#258 Birthday Episode – Change Your Story with Jason Ayers

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Happy Birthday to Flourish & Thrive Academy!

8 years ago Robin and I committed to demystifying the jewelry industry and helping designers find their spark and build businesses that support their creativity.

Since then, F&TA has undergone a LOT of transformations, because we’re always staying on the cutting edge of the everchanging jewelry industry.

And we have even more big changes in store…

So, I wanted to do things a little differently this week, something that aligns with our goals to continuously improve as a brand.

I invited my man Jason Ayers back on to talk about how to shift your mindset to benefit your success.

Part of our transformative plans for F&TA means Jason will be joining our Momentum Mastermind Program (formerly SOS) as a Success Mindset Coach.

Because even if you’re doing everything else right in business, a negative headspace means you’ll always be getting in your own way.

#258 Birthday Episode – Change Your Story with Jason Ayers

“More often than not, you need to make some changes. You need to adopt new practices that may be a little scary and not comfortable. And that can be challenging because as human beings we're wired to desire”

Welcome to Thrive by Design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product-based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing, and scaling your business. Spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make you ready. All right, let's do this.

Tracy: Welcome to Thrive by Design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing and scaling your business. So you could spend more of your precious time using your creativity. All right, let's do this. 

Welcome to the Thrive by Design podcast episode 258. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief visionary Officer at Flourish and Thrive Academy and the host of the Thrive by Design Podcast. I am super pumped to be here. Because this week marks eight years that we've been serving the jewelry and creative product industry, and creatives in general and I'm super excited about the fact that we founded Flourish and Thrive. 

We turned our website on July 5, 2012. And July 5 is this Sunday. I don't know why we decided to open up our business on the day after the Fourth of July, which is a big holiday here in the United States. But we did and I don't know. Can we say the rest is history. It's been an amazingly wild ride. Well, today I'm doing something a little bit different. No, typically I would have Robin on the show. I'm gonna be having her on again soon. 

However, I wanted to do something that's in alignment with everything we've been working on as a business over the next month now. My guest today is my man, Jason Ayers. And I wanted to have him on for a very specific reason because over this next month, we are announcing or making a big announcement in our Momentum Coaching Program, formerly SOS and Jason is coming in as the success mindset coach, and he is just freaking brilliant when it comes to doing the work to basically like uplevel the way you think about yourself and your business and everything that you do, so that you continue to rise up and level up so that you no longer tell yourself stupid stories, or let you know your situation or circumstances get in the way. 

It's really, really powerful. It's kind of hard to explain, unless we dive it in. So I'm not going to leave it at that. But you're going to really like today's episode. In fact, it was so long, we had to edit some of it out. We'll be featuring more of that content. Over the coming weeks. We're going to do a little bit of a series here. And as we kind of come into this eighth year of being in business, you know, I was thinking about You know, how can we show up and serve our people better? And we're going to be talking more about that over the coming weeks, we're making some really exciting new announcements. 

And if you haven't done so yet, you have just about two days left to participate in our 2020, state of the jewelry industry survey. And we're developing this extensive report to kind of dig deep into what's working for marketing right now. How are people making sales in the jewelry industry, which parts of the business are struggling and which ones are strong because it's weird during a pandemic, and everything that's happened over the last, gosh, four to six months? 

You would think that people would be really struggling but some of the designers in our community are crushing it and they're doing so well. And then, you know, I start talking to my friends and other people outside of just the flourish and thrive community and so many people are having record breaking sales right now. And then I hear Other reports of people practically going out of business. 

So I'm trying to dig deep into what's working, what's not working, where your focus should be. And so if you want to get that full report, find out what's working, find out where the industry trends are going, then I would highly recommend that you participate in the survey because the only way that you can get access to this 2020 State of the Union report is to fill out the survey. So head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/report, to fill out the survey today, it's going to take you straight to this survey, you're going to fill it out, it's going to take you about seven minutes. If you want a copy of the report, we'll just ask you for your email address. 

If you don't, no worries, you can just participate but I'm assuming that if you're participating, you probably want a copy of the report. And that's it. Super easy takes most people about seven minutes to do as I mentioned, and we'd love your participation so head on over to flourishthriveacademy com/report to participate shutting the survey down on July 7, so we can start aggregating the details. All right, let's dive into today's episode with Jason Ayers.

Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews here, the host of the thrive by design podcast. I'm here with Jason Ayers. Thanks for being here.

Jason: Thanks for having me.

Tracy: Jason's my guy. And we were working together for a long time before we ended up in a relationship together. And one of the things that I love about what Jason does is he comes from an integrator philosophy and has a unique perspective for creative types and visionaries who are trying to make their visions come to life. One of the things I've noticed the most about Jason in my time knowing him for the past year or so, is that he's super brilliant mindset. So I'm going to have him talk a little bit more about the success mindset today. And we're going to be talking, doing a couple series for the podcast to dive a little bit deeper into this, because I just hired Jason to be our mindset coach for our Momentum Program. And I'm super excited to have you here.

Jason: I'm excited to be here.

Tracy: So let's talk a little bit about your background because I know you kind of have a science and engineering background. So why don't you share?

