Today, we’ve got the founder of Success Development Solutions, Amber Fuhriman, the Success Architect. She talks about how masterminds can allow you to have the hard conversations outside of your current circle to make real change. Amber talks about how COVID is increasing the speed of self-education over our standardized system, and explains how even with all the right tools, you still need to have someone to help you get out of your own way.
AMBER’S LEARNING JOURNEY
The Mastermind Effect: 02:02
The availability and the access that we have to people today has drastically changed over the last 5 to 10 years. When you and I were younger, it was textbooks and teachers. And then eventually that’s our friends and coworkers. How has your learning changed from your early years versus today?
Amber Fuhriman: 02:29
So much. I grew up as a first-generation college student; nobody else in my family had gone to college. My mom had not graduated from high school. I grew up thinking I am education-driven. I am book-driven. I am going to go to school. I am going to go to college. I am going to be successful. And it is interesting, because I always ask people what you wanted to be when you grew up. When you were planning your life out, what did you want to be? And my answer was always just successful. I had no real plan; I was just going to be successful. And we can get into the reasons that all of that did not work out as planned. Now, it is much less book-driven. I am a practicing attorney and I research constantly for all that kind of stuff. When it comes to my personal development, my personal growth, my business growth in coaching, and mastermind, there is no better experience than just getting on and talking to somebody who has been through it—that is reading a book of somebody who’s been through it. You can research all day long, but you cannot really learn it until you live it.
The Mastermind Effect: 03:45
It is the life experiences of other people that you surround yourself with because they have already done it and they’re continuing to do it. They can see around corners that sometimes we cannot see.
Amber Fuhriman: 03:55
Yes, absolutely. One of the biggest things is our perception of what is possible, right? And this goes into not only what we are capable of doing, but what we see in the world. I mentioned I was a practicing attorney and one of the most fascinating things is when you line 10 people up and you show them the same event, you get 10 different answers about what just happened. That is possible because everybody filters stuff differently based on their perception of the world; they remember things differently.
The Mastermind Effect: 04:40
Why those 10 people see it differently is because they are coming in with a preconceived notion, or a past experience or something that is currently going on to take them through that line and they are going to view it differently.
Amber Fuhriman: 05:01
The reason behind it is because there is so much going on around us that our brain has this task of filtering out what we think is important; otherwise, we would implode with all of the senses that are going on around us.
The Mastermind Effect: 05:58
We have a lot of ways to take in information than ever before. Some people look for a mentor, an accountability buddy, or a mastermind. They take online courses and coaching. There are a lot of ways to learn today. Who are you currently learning from and how did you find them?
Amber Fuhriman: 06:22
The person I am working with the most is my business coach. I found her through my neuro linguistic programming courses. I went to one of her success bootcamps. When I was younger, I just wanted to be successful, so at 34, someone was holding a success bootcamp and I walked in. And I was basically told for seven hours that the reason I am not successful is because I am not allowing myself to be, and that fascinated me. I dug into this idea of neuro linguistic programming. I became certified as a master practitioner in neuro linguistic programming and I started coaching with my trainer who taught me all of that. I have been coaching with her for a year. She is the business side of things and helps me with the mindset side of things. I also have a personal trainer that I am working with. I have a fitness coach that I work with, I have a writing coach that I am working with for my book. I truly believe that you need somebody who is really niched down to the results that you want to achieve, as well as that overall mindset piece.
The Mastermind Effect: 07:53
That is a common theme that is coming back because it is not just one person. Three seems to be a popular number. I need these three people in my life and you are constantly shuffling through what’s helping you move the needle.
Amber Fuhriman: 08:10
I think that the most important question for people to ask themselves is that there is a fine line between investing in yourself and wasting money because you are over-investing, right? So, if you have seven, eight, nine people out there that you are just throwing money at all the time, are you really taking in all the content? Are you really getting all the benefit of what they have to offer? Would it benefit you to pick two or three priorities, and focus on those and then bring those others back into your life when you have settled down? Because I think that once this entrepreneurial door gets opened, and we start investing in ourselves, we want to go all in and just completely burn out.
The Mastermind Effect: 08:50
But the problem is we are taking 10 courses and we are learning zero. We are doing a disservice because we are spending our own money, but we are not getting to where we want to go.
