Laylee Emadi 0:00
Hey friend Welcome back to the show. I am so excited to share this previously aired episode with Sarah Jane case. This episode actually originally aired in 2019. But I’m so excited to bring it back because I’ve noticed a huge uptick in the conversation surrounding the enneagram. And using it in our businesses. I’ve noticed people really relying on knowing your enneagram personality type to make really big decisions in your business, or even to hire on new team members. And with that being said, I thought it would be a great time to rerelease this episode so that you can really dive in and get to know Sarah Jane case who is an enneagram expert, and really hear what she has to say about utilizing the enneagram in our businesses and lives. So without further ado, I’m gonna let you guys get in and listen to it. Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoy.
Laylee Emadi 0:54
Welcome to so here’s the thing where we share candid conversations that lift the veil on what it takes to find success, even if that means sharing a few unpopular opinions. I’m your host Laylee Emadi, grab some coffee or cocktail. And let’s get real.
Laylee Emadi 1:10
Welcome back Friends Today I am super excited because we have a dear friend of mine. Joining us to talk all about the enneagram I know that you’ve already heard of her Sarah Jane case, also known as enneagram, and coffee. Fun Facts before I intro her we met before any agreement coffee, which is super cool. I feel like one of those people that really like a band and they’re like I knew about this band before anybody else. So Sarah Jane is just an incredible joy. And I loved getting to know her last year when we met at the imperfect bosses camp and we got to spend a week in nature. And let me tell you, there’s no better way to get to know somebody then to sit in nature with them for a week. So without further ado, quick intro Sarah Jane is a writer, a speaker. She’s a podcaster, based in Asheville, North Carolina, she works with the enneagram to help people heal their relationship to personal growth. She’s incredible. She does so many other things too. So I would highly suggest checking her out on Instagram, you can obviously find her at any gram of coffee, where she talks all all about the enneagram. Or in her personal account, if you just really feel like being inspired because she’s such a great person to follow. She’s at Sarah Jane case. So welcome to the show, Sarah Jane, I’m gonna kick it over to you. So you can kind of tell us all about how you started in this line of work, because you’re just phenomenal. Oh my gosh, that intro is amazing.
Sarajane Case 2:37
It is. So I’m like, Laylee, so excited to be here. You guys already know how amazingly he is. But it’s just such an honor to have an excuse to talk to you for an hour, oh god, I got into this work yet, like Lily said, like we met before I got into the world of enneagram in terms of, you know, having like that be a primary focus of my business. up into that point, it was just something I was annoying all my friends and family and clients with like, you guys have to do this, I want you to talk to me about it. And I was infusing it into my work. But it wasn’t the primary focus of attention. And I created this Instagram account in December of last year. And in three days, we went from zero to 100,000 followers. And my life changed dramatically in a very short amount of time. And I could not be more grateful. Honestly, it was so funny because it’s so funny that you say that you annoyed your friends and family about it. Because I don’t think you annoyed me about it. But I did.
Laylee Emadi 3:33
I know I remember I took the enneagram like tests or whatever, which we’ll talk about in a second. But the first introduction I had to it was through you at camp. And I have loved knowing more about like my number and my type and like being able to apply that into my life and my business. And honestly, it’s funny because I consider myself somebody who gets is like very wary of like, quote unquote, trends. And I’m always like, oh, if it’s super talked about, or super trendy, I’m probably gonna hate it. But I love it. It’s amazing. And we tend to talk about it on this podcast, like with every guest that’s come on, they’re like, well as an enneagram, whatever. And I’m always like, Okay, I need to get Sarah Jane on here to tell everybody what the heck we’re talking about. Give us like, can you kind of give us a breakdown of like, What is the enneagram? Like, what is it and and how do people get into it? And how do people start to kind of figure out what their type is.