Jason: I have a pretty varied background, so I went to military school. So I have somewhat of a rigid background and actually had a great time there and got to lead a lot of people. So I think leadership is something that's always I've kind of naturally stepped into.

Got a degree in Chemical Engineering because I liked solving really tough problems. And in that kind of same space, I discovered that one of the most challenging problems we often face is, how to get ourselves or how to get our teams to do what needs to be done to get what we want to achieve the results that we want. And so, in exploring that I went into psychology and not a psychologist, but I've studied quite a bit of it, and studied the science of human achievement. 

And I am a certified neuro linguistic programming practitioner, which is a whole string of big words, really just really just means that I've done a lot of studying in terms of how our brains encode information, and how that process can be utilized to our benefit, so that we can get over the obstacles we have and Stretch progress towards a place where we think we're going to be happier or more fulfilled, or just enjoy life more and be more successful, which is really the key.

Tracy: So we're coming up on our fifth birthday over here at Flourish and Thrive Academy and as the Chief Visionary Officer supporting jewelry and creative product brands for the last eight years, and empowering them to step into their, you know, their role or their mission to be chief visionary officers for their own company. Every year when I'm kind of thinking about what we want to do, you know, usually Robin is on the show with me. And we weren't able to coordinate time. 

And so instead I asked Jason to come on. But one of the things that I've been really thinking about is, you know, we're in interesting times, you know, things have changed. For the last two years we have been talking about how you need to diversify your revenue streams, you need to be selling online, you need to pivot your plan. Now because something's gonna happen soon. We don't know what it is and If you aren't up to speed, you're going to be suffering during this time. And so we've been diving deep into looking at our students like what's working for them right now? How are they, you know, accelerating their businesses? 

How are they continuing to grow when a third of their income or sometimes two thirds are all of their income was cut off? And why are they having record breaking months? And, you know, one of the things that I've been able to dial it down to is that the people who are actually thriving extremely well have done a lot of work around their belief system and what they think is possible for success. And I knew I had you on the show a couple of months ago. 

Don't listen to that episode. Definitely dig it up. Well link it here. And we talked about some of these principles. But as we've been kind of navigating these last three months, and we've been, you know, spending a lot more time together than we actually planned. Living together in Arizona. It's been great. It's been awesome. I think he really means that he's you know, we've been watching our students and seeing how they're, they've been growing and you've been helping me out kind of coach them. 

And so I wanted to talk a little bit more about how to unravel yourself and get yourself out of a rabbit hole, I guess is the best way to put it when things seem like they're focused on a downward spiral, and you have no control of what's going to come next because I know that we all have a frame of reference, or we all have some sort of bias about how we're showing up for a business. And what I mean by bias is that we've all come from different circumstances, different upbringings. And I've been fascinated by the way people approach their business and how they show up. 

And if I'm really going deep, you can probably categorize people into a couple of camps. But I'm fascinated because you can take people with the exact same situation, or very similar situation, but their approach to business and the way they show up for their business can be completely different. The ones that are successful are the ones that either have stories that support what they're trying to achieve, or they work to shift those stories. Do you want to talk a little bit about what that means, Jason? Sure.

Jason: So one of the challenges in life is that we can't control the world around us. But we can't control ourselves to the degree that we understand ourselves and understand how we work and put in the time and effort to do what we need to do. And I think it was Darwin. So he's frequently misquoted, they say survival of the fittest. And what he really said was survival of the most adaptable and challenging times present you with situations where you need to adapt in less what you're doing already works for the direction that things are going.

And what you're doing works for that, but more often than not, you need to make some changes, you need to adopt new practices that may be a little scary and not comfortable. And that can be challenging. And it can be challenging because as human beings we're wired to desire certainty. It's one of the six human needs. And the reason why we need certainty is can you imagine waking up every day and doing the same thing and then getting a different result? Sometimes you get lucky and yeah,

Tracy: Yeah. Well, that's the definition of insanity. Right? Well, no, no, that's the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again. And getting the same. Get the same result, but you're expecting a different result.

Jason: Right. But that speaks to the same thing. And that same thing is we have this desire for certainty because we need it for survival. We only have so much energy and we only have so much time. So we need to start making connections between if a happens what happens as a result Right, if a happens, does B happen or to see happen? Or does D happen? So, because we have this need and because we need to survive, and because we have a limited amount of time to meet our needs, we start to tell ourselves stories. 

And those stories feel like facts. So every time I do A, B happens, and then I start to look for evidence that that's true. And this is where things are a little interesting, because science is different. In science, you look for a correlation. So if a happens, it seems like B happens. And then that becomes a hypothesis and then you try to prove it wrong. Yeah, and you might spend a decade doing that, trying to prove it wrong, but we don't have time for that as human beings going about our lives. So what we do is we start to look for evidence that it's true. And through something called the reticular activating system. 

We start to notice things that correlate with our story. And we're like, yep, there's more evidence. And there's more evidence. And there's more evidence. And the challenge with that is that we essentially build up a bank of stories inside of our mind. And those become our operating system. And when you need to do something new, that contradicts one of those stories, or that puts you into a place of uncertainty, because either your story doesn't cover it, or your story tells you that that's going to be dangerous. 

