Welcome back to Alchemy for Authors!
In this episode I chat with author and the Prince of Positivity himself, Spencer Jones. Spencer shares his journey to living his life to the max and how you can do the same. Not only does he give tips, tricks and strategies for combating imposter syndrome and negative self-talk, but he also shares how you can shift your mindset to make your author and writing goals a reality.
Your stories are important. They need to be told. It’s time you stopped playing small, went after your passions and lived your life to the max!
You can connect with Spencer here: www.SpencerMJones.com
Join his Jonesin’ For Academy here: https://jonesinforacademycheckout.groovesell.com/a/Qm55yjxCsc6N
Find his books here.
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Find the full transcript of this episode below.
Episode 24: Mindset to Maximize Your Author Career with Spencer Jones
Jo: Hello, my writerly friends. I have such a great episode for you today. If you have been stuck on the fence about chasing your writing dreams, or you’ve been struggling with imposter syndrome or that nasty little inner critic, then this episode is the pep talk you need.
So I’m talking to author and the Prince of Positivity himself, Spencer Jones, and he shares his journey to living his life to the max and how you can do the same. Not only does he give tips, tricks and strategies for combating imposter syndrome and negative self talk. But he also shares how you can shift your mindset to make your author and writing goals a reality. Because your stories are important. They need to be told. And it’s time you stopped playing small, went after your passions and lived your life to the max. So when you’re ready, grab a drink, find a comfy chair, sit back and enjoy the show.
Hello my lovelies. Welcome back to another episode of Alchemy for Authors. Today I am chatting with author, Spencer Jones. Spencer loves to help people live their life to the max through a holistic approach. He’s known as the Prince of Positivity, and he shares his positive energy and spreads joy around the world. He does this by sharing tips, tricks, and strategies to help others live life to the max through his daily energized podcast, along with the Jonesing For Academy and various events. Spencer is also a classically trained pianist and choir director who has published three books and has been published in multiple magazines and websites.
So welcome Spencer to the show. I’m so excited to have the Prince of Positivity here. It’s such a cool title to have that I can’t wait to chat to you about that.
Spencer: Well, thank you so much. And thank you so much for having me on. I’m really, really excited to be here, to chat with you and to hopefully help some authors chase their passions, live their lives to the max, you know, whatever that means to you. And hopefully it means, especially for authors, writing that book, sharing your story, or sharing a story and inspiring others and helping others. I’m just super excited. I know the bio is a whole mouthful of different, fun things in there, but I appreciate it. And, I can’t wait to get chatting.
Jo: Yay. Well, I’m very, very excited because this whole premise of this podcast is about following your dreams and with the niche of, you know, if your passion is to write books or write poetry or anything in the creative writing area. So I’d love, if you could tell me a little bit more about yourself, and you’ve written a few books, you’ve been published a few times, so what that journey’s looked like, and of course, I really want to know how you got the title Prince of Positivity.
Spencer: Great questions. Okay, so a little bit about me. One of the things you mentioned towards the end of that bio was I’m a classically trained pianist. And so one of my passions is music, and I love playing music, love, sharing music out with others. And that has just been one of my passions that has kept me going and going and going and really just loving that. And that led me to actually becoming a choir director. A middle school or an intermediate school, high school choir director. And I loved doing it loved helping students, but as a teacher, while you had summers off, and even when going to college, I had summers off and I’ll be perfectly honest, I was bored. I was bored during the summer cause it was always just school / piano. And I can only say that to piano, I mean, I was practicing for what? During college years, probably four to five hours a day. During my last year of college, it was literally 10 to 12 hours a day in a practice room. It was crazy. But summers, it was more open. So I found myself being bored. And one of my friends was into fishing. And so he let me join him one day and I’m like, you know, I used to like fishing as a kid. I did this, not all the time, but often. And I enjoyed it and I started getting hooked on it. After catching some fish with him, I’m like, oh, this is awesome. This is a lot of fun. And as I was fishing, I noticed people in kayaks fishing and I’m going, oh my gosh, this is awesome. I loved kayaking as a kid, too. How can I forget about this? Let’s combine the two. And ever since then, I’ve been doing kayak fishing and loving it now for 10, 11 years now, kayak fishing and chasing that passion of mine, of being outdoors, loving life and chasing that. I’m telling this story, cuz it does lead to answer those questions. Yeah.
And so with kayak fishing, chasing that passion, it led me to do some crazy and fun things. Like I traveled all over the United States kayak fishing, to different parts all the way from the Midwest, a little bit of the West Coast as well. California, Oregon, to the East Coast to Florida where we were chasing sailfish, which are about five to six feet long, out of my 12 foot kayak. So it was just a lot of fun, a lot of adventures. And I was able to record them and share them. I had mini series. I wrote about them on blogs, a part of different communities and forms I was part of. And that led me to get connected with other people in the kayak fishing world and the fishing world, and them just reaching out because my stories led to getting published in a couple magazines and some quick tips and doing reviews for certain products. Where I actually hosted my own review show for a while. And all that just kept leading to, oh, sharing my stories and helping others.
As I mentioned, one of those trips took me down to Florida to fish for sailfish. I was going with a friend of mine and we were heading down there as a 24, 26 hour drive one way from our house there, and so we fished. First day was miserable. Like we prepped as best as we could for this trip. We looked at all the YouTube videos research and Googled a whole bunch of things, but there wasn’t much information out there. It was very, very slim pickings. And like, honestly, we were looking at videos about another topic to see what was going on in the background, just to hopefully get some tactics or strategies for us for that trip.
As I said the first day was miserable. It was really hard because we didn’t know what we were doing. And then we learned that first day, we talked with other kayak fishermen who were down there, shared that information with us. And the second day, total game changer, we had so much fun. We didn’t catch a sail fish, but we had fun on the water. We caught other fish and it was just a blast.