Sarajane Case 4:27
So yeah, the enneagram is essentially a model of human psyche, and it’s broken down into nine distinct personality types. Those personality types have distinct motivations and fears that exhibit in myriad of behavior patterns and coping mechanisms. And so that’s why you might hear someone say I’m a type seven, or I’m a type two because it has nine different numbers. And each of those numbers is driven by something different. And I think what makes it different than a lot of these personality tools is that it’s internal. It’s not what you’re doing, it’s why you’re doing it and it’s also not intended to kind of keep you in this? Yeah, you know, we say like I all the time, I’m like as an enneagram seven. And it’s more an explanation of why I’ve done what I’ve done or why I’m choosing to do I do. But there’s also this awareness, right, that we’re able to choose different behaviors than what we may be more inclined to do that may not serve us or other people.
Laylee Emadi 5:21
Well, that was like the best explanation ever. Whenever I explained it, I’m like, it’s some numbers and like, you take this test, no, that’s amazing. I love that. The just hearing the difference between that and the other kind of personality, because they’re out there, because I feel like I’ve taken almost all of them. And they all serve a different purpose. And I think people kind of like to lump them all together and be like, well, I’m a Myers Briggs, whatever. And I’m, you know, these are my strengths and strengths finders and my me, Graham, and they’re all the same. And I like thinking about it internally. I know like I struggled when they took the test, because the quote unquote, percentages that came up after I took the test were almost split between a two and a three. And then I remember talking to you and a couple of my other friends that were like, you really need to just like read about it, and you’ll know what you are. And I’ve heard you mentioned before that you mistyped at the beginning. Can you like, share a little bit about your story there?
Sarajane Case 6:14
Yeah, I mistyped so hard, I mistyped as a two, which I would almost say is the opposite of my number. It’s not necessarily that twos and sevens have a lot in common, right? There’s a like a positivity aspect and a positive thinking thing that we both have. But sevens like my one of my biggest pain points is I hate to be needed in a to that’s like what they live for. Right? But that’s the thing they have to unlearn is the desire to be needed. But because so these tests because they’re so you’re testing on your ideas, like how you view yourself or how you’re supposed to be. And so, as you know, I’m reading these questions that are like, Well, do you want is important to be helpful? Yes. You know, but it’s like, well, that’s because my mom told me that, you know, my mom’s a two. And so yeah, I mistyped 100%. And I lived as a two for a little while, and I explored it. And the same day, I typed as a two, I read the description for seven. And I was like, I really feel like I just read my journal. And it feels like they explained my entire life to me. But in that moment, I told my husband. Yeah, he was, he was my fiancee at the time. And my boyfriend was my husband yet. But I told him, and he was like, well, I just don’t see it was like happy all the time. And I was like, Yeah, that’s true. And so I just dismissed. And then I started, I kept exploring. So I explored almost every single number, it took me like two years to type myself because I just like, couldn’t fit into any number. And then when I resonated with I was I had just qualified. And so all that to say that I finally found out about subtypes and counter types. And I realized that I am a counter type seven. So I have a lot of two tendencies, with seven motivations and seven internal experiences.
Laylee Emadi 8:04
That’s so awesome. I feel like a lot of times people do, like, they’ll read one thing, and they’re like, I know, I did this. And I was like, Well, that doesn’t sound like me. Like I’m not, you know, I don’t get I, by the way tested. Or I guess I would consider myself a three wing too. And it’s like a very strong wing. I could not differentiate between the twos and the threes. And somebody advised me to, like kind of read almost like the negatives, like, what are you like, when you’re the most unhealthy and if you if one really resonates with you, that’s probably what you are. But that’s hard. I mean, that’s a really hard thing to do is to look at it and be like, I don’t think of myself as a really jealous person. Like, I don’t think of myself as wanting success, like over somebody else. But I guess if I was like, being honest, and my real, if I were like the most quote unquote, unhealthy I could ever be like, I could probably see that happening. You know, you just have to be really real with yourself, which is hard. It’s like, not easy.
Sarajane Case 8:57
Well, that’s the big question I ask people is like, what’s the thing that like, you keep struggling with, like, what’s the thing that like, keeps, like, quote, unquote, happening to you over the course of your life. And like, when I look at that at myself, it is so clear, like, I continuously exit things before they seem to be ready to be exited, you know, like, before someone else is ready for me to exit the relationship or before, you know, it seems like I should exit that job. It’s like, I’m continuously exiting too early. And that’s been a pattern in my life, since I can remember. And I think a lot of times I can, I could say yeah, I’m a nice person. I like to help people but is my problem like two problems? Like I don’t, I don’t really struggle with like wanting it more intimate relationships than I have. That’s just not my problem.
