Everybody is Creative! Community, Vulnerability & Confident Expression with Saz Ross

Would you describe yourself as a creative person? To access your creative side all you need to do is begin to look at things a little differently!

Would you describe yourself as a creative person? In order to access your creative side all you need to do is begin to look at things a little differently! In this week’s episode Saz Ross, artist, educator, and speaker, shares her story to discovering her purpose through grief, community and some seriously scary life-changing moments. She shares how everyone is creative and everyone can access more of their creative side. We discuss how creativity helps us express ourselves with more vulnerability and build deeper connections.

In this episode we chat about:

The journey from underfunded art teacher to speaker,

Stepping outside of the box.

Not waiting for life to happen to you.

Creating an art career.

Finding your community.

And so much more!

Saz is an artist, educator, and speaker whose expertise rests in providing creative breakthroughs with visual storytelling workshops and captivating keynotes on how everyone is creative. Most commonly, people are not inclined to view themselves as such, thus building barriers for innovative thinking. In response, Saz provides an impactful skill set for thinking differently by exposing techniques that allows one to feel confident and connected to a purpose that unearths an unstoppable creative edge.

Saz has been featured on TedEx, Voyage Magazine, Empowering Women in Industry, and on NBC News. After spending 10 plus years in the art classroom, Saz decided to venture out and build a thriving business in illustration and creativity coaching. Along the way, she realized that she could use her artistry to help educators, creatives, and businesses take creative risks and STAND OUT to acquire personal and professional growth.

Connect with Saz here:





(02:47) Saz shares her journey to starting her business after her mother died.

(10:00) How creativity shows up in many different ways for everyone.

(11:57) How to access your unique creativity.

(13:57) Expressing vulnerability and breaking down walls

(17:00) Saz discovered her mother’s art after she passed and how it changed her life trajectory.

(18:45) Finding hidden moments of creativity.

(23:55) Creating wealth from an art career.

(29:30) Being willing to share in your community for free.

(32:00) The importance of finding like minded individuals and building your own community.

(38:00) Looking past the money to truly discover your purpose.

(41:30) What you can do every day to spark your creativity.



people, creativity, creative, art, feel, moment, happening, artist, realise, life, confidence, community, share, business, thinking, leap, space, thrive, engagements, sense


Saz Ross, Paula Shepherd

Paula Shepherd 00:01

Hi, I'm Paula Shepherd, I went to college to get a good job and make a lot of money. Back then, no one talked about doing what you love. And while I successfully climbed the corporate ladder, I felt like there was something missing. So I left the seemingly comfortable corporate world at 40 years old for the freedom of full time entrepreneurship. Today, I get to help ambitious women go from entrepreneur to competent CEO of their lives and businesses. I created this podcast to share what I've learned with you to make your journey just a little easier, and to connect you with other incredible business owners who took a chance on themselves and who they are becoming. So whether you're just getting started, are all in or just when you hear friendly voice. Come on in and sit with us. Now, let's dive in. Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of The confidence sessions. I have, you know, always the most fabulous guests and today is no different today I have with me sad Ross and she is an artist and educator and a speaker. And her expertise is in providing creative breakthroughs with visual storytelling workshops and captivating keynotes on how everyone is creative. And if you're shaking your head no and saying that it's not for me, I'm gonna raise my hand to that I can not even draw stick figures. SAS is about to change your mind today. She's been featured in places like TEDx voyage magazine, empowering women and industry and on NBC News. After spending 10 plus years in the art classroom, she decided to venture out and build a thriving business, which we were talking about before I hit play in illustration and creative coaching. Welcome to the confidence sessions.

