Jamie Joslin King: “It’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world”

About mask-wearing: you might not be afraid of COVID, you might not be scared when I have anyone vulnerable in your life, you might be might not be worried about it, you might have already had it, and think, I’m good. What if that mask was a symbol that says, “I care about you”. It shows […]

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About mask-wearing: you might not be afraid of COVID, you might not be scared when I have anyone vulnerable in your life, you might be might not be worried about it, you might have already had it, and think, I’m good.

What if that mask was a symbol that says, “I care about you”. It shows your empathy on your face, it’s literally a big badge of empathy showing you care about the people around you. Even if you don’t believe that there’s a scientific reason to wear that mask, more than half of our population is terrified of getting this disease right now. And that mask will make them feel safe when they walk past you in the store, so why not give that to them right now? What we need is for more givers, and fewer takers in this world right now.

As part of our series about 5 Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help Heal Our Country, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jamie King.

Before becoming a serial entrepreneur and internationally known female leader, Jamie Joslin King, worked with executive management, training and teaching them how to be leaders through Fortune 75 company Humana. At 24-years-old she managed over 500 trainees through leadership development until 2014.

After that, she worked in network marketing where she made it to the top .5% of the company and was able to replace her corporate salary. While working, she was traveling 20 weeks out of the year and was pregnant with her second child. She couldn’t see herself traveling any longer and taking time away from her family to work, so she decided to chase her own success and she started the Slay Coach in 2017, a mission to help female entrepreneurs all over the world.

After just two years of business, Jamie’s empire as The Slay Coach has grown to include various successful online programs, personal coaching, inspiration speaking, and workshops, transforming thousands of women’s lives worldwide. She’s helped women scale their businesses to 7-figures online.

Jamie has scaled The Slay Brands to a million-dollar company, in just two years. She is also the founder of the not-for-profit group, Chardonnay & Slay, a safe space for women with bold dreams, positive vibes and big passion looking for help on their business journey.

She is not your average business coach; she’s coached hundreds of women and helped million-dollar experts in industries such as events, pharmacy, hair and beauty, food services, marketing, sales, travel, and PR.

Jamie is very involved in the Louisville community, helping local small businesses scale and grow their brands.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

I grew up with a mother who built trucks and a dad who was a nurse. Career day at school was, hey, what are your parents do for a living. Hey, my dad is a nurse, and my mom builds trucks, and the teacher corrected me, she said, “You said it wrong. You said your dad’s a nurse, but you meant your mom, right?” I was like, “Nope, I met that my mom could do more pushups than your dad, and she builds trucks. And my dad is a six-foot-six nurse.

My mom worked two to three jobs, while my dad was getting through nursing school. We lived in an adorable small home in South Louisville, and I grew up in a community that was diverse with lots of different refugee Catholic refugee ministry kids. I grew up eating Vietnamese food and playing basketball, and my neighbor’s backyard because I didn’t have a goal of my own.

My dad was a basketball coach, and I slept with a basketball in my crib. I grew up thinking that basketball was going to be the thing basketball was going to be my ticket out of here, and then I got scoliosis. I had spine surgery, and that’s when I decided I would never work for anyone else ever again. That’s when I decided I wanted to grow up being my own boss. I worked two or three jobs as a teenager because I wanted to buy my own things. I always worked and bought my own stuff, and I had these dreams of going to hair school, moving to LA, and being a makeup artist or hairdresser for celebrities. And then I stayed here I fell in love with a boy, and then I got pregnant and at 19, and did the whole Kentucky get knocked up out of wedlock thing and, and that kept me here.