So as we were making the 24 hour drive back home, all in one stretch, we were talking like, there needs to be information out here. People love kayak fishing, that this is gonna be becoming a growing sport and we wanna help them, so let’s write a book. And my friend was already busy writing one of his other books, so I said, you know what, I’ll take this on. Let’s have some fun. And I decided to write about kayak fishing offshore or beyond the breakers out of a kayak. And so that was the first book. That was just so much fun to write, helping other people chase their passions. And then that one was released to help people. I had a lot of fun with that.
And I’m like, all right, I have all these stories of my adventures across the United States. Let’s put them into one book now, consolidate them. And we called it Kayak Fishing Adventures. So if you wanna go kayak fishing around, and I know it probably isn’t every listener’s dream here, but if you wanna go kayak fishing around, we talk about the four different ways of doing that. And I share recipes and how tos, and tips and tricks and all these different things in this book, to help people, right? It’s basically, it’s a fun story. You could hear about some, some of my crazy adventures, not all of them, but some of them. And then you also get tips, tricks, strategies, and guides, and todo lists and checklists and all these different things for you. So you have this book now and you have a fun read, but you have something you could take action with and chase your passions.
Well, you see, over this time of kayak fishing, I wasn’t taking care of me mentally or physically. I gained a whole bunch of weight. I gained it in college and I just kept slowly gaining it to the point where I didn’t like the way I looked or felt, and I decided something needs to change. And actually one of the deciding thing was I was having, I was struggling putting my kayak on top of the car and I’m like, this is, this is hard. I’m struggling to chase my passion, to do what I love. I need to lose some weight. And so I decided all right. Let’s go after this. And so I started doing P 90 X that crazy at home workout program, and started doing that. And then other at home workout programs. I lost over 40 pounds over what, two years, and then, and I’ve kept it off and that allowed me to, to pursue, okay, this is what fitness is like, how can I stay healthy? How can I be fed? I built a ninja course in my backyard. I did all these different things to help me make sure that I stay healthy. But one of the things that I noticed in that journey is, oh, my mindset, wasn’t right. My mindset, my, my attitude just wasn’t the best that it could be. So I started to work on me doing a lot of personal development and really fell in love with that. Noticed the changes in me and then started to share it with other people. And really took an interest, started diving into the research, learning about it specifically positivity, mindset, and really helping people create a positive kind of mindset. It’s made such a huge difference in my life that now that’s what I share.
And a friend of mine dubbed me the Prince of Positivity because I’m positive wherever I go, right? I’m always looking for the silver lining, the good thing, the lesson that can be learned. And, you know, I have my downs just as much as everybody else, but I’m able to pull myself out of it and see those lessons and then help other people see it in their life and grow from it.
So all that led me to write my third book which is called Chase Your Passions. The second one was called Kayak Fishing Adventures. That was the second one. I’m sorry. So I dunno if I said that one, right. Second one was Kayak Fishing Adventures. The third one was called Chase Your Passions, which is all about creating your roadmap to success.
So kind of you think back on the journey, right? The first book I wrote was a how to, how to kayak fish. Here’s the lessons we learned. The second book was here’s some fun stories, a little bit, how-to, some actional advice tips, and handouts, things like that in that second book. Well, now this third book, totally different realm. It’s not kayak fishing related, it’s personal growth and personal development. But it’s a how-to guide. It’s showing you how to create that roadmap. Here are the highs and lows. Here are the ways to look at it differently. Oh, you have this obstacle, right? You’re feeling down. Here, here’s how you can overcome it. And really walking people through that. And it’s been a fun journey. I hopefully walked you through that journey of how I got started, called the Prince of Positivity, and now my next book I’m, I’m working on currently, my fourth one is something I thought I’d, let’s have some fun. Let’s do something totally different. The other ones were non-fiction, this one’s gonna be a fiction story. A story based and about a guy climbing a mountain, reaching his summit personal growth, personal development style, but all built into this story, kind of like the Alchemist. So I love that you call your story Alchemy for Authors, right? And I just love that. So it’s gonna be so much fun to, to tie that in and it’s a challenge to mix it up. I’m struggling a little bit, but it’s an exciting struggle. And I can’t wait to share that.
Jo: So fascinating. And it’s so interesting hearing your whole progression to where you are today, because that’s something that I talk about a little bit on the show, but sometimes just following those clues that the universe kind of gives us to put us on our path. And it sounds like you had that going from teaching, and I know what teaching’s like, cuz that’s my day job at the moment, so I’m with intermediate kids as well, but then, yeah, yeah, right? And then you being bored and then a friend mentioning fishing and then that little, I used to like that. And then, you know, leading onto the kayaking, leading onto writing articles and books, and then this whole entire journey that is, sounds like it’s impacted your entire life, like your health, your wellbeing, and from looking at your website too, it looks like it’s filtered into all of your life. And so I just find that so fascinating, how, when we follow those clues and do those things that we’re really passionate about, it really can impact on our entire life. And so you were saying that a big part was mindset and making sure that your mindset was aligned, like you were making outside changes with fitness and everything like that. So where were you finding that mindset at the time was letting you down?