There's this resistance. And that's why you'll find yourself in situations where maybe Tracy is telling you look, here's what's going on in the marketplace. Here's what you need to do to adjust. And here are a bunch of students who have already done it, and they're being super successful with it. And even though you know what you need to do and it's been clearly laid out in a training for example, because one of the fastest ways to achieve success is just a model success.

You know, do we have to take what other people are doing that's resulting in success and model what they're doing. Now the challenge with that is when we find ourselves in situations where we just need to do one thing, but we'll do like 25 other things. So maybe you need to launch your website or maybe you need to craft an offer email that's going to go out to your list, showing off one of your pieces, but instead you find yourself cleaning out that closet that has been accumulating all kinds of stuff for a long time. And even though cleaning out that closet is not fun, it's actually more comfortable than doing the thing that's unknown to you, or the thing that seems risky to you. 

So, because of our need for certainty, things that are in this kind of dark, nebulous cloud of uncertainty can feel very dangerous or feel very risky or feeling very threatening, and we don't necessarily know why we can't make ourselves do it, we just know that we feel this really strong resistance to it.

Tracy: And by strong resistance, you mean like anxiety, maybe wanting to feel like you're gonna throw up, or even, like deep rooted fear, you know, we hear this a lot, especially in the artist community is that they have a fear of rejection. Like if they put their products out there, people aren't gonna respond, even though they have no evidence that that's true. There's this like deep rooted fear. The same thing comes from like selling or getting on the phone or emailing people because I think there's this vulnerability inherent in that but that's really rooted in something much deeper and, and it might be what you call or what you've called, at least when you were helping me with this ancient psychology or ancient philosophy.

Jason: I think we have some stories that almost carry down with us, maybe in our genetics. And this is just my personal belief.

Tracy: Well think like, that may be the thing like, I'm not good enough. That's like a universal story that probably everyone suffers with at a certain point in time.

Jason: But then, but that's not necessarily. It's a universal story, but it's not an ancient story. Okay. So in terms of ancient stories, think more along the lines of 1000 years ago, or 2000 years ago, what it would take to survive, and what it took for our ancestors to survive. So we spent most of our time hunting for food, for example. And we realized that by being in groups, we had protection. And when other groups decided to attack and maybe take our resources, we'd be safer if we were in a group. 

And there were situations where if you were kicked out of that group into the wilderness, you might not survive. In fact, there's a very good chance you wouldn't survive, right? So that feeling or that fear, I believe has carried down In our limbic system, and in our, what we call essentially like the croc brain, and then the mammalian brain, there's this idea of the triune brain theory. And the mammalian brain, for example, was believed to be like the second layer of our brain that was developed and it's very much oriented towards being socially accepted. 

So what happens is, let's say that you have new jewelry and you need to put it out in front of people. And let's say that because you put so much of your own like, blood, sweat and tears into it, right, and you've crafted this, that you kind of identified that as representing you. And you put it out there into the marketplace. 

And this is all in your head. This is before you've even done it. You have a fear that people might not like it, they might reject it. Well, if that piece of jewelry is representative of you, and they don't like it and they don't agree cept it, that's very much like the story of being kicked out of the group of being rejected by the group, which represents safety. 

So irrationally, there's this feeling that I'm going to put my jewelry out there. And then you just kind of get this sense of dread or this fear and you don't know necessarily where it's coming from, you know that you need to put your jewelry out there, you know that you have to put it in front of people to sell it. You think it's beautiful, you've spent all this time and for some reason, you just cannot get yourself to do it. Why not? Because there's a link somewhere that if you put it out there, and there's a chance that people reject it, essentially equals death.

Tracy: That's pretty scary, right? And so these stories, they can start sort of at that beginner phase, which you're talking about right now. So someone who's maybe not an established designer, who is afraid to kind of get started because they're they have a fear of rejection, even though maybe they've even had a proof of concept. And what I mean by proof of concept, like people are complimenting them on their jewelry, or they've maybe even sold jewelry before, because that's the biggest proof of concept that you know, something that works. 

But this can affect you as you start to grow as an entrepreneur and a business owner as well. I know. I'm gonna use a story from our personal life that has affected me, because I've kind of mentioned this a little bit, but I was trying to meet someone like Jason for a very long time. And you know, you can't really be too attached to the outcome. I mean, I kind of scored, but at the end of the day, I mean, look how cute he is, if you can, if you're watching.

Tracy: So based on my experience and my upbringing, I had, you know, if I really am dialing down in the story, I'd like deep rooted abandonment issues. And when I was thinking about it and doing some of this work, I realized that the abandonment issues started at the age of five. When I was five years old. We were Moving from our house in Fullerton, California, to Irvine, California, and my parents went to go run what probably was like a two minute Aaron. That felt like hours. And they said, Tracy, stay here and watch your little brother, my little brother Brad was just born. And to me watching him felt like a huge responsibility. And I was really worried, like, What if something happens? Or what if he cries? Or what if they don't come back soon? What if someone comes here, and I felt like this huge sense of responsibility to take care of my little brother, for what maybe it would have been like just a couple of minutes. And that has carried with me through the rest of my life, and manifested into other religions, other situations and other relationships

So I kept, basically, and I'm not going to go into my entire story because it would take too long, but basically kept attracting relationships where I was abandoned, and even business scenarios where I was abandoned by people or team. Yep. And so I had to clear that story and get to the root of why that was happening. Not only to like manifest this guy so that I was available and open when he actually showed up in my apartment one day. And also to like being able to become a better leader and to attract the right people who are going to stick with me and buy into my vision. The reason why I want to tell you that is because one story can have like a compounding effect in multiple areas of your life and your business. And so it's really important to get to the root of this. And I'm going to hand this over to you in just a minute. But I think the number one biggest story that a lot of people, primarily creative people have in business is this issue around money. 

