I remember when I was a teenager really wanting to take philosophy A-Level. I mean given the way my brain works you've probably figured that would be a good fit for me right!
Well a college tutor who had never met before, said you don't want to do that and I shrugged my shoulders said, OK and took her word for gospel. But I often wonder what I'd be doing differently right now had she said I should take Philosophy. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise, maybe it set me off on the successful serial quitters path?
Either way, I was reminded of this experience when I interviewed this weeks guest Jessie Benson.
Jessie was once a hospital physician who pivoted and left her career when she went on a journey to test and try out lots of new hobbies and skills. This Included learning to play the cello in her thirties and building her own house! A life coach, artist and homesteader, Jessie, embraced a brand new direction to follow a new path and create a life of her dreams as a Life Coach, Artist and Homesteader. Some of the key highlights from this episode:
1.) How we sometimes go against our heart and better judgement because we put someone else's opinions above our own.
2.) Even if you're unsure about your passion and purpose, there is no harm in trying lots of things out and seeing what you find out about yourself.
3.) It's never too late to try a new hobby, learn a new skill or enter back in to education.
4.) The reminder that life is to be enjoyed and we should aspire to become the person we would want to have in our lives as a friend.
5.) How it's important to set boundaries and stop saying YES, when we want to sat NO!
6.) And that our Value isn't dependant on how well we do something, but that our value just IS!
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Full Show Transcript
Beth: Welcome everybody to the Visualise You Show. So, I'm here today with Jesse Benson. Jesse is a part life coach, part artist, and part homesteader and a full-time life enjoyer in 2014, Jesse found her brave and left life in the hospital as a physician to follow her dreams. And now as a certified life coach, Jesse helps women find their brave so that they can live they're truly love.
The Brave is Beautiful circle is Jessies yearlong coaching program, helping women find their brave. She helps guide and support women as they develop their mastery via her signature course 10 Habits of the Brave woman.
It's a privilege to have your here today. Jesse, thank you so much for joining us.
Jessie: [00:00:43] Thank you, Beth. I'm very excited to be here.
Beth: [00:00:46] So I like to start, the conversation really around your journey. Tell us a little bit about you, where you started out and how you came to be doing what you do today.
Jessie: [00:00:53] So as you mentioned, I was a physician. I was actually an anaesthesiologist and an ICU doctor for almost ten years. And I realized about halfway through, that this not where I belonged. And with that, I realized how I got there, and that was chasing approval and achievement. And so, year after year, I just sought the next A, the next achievement, the next award.
And it ended up in medicine. And once I realized that path wasn't ending in happiness, I realized I needed to figure out what would, and for me, that is becoming a life coach and a professional artist. And so, I realized that gave a six-month notice at the hospital, paid off my quarter-million-dollar medical school debt.
Beth: [00:01:42] goodness. Wow.
Jessie: [00:01:43] Yes. Yes. Took almost ten years and gave my notice and I was free. It's been amazing.
Beth: [00:01:49] So what led you to make that transition? What made you make that pivot at that specific time, in your life?
Jessie: [00:01:56] It was really the awareness that I wasn't doing something I loved, although it's wonderful to help people, it was very stressful. And I realized I wasn't doing something that I loved. I was doing something that adults in my life had led me to, by telling me that's what a smart person does.
A smart person becomes a doctor. And I remember even in high school; I wanted to be a professional photographer. And I remember telling my guidance counsellor; I want to go to art school and being a straight a student, my guidance counsellor said, you'll be wasting your life. And so I listened because I cared so much about what people thought about me, that I went against my own heart, and I did what the adults said at the time, and that was over eight years ago.
And so many of us do that don't we. When we're in school, we don't really know where we're heading. We don't really know what it is that we want to do, but we listen to these adults that are in our life, who, we feel are ahead of us and they know what they're talking about, but sometimes what we're not taught is to listen to that inner voice inside of us.
Beth: [00:02:55] And actually, what is that telling us? So, I was actually going to come onto this later on, I read somewhere on your site about you working with, high schoolers and university students. So, is that part of the reason why you do that? What kind of work do you do with them?
Jessie: [00:03:09] Yes. So, one really cool thing is I came full circle and started teaching at the college that I went to.
Which is so neat. I had my same, like member number, student number from over 20 years ago, as my employee number. It was so cool. And so, I taught mostly Freshmen. And I taught them how to acclimate to college life.
