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Jessamyn Stanley 0:02
If I set my budget, I have my budgets and know how much money is going in and out. And that from that place, I can live into abundance that I don't have to be fearful. And something that is so specific about that time period before when I was worried about like, can we make rent, can we do all these things, but I was really living in a place of fear all the time.
T-minus 10 seconds. Welcome to the journey to launch podcast with your host jameelah. So frogs as a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave juniors like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real wealth. Join her on the journey to launch to financial freedom in five, four, three, two, one.
If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to launch.com or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are an OG journeyer, or brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes, so listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources and so much more. You can go to journey to launch that comm slash jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.
Jamila Souffrant 1:37
Hey, hey, hey journeyers I'm so excited to have on a special guest on the podcast. Her name is Jessamine Stanley, she knows award winning internationally acclaimed voice and wellness she's highly sought after, for her insights on 21st century yoga, and intersectional identity. She is well versed on a variety of cultural issues, including modern black experience LGBTQIA plus representation and equity in the health industry. She is the co founder of the underbelly streaming wellness app, she has been featured on the cover of self cosmopolitan UK featured on Good Morning America, basically all the things. I'm so excited to speak to Jessamine today, you know, she's always been focused on building a strong brand voice. But she's really focused on being authentic. And we're going to hear that now. And so welcome to the podcast. Gentlemen,
Jessamyn Stanley 2:29
thank you so much for having me to me. I'm honored to be here.
Jamila Souffrant 2:32
I want to start with your introduction to yoga, your introduction to this wellness space, because as I read in your bio, or previously, you actually said you were skeptical of yoga, like unit, you felt like it wasn't something you want to be a part of. So can you talk about that your introduction to it and how you evolved over time?
Jessamyn Stanley 2:55
Totally. I mean, when I first started practicing yoga, I really thought that it was just for thin white women. And to be fair, like I had seen, and I guess jelly and Diane Bondi who are to like very, I mean, their work as fat yoga practitioners. Without it, I would not be here. And I had, I was familiar with them before I started practicing. But in general, like, and even if you go out to a yoga studio today, like, you're gonna see a lot of thin white people. And so when I started practicing, basically, I was in graduate school, a friend of mine. I told her that I was depressed. And she was like, Oh, my God, you should come to yoga with me. You'll love it. And I was like, I'm not doing that. I had actually tried yoga once when I was in high school and absolutely hated it. And so at the prospect of going back, I was like, no, but she got me caught up on the Groupon. I was like, What's the worst that can happen? I'll get Groupon, I go one time. It's not that big of a deal. Y'all been there? You know what it is? So I went and everything about it seemed impossible. Like every posture seemed impossible, even just to sit with my legs crossed, felt impossible. But I didn't realize how much in my life, I tell myself, I'm not able to do something or that something is like, beyond my capability, like, so often, I'll be like, I can't do that, like, I'm not good enough, etc. And yoga was a place where I was able to really engage with that and say, like, what would happen if I just try? Like when I was in class, I would be looking at myself in the mirror just talking cash shit about myself. I'd be like, Oh my God, look at my stomach, like, Oh, my arms. I'm so gross, blah, blah, blah. And then like, I would just be like, Okay, so are you going to spend the whole 90 minutes talking like this? Or are you going to try because you can just try and like, maybe you'll fall down and maybe everyone in the room is gonna see that you don't know what you're doing? Maybe the teacher is going to see everyone's going to see but what would happen if you just try and that idea of just try really transcended yoga practice for me. It went into every part of My life, I started to see just how much I could give myself permission to just try. And really in so many ways, that's why I keep coming back to yoga. Like, it's not like it has magically solved all of my problems are like, Oh my god, I found balance. And now I can shut No, there's no balance in this life, the only trust, the only thing that we can trust is that change is coming and is imminent. And so what yoga offers me is the fact of being okay with that change, and just like letting it happen, and not trying to stand in the way of it so much.
Jamila Souffrant 5:33
So going from your first couple of yoga classes, and gaining that confidence, and how did how did you move forward to where you are today as someone in the leader in the space?
