Mahrukh Imtiaz

erin baker, jennifer szad and mahrukh

S2-EP017: Bringing Joy to Content Creation: Tips and Insights from a Mastermind

“You chase joy, thinking that the risk is that you’re not going to have these external results. The irony is that oftentimes, those results only come when you embody that joy, it’s like getting there is like through that joy.” – WEDNESDAY WONDERS

S2-EP017 – In this witty episode, Jen, Erin, and I talk about the importance of managing your emotional and physical well-being as a content creator. We explore the significance of finding fulfillment in your work and emphasize the importance of taking breaks to recharge when facing creative blocks and exhaustion. Erin shares valuable insights on how incorporating the word “joy” into our daily vocabulary can positively impact our overall well-being, while Jen provides practical tips on managing burnout and navigating through emotional and mental challenges.

Highlights from this episode: 

[2:00] What is joy for you now?

[2:54] When you wrote a full book on joy and you’re not even thinking about it and it wasn’t even on your radar. What got you into writing a book about joy? Why don’t you talk a little bit about it?

[4:49] How do you get there on finding joy?

[8:48]Joy is listening to our body but how do people even start the process?

[10:49] What would you say to people who don’t tune into their joy today?

Connect with ERIN AND JEN: 






A little bit about Erin and Jen

Erin and Jen are part of our weekly mastermind group, The Wednesday Wonders. Erin was a best-selling author of the book JOYFUL AF. While Jen has made multiple 6-figure businesses after leaving her stable corporate job.

Resources mentioned:
Author: Simon Sinek


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Mahrukh Imtiaz: Content burnout is a very real thing. It’s one thing I keep hearing from you again and again. But for me, what’s helped me out the most is bringing joy in the process. And this is a word that I’ve actually learned from Erin Baker. I used to hate saying the word joy. I used to say, oh, it’s fun. It brings me happiness, but joy Oh, no, can never do that. So today, we’re just going to talk about that. How can we bring more happiness more fun, and more joy in the process of content? Welcome, Erin. And Jen.

Erin Baker:  Thanks

Jennifer Szad: Thanks for having us, of course.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: So to start off, what are your initial thoughts? 

Erin Baker: Well, I’m going to start with, I want to ask you, because I remember this conversation that you and I had several months ago. And I said, What are your thoughts on replacing your favorite quote was chase excellence and the successful chase you replacing that with chase joy and successful chase you and I remember, you had this very initial reaction, like, okay, and then you’re like, wait, no, no, no, no. So I want to go back before we even talk about content, creation and joy and be like, what was your immediate reaction to the concept of joy that had you so avoidant of it,

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I always thought of joy as something that would lead you to homelessness, or something that would you know, if you were having too much fun, you’re not doing things, right. And I didn’t even think of it as fun like, because I like doing things that are more fun, but it was like, Oh, if I’m so much in the practice of joy, that’s weird. 

That’s not what you’re supposed to be doing. You like you’re not as invested. You’re relaxing. Joy was like, oh, that’s when you relax, and don’t do anything. That’s when you watch Netflix and you know, eat your favorite biryani. That’s joy, but that has nothing to do with business. 

You know, business is different content creation is different. It can be fun, but can’t be joyful. So that’s that was my reaction to it. Like, oh, no, no, I don’t know. Why would I choose joy? Why would I chase a place where I’m watching Netflix all day?

Erin Baker: So what’s joy for you now? So like, if we’re going to tell everybody out there, you know, hey, Chase, fun Chase, Joy Chase happiness? What is joy for you?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: It says place of inner calm and peace. You know, and sometimes they do get it from watching Netflix. And sometimes they do get it from eating biryani not all the time. But you know, sometimes they do. And it’s this place that I’m actually really enjoying being in it makes me like, want to continue living life one day at a time. 

You know, I’m like not wanting to worry about the future not worrying about the past. It’s just you’re living in a state of joy now, am I able to achieve that every day? No. But the days that I do, I’m like, oh, today was a really good day. I was like, really feeling good. And those are the days when I feel like oh, yeah, because I was really embracing the joy in my life. 

That’s that’s how I think of it now. It’s still a work in progress. So I’m not gonna say oh, I’ve perfected it. But that’s how I see it. On that note, you wrote a full book on joy. And you weren’t even thinking about it. So little. Yeah, fingers crossed. Right. And I remember you talking about that. It wasn’t even on your radar. Why don’t you talk about that a little bit? What got it on your Yeah,

Erin Baker: I mean, I think this is important thing, because I think joy is such an important part of any endeavor, content, creation, business, all of that. And the word was, yeah, not in my vocabulary. Like Umar ik didn’t have any relevance to business. I have a friend. His name’s Miyama Shang. 

