This week we welcome a leading digital marketing strategist, Amber Vilhauer. Amber is dedicated to supporting and coaching authors and speakers to establish a powerful, integrated online presence. Amber knows that it’s consistency and strategy that gets results and can empower us all to make a difference in our industries.
By sharing her own story of Great Work, which involves growing a multimillion-dollar business, Amber highlights the importance of the human connection in a digital world.
Join us as we discuss:
02:13 How Amber discovered her real purpose in her early 20’s
03:56 The automation that is being taught is stripping out the human connection so we need to ensure we are not losing that.
10:24 Amber is helping the authors see their potential and reminds them of their brilliance
13:38 Discover her system in helping and supporting the authors
18:21 Building support structures between idea and execution
24:24 From being someone who had zero ambition, Amber learned how to grow a multimillion-dollar business when she started to look at the changes she made in the world through her clients.
27:39 Learn how to keep your vision big and bigger.
30:47 Use your core value as a decision-making lens and filter.
34:26 When delegating, you shouldn’t force them into doing it your way, because that prevents them from being innovative.
36:30 The biggest struggle for business owners is they don’t give themselves enough time to think, process, and have time with their team.
About the Guest:
Amber Vilhauer is a leading digital marketing strategist who supports authors, speakers and coaches to establish a powerful, integrated online presence that gets results and empowers them to make a difference in their industry. Since starting her agency, NGNG Enterprises (standing for No Guts No Glory) in 2007, she has spent her career impacting her community and building strong strategic alliances with industry leaders and game-changers across the web. Amber has supported thousands of entrepreneurs on six continents with branding & website development, online marketing and live streaming services. She has been the launch manager behind dozens of #1 bestselling books including those for Mark Victor Hansen, Brendon Burchard, Martin Lindstrom, Dr. Daniel Amen, Lisa Nichols and Les Brown. She was recognized as the Female Entrepreneur of the Year at the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business and at the 14th Annual 2021 Women in Business and the Professions World Awards.
Connect and learn more at www.ambervilhauer.com and www.ngngenterprises.com.
About the Host:
Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist, speaker, author and coach changing our perspective on the world of work. It IS possible to do Great Work– launch a successful business, make a scientific discovery, raise a tight-knit family, or manage a global remote team– without sacrificing your health, happiness and relationships.
Amanda is the Author of the forthcoming book, Great Work: Do What Matter Most Without Sacrificing Everything Else, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda’s TEDx talk has received more than a million views and has been featured on TED’s Ideas blog and Ted Shorts.
Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global.
Sponsored By The Aligned Time Journal
The Unleashing Your Great Work podcast is sponsored by the Aligned Time Journal! The Aligned Time Journal is here to answer the question “But HOW?” How can we figure out what our Great Work is? How can we get started, stay with it, and finish our Great Work so it can go out in the world and have an impact?
Click here to learn more, and try it out for yourself!
For more information about the Unleashing YOUR Great Work podcast or to learn more about Dr. Amanda Crowell, check out my website: amandacrowell.com
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Welcome to unleashing your great work, a podcast about doing the work that matters the most to you. I'm your host, Dr. Amanda Crowell, a cognitive psychologist, coach, and the creator of the great work journals. Every week on this podcast, we are asking the big questions. What is great work? And why does it matter so much to us? What does it take to do more of your great work without sacrificing everything else? And how does the world change when more people are doing more of the work that matters the most to them? So whether your great work is building your own small business, or managing a remote team at a multinational company, you'll find insight and answers here.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Welcome, everybody to unleashing your great work. I am so excited today to have Amber Vilhauer. She is a leading digital marketing strategist who supports authors, speakers and coaches to establish a powerful, integrated online presence that gets results and empowers them to make a difference in their industry. Welcome Amber.Amber Villauer:
Amanda. You know, I love you, girl. And I love what you're doing with great work. I think it's really important to really dig in deep and lean into great work and love the episodes that you've had up to this point. It's really an honor to be here, and congratulations on the upcoming book. Oh, IDr. Amanda Crowell:
know. It's coming out one week from today. Oh,Amber Villauer:
how do you feel about it? I know, I know, you're interviewing meDr. Amanda Crowell:
on my podcast. I am excited I had this book has been in the works. I mean, you know, you've been sort of around with me from the beginning. And it has been a truly remarkable and healing experience. And I can and the people who are reading it say it really helps them. So I decide I can't wait. I'm excited to have to have it out into the world. People can read it. And so Amber, I would love to hear just start where we always start, which is what tell us a little bit about you. What is your great work?Amber Villauer:
