WE ARE SO EXCITED TO BE KICKING OFF A MINI SERIES FOCUSED ON WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS AND THEIR SELF-CARE ROUTINES.
It’s hard being a business babe and for those that launch their own company it can feel like work is a 24/7 thing, leaving little to no time for self-care. We wanted to take a look behind the scenes of our favorite women owned companies to share with our readers not only the awesome brands, but also (and more importantly) the powerful women running them.
We’re starting the series off with one of our favorite babes and the founder of Seek the Joy Podcast, Sydney Weiss.
Sydney has impacted so many lives by sharing her own joy while encouraging others to find it within themselves. We strongly (for real though, go listen now! It will change your life) recommend checking out her podcast (available on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and more).
So without any more of our rambling, here is our interview with Sydney!
FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T FAMILIAR, CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SEEK THE JOY PODCAST?
Seek The Joy Podcast is your go-to podcast for heartfelt storytelling and conversations on all things self-love, joy, connection, empowerment, wellness, and spirituality. Through stepping into our authenticity, we’re reconnecting to the light within and exploring our joy blueprint.
The podcast is inspired by my ongoing journey toward growth, empowerment, and self-love, and every episode offers a fresh perspective, aha! moments, laughs, stories, and wisdom that will stick with you throughout the week. It’s a space for real, honest, and open conversation and an opportunity to connect, inspire, empower and grow. Over the last year Seek The Joy has developed into a really wonderful community of people who are willing to step outside of their comfort zones and show up for themselves in ways they never thought possible.
THAT’S AWESOME! HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
Seek The Joy Podcast is an idea I dreamt up in September 2017 while I was waiting for California Bar Results. It was the second time I sat for the exam (p.s. I passed! Hallelujah!) and I was sitting in my apartment reflecting on the last year. The woman I saw in the mirror staring back at me was different. She was calmer, kinder to herself, and happier. She was no longer the panicked negative self-talker she was a year ago.
I should probably rewind a little bit. In 2016 I had a slew of health issues – from shingles to appendicitis – and when you couple that with graduating from law school and sitting for the California bar exam, and not passing, I wasn’t in a good place. When I found out I didn’t pass the bar exam in November 2016, the negative self-talk I’ve carried with me my whole life got worse. I was in a space of shame, anger, and embarrassment, and months of not listening to my body, running myself ragged, and being down right mean to myself took its toll.
I decided it was time for a change, and over the next year I made space for myself. I took time to get to know me and I started listening and trusting my gut more. For the first time in my life I started to peel back the layers and understand and love who I am, and who I wanted to be. I was in a different place, mind, body and soul, and little did I know it was just the beginning.
While staring at myself in the mirror in September 2017, I remember experiencing this moment of inspiration and excitement. I knew I wanted to start a conversation and create a way to connect with others who had similar stories and experiences. I wanted to build a community and a space to share personal stories, explore our joy, and learn and grow through stepping into our vulnerability, courage, and reconnecting to our authentic voice. That night it clicked – why not start a podcast? I took out my journal and started sketching out my idea. The next thing I knew Seek The Joy Podcast was born.
WHAT ENCOURAGED YOU TO START A PODCAST? WERE YOU SCARED OR WAS THIS SOMETHING YOU ALWAYS KNEW YOU WANTED TO DO?
Seek The Joy was really born out of my desire to create deeper connections and be part of something much bigger than me. I’m a bit of a podcast fanatic and I listen to about 8-10 different shows pretty religiously every week. When you combine that with my love for learning about people through listening to their stories, sharing my story and connecting with others through podcasting felt like a no brainer.
I honestly had no idea what I was doing when I first started, and there was a lot of fear and uncertainty. To say that I was scared is probably an understatement! I was definitely afraid to share my voice, truth, and vulnerability in such a new and public way. As a kid who grew up with a pretty strong lisp and embarrassed by my own voice, I had no idea what I’d sound like or if I’d even sound okay. I have a good amount of public speaking experience (I credit my moot court team days in law school for that) but I had never hit publish on something that could potentially be heard by thousands of people all over the world. I was so nervous about what other people would think and if anyone would even listen, and it took me a couple of weeks before I started sharing the podcast on my social media channels. It didn’t take me long though to get comfortable with sharing the podcast, inviting people on, promoting it, and seeking out opportunities to connect with this amazing community.
