Kick the Productivity Addiction to Prevent Burnout

IMG_4424Productivity has its place in the world and certainly comes in handy on the entrepreneurial journey. But in a culture as obsessed with check-offables and massive To-Do lists, productivity is becoming (dare I say) an addiction.

Letting go of the habit of overachieving is (still) my biggest personal and professional challenge. For many years, I wore the cloak of my industrious super power like a mantel of personal protection. Instead of questioning the need to keep going, to work harder, to be the best, I kept going, I worked harder, I pushed myself to be the best. I never stopped long enough to question for whom I was producing, or why I was achieving, or what happened after I achieved it. I became my own worst enemy —and my own nightmarish boss. I have pushed myself to exhaustion, overwhelm and physical breakdown more than once. Chronic conditions — health issues that have plagued me from childhood —crop up when I push past my energy limits. The body always knows when to say no.

Can you relate?

Recovering from burnout is one thing —preventing burnout is another story entirely.

I believe life gives us the lessons we need to learn in order to grow. To prevent burnout, I needed to learn the lesson of efficiency and ease: and to learn that lesson, I had to let go of my productivity addiction.

I had the opportunity to let go of my obsession to productivity when I recently lost a principal member of my team. I took a hard look at the responsibilities now resting squarely in my lap (again). After a year of delegating, streamlining and strategizing in my business(es), I felt like I was back to square one. In reality, the situation wasn’t nearly that dramatic. I was able to outsource some tasks and fit others into my weekly schedule with ease. I did have to revisit my annual intentions, now absent a significant support source.

Two significant revelations came during this process, however: first, many of the things I’d been doing (or outsourcing) no longer served my business but I was sticking with them out of my own un-investigated expectations of “good business.” Next, I was holding on to a belief that my productivity defined my worth.

I re-evaluated my responsibilities then I let some things go (my desire to be part of the conversation on every social platform), pared back on others (newsletter mailings are now less frequent) and streamlined others (chunked writing tasks into one day and changed blog schedule).

Quitting the productivity addiction looked a lot like pausing to retire or revision certain elements of my business in service to continued growth.

So far, so good. The growth process unfolds over time and you may have noticed some of those internal shifts over the last couple months. You will continue to observe blossoming as the transformation unfolds, but it’s my hope that you’ll still be around for the Big Reveal.

In the meantime and as always, I’m committed to elevating, empowering, educating women in bringing more creative flourishing into business and life. Beginning with these powerful questions for times of transition of your own: whether you’re quitting the productivity addiction, recovering from burnout or tackling overwhelm.

Answer these for more alignment and ease in business and in life:

Is your business reflecting your soul’s work?

My soul’s work is to use my life as a light for others: bringing order and harmony into daily living, seeing the magical in the mundane, and empowering other women to find that for themselves. Everything that didn’t fit that vision in my own business got sliced.

What do you want your soul’s work to represent in the world?

I wanted more richness, radiance and truth, more depth and meaning, more insight and inspiration.

What do you want less of (in life and business)?

This list should come easily!  

What do you want more of (in life and business)?

No censoring. Name it to claim it.

What are you afraid of?

Write them all down. Every fear. Worst-case scenario bonanza.

What are you really afraid of?

This is the root reason behind the above fear(s). Dig deep.

What elements of business (or life) need to shift for you to do more of your soul’s work?

Here’s when the magical meets the practical. Be realistic and radiant.

Want more radiance and soul-truth in your own business? It’d be an honor to support you in finding more alignment and ease. Book a complimentary session here.

xo,

KA_Signature

 

 

 

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Standing Out In a Noisy World

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We live in a busy world. A world with a chronic case of distraction-itis.

It’s harder than ever before to get people’s attention in this busy world. Multi-tasking (really, task switching) is the new norm. Scrolling through the newsfeed in the checkout line. Answering emails while waiting in the car line. It’s no longer enough to do one thing. The necessary conclusion to this culturally acceptable practice is that it’s no longer enough to just “be present.”

In case you think I’m here to finger wag, let me assure you, I’m just as guilty as the next person.

As a yogini and yoga-minded business owner, the state of this chronic distraction means two things: job security (kidding…sort of) and the visceral understanding that how we spend our attention matters.

In the age of the constant connection it behooves us to remember this simple truth: attention is our greatest gift.