Spencer: Well, a lot of time for me, it was feeling that I wasn’t good enough. That who am I to be writing these articles? Who am I to be writing a book and sharing this stuff with them? Like what, what do I have to say that hasn’t been said before or who would listen to me? And that was really, it’s a limiting belief that I had, and I know many people haven’t met me, my clients have as well. Who am I, why should I be able to do this? And I can imagine a lot of your listeners here struggle with that as well. Like why should I write a book? And who’s gonna buy it, right? Who’s gonna buy my book when I put these words on a page. And I just wanna share that while you have an important story to share, your own personal story, that’s a huge story to share, and to listen to those whispers, whether it’s your story or you write a fiction story, like my wife, she’s absolutely amazing, she’s a fourth grade teacher, she’s been writing children’s books. And it’s so awesome to see her chase her passions of writing. And now she’s getting into poetry and having some fun with that. And you listen to the whispers of the universe, of God, of, you know, the source, whatever you want to call it, earth, wind fire, right? Life. You listen to the whispers, it’s going to start guiding you. And to do that for me, it’s quieting my mind, quieting that inner bully as my friend, Sean Douglas says, that inner critic. So you quiet that down. You hush it. And then you listen and you listen for those whispers, and saying, you know what? No, you are good enough. Right? You might have been telling yourself, oh, I’m not good enough. Who am I? Well, you are you. You are amazing. You are incredible. You are worthy. You are enough. Share it out. Share out your story. Put that pen to paper, right? Start writing those words on that page. Share that story. Share your light, whatever your light is, share that with the world, and cuz the world needs it.
You know, I’ll be perfectly honest. The stuff I’m saying right here, right now, the stuff I’ve said in my book will maybe most of my book, some of it was newer information that, I mean, people knew about just, I didn’t see it in writing anywhere, but most of it people have said it before in some way, shape or form. Someone has said it before. My story’s not a, I mean, it’s a unique story because it’s me and it’s mine, but there’s similar traits amongst many stories. But I resonate with certain people. People resonate with me and might not resonate with someone else. So why are you holding back your story from people who can be impacted by you, only you, not someone else, because you’re letting that inner voice, that inner critic beat you up. It’s time to let that go and say, you know what? Nah, I am worthy. I got the story and it needs to be heard.
Jo: So important. I just totally resonate with everything you say there. And yeah, it has been said a million times before, but it really is important that we keep saying this and keep reminding ourselves of the importance of using our voice, getting our words down, moving through that negative voice.
So you were saying that to move through that you needed to quiet the voice. How did you go about doing that? What are some tips and tricks that my listeners can do, because I know most of us authors and writers at some point, everybody, really, whatever they do, that good old imposter syndrome and that negative voice, you know, it’s always there in the background. So how do we quieten that down so that we can move through it?
Spencer: Fabulous question, cuz so many of us struggle with, I think everyone who wants to go for something big or do something new, they struggle with imposter syndrome. And you know, as much as I teach us, I still go through it. I was speaking in Nashville at a business event talking about imposter syndrome, believe it or not. And I had imposter syndrome about that. Like, it’s just crazy how that works, but how, how can you get over it? Well, a couple things.
One for me, I’ll be frank and honest as meditation helps me a lot. It just helps calm my mind, calm my body down. And I’m a very hyper person. Very, if you haven’t figured that out, I’m very just go after it, and fast paced. I see a squirrel and I’m distracted. right? That meditation was really difficult for me. But I started in just, oh, I got 30 seconds, 30 seconds where I could focus on my breathing. And then I started to build it out from there to now, you know, where a week went by, I could finally do one minute. Two weeks, I got two minutes. Then after about three weeks, I about up to four to five and I stayed there for a while and then it grew from there. But that allowed me to calm my mind.
And along with that practice, starting to meditate, I started to journal. Just sharing my thoughts. Right? Sharing my words. You can call it your diary, your journal. I don’t care. But just write down your thoughts, your feelings, your emotions. That helps me just get that out. Right? Get that imposter syndrome, that negative voice outta my head onto that sheet of paper, so it’s like, Nope, it’s outta my body now. I don’t need to worry about it. It’s out there.
And then one of the biggest things that really helped me is focusing on my gratitude. So, what am I grateful for? What are the amazing things in my life that are just incredible? I have this daily practice that I share with everyone, so I can share it with you which I’m excited about, is to write down three gratitudes every morning. And then at the end of the day, think of two things that went awesome that day. It could be small things, right? It could be like, ah, the perfect sip of coffee, or, you know, it could be something big like I got a promotion. Great. It doesn’t matter. The gratitudes: it doesn’t matter the size. They could be small. They could be huge, but they’re still there.
And then the last component that I wanna share, especially when it concerns imposter syndrome, is to look at all you have done so far. Think of all of your successes you have had so far, big ones and small ones. Again, the size of it doesn’t matter. You have had amazing successes in your life, but yet, so many times we beat ourselves up about it. We tell ourselves we’re not good enough. Oh, that was nothing. Oh yeah. That was, that was that, this is something totally different. Okay. It could be something totally different, but you still had success. So let’s carry on that success you’ve had there, that confidence, that energy from that win, that success to here, and go, you know what? We’re gonna do the best I can. I’m gonna apply myself and see what I can do and what happens happens. If it doesn’t work out, Hey, it’s a learning opportunity. If it works, Hey, it’s awesome, and it’s a learning opportunity. So no matter what, you’re always gonna continue to learn and grow. As long as you have that mindset of going or we’re just gonna keep going. We’re just gonna do the best I can. I’m gonna lean on my confidences and my wins from before, the confidence from before.
You do that, your gratitudes, the meditation, the journaling, and it sounds like a lot. And it can be if you take it all at once, but take it one thing at a time. One thing. Start with your gratitudes. And maybe go to affirmations and maybe meditation or any way you want it, but just slowly stack it up. Just like when you write, you write one page at a time, it’s so easy to devote, I’m gonna write for three hours today. Maybe you could do a three hour block. And I struggle with that at times. Like I, I schedule my day when I write, but there’s times I like, I just need one page. I just need one page, one paragraph. Okay. Get that. Cool. Now let’s move on. Let’s go from there.
Jo: I really love that. And I love that you mentioned starting small. So with the meditation, just starting off with a minute and slowly, gradually building it up, whatever works for you. I think that’s so important. Cuz people can be turned off at trying to just sit down and okay, I’m gonna do half an hour meditation, and it’s the first time and their brain can’t focus.
