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Reclaim Your Dream Feat. Amber Mikaelsson

When I caught wind that Amber Mikaelsson, my part-time marketing assistant and the Rural Rebel Mama, wanted to get up the nerve to re-launch her own podcast, Living Deliberately, I was all over it. 

After an electrical fire burned down her home in the Summer of 2019, Amber pressed pause on her podcast and her dreams. If you’ve experienced some traumatic circumstances yourself and need a restart, you’ll love this episode. 

Amber wants to re-launch her podcast but shift the focus to conversations with powerful women. She’s feeling trepidation that people won’t want to hear from her, that the production time could be too intense, and that her audience won’t connect with this new shift.

The video version of this podcast is also on Youtube!


In this episode, we discuss:

  • How to rid the “head trash” that’s blocking you from what you want.
  • When someone says, “who does she think she is?” - what do you do?
  • Getting up the courage & bravery to put yourself out there. 
  • What to do when pivoting and your audience doesn’t want to follow?
  • Why you shouldn’t water down your opinion and try to reach everyone.

 

If your dream is to have your own podcast or make a change in your work, I hope this episode inspires you to get the “nerve” to pivot and put yourself out there!

Featured on the Show:

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If you enjoyed this episode, please rate and review it on Spotify, iTunes, or wherever you’re listening. Your reviews help us reach more people who want to get up the “nerve” to create what they crave and become unstoppable. 

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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Susan Hyatt:
Is there something you wish you had the nerve to do? Welcome to You've Got Nerve, the podcast that teaches you how to conquer your fears, upgrade your mindset, and get the nerve to go after whatever you want. If you wish you had the guts to go all in on your goals, dreams, and desires, this show is for you. I'm Susan Hyatt, master certified life coach, and I'm so excited for you to join me on this journey.

Susan Hyatt:
Today's guest is Amber Mikaelson. So the amazing thing about Amber is that she's a part-time person on my team, a marketing assistant. And I caught wind that Amber, who is a podcaster and an artist and a coach, wanted to get up the nerve to relaunch her podcast, Living Deliberately. It's been dormant for a couple of years. So I learned, in this podcast, a story about Amber that I didn't know, and you're going to have to watch and listen to hear what happened that caused the unexpected and albeit traumatic reason why she paused her podcast. Amber's example really speaks to me, because as a business owner, and a mom, and a wife, and a community member, I've experienced my own challenges over the years to keep things going.

Susan Hyatt:
And if you are watching or listening to this, you may have experienced some traumatic circumstances yourself and think, "How will I ever get back to where I was? How will I ever get back to being the person that I was?" And so if you need a restart, I hope you love being a fly on the wall during this coaching session with Amber. And I hope you enjoy this episode. Well, welcome to the show, Amber.

Amber Mikaelson:
Thank you very much, Susan.

Susan Hyatt:
So are you nervous right now?

Amber Mikaelson:
Very nervous.

Susan Hyatt:
Well, I heard from a little bird that you want to get the nerve to launch a podcast.

Amber Mikaelson:
I've already launched my podcast, but it's been a few years since I've put out a season. My home burned down and I just stopped doing it. So I'm thinking that I would like to start it up again.

Susan Hyatt:
Wow. Your home burned down. What happened?

Amber Mikaelson:
We had an electrical fire. My husband had a surge protector on his computer and it had a malfunction in the chip and it set our home on fire in the middle of the night. We had an alarm system, thank God. It woke us all up and told us to get out. We saved our pets and our kids and family and not much else.

Susan Hyatt:
Wow. And this was two years ago?

Amber Mikaelson:
It was in the summer of 2019. So it'll be three.

Susan Hyatt:
Holy smokes. So obviously it's taken some time to get your nest back in order and do what you needed to do. When you consider relaunching your podcast, what comes up for you that causes you not to?

