How to Tap Into Your Inner Knowing with Amber Swenor
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Hello. This is Rebecca Fleetwood Hession, host of The Baddest Womens Council Podcast. I'm super glad that you're here. We provide reflection and connection for the high achieving career woman. So after the episode, we'll give you a couple of reflection questions, things to ponder as a result of the episode and then jump into the online community, badasswomenscouncil. community where you can continue the conversation. We have a weekly session where you can come in and discuss the things from our reflection questions, and then there's some other cool stuff in there as well. You can join the Badass Masterclass monthly subscription. There's some classes in there you can take. Come on over. You'll meet some cool people. All right, here we go with today's episode. In today's episode, we have Amber Swenor. She's a transformational business strategist, and I love that Amber and I's work is so closely aligned. To me, whenever you come across these situations where people are doing very similar work, it means that the work is important, and we need a lot of people out there doing it. So Amber's going to talk today about how to tap into your inner knowing. Here we go. Hey Amber. How's it going?
Amber Swenor: Awesome. How are you?
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Super good. I'm so glad that we're finally reconnecting. We can't even remember how long ago it was that we met because quarantine years don't count. It's like dog years or something. It doesn't make any sense. So it was a couple of years ago maybe- ish that we met at a conference.
Amber Swenor: Absolutely. Always knew in the back of my mind, I'm like, " We need to talk more. We need to do something together." The time will come when the time is...
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Well, here's my memory. The conference was amazing. But one of the things that I remember that I felt that connection with you is the night of the big media mixer when everybody dresses up and tries to put their best foot forward to meet a bunch of media connections because it was a PR conference. I was wearing a black leather dress, and I was there by myself, which is kind of putting yourself out there in a black leather dress, right?
Amber Swenor: Uh- huh( affirmative). Yeah. You're making-
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: You were so sweet. You came up to me and you were like... You just stopped and you looked at me. You go, " You look amazing in that dress, and I want to take your picture for you."
Amber Swenor: Aw, thanks for reminding me of that.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: You did. Because I didn't have any pictures of me that night because I was there by myself. My girlfriend that couldn't make it that evening for some reason. So you took a picture of me in that dress just because you thought I looked amazing, and I thought, " That is the kind of woman that I just love." So I have an actual amazing picture from that conference because of you that night.
Amber Swenor: Yes. I love that. I love that.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I do love that black leather dress. I've worn it a couple times since. So yes, girl.
Amber Swenor: Amazing. Okay, we need to resurface that picture. Hot.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Absolutely. I'll send it to you. It's funny. I love it. So the other thing I love about this conversation is we do similar work, and I love modeling for our audience that similar work isn't competitive. It means that God is out there tapping a lot of us on the shoulder and saying, " Take this message, do something with this." It means that the message is important. So today, we're going to talk about how to or why you should trust your inner knowing. What I often call your story, your unique gifts and talents. Tell us when you say that because I know this is the life that you live is helping people do this. What does that mean to you? How do you describe that to people and why it's important and what it is?
Amber Swenor: Yeah. Well, the important set up to the context. For me, I'm really driven by living a life that's in alignment through self. So people who I tend to help, they have that value that they're here. I always say there's a ton of ways to make money and run a business. There's a lot of different careers that a lot of people could do. We're multi- talented. But I'm here to really fulfill that inner purpose. So that inner knowing is that trust that what you feel is the path you're meant to be. So my through line, everything I teach and talk around is that your personal truth is the path to freedom. That's the crux. It took me some years of weaving and winding and navigating, but that's what my brand is and that's what everything's about. So people who resonate with that really want to feel aligned from the inside out, they're really going to get this concept and probably want to lean in deeper with trusting your inner knowing because there is a level of freedom that comes with trusting that and being your true self that can unlock so much expansiveness in every way and joy and relationships and business.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: 100%. I call it oftentimes the difference between striving and thriving because striving is an external validation of your success and thriving is that inner knowing. One of the things that I think is important because we have listeners that are both entrepreneurs as well as people that are working in a corporate setting is this doesn't necessarily mean you have to quit your job and start your own thing. While I know you work with a lot of entrepreneurs, and I have some in my client list too. I also am helping corporate clients find their inner knowing and use that in a really intentional way inside of a company, big companies even. So you can be true yourself and still work for somebody else. I want to make sure that people feel that as well.