Spencer: Oh my gosh. All of a sudden you do that, right? You try, like, I’m gonna do a 30 minute meditation. I’ve never done this before, but this is what people say to do. So I’m gonna sit down. I got my cushion. I, where, how do I put my hands? So I put them up like this or over like this, and you get so lost in the details. And then when you try it you can’t focus because you haven’t practiced, you haven’t trained your mind to do that. And you get irritated. You get frustrated. You think this is stupid, and then you quit and then you have that negative connotation to it, for well, until maybe you try it again and try to change it. But otherwise you always have that negative stigma attached to that. So start small, right? Baby steps. When I teach people, whether it’s on stage or in our virtual academy, it’s take it small. Baby steps at a time, right? Start with your gratitudes. That’s it. Just do that. And then build up from there. Start with that one minute or 30 seconds. Start with that and then build up. Because that’s how you can achieve success. And people who usually go all in, they burn out at points because, well, they’re just burning the candle at both ends. Don’t get me wrong, if you can handle it, okay, then maybe you need to back off at some point. But for the vast majority of us, myself included, let’s start small and build it up from there.
Jo: Yeah, I totally love that. And that’s good writing advice too. If somebody’s just starting out with writing. If you haven’t built the habit of it expecting to sit down for hours on end it’s probably not gonna work for you at all.
Spencer: You can go stir crazy sitting there looking at that blank screen or it flashing at you waiting to write and whew.
Jo: Yeah. So start it, small build it up and yeah, that’s fabulous. I love what you said about gratitude. Gratitude is, it’s something that I totally embrace. And that three things in the morning, I quite often do that at night. And celebrating all your wins, like big or small. I’m huge for that. I’m always doing that on social media, even the little things.
Jo: You’ve got to do that to keep that vibe positive. So I’m probably the opposite of you in that I would say I’m a recovering pessimist. Mm. Yeah. So, you know, when it came to really wanting to make my dream of being an author and writing my books, I really committed to trying to find the positive. If there was one area of my life where I was going to try and commit, that was the area where I was gonna celebrate everything as a win. My first, really poor star rating or bad review, that’s okay because at least somebody read it. So it’s out there in the world, you know? Yeah that gratitude thing is so important. I’m wondering though, because you said with your journey, you also went into exercise and fitness. Do you find that that also helps quiet that inner dialogue that can sometimes hold you back a little bit?
Spencer: Yes and no. If I’m gonna be totally upfront and honest about it. Yes, because it burns off your energy. In the sense of sometimes that voice is going crazy or you’re angry or frustrated and you have those emotions and feelings, sometimes it’s a great way to help burn that off. What I found that it helps me with more than that is it allows me to practice focusing. Focusing on what muscle group I’m working on, or if I’m going running the self-talk the negative self-talk that happens there. It helps me practice and forces me to practice calming that voice. Or if I’m lifting weights and my voice is saying, oh, you can’t do one more rep, but yet I know my muscles can do one more safely, of course, that, okay then I push myself and I can do that. Right? So yes and no. Let’s be perfectly honest, anything you do your inner critic, your inner voice is going to be there. It’s with you 24/7. So with working out it’s there it’s trying to control me, belittle me, yell at me, and rarely does it celebrate. Rarely does that inner voice celebrate unless you force it too.
But it does give me more chances to celebrate the chances to practice quieting it. The chances for me to say, Nope, look at this, I’ve grown here. Oh, I can run a little farther. I could run a little faster, I can lift a little heavier. I could jump a little higher, whatever it is that oh, I can grow. And honestly for me, one of the biggest changes I notice from working out is that I feel more alive, I feel more energized. Which that in turn, because I’m taking care of my body, right? I’m fueling my body right. I’m making sure your body likes to move. It likes to be healthy. That energizes me mentally and emotionally physically, spiritually, socially, it energizes all of those components of me.
So that now, oh, I can put more into my passions. I could put more into my writing. I could put more into life because I’m taking care of myself. And all that trickles to every component of life. So for me, while you don’t have to be fit, you don’t have to work out to quiet your mind, it is a big benefit and there’s research on it that does show that it helps with your mindset, because your mindset deals with your body, the physical part of your body, and that just helps it that much more. And if I get to chase my passions, it allows me to chase my passions more, why wouldn’t I spend a half hour a day, you know, six days a week or whatever I can, doing it. But if you’re not doing that again, start small. Five minutes, ten minutes a day, go for a walk and come back. You don’t have to go do P 90 X or hit a gym for three hours. Just take a little bit of time. You don’t need more than 30 minutes a day. Just move your body. Do something that benefits you because for me, yes it allows more opportunities for that voice to come back, but it also allows you more opportunities to help hush it and to make your body healthier and give you more energy so that it can help you overall. So it’s kind of a yes and no, but leaning towards yes.
Jo: Yeah. I like that because again, one of the reasons that I started this podcast is because I thought people who are truly passionate about writing, like they really feel it’s their calling, if you want to make that a big component of your life, then you need to make sure that all of your life is also helping to supercharge that as well. And that’s making sure that you’re looking after your health, that you’re keeping that positive mindset, that you’re doing, all those things. That should be something that fills up all areas. And so just having in mind that those other things that you think are maybe not connected to your dream, like working out or eating healthy, they do still play their part with you being able to live that dream life and everything.
Spencer: Nothing is disconnected.
