I recently read Build for Tomorrow, by Jason Feifer, and immediately was hooked on the endless examples of how humans have always been afraid of change throughout history. We are so afraid of what we don’t know, no matter if it is good or bad. Jason’s book is a much-needed reminder that the one thing we were once so deeply afraid of really isn’t that scary in the end.
Jason joins us to share how change is the gateway to possibility and how we can open ourselves to it. We talk about how to properly adapt to change, the phases of change we experience, and why change is our greatest opportunity in life. I ask him what to do when people are resistant to yourself being a vessel of change, and how to navigate this other side as we continue to evolve on the spiritual path.
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Episode #471: How To Step Into Your Purpose Through Embracing Change with Jason Feifer
By Sahara Rose
The point of it is not to go into something knowing what you’re doing. The point of it to go into it, committed to figuring out what success looks like to your friend, who, not just your friend, but your friend is a stand in for everybody who feels that, right?
Imagine, just imagine, how much better the thing that you’re making will be after you rip it apart, five to ten times, how much better it will be! And therefore, the better service that you’re providing, all the people who are going to read this book, you don’t want to give them your first draft. Why would you want to give people just the first thing that plopped out of your mouth? That’s not good enough for people!
You need to, I think about this all the time, I, and you Sahara, we are asking for the most valuable resource that people have, which is not their money, it’s their time. And we better make sure that if someone is going to give us some precious fraction of their lives, that we are investing our own time, first, in making sure that their time is well spent.
And that means that we don’t just blow through a thing and then put it out into the world because we don’t want to do it again, we, instead, must step back and think “What do I owe the people who are going to spend time with me? And what I owe them isn’t perfection, because that’s not possible, but it is the product of me being humble enough to know that the very first idea that I have for them, cannot possibly be the best one.
Welcome back to The Highest Self Podcast. My name is Sahara Rose and this is a place where we discuss what makes you, your soul’s highest evolvement.
If you don’t know me yet, I’m an author, I’ve been hosting this Podcast for over five years now, and what I really love is to take spirituality and make it modern, fun, grounded, relatable and actually serve the needs of today’s people, because I feel, so often, in spirituality, we can completely bypass this reality, and the truth is, we are here in a human form for a reason and we are all creators and creatrixes here to live our purposes and raise the vibration of the planet through joy.
So, this conversation is such a beautiful one because I brought someone on the Podcast, who you normally would not hear on a spiritual podcast, and this is Jason Feifer, the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur magazine.
So, we have some friends in common, and also, I’m a founder of two businesses, Dharma Coaching Institute and Rose Gold Goddesses. So, being an entrepreneur has been a huge part of my spiritual journey as well, and what I found, often, missing in the spiritual conversation, is just the amount of work and energy that it takes to take any vision off the ground. And I meet a lot of people with beautiful hearts and important messages and great ideas to share, but, often, what’s missing is that action piece, that fire, that energy in taking things off of the ground and into the world.
So, I recently read Jason’s new book “Build For Tomorrow” and I loved the examples and the stories that he told about how, throughout history, we have been so afraid of change. You know, we’ve been afraid of everything, from the Waltz, yes, literally, Waltz dancing, people used to think was dangerous and bad for your body (he’s going to tell that story); we were afraid of novels, apparently it was bad for women’s health; we were afraid of riding bicycles, cars, radios, the list goes on. And it was a really healthy reminder (even for myself) because often, again, in the spiritual echo-chamber, we regurgitate the same kinds of conversations. And while a lot of the fears can be based in emblems of truth, there are shadow aspects of social media and technology, and we don’t know everything.
What we can see from looking at history is, we’ve always been afraid of the unknown, and often, that very thing that we were once so deeply afraid of, whether it was a radio or the Waltz, or a novel, ended up not being so bad.
So, in this conversation, Jason shares with us an array of different stories and examples, throughout history, of how change has actually been what has opened us up for the reality that we’re in right now, and how we can allow ourselves to also be open to the possibilities to new things.
And I also asked him the question of the other side, because a lot us are spiritual way-showers, here to build bridges from our unique demographic into a more high-conscious way of being. And so, we are often the change that people are afraid of, you know, our families, friends, colleagues, there’s a lot of resistance, often, when we start talking about spirituality. So, I ask him “What do you do if you’re on the end of the change that people are resistant towards you and what you have to share?”, and he answers that question as well.
So, this is a really great, refreshing conversation. He has such valuable insight and I know you’re going to love it!
So, without further ado, let’s welcome Jason Feifer, to The Highest Self Podcast.
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Welcome Jason, to The Highest Self Podcast, it’s so great to have you here!
It’s so great to be here, thanks!
The first question I would love to ask you is, what makes you, your highest self?
When I feel like I have little time to think and I need to act and I need to pull together everything that I have done and know and want to do, that is when I feel like I’m my highest self, to be honest with you. Because I look back at those moments and I say “I’m just really, I’m proud of myself, that I was able to navigate that. And I learned something as a result of doing it, and I’m going to be better the next time because I put myself in that situation”.
I, long ago, came to accept that I will always look back on what I do and think that I’m doing it better now than I did back then, and that that isn’t something to cringe at, but rather something to celebrate because it just means that I am improving and I have to tolerate the places where I’m not as good as I want to be, because I feel like I’m putting myself in a position to get there.
Totally! I mean, if you’re not cringing at yourself three years ago, then you’re not growing, you know, because there isn’t anything shifting.
I go back, I listen to my first Episodes of the Podcast, now, almost six years ago, and I’m like “Who is that person?” But thank God, right, because if I hadn’t started then, I wouldn’t be where I am now, and I’m sure I’ll be relistening to this one day, like “What was I thinking?!”
Totally, totally! So, I was interviewing Ryan Reynolds for the magazine, and he said this thing I really love. So, Ryan, actor, obviously, but then also owns this ad agency called Maximum Effort, and then Aviation Gin and Mid Mobile, so, we were talking about the transition, it’s learning how to do those things, and he said “To be good at something, you have to be willing to be bad”. And I really, I love that because, often times, we think “I better be good at this to start, I better feel confident”, and I think people quit, often, because they are not living up to their own set of expectations for themselves.
