Brave marketing with a side of smart girl wisdom w/ Swapna Thomas – She Leads She Thrives Podcast Episode 15

Swapna Thomas | She Leads She Thrives Podcast | Thrive Factor | Archetypes | Business Coaching | Brave Marketing | Shannon Dunn
Swapna Thomas | She Leads She Thrives Podcast | Thrive Factor | Archetypes | Business Coaching | Brave Marketing | Shannon Dunn

In this episode Swapna and I talk about

In this new episode, I chat with my fellow smart girl sister in business, Swapna Thomas.


We  share a love of marketing and cheering our clients to success and as with any conversation we have had, we dive into all kinds of topics that’ll get you and your business fired up.


Swapna is one of the cleverest business women I know and our long term, virtual friendship has spanned all kinds of ups, downs, sideways and in betweens.


Together we offer you a real, raw, and insightful conversation about business and life.


Oh and if you want to tune into my appearance on Swapna’s amazing podcast, The Brave Marketing podcast, you can do that here where I shared the highlights and links to listen on my blog.

Notable quotes

Swapna Thomas She Leads She Thrives Podcast episode 15 | Brave Marketing | Smart Girl wisdom | Thrive Factor Archetypes | Business Coaching

Meet guest Swapna Thomas, Brave Marketing superstar

Swapna is a business and marketing coach for rebel change makers and leaders and host of the Brave Marketing podcast.


She works with coaches, healers and creative entrepreneurs who are ready for 6-figure years while creating a business on their own terms and without complicated marketing or sales strategies.


She lives in India but works with clients from all over the world. She is an introvert, a homebody, mom to a teenager and a cat.


Connect with Swapna here

Episode Transcript


She Lead She Thrives, the home of inspired conversations, practical and creative wisdom, expansive leadership and business insights, abundant Bragaudacious moments of celebration and useful info you can actually do something with.


You’ll hear about mindset marketing, money, magnetism, self awareness and the Thrive Factor Framework, it’s Archetypes and more. Amplify your role as a leader, a self led soul. Tap into your effortless success zone. Turn your ingeniousness and wisdom into profitable income streams.


From solo shows to guests you’ll definitely want more from, there’s something for every ambitious ingenious soul. 


I’m Shannon Dunn, a true OG of the business coaching space, with an obsession with thriving. You are so welcome here. Let’s dive into today’s episode.


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Shannon  01:58

A great big welcome everybody. I am so delighted to have you here again. My name is Shanna Dunn, I’m a business and leadership coach and the host here at She Leads She Thrives. I’ve got a brand new guest for you today. And someone I’m very excited to talk to. What I’ve been doing with all of our guests is telling you how I know them, as well as sharing their bio and all the formal stuff. Now, so I’m not you’re gonna have to maybe help me work this out. Because I was thinking about it. I don’t know how long I’ve known you because I feel like I’ve known you forever. Swapna Thomas and I met online in a Facebook group some years ago, and we were just talking a little moment ago about how her daughter Sam is so grown up now. And I feel like Sam was such a little girl when we first connected. So I don’t know, it’s a long time, right?


Swapna Thomas  02:44

It does feel like forever. But I love like I cherish all of that, like every moment of my journey, I think that also had like an evolution through my journey online. And you’ve been through all of that you’ve watched through all of that. We worked with each other as clients sometimes. But we’ve been sort of like, you know, sounding boards for each other as well. So I cherish each and every moment of our association, even though we’ve never met in person. Hopefully that’s gonna happen very soon.


Swapna Thomas  02:44

We are in you know, 2022 We almost were speaking at the same event which is unfortunately been postponed, so that hasn’t happened yet. And I think we it was like the the excitement of oh my goodness, we’re gonna meet in person. Yes, the event was exciting. But that was a next kind of level. There’s not just one cherry on top 1000 cherries on top. Oh, good. 


Shannon  03:47

And you’re in with my last podcast, which was launched over six years ago now. Swapna and I used to do a, a catch up and we also did it for a digital magazine that I used to have some time ago called Smart Girls. And we used to we in fact, that was one of the ways that we connected was understanding our love of learning, Mentor Teacher archetypes, our wisdom, and just the way that we’ve nerded out on learning and knowing a lot about a lot of things over the years and we used to do a lot of kind of fun stuff together with that whole energy of the Smart Girls and I still feel like you’re one of my not just favorite smart girls, but like the original kind of smart girls in my in my world. 


Shannon  04:32

Yes. And you know, and I was also thinking about some of those first podcasts that we recorded together too. And you know, you’re in India and here I am in Australia and I remember you telling me how you had set yourself in a cupboard for that, like soundproofing. You know worried about the trains and the noise and everything and we would have a really good conversation about how that world has shifted in terms of our content and the way we can be at home now, with the noises of everything. You and I both got cats, I’m sure Archie’s about to meow at any point in time when I’m recording, you probably do the same. And that’s just how it is. But it’s such a good thing. 


Shannon  05:13

So it’s, you know, it’s been so easy to love and support you. And as you said, definitely to go through all the evolutions of Swapna. And likewise, you’ve supported me through the changes and different shifts and things in my life and my business. And, you know, when you find a kindred soul, they’re definitely someone to treasure, even when you haven’t met them in person yet.


Swapna Thomas  05:31

I think that’s one of the blessings of having an online businesses that you can have this community and support group without ever having to meet each other, of course, needing in real life is, you know, amazing, incredible, and you should have that in your life as well. But I feel as a world, we are coming together in so many different ways now, that, you know, just physical connections should not be the only way you’re meeting people like and I think that’s one of the reasons why I love doing what I do is I get to meet so many people from so many different places, and like really getting to know them.  I think I know a lot more about some of my online friends than probably their real friends. So I have been the first person to know about their big life changes even before they told, you know, maybe people who they met regularly in physical life. So I don’t feel that you’re it the connection is about really connecting with someone’s heart. And it does not, you know, the physical distance does not matter there. 


Shannon  06:50

It makes such a difference when you can understand that. And the way I feel about it is that the intention with which you connect with someone is so important. And as you said rightly, that the in-person is a magical experience. And I know when we do get in person will be lots of long hugs and oh my goodness, you’re actually here and you’re real. But until that time, you just said you know the things that we have got to know about each other how we’ve learned to support each other, it’s not been in any limited way, because it’s been online, which is such a great thing. 


