top of page

How to define success in your yoga business instead of focusing on what others think is successful

I talk a lot about creating the thriving yoga business of your dreams, and I mean it - but I want to dissect this a bit today.

Last week on the podcast I talked with Owen about peak performance, and I asked you to consider what success and peak performance looks like for you in your life and your business.

There’s one word that I really want you to clue in on in this phrase: YOUR.

YOUR life.

YOUR business.

I want you to create the thriving yoga business of YOUR dreams, not someone else’s dreams.

Not someone else’s version of success. YOUR version of success.

That’s what we’re talking about today: Your version of success and how to define it and stay focused on that when there’s so much noise from other people talking about their success.

Are you ready, my friend? I hope you are, because I’m super excited about this topic!

Yoga Business Pep Talk: YOUR Version of Success

Today we’re talking about YOUR version of success, so we have to get our mind right before we dig into this. And that’s what I’m here for - to help get this conversation going for you.

First and foremost, let’s talk about how many versions of success there are. As many people who are living on this planet, that’s how many definitions of success there are. There isn’t just one.

Success doesn’t mean a 6-figure everyone.
Success doesn’t mean owning a everyone.
Success doesn’t mean working 3 days a everyone.

You get the point here: Success CAN mean these things, but it doesn’t have to. The problem is that we see so many people’s version of success online and it can often start to shape our own version of success.

Now before we go any further, I do not want to hate on social media here. We all know there’s pros and cons for social media, but when it comes to success, it’s often that we see “look at me and the success I have” type posts on social media that can then make us think that’s what success looks like.

When in reality, my version of success is going to look different than yours, and yours is going to look different than your friends. So what we have to do is understand what success means for ourselves and stay grounded in that definition.

**This was also a podcast episode (episode #120). Use the player below if you'd prefer to listen to this message.

How to Discover What Your Version of Success Really Is

I’ve got a few options for you on this one because there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all here.

Option 1: Step back to get clarity

This version takes a bit of time, but can be super helpful if you’re feeling stuck with your idea of success. This is where you step back from consuming for a bit. No social media, no emails, etc.

You step back from all of then noise and journal what success looks like for you. Ask yourself every day: “What is success for me in my life and my business?" Ask yourself and answer that question every day for 5, 10, 15 days. And see what comes up for you. Do you write the same thing every day or does it vary?

By stepping back from seeing other people’s version of success, you can start to get clear on your own.

Option 2: The airport test

The "airport test" is one of my favorite options and I learned about it from my dear friend Shannon Crow. She asks herself this every year and it helps her set goals for the upcoming year. It’s super fun and I now use this every year too. Here’s how it works:

Close your eyes and imagine this: You’re in an airport five years from now and you run into a friend. That friend asks you “How are things?” and you respond with "Everything is amazing. My life is great, I’m happy, healthy and couldn’t ask for more."

Now open your eyes and either write down or say it out loud and record it: What would make you say that sentence? If you are truly raving about how things are going in your life, what would they look like? Feel like? Sound like?

I would encourage you to write down as much detail as humanly possible for this exercise.

What clothes are you wearing?
what smells do you smell?
What car are you driving or not driving?
Where do you live?
How much are you working?
How much are you traveling?

You get the point here - write it or say it all. This is just for you and there is no right or wrong answer. But what you learn from this is what you dream your life to look like. Yes, this is a dream, but dreaming is how you know what you can aim for.

Option 3: The press release

The "press release" is another one I’ve done and it’s so neat to see what happens with this.

First, I might need to tell you what a press release is: It’s a document that goes out through the media to share details on something. This is a marketing tool but don’t get too hung up on that. If you want to learn more about press releases, check out episode #109 with Vicky Drolet.

The idea is that you write the press release that you would love to see be covered in a news story five years from now.

The key is to not focus on the grammar and format of a press release but rather to think “if someone was to cover my life and business in a news story in five years and I was really excited about it, what would that coverage sound like?"

Here’s an example for me: I know that I want to host an in-person event one day for my business. I’ve written my press release each year and it says that the event is coming up and that yoga teachers from around the world are joining both in-person and virtually.

The thing is, I don’t have details about this, but it helps me understand that this is part of what I’m aiming for. I will still consider myself successful if this doesn’t happen, but it helps know one element that I would like to include in my goals as I’m aiming for my version of success. It also helps me know that I want to continue to work with many yoga teachers from around the world. I love this aspect and this is 100% part of success for my business.

There are many other options of getting to what success looks like for you, but these are my favorites. Pick one and run with it! Or do all three if it helps you.

In addition to that, there is one other element of success that I don’t want you to forget about and that’s your schedule. Some like to refer to this as work/life balance too. Whatever you want to call it, it’s critical in defining your success.

