“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” Steve Jobs
This is a long-ish version of my story. Want the short one? It’s HERE. Continue on, my friend..
When I look back, I realise my life as a soulpreneur started at around 15 years of age.
As a moody teenager in the mid-90s, visions of university followed by the corporate world led me to feel dread and fear for the future. I was completely uninspired by every option I thought I had.
Until one night I was up late watching music videos on Rage and something clicked. My future was decided: I was going to be a rockstar.
I covered my walls with band posters, my brother transcribed guitar tabs for me and I scribbled lyrics and potential band names. I’d rush home from school to play music ridiculously loud and practise my rock moves in the mirror.
I felt alive and full of hope for the amazing future I was already living in my head.
For years I begged my parents to let me leave school so I could focus on my band, and they finally agreed on the condition that I got a job and paid board. I WAS FREE. After two days of a hairdressing apprenticeship, I quit and became a part-time supermarket check-out chick. While this didn’t go down well (North Shore Sydney girls do not quit school to work at supermarkets), I’d never been happier.
My first paycheque of $200 was the most exciting thing ever. New guitar strings, black eyeliner and more than enough money to start sneaking into gigs in the city with my best friend Em (who I met through a ‘musicians wanted’ street press ad).
I WAS ALIVE.
My dad would drive me to Em’s house with my bass, amp and bag for the weekend. We’d set up ‘band practice’ in her bedroom during the day and sneak into gigs at night – the whole time brainstorming and dreaming big. When we’d talk (or stalk) bands at gigs, we’d tell them about our band Venusbelle and how we were going to get so big.
Somewhere along the way, I started transitioning into office-based day jobs and eventually secured the hottest job I could imagine – working at a major recording studio. By 20 I had my cool sharehouse, my studio job and my band.
I WAS LIVING THE DREAM. I felt home.
As soon as we found our drummer and recorded some demos, it was time to start organising ‘proper’ gigs. I immediately fell into the role of band manager, which I loved.
I’d pull together line-ups and help other bands organise gigs, just because I was so excited and loved what I was doing. I felt deep fulfilment helping other bands, soon discovering that I enjoyed organising gigs and media even more than I loved being on stage. I’ve always loved helping other people shine in the spotlight.
It was also during this time that I discovered my greatest virtue: the courage to ask for help or guidance when I didn’t know how to do something. I’ve found that most people have a natural desire to want to help people who simply ask.
Even when I had no idea how to get any media or PR coverage, I’d just turn up at magazines and street press offices with photos on floppy disks and hand-written ‘press releases’, asking the receptionist if they would please help me find a way to get our gig announcements in print.
I discovered the power of humility and honesty in building authentic relationships.
In an industry of (mostly) men hustling with ego, here was this wide-eyed 19-year-old girl turning up on the doorsteps of some of Sydney’s biggest music media companies. Please keep in mind that at this time there was no Google to search how to get media coverage and there certainly weren’t any online courses on how to do your own PR or get gigs.
After several years of work at the studio, I left to enrol in a very competitive music business course, while working part-time as an agent’s assistant. During this time my band independently released our EP and started travelling and playing more gigs than ever.
After spending my early 20s partying too much in the inevitable spiral of ‘the scene’, the universe soon led me to an incredible job opportunity at a major record company and my new bandmate and future husband, Isac.
From my first day at the record label, I put my heart and soul into my job and the artists. I made a commitment to build a career in the music industry, helping artists raise their platforms and reach their audience.
Starting from answering phones, I worked my way up to promo and publicity, before moving into marketing and organising conferences, gigs and after-parties, finally reaching exactly where I wanted to be: management and touring.
My dream was to start my own music management and touring company, and after five years of blood, sweat and tears at the label, I was finally getting closer to my end goal.
Although the universe had other plans.
After buying a beachside apartment in Sydney and celebrating a huge wedding, everything changed when I discovered a lump in my breast on our honeymoon in Fiji.
The lump was later confirmed to be an aggressive type of breast cancer. My career (and 30th birthday party) were put on hold.
The next 12 months were filled with endless amounts of treatments, fertility preservation, surgery, radiation, chemo, nutritional medicine, energy healing and everything in between, including learning meditation for the first time.
Along the way I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work at my family’s event company to give me something to do on the days that I was feeling up to going into the office. The great thing about this was that it really honed my event expertise even further, working on huge scale corporate events for major banking and consumer companies.
It was during an event for a major soft drink company that I hit a turning point. I was absolutely appalled at the way they were talking about their marketing plans for one of their leading diet beverages. They were concerned that the female teenage market wasn’t consuming enough of this diet soft drink. They needed to find a way to get 14-year-old girls back into feeling that they needed to drink this beverage to be skinny, popular and cool.
