For more inspirational talks on the practice and business of yoga, be sure to tune in to Season 3 of the Wanderlust Speakeasy podcast, airing September 7.
Much like your practice on the mat, building a yoga business is hard work. It requires dedication, patience, and a whole lot of love. It is also one of the most rewarding things that you will ever do.
Turning your passion for yoga into a business starts the moment you declare your dream. The moment you say to yourself, “Wouldn’t it be cool if yoga could support my lifestyle?” Unfortunately most people think that it starts when you’ve figured out how yoga will support your lifestyle. Don’t worry about the how until you get connected to what’s possible. Then, and only then, jump into the query around how to make it happen.
Figuring out how is the fun part, the creative journey that continuously unravels as you take one step after another. It’s what makes your business evolve as you do. Here are four keys to help you get started.
1. You are a brand.
Building a brand is so much more than the look. At the heart of any brand is its purpose, mission, values, and beliefs. Taking the time to get clear on these elements is a key step in creating a successful business. Unfortunately most people feel overwhelmed by this process. One way to get started is to look at brands that you love and admire, be it within yoga or any other industry. Ask yourself what qualities these brands possess that you love and admire. How are they perceived in the marketplace? Chances are your aspirations reside in your admirations. Start there.
2. The secret to marketing and self-promotion is that it’s not about you.
A common misconception is that marketing is sleazy, self-promotional, and arrogant. These beliefs often stop teachers from sharing their gifts with the world, and in turn communities have no idea what they are missing out on. If you want to create a thriving yoga business, you must change your belief system around marketing and self-promotion. The best way to do this is to get clear on who it is that you are serving. Who’s your ideal student? Client? When you dedicate yourself to serving others, marketing and self-promotion becomes an act of love. An opportunity for you to give back to those who need what you have the most.
3. Fall in love with your relationship to money.
My heart breaks a little when I see yoga teachers feeling uncomfortable about getting paid for their work. Seeing those who are at the heart of a multi-billion dollar industry struggle is backward to me. A shift in our relationship to making money as teachers is necessary in order to succeed in business. After all, no money, no business. Your first step is to acknowledge the current state of your relationship to money. Are you in a loving relationship? Do you appreciate and respect it? I cannot stress enough the importance of creating a healthy and loving relationship with money. Because when you do, your partnership will become unstoppable.
4. Give yourself permission to start.
Pattabhi Jois said that “yoga is 99 percent practice and 1 percent theory.” Business is the same thing. We are in a world that is continuously transforming. Waiting to know everything about business before starting is a sure way to fail. You must give yourself permission to begin whether or not you feel ready. You wouldn’t let your students give up on their practice because they haven’t read the Sutras or can’t touch their toes, would you? Practice, show up, and you will create a business that flows as you do on the mat.
Most importantly, breathe. Your business will challenge you. Reflect your limiting beliefs back to you on a daily basis. It does this because it loves you and wants you to succeed. Breath through the ups and downs. Remember why you started. Keep your head up. Stay curious, learn, grow. Wear a smile and have a blast, that’s what life is about. That’s what business should be about too!
Want even more business of yoga tips? Check out Melissa’s website here.
Melissa Colleret is a life coach, speaker, and yoga instructor based in Montreal. Sharing her mission to make you come alive and live your best life keeps this passionate entrepreneur on her toes. From 1:1 sessions, online workshops, cleanse programs, and yoga classes, Melissa wakes up every day wanting to inspire and empower.