Erica Hartnick

Chapter Be_Erica Hartnick

It’s said that a successful business comes from someone identifying and answering a need, and that is exactly how Erica Hartnick founded and developed Yoga Trade. Based on her own experience of traveling and working as a yoga and surfing instructor she recognized two things: 1) there needed to be an easier way to find teaching opportunities and 2) employers were looking for a better way to locate interested instructors. Fast-forward and you have Yoga Trade, an empowering online network connecting students, teachers, and organizations to yoga jobs, work exchange gigs, and volunteer opportunities around the world.

Erica has spent most of her adult life in seasonal jobs, so that she could create a path that allowed her to both be outdoors and travel. Costa Rica has become one of her homes over the years, and just this past January she co-hosted a Yoga & Culinary Extravaganza in Osa, CR. If you have ever heard someone say, “I want to travel for a living,” Erica proves that it is possible. It takes some sacrifices, but it is doable.

I met Erica at The Yoga Farm in Costa Rica, which was a trip I took after I left my desk job in an effort to regroup, re-center and do some major reflecting. It was definitely a “be” trip, so it is very appropriate that that is how we met. Erica realized much earlier then I did that an office environment wasn’t the right fit for her, and decided to structure her life in a way that allowed her to live her passions.

I wanted to talk with her about how she did this, and why she decided to create something that would allow others to do the same. As Yoga Trade points out, “The world is full of amazing opportunities and possibilities – there is a path for everyone if you follow your bliss…our goal in creating Yoga Trade is to make it one step easier for you on your own path, wherever it may be taking you next.”

Listen below to learn more about Erica’s Chapter Be story…



[01:15] How at 22 she decided to leave the office world to snowboard and that this decision “led to this passion and pattern of me just following what I love to do.”

Erica Hartnick_surfing_lomifarmfotos

Erica surfing in Costa Rica!

[5:35] Following your heart can be scary, but you just have to “go for it.”

[9:00] Why Erica owes a lot to Google, perseverance, and just putting herself out there.

[13:00] The story of how Yoga Trade came to be…

[19:45] The importance of giving yourself a schedule in order to live a balanced life.

[24:55] How Erica deals with people who might not think she has a “real” job.

[29:40] Why Erica believes that success = letting go and just loving yourself exactly for who you are.

[30:55] Why it is important to figure out what excites you in life – and follow that!




What’s your favorite quote, story or fact to tell at a dinner or cocktail party?

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do by than the ones you did do.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Worst work experience?

I have had many jobs, and although many of them were not dream jobs, I am grateful for all of my learning experiences on the job. In high school I worked at Little Caesar’s Pizza. I remember being super busy and stressed out in pizza making land and afraid of the manager. Really when I look back, it was a good job for high school and I am sure I grew a lot from it, but at the time I did not like it. I have been lucky to have a lot of good jobs.

What is your definition of success?

Success is about confidently going in the direction of your own dreams without caring about what other people think. Sometime success is not about what you get, but about what you let go of.

How do you tap into your creative energies – especially when you are feeling drained?

It is hard for me to be creative when feeling drained. So first step is to get back on track taking care of myself and to feel well rested. I get most of my creative sparks while on solo walks in nature.

How do you spend your time when you are procrastinating?

Playing! If I am putting things off that I should be doing, I am most likely doing something fun instead. Hiking, surfing, spending time being adventurous outdoors, etc.

Ideal READING LIST – books that you would want on your Swiss Family Robinson deserted island?

  1. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
  2. SAS-Survival Handbook by John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman
  3. The Bhagavad-Gita by Eknath Easwaran
  4. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
  5. Quantum Mechanics by David J. Griffiths
  6. The Essential Rumi by Jalal al-Din Rumi

Favorite song with “be” in the title?

Let it Be by The Beatles

Yoga Trade_logoLINKS & RESOURCES…

Image via Yoga Trade and lomifarmfotos

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