Amber Swenor: Absolutely. Thank you for that distinction. Absolutely. We can all find value in this, and I believe that when we're in flow and greater joy in the work we're doing, the productiveness is easier. Like what you said, I love that analogy, you're thriving. It comes with more flow, and I also like relate it to just really knowing your zone of genius. Now the thing is just because you're really good at something doesn't always mean it's the thing you're necessarily totally meant to be doing. But even employers, and I'm an employer, and I also work with a lot larger companies who they thrive on having... You need to have a staff and a corporate environment. But even employers more and more are waking up to that... At least employers like me, I want people to be thriving as their whole self because of they're happier if it's more flow, if it's easier. That they're trusting their inner knowing and bringing that forth. It brings a different level of energy, of they're supported. They want to be doing the work versus the grindiness of like, " Well, this is who I have to be at work." The energetic lift that goes with not being able to be your true self setting can really take away from creating really great work product.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Oh, 100%. Energy. I love that you use that term and the flow and the energy because we're not machines here to produce. We're humans here to have value and impact, and that comes with our sense of rhythm and energy and flow. So the more we acknowledge it as not airy, fairy, woo. This is the strategy. This is the work is to understand yourself well enough to bring it in big, beautiful ways. I find that most people that are passionate about their work like you are have some sort of origin story of how you got started into this, some catalyst for this kind of work. Is that true for you?
Amber Swenor: So I grew up with amazing family. Blue collar working class, borderline poor at times. I was the first in my family to graduate high school and college. My mom was passionate at work but she chronically undercharged. She cleaned houses. She loved what she did, but she said, " If they think I'm worth it, they'll pay me more." For years and years and years she would never ask for a raise, and I saw her as such a tremendous, amazing human but also selling herself short in many ways. That made me really passionate about where business owners have their heart in the right place or companies that are really purpose driven but also helping them then empower that and amplify it through strategy. So a lot of times you see a lot of business owners that are really heart centered or mission driven or there's been business owners and companies that really know their strategy and they know how to go make the money, and I'm really interested in that intersection because I think it's better for everybody in the world. So that painfulness of growing up and seeing my mom who had this false belief that if you do work that you're good at, well you just need to be grateful for what you can get paid. Never saw her value enough to raise her own rates. That was painful, and I didn't want other people, especially people growing businesses... I felt that the world is better the more that compassionate, heart centered people could grow businesses and create more jobs. So that was a big catalyst for growing my business and focusing on really wanting to focus on purpose driven, heart centered, compassionate leaders because I think the more that they are success and create more jobs, the better it is for all of humanity.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Oh my gosh. I love this for so many reasons. One, we knew when we saw each other briefly, it was like, " She's my people." Which to me is indicative of trusting your inner knowing and your intuition and your gut because you and I have never talked about our business models other than today we dug in a little but to see what we wanted to talk about for this episode. That is the exact way that I frame it with my clients because I believe that the more money these brilliant people who care deeply make, the more good they can do in the world. A lot of times what holds us back is what you're talking about with your mother, which is what I call your money story. What was your belief about money? How were you raised talking about money or not talking about money? The healthier our money stories are, the more abundant we can be, the more growth we can have. So I love it when things like this happen because it tells me, " You know what, Rebecca, your gut is right. Amber is somebody that is your people and that you should've known."
Amber Swenor: That's fabulous. I totally agree, which is so fascinating because there's things that we do related to marketing or strategy but rooted in what you just said, money stories. The things that's in a company or in a business, and it's really important to be dissecting those things and really understanding what it is that's informing us because the more awareness we have, we can choose to work through it, write a new story for ourselves. Yeah.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: 100%. 100%. Oh my gosh, I love it. So let's say somebody's listening to this today and they're saying, " Trust my inner knowing. Okay. I want to do that." Should we start with... Well, we've already talked about why we should do it, but what are a couple of the how strategies if somebody's just listening today and thinks, " I'm interested in this because I don't know where to start."
