If you’re a high achiever, you’re accustomed to a life buzzing with purpose and accomplishments. You need quality stimulation, or you’ll wilt like an unwatered plant. This fact doesn’t change when your geographic location does, and you become an accompanying spouse.
Think of how many times your capacity has stretched to accommodate your go-go-go? In the same breath, if you’re already watching an hour of The Simpsons, what’s another three?
And the worst part is that once you get sluggish in your mind and body, your busy-ness muscles atrophy. Then, even a few extra tasks seem daunting, almost as if you develop a fear or avoidance of a lot of work.
You might remember Janine Christie from way back in episode 140: Expat Expectations, in which she shared her despair-to-triumph transformation story. And this week, Janine returns to give us a remarkable progress report.
A Canadian expat in Spain, Janine was determined to show “Expat Life without the Filter” through her snort-laugh-hilarious blog, My Expatations.
Well, this passion project for profit grew a cult following and inevitably put Janine’s writing prowess on global display.
“I love your style! Can you write for me?” came next, and before long, Janine had a full-on copywriting business. All this before even having a website (it’s coming soon, and she’s building it herself). Today, true-to-form, Janine shares the pretty and messy parts behind her continuing transformation.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- The lackluster career prospects expats face
- That friend you admire: “Stuff always works out for her!”
- From larger-than-life to shriveling up from the inside out
- Faking cheerfulness when your spouse comes home
- The value of making your own money
Listen to the Full Episode
Featured on the Show:
YES, these results ARE typical. Although Janine is extraordinary, her outcome is common for my coaching clients. What do you want to say about yourself by this time next year? Start your Year of Transformation right here.
- Sundae’s Website
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Expat Coach Coalition
- Quiz: Which Phase of Transformation Are You In?
- Janine Christie’s email: email@example.com
- Janine Christie’s website
- Ambition Clarified: 90-minute VIP Session
- Ambition Amplified: A 90-day program
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hello, It is 9:00 am in New York, 4:00 pm in Johannesburg, and 9:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to IN TRANSIT with Sundae Bean. I am an intercultural strategist, transformation facilitator, and solution-oriented coach, and I am on a mission to help you adapt & succeed through ANY life transition.
“I should be able to do this on my own.” When Janine Christie came to me, She didn’t know what help would look like, but she knew she wanted it. A Canadian expat living in Spain, Janine had spent years spiraling toward depression, trying everything from self-shame to therapy so she’d recover her joie de vivre. Throw work together, she reconnected with her inner creative to overcome the lackluster career projects expat life was offering up. She turned her talent for writing into a location-independent passion project for profit. Janine did the hard work. Now she can enjoy the spoils.
You might remember her from episode 140: Expat Expectations, in that episode she shared her despair to triumph transformation story, and she was only halfway done. Today, she’s coming back to tell us what happened next. It is such a great illustration of what I mean when I talk about three levels of transformation, internal lead, external led, and performance led, and how sometimes giving one level of transformation the attention it deserves, actually kicks off the others in a domino effect in the very best way. Thank you for joining us on IN TRANSIT!
Janine: Well, thank you for having me Sundae. You’re one of my most favorite people so I’m very excited to be here.
Sundae: So your new bio which I love is, “Giver of snort laughs, voice and copy kickstarter for solopreneurs. An expat in Spain.” It’s so much fun.
Janine: It’s just like, that’s me wrapped up in three, very short sentences. And that’s the way I like to write, to talk, short to the point and me.
Sundae: That’s good. Perfect. So, you were so kind to agree to come on the podcast today because, in the transition, where we were looking at the focus away from just expat topics and more into transition topics, I’ve been talking about ambitious transformation in transition. The episodes are clear, the concepts are clear, but I still think it helps if people see how this really plays out in real life. Right?
So you’ve agreed to come on, and we’re going to talk about what that means to be in transit and your own journey going from an internal led transformation, which I use the words domino effect. I don’t know if you would use it?
Janine: Oh, I would totally use it. Totally. One thing hit the next, hit the next.
Sundae: Yep. Exactly. Oh, so exciting.
Janine: I know!
Sundae: Okay. So for those who haven’t listened to the first podcast, can you give us a little brief overview of where you were pre-September 2018 in your journey before you and I connected.
