Life coach Killu Kolsar: You don’t have to burn out to be successful

Killu Kolsar is a Co-founder and life coach at ASI ON MINUS!, a social media marketer and event planner. ASI ON MINUS! (loosely meaning “you are in charge of your own life”), an agency founded by Killu and Sandra Vabarna, strives to help people live a more conscious life and make wise choices. The two coaches will lead a seminar on balancing work and personal life on Day 2 of sTARTUp Day 2024 on January 26.

The article was written by Kerste Õunapuu, a member of the sTARTUp Day communications & marketing team.

Killu Kolsar first encountered the profession of a life coach during high school when she followed various coaches on Instagram. After university, she started working with Sandra Vabarna (Estonian musician and life coach). She understood that she was interested in this field, and it seemed possible to pursue in Estonia. Coaching had never been her dream, but in the summer of 2020, the women carried out one course together. From there, everything developed naturally – they started the coaching agency ASI ON MINUS!. "My curious nature and the principles of coaching somehow fit together so well that it seemed only appropriate to start with it." Killu found the two things she has always wanted her future job to be connected to – people and the fact that her work would positively impact the world – in coaching.

But in fact, the agency was not supposed to be an agency at all in the beginning. It developed into an agency after conducting the first 12-month course, which aimed to help maintain consistency in everyday life during the year despite the effects of the seasonal changes we intensely experience in Estonia. After that, they decided to continue to do courses and call themselves a coaching agency.

By now, the goal has developed into a desire to help Estonian women manage their lives more consciously.

"So that we don't just go through life and get stuck in excuses like "life got in the way" and "I fell off the rails again". So that we don't feel like we can't afford a great life because we don't have the time or money," Killu explains. Through the courses, they want to provide practical tools, instructions and inspiration so that women dare to start creating clarity in their lives. Their target group, for now, is women since most of their followers are female, but the shared tools are universal.

However, Killu was only 22 when she started in the agency and, therefore, had to overcome several uncertainties. "How do I relate to people ten years older than me? How to sound plausible enough to tell them about lifestyle and how to live?" Yet, if you ask if anyone has doubted the young woman's competence, it turns out the fears have only been in her head. "People always have opinions; you might as well do what you want." Killu says she has been greatly helped by the idea that fear is always in the future. "We are afraid of something that might happen and agonize over something that doesn't exist, but experimenting at a young age is safer. There is no family to be responsible for, so it’s the perfect moment to experiment and take risks."

For Killu, it is also encouraging when the women participating in the courses share their stories and find the courage to live the life they want. "For example, one woman had fought breast cancer, overcame it, and during our course set herself the goal that she wanted to run the New York marathon. A few weeks ago, she shared in our Facebook group that she did it!"

Thanks to her daring nature, Killu is no stranger to the sTARTUp Day festival – she has been a volunteer and team member. She volunteered a lot during school to experience as much as possible and find what she wanted to do in life. From sTARTUp Day, the experience of interacting with people who are absolute experts in their field was the most memorable for Killu. She also sees the people she met as the most significant value and notes that if you leave a good impression as a volunteer, it will be valued, and you will be invited back. This is precisely what happened to Killu when she became the manager of side events two years after her first encounter with the festival.

Killu is highly passionate about the changes in work culture in recent years, especially in Generation Z. Although she has been relatively balanced throughout her life, during high school, she hid behind the excuse of not having enough time to eat healthily and take good care of herself. However, in university, she started to focus on the grand scheme of things: "What do I want to achieve, who do I want to surround myself with, what kind of lifestyle do I want to live?" That's why she's never been burned out. "I don't have this vibrant, sexy, attractive story that everything was so dramatically complicated for me, but now I have changed my life. There's a saying, "Make your mess your message," and I felt I didn't have that big mess to create a message from. This even made me insecure because I felt like it was supposed to happen – that in order to be successful, you have to burn out at some point." When she started with the agency, she took it to heart to not burn out.

"I aimed for the fact that I don't want to burn out in this life because it's not normal. I want to prove that you can succeed on your own terms, whatever that means to you."

Killu thinks we could do much more celebrating or recognizing those everyday heroes who know how to live their lives in balance and don't feel like they have to work themselves to pieces.


At the sTARTUp Day festival, you can meet Killu Kolsar and Sandra Vabarna at their seminar, from which you can expect a lot of energy. "If you have been to sTARTUp Night the night before and want a new burst of energy the next morning, this is the place to come!" You can be sure that practical training awaits you, during which everyone will learn something new about themselves.

Killu Kolsar and Sandra Vabarna from ASI ON MINUS! will lead a seminar on the balance between work and personal life on Day 2 of sTARTUp Day on January 26.
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