Laylee Emadi 9:45
I love that even say, like, what’s, you know, find your problem, because as you were saying that I was like, Well, I guess if I was to say a recurring problem in my life, it’s like, I’m a you know what you would call I guess I really even hate to say it, but like a workaholic. Like I just take on weight too much. And so I thought at the time when I was first like figuring out my type, I was like, well, I love like, I love to do things for other people, which tells me I’m a too. And I always take on, like, way too much of their stuff, which but I almost feel like that is more of my freeness is that I can’t say no. But I’m also doing it. I don’t know, the the reasoning behind it is really, it’s convoluted. But it’s really, it’s interesting to think about like your recurring problems, I never actually thought of that before.
Sarajane Case 10:28
Yeah, I love it’s something that you said reminded me, too, that a lot of times, it’s not what we’re doing. It’s why we’re doing it that matters the most, especially with the enneagram. And if you guys are people who follow any agreement, coffee, you’re gonna see a ton of like behavior things. But what’s really happening is I’m I’m trying to think about why they might do that. And so you might resonate with like one or two different numbers, but it’s why it’s happening that matters. So as I said, I don’t like to speak for other people. But as a seven, I can say, Okay, I might bring you a cup of coffee in the afternoon. But that’s because like, I want to make you happy, I want to see you smile. And if you’re happy that I can be happy, there’s more happiness all around, versus I want you to love me, you know, like, I don’t want anything from you. And in fact, if I feel like, I’m gonna get something from you, I might not do it. Whereas twos are more inclined to like, give because they want to receive, and they don’t know how to ask directly for what they need.
Laylee Emadi 11:21
Wow, I was absorbing it. And I just was silent for a second because I was like that Is it just goes so deep. And that’s why I love this topic so much. So like, tell me a little bit about what you would advise someone to do if they are just starting out within the enneagram. And they really, I feel like I don’t know, maybe because I’m so immersed in the creative industry of a lot of like small business owners and creative entrepreneurs. I feel like a lot of people really seek it out specifically for their business. So like, what would you tell someone who’s just starting out figuring out their type and trying to, I guess, kind of leverage it as something that will help them in business?
Sarajane Case 12:01
Yeah. So I’m really, really passionate about entrepreneurs and learning that their business isn’t separate from them. But like, we are so entrenched in our businesses, that our relationship to ourself directly impacts the relationship we have to our work. And so I usually take people through this like a very particular method where we really talk about like, what are your strengths? Let’s start there, let’s create a safe space of like, you understand that you’re really good at things and you bring a lot to the table. But then let’s open our eyes to like what our blind spots, where are we missing what’s going to continuously come up in our lives, let’s admit to ourselves, where we continuously fall short, because I think a lot of times in entrepreneurship, we feel like we’re supposed to always get it always right. And I think everybody else has got it all figured out. And we are the only ones. And so we have to like scramble and pretend like we’re not falling short all the time. And that prevents us from being honest, and then creating systems and organization and plans to support. So we really have to be honest about where where we fall short on a regular basis, create a support plan for that, whether that’s a system, whether that’s hiring out, whether that’s just eliminating it from our business altogether. You know, just knowing that you are in control of your business, and then you in your game gives you exactly what you’re motivated by, it tells you, here’s what excites you. And so I really encourage people to infuse their motivation into their business. So as a seven my motivation is freedom and flexibility. And if I don’t, if my freedom gets restricted, like I start to resent my business. And you know, as I’ll see tools to really value relationship, and if you don’t have relationships in your business or connection to other people, you’re going to start resenting your business threes need higher and higher goals to work toward whether those internal goals or external goals, I really encourage internal goals that serve you, but just something that you’re like, landmarks that you can hit that just show you that you’re making progress, those things matter. And then really exploring like how your relationships to your clients and to your team members, impact your business as well. So every number has different ways that they’re going to show up in relationships, different needs, different fears, different triggers, and really studying that and living in that is going to be so, so helpful. And then I do a lot of productivity work with the enneagram. How does your type impact your productivity because what works for me isn’t going to work for you as a three isn’t definitely not going to work for a four in might work for an eight you know, we have the assertive aggressive number thing going on. But all of that to say that we all approach productivity so differently. So we really analyze how you can build out your business around who you are versus what we’re most of us do, which is we take in a ton of information. We read books, we listen to podcasts, we go to conferences, they tell us how we’re supposed to run a business, we go home and try to do it and we don’t quite do it the way that we were supposed to do it in quotes. And we feel like failures and so at the end of the day Really organizing your business to match you versus the other way around.