And what Ryan’s point is, it’s a really powerful one, which is that, no, no, no, actually, nobody’s good at the beginning, so the thing that separates people isn’t whether or not you’re good at the start of something, but rather, whether or not you’re able to tolerate being bad for long enough to get to good, because most people can’t.
So, simply being able to tolerate being bad is a kind of superpower. It’s a weird way to think about it but I try to hold onto that one when I’m being bad.
Totally! Because so many of us, we hear ourselves singing or dancing or even writing, or whatever else the thing is, and we’re like “I suck at this, it must not be one of my natural gifts”, and I think that that’s one of the hard things because, yes, we do have, kind of, natural predispositions towards some things, for sure, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be great at it. You know, I’m sure Adele wasn’t perfect the first time that she sang any of her songs, even though she has the gift of a voice. So, I think that’s one of the hard things.
Even stepping into our purposes, we think “Oh, well, it has to come so easily to me, otherwise it must not be related to my purpose”, and that’s not what your purpose is, otherwise you would’ve already figured it out by now. But it’s rather like “I have this curiosity towards something”.
So, you write so much about change, which I’m really excited to get into, in your new book “Build For Tomorrow”, but I want to, specifically, talk, first, about how allowing ourselves to become friends with change, not being afraid of what change represents, can guide us towards our purpose. If you could just share a little bit about that?
Yeah. I meet so many really fascinating people, and they’re building very complicated things and they’re doing really hard things that they are not quite prepared for. And I hear from them, often, they have thought about themselves in a way, they’ve come to understand themselves in a way, that I think that they don’t even appreciate the depth of value of it, I’ll give you an example.
You know Stacey London, What Not To Wear? The host of the show, on television, for like 10 years? So, Stacey’s a friend and she has this really fascinating career where she started as a magazine editor in fashion and then she became a co-host of this television show, it was like a make-over show. So, you know, Stacey and a co-host find this schleppy person with terrible hair and then they make them all over and everyone cries at the end.
So, Stacey did the show for, I can’t remember, 10 seasons or something, and then went on to have a longer career in television, and really came to understand herself as a television personality and as a fashion expert, a style expert. And then she reached around 50 and television executives didn’t want to put her on tv anymore, and that was, not just a blow to Stacey’s ego, but it was a blow to her identity because she understood herself to be a television personality. And if she’s a television personality, and she’s not on television, then what is she? She’s nothing.
Around that same time, Stacey had become a beta tester for a company called State of Menopause, they make products that help women with menopausal symptoms (she’s very enthusiastic about it). Then, the parent company called her and said “Hey, we’re actually looking to off-load this brand, would you be interested in buying it and running it?”, and Stacey says “No, not interested in that”, because she’s a tv personality, tv personalities don’t buy product companies and run them, it’s not what she does. But then she forced herself to step back and she asked herself this question, this is her words, she said “What is my curdle of truth?” And what she came to realize is “You know what, I am not a fashion or style expert, I am not a tv personality, I am a person who helps people with their self-esteem and their sense of self”. And once she realized that, she unlocked all this growth and potential, because she realized that she could do that in any number of ways. TV was just one, one way that she was doing it, for a while, but now she could do it in another way too.
And that’s the transformation that I see people having gone through, is that they can articulate in a very simple, small, way, a sentence, a concept, an idea, of who they are, that is detached from the day-to-day things that they do, right? It’s not tied to their tasks, it’s not tied to their work. I pushed myself to come up with something for myself, I came up with this phrase “I tell stories in my own voice”, and it’s an important phrase to me because I could say – I mean, look, one of the primary things that I do is, I am Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur magazine, I spent the majority of my career in magazines, I could say “I’m a magazine Editor”, or I could say “I tell magazine stories in my own voice”, but I’ll tell you what, Bill Shaw is the president of Entrepreneur, he’s my boss, he could call me right now and fire me, he could interrupt our call right now and he could fire me (that would be distracting), but I don’t want to. If my identity is anchored to a magazine, I work at magazines, I’m a magazine Editor, I tell magazine stories, well, then, one phone call disrupts my entire identity, that is a dangerous, dangerous place to be. I would much rather understand myself by the thing about me that does not change in times of change.
I think the more that we can understand and define our mission, in a very conscious way, the more we enable ourselves to understand the value that we can bring to others, regardless of circumstance. That, I think, is the thing that incredibly adaptive people have done, for themselves, for their organizations, and it’s what we all need to do.
I think that’s such an important distinction, because when I started my career, I identified as an author “I’m a person who writes books, non-fiction books, specifically”, and then, you know, after doing that and starting this Podcast, I started to realize I loved speaking. And now, I love speaking more, than I love writing, but then imagine if my entire identity was around just being a writer. So, for me, it’s more about sharing the message, and even my message has evolved over time, as we go through different obstacle in life and learn lessons, and then, after a period of sharing about that specific lesson for so long, there’s other ones you’re more excited about sharing, and then there’s people who have just gone through that lesson and really want to talk about it. So, it’s like allowing yourself to evolve.
And I feel like we continue to, kind of, like, unlock how tight and restricted our sense of purpose is and that allows so much room for freedom, that, you know, being on this Podcast is part of both our purposes, but then your purpose still looks so much different than mine, than someone else’s, and every person who writes books and podcasts and creates social media content, and what else. And it’s that texture, you know, that you bring to everything that you do.
That’s totally right! The thing you didn’t explicitly say in that example, but that we should call out is that you have this original idea of yourself as an author, but you did not, because you had that idea, you did not turn down the opportunity to explore other avenues, because you easily could have, you could have said “I’m an author, authors don’t have podcasts, they don’t speak, I write, I’m a beautiful writer and speaking is a different skill, it’s somebody else’s skill”, you could’ve said that, people say that a lot. And it reminds me of, I don’t mean to be name-droppy, but I get to talk to all these interesting people and they say things to me that lodge in my brain.
