With so much happening in the world, many people have found themselves in a change of pace, and for some, that has led to feeling stuck.
Joy Sutton is no stranger to that feeling, but just recently, something changed, and now she’s creating an inspirational podcast to help women “own their shine” and step into a life they love.
Sutton, a Franklin resident, recently launched “The Joy Sutton Show,” in which she shares the stories of empowered women and hopes to offer inspiration, application and education to encourage women to pursue their goals. In each episode, she talks with someone living out their passions and features a life coach in a “coaches’ corner” segment where women tuning into the podcast can receive little nuggets of guidance.
“(The podcast) introduces you to women who are owning their shine, who have turned their passion that they’ve had into a profit or a purpose, and then you’re also connecting to coaches to kind of give you guidance,” Sutton said. “We don’t always realize that these other areas keep us stuck from going after our dreams.”
While new to the podcast world, the show has a history. “The Joy Sutton Show” — originally called “The Hour of Joy” — used to be a televised talk show with a live studio audience on a CBS affiliate in Virginia.
“When I left the news business to go into public relations, I felt like there was this gap,” Sutton said.
She wanted to give back to women, which spurred her to start the talk show aimed toward female empowerment. However, one day, four years into her talk show career, two of her colleagues were shot and killed by a former coworker while out filming a live broadcast. Sutton was sent into a spiral when she heard the news.
“It was this moment where it was surreal and unbelievable that this could actually happen and to know that I knew the guy that did this,” she said. “It just changed everything. And in that moment, it was just like, ‘Can I even move forward?’ I knew I wanted to continue this show, but … how do you even continue in the midst of that?”
On top of that tragedy, the network that was airing her show was bought out, and she felt stuck. She decided to move to Williamson County to be close to her family, and she said she was in a rut for about four years.
“I kept trying to trudge forward, and I just didn’t feel it,” she said. “Then when COVID happened, … nobody really knew what was going on. … I knew people that were losing people, and in that moment, I just had this ‘a-ha’ moment, like, ‘What would happen if this was my last year? Did I leave the legacy that I wanted to? Did I make an impact on the world?’”
After that point, she found the motivation to start her show again. But living in Williamson County — away from the show’s original home — during a pandemic called for a shift, so she began work in August and released her first episode of “The Joy Sutton Show” on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
In the premiere episode, Sutton welcomed Sarah Hays Coomer, a Mayo Clinic certified wellness coach and self-proclaimed “diet abolitionist,” to talk about her past with an eating disorder and how her journey back to health shaped her future in wellness. For the “coaches’ corner” segment, Sutton spoke with Lolita E. Walker about self-care and finding power in the pause.
Sutton said she not only wants to empower women by sharing about people’s successes on her show, but she also wants to show the hardships that people have to go through and be transparent about her own struggles.
“Women need to also hear, yes, your glory story, … but they also need to hear your pain and your struggle,” she said. “I want this to be an authentic place. … I don’t want to just show the glamorous side or the ‘oh, I’ve made it’ side, but also just where I am in my own journey and that you can have doubts, and you can struggle with confidence, and you can do all of that, but you just have to keep moving forward. Other women are out there just like you, and we get it.”
Sutton explained that as she is interviewing women for her podcast she is making mental notes and implementing practices that they talk about right alongside her listeners.
She encourages women who are in a rut similar to where she was for four years to ask themselves, “When did you stop believing it was possible for you?” She said the first step for those people is to connect with others and surround themselves with winners, saying her podcast is a good start.
For her, the dream of her show was dormant for so long that she “didn’t even know that joy was still there,” but after chasing it again, she said she wakes up every morning with butterflies, feeling like she’s at the start of an exciting relationship.
“I just feel like, ‘I’m so excited. I’m so excited.’ And that’s what I want for every woman,” she said. “I want her to be able to wake up and to find that joy again and to say, ‘What if this is possible for me?' And she wakes up with butterflies like she’s in love with her own dream.”
Sutton will release new podcast episodes every other Tuesday with the next episode coming out on Oct. 13. The podcast is available on most streaming services as well as her website, TheJoySutton.com.
Additionally, Sutton offers online training called the SheShines Academy, where she works with coaches, consultants, authors and entrepreneurs and shows them how to leverage media to bolster their work. Her next class begins Saturday, Nov. 14.