Finding JOY Blog

Finding JOY!

by Jansen O. Young on Dec 19, 2023

Finding JOY!

Lets just go deep for a minute. I have spent a lot of time wandering, and being lost. You know that quote, not all who wander are lost.. yeah well, sometimes they are.

There are things in my life, that are just so authentically me. Things that speak so clearly to my soul, its just a part of who I am. Those things I’m very clear on, but there are many things I am not so clear on. Things I am still trying to figure out. I have reached level 30 at this thing we call life, and I’m still lost sometimes. Being lost seems like it became a state of being after the shooting. I’m not saying I had it all figured out before the shooting, far from it! but I was different. I was more innocent, naïve even. Sometimes even downright stupid. I lived in a state of fearless joy. I was the person that trusted easily, jumped at every adventure, and found time to enjoy every minute. I was the person that would walk past sprinklers and literally stop my walk to go run through them.

When I was young I loved that part of myself, and I’m not saying she’s totally gone, but she has changed a lot, and in many ways I miss her. The easy smiles and blind trust is kept dampened. I was only 21 when I came face to face with death, and looking back, those are the years that young people really start to determine exactly the kind of person they are. I was starting that, I know I started getting to know myself in Denver, I was thinking about the person I wanted to be and becoming her.

I’m sure we all kind of go through that, I’m still going through it, maybe others are to? Where you envision the type of person you want to be, either from media, or other things and think “that’s my style, I love that look, or that life I want to be more like that” then you strive for it? Well, I’ve been doing that basically my whole life. As an example, I love rings, I think they look so boho, and girls with rings are just, awesome right?! As a young girl I wanted to be that girl, and in high-school I was! I wore a ring on every finger, I was that girl! The girl, that I still to this day, want to be, I was wearing rings. With time, I have lost many of my rings, but I still think about them often and want to wear more rings. In fact I’m going to pause this and go put one on right now to get back in the habit, because I want to be her! A hippy girl that wears more rings! K, done. I am officially wearing one more ring, from now on.

Now I know, usually the person we envision or the attributes we want to have are not as simple as a wardrobe change. I struggle with this too, the person that wants to be a more put together mom, or homemaker, maybe you want to be a more devoted person to exercise or something of the like. These changes take time and habits to create, but the point I’m making is that we all have a vision of who we want to be, and are trying to reach that and as we do, we usually grow and learn and become who we are. Sometimes that is not even the person we envisioned, but it is the person we are happy with.

All that to say, I was becoming the person, and really getting to know myself when my life changed, and I changed. Ever since that day, I have been on this journey to find joy. There was a time after the shooting that I was just so mad, mad at the shooter for taking my joy and changing my life, mad at being a victim. I remember saying “He ruined my life” and my sister tried to talk me down by saying that he didn’t, my life is not a burnt cake that got ruined in the oven, it doesn’t need to be thrown out.” I did not agree with her at the time, I was mad at her for even suggesting it was not ruined. What I was struggling to see in all my anger and coping was that she was right, he did not ruin my life, he stole some of my time. I had to re-adjust, and get back to getting to know the person I was becoming. I had to get past my hump of grief to learn that I just had to find myself.

That is how “Finding JOY” became a tag line in my life. My initials are J.O.Y. and when I determined at age 24 (yes three years after the shooting) that I was going to “Find JOY” I knew I was back on the journey to finding myself and the person I was striving to become as I became her.

At this point in time, I was dating again (my now husband) Danny, and I were still living in, lets face it, basically the best city on earth (Denver, Colorado) and again my life was pretty good. I just needed to remember what I wanted, who I wanted to be, and move towards that. I started modeling as that is something I had always wanted to do, and I loved it! It became a form of therapy for me, I started following all the dreams that I was pulled towards and as I did, I documented with #FindingJOY on my Instagram. At the time, though I knew I wanted this to go somewhere, I had no clear direction of where. I knew I wanted to “Brand” myself as “Finding JOY while I was on the way to finding myself” but my biggest aspiration was like “Instagram Influencer” I was struggling to see past that, and where this could go from there.

