Jolene Cherry

Moments of crisis can seem like towering infernos with no end in sight, but if you focus on your breath, your body and mind will respond with tranquility and clarity.


Jolene Cherry is a certified and experienced yoga instructor and personal trainer based in Portland, Oregon. She has always been interested in fitness, meditation, and nutrition and decided to help others reach their desired levels of physical fitness. Her international training and experience, ranging from Hawaii to Thailand, along with her nurturing one-on-one sessions have helped propel her to a prominent personal trainer and yoga instructor in the Pacific Northwest. She excels in a variety of yoga styles, especially Vinyasa Yoga, traditional Ashtanga Yoga, Power Yoga, as well as meditation-oriented Yin Yoga.

Jolene Cherry believes that striking a balance in life is the key to wellbeing. She aims to help her clients reach that balance through physical activity, mindfulness, and healthy nutrition. While it’s important to exercise your body, you must also exercise your mind to find harmony, and be careful about what you eat to fuel both your body and your mind – this is Jolene’s guiding principle in everything she does.

Jolene Cherry is also a passionate health advocate and environmentalist. When she is not working, she likes to travel, hike, and enjoy the best espresso in town at the Spella Caffe. She also volunteers at Yoga in the Park and is a big dog lover.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

Growing up, unfortunately, my parents didn’t encourage healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle. In middle school, it got to a point where my weight was having a nasty effect on my social life and overall well-being. I knew I needed to make a change. The summer before my freshman year of high school, I chose to join the cross country team. My parents and other kids thought I was crazy, but the coach never questioned me. She encouraged me to keep going, took the time to teach me proper training techniques, and ultimately helped empower my self-esteem. Ever since this profound experience, I’ve been a health and exercise fanatic. As I got older, this passion compounded on itself and I knew that I wanted to build my career on helping others achieve their fitness goals, whether it’s through yoga, traditional exercise or nutritional guidance.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I begin each day practicing yoga to awaken the mind, body, and spirit. Sometimes I alternate with a long morning run fueled by electronic music. Both get my energy levels pumped for the day and allow me to face my agenda with a positive outlook and vigor.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I practice daily meditation and mindfulness; this helps clear the clutter and brings focus to what’s important.

What’s one trend that excites you?

People swapping high-fructose and sugary drinks for healthy alternatives like water! Reusable water bottles aren’t just for workout sessions anymore. It’s thrilling to see people focus on their health while at the same time, think about the impact their habits have on the environment.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Patience, persistence, and pacing. Life isn’t a sprint, but a marathon with ever-changing terrain and obstacles. You need to be mindful of the present and dig deep to keep going when it gets tough.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Breathe. Just breathe. Moments of crisis can seem like towering infernos with no end in sight, but if you focus on your breath, your body and mind will respond with tranquility and clarity.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Many people believe the hardest part of any new venture is merely starting. While there is truth in that, I believe the hardest part in your journey towards physical fitness is choosing to come back the second day, and the next, and so on. Anyone can workout for a single day and feel good about it, but it takes inner-strength and dedication to build a new lifestyle around a healthy habit.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Create healthy habits for yourself. Not just at the gym, but in all aspects of your life. We are creatures of habit, for better or worse, and we need to actively supplement our actions with positivity, both internal and external.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Active listening. When it comes to health and fitness, clients have near-infinite options. My best mentors and teachers over the years never let their ego get in the way. Instead, they put their students first, truly listened to their concerns and responded accordingly.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

In my line of work, my body is my instrument. Some years back, I suffered from a severe ankle sprain, which not only kept me from my personal exercise routines but my client sessions as well. Naturally, it wouldn’t be right to put a roadblock in my clients’ fitness, so I actively helped them find a new trainer that aligned with their needs and goals. Once I was up and running again, several of my clients returned, but a few stayed the course on their new journey. As a businesswoman, it hurt to lose the clients and income, but in the end, I knew I did right by them.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Quality running shoes. I recommend my clients to take the time to get properly fitted for a training/running shoe by a professional to ensure their feet are getting the proper support. Long-term, this can make all the difference, especially with building endurance.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I use several smartphone apps to track my exercise routines, calories, and workouts easily. Not only is this information have nutritional value, but it allows my clients to show how far they’ve come in their fitness journey.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

What is your favorite quote?

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou

Key Learnings:

  • Life is a long journey with many hills that we cannot see over. Focus on putting one foot in front of the other and the rest will fall into place.
  • Active listening is crucial to building a healthy relationship, especially in business.
  • Habits form who we are on a daily basis, which is why it’s crucial to actively create actions that are positive, healthy, and good for ourselves as well as those around us.