Saz Ross 02:05

Paula, I am so excited to be here. Thank you for having me. I can I tell people how we met. Is that cool? Yeah, tell ya. Yeah. So we met on my trough Academy. And I have to say, Paula, you were one of the people that caught my eye immediately. And I I gravitate to your energy and your sense of confidence. And I feel like we have a you know, we have a good you know, connection. I mean, we're we're in black and white. And we're in red lipstick, red lipstick with patterns. Oh my god. Okay, so anyway. Moving on to what I do. Yeah, I started my illustration business, I would say at the end of 2019. And this happened around the time of my mother's passing. My mom had multiple myeloma, which is blood cancer. Totally vicious. You are in and out of remission for years. She had a pretty crazy slope, in the whole journey of her illness. And I was there at the time of her passing which wild. I think about it a lot. And it does haunt you, especially if you've seen it. I was praying and praying and praying for her to pass and sleep and she felt you know, she had her last moments in my arms. So after that I full blown traumatised I quit my job. That was the first year of marriage for my husband and I and I was spiralling spiralling impulsive. I would buy things like expensive things without telling him I quit my job. What ended up happening?

Paula Shepherd 03:47

No, you quit your job when you did

Saz Ross 03:48

it. Did he? No, no. Yeah. No. Okay. No, he did not. I think he thought that maybe I was gonna like save a space in the county because you can you can do like, not a full resign, you know, but I did. I took a big leap a lot sooner than I said to him. And I was just not being myself. I really was, was becoming someone else. So at that point, I decided to find work. And I just took anything I could get. And I left education because I was in this very safe, cushy environment in Howard County, Maryland, which is a fabulous place to teach art. I was tenured and I left. So I felt like I really didn't have much other than art education. And at the time, I was living in Baltimore City. So I decided to work in Baltimore City. And I was there with an extreme cause I was working in a school that literally had no drinking water. And my room was so hot that all the Kranz melted in my classroom, so yeah, it was pretty bad and you know, breaking up fights all the time having students draw on the floor. because they weren't desks, like the list goes on and on. But I felt such a high sense of purpose being there. And I remember this one student in particular, her name is Isabella, she was a first grader at the time. And she was so excited to be in my classroom, it was a billion degrees. And this one, this little one had like a smile, so wide, the whitest smile. And she was colouring something in on a desk and all you could see were just these like beads of sweat on her face. And I was like, I will go to the ends of the earth to get an air conditioner for this little child. So I did. And I wound up in a very, very unsafe part of Baltimore to get it. And what ended up happening was, I was on Facebook marketplace, air conditioners, we're out of season. Long story short, I have a gun pointed to my head. And I'm trying my very hardest to think about all of the steps leading to that point. Yeah, so as you could imagine, I, I'm here, but at the same time, at the time, I'm like reevaluating all my life choices like I was here for a good reason. I wasn't looking for trouble. You know, why is this happening to me? And I'm like, at that time, I had this very spiritual moment, I felt like my mom almost came to me and somehow protected me. And a lot of people asked, like, how did you get out of that situation. And truthfully, to this day, I think I was just lucky. I was lucky, I really had nothing on me. And I think I paid electronically. So I mean, it was it was nothing. But still, it could have wandered wound up very badly. So I am thankful for every day. And my mother left. You know, she she wrote me a note years ago that I wound up finding, like right after the gun moment, and she said make every day a new day. And it could not have resonated with me more in that moment. So at that point, I found a Facebook ad actually, for speaking. And it dawned on me that as an art educator, we make fantastic speakers, we are constantly selling children on making art or doing a task. And I was thinking to myself, this is perfect. I feel like this is where I belong, and to use creativity as a vehicle to teach and, you know, share moments that could inspire people and impact and change their lives. Yeah, sign me up for that. So I, at the time, I signed up for what I mentioned earlier, my truck workshop, and I ended up trying my very hardest to just get out there and teach art to various communities, nonprofits, schools, I started doing online like free online watercolour pen and ink sessions. And then I applied to be a Maryland State Department of Ed roster artist. I was mentoring and guiding. I feel like at this point, it's been 1000s of educators

Saz Ross 08:19

how to use creativity and storytelling to make an impact in your community. So I use this, this this, how do I say this, this line of everyone is creative. And I know that you do not view yourself that way. But I found through what feels like art therapy, that everyone's story is what makes them creative. Everyone's story is unique to another to you know, to everything. And if you use that story and share it if you marry the concept of making and sharing the impact of that is tremendous. It builds bridges between people, communities. And what ends up happening is, you see this vulnerability turns into vitality. And this transformation just happens before your eyes and I have been able to see that with adults with children in virtual workshops now in person, I just became a roster artist from Maryland State Arts Council. So I'll be in person more. I'm excited after two years of ICs. And I'm still doing the festivals and commissions and murals and making illustrations and sharing them as well. But all with personal meaning.