Your “in a perfect world” schedule

Your "in a perfect world" schedule includes all aspects of your life. Your personal time, your business, your family, your friends, all of it. And here’s what I would LOVE for you to do:

Once you know what your version of success looks like for you, I want you to map out your ideal weekly schedule. But I do not want you to start with what your schedule is now. Nope. Put that schedule out of your mind for a minute and pretend you have a blank slate.

Step 1: Start with a blank slate (piece of paper, google doc, whatever).
Step 2: Write down the days of the week.
Step 3: Block at least 2 days in a row as your weekend (no work).
Step 4: Fill in one day a time with what you would ideally like to happen in that day.

Please know that you are going to be tempted to fill in the days of the week as they are right now. Resist this urge. This is not your current schedule, this is your “in a perfect world” schedule. This schedule may never fully happen but you don’t know what to work towards if you don’t declare your “in a perfect world” schedule.

From there you will have your “in a perfect world” schedule that you can work towards. And just so you know, you can do this for your year or months of the year too. But it’s the weekly schedule that I want you to really understand.

For example, “in a perfect world” I would like to have July and December off of work. No creation, nothing on my schedule. Basically I can work if I want to (which I will) but only on things that are fun for me. I’m working towards this but I’m not there yet.

Another example is that the first time I did this I realized I wanted to have Fridays free of all meetings. And I’m happy to say that in year two of my business I made this a thing. Now I’m in year four of business and I can confidently say that 90% of the time I don’t have anything on my schedule on Fridays. It’s a rare occasion that I do and that’s okay.

Some things you can start to implement immediately, but others may take time. Just understand where you want to eventually go with your schedule - and don’t judge that at all.

A great example of this is that Shannon Crow and I talk about our “in a perfect world” schedule all the time, and Shannon would love to have a three-day work week while I do not want that at all. However, I do want two full months off each year. No one's “in a perfect world” schedule will look the same - and that’s wonderful!

Questions to Help Identify Your Version of Success and “In a Perfect World” Schedule:

  • What would your ideal week look like?

  • How many vacations do you want to be able to take? What do those vacations look like for you and your family/self?

  • Are there things you’d like to change about your life right now?

  • What about your life makes you the happiest right now?

  • If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would your life look like?

Remember that your version of success today doesn’t mean it’s locked in stone. If you asked 20 year old Amanda what success is, it was probably living in New York City and working in a PR firm. That’s not my version of success today (even though I love NYC and visit as often as possible). Success to me at 37 looks very different than it did at 20. We change and evolve over time, and that’s a good thing.

How to Stay Focused on Your Version of Success

Focus is hard, especially when we have so many things pulling our focus. From family, to friends, to Netflix, to work, to social media, to you name it. Everything is basically begging for our attention, so it’s really easy to get distracted and lose focus.

When we want to stay focused on anything, we need to figure out how to do this. In your yoga classes you likely remind your students to “find their drishti” or fix their gaze on a specific point while they hold warrior 3 or tree pose.

This is exactly what we want to do with our version of success. We have to fix our gaze on our version of success and not get lost by looking at someone else’s version.

This can look like many different things from:

  • Vision boards

  • Post it notes

  • Goal charts

  • Write it every day

  • Telling other people

There isn’t a right or wrong way to do this, it only matter what works for you.

The commonality is that you have a reminder of what YOUR version of success looks like.

This is important because we are constantly bombarded with what other versions of success look like from others so you have to be proactive in reminding yourself of what success looks like for you.

If you’re visual, make a vision board and put it somewhere you can see it every day.
If you’re tactical, write it every day somewhere.
If you respond more to audio, record yourself saying it (or someone else saying it) and listen to it every day.

The critical piece is that YOU remember YOUR version of success, but it can also be helpful to tell other people.

Tell your biz besties what your version of success is so that if you start veering off on your path, they can help you remember your version of success. Find friends who are also business owners, join a mastermind group or a membership like Thrive where the conversation is focused on business goals. Sharing your goals and vision of success with others helps you actually achieve your goals and stay focused.

Your Next Step

Define your version of success and your “in a perfect world” schedule (knowing that it can change over time) and state it somehow: Making a vision board, writing it down in a journal, telling others. Whatever works for you!

And if you’re ready to take steps towards your version of success, I’d love to help you inside Thrive.

Until next time, give yourself permission to define your version of success and grace along the way.

Get More Done with Less Screen Time with Shailla Vaidya

"You have to know what YOUR version of success is or else you're never going to achieve it. There is no right or wrong way here. You get to define it." - Amanda McKinney


Looking for support and guidance as you define your version of success?

In Thrive, my monthly membership for yoga teachers, you get social media and email templates, monthly Q&A calls, advanced trainings, business check-ins, a private community, and more. Thrive is a membership that can support you on every part of your yoga business journey - from the very beginning all the way to advanced challenges!

>>> Click here to learn more about Thrive! <<<

bottom of page