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May 3, 2019

Jasmine Star, Conquering The In-Between

Jasmine Star, Conquering The In-Between

On this episode of She’s Crafted To Thrive, our guest is Jasmine Star. She’s a photographer and business strategist from Newport Beach, California. If you are a creative entrepreneur and are struggling with family responsibilities, chronic health problems or even trying to figure what is happening next in your life or business, you’ll want to tune in.  The beautiful thing about Jasmine’s story is like all of us we are constantly going through changes no matter how great or not great our life is. We can all fail if we don’t accept the challenge to grow, better ourselves and help the people we want to serve. Jasmine shares 3 things you need to do in order to pivot in your business as well as the mindset we should have when dealing with negativity in our business. 

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Transcript
Nikita Williams:

On this episode of She's crafted to thrive. I'm so excited to let you guys know that Mrs. Jasmine Star, a well known photographer and business strategist is our guests. The show is all about helping creative entrepreneurs being inspired and pushing through challenges and Jasmine shares a little piece of that story that she hasn't really shared with anyone else in a podcast episode. So I hope you guys really listen to her rawness and her authenticity, um, of just dealing with life, right? And what that means. Then she gets down to the nitty gritty when it comes to business. Three ways you can pivot in your business. And lastly, what to do with all the negativity when it comes to other people. And she just dropped some gems y'all. So stay tuned. Welcome to She's Crafted To Thrive. I'm your host, Nikita Williams, and this show is for all the ladies who are making and creating things that they love. You will hear conversations about the real everyday struggles. All while juggling life and business while trying to maintain passion and harmony as women. We all have the skill of getting things done, but sometimes we get in our own way. It's here where you'll see that you're now alone. You'll discover that success does not mean perfection. Fear and negative thoughts and challenges are all a part of the journey on this podcast we'll share inspiration and tools you need to have a life and business that thrives. Oh my gosh guys, I'm so excited to have Mrs Jasmine Star on She's crafted at thrive. Like I can't even believe I'm saying those words right now. Um, I'm just super excited and um, if you don't know who she is, she is to me and I think the world knows that She's a wonderful, amazing photographer and a on social media business strategists and just like awesome and generous and very sweet. So welcome. Welcome, welcome.

Jasmine Star:

Well thank you with that welcome girl. I mean my head, it was like a balloon. It just getting bigger and bigger. Thank you. Thank you.

Nikita Williams:

Yes. U m, I want to jump right in. Um, I have, you know, I've been following you since y our creative live days. Like when creative l ive just became creative life. Like my husband and I love t hat I 'm creative live and I have been following you ever since then. And then social curator and my business k inda transitioned into what it is now. And I'm just so excited that you are doing this in your life at this point. U m, but I'm curious if you would be open to sharing, how did you pivot to where you are today? I know that's a huge like jump from, from where you started as a lawyer or pursuing law, u m, to being a photographer so you can share a little bit about that story with us. That would be awesome.

Jasmine Star:

Absolutely. And just for the point of like clarity sake, we mentioned a lot of stuff all at once. So are hearing and they're like creative. What? Social Curator . What. Okay. So for, for us to make sure that we're on the same page and let everybody know is like, clearly y'all, like you and I are creative entrepreneurs and what is the definition of creative entrepreneurs? It's somebody who's using or leveraging their creativity, whether or not they consider it to be a classical form of creativity. You might not be a painter, you might not be a crochet or, but you are somebody who uses and leverages your ideas, your thoughts and your creativity to monetize it in a way. And so there has been this way that I started off as a creative entrepreneur, as a photographer. It was my first jump into like, Hey, I'm going to start a business. I didn't own a camera, which ironically I was like, you know I, there's, there's this thing I want to do. Don't have the tools, don't have education, don't have money, don't have a network. I don't eat my daddy's friend. Like my dad is an immigrant. I didn't know anybody who had been actually had a business and here I am and be like, you know that thing? Yeah, I'm going to start a business. I have nothing and I don't even have a camera on. I want to become a photographer. That's my origin story. So if anybody has a wild and crazy dream of kind of become a champion of them because I've walked that path like where you feel it in your bones and your like, I think I can do this thing when, so the chat that we have, you had mentioned creative life now back in like 2010 there was this new crazy idea and that was to broadcast live education on the Internet. Now today we bring that up are like, so what? What's the big deal that didn't exist? Like you know where like dating ourselves, it's like the do's and our rotary phones, kids, all we were on stone, that's what we did. Okay. So back in the day there was this crazy new thing called Ustream. Okay. Like if anybody remembers Ustream, like, like let's just clap it up. Okay. So we were able to take classes online through Ustream and put it out on the interwebs and that was transformative. Creative Live truly was one of the very, very, very few early companies that were doing this. And around that time I went on and I taught a class and we didn't expect that this idea of teaching a photography class while I was shooting a live wedding of real people with hundreds of guests in the audience would actually break the Internet. We broke Ustream four times. We trended on Creative Live on Twitter next to Barack Obama and Lindsay Lohan like get out. Right? I'm just like you. You made it when you're with Barry. Okay. Very Michelle. Like my homies. I was like, I literally six degrees closer to Barack Obama. So anyway, anyway, this is my claim to fame. I trended next to Barry anyway. Okay, so that, so that is my inception. That's my origin story. Like I dropped out of law school because my mom was really sick and I had this coming too of thinking, God forbid if I get brain cancer the way that my mom did, I don't want to look back in my life and think, what if like what if I had chosen differently? And I think that that's the question. It's so many people look back in their lives are on the cusp of taking their last breath. And did I do the things I wanted to do? Did I live my purpose? Was I passionate? And that was a, it was a reckoning. I was 25 years old at the time and my mom was 50 and I was like, Oh God, I'm having a midlife crisis. And I knew that I didn't want to die a lawyer and I knew that I wanted to do something bigger than what the path that had been clearly defined for me. And um, that first jump of saying, okay, I have my, okay, so I should probably back up in 2005, my husband, we had just been married two months. I tell him I have this dream of being a photographer and instead of him saying that's a crazy idea, he says during Christmas surprise. And then I opened a very simple camera and I opened the box on January 1st, 2006. 2005 was a really hard year. Very, very, very difficult from a family perspective, from a life perspective, from a purpose perspective. And I thought this is a new year. It's a new beginning, it's a new me. It was very cheesy. It was very like a really, really, really bad version of like Super Soul Sunday. Okay. So I have this come to Jesus moment where I'm like, this is the thing I want to do. And within three years I was voted , one of the top photographers in the world. And I say that because when you're passionate and you're hungry and you know you're doing the thing that you want to do and you're dedicated to taking care of your clients and customers, it comes back tenfold. And that opened the doors for me to get notoriety in the photography world, which then opened the doors for me, uh, to be brought on in, onto Creative Live, which is a platform that is hosted like a lot of amazing, amazing teachers and instructors like Richard Branson and Tim Ferriss and just a lot of amazing people. And so to be on a similar stage or platform as they were, it opened me up to a lot of different industries. As a result, entrepreneurs who are not photographers were like, hey, we see you doing what you're doing with photographers. Can you help our businesses? And at first I was like, no, not me, I'm just a photographer. I can't help you. But business principles a re business principles. Like sure they have to be modified slightly to whatever it is you're selling, but business is business. And so on the sly, like on the DL, I was like, okay, I'll take on a couple of consulting clients. And then one led to another to another kind of developed like a under the radar reputation of helping businesses and that transformed my confidence and teaching people. And I created an Instagram for business class and thousands of people went through this program. I was really proud. But when they went through the program, the program's called Insta 180 and when they went through Insta180 they said, thank you for the content. But Jasmine, we don't have photos. Like we don't, we're not a photographer. We don't have to know how to take good photos for Instagram and like, hey jasmine, we don't know how to like write our captions were really overwhelmed and like, can you just tell us what to do on Instagram? And I grappled my husband, JD and I are business partners and we grappled with how do we answer these questions? Like how do we help business owners get confident and show up with ease. And then we came up with this idea for Social Curator, which was 30 lifestyle photos, 30 caption templates, and an easy plan to follow to market your business every single month. And so we created this membership, which you're a part of it. Yes. Queen , go on. And that's where we are today. That was very long winded, but now we have the whole scope now. Now, people get it.