Amber Swenor: Yeah. So this always sounds simple and it works.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Good.
Amber Swenor: So always recommend to do a visualization, whether that's something guided that helps you ground in, and what I mean is we've got to get calm, get in our bodies. When we're all up in our head, we're overthinking everything. But when we learn to come down into our body, and this is a huge transformation that I made. I was always somebody who was thinking with my head. How do I make money? How do I make my life better? I was a business strategist. I got paid to use my brain, and the more that I learned how to even shift my environment, go sit against a tree, go outside, go for a walk. This is so simple. But every time I go for a walk in nature, I get clear downloads. Breathing and coming down into your body and doing that reflection. Where do I see myself in a year? What's my big, scary, exciting dream or goal? What's the thing I've always been saying, " Oh, some day. Oh, some day. Oh, some day. Oh, I've always wanted this. I've always the lake home. I've always wanted to sing inaudible. I've always wanted to write a book, or I've always wanted motion." Whatever that is that's been with you, that's your inner knowing. It's there for a reason. The thing that you just keeps coming to you, what happens is when people inaudible space to tune in, get in our body, go in nature. The thing you find yourself writing down or thinking about before your brain has a chance to give you all the reasons about why you can't do it, that's your inner knowing telling you exactly what you're meant to do. It's scary as heck. You aren't going to have all the steps for trusting that.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: 100%. The nature and the breathing and getting into your body, I love that message. I have a little woods right beside my suburban neighborhood that is my sanity. I go there, take my dog every single day to clear my head and that's where I pray. That's where I think. That's where I have my best ideas. It's a part of the work. I think that's the thing that I'm most passionate about, people hearing these messages, not to see this as something separate from the work. But I see my morning journal, prayer, woods walk as the work that I do because it's that important.
Amber Swenor: 100%. I think exactly. I think some people might think, "What's the Earth- shattering... What's the strategy or the tactic?" And it's that practice. It's having that practice, and this is what we were also talking about how we're not here just to be productive. We're here to be humans. Shifting how we think about and how we inaudible as humans, as employees, as business owners. It's shifting that, that is the work. It's not that we often don't necessary want to go something energetically or within us that needs to be shifted to help us make the steps toward that direction that we want to go.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: When I work with my clients, I want them to discover their unique personal story. So they can then stand tall in that story and live a life full of soul and emotions and their natural curiosity about their unique gifts, talents, and abilities. So they can live a thriving life because our brains are hardwired for stories, and our brain wants us to thrive. So I help my clients tap into that. I also have a sponsor for this podcast called Storybook, which is a unique and innovative platform that helps you bring your company's stories to life by tapping into the emotional flow and the natural curiosity that we have about your products and services. So check them out. You can go to my website, wethrive. live, click on the stand tall in your story link and see the kind of work they're doing for us or go to their site, cantaloupe. tv. And there's hundreds of stories there that they've created that you can experience. Check them out. We're so grateful to work with them and for them to sponsor the podcast. Here's something that I've found to be true personally and with some of my clients. I want to get your thoughts on this. So once you start doing this work and allowing that inner knowing to speak back into your life and to guide and inform you, I have found that not everyone will be supportive of that inner knowing and you talking about it and testing some things out. So I'm always really careful about who I share things with too early in this process. What's been your experience with that?
Amber Swenor: I think that's super wise, and I truly recommend have a support network, a mentor, a coach, a community who is showing up for you judgment free. That's often not the role that our friends or family members are playing. They love us so they think they're keeping us safe. They may have a different value set than we do. So they're coming from a very different lens. My husband and I are talking about a decision about moving out of country, and it's so fascinating because some people are coming with all the pessimism and all the reasons why we shouldn't. Where other people are very much like, " Yeah, we did it. Here's what was great about it." So until you practice trusting your inner knowing and taking steps on it, it's really important that you've set that container or boundary with whoever you're sharing it with, how you need them to show up for you. What I mean is if there's someone that's always definitely the pessimist, which that can be positive to have in our life, but when you're in a tender place of you feel something, you know it's true, but you're still having fear about following it. It's really great to have that community or coach. I hugely recommend coaching. Life coach, business coaches because their job is to facilitate the space and help you navigate what's true for you. Their job is not to place judgment on it or tell you why you shouldn't do it.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Right. 100%. 100%. I want to say your inner knowing is not meant to be out there crowdsourced for approval.