I’m all for leveraging the power of technology for the sake of a better world. (Now where did I put my digital meditation timer?) The interconnection we experience on a daily basis is a beautiful part of living in the 21st century. Our collective digital network is filled with possibility: connecting with old acquaintances, participating in faraway family members’ lives, developing new friends through social media, staying inspired by people we admire.

But sustained attention is the price we’ve paid for possibility.

True connection is the price we’ve paid for 24/7 availability.

As a business owner, I understand the necessity of incessant connection. If you’re reading this, you likely also have a purpose-fueled business and probably receive weekly updates from me landing in your email inbox (if not, subscribe below —I promise to guard your attention like the precious gift it is). Chances are, you also see my Facebook posts, Instagram posts, and Twitter updates.

Which brings us to the second simple truth of the age of constant connection: the world is noisy.

If you want to get in front of the right people —the people you are meant to serve, the tribe you are meant to lead —you have to show up in the noisy world.

I’ve never been a fan of noise. I’ll take silence over nearly everything else. (back to my meditation cave I go) But I also believe that I have gifts to share and that your gifts matter. My purpose is empowering you to stand in the power of your purpose. That’s why I support conscious creative women in mastering the practical (and magical) business, marketing and self-care supports necessary to build a more sustainable business.

Developing a more sustainable business requires figuring out how to stand out in this very noisy world.

How do we do that in a highly distracted and distractible world? By making it easy for our perfect-fit clients to recognize that we are the perfect-for-them provider. In a noisy world, that means being diamond-clear on your mission and developing must-have free samples of your work —because people are busy and distracted, remember?

Whether you’re creating custom jewelry, offering herbal healing or teaching private yoga classes, there is a tribe of perfect-fit clients waiting for you. But you have to sweeten the pot a little because 1) attention is a precious gift and 2) the world is noisy. Once you are diamond-clear on your mission, adding free samples of your work to potential clients lessens the “expense” of spending their attention on you (or your website).

These “free samples” of your work can take any shape that resonates with how you like to work: video trainings, audio teachings / podcasts, worksheets, challenges, blog tours, and more. The best part? These free samples allow you to stand out in a very noisy crowd and they provide an opportunity for you to nurture your potential clients before you ever connect!

And that? That’s how you stand out in a noisy world.

Want more practical support on creating awesome free samples* that your community will love? I’m leading a webinar this Friday all about it —head over here for the details.

Hope to *see* you there!

Love,

KA_Signature

 

*A free sample is also known as an opt-in. It’s a little incentive that folks get when they join your email list…and it’s the first step in growing your community. Here’s one example.

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Grow Your Community, Grow Your Business

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The New Moon is a day to reflect, re-vision and renew. I spent most of yesterday’s New Moon aligning with intentions and renewing my commitment to bringing more elegance, ease and purpose into my business —and life.

One of the great lessons of entrepreneurship is that it takes time to nurture the seeds you plant —but that doesn’t mean those seeds aren’t taking root.

It’s called growing a business for a reason. Since the business you end up with depends on the seeds you plant, it’s a good idea to begin with the right seeds. So where do you get those seeds?

You create those seeds of intention based on your business mission, your values, your sacred gifts, and your community’s needs.

The savvy business woman spends time aligning business (and life) with values, gifts, and lifestyle before planting seeds of intentions. Once you set your intentions, and nurture those seeds, you are ready to take the actions necessary for growth.

Align.

Resolve.

Act.

Grow.

Growth is one metric of business success. We can measure business growth in terms of income, influence, clients, email subscribers, connections, social media engagement, traffic to our website / business location or office supplies (ok, maybe not that last one).
Let’s face it: many of us in the conscious creative community aren’t in business for the money. We’re in business for the meaning.

One way to measure meaning is to look at influence —how many people are you reaching and inspiring with your message?

In other words, look to your community.

If you aren’t reaching the *right* people, your business won’t grow in influence or income: which is why growing your community is essential for growing a business. Whatever business you are in, you need customers, clients, raving fans and referrals. You also need feedback —from actual, real people who a) have bought things from you or b) may someday buy something from you. Whether you’re selling intuitive readings, private yoga sessions, custom jewelry or Ayurvedic herbs, you won’t be in business for long if you don’t find the Dream Clients who want (and need) what you offer.