Shannon  07:26

So I’m going to share your bio now that official things about the beautiful Swapna Thomas and then we’re going to get into so I’ve got some questions I want to ask you and we’ll see where the conversation goes. Because there’s we both know, we can talk a lot, anyone who’s not to put you off, trust me Swapna and I have a lot to say because we both have strong opinions about certain things, but a lot of similar opinions about things that we love that we share a love of. So I’m intrigued to see what we get to chat about today.


Shannon  07:57

 So Swapna is a business and marketing coach for rebel changemakers and leaders and a host of the Brave Marketing podcast. Go and listen to that is my side note on that one. She works with coaches, healers and creative entrepreneurs who are ready for six figure years while creating a business on their own terms. And without complicated marketing or sales strategies. If you have been following She Leads She Thrives or anything to do with myself and the whole Thrive Factor community for a while. I’m sure that you’ll have seen that how I love Swapna so much because there’s so much of the similar things that are important to me we share right the rebel vibe, the doing things on your own terms. So so fabulous. As I’ve said already you live in India, but you do work with clients all over the world. You’re an introvert, a homebody, a mum to a teenager, as I said before and a cat do so. Welcome. Welcome officially gorgeous. Swapna I’m so happy to have you here.


Swapna Thomas  08:53

I’m so happy to be here. Yeah, it has been an amazing journey. And I feel like it just keeps getting better. I keep thinking that how is this gonna get better, and then it just does. And that’s the beauty of this work. 


Shannon  09:09

That’s it. and it’s such a good place to be in to be excited and in gratitude for where you’re at. And then it gets better even even more, which is so good. So tell me a little bit about how you came to this place of that whole rebel energy and you know, then we’ll talk about shifting from that into brave marketing like where did this rebel thing come from?


Swapna Thomas  09:31

Yeah, I haven’t been a quiet rebel all my life. I think I’ve been one who quietly does what she wants to without making a whole lot of fuss about it. I wasn’t the kind of person who would just get into, you know, conflict or confrontation, just to show that I’m a rebel, but I’m a Capricorn. So I’m a bit of, you know, that goat energy, like I’ll dig my heels in and I’ll do exactly what I wanted to do. But I wouldn’t make noise about it. So the quiet rebel energy has always been there. And I think it just showed up in everything that I did, whether it was my studies, you know, when I was doing my MBA, and then choosing a career, which I wasn’t really happy about, in the sense when I was doing my corporate job I wasn’t really happy about but even there, I felt like I was doing it on my terms. Because it was, it was giving me the kind of lifestyle that I wanted. It was a job, which gave me a lot of work life balance, and I loved that, you know, I didn’t want to I never wanted to be in a rat race. Like, that was never my ambition. And even though the satisfaction from what I was doing wasn’t there, but it still catered to what I wanted from my life. And I, you know, I knew that there was this missing piece of finding exactly what I wanted to do. But I didn’t even know what that was at that time. 


Swapna Thomas  11:01

And I think when I became a mom, to my little girl now, who is now a teenager, like you said, I can’t believe sometimes, I got this pause in my life, because I decided to become a stay at home Mum. And I was able to sort of just, you know, just stop for a while and see what was it that I really wanted to do. And that is when I was because I was a new mom, I was reading a whole lot of Mum blogs. And I felt it spoke to my love for writing. Because at that time, back in 2011, it was most mostly writing, there were very few YouTube channels. Didn’t know anything about podcasts, Instagram wasn’t even invented. So I started a blog, a Mummy blog basically. And very quickly it grew into this blog where people love to share their experiences.  I would get emails and messages from other Mums who are facing similar issues. And it was a small community, but it was a very engaged community.


Swapna Thomas  12:11

 And that is when I realized the power of positioning, honestly, that I did not have a large audience. But my audience was, well to do Mums,  educated Mums who knew their mind, who had a different opinion on what was going on, and who wanted something different from their lives. And brands started flocking to me because they wanted to, you know, reach out to those Mums . So even though I did not have a huge audience, I was getting the most lucrative brand deals. And I knew that, you know, I had hit upon something, but I didn’t know did not know what it was at that time. Even though I had done an MBA in marketing, I couldn’t really, you know, sort of picture that this was positioning that this because it has all accidentally happened. I was just being authentic. I wasn’t strategizing and thinking, Oh, I’m gonna choose this positioning and this niche. But it just happened on its own organically. 


Swapna Thomas  13:09

So from there, I started, you know, other bloggers started reaching out to me, they wanted to know, how was I doing this? How was this happening for me? So I started teaching a few workshops on marketing, email marketing, digital marketing, things like that. And that’s when I got exposed to the world of coaching, I had no idea that there was something called coaching. Coaching was all about sports coaching, you know, that’s the only coach I had heard about.


Shannon  13:39

I think that is a genuine response from a lot of people that end up in coaching is that unless they have had some experience, say, like I did, I was exposed- as a good word – to coaching in a corporate setting with an executive coach in a group setting. But before that, and I remember someone saying, in fact, I shared this story in an episode recently, I remember someone in our leadership team team saying, “We’re not a sports team. Why do we need a coach?” So yes, it was it was not a brand new industry back then. But still one that I think the majority of the world unless you were in business, wouldn’t have known about. So there we go.


Swapna Thomas  14:23

Yeah, and more so living in India, no one had heard of it. And so I started working with a coach first. And you know, I had I decided to get certified in coaching. Although I wouldn’t say I learned a lot from that certification, as much as I learned while coaching. But still, it sort of helped me feel that confidence. But it took me, even after that, it took me many years to actually call myself a coach. So for a while I was just a content coach or a content strategist. Even though I was coaching people on mindset and business, and the high level strategy stuff, I did not feel confident enough to call myself a business coach, which I feel is a good thing. Because I feel that right now in the industry, you see, people just come up and they call themselves business coaches, without ever having a business.


Shannon  15:22

We will have to do another episode on that topic. That’s a story for another day, but something that you and I both have, let’s say passionate about highlighting.