I kind of derailed my own dreams. For several years, I derailed. I used to cry myself to sleep at night when I was five years old saying, “Mom, do I have to be ordinary?” I know I’m not supposed to be ordinary, but I never knew what it was I was supposed to do. And so, so I just kept trying things — I did the corporate thing, I got the responsible job because I was a mom. I did really well; I’ve always been that person who decided I’m going to be the best no matter what I do, and I worked my way up the corporate ladder very quickly. I was the only one of my peers without a college degree and I was the youngest of my peers. I managed call centers and traveled for work 15 weeks out of the year. Then, I got married and got pregnant. I decided I didn’t want to travel anymore I want to leave my baby at home, so I went all-in with network marketing. Then, three years ago, I started this business.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Okay, this is not gonna be a typical answer; I’m gonna give you just what came to my gut. It’s not business-related.

I can’t believe I’m saying this out loud. So, the book that changed my life and changed the entire trajectory of my life is Twilight.

When I read how Edward treated Bell, I thought, that is the kind of love that I want. I want to be with someone who loves me and that got as crazy obsessive. I want to be with someone who loves me that way, I want to love someone. I realized I wasn’t being treated well, and in that moment I saw that every dream that I ever had for myself, I threw away because I became a mom. I threw away to try to fix someone who I thought I could fix. When I read that book, I thought, what if there’s another way? I’d always thought that everyone just settled for someone who was just good enough. We have the house, you know, we have jobs, you know, I thought that was, you know, making 35 grand a year this is all there is. I had forgotten that big girl who cries herself to sleep at night, terrified of being ordinary. I realized at that moment that I had settled for a life that was not mine. And so it was Twilight. Yeah, just the example of wanting to be loved like that, but it was such a bigger metaphor for my entire life. After I finished those books, I got brave enough to leave that relationship, and about 10 months later I found my husband.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

“It’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world,” by Dolly Parton. She’s my spirit animal; she lives her life so unapologetically. She was a coal miner’s daughter who grew up in Tennessee, she came from nothing, she was your typical Southern girl, but she actually had a glam Barbie girl deep inside of her.

People have always told me I was too much, that I was just trying to get attention. I was too goofy and flamboyant, with the way I colored my hair, and the clothes I wore. But as I grew up, I understood that I am always going to be too much for certain people. I decided that I would allow myself to be special, and unique, and to accept myself as being good enough. So many people are suppressed, or feel like they aren’t living their true purpose. I want to show people that being your authentic self can give you true joy, and purpose, and spread happiness to everyone else.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Simon Sinek wrote the book, Leaders Eat Last. That’s how I run my own business. My people don’t work for me; I work for them. my entire business is I am. I work for them. Like, they don’t serve me I serve them.

It’s also my duty to make sure that they grow, and that they are developed into leaders. You don’t want to be criticizing people about their performance in such a way that would make them feel they’re not good enough, because they will believe you. You have to tell them that you are proud of them, that they’ve grown, but this is something you believe they can do better, and that’s okay.

No one takes ownership of how mistakes get made in the business. They always put it on someone else instead of looking at a whole situation and asking themselves if they properly communicated their needs, or emphasize how urgent or important their request was. Before we go tell someone that they’re wrong, that they fucked up, that they’re not good enough, you have to start with yourself first, as a leader.

Eat last, and look inward, first to see where our bullcrap is and where our mistakes are before we take that shame and judgment and push it on to other people, especially our employees who we want to do good jobs for us.

In life we come across many people, some who inspire us, some who change us and some who make us better people. Is there a person or people who have helped you get to where you are today? Can you share a story?

Yeah. Um, so, my husband, obviously, is the biggest. I can’t stress enough the importance of building a personal brand of having a spouse that’s onboard. So, when I met my husband. I was not the person I am today and people will look at our relationship and think that we have the perfect relationship. It wasn’t always perfect, but my husband was so put together.

When I met him, I was working nine to five, frequenting bars, and partying a lot. I had no direction. I didn’t know where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do with my life. I was still in corporate America, I didn’t like push myself, I had a ton of credit card debt at a rock bottom credit score.