Laylee Emadi 15:03
That is so, so helpful. I love that so much. Because I feel like, before I even knew anything about this, I kind of wanted to just structure everything I did the way that someone who looks successful was doing it. And I wasn’t understanding like, why has this not being successful for me? Why am I not seeing the same, I guess, results that somebody else was getting, and what I was doing the exact same thing. And I think that is such a key component to creating something that actually works for you and your business. And knowing I just love the concept of knowing that your business and your life are very much intertwined. I think this is a really big hot button topic right now of like, work life balance, and how is that like a real thing? Or what? How can we redefine work life balance to actually suit the needs of creative entrepreneurs, and you know, business owners who are living in their business like I, I find it very difficult, if not impossible to separate my life and my business. And I kind of stopped trying, because it just works better for me this way.
Sarajane Case 16:06
So yeah, and I think that when we try to separate them, what we’re doing is where, I mean, ultimately, we’re playing pretend because it’s not possible. But then I think also, we’re just creating more shame for ourselves, because there’s just like, a lot more reasons to feel like we’re failing. If we are like trying to do the impossible and make the impossible happen. When in reality, it’s like, Okay, well, what are the things that I need? Let’s deal with that. Like, if I need freedom, let’s talk about that. If I need to feel like I’m moving forward and moving the needle forward, let’s talk about that. Instead of like, you know, joining weekends off, let’s have that conversation, not like I need to separate my business completely from my life.
Laylee Emadi 16:43
Yes. 100%. Do you have any advice for somebody who kind of struggles to actually identify like their internal motivators, or just kind of struggles to, I guess, face the facts? And like, really understand what they need? I mean, I know that’s a really like, big, open ended question, but well, and it feels like the answer is gonna be really boring, but I think it’s the enneagram.
Sarajane Case 17:10
Awesome. I think that a lot of times, I think that’s the magic of what the enneagram does, honestly, is it helps us to skip decades of self discovery work. Because it’s like, okay, these are the things that maybe you’re not aware of in yourself and in your heart. And so when you kind of can identify the, the subtle motivators, then that can open up a lot more information in terms of how that impacts your life, and what you might be why you might be craving.
Laylee Emadi 17:36
I love that. Yeah, actually, it’s really funny my sister, is she works in the mental health industry, and so are in that field. And she was talking about, she had never heard of enneagram. And as we were talking about it, she was like, it sounds kind of like, like a take on therapy or like something that would introduce you to things that you would want to talk about in therapy. And so when you set that as like, Yeah, it does it kind of it’s like a mini shortcut. And then once you get into it, I feel like everyone I know who’s gotten into it is like, I really need a therapist.
Sarajane Case 18:05
Yes, yeah, that’s exactly what it is. I mean, I think that you and maybe you know, your sister nailed it with like, it brings up things you might want to bring talk about in therapy. Because before I wouldn’t have had the language to say, I, I resent feeling restricted. And if I feel restricted, that triggers me, and that makes me feel like I need to like binge spend my money or like quit my job and move to another country and rebel against like a life that I very much enjoy. I wouldn’t have had that language. Instead, I would have been like, I don’t know, I feel weird. I kind of just want to quit my job. And some people need to quit their job. And some people need to just kind of stick with it for another year. And who has to know and I think the enneagram gives us that information in the language to communicate.