Nikita Williams:

Yeah. I love it. Thank you for the whole scope. And you did that fast. Well, I want to dig into some of the things that you mentioned, um, in that, in that, and one of those things that you have said, and I've heard you speak about this before, is that in 2005 it was like a really hard place for you and y ou k now, your story with your family and your mom going through cancer is a, is a similar path of something that's happened in my life with my own G randpa, my grandmother who was like life to me. U m, going through that and being in college and doing kind of dealing with some of the similar things. When you say 2005 was like just trying to find your purpose. Can you k inda tell us a little bit about that? C ause I feel like that part is kind of missing.

Jasmine Star:

I, you know what I have, I have literally done hundreds of podcast and nobody has ever asked me that question. So the fact that that is question number two, we're going to hit this out of the fricking ballpark. Okay. I love it. Thank you for giving me the opportunity because it's something that I don't, it's something that I don't want to share, but I have to make sure that this space is safe to share. So I can say that 2005 was a really hard year, but I, I probably should back up a little bit and explain that. My parents are immigrants. They're not educated. My mom home schooled us and she herself barely graduated high school so it was very simple. It, my parents didn't have money. We were on government assistance and the church we went to took up a collection plate to make sure we had Christmas gifts, like that's my truth. And for a first generation Latina to get to college on a full ride scholarship, that was for academics. That was like a really big thing in my family and my house in our community and then for me to earn a scholarship, a full scholarship to multiple law schools. And I ended up choosing UCLA law school in La here in Los Angeles because it was closest to my family. When I was in college my junior year, my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer. Uh, and it was so difficult because my family is extraordinarily close and my mom has just give her an her whole life to her children. I have younger siblings at the time. At the time I am 19/20 and I have a brother and sister who are nine and 11 respectively. And my mom was completely bedridden for about three years and I took into this like Massive responsibility to, I can't let my grades slip. So I got straight A's in college and I was involved on campus and I would go home once a week in the middle of the week and then drive home on the weekends to do laundry, to make meals and then also take care of my younger brother and sister to make sure that they had somewhat of a childhood when they didn't necessarily have a fully cognizant mom. Right. And like people. And I also was a waitress and I had an on campus job and so people would say, how are you guys doing? Like how are you keeping up? And I was like, we're fine. This is cool. We have this like we're good, we're good. Lots of prayer or were good. And I think only in retrospect that I realized I was really car mental, I copper mentalizing my life. Like I couldn't feel, I didn't allow myself to feel the situation because anytime I would feel a situation there would be a breakdown. And at the time I was like, ain't got no time for a breakdown. Like Jesus, take the wheel. There's no time for a breakdown. And only after I've done a lot of heavy lifting and work to understand what I was doing to my mind, my body and my soul, I was like, I think my mom is going to die. How do I keep my life together? And she ended up being at my college graduation with my younger brother and sister. She was about 45, 50 pounds heavier because of Chemo. She was completely bald. She had an eyepatch, she was in a wheelchair, but she was there and the doctors were taking like a step back from, uh, from her chemo at the time. And we thought, okay, this is it. After she had battled for such a long time, like we felt like she was on the upswing cause the doctors and said, we're going to take a step back. So I got into the corporate world for about a year and then I got into law school and it was in my first year of law school that my mom had a relapse and I wasn't, I wasn't happy in law school. I felt like it was the thing that I worked for and I was there and I was like, oh my God, everybody here is like overwhelmed and depressed and stressed. I'm like, this is not the place for me. But I thought this is what I worked for. And then my mom had a relapse and everything I didn't allow myself to feel for four years came to a head. I was wildly unhappy. I was very alone. I'm extraordinarily introverted. I wasn't making friends at school. I lived in a studio apartment. I was waking up really early in the morning. My hair was falling out. I was just so stressed. And then I just realized I am having an emotional break. Like I went into deep depression and that was like my first foray and understanding like mental illness and the like understanding that it runs in my family and this like opened up a lot of conversations about the path that I should be choosing and the health and the decisions that I have to make. And so when I say I had a really hard year, it was, it was a really hard, really hard year . A nd I think that when you are desperate you make desperate decisions. And at the, I was on a full ride scholarship, I didn't talk to anybody about the decisions that I was going to make. So at UCLA because the parking is such a situation in la. They, Ucla has these uh, buses and I lived in a beautiful campus housing for medical and law students and this bus would pick you up and they'll drop you off in front of the school in front of year for the law school. And I had a roller bag. Okay. I'm real cool roller backpack back. So I'm just like, I'm just flying, right, so I have my roller bag because those books were literally like 87 pounds. I'm not putting them on my back, so I have my roller bag. I'm walking to class and I just realized I hate it here. I hate myself. I hate where I am, I hate my situation. What am I doing? I walked into the Dean's office, I sat in up blue pleather chair and I just waited and they're like, I'm sorry you don't have appointment. I'm like, I'm waiting to speak to the dean. I walked in and I just said, I need to leave law school. I have a medical emergency. I am not well. My mom is sick. I need to be with her, and they gave me generously shout out to UCLA. They gave me three years to go back and claim my scholarships, full scholarships. I can go back in. I was like, great, I'll be back. I get back on that bus. I call my boyfriend at the time and I'm like, I had just left school and he's like, wow, great. Do you want to get dinner tonight? I was like, no, I left school and he's like, did you talk to your parents? And I was like, no, I'm so unhappy. I just need to be with them. But I didn't think it through. This is classic Jasmine move. I just make a decision and then I have to find a way to make it work except for the fact that in my scholarship included my housing, my housing was at Ucla. If I was no longer a student, uh, I ain't got a house. So I do what any Latino woman does. When she's 25, she moved back home and I packed up my stuff. I'm moved it back home and my boyfriend's beater of a truck warranties like this 1982 Ford ranger camper. Got It. Okay. The back of the truck, the back of the truck had carpet . Okay. and See now I married that man gladly. Yes, I am down for him. I was just like, I will marry you with this carpeted truck that you have. Um, so he drove me home. We unloaded that camper truck with carpet. And, um, I just, I felt like in the singular moment, I walked upstairs and my mom and she was in bed and I press my nose to the back of her neck and she smelled like eucalyptus and ponds facial cream and I said, I missed, made the best decision of my life. And then the next morning I'm sleeping in my bedroom in the sunlight is coming into this slotted curtains and I'm like, Oh God, I just made the worst decision of my life. So, um, I think when people ask like, how was 2005? I was like, well, I got a full ride scholarship. I dropped out of law school. I moved back home. I promptly hadn't been life crisis. I had no money, I had no prospects. My boyfriend of nine and a half years proposed to meet. We plan a wedding in three months. I get married, miracle of miracles. My Mom and dad walked me down the aisle. I come back to my newly minted husband and I get a letter from Ucla saying it's time to come back. And I'm like, I don't want to go back. Which he asks me, what do you want to do? And I said, I want to be a photographer. All of that happened in 2005.