Paula Shepherd 09:41

Yeah. So when people talk about being creative, I think the first thing that they think of is traditional art, drawing, painting. But creativity is so much more than that. And honestly I feel like being innovative with your ideas. is also being creative. They're married together. In my mind, I don't know that I ever used to think that before I started my own business, right. But in my mind, people who create spreadsheets are creative. They're they're coming up with concepts and how can they lay things out. But I also think that there are so many other ways to be, you'd be creative in the garden with the way that you're laying laying out plants. Yeah, where what when somebody says to you, like I said, I can't even draw a stick figure. How do you approach this idea of creativity with them? To help them go, Oh, that's my aha moment, I actually am creative, or I have the capacity to be creative.

Saz Ross 10:44

So if you if you look up the definition of creativity, plain as day it is thinking differently, right. Thinking differently is probably, if not the most desired trait. And this goes across any any business educational setting, creativity is ranked number one for what employers are looking for. And I find that a lot of people don't realise they have it, because they connect it so heavily to an art form, like you said, right? I can't paint I can't draw, I'm not musical, I'm not creative. And what happens is, I try to help people on learn that by letting them realise that there are elements to who they are, that makes them creative, it could be the way they present themselves, it could be through an outlet, right? Being in your garden or cooking, it could be through your sense of humour, right. So creativity lives and breathes and exists in all these different facets of who we are, as people lives in our disposition. It's just knowing where it lives, and a lot of people don't know how and where to access that part of themself. So usually what happens is, I use a simple art form pen and ink illustration. And what we do is we use the five senses and the short creative writing piece, and pull out one subject, all centred on the theme of loss. And it's amazing to see how that sparks creativity to think and confront a moment in someone's life where they either lost a person a job of feeling something in the pandemic, right, thinking about that, in particular, confronting it, through artmaking. And then realising through that art, that there is a part of them that they've shared, and they express themselves. In that moment, they are being creative. They know they can, they have that potential. And it provides them with a sense of confidence and support and knowing that this is happening and invite in an environment where other people are sharing their art and their story and their writing. So it is breaking down so many walls, and then once those walls come down, that's when the creativity comes out. So if anything, I feel like there just needs to be a catalyst, a moment. And usually that moment exists in community, making and sharing. It's just that simple.

Paula Shepherd 13:14

A lot of people are nervous, though, about sharing even in, you know, you bring somebody together, we'll get we're gonna say in a class, because I think that's just a generic place. So they're in a class, and you're asking them to share something about loss, which can be really triggering to people. Right, it can be really traumatic to revisit, I mean, even just the micro moments truly. How do you do you find that it's, it's simple for people to share, or that they're sharing the 11,000 foot view. And little by little, they're able to break it down so that they can be in a room full of strangers and express that vulnerability.

Saz Ross 13:56

Yeah, so what ends up happening is, I go first, I break down my wall. And all great leaders should it's It's infectious. It is. Aside from that I have there's a lot of power of choice in my engagements. So what happens is, you see someone who is just willing to share one line of their poem, or some of their artwork, right? And even though it's not everything, it is something and it's a step up or a level up from where they've been. So there's always some level of progress. It's not going to be a full writing piece with a full artwork. No, it will be something and what ends up happening after those engagements I try my best to either keep in touch. I use a Padlet the best piece of of internet, whatever you want to call it like I'm sorry, a Padlet aglet Yes. Oh my gosh, I know that you were probably thinking about something else. But I'm just saying no, no, no, no, I It's amazing. You have to look it up have the.com I use it for all my engagements so you can keep in touch with me after the engagement through it and what happens? It's belies Blackboard. So if you want to keep making art, and if you think that it made a breakthrough with you, you can get in touch with me you can share and still post in your community. month, two months, a year after it happened. Beautiful. Oh, it's yeah, it's a platform. It's an online platform. So yeah, I love that, that little corner of the internet that just makes you feel closer to someone. So without using social media. So I think that if anything, it's just it's a great tool for these types of engagements. Because I just feel like it's a safe space. It's really comforting, safe space. Yeah.