Jessamyn Stanley 5:45
Totally so accidentally is how so I, I had been practicing yoga in studios, and frankly, the only reason that I could afford to practice yoga in studios is because if you help clean the studios, then you could practice for free. So I was practicing like four or five times a week because of that program. But yoga really gave me the confidence to look at all the different parts of my life and see like what's fitting and what's not. At the time I was in graduate school, I was very upset for a myriad of reasons that I could go into. But I've actually written two books, everybody yoga, and yoke, my yoga of self acceptance, I talk a lot more about all of this in those books. So if you're curious about the backstory, please go find the books. But what I can say here is that it gave me the confidence to leave graduate school. And when I left grad school, I didn't have a job, I didn't have a plan, like I was really just living on my wits. And I definitely cannot afford to practice yoga in studios. And by this point, I had moved to a new town and the town that I lived in didn't have a studio that had that same program where you could trade your services for free practice. So for a short period of time, I stopped practicing yoga. And during that time, a bunch of stuff happened, most notably to me is that my aunt passed away really unexpectedly. And I found myself just like tail spinning and depression. And I was like what was helping me before yoga, okay, I just got to figure out a way to do this from my house. So I had my dad's old Pilates Mat, my partner and I were living in this very tiny apartment, but I would like push all the furniture out of this one corner of the room. And I would just roll out my yoga mat. And that was my practice. And that evolved into taking a lot of online classes. And then when I could afford to going out to studios to practice, but really like, I started sharing my practice on social media, because I wanted to connect with other practitioners. practicing yoga at home can be a little bit isolating, and it can just be a little bit lonely. And so I wanted to connect with other practitioners and be like, does your triangle pose look like my triangle pose, etc. And what I found more than getting feedback from other practitioners was that I had a lot of people being like, I didn't know that, that people could practice yoga. And I was just like, Why do you think that that people can't practice yoga, fat people do all kinds of things all the time, we obviously just have a huge visibility problem. And so I kept sharing my yoga practice, because I realized that just by being myself, and not even by like practicing the postures in any way that was particularly like, extraordinary, but just literally by being myself, that it inspired and encouraged other people to be themselves too. So it was a couple years that I was practicing yoga and sharing my yoga practice on social media. And after a period of let's say, it was like three years. And I had a lot of press mentions during that time, like I've been, I've been in people and I cannot even remember honestly a bunch of different things. And during that time, I had a lot of people reach out to me, like, will you come teach me? And I was just like, why do you need for me to come teach you yoga, literally, there are 1000s of yoga teachers, I would recommend teachers and platforms. But I was like, you don't need for me to teach you Yoga. But eventually, I did go to teacher training. And when I went, I really think about my life as before teacher training and after teacher training. Because before training, I really saw my practice as like a pretty superficial act. It's something that it's a place that I go, it's a thing that I do, yes, it makes my body feel good, but I'm not really like connecting to the practice spiritually. But during my training, I realized why really all of us should be yoga teachers and not necessarily like postural yoga and not necessarily practicing yoga, in a studio setting or anything like that. But the yoga of everyday life, finding balance and compassion for yourself on a day to day basis is something that can resonate for everybody. But the way that I practice it is not going to resonate for everybody, but it could resonate for even one person and if it resonates for that one person, then they might share the practice of compassion with one other person. And then that starts a ripple effect where And we can start living in a world where we're all motivated from a place of compassion and love, as opposed to a place of scarcity and fear. Right now we're living in a world of scarcity and fear, everyone is afraid of their own shadow, frankly, and there's so many things in this life to be afraid of. But especially as things get darker, it's really important for us to be able to look within for the light. When I started teaching, I made a list of all the places that people had asked me to come teach them. And it was it was basically like everywhere in the world. And that was like, okay, cool. So when I've gone to all these places, and taught and all of these places, then I'll stop teaching yoga, because it was not a goal of mine I went to school for my undergrad is in film and video production. My graduate work is a nonprofit arts management, I was not thinking about becoming a yoga teacher, but I was like, Okay, people have asked me to teach, I'll go teach them. But eventually, I realized that I could not physically go to every place in the world. And that's why I started the underbelly, my wellness community, because I wanted to make sure that anyone at any time in any part of the globe could find my practice and find my teachings and be able to practice with me. So you can find the underbelly, literally at the underbelly.com all over the place, and you can stream it pretty much anywhere that you can stream videos.
Jamila Souffrant 11:21
I love that. Well, just to go back a little bit when you were doing the teacher training. And when you this wasn't your full time like job or how you were earning money? How How were you earning money? Were you using any of your degrees?