I love that you asked if this was something I always knew I wanted to do. Truthfully, this podcast was a huge step outside of my comfort zone, and starting and running a podcast was never something I saw myself doing, but it’s the best decision I ever made. Once I got started I could feel that this is what I’m meant to be doing. Connecting, sharing, and creating lights me up in a way I’ve never experienced before, and this podcast has completely altered the direction of my life. It’s taken me on an incredible journey – mind, body, and soul – and I’ve changed so much in the last year. I’m more confident in my voice and who I am, and I’m learning to embrace and celebrate my journey. I’m so grateful that I took that leap of faith and went for it!
WE’RE GRATEFUL TOO! SEEK THE JOY PODCAST HAS GIVEN US SO MUCH INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION DURING OUR OWN JOURNEYS.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE DIFFICULTIES YOU FACED WHEN LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS? WAS IT HARD TO FIND PEOPLE TO SPEAK TO OR INTERVIEW?
I really loved the process of starting Seek The Joy. What started as an idea on a piece of paper has slowly grown into my biggest source of joy and inspiration week in and week out. I was so inspired and excited to get started that I threw myself into the podcast, and anything that was a difficulty felt like an exciting adventure. I’m completely self-taught and I had absolutely no media or podcasting experience before this, and figuring out the logistics on how to record, edit, and launch the podcast was definitely a process of trial and error. I spent hours researching and learning as much as I could about microphones, platforms to publish my podcast, and programs to edit my episodes. I spent hours every weekend for a month teaching myself how to do it all.
While I was sketching out my idea for the podcast, the main challenge was figuring out who I would interview. I have so many incredible, brilliant, and inspiring people in my life, and I knew I wanted to interview my friends and share their light with the world. I’m grateful every single day that they said yes and that they were so willing to put their stories and voices out there. I came up with a list of questions and just ran with it. Once I got a little more comfortable, I started inviting on people who I didn’t know. At first it was really nerve-wracking to reach out to people and invite them on the show, and figuring out who was the right guest for Seek The Joy was something that took me a little bit of time to figure out too. There are so many amazing, incredible, and inspiring people out there, and I’m really fortunate that it hasn’t been hard to find people to speak to or interview.
Once I figured out the logistics - who I would interview, what I’d ask them, and what I’d use to record and edit - it was time to actually record. I’m pretty sure I recorded my trailer at least 20 times. Even though it was just me and the microphone, I was so nervous. I wanted it to be perfect, but I quickly learned that there’s no such thing as perfect when you’re learning and creating something new. You just have to go for it and keep putting yourself out there, and trust that you’ll learn and grow as you go.
My next challenge was figuring out how I’d promote the show and share the podcast’s message with the world. I use social media just as much as the next 27 year-old, but learning how to market the show has been an experience of trial and error, and it’s something I’m still figuring out! For me, it’s really about sharing the podcast’s message with the world, and I’m so grateful that so many people have connected with the podcast, love it, and are sharing it with their communities.
HOW DO YOU PROCESS THE UPS AND DOWNS THAT COME WITH ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
Processing the ups and downs of entrepreneurship has been a constant lesson in balance, patience, and kindness. When I’m experiencing a moment that’s a success or win, whether it’s big or small, it’s really important for me to celebrate it and acknowledge it. Life is too short to wait until the really “big” moments to throw around confetti and really celebrate you and what you’ve accomplished and overcome.
When I’m experiencing a down, I’ve learned that it’s really important for me to shift my perspective and bring things down to size. Whatever I’m experiencing in that moment usually feels a lot bigger than it actually is! It’s about reminding myself that it’s temporary, that this difficult moment or frustration isn’t going to last forever, and that I can get through this. From there, I try to give myself the time and space to reflect, and to ask myself the tough questions. For example, What is really going on here? Why did this happen? What am I supposed to learn from this? What do I need to change?
Uncertainty is part of the entrepreneurial journey, but it’s up to us to decide how we approach that stress and uncertainty. I’m learning to embrace and celebrate the challenges because I know it’s through discomfort and uncertainty that real growth and opportunity arises.
WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED?