Amber Mikaelson:
Well, I think I would like to shift the format a little bit. The first season was all interviews with powerful women that I know that were coaching mostly in the fitness space, some life coaches, but I would like to shift out of that fitness space and possibly move into just conversations with powerful women. I feel a little bit of trepidation that people aren't going to appreciate that I've changed it a bit. I'm also feeling nervous that it's been so long since I put something out, so I don't know if anybody wants to hear from me, which I know is bullshit, because people tell me that they would like me to put more podcast episodes out. And also honestly it's a time thing. It's quite labor intensive to do it. So I'm thinking that I might want to switch up the way I'm actually producing each episode as well.

Susan Hyatt:
So a good combination of head trash and circumstances. So this pivot from interviewing powerful women about fitness-related topics to just interviewing powerful women, and you said you were experiencing some trepidation that people might not appreciate that shift, what are you worried people are going to think with this shift?

Amber Mikaelson:
The usual shit. "Who does she think she is?" I was in the fitness coaching space for several years. I've been out of it for about four years now. Got quite disillusioned with the industry and a lot of the messaging, et cetera. So my podcast is called Living Deliberately, and it is a fantastic name for a life coaching podcast. So I, of course, I'm on your team and have been working with you for about eight months. Very inspired by the work that you do and the communities that you've built. I would love to get into that field, moving my coaching from fitness into life coaching. I'm just worried that people will think, "Who does she think she is?"

Susan Hyatt:
Well, who do you think you are?

Amber Mikaelson:
I'm Amber.

Susan Hyatt:
Yes. And Amber is what?

Amber Mikaelson:
That's not a difficult question. My first inclination is that I'm a mother, but that's not my only identity. I think professionally the best thing I do is professional hype woman. I love to support people in reaching for their own goals, which I think is a great container for a podcast. I would love to do that for people, but it's just getting brave enough to do it.

Susan Hyatt:
So you're worried people will think, "Who does she think she is?" And what if some of your former following don't like the new focus?

Amber Mikaelson:
This is interesting, because I've been online as Rural Rebel Mama for almost 10 years. I've changed what I've been doing on my pages over the years. They follow me because they love me, not necessarily what my work is at that time. The last year, I've been posting mostly art on my pages [crosstalk 00:06:34]-

Susan Hyatt:
Yeah, beautiful art.

Amber Mikaelson:
And my page has actually grown. It's doubled since I started doing that. So I wonder that people will be like, "What's this artist lady that I started following talking about on a podcast?" That's fine. I think it's all about pursuing passion and doing things that make you feel good. That's what art has become for me. I don't know. Honestly because it's been so long that I've been doing this, I've got a pretty good attitude about people coming and going. Like Erin Brown says, "Be thankful when they do it quietly." If they don't cause a fuss or make me feel bad about it and just move on, because there's an ass for every seat on the internet, there's a seat for every ass on the internet and sometimes mine isn't going to be it.

Susan Hyatt:
Well, and also it's so interesting because I think often when we become known for something, so right now you've become known for art and formally, you were known for Living Deliberately meant in the realm of fitness. When we become known for something and we take that on as our identity, then it can become confining, in a way, because obviously as we learn and we grow and we experience life and you've gone through many things, but most recently a traumatic fire, that stuff's going to change you and the way that you flex and express who Amber is. Like the folks who are like, "What is this? This isn't what I signed up for." Well, great. And I certainly get quite a bit of that. And so over the years I've developed the muscle of allowing people to feel disappointed in me, or unhappy with shifts and changes that I've made.

Susan Hyatt:
So my question for you now is as you embrace the former fitness Amber, and the artist Amber, and the life coach, Amber, who want to live deliberately and show how you live deliberately, but also showcase other powerful women Living Deliberately, can you visualize or feel the audience that's waiting for you?

Amber Mikaelson:
I think I can. I do. Because honestly, Susan, the things that I've done in my social media world for the last 10 years, I've always been about lifting people up and supporting people. It's always been the backbone of what I do, because it's just who I am. I like to support people. So I feel like my folks in particular are ready to be supported in new ways. Some of them might not be. But if they go quietly, that's the best way.

Susan Hyatt:
Well, and here's the other thing, what if they don't go quietly?