Nikita Williams:

Wow

Jasmine Star:

So that is why I refused to open my camera in 2005 I was like, no, no, no, I need a new year. I need a new chance in 2016

Nikita Williams:

wow. I'm so glad you shared that because I have heard, you know, you talk about it and I'm like, I really wonder what was like, how was the timeline between, you know, leaving school and family and I've always wondered and I so appreciate you sharing that because I think so many of us, um, we do exactly the same thing. Like we like are getting through the hard stuff and then we can get through it and years later we look back and we were like, yeah, we got through the hard stuff. But what actually happened during the hard is like sometimes really hard to like really think about and share with other people because you know, we feel like, hey, we got through it. Let's go on, let's move on. So thank you. Yes,

Jasmine Star:

and you know Bernie Brown talks about this, and I think it's, she talked about this far before, the advent of social media was really at its apex, but she calls his gold plated grit where we have the ability, but even specifically it shows up so much so, so much more so on social media where we talk about this hard thing and went through and like, yeah, we went through this hard thing and I feel great, but when you actually can talk about where you are in the process, which I did, which was extraordinary Cathartic for me. I started a blog when I first started my business and I was just like, I don't know if my mom is in her survive. I'm trying to get this thing off the ground, and I brought people on the journey and there's something really beautiful about being authentic and real on the Internet and how it unexpectedly, I didn't know what then I was not a savant. I wasn't even cool. I was just doing what I did and it ended up being the thing that really catapulted my business. Yeah, I think people just want to know the, the real, I mean we, it's, um, I was reading a book recently and it's like the idea of the false legends, like as if people just all of a sudden become successful with no, no struggle, no, no discovery of themselves. It's like one of those things that you r eally just takes time to open our own selves, ups and then be willing to share it with others in that like makes us, makes it so much easier for other people to connect to you when you connect to yourself. A thousand percent 10000%