So how to study, how to figure out what they wanted to be in college, what they wanted to major in, and then also the skills to how to navigate becoming autonomous to that skill from leaving the family home because all the Freshmen live on campus, to how to navigate everything from conflict resolution, good habits, good self-care. Which was so fun to teach them because it's the first time they've been out of their parents' home and they really are on their own, and they need to learn those skills. And the other thing I taught at college is leadership. And that was really cool because I got to help the students figure out their own unique leadership style instead of teaching them, this is how you be a leader.
I taught them to look inward and find out what kind of leader they naturally were. And then with high school, which is something I'm just starting to do this semester, I'm teaching my book Journey to You. And it's a self-discovery course. And so, I'm teaching middle and high schoolers, like grade seven through 12 to figure out more about who they are and what they love.
So, they can use that on their journey.
Beth: [00:04:43] So just for our non us listeners, so Freshmen is that university age.
Jessie: [00:04:48] Yes. Yep. It's a university. And it's the first year of university.
Beth: [00:04:53] Okay. So that really pivotal part of kind of adult next steps, which is so important, isn't it on that journey. Okay. That's really cool. That's such an amazing thing to give back. And do you think that came out of the experience that you had when you were young and getting that advice?
Jessie: [00:05:07] Absolutely. And I just had that insight when you were recounting it back to me that I'm the opposite of that guidance counsellor, who I'm sure was well-meaning who said you would be wasting your life. If you become a photographer, you need to go to medical school. Now I'm the opposite voice.
I'm the, what do you really love? What are you drawn to? To find that balance between what they love and also practical so that yes, they can support themselves, but they're also doing it by following something that they truly love.
Beth: [00:05:36] So you were a physician. How did you find the thing that you were supposed to do? So, you talked about like your paintings. How did you find that painting was going to be a, your thing as well as life coaching?
Jessie: [00:05:47] Yes, which are two things I love so much. So how I came into art, I had loved art my whole life, but I was a perfectionist, and I was so afraid to fail that I would not try making art because I thought that it wouldn't be good enough. And I thought that it would get rejected if people saw it. So in about 2010, when I finally worked through that perfectionism.
The world opened up to me, and I tried every kind of art that I could. I tried all kinds of music. I became a cellist.
Beth: [00:06:17] So you didn't play the cello before this time?
Jessie: [00:06:19] I became a cellist in my thirties. No, I wouldn't try anything. I wouldn't try sports. I literally only did school and then my job that was it. I didn't want to do anything. So, it was so afraid to fail.
And so, when I started my art journey, I tried all the different styles of art. I tried like all the different tools. I tried acrylic and oil painting. And then I got to what I do now because I saw an artist at an art show who made art out of beeswax and I didn't know what it was, and she explained it to me.
So, I went and bought all the supplies and started making it, and I loved it. I love working with the beeswax. And then in 2013, the inspiration for my original technique came to me where I actually draw into the wax with a fine tip to the metal tool and an oil painting. And I called them my bees, wax, and oil paintings and that's what I've been making and selling since.
Beth: [00:07:11] Wow. Such a complete transition. So, you really leaned into that. So, were you still working at this point in time?
Jessie: [00:07:17] Yes. I started making art in and around 2011, and then I left medicine in 14. And one of the reasons why I left medicine was just because I didn't have time to do these new things. I was falling in love with. I didn't want to leave my cello.
I didn't want to leave my art studio and go work 60 hours and work weekends and unpredictable nights.
I just wanted to be home doing the things I love. And so that's when I realized I really needed to leave medicine. And that's when I found life coaching. I read an article about the career. I didn't know about it. And I realized I was already a life coach for the people in my life. I just wasn't doing it professionally.
And so, I signed up for school and then gave my notice.
Beth: [00:08:00] So, were you making an income at all? Did you completely finish and then just start the next day? Or did you transition into it?
Jessie: [00:08:07] I gave my notice July 4th weekend. And then I started coaching school in November. And my last shift in the hospital was Christmas night, and I brought my cello and played the cello for the patients and the employees. It was really fun. Yeah. So, I just, that was my last night being a physician. And then in 15, that's when life was getting so cool, I went to India on meditation because I also became a yoga meditation teacher.
So, 15, my first post medicine year, I went to India on a meditation trip. Then I started yoga teacher training, meditation teacher training, and continued my life coach school. So, 15 was a big year of new training for me. And then in October, I left on an eight-month RV trip of the US hiking in all the parks.