Well, if I could, I'd like to split it into personally and professionally, please do because in my early 20s. Right now I'm almost 40. But in my early 20s, I discovered that my real purpose personally is to help others feel heard, seen loved and valued, which may feel a little general and broad. But that is literally what I do all the time. That is my intention. That is my focus. That is my discipline. We can talk about how I arrived at that in a little bit. But that's that's really meaningful. To me. It's important. It's like soul food, it lights me up, it makes me feel like the oxygen I breathe matters. And in my mid 20s, I stumbled into the online world, I was an event planner. And there were all of these internet marketers at the times, this was like the mid like maybe 2005, some somewhere in there. And they were talking about Google AdWords and sales pages and funnels, and I'm thinking what the heck is all of this, I didn't know anything about the online world. But I knew it would be a challenge. And that lights me up. And so I went home, I taught myself code. I built my own website, I started blogging about the things I was learning about. And in 2007 ng ng Enterprises was born. And it stands for No guts, no glory. It's a phrase my mom used to say to me all the time growing up. And I thought what better phrase to remember every day as I face my fears, and try to make a business out of helping people build their business online. So I would say that my great work professionally, Amanda, is really bringing human connection to the digital world. Wow. And we need it. We need it desperately. And there are a lot of internet marketers that are pushing automation. And automation is a really good idea in theory, because we all want to be better leveraged, we all want to save our time and make the biggest impact. But a lot of the way that automation was being taught was stripping out that human connection. And so people started feeling like a herd of moving cows going through a funnel and nobody wants to feel that way. So as you can see it sort of weaving in this idea personally of wanting people to feel heard, seen loved and valued. And then that bringing that into a digital world with automation at scale. How can we make that happen? And that is my work through websites and branding and book launches specifically.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Wow. And so how do you do that? How, what are some insights or you know, 10 It means that you have to make sure that we even when we're at scale, even when we're automated, that we aren't losing sight of the fact that these are human beings need to be seen loved and heard. Yeah.Amber Villauer:
Well, I could tell you a quick little story. True story. Two years into my business, I was getting a mixed bag of clientele coming into the website, they would reach out on my contact form saying I need a website. And so I would set up an hour long call, and I would get to know them personally, I would make sure to feel connected right out of the gates, they tell me about their project, I would tell them about my process, I would share my pricing. And then it was a maybe that hour. And I was specifically talking to a man named Larry one day who sold paper, it was like a distributor for paper products at restaurants. And I got a maybe at the end of that hour, and I just thought, Man, there has got to be a better way. So what I ended up doing was this was way back in 2009. This was before YouTube and video was what it was. But I thought, what if I could create a video, which I now call a door greeter video that sits right there at the top center of my homepage. So anytime somebody comes into the website, they watch this video for me a tenant though, Amanda is that you have to talk to one person in this video, common mistake that a lot of people make is trying to be all things to all people all the time. For me, this video is to one person. So I'm leaning in, I'm conversational, and I'm sharing from the heart. I'm not scripted. And I'm introducing myself to that person, letting them know what I do, what makes me different, who I want to serve authors and speakers who are kind and serious about wanting to get their message out to the world, which weeded out a lot of the distributors for paper products at restaurants. What would happen is in the course of watching this video, Amanda, people would then go into a 30 minute call with me already knowing exactly what I do, how I do it, who I do it for and what makes me different. So if they got all the way to the point of booking on my calendar, they were pretty much ready to work with me. They just wanted to get to know me and make sure it was a good fit and move forward. Right. But what would happen is on the sales calls, people would come in saying, Amber, I feel like I already know you. I've watched your videos, I know what you do I want a website, I'm looking for a book launch in four months, can you help me with this thing. And in my call time went from 60 to 30 minutes, I started closing about 80% 60 to 80%, depending on the season instead of 25%. It was a complete game changer in my business. So I was leveraged, I was more efficient. I was creating better connection people felt heard and valued. They appreciated the information up front was total game changer. So it's like how can you apply those principles to everything in your business? And it is possible?Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Wow. Yeah, that sounds that sounds really interesting to me in the sense that like, these days, a lot of people are saying that you need to send these individualized videos to people when you know when they so I guess what I'm trying to say is the online world shifts and changes so fast. And now lots of people have the videos at the top. So what these days is sort of the the equivalent to that, or does that still work?Amber Villauer:
Totally still works. And just because a lot of people do it doesn't mean they're doing it right? Yeah. Because when I'm working with author's Amanda, they, every time it is a new concept to think about recording a social media video, but only talking to one person. Yeah, I'm on probably seven to 10 calls a day, five days a week. I mean, I am constantly talking to authors. So I have a very good pulse of what's going on in the in their mindset and in the world right now, especially publishing marketing. And a lot of authors, they don't like to promote themselves, they don't want to be on video. They have these mindset issues where they they just don't want to talk to the masses. And I'm over here saying Good. Cut it out. Anyway, that's not the way that's what everybody else is pitching. I'm over here saying make it about the cause. Make it about the change, make it about the person that you're trying to impact. Stop making it about you doesn't matter what you look like on video, it matters about how you're making other people feel, talk to one person, share what you desperately want to share with that person. Like what's the message in your heart to share make it about that make it not about you. So it doesn't feel like self promotion, and the person viewing on the other end. They will totally know that this is raw and real and authentic and not BS like what everybody else is doing. I don't care if my hair isn't perfect if I flubbed my word. Have a little bit, you know, I'm just going to be me. And that should be enough. And I'm here to tell you that it isDr. Amanda Crowell:
people love it. Yeah. Right, because so much of the internet and online marketing is so designed and highly shamed. I guess I don't know what the words are for it. Oh, that's so interesting. Okay, so why don't you back up a little intelligent? What is it that you do for authors?Amber Villauer:
All sorts of things. So at a high level, I can launch your book, I can help you get in touch with the truth of who you really are. And to help you to become self expressed online. The deeper work is people tell me that I'm more like a therapist, because the deeper work is that I can I come in and I have a gift, Amanda to really see the potential in people immediately, like, boom, I can see your potential right away. And then I treat you that way like that, you you, I treat you as if you are there. And it stirs people, because they do feel like oh, my gosh, you see me in ways that other people don't. And I'm over here saying yes. And the invitation is now to live this fully every day. And so in the journey of launching somebody's website, it's an interesting one, because there are definitely opportunities where the mind plays tricks on you. And authors start to feel fear, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of all sorts of different things, it's very hard for authors to step out on a limb. And to get their message out, even the ones that love speaking on stages, you're still have the same mindset stuff as every other author, guaranteed, it's in there somewhere. And that's okay. It's because we're human. And when we put words to paper, we want it to be significant and meaningful and impactful. And it's so important to us that, of course, it's going to be hard and scary. So there's our baseline. Now, I'm here to help you through that piece. And I'm here to remind you of your brilliance to remind you that it's not about you, it's about the cause it doesn't have to be perfect, let's be excellent, let's not be perfect. And let's just take consistent action and follow the bouncing ball all the way through the launch. Now, Amanda, if I can just get somebody to their launch day, I know they're going to be successful after that. Because there's something magical that happens on the other side of launch day where all of a sudden, the author believes that believes in themselves, and they no longer need me as that crutch to lean on. And now they can just fully assume that role of getting themselves out there. They know they can now they have that validation. So the other thing is that along that journey of launching their book, I put systems and policies and team in place so that on the back end of the launch, you have an author who successfully launched, they believe in themselves, and they have the right support so that they can be out of their business, and in a place of scaling their message. And it is the most fulfilling job on planet Earth. I have to tell you, like, I love what I do. That's what I do for authors.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Wow, it's amazing. So can you give us an example of you know, you talked about impact, we'll talk about a lot of things in there that the author would struggle with perfectionism, fear of success, fear, failure, being fully themselves on camera. So like a lot of things I can see people would show up at your doorway, sort of carrying as baggage. What kind of what kind of work are you doing with them? In the in the thick of that? So if they are, you know, starting to like, what does it look like? How do you help them?Amber Villauer:
Yeah, it honestly is, it depends. It varies. There are a lot of people out there that have packages and cookie cutter, you know, campaigns that they put their clients through, I'm not one of them. Everything I do is highly customized to that individual based on who they are, what their goals are, how they want to spend their time, what their budget is, what their team looks like, etc. But I would say on average, Amanda, there's usually some sort of website work to make sure that the website is really representative of who you are and what you're trying to say. And then it's genuinely you, not you scripted or you from seven years ago with your old headshot, but like you. And so we do need to make sure that the website is representative you then I'm usually going out and helping that author find a creative marketing assistant that can be on their team part time in house, where I can then train that person to do all of your content marketing for you to free you up out of the business. So what that looks like is if I could get you Amanda to just record a video or a podcast episode, I can train your creative of marketing assistant or your CMA, how to get a video uploaded and optimized on YouTube, how to write blog posts and show notes for you how to optimize those for Google search engines, how to do all of your social media for you, yes, you heard that correct all of your social media for you, including engaging with other influencers, or team or community or clients on their platforms to then more quickly grow your own. I also teach that CMA how to do your email marketing for you how to do surveying of your audience for you, and even how to vet and book and get you on podcast and prep you for the show, and then do promotion on the beginning and end of it. If I can get somebody who's $30 an hour on your team, you know, 10 to 20 hours a week doing all of that work for you. How much does that help you to get inspired about getting your message out, it gets you out of the weeds, and it puts you in a position of accountability and confidence. So usually, the phase one of working with somebody is just making sure that their platform is in a much better position. Because if you launch your book, and your platform is not ready for that increased exposure, it doesn't matter what happens launch day, the business can't support it on the other end, and you've just lost that opportunity. So we want to make sure to plug all the holes in your leaky bucket, then we need to have you focused on finishing out the book, speaking on other people's podcasts to get the message out. And also really engaging in your network to see who is willing to be a promotional partner for you. And spread the word on launch day. And I have designed an entire operation around that piece. That is unlike what anybody else is doing in the world that I have been able to find. It's really about making it a win win, instead of just asking for a favor and making it transactional. Then we do a countdown to the actual launch, I always require my authors to do a live stream launch party the day of and I want them to do it so badly, Amanda, that I do the work for free. I don't even charge them for it, because they won't do it unless I give it to them for free. So I have to give it to them for free on the back end. Every time. I just had an author do this a couple of weeks ago, she said Amber, I wouldn't have done it, I wouldn't have done it. But you forced me to do it. And on the other end. I'm so thankful you did I get it. Now I see the work that you do. And I want to thank you for it. And that happens all the time. So you just have to take a dang moment to celebrate yourself. And then we have a plan to continue growth on the back end of it. So that's a little bit more of the nitty gritty.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah, that's awesome. So I'm wondering what it's like for you. Right, so I've heard, you know, it sounds like you do a lot of systems work and a lot of supporting of the authors, and then put sort of between the lines, there was 2009 when it was you talking to Larry, the paper guy at the restaurant. And now your your clips clearly not just you anymore, like what does your business look like for you? Now, if you're on the phone seven hours a day, you're not doing all this work yourself, you have a team tell us about your business and how that's been for you.Amber Villauer:
I have about 35 people on my team right now. Wow, we had pretty significant growth the past two years. And it's it's very meaningful. I mean, my unique ability, Amanda is connecting with people strategy, I'm very creative. I'm an out of the box thinker, I really rarely share the same idea twice, very innovative. But I also understand the finest detail to execution. So I can build these support structures between idea and execution. And as I can see that structure, it makes it easy for me to then delegate out to team who they're extremely capable, they're sharp, they are strategic as well, I have a really a plus star team. And so there's that piece of it, but my mind also thinks in leverage. So I can think about the fastest way to do something without sacrificing quality because I'm a quality junkie. So as you can see, like my brain works in all of these different ways. And so my best position in the company is to be on the phone all day. I love connecting it lights me up, you get to use my mind, we're a strategy, I'm laying out the whole plan. And then from there, the team can take it and run with it. And then it's a it's a division of labor really between what the author's team is doing internally versus what we are doing externally set them up for success. And then I can just meet in that place of strategy and holding my author accountable and making sure that they keep moving past their fears to get through the launch. itself. But to me, I mean, my days are largely full of the most rich, meaning I don't even know how to describe it. I just feel like I'm being used in such a good way, like my life, my knowledge, my very difficult upbringing, it's all being used and leveraged to in such a beautiful way to help the world. And then there's a person a percentage of days that it's just frustration, because it's really hard growing up. It's hard. It can't all be perfect, right? So there is the percentage where I struggle with things that I don't want to do, or, you know, Team stuff that is just natural, you can't avoid it, but you wish you didn't have to necessarily do it. So I'm not I'll be totally upfront and transparent about that as well. But it's largely just completely full of meaning and fulfillment.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
