowerment, right, a self empowerment movement out there. And you have sites like Huffington Post, right? And they just decided to only publish more positive stories and you have positively positive and you have Mind Body green and elephant journal, and you have all these media outlets that are sort of bucking up against the traditional media, if you will. And so it’s it’s giving us a platform to talk about the good things and to And really have that self discovery movement happening because at the same point, we all want to be better human beings on the planet, we want to be better in our jobs, we want to be better, you know, partners and parents. And, and I just think it’s a really it’s a beautiful thing because in essence, it’s gonna make a better planet for all of us.
David Ralph [17:20]
Oh, I agree with that totally. And I think one of the things that I’m seeing a change in, maybe it’s because I’m in the environment that I am now, but I was certainly in the Show Me The Money scenario, if there was a job, I didn’t really ask what the job was about, Show me the money. And I remember earning the most I’ve ever earned in my life and being the most unhappy I’ve ever been in my life. And it was an equal balance to the amount of money to unhappiness. And now I’m finding that people are more about providing value to people and there’s there seems to be this, this, this switch that’s turned on, but people realise now but if I can solve a problem that makes people’s lives matter very much like what you’re doing, then that is where the true value is. And I actually feel better about myself at the same time. So it’s a double Win win. Do you see that?
Amber Lilyestrom [18:10]
Absolutely. The the focus on intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, I think is is significant. And I also think that because of the, the technology we have available to us now, it’s much easier to disseminate it and to engage with people. I mean, I just launched a new programme and I just got a sign up today from someone who’s up in Nova Scotia and Canada, you know, and like, how would I have found this woman How would this woman have connected with me before? Now? No, like, I don’t know, I don’t know how that would be possible. I have clients all over the world and and without this technology, that just flat out would not be possible.
David Ralph [18:49]
So So how would you get that blowing my mind so somebody comes to you from Nova Scotia for example? And obviously, yes, a using technology but I’ve seen it more often than not when I’m coaching people and I do a certain amount of coaching. Not a great deal, but I do. There seems to be this this mindset of, I’m not good enough for the task, even though somebody is coming to them and is offering payment for their services, they kind of stay small and they think small. Now you’re going global and these people are coming to you. Does that empower you? Or do you still have that kind of thing of drama? Right, okay, this is a big one better raise me game for this. I’m not sure if I’m up to that.
Amber Lilyestrom [19:33]
That’s a really good question. Um, yeah, you know, I think it takes it’s like baby steps. And I remember right at the beginning, when I was doing coaching calls, I’d be like, practically hyperventilating beforehand, when someone would pay me and be like, Oh, my God, are you sure? But But now, you know, it’s just been a process but I will say like, when I reflect back my entire life, I’ve always been the captain of the team. That I’ve been on the leader that people have gone to my organisation I was a leader there. I’ve always been a mentor I taught at the university that I worked at and mentored students for those 10 years and I have hundreds of students that still messaged me and check in and tell me about their promotions and where they’re at in their careers and thank me for my role in their lives. And so I think that that gives me great confidence and obviously gratitude, you know, for the experiences and it’s for me, it’s about the connections because I genuinely want to help people give themselves permission slips the keys to drive their own lives I because I see their potential and I feel like if I can give them the confidence of what greater gift than that,
David Ralph [20:51]
you are, I think any coach that’s worth their weight in gold. All they are is a magic mirror. They basically show Show the other person what they can’t see. And it’s a reflection but for somebody who’s my wife, for example, beautiful lady love her to bits. Whenever I say something nice about her she very much Oh yeah, well, you will say that. No, it’s because I can see it. Wish I had your eyes, she always throws it back at me. And I see that a lot of the time with the people I coach and I see where the people are at all. They they want to believe it. They want to believe what you’re saying. But there’s something that holds them back whether it’s anchoring them to things that have gone in the past or whatever. And as soon as I start to sort of get those magic scissors and I start snipping away those anchors you can see but they get lighter, and they enjoy themselves and there’s a lightness to them. And when they get it don’t know and I liken it to that that image in the is it Pixar film up when he makes the last rope and he’s house just floats away and adventure is beckoning. And I see that when people went once they snip that last rope. It’s almost same say, Yeah, okay. I now believe and Ben the welter of oyster is amazing. It’s like magic, but it’s magic that they’ve got in them already. You’re just I suppose you want to scissors.
