Coaching was considered a unicorn profession years ago. However, it has always been something that Jasna Burza, professional certified life and business coach, wanted to do. Jasna was passionate about chasing her dreams of becoming a coach back then, alongside having a baby which finally came true after suffering nine miscarriages. She then started Uplevel Together Minneapolis Mastermind, an ultimate supportive experience for entrepreneurial women ready to take their idea or business to the next level. For Jasna, a mastermind is having two minds come together and figuring out ways to solve a problem. With her mastermind, Jasna is leading the many inspiring women entrepreneurs out there to grow their business and create abundance together.
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Jasna Burza on Growing Uplevel Together Minneapolis Mastermind
Let me give you a background on this powerhouse. Jasna is a professional certified life and business coach and founder of Uplevel Together Minneapolis Mastermind. She has actually spent the last decade working with individuals and organizations such as US Bank, Athleta and Coca-Cola on topics of resilience and life purpose. She's even been featured on CBS, WCCO as Minnesotan to Meet. She's been on a number of different television shows. What resonates with me is her background story. She actually lived through a refugee camp during the war in native Bosnia. She teaches and inspires so many people on the topics of resilience, creating purpose and connect to deeper meaning in life, aligning with your skills and your passions to make your biggest impact. You are in for a treat.
I am lit up. I am honored and grateful that one of my dear friends, one of those in my inner circle, Jasna, will be joining us. Her heartbeat behind why she does what she does is humbling. To hear how she hustles, she gives it everything she has got and she just puts her all in everything in her business and in her family life. I am honored to have her on the podcast. Jasna, thank you so much for joining us.
I'm blushing. I need to call you every day.
I want to give you a little bit of background on how we actually connected. I went to this co-working space called ModernWell in Minnesota and here comes this classy lady that is walking through one of the rooms. I walked up to her and started a conversation. We realized that we knew a couple of mutual friends. We chatted it up and I felt like there was an instant connection. We totally lost touch. We scout connected on social media, but the fun thing was I get this random message on Instagram saying, “Are you the same Stephanie Peters that's going to this mastermind out in Cali?” I'm like, “Yeah.” We found out that we’re going to the same amazing mastermind. We became roomies and the rest is history.
Pretty much there is no going back. It's actually pretty remarkable.
I was inspired by your story when we first connected. You were saying right from the get-go, you weren't born and raised in the US. That is such a compelling story because you were born and raised in Bosnia. I want you to share your story and the backstory of that. What I see about you that I think is so beautiful is you understand the value of what we have here in the US. Someone that is foreign-born is seven times more likely to become a millionaire than that person that is born here in the US. You don't take what we have here for granted. I want you to share with your back story why you do what you do. Share all the things.
When you told me that statistics, I did not know. I've heard something similar before but when you said, “I can do that.” I was born in Bosnia in a small town in East Bosnia and it was poor. I had a relatively happy family, but in the 1990s, the war started in Bosnia. I ended up in a refugee camp. My dad was in a concentration camp and they did exist in the ‘90s. It was horrific for all of us. In so many respects, there’re things that I'm dealing with going back and healing parts of the trauma that I didn't even know was there. Through a long path, I came here to study. I stayed for my undergrad and I stayed for my graduate degree. I met my husband, got married, had children and I'm like, “No, I'm stuck.” Honestly, this is my country. This is home. I was born in Bosnia, but I know for a fact that I’m meant to be here. This is my country. I'm an American citizen, but I'm an American in my soul.
It’s how I behave, how I think. When I look around, I'm like a kid in a candy store. First of all, I'm infinitely grateful to have this cushy life. I'm safe and no one's shooting at me. I have enough water. I have a safe shelter. I know this sounds basic for people, but that never escapes me. I have this immense sense of gratitude. I think you know this. I'm such a grateful person in general. Then I have this incredible life and being an entrepreneur, I'm looking around, I'm like, “There's so much opportunity.” I don't have the time to do it all, but there's so much opportunity. For me, I feel like I have been given this opportunity. I was lucky to be able to come here. There are so many women from all over the world and from Bosnia who are smarter, more competent and more brilliant who will never have the same opportunities as I will. I owe it to myself and to everyone else to do good work. I'm fired up.
You and me both. Even what you said in an Instagram story that I watched is when you heard the sirens going off on Wednesday, you were so grateful because you are safe. Let's go back to that. Why did you say that? That hit my heart and pierced it.