That's great. And I have to assume that well, let me ask instead of assuming, following the pathway from just you, in 2009, to now has it been an easy transition, to bring on the team to train the team to let go of the things that you used to do yourself?Amber Villauer:
Not really, there were a couple of things like when I stopped attending design meetings for websites, I just loved doing that, when I stopped actually shaping our design and logo and branding, like I loved that. And now this year, I am removing myself more and more out of the book launch division, because we started largely in websites. And I built that whole department up, it was strong, I positioned a creative director to oversee it. And then I got to step out and really focus on growing up the book launch division. But even that is, it's in such a good place now that it's time to free me up to go build the next thing. And so that's a little bittersweet. And also, you know, my CEO really wants me to start training up different people to run initial discovery calls. And I have to say, that's like the last thing I want to let go of, because there's this moment when you first meet somebody, and they're not even a client, yet, they've been burned by so many other agencies. And they're just like, hanging on for dear life to their message. And then I get to come in and say, You finally found us, we're going to rock your freaking world. Everything that you thought was like this intuition that it could be like this was right. Let's go. And it's just a magical instant transformation that occurs. And I don't know. So it's, it's tough, but I just remind myself of what's the vision? And what are you what's the cost of staying in the way of that vision, you know, and playing small. And my vision is pretty big Amanda, I really want to positively move the publishing industry and the internet marketing industry, I believe that it can be a much healthier operation in place than it is. And I'm just a woman on a mission to make it happen.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Wow. And that's what it takes. I think it's, I think it's interesting to think about how one business one person's business starts out, they're all of us, almost all of us as me or the individual, the solopreneur, trying to make whatever difference they sort of started in, and then the same business for that person, if it grows, if they're able to sort of let go of the parts that other people can do and to trust that other people can do even better work than they can and all of the sort of founders dilemmas that we talk about, that for the original founder, the business actually becomes a different business, and then a different business, and then a different business. And you get to live so many different experiences and have so many different visions. And that's, I think the main maybe the reason that a lot of people want to have their own business because you do get to have that kind of growth. Is that what drew you to having your own business? Or was it never actually you were just you were like, 20 or something. So I guess maybe it was,Amber Villauer:
I had absolutely zero ambitions to run. I have to tell you, 00 Wow. My first 20 years of life, I was very quiet. And I so the opposite of who you see today. I was not smiley, outgoing, Amber. No, I was very rarely smiling. I didn't talk very much. I was not social at all. I was suffering. And I was trying to figure out where my place was in the world and there was a tremendous amount of soul frustration. Shen and it was a yeah, just it was a great big challenge. And in my 20s, I was like my early, probably 19 Even I was just starting to kind of crawl my way out of that existence. When I landed on Cutco cutlery. I got a summertime job selling knives. That job totally opened me up to some entrepreneurial side of me, I didn't even know they had. By the end of my first summer I was in management, I was recruiting, I was training, I was in charge of receptionist, I was growing the division, on and on and on for about four years, and breaking company records, et cetera, et cetera. Still no ambition of starting my own business. But I was looking for a challenge beyond Cutco. Now myself at that event, looked at the online world that I could do this. I started my own website, as I said, and people just started coming to me saying, could you manage my website? Could you do this? And I thought, I guess I could I mean, even then, fast forward, probably seven years into the company, I take a look around. And we probably had, I don't know, 15 people on the team at that time. And I thought, Ah, this is like a business. Like, take this more seriously and see what I could do if I were actually serious about it. Because honestly, I always thought it was sort of a stepping stone to something else I would be doing. But when I looked around, and I saw the impact that we were making, constantly getting positive testimonials, word of mouth that. And I just thought okay, well, maybe this could be my gig, and I started looking at the change that I make in the world through my clients. It's like influencing the influencers, right? And I thought, wow, this is a tremendous responsibility and gift, like, what could I do? If if, you know, I took this more seriously. And then I just dug in, and I've been learning how to grow a multimillion dollar business and accepting my, you know, the areas that I fall short in and learning as quickly as I can and getting the right people around me to lift me up and all in support of this vision. And you just take it one day at a time, honestly.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah, right. Exactly. So then, you mentioned your very big vision, I think one of the things that's hard about great work is that what feels like a big vision today, you know, you accomplish it, and then you have to build a bigger vision. And I find that people really struggle to see whether it's themselves in a bigger way, or the potential of their impact in a bigger way. And I'm wondering, how did you How do you keep your vision big? Like, how do you personally figure out? The bigger the bigger, the bigger? Potential? Because I think that's really hard for people?Amber Villauer:
Yeah, I don't know. I mean, I don't sit down, like with a piece of paper, like, Okay, what strategically should be my vision or anything? I've never done that. But I think for me, right or wrong, you know, yeah, been intuitive. It's really been looking at the impact that I am making on calls, then over the course of the year looking at the impacts that I've made over the course of five years looking at what's been shifting, okay, now 10 years, and you start to see how much opportunity you've really had, how much power you've had to make shifts. And so I think that's part of it is just observing, and kind of connecting dots there. But there's also something that's deeply intuitive that I am, you know, I can really see into the future an option, where I am not necessarily the sole founder, but I'm a part of some sort of a collective, I can see multiple Amber's in a community, all consciously marketing, consciously doing business. And, you know, it's not like I've changed the entire world. But I know that I've got this community of really incredible thought leaders and influencers that are all a part of the same conscious ecosystem. So I can I can tell you that that's pretty vague, right? So is it a book launch company? I don't know. Is it something else? Maybe. But I can tell you that in the past 15 years of owning and g&g, it's basically been about the same company. I'm still doing book launches. I'm still doing websites, little bit of marketing, still doing branding. And I don't want to do things outside of that really, I'm not doing I haven't evolved into paid advertising or deep funnel work or anything like that. I'm really about the fundamentals and getting those right. And so for me, that next piece of the vision is intuiting is just about really sharing what I know with my team members and allowing them to then rise up and take ownership of their roles and then I'm not here to control what they will Want to do with that knowledge and power? I'm here to support whatever their vision is now having that experience in that education within this collective, so I can speak to it that way. But I probably do things very differently than most and that's okay with me.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Oh, yeah, I think people are looking for another way. I think the, the sort of traditionalist kind of lockstep follow the yellow brick road isn't really working anyways, like, We are the world, you know. So interesting. So I think like listening to your story, it sounds very much like you sort of get a flash of lightning, right? You're like that, oh, wow, that's possible. And then ng ng, No guts, no glory. And I think that that is, you know, when you think about, like, core values, and like, what role they play? I think it was you actually who pointed out the core values book to me and sort of I've been thinking a lot about using the core value as sort of a decision making lens. Yes. Right. So if your core value is No guts, no glory, then you don't really have a choice. When you get a vision of what's possible, you have to kind of go for it. It's a really interesting way of seeing it. Go ahead.Amber Villauer:
No, it's 100%. True core values are the decision making filter. You know, even last week, I had to make a very difficult decision about a team member. And I liked this team member. And the challenge that I have, Amanda is that I see everybody's potential. So it's like, but I know who they could be. And I looked at my list of core values, and I thought, are they upholding or exemplifying better together? Shoot? They're not? Are they upholding unwavering excellence? Dang, they're not? Are they leaning in? Oh, man, are you no meaningful connection with our customers. And it was undeniable. So even though I personally believed in this person, I liked this person, I had to let them go because they weren't living up to the core values. And if we are not upholding that, what are we really standing for? What are we really doing and becomes very messy very quickly at this stage of business, when I'm evaluating a new opportunity, because we got a huge opportunity come in, and I thought, okay, Amber, is this better together? am I leaning in? Would I be deeply fulfilled by this, and I just keep checking myself against these five core values? And then I think, yes, they passed the criteria. So it's a go. And now that helps me, it also takes a lot of like that personal guilt, shame, anxiety burden away, because you've, you're trusting your own decision making guidelines and those values, it also becomes the language of the organization. And in your marketing, when I am marketing, and I'm talking about Listen, author, you need to lean in when it's hard, you can't just do this, you can't cower, we got to lean in right now that lean in, that's one of our core values. So either you agree with that, or you don't. And if you don't agree with leaning in, cool, you're just not our people. And that gives you permission to go on and find somebody else guilt free, and then I don't have to feel guilty about it. So there's all sorts of benefits to using core values to grow and scale your message and your company.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