So how do you find these real, actual people who may someday buy something from you?

You attract them with a little practical magic.

Begin by asking these powerful questions:
1)  What are my sacred gifts and how do I like to share them in my business?

2)  What does my community (the tribe of Dream Clients I am meant to serve) need?

3) What does my community want?

4)  What problems does my community have?

5)  What are my unique solutions to those problems?

Once you answer the above, wrap everything together in a free offer* that is a gift to your community for remaining in touch with you. A free offer is a small, helpful thing / product / course / treat that you create for your community of Dream Clients. Ideally, the free offer features your sacred gifts (1), it is valuable to your community because they both need and want it (2 + 3), it proposes a unique solution to a problem they have (4 + 5).

So get busy answering the questions above and crafting your free offer. Plant those seeds, and watch your community grow!

Next week, I’m hosting a webinar all about growing your community (and business) by creating awesome free offers that your actual and someday customers will enjoy.

Grow your community. Grow your influence. Grow your business.

Also: Be helpful and make folks happy.

It’s a win-win.

The details are all right here.

Hope to *see* you there!

Love,

KA_Signature

 

 

 

 

*A free offer is also known as an opt-in. It’s a little incentive that folks get when they join your email list…and it’s the first step in growing your community. Here’s one example.

 

Posted in blog, conscious business, Inspire & Grow, Mindful Marketing | Leave a comment

Align to Expand

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Work-life balance.

What do you feel in your body when you read those words? What is the resounding thought that echoes through your mind? For many people, the idea of work-life balance is something that is nearly impossible to achieve. Foreign. A mythical fairy tale, even.

Since the Like a Yogi series, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of work-life balance and I have asked myself a lot of questions about it. Is there such a thing? What does it look like? How can it be achieved (if at all)?

Nigel Marsh’s TED Talk on the subject provides a poignant look at this very question —with a provocative answer (spoiler alert: the small things matter).

Work and life are constantly shifting so perhaps the better discussion is less about balance and more about alignment.

:: Alignment keeps the wheels spinning smoothly.

:: Alignment refines our transitions.

In yoga, before we transition, expand or deepen, we first align. Whether it’s a step to the front of the mat, deepening a posture or taking a vinyasa, alignment allows us to find the inner support necessary for more stability & ease.

Inner and outer alignment are how we move through the world with authenticity, openness & grace on the mat and in our life.

Alignment in business comes when we harmonize our deeper purpose and the effective use of our sacred gifts.

Just as in a physical posture, alignment is a powerful when present.

We feel the absence of alignment even more strongly. Misalignment throws everything off, as we’ve all experienced in a yoga posture or a life situation.

Sometimes you get to a point in your life (or your business) and know deep in your bones that it’s time for a new direction. Trouble is, the course isn’t clear and you’re feeling unstable.

In mindfulness trainings and retreats, I teach that it’s here we rely on our deep wisdom. Intuition is a muscle we strengthen when we are aligned and strengthening the muscle of intuition and integrating embodied wisdom is our birthright.

We all have access to a deep well of wisdom when we choose to listen.

The easiest access point to this wisdom that I’ve found is the body. Physical shapes, and simple movement, encourage a deep awareness of the intricacy of the physical form and it’s many layers. Learning how to use physical postures, embodied practices and mindfulness techniques allows us to discern truths in the small whispers.

In yogic philosophy, the physical form is only one layer of our multivalent existence. These layers are called koshas and are likened to Russian nesting dolls, encasing one another and together forming the sheath of the soul. From the inner to the outer, we have the Bliss Body, Wisdom Body, Mental Body, Energy Body, and Physical Body.

The health of one layer affects the health of all the layers.

Now, back to the Like A Yogi series. If you caught the series, remember Elsie Escobar’s insight on the digital world as another kosha?

That’s the idea that I can’t shake.

Your Business is a kosha. Your Home Life is a kosha. Your Relationships are a kosha. Your Community is a kosha.

Everything ripples out (and in) from these juxtaposed layers and through the process of restoring harmony these layers, we bring everything into balance.

Body. Business. Mind. Life. Aligned.

I’ve been working through my own embodied insights over the last few months and many of these realizations were processed over endless cups of tea, deep conversations, tarot spreads and insight journaling.

