Written by : Transcript – Celebrate International Women’s Day With Amber Olson Rourke 

Transcript – Celebrate International Women’s Day With Amber Olson Rourke

Follow along with the transcript below for episode: Celebrate International Women’s Day With Amber Olson Rourke

 

[INTRODUCTION]

 

[00:00:02] PF: Thank you for joining us for episode 458 of Live Happy Now. During March, we’re not only celebrating our happiness month, but it’s also Women’s History Month, and March 8th is International Women’s Day. That means it’s a perfect time to talk about how women can help empower and support one another.

 

I’m your host Paula Felps. Today, I’m talking with Amber Olson Rourke, an award-winning marketing executive, mom, and Co-Founder of the direct sales company, Neora. Amber, who is also co-host of the Built to Win Podcast, is passionate about empowering women to step into their full potential and reach for more than they think is possible. Today, she’s here to talk about how we can look for opportunities to support one another and how that can change the world. Let’s have a listen.

 

[INTERVIEW]

 

[00:00:50] PF: Amber, welcome to Live Happy Now. I’m so happy that you’re able to join us.

 

[00:00:54] AOR: I am so happy to be here. Thank you for having me.

 

[00:00:58] PF: Well, this is the perfect time to talk to you. It is Women’s History Month. We’ve got International Women’s Day in just a couple of days. What the listeners may not know is I do some work with you on your Built to Win Podcast. What shines through so much on that is your passion for supporting and empowering other women. This is the perfect time to get you on the show and talking about that. I wanted to find out, first of all, how you discovered that calling.

 

[00:01:25] AOR: That’s a great question. I think when you’re trying to really fine-tune what it is that you feel called to do, I think that the experiences give you clues if you’re really listening and paying attention to them. For me, it started all the way being on the receiving end of those situations. With growing up, my mom has always really liked going to women’s workshops and whether they were women conferences or workshops. I would attend with her. Even though the majority of the people would be adults, I would be there kind of listening and in the experience. I just always felt very fulfilled. My cup was filled through those experiences.

 

Then as I started getting older, I started being asked to be on the presenting side and helping teens with self-confidence, self-image issues, mentorship programs, even through Big Brothers Big Sisters. I did that right out of college and became a big to a little girl. At first, it wasn’t really in my career. It was more just things in the community and things that I was doing. Then I just really found that when I was in a situation where I could be able to pour into another person, specifically another woman, I really felt so just full of excitement and light and that kind of those nudges led me to a path where that’s a big part of my career now.

 

[00:02:48] PF: It’s interesting because you’ve been very successful in your business. You’ve built a business. A lot of times, when someone does that, you get away from your roots. You get away from being able to do that. Your time is so compressed. You’re also a mother to three girls, and you got a lot going on. So what is it that’s so important that makes you keep that as a pillar of what you do and who you are?

 

[00:03:16] AOR: I think it’s just, for me, it’s where I feel like I can make the most impact and the thing that I am able to give as my gift. I really try to focus on delegating the other things that other people can help me do because you can’t do it all. Everyone has a great support system around them, whether that’s at home or at work or that you can build. People generally I found are always willing to help, but I think a lot of people kind of get in their own way of the pride of not asking for the help of like, “I can’t be everywhere. I can’t do everything.” I try and focus my time on where I’m going to make the most amount of impact. For me, this is a part of it is pouring into and developing other leaders, other women that can then go on and do bigger and better things.

 

[00:04:06] PF: I love that because you found a way to work it into your business world and make it part of your business initiative. Can you kind of talk about that, like how that personal development is such a powerful component when you bring it into the workplace?

 

[00:04:19] AOR: Yes. I think that for us, it has been one of our “secrets” to our success is really our investment in the people that we work with. That’s our competitive advantage, both in our home office, which we have over 100 employees. Then we have over tens of thousands of independent contractors that are basically like micro entrepreneurs. Anytime you’re doing something like entrepreneurial, something out on your own, you’re going to go through an entire journey of ups and downs and self-discovery and everything in between. To be able to navigate that, you have to invest in yourself because that is going to be the common factor, right? That’s going to be there in different economic times, all different kinds of things that are going to happen.