Amber Fuhriman: 09:11
Right. Anybody will tell you that it is amazing to go out there and read as many books as you possibly can. But reading is not where transformation happens; it is the implementation of that afterwards. Taking in all these courses and all these products is not where change happens. It is in figuring out how you can implement that into your life. And if you are taking 10 courses at the same time, are you getting to that implementation step?
MASTERMINDS AND SELF-EDUCATION
The Mastermind Effect: 09:36
Right. Become the master and the best. I feel that people, in general, get stuck and sometimes we do not know how to get out of our own way. We are still going through a pandemic and I would say it is causing a reset on how we are able to accomplish things. How have masterminds helped you when you are looking to reset yourself and get unstuck?
Amber Fuhriman: 10:09
I will 100% agree with you. If you are part of the problem, you cannot be part of the solution. It is impossible because you cannot see the whole picture because you are in it. You need somebody who is outside of it that can help you. And unfortunately, as much as we want that to be our brother’s sister, spouse, or parent, they are in it too. Most of us have somebody in our life who supports us and loves us and would agree with anything we said because they want to support us.
The Mastermind Effect: 10:47
Amber Fuhriman: 10:49
Yes. I always tell people that you need somebody who is invested in your success, but not invested in your trauma, your emotions, and your problems. Because those are the people that are going to be able to have those hard, honest conversations with you when you are lying to yourself. You are telling yourself that you are giving 100% and maybe you are only giving 30% because you are terrified of success. You are terrified of what is going to happen if you complete this goal. You are holding yourself back and you are convincing yourself that you are busy all the time. You need that person who is willing to call you out and lovingly say that “you are not doing what you say you are doing” and “let us work on this together.” That is what masterminds do. You get enough people together that are on common goals but have different experiences and they bring different things to the table. It ss better to say the hard things and some stuff that sometimes hurts but is in their best interest to get them out of their way. That is what masterminds bring to the table that you really cannot get anywhere else.
The Mastermind Effect: 12:13
Yeah. You brought up a good point that we have talked about previously, as Steve Sims says, the three people that you are going to have in your life are cheerleaders, crabs, and challengers. And it is the challengers that we really need to sit there and call us out and hold us accountable.
Amber Fuhriman: 12:35
I agree. I did a podcast interview today with somebody who is into the medical innovation space. He does software for clinical trials. We were talking about how he is building a leadership culture within his business. We were talking about challenges within a leadership role and within a business. And I think that I mentioned to him that I do not want people in my organization that are going to fall in line. I want people who understand respect and the chain of command, and who respect authority. But I also want somebody who will challenge my ideas. If somebody thinks there is a better way to do something, I want that person in my life, my organization, and my business, because that is how we grow. Challenge my beliefs, challenge my perceptions—that is what I want of the people around me. So those challenges are really where you find the growth, the business partners, and changes in your life that you look back and say that you cannott believe where it was a year ago.
The Mastermind Effect: 13:39
Yeah, because you got to get moving forward and masterminds help you do that. They have been around for a long time. Self-education is growing by leaps and bounds. I see such a large boom in self-education over standard education. Where do you see it going over the next several years?
Amber Fuhriman: 14:14
I think that COVID has increased the speed at which self-education is happening because people are working from home where they never worked before. They are being forced to rely on sources of income that they have not been forced to rely on before. They are looking for ways that they can start businesses because this false sense of security that existed in their nine to five was taken away by this nasty virus and the pandemic that followed. I think that it is always been moving towards more of a self-education, group education, mastermind learning style. But 2020 pushed that forward so much more. One of the hardest things for people to understand is that what you have to say to people has value, right? And it is important to remember where you were when you started learning. Because when you get in these masterminds and you think, “I shouldn’t say this, because I already know this,” the other people in the mastermind might not know it. What you know is valuable to the people around you. This mastermind thing started to spiral and gained so much force when people realized that through making it through their careers, they have picked up knowledge that other people do not have, and they now have an outlet to share it.
The Mastermind Effect: 15:59
And that is the big thing—the willingness to share the give mentality. When you lead with the gift, what comes back is huge you cannot even quantify it. We are talking about people’s learning. When someone invests in their future, they know what the outcome is supposed to be with the people in the room and who you have curated there. What should people expect when they enter your reality?