Finally, when I came out of the proverbial cave, I heard a familiar whisper:

Offer up…

I closed my wellness coaching practice well over 2 years ago and with it, my one-off coaching sessions focused on wellness, mindfulness and lifestyle supports. I actually grieved for those sessions because I love working with women on the “messy bits” of life —self-care, behavior change, transitions and shadow work are my specialty. I still do this work, but I keep it behind the curtain over at TheWisdomMethod.com (in trainings and lifestyle retreats).

It’s time to share.

I’m unveiling integrative life / wellness / business Alignment sessions today because…

:: Transformation is messy.
:: Alignment is divine.

If you’re aching to expand but self-sabotaging behaviors or beliefs are keeping you small (and suffering), let’s talk. An Alignment session is designed to restore balance and embodied wisdom —for life and business.

KA_Signature

P.S. I’m opening up some spots in my calendar for a new type of session: Align to Expand. Alignment sessions are part embodied business, part lifestyle design, and 100% integrative soulwork. These sessions are unapologetically integrative and blur the lines between integrative wellness, life coaching and business coaching. Because, really, there are no lines. Only you —whole, balanced, divine and free. If you’ve been wanting to work with me, grab this opportunity now.

P.P.S. I don’t know how long I’ll be offering these sessions, so if you’re feeling an inner whisper, act now.

Posted in blog, conscious business, Creative, Inspire & Grow, intuition, Mindful Marketing, Motivation, Multipassionate, Yoga Business | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Powerful Questions to Get to the Heart of Your Work

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Discovering the heart of our work as yoga teachers, healers and coaches is the key to attracting perfect-for-us clients. Uncovering the essence behind what we share isn’t an easy process, but it is worth it.

Once we narrow down our message creating products, services and promotions that attract the best-fit clients becomes effortless.

We no longer have to labor over the “right” way to talk about what we do. We easily identify who we are meant to serve and how we best serve them.

The process begins with a little reflection: first, let’s create the space for intuition to be our guide.

Grab your favorite journal and be prepared to tune in.

Now ask yourself these questions:

  • Why did you get into your field (teaching yoga, sharing wellness, inspiring change)?
  • What inspires you to keep showing up / to keep teaching, day after day?
  • What is the deeper motivation behind sharing your passion in this way?
  • If you had 5 minutes of fame to reach the ENTIRE PLANET, what message would you share?
  • What question defines your life?
  • What legacy do you want to leave?
  • Why is this your work?
  • What about your past and the ups and downs of your story that calls you to do this work?

Once you can shut out the inner and outer influences impinging on your intuition, you will be one step closer to tuning in to the next direction.

The truth is, no one can tell you what to do with your one wild and precious life.

Only you know the way.

Others can support you in the practical steps toward creating that life, but only you know the truth of your inner direction. Laying out a plan to get there is the *sorta* easy part —and that’s exactly what the Yoga Educator Academy teaches. Enrollment closes Wednesday, May 6 at 11:59 EST, so don’t miss out!

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Avoiding Your Passions? It May be Because of These Soul-Sucking Lies

Do you have big dreams? A million dollar idea you’re sitting on? A passion project you’ve been keeping tucked away, safe in your heart?

I know I do.

And I don’t know about you, but I’ve been aching my entire life to profit from my passions.

I love yoga. I love writing. I love making pretty things. I love transformation and powerful conversations. Most of all, I love to create.

It’s been the dream of my life to have a creative (location-independent) career that supports my family, supports others in doing meaningful work, and makes a difference in the world. (I’m living that dream right now. #grateful).

Passion (and service and beauty in all its forms) guides my career choices. I listen to my intuition when it comes to creating (my passion), sharing and supporting others. Because Creating – in all it’s forms – really is the great work of my life.

And I believe…

Wake Up Quote Paul Valery
For many years, I told myself this one soul-sucking lie: “it’s not the right time.”

Closely followed by this lie: “If you just do / achieve / finish this, THEN you can follow your heart.”

Fast-forward to present day: my beliefs (and behaviors) have shifted.

Here’s what I believe (and do) instead:

First, I no longer sacrifice my future dreams on the altar of the present.

I take measured, intentional steps towards life and business transformation. Yea, transformation is messy, growth is uncomfortable and business is a challenge. Oh, and being a mamapreneur? EVEN F*CKING HARDER. I know it. I own it. And I put my Big Girl Panties on and SHOW UP because…

Second, I no longer believe that there is a “right time” to follow your heart.