So I'm going to share about that, okay. Because there is a universal belief and I'm using air quotes here, that if you are an artist, that traditionally artists starve so that you can't be successful being an artist. There's also this belief that creatives are bad at business. Those also dial down into your respective ability to make money. I was interviewed in a podcast yesterday. And the host asked me about that, like, what is my belief? Like if you're creative? Do you think that you're good at business? And I said, Absolutely. Like creativity is the number one strength that the creative people have at business because it allows you to be solutions oriented, indestructible and resourceful, and think outside of the box. But there is this universal belief that creatives are right brained, they're not left brained and left brained people are typically connected to having better business skills. And that inadvertently trickles down to money, which I'll leave, leave it at that. So do we want to talk a little bit about that?

Jason: There's a couple facets there which are actually kind of fascinating. So you brought up the starving artist story, and I think a lot of parents and if you're an artist, and maker designer, you've shown a lot of creativity and you're going down that path, there's a good chance that that somewhere along the path someone told you this told You were shared with you this essentially idea of the starving artist. And it speaks to why we tell ourselves stories. So our stories are designed to protect us. They're designed for our survival. 

They're designed to conserve energy. Right? If you spent most of your day hunting food, you know, a couple thousand years ago, you didn't have a lot of energy to waste. You needed to use your energy to get what you needed. So all of these reasons why we build our stories, man, one of the reasons why we have stereotypes and generalizations and all of these things is just to conserve energy. Because for example, can you imagine every time you went up to a door if you had to stop and just look and say, Hmm, okay, it's shaped like this, and it's this color. What? What do I do with this thing? Oh, there's a thing right here. I'll put my hand on it and see what happens. Can you imagine every time every time the door,

Tracy: Figure out how to open the door

Jason: We'd all be stuck in rooms somewhere or stuck out, trying to get in. And by generalizing and saying, Oh, I know what this is, it's a door, you push it, you pull it, you turn something, you push something, and it works, right? You can go through it, unless it's locked. Because I know what locks are as well. And even though they're all different kinds of luck, so we generalize. And in general, it helps us but it can also hurt us. 

So people tell us these stories about the starving artist to help us because they have the best intentions in mind. And even though we may be thinking like, I cannot believe they did not support me, and you know, this is obviously a talent that I was born with, and that I wanted to use and I just, you know, the the person that I wanted the most to approve of what I was doing didn't get behind me and support it. And the irony is, they didn't because they love you. Yeah, and so they don't know how they Wouldn't would have made it work. And because they didn't know how they would have made it work they project that onto you and assume you can't or they're they have some cousin or some brother or sister or somebody right who's out of challenge with it. And so their story of being an artist is risky being an artist means that you're never gonna have enough money to meet your needs. And they keep looking for evidence that that story is true. And they keep finding more and more evidence, but if I were to ask them, okay, what's the opposite version of that story?

Tracy: The opposite version is that artists don't starve like if you do it

Jason: So well, like not starving is a negative.

Tracy: It's hard to hear that artists can be successful. Highly successful, highly successful. Ashley Longshore She's like a multimillion dollar business, she's like riding around on private jet planes.

Jason: Okay, look at what just happened. We started With one story, we identified the opposite version of the story. And what did you immediately come up with?

Tracy: A very successful, highly successful pop artist.

Jason: Right, which if we were in court, you could call that evidence evidence. So the wild thing about stories is that you will find evidence, regardless of what the story is. Now, the challenge is most of the stories we created we created between the ages of like four and seven years old. And then we kind of built on top of them with supporting stories, to where we've essentially built up a huge fortress, or a mansion that's designed to support these core stories. 

And if those core stories are not supporting you in the direction you want to go in, they're very challenging. So let's say that you're on the opposite end of the spectrum from somebody who's starting and you've already sold. Let's say you're let's say you're selling a quarter million dollars a year in jewelry And to get to the next level, you're going to have to do something that appears to be scary because you have not done it before. You know, she knows what to do. And she's done it right. 

But if you have not done it, it might feel scary because it'll be scary because it's uncertain. And we need certainty because certainty is one of the things that helps us survive. And our mind will essentially tell us, you know, why would you do that? You're safe right here. You're surviving right now. You're doing well right now. Why? Why are you going to kind of tempt fate and go forward?

Tracy: I think the best example of this is someone who is depending on your price point, it might happen a little bit before this, but someone who has been doing the majority of the work themselves to grow their business, and they get to this point where they no matter how hard they work, it doesn't. Nothing moves the needle, their sales don't increase. In fact, it gets more expensive, too. run the business and you're thinking like, wow, I'm saving money. 