Janine: In my own kind of “woman-made hell,” I would say, self-made hell. I was just, I was starting to come out of the depression because you know when you know that you need help and you’ve kind of like said that to yourself, you can see kind of like the light at the end of the tunnel. So I’ve been to therapy and I was like, “Okay, I need help. But this isn’t really doing anything for me,” and then somehow you popped up on my radar. I have no idea. I can’t remember, I think maybe it was part of some expat group and you popped up. And I didn’t look at your website or anything. I just contacted you, we had a little chat and the thing is, if I don’t like someone, I can’t work with them. Even If they have all the skills in the world and I knew right away that I liked you.
It was just like, “Oh she laughs at this,” and I was like, “We’re going to get along.” And then I did a bit of research and saw they had the right skills and asked you pinpointed questions and you gave me the answers that I needed to move forward. So I spoke to my husband, it took some time because when you’re investing in yourself, you just pause and you’re like, “Should I do this? Can I do this?” I spoke to my husband, but he’s very encouraging. He’s my biggest kind of cheerleader. But then I spoke to another friend in Iceland who is the type of person I’ve always wanted to be, where you just do things and you don’t think about it and stuff always works out for her. So I phoned her and she’s like, “Janine, just do it already.“ So I was like, “Okay!”
Sundae: I’m just pausing on what that would be like to be a person who did things without thinking about them.
Janine: Oh my gosh. She’s on her fourth child now, it was a surprise and she was just about to move to Spain. So that’s on pause. But she just goes with what life throws at her and doesn’t worry about it. I worried for her, like, “Four kids. Are you crazy?” But she’s just going with it.
Sundae: I’m just thinking of all the over-thinkers that are listening. They’re like, “How? How does that work?” So when you were there– and I wouldn’t have worked with you if you were actually clinically depressed because that’s not what I do, I’m a coach, I’m not a therapist, but you’re coming out of this negative phase, right?
Sundae: And what words did you have for that then? How would you describe what was going on for you then?
Janine: I won’t use words. I’ll kind of like use a little story that used to happen all the time. My husband would go to work and I’d be there all like, “Yeah, have a good day!” And then as soon as he’d leave, I go back into bed and watch The Simpsons for about four hours because I needed something to kind of draw my attention away from the black cloud hanging over me. And I wanted to laugh and humor was one of the only ways where I could like be like, “Okay, I laughed today. It’s given me some energy and now I can go and do whatever the hell life throws at me.” But that was happening every day. And my husband had no clue because when he came back home, I’d pop back up and I was my cheery self which was total BS. But I just stayed in my apartment. I didn’t go out. When I did go out, it felt super freaky, when I was on the street. I was like, “I want to be back home, and I want to be safe and I want to be comfortable, and I don’t want anything to change,” and that was the problem. I didn’t want anything to change. I couldn’t accept things that needed to change.
Sundae: And you actually are a really adventurous person, who’s open.
Janine: Yeah, this is what was driving me crazy. I’m like, “Who the f am I?”
Janine: Just mind-boggling because in Canada, I was like a larger-than-life person, and then my voice just disappeared. It happens a lot when you’re an expat living in a country where you have to speak another language, but I don’t even think that that was it. That was part of it. But my personality was just like, gone. And if that visual doesn’t work, I actually just watched a Netflix movie called, Where’d You Go Bernadette, it’s got Cate Blanchett in it. And it was about an architect who had this fabulous career, and then something happened. She couldn’t deal with it. Her perspective was totally askew and she just went into herself. And then it shows how something external happened to her. And she came out of it became herself again. It’s a really good movie.
Sundae: It sounds like she went through an external led transformation.
Janine: Totally. Totally.
Sundae: Okay. So you recognize this was like a “self” that was emerging, that wasn’t alive anymore, wasn’t working. So then what happened? I would call it, and tell me if I’m wrong, I would call it an internal led transformation. Something was inside of you where you’re like, “No I’m done. I’m done.”
Sundae: So tell us a little bit about what that really looks and feels like.
Janine: Well for me, I can’t speak for anyone else. But for me what the internal kind of led transformation was, “Stop blaming other people.” I chose or I had a different kind of expat experience where I came to Spain for a year and then I was going to move back home because it wasn’t really for me. And then I met someone while I was here, decided to stay here. I was actually working for him. He was my boss. And then, we won’t talk about that *laughter* and everything was super groovy. We moved in together. And then we got married and I became the expat spouse and found out all these different rules applied to me in Spain once I married someone and was working in their business. And I was told by our financial advisors and counselors, “Stop working there.” And then I did the thing where, I think a lot of expats spouses, like, “I’m just going to take some time. I’ve worked my whole life and take some time and I’m going to learn this. And I’m going to do this hobby.” And you don’t do it and you just shrivel up.
