INFUSE JOY: A Podcast with Sarajane Case

Episode Thirty Two: 10 Things I do Each Week to Keep my Shit Together.

In today’s episode we are discussing things I do each week to get my shit together. Having these things that I check in with on a weekly basis ensures that I can trust myself to take care of the things that need to be done so that I can thrive in my work and my life! 

Before we dive in, I want to tell you about Patreon. I’ve officially launched a patreon account for my listeners to have a community where I can more deeply connect with you. The Patreon account will have members only videos, podcasts, workshops and even at the highest level time for us to hang out together 1:1. I am beyond excited about this opportunity to create content that dives deeper into my work and life so that I can more deeply make an impact. JOIN US ON PATREON HERE: www.patreon.com/sarajanecase

Now, let’s talk about the 10 things I do each week to keep my shit together!

Episode Thirty One: Not Really Famous

I've been blogging and social media-ing for close to a decade to varying degrees of success and all along I've run into some very real problems and complications and discomforts that I've always felt like I wasn't allowed to feel and I'd be terrible to express. As Instagram has begun to grow and more and more myself, my friends and loved ones are gaining larger and larger followings I am seeing that we are all sharing similar experiences and we all feel like we can't talk about it. So, I'm doing what I do best and I'm talking about it.

Why? I think the world is better when we understand each other. I think most people want to be kind and considerate and thoughtful, we just don't always know the struggles of someone else. So, here we are. If you are someone who has a large-ish social media following, I hope this makes you feel less alone. If you don't have a large social media following, I hope this allows you to see that you are just fine and we are just normal people too. If you don't care about social media at all, you're probably reading the wrong article so…

Here are my top 10 things I wish people understood about having a large-ish social media presence.

WANT HELP WITH SITUATIONS LIKE THIS AND OTHER AWKWARD BUSINESS SCENARIOS, JOIN ME FOR MY GROUP COACHING PROGRAM - BUSINESS BLISS TODAY: www.sarajanecase.com/businessbliss

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Episode Thirty: 5 Changes to Make Now if You Want to Prevent Burnout

I know you’ve done it, you’ve fallen in love with something and you loved it so much that you decided you could make money off of it. You turn that hobby into a business only to find yourself feeling constant frustration and guilt. Then, this thing that once brought you so much joy is now the last thing you’d ever want to do! 

Burnout is the number one killer of our passions and we shouldn’t take that lightly. 

After all, our passions are the reason we wake up in the morning. They are often the fuel we need to get through a hard day. We should cherish them, nourish them and let them pour back into us! That’s what I want for you! 

 I’ve compiled my top 5 tips for preventing burnout in your business. Take a few moments, let ‘em sink in and see what changes you could make today.  

You are worth it and your business won't survive without it. 

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Episode Twenty Nine: Why You Should Give Up the Hustle!

The word is everywhere.

“Good things come to those who hustle.”

“Hustle until you no longer have to introduce yourself.”

“Hustle until your haters ask if you’re hiring.”

“Hustlers don’t sleep, they nap.”

I know it started with good intentions. It can be motivating to realize that it doesn’t matter how talented you are at something right now, that if you work hard enough you will eventually get there.

The truth is, it is the reality that if you want something great for your life you’re going to have to be focused and dedicated and you’re going to have to work hard.

However, this reminder that good things take work has pushed past itself into encouraging people who are already working hard to work long days, compete over hours worked in a week wearing our exhaustion like a badge of honor. We create complexes around rest and we forget that most people became self-employed so they didn’t have to kill themselves for a dollar.

Today, I want to encourage you to stop glorifying the hustle. Let’s not pretend like losing sleep, working 18 hour days, missing out on time with our family and loved ones is something to be proud of.

Just as important as it is to be realistic with how much work it’s going to take, it’s also important to know that mindless hours put in isn’t the way to get what you want. I want to encourage you to work better, not more! Here are my 5 major reasons you should give up the hustle!