When I first came here, I was living in Uptown in Minneapolis with my husband, that was years ago. I was working from home and all of a sudden, the first Wednesday of every month, a tornado siren goes off. It’s the inclement weather preparedness siren. I ducked under the table. Here I am an adult woman working, I worked for a software company at the time. I ducked under the table and I'm thinking, what the hell is going on? It was body reaction. I called my husband and I was like, “What's going on? What is this siren? This is freaking me out.” He's like, “It’s the tornado siren. You're fine.” I'm thinking, “Don't they know there's a former refugee leaving here? I didn't get the memo.” Then I would hear it again and again. I would hear it then I would literally freeze because my body remembered. I know I'm safe, but my body literally would freeze.
I started working with a coach and I started to create something called different associative memory. For example, the smell of bread from childhood will associate something. For me, that created an associated memory in my brain and I knew that I had to recreate those patterns, recreate the neurons. I did that. It took me a good chunk of months to actually do that. Every time I would hear it, I would try to think about, “I'm so lucky. I'm so blessed. I’m safe.” It's interesting now every time I hear the siren, it's a friendly reminder to be so grateful. I know for sure that it's possible for all of us to shift those memories or something that stops us in our tracks to recreate what story we tell ourselves about what that means.
I think that is so important because of how many times we have triggers in our past. There can be so many negative connotations and it holds us back. We get paralysis because we're in such fear and we get bound by that. How do we course correct that, flip the switch and create this space? This doesn't have to be a fear-based type of reaction, but we don't have to react to it. We can respond to it and we can flip a switch in our brain to think another thought about it. It may take a little while to train our brain to do it, but it's absolutely possible. You definitely even educated yourself through school of how to do that. That’s where I could get a lot more coaching from you. You've got the professional side of it.
I’m interested in this. Everyone has something, however happy their childhood was. The way we interpreted things was maybe messing with our perception.
Why did you decide to jump into creating a mastermind and doing coaching? What led you to that? What led you in school to really have a heart and a passion for that?
There are many different things, but one of the most important thing for me was I was very successful. I was in sales doing Salesforce software company. I'm getting so much off of that.
I am so enamored by how people make a shift and a pivot from one career to another. You absolutely did that when you went from sales to diving into the coaching arena and it seemed like without a hitch. I want to know what was going on in your brain. What caused the shift and why? What was pulling you to that next season in your life?
It was during a very painful moment in my life. I think I've always had inklings years prior to making the shift. I wanted to make it. I felt like this is the next thing I should be pursuing. I was afraid and I didn't know life coaching was so new. Years ago, it was just a unicorn profession and people didn't even know what a life coach was. I was afraid because I made a good income and I wanted and needed the money. I enjoyed it and it was very difficult, “How am I going to make money? What does that look like? Will people hire me?” Things like that. I was extremely interested in personal development and psychology. Every free minute, I would spend all of my time there. It wasn't for me until I lost a child that things started to change.
It was this journey of infertility that was a huge wake-up call. First, I was sad. I was mad and pissed. I'm like, “After about six miscarriage, something is off. I need to listen to what the body whispers before it screams,” and it was screaming. I have ignored all the whispers until then. For me, if it was losing a job or not making money or something like that, I would figure it out. It’s like, “I am the cat that lands on all fours no matter what.” This was something that was so much more personal. This is a thing that I was supposed to do as a woman. It was so painful and I wanted a child. I proceeded to have a total of nine miscarriages. I was told that it was never going to have children. I stopped meeting friends. I committed to the gym, God, personal development and I went down the rabbit hole. I'm like, “Who am I? What do I want?”
It was the greatest gift that I was given. For a fact, I know that that was supposed to be my journey. In that process, I enrolled in a graduate degree for coaching because I wanted to do it. I said, “If I'm not going to have a child then I'm going to go all in this. I'm going to enjoy my life.” I had quit my job, I sold all my practice and lo and behold, shortly thereafter I got pregnant. I had two children in a year. When it rains, it pours. It's a sign that when we release so much of the fear or whatever it was, things do come into manifestation. I have to have such a strong wake-up call to say, “Screw it, I'm going to go and pursue my passion because if I'm ever going to be a mother, then I'm going to do this.” It's like my first baby and I have never ever looked back.
I had been doing that for about a decade in the Twin Cities and nationally. I used to speak quite a bit. I don't do that anymore because I have the little ones. I absolutely love what I do. For me, it was deciding that I'm very good at this. I have a gift. I want to do this because it's so fulfilling. I had the sales and business background and I knew how to get my business off the ground. Very quickly my business was flourishing, then I noticed there are other people who are struggling. A lot of my clients were starting their businesses. We started Minneapolis mastermind, now Uplevel Together Mastermind. We are renaming. We've been doing that ever since. I can't even begin to tell you how much that fills me up.