And what it sounds like it does, which I think is one of the hardest parts of this sort of founders dilemma is when when there's Amber hands and everything, then Amber sort of self Amber's Amber, Enos is everywhere, right? And that's the filter, right? But the further you get from the front lines, the less Ambernath there just is in that in the core values, then are an interesting way to sort of operationalize the Ambernath of it. Or, or maybe it's not even the Inverness anymore. It's the NG eNGenius of it. Yeah, IAmber Villauer:
like the way you're saying all of that. Why don'tDr. Amanda Crowell:
think about it a lot. Because I think one of the one of the hard parts of scaling and doing bigger things is that you really do have to start letting things go. And until you can, like trust that maybe you don't know how, but you really can keep your core in place as you hand things off, and we're just we're stuck playing a smaller game. I mean, and I think that that's gets in the way of great work for sure. Because great work relies on collaboration. And collaboration is difficult for a lot of people.Amber Villauer:
It's so tough. I mean, it's very tough, but I think one of the things that really helped me early on was, if I let go of a task or responsibility, they don't have to do it the exact way I would have done it. They just don't have to, as long as they're following the guidelines of the values, let's say they get Gen Y behind it, then I shouldn't force them into doing it my way because that prevents them from being innovative and helping the company grow in a better way right who's to say my ways that always the right way? That's ridiculous, right. So I think that when I really understood Oh, they can format it the way they want to format it, as long as it's unwavering excellence, it looks pretty, it's concise. It's detail that into the data. So I have to tell them what the core values mean, and why they matter. Other than that, just frickin let it go let them do their own thing. It's gonna give them more ownership, that'll help with retention, which a lot of people are really struggling with these days. And it's going to create something that's more meaningful than what you could have done by yourself anyway. And it's more fun that way. But yeah, it is, it's very difficult. I'm not even going to deny it do running a team, trusting other people to the degree you have to let go and trust. And every once in a while you get burned baby burn. And then it's like, gosh, okay, that one, but then it makes you sharper, it makes you stronger, you button yourself up, and you will not do that again, guaranteed. And then you take in the good march forward, nods business.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah, I feel like that definitely is a description, a really, really great description of, of the truth of it, the truth of the, you know, if it were easy, then we wouldn't be talking about it as the as the linchpin of it, right. Breathing is important for all members of our teams. But we don't sit around talking about how we have to what maybe we do sometimes, maybe take a deeper breath. But really, it's the collaborative the hard stuff. It's the collaboration and the letting go and the delegation and keeping the big vision. Yeah, I think the biggest struggleAmber Villauer:
for business owners is they don't give themselves enough time to think they don't give themselves enough time to process. They don't give themselves enough time to do visioning work. And they don't, they don't spend enough time with their team setting them up for success. You know, because a lot of entrepreneurs they love kind of that last minute adrenaline rush. Well, you can't operate last minute when you have a team, because then your customers are unhappy. And entrepreneurs also love selling, they love being on the front lines, well, the more you grow your business, the more you have to be you letting them take front line, and you're taking a completely different decision. It might be that you wake up one day and realize I hate being a CEO, I love being a solopreneur. And then you have to unravel everything that you built. Or maybe you find out that it's everything you thought it would be and more. I mean, so it's it's definitely a journey of self discovery that never stops. But I would say, you know, you have to at least give yourself the opportunity to try and see what you feel about it. What would you choose to experience next in this life? You know, would you want to experience what it could be like, you know, at this level, or the next level or the next next next level or not? I mean, it's it's totally up to you don't feel pressured by it. But if you are going to take that journey, you have to start really exercising the muscle of delegation and letting go and giving yourself more time than you would think is necessary for thinking, visioning and training of your team. Well, I'll miss you on that one. Yeah,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
