The month of YOLO: how using fear as a compass changed my business and my life

Artwork by  Concept Zombie

Artwork by Concept Zombie

February has come and gone, and here I am almost halfway through March just sitting down to write about all of the amazing things that have happened in the past 35 days.

So let me start from the top. If you’ve been following me for a while you may know that I left my office job in June to pursue a full time yoga career. Was it crazy? Probably. But the way I see it is I only live once and I didn’t want to live for one more second doing something I was not feeling connected to. From June until December I struggled. I don’t want to paint the picture that this is easy or without struggle. It is quite full of both success and failure. Being an entrepreneur is scary, doubtful and confusing. Before I get too dark, it is also the most fulfilling thing I have ever done. The refreshing feeling of being completely responsible for how my life turns out has released a side of me that I didn’t know was there.

I have been inspired to take risks. I have let go of the thought that I wasn’t good enough to reach out to certain people or organizations because if I’m being honest, I did not have room to sit with that worry too long. I got bills to pay y’all!

OK so now to the good stuff. Why am I telling you this?

In the last month I took an online marketing training that was way more about mindset than marketing. I thought I was signing up to learn how to build funnels (which I did), but I could not figure out why the first week of the training was about mindset. Turns out the two are VERY related. Are you approaching marketing (life) with a scarcity mindset? If so, I’m here to tell you, your ideal audience (life) is listening and it will return what you put out. During this training the mentor running the class made a statement that really reached my soul.

Fear is not a reason to give up, fear is a compass. When you are scared or unsure, that is your gut connecting you to the path out of your comfort zone. Follow it.

Think about that for just a moment. Fear is a compass. How many times are we afraid to: ask for a raise, call that guy/girl we met at the party, send an email to an idol and ask if you can collaborate, speak up for ourselves…?

What would our life look like if we followed the fear instead of running from it? Would we instead: get the raise we want/need, line up a dream date, arrange a partnership that will change your business, have people respect the boundaries you create…?

It is possible.

Did you just think to yourself “I would love to do that, BUT.” Well let me stop you right there. That “but” you hear in your mind, that’s fear. That’s fear trying to justify to you that you should not take the risk. Well, what do we do with fear? That’s right! We follow it!

I’m not an expert at this by any means, I choose to quit more than I choose to follow the fear. I want to tell you that because it’s human and normal to let doubt win, but it doesn’t have to be the only way. My career, my love life, where I live and the types of friends I have, they have all been drastically improved by being curious enough to see what was on the other side of my fear.

Still don’t believe me? Well here’s a list of things I did this month that scared the crap out of me:

  • I emailed the flower fields and asked if I could host a yoga event.

    • Fear told me “you aren’t a big yoga studio or a famous instructor, they won’t even reply to you.”

    • What actually happened: the event planner emailed me back and said “I have been wanting to do this for years, I’m so glad you reached out”

  • I Facebook messaged Sharp Healthcare to see if they needed a yoga instructor at their women’s health conference.

    • Fear told me: “Sharp Healthcare? Jackie are your nuts, they probably have some famous yogi coming to speak, don’t bother”.

    • What actually happened: They emailed me back and said “Yes we were just talking about how that was the last speaker we needed to line up, perfect timing!”

  • I emailed the company putting on a music festival for Odesza to see if they had lined up a yoga teacher for the week long festival.

    • Fear told me: “This is going to be embarrassing, they are going to get your email and never reply. Don’t waste your time.”

    • What actually happened: THEY RESPONDED! They let me know they already had a teacher for the festival but were going to keep me on file because they often have this need at festivals.

  • I signed up to go to a networking event of local self employed people to maybe learn something and maybe land a gig.

    • Fear told me: “It’s a waste of time. Business owners don’t want to hear from a yoga teacher. This is a waste of your time and it will be awkward.”

    • What actually happened: Y’all I made an awesome new friend! We have gone on two friend dates to drink wine and share ideas. Not only that but she has supported my business by bringing her friends to classes. I always say making friends after college is hard, but maybe that’s because I was listening to fear! (Hi Kelci, when is our next wine date?)

Do you see the trend? Can you pick three things in your life that could change if you acknowledged fear in a different way? If you took the risk of being told no?

Life is yours. It is short. It is confusing. There are barriers, trauma’s, challenges, and limitations in all of our lives. I’m not promoting this idea that if you just ask you’ll get what you want, but I am promoting the idea that you owe it to yourself to freaking try your hardest. It’s not all going to change and improve over night. Start with small things that you can actively change. Small fears that you can test this idea with and inspire yourself when it works.

I want every one of you to feel like you can change your path in this life to reflect more accurately what you really dream for yourself. You can do it. Its out there waiting for you.

So tell fear to go kick rocks, and start reaching for more no’s. Eventually you will get the yes that will change it all.

With love and gratitude for all of you,


Below is the playlist that helped me write this. We listened to this on the cliffs today. Go do big things. I’m right behind you whispering “YOLO” in your ear. <3

Join us at an upcoming event! More to be added soon :)

Jackie KowalikComment