Paula Shepherd 15:42

And you have an extension of that sense of community. It's not like, I experienced that we bumped into each other. And now it's all gone. You get to continue not just connecting, but to deepen the relationship with I'm a huge, huge fan of, yes, there was a piece of I'd like to go back to if you're okay with this, go back to the story of your mom and her passing. And I know that that was really traumatic. I feel that so deeply. I was there were my father passed to so not the same exact situation, but totally get you when you're talking about being there, and what that feels like, and just the just the the sadness, right, the trauma that comes as a result of that. But I know that after she passed that you said that you found a wooden box. We talked about this previously that you found a wooden box underneath of the staircase of her illustrations, and how she was hiding that from the world. What when you discovered that? What What kind of a catalyst was that for you? What were you thinking when you found it? And did you have any idea that she was this creative?

Saz Ross 16:57

I knew my mother was creative. And she not only had an artistic gift with drawing, but she could saying that woman could sing like she would she I don't want to say rival Celine Dion, but she would sing those Celine Dion songs. And let me tell you and pressed me to no end. But why when I found it, it just made me think of just her essence, that would be her hiding, hiding, hiding, waiting, waiting, waiting to share it, maybe I'll never share it. She was the kind of person that was waiting for retirement to truly live. And she always had an excuse as to why she wasn't good enough, she really had a severe lack of confidence. She put her her talent in a box. And she hid this enormous part of herself that could have helped that confidence. So I think about all of those things, and it makes me empowered to not wait. I'm not waiting, I'm not putting my creativity in a box. I'm opening my box, and I'm sharing it with as many people as I can. Because that's how I'm gonna get stronger and more confident and build the kinds of connections that are going to make me want to thrive. So that's what I that's what I feel

Paula Shepherd 18:18

about creativity. I think for a lot of people who are let's just say they're working, I don't care if they own a business, or they have a career, they've got families, they're busy. Where do they fit time in for being creative in this world that is perpetuating the grind and the hustle. And then like your mother, that's just something you do later, when you have the privilege to do it.

Saz Ross 18:44

So I think that there are hidden moments that we're not cognizant of. So if anything, I'm going to give you an example. I had a baby seven months ago, and have I made tonnes of art. Absolutely not. To any mothers listening to this, you understand why? So if you know where I've seen mothers of close new moms, especially you understand why. So in moments where I couldn't be that creative. I let's say I had to cook dinner, I would make our plates of dinner looks so good. And I would sprinkle that seasoning and put it on, you know, whatever I was making with pzazz and it actually helped me fill that void. So there are moments in our day that we don't even realise it but we have to do certain things. We don't have to do it with I call it like a dry toast mentality. We can put jam on it. We can put bread on it. We can make cooking dinner exciting. We can make you know play time with our kids exciting, doing the laundry exciting. We can do all of these things with flair and creativity and hopefully it will feed us See in those moments and hold us for later on. So that's, that's what I feel because realistically speaking, you know, it's, it's super hard. And I know some artists that do like a tiny doodle a day, it's about this big, it takes like two to three minutes. But it feels that a cup, those two to three minutes that they have right, two to three minutes before their kid wakes up from their nap, or they have to pick someone from school. So if anything, there are these these little moments and yeah, you have to be able to see them. And you need to be mentally in the space and mindset to know they exist. So the awareness is the first part. And then once you actually do it a few times and put it into action, it makes it a lot easier to be consistent about it, because you'll see the impact that it has, and you'll feel the difference. So it is it is that tiny of a thing.