Jessamyn Stanley 11:33
Totally? Great question. So, um, when I first started practicing yoga, I was in graduate school studying nonprofit arts management. And during that time, I worked for a few different arts organizations in North Carolina, I specifically worked in fundraising, development, and in general management, which honestly, all of that is critical to the work that I do now. So I really feel like it was all just in line. But when I left graduate school, I took that as an opportunity to go to culinary school, I had always wanted to go to culinary school. So lesser known just one fact is that I have an Associate of Applied Science and culinary arts. But during that time, I was working in a restaurant during the evenings. And then during the day, I worked as an evaluator of writing assessments, which is a fancy way of saying that I graded papers, and it was for right long writing assessments that were taken all over the country. So basically, I read like, over 100 essays in a day, just on the same topic, over and over and over again, which I think for a writer is really incredible preparation. I wasn't thinking of it that way. At the time, it was very helpful. But um, I, when I started teaching yoga, again, I really was not thinking about doing this full time. And I was just like, doing it on the side as I could, I had a teaching partner, we would tour. We did little tours of like the East Coast and the West Coast. And I, when I first started teaching, I don't know that I was still scoring writing assessments during the day, because I think that maybe by that point, I had to like really focus on my teaching. But eventually, I was like teaching during the day. And then I would go to the restaurant at night. And then I would teach workshops all over the country in the on the weekends. And I did that for a while. And then a while being like six months to a year, let's say. And during that time, though, there was a rubber meeting the road where it was just like I cannot do all of these things. I physically cannot be in all these places at the same time. I had one time in particular, where I was teaching a workshop weekend in Brooklyn, and I was in North Carolina. And I had not budgeted to get a plane ticket or a bus ticket or anything. I cannot tell you the number of bus stations train stations that I slept in, like waiting for connections, but I had not made that plan. So I knew I was going to need to drive to New York. And I had to work at the restaurant until like 11 o'clock at night the night before this workshop. So I like work till 11 went home, packed, maybe slept for like an hour left North Carolina between like two and 3am drove through until like 11 or 12 to get to Brooklyn for this workshop. had time to take the class ahead of mine. So I got there. It was also my first time driving in New York City and I've always heard like horror stories about this, but I was I think I was just so adrenaline filled that I was like, I just gotta get there. And then I remember like I found easy parking on the street. It was totally an unrealistic situation. But like, found easy parking, went up to the studio took the class before mine taught my class and but during that experience, first of all, I was obviously in my 20s when this happened because like I just don't doing that now. It's no But that made me think like, Okay, I might need to not work at the restaurant anymore. And I remember when I left, I said, basically keep my seat warm, because I'm worried that I might need to come back in a few months. And it's been eight years since then. But ironically, my manager at that restaurant job is now the co founder of the underbelly. She and I, she was somebody that I was so grateful to meet in that context, because I think that when you work with people, especially like, when you build something from scratch, it's hard to know, like, can this person really handle it? Like, can they really do it? And I was like, this woman, I watched her be pregnant, run a restaurant that like James Beard Award nominated restaurant, like, we can do this together. So it was really all very fruit.
Jamila Souffrant 15:46
Oh, my gosh, that's fascinating, so many things to pull out from what you just said. But you just mentioned you were you're balancing all these jobs? was teaching yoga at that point? Was it a clear pathway where you were financially seeing that it would pay off?
Jessamyn Stanley 16:03
This is a great question. I love being here. No, it wasn't. But although I will say that when I first started teaching, I was working my business model around my rent, like how much money does it cost literally, to keep the lights on. And I remember talking to my aunt, because around that time, my partner and I had decided to move into a larger house. And then it was like, at the same time, my career was changing, and my rent was doubling. And I was talking to my aunt about it. And I was like, how am I going to make this money? And she was like, if you need the money, you will find a way to make it. And she was right. I was like, okay, so what I started doing was, I taught private classes. And I literally fixed the pricing schedule of my privates around how much money it would take for me to make rent. And I pick the number of clients based on how many can I take and make rent into all these different things. So that was the big piece of my budget. But I also taught Pay What You Can classes, because I still really believe that yoga, ultimately, that you shouldn't charge for it. And even thinking about the underbelly, I really think about the, the price that we charge as being to maintain the team and to maintain the infrastructure, the actual yoga. For me, I really feel like it should not be, you shouldn't pay for that. So in the beginning, I taught these Pay What You Can classes where people would come, I literally would just like set up in a field, it was the most beautiful experience, because people would come and pay in strawberries, you know, like, they would just like bring literally whatever they had. And it was the most communal experience, but it's not a very financially viable long term plan. So in addition to that, I started teaching classes online. And that was really what helped me a lot. When I first started teaching. I taught through a company called Kodi app that has been purchased by another company called aloe, and it's now called Aloe moves. But in the beginning with Cody app, I think I had like a 7030 split like 30% going to me on my classes. And so that was really how I was able to save enough money to leave the restaurant job and to focus on teaching entirely. I don't know that teaching yoga classes has ever been like individual one, like IRL classes. That's never really been a big part of my financial planning. But online teaching has always been the way that I've anchored my budget.