For me, I need to work. I need to use my brain. I need to use my skills. So the internal thing was I was blaming factors on the outside because I thought Spain had done this to me. And marrying my husband, he had done this to me. And no, I had to change my perspective on what was happening to me. Accept that these things were happening. And how was I going to get myself out of it? And not rely on somebody else to make the change, like Spain to change the rules on self-employed businesses. I had to make the change myself, not rely on somebody else.
Sundae: Well, I bet there’s a lot of people out there going, “Oh, yeah.”
Sundae: So, it was really about, I mean, I would use the word “Agency,” you looked at where you had control. Where did you have power?
Janine: Yes. Yeah.
Sundae: And was that like a flip of a switch? Or was it easy?
Janine: No, it wasn’t a flip of a switch. It started out in stages like working with you. And you asked me this question because I mean I was very focused on, “What am I going to do to get my career back online?” Basically, jump-started because like I said, I need to work and you asked me this very poignant question, “What skills do you have?” I’m like, “I don’t know.” And you’re like, “Okay, this is some BS.” You called me out on my BS and I made a list and we looked and still when I did the list, I was just like, “I don’t know,” and you’re like, “Hello, uh, hello, writer. You were a writer. You can still write, you never lose those skills.” And I’m like, “Oh damn.”
Sundae: Yeah, you have degrees.
Janine: I don’t know how I know. You didn’t value those things anymore. So bizarre. So then it started with a little thing that, “Okay. I’m gonna get back into writing.” Started to blog and then out of the woodwork, these copywriters started contacting me saying, “I want you on my team. I want you to do copywriting for me.” So I started working with some agencies back in Canada, old bosses started calling me back. So I started doing copywriting and then little by little started to build my business into starting to create my own programs for other people and helping other people write. And it just kind of like a trickle to a snowball.
Sundae: Exactly. And that’s why I was wondering because I remember there was a time early days where I saw your skills, your abilities and I was like, “Oh,” my brain was going like, “Let’s get your company going, start making money,” you were like maybe you’ll just write first. And you were you’re resistant to that. So I just want to focus on the internal, the internal drive was, “This has to change,” right? “We’re not going to do The Simpsons every day, because that’s not rewarding. I’m going to stop blaming the external and I need to get my own perspective so I can start doing things in my life.”
But there was some resistance to like jumping right to the performance led, right?
Janine: This was what this was, this is why I was scared was that it was going to be performance led. And you know when you don’t use your body, your muscles for a while and then to get back into it, you’re, “Oh, this is tiring.” I was actually scared of how much work I was going to have to do. I mean honestly, I was just like, “Man, that sounds like a lot of work and I haven’t done it for a while, and I’m tired just thinking about it.” That was the response. So that’s why I had need to start really slowly. It was too slow. But you know, everyone has to do it in their own way and then when you get more confidence, you can see that other people value your skills and want to work with you. And you’re like, “Okay.” And then it just started to snowball and then the performance picked up.
Sundae: Okay, so that’s so interesting. So, tell us, when we hear these narratives, we think it’s like in the movies where it’s like, hardship and then yay, hope and then success. And we know it’s not like that, right? We know it’s nowhere near like that. What were some of – whatever the one’s you feel comfortable sharing. We talked about Life in Transit, and that what’s going on in your family, globally, health-wise, professionally. What were some things that were in transit during this journey?
Janine: Well, externally it would have probably been the Spanish economy. That was something that was external that was happening, I had no control over it and if for someone that wants to reboot their career and your economy is in the toilet, and there’s nowhere you can go to get a job, it was just a feeling of no hope in Spain. Thankfully my husband’s business was doing well so that kept us going. But when everyone else around you, all the businesses are closing up, shutting up, you don’t really think, “Hey, yeah, let’s start a business now!” So that just kept my business ideas under wraps.
Sundae: Yeah, what else was going on?
Janine: Health-wise, I think my health wasn’t bad. I think I just became sluggish in my body and in my mind. That’s more internal. So, that’s something that I had to work through. That I had to work on.
Sundae: Yeah. I’m curious. What would you say – so you talked about this domino effect, internal then we start getting some momentum, the resistance is dropping. What was an external?