I've seen so many testimonials even on Instagram of the women's lives that you have changed through that. That is so powerful. You and I met through the mastermind in California and you're paying that forward. You did that even before this was in fruition. There's so much power in being able to link arms and say, “I'm here and I can help you get to where you want to go.” Iron sharpens iron. You have a group of like-minded entrepreneurs that are all there helping each other to facilitate helping each other to reach their goals. You can facilitate that. What a gift you can give to all those people in the room.
It is and they are so magnificent. You saw what history inspired in our group. I mean mastermind, they're so incredibly powerful. I've always known that. Many of us feel lonely. I know I have been thinking, “What if I'm a fraud? What if I'm not good enough?” The whole Uplevel Together, when we come together and we combine our forces or skills, so much can be accomplished. I remember Lori telling us at our mastermind, “If we all use each other in this room, wouldn’t we solve all of our problems?” The answer was a resounding yes. I believe in working together. I believe in cooperation over competition and that women are rising up saying there's more than enough. If I support you in any way, I know that I'm supporting myself at the same time.
For the peace of the audience that they don't know what a mastermind is, why don't you share what a mastermind is and how yours actually runs? They can get a bird's eye view about what it's all about and reach out to you if they feel like they're out on an island and they need help.
Masterminds have been around for a very long time. Napoleon Hill has infamously dubbed the masterminds. You have to find a mastermind. The definition is two minds are better than one, two minds coming together to solve the problem. Masterminds are group of people who are coming together and they are figuring out ways in which they can grow and figure out the ways in which they can solve each other's problems. They come together and they use each other skills. You say, “I have this problem, can you help me? Can you brainstorm?” It's absolutely amazing. Our groups are very eclectic. It’s people who own brick and mortar stores to someone who is a young millennial who knows about Instagram and they teach each other these things. We have a group where three women are literally starting a company together.
That's incredible to me. They're individuals, they have their individual businesses, but they were like, “We could collaborate.” They’re starting a company together. That's amazing. They're best friends. They're making videos for each other. They're promoting each other on Instagram. I think it's more than anything else to this support, where you have an army of people behind you, supporting you in whatever it is that you want to do. You can cry in front of them. You can dream in front of them. You can be super confident. You could be a total lady boss. No one is going to judge you how it is that you show up because this is an opportunity to show up with all of your mind. We bring in speakers. Yes, I facilitate and I have tremendous amount of knowledge that I can pass on to these individuals, but I don't know everything. I bring people from all walks of life.
We bring speakers around mindfulness and then specialists like journalists, people who teach them how to connect with the media. How to sell themselves in the PR world? We have Instagram workshops, Pinterest's workshops. The focus is on how do you get very clear what it is you want? For me, a huge pillar of the group in a mastermind is self-care, understanding that you absolutely cannot function if you're not healthy physically or mentally. People who join my mastermind, we're going to grow our businesses, create abundance but first and foremost health by far. We invest heavily in that and what does that look like. We align and not hustle. One of the things that I would say that’s my specialty is visibility. It’s being able to sell yourself.
If we have a product or a service and we believe in it with all our might, we're depriving others of not sharing it with them. I keep thinking, “Do you know how many people in the world do not know I exist? I think that's a problem.” We assume that I have these services and no one is buying. They don't know you exist. I'm sorry, Instagram is not the only marketing strategy. It's a phenomenal tool and we need to learn to how to use it. At the same time, you have to show up and you have to be able to sell yourself that confidence. If you don't, you're not going to be successful in business.
I love the way that you put that because I wasn't even very well versed in what a mastermind was before I started. Even meeting you, that was one of the first tip-offs of understanding what it was. I will tell you, some of my biggest breakthroughs in my business have come through masterminds and coaches because they're there in front of you. When you have someone, success leaves clues so does failure. When you find someone who's done what you've done, they're going to give you those shortcuts. Even Chris Harder says, he says, “Collaboration is the new shortcut.” It's the new black. I agree with that 1,010%. Collaboration is the new shortcut. That's what you are creating in the marketplace. My hat is off to you, Jasna. What I think is so unique is you're taking it to that next step of creating that power partnership right along with you and your husband doing this together. You've got the masculine energy, the feminine energy and then all bets are off. I’m super excited about this next step in that in your business.