Nikita Williams:

well, so I asked, yes, I went to the group and I asked if they had any questions. That was my one question that I really wanted to ask you and I asked the group to ask.

Jasmine Star:

Okay. Okay. We have to bring everything out. We have to bring everybody onto this train because when you have to say what group are you referring

Nikita Williams:

I'm talking about Social Curators and I'm also talking about, yeah, my, She Thrives Tribe, so I'm super excited because they, they gave me tons of awesome questions. So one of the questions, um, it's kind of taking our conversation, into a completely different direction, which is if you were to give us like steps of how you changed your business, like from being solely a photographer to being a photographer as a business strategist. Like what were those steps that you took? You kind of mentioned it earlier, like you, you know, slowly started taking on consulting clients, but what were the steps of you could name, yeah,

Jasmine Star:

I mean I that is like trying to take a sip from a New York city firehose. No. Do you know what I think that I can give, I can give an overview on a synopsis that would make people feel like it's digestible. Okay. Actually, I get asked this question so often because for listeners who are not familiar, I had a wildly successful photography career in business and for what it is, I know it's the truth. I was part of the 1% in the industry. And specifically being a female, specifically not having any form of photography training experience or any sort of business training experience, I think that it gave people a lot of hope, like a lot of hope that like a girl from the hood can actually rise to the top of a very competitive industry. And so I understand that the luxury of being in that space is also to understand that you've arrived in that space cause then you realize where or how can I grow from here. And I felt like, and perhaps is true or not true, but I felt like I had reached the pinnacle of my career and I could have stayed there for a while, but I can't stay in not grow. It's just not my personality. And when people ask about like, well how did you pivot on the outside? I think people saw a pivot that took about a year behind closed doors. That pivot took about two and a half years. And there there's like this, this time and period of really, really, really. So I uh, I journal everyday and before this things like I'm some hippie that has like three hours to journal. It is a literally like a five minute just I document what am I feeling, what do I am doing? I try to leave something positive. But I also tried to relieve like the real stuff. And in this journal I'm just, you could see back in like 2015 just I don't know what I'm doing. Where am I going? What is my purpose? Who am I serving? Like it was this whole reckoning of what he, what you did in a previous industry has very little to do what you want to do in your next industry. And I think that behind the scenes, the greatest thing that I did was I wasn't going to move until I knew who I wanted to serve. Gotcha. And when I was a photographer, I made it very clear early on that I wanted to be in a niche and that niche was to service brides and or the wedding world. So editor, I was working with editors, I was working with art directors, I was working with brides. I knew that that was my market for a while and as a result I was able to quickly how to put myself and then as a result get commissioned for different types of genres of photography. I knew that I needed to understand as I went into this new market who I needed to serve and if people are looking to pivot, understanding who you want to serve, and then showcasing your knee, your unique value proposition, like I don't care if you're training horses, walking dogs or selling skincare, you have something different. We all do, and even if you say jasmine, I'm a painter and I use the same paint brushes in the same paint in a in, I use the same studio and the same canvases. Yea h, but we see things differently. We feel things differently and we connect with people differently. That alone. That alone is what sets us apart as entrepreneurs. And so I knew immediately that the thing that I had to offer differently than other people using social media was that I was successfully using social media, specifically Instagram to grow my business. And so I thought to myself like after consulting, which was amazing, and I loved it, I just realized, Oh, I got myself into another position that I got into photography. I can only take on so many clients. And even if I was charging a premium, there was a glass ceiling to how much I could make. And I thought to myself, okay, this is great. Everything I've learned and the number one thing that people kept on asking me was, jasmine, you've built up a personal brand from nothing. And I was like, yes, no. And you've built up hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram, 100,000 on Facebook, youtube at the time, snapchat, Twitter. They're like, what are you doing? And everybody can become me. Back up my and my social. And I was like, how can I teach what I know about Instagram to more people? And that was my first foray into a new industry. But all of that time in synthesis, in consulting and getting to know like who I'm serving took about two years and it wasn't until like probably six months when I kinda started saying like, hey guys, I have this online class. Like that was when people are like, oh, she pivoted. I was like, no Booboo, I've been pivoting for two and a half years behind closed doors. Right. Um, and like I guess the, the main steps would be know who you want to serve. know, your unique value proposition and then lean heavily. So when they started promoting, listen, I know that there are literally thousands of people who talk about Instagram and sell courses, but none of them or very few of them, to the best of my, to the best of my knowledge at the time, were top photographers, correct. Successively launched foot tography campaigns have 100% at the time, organic traffic and have engagement rates that are great. So that's where immediately where I went in. Awesome.