Jamila Souffrant 18:49
Hmm. Oh my gosh, okay, so you mentioned something that you don't believe like teaching the classes with a cost like it should be free or at least accessible to the majority of people. How do you reconcile that? Because it's not I don't disagree, that can be true. But then it it comes to it potentially comes to conflict with someone like yourself, who is giving your time and energy and has learned this skill set? Right? Do you feel like it comes at a conflict of your own financial well being like that thought process because you deserve to be financially well off? Like everyone deserves that everyone needs that. So how do you reconcile that as you need to make money though to, to live and to do more?
Jessamyn Stanley 19:30
So what has come up for me is, again, always thinking about the team and thinking about who who I work with and how it will impact them. That has been really helpful for me, but that has helped me see my own value and see like the just what it means to put forth the energy. But I still think that at its core root, the practice of yoga is so it's really needed. by those who can afford it the least like people who are struggling with housing security, people who are incarcerated children, like these are people who really don't have the money to folk to pay for practice. But that doesn't mean that they don't deserve it. So in my mind, all the money that is made through other ventures or through supporting the team making the infrastructure is so that we can make the practice as accessible to anyone who needs it, who can't afford it. So it's all about like balancing the scales to me, like, how can we wait it on this side so that it's waited on the other side for everyone who needs it? But I agree with you, it is a very, it's a hard thing. And I think that for a lot of yoga teachers, a keeps you in a cycle of never really making that much money? Because it's a very, it's a hard ethical corner to turn.
Jamila Souffrant 20:53
Right. I mean, there's no there's a couple other I think of artists creative.
Jessamyn Stanley 20:57
Jamila Souffrant 20:58
who know who wants to give the world access, you know that there are things but also discount their, their worth or their value because of it.
Jessamyn Stanley 21:07
really hard. And I always think that like artists, that the LEAP is a little bit easier, because I'm like, oh my god, do you know how much paint costs, canvases are so expensive. I'm like, Y'all need to pay for these resources, period. Like it's not about, it's not personal. And that's something that I'm, I've been doing a lot of work around unblocking my emotional triggers with money. And so much of it is just this question of worth and like, whether or not I deserve and what's really there. And it's very challenging when you do something that's creative, to even recognize the value that it has in other people's lives. And to say that it matters and that what, what you put forth as an individual actually does matter.
Jamila Souffrant 21:54
Mm hmm and recognizing that if you are not financially stable, or doing well, like you don't have enough to overflow to then do the work that you want to, and you'd be better served to have you be, you'd be the one to have a lot of money and have millions to pour back into the communities and the projects that you can. But if you discount or undercut yourself and are not able to make your business viable, then you can't help anyone.
Jessamyn Stanley 22:16
Exactly. And I really think it's a question of refilling your own cup. And it's something that we talk about a lot in activism circles, too. It's like, how are we taking care of ourselves so that we can take care of our community. And I think that this is all tied up in it. Like if you're not, if you don't have the resources that you need to thrive, there's no way that you can offer anything to anybody else. And the more resources that you have, the more good that you can do, the more that you can bring, you know, thinking about people like Beyonce, like the amount of money that she has made and given to other people is so tremendous that like, it really makes everything else. It makes all of the business models balanced. Like it really doesn't matter because you're able to do so much good in the world.