Laylee Emadi 18:53
Absolutely. That’s That’s such a great point. I feel like even for myself, I look at it, and I’m like, I definitely would not have known how to put this into words before. So it’s been really helpful. Okay, so let me ask you this just because I feel like I feel like this is something I struggle with personally, within like, looking at the anagram and relationships and work and life and business. I feel like there’s so much to be said about knowing other people’s types. And like, I struggle with it because I’m like, I think this person might be this like Tim my husband, he took the begrudgingly took the test. Like he does not believe in this stuff at all. He thinks it’s all just, you know, he thinks like everything could fit everyone. He’s one of those. He’s very cynical about it. I wonder if you could guess what type? He is? Yep, he’s a five. Got it? I knew you would know. Yeah. So he’s, he’s a five and he just thinks it’s hilarious. But honestly, knowing that he’s a five even though he doesn’t buy into it has really helped that relationship. And then when I hired on my newest team member, I had her take the test for the first time, just so I was able to then kind of like understand her motivators? Like what do you advise? When you’re, I guess, like in any kind of relationship friendship work, you know, significant others? do you have? Like, I don’t know, like a starting point for people who are wanting to improve those relationships using the enneagram.
Sarajane Case 20:17
Yeah. So I think that the first step, and I think you did it in the right order, I think that the first step is like, understand yourself, you know, start there. And then when you have it, like, kind of figure it out for yourself, then like, invite other people into the work. And I think when you have people who a lot of the one of the most popular questions I get is, how do I get my, you know, husband, my partner, my friend interested in the enneagram, and the reality is, like, I think typically, you have to get them to read about their type before they’re going to be interested at all. And some people will never be interested. And that is just the facts. And so, you know, I think what you kind of expressing, like, this is really important to me, it would mean a lot to me. And then let them you know, show up for that or not. But then also just ask them, you know, what do you ask them the questions you want to ask to get the connection that you’re craving? So, you know, you don’t even have to use the enneagram you can just say, like, do you feel like worried about this thing? Is it really important to to be informed? Is it really important to to be of help, you know, like, talk to me about that, and just let people talk to you. So that’s part one of just like helping them discover their type. But then the second piece of that, once they know their number, once you have like a general understanding of their number, you know, I think it’s really about compassion, and about like, understanding that we all do all things. And we have different motivations. So when you know, when your partner, your employee does something that is like baffling to you, or confusing, and you’re like, why would you approach it that way? Why would you think that way? Why do you act that way? It’s really helpful to have that like, oh, you’re scared. Like, we’re all just like little scared kids who didn’t get our needs met. And we’re told we couldn’t be what we thought we were supposed to be. And we need support. And so it opens us up to be a little bit more compassionate, a little bit more patient, and a little bit more open to like different ways of being a human.
Laylee Emadi 22:11
I that’s so beautifully put, and I totally, totally can relate to that. I do think has made like a really big difference in my relationships to be able to be like, this is probably why they’re feeling that way. I mean, I, you know, it’s not something I would even necessarily, like you said have to talk about, but it’s just kind of knowing that like, that’s probably what’s going on in their heads. So I’m probably going to approach this a little bit more forgivingly than I would have, if I thought everybody was just like me, like you just can’t expect everybody to be just like you because we’re all different types that have different motivators. So thanks for that, as we kind of wrap up. I’ll, I’ll ask you our signature question here. Do you have an unpopular opinion about the enneagram?
Sarajane Case 22:51
Oh, I love that. Um, yeah. I have a multiple unpopular opinions about the enneagram.
Laylee Emadi 22:58
Share as many as you want.
Sarajane Case 22:59
Okay, I’m willing to give you to, um, unpopular opinion, number one, is that it’s not like that big of a deal. I think a lot of times we treat the enneagram. Like, it’s a religion. Like, it’s like, there’s a right way to enneagram and a wrong way to any group. But y’all we make this up. Like, this whole thing is made out like, this is a series of observations, and research and understanding and like, you can kind of make it you, you know, get it we get really caught up in like, Am I doing it the right way? Is there a wrong answer to this? And it’s the truth is, it’s all about how you’re experiencing it. Are you growing? Are you learning? Are you improving? Do you feel supported? Like, that’s honestly all that matters?