Nikita Williams:

Yeah, totally. I love those steps. Thanks for, um, clearing those three steps. Really for us. Sound. Um, one more question for you. Um, as a photographer and I, I'm not gonna lie, I've been listening to shows and I don't know if it's a pet peeve of yours, but does pet peeve of mind because people will be like, yeah. So now that you're a business strategist, they kind of almost discontinue that you are photographer still wish I find fun. Funny because social curators based on photography and social media. Um, how do you, um, what do you say or how do you feel on to those that Miss Judge, how you're doing your thing? Like how are you doing? Like, you know, the, the naysayers, how do you, what do you reply to them?

Jasmine Star:

I can't control anybody else's opinion than me and anybody else's opinion of me is none opinion of my own. I honestly, I think that the blessing of being raised by a fantastic immigrant dad is like, he would always tell his kids, if you don't want anybody to say anything about you, do nothing. Say nothing, be nothing. But if you believe that you've been called to leave an imprint on the world, you better speak up and you better speak up loud. And I feel like that has always been my thing. No matter what I do. If I say I like yellow, if I say I like blue, somebody else hates yellow, somebody else loves blue . If I say that I'm too old, she's too young, she's too old. I mean I can't be everything to all the people do. I think that there's going to be naysayers of course, because people often project their doubt on when somebody else is doing the thing that they want to do. I cannot control what you say about me. I must control. I must do one of two things. I m ust attract people into my orbit and I must repel people. The thing that we so often see on social media, which is what stunts growth is it? Everybody wants to serve everybody and be everything to everybody at all at the same time . But how many times do you hear anybody walking into 31 flavors and say, I want vanilla of all the ice cream in the store. I want vanilla. Nobody Orders Vanilla. Right? Right. Because it's like it's just there and we know what it exists. But like if you're not standing out, people go in and they know what they want. And I might hate bubblegum, ice cream, blue ice cream, get the heck out of here, but somebody else might love it. My objective is to be the most annoying, amazing, palatable, disgusting, awful, delicious flavor of ice cream to somebody. And for those people who have an opinion, listen, spell my name right and give me a link when you do, because when you're talking about me and you have an opinion, you're going to send somebody in my way and that person might be my people. So I welcome it.

Nikita Williams:

Thank you so much. That was like, drop the mic right there.

Jasmine Star:

You sent me, you literally set me up for it. You hated me, the Mike and you took away the stand and you're like drop it in. Three, two, one. Hello. Let everyone know where they can find you online and um, how they can

Nikita Williams:

be a part of your tribe.

Jasmine Star:

Thank you babe. You can find me on all social platforms@jasminestarandatjasminestarr.com where people can download free Instagram grinds, branding guides, and find links to social

Speaker 1:

curator. Thank you for joining me and Jasmine on this episode of she's grafted to thrive. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you were inspired by it and I hope you take the things that jasmine has shared with us to heart and put in your business. Please be sure to like, subscribe and review us on Itunes and share with your friends all the wonderful things that she's crafted to thrive is doing. And if you would like to continue in the conversation, please visit me on my craftedtothrive.com and the podcast section. In the meantime, I can't wait to hear from you guys and remember, "you are crafted to thrive".