So, it went from working in the hospital, like 60 hours a week to this incredible life of exploration. And it hasn't stopped since.
Beth: [00:09:07] But there must have been some mindset shifts going on. Because most people couldn't just “right, I'm going to hand my notice in tomorrow” and then “I'm just going to do it”. So, there must have been something. Can you talk us a little bit about how that happened?
Jessie: [00:09:21] Absolutely, for me, I had the formula in my brain that my value, my innate value as a being, as a human was completely dependent on how much I could succeed. And for me, that meant succeeding academically and professionally. As long as I had that belief, I was never going to stop this path of achievement.
And so, through reading books like Eckhart Tolle and some other authors, I really realized that's not where my value comes from. I read some self-esteem books, personal growth books, and I broke that equation. I realized that my value is not dependent on how well I can do things. My value just is. I just am a human; I have value because I'm alive because all humans have value.
I didn't think about other people. I only thought about it about me, that I have to be good. Do well to be good. And once I broke that equation in my brain through a lot of reading of books, then the world was open to me. Then I could pursue what I loved, instead of what I thought that I would strictly be good at.
So that took time. It took, it was several years of reading books and several years of challenging that belief before it finally broke in my mindset. And I had to keep reminding myself, it wasn't just overnight, early on when I would start to get in that self-judgment mindset and start to believe I'm not doing this perfectly, so I'm therefore not good, which would put me in a state of fear and not wanting to try anything. I had to remind myself, that's not true. I have value strictly because I do. Everyone does. And so that's how it happened.
Beth: [00:11:49] So over that journey then of that period of time, can you identify some of the life lessons or one main life lesson that you would feel really shone out for you during that period?
Jessie: [00:11:59] A major lesson is that life is meant to be enjoyed. I didn't even; I didn't even have that as an expectation in my life that it's this beautiful thing to be enjoyed. And without that, life wasn't fun. It wasn't, I didn't, I wasn't excited to wake up. And once I realized life is a playground, it's a beautiful thing to be a part of.
And once I changed my mindset to that, life just became every day is beautiful. Whatever I'm doing, it doesn't matter. I'm doing the dishes. I'm sweeping the floor. I'm making art. I'm talking with you. It's all beautiful. So that lesson that life is to be enjoyed. It really reframed every choice I made.
Beth: [00:12:46] And so now is there a balance between your life coach and in your artwork?
Jessie: [00:12:51] Yes, I do both, and so the predominance of it is maybe it's maybe 25% art these days and 75% coaching.
It will waiver, which one? If art is just a little bit more like, for instance, I have a show coming up, and so I'm spending more time on my art, getting all those pieces ready for the show.
But in general, it's probably 25 arts, 75 coaching because I make my art and I show most of it in a gallery. So, I make it, get it to the gallery, and then they take care of it from that point on.
Beth: [00:13:21] So anybody who's maybe thinking about being an artist or starting off on that journey, would the galleries be the way to go or do you have any e-commerce stores how would you promote your artwork?
Jessie: [00:13:31] You can absolutely do both. So, what a very first recommend Is making some pieces and then putting them in a few shows, like one or two pieces. So, if in your community, there's a community arts centre where there's a school, that's giving, an opportunity for people to hang their work. Start small, just hang it, just to get used to the idea of showing your art publicly.
And then once you feel comfortable with that, you can start selling it online. I sell mine on my website. Other people have an Etsy shop, for instance. And then as far as galleries; read about that online, because in general galleries do not like it for people just to bring their work in and just say, cause they're busy, it's like their job.
So, I recommend researching if there's a gallery you think you want to be in, research the gallery? See what their process is for considering new artists? Yeah.
Beth: [00:14:21] With your artwork and your life coaching, do you have clients that overlap in both areas?
Jessie: [00:14:27] Yes. Yes. I do sometimes attract creatives, like folks. I very recently was coaching an author who was in writer's block and helping her through that. And I'm coaching another author who has finished her book, and she's in the stage of getting it ready to go out into the world. And, another client who just wants to, who is afraid, like I was to try art.
And so, I'm coaching her into exploring art. So yes, absolutely. I do attract clients whose art, is a part of their life, a part of their journey. But a lot of them, it's not a lot of them. it's, they're not, they don't consider themselves artists. And I would work on other things like if their job or their relationship.