Janine: Oh, I have a big one. I forgot about this and it sounds so simple, but I think you noticed a big change in me after I did it. One thing I want to say is like when you’re an expat spouse, there’s a lot of pressure, either you put it on yourself or you hear from other people. It’s like, you have moved somewhere else and you have to accept that this is your life now and that things are going to be different and you had to have to get out of your comfort zone. But I’m going to say some things you need to be in your comfort zone. The biggest thing for me was I was living in an apartment in the city center because people in Spain live in apartments and in city centers. And I lived there for 14 years and it was driving me down, the noise, the pollution. It’s just it’s an odd way for me to live because in Canada, most people I know they’re in a house and they have that comfort of the home, and I didn’t realize how much it was affecting my mental state being in this box. And then the pandemic hit and like a lot of other people, my husband and I are like, “Let’s get the F out of here.”
And I made a list of all my contacts in Spain. All my Spanish friends and I’m like, “You need to help me get out of here. Who do you know that’s got a place that I can rent,” and one friend, the next day is like, “I have a house for you to rent. It’s out where I live, it’s quiet, you have space, you have nature.” And making that shift just from an apartment to a house, back to something that I felt comfort in like I did back in Canada, so I didn’t have to accept, “I have to live in this box.” I was like, “No. I want to have my home the way I want it to be,” and I changed it and things just shifted. I just felt better.
Sundae: It was incredible. I saw it. And I also saw you escape to other people’s houses when you were in misery because of the noise, right?
Sundae: Now, here’s my hypothesis. I think that move was only possible because of the internal Information that had already started, right?
Sundae: Because you were now like, “Okay. What do I want? What do I need? How do I ask for it to happen? How do I imagine possibilities?” And for the people who’ve taken my quiz about Which Phase of Transformation Are You In? You were at one point in Infinite Possibilities. Like, “Hey, maybe I don’t have to live in this apartment. Maybe I can get a house. Maybe we can live outside, we can still stay in Spain but get the house that we want.” Right? And that’s why I love that because You’re living it. It was only an idea before and now you’re living it.
Janine: It was an idea for many, many years, we were back and forth, back forth. One thing that came out of working with you is the ability to actually make some freaking decisions again.
I was just stuck. I couldn’t make a decision about anything so I complained about everything. And then the more we worked together, your voice was just in my head. “Janine, this is such a situation. What can you do to make a change?” And I thought, “Well, I can move. How can I move? Contact my friends?” It was like one step, one step, one step. And then now, I’m sitting in my sweet little office in my house, talking to Sundae Bean.
Sundae: It’s phenomenal. I just want to highlight that it was simply, like, “I’m going to leave this apartment and go to another space,” but it had massive implications for your life. I mean physically, I could see it in your face when you were – I think there was a break and we hadn’t seen each other for maybe two weeks and you had moved, and your face was like glowing. And it was during the pandemic. And I’m like, “Who’s face is glowing during a pandemic?”
Janine: Oh, it’s odd! I feel bad because my pandemic actually went well in comparison to other people.
Sundae: Of course.
Janine: I’m not spitting on the pandemic because it helped me get here.
Sundae: So we got the internal, it kind of catalyzed the external and then tell us about this performance led transformation. Because at one point, you didn’t want to talk about money, you were hesitant about what you were doing and all of a sudden, you’re like a boss babe with clients lining up.
Janine: Never call me that, I hate that phrase. Hate it! I own my own business.
Sundae: No I’m provoking you because I know it’s on your #hatelist.
Janine: Oh yeah. Ooh, makes me so angry.
Sundae: I’m provoking you. Okay, but now you have multiple streams of revenue. You’ve got clients that are coming back to you. What happened there? How did that start?
Janine: I didn’t know that it started back when I did my blog, which for something – you’re just like, “I’m going to do a blog, everybody’s got a blog, it’s nothing special,” and then I had people pop up and be like, “I love your blog, can you write for me?” I’m like, “Oh what now?” ”Become a part of my copywriting team.” I’m like, “From my blog, you’re getting that I could do this?” Like, “Yeah, duh.” And then I remembered I was a copywriter back in Canada. That was my career, so, of course, you can do it. That’s what you went to school for. That’s how you worked in Canada. Why would you not think that you can pick that up again? So I just said, “Yes,” to some of the offers, and it just kind of snowballed from there. And then I had people contacting me: saying, “Janine I want to work with you, help me. I love how your copy sounds and how do you do that? How do you sound just like you when you write?” And I’m like, “Oh, there’s something here.”