 

The one thing that remains constant is that you are always going to be there. So if you don’t develop yourself, it doesn’t really matter what’s happening externally. You can never really get past yourself. You’re kind of your own limiting ceiling, if you will. We really believe if you can help people lift the lid of what they’re capable of doing and what they believe they’re capable of doing, you can get a lot accomplished. That’s really why we make such an investment in our people in personal development and bringing that kind of information to everyone that we work with.

 

[00:05:41] PF: How do you see women change when they’re learning these principles and they are getting support? It’s not just that you support them. It’s the other women on their teams, the other women around them. It becomes an entire culture of people supporting one another. How does that change their lives?

 

[00:05:57] AOR: It’s really powerful because I think women specifically, like I mentioned, I think have a harder time asking for help and working on those things that they might. They don’t just know automatically. For people to be able to start gaining confidence in areas that they maybe have never tried learning that skill set and then seeing that they can do it and seeing that they can do much bigger things than they ever thought possible, it acts as kind of like – I think of it as like a candle. You light your flame, and then you’re able to pass that candle on and light someone else’s flame.

 

For some people, I think women, especially, they can feel like selfish almost. I’m trying to become the best me, and that somehow feels selfish. If I become the best me, that doesn’t mean I’m taking away from being a mother, being a wife, working. It actually makes me be able to show up more fully to all of those rules. It’s not a selfish endeavor. I view it as completely the opposite. You’re able to be more selfless. You’re able to give more of yourself when you’re pouring into yourself, right? We all heard that you can’t pour from an empty cup, and I believe that’s really true emotionally for women.

 

When you see somebody put in the time, put in the effort, put in the work to light their own flame, so to speak, and now they’re kind of burning brightly, it almost gives permission to everyone else around them that they can do the same. That it’s okay to burn bright. That it’s okay to take up space in the room. That it’s okay to be incredibly gifted and proud of that. I think that that is something that women struggle with more is burning bright, taking up that space in the room, and being unapologetic about it. Not in an egotistical way but like I’m here to serve and give and help others do the same thing. Once you see that happen, you start seeing the ripple effect of the women around them start fully kind of taking their own light and making it brighter.

 

[00:07:51] PF: You’re correct that that is such a hard lesson for women to learn, whether it’s the culture that has told us that, our parents that have told us that. There’s just so many messages that I need to take care of everyone else first and not myself. How much work does it take within your company to really get people to understand and make that mind shift to embrace the idea of I’m going to support myself, I’m going to rise up, and I am going to burn brightly?

 

[00:08:20] AOR: Personal development, personal growth, it’s a never-ending journey. I don’t think you arrive at this destination where you’re like, “I –”

 

[00:08:26] PF: It’s not like a board game where it’s like, “Yay.”

 

[00:08:28] AOR: Yes. I’ve learned it all. I’ve won the game. I think it just evolves because what’s interesting is that I see as you develop skill sets, it allows you to get to this next level where you’re taking on bigger challenges. Then you get to this next level. That presents different challenges than the ones that you just solved for. As you rise up, you’re just solving different more challenging problems, which is great because you can continue to learn.

 

I think my experience, once people see the fruits of their labor, so to speak, in terms of they did the work, and they’re showing up more confidently, and they see how that does positively impact their family and does positively impact the people around them, it starts gaining momentum into something that they don’t want to stop. They’re seeing how it can absolutely allow you to be a better friend, mother, employee, whatever it is that you want to become better at.

 

[00:09:27]

 

FT: How do you think that helps when they’re weathering things like the pandemic? We’ve got a lot of divisiveness going on in the world today.

 

[00:09:34] AOR: A lot.

 

[00:09:35] PF: A lot of turmoil. What difference do you see in how they handle that when there is this sense of unity and this sense of support?

