We were lucky to catch up with Jaiye Empress recently and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Jaiye, thanks for joining us today. We’d love to hear the backstory behind a risk you’ve taken – whether big or small, walk us through what it was like and how it ultimately turned out.
Deciding to pursue my passions full-time as a creative entrepreneur was (and is) a major risk I took this year (2022).
The world as it currently exists does not wholeheartedly embrace nor support nonconformists. Which, I guess makes sense because most folks enjoy the seeming certainty that consistent order and structure provide.
I am also folks, and yet I find myself exploring and venturing onto a path that is anything BUT certain. It’s a major risk daring to going against the grain to chart your own course, especially since the only blueprint that exists is the one you’re making as you follow it!
Embarking on full-time entrepreneurship has to be the biggest risk I’ve chosen to take thus far and it’s terrifyingly awesome! I made the leap not too long after seemingly getting what I wanted at my previous place of employment, which was a larger more consistent salary. Even though I now had “security” I didn’t feel secure in my position. I didn’t feel happy, nor valued for the talents I contributed. I also didn’t enjoy the constricting space I had to fit within in, in order to continue the work that I loved but was beginning to resent.
I realized I was taking a risk before I decided to actively act upon my courage. I was risking my time and energy, valuable resources that were NOT renewable, I was risking opportunities I didn’t even know were possible, because I was too scared to find out at first.
And now I’m risking the seeming certainty of having a safety net, and predictable income to do what I love full-time. It’s NOT easy but my life is filled with a much greater ease living with THESE risks than the risks I had unwittingly lived with previously. I love knowing that everyday I get to decide how to I wish to show up. My well-being is prioritized. My divine artistic gifts are at the full-front and my passions take center stage in EVERYTHING I do!
I’m thankful I had the courage to wholeheartedly commit to my dreams. That’s the best risk to ever take.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers?
I’m Jaiye (pronounced jay) Empress, the uniquely self-proclaimed, Sensual Soul Seer. “I can sensually see into the depths of your soul and bring out all of your erotic power!!!” **finger snaps lol**
A Sensual Soul Seer is a special combination of a Healing Artist and Coach. I use creative self-expression and sacred sexuality to empower Black womxn into radically elevating their self-confidence, unapologetically loving themselves and owning their SEXY!
And SEXY to me is when it’s Safe and Ease-E for you to Xpress Y(our)selves!
I began my business, Empressive Expressions, in 2018 as a poetic platform to uplift the power of Black femininity through storytelling and storysharing. I started as an entertainer, using my poems to edu-tain, cultivate healing spaces, and craft products that intentionally centered Black womxnhood.
Now my business has expanded to include coaching services and creative consultation work that prioritizes the sensual soul-self. When a client chooses to work with me, she is reconnecting with that part of herself that she may have suppressed out of shame. She learns how to regard her sexual power as an extension of her spiritual self and she harnesses that energy as a greater, bolder confidence both within and out in the world.
To learn more please visit: www.EverythingEmpressive.com
Learning and unlearning are both critical parts of growth – can you share a story of a time when you had to unlearn a lesson?
A lesson that I am CONTINUING to unlearn is that entrepreneurship means hustle and hustle means overwhelm, exhaustion and burnout.
I find it helpful to think of hustle as an acronym that means How (yo)U Strengthen (also Sustain & Support) The Legacy Everyday.
Everyday that hustle will look different. It does not have to mean loooong, overbooked and busy days, or loooong insomniac nights attempting to check off items from a neverending task list!
I am constantly reframing how I view and apply productivity. My health and overall well-being is prioritized first and foremost, which includes my spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health. I thrive in spacious structures. So I know I am my most productive self when I feel good inside and out. And when I allow myself self-care breaks even while engrossed in doing what I love full-time.
What has led to this realization or unlearning is my personal and professional experience with burnout even before I decided to embark on full-time entrepreneurship. Western society heralds work as the end all be all. Work becomes synonomous with exploitative labor that denigrates rest and ease. You must “work hard” in order to be successful. And success is usually measured by material means. Even when you divest from the typical structures that govern work, i.e. providing your labor for someone else, you are still beholden to the same cultural philosophy that defines work as worth and worthiness. Except now there is even more pressure because you are solely responsible for providing the material means you need to support yourself. Thus, entrepreneurs typically overwork themselves to overcompensate for the seeming lack of safety having a job provides.
Before I decided to embark on this journey I learned that BALANCE is key, even more so now that I am working for myself. I do not wish to resent myself because I do not value my well-being the way I resented previous bosses. This is a lesson I have to re-learn daily. If I want different, then I have to be, behave, and move differently, otherwise I’m recreating the same struggles I sought refuge from.
What do you think is the goal or mission that drives your creative journey?
What drives my creative journey is my purpose for being.
I am here to love, heal, create and teach. So everything I do embodies all of that.
I want to do all of these things on a much larger scale because the world needs more love. The Earth needs our healing and all of the souls occupying her need healing in order to better restore and renew her resources.
Creation, in my opinion, is just an expression of divine love. So the more I create, the more I inspire others to connect with their creative selves, and to the ultimate, infinite source of creation, which helps make the world a more beautiful place.
And lastly, to teach is to connect. As I teach, I learn, because when I share the wisdom I’ve gained from my experience and studies, I receive greater awareness into another being, and/or another perspective.
- Website: www.EverythingEmpressive.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jempress_art.soul
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jaiyepoet
- Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/empress-youtube
Ashley Sexenant, Scope Media; Josue Acosta, Brickell Magazine