Jamila Souffrant 22:58
Now, at this time that you're teaching, like go in the park teacher, I love the visual of someone bringing strawberries and like just trading just the old day standards, right of just goods. What was your social media presence? Like? Was it growing also at the same time? Because you're like, you have hundreds of 1000s of followers. You've been on the cover of magazine. So as you're teaching yoga is growing. How does that represented online and your digital footprint?
Jessamyn Stanley 23:22
Absolutely. So I started I've been blogging to some degree or like been on the internet since I was in middle school. It absolutely was. I remember being in high school and like, not doing my homework, but being on Tumblr, and Blogspot and all these things. And when I look back on it, I'm like, Yeah, that was a good way to spend that time. It's very helpful for now. But I started my Instagram, like right around the time that Instagram launched. So it was before it was really popular. And when I first got on there, like, I mean, I was just posting pictures of my cat and food and stuff like that. But I didn't notice that there was like a very small community of yoga practitioners. And that was I just wanted to be a part of that community because I was feeling so isolated in my home practice. But because of that engagement with social media, I started to see my followership grow on Instagram specifically before it was really popular. And then that led to over those years, like let's say this is like 2012 to 2015. Over those years, my social media followership was growing, I had had press mentions, and it was all sort of evolving into what would hold my teaching practice, as far as a social media presence is concerned. And over the years since 2013, I've continued to see social media as the place where I can really share what my yoga practice actually looks like. I've been in Gatorade ads, Adidas ads, like it's definitely the sort of thing where like, people can see a yoga pose and be like, Wow, maybe I could do that post one day. But if you go to my Instagram, you can see that yoga is not just a headstand on a beautiful day like yoga. is coming into conflict of identity, it's trying to understand who you really are. It's about accepting the parts of yourself that you might not like so much are the things that make other people uncomfortable. And so, my Instagram, my tik, Tok, YouTube, all of these different platforms are the place where I'm able to share, like, what does a yoga practice really look like? What does it look like to really have to accept yourself. And that has been a very powerful tool for me as a as an entrepreneur, for sure. But also a really powerful tool as a creator and as a practitioner to show a depth that I think really gets lost in still imagery and even in videos.
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Unknown Speaker 26:38
I think that's exactly right. And I think that it's so it's hard because like, social media feels like a place where it's like you're on stage. And so you're like, oh, I want to show my best version. But I feel like everybody, if we use the stage analogy, I feel like everybody wants to see rehearsal more than they want to see the final product. And like, I get so caught up in like, like, I will overthink a post to the end of the world to the point of not posting it, you know. And like, it's always the, it's always something where like, I just remember to turn on the camera at the last minute, like, Oh, I really wasn't thinking about I don't really care. That's always the stuff that blows up. And I just feel like, the more authentic you can be. And the more you can show your scars, the more people will see recognized, because I think that every time that someone is looking at something, not just on social media, but in general with like any kind of media, they're always looking for themselves. And what people recognize the most about themselves is like the authentic truth, the pain, the hardship, the realness, and like, the more that you can show that the more that it'll resonate for other people.
Jamila Souffrant 29:04
Yes. And with that, as you've been building your business, right? So now, building an app writing your writer, you're doing all these this amazing work? How have you grown? Right? Like how have you known when it was time to whether it's higher, or a delegate a task so that you can focus on the actual work? Because if you're just starting out as a business owner or something, you're doing it all usually. And then you find that you're taking away from the work that people want to see from you because you're behind the scenes doing all the things so how did you start to do that for yourself? And what was the ROI in your business? Because you made those those changes?