Seeing, hearing, and reading about the impact Seek The Joy has had on people’s lives is what keeps me motivated. Over the last year I’ve received countless e-mails and messages from people all over the world who love the podcast and connect with its message. They write in and share their stories and the impact the podcast has had on their lives. Every single message stops me in my tracks (and if I’m being totally honest makes me tear up a little bit – okay, a lot!) I recently received an e-mail from a woman who found the podcast during a really difficult time in her life. She started writing down the tips and messages that are shared in each episode and she’s noticed an obvious difference in how she speaks to herself now. Another woman recently shared with me that for the first time in her life, she feels like she has a community she connects to and a safe space to be herself. Another recent e-mail came from a woman who shared that Seek The Joy has helped her manage her anxiety.
Every message reminds me of why I started, and I’m just so grateful. You really never know how your courage, vulnerability, and joy will inspire another to stand in their truth and share their story.
YOU’VE MADE SO MUCH OF A POSITIVE IMPACT ON OTHER PEOPLE IN THE PAST YEAR. WE KNOW THAT WITH ANY BUSINESS COMES A LOT OF STRESS. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO SELF-CARE?
Right now my favorite way to self-care is the hour or two I take at the end of the day to just sit and be. My days are long and filled with never ending to-do lists (something I know I’m not alone with!) and by the end of the day I’m over stimulated and exhausted. That time I take to unwind has been a game changer, and it usually looks like an hour with my eyes closed (and my phone on airplane mode), turning on a movie, or going on a walk in my neighborhood.
Something else that I’m loving right now is the time that I take every morning to meditate and journal. It’s a practice that’s completely changed my life. I used to get up every morning and run out the door without giving myself an opportunity to ground myself in how I’m feeling, what I need, and what’s ahead for the day. Now, this practice is a non-negotiable and I can feel a tangible difference in how I feel about myself, and how I deal with stress and anxiety throughout the day.
DOES PRACTICING SELF-CARE HELP YOU ON BAD DAYS?
It absolutely does, and on my bad days my self-care looks a little bit different. It’s definitely a lot easier for me to practice self-care on my good days, but it’s on our bad days that our self-care is the most important. On my bad days, I’ve found that it’s really important for me to try and remain flexible. Sometimes that means focusing on taking care of things that absolutely need to get done and forgetting the rest. This isn’t always easy for me to do though, because I’ve always been someone that finds a lot of comfort in structure and routine, but the harder I try to stick to that structure on my bad days, the worse I feel. I’ve learned that I need to give myself the space and time to do something else that’ll help me pivot and get out of my head. Lately, that’s looked like picking up the phone and calling a friend, going for a long walk, or putting on a movie. There are some days where my schedule doesn’t allow for that kind of flexibility, and on those days I focus on taking my day one task at a time and doing the best that I can.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
There are so many things I would tell my younger self, but my biggest piece of advice would be to be unapologetically who you are, embrace the skin you’re in, and don’t be afraid to share your voice and your heart with the world. We all have a unique message, voice, and gift that is meant to be shared and celebrated.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR LISTENERS WHEN IT COMES TO SELF-CARE/ SELF-LOVE?
Whether it’s self-care or self-love, take it day by day. We’re human, which means we ebb and flow. We have moments of struggle, but then we also have moments of profound victory and joy. If you’re struggling with self-love and self-care, know that you’re not alone. The truth is self-love and self-care isn’t something that ever came easy to me, and sometimes it still doesn’t. Shifting my self-talk, moving closer to greater self-love, and taking better care of myself has been a journey of patience, compassion, and trust.
I know this sounds so cliché and maybe even a little bit abstract, but take time to get quiet and go within. Over the last year developing a meditation and journaling practice has really helped me shift my willingness to practice self-love and self-care. Meditation and journaling might work for you too, or it might not and that’s okay! What you connect with can really be anything, because at the end of the day our self-love and self-care isn’t one size fits all. It’s about finding something that will allow you to reconnect with yourself, tune in to what your passions are and what you need, and allow you to grow.
Regardless of where you’re at with your journey, don’t be afraid to indulge in a little extra compassion and kindness, be patient with yourself, and on the especially tough days focus on putting one foot in front of the other. We’ve got this!