Paula Shepherd 21:00

Yeah, self awareness is such a big deal. I actually remember when we were talking about that I had forgotten about this, that in my corporate meetings, I would actually sit with my notebook, and I would just I'm not an artist, right? I am not trained as an artist. Clearly, I think I made that really clear. But I would doodle, you know, I would make circles and then I would make circles off of circles. And it would just fill the whole corner of the page and kind of come off of the page, you know, toward the centre. But that's what I did. And it wanted helped me focus and it wasn't a be zoning out, it was a lot of focus. For me, it gave me the opportunity to kind of listen to what was happening while I was drawing. And I never really thought of that as being creative. But I think now that you're mentioning that here's a micro moment where I was giving something that potentially could be boring as hell, a space in my mind to be we keep using the word creative, but to spark that innovation and ideas and allow me to participate more fully. Right and then experience either then or later on. So this is so this makes me feel so good. But you're an artist, and what is the number one thing that people always say about art artists, they always say like, I don't want to be a starving artist. Oh, God,

Saz Ross 22:19

what a data.

Paula Shepherd 22:20

Oh, my gosh, Russian thing right now.

Saz Ross 22:23

Oh, my gosh, people say that. That's right. I'm

Paula Shepherd 22:27

like, I forgot. No, it's terrible. But the reality is, you know, and so I think when it comes to art and music, like all of the arts, right, right, when you may not know this, but when I started college, I was a music major. Hola. I know, right?

Saz Ross 22:47

Was an instrument, race. What

Paula Shepherd 22:49

voice Yeah, and I also played the piano, but not as well now, because I'm way out of practice. But it was her voice. And I was I heard from so many people. That's not a real job, that's not going to pay you money. Right. And so it was a while I'll be a music teacher. But you know, back I'm gonna date myself back in the day, you know, MTV was saying all the Save the music, and nobody, all the music was going to be out of the schools. And so I was hearing that from different people my father included about this isn't a great job for you, because you're not going to make any money or you're not going to have a job. And so for people who are considering let's just say, these are people in high school that are considering going into art, or not even going to college for art, but to make this a career because they love it, and they're passionate about it. And there are other people squawking in their ears about how this isn't a good way for them to make a living. What would you say to them?

Saz Ross 23:51

So for one thing, if you want a resource, I have a course called some Mart business. And I go through all of these different curiosities that people have about this. So for one thing, my mom said the same thing to me about art and I lived in New York, so competitive, so many people, right, like you're just a number. And I felt this small. My high school cast did very big shadows. Huge, huge,

Paula Shepherd 24:19

like I imagine because there's so many people there are people bringing their kids to New York to go to specialised schools.

Saz Ross 24:25

Oh girl like, like Natalie Portman, a demon Zell Judd Apatow they, they all graduated from the same high school as me. So it's like, they Yeah, I know. I know. I learned tell you. So when you when you have that awareness, you do feel like an ant. So, but it's empowering. It's so empowering to know that oh, my gosh, we had a similar start, you know, we we all came, you know, graduate from this place. So if anything, I feel like when people would tell me that or I would hear that because everything at my school was super competitive. You were always up against someone I wouldn't, you know, you'd have a sport team and Then there'd be four levels of tryouts. Like, you'd be lucky, you'd be lucky to be a part of anything because there was a tryout and it actually made your, your skin so thick at a point, you're just like building resilience that entire time without even realising it. So you know, when I say to people like that I say times are different. There's a sense and a spirit and a culture of entrepreneurship, that has blossomed within the last I want to say it's like, like, it's exploded within the last like, five years or so. I think I think the rise of the influencer has a lot to do with that. But then aside from that, I think a lot of people have been empowered by the fact that they could work for themselves. There's a lot of content out there about being your own boss. Now, granted, that's not always a good thing. Not everybody needs to be their own boss. They're no nothing, nothing.

Paula Shepherd 25:54

They need to experiment, right need to experiment.