JOIN ME FOR THE FREE EMAIL COURSE HERE: www.sarajanecase.com/springcleaning

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Episode Twenty Eight: Access Inspiration

Today’s episode is all about Inspiration! For those of us living creative lives or even making money from being creative, a lack of inspiration can feel like a blow to the gut. Have you ever been in the position where you needed to create a blog post, a social media post or even write an article or plan a photoshoot that you were being paid for and you sit down to start creating and you’re dry. There’s nothing there. You’re empty. depleted. spent. There’s a special kind of panic reserved for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers. You find yourself wondering if your entire life is going to fall apart if you don’t get your mojo back. Have no fear! I’ve lived this creative entrepreneur life for many years and have analyzed every single second of it. I have spent years getting clear on what depletes my inspiration, how to tell when my inspiration cup is running low and ways in which we can fill it back up both quickly for immediate access but also changes we can make to keep it full longer.

www.sarajanecase.com

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Episode Twenty Seven: The Nitty Gritty of Self-Care

In today’s episode we are discussing the self-care pendulum and how to recognize true self-care from self-discipline and even rebellion.

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  • importance of self-care

    • tony robins quote - “our brains are wired for survival, not happiness!” Life sends us into fight or flight mode so easily! Self-care helps us to slow down, re-calibrate and move with intention.

    • Self-worth is nearly ALWAYS linked to anxiety, so anything you can do to bolster the ol' self-worth is vital.

    • With self-worth, you feel stronger, more capable, more able to handle whatever the future brings. You’re less likely to beat yourself up and you handle setbacks more easily because you feel good about yourself as a person.

    • self-worth also helps us to make empowered choices about our career, partnerships, friendships, etc.

    • Better productivity. When you learn how to say “no” to things that over-extend you and start making time for things that matter more, you slow life down in a wonderful way. This brings your goals into sharper focus and helps you to concentrate on what you’re doing.

    • Improved resistance to disease. There is evidence that most self-care activities activate your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). What this means is that your body goes into a restful, rejuvenating mode, helping it to fortify its immune system. So, with better self-care often comes fewer colds, cases of flu and upset stomachs.

    • Enhanced self-esteem. When you regularly carve out time that’s only about being good to yourself and meeting your own needs, you send a positive message to your subconscious. Specifically, you treat yourself like you matter and have intrinsic value. This can go a long way toward discouraging negative self-talk and your critical inner voice.

    • Increased self-knowledge. Practicing self-care requires thinking about what you really love to do. The exercise of figuring out what makes you feel passionate and inspired can help you understand yourself a lot better. Sometimes, this can even spark a change in career or a reprioritization of previously abandoned hobbies.

    • More to give. When you’re good to yourself, you might think you’re being selfish. In truth, self-care gives you the resources you need to be compassionate to others as well. Giving compassion is a bit like filling a bucket; you can’t fill someone else’s if you don’t have enough of your own! Have you ever been in a sales meeting while you’re depleted?!

  • What self-care is NOT!

    • self-discipline

    • self-improvement

    • societal expectation

    • indulgence to the point of added stress.

  • What is rebellion in self-care and how does that show up?

    • define self-care rebellion

    • this causes stress in other areas of your life and ultimately doesn’t serve you.

    • in all things be FOR good NOT against bad. Make your choices from a place of proactivity not reactivity.  

  • What is real self-care?

    • LOVE not care. ( define true love vs. idealized love)

    • nourishment and compassion.

    • examples

  • Make time for it!

    • schedule it in!

    • get some self-care accountability.

    • enlist the help of others when needed.

  • I loved talking self-care with you today! . Thanks for joining me for todays episode. As a reminder, leaving a rating and review in iTunes will help this podcast to reach more amazing listeners just like you and if you have a friend who you think could benefit from this episode, send it their way! In the mean time, I will see you next week!

Episode Twenty Five: When You Don't Know What You Want to Do.

welcome to Episode 25 of the Infuse Joy Podcast! I am your host Sarajane Case, writer, coach, speaker and creator of the Journey Books planner service. In today’s episode we are discussing 

what to do when you don’t know what to do! 

