One of the things I LOVE about my work is that I get to meet new people, nearly every day. For me, that usually means making a new friend - every day. Connecting with and getting to know amazing leaders just makes my day. Gosh, I love my work!
Amber Fuhriman is a woman after my own heart. If you'd been a fly on the wall before and after our podcast recording, you’d be rolling your eyes… but we truly share so many similar reasons for WHY we do what we do. She is a powerful leader, with a heart of compassion that she's using to make a very real difference in the lives of others.
Check out the full interview and Amber’s story, here: Episode 92: Understand Your Value.
Amber is a criminal defense and immigration lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada - AND - she’s a coach and NLP practitioner. She discovered, as many who have advanced degrees that place them in highly specialized professions do, that the achievement doesn’t always live up to your expectations and dreams.
However, while others might just quit, or worse settle in for the bitter long haul, Amber decided to make a change.
She changed her definition of success. Now, while she continues to practice law, she also helps other professionals figure out their own definitions of success.
How, you ask?
Interestingly, by helping them understand their true value.
I found Amber’s story fascinating because she did what so many women do - she barreled into a professional career, thinking that’s where she would find her value.
But she didn’t.
Not at all.
We all do this to some extent. We’re looking for that “thing” that will define us, validate us, fill a void. What’s exceptional, and unconventional is that Amber had the presence to stop, take stock, and redefine her own expectations and destination.
She decided (yep, there’s that word you hear from me all the time) that her definition of success would include giving others control over their future. Yep, she still works in immigration and defense law. Yep, she has to sit people down and be honest about their options. This is not work that’s easy or even fun - but it’s work that is fulfilling, as she watches people decide to take control of their lives and make decisions for themselves and their families with the knowledge and understanding she provides. The very definition of EMPOWERMENT!!!
She then capitalized and expanded this work outside her legal field, to help other professionals find fulfillment in their careers, the same way she has found it in hers. She admits it’s easy to get caught up in the vision you’ve had in your head for years, and credits Jen Cincero for helping her see how to overcome her own expectations and excuses and get out of her comfort zone: “the walls of your house are decorated with all your excuses.” So, get up off your couch, tear down that wallpaper, and design your own life based on your true value.
Amber’s Leadership Principle: Design your life and have the courage to live it.
There was a moment when she was ready to completely hang up her career, chuck it all out the window, when she was blessed with a friend who cautioned her to take a deep breath and consider her future options.
Digging deep allowed her to figure out that her chosen profession really COULD make a difference, and she could parlay that into being the “friend” to others who have a hard time seeing those things themselves.
What does it take to design your own life?
Adjust your success plan based on the life you want to live. This seems so “simple,” but it means truly laying down your expectations, and really being honest with yourself about what you want. If you're anything like me, you have some powerful messages in your head about what expectations you should have for yourself. Shutting those down is work, but boy, is it worth it. For someone like Amber, considering abandoning her legal career that she'd worked so hard and long for, needed to be an option. Fortunately, she was able to see how she could stay true to herself AND continue to add value to her clients. But this was an adjustment she needed to make in order to be who she wanted to be.
Listen to your intuition when it tells you that you want something more… and ask what it is. This is where it’s so important to understand your worth. Being authentic requires that understanding. It requires the ability to look at yourself, ask curious questions, and then see all the amazing things that you are. Amber pointed out that the more nurturing you are, the more critical you seem to be of yourself. Boy, do I know that's true. I'm sure you have those same voices in your head. So, my friend, give yourself some grace, and tap into your own special combination of skills, experience and wisdom.
How do you then move forward? Here’s her advice.
Give the same advice to yourself you’d give to your friend. Yep, this one can be hard, but I actually do this myself. Stand in front of the mirror and just tell it like it is. Oddly enough, this is a practice I use to calm my mind and work through challenges. It’s amazing, the difference in what you would tell your friend (who you obviously care about) and what you would tell yourself (uh-oh…). Right? All that wisdom and experience can benefit YOU too.
Be honest with yourself and ask what you really want. All ceilings are man-made, so just break through whatever seems to be holding you down. You ARE capable! I love this concept. It’s easy, as women especially, to think we are being held down by someone else, or the “system.” The reality is ALWAYS that you can move, change the system, and make a difference. You get to decide and you get to go for it. If you’re looking for permission - well, here it is.
Find success for yourself in every action you take. This one is HUGE. I’ve learned this one the hard way, making “mistake” after “mistake,” and realizing that what I’ve learned from each and every one of them has been so valuable, there’s no way to NOT count that as “success!” I’m learning that seeing it all as “data collection” takes emotion out of the equation, and gives me the ability to pivot, even if just by a small degree, to move forward with new and better actions, today.
Amber’s key habit for remembering her own value and living the life she designs for herself, is regular check-ins and reflection. She uses a life wheel planner, and asks herself “what does success mean to me - today, this morning, this quarter…” Keeping this concept at the top of her mind, and on the front burner ensures she stays on course, and lives the life SHE chooses to live.
How about you? Do you understand your value?
It's time to design the life you want to live, and step up to live it.
You can hear Amber’s story here: Episode 92: Understand Your Value.
Where to find Amber: Amber Fuhriman
A practicing defense and immigration lawyer, Amber is also a Success Architect along with being a NLP practitioner. She works with “serial accomplishers” like her former self to help them gain clarity of what they actually want, define what their best life looks like and help them get out of their comfort zone to achieve their dreams. Amber believes that pushing yourself out of your comfort zone physically helps challenge your mental limitations of what you can accomplish professionally. She uses her experiences with loss, grief, academic and professional success, and physical challenges to help her clients get out of their own way and achieve their highest level of success.