 

[00:09:44] AOR: That’s a great question. I think when you come from a mindset that is based in the impact that you want to make, and it isn’t fear-based because I believe that a lot of what we have lived through the last three years is all fear-based kind of environment of what possibly could go wrong and what – people get stuck in that, and then it becomes really hard to get unstuck out of that.

 

When you can approach things not just with like a Pollyanna everything is fine outlook because there is and was significant challenges in today’s environment, but you can view it from the lens of I see that, I understand those challenges, and what is the impact that I personally want to make, and what is one step that I can take towards that impact. I think people get overwhelmed by I personally can’t solve all of these issues. Yes, no one can. But you can show up in a way where you’re taking a step, and you’re taking steps that are going to make a positive impact in the direction that you would want things to go.

 

That’s true in a microcosm of your marriage, your job. It’s also true at a macrocosm of your city, your state, your country. It matters. It matters how we choose to show up and how we choose to view those situations. I do think being surrounded by like-minded people who see it that same way and are committed to making their positive contributions really helps you have a bigger kind of sense of hope and fortitude in humanity than you would see on the news.

 

[00:11:23] PF: Absolutely. You talked, too, about having daughters. You got three little girls. What I love is they’re being brought up believing this way. So many of us have a disadvantage because we become adults, and then we start figuring this out. When you’re raising daughters to support one another, to believe in themselves, and to believe in their ability and the ability of the other women around them, how does that change what our future looks like if they can grow up believing that and knowing that?

 

[00:11:56] AOR: I think it is so powerful, and I think everyone one has that ability to put their children in those circumstances. Or even if they’re not physically there, there are so many powerful women today that are CEOs that are doing really important work in medical field and scientific field, all of these different things. You can just look up those stories and tell them to your kids because kids can only imagine to the degree of which what we show them. That doesn’t necessarily have to be what you’re specifically doing, but it’s about creating that environment that teaches them that they can be anything that they want to be.

 

I see it, for sure, in my girls. One of my repeating message to them is we can do hard things. When they tell me of a challenge, my response is to say, “I hear that. I appreciate that. That does sound hard.” But we can do hard things, and I want them to develop that resiliency. They see me speak from stages. They see me do a lot of things. Now, on their list of what they want to be, it’s, “I want to be a CEO in charge. I want to do big things,” which I love. I love that that is in their mindset from a young age, that that’s possible. Whether they end up wanting to do that or not doesn’t really matter, but I want them to know it’s possible for the taking.

 

[00:13:16] PF: Absolutely. I love that. I love that. I do see that with a lot of young children that I know now that are in my circle that they’re growing up, and they don’t see the limitations because they’re being raised by women like you who have already overcome the limitations. To the girls, those obstacles don’t even really exist.

 

[00:13:37] AOR: Right.

 

[00:13:38] PF: I love that.

 

[00:13:39] AOR: I think that’s so important because I think if you operate as if the obstacles do exist, you can almost create them. You can almost walk into a room or walk into your first job thinking that there are doors that aren’t open to you that maybe really are. But you’ve been taught that they aren’t. Just assuming that they are is like half the battle, I believe.

 

[00:14:03] PF: Yes. That’s a fantastic way to look at it. One thing that reality TV would tell us, and I’ve had women tell me this, is women aren’t there for each other. If you watch Real Housewives and whatever, you’re going to believe that. What do you say about that? When you hear someone say like, “Women, you’ve got to watch their back because they’re competing with you. They’re not your friend,” how do you manage that kind of a situation, and what do you say to that?

 

[00:14:34] AOR: That has not been my experience in my career. Again, I would say that how is that belief serving you? That’s always what I think about if it’s a belief that I’m holding is like how does that help you to believe that. The irony is if you do believe that, in your gut, your soul, that’s your belief, you will find that evidence, right? Kind of almost create that environment for yourself.

 

I will say that in my journey, there’s definitely been women who tried to tear me down. But there’s been more men that have tried to tear me down. It’s just people. There’s just those types of people that exist in the world that don’t support you. But you get to choose if you keep those people close to you. I assess really quickly if somebody is somebody that is going to not cheer. Cheers louder when you fail than when you succeed. Then they don’t get my time and my energy.

