TRUE LIFE: SYDNEY'S INTEGRATED HUSTLE
Sydney Weiss, 27, Lawyer, Host & Executive Producer of Seek The Joy Podcast, Change Maker
Sydney is a lawyer, entrepreneur, storyteller, writer, change maker, joy seeker and the host & executive producer of Seek The Joy Podcast, your go-to podcast for heartfelt storytelling and conversations on all things self-love, joy, connection, wellness and spirituality. Inspired by Sydney's ongoing journey toward growth, empowerment, and self-love, every episode offers a fresh perspective, "aha" moments, laughs, and stories and wisdom that will stick with you throughout the week.
Sydney is committed to changing the world through creating connection and community by sharing stories of vulnerability and courage that resonate and inspire. Sydney’s dedication and passion for social change has led her to working with non-profits and social impact initiatives, serving as a mentor for law school graduates sitting for the bar exam, as well as creating mentorship programs for other organizations. Her strength lies in her innate ability to develop relationships, work ethic, eye for building narratives, and strong sense of self. She lives her life based on the principles of kindness and authenticity, and her belief that we are here for love, joy, and connection motivates everything that she does.
What is your primary source of income and what other revenue streams do you have? My primary source of income currently comes from consulting and working on independent projects. My passion for social impact and drive to make a difference in this world has given me the opportunity to work on some exciting and rewarding media campaigns, initiatives, and launching Seek The Joy Podcast. I’m really excited because I recently launched my own podcast consulting business. Through working one-on-one with me, my aim is to take the guesswork out of what it takes to develop, launch, and grow your podcast.
What preparations, if any, did you take before you launched your first passion project/business/entrepreneurial pursuit(s)? I really loved the process of starting Seek The Joy. What started as just an idea on a piece of paper has slowly grown into my biggest source of joy week in and week out. I’m completely self-taught and I had absolutely no media or podcasting experience before this, but I was so inspired and excited to get started that I threw myself into the podcast. Early on I spent hours researching microphones, platforms to publish my podcast, and programs to edit my episodes. I’m an experiential learner and throwing myself into the process headfirst felt like a no brainer. I sat in front of the computer for hours on end almost every weekend for a month teaching myself how to do it all.
Revenue, Growth and Success
How do you define success, and right now, what does success look like to you? For me success goes far beyond the number that is (or isn’t!) in my bank account. For me, it’s taking risks, putting myself out there, and owning my vulnerability. It’s about being unconditionally proud of myself and not fearing those emotional risks.When someone says, “I’ve been listening to your podcast and it’s had such a strong impact of my life” or “I recommended your podcast to a friend,” that is success. To hear that what I’ve built and created resonates with someone – that to me is success.
Have you monetized Seek The Joy as of yet? I didn’t start Seek The Joy with any intention of monetizing it. When I launched the podcast in October 2017, I wanted to start a conversation and create a way to connect with others who had similar experiences. I wanted to build a community and a space to share personal stories, explore our joy, and learn and grow through stepping into our vulnerability, courage, and reconnecting to our authentic voice. More than that, I wanted to create a space to remind us all that we’re not alone.
Today, I see how monetizing the podcast will lead to greater opportunities for both myself and this community. I’m currently seeking strategic partners to grow the podcast further through sponsorship opportunities. I recently started a Patreon page that allows listeners to become patrons of the show in exchange for exclusive content and rewards. Through monetizing the podcast I’ll be able to create ways to connect with this community in person through events, workshops and meet-ups. I’m really excited for this next step!
Biggest surprise about what it takes to generate revenue? Every podcast grows at a different rate and it really does take time to reach a space in the podcast world where generating revenue becomes part of the conversation. There are so many different factors that go into it, and it really depends on how far your reach is and how many listeners you have. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible though!
Work, Life and Spirit Balance
Have you achieved your version of work/life balance? If yes – what does that look like? If not – what do you need to do to get there? I haven’t been able to achieve my version of work/life balance just yet, but I feel like I’m getting closer! From contacting and coordinating guests, editing the audio for every episode, and creating the social media content and marketing, I do it all. I really enjoy wearing so many hats and I’ve had to create my own structure to make sure that everything gets done. There’s always so much to do that it’s been a challenge learning to balance it all with everything else that I have going on. I’ve gotten better at eliminating distractions and making sure that I take one full day off every week, and it’s definitely been a process of trial and error. I’m so excited about what I’m doing that I often get lost in it. I have to consciously remind myself to take time off, which I guess isn’t a bad problem to have!
What do you do to reduce stress, take care of your body and clear your mind? Every morning I meditate and journal for an hour and it’s a practice that’s completely changed my life. I used to get up every morning and run out the door without giving myself an opportunity to ground myself in how I’m feeling, what I need, and what’s ahead for the day. Now, this practice is a non-negotiable and I can feel a tangible difference in how I feel about myself and how I deal with stress and anxiety. I also practice Kundalini Yoga 2-3x a week, I’m an avid walker, I take Epsom salt baths, and I make sure to take one full day off every week. Stress is part of the entrepreneurial journey, but it’s up to us to decide how we approach our stress. I’m learning to embrace and celebrate the challenges because I know it’s through discomfort and uncertainty that real growth and opportunity arises.
If you could go back in time, what 3 pieces of advice would you give to yourself when you first began? (1) Celebrate every stage of your journey. Life is too short to wait until the really “big moments” to throw around confetti, get yourself a slice of your favorite cake, and really celebrate you and everything you’ve accomplished and overcome. (2) Don’t be afraid to make changes along the way. As you grow and evolve, so will your path and that means content, subjects, guests, and listeners are going to change too – and that’s okay! Allow yourself to be flexible and open. It’s amazing how life and the universe responds to you when you’re doing what is best for your soul. (3) Be unapologetically who you are, embrace the skin you’re in, and don’t be afraid to share your voice with the world! When I first got started I was really insecure about my voice and sharing my truth. Every one of us has a unique message, voice, and gift that is meant to be shared, and that itself is something to celebrate.