Sundae: There’s a market for that.
Janine: Yeah. There’s a market.
Sundae: I want to back up for a second there because people who are listening, it’s really easy for them to go, “How come she didn’t realize this from the beginning. She has a degree,” right? And, I see it all the time, all the time. And there are so many times where people have skills and abilities and talents, whether they are externally accredited or personal skills that are harder to put tangible names on and other people see it, and you don’t. And that happens to me too, and I have a joke with one of my friends, we say that “I’m always the last to know.”
Janine: Definitely, I mean you were telling me you like, “Janine, hello you’re a copywriter.” I’m like, “I am?”
Sundae: It’s like, from the outside, you’re like, how can you not see this? But I know it because I’ve been there too. I’ve had people approach me for certain things that I’m like, “Why would they ask me for that?” Right? And then I’m like, “Oh.”
Yeah, so I am going to invite all the listeners if you were getting judgy and thinking that it’s obvious. I want you to look into your own life and even ask your friends, and this is something that this exercise actually makes some of my clients cry because they ask their people, “What? What do you think I’m good at? What skills do I have?” And the feedback that comes back is so hard to ignore that it brings some people to tears because they’re like, “Wow.”
Janine: I remember my feedback from some of my close friends. It was more or less the same, “dumb, dumb.” They’re like, “You’re a dumb, dumb,” “Oh, yeah, I am.” They’re like, “Go do it already.” like Gees.
Sundae: Exactly. Exactly. And so this whole idea about your voice now in hindsight seems really obvious.
Janine: Yeah. I just yeah, I think that it is obvious. But when it comes to yourself, you’re just not the best judge of yourself. It really He takes somebody else and usually not your husband, not your parents. Someone external to go, “You can do this. You have skills.” And then you’re partner is like, “I’ve been telling you that for the past ten years. Why aren’t you listening to me?” It’s just like, “Your voice doesn’t count right now.” I don’t want to say that but you need to hear from like someone, that’s kind of like apart.
Sundae: Right? So here’s my hypothesis around the performance led and how it’s connected to the internal. Because one thing I’ve noticed about you is you’re really good and you are one of the perfect examples of when I say ambition on your own terms, like ambitious has to be your scope and scale. Not somebody else’s. And that’s something I’ve always appreciated about your work. You were the opposite of wanting to copycat, even if some really big players were doing the things, you were like, “That’s not my thing.”
So I feel like the internal actually fueled your performance led–
Janine: Oh definitely.
Sundae: Results because you were tapping into your body, to your knowing and giving yourself permission to even do it differently than people who maybe were more established in the field. Doing it your way.
Janine: Yes, I 100% agree with that. That’s something that I had before all of these kinds of things, stuff happened back in Canada. I always did things my own way. Even if I was working at American Express, one of the corporate jobs I had or was working for a charity. I always found a way of putting me in there and kind of like getting people over to my side, like, “No, we should see like this, because this is what stands out.” I don’t like vanilla anything besides ice cream, vanilla ice cream is yummy, but when it comes to – I hate things that are the same so it’s just something. And I never wanted to be the same. I just want to be who I am, which is usually different than a lot of other people, but I’m cool with that.
And that’s kind of how my business has gone. I do it on my own terms. I work with clients that I want to work with, if we’re not a good fit, I never work with them. Because, you have to spend time with these people and they have to spend time with you, if it doesn’t gel, you’re going nowhere. And I know I set my hours to what’s comfortable for me, so I can still enjoy being an expat living in Spain. I didn’t move here to work like a dog. But I want to get money in that pension.
Sundae: Exactly. “El cashio pensión.”
Janine: I need to make some money for myself to be independent.
Sundae: Absolutely. And that ties into all the core work that we did in the beginning, right? This is one thing I want to just point out, some people, for example, when they want to work with me, they have a performance led goal. And I’m like, “Love it. We’re going to do some internal stuff first.”
Janine: That’s exactly what you did with me. I came out the external, career, career, career, blah, blah, blah, and you’re like, “Uh, honey, we’re not jumping over steps.”
Sundae: Because imagine had we started from the career side. It would have been all based on that nonempowered place. It was a totally different place and you wouldn’t have done it because you wouldn’t have had the energy.
Sundae: And one of the things that people, I don’t know, everything is so quick and fast and easy and all these overnight promises, and I’m the opposite. I’m like, “Oh no transformation takes time.” Slow cooking, instead of fast food. And yeah, what did you say?