I'm going to let the cat out of the bag. We're expanding the mastermind. We're doing a couple’s mastermind. That is why he is joining. We realized that so many couples struggle with connecting, communicating and having strong marriages. They seek help when it's too late. We looked around and said couples are busy, especially if they have children. They're not investing in each other. We oil our car more than we spend on our relationship. We were going to be covering things like couples coming together. What are your money mindset beliefs? What are your blocks? How do we build a vision together, getting them on the same page? We call it a Date Night Mastermind.
Are they in business together? Is one person building the business and the other person is supporting them or is it a combination?
They are not even necessarily in business. This is for all couples. Uplevel Together is now branching out and having multiple babies.
You’re helping couples in their relationship and all the things that revolve around it. You’re teaching them total wellness and helping them to Uplevel Together more or less.
How do you become a power couple? We have to work on that.
I want to know from social media, it looks like you have it all together, which I truly feel that you do. I want to peel back the layers and I want to know what was one of your biggest rock bottom moments and how did you recover and what did you learn from it?
No one has it together. If you ever believe that someone has it together, look under the hood. I talk about that all the time on social media. When I have a bad day, I will literally intentionally go on social media on Instagram and I will talk about it because people put me on a pedestal. Here's the thing, 99.9% of the time, I am literally Pollyanna. I'm happy go lucky. I am always positive and I find a way because I prime myself. I believe that you need to protect your energy. I do that, but not everyone does that. I've had so many moments. One of the biggest ones, truthfully, was the period of miscarriages. That brought me to my knees. I remember, I think it was like third or fourth miscarriage and I'm so far along. I'm in such amount of pain, keeling over in the bathroom floor.
I'm calling the nurse and I feel like I'm giving birth. I feel like these are real contractions. She said, “Honey, those are real contractions and your body's trying to expel the baby and you have to take pain meds, but you have to see it through.” I remember having that moment on the bathroom floor praying and thinking. For me, it was the bottom. It was the pain, physical pain, but emotional pain. It’s truly a loss. From that what I did, I went into personal development because I think that every time something happens, our job is to look into not why is this happening to me, but why is this happening for me? I firmly believe that had I listened to small nudges or whispers I have been getting all along. It wouldn't have gotten to that point. I was out of alignment. I was working out two or three hours a day training to be a bikini diva. I had all of this stuff. I was living completely out of alignment. I wasn't mindful. I wasn't investing in myself. I slowed down. I changed the way I was eating, how I was behaving and spent more time in nature. I slowed down and simplified my life.
I'm such an evangelist of simplicity, spending time in nature, focusing on what matters most so I could literally lose everything. My family, that’s my priority, my relationship with God. That's the only thing that I care about. Everything else is extra. What helped me was to say, “What do you want out of this? What is this teaching you?” I remember saying, “Tell me God why, please.” I used to read a book, Return to Love. It's based on A Course of Miracles and it says, “Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? Please show me the way and make it so obvious that I know that it's from you. Amen.” I say that prayer over and over again when I'm stuck because the guidance always comes if I get still. I had another big moment. My dad died. I've had so many moments, but I think that I'm able to let myself feel them and go back to why would you have me go and then sit still and listen to where I'm needed.
I've found that sometimes those moments where you feel you're knocked to your knees, it shakes you up so hard from your core, you put your arms up and you're like, “God, I trust you. I don't know where else to go. I don't know what else to do.” I feel like that's when you can truly be in the smack dab middle of God's will and be aligned with where he wants you to go. That is such a beautiful, peaceful place. There can use so much hurt and there can be so much pain that can happen along the way. I love how you said that it all happens for a purpose and a reason for such a time as this in the lessons that you can learn. Thank you for being who you are and sharing that message with so many. I feel like one of the things that is one of your superpowers is your soul is spiritually in tune as well. For that person that says, “I don't even feel like I have a connection to God. Where do I even begin?” You mentioned you prime yourself. Give a little bit of insight for those people that feel like, “I just don't even know where to start.” What's the first step?”
Many people are not religious or they don't have a god. For me it's not a particular faith that I ascribe to, but I believe in oneness. My belief is God is within us, oneness or universe. I think it's that stillness. Be still and know that I am God. If we still ourselves, I always know that I'm not alone. If we can get to that space of absolute stillness and surrender, then there's an observer there. You cannot notice that you are not the only one there. There's this majestic force. It loads of you up and hugs you with this light. I feel it's often and it used to be such a rare occurrence. I used to like, “How do I get this more? I wanted the feeling.” I invite it and I invite it through practices. All these are in nature. Nature for me is a place of worship.