So, I was interviewing Malcolm Gladwell and he, I’d asked him what the Malcolm Gladwell project is, because everything that he does is so distinctive, and he said, you know, to the best of his ability, he tries never to think of himself as doing one thing or having any one, kind of, sensibility, because, and then he said these words that I wrote down and slapped on my wall, because, he said “Self-perceptions are powerfully limiting. That, if you have too narrow a definition of yourself, then you will turn down all the other opportunities that do not meet that narrow definition”, that is what you just described not doing. You had an idea of yourself, but you were willing to explore what else are you, to expand your definition of self.
You never want to be in a position where you feel so comfortable in one space, that every other space becomes intolerably uncomfortable by comparison.
Absolutely! And it’s that fear of change that you write about, like, even when I started this Podcast, the first couple episodes, I would write down what I was going to say because I couldn’t trust my voice and was reading off of it. And I remember getting a review from someone, being like “You know, I like this Podcast, but it feels a bit scripted”, I was like “Shit, they know I’m reading off something, you know”, but that really challenged me to trust what was coming through enough to not feel like I needed to write it before. And now, so much of what I do is helping people trust their own inner voice.
So, this concept of change, you know, you’ve written a whole book about it, and I found this book because I’m kind of always navigating a career changes, but navigating another one, and my friend Rosie, who’s a mutual friend of ours, was like “You’ve got to read Jason’s book, it’s so good”. And you speak about how, historically, we have been so afraid of change, it’s always been that thing that seems like a perceived loss. And you told a story about Waltz dancing and about how people used to be afraid of Waltz dancing in the same way that they’re currently afraid of twerking, which is so interesting that you said that because twerking is one of those things I always talk about on this Podcast, of like, actually, you’re shaking your body and releasing trauma from your hips, but we have this perception of it that, you know, it looks like this thing. So, I was like “Wow, I can’t believe he’s literally writing a story about this.
So, can you share a little bit about how we saw Waltz dancing and how that same fear of a dance move has, kind of, followed us through generations?
Yeah. I was so fascinated to learn this, and I spoke to a historian – the reason I love history, I’ll tell you before I dive into this one, is because the story has been told, which is not the story everyone’s been told, but rather the decisions that people made at the time have played out, we know how the story ended. And therefore, we can look back and understand the ramifications of people’s decisions and draw lessons from them. In a way, that’s harder now because you know, you and I, and everyone listening, we’re still living out our story, we don’t know how it’s going to end, we don’t know how any single thing that we’re doing is going to end. And so, that means that we only have a vague understanding of the wisdom of our decisions.
But if you look far enough back, you can see the complete story. And also, what I’ve learned is that there’s a historian who’s studied, literally, every random thing in the world, so if you want to understand, like, where the first scandalous dance came from, then sure enough, you can find people that studied the Waltz.
Okay, so, here’s the thing. In the early 1800s, the Waltz became the kind of go-to dance of young, wealthy European society. And it was very scandalous! Just remember what the, our, kind of, cultural alarmists of today were saying when Miley Cyrus twerked on whatever that was, the VMAs.
The VMAs, yes.
Yeah, and then, just like, imagine the 1800s version of that, they were freaking out! And what was so interesting to me, by the way, what were they concerned about? They were concerned about all sorts of things, the amount of touching, at the time, what was seen to be a hyper-sexualization of this dance, it was just not what people were used to.
What was so interesting to me about this moment, was that the doctors at the time, they said that the Waltz was damaging to health. And some of them had even very specific numbers of years of live that Waltzing would take off. The thing is, that throughout time, you can find doctors talking about how some new innovation is dangerous to people’s health, typically dangerous to women’s health. So, for example, you have the novel, which was believed to make women infertile, among other problems. The idea was, that women have, unlike men, who have an unlimited storage of energy or unlimited ability to produce energy, women have kind of a cold-blooded style, limited reserve of energy, this was the belief at the time (and we’re talking, again, early/mid 1900s).
So, the idea was, that the novel, because it engages your brain in such a deep way, it would draw down the amount of energy that women have inside of them and then that could lead to all sorts of health complications.
So, the bicycle was another thing, all sorts of health concerns there. They said it would give women bicycle face, that was one of the things, the strain of riding the bicycle would be permanently frozen on your face. So, of course we know that those are ridiculous.
But the thing is, about the Waltz, is that the Waltz was unhealthy. The thing is, that it just wasn’t unhealthy in the way that doctors understood it. So, doctors were seeing people who were Waltzers, also develop health issues and they just, they diagnosed the problem incorrectly. They believed that the Waltz itself, the dancing, the spinning, the movement, that that was thing that was unhealthy (that wasn’t true). Here’s what was unhealthy.
So, first of all, we’re in a time which people don’t really understand ventilation. So, we’re in closed spaces with no good ventilation. Then, you don’t have electric lighting, so you have gas, and so, gas lighting is pouring obnoxious fumes into this unventilated, closed space. Then you also have, they were dancing on, I think it was called a crash cloth or something like that, anyway, it was like a rug, but a rug that would kick up all this dust and you know, dirt, into the air as people danced on it. And then, of course, people are dressed in this incredibly restrictive clothing.
So, yeah, you better believe that that combination of things was actually damaging to people’s health. But you look back and you zoom out and you say “Okay, we’re misdiagnosing the problem, the problem isn’t the Waltz, the problem is everything around the Waltz”. And this, I think, is, I like to call this the 1% problem, which is saying the Waltz was 99% or called the 99% problem, I forget what I called it. But anyway, the thing is, the Waltz was 99% there, it was a good dance, it was engaging, there was nothing harmful about it all, but the problem was the circumstances in which the Waltz was performed.
And this is something, I think, we need to apply to everything that we’re reacting to today, where, sometimes we say “Ah, this terrible thing is happening! Ah, social media is damaging everybody, the sheer interaction with it is…”, but no, no, no, why don’t we start to pick it apart and understand what is good and what is bad, and what could be fixed, what is inherently good and what is inherently bad and how can we separate them out so that we don’t start to react to every single new thing as if it is bad simply because it is imperfect. That’s a damaging and dangerous way to look at the new.
So, in my own spiritual journey of really honoring the sacred feminine energy within me, I realized that we’re not all the same and we all have different pathways that we can take, that I put together in creating five archetypes, which I call The Rose Gold Goddess Archetypes. They are The Embodiment Queen, The Womb Whisperer, The Intuitive Oracle, The Expressionista and The Joy Priestess. And I’ve put together a free quiz so you can find out what your unique combinations are.