Jessamyn Stanley 29:44
Can I just tell you, thank you so much for asking this question. I'm so honored to be your I'm grateful to be able to answer so. I was very scared to hire people for a long time because I was frankly afraid of needing to be real. sponsible and having to show up consistently and having to turn it over, over and over again, when I look back on those first two years of this business, oh, I would have hired so much sooner, oh my god, I would have hired literally the moment that I could afford. Like, and by afford it. I mean, like, the moment that you can turn over, let's say maybe a monthly paycheck to someone at whatever the rate is that you've determined specifically for, like, let's say it's an assistant position, like pay them, because it will turn over immediately, like the ROI will be that you'll see it very quickly. But like, I was scared of that, and I went through a few rounds of assistance, actually, I had two assistants who were very, very powerful, very mighty, and really showed me how much I overwork myself how much I had the unrealistic expectations that I put on other people, the importance of making manageable job descriptions that can be in that that means hiring more people, but just making things as accessible as possible, and really looking to seeing the talent that you're able to work with as your greatest asset. And that's really where I'm at at this point is seeing that the financial returns money's money, you know, I get this kind of whatever, but to invest in people, and to see it turn over in their families to see their children really do well is just like, there's nothing better than that. I feel like it's the, it's the best thing. So that seeing that over time has been really powerful for me, but I would say okay, just to get down to like specifics, the first two years of my business being open, I did not hire anybody that I might be wrong about that. But I believe that's the case, then I started by hiring, I had like one position that I would hire. And then that gradually grew into hiring other positions. So that now our team is about 10 to 15 people. But prior to that, I had an agent, a literary agent first. And then I had a brand agent, and they were critical for me to be able to really negotiate deals and to not because this I think actually takes up a lot of creator time is hustling and negotiating and advocating on your own behalf, which I think as a yoga teacher is particularly tricky, because nobody wants a shark yoga teacher, you know what I mean? So like I needed, I needed some sharks in my corner. But I'm a literary agent, brand agent. And then my manager has also been critical. She came in after my first book, which was, I think back on that process. And even like, my first book tour was like, balls to the wall different city every single day, like press in the morning, and then at night, and then immediately turn it over. And when you have a manager, somebody who's literally there to think about your well being that changed a lot for me and helped. And also, along with the overtime has come hiring a publicist as well. So like just knowing to value each person's individual output, because like, I learned through answering my own press emails, just how valuable that position is. And to have someone there who can always be polite and who's thinking, thinking about the big picture like, it makes a difference. Because if I could do it again, I had I was talking to one of my teammates the other day, not the other day, but recently, and she was asking me if I could do it again, would I hire the same way? And I was like, No, I would not. Because I think as a creator now I would start by hiring an editor instead of hiring an assistant. So I think there is a piece of thinking about like, what is the task that is taking the most of your time? And and also, that's not your zone of genius. And this is something that I think about lot also is like, what is your zone of genius? What's your zone of excellence? What's your zone competence of what's your zone of incompetence? And I have a habit of thinking that my zones of excellence and competence are my zone of genius, and they're just not. And editing, I would say is, I hope some days it's in my zone of competence, but it is definitely not my zone of genius. And so just valuing your own time, like we were talking about before, I think that's probably the biggest thing to tell you.
Jamila Souffrant 34:28
When you talk about edit. Are you talking about like for helping with captions or for your book?
Jessamyn Stanley 34:32
That is a great question. I have been so blessed to work with an incredible literary editor through my publisher Workman Publishing. But when I'm talking about editing, I'm thinking about video editing specifically for content creation. So like editing videos that go up on social media, and then specifically now that like, tick tock is so fast paced and things move so quickly, being able to have somebody Who can just like, push it out? Who can understand the idea with you and and help you complete the cycle? Because I mean, I don't know about you, but I can spend hours fretting over a tic tac or an Instagram post or something. And it's like, let's just speed the cycle up. Yeah,
Jamila Souffrant 35:17
I mean, that's just great insight, I think just for you, when anyone who's starting a business has a business wants more visibility. And then if they get to a point where they are earning money, the importance of looking at how much money can you afford? Or maybe it's not that how much money can you invest? Yes, in helps that you can get back to the work.
Jessamyn Stanley 35:35
Oh, my goodness. And I think that like, there's this feeling, I think of it as like King Midas syndrome, where it's like, I just have to keep all I have hoarding all of my money, like, and I think that this also comes from like, you know, not growing up in a family where resources were always tight, like, we were always on a budget. And so I came from this mindset of like, I have to hold on to my money as tightly as possible. But there's so much power that comes from letting the money go, and letting it flow and letting it go into other people's arms and seeing the returns that come that way.
Jamila Souffrant 36:12
Yeah, there's a saying and might mess this up. But like a close fist money doesn't flow in, you know that you hold on to money. So tight, money doesn't flow in, and it doesn't flow out. So that's why you got to loosen it up a bit, which is so interesting, coming from the personal finance space, where a lot of the conversation, it's based around scarcity in a way because they want people to be financially responsible, which is important. But then sometimes excuse too much that way where you then have a problem spending money, you have a problem, enjoying the money you've earned, which leads me to your relationship with money now. So I'm assuming you're financially in a better position. And you were when you you upgraded to that house, and we're just thinking about the rent. So how has your relationship to money? Change? Do you like personally, not just like for your business, but the way you spend? Do you feel financially secure now that you have more or not?
