What I Learned About Being a Pioneer After a Plane Ride Regret-Fest

I’m currently writing this post while in a hotel room in China on a 22 hour layover. Yes, you read that right, 22 hour layover. They exist.

I’m heading home to LA after spending the most amazing 3 weeks in Vietnam. I planned this trip last year for my husband Nolan’s 30th birthday and our 5 year anniversary. Although these things happened in 2016, we weren’t able to actually take the trip until now. I say extend celebrations as long as you can, right?

When you’re an entrepreneur, there’s never a good time to go on a “vacation”, if we can even call it that. I was a huge ball of stress when we boarded our departing flight 3 weeks ago. There was so much going on with Yellow. Launching The Yellow Collective, new exciting business opportunities on the horizon (can’t wait to tell you more!), The Yellow Conference tickets Early Bird price ending, and a new (and amazing) woman running the blog who I was about to leave all by herself (she killed it though, didn’t she?). There seemed to be far too much going on to leave.

I rarely feel regret. I’m the kind of person who sees everything as a learning lesson - I always try my best to see the good in every situation, even failures. But as I sat down in the seat of our flight headed away from LAX to Hanoi, Vietnam, I felt the unfamiliar feeling of total regret within me. “What are we doing going to VIETNAM?? I have to be crazy to leave right now… why did we choose Vietnam anyway… What if it’s horrible… will this even be fun at ALL??” Were just a few of the thoughts circling through my mind as I sat there silently next to my husband.

Fast forward 3 weeks later, Nolan and I are on our way home from our trip of a lifetime, (truly, Vietnam is a hidden gem) and I’m feeling so completely grateful. I’ve grown. I’m coming back with having seen, learned, and experienced things I never would have if I didn’t go.

It dawned on me after reflecting on my plane ride freak out - that THIS is why it’s so darn hard to be a pioneer.

When we do something that our body hasn’t done or processed before, everything within us is saying, “This is not a good idea! Turn around right now! This could be dangerous!” That’s a voice that’s hard to silence. I’m actually not sure if we can ever silence it - rather, we must acknowledge its presence, move forward with it, and notice how it changes.

Today is the last official day of our theme of PIONEER, and the last day to sign up to become a Yellow Collective member for next quarter. As I reflect on this theme, I realize how the life of being a pioneer never ends. Your comfort zone only gets larger, so you must continue on and take bigger risks.

Although our PIONEER theme is coming to a close, the mindset of moving into new spaces, growing, and learning must always stay with us, no matter how experienced we are or what age.

And it’s worth it. So darn worth it.

As for the Yellow Collective closing up, I’m truly hoping and praying that the women who join us this quarter are the ones who are meant to be there. That a divine presence would pull us together and create huge ripples of good throughout the world. That’s always my hope within my why.

From a plane ride regret-fest-freak-out, to my hotel room in China, to tomorrow my home of LA, I’m choosing to continue to be a pioneer well after this theme is over. I hope you will too. Let’s commit. That no matter how many new things we do, try, and conquer, we would never stop stepping out and pioneering. Because that’s the only way to continue growing. You and me girl, Pioneers for life. Cheers!


Joanna Waterfall

Founder at Yellow Co.

Joanna is the founder of the Yellow Conference, a gathering for creative, entrepreneurial minded women to be equipped, inspired, and connected for the greater good. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her hubs and cat, loves coffee, and sometimes goes days without washing her hair.