When I finished my yoga teacher training, I couldn't wait to start teaching. I had been inspired by my own teachers, and I loved yoga so much that it felt natural to want to share that with the world. In addition, because I have an entrepreneurial spirit and I come from a long family line of entrepreneurs (my maternal great-grandmother brewed beer in her attic during prohibition to feed her family...does that count?), I knew that one day I would open my own yoga studio and make a career out of teaching yoga.
I had a plan that by May of 2019, by my 40th birthday, I would be self-employed. Unfortunately, I lost my job in December of 2016. So I had a choice, start early with the new career, or put it off another five years? I decided to start.
I did everything in the beginning. I did a lot of things right, and a lot of things wrong, but I left no stone unturned. I taught 17 classes each week for as long as I could. I consulted for solopreneurs in every industry. I joined four networking groups and went to all the meetings. I posted all over social media until people knew who I was. And I very quickly burnt out, and my savings disappeared.
Though I did have a plan in the beginning, I didn't follow it. I was so desperate to feel successful, and I believed that quantity, rather than quality, would make me feel that way. It's not that some clients have more value than others --everyone has value--but without a focal point, I was just throwing all my good ideas at the wall and hoping something would stick. I'd get super excited over every $100 that I made, even while I was going into debt by thousands of dollars. I was anxious, overwhelmed, and ready to give up.
I tell you all of this because you have told me this too. Many of my yoga teacher friends and other entrepreneurs talked about the burnout, the debt, and wondering how these people on Instagram were traveling the world while we're over here price shopping at the Dollar Tree. I tell you so that you know you are not alone.
Here's the good news: I figured it out. I took some time off. I gave myself a working vacation where I didn't go anywhere or see anyone for an entire week, I sat at my kitchen table, and I asked myself the hard questions. What do I truly want to do? Who do I want to serve? How can I serve them best?
I started to find my groove. I worked at four yoga studios and a manageable twelve classes each week and I was able to pay my bills. I rented out a room in my house and chose to be more discerning about which clients I took on. The clients that were willing to pay me my rate for the agreed upon work rather than twice the work at half the rate were the clients I kept. I hosted my first yoga teacher training, and then my second and third, and now on to my fourth. And I hired a business mentor to keep me focused and hold me accountable. She makes a HUGE difference in my life (more on her later!)
When Covid-19 shut everything down, those familiar feelings of "Oh no! What am I going to do now?" definitely popped up for me and much of the rest of the world. But they didn't last long. I knew I had built a sustainable yoga business --without the yoga studio! I changed a few things to be able to keep going, and I kept going.
I know it's possible to make a living from teaching yoga, and I know how to help other teachers avoid the same mistakes I made, so they can see success faster. Because I have a passion to serve, the same way I did when I graduated yoga teacher training, I have created a completely FREE workbook to help other yoga teachers turn their passion into a career.
To get your free copy when it's released (next week!), click here. [Don't worry, if you are already a subscriber, you won't get double emails, just the workbook.]
And in the meantime, friends, show yourself some love. You are out there pursuing your dreams, and that makes you successful.