So, The Embodiment Queen is the person who is always in her body, dancing, moving, very connected to her nervous system. The Womb Whisperer always knows where she’s at with her menstrual cycle and probably has a yoni steamer in her bathroom. The Intuitive Oracle has three oracle card decks, on them a pendulum, and knows about their past lives. The Expressionista is creating art through everything, through singing, dancing, writing poetry, everything for her is an opportunity to create art. And then we’ve got The Joy Priestess who wants to laugh, dance and not take herself super seriously. You can find her doing karaoke at an improv class or twerking it on the dance floor (you can guess which one I am).
So, you can head over to rggquiz.com to learn what your unique Rose Gold Goddess Archetype is. Again, that’s rggquiz.com and you can find that link in the show notes. And I’ve created custom graphics that you get in your results so you can share which Rose Gold Goddess Archetype you are. I’m super excited to see!
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That is such a great story to highlight, the way that we throw the baby out with the bath water. And you know, people were getting sick because they were in close contact with no air ventilation, but they saw that they were waltzing, so it must be because of the Waltz.
And same thing with social media, yes, there is a rise in anxiety and mental health, and people are on their phones more than ever. And there are some co-relations, but could you say that’s all because of social media? Like, what are they doing on social media? And even social media is a reflection of human consciousness. So, is bullying really new? No. Is comparison really new? No. Is jealousy really new? No. Is distraction really new? No. It’s just taken on a new shape and form.
And I love another story that you shared about how people were afraid of the radio when it first came out. So, can you talk a little bit about that and our transition of music?
Oh yeah, sure! So, right. And before I do that, let me just pick up on that thing that you said, because it’s really, really important because you said a really great point which is – bullying isn’t new. We talk about bullying online and we blame that bullying on the way in which people connect online. Now, let’s be clear, bad things can happen online, not dismissing any of that, people can have very negative experiences online. But, if you want to solve a problem, you cannot simplify the problem. If you simplify a problem, you’re inhibiting your ability to come up with meaningful solutions because you’re not allowing yourself to understand the full complexity of a problem.
So, if you believe that bullying can be solved by getting people off of social media, well then, I will tell you what you’re going to do, you’re going to create problems and you’re not going to solve the one that you set out to solve, because bullying isn’t a product of social media. Social media is simply an avenue through which people bully. So, we have to dig deeper and understand the true root of the problem, which, yes, can include trying to understand how people can interact better with social media, but if you only focus on – if you said “If we could just throw Mark Zuckerberg in jail, then bullying would go away”, then you will never solve bullying. And we need to understand this, for anything that we solve, that we over-simplify problems. And when we do that, we cannot start to conceive up real solutions.
You asked about the radio. So, here’s the thing – the challenge that we have is that we equate change with loss. So, something changes in your world, in your life, and the very first thing that you do is that you think of all the things that you’re going to lose. And then, because you want to know what’s going to come next, you start to extrapolate the loss, you start to say “Well, if I lose this thing, I’m going to lose that thing. And if I lose that thing, then I’m going to lose that other thing”, and the more you start to do this, the more you start to feel a total panic and you block yourself from doing the thing you need to be doing, which is to see gain, to see how the thing that is happening to you, can lead to benefit. Because I’m telling you that even though change can create loss, it can, not saying it doesn’t, there is gain there too. And a folly that we have is that we spend a lot of time and energy trying to debate whether or not a change should happen when it has already happened. I mean, what is the point of it? Instead, what we need to do is, we need to start to think “Okay, this has happened, so what value can come from it?”
So, the story that I’d like to tell is, it was actually recorded music technology. It eventually bled into radio, but record players came first.
So, Thomas Edison, I think in the year 1777, developed the first phonograph, first record player, it was originally cylinder, then it eventually became kind of a record as we know it now. At first, you know, people found this very confusing because, consider that for all of human history, up until this moment, all of human history, the only way that you could listen to music is if someone was performing with an instrument in front of you, and then suddenly a machine could do it, it was wild! People didn’t believe it, they had to be shown that there wasn’t like a band behind the wall somewhere. And once they believed this was real, they loved it and they started to bring these things into their homes. And this was something that was very exciting to music lovers, it was very terrifying to music creators because musicians saw themselves being replaced by machines.
The leader of the resistance was a guy who I just named a moment ago, his name was John Phillips Susa, bonus points to anyone who recognized that name when I first said it. He is the composer of all the military marches that we still know today, (humming song), that’s John Phillips Susa (that’s the last time I sing for you, I promise).
So, John Phillips Susa saw this, not just damaging to his profession, but damaging to the culture at large, and he became the champion against the recording music technology. And he wrote this piece, you should totally Google it, it’s wonderful reading, it’s called The Menace of Mechanical Music, it ran in Appleton’s magazine in 1906, and it makes all these arguments against recording music. My favorite of which goes like this, he says “If you bring recorded music into the home, it will replace all forms of live music”, because, you know, why would somebody perform live when there’s now a machine that can do it for them? “And because nobody is now performing any kind of live music at home, mothers will not sing to their children”, because, again, why would they do that when a machine can do it for them? “And because children grow up to imitate their mothers, the children will grow up to imitate the machines, and thus, we’ll raise a generation of machine babies”, this was his argument. Now, think back to what I just said a moment ago about extrapolating loss, something changes, you equate it to loss and then you extrapolate the loss, “Because I lose this, I’m going to lose that, because I lose that, I’m going to lose that other thing”, that’s what he’s doing, right there! And that sounds ridiculous, but the thing is, we all do a version of that.
iPad babies, it just made me think of that!