And he was telling me a couple of years ago, he had this world Joy movement. And I was like, oh, that’s, that’s nice friend Yama. He’s good for a really, really, really cool guy. He’s got a smile that like his whole face lights up. And I went, Oh, that’s cool for you. 

But then I started actually looking into what is joy mean? And what what, uh, well actually started looking at, well, when am I like, successful in my business? When am I happiest in my business. And I started to realize, when I started put the language together was all joy. And for me, I love how you say, you know, it’s inner peace for you. 

But what I’ve learned is joy is different for everybody. We all have a slightly different definition of it. We all kind of don’t know how to put our fingers on it. But we all know when we don’t have it. And for me, Joy, I think it’s really relevant to the content creation thing is joy is about when I’m really deeply connected to me. 

And that means I’m sort of being myself and that sort of really cliche, authentic expression way, but I’m really being myself, I really liked myself and I’m expressing. I’m kind of in a place of curiosity about the world, I feel creative. I even have the courage to take risks and do things that I normally wouldn’t. 

And so there’s like a space of being sort of in flow. And I find, yeah, with content creation, I see that as such a key to being able to put yourself out in the world every day and to really keep yourself from burning out,

Mahrukh Imtiaz: That’s for sure. But how do you get there? Like, how do you like, you know, for me, it was a lot of healing work conversations with you about joy and Jen like, you know, and it’s just still working on like, This is okay, this is normal. This is this should be part of the process. 

And I think part of me always thought that joy was ridiculous because I always thought like hippies being really like joyful, right? I’m like, oh, to be joyful means to be hippyish, right? Like you kind of are enjoying your life, but you know, you might not have any money. 

So it’s just like, that’s how I correlated it. And I think that’s where I was like, Oh, if I’m joyful, I won’t have any money. If I’m joyful. I’m homeless, you know, but it’s, but it’s hard to get to the point where you’re like, No, none of that is true. Yeah, I’m kind of interested to hear what you guys have to say about that.

Erin Baker: I’ll tell you briefly. For me. It’s experimenting. And it’s like one tiny shift at a time, I didn’t just all of a sudden look at everything I do. As a business owner and content creator and go, I’m just all in and I’m joined. Now, that was just way too much for my nervous system. Right? So and there was a lot of healing I did there. It was, like, Where can I choose joy in one area and see what happens. 

And then we’re gonna choose joy again, and see what happens. And we’re gonna choose joy again, and see what happens. And I slowly started seeing Oh, things are better. And whatever better means whatever metrics for success when I choose joy, and so I just at some point was like, alright, well, I give in, I’m going to, I’m going to draw a route.

Jennifer Szad: That’s the irony isn’t, isn’t it, you chase joy, thinking that the risk is that you’re not going to have these like external results? You know, the irony is that oftentimes, those results really only come when you embody that joy, you know, so it’s like the getting there are like through that joy. Yeah.

And I think you both are touching on something really important, which is something that resonates with me a lot. And it’s this idea that joy, it’s not like a head thing. You can’t like think yourself into it. Joy, at least for me, it’s something that comes from listening to your body, like listening to my body, what I need mark, you had mentioned like Netflix can bring you joy, sometimes other times, it doesn’t bring you joy. 

So what that points to is like the Netflix was not where the joy resides, where the joy resides in you, like, what do you need? What’s your body asking you for? You know, is your body asking you for rest? Is it asking you to go out and dance or to take a risk or go connect with somebody or you know, a million other things? And I think that probably beyond the scope of this conversation, but I know that we we’ve had these conversations many times about what could be at the root of this. 

But suffice to say, in our world today, it seems to me that we’re so many of the messages we’re getting is to ignore our body and to really follow our kind of our mental or intellectual headspace, like, what is that telling us to do? And unfortunately, I think it’s kind of like divorcing us from the joy that’s like, in us or accessible to us. When we do that. Why did they kind of circle back to that?

Erin Baker: Yeah, I’m so glad you said that. Because that’s a big part of what I talked about in my book is, Joy is a full body experience. And Joy is about listening, and tuning in to our bodies. And that’s what makes whatever we’re doing for talking about content creation, or running a business or being a leader of a company. 

