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09: Turn Fear Into Action with Holly Budge


How do you harness your belief to achieve beyond your wildest dreams?

This week, Jackie talks with Holly Budge, adventure extraordinaries. She is a TEDx inspirational speaker, the first woman to skydive Mount Everest, and the founder of the NGO How Many Elephants.

Through her nonprofit, Holly is making a big difference in the most courageous way you can imagine, and her passion is palpable. Her charity has raised over £400,000 and counting. If you want to meet a true pioneer with a hugely positive mindset making a massive difference in this world, Holly is your gal.

Tune in to learn how jumping out of an airplane changed the course of Holly’s life, her unbelievable experience standing alongside the Black Mambas of South Africa, and why she wholeheartedly believes that the barrier is the gift. Holly brings her inspiring, no-nonsense, and down-to-Earth charm to our conversation. You don’t want to miss it!


●  How to turn fear into action.

●  Holly’s secret to seeing past the “barriers” that hold most people back.

●  What Holly does to get out of a funk.

●  The one non-negotiable trait that Holly looks for in a friend.

●  Working with the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit.

●  The less glossy side of adventure.




“Getting up, going to work, and jumping out of a plane is as normal as getting up and cleaning your teeth. I was able to normalize that fear.” (6:13, Holly)

“My motto is: Think big; dream bigger.” (7:40, Holly)

“I’m nothing superhuman. I’m passionate, dedicated, and just giving it a go even if it scares the hell out of me.” (11:49, Holly)

“What I’m doing is using design to bridge the gap between scientific data on one hand and human connection on the other. So, what do I mean by that? When you tell someone, ‘35,000 elephants are poached a year,’ we can’t visualize that. It’s just way too big a number. So, my exhibition showcases 35,000 elephant silhouettes on a wall. Each square represents one day of poaching, and there are 365 squares, normally. Connecting with this data in a purely visual way is proving to be really successful in terms of people engaging with the subject matter and, also, impact.” (19:46, Holly)

“‘Specific is terrific.’ If I spread myself too thin, I’m not making an impact.” (36:53, Holly)

“I believe that my work is dedicated to women, because […] this balance between ‘selfish’ and ‘selfless’ is so hard to crack. How can you stay satisfied by giving and also receiving and looking after yourself?” (38:09, Jackie)

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