Totally! iPad babies, oh my God!! Right! And we’re doing so many versions of this all the time, but we also do it in our own lives. I mean, draw that down to the most granular experience you have. I’ll give you an example – I show up at work and my company has now changed the internal communication system, and it’s like “Argh, well, now, I was in a group of people who chatted on this thing and now I’m not going to have access to that group. And because I’m not going to have access to that group, I’m probably not going to get told the next time that they’re working on some thing. And now I’m going to feel isolated. And actually, maybe that’s going to change my entire status in the company. And now I’m going to get kicked out and going to get fired!” People do this all the time, I have done this so many times. And instead, what we need to do is, we need to look at every new thing and ask ourselves, really, three questions: 1) What new thing are we doing? 2) What new habit or skills are we learning as a result? 3) How can that be put to good use? Because when we start to do that, we just start to frame the thing that we’re grappling with, in terms of growth, and we start to hypothesize “I am not here to tell you that you will know the great thing that will come out of some moment of disruption in your life. I don’t know, I don’t know when it’ll come, but I’m here to tell you that it will”. And so, you better start hypothesizing now because if you do, you can start to experiment, to explore “Oh, well, this thing has changed in my job and I wonder if this gives me the opportunity to position myself as an expert in this, or to be really useful to my boss’, boss’, boss right now, because they are probably thinking about this and they need someone who understands this”. The more that you can think that way, the more you can start to put yourself in the positions to grow because growth does not just – it’s funny, it’s like, we think of change as a thing that happens to us, “Oh, we’re just the passive victims of change”, and then, we, like, sit around and expect benefit to also, just, sort of, passively float into our lives. And it doesn’t, you have to actively pursue it.
So, when you start to frame your experiences in terms of “What kind of growth will this create? What kind of new value can either thins bring to me or this enable me to bring to others?”, that is when you start to move towards, what I like to call ‘a wouldn’t go back moment’, where you have something so new and valuable, you wouldn’t want to go to a time before you had it, but it requires being proactive. And the starting point of that is understanding that there can be some value in whatever is happening. It doesn’t mean that the loss wasn’t bad, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t sadness, but you have to move towards the benefit because there’s just literally no other option.
Absolutely! People, often, tell me, they’re like “How did you grow your social media and your podcast, and this and that?”, I’m like “Well, I just started, as soon as blogging was a thing, I started blogging. As soon as Instagram was a thing, I started being on Instagram”, and they’re like “Oh, well, I want to do that all but without being on social media”, I’m like “I couldn’t have, you need to, like, see these new opportunities for what they are, a mixed bag, that you can make the most out of, and it’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to be perfect, but it’s like, how are you going to reach all of these people and do it in your own way, and never share anything online with the platforms available for us?” So, I think it’s important for us to exactly realize “Well, we want the benefits of change, but we need to change with it”.
Right! And as people are trying to understand you, like, they look at your eco-system that you’ve created, they need to remember, and this is not just about you, but this is about anybody successful that you look at, and you, sort of, try to understand what they did, is that what you are seeing is the result of a selection bias. Which is to say, you built some things that are very successful, that people engage with, this Podcast being one of them, but then there are all the things that you did that weren’t successful. There are a lot of them!
I mean, you should name-check some of them right now so people can appreciate it. And that’s…
Oh, rejection by thirty publishers, like, tried starting YouTube projects multiple times, putting things on YouTube, nothing ever happening. I’ve written like three books that I’ve never done anything with, like, the list goes on. All these business ideas that I’m like “Actually, that’s not going to work for whatever reason”, and who knows, like, maybe they could’ve been my most successful projects or maybe I would’ve launched something and they would’ve failed. But yeah, what you see is, like, the result of what has created withstanding results after lots of change and lots of pivoting.
Right, exactly! And that is so important for people to remember, that it’s not just that, oh, you were very proactive and started to engage early on social media platforms, that was a really smart thing that you did. But it probably came on the backs of either missing a lot of other opportunities or trying them out and not finding your footing on them, these things that you just listed. That’s all part of it too!
RIP club house!
RIP club house, oh yeah, totally! I know! God, the hours that I spent building the audience that doesn’t matter at all, that’s the price of admission and we just have to consider that. The price of admission for building something successful is wasting a lot of time on unsuccessful things. And then, very critically, knowing either when to walk away, or at the very least, that you have to walk away.
So, sometimes people feel like “Argh, well, I just got to stick with it”, and you know, sticking with it is great, but sometimes sticking with one thing is just robbing you of the time that you could devote to the thing that would work next. And we have to respect that longer journey if we want to build even a few things that are going to last.
I love that you named that, because there’s this sort of shared belief, or at least marketed belief online, in the online business space, of like “Oh, just, you know, everything is going to be so easy”, and you just quantum leap into this new reality with, like, no work. And it’s not true, like, how many hours we’ve all wasted on things that have never seen the day of light, ever, and that’s that cost that I think a lot of people, they’re not willing to put in the time into something and it potentially not work. But like, even writing a book, it’s like, you probably write more pages in a book that are not ever published, than the pages that are. But, for example, a friend of mine, she’s writing her first book right now and she’s like “Sahara, something’s wrong, they want me to redo the whole draft”, I’m like “Of course, it’s your first draft”, she’s like “You mean I have to redo this?”, I’m like “Probably a hundred more times”, you know, and she’s just like “What did I get myself into?” And it’s like, we see this shiny book at the end but we don’t see the hundred books that went into that one book.
Totally! I do this for a living, I edit national magazines for a living and I’ve been doing it for my career. And when I set out to write this book of mine (“Build For Tomorrow”), my editor, Penguin Random House, Matthew Benjamin (shout-out), he was like, he gave me a really great first project, he said “Write the first four chapters and then send them to me”, and so I did. And then he read them, we got on the phone and he said, he was like “Okay, you know, good first try, but these are not really book chapters, there are like, kind of, long meandering magazine articles, so you need to learn how to write a book, because you don’t know how to do that, you know how to do another thing”, and he was right. It required me to not just rip apart those four chapters, but really to rip apart my very concept of how I was going to approach this book. I restructured everything, I rethought how I was going to use the information that I had, I sent him another four chapters and we got back on the phone and he was like “Alright, that’s better, but that’s the way to do it”, and I had to humble myself and say “Look, even though I am ahead of the game in many respects, relative to people who don’t write for a living (which I do), I still don’t know what I’m doing”, and that’s okay because the point of it is not to go into something knowing what you’re doing, the point of it is to go into it committed to figuring out what success looks like.