While physical attraction initially brought us together, I saw how driven he was, and how motivated he was at the gym every day, pushing himself to be better. I initially felt a lot of shame and guilt, because I was messy I was unorganized, I was ADD, I didn’t have goals, and I had no idea where I would be going next. I remember thinking that he would nitpick, but he wasn’t nitpicking; he was just giving honest feedback, and saying, hey if you could do this or that. Instead, I internalized it and thought, I’m not good enough for him.

And one day, I looked at this amazing man who’s the kindest empathetic, loving, fun person I’d ever been with. I just fear that I’m not good enough for him. Why would he choose me to be with me? What do I need to become to keep a guy like him? Who, who I need to become was the next version of me, who I need to become to stay with someone like that? For the past 10 years, we’ve been going back and forth of us catching up with each other, but pushing each other as well to do our best. He wasn’t trying to fix me or change me. He loves me for who I am. I am just lucky to have this partner that pushes me to be better every day. I push him as well, and it all works out.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. The United States is currently facing a series of unprecedented crises. So many of us see the news and ask how we can help. We’d love to talk about the steps that each of us can take to help heal our county, in our own way. Can you please share your “5 Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help Heal Our Country”. Kindly share a story or example for each.

Step one, pick your path. When you try to do everything for everyone, you’re going to be helpful for no one you will burn out. Instead of trying to be everything for everyone. Pick your lane of help and support and grow growth. So, if you need to work on your own personal health in order to your family to get healthy; if that helps your vision or mission around the pandemic, then do that. If you can, donate to your local food banks. If you can, support a local bailout fund financially.

So, if you pick your path, whether that be, you’re exchanging your time, you’re donating to Black Lives Matter movement, or by donating to COVID charities, if you are picking your path by donating time you can volunteer, you know, to support a movement. If you can’t be there in person, you can do it with your voice on social media. We don’t have time to go protest every day, so I make food bags and lunches taken down to the protesters every day. I don’t have time to make masks at home for our friends. Not everyone has money, but everyone has a voice. So if you could pick one of those. So pick your lane.

Step two is to be friends with someone who is different than you, and has different opinions of you, and be willing to look at that person and say I love you. Even if you don’t agree, be open. Start with being open even friends with someone who doesn’t look like you, who maybe comes from a different background than you, and ask yourself, how can we tell each other stories to better understand one another? So, if you are educated on the racial justice issues in this country, then maybe look at your circle and ask: Do I have black friends? Do I have people in my circle that are checking me? Do I have people that are, are doing their own uncovering of unconscious biases are they doing their own learning and researching on privilege? If you’re not surrounding myself with the right people, ask yourself, “How can I do better?” Because we put ourselves in these little bubbles, we aren’t exposing ourselves anymore.

Step three, look inward. Everyone has to start and say, I don’t know everything about everything. And if I’m genuinely looking inward and admitting to myself self-awareness. I’m admitting to myself that I don’t know everything. There is another world that people live in that I don’t experience because of either my skin color or my financial background, because there are different types of privilege. Growing up in a lower-income household, I didn’t have the same privileges as someone growing up in a rich neighborhood, but I do have a lot of privileges as a white woman.

There are so many different ways that we could look inward and ask ourselves, maybe there’s something to this COVID thing that science knows that I don’t know, maybe I don’t know everything. So if we can stop trying to be right all the time, and start asking how can I be helpful, or how can I make people feel good, then that will take the steps but firstly to start with self that will start to build on the healing. But we first have to start with self-awareness, acceptance that we don’t know at all.

Step four, ask yourself: “How can I not just do something, how can I make people feel good today?” You have to understand everyone is walking in their own little cloud bubble of shame, pain, frustration, anxiety, and fear. Everyone is walking around with their own experiences and they might use some of that to bounce it off you or attack you.

About mask-wearing: you might not be afraid of COVID, you might not be scared when I have anyone vulnerable in your life, you might be might not be worried about it, you might have already had it, and think, I’m good.