Swapna Thomas  15:35

And I and I agree that you know, you shouldn’t wait for permission, and you don’t need to struggle your way to everything. But I think there is also something called experience, like you have to know how business works, you have to have run your own business to understand, you know, the ins and outs of it before you can start coaching clients. And I feel just having learned from a business coach and replicating that with your clients. I don’t think that makes for a business coach.


Shannon  16:08

Agree. 1,000%. Yeah, we can only go to 100%. But I would, you know, amplify that significantly. Yeah, it’s a strategy that is used, and to great detriment I feel for both the coach and particularly their clients, but as I said, another conversation on that one.


Swapna Thomas  16:30

So it wasn’t until 2019, honestly, that I started feeling like I was ready to start coaching, coaching, coaching, right. And that’s when I created my signature program, which is now going under a bit of a reinvention. But it was called Ignite Your Content, because content was my zone of genius. And it always will be my zone of genius. So that I launched that, and it got a great response. And I’ve launched it many times since then. And we’ve had many, many students go through that. And that’s when I started feeling like yeah, I finally found my sweet spot like, this is what I’m meant to be doing. And this year, I also did a hypnotherapy certification, which helped me go even deeper with this work because it led to nervous system, neuroscience and somatic techniques, which bring in that combination of strategy and energy so beautifully. So you’re being in your head, but you’re also being in your body, while you’re creating you know, decisions for your business or strategies for your business.


Shannon  17:44

It really has been an evolution hasn’t it?


Swapna Thomas  17:48

I think that’s the fun of it, right? Like who wants to just keep doing the same thing for years and years. And you’ve been a testament to that as well, you’ve evolved so much that I’ve seen you but even before that, and I still remember the first copy of your first book and has been through such an evolution.


Shannon  18:10

I know. I still have a copy of that. It’s actually on my bookshelf behind me where I’m sitting in my office. And every now and again, I get it, I like to show people because it’s kind of I find it it’s an amusement point, when we look at the whole styling of it and what it was about, but at the same time I remember back to that first book came out in 2013, I was so proud of everywhere, still am I’ve every word. And then you know 2019, I published the Thrive Factor book, which really was the amplification of personal leadership style. And I looked at that little tiny little book from the, you know, the early years. And then the big one, because the Thrive Factor book is like a lot of get referred to often as a Bible without any detriment to the actual Bible, but it’s got so much in it. And they couldn’t be more poles apart. 


Shannon  19:01

So again, it true, like recognition of evolution, which I love so much. So your story has been just said, we talked about that we use that word evolution, I think so appropriately. But I don’t know about you, Swapna, but when I sit back and I observe the kinds of people that I admire, and I’m inspired by and want to learn from and, you know, hang out with, in person or online. So many of them are the women that actually go through evolution. They’re not the ones that stay stagnant and try to do the same thing over and over and over again. I think perhaps it’s also a part of my personality and maybe yours where we’re interested in the learning and seeing what the change and to the way people even challenge themselves as opposed to following the same thing over and over which feels also like an aspect of that rebel quality of life, you know, we’re not going to stick with the same thing over and over again, not that there’s anything wrong with that anyone who’s listening in, that’s your vibe, go for it. But I also want to ask you at this point about your archetypes very quickly, because Swapna does know her Thrive Factor archetypes, I know you, you have embodied so many aspects and qualities of them. Could you share a little bit about them and how you using them in your work because there’s also something about one of your archetypes, which is very much the rebel archetype, which is one you and I share.


Swapna Thomas  20:26

Yeah, so I have the Queen Ruler archetype. And I have the Liberator Engineer, and I also have the Mentor Teacher archetype. I think the rebel in me comes a little bit from the Liberator Engineer. And so there is this tendency of just breaking things down to see if I can build them up again. And with time, I think I just become attuned to why am I doing this because initially, it used to be like, if something is not working, I’m going to burn it down. And I’m just going to start all over again. 


Swapna Thomas  21:04

And I realized that was my there was mindset stuff going on behind that, which was that I was so accustomed to this identity of being a struggler, of someone who can fight against the odds that I would create odds for myself, right, just so that I could prove myself to myself that I can fight against them. So with time, I’ve realized that I don’t have to go all, you know, full on, burn it down kind of situation. Yeah. But I can actually use the Liberator Engineer archetype to tweak things. And to just like, a little bit here, a little bit there, instead of just breaking it all down. And because I know that I’ll build it up again, honestly, I have that confidence. I know, if I lost everything that I have built tomorrow, I’ll build it all up again, like, I’m not scared of that. People are scared, you know what, if I lose it all. I’m never scared of that, like, I’m okay with that. Because I’ve done it so many times. 


Shannon  22:06

A lived experience, there’s also a quality of the Queen Ruler that has that quiet confidence of like, I’ve got this right, and the ship aspect of that archetype, then you’ve got the rebel, because it 100%, the Liberator Engineer that you and I both share, is the rebel of the 12 archetypes. She’s the one that someone says do it this way. And she’s like, I’ll show you and does whatever other way she feels like in the moment, which could change 10 times. And pretty much can be very reactive, as you shared around, I’m going to break this down because it’s not working, or it’s not okay, or it doesn’t feel good, or whatever is going on. But she also has such that gift of seeing the big picture, and understanding how all the moving parts move together, which is why we know and can build that confidence that we can do this again. Now she’s an Archetype that works fast, right? And then we add in our Mentor Teacher, we both had the wisdom woman, and you’ve got a huge depth and breadth of knowledge to bring into the beautiful combination you have, you very much are living example of the combination of your archetypes.


Swapna Thomas  23:13

Yeah, and I think when I’m tapped into that, when I’m embodying that, things just move really fast. Like, I can literally create a program in a day or you know, revamp my whole website in a day because I’m in that zone, I’m embodying my Mentor Teacher archetype, or my Queen Ruler, like, I know what my people need to hear from me, right? So it’s, it’s, I feel like, it’s understanding the archetypes. But more than that, it’s like living them like you need to, you need to think like, what would a Queen Ruler do? In the situation, right? Or if I know that I’m a Liberator Engineer, and I’m feeling this urge of breaking something down, I can choose. How would the Liberator Engineer really look at this situation? Right? Would I break something completely down? Or would I just maybe move one piece here or move one piece there? And I think that comes with experience. And that is why we evolve, right? Because we learn so much as we go. And I think failure is nothing to be scared of. I think you have success can only be built on mountains of failures. If you haven’t failed, you haven’t succeeded. 