Jessamyn Stanley 37:05
Oh, I'm so glad that you're asking this. I mean, I think that my relationship with money is constantly evolving, because I keep noticing all these different places that my generational trauma is holding me back from allowing myself to really live into abundance, and that all the different places that shadow work, and that scarcity mentality is just lingering. And so I would say like, just to be really honest, I think that I'm still in process every day evolving. But I do feel a sense that if I set my budget, I have my budgets, I know how much money is going in and out. And that from that place, I can live into abundance that I don't have to be fearful. And something that is so specific about that time period before when I was worried about like, Can Can we make rent, can we do all these things, but I was really living in a place of fear all the time. And I think that allowing that fear to, it's not even about letting go of the fear, it's really just accepting that it's there. It's like, okay, we're all in the car together. Fear is here, they brought chips, we're going like they get to ride. But maybe fear doesn't need to drive the car, like maybe fear can just be in the backseat, or what or maybe it doesn't need to come. But really accepting that has been a big thing for me. And personally, where I'm thinking financial, I'm at this point, just thinking about long term growth and thinking about like, how do I want to be investing in the long term? And what is it going to look like 30 years from now, for example, like how do I want to be situated then. So I want to say, honestly, that I feel very much like, I'm here, I'm present, I'm showing up for the lessons, and I'm bleeding into abundance.
Jamila Souffrant 39:00
I love that you are just you can say that it's a process because I feel like it's a process for any everyone. And if you're in if anyone says when it comes to money in their relationship that they have it figured out like I'm not I don't know if I believe you know, it's not I was talking about so I share a lot too even though you know, considered a personal finance expert and educator in which I do those things and, and I try to help people have a better relationship or understanding of their financial journey, I'm still on my financial journey. And you know, they're my mind has changed about a lot of things since I've started on my journey and where I find value in money or what I want to choose to spend money on. And you you brought up investing and I just you know want to ask this question about investing unless you want to jump jump in with something I felt like something was percolating there. I
Jessamyn Stanley 39:47
just want to say one other thing that like something that I never valued before was like spending money on myself and how that actually pays dividends in the future. And I noticed I thought of it because I looked at my nails and I know I'll get my nails done on a regular basis. And I never did before I'd be like, This is too much money. But I read Rachael Rogers book, we should all be millionaires.
Jamila Souffrant 40:09
Oh, yes. She's been on the show.
Jessamyn Stanley 40:13
Oh, she is oh my goodness, she lives in Greensboro, my hometown. So I'm always like, okay, but the she talked about this, like, if you take care of your hair, if you take care of your nails, like, you look at that, and you see yourself and you feel powerful, because you are able to really see your strength. And that's how I feel. Now, whenever I'm getting my nails done, or getting a massage or taking time for myself in that way. I mean, it's like, let's budget it. Let's make sure there's enough money here. All right, yeah, need a trip. But at the same time, like, when I look at my hands, I see a powerful woman I see myself like I and when I take the time to really value this vessel. It pays forward so that but that's something that I never understood before. Okay, I'm ready for the next question.
Jamila Souffrant 41:00
No, I love I love that. I remember I had to self exploration myself about that for sorry, I recently had a big milestone birthday. And so for that birthday, I was like, let me get things and I usually don't do so my nails, my eyebrows, eyelashes, braids, all that stuff. And you know, I had some reflections about it. Like, I'm like, Wow, this took a lot of time, a lot of money. But I did feel different showing up. Like I felt better showing up to be honest. Right. But I love how you just mentioned though, like still, though, make sure it's within your realm, your budget. So not to say that you can't get your nails done at all. But you know, depending on where you are financially, maybe it's a once a month, or it's you do that at home manicure instead of going. That's it. There's that trade
Jessamyn Stanley 41:40
off. And let me tell you, I learned so much about how to do my own nails through this process. Like I had years where I was like, I don't know about this. And so every so often, you know, you get a tool, you watch a video, like learning little things. And then when you can afford to go to the nail salon, it makes you appreciate it so much more. I'm like, wow, I really have deep respect for the person who was handling and taking care of me in a way that I did not before. I am also so curious what day your milestone birthday was.
