In today’s episode, our guest is Jasmine Star. She is a photographer and business strategist who empowers entrepreneurs to build a brand, market it on social media, and create a life they love.
[3:06] Why should I listen to you?
I have the unique ability to hear a story and the end of the story.
[3:36] Where did that come from?
I didn’t realize that this was a source of power for me until adulthood. But what I realized growing up is that I’m a brown girl and the daughter of an immigrant. I grew up obese as a child. I wasn’t the kid that someone’s like, wow, that kid’s spectacular. I believe that I’m a professional. People watches, dial in, and drill down on who this person is, what drives them, and what they want. I’m not special. I just pulled a mirror up to what somebody wants and can’t find the right words and I make them feel very seen and known and understood at that moment.
[7:24] What was the transition of going from being a quiet person to being more outgoing and speaking up?
There are two distinctions and that is there’s the girl from the hood, who will do whatever it takes to get where you want to go, and then there’s the human that realizes the purpose and power and being 100% who you are. I will do things other people want to get results that other people don’t. My approach is different from anybody else’s approach. I find myself in is, I’ve always learned that I will get more genuinely interested in other people than trying to get 1000 people interested in me. And it is the people who I talk to on the periphery that are never the ones who are the most captivating, but those who are the most powerful. Good things happen when you are not the center of attention and trying to get other people interested in what it is you do.
[10:42] Was there something as a kid or teenage years where you experienced a transformation?
For me, it wasn’t a transformative moment. I did not have the scales rising. I didn’t have a family with a deep sense of self-love and purpose. It was like a style. It was just a muscle that I realized the people who had the thing I wanted and the power in which they possessed. I noticed that they would do certain things to get to where they were and I thought to myself, am I capable of doing a little of what they have done? and the answer to anyone asking that question is if you’re asking the question, you have the ability, it’s just whether or not you’d have the courage to deploy against the very thing you desire. For me, it wasn’t overnight. I just realized that every time I exerted a bit of effort. I fell on my face, swallowed my pride, and then continued trying again. I just realized that one of the mantras that have carried me through life is I can’t lose if I don’t quit.
[13:29] Can you walk us through when you started and what the journey is like?
I got a full-ride scholarship to UCLA law school and while I was there, I was sad, stressed, and overwhelmed. My mom had a relapse of brain cancer during my first year of law school and then everything got flipped upside down because she had battled for eight years at this time. The doctor said her time had come and so in addition to being depressed about being in Moscow, I found a deep depression around life, purpose, and God, and I quit law school. I had three years to go back to reclaim my scholarship. But I said I need to take a medical leave because I need to be with my mom. I moved back home with my parents, and I don’t know which way is up but all I know is that I want to marry my high school sweetheart. Someone I’ve been dating at this point, for about nine years, and I wanted my mom to see us get married. We plan a wedding in like three months. The doctor said she won’t walk but she was able to walk down the aisle with me.
After the wedding, my husband asked me if I was still going back to law school and I said no. He asked a singular question: if I could do one thing and be happy for the rest of my life, what would it be? And I said, I would be a photographer and within the first year, I built a six-figure revenue stream on photography. I started teaching other photographers how to build better businesses. And then slowly thereafter I started teaching other creatives how to build better businesses. And then I started consulting with medium-sized companies and in every iteration of this career, I slowly started realizing I have a skill set of breaking down a big idea into small actionable steps. So then I started creating digital courses that changed my life, and my career. My financial objectives then created a membership on the back of continuous education, and then in 2021, decided to turn the membership into a full-on SAS tech platform where we empower small business owners with the marketing resources that they need for their business.
[18:37] What advice do you have for people that are deadly afraid of creating a business?