Amber Fuhriman: 16:28
Yeah. This is a little bit harsh, but it is one of the favorite things that I have heard in any personal development space. Zach Feldman was talking about his e-commerce course and he said, “I know my product works, I don’t know if you do.” That was super powerful for me in the spot that I was in. Because what I would love for people to understand as they enter any mastermind space is that somebody can give you all the tools, resources, information, and blueprint to be successful. And if you are coming up with excuses for why it will not work for you, then it is not going to work for you. The first thing that people can expect when they enter my reality is for me to shove them out of their comfort zone. I encourage videos in all my masterminds. I refuse to use a communication like boxer because you can text in boxer. If you want to have a one-on-one communication with me, you do it in a video form. The more willing you are to take my advice—when I tell you what needs to happen to grow your business—you can expect to be pushed out of your comfort zone, you can expect to have your perception challenged, you can expect to be forced to think real deep, vulnerable, and transparent about what it is you really want out of life. Are you living your life? Or are you living the life of your spouse, your parent, your brother, or sister? Why do you want what you want, because you cannot live the life of your dreams until you identify it? And that’s why my mastermind is called the defining life mastermind. I could teach you how to build it, but that does not do any good until you know what it looks like.
The Mastermind Effect: 18:40
Absolutely. Everything you just said was brilliant. I love it. Talking about the people that are in your mastermind, I have a feeling that people have a way of surprising us due to their willingness to learn. Has anyone that has been to an event, or your mastermind, surprised you with what they were able to accomplish?
Amber Fuhriman: 19:11
So much. Going back a little bit through the NLP (neuro linguistic programming) training, we have these limiting beliefs and you mentioned it earlier that you can have this thing in the back of your head that filters everything you do. And the science behind that is that between the ages of zero and seven, we are imprinted. Things that we do not necessarily remember impact every decision that we make as an adult. Somebody may have said something to you as a child that you do not consciously remember but your unconscious mind has created this limiting belief. Everything that you have been imprinted with in your life, we can change that. We can shift that and that is the power of neuro linguistic programming when it is used correctly. To that extent, when people are not successful, you will hear people out there all the time say it is because you are lazy, you are on the couch. You could just get off the couch and go do it. But that is not always true because you have these limiting beliefs that are holding you back that you do not know exist. What I do is I work with my clients to dig into what they do not know about themselves, to help them understand and shift into a different state and release those limiting beliefs. So they can then be successful. And we have seen people triple their income in a pretty short period of time through the changes that NLP can make.
The Mastermind Effect: 21:20
We are talking about success. You got a company that has more success in it. I got a company that has the word success in it. I think there are pillars of success—mentorship, willingness to fail, experimentation, partnerships. But I think an area that a lot of us get stuck in is our willingness to succeed. With the sensitivity of social media today, what do you think it takes to get over the hump and be okay with being successful?
Amber Fuhriman: 21:56
There is a saying that I saw on social media two months ago that put everything in a nice little bow for me. It says, “Don’t give up your peace, because chaos is comfortable.” What it takes to succeed is being willing to step out of your chaos, because that’s what you know, into something you don’t know, with the expectation that it is going to be better. But there is no guarantee that you are not going to fall on your face. It is the willingness to fail, letting go of other people’s judgment. We are talking about Michael Favre before we came here, and one of the amazing things that he said that always stuck with me is “not everybody is supposed to come on every part of your journey with you.”
The Mastermind Effect: 23:15
Yeah, one of my favorite lines.
Amber Fuhriman: 23:19
It does. There is so much out there about comfort zones that it is so cliché. But my journey has proven that getting out of your comfort zone leads to success. I started my business after I started obstacle course racing. Before that, I refused to really step out of my comfort zone at all. I thought I was going to go to law school and things were going to fall into place when I graduated, and I was going to be successful. And I had this huge meltdown because I did not feel successful. And to let out some of that steam, I started obstacle course racing, and I was terrified. In 2017, I ran a 24-hour obstacle course race called World’s Toughest Mudder. The training for that race led me to open my business. Every time I got on a course, I did something that a month ago I had told myself that I couldn’t do. When you start telling your brain that you are capable of things, it will believe you. And then suddenly, you can go out and do all the things that you are afraid of. So, get yourself out of your comfort zone as much as you can.