Janine: There’s one thing, just when you said it takes time, it comes back to the message that I tell myself all the time. Kind of like, when the old me pops up and it is super cheesy. I’m not big on motivational quotes or anything like that. I kind of hate it. But I always geek out for Rocky movies. I just, I don’t know. I just love them and my husband loves them too. And he said to me a long time ago, “Janine, one punch at a time. Just like Rocky said,” and I was like, “Oh my God, that’s it.” So every time the old Janine rears her ugly head. I was like, “Oh my God, I have to learn this part,” because you’re always learning as someone that’s got their own business, especially online. There’s so many things and it’s like, “I can’t do this,” you know. I just say to myself one punch at a time.
I’m like, “Okay. So what do I need to learn today? What do I need to do for a client today so they can accomplish what they need to get today?” So one punch at a time. The thing that always stopped me was I would have a huge list in my mind of things that I have to do and it became like a black heavy cloud over me because I’ve always pictured this list, this heavy long list when it should just be one thing on the list at a time, one punch at a time.
Sundae: And as an entrepreneur, the list is endless.
Janine: Endless. It’ll never stop.
Sundae: So, picking up on the boxing metaphor. I’ve now been boxing for a year in my backyard, not in a ring.
Janine: I watched it the other day when you’re doing that spin kick, I was like, “You go Sundae!”
Sundae: With my coach and what I realized is with one punch at a time, if you’re working with the right coach, actually, every punch gets harder because they keep increasing the level of difficulty. And it’s the same thing with your business. You keep punching and it’s not like a dancer where the moves get easier. It gets harder. And the thing is, with every punch you get stronger.
Sundae: So you keep throwing your punches but when it gets harder, it’s because you have the strength to do it, right? And that’s something I had to adapt because I came from a dancing background, where it’s hard in the beginning, and then it gets easier afterward. And then to box, I told myself I was sucky and I was doing it wrong because it kept getting harder. And one day, my coach was like, “No Sundae. It’s getting harder because you can handle it.”
Janine: Uh-huh. Yeah, that’s true. Now, I can handle a lot more of the surprising things that pop up in life, but there’s one thing that I don’t think I’ve told you about and this was something that we talked about a lot when we were working together before. And it was because I live in Spain, it’s not like I’m going back to Canada, we live here and especially since we made the move to the house that we’re renting. I was always terrified about buying a place here and setting down real roots because I have to admit to myself, I’m like, “Shit, I live here, this is where I live.” And now, my husband and I are talking about where we going to buy a place. It’s freaking my husband out. He’s like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Before you were always against this and now, we’re heading into that stage?” And like, “Yeah, because I finally feel like I have a life here. Finally. It took long enough, but it’s like could I live here? I live in Spain. I’m a permanent resident in Spain.” I’ve got my little ID card with my picture on it now. Thank you, Brexit. But that’s like a huge change for me. Just that change in thinking, about not renting my life, but owning. My own belonging. It’s huge.
Sundae: But yeah, but it’s about belonging, right? That’s also a great side-benefit of all the work that you’ve done.
Janine: Yeah, I can actually contribute to buying the house, it was one thing that it’s like, “Oh, I make my own money. Oh, when I go for the mortgage they will look at how much I make. And I can say I make money.”
Sundae: And it also influences the dynamic in your relationship. It changes, what’s going on for your retirement account. There’s huge implications. So I just want to celebrate that because I want to celebrate like September 2018, who said, “Yes,” to herself. And didn’t know that by doing that she was going to say “Yes,” to a new home, a new level of belonging in the country, a new business supporting other clients who are trying to do the work in the world for themselves.
Sundae: And this is the thing. When we start processes like that, we don’t know. And that’s what I love about the infinite possibilities. Literally, anything is possible. And you’re doing things that you didn’t even imagine when we met.
Janine: Yeah, I’ll tell you one thing, it’s so small like I’m getting such satisfaction out of building my own website. This time. I did not hire anyone because I want to learn it for myself. So when I want to make changes, I do it myself. I’m really getting into that. It’s coming but I’m enjoying the process of building it for myself. And when I look at it, I’m like, “I created that.”
Sundae: But wait so my eyeballs are going crazy because I believe in one of our early sessions, you said you weren’t tech-savvy.
Janine: Yeah. I know.
Sundae: And you don’t like it. Now, you’re building your own website!
