Hey, hey rebels. If you're feeling stuck in your business at all, then today's episode of the podcast is just for you. Casey Jourdan is joining me today and we're talking all about the pursuit of evolution and what this means for your business. Here's a big hint, you don't have to create a course, a webinar, or even a mastermind (you know my love/hate relationship with courses). You only need to do what feels right for you.
Here is a little bit about Casey too, because her story is going to want to make you tune in even more.
Casey Jourdan is a business strategist extraordinaire. She guides solopreneurs from feeling overwhelmed and negative to on-track and inspired in their businesses. After surviving a road-side bombing in Iraq, and years later tackling multiple rounds of infertility treatments with no good outcomes, Casey has come to deeply believe that change is inevitable but evolution is optional.
Casey combines her Masters in mental health, her time as a therapist, and her own life and business experiences to create a signature approach in The Pursuit of Evolution. She teaches others to see change as an opportunity to be embraced. Through leaning into our evolutions we can take our business to its next best level.
Tune into the audio:
Michelle: Welcome to the Rebel Rising Podcast. Casey, I'm so glad you're joining us.
Casey: Thank you. I'm so excited to be here.
Michelle: So one of the things that I find super interesting about your business is the reason why you started it.
Why don't we start there and tell us a bit about why you started the business that you have.
Casey: I'm going to give you the condensed version, but oddly enough, this business idea essentially started about 15 years ago when I got blown up in Iraq. I didn't know that's what would come out of it at the time. I was wounded in roadside bombing in Baghdad, was diagnosed with post traumatic stress, a traumatic brain injury, and some other joint and nerve damage and have had to live with kind of all the things that come with PTSD and a brain injury and constantly adapting my life and how I cope with my symptoms.
Casey: So then more recently about two years ago, my husband and I went through two years of infertility treatments and four miscarriages, and we decided eventually about a year ago, we decided to stop pursuing having a family and move forward with life child-free.
So I decided that if I don't get to raise a family, I'm going to raise an empire.
I believe that we get to control our outlook on life and even though I didn't get the outcome I wanted, I get to still control like the outlook and what plays out of that and so I've leaned into my business. I love starting a businesses. I have a long history of everything from woodworking to drop shipping to fitness and nutrition coaching.
So I realized it would be a lot cheaper and better for my sanity if I helped other people with their businesses instead of constantly starting my own.
Michelle: That way you can feel like you're starting a business even if you're not.
Michelle: It doesn't you have to be your business.
Casey: Yes. I get to tinker with all the inner workings and then step out of the way.
I'm curious, so how does your business help accommodate for the post traumatic stress disorder, the brain injury, why was starting your own business a good fit for that?
Casey: Especially more so because of the brain injury I wear out a lot faster, like paying attention is exhausting. I know all of us deal with that at some level. It's very heightened in a brain injury and I was struggling to maintain 40 hours a week, any kind of real quote unquote nine to five job, and my degree is actually in mental health counseling, so I was working as a therapist and working with veterans with PTSD while having PTSD, it kind of all became too much.
Casey: So actually on our honeymoon, I broke it to my husband that I really wanted to quit my job and run my own business, because now he was stuck with me so now I could like, you know, let the crazy out. And he was fully supportive, so the plan was originally that I was going to be a stay at home mom, but obviously that didn't work out and we realized how beneficial it is for me not to be on a set schedule.
Casey: So when I'm struggling I automate as much of my business as I can so that I can step away for a couple of days and recover.
And when I'm doing good, I just work as much as I can and kind of get as far ahead as I can. So it really allows me to be where I need to be and give myself permission to do what I need to do in managing my PTSD and brain injury.
Michelle: Oh, I love that. It's so interesting to hear how your business journey has evolved, and I say the word “evolve” with much intention, which we'll talk about in just a moment.
But I mean you've really been able to adapt to what life has thrown at you to create a business and play on your strengths. Like you like starting businesses, so help other people.
Casey: Exactly. Yes. And it's been a process. It's definitely been an evolution.
So tell me, Casey, what are you rebelling against?
Casey: I am rebelling against two main things, the fear of change, and then kind of within that thinking that we don't have any control over where our life is going and how things are going to turn out, both in our life and our business.
Michelle: Why do you think we are so afraid of change?
Casey: I mean, at a science level, like anthropologically speaking, our brains are designed to protect us from different, because different used to mean scary, which meant deadly, and that's just not the world we live in anymore.
But that's still… Like, once that fear kicks in we want to stay with the status quo and also just kind of that not knowing what's on the other side, like some of the changes we commit to in life can just seem overwhelming and scary. And so we just want to drag our heels and try not to change, but the problem is we get drug along whether we want to or not.