Amber Mikaelson:
Yeah. At the beginning, when I first started doing this, I was afraid of that. What's going to happen if somebody disagrees with something and therefore I watered down everything that I did to try to appeal to everyone. And I've realized, I guess as I get older, I'm in my forties now, I just have less time to worry about what everybody thinks about what I actually feel. So I think that they're supporting. I hope so.

Susan Hyatt:
Well, it's interesting, because I think for a lot of the women listening to this podcast or watching the podcast, one of the biggest worries for women is that "Someone is going to attack me online or attack me period for using my voice in expressing myself." That's since the beginning of time what has happened, so there can be good reason to worry about that. However, what is interesting is over time, when someone has a strong reaction against what you're doing, it could be a good thing, couldn't it?

Amber Mikaelson:
It could be challenging. I've actually had some not-so-nice comments about the art that I do. I'm an amateur. I'm just doing it because it makes me happy. So some people are not very kind about it. And I used to think that I would die if somebody didn't like something that I did, especially something like art or writing that comes from the heart. It's so personal. It's a piece of me that I'm putting out there to be consumed, but I survived. You know what? I was like, "Okay, well, you don't like that light fixture that I made for my own home. That's okay."

Susan Hyatt:
Wait. Wait. I don't know why it surprises me, but people put hateful comments on your artwork on your social media?

Amber Mikaelson:
I did a pool table light for above my pool table. I made it from resin, the shades, and I did it rainbow. And some people took real exception to the fact that it's rainbow and it's a kid's room. And I was like, "No, it's absolutely a rainbow on purpose. I want my kids' friends to come into this space and know that whoever they are, they're welcome here. That's fine." But some people just don't.... "You used too much glue. I don't like [crosstalk 00:12:06]-"

Susan Hyatt:
Oh my God. And so right. That's the perfect example. A pride light above your pool table, people are going to have should to say about. So of course, if you put your opinions out in the world about Living Deliberately, there's going to be pushback. And is it possible that so, yes, we appreciate when they go quietly, but could you appreciate if they weren't quiet about it?

Amber Mikaelson:
I think I could. I've seen, working on your team and a few other teams, people being able to take that criticism or idea about what you're doing and shift it into like create content from it. Talk about what the block is for that person or "What it means about me. Nothing." So yeah, I think it could be great.

Susan Hyatt:
Well, that's where I was going with it. So I'm glad you picked up what I was putting down. That, yeah, you've seen even on my team that not every piece of pushback or negative commentary is interesting or could be used for good. But there are certain pieces that I'm like, "This is actually a perfect teachable moment to really showcase either my response to this or to show people here's where all the hidden biases are in this comment. And then it creates even more of a following when people are like, "Yeah, right on." So if you're not going to be watered down, you're no longer going to water down Amber's opinions about Living Deliberately, what's the top message that you want to express on your podcast that maybe you've toned down in the past?

Amber Mikaelson:
I think probably the spirit of Living Deliberately, which is that this is choice. Obviously there are extenuating circumstances that a lot of people have that don't offer them the same amount of choices that other people do. But when it comes to your mindset, you can decide to make the most of things or you can decide to live in the sadness or frustration. So the main thing that I would like people to come from is that it's within your power to make yourself happier.

Susan Hyatt:
And so what do you imagine if you were like, "Okay, full flavor, Amber. No, watering it down. You have a choice. If you're Living Deliberately you can choose to have a beautiful life or you can choose to wallow in sadness or victimhood," or whatever. I don't mean to put words in your mouth. So why then, because this sounds delightful to me, why then does your mind kick up dust or obstacles around the producing of it? Oh, wait. Before we get to the production of it, there was the worry that people don't want to hear from you or lost interest.

Amber Mikaelson:
Yep. And that's just probably a result of the algorithm getting in my head. I don't know if we all do, but you watch the numbers. You see who's watching, who's listening, who's clicking. I had a pretty good response to the podcast, but it wasn't something that grew my community in a great way. It grew depth in my community. It helped people meet me better. But I hope people want to hear from me.

Susan Hyatt:
Well, I think the bigger question is, do you want to hear from you?

