We revisit our interview with Jess in memory of the incredible community that she created, and the many lives she touched.
At 9am on 24 April, 2008, Jessica Ainscough slipped away from her desk at her dream job as a journalist for Dolly magazine in Sydney and walked to her doctor’s office. Two weeks prior, she had undergone surgery to remove fluid on her left middle finger, and biopsies had been taken to ascertain why she had strange lumps popping up on her hand and arm. Little did she know she was about to be diagnosed with epithelioid sarcoma, a rare type of untreatable terminal cancer, which she was told would likely kill her in five years. Jess was 22. Her world was rocked to its core.
Choosing not to surrender to her fate, Jess transformed herself from a fast-living hedonist into a teetotal vegan, embarking on a strict diet of organic raw foods, fresh juices and enemas to help heal her body, while also embracing meditation and a new way of looking at the world.
Documenting her thoughts, discoveries and dreams online in a blog, the more she learned about her condition, the more she pushed against the boundaries of the traditional perceptions of health and wellbeing. Jess began her journey to live a cleaner and more fulfilled life mentally and physically, studying through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and becoming a certified health coach at the same time.
That tiny blog of musings about life and alternative wellness, The Wellness Warrior, somehow struck a chord, quickly gaining a huge following with admirers from far and wide identifying with her plight and taking strength from her courage.
“With cancer as my brilliant teacher, I shed off all the cloaks I was wearing when I tried to fit in with who I thought I should be, and transformed into the real me, the me I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to meet if it weren’t for such a powerful catalyst,” reveals Jess.
Jess on how to start a business and make a difference in the world…
Be okay with being unpopular: if you’re going to make a difference, you have to be comfortable with ruffling a few feathers because change only comes through questioning the norm.
Inject your own personal flavour into your business: don’t just copy what everyone else is doing.
Live your message: be an authentic example of what you are promoting because authenticity breeds abundance.
Make genuine connections with others and collaborate: we create a bigger impact when we come together for a shared purpose.
Make your business something you would happily do for free: this is when you know you are truly passionate and it will help you stick at it to see it through to the point of making a real difference.