Amber Lilyestrom [22:14]
Yeah, that’s a beautiful analogy and and i think that there’s this heavy component of being ready. I think that they need to be ready to start snipping the anchors no matter what that pace is going to look like you know, most people are not ready to even pick up the scissors. So when people come to us as coaches, sometimes just because they made that financial commitment that serves as a rite of passage to at least entertain looking at the scissors and thinking about them and then you know, slowly we work together to start start trimming.
David Ralph [22:53]
On your your deathbed, I suppose you stop breathing on the bed, and when you come to an end awakened in me a feeling like nothing I had experienced before now I’ve got daughters I’ve got sons I’ve never given birth obviously, but I know that emotion of this is the reason I’m here. This did there’s no other reason to be on this planet other than produces child and look after him and keep the generation of the population going. So I know that feeling, but it had awakened in me a feeling like nothing I had experienced before by a huge word so so what was bad?
Amber Lilyestrom [23:30]
So it was literally like this sort of panic of I have so much more to do here. And literally those words were like reverberating inside my head as I was literally not breathing and with a bag over my face and thinking, This can’t be happening right now. I have not even met my daughter yet. And it just, it was just a moment of like, okay, I hear you surrender. Yes, acknowledgement, change is going to come. And when I surrendered David, I was able to breathe again. And so that there’s no possible way that I could leave that operating room with the same intentions that I had going into it.
David Ralph [24:21]
So So was it a survival instinct? Or was it a sudden awareness that there was a legacy to be led? And that’s it was your starting point of leaving a legacy?
Amber Lilyestrom [24:33]
Yeah, I think it was the starting point. I think it was there was definitely like the panic but then it it shifted into, I know that I’m going to be okay, that I’m held that this is now I apparently needed this wake up call to some degree. And I’m being delivered it in a divine way if you if that’s your belief system, and I am going to move forward now and figure out how I’m going to make this happen because I have big dreams of being on stages telling people you know, sharing stories and empowering people and just going for it. And, and I’ve always dreamt of that, you know, I’ve always known in my, my core that that is my purpose here. And so yeah, it was like this. The time is now,
David Ralph [25:21]
I think is astonishing, really, because it’s, we’re in the early episodes, we used to use this phrase all the time, and I stopped saying it because you hear it all the time. Find your passion, find your passion, and it’s just really annoying, isn’t it? Because no one knows what their passion is until it comes to you. But what you said there, you always know. And you do know it’s in you. I knew when I was going to do this, that it was absolutely right now I kind of stumbled across it. And I can’t really grasp a definitive answer how it’s happened. But from the moment I had my first word and I spoke to a gentleman called Mike mccalla Wits who is an author and it was a very first show I did I bought myself, this is it. This is absolutely where I should be. So even when and I’m going to come to this with you in a moment, even when you get this feeling of, yes, I’ve got to do this, this is what I want to do. It’s not plain sailing after that, it becomes hard and it becomes really hard. But because you know, in your heart of hearts is what you want to do. You’re able to push through like you can’t when you’re working in those corporate gigs, that they’re making you feel small, that that’s the times when you would have quit and gone off to another job because that’s the way to do it. But when it’s your own thing, and it’s your your life mission is once again, it’s just like, there’s a big arrow above your head saying this way and you just keep on walking after the arrow.
