Amber Erickson-Hurdle is a longtime hospitality veteran who now spans multiple industries and is recognized among the top 10 branding professionals in the world, thanks to her proprietary branding philosophy. Amber teaches the combined value of personal brands, employer brands, and business brands to increase market share and profitability, reduce turnover, and amplify satisfaction among customers and employees alike.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I grew up in Southern California and spent more days on 15th Street in Newport Beach than I can count. Being the furthest one out in the ocean on my board made me feel independent and powerful, and let’s be real…I caught WAY better waves out there! Maybe that is where I got comfortable with taking big risks to experience big rewards!

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

I wish someone would have sat me down and explained to me that there is limitless potential in life and that I can create whatever type of life I want by enjoying the journey and believing the best about myself. I would have stopped giving my power away and I also would have realized we never get there, so the point is to enjoy the now.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

There are far too many bad recommendations in my profession than I could possibly unpack in a few words. Instead, I would rather offer this: Do not let the number of Instagram followers impact who you listen to. Instead, research the person’s qualifications, and look for evidence that their advice works within their own experience and within others’ lives or businesses. Absolutely do not take advice from people who haven’t had the experience to pass it on.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

I had my first child when I was 16. Needless to say, being a teen mom and trying to raise a baby on my own had some powerfully dark moments of fatigue and desperation despite having an equally powerful love pulsating throughout because of the joy of my little girl. Yet, I say all I really needed to know I didn’t learn in kindergarten. I actually learned it by being a teen mom: leadership, so many learned behaviors that are not my natural behavioral patterns, resilience, hope, tenacity, manifestation, branding, and so much more!

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

I know, like, and accept myself. Both my light and my shadow are a part of me, and that whole person is here to create and serve. No one needs to validate that in order for me to show up and experience satisfaction every day. There is no Bozo button or trophy I can receive that can replace my inner joy. When you are aligned with your own inner knowing, no one can keep you from what you are capable of experiencing.

What is your morning routine?

I wake up at about 6:30 a.m., immediately let my dog out, and unload the dishwasher as I wait for my coffee to brew. This sets me up to put dishes in the dishwasher throughout the day instead of piling dirty dishes in the sink. (My environment matters so much to me!) Then, my dog and I get back in bed to power snuggle, as I meditate, journal, pray, and go through a couple of personal development apps. Once I’ve tended to my mind and spirit, I exercise (usually with at least 10 minutes of yoga), followed by fascia work to keep my body in shape. Then, I get ready as usual before heading to the office.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

I only allow space in my life for those who choose to truly see me. Life is too short and my mission too important to afford time and attention to those who prefer me to morph into someone that makes them comfortable. Those who see me get the best of me, and I recognize and am comfortable with the fact that I am not for everyone.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

On Mondays, I meet up with a fellow woman entrepreneur for our official “Get it Done Day.” We reserve this time to work on the things we don’t really want to do because it’s boring behind-the-scenes work. Holding each other accountable at the start of the week for the important, but less desirable tasks are powerful. For the rest of the week, I time block and try to batch work that is similar and use playlists to get me the energy for various types of work. Importantly, my operations manager, Amy, helps me be realistic about what I can get done in a day!

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl helped me stay focused on what I had power over: my own mind. Learning mental fortitude from a former prisoner in Nazi concentration camps was all that I needed to keep my mental game strong.

Also, each year I re-read The Big Leap by Gay Hendrix. It helps identify false fears and beliefs, as well as keeps readers mindful of “upper limit problems” that prevent us from elevating in life. I recommend it to all clients and students!

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” – Marianne Williamson

As a branding professional, I help leaders and organizations define and position their values. With so many life experiences that tell us to not stand out or shine as brightly as we can, it’s easy to mistake dimming one’s light for humility. It’s ok to confidently understand your greatness, and it is a disservice to humanity to not boldly share that in service to others.