The right time is ALWAYS NOW. And I want my daughter to know that, deep in her bones – so she won’t waste as much time as I did. Because…

Third, being in a passion+purpose-fueled business is WORTH IT ALL.

I have the best job in the world: I help people, just like you, design a business that aligns personality, purpose and passion for yoga. I wake up every morning excited to go to “work” and filled with ideas for profitable workshops, courses, trainings and retreats. I get a huge thrill in others’ creative successes. I get to make art for fun. I get to travel, teach, learn and most importantly – I get to create.

All that? That’s my dream come true.

And yes, it’s hard to follow your heart.

That’s why you get strategic support. Inspiration will only take you so far.

But what would you prefer? To keep dousing your HeartFire? Or to wake up and make your dreams come true?

Wake up to the fact that those ideas you’re hiding in your heart are begging to see the light of day.

Wake up to one-at-a-time Action Steps you can take toward more fulfillment in your passion-fueled business.

Wake up and get clear on what you have to share that is unique, precious AND profitable.

Wake up and plant seeds of intention in your passion-and-purpose-fueled business so you can avoid the feast-or-famine cycle that plagues the conscious, creative business world.

Wake up NOW, not in 3 years when you’re (still) burned out, exhausted, overwhelmed, in debt and full of resentment.

Get ready, here’s a powerful question coming at you:

I’m all about Universal Timing, but if you’re waiting for that fear in your belly to dissipate, here’s a newsflash:

it never goes away. (it just gets easier to feel the fear and act anyway). Acting in spite of the fear is what allows you to create your own dream-come-true life.

There is never a *right* time to do something crazybeautifulamazing like share your creative gifts while doing meaningful work in the world.

How about you start NOW?

I’m waiting for you over here.

I want to help you bring your conscious creative vision to the world.

I want to help you WAKE UP and start making your own dreams come true.

The Yoga Educator Academy stems from the radical premise that yoga business can be profitable and business can be yogic — all we need is to a union of who we are and what we are called to do to leave a mark on the world. If you need a push to get you out of self-doubt and into empowered self-acceptance (and abundant income), then you are in the right place.

Are you up for the (creative) challenge?

 

It’s the EXACT template I followed as a multipassionate, service-driven creative to create two profitable, purpose-driven businesses [this one and this one.]

If you’re asking “But am I ready?,” the answer is yes if you want to…

  • Create, develop and deliver a signature Yoga Teacher Training, Workshop, Specialty Course, Retreat or Online Program
  • Uncover your unique mission, message and model to share your transformative work in the world
  • Set soul-centered goals
  • Leverage your current classes into longer-term programs
  • Find your voice, speak your truth and empower your clients
  • Use your intuition as your best business skill

Sound like you? I thought so.

Click here – your dreams are calling.

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Posted in blog, conscious business, Creative, Motivation, Multipassionate, Yoga Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Even the Yoga Business Requires Investments

Plan Your Yoga Business

We all wish we had unlimited funds for education and entertainment and generous gifts, but we don’t.

What we do have is freedom of choice.

We choose how we spend our time and our money.

As helpers and healers, we often get trapped in the scarcity mindset. We don’t have enough money, so instead of hiring help or paying for education, we spend all of our time trying to DIY or Google our way to a yoga MBA. Then, we don’t have enough time to be doing the work that we love.

The inevitable path to resentment begins.

Let’s take a  step back and look at how the most traditional career paths stack up when it comes to money and time. The typical future-lady-CEO spends roughly 6 to 8 years getting an education, a bachelor’s and MBA for a total cost of approximately $60,000. (This estimate is WAY on the low end.)  She then goes to work at an entry level job so that she can get experience  a job that hardly pays enough to cover the 30-year-mortgage-sized monthly student loan payment. She works boatloads of overtime and maybe even a second job. By the time she pays off her student loans, she paid more like $70k or $80k for her education (hello, interest) and it takes her 20 years to climb the corporate ladder.

$80,000 and 20 years to attain a multiple six-figure salary. And, that only happens for the strongest and most strategic women who are hell-bent on getting there.

Now, I’m not saying that you have to spend that kind of money (or that kind of time) to build that kind of income.