Shannon  24:31

Definitely, I think, also, if we think about the way that a Mentor Teacher considers failure, we look at it as a lesson. It’s never wasted. 


Swapna Thomas  24:43

Everything gets cataloged.  And that is why today I have the calmness and the certainty of knowing that I know how this can be done again, because I have all of those lessons cataloged in my brain, how this works, right? And also there is this bit of maybe a defined energy, like, I don’t care, like maybe that comes from the Queen Ruler. I don’t care. Take it all away. I’ll just do it all over again. I love it. 


Swapna Thomas  25:16

I think that’s that’s what I get from all of my archetypes is this confidence of knowing how I did it, because I think most people feel such impostor syndrome and this fraud complex when they get those initial successes, because they feel like they don’t know how they did it. But if you tapped into your archetypes, you know exactly how you did it. Right. And you can recreate it. And that confidence and certainty that I can recreate this, even if you have lean months, even if you have $0 months, knowing that I just know this is going to work. I just have to keep going. And I just need to keep tweaking things – that is priceless.


Shannon  25:55

It is priceless. It’s such, I see a beautiful gift of understanding truly who you are, because one of the many purposes of the Thrive Factor Framework is around connecting us with our identity of who we are, not from a place of this is all you are, but from a place of this as almost like your launch pad for expanding out into the world and being as much of whoever you desire to be. But drawing it on the themes, the strengths, understanding the potential challenges, how they become actualized, what that looks like, and feels like from each of your archetypes is you being in your effortless success zone. And that’s when that confidence becomes a reality. 


Shannon  26:35

And as you said, Swapna, you can go from I don’t know how this happened, this mystery, you know, big sales month or selling out a program or having so many people comment on a piece of content I shared, to “I got this”, like I know how to do this. And that’s the energy of self leadership, or being in that zone of knowing how to lead yourself to such a good place to be in. I’ve got some very specific questions. I want to ask you though more about your specifically your work. I just had to sneak the trifecta question in there. But tell us what “brave marketing” is like this is your podcast is called Brave Marketing. But what’s this energy behind brave marketing? Because I know that all those letters mean things. Tell us about that.


Swapna Thomas  27:19

Yeah. So for a while, I talked about being a rebel on purpose. And, you know, Ignite Your Content. Like I said, that was my signature program. But I felt like there was more like there was something deeper that in the work that I was doing. And when I was creating my podcast, I knew that the podcast would also go on to become you know, part of my work my bigger picture like the the Liberator Engineer saw the vision like what this is gonna become eventually.


Swapna Thomas  27:49

So I knew that the word brave just kept coming up again. And I know it’s not a unique word, or it’s not something that you haven’t heard of before, but I knew what brave in my world stood for. So even if you look at the introduction of my my podcast, I talk about that in a world that is full of noise being white is gray. Right? In a world that sort of fetishes sometimes I feel like it just that just fetish-ises is that is that the correct pronunciation? I don’t know. Like, there’s a fetish around hustle, right? 


Shannon  28:28

Obsession. Yeah, yeah, interpretation.


Swapna Thomas  28:31

In that kind of goal, being slow, and resting is brave, right? So I feel it’s about being who you are, really owning that and not just giving into the latest trend or the latest, whatever, you know, the shiny, bright new thing is it’s just knowing who you really are, tapping into that. And just staying true to that and doing things your way that is brave marketing and brave marketing in the context of the podcast stands, it’s an acronym. So it stands for bold, rebellious, authentic, value driven, and empowered marketing. So all of those are very, very important to me. Whether it’s be bold and rebellious in your content in your marketing, whether it is being authentic and leading with your values, which I know is very important for you as well. And also empowered marketing because for a very long time we were deluged with bro marketing right? Urgency, scarcity, all of that.


Shannon  29:38

It’s shifting finally.


Swapna Thomas  29:40

It is shifting. Yeah, and I think there’s so much of it’s a breath of fresh air to have that sense of you know, I’m not on a pedestal. I don’t know more than you. I might be a few steps ahead of you but doesn’t mean that you have to put me  up on a pedestal. Right I see you as my equal, even if you’re my client, and I speak from my highest self to your highest self, like, that’s what the essence of empowered marketing for me is. So all of that together is what brave marketing is, I feel like when someone comes into the world of brain marketing, whether it is through the podcast or whether it is through the program that’s coming up soon, or whether they work one on one with me, I just want people to feel capable, feel uplifted and feel empowered. So that’s, that’s what brave marketing is.


Shannon  30:33

You’ve always had, as you said, content is your zone of genius – 100%. And you do have a way with words, I’m waiting for all the books that Swapna Thomas is going to publish. Spoken word. Because as Mentor Teachers, we love to read, and we’ve done podcasts and things around our favorite books. And maybe we’ll do another one of those again in the future. But I love the way you use language to really capture what is important to you and what you see replicated and what’s important to your clients. So looking at, like when I saw and read and heard around the words that you use, as the acronym for brave is, of course, no, of course, Swapna has done that in such a gorgeous way. So tell us, my lovely friend, how do you take this kind of energy of the brave marketing and then make a difference and make money on your own terms, that rebel vibe.


Swapna Thomas  31:28

Love love to answer this question because I think marketing for many people want to make a change in the world, it just seems like a necessary evil, rather than something that they can have fun with, or they can you know, really enjoy, they feel like this is the thing I have to do in order to get to the thing that I love to do, which is coaching.


Shannon  31:50

Necessary. Yeah, painful, comfortable, horrible. I wish I’d ever had to do it part of leading a business. And I think if we put together the stories, we’ve both heard from clients, so they’ve described marketing like that, we could fill 10 volumes of old fashioned encyclopedia.


Swapna Thomas  32:11

And, and I think if they could, they would outsource it completely. And I think many people do, they’ve in the beginning of their business, they feel like, I can just hand this over to a VA (virtual assistant), or, or someone who does content. And you know, I’ll just sit back and get all the clients and then they have a rude awakening that that’s not how it works. Speak in your voice, no one can share with the authenticity that you can, right. 


