Originally published in the Winter + Spring 2020 issue.
Juli Rathke is a Colorado-based entrepreneur, executive advisor, the founder of Yoga + Life Magazines, a yoga teacher, founder of #ExpertsClub business coaching and now author of her first book, “DO T.H.I.S.”
We sat down with Juli and asked her about her most recent project …
YOU HAVE MADE A BIG IMPACT AS AN ENTREPRENEUR AND YOGI. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK?
I am not sure if I am making a big impact yet, but I do believe it is our human responsibility to share the gifts we were given. I have always had a unique ability to see a way through most situations. When most people see obstacles, I see the possibilities. Articulating this gift has been one of my life’s biggest challenges. I have started many businesses and offered my services under brands for fear of really just putting myself out there. With each growing success in my own life, I feel I have built up the armor and learned vulnerability equally. I have been asked countless times, “Juli, when are you going to write a book?” Well, this is the beginning of that next chapter for me. Like many who finally take that leap in sharing it all, I think I’ve gotten to a point where sharing what I’ve learned is now more important to me than what other’s think. And I am happy to be able to share my learned techniques with clients through the many trials and triumphs in my own life so that others too can find the confidence and clarity and ultimately, greater happiness and success.
YOU TALK ABOUT CHALLENGES IN YOUR LIFE, WHEN DID YOU FIRST FIND YOUR OWN DEPTH IN PERSEVERANCE?
I have been told I am a driven person. “Juli, you can’t do that” has never really been a part of my own self-talk. So, when I got pregnant in my second year in college, I didn’t really perceive it as a life-altering situation like the people around me did. People began treating me differently, feeling sorry for me, asking me what I was going to do. That feeling of being treated like a victim was very uncomfortable for me. I think at that moment I set out to prove that anyone can do anything, and you can influence how others perceive a situation just by how you carry yourself. When I started to answer confidently the reactions to my early motherhood changed dramatically. Now, of course, I was a young mom and I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, but I certainly wasn’t going to sign up for the pity party that was convening around me. If any of you know my son who is now 26, he’s pretty awesome and I will take some of that credit for embracing the challenge and trusting that the universe had a much bigger plan for us. I finished college with double-majors, double-minors. It never dawned on me that my experience was any more difficult than anyone else’s. Your perception is truly your reality and looking in the mirror often is important.
YOU STATE IN THE BOOK YOUR ABILITY TO READ OTHERS, WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE?
I have always had an empathic tendency when it comes to interacting with people. I have found ways to turn it off when I’m with my friends and family as needed. But in my late 20s I had a job on television interviewing people and really started sensing what people were carrying emotionally and mentally with that intense focus. I had no idea for the longest time that everyone else wasn’t feeling this same way. You could ask my mother and she would tell you countless stories of things I’ve said or seen as a child that have led both her and me to realize this heightened sense. As a yoga teacher it has played nicely into really holding space for people just as they need it. As a business owner and entrepreneur, it has proven to be challenging at times as in any business the head can get in the way of the heart and people’s greed and lack of authenticity enters in. For this, I have been burned in business but have created new ways of seeing this coming and techniques to prevent it.
As a mentor or coach, this perceptive sense perfectly allows me the relatability in any moment that I am open to helping others find clarity and resiliency with anything life is throwing at them. Building that toolbox has really been the foundational elements for this book.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE COACHING CULTURE RIGHT NOW?
I like to say in my classes or sessions, we are all but spirits having a human experience with similar feelings, emotions, love and discomforts, but are just experiencing them in different places and times. Isn’t it comforting to know that we all feel the same? Yes, even that one person you just can’t relate with at work DOES feel the exact same emotions that you do. In acknowledging this, we open ourselves up to learn from one another. This is a true gift. I have had the fortune of working with and for amazingly intelligent and gifted people as both the mentor and the mentee. The coaching culture is being open to the idea of learning from someone who has literally “been there and done that” just ahead of you without judgement and/or competition, and is willing to share in way that will benefit you from either making the same mistakes or helps to shorten the learning curve. Finding the right coach or mentor is critical to your success as a person, and I believe there is a coach out there for everyone.
CAN YOU GIVE US AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT WE WILL FIND IN THE BOOK?
Absolutely! I wanted the book to be incredibly simple and memorable. It is called “DO THIS” for a reason. So often we are faced with too many options on a daily basis and sourcing out the best way can be overwhelmingly exhausting to the point where we just don’t look for a different way to be — we don’t choose better food, we don’t change habits and just do the same old thing. There is a quote that I love by F.M. Alexandar: “People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits, and their habits decide their futures.” This book is about creating a filter for your habits.
Whether we are talking about relationships, business, health or just your overall lifestyle, our actions each day are 40-percent habit. In order to truly get a different outcome, we need a conscious system to help change our reasoning on what we decide to do. So, I give you this exercise from my book (see sidebar).
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
Yes, I am excited to share that my son, Dylan Junkermeier, and life-long friend from New Zealand, Christina McGrath, are both a part of launching this brand with me. We all believe in the coaching culture and are hoping to influence the millennial mindset with the support of my son to help alleviate the new and greater stresses his generation is putting on themselves to succeed and now. We additionally will be launching coaching programs, micro-conferences and a podcast where we will engage in smaller topics like #EatThis, #MotivateThis and #InfluenceThis all based on desired goals. We will be working with purpose-driven DO THIS strategies and we hope people of all ages will join our online communities starting on Instagram @DailyDoThis.
DO T.H.I.S: REDESIGN YOUR CORE VALUES.
What we value changes as we age and enter into new decision phases of our lives. What worked at 20, may not work in your 30’s and so on.
So, start by listing your values in order of priority – start with five. (These are not goals, they are values. A value can be defined as one’s judgment of what is important in life. For example, personal health, financial stability, family time etc.)
Once you do this, create a statement around your value. For example, “I value my physical, mental and emotional health.” Then, you can start to base all your decisions with these in mind. I like to call it my “yes” filter. If a daily choice you are faced with doesn’t support your value statements, then the quick answer is usually “no” (more on this later). If it does check all the boxes, then the easy answer is “yes, this is worth exploring.”
If you do T.H.I.S. you will start to …
1. Find more TIME with less time cogitating on what to do next and live presently rather than in the past or future.
2. Feel more HAPPINESS because you will be doing things that create a high or positive and fulfilling emotional response.
3. Experience higher INTELLIGENCE with more clarity and creativity around the positive cognitive space you have created.
4. Stick to it because it’s SIMPLE and it gives you a constant road map when you are faced with choices on a daily basis.