What I am saying is that you’re going to have to invest.

$3,000 for a 1-year, 200-hour teacher training does not a six-figure salary make.

In fact, even $10,000 for an advanced yoga training is simply not enough.

It’s not about the money. It’s about the scope of the education and the amount of time that you invest. You can spend truck-fulls of cash and all your time on education, but if it’s not the right kind of education, your dreams of running a thriving biz like a yogi will never come to fruition.

If you want to turn dreams into reality, you have to get strategic about where you are investing your time and money.

You have to get real about where it is you need to grow.

Maybe you need more yoga education.

But, if you’re already thinking of your yoga career as a business, chances are that you have all the yoga education necessary. What you really need is a strategy for leveraging your skills and experience.

Whether you want to be the celebri-yogi, the teacher trainer or the studio owner, you need a message, a voice and a plan.

Your time and your money should be invested in that plan. That plan is what is going to take you from yoga teacher to yoga business owner.

The beautiful part of the plan? It’s 100% unique.

Where do you want to go? 

How do you want to share your gifts? 

What lights your heartfire? 

What type of business honors who you are?

Answering those questions gives your yoga business a direction and a message. Then: you plan.

Most yogis get hung up on this piece because it feels overwhelming and, quite often, something that pushes us up against our limiting beliefs. These beliefs are often what prevents us from becoming high earning yogis. When you understand what the root of these beliefs is and why conquering them is the key to professional success, you remove the glass ceiling and can truly achieve whatever goals you have for your yoga career.

If you are curious about the one thing keeping you from sharing your passion for yoga in a larger way, or you want to know the exact thing you must do in order to profit from your passion as a yoga teacher, therapist or yoga educator, I would love to invite you to a complimentary training program on this very topic.

Invest your time into the one thing that you know will have a return: you.

To more business in yoga and more yoga in business,

KA_Signature

 

 

 

 

P.S. I’ve opened the doors to my signature yoga business and program development course, the Yoga Educator Academy. Head over here to get all the details. (There are some sweet early registration bonuses that disappear soon!)

Posted in conscious business, Yoga Business | 1 Response

Like a Yogi : Breakthrough to Better Business

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Last week I launched the Like a Yogi Interview Series, where I spoke with 7 incredible women who are doing amazing work in the world. Some of them are in the yoga biz and others are teaching people to bring more yoga into their biz. It’s been such an honor to speak with them about the path they took to get where they are today.

Here’s a recap of who we’ve heard from so far & what we’ve heard from them:

Kate Connell

We got real about what it looks like to go from being in love with yoga to supporting yoga teachers, Kate shared with us her experience as a very green yoga studio owner and she opened her heart space about her struggles with jumping into business ownership before she really had a handle on what she wanted to do.

Nancy Alder

Nancy and I talked about how she grew her business by staying true to what was important and authentic to her: community and family. Though Nancy lives in a small town, she had early successes in reach and leverage by choosing to be a support for other yoga teachers.

Cailen Ascher

I chatted with Cailen about her big business growth experience: losing her job before she was completely ready to take the leap into her yoga business. For Cailen, this moment was the catalyst to her success —it was literally sink or swim!

Christine Northcote

In the interview, Christine shared her journey from part-time yoga teacher with a full time job in the traditional business world to full time Studio Owner as the dynamic force behind the successful Winter Park, Florida, studio: Full Circle Yoga. Christine was so honest about what it really took to transform that business after purchasing the well-established local business from her own teacher. Through the ups and downs, Christine stayed connected to service —and it’s clear she’s a shining example of yoga in action.

Sherry Zak Morris

Sherry shared how her passion for an under-served niche (Gentle and Senior’s Yoga) turned into one of the largest online learning resources for this niche market and contributed to her success as a Studio Owner in a saturated market. We also chatted about what happened when she was not ready to step to the “front” of her Yoga Studio business when her partner wanted to leave.

Elsie Escobar

Elsie shared with us how choosing motherhood over business growth shaped her business journey. Elsie also gets real with the conscious choice to not go down the “Celebri-yogi” path but rather stay true to her commitment. If you have struggled with your own choices in business, you’ll really enjoy Elsie’s interview. (Be sure to stick around to the very end, too. There is a beautiful moment near the end of the interview that perfectly captures Elsie’s elegance balancing motherhood and business.)