Swapna Thomas  32:39

So the work that I want to do, and the work that I do with my clients is helping them see marketing as something that can be for good in the world, first of all. Because I think a lot of people are carrying this concept of marketing that comes from, you know, the Mad Men era, the old 50s advertising era, like people don’t know what they want, you just tell them what they need, or, you know, whatever. All these zingers, right, like people are dumb, you just need to sell them what you want to sell them. And you just need to get them hooked. And all of that persuasion, and persuasion is good, but I think when it’s done in a manipulative way, that’s when it starts feeling icky and gross to the client as well as to the person who’s doing it. 


Swapna Thomas  33:25

So I think when they are able to first of all break up with that mindset, and see marketing for what it is, which is basically a tool just like money, right? There are people in the world who do absolutely horrible things with the accumulation of wealth that they have. But then there are people in the world who do good with money that they’re making, right? So I want them to be able to see marketing just like a tool that they can use to amplify their message and help the kind of people that they want to help. And I work with women who have really big hearts and big purposes, like they really want to change something right. And they are they’re driven by the soul fire I feel like that just keeps burning inside them and it hurts me to see them that marketing becomes the obstacle in their way.


Swapna Thomas  34:17

 So to be able to just completely remove that as an obstacle and make it an ally for them is my mission. And I feel like when they are able to see marketing as you know that their offers are like a party. Marketing is like writing invites to those party if they can get that sense of fun and ease with that. And it doesn’t mean that you have to be like throwing a carnival like party or you know, writing marketing posts which feels like a carnival or being really loud. Your party could be a quiet tea party. Or it could be campfire, right? It could be whatever you want it to be, and how do you want to speak to your clients, and we create that together, we collaborate.  I really find the sense of collaboration with my clients, rather than me teaching, even though I love teaching.  I get really high from teaching. But when I’m working with my clients in my coaching programs, it’s a collaborative process. I pride myself on being able to create spaces where they, my clients are able to say no to me, and they’re able to say, I don’t want to do that. And we’ll get into why they don’t want to do that, if it’s a comfort zone thing, or if it’s an unaligned completely, you know, misalignment. Right. But that’s, that’s what is like lighting me up right now, this is so fun.


Shannon  35:47

 I love that you talked about, you know, what you’re offering, whatever that is, whether it’s a product or program, a one on one experience, as being like a, you know, a party, a gathering that you’re inviting people to, it made me think my sales program that I teach is called The Invitation, again, a deliberate intention to change the dynamic around the beliefs, the mindset, and the language around sales and selling as a part of the marketing, you know, the whole marketing energy that we can bring to this, but it’s so refreshing. And, again, we have talked about this kind of thing so much over the years, which there is a small celebration for both of us, I think that things have changed. And I know  we’ve talked not in, again, yes, no partly revolutionary way around marketing and showing that you can do it in a different way. It still feels like we’re just scratching the surface with what’s possible in terms of changing the language, the mindset, the belief set, the everything around how the most incredible women that we get to work with actually view and then embrace with joy, hopefully, at least feeling a more positive experience around marketing as a part of what they do in their businesses.


Swapna Thomas  37:08

Yeah, I feel like if it just becomes like second nature to them, to be able to write posts to offer things to just show up and say I have something to sell. If it becomes like, you know, a non-issue for them. I think my job is done. Like if it’s not something that sends them into a spiral of overthinking, overwhelm, and complete breakdown of you know, how am I going to do this? What if I get rejected, like all of that stuff that comes up for them, if they don’t feel like that, and they just are able to just make it a part of their day, just like breathing, showing up…you know all of those things, that I think feel like my job was done.


Shannon  37:47

Yeah, that would be definitely a point to lean back and feel like the whole braggaudacious energy or celebration of like, yes, you know, I have contributed to a change that has created something positive for somebody else, which I certainly think you know, if we can all do that even just once, then we’re making a difference because of the ripple effect that can be created. 


Shannon  38:12

So another thing that you talk about in relation to marketing is making marketing a spiritual act or experience. Tell me more about what you mean by that, like, I’ve heard you share, I’ve read your incredible posts around it, but the listeners haven’t necessarily,  so tell us about what you know, marketing is a spiritual act is all about.


Swapna Thomas  38:32

So it depends also on maybe how you see spirituality. For me, spirituality has nothing to do with religion, like I just see it as an experience a very intimate internal experience for that’s how spirituality feels for me, whatever you might believe in, whether it is God, source, universe, it’s that relationship that you have with that entity. But even more than that, it’s that relationship that you have with yourself, right? 


Swapna Thomas  39:00

So when I talk about spiritual marketing being a spiritual experience, I feel, you know, I had this really beautiful analogy where they said, “prayer is where you ask and meditation is where you receive”. 


Shannon  39:19

Oh, I like that. 


Swapna Thomas  39:20

Yeah. So it feels like you know, when you’re able to bring that sort of energy into your marketing, where you’re able to just connect with the source and ask for guidance or ask for, you know, like, sometimes I just, even before I’m writing a post, and I feel completely blank, I don’t know what I want to talk about, which doesn’t happen often. But even if I was completely blank, I know that I can just, you know, tune in and ask the source like, what does my client need to hear from me today, like in this moment, what would help them? I always get an answer. I always, you know, whether it’s Please, whether it’s a word, whether it’s a feeling like, it might just be, they want to feel certain today, like, that’s the feeling right. 


Swapna Thomas  40:07

And I can take that. And I can write a whole post on that. But it’s that sense of developing self trust, and this connection with your own intuition, because I feel in marketing this, the intuition, and the importance that we give to intuition is so important, you know, because all of the decisions that we are taking in our marketing, whether it is pricing, whether it is what to call the program, how long the program should be, what kind of posts do I want to write? What Who do I share this with? Like, how do I share this, all of these require sense of self trust, knowing that you know exactly what to do? And how to do it, right. And I think when you have that spiritual experience of being really connected to yourself, and knowing that you know exactly what to do, you don’t have to doubt yourself. You don’t have to, you know, outsource this stuff, or crowdsource this stuff, which I feel people used to do a lot, right. Especially in the Facebook groups, people will be asking, What should I call my program? Where should I price my program? I think that comes from a space of not knowing what you really want, and not trusting yourself.