Beth: [00:15:08] And so do you feel like there's been something that's been calling you. And how that links from being in a very different career to what you are now, were the things that link those two journeys together.
Jessie: [00:15:19] So what I realized that I am becoming like the person I wish I had in my life. I realized that maybe six months ago, I thought, wow, like that person that I always wished I had, that encouraged me, that believed in me that liked me just the way I was. I'm becoming that person.
And I am sharing that as a coach. And so, in my, coaching, that's what I do for people. And that is because that's what I wanted. That was the thing I wanted was for someone to support me and guide me. To be who I was meant to be, not to be who they thought I should be. So yes, those breadcrumbs were the desire in me to have that person.
Beth: [00:16:05] And then, we all have our skills and experiences that we a mess over the journey of our careers. And one of the things I'm really wanting to help our listeners hear is in themselves is that we all have these experiences, and we should be proud to shout about those. So I like to call them kind of superpowers, but is this something that you'd be willing to blow you own trumpet a little bit and share with us in terms of what you think your superpowers are?
Jessie: [00:16:27] Absolutely my superpower is listening. I surprisingly, I just love listening. I love listening to people. And when I listen, I'm nowhere else. And I realized recently that I listened because I truly want to understand them. And then by understanding them, I help them understand themselves.
I'm not trying to help them understand themselves. I'm trying to understand them. And just by the questions I ask, they develop a deeper understanding of themselves as they get to know themselves better through me getting to know them. So that is definitely one of my superpowers.
And I think another superpower is my ability to enjoy life, to just go all at it. Just whether, no matter what I'm doing, I was paddling yesterday, and swimming and I just let everything go, and I was there. And then when I'm here with you, everything is gone, and it's just you and me. So, to really be able to be present so that I can really enjoy life.
Beth: [00:17:31] So as you were going through and trying out all these different techniques and arts and finding your music. Do you still approach life in that way? Or has that kind of slowed down a little bit? Are you still picking up brand new things all the time, or do you think that will ever go away?
Jessie: [00:17:45] Yeah, yes, I still am. I don't, think, it's not at the speed that it was when I broke free from perfectionism, and I was just like any instrument, any piece of art, I just want it all. I was very much in an intense phase of exploration at that time. Now I still love, I love to learn. So, for instance, right now, it's the kitchen being in the kitchen.
I love to cook. I have a garden; I cook for my garden, and I love to bake. And so, I've been exploring pizza. And so, I have four different pizza dough recipes I've been making and fine-tuning each one. And so, I absolutely love exploring and learning. And I don't think that's ever going to go away no matter what has happened in my life.
I'm always going to want to be growing. So yes, it is still there in a very big way.
Beth: [00:18:35] Yeah. And so, in your bio, you talk about part homesteader. Is that part of that then what does that mean? Tell our listeners what that means.
Jessie: Oh my gosh. I love homesteading. So homesteading is essentially the desire and the intention to try to do as much for yourself as you can. And I actually call myself a hybrid homesteader because I still go to the grocery store and get things. I still order things online, as opposed to like fully cooking my own.
Growing and cooking my own food, but I built my own house. So, my cousin is a builder and he, and I designed my own home, and he led the whole project he's a contractor, but I helped. I just did so much labour. Like when I say help, I mean labour, like digging ditches—staining the siding on the house, putting up, raising the walls, putting up the roof, like really?
Yes, I had, and I didn't know how to do any of this. That's another thing I learned. I learned building code. I learned what the rules for how to build a house are. And I learned those, and I got my permit for my house. And, so homesteading is basically doing as much for yourself as you can. And it's different for everybody, someone in an apartment, it can be growing plants on your patio.
It, but for me, it's house building and growing and baking.
Beth: [00:19:51] I love that. I never knew that was a thing. I shall have to find out more about that.
Beth: [00:19:55] So as entrepreneurs, we all have a platform of choice or a particular strategy that will help us to share who we are and our messages with the world. Is there something that's really working for you right now in terms of growing your business that you could share with our listeners?
Jessie: [00:20:10] Definitely I follow the philosophy of sharing value. So, I do a lot, like for instance, that I'm teaching that I'm doing at the school, the high school right now, that's starting soon, that's volunteer work. And I do that because it's a non-profit school and a private school and they need help.