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— 

I get asked about this a lot and I thought for sure I’d already created an episode about this, but, I went looking and there wasn’t anything, so here we are! Often people ask me about this in a  way that assumes I’ve never felt that particular struggle. Like I was born with full awareness that I would one day be a business coach with a day planner company and a podcast. However, I have absolutely had my share of existential crises. In fact, I have them semi-regularly. I have just nailed down how I deal with them. However, there was a season that was particularly difficult for me.

I can remember sitting in my  college counselors office and crying because I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. It was time to choose a major and I had nothing. I felt passionless and uninteresting. We spent weeks and weeks - which I’m sure was really fun for her - of me just crying because i had no idea who I was or what I wanted and it seemed like everyone else had figured it out already. At one point she mentioned that I may enjoy drama because I was very expressive - I’m wondering now if that wasn’t alluding to my dramatics in the office more than anything. But, do you know how I figured out drama wasn’t for me? I tried it! 

I joined in on several productions and I hated it. There were parts that were fun - like the acting part. But, there was a lot that wasn’t. The auditioning process was disheartening for me and the fact that you have to be at rehearsals all of the time. That didn’t fit my enneagram 7 need to be free and flexible! What I found was that the art of acting and the good parts weren’t enjoyable enough for me to withstand the hard parts. I just had to try it. 

I tried a lot of other things too! I tried painting which I liked but, didn’t love. I kept a notebook of the coffee shop that I would one day open. I considered mission work. But, nothing quite felt right. 

I finally declared my major on the first day of my first photography class. I took one class and knew that I was going to love this. Yes, there were pieces of being a photographer that I didn’t love, but, ultimately, what it offered me far outweighed the negative. I’d been the photographer for my school yearbook in high school and I loved to take photos in my free time, in that class, I just knew that was my next step. I jumped in fast and hard and loved every minute of it. 

I planned to be a world renown photojournalist. That is until I worked at a newspaper. Through working at the newspaper I learned that I actually don’t really enjoy being a fly on the wall. I started shooting weddings because it combined my skills as a photojournalist with people that I got to connect to and being able to pose people how I wanted. Posing turned out to be one of my greatest skills as a photographer and I took that further going into boudoir photography which is primarily posing and relationship. I loved it. But, more and more I found myself losing interest in the photography side of boudoir and more and more interested in just talking with the women, hearing their story and writing blog posts that inspired them to go after what they want and be who they want to be. 

I waited to re-invigorate myself until it was too late. ( This is the point in the story that I could go on a whole tangent about how to prevent burnout, but, we’ve been there before so, we’ll stay on track.) 

My story continues from boudoir to managing a  coffee shop to taking a marketing position to starting a marketing company to business coaching to Journey Books and it won’t stop here. 

I’m telling you my history for a very specific reason, I did not get where I am by waiting until I had the answer come to me. I didn’t create this beautiful career by hoping that some test online would give me the answers I needed to know who I am and what I want. 

I got here because I tried things. 

Anytime something seemed interesting to me I tried it. Sometimes, I enjoyed it enough to monetize it. Other times, I tried it long enough to realize it wasn’t for me. Sometimes, I did both. But, I always tried. 

Honestly, finding a passion is a lot like dating. You need to get to know someone first before committing to them. If you find them intriguing and never get to know them well enough to see their flaws, they can live in your mind as a perfect being who was everything you hoped for. I’ve always said the quickest way to move on from a crush is to actually date the person. Because once you do, you start to see all of their human parts and it’s incredibly rare that their humanity will match up with your humanity in a way that works. 

— I am someone who really appreciates people. I think everyone is beautiful and I’m fascinated with everybody. In my younger years, it made it so easy for me to get crushes on people. Too easy. So, I started playing this game - I would run our relationship to it’s course and figure out why we would break up. That allowed me to move forward crush less and pleased and able to focus on my life. I tell you this to say that everything has it’s flaws. Every job has it’s obstacles, every relationship has it’s potential for heartache. Sometimes, You can think your way to the end result - do your research! You can ask people who’ve held that job before what the hardest parts are. Then, you can assess if it still seems worth it. If it seems worth it, try it out for a minute for free. See how it feels. Then charge someone once. See how that feels. One step at a time. 