Saz Ross 25:57

Exactly. And that's, that's fine. And that's fair. But I think once people have the proper mentorship, and guidance and exposure of people that are living, thriving, financially, emotionally, mentally, in the arts, it makes it so much easier. So that is why I'm trying to be in as many spaces as possible and education, specially, I teach for where I do courses for Maryland, out of school time network, I'm considered to be because I went through training a college and career expert. So it's so funny, when I teach those courses, I rename the entire course, pathways to passions. Because I don't necessarily believe you need college to be successful. In that depends on once you want to do, obviously. But for certain things that you do, you go and you experience it, and you have these experiences, you live it, you work under someone that you are inspired by, and I and hopefully you see that that whole starving artists mentality is is complete BS, you know, and so if anything, I just feel like for those people out there who really want to take hold of their creativity and turn it into something and make profit off of it, you can do it. But the first step is community. That first initial step on the ladder is connection, and networking. And for all my little artists, friends, I want to curl up into a ball because they're so introverted, they just want to make art in a cave and like, block the world out. It's hard. It's so so hard. So knowing someone that can make you feel comfortable enough to step outside of that cave, oh, man, so powerful, and then seeing in front of your eyes, what it could do. Even more powerful. So I think, you know, for those people out there, you have to find the right communities, where do you find them, you could find them online, you can find them in your neighbourhood, you can look at your local community art centre, you can, you know, look and see what kinds of nonprofits are in your area, because they have tonnes of community exposure, and different artists that, you know, I've worked with, I worked at a nonprofit, where we hired, you know, directors of films that are on Netflix, and I had a dancer that was on So You Think You Can Dance and like people from all walks of life that just want to give back to the community and these are the types of people that transform lives. So I just feel like the ones that are trying to reach and, you know, take the leap of faith and potentially maybe start a business. What's What's The Harm and trying because it's gonna feel worse if if you just sit there with your talent and not do it, and not take the dive. Gotta take the die, and it's gonna hurt. It's gonna hurt really bad at first. Yeah, man after the belly flop, like, let me tell you, right, you're gonna look back on that belly flop and you're gonna be like, Whoa, I have grown big time. And that's what it takes. It takes the pain it takes all it takes all of those things, all those ingredients to make the the vision is the qua of cake it life. So so that's that's how I feel about that.

Paula Shepherd 29:31

But you have when you're with a community thing, I think one of the things that people the misconception just in general when it comes to connection, is everyone believes people believe that you start with your thing, your concept, your will your own right. And immediately, everybody just wants to hire you. But you have to be willing to give and get out and part of community is like you said, giving back and That's and being hired for free. Yes, to be out there in the beginning to say, here's what I have. And let me share it with you. Yeah, with no strings attached. Yes,

Saz Ross 30:13

absolutely prove yourself to

Paula Shepherd 30:17

so many people are afraid to give them to give away their talents for free in the beginning, in any capacity, I think out of fear that they'll have to do that forever. Whereas to me, it feels very much like, practice practice for the next time.

Saz Ross 30:39

Yeah, I think that a lot of people, they're going to take that plunge, they need a security blanket. And that needs to be like a consistent supportive presence in their life, it is way easier for me to take a leap, if I have a supportive husband, which I do, if I didn't have him, if he wasn't filling my ear with confidence, and like, I'm always going to be here for you, who knows where I would have been. So really surrounding yourself in your inner circle, with people that genuinely care about you. They're willing to tell you the truth, maybe constructively could critique your work. But because they care, you know, coming from that angle, those are the things that are going to help you make that leap. Right? Your mom, your best friend, like all of these, all of these people around you, they're going to help you and they're going to be there for you. And if that is settle out, and that is hitting yours with people that want to take the plunge? Yes, it'll make it easier. It's just gonna make it that much easier. But you need to be that in that in that secure mental environmental space to do it. If that's not there. You don't really have you know, much to start with, you need to have that there. That's the foundation.

Paula Shepherd 31:55

Did you always feel like you had that? Because you took those leaps in the beginning without quote asking permission. So did you big, cuz I think people people are gonna look at you now it's easy to look at people as they stand right now. And they're like, sad, but you're confident. And of course, you've you're on this roster. And you've got this and you have that. And yes, you have the support of your husband, but I don't have a spouse, I'm divorced, or I don't have family that cares about me and I don't have best friends was what did that look like for you? Initially,