If you want to be in something for the long term. You’ve got to tune in and listen to your body, and follow the joy and a lot of what burns people out is when they say I have to do consist, I have to consistently show up every day, or you know, I have to show up this many times a day, and I have to write if it’s content creation, 

I have to write about these certain things. I can never break free of them. And none of that is tuning in to what am I feel like today? What am I inspired by today? Do I want to share today? Do I need a break? Do I need Netflix? Right?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: True? It’s true. And you know what I love about what you both are saying is listening to your body. Right? And that is such an underrated skill, like being able to listen to your body. But how do people even start that process? I know for me, it was meditation. But I bet there’s a lot more ways to do that. 

Jennifer Szad: Yeah, so I feel like yeah, I was gonna say you probably have you just literally,

Erin Baker: Like, let me open. Like, buy her book. That’s it. I mean, this is my book, where I talk about actually this and not to start listening to your body. Here’s one of the things I want to say that’s really, really important. 

So many people have good reason to be disconnected from their body. There are people who have physical trauma in their past, there are people who have had things like eating disorders, Amy sort of reconnecting to your body should be from a space of what feels safe for me. 

And if it’s something that doesn’t feel safe, it’s okay to do practices with a professional like a therapist or a personal trainer or something else or do we ignore practices that trigger those parts of your body that are are upset, right? 

For some people meditation is a really bad thing because it makes them really anxious. Don’t go meditate, right? For some people doing any sort of body scan, where you feel all your sensations brings back past trauma, don’t go do that. 

But there’s lots of different things you can do. Dance we talked about already, right? Meditation, going out and being in nature. Yeah, any sort of mindful sensory stuff, I often give clients homework to go do one new thing with their senses every day. 

So that could be putting your feet on the ground, or smelling the roses on a walk or getting a piece of candy and just focusing on the taste of the candy as you suck on it. And, you know, feel all the textures. So there’s lots of little ways, just thinking about engaging different senses in a safe way

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Oh, I love that. I know, I love those examples. You said something earlier that I was thinking about, and you said, you know, so many people don’t tune into their joy, like, do they want to show up today? They want to share today? What would you say to people that would say, Well, if I were to listen to myself, I wouldn’t create any content?

Erin Baker: Hmm. So then I would say, why are you doing it? Are you really tuned in deeply to something you want to do? And if the answer is there’s a, there’s still a deeper desire for content creation, then there’s a fear on the way that’s not tuning into your joy. 

That’s falling fear. Right? Right. So go back to why it’s very Simon Sinek concept, and then go back to why you’re doing it in the first place. And if if it’s all about shoulds, and suppose twos or something that you think is the smart thing to do, or, you know, a lot of people in my space and in entrepreneurship think it’s something they have to do. 

Of course, they don’t want to create content. But if there’s something you like, deeply down desire to share with the world, and then you don’t want to show up, then, okay, let’s look at what’s in the way. Is it fear? Is it Oh, you need rest? I mean, some people go through seasons, I know people who go through seasons of they post every day for a while, and then you don’t see him for two months, because that’s how their inspiration works. They just know that about themselves. 

Mahrukh Imtiaz:That’s so true. That’s something like I mean, that’s something I’m learning about my style for sure. Where I’m just like, I want to go all out for two months. And then I want to take a three week break. 

And I’m trying it Oh, it’s working really well, you know, and I’m feeling inspired to just continue going. Where says before, it was like, keep going just planet advanced schedule batch, blah, blah, blah. But mean, you know, when I started this podcast, it was a weekly podcast. And then I decided, no, I want to do seasons, seasons work for me. 

Yeah, that’s very true. I think I even I heard Simone, speak about how she goes through periods of depression. And she built that into her business like this is going to happen to her knows it. She builds it in. That’s what kind of inspired me I was like, Oh, wow, if like a seven figure business owner builds in depression periods into her whole strategy in that theme that says something, right?

Jennifer Szad: Yeah, and a couple of things I’ll say on this, as well is. So first of all, I don’t know if any of your listeners are gonna relate to this. But I know myself, what will often happen is, I will hear something like this type of conversation like we’re happening, or we’re having right now about having to get into your body to men, you know, all of these things are talking about. 

And I will almost use that as a reason to beat myself up a bit when I’m not able to follow through perfectly. So if like tomorrow, I’m not self aware, the whole day about what my body is doing. The past me would definitely feel a bit of shame or a bit of guilt, at least around that. 