What if that mask was a symbol that says, “I care about you”. It shows your empathy on your face, it’s literally a big badge of empathy showing you care about the people around you. Even if you don’t believe that there’s a scientific reason to wear that mask, more than half of our population is terrified of getting this disease right now. And that mask will make them feel safe when they walk past you in the store, so why not give that to them right now? What we need is for more givers, and fewer takers in this world right now.

Step five, start at home. Teach your kids new stories, and diversify your book collection. Diversify the movies you will watch with your kids, diversify the books you read by yourself. Ask yourself if you’ve normally watched predominantly white movies because you identify with white people. Ask yourself if you prefer only products of people that look and sound like yourself, or if you’re actively trying to experience other cultures and information.

I am trying to expose my children to what other people’s experiences are in the world. I teach empathy by showing empathy. The best way to teach is to be the number one example in your family for your friends. And are you actively stopping those conversations when they happen, if you see hate? It starts in your own circle. Teach it, live it, be about it, ask the people you love. “Hey”, would you not, would you mind reconsidering that?” Or, “I believe that to be hurtful to a lot of people that I care about.” It doesn’t have to be a fight, you don’t have to be scared to fight with your uncle and just say, “Hey, I know you might not know this, but that hurt me. Would you mind to not say that anymore?” So, be brave enough to speak up and start in your own family, and your own inner circle, because that’s where real change happens.

We are going through a rough period now. Are you optimistic that this issue can eventually be resolved? Can you explain?

I don’t believe we’re going through a rough period. I think we’re going through the best things ever happened to this country. So, I believe that COVID, I believe that everything is for a reason. Even divine intervention — -I believe in God. I believe in a higher power. I believe that all of this has happened for us and not to us. So growth doesn’t feel painful, or growth doesn’t feel good growth feels painful.

It feels awkward, it feels claustrophobic, it feels heavy. And if you are asking yourself right now. How can this be working for me? How is this happening for me, and not to me?

I don’t believe any of this is bad. I believe all of it is necessary. People and politics aside, whether you’re Liberal or Republican, I believe we needed Donald Trump to happen, probably needed someone to come in and shake things up. He’s hurt and enraged a lot of people.

I don’t know, I mean, I’m done shying away from my political opinions. We needed someone to make us so mad or hurt. Because when we are comfortable, we don’t change. So, we needed this because we needed to get super uncomfortable. In order to say I’m done. We’ve had enough. This is time to make massive changes, so we needed a large array of people to be uncomfortable. We bring awareness to things that were already happening when we were already uncomfortable and we’re like, this is enough. Enough is enough.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

You only get one life to live and when you’re young you don’t really grasp that. If you only get one chance here, and you’re spending all of your time right now doing things you don’t want to do, or following a path that someone else wants you to follow. Staying true to yourself is what is going to change the world, the world needs more of you to live your life fully and authentically; not for money, not for power; not for influence, not for your parents, but if you are following what you’re truly meant to do on this earth, and keep trying things until you figure out what that is.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Lady Gaga. Okay. I know she probably gets love notes or messages is like this every single day. But the way she carries herself and embraces her weirdness made me feel safe to express myself. Her music gives so many millions of people permission to be themselves, to be strong, to be bold, to speak out.

I am a intercourse assault survivor. I have spoken publicly about being intercourse assaulted, multiple times, and being able to tell those stories, my truth, and do things my way; not how my boss wants me to do them, or my mom or my parents. People think that they crave money or opportunity but what they actually crave is freedom and happiness. And so they think that money and opportunity will bring them freedom and happiness. But if you’re chasing money, you are not free. And so if you can show up, chasing freedom to be 100% fully you and embodying that all the time, and giving yourself permission to reinvent yourself whenever you feel like it, that is when you will find the most joy. So, Lady Gaga has taught me that through her music, and her words and her activism. So, that’s who I need to meet one day.

How can our readers follow you online?

Follow me on Instagram @theslaycoach and at

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