Michelle: Yeah. And well, being drug along sounds way more painful.
Michelle: So the other side of that was control, right? That belief that we don't have control. So tell me a little bit more about that too.
Casey: Yeah. So I firmly believe that we have more control over the outcome of things than we think.
So often I see this in business and people are like, “Well, I've tried everything. It's just not working.” And I'm like, “Okay, have you tried this, this, this and this?” And they're like, “Oh. No.” I'm like, “Okay. Then we have more options, keep going” and sometimes those options are out of the box and that's having the outside opinion.
That's part of what I do is see things that you might be too close to see.
Casey: So we have more control than we, I think we ever give ourselves credit for. And then the other side of that being that sometimes we don't have control.
Like for me getting blown up or like the infertility treatments, I didn't get the outcome I wanted, but I get to choose 100%, I get to choose my reaction to that situation.
So that being the bigger part is great. I don't love the outcome, but I can still make a life that's amazing despite that.
Michelle: Yes. Well, and I think business owners often lose sight over what they can and cannot control and yeah, we have a hundred percent control over ourselves and how we react to a situation. So yeah, you probably wouldn't have wanted to be blown up. I mean, that's such an amazing story that you have as part of your background, but it's so refreshing to me, like, “Yeah, and I can control how I'm reacting to this. I can create a life, I can create a business that actually supports me and what I want to be creating in this world.”
Casey: Right, exactly.
Michelle: I love it. I love it.
So tell me, speaking of change, what change do you want to create in the world?
Casey: I want to create the change of… I want us to lean into change. That's the change I want to create. I want us to stop letting change drag us along.
I firmly believe that change is inevitable, but evolution is optional. I want us to embrace change as an opportunity, like something to seek out, not be something to fear.
Michelle: Ooh. Do you want to tell people that your 3 Word Rebellion is?
Casey: Yes. So that's a perfect segue. I was kind of wondering, “Should I throw it in there now?”
Michelle: Yes! Bring it!
My three word rebellion is the pursuit of evolution.
Michelle: I love the way it ties into to change, that change isn't something that we should be fearing, but seeing as that opportunity for our evolution.
I know you've told us a lot about you, but how do you see this playing out in other people's businesses, people who actually embrace evolution and pursue it?
Casey: The one thing I see a lot is we have this kind of perception that there's an end point in business that like “When I make $100,000 or when I hire a team, like it's going to be easier. I will have arrived and I've got it all figured out” and that's just not how business works.
Business is constantly evolving at every single level, and so I see entrepreneurs get stuck.
One of my favorite stories is my friend Clementine started a business that was Pinterest perfect parties in a box. You placed an order and you got a whole box with all of the theme stuff that you needed for your kid's birthday party. And it was amazing, and she worked really hard at it.
Then she started resisting the work and then she started resenting the company, and then she stopped doing the work. She got super stuck and started to internalize it as this failure that either she wasn't meant to be an entrepreneur or it was a terrible idea. But with some time and some work we realized that it just wasn't the right fit for her.
She had kind of evolved beyond that project and what she loved was the crafting, not selling the finished product.
Casey: Kind of like I love starting the business, that's the part that gives me excited, so same kind of thing. And so she has evolved into a new company doing crafts and like a subscription box service for crafting for adults. Every month you get a craft delivered to your house and she's just so excited, even when the work is hard to show up every day that it makes it easy to show up.
Like she wants to be doing this work. It's the right fit now, it's the right evolution for her.
Well, and what I love about that story is that she was able to look at something that wasn't working, that wasn't going well, and figure out exactly what it is she loved about it and then refocus on that and create that and evolve in that way.
Because I think sometimes, I mean I know that I've felt this way in my business, especially when I was working with speakers, I was like, “Oh my gosh, I've established this business where I'm working with speakers, and I love my clients and it's not as satisfying.” But the thing I always loved the most was the message and being like, “What if I just focused on like what I love and I'm good at?” And being able to have that, being able to have somebody provide you with that insight I think is so important.
Casey: Yes. I know this following you on social media and working with you, you're already starting to look into that next evolution of like the agency.
So you have embraced your pursuit of evolution, you're leaning into it and like, “Okay, this is where I'm at, this is what I love about what I'm doing and the three word rebellion work, how do I do more of that? How do I take that to the next level?” That's where it gets exciting is how do we make this big picture, longterm game plan and know that it's going to keep changing as we go?
