Russell Herbert Jack is a 24-year-old yoga instructor and mindfulness teacher form Southland, New Zealand. He is passionate about spirituality, the vegan lifestyle, animal rights, and living in sync with nature. Russell specializes in Vinyasa Yoga, Qigong, and guided meditations. Vinyasa yoga or flow yoga heightens consciousness by moving from one position to another seamlessly, using breath. Just like Vinyasa Yoga, Qigong has many healing properties to body, mind, and spirit.
Russell Herbert Jack left environmental sciences studies at the University of Otago to pursue his passions as a mindfulness and yoga teacher. He enjoys learning and writing about spirituality, meditation, and vegan lifestyle, and sharing these valuable insights with his clients. Russell is devoted to living in harmony with himself and with nature and conveying these skills to others. His classes will help you think clearer, improve memory and concentration, and improve your physical health and mental well-being.
Russell regularly volunteers with the World Animal Protection organization to support animal rights locally and around the world. He also donates to various non-profit organizations devoted to protecting rare and endangered species in New Zealand. Russell likes to spend his free time in nature, surfing and traveling around the world.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I like to say that the idea found me, not the other way around. I never actually searched and brainstormed around what I wanted to do. I am very intuitive, so I go by my gut feeling. So when some of my friends started reaching out to me, asking if I taught yoga, I went with it. Then I just looked at what my students needed from me. That’s how I got into Qigong, which is a practice to help clear and move energy. Many of us don’t realize that we have energy blockages in our bodies, affecting our overall health. I like to help people.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I always begin my day with a meditation practice and exercise – yoga or some workout. Some days I teach very early, so on those days, I kill two birds with one stone – get my training in and work. That’s the beauty of being in the fitness industry. Now, I usually teach outdoors or virtually. After my morning classes, I typically work on my blog, run errands, and do some admin work. I’ve taken some courses online to advance in the field. Later I usually have more classes, and I typically turn off all of my devices by 9 pm to take some time to unwind and rest.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am still refining the process of bringing ideas to life. To me, it’s a balance of logic and intuition. I usually do research and find the right people to help me realize the idea, but I’ve had situations in the past when I would have an idea, do research and then have a gut feeling that I shouldn’t pursue it. I was planning on partnering up with one of the local studios and then decided to continue my professional journey independently. Well, a couple of months later, the pandemic happened, and the fitness studio closed for months. So I always suggest listening to your intuition.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I like that more and more men are interested in yoga. The first Yogis were men, and for some reason, later, the practice became something associated with femininity. Many of my students are men, and it makes me happy that they find the yoga practice useful on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I have a habit of only doing essential things. I was advised to do so many things to market and grow my business, but very often, entrepreneurs get lost in the minutia and lose sight of what’s truly important. To me, the success and health of my students is that top priority.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I accept my younger self the way I was, but if I could go back in time and advise myself, I would say: “Stay true to your journey and do not listen to other people even if they mean well.” You and only you know what you need to do. You have a compass inside you.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Reincarnation is true. Many people disagree. I let them be, though, because everyone follows their own journey.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I practice Buddha’s breathing. It is such a simple practice, but it keeps me grounded and focused.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Word-of-mouth advertising has been doing wonders for me. If you strive to serve your customers or students as good as you can, you will have the business. Many people forget to ask their clients what their needs are and instead assume. I prefer to ask and go with that.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I don’t believe in failures. There are lessons, but not failures. One of the lessons I learned is to listen to my inner voice no matter what.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Help the older generation to get fit. There are so many influencers online targeting “wanna-build-a-six-pack” clientele, so the competition is rough. But older people also want to feel healthy and fit, and they have the resources to pay you. So, explore how you can help them.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best money I spend is always donated. There is nothing that makes me happier than realizing that I am helping a cause.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
If you are an entrepreneur, read “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown. It’s one of my favorites books on business.
What is your favorite quote?
“There is no way to happiness — happiness is the way” By Thich Nhat Hanh.
- Practice essentialism to not get stuck in minutia.
- Take deep breaths often to keep yourself grounded and focused.
- Trust your intuition even when your logic tells you otherwise.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.