Saz Ross 32:25

I I'm going to be honest, I've had my best friends since I was 13. So I I don't know, for some people that have lost friendships through time. And it is hard, I feel like losing a friendship is almost worse than like a significant other in certain, certain certain circuits circumstance. So if anything, I feel like for those people who are under those circumstances, the first thing to do is make sure that you are in a space where you're able to find people with like minded interests. Because if you're able to do something that you love with people that get you that get your outlet that get your creative, you know, your your creativity, and what you do, that's where you feel at home, that will become your home. I guarantee it. And I can tell you this, because when I felt like I didn't have community, I created one. I made artists around me in Baltimore, I met people because I did a festival. And I just kept making those contacts in those touches. And I had friends that were using the same medium as me, we started selling art together, her business made my business thrive. So this is this is what I'm saying about community. I'm saying, you know, even if you don't have the spouse, even if you don't have you know that best, quote unquote best friend or the family member, you had your art form and your art form is your glue to the people that you're going to want to be around and be inspired by. I know a huge place in Baltimore, it actually shut down during the pandemic, it was called Creative Labs. This place was an artwork in itself. It was like a huge building with art installations like crawling on the walls. It was nuts. Right? But what I saw on the inside was even more incredible and it was this. How do I say this this group of artists who would use the space communally and they lived there together from all walks of life. And the glue, the thing that bound them together was not only taking care of that art space, but it was like making art together. So it was incredibly mind blowing and beautiful. And I think they have they have a they have a new place in space for that type of thing. Think thank goodness, we need more of them. But yes, that's that's what happens with with those situations. And yeah, I've been in those communities. It's it's beautiful. poetic. It's wonderful.

Paula Shepherd 35:07

And if you're not an artist, there are co working spaces. Yes, there aren't. Yeah. Right, like find a place to find a common denominator. Yeah, always find a common denominator, right? If it's scary for you to reach out to someone, and for you, it was art, and you're already at the you're, you're already at this festival? Who can you get to know and don't collect business cards or phone numbers and never respond to people ever again, create the opportunity to connect again, and know that, like you said, who knows what can come out of it in terms of a partnership, because while your business was not thriving, partnering with someone else allowed you to continue to sell your art in a different way?

Saz Ross 35:51

Yes. And the thing is to other people, they know things that you don't accept it, accept the fact that you don't know everything. Nobody knows everything, right? We only we can are always learning that growth mindset is so essential. So there are other people that know festivals that know things going on, but no community stuff that's happening, right? You're just gonna have to ask those questions. Make the connection, ask the questions. And then you'll be able to feel that sense of connection to you know, have confidence, share your work and thrive no matter what that work is, you know,

Paula Shepherd 36:26

yeah, advocate for yourself, people that this is what it's all about. So yes, sometimes you're going to ask people for help, and they're not going to want to do it unless you pay them to mentor you. Those aren't your people go to the people that they can help you and you will reciprocate that it's not just sucking information from people but a, I know, You've been where I have, and I would love to pick your brain for a few minutes. And that might look like some kind of a trade but be willing and open to hear the word no. Because if you don't ask, the answer is always going to be no anyway.

Saz Ross 37:01

Right? Just ask, whatever, you know, it's your you're gonna just keep moving forward, have that move forward mentality, you know, just just keep trucking along. It's just another another bump in the road. That's all it is.

Paula Shepherd 37:16

It's all it is. I want to I want to read this last thing that I asked a question of all of our guests, and not everybody has an answer this astounding. So I just want to read it. So I always ask guests, I always ask guests. How do you personally define success. And in this world of influencers, social media, all the things where everyone's looking at everybody's highlight reel, it looks like everyone's a millionaire, everybody's making all this money, everyone's more successful than you. When you don't know the bottom line when you have no idea what's happening behind the curtain. Now you really don't know your response was this. Success is not tangible, it is a feeling. Success is not seven digits in the bank, it is not your picture on the front of a magazine, or winning an award success is knowing that you are living at your highest potential by utilising your strengths for the greater good successes, feeling fulfilled by knowing who you are, and what you are meant to do with your life. Success is living with limitless passion for what you create, and how you share that with the world. And none of that had a damn thing to do with money.

