Just Breathe

Episode 19: Just Breathe

Guest: Jill Knouse and Michael Knouse

We’ve all experienced workplace stress. No one knows this better than Jill Knouse, who left her job in financial services in 2005 to focus on nourishing her mind and body. Although Jill was making great money at her corporate job, it came at the cost of sacrificing her health. Her office hours were long and tiring. She felt withdrawn from her community. Simply put, she was depleted. So she bought a bungalow in Portland and left San Francisco to refuel and refresh. Today, she’s the owner of Jill Knouse Yoga, where she helps others find Zen. She even teaches onsite corporate yoga classes.

Jill’s husband, Michael Knouse, found himself in a similar situation. He worked in tech for about 14 years before also branching out on his own. His reality check came when he was told to relay a message to a bank—a message he disagreed with. When he confronted his sales manager, he was told in so many words, “As long as we’re writing your check, you’ll do the things we ask.” That’s when Michael began to think about what type of work environment would bring him the most satisfaction. He recalled his days at startups and realized he thrived most in an independent environment. Today, Michael is the founder of The Startup Sessions, where he works with burnt-out employees and emerging entrepreneurs to help them craft a meaningful business, and bring structure to their ideas.

Michael and Jill have created a partnership not only personally, but professionally; together, they collaborate on projects such as Jill Knouse Yoga’s Elevate Your Yoga Business, a 6-Week Program For Designing Your Dream Yoga Business. The upcoming session begins June 3. Michael says the goal is to help teachers switch their mindset from fixed to growth, and to think like entrepreneurs. (For more about fixed vs. growth mindset, see Episode 14: Keeping An Open Mind).

My hope is that this episode inspires you not only to take care of your body and mind, but also contemplate what career path would bring you the most happiness. I want to stress this to all of our listeners: Making time in your day to reflect and take care of yourself is so critical. Remember that rest equals success. Looking back, Jill says she wishes she would have gotten into yoga while working in corporate to help manage her work stress. Corporate clients often tell Jill that yoga has added happiness and clarity to their lives. They are less reactive through the day, and their energy is steadier. The ability to stop and just breathe is critical for creating space—and perhaps in that space, you’ll have room to discover your true passions!

Also, be certain to check out Michael’s podcast at The Startup Sessions, visit http://www.thestartupsessions.com/episodes/.

Join us next week with guest Stay tuned for next week’s episode with guest Catherine Plano, executive coach and founder of the I Am Woman project. Please share this podcast with your friends and colleagues -hey even share it with your Starbucks baristas!! Thanks for listening!

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