Fast forward, I did many things as I followed this journey still knowing that my calling was orbiting “Finding JOY” I worked for Stan Lee, for a time, I was pulled in a direction to want to go to cosmetology school, I kept modeling, and of course I was still always thinking of following my career with animals. I was pulling all of my interests in, with none of them really paying the bills or taking a full shape.

So when the door finally opened for me to start an entrepreneurial adventure, it was a no brainer “MY BRAND IS FINDING JOY!” well duh, that’s a great name, and someone, obviously realized they needed to trademark it before I had.

Side Note: In entrepreneurship there is a lot of talk about mindset, and walls, and how you need to overcome these walls if you are going to be successful because it is not always smooth sailing.

So needless to say, this was my first major wall! It may not seem major to any one else, but I was bummed!! THATS MY BRAND!! I’m Finding JOY as I am on my journey to finding myself.. So moving forward and finding a ladder over this wall was tough, which is how Authentic JOY was born.

Find Authentic JOY. That’s my tagline.

Yes, I am still on this journey to finding myself, and I still am finding myself and striving to be better everyday, but I want to empower others to do the same! I want others to join this journey! I want others to think of the person they want to be, and become that person! I want to bring Authentic JOY to others as they follow their dreams!

I want everyone to Find Authentic JOY!

So I did it, I became the CEO of Finding JOY Enterprises, LLC. and I created Authentic JOY, I had one of my dearest friends help me with a logo that I felt spoke to me and my personality, and then I started designing my first product to sell on Amazon. While sharing my logo with friends and family I would get questions on how my logo relates back to tarantula’s in anyway? To which I would explain: it doesn’t. As I am just beginning to navigate this, I wanted a brand that spoke to me. In truth, I had no idea where to start when I was hurtling over that wall: I just knew that I needed a brand, and this one fit for now, everything else would fall into place.

Recently I read a book, its called “12 Months to $1 Million” by Ryan Daniel Moran, and if you have not read it, I highly recommend! Well in this book, he talks about building a brand, and that is the way to create a $1 Million business. I loved this book so much, I stayed up all night reading it and finished it in less than 24 hours. I was hyped about my business, but after reading the book, I was confused on my brand.. He talked a lot about how a brand speaks to people, and not to just sell products. His exact methos states: Sell 3-5 products to the same group of people, the people your brand speaks to, and you can build a $1 million dollar business. I contemplated that all day. I messaged my dear designer friend and discussed rebranding to fit my first product so I could speak to the people who are currently buying my first product on Amazon, and I felt unsure about myself, like I had started all wrong.

Then it hit me, my brand is Authentic JOY, and am speaking to the people who are currently buying my product.

I am Authentically an animal lover and advocate! I am a hippy, earth loving, conservationist! I love rings, and pink hair, I love crystals, fantasy, and bubbles, I love Finding Authentic JOY!

It lights my fire to support people who are being their unique authentic self! That is my brand! Those are my people! And they just happen to also buy spider enclosures. Because I want all animals and invertebrates too, to enJOY their home. I created this product as a cost effective way to have a sturdy, large place to view the absolute beauty that these animals bring into the lives of their owners. I put my love and soul into this one product so people could feel they were buying something of great quality at a great price.

I want that to be the case for all of my products. Every product that my brand creates may be completely different, some are animal products (coming soon!) and some are not (in the works!). I may not create another reptile or spider product but you can bet, my next product will offer great quality, and be something that can bring Authentic JOY either for the owner or pet!

So even though I don’t have it all figured out, I am still finding who I am. I am not always polished, I’m not always wearing rings or have a clean boho background for product videos like I wish I did, I am proud to represent my brand as it grows and becomes who it is meant to be. We will find Authentic JOY together.