For those of you who are sitting there like, “but, what if I’m not even sure what things I find interesting?” To you I say, start thinking about your life. What do you do for free on a regular basis. What is it that you bring to every job you’ve ever held? 

Even more powerful of a question, who is it that you’re jealous of? Whose life do you envy the most? What is it that looks appealing to you? 

Once you find something of interest, just try it! Then, try something else, and something else. See what sticks. 

What won’t work, what will not help you get closer to clarity is thinking about it and not doing anything. Once you begin trying, start learning! Dive deep into educating yourself on what would help you to get better. There’s so much online, you can learn to do anything! You just have to start. 

The trajectory looks like this: 

realize that you are jealous of that girl who has a watercolor painting business - realize that you always loved to create the signage and do the art for the jobs you’ve held. 

  • decide to try watercolors. 
  • get a small watercolor set and play around. 
  • look up youtube videos of other people teaching you how to watercolor
  • practice
  • assess whether or not you want to keep going. 
  • once you feel like you have something worth monetizing, sell a few and see how that feels. 
  • assess   
  • create a website
  • create a business
  •  
  • We don’t have to make it so complicated. You don’t need to know your end point to start. Just start and see how it feels and determine if you want to continue from there. The time for strategy isn’t right now. You don’t to start out perfect. The time for strategy comes later - when you know what you’re focusing on. One step at a time and right now, your only step is to play! SO, have fun!                                                                                                                                   
  • I loved talking passions with you today. Thanks for joining me for todays episode. As a reminder, leaving a rating and review in iTunes will help this podcast to reach more amazing listeners just like you and if you have a friend who you think could benefit from this episode, send it their way! In the mean time, I will see you next week! 

Episode Twenty Four: On Content Creation

In today’s episode we are discussing the art of content creation, how to start and tips for making it work! — 

I get messages regularly from people wanting to begin a blog, a podcast, an Instagram account as a form of creative exploration or for a new business. I often get asked the same questions, where do I start? How often should I post? How do you decide what to write about? In general, where do you even begin? So, here are the top tips that I give people when they are just starting out in their content creation journey. This by no means covers it all, but, hopefully, this gives you a good place to start! 

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1. Combine your blog/podcast with your website. 

If you're blogging for business, keep your website and your blog together. You want people to get from your blog to what you offer easily and without frustration. This is why my top platform recommendations are Squarespace & Wordpress. If you aren't concerned with design flexibility you can go with wordpress.com or squarespace which are a bit easier to get started with. wordpress.org offers more control, room for growth and can eventually be less expensive. If you want to get started soon, squarespace would be a great place to start. 

2. Simplify your message. 

If you haven’t noticed, this is what I struggle with the most. I want to discuss everything forever. But, if you want to grow your audience swiftly it’s a huge asset to know what you want to talk about and keep it simple. It's a lot easier to gain followers if your message is clear. In particular, when you are starting something new, the clearer it is what you are talking about the better. You can always add on from there once your following is established and you think there's room to expand. We all have varied interests. It can feel like we need our content to encompass all of us. However, neglecting to tell people that you love knitting when you have a food blog does not mean you are being inauthentic or not being fully represented, it just means that you have a clear and concise message. Confused viewers don't stick around. If you have a large number of potential topics and are struggling to narrow them down, I suggest talking it out with someone and potentially putting a feeling out to your facebook community to see which topic is best responded to. Even better, ask yourself which one would be the most fun and just do that! 