Amber Lilyestrom [26:46]
Absolutely, absolutely. And I think, listen, I don’t have it all figured out. I’m figuring it out every day of the week here and they’re still things that don’t feel great. And then there are things that feel absolutely mad. But the bottom line is, what feels amazing is that I am working out of my home right now my daughter is taking a nap across the hall. And I’m not missing her growing up. And I’m also connecting with people all over the world and sharing my message of empowerment. And somehow it’s resonating and they are getting results from it. They’re feeling empowered, and they are making changes in their own lives, which in effect creates a ripple, a ripple effect in the people in their world. And so it’s it all it’s amazing. It’s just I’m so profoundly grateful.
David Ralph [27:38]
Let’s listen to some powerful words. This is Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [27:41]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father. Not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [28:08]
He’s a key statement that really should be played every day to every person on this earth.
Amber Lilyestrom [28:14]
Oh, that’s a wake up call in and of itself. Absolutely. And sometimes you don’t know you know you because you get in the track and you put your head down and you go and you think that winning at someone else’s achievement system is the way
David Ralph [28:32]
when when you were talking just before I played Jim Carrey, you were saying that your daughter’s asleep because the whole you’re not missing anything. And you’re somehow and you use the word somehow making a change to people’s lives. They are resonating to it. Is that a sort of limiting belief as well, but you don’t quite understand your power, but you’re saying somehow they’re picking up on it.
Amber Lilyestrom [29:00]
Yeah, I think I it’s just it’s it’s almost, I think it’s because I’m just I am just so grateful and living in the the framework of the corporate career that I was in for 10 years. Also, you know, my beloved parents who are still working jobs and trying to make ends meet. I grew up in a family, middle class family of very, very hard working passionate people who are have always struggled financially and so I you know, I’m certainly doing my my share of work on on, you know, changing those beliefs, changing those scripts releasing, really, it’s just releasing it, letting it go and not carrying it forth. But yeah, you know, I think it’s, it’s a, it’s a work in progress, but the beautiful thing is David is when you can recognise it and so when you can identify that, that’s what’s Okay, that’s what’s holding me back. And I don’t have to own that anymore.
David Ralph [29:57]
I think the powerful thing as well and it goes To the listeners. I know before I started many things, I felt it had to be perfect. I thought I had to had the most perfect website, I had the most perfect branding and everything had to be gorgeous in my life. But it’s work in progress, isn’t it? And the fact that you are quite openly saying, even though you’re coaching people, I’m not perfect. I’ve got the same fears. I’ve got the same Scary, scary moments, but I’m working through those, funnily enough. It’s that lack of perfection, which is more repeating, isn’t it? I would far more want to be coached by somebody like yourself, because I feel that you’re real and you’re honest, and open vein, some person who looks like they’ve absolutely nailed it, and probably is, I don’t know getting beaten up by the wife every night and not telling the well just hiding behind this facade of perfectness. Open
Amber Lilyestrom [30:54]
absolutely because, you know, it doesn’t exist it’s it’s not reality. No part of perfection is reality. I think the the stereotypical belief of perfection, I would say that, you know what we’re doing is is perfection because we’re, we’re having fun. We’re connecting, we feel good. I mean to me like that perfection is that it’s sitting on the couch with my husband after my daughter went to bed and having a glass of wine and just talking about the day and not feeling frantic and totally stressed out, that’s feels pretty perfect to me.
David Ralph [31:29]
He’s at two perfect though. So for the listeners out there that are going and commuting to a job they don’t like and they are standing on the underground or the two but a subway and I’ve got people’s armpits in their face and rattling there. And you’re saying that you walk across the room and your daughter’s in a bed and you’re doing this work and when you sit in there. Is that too perfect? Is that an image but people can’t have always liked the image nowadays that everyone can have if I only want it.