Shannon  41:24

I agree. Like the not trusting is almost a greater impact than than not knowing. Because even we would do that, like you said, you know, crowdsourcing where they would go into a space and say, I remember seeing it a lot when I was first doing my self-authorship kind of work. And someone would post an image or like five images of potential covers for their book. Which one do you like, best, randomly thrown out into the internet? Right? And of course, they would often choose, more often than not, choose the one that got the most votes, even if I remember looking at people and going well, I know you to be about this, and that tells me visually nothing about you and who you are. And that, as you said, that happens with names of programs with what content to include, with how much what would you price this if this were you. And that, to me feels like it’s not so much that people don’t know, because they often share options with what they’re thinking. So there is some knowing, but they don’t trust in their own answers.


Swapna Thomas  42:27

Yeah. And I think it was also used as subtle, promotional tool, and I am not a hero. 


Shannon  42:37

People have taught that is a strategy we both know people that teach that. 


Swapna Thomas  42:40

For sure. And I don’t stand for that. And I think because it is like, you know, there needs to be a level of transparency in what you’re doing. So coming back to that spiritual, you know, a sense of making marketing spiritual, it’s developing that trust within yourself so that even when your coach is telling you to do something, and you just know, in your gut, that’s not what I want to do. And it’s not a, it’s not a question of, you know, it’s because it’s stretching you or because it’s challenging your comfort zone. Because you know, that’s not what you’re doing, right. 


Swapna Thomas  43:17

And I also want to just bring in this point, because there’s so much of talk about charging your worth, right. And I see so many people  now sharing that the coach asked them to raise their prices, that’s the only way I’m gonna make more money. And they did it. And then their business completely stalled. Even when they knew in their gut that they don’t, they don’t really want to raise their prices, they’re happy with what they’re charging, they just want to reach out to more people, have more clients in their sphere, right? 


Swapna Thomas  43:45

So it’s that self trust and having that sense of confidence within yourself, which makes marketing spiritual because you know what you’re doing. And it’s coming from a deep sense of knowing yourself, and trusting yourself and being in complete alignment with your intuition. And again, I feel like this takes time. Even for me, sometimes I still do things which are completely against my gut, and then live to regret it. Then it just reinforces that the Swapna you cannot not listen to your gut. Even if in that moment, it doesn’t make sense. Even if in that moment, it feels like you know, I paid all this money to this coach to learn this thing from them. And I’m now I’m doing something completely different. But you have to, because that’s what your gut is telling. And I think I’ve come to a space where I know that I’m not scared of challenging myself or stretching myself and go out of my comfort zone all the time. But I also know what is completely misaligned for me. Right? So that’s what I mean by marketing being spiritual. It’s not woowoo stuff. I mean, I love all the stuff,  oracle cards, like I love picking out oracle cards and all of that stuff. But this is more about your relationship with you and your relationship with whatever, you know, your higher self, the higher entity, source, universe, whatever. And how do you, you know, bring that into your business into your marketing.


Shannon  45:20

I feel like, when I reflect on the difference between someone who has taken on that energy of spirituality and their work, the way you describe this Swapna, and those that haven’t, there is a big difference in how they show up, how they lead with what they’re doing in their businesses, how they attract, and then work with their clients, no matter what it is that they actually do as their business. I, you know, I use the word wisdom a lot, and anyone who’s listened will have heard me use this a lot in the episodes we have recorded so far. And I really look at wisdom as being that integration, or that really not more integration, the intersection of your lived and learned experience and your intuition, drawing and all of that is your place of wisdom. 


Shannon  46:05

And then ingeniousness is actually doing something with that wisdom. Yeah, like wisdom in action, if you like and you describing marketing as a spiritual act is the expression of all of that 100%. Now, I have got some questions, I’m going to ask you now that I’m asking all of the guests that are joining me on She Leads She Thrives. I know you’ll have no problem answering any of them. The first one, I’d love to hear from you, you know where you’re at right now what what role does leadership play in your life and business? You know, we can’t have She Leads She Thrives and not talk about leadership. So, you know, what role does leadership play for you?


Swapna Thomas  46:49

I work with leaders. I am a leader. And I feel for me right now, how I see leadership more than anything else it’s about leading yourself. You know,  I don’t see any one in my audience as my followers, I see all of them as leaders in their own right, right. And I feel like my responsibility is to just lead myself, to embody what I teach, to show them rather than teach them or tell them, that’s my job, like walking my talk, practicing what I preach. That’s what I stand for every day in my leadership. And I think when I do that, people see my leadership, they value my leadership, automatically, like, I don’t have to tell them that “I am a leader, look at me”. They see it right?  Because I do it before anyone asks me to.


Shannon  47:43

That phrase “actions speak louder than words” exists for a reason. And when we can practice what we often say, “practice what we teach rather than preach”, that’s very much my Mentor Teacher coming in there. But when we can do that, and just show people an example of how honoring who you are, being authentic, thinking back to all the words you shared, using the acronym for brave, is often so much more inspiring and motivating for others, it creates that magnetism. 


Shannon  48:14

And from a business perspective, I know and I know that you’re similar to myself, I’d much rather draw in clients who want to be in my space genuinely, then feel compelled or driven there for another reason. Yeah, makes such a difference in the shift from leadership being such an external focus to a self driven, “this is who I am”. Yeah, come on board if you want come and be a part of this if you want. But as you also explained Swapna, which to me, was like listening to you share the biggest gift of the Queen Ruler or when she comes in that space of knowing and owning and celebrating who she is, as I don’t see people as followers, I lead, lead amongst the crowd. Yeah, people walk alongside me. Not in front, not on a pedestal. 


Swapna Thomas  49:07

Yeah. And that’s the essence of leading yourself, right. Like, it’s important to lead yourself. And it’s not just about doing things, what everyone already expects of you, but also doing the uncomfortable things like apologizing when no one expects you to apologize, right? Or owning up to things when no one has questioned you or asked you to do so. I think that’s what we don’t see a lot in the leadership that is, you know, the kind of examples that we have, but I feel in our world. That’s the kind of leadership that I aspire to creating and that’s what I also teach my clients is to take radical self responsibility for who you are and what you want to create. And I think when we do that, it just becomes like a natural consequence that you become a leader. You know, no one needs to tell you that you are a leader?