Amber Swenor: Oh my god.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: It's an inner knowing for a reason and learning to trust it is a big part of it. So I love that. So step one, get inside your body, get out in nature, change your environment to really hear those inner voices. What else would be helpful for somebody listening today and wanting to take some steps towards this?
Amber Swenor: I call it learning and really knowing your through line or guiding principles. People talk a lot about values, and the more that you really can carve for yourself, these are my primary values, my primary where I want to center my life around. It can really help us to release the things that aren't in most alignment because what can be challenging is when we're trying to fit all the buckets and different people have different levels of struggles with this. I'm someone who while I've really known myself, I'm also super empathic and I want everybody included. So I had to go on my journey to really narrow down, " Well, these are my top values," so that I don't worry that I'm leaving anybody behind by living more in my truth. So narrowing that down. One exercise that's easy and I love it. You can make a list of 25 things that you're passionate about, you want to spend your time on, you want to accomplish in your life. Up to 25 things. So you make your whole list of all the things that matter to you. Then narrow that down to your top five. What are the top five that really matter the most that are present to you, that you're prioritizing over the next year. So it's that combination of values, what are your values and through line that really drives you, and then you're prioritizing around these top things that really matter to you because often when we're trying to do too many things or be all things to all people, that's when we can get the overwhelm. We feel like we're going too many directions. We don't know if we're on the right life path. So those are two strategies and tools that people can use is narrowing your values and making that list of 25 things you care about and you want to do in your life and narrow it down to five. That's where you're focusing.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I like that. I like what you said about because you're very empathic, it's hard because you don't want to leave people out or you want to make sure people are included. Man, did I struggle with that early on when I was creating my business. Because I really was still trying to please everyone else and making sure everyone was included. It took me longer than I wish it would've to get my voice to be the strongest one in speaking back to me.
Amber Swenor: Yes. Well, absolutely. Right. I've encountered this so many times over, and I started my brand strategy marketing company six years ago. We since changed names, and gone through an evolution. So as much as I say I practice this of trusting that inner knowing, it doesn't mean that it still doesn't come up with all those fears or who am I leaving behind. In my case, it was our entire household income was riding on that where I'm like, " If I trust my inner knowing, who am I leaving behind in terms of clients, if I trust this evolution where we were going through a brand identity shift." That's something for me I have that commitment that again, it's practicing little things. The more I started practicing the little ways I trusted the knowing, and I would get the proof of it. Then I started doing bigger things and bigger things. So it took a number of years of stepping into this in little ways that got me to the point where now I've been going through what I think of as a pretty expansive, pretty big shift that's leading to some really big things. But it was scary as heck. It's about the more that I trust that, I'm calling in the right people who are meant to be a part of the journey so that I can attract them and help them and resonate with them. It's not about what I'm leaving behind. It's about who I'm able to call in.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I love that. Who you're able to call in. Well, in fact, you are doing big, beautiful, expansive work. I noticed on your social media that you are recording a new TV program that's going to launch next year. Can we talk about that?
Amber Swenor: Yes. So it's called Four Days to Save the World. They have recorded their first two seasons. It's airing. The first season this fall, 2021, and then my season is airing April. I'm pretty sure my season is airing April 2022. It's a really cool concept where they brought together 100 visionary leaders, people in C Suite, business owners, and we had 10 teams of 10 with four days to create a business solution to solve one of the world's biggest global challenges. Like how to end hunger, how to end cancer, how to end cyber bullying, how to stop suicide. So my team was cyber bullying, and it really fits with what I'm really passionate about it, which is all the reasons why people are afraid to live in their truth and be in their authenticity for the things we're talking about. We're afraid of who we're going to leave behind. We're afraid of judgment. But cyber bullying is a real problem for all people, particularly youth. But it causes us to lose out on so many creative minds and visionary people and who can contribute positively to the world because we're just afraid to put ourselves out there.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Oh my gosh. Yes. Yes. This is also speaking to the fact that business has the ability to change the world. I cringe when people want to put business into this bucket of bad, evil, corrupt. Because yes, there are bad, evil, corrupt people in business. 100%. You can open up any publication today and find examples of that. But when you take the collective strategy and intelligence and focus it on issues and problems and opportunities or a strong enough bottom line to fund this kind of work, that's to me where commerce has the ability to truly change the world. I love this concept of putting entrepreneurs, smart, driven people at solving some of this.