Because I'm doing this all myself, isn't that shouldn't that make my business more profitable? But no, the answer is no, because you're not being efficient with what you're doing. And we've heard this a lot, work smarter, not harder. But to the certain point like you get to this point where you're like working, working, working, and it's something's got to give at a certain point, you have to create automations or systems or develop a team or get out external support, or have better like plans, strategic plans, like all these things that are going to get you to that next level. And the perfect example of this is one of our designers who was in our momentum program. 

She's a graduate now her name is Jennifer Dawes. She's a very successful jewelry designer. She's been in business for over 20 years, had a highly successful business and is in the best stores all around the world. All the things we were working with her on online strategy, but also to streamline and simplify your business by working with us for a year. She was able to save $18,000 a month from her operational expenses by just doing things smarter now, and a lot of this, like her goal was to actually simplify and streamline so that she could. And I'm going to use the word outsource, she wanted to have a little bit more freedom. So people weren't weren't coming into her space as much. And she was really, her goal was to kind of flip her business model. But it took her a year to actually make those changes.

And I know, I know, because I watched her that it was painful in some respects, but she got through it. And the upside of that, and we even have like I did an interview with her where we're talking about this. The upside of that is that ultimately it saves her over $18,000 a month, because she simplified it. So sometimes, like getting to that next level isn't always necessarily growth in revenue, but it's simplifying the back end and changing your belief system about what needs to happen because I know we had to work with her on her thought process. 

And I know when I was in that place like I had to work on my thought process, because at that point, when I was at that point in my first business and other businesses, beyond that, I know that certain situations that would happen or come up with a trigger an event or an event would happen that would trigger something that would either trigger a story or an emotion or something that I was feeling. And that sort of spiraled into like, Oh, me moving in back to my old habits of what I thought was going to happen. Like I've come up on this so many times.

Jason: I call that a retreat to safety. it's a retreat to the known because the known is comfortable, right? So that they're even saying this, right, where it's better the devil, you know, than the one you've done. Right? And it's, and that that same is kind of loaded and tells you what it's about, right? It's like, yes, this doesn't work. Yes, this hurts me, but I'm going to continue doing it because at least I know it. 

It's more comfortable than the thing I don't know, that I kind of know I need to do. So the one of the things you mentioned was, you know, hitting these points where you needed a change in your thinking. And the reason for that is one of the reasons why we seek out mentors, why we seek out programs, why we model other people, is because at a certain point, you can't work something any harder and get anything back. 

Essentially, it's a rate of diminishing returns. So to squeeze a little bit more out, takes a monumental amount of effort, and we're not able to progress anymore. And the challenges that we have a new problem. And that new problem can't be solved with the same level of thinking that created it. And that's why we seek out mentors and that's why we seek out models and that's why we read books and listen to podcasts. We do other things because we On some level, we know that we need to upgrade our thinking to be able to solve our current problem. Sothat's, that's one of the things that you run into. And there are ways that you can remove the fears associated with what you need to do. And I want to talk about that. Yeah, that has to do with the stories.

Tracy: Okay, so that brings me to what we're doing for our birthday sale over here at flourish and thrive. We are on July 5, we are releasing our success Maximizer bundle and it is a whole bundle designed to help propel you into moving forward a lot more quickly. Working with your mindset, there's journal prompts, and a bunch of things. So we're going to walk you through a little bit of one of the exercises which starts with these events that trigger a story that triggers an emotion etc.

Jason: Yeah, let me just break down the process really quickly. So because we've talked a lot about it, but haven't made it super clear. So what happens and you can probably think if you want to think back to a time when you had something that was dramatic that happened in your life, maybe something painful it was, it was a significant event sometime between the age of, let's say, four and seven. So an event happens. Maybe some kids are mean to us, maybe they attack us. 

They do something. So something happens. We then try to create meaning from that we tell ourselves a story. And very often, in those kinds of events, we'll be asking ourselves, why? Why did that happen to me? Why did that happen? Why, why, why, why? And the mind is like, a search engine like Google. If you ask it a question, it'll provide you with an answer. So it provides one and thinks about the fact that maybe you were four or five at the time, right so you said that you were left alone with your brother. And you were how old?

Tracy: I was five. He was an infant, maybe a couple months.

Jason: So you're five, he's an infant, you're left with this tremendous responsibility for keeping him safe. And we know that as human beings, we're essentially wired to look for risks, to look for threats to be cynical. You know, all of these things that are designed to keep us safe, but that can also kind of strike fear into us. So in that moment, you're probably asking, like, what happened? Like why?

Tracy: Why,why they leave me. Why did they leave? 

Jason: Okay, there's the question. So your mind is like a supercomputer? What kind of answer did it come up with?

Tracy: And are we going to be safe? Like, I was nervous that something was gonna happen. Like I was really worried about him. Yeah. And I think I was just like, anxious, really anxious, and probably afraid.

Jason: So what story or what explanation did you come up with

Tracy: I probably asked my question like, why did they leave us? The explanation was that I don't know that they didn't love us or that they were like, they were leaving us behind.

