Conversation with Samantha Harrison
What do you think it would feel like to have unexpected success with something?
My guest today is sharing a success story that I had heard a little about before but I wanted to know more about. But what I knew was that this particular story was really unexpected. She didn’t set out with a goal to achieve this particular thing, it just seemed to happen.
But as you’ll hear us talk about in the conversation, it didn’t just happen, she put in the work to make it happen. That’s the thing about achieving goals - whether we set out to achieve them or we decide along the way, we have to put in the work!
This is something that we often don’t want to hear but it’s the important thing we need to hear and hear again and hear again. I personally have to remind myself that success takes time, persistence and patience.
That's part of why I wanted to share success stories on this podcast. Not to share the shiny success at the end of the story but really, the hard stuff in the middle. And my guest today was willing to talk about the hard stuff in the middle.
Samantha Harrison is a yoga teacher and yoga teacher trainer who has also become a dear friend of mine over the years. She’s been on the podcast a few times but when I came up with this success story idea I knew I wanted to have her back again.
I didn’t know Samantha at the time of her “Starbucks success story,” but I have been able to watch her navigate other tough stuff in business and life over the past few years and she’s a beacon of light every time. She’s someone who I admire how she navigates the tough stuff and shows up as herself for her students and in her marketing.
So in this conversation we dig into how she found unexpected success while working the Starbucks drive-through but also how she navigates the dips in running a business too.
By the way, Samantha runs an amazing corporate yoga teacher training. She's opening registration for Spring 2022 on April 8th! If you've ever wanted to work in the corporate world but weren't really sure how to take a step into that world, this is the training for you. I'm running the marketing portion and she teaches you everything else. It's a phenomenal training and I've got a discount for you. Use the code AMANDA to save $50.
Now let's dive in and learn from Samantha!
**This was also a podcast episode (episode #141). Use the player below if you'd prefer to listen to this message.
Sharing can lead to success
Simply talking to people in the drive-through line lead to a client for Samantha.
"I just started talking to people because I'm just a talker. I was at a point where I was confused in my life and I was open to what was next." - Samantha Harrison
Samantha was working at Starbucks and had just finished her yoga teacher training. A regular customer came through the drive-through line one day and Samantha ended up talking to her about yoga. The customer asked her to come to her workplace the next day to do some yoga. It turns out that she was actually the president of the company and wanted to bring yoga in for her employees!
She started teaching yoga for that company's employees, and then her corporate and private clients grew from there.
"It was not expected at all that that was how I was going to step into being a full-time yoga teacher. Not in my plans at all, but that's what happened. It was pretty crazy."
- Samantha Harrison
Saying yes to opportunities that present themselves
"Once I got that first client, I thought I'd try to go down this road and see what happens. Once I put some intentionality behind it, I thought I'd say yes and see where it leads. It took a lot of saying yes." - Samantha Harrison
Samantha didn't have a goal initially to make a living as a yoga teacher, but she was open to new opportunities so she said yes and decided to jump in and go for it!
"Once I got that first client, I thought - 'Could this be a thing?' What happens if I do put a little more intention behind seeing what happens here?" - Samantha Harrison
Saying yes can lead to success. Say yes now and you can put more intentionality behind it later.
What to do when things change with the opportunity
Once Samantha had secured contracts with a couple of corporate companies, she decided to leave Starbucks.
Another part of her business was teaching privates. She had a steady private client who she was seeing three time a week. Then they moved.
"I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I'm going to have to go back to Starbucks.' It was the first time experiencing the dip." - Samantha Harrison
Samantha needed to pay her bills, so she started hustling to find new private clients. She texting people, emailed students who had come to her yoga classes, and called friends. She was worried about bothering people, but the overwhelming response was positive. They were grateful that she reached out.
And by reaching out, Samantha was able to fill two more private yoga spots by the time her client moved away! It felt like a huge relief.
