Next, we have…..
Mandy Balak, founder of YYC Date Night and Ace Class, spends her days both saving relationships from dull monotonous routines AND building an empire of women who rise together. With presence in six major cities across Canada, Ace Class has built a brilliantly bright community where female leaders grow and thrive together.
When I first learned about Ace Class, I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Bright, beautiful and refreshingly strong women getting together - YES!
It’s awe inspiring to witness the end product of Mandy’s visions, but what’s even more fascinating is how this vision came alive and stayed alive! I’m so excited for you to listen to Mandy’s story as she courageously and vulnerably (Brene Brown fans will know these two absolutely go together and we totally talk about that in this episode) takes us through the ups and downs in her journey. Included is the story of how she figured her way out of a life that she was unhappy in and into one that she actually desired; her major failures and how she got through the sticky middle; and her big lesson about vulnerability.
Plug in those earbuds and get ready to re-invigorate your kick ass vibes!
PS. If you’re just joining in, this is the second episode of the special mini series,The Hustle Series. September is like a second new year where we get to establish new routines, refresh goals and create new dreams. Taking full advantage of this new energy, fresh start vibe, I’ve collected stories of amazing individuals who took the courage and leaped for their heart calling. As a result, they're now making riveting impact on positive change around the world.
They tell us about what it really took to make their vision a success - triumphs, trials and everything in between. They share candidly about how they figured out their heart calling was in the first place and what they leaned on to get this far. We especially dive deep and get real about the challenges they’ve faced. Oftentimes, we hear success stories about how there was a challenge and then ta-da! they made it….but what happened in the middle? It’s the sticky part that’s the thick of it and where we can use the most support when going for these endeavors.
The times when things seem hopeless and we’re about to throw in the towel. Maybe you run out of money and you literally can’t pay the bills. How do you know if you should keep trying? How do you manage when you wake up feeling like everything is a complete wash?
I’m so grateful to these individuals who graciously share the sticky parts of their journey with us. We learn so much from hearing about their passion, will and deep sense of resolve to follow their heart calling. Of course, we celebrate their triumphs with them cheer them on as they keep on going!
For you, I hope that these stories can be your anchor and inspiration as you daringly go for your dreams!
If you haven’t caught the first episode yet, go and listen to it now! Episode 83 with Lyndsay Morris who has started a movement to get mindfulness into schools across America.
Shortly after moving to a new city (Calgary), Mandy found herself out of alignment with herself and living a life that she didn’t like. She had moved to Calgary for her boyfriend and didn’t have a network of friends in the city. She was introduced to a few new people and tried to fit in but it just wasn’t her people and she felt inauthentic. She wasn’t thrilled with her mostly male dominant finance career in the oil & gas industry either. So she started making changes - opting out of her friend group because it didn’t feel right and then taking up a serving job and became a spin class instructor instead because it felt better. One nudge at a time, she followed what lit her up until one day the idea for YYC Date Night was born. And then eventually the idea of Ace Class was born. She found her people and continues to build a strong community that completely lights her up. There’s definitely ups and downs in between, which Mandy shares with us.
Challenges Along The Way And How You Got Through It
There were many discouragements and failures along the way for Mandy including people cutting down her idea, losing $50K, and having to close an entire company altogether. There was a point in time when Mandy had just broken up her relationship, lost money on a business she tried, and her friends and family back home in Vancouver kept telling her to just come home. It didn’t seem like there was much here for her. And then there was another time when she had to close down her business and lay off all of her employees.
What kept her going was:
trust in her intuition
community and finding connection with others
Knowing that the target can change shape and persevering in light of that
Lessons To Share
There’s more that connects us than divides us.
Without the failures and challenges, she wouldn’t be where she is in her life today because they helped her grow.
At the end of the day, whatever you do, you need to be in alignment with yourself.
Sometimes it’s easier to figure out what doesn’t light you up to help lead you to what actually does.
It’s never going to be perfect. It’s better to get it out there than not at all. Fail faster to grow faster.
“done is better than perfect” - Sheryl Sandberg
Be brave, be vulnerable. Ask for help and lean on your support when you need it.
Most unexpected thing about taking a leap toward your dreams?
Everytime she got a “dream” she realized it was just a goal because it all changes as you go.
What made your vision a success?
Amazing mentors and women who opened up doors for her. “it’s not often somebody sends and elevator back down”. This experience fueled her motivation for Ace Class and to create a community of women who thrive together.
Many shares her tips on how to find a mentor.
Also, keeping up the mindset with support is key - aside from a mentor, maybe get a coach. Know which teachers you like to learn from and the books/podcasts that you like to hear for inspiration.
The Philosophy That You Now Live LIfe With:
If it’s not a Fuck Yes, It’s a No. Follow that intuition everytime. Whatever you do, you have to love it!
If you have any questions for Mandy or want to learn more, connect with her through:
Social Media: @theaceclass_ @mandybalak