Amber Lilyestrom [31:59]
I think You can create whatever it is that you want and that I’m sure that those people on the tube are probably really rolling their eyes at me right now. But I will tell you for a fact that one year ago, on this day, I was sitting in an office in the murky, snowy, slushy days that our new hampshire right now, my daughter was a daycare. My husband was at work as he’s a police officer. And I was completely stressed out and frantic going from meeting to meeting and missing my child who was five months at the time and feeling like how am I ever going to make this happen? If I lose, if I leave my job, I’m cutting my house in half. And the benefits are through me. How am I going to do this? So? Yeah, yeah, I get it. But I also will tell you that if you take one step at a time, and you just trust yourself, and you go slowly with it, and you don’t try to be Tony Robbins overnight, or Donald Trump or whomever, and you just, you know, set the vision and finally your way through the path it is possible.
David Ralph [33:03]
But that is one of the problems, isn’t it? We see the Tony Robbins and we see these people and they’re out there and they’re standing in front of 20,000 people with their arms spread like the Messiah. And you kind of thing. Yes, that is where competence is. I haven’t got competence. But you don’t reflect that when Tony Robbins first went out in front of probably five people he wasn’t what we see nowadays is work, progress. And we but as human beings, we like to see the success and we like to think that it’s okay for them, because it stops us wanting to try. We can almost convince ourselves that these people have got talent skills, they’ve got luck. It’s all right. It’s never gonna happen to me, but they probably had those same feelings as well, didn’t they? But I did something about it.
Amber Lilyestrom [33:51]
Right? Right. And it’s just that that you know, undying vision and knowing inside that, but it’s also giving yourself permission to want what you want.
David Ralph [34:04]
And what do you want men really, if we cut to the chase, what do you really want away from money, success, status and all those kind of things. When people start you kind of think that’s what you want, but you don’t.
Amber Lilyestrom [34:18]
Yeah, you know, I want I want to be present in my life. I want to feel peace in in my heart, you know, I want I want to experience the experiences of my life because we can’t kid ourselves to think that we have anything other than that, you know, my daughter is only going to be 18 months old one time, my parents are only going to be 65 and 70 respectively, one time with me, you know, at this age and so, I am just so hyper focused on just wanting to you know, celebrate presents and create opportunities for you know, my loved one And I and the people that I work with to just be in it with each other in the moment.
David Ralph [35:05]
That’s the beauty of life that you create yourself, isn’t it? Because when when I quit my job, I lady said to me, and I’ve told this story numerous times, but I think it’s quite powerful. And it it links us to what we’re talking there. And she said to me, what you gonna do with your life? Well, what have you got anything planned? And I said, I’m gonna look at clouds. And she said, What do you mean by that? I said, I just want to lay on the grass, looking at clouds just because I can and I’m not having to be somewhere because I’ve been told or get up because my alarm clock goes. Now Actually, I haven’t laid on the ground. Clouds ones, but the the concept of it is still right. But I wanted the choices to do what I want when I want and if I want to go to the movies on a Tuesday morning after I dropped the kids off to school and sit in an empty cinema, I can do and when I looked at it, it made me realise but myself That was my key value, and money sucks. status and whatever was nothing compared to having those choices or being able to do what I want, when I want is is powerful when you realise what your, your absolute value is because it makes a lot of your choices afterwards easy to make. If it takes me away from that, when I’m not doing it, if it leaves it on the table, and I can still play around with it, Ben Yeah, that’s something I’m going to do.
Amber Lilyestrom [36:24]
Right, right. Absolutely.
David Ralph [36:26]
Is that something that people should do as an exercise? Should they stop for a while and actually think what is most important to them and and not salary and all those kind of things about those kind of emotional things, but really, what makes us as humans?
Amber Lilyestrom [36:42]
But yeah, I think one of the exercises that was really profoundly helpful to me was thinking about how I wanted to feel when I woke up in the morning, and just, you know, what, what were those? One of my favourite books is the desire map by Danielle Laporte. And it was What are your core desired feelings? What is it that you want to feel? And for me the first core desired feeling that I identified. While I was still in my corporate job was freedom. I just wanted a sense of freedom. And it’s just like what you talked about, I wanted to be able to be with my daughter and take her for a walk and, you know, work and do things that I wanted to do while she napped and not be answering to someone else and fulfilling a mission that wasn’t really the mission of my heart.