To your friend who, not just your friend, but your friend is a stand in for everyone who feels that, right? Imagine, just imagine, how much better the thing that you’re making will be after you rip it apart, five to ten times. How much better it will be. And therefore, the better service that you’re providing, all the people who are going to read this book, you don’t want to give them your first draft! Why would you want to give people just the first thing that plopped out of your mouth? That’s not good enough for people!
You need to, I think about this all the time, I and you, Sahara, we are asking for the most valuable resource that people have, which is not their money, it’s their time. And we better make sure that if someone is going to give us some precious fraction of their lives, that we are investing our own time, first, in making sure that their time is well spent. And that means that we don’t just blow through a thing and then put it out in the world because we don’t want to do it again, we, instead, must step back and think “What do I owe the people who are going to spend time with me? And what I owe them isn’t perfection, because that’s not possible, but it is the product of me being humble enough to know that the very first idea that I have for them cannot possibly be the best one.
So, have you been on your spiritual journey for a while, but to be honest, you don’t resonate with a lot of the practices like hours of seated meditation, reading all these really heady spiritual book, but instead, you’re craving something that invites the full you, that allows you to be radiant and beautiful and connecting with your intuition and womb wisdom?
Well, I felt the exact same way on my spiritual journey, I went from spending hours doing really rigid Ashtanga yoga every year, where I actually lost my period for over 2 years, and even went into perimenopause in my early 20s, into connecting back with my sacred feminine energy. And this is exactly what I share in my new course Divine Feminine Embodiment.
So, this is really about dropping out of the mind and into the body, because the truth is, a lot of the spiritual practices that we hear about right now, really were created by men for men. And our culture is very masculine as well, it’s very focused on productivity and hustle, and if you’re ready to go beyond that, and reclaiming your ease, your joy, your bliss, your juiciness, your dance, then this course is for you.
So, I discuss the different art forms of Divine Feminine Wisdom, such as the Art of Magnetism, the Art of Embodiment, the Art of Ritual, and so much more.
So, this is also a really powerful entry point into stepping into deeper sacred feminine work. I teach you my Goddess Embodiment practice, my Goddess Breathwork practice and much more.
So, if you’re interested and curious to learn more about what’s inside, head over to divinefemininecourse.com. Again, that’s divinefemininecourse.com, you can find that link in the show notes. This month, the course is over 50% OFF as our special introductory price. So, I highly recommend diving into it right now and beginning your sacred feminine immersion.
[42:57] End of Advertisement
Yeah, and I think, with writing a book too, it’s in that rewriting and that rewriting, that we simplify. I remember when I wrote my first version, well, it wasn’t even called “Discover Your Dharma”, I had a totally different title and a totally different premise, but what eventually became about finding your purpose, my editor at the time, she kept being like “I don’t know, I read this and I still don’t know what my purpose is”, and I would be so frustrated, like, because I was writing all these poetic words that, you know, I’m, like, channeling through and she’s just like “I still don’t know”. And that made me simplify it and create, like, blueprints and three steps, and you know, tangible things that I would not have ever come up with just, like, on my own because I needed to get that feedback of like “We need it a lot more distilled than this”, and that’s what created these tools that I’m now able to pass along to anyone and, like, really trust can work. So, had I not gone through that refining and questioning and redefining, the book would simply not be this book.
Yeah! We’re using our own examples here of books, and I appreciate that everyone listening is not, like, working on their own book (maybe some of them are). But this is for anything because we all have to communicate, we are nothing if we cannot communicate our value to others, and also, if we cannot teach others the things that we know.
And to do that, you have to understand where your audience is, where is the person, right now, who you are trying to talk to, whether that’s anything, any kind of relationship that you’re trying to build, personally or professionally, where are they right now? You better go meet them where they are.
I think that, often times, people think it’s simply a matter of you used and you’re right, you talked about simplifying it, and that’s very true. It’s not just a matter of simplifying, which is, I think, something that people misunderstand when they first start getting into any kind of communication, because simplifying is important, but it’s not just about simplifying. To me, what it really is about, is, it’s about creating on-rams, making sure you’re giving people a way in to information and that you are not raising questions that you are not answering. Because if you raise questions that you are not answering, then people are lost.
I think about my first national magazine job, it was a Boston magazine, I moved to New York and I got a job at Men’s Health. And one of my tasks, as a junior editor, at Men’s Health was to edit what was called ‘the 15-minute work-out’, and the fitness editor Adam Bornstein would send me these, like, exercise descriptions, you know, whatever, get on the floor and do this and that. And at first, I was very intimidated because he’s the fitness editor, he knows this stuff, I don’t, I don’t know how to do anything at the gym. But then I started to read them and I realized “You know what, my inexperience here, my lack of knowledge about this subject, is an asset, and the reason it’s an asset is because if I understand this, then nobody understands this”. And Adam, because he understands it so well, lost track of what people do and do not already know. So, if he’s going to describe how to do a burpee, he’s going to take for granted some parts of this information, because it’s just so natural to him, he just knows it, and he forgets that other people don’t. And so, I’m going to read this and I’m going to say “This is raising more questions…, what do you mean do that? I don’t know how to do that”, that raises questions that aren’t answered. And so, I would push back and I would get it to the point where he was answering all the questions.
And I share this anecdote for two reasons – one, to sort of illustrate that point about how to communicate by not raising questions that you can’t answer, but also, to say “Don’t be afraid that your lack of knowledge about something could inhibit you from having a meaningful impact on something”, it is actually, often, the opposite, that being the fresh eyes in the room is incredibly valuable, because the people who are most experienced at something, are also the people with the largest blind spots for what others may need, because they’ve spent too much time in it.
I was a great fitness editor because I didn’t know jack about fitness, and you can be a great contributor to anything by not bringing expertise, expertise is great, knock on expertise, but rather by bringing fresh eyes and a willingness to make value out of everything that you’re coming in contact with.
Absolutely! And that’s why it’s so important too, especially, lots of people listening to this Podcast, they love sharing about spirituality, and we think everyone knows the same jargon that we do, and it’s so not true. And sometimes it’s helpful to speak to people who aren’t in this community and the questions that come up for them. And it’s so helpful because it’s like “Oh yeah, I can’t just say, ‘oh, like, just tune into your past lives’”, most people are going to be like “What?!”, there’s a lot there. So, I think it’s so helpful to go to people who don’t speak your lingo, get them to be your editor, get them to go through your sales pages, get them to read your emails and see if it’s landing.