Shannon  50:03

So we move from leadership to a question about thriving. So how do you know when you’re thriving?


Swapna Thomas  50:11

Oh, I love that. I think I know I’m thriving when I am not procrastinating.


Shannon  50:21

Loving the answers is coming through to this question. I can put them all together and make it its own episode because they’ve been so different, which is what I thought they might be. But I didn’t know it was like, what’s Swapna going to say? Love it.


Swapna Thomas  50:33

No, I know when I’m, you know, I’m scrolling or comparing, like just scroll of doom, which I call because you’re comparing yourself to everyone else. That’s when I’m not thriving. That’s when I’m doubting that’s when I’m second guessing myself. That’s when I’m comparing right? When I’m in my essence, like I said, I can get so much done. And it’s not even about productivity, or how much do you get done. I can even rest without worrying about my business, right? 


Swapna Thomas  51:00

That’s what I know, I’m thriving, because I have a sense of peace around, I know what I’m doing. And I know it’s working. And it’s, and it’s not even about making money, like you can have a $0 month and you can still be thriving, because you know, you’re laying down the pieces for what’s eventually gonna just, you know, create that tipping point in your business and things are gonna roll very fast. But you know, that I am taking action, like I’m laying down the groundwork right now. And it’s going to show up in my world soon. So I think that’s when I know I’m thriving is when I’m not procrastinating,. If i’m procrastinating and you know, there is something going on. But I also allow myself to procrastinate sometimes, because, you know, the brain is like a stubborn toddler. So the more you tell it, that you can’t do that, the more it wants to do that. So sometimes I’ll just let my brain be,  that scrolling and all of that, yeah, I’m gonna get past this soon.


Shannon  51:59

Completely. When you have the Liberator Engineer archetype, like you and I have that is that step and toddler on next level. So you can’t, or you shouldn’t, or this is not okay. But like, I’ll show you. I  love that you’ve learned to just be with that rather than a push, which goes against all of that the ease and the joy that we can create. So at this point, I do have a couple of other questions to ask you to wrap up. But right now I feel like there’s a really great time, if anyone’s listening in and they want to know more about your incredible work, where can they connect with you the easiest?


Swapna Thomas  52:40

Um, my website, and my podcast, and I think after that, I would say Instagram, I think the links will be in the description or shownotes.  But I would love for people to connect with me on my Instagram for sure. I started a new one. So yeah, it’s still growing. But I do love sharing things on Instagram stories, and posts. And yeah, I just love Instagram a lot more. But yeah, Facebook is also great. Honestly, I love all of my platforms, I wouldn’t be on them if I didn’t love them. And I think that’s the thing about being intentional about where you are right? I wouldn’t be on a platform if I didn’t really enjoy it and love it. So I do love Facebook. I do love Instagram. But I also love my podcast, which is really new, and you’re going to see, not see,  you’re gonna hear Shannon on it, because I don’t have a video podcast.


Shannon  53:43

We’re doing a mix of audio and video for this, all the guests to the videoed. My solo shows, I get distracted, not by watching myself, but I’ve got so much to say I know that when I’ve got video on for my solo episodes, it’s not a good idea. But yes, I look forward to being on the Brave Marketing Podcast very soon. So we’ll see which one of these episodes comes out comes out first and we can share that with everybody. 


Shannon  54:08

So you’ve got a resource you were going to share with everyone today. And one of the things I really wanted to be oneo f the guest key parts of the She Leads She Thrives podcast, was sharing information that you can actually do something with, which is also around the you know, what are the resources that the guests that we have on the show have for us, you know that are going to be useful and help anyone who’s listening. 


Shannon  54:32

So can you tell us about what it is? And then yes, for anyone who is listening, the show notes, hopefully you will find them whatever platform you’re listening on. It’s all been set up so that it can be easy for you to find on the website. That’s where we will have the links to any of the resources that any of our guests share. So what have you got for us Swapna? You’ve always got something good.


Swapna Thomas  54:52

I’ve got resource for content secrets, so it has five of my have favorite content secrets that I love sharing with my clients. But they’re not just secrets, they’re actually also templates. So it shows you how to, you know, the five kinds of posts that can literally magnetize your clients, attract them, and get them to sign up with you, within hours, or sometimes, you know, in days, and although that doesn’t matter, like people can follow you for years and then sign up to work with you. 


Swapna Thomas  55:28

Yeah. And I’ve been on the receiving end of many of your resources over the years that I’ve known you even though marketing and content marketing is something that I do in my own business, I always let you know, there’s still people that I follow, and I, you know, absorb their wisdom, because it’s great inspiration for me and I, you’ve been one of those Swapna. It’s not about the big marketers out there, it’s actually really like women like you and I and business who are doing their own thing and, and putting out really valuable content that is useful. 


Swapna Thomas  55:28

So you don’t need to run behind that idea that people literally have to start working with you the day they find you can happen, it has happened to me, I’m sure it has happened to you, they have just literally stumble upon your work, and then they decide that they want to work with you. And that has a lot to do with these content secrets. So there are five of them and and like you said, they’re highly implementable, you can literally take one of them and write a post today, or whenever you’re listening to this. And for me, that is really important that people are able to implement things. And I also show you examples of how I would write this, you know, if I was writing a post, how I would break it down, that Liberator Engineer energy is all in this resource, it shows you the breakdown of how the you know how you would start this post? How would you flesh it out? And how would you end it with a call to action. So it’s a really great resource. 


Swapna Thomas  56:57

Can I just add one thing here?  I really wanted to share this even before, but I feel like you and I, and a few more people, we have been talking about authentic marketing, non-sleazy marketing forever, it feels like the world is now catching up to it. But we have been talking about this not being gross in your, you know, not getting into people’s DM’s and not pushing or you know, not being manipulative in your marketing and just doing what comes naturally to you. But in an amplified way, we’ve been talking about this forever. So we’re like kind of pioneers.