Spencer: Right? Nothing in our lives is, as much as we might wanna separate it, like, oh, this is home. This is work. Oh, this is me writing. And this is me exercising. This is what I eat. This is the stuff I watch on TV. We’re really good at segmenting these parts of our life, but if we’re really truly honest with ourselves, and if we dig into it and the research, it’s all interconnected. All of it’s interconnected. Now, if we take a really easy example, okay. The food you put in your body, right? That breaks down, that energizes your body. Well, is it good food that’s energizing you? And I’m not gonna tell you to like, go, just be vegan or anything like that, like eat healthy foods right? But you do you. Like, I still like pizza and ice cream. So do that, but then that trickles into your energy levels, which then affects, oh, you’re writing. Oh, how well are you doing at work or are you tired in the evening? And oh, maybe it’s cuz you’re sitting and watching TV for hours. It all trickles down to it. So it’s finding, okay, what’s that balance like? What works for me? What works for me personally might not work for you. And that’s okay. And so knowing that it doesn’t need to be exact mirror images of each other, you can customize it, make it work for you, but do something good for you because it does affect everything. And you writing, don’t just think food, you writing is good for you too, because that affects all the other parts of it as well.
Jo: Yeah, exactly. Oh, I love that. So with your book, Chase Your Passions: The No Nonsense Guide To Living Your Life To The Max, now, even on your website, you talk a lot about living your life to the max. So what does that mean to you: living your life to the max?
Spencer: I love it. Living my life to the max means I get the most outta life that I can go to my death bed with as few regrets as possible. Right? I get to experience different things, try different things and just go for it. Get the most outta life. Like you’ll see me outside a lot of the time, digging my toes in the ground, going kayaking, hiking, camping, things outdoors for me. And that’s me, right? That’s living my life to the max. My wife and I, we don’t have kids. So it’s for us going out, traveling, exploring, and for some people who have kids, that’s spending time with their kids, with their families, being around for their grandkids and maybe still going outside or doing different things, or maybe staying inside. Like Katie, my wife and I we’d love to watch movies, so, okay, great. We sit inside and we watch movies too. It’s getting that most out of life so that, I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, I know I have, that sometimes it seems like life is just passing you by, like, you’re just for the ride-a-long, right? The day just happens all of a sudden, oh my God, today’s over. What did I do today? Or even the moments when you’re driving to work and you go, oh, wow, how did I even get to work? I don’t even remember driving here. All of a sudden I’m just here and you’re glad you didn’t crash, but you don’t remember any part of that drive. And I don’t want that. Like for me, I wanna be able to experience those moments and be aware in this present moment to enjoy it, to savor it.
And that’s what I’ve been loving to help my clients do. Last two and a half years now, I’ve been full-time entrepreneur and retired from teaching in the classroom to now teaching on stage or through these things and helping people do that. That has been so much fun to, to chase that passion, to help scratch a itch for me to live my life to the max and now help other people do that, to live their life to the max. So my question to you, Jo, and to everybody who’s listening, what does living your life to the max look like to you? Cause it’s different for everyone. So Jo, what does it look like to you?
Jo: Yeah, that’s tricky cuz I’ve been struggling with that a lot, I’ll be honest. Because I totally am passionate about everybody has to follow their dreams, they need to do those things that light them up. And not that life is easy, but you shouldn’t make following your dreams harder than it needs to be, it should be easier than sometimes we make it out. And then in real life, I have real difficulty with that, you know? Like I get really kind of bogged down working the day job and then feeling like, oh, I don’t have time to spend on my passions or the thing that’s important. It’s a little bit of a struggle. And I know a lot of the people listening to this, that’s something that a lot of them do kind of struggle with. They have this idea of what their dream life would be and like living life to the max. Part of it for me, would be doing what I’m doing, having these conversations, sharing my words, whether through the podcast or writing and helping encourage and inspire other people to live their dream lives really. But what would your tips be when we get so bogged down in the day to day that sometimes we’re our own worst enemy and can’t make those moves or take those steps to actually move closer to living that ideal life for ourselves. So what do you think we can do to start that journey?
Spencer: First of all, no, you’re not alone. It might feel like you’re alone. It might feel like it’s you against the world, that you have this dream, that’s living your life to the max, whatever that looks like to you. And yet you have your day job or whatever you wanna call it that keeps the lights on that pays the bills, and you have this passion, this thing that’s, you know, you just wanna chase and have fun with, and yet you don’t have time for it all. Cause some of it does take time, and what can you do? As much as I’m incredibly blessed and lucky, my wife’s a fourth grade teacher, as I mentioned. So I’m really lucky and blessed that she allows me to go full time with my passion and make this into a growing business to help more people, but I realized not everybody has that. What I’ll share is what I did before I went full time and even the more so that I’ve learned since then, I’m working with more people. And so that is, first of all be in the present moment. So what you’re doing right as the days, just pass you by, as things just happen, right? The life just goes on all of a sudden it’s the end of the day. And you’re like, what happened to today? Right? The weekends fly by as opposed to the work week. Right? You have five days of work, you know, we have two days of fun. Okay, well, let’s turn that around. Let’s look at the present moment. Come to this moment for me.
I love doing it with my breath. Just coming to that deep breath and being, okay, instead of always dreaming for the weekend or thinking about, oh, I have this dreaded project, or I have this class coming up at times, right? These students, or these issues. Just come to the present moment and think about, okay, what’s going on right here right now? And then for me, being the Prince of Positivity, what are the positives right here? What are the good things going? What do I notice? Just so I’m not thinking in the future, I’m not getting anxious or worried about the future. I’m not living in regret or worrying about the past. I’m just here in this present moment. So that just helps me connect to the here and now.
Then to think about, okay, I need to keep the lights on. Great. This is all nice advice, Spencer. Thank you. But I wanna chase my passions more, or I wanna scratch that itch more. So what can you do? Well, chase your passions a little bit every day, or set time aside every couple days to chase your passion.