Totally, totally! That’s absolutely right! Because, if you go around talking about how to connect with your past life, you’ve limited your audience to people who know what you’re talking about. There’s some people know what you’re talking about, (I will admit I am not one of them) but if you want to reach, if you want to have a larger impact, then you need to bring in the outside perspective, it’s so valuable to surround yourself.
I mean, we talk about how to build great teams, surround ourselves with great ideas and we talk about diversity and bringing people with different perspectives, but one of the things we may overlook is the ways in which people engage with material, the ways in which people engage with the thing that you’re offering. The world of spirituality is no different than any other world, there is something that you’re doing for yourself and then you’re going to do it for others and connect with others in degrees. Maybe it’s just a few close people with you, maybe you want to build and participate in a larger community, maybe you want – like you Sahara, you want to have a larger (a much larger) impact and reach a lot of people. And as you think about this, and navigating through the world, you have to be really mindful of not closing yourself off to the multitude of ways in which people can understand you and what you’re talking about, because, otherwise, you get yourself in an echo-chamber and you stop growing and you start calcifying. It’s the thing I fear all the time, that I start speaking to just one audience. I love that you invited me on here because, I mean, this isn’t like a pure business show, and I love that! I want to make sure that I understand how to be valuable to so many different audiences, which means marching – just before this, I had a call with a guy, his audience is people who build churches, I don’t know anything about that! But I loved hearing the way in which he reacted to the things that I was talking about, it gave me an insight into how some of the ideas that I have can connect to people that I hadn’t even thought about connecting with.
If you’re not putting yourself in those moments and not feeling comfortable that you have value, even though you may not know the language in which to communicate that value, then you’re ultimately limiting the amount of growth that you have and the impact that your ideas can have.
Yeah! A lot of people who listen to this Podcast see themselves as a bridge between their community, and demographic, and career, and what they’ve known, into a higher consciousness way of being. So, like, really looking and having more awareness and a sense of purpose and joy, and they see themselves as that bridge in between. So, often, we are seen as the change that people are afraid of.
So, I know you write a lot in your book about, like, how we cannot be fearful of change, but what if people, like, in your family or in your job, or your group of friends, sees you as the scary change and say “Well, I liked the former version of you”, or “I don’t know who you’re becoming”, and you feel lonely or maybe even gaslighting yourself around this?
Wonderful question! Okay, so, I’m going to tell you another story from history. But first, I’m going to point you to a product that I’m not here to sell, I don’t have an affiliate deal with them, but there’s this composting product called Low Me. It’s basically like a big, it’s like a giant white tub, looks like, and you know, you compost, you throw your food waste in there and then it does some kind of process and the compost turns into soil. Why am I telling you about this? Because if you go their website, I just stumbled upon this and I was so fascinated that I got one of the founders on the phone. If you go to their website, you will never see the work compost, “This is a composting product”, you cannot find the word compost on there. Here’s what it says “Low Me makes your family’s food waste disappear at the push of a button”, I don’t hear compost. “Odor free, pest free, mess free, this is your solution to your every-day food waste problem”.
So, I got the guy on the phone (one of the founders), I said “Why is the word compost not anywhere on your site? You make a composter”, and he said “Because, once we started understanding our target audience, we saw that the word compost immediately divided people”. It’s not like it’s a controversial idea, but rather, people just either felt like “Oh, I am a composter”, or “Argh, it’s too messy, I don’t know what that is”. And so, just by introducing that word, you created friction. He said “Well, we just wanted to address a larger way in which people think about this product and about the way that it solves it”. And you know what everybody knows? Everybody has food waste, that food waste stinks, everybody has that. It doesn’t matter if you’ve ever heard of compost or care about composting, everybody’s got stinky food waste. And so, if we can talk to that and bring people along from where they are already, then we have a greater chance of reaching them. And that means, that even though all the founders of Low Me are composters, they believe in compost, they are not going to use the word compost. I have seen versions of that in businesses today and throughout history, and it’s the thing that I think the bridge builders that you’re talking about, who you reach, who are listening right now, really need to keep in mind.
The historical story that I wanted to tell you was that, when the car was introduced, it was hated (1800s), people called it the ‘devil wagon’, they threw rocks at it. If you drove down the street, they would yell “Get a horse” at the car. And now, today, we tell the story of Henry Ford, who revolutionized manufacturing, made cars more accessible and affordable, and that’s what drove the adoption of the car. That’s true, but actually, Henry Ford was the beneficiary of a change that had happened before him, and that was, that the automobile manufacturers (and I heard this from a historian of this), the automobile manufacturers of the time were trying to figure out why people hated this thing and they started to look at their advertisements and they realized they were talking about the car as a replacement to the horse. Get rid of dobbin (generic name for a horse), “Get rid of dobbin and get this car! Much better!” Then the stupid thing you do with this horse. But you know, people don’t like that. You know why? Because people don’t like new things. Here’s what people like, they like better versions of old things, that’s what they like.
So, what you need to do – If you are a bridge builder, is, you better not try to push them out of the thing they know and into something that they don’t know, but rather, to understand where they already are and find an improvement to the thing they are comfortable with, but would be happier if it was better.
And this is what the folks who were manufacturing early cars did. They stopped talking about the car as a replacement to the horse, they started talking about it as a better horse, started naming cars after horses (something we still do today – Mustang, Bronco). They started popularizing terms like ‘horse power’, started putting mechanical horse heads on the front of cars (you don’t do that today, but you got the idea), and this helped people start to feel like “You know, I’m not being told to get rid of my horse, I love my horse, I love my horse, but this is an improvement on that and it respects me and I can see how it fits into my life, this is what we need to do”.