David Ralph [37:31]
So So how do you start doing that being the jump off? Yep, yep. You bet. You hold your stomach because you’ve been cut, and you start looking after your baby. And when you start to create and you’re creating your future, how did you go about it? Did you know as soon as you jumped off that bed, but branding was going to be your thing? Did you know that coaching was so is how did that sort of move along? Did you have to
Amber Lilyestrom [37:56]
know so at that moment, no, and I had some severe complication. And so all of the process of just trying to heal after my daughter’s birth was quite an ordeal. And so my focus I did not start really thinking buckling down until December 31 2013 when I wrote a letter to my future self, and I outlined in that letter, what I my wishes were what my hopes were for my future self. And that looked like you know, an entrepreneur, being home working from home helping people and I didn’t even know with what I just knew that I wanted to Yes, do some sort of coaching but I wasn’t sure and I think in the back of my mind, I realised that you’re going to have to face the biggest fear that you have here and that’s leaving the safe nest of this job. That is your first job out of college. And all the people that you have these these, you know, deep relationships with because they’ve been with you through it all. I mean, I was a student athlete at the university I played soccer in college. And so I had been there for 14 years. And now realising that I had to cut that tie and make this change, to go do something else, lots of upper limiting fears of Who am I to go do that, but I just took it one step at a time. And so I joined an online programme. In March of that the neck A few months later, I had a lovely coach who actually is from the UK, her name is Zoe Richards and just love her and she is a dear friend. And she helped me kind of hold the line throughout it and we just got clear on what it was that I was that I could do you know, what was I good at? What were some of my visions? What did I really believe in? And we went down the branding, the branding path, because it was also an area where there weren’t a lot of people doing the kind of work that I that I do,
David Ralph [39:55]
and did you pulling into it? Or was because I think that I I would personally think to myself, I’ve always allowed somebody to have control in my life. When I take that corporate leap, then this is my game, and somebody’s telling me, oh, you should be doing this. You should be doing that. I think I would possibly go against that. Did you? Did you feel that? Or did when she was saying it to you? Did you go? Yeah, I agree totally with what you’re saying. It’s just I couldn’t say it.
Amber Lilyestrom [40:21]
I think that I was so ready to make the leap it that it made sense to me. And so I thought, you know what, I’m gonna figure this out. And so when I launched my business, I did it in April of last year, I and I was still in my corporate career at the time. I was called the brand love coach straight like brand love coach calm, and I didn’t go through my own branding of Amber lilius shrim, which is what I really wanted, but I was afraid you know, I thought oh my gosh, you know, I’m gonna leave this corporate job. All these people here. Guess Who the heck do you think you are? leaving here is Amber lilius You know, and, and I had a lot of fear around it. But I knew that I knew branding, I knew that I knew marketing, I knew that I could help people with that. And I could make money doing it so that I could pay my mortgage and feed my child. And so that was enough for me to move forward. And, you know, step into this new life and also recognise that I was going to be figuring it out as I went along.
David Ralph [41:27]
Listen to these words, Oprah Winfrey,
Oprah Winfrey [41:29]
the way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move? not think about, Oh, I got all of this stuff. What is the next right move, and then from that space, make the next right move, and the next right move, and not to be overwhelmed by it because, you know, your life is bigger than that one moment. You know, you’re not defined by what somebody says, is a failure for you because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [42:01]
Now a lot of the early shows I used to play the Jim Carrey speech. And then I started throwing that in as well, Oprah Winfrey. And I started to think to myself, what is the most important? is it doing what you love taking a risk and doing what you love? Or is it as Oprah says, just think about the next thing you need to do and just methodically move forward. And I’ve tried to balance it in my head, which one I should play and now I play both of them because I think they are the perfect combo on a somehow
Amber Lilyestrom [42:30]
they are and I think that I love that that interview with Oprah. I think that taking the next right step is the only thing we can do. And so as long as you start to identify how you want to feel, and you try to keep that, you know, as a sort of foundational belief as you take the next right step, you know, you stay anchored to that. You’re it’s ultimately going to work itself out and I think that What she said is, you know, if you fail, it’s just more information. And if things don’t go great or the way you would hope they would I just see those things as as blessings. They aren’t that comfortable, you know, when you’re going through it, but but at the end of the day, it does. It is a gift, if you can frame it that way, it is a gift.