Sitting there with my wig on, I felt a deep shock and sadness. My heart broke. I knew from that moment on that I needed to do something about this. And that everything I had experienced during my diagnosis and treatment, everything that I was learning about health and self-care, had happened for a reason.
It all made sense.
The universe had put me in that room to hear that being said at that exact moment in my life for a reason. Shortly after that event, I decided I needed to step up and make a difference in the health and lives of young women.
I decided it was time for me to expand my personal research and experiences into formal education in health and nutrition. I’d already binge-read every single book I could find on health, nutrition and healing. Most of my days were spent in healing centres and hospitals. I was already watching documentaries and questioning my doctors, health practitioners and experts.
I applied for a scholarship at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and directed my life into what I thought would be health coaching and women’s wellness groups.
My supportive husband and I sold our apartment in Sydney to move to Queensland and start a new, affordable and less stressful life, where I could start my career all over again and develop my knowledge and connections. I was prepared to do whatever it took to open up opportunities to help women’s health.
I started blogging and coaching almost immediately, falling in love with every single one of the beautiful women that I was coaching.
The best thing about blogging was the amazing people it connected me to, including kindred spirits Amanda Rootsey and the late Jess Ainscough. These fellow young cancer thrivers were out in the world on a mission.
To keep the bills paid, I did some part-time PR work for health and wellness identities and companies. I loved using the skills I’d developed over the previous 10 years to help people create good in the world. When everything started to explode in Jess’s blog/business world, I began helping her look after her community and build her reach.
The idea for an events company came to me around that time. One afternoon out of nowhere, I heard the words earth events in my ear and I thought to myself if I was going to start an events company, that’s what I would call it. Almost immediately I jumped online and saw that no one else had that company name registered and the domain name was available.
Without really knowing what I was going to do with it, I felt a buzz of excitement and over the coming months I mentioned it to people like Jess and Amanda, who were both excited to be part of it.
This fun little idea was launched with a fundraising event for UN Women in Brisbane, and sold out within about two days. The event then evolved into a three-city tour including Sydney and Melbourne, and we were off and rolling! Along the way I helped many other health and wellness identities raise their profile.
Our Earth Events have hosted almost 100 events in 3 years with 30,000+ attendees. I’ve had the pleasure of working with many of my favourite teachers including Gabrielle Bernstein, Pete Evans, Gala Darling, Food Matters, Belinda Davidson, Dr Nat Kringoudis, Wes Carr, Sarah Wilder and the late Jess Ainscough.
From intimate retreats to bustling venues of thousands.. it’s been a blast! Not just managing and marketing the tours, but also managing of many of these lightworkers book releases, media and careers.
However I’ve always found it frustrating that I couldn’t help every single person that I wanted to – especially when many of the up-and-comers I believe in can’t afford our services. This led me to start creating an academy or course of some sort, so that I could teach more people in a more affordable and accessible way.
Over the past few years, I’ve mentioned this academy idea to many of our clients and other influencers in the industry, and almost everybody has raised their hand to be involved, and share their experience and expertise. They too agree that we need to lead this next generation of teachers and leaders to reach an extended audience that truly need them.
I believe this is one of my true purposes in life. And it’s finally here!
Find more information about The Earth Academy HERE.
Yvette Luciano is a devoted soulpreneur coach and the multi-passionate sole director and founder of Earth HQ.
Yvette is a behind-the-scenes magic maker for many health and wellbeing luminaries including Pete Evans, Gabrielle Bernstein, Food Matters, Gala Darling, Wes Carr and the late Jess Ainscough.
With 15+ years of media and marketing experience starting in the entertainment industry with organising rock shows and promoting bands, which eventually led to marketing and management roles with some of the largest record companies and artists in the world.
After a health and soul shift in 2010, Yvette immersed herself in health studies including nutrition and yoga, accompanied by a seachange to sunny Queensland where she founded Earth HQ in January 2013.
Yvette and her growing team achieved unprecedented success in the field and have produced sold-out events attended by more than 30,000 people while continuing to work with some of the most influential lightworkers in the wellbeing world.
Through The Earth Academy, Yvette is now devoted to coaching and training the new wave of upcoming leaders and healers (YOU!) to live their life purpose and raise their platforms and profiles to create a healthier, happier world.
Yvette currently lives on the Sunshine Coast in Australia with her husband Isac and three furbabies. She is an advocate of animal rights, conscious business, integrative cancer care and research, green juice, raw chocolate and angel cards.
Get in touch via: email@example.com