There’s still time for you to catch the last two episodes. Just head on over here and sign up.

P.S. I have a HUGE announcement coming up this week.

A super special something (I can’t say exactly what just yet) that I’ve been wanting to do for years. My dreams are coming true and I’m making one awesome yogini’s dreams come true too. If you want to know what it is (you know you do) and you may want to be the awesome yogini whose dreams come true, head over to the Like a Yogi page and sign up, because you’ll only hear my big reveal if you’re on the list!

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I’m Quitting Yoga

I’m quitting yoga.

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Why? Because I no longer know what yoga is.

Even though I can tell you the Sanskrit meaning, root word, the historical and philosophical significance of the practice and list at least 20 definitions of yoga from various sacred texts and contemporary teachers, I don’t know what yoga is anymore.

Let’s do a thought experiment to illustrate this concept:

When I say yoga, you think—?

Quick like a bunny, write that down and when you’re done reading this letter, tell me in the comments below!

Let me be clear, I am not quitting the physical practice of therapeutic yoga asana that I perform daily to keep my body happy.
I am not quitting the formal sitting practice I have each morning and evening and the mindfulness I bring into my daily actions.
I am not quitting my commitment to living a moral and ethical life grounded on the yamas and niyamas.
I am not quitting my commitment to the international community of Yoga Therapists and the Wisdom Method School of Yoga (though there will be a big and beautiful reveal coming soon).

What I am quitting is the maelstrom of misunderstanding that is contemporary yoga, particularly in the Western world.

I doubt the ancient sages were referencing (or practicing) what you and I consider yoga. I think we can all agree that yoga is about more than stretching, sweating or fancy pants.

But what does “yoga” really mean? And what does it really mean to be a “yogi”?

While we’re asking those sticky questions, let’s go ahead and ask this one, too:

What does it really mean to be “yogic” in business?

It’s sad to say that I’ve seen more deep hurts and bad business in the yoga community than I ever expected.
Friendships lost over clients “stolen.” (Gentle reminder: people are not property).
Gifted yoga educators fired from teacher training programs because a student gave negative feedback.
Yogis doing violence to one another (and others’ businesses/brands) on social media channels and in yoga communities.
Subcontractors treated like employees—but without the benefits.
Studio’s closing because of rising costs and competition.

Which is why I am also quitting the “traditional” yoga business.

Because if yoga is a meaningless moniker, yoga business is even more so.

If you’re anything like me, yoga comes first: yoga first, then business.

What that means to me is…

Principles come before profits

Taking actions that align with my ethics, morals and intentions

Recognizing the limitlessness of potential —we live in an abundant universe

Choosing love, equanimity, generosity, and spiritual growth over (nearly) everything else

Being guided by intuition and inner wisdom — listening to the Inner Teacher

Being in the yoga business is about more than slapping the word Yoga onto “traditional” business world tactics. (That coin flips both ways: the yoga business requires more than a passion for sharing yoga.)

The contemporary yoga world as it stands needs some help. From how we run our yoga businesses to how we actually practice to how we ascribe meaning back to the word “yoga.”

This is the “yoga” that I am quitting (and all that goes with it).

And that’s why the Like A Yogi series was born. I know I’m not the only one feeling this way —many others have written much more on the topic of contemporary yoga and yoga business. I’m one voice among many.

I hope the Like A Yogi speakers won’t mind me saying this, but in many ways, they’ve “quit yoga,” too. In their own unique way, each of them stepped outside of the realm of what others saw was possible and re-created a luminous future. In each of their stories, common threads will appear: owning who you are, trusting your intuition, following your passion, being flexible in body, mind and business, spirit-filled service, collaboration over competition. My intention for the series is to empower other yogis and yoginis to breakthrough to better business.

In so doing, maybe they will “quit” yoga (and yoga business as usual), too.

Will you join me?

 

KA_Signature

 

 

 

 

P.S. Remember the “yoga” question from above? When I say yoga, you think —? Hit me up with your first impressions in the comments below (or, share on social and tag me @kellie_adkins / #likeayogi)

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Opening a Yoga Studio? Let’s think through this.

Kellie Teaching FCY

The yoga studio owner certainly seems like one of the industry’s most glamorous career paths.