So let’s say for example, one of them is hiking, right? Your passion’s hiking. Okay, well maybe you can’t go out and hike every day because you have to drive let’s say a half hour to the trail and then it’s, you know, half hour, hour plus up or a full day, whatever it is, you just don’t have that time. So, what can you do? Well, you can go for a walk out in the neighborhood. Right? You could do that for five minutes. You can just get up and walk and come back. Or maybe you plan a vacation. What’s really cool is there’s research showing that you get the excitement, the adrenaline, serotonin that you get on a trip just by planning it. So why not just plan your trip? What would you do? And maybe you don’t plan the whole thing, but maybe you plan one portion of it. Where you start looking at, oh, where can I go hiking? What are some options that I could do on this trip or different things? Even if you never go on that trip. Okay, you got that planning in so if you ever do decide to go, cool, you have that plan, but you’re also scratching that itch. And what can you do? Or maybe you research the tools you want for that hiking trip or, or different gear you would get, or you can order, you know, do stuff like that. So you take little moments in your day. Maybe it’s five minutes, maybe it’s a half hour, whatever it is, to just chase that passion a little bit.
So for me, with kayak fishing, when I was working and teaching, it was okay, I’m on a forum and I’m researching and chatting with people about kayak fishing and doing that. Or I’m writing articles for different magazines. So a little bit of time here, maybe it’s just five minutes looking at pictures, you know, whatever it is just to keep that itch going so that I get closer and closer.
And then the final tip I’ll share is, if that’s something you’d like to make a move into more, research it. If you want to do that more often and you know, work less, what needs to happen in your life to make that happen? Right? Okay, you need to win the lottery. Cool. Right? Keep trying. But I would say maybe look for something that is more likely to happen. You have, the odds are more in your favor. So what does that look like to you? Is it maybe you do put in some overtime to raise some more money so you can invest that, maybe that’s an option. Or maybe you build up your writing career, write for different gigs and get paid, and that starts becoming a side income, a little side hustle you have, that’s your passion.
So maybe it’s not the full time, but it’s part of it, so that can help compensate. And then you could see, or you can look at what careers do people have in this industry or the passion you have. Even with that, like kayak fishing, it’s a fun industry, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t pay it well, at all.
So what can you do? And what do people who do that passion, what other things that they do that still tie in that passion? So you’re still doing something else, but you still tie that in. And when you can marry the two and you’re like, I’m chasing my passion, I’m doing this, it’s so incredible and freeing and energizing, but I realize that’s not everyone. Not everyone can have that, but everybody can scratch that itch. Everyone can go after it, chase their passions.
And, you know, a lot of people don’t want it because I’ll tell you to be careful. If you do want to chase your passion and make that your career or whatever, I mean, I’m saying, go for it, try it, but also be aware that it can lead to burnout. For example, I was kayak fishing, I had that review show that I talked about, Kayak Fishing Review, and I loved doing it and I did it in the summer. Yes, I did it in like June through July, this how quickly this happened to me, and I was already kayak fishing. I probably started maybe more in May, but in any case, so I was teaching a little bit and wrapping that up. I have these products to review while I have to be out on the water. I have to be recording videos. I need to edit all the videos cause I didn’t have money to pay people to do this. So I was doing all myself. I spent hours and hours and hours doing this on top of work. Or instead of hanging out with my wife and family. All of a sudden I started to notice I’m not enjoying going out in the water. I’m not dreading it yet, but I wasn’t enjoying like, Ugh, I know I go fishing, that’s fine. Right? Like I should be enjoying this. This is my passion. I realized that that passion turned into the job, the J O B, and I wasn’t enjoying it. And so, I ended it pretty fast, at that point. I finished up the reviews that I had committed to and ended it there just because I did not want that to lead me to burnout, to not enjoy kayak fishing, like I’ve seen it happen to a handful of my friends that did burnout from it, because they just kept pushing like, Nope, I’m gonna make this career. And they ended up not liking it at all really anymore. And so just be careful of that.
Spencer: There’s ways to go too far in. So like, if some people say, if you’re gonna chase your passions, pick maybe one of the not as exciting ones, every ones you’re all into. I’m not, I wouldn’t necessarily go on that rabbit hole. I’d say chase one of your passions, but make sure you have other hobbies. That you’re not trying to make money from a hobby, something you spend money on. Right? So have a couple hobbies as well, as long as you’re chasing that passion.
Jo: Yeah. I think that’s really important because I think a lot of us get into this mindset that, well, we should be able to make a living from doing what we’re passionate about. I think we should enjoy whatever we do to pay the bills, we should enjoy it. I want to encourage people to do something they enjoy, but it doesn’t always have to be your passion. But for some people you know, just listening to what you were saying, I was kind of reflecting on my situation, and I think going back to some of the other things that you said about take a look at how far you’ve come and your successes. So in your history and what you’ve already accomplished. And I think sometimes we can be so, and speaking for myself too, so eager for that next thing, that we’re like, I’m just loving this so much and I wanna do all the things, like why can’t I just have it all now? That we actually forget it’s been quite a journey, but we’ve come quite far and relatively fast too.
I’m just thinking for myself. I’ve only been officially, I guess, on the author journey since 2020, which was only a couple of years ago. And I’ve only had this podcast since February this year, and my life has completely changed. I still have the day job. But in so many other ways, my life has completely changed. Being able to chat to amazing guests like yourself and all the learning that I selfishly get from doing these interviews, you know, like it’s Yeah, it’s phenomenal. So I think sometimes we don’t give ourselves credit for how far we’ve actually come. And also, I just wanna say, I think you’re absolutely right about being present and finding ways to keep the fire of your passions lit. So finding ways to take steps or do something every day that just keeps that fire lit in you and keeps you excited.