Amber Mikaelson:
Right. I do. I do. I'm ready to talk again, for sure. Like you said, it took some time to set my nest up again and honestly heal my children. It's been a very traumatic thing for all of us. And immediately after I was like, as soon as we moved, because we moved five hours away after the fire. So as soon as we moved, I was like, "Yep, I'm starting up the podcast again" and I did one episode. And I was like, "Actually, I don't have it in me to do any more of these right now." And lots of things have changed since then and I'm feeling revitalized and felt like maybe I want to start talking again.

Susan Hyatt:
And I think that it's important to note that for any of you listening or watching that it's okay to admit, "I don't have the capacity to do what I was doing until some of these other things are sorted." And I know even within my own business and life, I didn't have the capacity last summer to do summer of yes, which is happening right now. And I'm really glad I took a break. I'm really glad that I allowed myself the opportunity to figure out what I wanted to do until it felt good again to do it. But I think if you want to hear you and you are expressing what you really think and not toning it down, I think the algorithm be damned And you can also think about, and this is for anyone who wants to start a podcast or a new program or anything, is that thinking about the intention of it. Because I love that you said, "Okay, it didn't necessarily bring new people to me, but it created a depth within the community that I already had, which I think is brilliant and important."

Susan Hyatt:
And so now with, with restarting the podcast with a different focus, is your intention to grow the audience and deepen the connection or what's the intention?

Amber Mikaelson:
Ideally I think I would like to continue to grow my community. I think the more people that I'm in touch with, the better it is. So I think another hangup that I did have that I didn't talk to you about is that I didn't actually see a revenue stream from it. So it got to be this thing where I was producing it all myself, I was doing a lot of research about my guests and providing them with all of the questions that I was going to ask them before, because I felt like giving people a heads up would be a nice thing to do. But it took so much time that I think I would probably shy away from that. Maybe have some questions every week that I'm definitely going to be asking everyone, like what you're reading or whatever. But I think there are ways that I could cut back a little bit on the initial investments of my time to make it work it better.

Susan Hyatt:
I think so. I think that recognizing where you were over effort-ing before, and then I also think getting specific about with podcasting, there are ways to set up the podcast format and to track people coming in from the podcast to then opting in or signing up for something free with you and then becoming a client. Something that we used to do with a podcast that I actually retired, the episodes are still available for people to listen to, a podcast called Rich Coach Club. What we would do is there was always some free guide to something and we could over time by directing folks from being a listener to opting into something, then see the path of them becoming clients. But existing clients, I think it would be interesting to think about, it might not have been obvious at the time that "Oh, I'm making X amount of dollars a month off of this podcast." But the deepening that happened in your community, I'm sure generated revenue.

Susan Hyatt:
So I think that's something important just practically to think about going into the relaunch of the podcast is what's your intention. And then how will I make it easier for me to understand the engagement with my listenership and asking them to do specific things so that they aren't just listening and enjoying, but they're listening and becoming part of the community. And there's a variety of ways to do that, but I do think there are some strategic things that we can help you obviously share with you on the team. Things you can do with the podcast, so you can track that a little better. But then in terms of the production, the question, "How could I make this even easier on myself?" And you did already have the idea of not spending hours and hours curating advanced questions. Are there any other things that you could outsource or stop doing to make the process more fun for you?

Amber Mikaelson:
In theory, I could. I have friends who have the skills that could... Because it isn't my wheelhouse, so it was something that I was learning from scratch and I am faster at it now, but I'm sure that I could find somebody to help.

Susan Hyatt:
Yeah. I think that a podcast is a big endeavor, but it sounds like you know enough from doing it, not the wrong way, but doing it in a way that didn't fill you up. Because what I'm hearing is previously, it was good until it wasn't, you watered it down, you didn't necessarily have an easy path for people to go from listener to client and you over effort-ed it to the point that it has created a barrier in your mind, like, "Oh, I don't know if I'm up for all that again.

Amber Mikaelson:
Right.

Susan Hyatt:
Right. So the Amber with nerve needs to think, "What about this podcast opportunity?"

Amber Mikaelson:
I guess that it's worth it to do it. And just talking through it tells me I want to do it. When I saw that invite for applications come in, I was like, "Oh, maybe I could talk to her about that." And here I am doing that. So obviously I'm manifesting it for myself. I'm going to do it.