Janine: And I’m still not tech-savvy. But there’s something in me when I get really pissed off about something or it’s not working, that’s when I seem to dig my heels in deeper, and I just sit down. I’m just like, “What do I have to do to make this work?” And then I just I’m there. It happens with painting. I remember, I love painting, I had this huge canvas and I was scared, and I couldn’t start. And then one day I was just like, “Janine, just do it,” and I kind of like kicked my own butt, it’s not physically possible. But I did that psychologically. And I did this huge mother painting, which is now hanging in my dining room and I look at it every day and I’m like, “I did that.”
So, I’m so getting back to the website. I’m so busy with the client side of things. I don’t even have a website right now, but for anyone, that’s in my situation. I’ll tell you this. You don’t need a website. I’ve got all the clients I can handle, and I don’t even have a website up right now. So, if there’s anyone out there, that’s a solopreneur that’s in that stage. Take your time with it. If you’re good, people find you. There’s visibility in other ways, but just do what’s comfortable for you.
Sundae: And that goes back to the example we were talking about before that had you been listening not to your voice, but other people’s voices, you would have thought you had to have a website before you started, but you started when you were ready.
Janine: Yeah, I think it’s an excuse. A lot of people like, “I need to have my logo. I need to have my colors. I need to have my tagline,” and it’s all those things that delay you starting. And I was like, no, I couldn’t delay. I had people coming to me and asking to work with me or for me to work for them. I’m like, “I can’t delay. Let’s just dive in,” and then the other stuff which is obviously not necessary, can come later.
Sundae: Yeah. I always tell my clients, just pretend it’s 1982. What would you do if it was 1982?
All right, our time is coming up. I wanted to quickly go through, like check in now with you, right? We’re going to look at where you are right now in terms of transitions, transformation, and ambition. So I’ve got four quick questions. What comes up to my mind? Which transitions, internal, external, performance led are you feeling now?
Janine: Probably performance led.
Sundae: Yeah, around your business.
Janine: But the performance led things around my business are fueling the other side of my life. When I have more success there, it gives me more energy and then I feel, I don’t know, there’s like an extra bit of confidence and then I know I can do other things. Like, I just started cold water swimming because I wanted the challenge. I am in Spain, so it’s not as cold as some friends have that are in lakes in England. And so I’m not gonna brag too much, but the water is 15 degrees, it’s cold. And I was just like, “I’m gonna push myself into doing it.” And then now it’s a hobby that my husband and I do on the weekends and we love doing it together. So that’s like it’s impacting my other parts of my life, where I’m just like, “Yeah, I’m going to do it.” The house, like, “Yeah. Now I’m gonna buy the house.”
I remember one thing that we talked about when we were together was becoming financially independent because I would have these nightmares when I would wake up in the middle and I’m just like, “I’m a bag lady living on the street. My husband’s dead and I don’t have a pension.” And I’m like, “How do I make my own money so I can put my money into my bank account and see it grow for when I’m older.” I went headfirst into that now and I’m doing.
Sundae: That is so exciting. I wish that the listeners could see your face because it’s totally glowing right now. I’m so happy. So, that’s what’s happening right now.
And what are some of the transitions that are going on like globally, health, or in your family that you’re really feeling right now?
Janine: Well, I mean right now, just while we’re recording this, everything’s going on in the Ukraine. So that’s something that everyone has to deal with, even if it impacts them or not. In my family is that’s a tough one, no matter how good your business is going or whatever, there’s still some family stuff that you have to deal with. I have some health issues on my parent’s side that I’m having to deal with from Spain. But because I know I I’m satisfied with living in Spain, I’m adjusting to how can I help my parents from here? How can I offer support for them? And if I can’t, how can I find support for them in Canada when I can’t be there? There’s no guilt.
Sundae: Yeah, that’s good. And the reason why I think that’s so important to ask is I think it’s important for people to realize like you’re in such a gorgeous phase of your business and things are going really well, you’re really happy, and it’s like you have all these other things happening in the background and that’s also real life. One of the things I’ve learned from my clients is they’ve said, “Sundae, after working with you, life doesn’t get easier. I just have more tools to deal with it.”
Janine: Yeah. Yeah. Life doesn’t get easier.
Sundae: As a coach, when I first started, I was kind of like, “Yay. I’m going to help people and make people’s lives easier.” That was a naive idea I had about it. And then I was, “Oh no, that’s not how life works.”