3. Be consistent. 

I don't care how often you post on your blog or podcast as long as it's consistent. If you only have time to post once a month, that's totally fine, be honest with your audience about that and do your best to maintain that momentum. There's nothing more likely to lose your audience than going silent for a period of time without an explanation. They will eventually get exhausted at checking your page and seeing nothing new.  Let me be clear, I'm not telling you how often to post, that's up to you, just be consistent. I've had seasons where I blogged 5 days a week. It was awesome for me and my traffic was extremely consistent and growing. I'm in a season now where I can only post on this blog every Friday, my creative blog on Mondays and I send out a newsletter every Wednesday. That's enough content creation for me right now. Both blogs are actively growing still and my creative blog has seen posts receiving over 20,000 unique views even though I'm only posting 1 time per week. Consistency is much more important than frequency.

Now, I’m not telling you that you can NEVER take a break and this is wildly different based on your platform of choice. ( youtube and instagram are more forgiving than a podcast or blog where you are easily forgotten )  But, in general try to set a par that feels easily doable for yourself and only up that par when you know you can consistently show up. This also helps you to not get overwhelmed and stop creating all together. Seasons of our life change and what we can produce changes, just keep showing up. 

4. Buy your domain name.

It's simple. Your domain name costs around $10 most of the time and the credibility that it provides for you is priceless. Just do it. Both Wordpress and Squarespace even offer the option to buy your domain through them so it's incredibly easy. 

 

5. Determine themes and series.

One of the questions I get most often is 'what should I post?' When I was blogging 5 times per week it was incredibly helpful for me to have internal themes. I say internal because I didn't always tell people what they were, but, they served as a way for me to know what I would talk about which days. So, maybe that looked like: Motivational Monday, Tip Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Thoughtful Thursday, and Freestyle Friday. (alliteration is not a requirement) 

Currently, I do this with Instagram stories because it gives people something to look forward to and frees my mind up from having to figure out what to do everyday. I do mindset monday, wednesday round-up, Ask SJ & Day in the life’s. That’s 4 days of content covered every week!  Plus, it’s fun! 

6. Keep a note.

My other big tip for sitting down and not knowing what to write is that I keep a note in my phone filled with ideas for blog topics, newsletter topics, podcast topics and more. When I hear something or see something that inspires me to write a post, I add it to my list. That way when I sit down at my blank computer screen I can pull up the list and pick one that I feel resonates with me at that moment. 

7. Platform swap.

I love platform swapping for several reasons. 1. Because I love introducing you all to new voices and ideas. 2. Because I love an excuse to write. 3. Because, it gets your name out in front of a new audience and is one of the key ways to grow your following. Make sure that you are swapping with people that have a similar amount of followers as you if you can. That way you are truly helping each other out. Often, I find great joy in bringing people onto my platforms who are still building their audience - because I think their voices are valuable and I want them to be heard. But, for marketing purposes, I would stick to swapping with people that align in audience type and follower numbers. 

8. Create a calendar. 

I know how hard it is to create content consistently. One of my favorite ways to not neglect my platform is to create a calendar. Plan your content out a month in advance. That way you know what you're going to post before you even sit down at your computer. You can spend the week or days before sitting down to write the post opening yourself up to information and new ideas on that topic as well. It's also great for those of you who need specific photos to go with your posts. This gives you time to prepare. If you are someone who likes to follow your ‘flow’ of creative energy when writing or creating - I just suggest getting ahead of your creation which brings me to point 9. 

9. Write your content  ahead of time. 

One of my favorite secrets to not hating my life is to not procrastinate. This takes me out of high-stress emergency mode and puts me into steady steps forward mode. I really like steady steps forward mode. How do I recommend doing this with your platforms? Write your content a week or more before you post it. That way you have time to write, time to edit and then you can post. This also means that if you find yourself behind on your post you aren't without content. Also, fun fact, both Squarespace and Wordpress allow you to schedule posts out in advance. So, if you're the kind of person who gets bursts of inspiration one day and doesn't want to work for the next three days you can bust a bunch of content out at once and schedule it to post over several weeks. It's way better to wait an extra week to post than to post a bunch of content at once and run out of things to share before you're ready to create more content. 