Susan Hyatt:
Awesome. And I think what are the metrics of success for this podcast that don't have anything to do with the algorithm? What do you think?

Amber Mikaelson:
I guess, like you said, finding a path for people in which to engage from that point into other things, whether it's getting on my newsletter list or whatever the case may be, eventually I would love to have clients come from it when I'm ready to take them.

Susan Hyatt:
There's going to have to be a strong call to action at the end where you're like, "Hey, do you want to work with me? Do you want some of this Amber goodness?" But in order for you to feel compelled to do those things, what's the internal metric that'll let you know this is something that's a success for you?

Amber Mikaelson:
Not really sure, Susan.

Susan Hyatt:
Well, let me give you an example. So I used this example in my class I was teaching yesterday. So one of my mastermind clients posted this quote from Robin Arzón, who is one of my favorite Peloton instructors. And the quote was "Today's metric is joy. I'm not sorry." And what she meant on the ride was obviously on those spin class rides, people are very concerned with their rank on the leader board, getting a PR, what was their output. And she was basically saying, "Shove all those metrics aside and the only goal for today's class is to experience joy." And of course that's what I'm passionate about as well. And when you think about the metric of joy, not the metrics we tend to obsess on, on whether or not something's a success. Like this many people downloaded and listened. And then this many people signed up and paid me money. I'm concerned about those things, but for me, it's got to feel fun. I've got to feel passionate about it. And so what's the feeling state, what's the internal metric you want to have when creating and promoting your podcast?

Amber Mikaelson:
Also fun and [crosstalk 00:25:51]. And I think maybe five years ago, Erin described me as a coach who is a very mothering coach. So I would like people to feel loved when they've had a conversation with me, supported and ready to tackle whatever it is that they're making great in the world.

Susan Hyatt:
Aw. That's amazing. And you're going to bring all that goodness to Bear coach training. You're training to be a Bear certified coach, which gets me very excited.

Amber Mikaelson:
I'm very excited too. I really feel like your work is such a good fit with who I am. I'm so excited to put it in the world.

Susan Hyatt:
Yay. All right, Amber, it sounds like you've got some nerve. So when we check back in with you, what's going to be your goal date for relaunching your podcast?

Amber Mikaelson:
Honestly, I'm going to give myself a quarter to do it. So September.

Susan Hyatt:
All right. So where are we? We're in June, July, August, September. September launch?

Amber Mikaelson:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susan Hyatt:
All right. I'm excited about it.

Amber Mikaelson:
Okay. Well, thank you for your support.

Susan Hyatt:
Thank you, Amber. Thank you for listening to today's episode of You've Got Nerve. I hope it's inspired you to get the courage and confidence to go after everything you want. If you enjoyed this episode, please rate and review it on Spotify, Apple Podcast, or wherever you're listening or watching. Your reviews mean the world to me. And when you review the podcast, we have the potential to reach more people who want to get up the nerve to create what they crave and become unstoppable.

Susan Hyatt:
Is there something that you need the nerve to do? The first step is saying yes to yourself. Yes. To what you want. Yes to whatever it is that you crave. Guess what? If you want to work with me and my team, enrollment is open for something new we've created called the Revenue Retreat. Now, we just did a revenue retreat in Lake Como, Italy, and we are about to do one on my lake, Kentucky Lake. If you want to work with my team on video and branding and social media and marketing and sales, you can check out all the details at susanhyatt.co.

Susan Hyatt:
Excited for the next episode of You've Got Nerve, but don't want to wait a whole week? Get motivational texts from me every Monday to help you gain more courage and confidence in your life. Just text me 812-408-1823. And if you've got a question for me, we're adding special Q&A episodes of You've Got Nerve in the near future. And we're looking for listeners and viewers like you to participate. So just go to youvegotnervepodcast.com and you can ask us a question. That's all for today's episode of You've Got Nerve. Now, it's time to go and get what you want. More confidence, more money, more energy, more pleasure. Go after your goals like never before, because you've got the nerve.

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