Michelle: Yeah. And I think we have to embrace that, because I know for me, as I was thinking about what was next, I love mentoring other people. That's why I only do one on one work because I love the relationship I have with people and being able to mentor them.
And I was like, “Oh yeah, an agency makes sense because I would get to mentor other messaging people that worked for me and I could still have those client relationships as well.” And I was like, “Oh yeah.” So yeah, you're right, we're always changing, even if we don't like to admit it.
And I think it's when we don't admit it or we're not willing to open our eyes to it that we get ourselves in a bind and that's when our business starts feeling really icky and out of aligned and just plateaued is you stopped evolving.
Michelle: Yeah. And because you just feel super stuck and going back to what you're rebelling against, it's like you don't realize that you actually have control, that you could make a different choice.
Casey: Yes. We internalize it as us being mediocre at our business or something's wrong in the business, not-
Michelle: Or something's wrong with us sometimes.
Casey: Or something's wrong with us, yeah, exactly. Yeah.
We internalize it as it being us being bad at our job when really we're just ready for the next thing.
Sometimes it's a tiny tweak and sometimes it's a massive revamp of everything and neither is wrong.
Like for Clementine to go from kids crafts to adults crafts, there was definitely some feelings of failure and it was like no, there was a lot of amazing lessons learned, and you got that clarity through taking those actions to get to where you needed to be and to what's right for you right now.
Michelle: Yes. And I love that you're reframing failure.
Casey: Yes, definitely a huge part of it.
Michelle: Like nope, nope, not failure. You're actually learning.
So my final question for you is if everyone acted on your message, the pursuit of evolution, what do you think the world would be like?
Casey: We'd all be a lot happier.
At the root level, it's that simple. If we embraced our pursuit of evolution and if we got excited about the unknown and if we embrace change as an opportunity, life is fun and it's exciting and we're happy, and even in our business when it's hard, it's a fun kind of hard that you want to show up and dig through, not an overwhelming kind of hard that you want to hide from.
Michelle: Oh yes. Well, because I was thinking as you were talking about how much resistance and suffering we cause ourselves when we say no to change. And so I do, I see that, Oh, we'd be happier if we were just honest and being like, “Oh I don't like this part of my business anymore.”
Casey: Exactly, and to be watching for it as soon as… We wait too long and then all of a sudden it's like this giant catastrophic change that we need to make in our business instead of like a subtle.
There's another coach friend of mine who just recently dropped her membership program. It's not working for her, she's not loving it, and she's looking at some other opportunities, but she's like “You know what? It's time to let this piece go before it becomes this major complicated thing or this big long debate.” It was like, “Nope, this piece is out. What's next?”
Michelle: Yes. And we have ideas all the time and we start pursuing them and we're like, “”Hmm, this isn't quite right.”
Casey: Yeah. And that's part of it too sometimes.
I actually did this, I just beta tested a program earlier this year and about halfway through the beta it was like, “Nope, that was a bad idea.” Like finished up the beta, thanked my clients and completely chopped that offering.
Michelle: I love that you were unafraid to do that. You weren't like, “Oh okay, how can I make this work?” You were like, No.”
Casey: Nope. Bad. Exactly.
Michelle: And you're right, we would be happier if we just listen to ourselves and just kind of embrace like, “Oh that experiment did not go well.”
Casey: Exactly, exactly. And also with that, not getting tied up in what other people in our niche are doing.
Casey: You look at the gurus and they're pushing courses or memberships or high level masterminds and there's nothing wrong with any of those. But like you said earlier, you like mentoring, you love the one on one work, so why would you convert everything to a course if you don't like teaching in that model?
I want to reach as many people as possible, so I'm launching a membership so that I can really touch base with as many businesses as possible in the biggest way possible.
Michelle: Yeah. And with the pursuit of evolution, it's about that constant alignment of asking yourself… because I had an idea for a group program that I recently killed and it's not that it was a bad idea, I think it would have been an awesome program, but every part of me was like, “You're going the wrong way.”
Casey: Yes. And that's so good that you listened and didn't buy into all the hype that you have to run a group program to have a successful business.
Michelle: Yes. Yes, yes, yes.
So Casey, tell us where people can find you online and experience your awesomeness.
Michelle: Awesome. Well thank you for being here and I just have to say, if you are feeling stuck in your business, go check Casey out on Instagram. I love your stories. They're thought provoking, they're insightful, and I have to say, if you're stuck and you're afraid to make a change, connecting with Casey is a pretty smart step.
Casey: Awesome. Yes. Thank you so much for that.
Michelle: All right, well thank you for being on the show, Casey.
Casey: Yes. Thank you for having me, Michelle.