10. Know why you're posting. 

Every blog should have an objective. It doesn't have to be to sell something. But, you need to know why you're doing it in the first place. Is it because you want a creative outlet? Is it to give people helpful recipes? Is it because you have information you want to share? Do you want to sell a product or service? Knowing why you are posting in the first place can serve as a great filter when it comes to what kind of content you want to put out. If you are using your blog as a creative outlet and you start working on a piece that doesn't inspire you, you get to stop doing that! If you are hoping to sell a product or a service that is unrelated to food but, you start posting recipes on a regular basis, that may not be the best way to go. Know your why. 

 

Remember in everything that you do, know that you are doing it by choice, let it be fun, let it serve the role that it is meant to serve in your life - no more and no less. You are in charge of the decision you’re making to create - you get to be in charge of how it impacts your life as well! Set yourself up in a way that feels good to you. Choose a topic you love, a frequency that feels fulfilling and a schedule that suits your needs! Happy creating! 

 

 

I so enjoyed talking about content creation with you today. Thanks for joining me for todays episode. As a reminder, leaving a rating and review in iTunes will help this podcast to reach more amazing listeners just like you and if you have a friend who you think could benefit from this episode, send it their way! In the mean time, I will see you next week! 

Episode Twenty Three: Persistence with Latoya Dixon Smith

Today’s episode is a tad different. We are entering into the fourth episode of the women of color series. With our current political climate I believe it is more important than ever that the voices of people of color are being heard. We will discuss all of the goal-chasing topics that you’re used to and then we will dive into a bit more specifically regarding racial justice. I am beyond humbled by these incredible women who have agreed to go on this journey with me. They are women that I already admired and now, I am even more in awe of them. Today I am talking with Latoya Dixon Smith

I met Latoya when she brought the Queen Photographers Conference to Asheville, I was honored to be able to lead a workflow workshop for an incredible group that showed up for that. Throughout that process and after I have been continually impressed with the intention and grace in which Latoya operates through the world. She is truly an example of professionalism and persistence! 

Latoya Dixon Smith is a wedding and lifestyle commercial photographer based in Greenville, SC. She has been widely featured in publications including The Huffington Post, Black Southern Belle, and Borrowed & Blue.  Along with photographing crazy-in-love couples who are mindful in their journeys together, Latoya finds her passion in educating and leading The Queen Photographers --a national community of black women photographers aiming to equip each other in business and foster a supportive Sisterhood. Outside of the photography world, she enjoys road trips with her husband Lee and their son, Kent. 

 In today’s episode we discuss how to be a true white allie, not just someone who means well without making a difference, we discuss how to handle creating more diversity in your promo materials and challenging others to have a more diverse line up. We also discuss gratitude and loving yourself well! 

Latoya is poised, heartfelt and honest and has been an example for me of how to operate in the creative community as someone seeking more diversity. I am so excited to introduce you to her today, so let’s dive in! 

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Episode Twenty Two: 17 of my Greatest Life Lessons!

In this episode I share the top 17 things I've learned over the course of my life! 

For those looking for Journey Books, you can check them out here! 

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17 life lessons! 

1. Wake up early and how I do that! 

2. Break down large goals or tasks into bite size pieces. 

3. You can change your story. 

4. Less is more! In friendships and business and in your home. 

5. The enneagram. 

6. The more honest you are the less you fear being found out. 

7. Learn and keep learning and keep learning. 

8. When something new comes in something old has to go to make room for that thing. 

9. Giving back is an important piece to living a fulfilled life. Until you do you will feel like something is missing. 

10. Everyone doesn’t have to agree with you and changing minds is done easier through believing that they mean well. 

11. Seek understanding not to win.

12. Quality over quantity

13. Savings accounts are the shit

14. Anyone’s problem with you is their own and vice versa. 

15. Don’t do minimum wage tasks - know your hourly rate. 

16. Everything in life is a choice. 

17. Write everyday. Not a ton but, just enough to be in tune with yourself on a regular basis.