Studio owners have their own space, they manage teachers, they are the incubators of the yoga community. It all seems so official—and it is! But for every studio that’s thriving, there are 5 more struggling to make it work. There is a lot of competition.  There are a lot of operating costs. And there is a lot more to do than just teaching yoga.

I don’t say any of this to deter you. I too once had a dream of owning a yoga studio. I pursued it and when it no longer served me, I let it go. I have no regrets, because I learned so many valuable lessons about life and about business during that time— lessons that I now get to share with you.

I want to support you in your dream of opening a yoga studio (if that is, in fact, your dream) and part of support is asking the tough questions.

Are you ready to spend long hours at the studio to get it up and running? We’re not talking about 10 hour shifts here. We’re talking about all hours of the day and night.

Are you ready to be the accountant, the marketing manager, the toilet scrubber and the yoga teacher? If you’re not ready to be all things to all people, you do need to be ready to put up the dollars it’s going to cost you to hire help.

Are you ready to truly be the boss? Sure, being girl boss is super glam, but it doesn’t feel that way when you have to cut someone’s class (or fire someone all together).

I hear from a lot of aspiring studio owners who want to open studios because they want to teach more classes and they want to make a living from yoga. The studio model seems like the quickest way to do this.

Building a studio is anything but quick. It takes years of persistence.

Persistence may actually be the single most important secret to becoming a successful studio owner. I do, however, strongly suggest that you work on some other very important skills like…

  •     Being extroverted
  •     Business & marketing (or an investment in business coaching or a partner who can handle the business side of things)
  •     Discipline
  •     Organization

I’ve seen so many talented yoga educators go into the process of building a studio without truly understanding the scope of what they are undertaking. Most of the time there’s a lot more paperwork and fire extinguishing than actual yoga. This can quickly become disenchanting—especially when there’s not enough money coming in.

The cost of rent is going up, but the cost of yoga is not. Studio owners everywhere are turning to teacher training programs to help drive revenue so that they can keep their doors open and their teachers paid. Here’s a truth bomb for you: Owning a studio and being a teacher trainer are two different career paths that require two different skill sets. While I’ve met many studio owners who balance the two roles with grace, they do so with a lot of help. If you can’t afford help, adding a teacher training program is not the answer.

But there are answers.

Be strategic before you put down roots.

If you want a successful studio, you have to plan for it. The “field of dreams” approach to business planning doesn’t work out. You can build it, but they may not come. Market research is crucial to understand where there is a need for a studio. Future studio owners need to do more than assume there’s a need for a studio simply because there is no studio already there. Look into who lives in the area, where they spend their time and whether or not yoga is enough of a priority for them that they will pay for it. Without this information, you’ll be building your business on a wing and a prayer.

Streamline the simple things. 

Simplify, simplify, and simplify some more. Instead of selling per-class packages only, set up auto-debit memberships: they increase revenue significantly. This is why you won’t find a gym in town pushing single sessions or month-to-month memberships. Not only does auto-debit ensure that there is money in the studio’s pocket, but it also encourages students to commit to their practice. Everyone wins.

Get creative

Your creativity is your friend, dear future Studio Owner. Think broad, diverse and interesting. Bring in retail.  Rent out the studio space on weekend afternoons for Kid’s Yoga Birthday parties. Offer series courses on Meditation, Tai Chi, Adult Ballet, Green Cleaning, Aromatherapy, or Wellness. Offer an upgraded membership that allows students to use the space for personal practice (or Mysore) during certain time slots. Offer small group privates. Rent your space to studio-less teacher trainings— these are all options that drive revenue without creating a ton of work for yourself. Because the last thing you’re going to need as a studio owner is more work.

Finally, you can do everything right and still suffer from the scourge of small business ownership: overworking and under-earning. Which is why it’s so important to know your BIG WHY.

Why do you want to own a studio?

After you answer that question, dig a little deeper and ask yourself why one or two more times. We are looking for the deep down reasons, the reasons that will drive you to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when it feels like you’re not moving forward.

If you know your WHY and you’re motivated by more than just the perks of being the boss, setting the rules and being a local celebri-yogi, your chances of survival are high.

Do you have a dream of owning a studio— or any kind of yoga biz, for that matter? Head over and sign up for the Like a Yogi interview series. Hear from yoga professionals who are living their dreams and find out just how they got there.

 

 

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