David Ralph [43:21]
I think you’re absolutely right. When you’re going through something, it’s not comfortable at all. And it’s the worst thing that could happen. But afterwards, you look back on it, and you go, thank God for that. Yeah, if that hadn’t occurred when I wouldn’t have done this, and I wouldn’t have done that. And the powerful part of that Oprah speech for me is the fact that decisions are only decisions they’re not life changing. So you make a decision and if it pans out great, and if it doesn’t make another decision,
Amber Lilyestrom [43:48]
and then right so i think i think that for the for the the folks that are on the on the train. It’s what’s your worst case scenario, like give yourself the permission to live entertain that what’s what is literally a worst case scenario for me it was, okay, we have to move in with my parents. And you know, that’s not that’s not that bad. I have lovely parents and they live in a great house and my family would be fine there and we would figure it out. And, and Okay, I have to go get a job at Starbucks or McDonald’s or something like, you know, I knew that wasn’t going to happen, but if it did, it wasn’t it wasn’t death, you know. And so I let myself go down that path to think okay, what what happens if this just like really falls apart and I have this faith as sort of undying faith and knowing that I have people in my life that are that are holding the space with me and for me, and as I do for them, and everything I knew was going to turn out one way or another. And he said, The key thing
David Ralph [44:47]
that if you want it bad enough, you’ll do anything, and you really wouldn’t care. You might have been a director in a bank in Boston earning a squilliam pound a year, but you would work In Starbucks, because it was part of the process. It’s part of the journey. And I, I, I struggle to see now, why people think that things have to be a straight line because I just know that they’re not. And you leave your corporate gig, if that’s what you want to do. It’s not going to be likely, but you go straight into something that replicates that salary perfectly instantly. But you can transition and we talk about the side hustle here on a slide of faith, as we call it, not the leap of faith where you, you jump in, you make it up as you go along. But the fact that maybe two years beforehand, you’re going to go right, I want to leave here, but I’m going to spend two years getting to a point where it’s going to be comfortable that I can leave, I’ve got a night money coming in. I might have got an extra client here or there or some kind of side hustle going, because then you can easily transition. But I think a lot of people when that decision hits them, they don’t want those two years do they want to go there and Ben and get it going? That’s the scary fit. And that’s why I don’t do it.
Amber Lilyestrom [46:03]
Yeah, right. And so I think you, you know, it’s just determining where you are. And for me it was, I couldn’t, I couldn’t do it anymore. I physically was I was feeling ill when I would drive to work. And I would sit in the meetings and just feel and you know, I’m, as you can tell, I’m very authentic, you know, I tell it like it is kind of person, I’m, I have to be honest. And I felt like I was living this lie, and I didn’t want to do that, because I really, really, you know, like, the people I worked with, and I and I wanted to be all in but my heart wasn’t all in anymore, and I knew I needed to make a change. And so we went through the process of, you know, entertaining the worst case scenario, but, but we also got really clear on our numbers and we made some changes financially in our home as a, you know, failsafe and backup and tried to make some, you know, to save as much as we could, but there definitely was like, there was a bit of that, you know, kind of leap of faith that I don’t know what’s gonna happen, we’re gonna be okay. And for like one or two months, but you know, something’s got to click in here.