So one thing that I will say is that this whole thing that we’re talking about is a process. And in a lot of ways, it really is like everyone’s life’s work to get to know who you are know, like what’s happening in your body and really honor that. It sounds really easy. It’s a lot of pretty words, but the actual work is hard. 

And some of the things that Erin was talking about some of the ways that you might be resistant to it, those are very real. So we are not giving you permission to beat up yourself. If you do not do this.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I love that you mentioned that. I love that you mentioned

Jennifer Szad: The other day messing with your humanity. Right. The other thing I’ll say is kind of more I guess more on like the tactical level but something that’s helped me a lot in this process, and I have a feeling it’s gonna help some of you guys out there too, is that somebody very wise once told me and I don’t even remember who it was but they said never worry in your head. 

Always worry on paper. You can also expand that to be like never process in your head process on paper. There’s something about the process of actually like going through some of these thoughts that you might have about content creation, for example, like why don’t I feel like doing it? When was the last time I did feel motivated? 

What is my body telling me right now, it’s really easy to wrap yourself in in knots if you just go around and around in your head. If you haven’t if you don’t have like a journaling practice or if you don’t regularly like pull out your computer and write down your thoughts, whatever it is for you. Maybe this is kind of your sign to try to incorporate that a little Little bit more consciously into your day to day doesn’t have to be perfect again. 

But I’ve at least found a lot of clarity and doing that. And realizing, for example, some things that I think I’m just ready to just quit, because I don’t like it anymore. That’s what my head’s telling me. 

When I really work through that stuff on paper, I realized like, that’s really not going on necessarily. Maybe what’s going on is that I just haven’t I don’t know, seeing the sun in three days. dramatic, but that kind of stuff. Or maybe I haven’t connected with like a couple people that that really used to, like, light me up whatever the case might or lack of water that’s gonna be different. That can Yes, dehydration. Yeah. Well, how much water have I had?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah, yeah

Jennifer Szad: And so processing that and getting out of your head and then do something else can be enough to give you a little bit of clarity. And it makes it kind of takes it down a few notches, you know, for those of us that might be prone to dramatics, I’ll say, and I’m in that camp for sure.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Make the two of us or the three of us so to speak for Aaron. The camera dramatic. Yes. Oh, yeah. I love that. I love that. And I, we can totally. And this there. Unless you guys have any final thoughts?

Erin Baker: No, I will say this is a big topic area. And we’re just scratching the surface. Absolute burnout is a big thing, not just in content creation. It’s a it’s just a really big thing. And I will say on top of following your joy as a content creator, you’re putting yourself out there every day.

And that’s a lot on your nervous system. Your brain might be telling you that everything should be fine. But your nervous system may be in freakout mode. So be gentle with yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself tired.

Or if you find yourself wanting to run away and hide from posting or if you’re sitting there one day, and you just can’t for the life of you come up with content. It’s probably because your nervous system is just having a little bit of a moment and just be gentle and compassionate. And remember, you’re a human, not a machine

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I’m pretty perfect. And I know what you’re talking about. Speak about yourself. And I accept that remark. Yes. Just kidding. Any final thoughts from you Jen?

Jennifer Szad: I don’t think I can talk with Erin just said, I kind of wrapped it up so perfectly. I think that again, this there’s so many options, conversations to have with this. But I think that bottom line, that is the one thing that always come back to is like this is a very human experience. 

There is no one on the earth right now that hasn’t experienced burnout in some capacity, you know, for some reason, so you’re in good company. And it tends to be something that I think a lot of times people will kind of keep it hidden because there is a lot wrapped up in it. And there’s kind of this sense of like, I shouldn’t be feeling that way. 

You know, whatever those thoughts are that you have. And I guess just take this as as that message. Like it’s a very human thing. And just because a lot of people may not be talking about it doesn’t mean they’re not experiencing exactly what you’re experiencing too. So keep that in mind. Be kind to yourself.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I love that. I want to say the thing. Glennon Doyle always says we can do hard things. That’s my go to. And we’re on a journey. But that’s another segment. 

Another podcast episode. Yeah. Listen, you on the other side of this, just letting you know that if you are facing any kind of burnout, or you know what just don’t feel inspired today. It’s totally human, like Erin and Jen and I just talked about, it’s normal.

We go through that and just know that you are awesome, and you’re perfect. So until next time, You got this beautiful

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