Jason: People who you love or people who love you will leave you. So here's the challenging thing, that's an event like that, because loving your little brother can be traumatic. And what we know about trauma is people have a tendency to repeat trauma over and over again. And what they're hoping for is a different result. We recreate the situation's of the trauma, and we've done everything we can to reassert the story as being true even though we're hoping for a different result. So in your case, you mentioned later on like dating? What will play out there is, you will date somebody who either has a high probability of abandoning you and leaving you, after you fall in love with them.

Tracy: Or they're just non committal.

Jason: Or,  and this is the hard part, you will actively do things and not know why to push them away and drive them away until they finally leave. So that you can then tell yourself see? You're seeking to validate that story, even though you might hope that a different one is true. So you're like, you're like, see, it's true. They leave? And, and we get to a point where it's almost like we're wearing an invisible label that other people can see. And certain people are then attracted, right. So I attracted a certain kind of person. You attracted certain kinds of people. I think you probably see a pattern in certain Patterns amongst the people and until you change the story, really until you even recognize that you're telling a story, because you think it's fact. Yeah, people have a lovely view, just a fact of life. That's just what happened.

Tracy: But it's just a story because that's an effect.

Jason: And we go around treating things like facts. So usually what happens when I'm working with someone, and they have that light bulb moment where they realize, Oh, my gosh, what happened really was just an event that didn't carry with it any meaning. I'm the one who assigned the meaning to it by asking myself the question why, why me why this happened to me why they leave. I'm the one who came up with that story. There's this click, and you're like, Oh, my gosh, I'm actually in charge of creating my results because I've been living into that story and that story. Really what should have happened is your parents left you alone with you, brother. That was an event that happened. You take that like a file Put it into a filing cabinet labeled the past and close the door.

Yeah, I mean, really, in reality, what they were trying, they had a bunch of little kids that have five little kids at this point. And they needed to drop some stuff up at the neighbors of goodwill. And so they're just like, well, it's easier to only take three than five, we'll leave one of the older ones. And we'll be right back. It's gonna be fine. And we'll lock the door so no one can get in and it was fun. And they did come back. Right. But that's not the part we focus on. No, we focus on the part that they left, right. We don't say like, oh, wait a minute they came home. My story's not really true.

Tracy: So let's break this down. So we have an event, something happens because that's a past event. But these things get triggered in real life. So for me a real life event that would trigger that emotion would be like, I'm in a relationship and the person just ghosts me and disappears, and I don't know. And I'm like, baffled and I didn't know what happened. So my explanation is that there are no good men and they everyone leaves you, right? So the second piece of this is something that happens. There's an event. And then we seek to validate that. See, you know what happened. When I was a kid, this happened. And then I keep finding other evidence of it happening over and over again. Yeah. So that's like the validation piece. And then what happens after that, that triggers an emotion?

Jason: Well, what happens is our stories create emotions. So events are just events, you know, something happens and the way we know that is two people can react radically differently to the very same event. And they can have different emotions from that event. So let's say I want to do an example. Let's say that you and I both go into business the same time we're designing jewelry that looks exactly the same. We go out and we get people on our email list. Maybe they're even the exact same people on our email list. We both send out an email broadcast. And what happens is, we each get one sale, and 10 people unsubscribe How do you feel?

Tracy: I feel super bummed. Because I wanted to get five sales. And why did all those people unsubscribe?

Jason: It's interesting because I'm super excited. Because it just validated that I have an attractive piece of jewelry that somebody out there actually wants to buy. And my list isn't that big yet. So what this essentially means is if I get it out for more people, I'm gonna sell a lot more. And the 10 people that are off my list, well, they're probably never gonna buy from me anyway. And they were just checking it out. They were just checking it out. And now they're gone.

Tracy: Let's go with it. Okay, so that triggers an emotion. So we're gonna play the role play maker number one, maker number two. And I want to walk you through this whole sequence first, before we do the role playing. Is that wrong? Sure. So we seek to validate that triggers an emotion or a feeling or the story does and then that propels us into either action or inaction and it or avoidance, I like to say.

Jason: Well, an avoidance is essentially an action. Yeah. Or we might find an alternative action that we're more comfortable with. So, event story, and then over time we validate that story. And then that story creates emotion in us. And the next time there's that trigger, the stories in the background, we don't even know we're telling it. Like it happens blindingly quickly, you know, with blinding speed. Trigger happens, we've done emotion, trigger, emotion, trigger emotion. And if you've ever, you know, kind of flown off the handle or blown up at somebody, and then realize like, that it was over something really small. Like, somebody leaves. somebody leaves. somebody leaves a drawer open, right? Or they forget to tell you something in the morning. Right and You go on this big emotional journey, that this is what's happening. There's a story in the background and that story is controlling your emotions.

Tracy: Yes. And then but let's talk about the action action piece.

Jason: Okay? So decision making is essentially an emotional act that we later justify with logic and reason. So someone who wants to buy a certain car, for example, right, like, they'll go, they'll go buy the car, and then they'll come up with all these logical reasons for why they bought it. And those reasons are what they tell other people, but the reality is we make decisions emotionally, we're emotional beings, and those emotions permeate all of our life. 