Spencer: Thank you. First of all, thank you. I appreciate that. I hear it. I accept it. So thank you. I wanna mention one thing that I’ve noticed that burns out that light and you actually referenced this earlier. So it’s a beautiful tie in, and that is celebrate your wins because as you’re going down, as you’re in the grind, you’re trying to write that book or you’re trying to chase that passion, make that your living or whatever it is for you, it could be a grind and sometimes we need to just keep our head down and keep going. Right? And that’s beautiful. That’s how I’ve built this business. That’s how you’ve built your business and you’re building it up. But yet it’s good at times to take your head up to look and look how far you’ve gone. Right? Look how far up that hill, up that mountain, up to that summit, you have gone. And maybe you’ve made it to that summit. Now you’re already onto your second or third summit. And that is incredible.
I have a good friend of mine and my coach who reminds me of that moment at times. He’s like, hold on, Spencer, let’s celebrate those wins. You had what? Like this happened? Holy crap. So don’t forget to celebrate wins because if you’re just go, go, go, go, go, nose to the grindstone, so you know what I mean, right? You’re just focused on working again. Where you’re just going for it. Well, it gets daunting and it seems like it’s just, it’s wearing you down, tiring you out and your light, hopefully if it’s your passion it’s gonna keep going more and more. But even with that, it starts to dwindle a little bit and starts to slowly fade. Well, you wanna re-energize it. You wanna keep energizing that light. So celebrate your wins. Celebrate them, the big ones, the small ones, celebrate them. And that’s something we don’t do well. Our inner bully, our inner critic doesn’t do that. It criticizes us.
So, from one of my shows, I was doing an interview and my guest shared this philosophy. I wish I remember her name cause it’s so good. Yes, we’ve always had our inner critic from the day we were born, but we have something else that from the day we were born, that many of us don’t tap into. And that is your inner cheerleader. That’s right, you have this inner cheerleader, not just inner bully. We talk about the inner bully all the time. Let’s talk about your inner cheerleader. You don’t give your inner cheerleader enough time and limelight to be cheering for you. So let’s allow your inner cheerleader to do what it does best. To celebrate, to applaud you, to look for those things. I’m not saying boost up your ego, right? I’m not saying that, but to celebrate those wins, the legitimate wins you had on your journey. And then you go, oh my gosh, look how far I’ve come, this is amazing. Let’s keep going. All right. Back down. Let’s go to work. Oh, pop my head up. Oh my gosh. Look how much farther we’re at. Let’s keep going. And to help you with that is for me, has been key surrounding myself with the right people. Yes. Surrounding myself with people who love me, who encourage me, who are supportive. They might kick me in the butt and tell me to get going if I need that. But it’s outta love and they’ll celebrate with me. So they’re there to pull me up when I’m struggling, they’re there to celebrate with me when I’m winning and I’m there for them. So when you surround yourself with that right community, whew, it is amazing. So if you haven’t yet, start working at creating that community around you, whether it’s on social media, in person all of it. I’ve curated my Facebook feed and my social media feed so it’s all positive. Right? I get very, very few negatives in there. And the community of people I surround myself with, my own personal community called the energizers, but also everybody else. We’re there to support each other. I don’t have those haters. I mean, I have haters, but not like people that I see or noticed because I got my people by me. I got my tribe, my family, and that makes all the difference.
Jo: So important. I totally love that. One of my really early episodes was on finding your cheerleaders. So yeah, exactly what you’re saying, surrounding yourself, curating your social media feed, all that good stuff. And what I found is it’s pretty easy to do. Really. There are so many amazing people out there, all on a very similar journey of wanting to live their best life and follow their passions. And you cheer others on and they cheer you on. It’s cool. It’s so cool.
Spencer: It’s incredible.
Jo: Yeah. Yeah. So good. So I’m wondering if you can talk a little bit about your academy. You’ve got the Jonesin’ For Academy where it sounds like you help people do just this, live their dream life and live their life to the max. So can you talk a little bit about that?
Spencer: Yeah, definitely. And you’re exactly right. The Jonesin’ For Academy helps people live their lives to the max. So, as I mentioned, you heard my old story, how I got into personal development. It changed my life and I’ve been so lucky and blessed to be able to help lead that with other people. So my wife and I, we were putting our heads together. How can we help even more people? Our goal, our mission with this movement is to create this positivity movement where we wanna change and help people create a positive and abundant mindset all around the world, literally all around the world. And we’re already doing this, right? We’re connected from across the world. It’s amazing. So that’s our mission and this movement is huge. Well, how can we do this? How can we really make a big change? And we’re like, well, I have courses, I have trainings, let’s put it together for an online university, something like that. What can we do a positivity university? I don’t know. Let’s think. And we came up, well, my last name’s Jones and a lot of my books names are Jonesin’ For, like your wanting something. Mm-hmm. Let’s do the Jonesin’ For Academy. And so it’s a online virtual academy with a variety of trainings and courses all under the personal development umbrella.
So the personal development umbrella or personal growth areas have five categories: your mental health, your emotional, you have social, spiritual and physical wellbeing. So you have all of those. So mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and physical. And we brought together experts in their fields, in a variety of different fields to teach you and to share with you their knowledge, their expertise, to help you on your journey no matter where you are. So if you’re struggling with being healthy and fit, great, we have people talking about nutrition. We have people talking and doing different workouts. Oh yeah. Emotional health. Great. We have people helping you release those emotions. When we talk about meditation and we have a meditation, 101 class or a journaling 101 class. We have breath work, which is huge. And we just have a variety of different classes. All in all, as of this recording, we have 38, 39, I think, 39 trainings and courses available for people, within the academy. We’re adding more every month. It’s super exciting to see people invest in themselves and go, all right, I want this training. I want to get better here. And then we have this community where we celebrate you. You come together, you can connect with other people. It’s not on Facebook. It’s not on Instagram. It’s our own social media platform. So you don’t get the political ads. You don’t get to worry about algorithms or anything like that. You’re there to connect as a community and family. And it’s just been absolutely incredible. And I would love to have you and your guests join us and check it out. You can check it up by going to Jonesinforacademy.com. So that’s jonesinforacademy.com.