David Ralph [47:09]
It’s funny as you were talking, it made me reflect on my own journey. And now I feel like this is it as I was saying, this is where I should have been, and everything was just building up to this. But I was in a band when I was about 1819. And we actually supported Pearl Jam once in this this little bar, you know, didn’t know they were Pearl Jam at the time. They were just a band. But um, and we, we were getting somewhere but we just didn’t have the passion for it. But the name of the band, funnily enough was living a lie. And I as you were saying it then I thought to myself, Blimey, I’ve been thought that that band for years, I wonder if that subconsciously was but I knew things weren’t right at that time. And it’s just taken me 25 years to find the thing that I should be doing.
Amber Lilyestrom [47:51]
David Ralph [47:53]
and whatever. Whatever happened to power jam,
Amber Lilyestrom [47:58]
you know, Eddie Vetter. I think they’re still They’re still around. I think they were pretty hot in the 90s. But I’m not, you know, super fan or anything, but I think they’re still around.
David Ralph [48:06]
That’s what we want. We want all the old guys getting back together we want, we want you and Ryan come back with a new album, don’t we?
Amber Lilyestrom [48:13]
Yeah, that would be fantastic.
David Ralph [48:14]
That would be perfect. So what I’m going to do now I’m going to play the theme of the show. And that is the speech that Steve Jobs made back in 2005, but really gave us the understanding of what the show was going to be about at the beginning. But it’s it’s gone in its own direction now, but this is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [48:32]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever, because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the car confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [49:07]
So what are the key words in that speech that jump out at you? Is it faith? Is it trust is intuition? Is it creating your own path?
Amber Lilyestrom [49:17]
Yeah, I actually was writing down while he was talking. I love that speech, that the trust in something and I believe that it can be whatever it is for you. For me. It’s it’s always been a gut knowing and intuition of just that I was put here to do something big and that’s not in the way of like Oprah Tony Robbins, whatever, in terms of fame, right. It’s about it’s about making an impact on the lives of a lot of people and helping them learn through the the struggles and triumphs that I’ve had, you know, the courage that I’ve employed to overcome big challenges and to be where I am and wherever I’m going to end up You know, so there’s that and then I just think Yeah, the theme of your show which is just a beautiful visual of connecting the dots looking backward. That’s and I was thinking about it while he was speaking about you know, looking back to being in courtrooms as a really young child and into the day when my parents took me to the you know, I was an elite level Jeanette gymnast. When I was like six, seven young and they I couldn’t do a front talk into the the pit. I was so scared. And they brought me on a Saturday, my mom worked at the gym and said, We’re not leaving here until you do it. And there was this big runway in front of me and I was so angry at my parents thinking like, you guys are so mean making me do this and I can’t do it. I’m going to hurt myself. I was so scared. And I would run you know, 10 steps and then jog back and then run 10 steps and stop and then finally I just realised I just had to go, I had to run. I had to do it. And I just sprinted. I think I close my eyes and I hit the thing. I did the flip. I landed in the pit and I started laughing and it was Like, oh, that wasn’t so hard. I just had to have the courage to start.
David Ralph [51:05]
Would that be one of your big dots in life? When when you cuz you can recall that so much would that be big dots?
Amber Lilyestrom [51:13]
I think so i think i think it is, you know, it was. And so from there it was like, you know, and in the scheme of my my growing up it was, you know, I was an athlete, I was a very competitive soccer player growing up and just my parents, my parents pushed me, you know, they believed in me, which then helped me believe in myself and go for the big things. But I think each time that you prove to yourself that you can do it, you know, when you’re facing this giant wall of fear, and you push through that fear and you do it, it’s like, oh, you know, you convince yourself of all of the things that you can achieve and then you just keep trying and you go to the next wall and you knock that one down, and then it just starts to get easier and easier.
David Ralph [51:57]
He strikes me though, but you don’t quite believe you. yet how good you can be the fact that you kind of reference Tony Robbins. But no, that’s never gonna happen. And Oprah and that’s never gonna happen. You’re still holding yourself back somehow from the true firing on all cylinders. Amber, aren’t you?