So if you have a situation where you think you need to take an action, and the thought of that action triggers a story. And that story says you're going to get hurt, you're going to be at risk, your survival is going to be threatened. This might crash your business. Yeah. All kinds of things happen in the background. We don't even know that these stories are running. It's just, hey, you need to do this. You go to do it, you feel this sense of dread or terror or whatever it is, and you end up not doing it.

You don't take action because not taking action, even though you know that not taking it might hurt you. taking that action might be a lot more scary might hold a lot more fear, right? Yeah. Yeah. So you. So so that's how these things essentially controller actions or inactions? is in the background it's weighing is this is this action going to put me at risk.

Tracy: So if you're someone who procrastinates a lot, I want you to really look at this because there might be some truth into your procrastination techniques. I know that this happens with a lot of I've worked with so many people at this point, like the excuse making that you make about why you're not moving forward. Or why things aren't happening. Like, there's probably something wrapped up in here that you need to clear in order to move forward. 

So I think at this point, why don't we kind of like, do that role playing exercise that we talked about? Sure. Okay. So we're going to use the event as a, because the events can be like things that happened in the past, but there are also current situations that oftentimes bring up something from the past. So this event is that two designers basically have the same line, same circumstances. One, they both send out an email they both get one sale and they have 10 unsubscribes. 

So that's the facts of the situation. That's all we can measure right without emotion without emotion. One sale 10 unsubscribes from sending out one email. So maker number one, I'm maker number one, Jason's gonna be maker number two. I'm super upset because I don't feel like that was good enough. I wanted to get five sales and what these people might not like me. Why did they unsubscribe from my email list?

Jason: And I don't really understand that reaction at all because I just sent out one email and I made a sale. And like, yeah, I mean, there were 10 people that unsubscribed. But those people were probably just checking out my stuff, and maybe my stuff was not exactly a fit for them and some other designer would be better for them. But I found one person who definitely likes my stuff and bought my stuff. And that's proof of concept. So I don't know why you're sad. I'm excited to go find more people to send emails to.

Tracy: So then we go to this explanation process, like, why did that happen? So I'm sitting here having a little pity party for myself and saying, saying to myself, like, geez, like, maybe people don't like what I do. Maybe I'm not a very good designer. Maybe I'm not talented. And maybe you know, I'm not really good at this marketing thing. So instead of diving into it, I kind of have this feeling like maybe my parents were right. 

You know, I remember when I was a little kid, my dad used to complain about my Uncle John all the time. And I remember actually, Uncle John's Sometimes crushing on our couch because he didn't have a place to stay, because he was an artist. And he wasn't able to support himself with his art. So my dad used to remember hearing my dad in arguments with Uncle John saying like, you're a loser, you gotta figure this out, maybe you should get a suitable job. And I don't know why. But, you know, maybe I need to get a stable job, and I'm not really good at this thing.

Jason: So this brings up an interesting point. So there's some research that suggests that up to 60% of the stories that we have, or not even stories that we made up ourselves, yeah, they're stories we were told. Yeah, right. And story and our minds when somebody tells us a story, we almost go into a trance. We almost what essentially happens is your conscious mind has gatekeepers that verify the veracity or the truthfulness of something before they let it through to your subconscious mind and your subconscious mind runs a lot of what you do, and controls a lot of your emotions. 

But when people start to tell us a story, especially as children, because there's oral history and oral stories and how we pass it down, essentially what you need to do to survive. In fact, there's a movie called The I think it's called the croods. It's a great example of this of stories getting passed down and how this works. But if your dad was telling his brother that, and you're sitting there listening to that, there's a good chance that just went straight in. Yeah. And then this happens, you send out an email, and you're like, Oh, my gosh, I suck. Oh, my gosh, it's true.

Tracy: So let's talk about your scenario maker number two.

Jason: So I didn't have an Uncle John. So what I did have was I had an entrepreneurial Father, and I had a somewhat risk averse mother. And together, they made a really good team and a really good combination. And my dad would say things like, you know what, son, like the first time you do something, it's always gonna be the hardest, but it usually gets easier after that. 

So I don't know, like, I just feel like, I just started this email thing. I'm not expected to be like, world class, not me, like I'm in a total amateur, right? But I know I'll get better and it's just going to get easier and easier, the more I do it, so I'm kind of excited because it's just gonna get easier and easier. And he also told me, you know, that he actually watched him sell things. 

And I watched that process, and I could observe how that happened. And I was like, Well, you know what, like, if he can do it, I can do it. And especially like, if I get to watch, you know, I was a little kid growing up and just watching him do it. So I think I'm pretty good at sales and You know, coupled with that other part about, like, you know, the first time being the hardest time, this is just gonna get easier and easier. So I don't know about you, but I'm super excited.

Tracy: Well, that's awesome. So we kind of walked through like an event happening. We created an explanation. We validated the event based on past experience and our confirmation bias, then we have emotion or feeling you're excited. I feel like the world is ending. And what are you going to do next?

Jason: So this is where it gets interesting. Let's say that the next step is to create a full email campaign to send out to your email list that you've been building. How do you feel about doing that?