Now, I’ll be totally upfront. There’s two membership options. One is absolutely free. It’s called the apprentice membership. And with that, you get a handful of amazing trainings free, right? I suggest everyone sign up free. Yeah. That way you get access to this content and it’s there for you. The other one is a paid membership, but that gives you access to majority of the trainings and courses, unlimited. And the other one is the apprentice membership gets you unlimited access, 24/7 access. But just with the paid one, you get more courses all at your disposal. And even with the free one and the paid one, there’s some courses you can pick and choose and you have to pay for it, but you pick and choose your adventure. Right? What am I struggling with? So it’s there for you to support you and help you. Check it out, sign up free. Go to jonesinforacademy.com, but then wait for Jo to share that link with you. So you could be supporting her and this podcast and and then join up. And join up as free or paid or whatever you wanna do, and I would just love to connect and help you on your journey.
Jo: Awesome. Well, thank you so much. That sounds so cool. I was checking it out yesterday and it was one of the clues you gave away that you’re an ex teacher or that you taught in class because your academy seems to focus on everybody’s individual journey. And that differentiation, that knowing that every person is different, has different needs to get them to where they need to be, and I saw that you kind of spoke to that quite a bit on your website about your academy. So yeah, I think it’s really cool and definitely something that I’m gonna delve deeper into. I’m looking forward to that. I’ll be signing up for your free membership. That looks cool. So I can go in there and explore a bit. And yeah, I’ll absolutely be encouraging other people to do the same, cuz I was really blown away. It was very cool.
Spencer: Hey, thank you. And thank you for giving me space to share it. I’m just super excited about it, as you probably could tell, and I could just talk for hours and hours. I’m really passionate about helping others. One thing I realized, will tie back to the very beginning when we said listen to the whispers, right? Listen to the whispers around you is, I was kayak, fishing, believe it or not, and I realized this talent that I had, or this thing about me, I’ve had for years and years and years, but I never could really put a name to it, and that is, I’m an igniter. I’m a person who ignites that inner light, that inner flame within other people, and then I fan it to really grow it, and motivate, inspire, whatever you wanna call it, to help people take action. And I’m not trying to boast, I’ve just seen it in different things that I’ve done, and I’m really excited to bring it together in this academy. So now it’s not just okay, me in person speaking on stages or seeing me in a classroom setting. Like we could do this literally around the world and I’m just super excited to share it with you and everyone.
Jo: That’s so cool and so important. And I think all of the authors and writers and creatives that are listening to this podcast, they’re gonna find something for them there, because it really does all tie into super charging and transforming their writing lives, by making sure that everything else is in balance and working the best for them. So that’s really cool. Thank you so much for sharing. And just on a last note there too, your books, is that on your main website or is that on the Jonesin’ For Academy website?
Spencer: Great question. You can find my books on my website, which is spencermjones.com. So www dot Spencer M Jones dot com, or you can look them up on Amazon, they’re all available there. There’s another Spencer Jones that claims to write my books for whatever reason. So it’s kind of weird, but any case you look for Spencer Jones and like kayak fishing or personal growth, I’ll show up there and you can check those out there if you like, as well.
Jo: Awesome. Well, thank you so much. I so appreciate chatting with you today. It’s been such a joy. It’s been so much fun.
Spencer: Of course. Thank you for having me on. This has been so much fun. I appreciate you and everyone. Keep chasing your passions. Live your life to the max.
Jo: So after listening to Spencer, don’t you just feel so pumped to go chase those writing goals and live your dream author life? So here are some takeaways from today’s show.
1. Listen to those whispers telling you to chase your dreams. Listen to where they’re guiding you and follow them.
2. If you’ve been called to write, then write. Your story is important. It needs to be shared with the world and it needs to be heard.
3. Learn to quieten the inner critic and that feeling of imposter syndrome, by meditating. Start small and slowly and build up over time to create a lasting habit.
4. Use journaling to write down your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, especially those negative ones holding you back. Get them out of your head and onto paper and let them go.
5. Start a gratitude practice every morning where you write down three things you’re grateful for.
6. Look back at how far you’ve already come in life, or towards your goals, and celebrate every success, big or small. It all counts, and it helps to quieten the imposter syndrome. Embrace your inner cheerleader.
7. Everything you do that is positive for your mind, body or spirit will impact upon your writing. So do what works best for you in keeping yourself healthy. Consider exercise and diet. It all impacts upon your goals.
8. ask yourself the question: if you were living your life to the max, what would it look like? And then make incremental adjustments to your life to make it a reality. Find ways to be working on your goals no matter what your life situation is. Keep that fire lit inside you. Whatever your passions, find a way to scratch that itch and build it into your life.
So I really hope you enjoyed today’s episode. And if you’re feeling inspired to go deeper into creating a positive and abundant mindset to help you along in your author career, make sure that you check out Spencer’s Jonesin’ For Academy. Remember, you can sign up for free and enjoy some amazing free trainings. Or if you want to go a bit deeper with wider access, you can sign up for the Scholar tier.
Check out my show notes for the link to take you there so you can peruse Spencer’s amazing academy yourself.
And on a final note, remember, you can join my Alchemy for Authors newsletter and download a free PDF with tips and tricks for supercharging your author career through the law of attraction. Just go to www.subscribepage.com/manifestationforauthors. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode, I’d be super grateful if you’d leave me a review. It really does help me to grow this podcast and record more amazing episodes like this one.
So I’m wishing you a wonderful week ahead, my friends, and happy writing.