As I went through the journey of choosing a photographer for my wedding, I realized that I was not making an intelligent business decision. I wasn’t even making a logical decision. I was making 100% emotional decisions for an emotional transaction and it was at that moment I realized that I would lose playing the talent game. I will lose playing the marketing game. I will lose in the business game. I can win in an emotional game. And it was the first time that I flexed that muscle in understanding that I could connect with people on a human-to-human level. And then I quickly distilled that at the time I was working part-time for my daddy’s church. So I didn’t make a lot of money. So the risks were low. I just thought to myself, Well if I can book five clients, if I can emotionally connect with somebody who believes in my capacity to do a very simple thing on a very special day. I just need five to match what I was making at this church like I said, not a lot of money. So the minute I was able to book the clients, I was then officially in business. And so I didn’t have to ask people to make a transaction. What I had to do was to appeal to an emotional aspect or an emotional decision. And every single iteration thereafter can I connect with some of these deepest desires and showcase a transformation? If I do that, then I don’t have to ask for a sale. I simply have to make an offer and then they decide based on the equity that had built up.
[21:18] How did you go through the journey of getting those five clients?
My dad is a pastor in East Los Angeles with a sizable church and I thought to myself nepotism at its finest. Let me offer my services for free to people who would say no to free. And lo and behold a lot of people said no because when you offer something for free it isn’t. There are three reasons why people will stop business and the number one is money. They have a hard time asking for money because they feel like it’s a charitable donation or they feel like somebody’s been benevolent because they believe that’s a choice and a decision. The second is denial. People have a hard time saying no to receiving a note because they don’t receive the note as a note of the offer they see receiving no as a no to them human. And then lastly, it’s the belief that even though you love your product and your service, you love your business, you are not 100% sure that somebody couldn’t else get something cheaper, faster, better. So these three things are the negative narrative that we keep in our minds as business owners and I decided to break that barrier.
[23:58] How can someone develop that kind of belief in themselves?
So if you’re so worried about people saying no, I always suggest roleplaying with your friends. Give an offer and have your friends say no and then you have to come back and say but how do we get to a why you strengthen your skills by being told no. I don’t ask for a sale, I make an offer and that allows emotional distance. Do you know how many times we say no in a day? I don’t want to watch that on Netflix. No, I don’t want that meal. No, I don’t want to go there. But it’s not anything against like the show on Netflix, the food, or the location. It’s really like that’s not where I’m at right now. So I just really put a distance between that and the belief I simply state the truth. There is somebody better, cuter, wiser, faster, and cheaper that will sell the very thing that I am. But the thing that nobody else has is the way that I see the world, the way that I present things. You present that to somebody if it’s an alignment and so yes, it’s not alignment to know we continue moving forward.
[27:18] How have you in the recent months or years kind of dove in and noticed and looked at the mindset of people or even of yourself and the success that’s tied to it?
I read a book a few years ago that had a radical shift in how I did business and it was I look back at what was like some really big tipping points and it was this particular year that I read this particular book, it was called Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck. There are two types of people. People with a growth mindset and a limited mindset, and are born fixed. I read the book and I realized that my foundation was fixed. My buildings, my emotions, and my structures were fixed. I realized that that was the greatest disservice that I can do myself. And it was at that time that I started realizing you’re playing small to win when you set out to play games, you are unqualified to play understanding, it is highly unlikely that you will win, but losing at a bigger game is better than winning at the world’s smallest one. Everything stated for me everything said it is still a challenge every single day.
[35:32] What’s the thing that you hope to create for people who come across you?
I don’t think it’s a great answer. It is just the answer that is the truest version of why I do what I do. I was 26 years old with no idea of what business was. All of a sudden, I saw how big the world was and how the internet democratized the way people showed up. The internet gave unqualified people the chance to work their way into qualification and I was on the curb of that. All I want to tell people is that the very thing you want to do is on the other side of consistency. It might not be as big as you want but if you are consistent, you will improve and do well in it. Be consistent, make an offer and remain attached to what you do.
[46:10] What promise did God make to the world when he created you?
I will be a reminder that you are enough. What you do is enough, who you are is enough and what you say is enough.
[9:50-9:57] Good things happen when you are not trying to get other people interested in what you do.
[12:52-12:56] If you’re not transparent enough for people to dislike you, you’ll never be transparent enough for people to love you.
[26:22-26:27] If you can separate yourself from what you are doing, it will be a humongous relief.
How to connect with Jasmine Star