Tracy: That sounds terrible. You know what I rather do? Sit at the bench and make jewelry all day. Even though I have a bunch of jewelry already made. So what I'm trying to sell

Jason: So how do you feel when you're sitting at the bench making jewelry,

Tracy: It feels like a safe place even though I need the money and I could barely pay my credit card bills because I keep buying materials and I need to keep making the jewelry. But it feels good because I know that I can control that situation and I feel awkward and scared to try and go out and do this email campaign. Especially since I thought I was gonna get five sales and I only got one.

Jason: So didn't meet your expectations? We know how that goes. Like when something doesn't meet our expectations, we're generally not too happy about it. So Wow, that's really challenging. So,

Tracy: So let's talk about yourself. Well, what do you say?

Jason: I mean, I, I think I may need to find some people to help me make the jewelry. Because I'm starting to see how this can work. Like if I sent one email and I got one sale. What happens if I send 100 emails? Like, what happens? And what happens if I'm sending 100 emails, but I build my email list a lot. Like, I'm gonna like this. This thing has legs and it's really going to go and it's super exciting.

Tracy: So you're taking action, you're building a marketing campaign thinking about maybe when you get busy hiring people, my action is to do nothing with the marketing, even though I know I need to do it, and sit behind my bench and work more. So these are two different scenarios. And I want to kind of just share with you how this has a compounding effect. And the purpose of that is to show how an event can propel you into action or inaction. But if you're not getting the result you want, and let's say you're maker, number one, and you kind of are following that pattern, but you're ready to be more like maker number two and change the way you're thinking about it.

We have an exercise called the rapid reframe exercise in the Success Maximizer bundle that we're delivering now I have a link in the show notes that will help you clear that story and identify the root cause of it because a lot of times as Jason said, these are subconscious events. But I want to talk about this kind of marketing. So Jason was like he's excited and thinking about possibility and this is really important. We have a designer in our community. She's gone through every program that we have. Her name is Marcia Newquist. And she started her jewelry business more as a hobby in retirement that she wanted to turn into sort of a side hustle ish business.

She knows that she wants to retire. But she does want some extra income coming in while she's retiring. So she knew after she took her laying a foundation program that she was going to need help implementing that and pivoting to online because she made most of her sales at craft shows. So she spent an entire year implementing everything with the help of our coaches and our momentum program. And within the first year, she was super excited because by the end of the year, and this is someone in retirement, you know, she didn't grow up with computers or knowing how to do any of the technology stuff.

We worked really hard with her on her branding and elevating her messaging and all those things. By the end of the year, she had 50 sales, which some people might not think like that much 50 sales on your website. However, the cool part about it Is that it has a compounding effect. After the first out, she did that in the first year. Then in the first three months of the following, the next three months after that year was over, I think this was when she sold, she had another 50 sales. So one year to make 50 sales, three months to make another 50 sales. So when you start training people to respond the way that you want, it might take some time to kind of build that momentum. But then over time, the momentum starts to build and you start seeing this like

Jason: So if you were to project that out, that'd be 50 sales the first year 50, the next quarter. So multiply that by 200 sales.

Tracy: So it's a 400% increase.

Jason: Why? Because you learn lessons along the way. And so better stories. Exactly.

Tracy: Anyway, so Jason, thank you so much for being here. You're welcome. I appreciate you. I appreciate you. I'll have more details in the show notes. Thanks for watching. Thank you so much for listening to the show today. This is Tracy Matthews signing off. Jason is so brilliant. I love talking to him. And you can see how we just keep talking and talking. It's good stuff. Anyway, if you are struggling to kind of move through some of your older stories, I want to invite you to change your story if that's something you would like to do. 

So in order to do that, we're going to be dropping something super special on our birthday. So if you want to find out what it is, I'd highly recommend that you jump onto our email list, you can head on over to https://www.flourishthriveacademy.com and pick your lead magnet of choice, participate in our survey, and you will get this awesome report as well. So that's all thank you so much for listening to the show today. And I'm signing off. I have got more goodies for you for the rest of this month. Happy birthday to us.

Click here to download the show notes

Be Honest With Yourself

Humans are meaning-making machines. We’re designed to generalize and tell stories; it’s part of our survival.

Here’s the thing, the stories we tell ourselves, the generalizations we make, they’re not always true. But we often accept them as truth without checking the evidence.

The story you’re telling yourself, the generalizations you’re making, are you certain they’re 100% true? Most likely not.

Do The Thing That Scares You

It’s these untrue stories that create the fears holding us back.

Whether you’re afraid of getting rejected, what people will think, failing, etc… your brain is telling you these potential negative outcomes are worse than not doing anything at all. 

But here’s the beautiful part: you get to control the stories you tell yourself. Getting rejected just means that person wasn’t your Dream Client. Failure is just an opportunity to reevaluate and try again.

Upgrade Your Thinking

You’re in control of your stories.

That means there’s endless opportunity for you to change the stories that are holding you back and make this positive reframing process a part of your daily habits.

Easier said than done, I know. But we’re here to walk you through it.

Listen to the full episode above to go through an exercise with us that will help you let go of negative stories and push you closer to where you want to be.

xo, Tracy


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