Amber Lilyestrom [52:15]
Yeah, that’s very that’s very adept. I. So another side and in total transparency, I’ve battled 15 years of my life, I had an eating disorder. Pretty, pretty tough one. And you know, a lot of people experience stuff like that. But it was a control mechanism because of my own sort of self worth issues. And so I’ve been a really high achiever, but I was always achieving to prove to myself that I was good enough. And, of course, on the other side of that achievement, I would always come up with something around why I wasn’t quite good enough. And so I think that now I’m just spending a lot of time doing a lot of reflection. I’m writing my book right now. It’s called the journey to letting go and it’s it’s pushing me to face a lot of those old stories and and release them really release the emotion around it and recognise the gifts and the silver lining and all of it. But, yeah, to really directly answer your question, yes, it’s still it’s still an everyday challenge. But, you know, I’m committed to continue to take those steps the right next step.
David Ralph [53:23]
So the last question before I send you back in time on the Sermon on the mic is, do you think there will be a day when you read that letter you’ve written and you think, yes, I’ve now that it’s time for a new letter?
Amber Lilyestrom [53:36]
Well, I have one right here that I wrote this year on the 2015. So you know, for to open at the end of this year. So yeah, I plan to keep doing that. I plan to keep holding myself to the next, the next thing, whatever that’s going to be and, and this is a new ritual in my life, and I’m extremely grateful for it.
David Ralph [53:57]
I think it’s so powerful, and I see time Tom again. And people are for the listeners out there are not quite sure what we’re talking about. You basically write a letter of how you want your life to be. And really, you should read it every single day. First thing, you get out of bed each morning, you read the letter, and you mark it on a board that you’ve read that letter, so it becomes a routine. And so you don’t just sort of like get up. And when you put Netflix on and you float around, it’s your first thing and it gives you that, that focus of what life is about. Because as Oprah was saying, one day becomes another day and another day becomes another day. And if you just do one decision each day that leads towards something is hugely powerful and will get you there so quickly. But when you go out I do it next week. Oh, it’s Christmas. Now I wait till January. That’s a good time everyone starts in January. You’re just not really getting going. But that that letter is a great tip for him, isn’t it?
Amber Lilyestrom [54:52]
Oh, absolutely. No question. And I think that you know, in that letter, you can really outline what you don’t Get yourself in a real like centred position when you’re writing that and coming from your heart, you know, from your personal internal compass. And when you write that letter, you know that is it. And so when you’re making those daily decisions around, what am I going to do today? What am I going to focus my energy on? What programme Am I going to join? What job Am I going to take? Which person? Am I going to date? Whatever that is? Is it in alignment with that vision? If it’s not, then that makes your answer a lot easier.
David Ralph [55:26]
Absolutely. Life values once more. Well, this is the part of the show that we call the Sermon on the mic. And he says when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self, and if you could go back in time and speak to the young Amber, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m going to play the theme tune and when it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [55:55]
best bit of the show
Amber Lilyestrom [56:10]
Hello there little Amber. It is me 33 year old, big Amber. And I just need to tell you that you’re a courageous little person and all of the visions that you have for your life are happening, they’re unfolding makes me emotional. And I just want to tell you that you’re right. And you have to stay strong and what you believe.
And don’t let anyone tell you anything else. And most importantly of all, I am incredibly proud of you.
And that’s what I want to tell you and I love you.
David Ralph [56:53]
And but how can that audience connect with you?
Amber Lilyestrom [56:56]
They can find me over at amber Lily astrum dot Calm, they can find me on firstname.lastname@example.org slash brand love coach, also an Instagram at my name and Twitter. And I would love to connect with any of the listeners here today that any of the things that I said resonated to help you give yourself permission to live the life that you truly want.
David Ralph [57:20]
Well, we will have all the links on the show notes. Thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots and please come back again when you have more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Amber, thank you so much.
Amber Lilyestrom [57:36]
Thank you so much, David.
David doesn’t want you to become a fated version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.