well, it sort of comes full circle, right, because at the very beginning of our call, you were talking about how your mission one way to define it, is to bring humanity and the connection human to human connection back to the online marketing space, right. And I feel like a lot of whether it's authors or solopreneurs, or business people or whatever, we forget our own humanity. Sometimes like we treat ourselves like like a tool like a, like a sort of looking for a commodity like we treat our our own lifeforce and our interests in our case, as a commodity in our business, and a lot of what you're talking about from the WHO ARE YOU REALLY, let's put the videos out there about who you really are, like be imperfect be, you know, put, put the heart back into what you're doing is about allowing yourself to not be this hyper optimized robot version of yourself, and instead be who you are. And it's the same conversation here at the end of our call, where we're talking about, as a business owner growing and doing our great work at every level. It's really about returning back to, you know, who are you you're a single human, like, what do you want? How do you want it? Are you willing to? And are you in flow with your life? Are you willing to give it a try find out that this part of it is not good for you, and pivoting and finding your way through it, as opposed to the way that most people sort of get themselves stuck in these commitment sets. Whether it's, I have to be perfect on video at the beginning or like I have to be, you know, the person doing everything. So it's done, right. Interesting.Amber Villauer:
Well, what I'm thinking about, as you say, all of that is, you know, big question is how much is enough? Like, where is the line before you cross over into somebody that you're no longer proud to be right Hmm. And I think maybe the the thing to put some thinking time into is Why is why does that matter to me? You know, I want to be an influencer on Instagram. Okay, cool. Why?Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Why does that matter to you? And if you really start to peel back the layers of that onion, you realize like, Oh, I just want to feel like I matter. Cool. If you just want to feel like you matter, do you need to have the stress and pressure of being, you know, an Instagram star with a million followers and advertisers hunting you down? And now you're like, every move is videotaped? Is that really the life that you want? Oh, it's not the life that you want. Oh, it really just comes down to the fact that you've disconnected from who you really are, or from your spouse or relationship or you're feeling disconnected from your kids. So if we solve that first, what would you choose to then experience? Would you still be an Instagram star? Well, no, I really wouldn't actually, I just would really like to have an intimate small community of people that were masterminding. Right? So now we pivot away from what we think we want, but genuinely would satisfy us. And that is a great example, Amanda, of the work that I really do. And I don't advertise it on my website, because nobody thinks they're looking for that they're looking next Instagram star, New York Times, you know, best selling author, awesome. Why does that matter to you? Right? What you see is all of a sudden, when people really start thinking about why these goals matter, and what they genuinely want, whatever they thought they wanted, is almost certainly out of alignment for how they actually want to spend their days. So then we start building a roadmap for how they actually want to spend their days. And then what do you know, they strike gold, and it's the easiest thing that they've ever done before. And yeah, it's because you're in alignment. You know, having a strategic coach or somebody that knows you, that knows your business that knows what you're trying to accomplish, that can help you cut through a lot of the garbage and go straight to the root of it. And then build an efficient plan, like, and I'm not selling myself here, but I'm just saying like, there's what strategic codes all over the place, find one that you like, but don't waste your time, right? Like do the deeper work, know who you are and what you want and go after it and get it. And then what do you want to do after that?Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah, so yeah, I love it. That's a great, that was a great sort of mic drop moment right there. So I would love to ask you, if there's somebody on this, who's listening to this podcast, who's launching a book or needs a new website, or whatever, how could they find out more about you and maybe get a taste of what you do? How can they learn more,Amber Villauer:
you can get a taste anywhere you want in the online world pretty much because if you just Google Amber's Vilhauer, or in gng, enterprises were everywhere. I have hundreds and hundreds of YouTube videos that give away the farm, there are some people that try to hold their best stuff, I put it all online for free. Go to my website, you can join our email community, I send out a weekly valuable email, I'm not trying to waste your time. I'm not always trying to sell I'm just trying to give I'm trying to connect. I have an amazing community, I encourage you to reach out to our authors become one if you want to. But we're open to talking to anybody about anything, honestly. So sometimes I'm just having a free give call to somebody who's like I think I have a message in me, what do I do? So don't pre judge yourself or prequalify yourself. If you want to have a conversation. Let's have a conversation. Just reach out on the website. Love it.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yes. And I would like to add my personal recommendation that you do that. I've had a few conversations with Amber, she's She really is you focused. It's been really interesting to talk to you, about you for once. I reallyAmber Villauer:
appreciate the opportunity. And Amanda, congratulations again on your book releasing next week. i It's a big, big deal. Nobody knows that more than me. So well done on completing the journey and I can't wait to see what happens in the next year for you. It's going to be awesome.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Thank you so much. Appreciate it.