The Mastermind Effect: 24:40
Yeah, absolutely. I got a few questions left before we wrap this up. I believe there are always new ideas brewing in times of prosperity. But I think innovation and ingenuity come out of times when we feel the squeeze. Right now, what are you working on? What is going to take place over the next 12 months that really excites you?
Amber Fuhriman: 25:08
The most powerful question anybody asked me was my therapist when I was sitting in the sock of that breakdown in 2016, talking about how big of a failure I was as a practicing attorney. She asked me “what does success mean to you?” And I said, I am 34 years old and nobody ever asked me that question. My mission in life is to encourage people to ask themselves that question earlier than I did. Encourage them to ask themselves, what does success mean to you? This is why my business is called success development solutions and this is why I am called a success architect. Because success drives through everything that I do. I believe you have to define what success means to you, but I also believe that in order for you to have a healthy relationship, a great career, or a perfect, well rounded life, you also have to define each one of those terms.
My goal with the define your life mastermind is to encourage people to define success for themselves, to encourage people to define what every area of the life wheel means to them, and then honestly rate themselves on where they are within that life wheel, and then let’s get real about how we can fix it so you can have a well-rounded life. Once you know what that good life looks like to you, then you can start talking about what your career should be, then we can start building a career because so many people work to live. I want people to build a life that they want, and then start making money while they live that life instead of working and retiring, and then having 10 years to go out and do the stuff they want to do. That is what I am passionate about. That’s what I’m working on right now. And I am so excited when COVID allows us to meet in person again and I can start bringing my mastermind into real life instead of just virtual. Although the virtual is beneficial, I want that real-life connection.
The Mastermind Effect: 27:39
Yeah. And I can tell you, I’m sitting here thinking I could have used you 10 years ago and what you said. What does success mean? Because there have been so many times where I put a goal out there, or I see what I think is success, and then I get there and I do not feel any different. I do not feel any more fulfilled. What does success mean to you? What does it look like what really is it? And I think people really need to focus on that. And they need to reach out to you just so you can help become the architect for that. Give us a tip, a tactic, an actionable item, that if someone listening to this right now implements over the next 30, 60, 90 days, they can see real results in what you tell them.
Amber Fuhriman: 28:29
I have to give you two. The first one is to go download a life wheel. If you do not know what the life wheel is, if you do not know where to find it, then email me and I will send you one for free. The life wheel is the only way that you can find out where you think you are falling short in your life. I do a life wheel every quarter to check in and see where I am at and what I want to work on for the next quarter as I am setting my goals. That is the first thing that you should start with.
The second thing, and I know that this may sound cliche, but it is true, start taking 100% responsibility for everything in your life. If you’re not where you want to be in life, it is because of you and it sucks. And I’m sorry to be the person to tell you that but it’s true. If you are not happy with your job, I am not saying you have to leave your job, but you have to figure out why you are not happy. Is it because something else is going on in your life? Is it because you are upset about other things? What is it and how can you change your reaction? The moment you start changing the way you react to things, great things start happening to you and doors start opening because you have a different energy about you. You have an energy as somebody who wants to make a difference, as somebody who wants to succeed, as somebody who has control over their life and their future.
So for me, the thing that I did when I was completely broken, and the thing that I tell my clients to do the first thing ever, is take 100% control over your life. To give you a real world example, because this is something we’ve all said, if you have ever said, “I’m sorry, I was late because of traffic,” you’re not taking 100% control of your life. You were late because you did not allow enough time for the fact that traffic might have been a problem. That’s what taking 100% control of your life looks like.
“There is no better experience than just getting on and just talking to somebody who’s been through it. You can research all day long, but you can’t really learn it until you live it.” – Amber Fuhriman
“We could all sit and watch the same thing, and we would all come out with different experiences.” – Amber Fuhriman
“Reading isn’t where learning happens, it’s that implementation afterward.” – Amber Fuhriman
“If you’re part of the problem, you can’t be part of the solution. Because you can’t see the whole picture in it. – Amber Fuhriman
“The moment you start changing the way you react to things, great things start happening to you, and doors start opening up. Because you have a different energy about you, an energy as someone who wants to make a difference, as somebody who wants to succeed, as somebody who has control over their life and their future.” – Amber Fuhriman
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