Amber Swenor: Absolutely. One of the things I'm passionate about is profits rooted in purpose. It's this whole concept of what you were just saying. That's the evolution of the world that I see the world of where business is a force for good, and I believe that path to doing that is with profits rooted in purpose. You still need to be profitable in order to do meaningful change, and I think both of our work in the world is about helping to elevate those leaders who can lead that kind of charge, create more jobs, create more opportunity for people because it's just changing what the whole dynamic of the purpose of the world of work is.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Yeah, 100%. In fact, I just secured a publisher for a book that I wrote called Write Your Own Story, and there's three keys to this, what I called thriving as a badass career woman. But story first, then money, and then the rhythm that ties it all together. Because if we don't have that compelling story for ourselves, our inner knowing, and what do we want our business to be about for other humans? What's the story of how our business is going to operate? Then we launch in with the money making model to make sure it's profitable and make sure that we're funding that story that's so important to our passion.
Amber Swenor: Okay. I love what you just shared and kind of wild because our brand strategy framework is so similar. So clients will come and they need help with improving their marketing or they don't know how to grow their business, it's what you just said. Ours is the personal alignment, which is the story piece, and then we focus on the packaging and positioning, which is money. Then you say rhythm, and we say now it's your growth strategy where you're actually implementing this. How do you want your business to run? How do you do your marketing? So that's so fascinating because I love what you shared is a recipe to me for success in life, business and everything. That's bringing the combination of feminine flow with masculine structure. That meeting place where we can inaudible both side of the equation. At least that's how I relate it in my mind.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Yeah, I love that. Again, this was an evolution for me because I grew up in corporate America and strategy and execution business, competitive advantages. This evolution for me is that if more of us are being called to do similar work, it is infinitely important in the world. So whenever I come across people that are doing similar work as me, I think, " Yes, that affirming. That means I'm listening. It's important and more people..." There's going to take a lot of us doing this work if we're going to impact billions of people on this planet.
Amber Swenor: Totally. Love it.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I'm so glad that we connected. Oh my gosh. I want to stay connected. I want you to come back when your show airs and let's get this back in people's minds so they're watching and listening and paying attention to the work that you're doing. Amber, how can people connect with you, find you, be a part of your life after listening to you today?
Amber Swenor: Yeah. So my name, Amber Swenor. You can look me up on Instagram, LinkedIn, but also our website is soul- seed. com. That's a great place to get resources. So if you want to subscribe to one of our email offerings at soul- seed. com
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Awesome. Thank you for being you and for courageously doing the work that you're being called to do. It's important.
Amber Swenor: Thank you.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Today's reflection questions from Amber's episode are... The first one, what is that thing that you can't stop thinking about? Just let that wonder around in your head and your heart for a while. Pay attention to it. What is that thing? The second reflection question is how will you incorporate a daily stillness practice to be able to hear the voice of your inner knowing? Thanks so much for being here, and please join the online community at badasswomenscouncil. community where we can continue the conversation and you can meet other badass high achievers like you. Thanks so much. Make it a great day. You like the music for the podcast, go to iTunes, Spotify, wherever you listen to your music and look up Cameron Hession Clouds. You can download the full song there. He's got some other stuff out there as well, and y'all, he's my son. Be great if you'd go and download some of his stuff.
This week Rebecca is joined by Amber Swenor to talk about your inner knowing. Amber is a Transformational Business Strategist, and she guides us through what inner knowing is and the steps we can take to trust it. After listening to this episode, you'll have a good starting point to begin learning about your inner knowing and how you can grow your trust.