 

The community that I have around me now is just filled with women who cheer for each other and support each other and really rocks for each other to help each other grow and win together because there’s plenty of light and space for every single one of us. It doesn’t have to be a competition.

 

[00:15:52] PF: Right. You’ve built that environment. For someone who’s working in an environment that’s not like that, how can they work through competitive environment and try to become more collaborative, try to get support going within their own little network?

 

[00:16:09] AOR: It sounds cheesy, but I think that the change you want to see always starts with you. You can decide to be that kind of woman or supporter, and find somebody that you connect with in the office, and take them to lunch, and talk about how can I help be of support to you. How can I help you in your career goals and share where you’re going with them? It can start just with that one relationship that develops, where you’re both trying to help each other achieve and help each other grow. In my experience, it kind of grows organically from there. You’ll find more of your own people, people that see things the same way as you. It’s never going to be everybody because we’re dealing with people. There’s always going to be people who aren’t that way, but you can definitely develop a large enough system of people to help you feel supported.

 

[00:17:02] PF: Absolutely. What are some of the things we can do to support other women?

 

[00:17:06] AOR: I would say verbalizing your support and your kudos. It’s like if somebody at your church service stands up and does a great prayer, go and tell them. Speak that truth into them because I think women struggle a lot with confidence that whatever they just did isn’t good enough. Just going and saying, “Thank you so much for sharing. You did a great job.” Or you see somebody give great service at a store. Telling them, “You were really made for this. You give such great service. You brought a smile to my face.” Offering that.

 

I think sometimes people view like if they give out compliments, it somehow takes away from themselves. If you shine the light on someone else, it dims your light. I found the opposite. Give it out freely and your light shines even brighter. I think you can do that in just day-to-day interaction. Tell other women when you see them doing a great job. Also, you can do it online because I tell a story about where there was this amazing picture of Carrie Underwood on social media. I never stop and look at comments, but she look fabulous, perfect body, amazing talent. I went to check the comments, and most of them were negative and judgmental about her looks or her talent or what she should wear or blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It goes on and on.

 

It’s like I don’t even know what these people do with their time, but it’s like you can be the opposite voice. You can be like – to someone you just kind of barely even know that you’re friends with on social media, and they share something that you think probably might have been scary for them to share. They share a new business venture. They share that they’re going to do something out of their comfort zone. Be in their corner. Just verbalizing your support goes way, way further than you would probably think. You might think they don’t care what you have to say. Your support, no matter how well you know them or not, absolutely bolsters their confidence.

 

[00:19:07] PF: That is such a fantastic point to bring up because it’s something we don’t do enough and when you see how people respond to it. For me, that kind of is a dopamine hit, just to see people react. I think people aren’t used to getting complimented that much. When you do, even as you said, it can be something small and the way that they light up. It’s like I just handed them money. It’s such a boost. You think about how good you feel when someone notices something you did. It’s like, yes, we should all be walking around doing that all day every day.

 

[00:19:42] AOR: Right, yes. Scanning for people that you can encourage just with your words, it’s so easy. It’s free. It’s simple.

 

[00:19:50] PF: Exactly. It changes because you change that person’s day, how that’s going to change their next interaction.

 

[00:19:56] AOR: Right. The ripple effect is huge. It really is.

 

[00:19:58] PF: Exactly. Exactly. That’s one great way to support. Another thing and I know you are big on this, I don’t want to let you go without talking about that, and that’s mentorship. Can you really dig into why it’s so important for someone who has achieved things, who understands personal development? Why is it so important and almost a responsibility to become then a mentor to others?

 

[00:20:24] AOR: Yes. I think that kind of twofold. I think there’s a couple reasons why people – everybody needs a mentor, right? Some of it is just that you can’t see the full picture yourself. No human can see kind of 360 degrees. We all have blind spots. We all have things that we bring our own kind of past experiences to. To be able to have someone who can see whatever you’re walking through, whatever you’re trying to grow through from a third-party lens is really powerful.