And so, I do a lot of sharing my skills, my coaching skills. And from that, I grow. And then from that, I connect with people, who would like to take it to a different level and work with me on a different level. So, I definitely follow that model of sharing what I have to offer.
And the other thing that I do is I've really connected with this idea of the brave woman, and really everything that I am and then I've gone through my journey has culminated in the Brave is Beautiful Circle that you mentioned.
And so, it's really cool to bring it all together until one place for my whole life to come all my gifts, all my offerings into one place. And so that's the other thing I'm doing is bringing all the areas, bringing the art in, bringing the baking in, bringing the homesteading in and bringing in all into this program to inspire other women, to find their brave and to build their dream life.
Beth: [00:21:29] So just tell us more about that circle then. So, what can somebody expect to get out of that program?
Jessie: [00:21:33] Oh, my gosh.
Jessie: [00:21:35] It's so cool. I like, I designed the program like 10, I mentioned ten years ago when I was reading books and trying to figure out how to break free from perfectionism and fear of failure. And this is the program that would have fast-forwarded me to that and taught me that it's to have fun. And so, what it is, it's a one-year program for women, and it's a small program.
I will enrol ten women at a time, four times throughout the year. And in that, I will teach the ten habits of a brave woman that you mentioned. So, I will teach, like, for instance, one of them is brave boundaries. A brave woman says no when she wants to. So, I'll do a lot of work on why we say yes. Yes. When we really want to say no.
And the skill of how to start saying no in a loving way, but in a firm way. So, I teach those ten habits on how to show up authentically in our relationship and as a brave relationship. And I do that with lessons every week and in one-to-one coaching and a lot of group coaching. So, the whole group of women work together to support each other.
So, they're not just getting support from me. They're becoming a part of this community of women that all want to find their brave.
Beth: [00:22:49] And just being able to say no is so empowering, isn't it? I think as women, especially, we tend to say yes, a lot when really, we should be honouring our boundaries and supporting ourselves.
Jessie: [00:23:02] Absolutely. And because we're afraid to lose relationships, we're afraid to lose approval. And there is a way to find that balance where we can still be authentic and still have high-quality relationships. And I help women find that balance.
Beth: [00:23:17] What's next for you then? You've obviously taught, you've got your art. You've got your life coach, and you've got your course. What do you Visualize for yourself in the future?
Jessie: [00:23:24] So I definitely want to grow the Greatest Beautiful Circle. That's a new project, and the first enrolment is October, and the first circle will start in November. So that's, that has a lot of my focus right now. And then another thing is to just keep fine-tuning my own work, to keep being that person who follows her brave, who isn't afraid to expand her comfort zone to keep living the teaching.
So that's what I want to do is to just keep on growing on my own journey. So, I have more to share with the people I work with.
Beth: [00:24:00] I often find that actually when we learn something and then when we are vulnerable enough to share that and teach that to somebody else, I feel those authentic connections come a lot easier because people can really resonate with that. So, it's really nice to hear that's something that you approach as well in the work that you do.
Jessie: [00:24:18] yes, I've been there. Like I have been there I've been that person who says yes. When no part of me wanted to say yes, and I know why I did it. And. So I've been the person who didn't take care of myself that sacrificed my health for my job, for the approval of my employers.
And yes, I've been there. I've walked that. I've made all the mistakes I've done it. And, and I just love helping others just rise to the person that they're capable of being.
Beth: [00:24:48] Is there anything that you would want the listeners today to take away anything that you feel would resonate with them?
Jessie: [00:24:54] Yes. That this life is so short and so beautiful to really be yourself, life is to be enjoyed, and we can enjoy it best when we are truly who we are and do what we love with the people we love, where we love and start today, start today because life goes by so quickly and it's so much better when you're you.
Beth: [00:25:22] And have lots of fun, like you did.
Jessie: [00:25:24] Yes. Yes. It's way more fun when you're you definitely.
Beth: [00:25:30] Thank you so much for being on the show today. I'm sure our listeners have learned so much from your inspiring story. Where can people find out more about you and the work that you do?
Jessie: [00:25:40] Just in general, they can go to my name.
Jessebenson.com. Find out about my coaching and then the circle they can go to: www.Braveisbeautifulcircle.com and my art, Jesse Benson fine art.
Beth: [00:25:55] Lovely and I'll put all those links in the show notes for today. Thank you so much for joining us.
Jessie: [00:26:00] Thank you, Beth