Saz Ross 38:34

No, no, no, no, no, it doesn't. None of it matters. Think about it. Shawn Mendes just cancelled his tour because of mental health. I mean, think about that, right? Like, everything is fleeting. And possessions are fleeting. But the one thing that you will always have is that peace of mind and knowing you are who you are, no matter what, no matter what external factors happen, right? Or what awards you win, or where you go. You and your mind having the confidence and the conviction and the self assured nature of being aware of who you are, what you're meant to do. That sense of purpose. Knowing that purpose is the success and it's going to make you feel more powerful than you've ever felt in your life in your life. So I think a lot of people don't realise that it was just a big giant curtain in front of all of those things. And it's money so yeah, look past the money look, pass it find the purpose not not the not the dollar sign. Because I think we're under this huge misconception that the dollar sign is going to get us to where we want to be. I am in so many groups where I know you probably feel this right these like very business oriented people like I'm gonna make my first million. I grew up in an area that was like filled with Ponzi schemes and inside trade and unhappy marriages. And I was like, I don't see the worth any of this. Where's your purpose,

Paula Shepherd 40:05

but they have lots of money, right? They just didn't have a lot of happiness.

Saz Ross 40:08

No. And the thing is, too, it's like, happiness and wealth are not on the same plane at all. No, they're not parallel. They're not. They're not in the same league. They're completely different. And I feel like you need to understand that difference. So in this case, yeah, the happiness what's, what's sustainable, what's healthy, I'm saying and healthy, is knowing how you're, you're, you know, using your gifts for the greater good for the world, how they can benefit from it. Because that's what's gonna make everybody thrive at the end of the day.

Paula Shepherd 40:49

I just feel like we need to just sit back sit in that feeling for a second that is just beautiful. I love it. Before we before we close, which I'd never want to do, because I could just talk to you forever each such a great friend. And, you know, from my, my old stomping grounds, I, you know, born and raised in that area, not in the city. But yeah, you know, in the burbs, right.

Saz Ross 41:14

But still,

Paula Shepherd 41:15

what is something that someone could do today? So they're listening to this episode, they're like, I would love to tap into my creativity. I'd love to slow down, I'd love to feel this feeling that sads is talking about right now, what is one simple thing that they could do every single day to start sparking their personal creativity?

Saz Ross 41:36

Yeah, and once you start, you know, stop creativity is euphoric. So the one thing that you can do is look at your daily schedule, the things that you have to do, and see what time in the moments that you have with, you know, doing the must haves? What way can you do it a little bit differently? That's creativity, thinking differently. Acting on that, right. So like I said, cooking the meal differently. You know, instead of playing in a toy chest with your kid, take them outside, we're going to walk, not our normal route, we're going to go on an adventure. Which leads me into this whole circle of feeling lost, feeling lost. feeling a sense of loss, like we mentioned earlier, that is what triggers creativity, the unknown. What can happen if, what if I do this just a little differently? You know, what, what if I, if I take this leap of faith? What if I just doodle on this corner of this napkin? After dinner? Once I you know, had a minute? What if, and then sit in that moment of what if really act on it, give it a chance, just give it a chance. That's all you need to do? And then once you do see where you could do it again? It'd be the same thing. Just do it the next day. That same thing, and it'll open the door for you, I promise. Ah,

Paula Shepherd 43:14

I promise. Yes. Do it do something today and tomorrow, that's different. Thomas says thank you for being here. Thank you for spending time with me this morning. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Thank you for just being you and sharing how people can step into their own personal creativity in a world full of such transaction.

Saz Ross 43:38

Thank you for having me, Paula. It's always fun being in your presence. It's fun. It's always

Paula Shepherd 43:45

good. I appreciate that. All right, everybody. Well, I will see you next week on another episode of The confidence sessions. Until then, check out all the ways that you can connect with SAS in the shownotes. I will see you next time. Thank you for listening to this episode of The confidence sessions. I know there are hundreds of 1000s of podcasts and I'm so grateful that you chose to spend your time today with me. Head on over to the courage blueprint.com forward slash podcast to check out the show notes from today's episode, and grab links to all the amazing goodies mentioned today. If you love this episode, as much as I loved making it, make sure you don't miss out on any future ones by hitting the subscribe button right now. See you next time.

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