Laylee Emadi 23:40
I love that. That is so Oh, my gosh, I love hearing that. Because all I see, you know, if especially if you’re kind of surrounded by it, and then dated by it, people get really up in arms, like, yeah, if I will be at like little networking things, and somebody will be like, Oh, you know, I’m, I’m a four wing seven. And if you actually like, if you knew that enneagram you’d say like, Oh, you really can’t be, you know, people get really defensive about it, then they’re like, That’s impossible. And I’m like, just let them have it. It’s
Sarajane Case 24:09
Yeah, and like, they’re not breaking anything by believing that and what we can talk about is like, Well, what about foreign? What about sevens? you relate to? Let’s talk about that. Like, that’s the what matters, right? Like, if there’s elements of seven they relate to granted? Like, I really would help them to understand that that that they probably can’t have that wing, you know, but at the same time, let’s have a conversation. This is a tool for connection. So if we shut people down and tell them they’re wrong, we’re limiting their, their exploration and we’re limiting our ability to know them, which is kind of the deal. That’s important.
Laylee Emadi 24:42
Yeah, absolutely. It’s like, by getting by being so defensive and protective about about this topic. It’s like you’re really putting a wall up and preventing actual information and education to happen. So I love that you’re like, let’s have a conversation about it. Instead of what I see most often, which is like, you really can’t do that. And then the person feels like embarrassed or shamed or like I’m educated and people take it really seriously.
Sarajane Case 25:10
They do. I’m glad you said that, because I feel so passionately about like, Don’t shut people down and their work with themselves, like, let’s call each other into this work instead of like, wanting to show off how much we know and how little other people know, because that’s not helpful. That’s not
Laylee Emadi 25:26
—love you. You’re just the best. You can tell us the second unpopular opinion.
Sarajane Case 25:32
Oh, okay. My second another opinion. So the lines on the enneagram. So for those of you who are new to the lines are typically like very often talked about, like the line of integration and disintegration or like health and unhealth, I treat them very, very differently. I don’t think that we disintegrate as people. And I really don’t like that language. I think more so like we get stressed out. And we exhibit certain behaviors, because we’re neglecting our needs. And so I teach that stress line, specifically as the lower levels are indicators that you’re stressed out, the higher levels are the way that you can prevent or recover from that stress. So this is the self care you need. So as a seven, I can only speak for myself as a seven minute one, I have become very judgmental, very perfectionistic. very particular. And when I’m stressed out about my way out of that is to have more structure to have routine, to feel to really be intentional with my time in my day to do good for other people. And if I can do that, then I’m less likely to get to those lower level behaviors. Oh, I love that. I think that’s so so smart. And I, I again, love the way that you kind of restructure things to not be so I guess harsh shaming. Yeah, honestly, because it is that you you. I know, for me, when I was first looking at it, I was like, Oh, this is so sad. Like, I would hate to think of myself like, in this way, even in times of stress, like even in my unhealthy behaviors, but just to kind of restructure that and be like, here’s a way, you know, like, take this route to work through that, I think is a really beautiful thing. Thank you. Yeah, I definitely want the enneagram to be a tool of compassion, a tool for understanding a tool for curiosity. And I think it’s very, very easy to turn it into a tool of defensiveness, a tool of discipline, a tool of judgmentalism, for ourselves and for others. And I like always want to make sure that I’m leaning toward curiosity, because I think that’s where actual growth happens.
Laylee Emadi 27:26
Oh, yeah. I love that. I love you. I’m so I’m always so thankful every time we get to talk, because it’s just always such a beautiful conversation. And I just feel like it’s rare to find such kindred spirits. And I really just adore you. So thank you so much for taking your time to share all of your knowledge with our listeners and with me again, because I will just pick your brain on this forever.
Sarajane Case 27:48
I am so honored that you invited me and I’m so glad we get to have the conversation. Thank you.
Laylee Emadi 27:52
Yeah, thank you so much Sarah Jane, for show notes and resources mentioned on today’s episode head to so here’s the thing podcast.com and if you’re enjoying the podcast, I’d love to read your review on iTunes. Thanks so much for listening, and I’ll catch you in the next episode.
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