Shannon  57:34

We can take I think if we look at your definitely the Liberator Engineers, we’ve talked about that we both have, but you know, your Queen Ruler and my Visionary Creator who have the visionary energy of doing things that are leading, you know, ahead of the kind of everybody else catching up kind of thing. And it does feel like, you know, we’ve talked about this before, we’ve had a lot of conversations over the years we’ve known each other. It’s like, How come no one can see this, like, it seems so obvious to us. 


Shannon  58:05

You’ve heard me talk about the difference between, you know, magnetic marketing or creating a lean-in effect. And the other kinds, which I put into a big, seems like a very large bucket, sometimes called repulsion marketing. It’s that stuff that literally makes you want to repel away as fast as you possibly can. And going back to what you said about making marketing’s a spiritual act, trusting your instinct, if you have a reaction to a piece of something you’re consuming, that’s like that, honor that, trust it, even if everybody else in the world is saying that’s the thing you need to sign up for, that’s the thing you need to do, or that’s the coach you need to work with -trust your instincts. 


Shannon  58:44

So alright, I’ve got one final question to ask you, beautiful woman. What’s kind of a last piece of wisdom that you can leave with us? Thinking that, you know, we have ambitious and ingenious souls from around the world listening in today? What’s kind of your final piece of wisdom you’d like to share? You know, it could be to do with what we talked about or something completely new.


Swapna Thomas  59:07

Oh, that’s a tough one. To narrow it down to one thing. I have a lot of problem with just sticking to one thing, but if I was to just leave with one thing. I would say it is actually this one thing. I you, I’m sure that you’ve read the book “One Thing”. And I feel like that’s the thing that you need to really leverage in your business. I think during like, what happens a lot is that I see people just start doing so many things in a space of time without really paying attention to any of them properly or being really intentional about any of them. 


Swapna Thomas  59:45

So I always bring my clients back to this idea of leveraging the power of one. One client in your post when you’re writing speak to one person. Don’t try to speak to an audience of 30,000 or 50,000, even thought you want that sense, right? But speaking to that one person is going to be far more impactful than if you are trying to speak to hundreds or millions, right? So one client, one problem, like try to solve one problem in your post, or one problem in a resource that you’re creating. One message, stick to one message for at least 90 days or six months before you start tinkering with it. And or if your Liberator Engineer is really strong and wants to break it down, just stick with it for a while before you pivot. 


Swapna Thomas  1:00:36

So one client, one message, one problem like this, as this kind of thinking in everything, sort of like micro, you know, focus, like how can I bring that focus down to one thing at a time, I think it becomes really effective in marketing, when you can leverage the power of one to one platform, right? If you’re trying to build up your social media, use one platform to master before you jump on to the other one, like there are so many platforms, and every other day, something new is coming up. So I think being able to harness the power of one platform that you’re on, because honestly, if you cannot leverage the power of the platform that you’re already on, you’re not going to be able to do that, like a new platform is not going to change things magically. 


Shannon  1:01:26

The platforms that said the way things are shared, the messaging, the energy behind them, the outcomes, they can create, become so diluted, don’t they? Not mastering the core focus, and I know for people say to me, but you do a whole lot of different things. Every single one of them starts with the Thrive Factor. Yeah, yeah. So it is everything, you know, the first step, and anything you do with me relates to the Thrive Factor and you meeting your Archetypes. And then yeah, we apply that to things like mindset, or marketing or money or magnetism, or a whole lot of other different things. But the Thrive Factor is that one thing I feel like I’ve been talking about for such a long time, but I need to talk about it for the rest of my physical life.


Swapna Thomas  1:02:15

And that’s how you know that you’re doing it the right way is because if you feel like you are bored to it, bored with it, not in the sense, like you’re bored with it, but you’ve talked about it so many times you feel like, Oh my God, I’ve talked about it so many times, then you’re doing it right, then you’re absolutely right. Because there are people who have never heard of it, even now that even though sometimes to us, it feels like the whole world has heard about this by now, the whole world knows what I’m offering. Trust me, they don’t. They have never heard of you, never heard of your work. And they need it. Right. So if you keep continuously changing things, and even though evolution is something I stand for, and I love, but I think it has to be in a way that doesn’t dilute what you do, like you said, right? Like, the focus is still on the big thing that you do. But you just tinker with different ways of doing it, different ways of showing up.


Shannon  1:03:12

There’s very many different ways to share the same core. And this is where we can enjoy variety. This is where we can feel like we’re not getting bored. This is where we can really reinforce our message, our values, what we stand for, in different ways that can connect to our audience, because our ideal client may hear us or connect with us in one way. But another ideal client may do it in a slightly different way. None are right or better than the other. How they connect is how they connect, right? Some people love podcasts, some people love video, some people love reading, everybody is slightly different, but doesn’t mean they’re not our ideal clients because they choose to zoom in different ways. So I love it. 


Shannon  1:03:58

Yes, for remembering the power of one. Thank you so much for joining me, I knew we’d have lots of great things to talk about. And you know that you know, with my last podcast, it wasn’t uncommon to have guests back again, because I think you were probably the most frequent visitor. We’ll see how that goes again, I’m sure that there will be opportunities for us to have another conversation other point in time here on She Leads She Thrives, particularly because we’re both so in love with evolution, what’s the next iteration of Swapna so love to share that in the future. 


Shannon  1:04:33

And I thank you for your time and for being here and for sharing so abundantly with everyone who’s listening in and listeners, thank you for tuning in and listening to Swapna and myself, if there’s anything that Swapna has shared Swapna Thomas, is what you need to be searching, go and find her online. But as we both said earlier, all the links to all the places that you can find and connect with Swapna are going to be in the show notes for this episode. 


Shannon  1:04:56

And if at any point in time you ever have a challenge and can’t find any of our guests for some reason, just reach out to Team Thrive Factor and  we will make sure that you can connect with our guests. Go and ask them questions, go and get in their DMs and say hello tell them you heard about them. Or you heard them speaking on She Leads She Thrives  and what you loved about what you heard today and what you’ve done with it. What action did you take? Well, I know that as much as I would love that, I know that our guests would love that as well. So thank you so much. Thank you again Swapna. I look forward to chatting with you again very soon. Thank you everyone for listening in and have a beautiful day.

Thank you

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