Why I chose to start my own business.

Updated: Feb 1, 2020

I used to teach at the local yoga studio. I loved it. My favourite part was teaching new students who had never tried yoga before. I was always honoured that they chose me as their first yoga teacher. In fact, that love of helping people discover yoga and feel better through a regular practice made me want to teach more and more.

I was at the point where I was teaching daily yoga classes and working a full time job when I had the idea: What if I quit my job and just taught yoga for a living? But there was one problem: The money I was making teaching yoga at the studio could never pay my bills.

I knew something had to change in order for me to make more money. Getting gigs teaching all over town for $25 a class was option A, but we all know that leads to massive burn out. Who actually wants to teach that many classes a day?

In my opinion, teaching 4-5 classes a week is more realistic. So how was I going to be able to teach less and make more?

I had to go it alone. I knew that it was time to start my own yoga teaching business, independent from any yoga studio and guys, this was the best decision ever!

I grew my business slowly, building and adding classes one at a time as I found space to teach close to home. I did the math, kept my expenses low and set my class prices based on my income goals.

If I wanted to make $100 per class, then I knew that I would need at least 3 students in my class to cover my expenses (rent and transportation) and then 7 students on top of that to make $100 profit. So my goal was to average 10 students per class and I started marketing.

Spreading the word takes creativity, time, strategy and sometimes money. I tried it all, figuring out what works and what doesn't and to this day I still reevaluate my marketing plan month to month. [If you plan on going this route, marketing will need to become a HUGE part of your business plan.]

As much as this was about earning what I was worth, and having yoga be my only income, it was also about sharing my passion and getting to know people on a personal level. I wanted to really hone in on how I could help others in my classes. Building relationships with my students has been something I did from day one. I always wanted to stay in touch, follow up, ask them how they were feeling and get feedback about my classes. Ultimately, it showed my students that I care and that I am here for them, which lead to loyalty. You know you have built a strong relationship with your students when they keep coming back, bringing friends and raving about you.

This effort in building relationships is worth every second of your time, and guys, it takes time. Don't expect people to fall in love with you right away.

As I sit back and look at my business and how far I have come, I can say I am very proud. I have built this yoga business to the point where no other job is needed, I can teach when, where and what I want to. Every time I open my studio doors it feels like I am inviting my friends in to hang out.

Sure, it would have been easier to simply stay at the studio and wait for my annual raises to kick in and hustle to gain more teaching gigs but that was not my style. Putting in a little more work ended up making me a lot more money, but more importantly, the journey has taught me so much!

It's only fair that I share this knowledge about how I spread the word, work from the heart and sell myself in order to follow (and reach) my big happy dreams.

Thanks for reading my blog today! It means a lot to me that you are here and taking in this content. I hope to become that helping friend who you feel comfortable asking questions to or bouncing ideas off of.

Go ahead and let me know what you thought of today's post in the comments below. Or, if you think this could help someone else, feel free to share this post on social media.


Ashley #niagarasmallbusiness #niagarayogateacher #stcatharinesbusiness

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