When I do a forest bathing per Dr. Eva Selhub, I will go for twenty minutes and pay attention to the sounds of the nature. Nature, the rocks, the leaves, the flowers, they have so much to teach us. If I can get out of my own way, I quiet the thoughts because the thoughts are not me and thoughts are not God. If I can appear in that stillness and invite a little bit more, I create such a sacred space. I get up every morning at 4:00 AM because I'm an introvert and it's the only time that I'm alone. For me, I will forego asleep to have that time. It's being still, being very quiet and very mindful. All of this is asking because when you ask for help, the guidance all comes.
I am going to ask the questions that I always ask the guests and I love getting the different answers. If someone met you and said, “I want to become the boss of my own life and call the shots, what's my first step?”
What do you want? In order to become a boss of your own life, you have to know what that means. It's very different for everyone. I would want to get clarity on what that means. We assume everyone is an entrepreneurial soul, but not everyone is. What does it mean to be a boss of your life? I would go for the ideal. What would the life look like? How much money would you make? Where would you live? Who would you be with?” We would reverse engineer that to say, “This is where you want to be, this is where you at right now. Here's the first step you need to take to get there.”
What is your definition of a boss?
I don't know. I never thought of that. I have so much attached to it. It's like, I don't even like the word boss. I prefer not to use it. I would say someone in charge.
Any last words of wisdom? You've already dropped so many knowledge bombs. Anything else you want to share with the audience?
We are living in such unprecedented times and I think that this is an invitation from all of us. These are very unique times. I think that life is more complicated than ever because of the busy-ness of life. It has never been more important to slow down and connect with our true selves. The biggest quest in the world of hustle and entrepreneurship in the next years is going to be reversal, going back to the basics and taking care of our mental health. It's so beautiful and important to create a life of abundance. Abundance is a God-given right. We all have the same access and we all should pursue it, but I believe that there is absolutely nothing more important in the entire world than having inner peace, feeling that equilibrium.
It’s waking up, feeling good about yourself and going to bed grateful for what you have. That happens. People struggle so much and we need to immerse ourselves in the space of self-love. This is so counter to so many entrepreneurial souls that I work with. I believe that I am going to get there. I have very big goals. I'm fired up. Everyone needs to get out of the way because I'm so excited. I will never, not even for a second lose sight of what's most important and that's my mental and physical health. It may take me longer. I may get there faster if I hustle and I think that that's going to be to the detriment of Mother Nature, to the detriment of my personal health, physical, mental, emotional, then the health of my family and everyone else around me.
I think that in the world of Instagram and feeling we're not enough or people haven’t figured out is to place a hand on the heart and say, “I'm exactly I need to be, but I don't have to stay there.” If you're not where you want to be, first of all, it's a surrender. Secondly, it gives me the steps to move forward and hope that better days coming because change is the only constant. When we think we have it figured out, something changes. Having a solid footing, knowing who you are, being so aligned and balanced is going to prepare you no matter what winds come your way.
I know the life is going to bring many more hardships and losses because that's life. My job is to stay primed and fortified. When those things happen, they're going to shake me. In a tree pose, you may move a little bit, but you're not going to fall down. I hope that was useful. I am in a season of my life were so many exciting things are happening, I also believe that we need to balance the whole the Yin and Yang, some of the older spiritual texts have given us the prescription on how to live. I try to listen to that because I figured they know what they're doing.
I know so many of my audience are going to want to connect with you. Give them all your handles.
Come play with me or an Instagram. Instagram is such a fun place for me right now. You can find me at @Jasna.Burza or just come to my website, JasnaBurza.com/Mastermind if you want to learn about that. I respond to every single DM and I will respond to every single question about following your purpose, being a boss or making money. If anyone has a question, I will be there for them and take the time to respond.
I will vouch for this. She is the real deal and cares so deeply to help people to win not only in business, but in life holistically. That's what I just absolutely treasure about you, Jasna. Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to connect and add so much value to my tribe. I love you. I adore you. Until next time. You know what you need to do. You need to fire your fear, build your faith and become the boss of your own life. Talk soon.
@Jasna.Burza - Instagram
About Jasna Burza
Jasna is a Professional Certified life and business Coach and founder of Uplevel Together Minneapolis Mastermind. She spent the last decade working with individuals and organizations such as US Bank, Athleta, Coca-Cola on topics of resilience and life purpose. She was featured on CBS-WCCO as “A Minnesotan to Meet” and is a frequent guest expert on TV shows. Jasna’s positivity and passion for dreams is not only infectious but is guaranteed to energize and empower those around. Having lived through refugee camp during the war in native Bosnia, Jasna teaches and inspires others to learn resilience, create purpose and connect to a deeper meaning of life, aligning their skills and passions with their work and making an impact bigger than they had imagined.
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