Like I said, I’m not of the world of spirituality, which is to say, I sort of lack the vocabulary, the sort of core listener of this Podcast probably uses when talking within your community, I lack that vocabulary. So, I will tell you that if you, if somebody from within this community, tries to tell me the benefits of something, using your language, you have lost me because I don’t know it, don’t understand it. But you know my language, you know it, right? What’s my problem? I’m exhausted, I’m stretched thin, I don’t take care of myself nearly as I should, maybe I am searching for a greater purpose in my life but I might not even think about it in terms of purpose, I might just think about it in terms of what makes me happy. The more that you can understand that language, you can start to introduce concepts that address what they’re looking for without scaring them with words like compost. I understand that compost and spirituality are different things but you know, as sort of a symbol of it.
Compost is not a dirty word, I compost, I love composting, for a lot of people composting just means a mess. So, if it’s easier to talk to somebody about how to, more responsibly, get rid of their food waste and turn it into value instead of sitting in a landfill for a million years (brace down for a million years, but you get the idea), then, if the sacrifice here is not to use the word compost, then that is a sacrifice worth making.
It reminds me of the word that I use a lot in my work – Dharma. So, Dharma is an ancient Sanskrit word that, essentially, means your unique purpose, your place in the Universe, your jigsaw puzzle. Most people have never heard that word, so when they hear it, it’s a word in another language, they don’t get it and it makes them shy away, maybe they even think it has a religious context or something, so it cares people away. And I train coaches who are becoming Dharma coaches, and after the first round of running my school, which is called The Dharma Coaching Institute, I realized, calling yourself a purpose coach is just going to open you up to a lot more people, because most people, they don’t know what Dharma is, let alone to hire a Dharma coach. But a sense of purpose, that’s something that most people have, at least, heard that word before. Again, I don’t think the average person is even hiring a purpose coach, and that’s also okay. I think the other side of this conversation is how broad do you want to go, right? Because it’s like, there are some people who want to go super, super broad and be for everyone, but then you’re going to have to speak in a lot more of a generic way. And then, there are people who are a little bit more advanced in different pathways, you know, whether it’s about Dharma or composting, or whatever else, and that’s okay too, we also need those people as well.
So, I found that, with a lot of my students as well, now they’re calling themselves purpose coaches, or just spiritual life coaches, or something else, putting in their own vocabulary so it can actually be a need that their demographic would want.
I love that. What you’re doing is, you’re building a bridge of familiarity. You’re starting with the thing people are familiar with and you’re starting with them. And then you’re building a bridge that starts with them and goes to you, instead of the other way around.
Exactly! Because, then, what’s the point, that if we’re not able to help people, you know, put that little breadcrumbs, that guides them towards whatever it is. And also, maybe it’s never going to be where I’m at, maybe they’re going to have a different understanding of the world, with a different language and a different, just, world view as I do, but what does that person need right now? And I think that that’s the hard thing, sometimes our egos get in the way and we’re like “No, my way and my vocabulary and my cultural context”, and it’s like, no, ultimately, if you want to help people, like, it’s okay, it’s not as high level as everything you know, because, ultimately, if you’re here to be of service, you’re going to meet people where they’re at.
This is, I mean, it’s really kind of wonderful, this is where we’ve driven towards because it loops back really nicely to the thing that we were talking about at the very beginning, which is that, if you can understand your purpose and define it in a way in which it isn’t anchored to a specific way of doing something, then this is the kind of avenue that it opens up.
I bet a lot of people anchor themselves, or feel very protected of specific language or ways of talking about something because they feel like “Well, that’s the way it has to be done” or “That’s the pure way in which to communicate or engage in something”. But if you’ve spent the time to be able to define yourself, in a way in which it has crystalized value, and it’s set right in a single sentence, I tell stories in my own voice, whatever it is for you, then you know that that’s the thing that’s most important and that you can deliver upon that promise, no matter the language that you use. And so, you might as well figure out what is simply the best way to be the most valuable to whoever it is you want to reach.
Absolutely! My version of that sentence would be “I raise the vibration of the planet”. So, it’s like, how am I doing so? Is it through writing? Maybe it’s through DJ-ing? Maying it’s through something else today? As long as it’s raising the vibration of the planet, it’s in alignment with my purpose.
Love it! We will always a planet, or at least, I certainly hope so! And so, there’s endless ways to fulfil that.
Yes! Well, thank you so much for sharing all of your wisdom and your stories today! Where can listeners connect with you and get your new book “Build For Tomorrow”?
So, thank you, this has been such a great conversation, I really appreciate you having me on. The book, like you said, “Build For Tomorrow”, available in every format, expect for stone tablet, we’re working on that. So, we’ve got E-book, audio book, hard cover, you can find it wherever you find books, so, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, your local bookstore, at the airport, whatever. Again, it’s called “Build For Tomorrow” and the subtitle is “An Action Plan For Embracing Change, Adapting Fast and Future Proofing Your Career”, but, as you’ve heard through this conversation, the lessons and the frameworks are really designed to help anybody, in any change, wherever they are. So, anyway, so, I’d for you to check out that book!
And then, beyond that, reach out, you can basically find all the ways to reach me at my website which is jasonfeifer.com and also links to, I have a newsletter and all sorts of other fun ways to stay in touch!
Beautiful! Well, thank you so much for sharing today!
[1:01:52] End of Interview
I absolutely loved that conversation with Jason! I’m curious how it landed for you, please share with me on my Instagram post, sharing this conversation, it’s @iamsahararose. I would love to know what your takeaways were, what you received from this conversation and leave a review. And as a free gift for leaving a review, I will share with you my Womb Meditation. And this is a meditation that allows you to connect with your womb’s guidance so you can really hear the intuitive wisdom that is inside of you.
So, all you’ve for to do is head over to the iTunes Store, write a review, take a screenshot and send it over to me at [email protected], you can find that link in the show notes and I’m super excited to send you my Womb Meditation.
I hope this Episode reminded you of the importance of being that bridge and speaking to new demographics of people who don’t know this lingo, and this might be new for them, so we can be of service in helping more people who aren’t already in the spiritual community.
So, I know, I feel even more awakened and energized to make my language even more accessible as well, while also holding space for all types of conversations that also peak my curiosity as well, because we can have that balance.
So, I’m curious to hear how it landed for you, share with me in the comments, share with me on the iTunes reviews and I’ll see you again in the next Episode.
Episode #471: How To Step Into Your Purpose Through Embracing Change with Jason Feifer
By Sahara Rose