 

I’ve had some of my biggest breakthroughs of what was actually holding me back that I would never have been able to got to by myself because I was kind of already so stuck in whatever I was on, the hamster will in your mind about. Having that mentor relationship, somebody that you trust enables you to get much further than you would go by yourself and remove roadblocks that you might not even know that were there, didn’t know how to remove. I think it’s also somebody that can help you think bigger and challenge you to think bigger.

 

For those reasons, you kind of turn it back around of why it’s so important. It’s that being a mentor to somebody. I think the word maybe sounds a little intimidating like, “I’m not a mentor. I’m not qualified to do that.” But it really just means that you’re going to show up for that person, and be in their corner, and support them, and challenge them to think bigger, and to give them kind of the truth and love when you see that of what might be holding them back, and make connections for them, and make introductions for them, and be the first to comment on their posts about their business or whatever it is. You don’t have to necessarily be uniquely qualified to do that. Anybody can do that. It’s like somebody that’s gone the way already that can turn around and help somebody else go that same way.

 

It is really meaningful because when you’re trying to do something big, you will get knocked down. I think one of the biggest predictors of if you get back up is if there’s somebody there putting their hand out to say, “Come on. Let’s go. You got this.” People need that. I think if you’re to the point where you’re on the right track or on the journey of success that it’s a responsibility to turn around and help others do that same thing and help them get back up when they need you.

 

[00:22:50] PF: It also provides you with reinforcement. It reminds you. Doesn’t it also – it’s like, “Oh, my gosh. I remember being in that state.” It gives you such a state of gratitude of like, “Oh, I remember overcoming that obstacle. I remember what that was like.” I think it does kind of serve just such a great teaching reminder for us when we’re doing that, too.

 

[00:23:10] AOR: Absolutely, absolutely.

 

[00:23:12] PF: As we head into International Women’s Day, what do you want women to know? How do you want them to approach this and maybe use this as a day to actually observe it and start taking on some sort of a practice to support someone else?

 

[00:23:26] AOR: That’s a great question. I would say, kind of going back to what you’re talking about, maybe think of some women in your life that deserve some kudos and some recognition. Give them a shout-out. Send them a message about how they are inspiring you and how they show up in their life. Or give their business a shout-out on your social media about how that they’ve inspired you with what they’re accomplishing and what they’re putting out into the world. I think that there’s – it’s a great day to kind of have that reflection point of the people that you can show up for in that moment and support.

 

Then thinking about are there women that you work with or that are in your community or are in your clubs, churches, whatever that might be? Is there someone that just connects with you that you think about when you think of that that you could reach out to and lend a supporting hand to? Maybe that just drops into your mind a name of like, “Oh. When we were talking through this, that person’s name –” I would say that’s never an accident when those names pop into our head, that there’s a reason that they did.

 

Thinking of even just one person that you could reach out to and say, “I love what you’re doing. How can I support you?” At the end of the day, we all rise together. I think it’s a great kind of month and day to think of how you can be a part of helping other people rise.

 

[00:24:55] PF: I love it. Amber, thank you so much for coming on the show. We’re going to tell everybody how they can check out your podcast, how they can follow you on social media, how they can learn more about you. I really appreciate you sitting down and sharing your insight with us.

 

[00:25:09] AOR: Well, thank you so much for having me on. It’s been super fun.

 

[END OF INTERVIEW]

 

[00:25:16] PF: That was Amber Olson Rourke, talking about how women can better support one another. If you’d like to learn more about Amber, follow her on social media, or listen to the Built to Win Podcast, just visit us at livehappy.com and click on the podcast tab. While you’re there, be sure to sign up for our weekly Live Happy newsletter. Every Tuesday, we’ll drop a little bit of joy in your inbox with the latest stories, podcast info, and even a happy song of the week.

 

That is all we have time for today. We’ll meet you back here again next week for an all-new episode. Until then, this is Paula Felps, reminding you to make every day happy one.

 

[END]

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