Jamila Souffrant 42:09
February 6, so same as Bob Marley.
Jessamyn Stanley 42:11
Oh, Aquarius. Absolutely. Okay, good.
Jamila Souffrant 42:15
I saw your post about Aquarius. I was laughing when you were like listen to from Korea says they like something. I was like, yes, trust,
Jessamyn Stanley 42:22
believe them. I love an Aquarius, always, oh, my goodness.
Jamila Souffrant 42:27
So financial independence, I talk about this on the podcast, it's part of my story, because I wanted to reach financial independence, meaning I didn't want to have to work ever again, if I didn't want to I wanted enough money in my investment accounts in the passive business to support my lifestyle. And you know, and I found ways to kind of detour but then still pursue that goal. And so I want to know from you, you know, when you think about your business long term about your personal goals, long term, while you I'm assuming you love what you do, and you probably can do this forever, if you want, what for you like when you think about investing, and I'm talking about even money, like investing into your, you know, your self directed 401 K or however you're investing? What is your end game in a way for that? Like? Is there an exit strategy? You see? Like? Do you envision yourself as someone who wants to become financially independent? And not have to do this? Are you I know, are you planning for that as you are on your path?
Jessamyn Stanley 43:23
I love this question so much. And I have to tell you, I never think about not working because I love working. And I also love what I do specifically because it feels like a calling. And I feel like I have to. So it's not really about like, so to that end, the money it there's a fine line here. Because there's a place where you can go with that where it's like, Well, money really doesn't matter. Because you know, who cares? Like I just if the impact that I've seen of my work in people's lives, the number of people that have said like, I changed my I started practicing yoga, yes, but I like I changed my life, I left that marriage, I decided to have child I did like all these huge decisions. I'm like, this is incredible. I paid dividends, I didn't even feel like I didn't was this money that I invested. I'm not even sure how this works. So like, I feel like the investments that I made, extends so far beyond finances that I don't really think about, like, how much money but when I think about like the amount of money that it would take for me to feel secure on a personal level to never have to worry about money. It's far less money than I would like to make because I believe that if you if you know how to make money, or if you can figure it out, you have a responsibility to make as much of it as you can for other people. So that my legacy I would like for my legacy to be offering as many resources offering resources to people who need them at the exact moment that they need them. And I think that in order to do that, it will take many million dollars many I think probably a couple of billion dollars. likely, and so I don't really think about the money. In a short term sense, I don't think about a time when I would stop working. But I do think about the individual investments in people on my team, think about how those pay out to those to their families, I think about like, How much money does it take for each person to thrive, not for them to like, just get by, but what does it take for them to live their absolute best life? And then, and that feels like the most powerful investment to me. So that like, funds are great. Yes. All these things that like make the money. I have a lot of long term real estate goals, especially commercial real estate. But um, I just think that yeah, I don't think about not working as a as a thing. I think about like, wanting to always live with purpose, and just do whatever the universe is asking me to do. And to channel those resources to the places where they're needed. I hope that wasn't too much of an esoteric answer. Like, I hope I got that.
Jamila Souffrant 46:14
Yeah, no, it's not listen, I think it's an honest one. And I think that ultimately what you said, I don't think we're not meant to work, I think the concept of work can feel, especially because so many of us, were or are doing work, we don't enjoy that, you know, there is so much work to be done that we can love and enjoy, and that's necessary in the world. And so my primary goal is for people to choose if you want to work to choose what they do for work and to enjoy it, and to also be financially secure themselves, you know, so I love that. And I love that you were on this podcast, I know it's gonna bring a great source of light and blessings to people so Jessamine, can you please tell everyone where they can find out more about you your work and anything else you want to share?
Jessamyn Stanley 46:57
Oh, my goodness, you can find me at Jessamine stanley.com You can practice yoga with me at the underbelly.com and you can find information about my books and my live events, all of that will be on Jessamine stanley.com. And if you find me on social media, it's at my name is Jessamine or at Jessamine Stan across all platforms.
Jamila Souffrant 47:18
I will make sure to link all of that in the show notes so you'll be able to follow her. But thank you so much Jessamine, again for being on the podcast and sharing all this insight information with us.
Jessamyn Stanley 47:28
Thank you so much for having me, Jamila. It really has been an honor. Thank you.
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