Janine: Sometimes when I’m doing something and I don’t want to do it and I know I have to do it and your brain pops up. I curse. I curse you, just like, “Freaking Sundae!” And my husband just laughs. He’s just like he’s like, “I love Sundae.” You always said that I’ll do what I have to do.
Sundae: You’re not going to let yourself get away with your own crap. That’s right.
And how are you defining ambitious right now?
Janine: Oh, I actually, ambitious for me is not – I wrote an email on this to some of my subscribers today and it was about the pressure that a lot of female solopreneurs have to align their souls with their business. And I’m like, “Enough of this soul branding brainwashing.” They don’t sell this to men. They sell it to women where our very souls have to be infused with our business. The big WHY. You can be damn good at what you do and work with people that need it, appreciate it, and make money from it and bank that money. So your ambition, don’t be afraid of being like, “Yeah. I’m good at what I do and I’m making money.” Don’t be ashamed of that. It doesn’t have to be about your soul.
Sundae: What kind of pressure is that?
Janine: We have enough pressure as women already. And I’m in perimenopause. So trying to do your business through perimenopause. I was on a call with a client yesterday and I’m like, “You look a bit tired.” She’s like, “Perimenopause,” and I’m like, “Oh girl, let me tell you.” We were talking about that and she has kids. I don’t have kids but there’s all these pressures. Why would we willingly put more pressure on ourselves to be a solopreneur when there’s a thousand things you have to do by taking your soul out of your body and sticking it in your business. I’m sorry. Not necessary.
Sundae: A “soul-preneur.”
Janine: Yeah, it’s like stop. I think I can’t remember what the line was in the email. It’s like, “The pressure of infusing your soul into being a solopreneur. It’s not needed.”
Sundae: No, you’re so right. It just feels liberating to hear that, right? That’s like why it’s the same where I talk about finding your purpose. It’s not like a needle in a haystack that you have to dig for and if you don’t find it, you’re doing something wrong. Let’s just take the pressure down and learn what we want now, right now.
Janine: Yes. Yes, exactly
Sundae: What are ways people can get in contact with you if they’d like to work with you?
Janine: Well, I don’t know if you’re providing any contact information, but they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will have a website up and running in the coming weeks. There is a page if you go to JanineChristie.com there is a page which is kind of a coming soon page where you can subscribe to my newsletter, which I give all kinds of tips on how to write copy that sounds like you. That’s my big thing is having women – I work with female solopreneurs to use their voice, their true voice, to write copy that sounds like them. So when people read your blog posts or whatever, they get a sense of you because it’s really important that you work with someone that’s you like. So people need to know you and what it would be like working with you. So I help women draft copy that sounds like them so they can get more visibility on their business and on themselves. So, you can go to JanineChristie.com and subscribe there and hopefully when I get a frickin minute, the real website will be up and all that, because I have some programs. I have a True Voice Kickstart program, which is six sessions to help people develop their voice. I have 90 minute session for people that already know how they want to sound but have no clue how to infuse it into their copy and into the business. I help them in those ways too. So that’s keeping me pretty damn busy right now.
Sundae: So good. It’s so good. And that’s why I think our work is still aligned. Like, I help women find their voice in other ways, right? And you are helping them find their voice and braid out into the world literally. It’s gorgeous. And I can say, from behind the scenes of watching you create this, it is so well thought out, so tested, and that the intentions are so in alignment with every single step that you have them do. It’s just been really great. It’s so wonderful to watch someone who has their heart in their business for the client’s benefit. It’s so obvious the way your heart–
Janine: Yeah, heart but not your soul. *laughter*
Sundae: Exactly! Thank you so much for joining me, it’s been so wonderful!
Janine: Thank you for having me.
So there you have it. A taste of the impact transformation when you intentionally shape it. You can see a real-life example from Janine on this positive and long-lasting impact on her life, her relationships, and even her business. If YOU would like a taste of that, you are invited to learn more about my two new programs:
- Ambition Clarified: 90-minute VIP Session
- Ambition Amplified: A 90-day program, to help you fast track your transformation in the most positive and intentional direction.
All right, the link is in the show notes, or just DM me wherever you follow me on social media, or you can reach me through my contact page.
This is been IN TRANSIT with Sundae Bean, steady advice in an unsteady world. Thank you for listening. I’ll leave you with the words of Jillian Michaels: “Transformation isn’t a future event. It’s a present day activity.”
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