"Sometimes it takes some hustle. You have to go out there and create opportunities for yourself. Which is really hard and scary and vulnerable, too. But I just didn't have a choice." - Samantha Harrison
Reminder: you will get used to the ebbs and flows of being a yoga teacher full-time over time.
Building in checking in with people into your process
"It's all about relationships with people. I want to check in on my people and see how they're doing. Yes, it can help with growing and maintaining my business, but it also helps them."
- Samantha Harrison
Reach out to your current and past students on a regular basis. If this is scary or uncomfortable for you and it makes you feel insecure, there are some systems you can put into place to set yourself up for success.
For example, on Gmail you can schedule an email to automatically send at a later date. This helps you follow up with confidence and keeps you from second guessing yourself. Along these lines, you can also write all of your marketing emails, posts, and copy ahead of time, too. This makes your life easier and lowers the barriers that keep you from taking action when the time comes.
Lead with the genuine desire to help
Lead with your genuine desire to help people. You don't have to think about marketing as super salesy and sleazy. Really, you're just trying to help more people.
"Sometimes we're scared to do that because we don't know the exact thing to say, or we don't know everything, but we just do our best with what we have." - Samantha Harrison
It's important to remember that you don't have to know it all. You don't have to know everything. You can just do your best and try to help people. That will shine through.
"We don't have to be gurus and experts. We just need to know a little more than our students to help them." - Samantha Harrison
Samantha used to go to Fresh Market every week and she'd go to the same cashier each time. They eventually started talking about yoga because Samantha would show up in yoga clothes. Eventually, the cashier asked Samantha where she taught and told her "I've been wanting to start yoga and you were the first person I thought of!"
Those little moments like that add up over time. Be open to talking to people about what you do and how you can help them. People want to connect with each other! So why not talk about yoga, something you're passionate about and that can help people?
Entrepreneurship takes grit
"It was a lot of hard work and hustle. It was really freakin' hard. Sometimes it looks so easy, but there's a lot of hard work involved. It takes a lot of grit." - Samantha Harrison
From the outside looking in, entrepreneurship can look really smooth and simple. But it’s not as easy as it seems on someone else’s Instagram account or highlight reel.
Know that there are going to be ebbs and flows in your business. That's part of it. It takes grit to hold on, stay in it, and work for what you want. We have to figure out how to weather those ups and downs.
However, all the work is worth it! If that's not the case for you, then entrepreneurship might not be for you.
"I have this feeling when I'm with my students and doing what I love: 'THIS is why I'm doing all that other stuff.' If I didn't have that feeling, I'd be out! But I have the best feeling in the world when I am immersed in the moment when I'm teaching or in community with people I'm wanting to help." - Samantha Harrison
Know what’s worth “gritting through it” and what’s not worth it for you specifically. This is a trial and error thing. If an action (for example, consistently posting on Instagram) isn't getting you the return you want, then you might want to reconsider putting your energy into it.
You don't have to do all the things. In fact, I would prefer that you don't because then your energy is scattered. Choose what works and choose your hard.
"Meet yourself with gentleness and friendliness. Show yourself some compassion while trying to move through it. Hang in there and it always goes back up." - Samantha Harrison
Be gentle with yourself, show yourself compassion, and take action.
"At the end of the day, if you really love what you do, it's worth it." - Samantha Harrison
Your next step
Samantha shared so many ideas and advice on how she navigates the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.
Do it scared. Take action. Choose your hard.
These are your next steps my friend. Whatever is on your heart right now that you’re really wanting to do in your business or in your life, it’s time. If you’re looking for a sign, this is it.
Take the step. Send the email. Share yoga with someone today. Whatever it is, take action.
Yes, you’ll be uncomfortable doing it.
Yes, you might not get the response you want.
But yes, you will learn too. And it will be less uncomfortable next time.
You’ve got this! Whatever “this” is. Get after it and don’t forget, if you’re interested in Samantha’s Corporate Yoga Teacher Training, I’d love to see you in there! Use code AMANDA to get $50 off.
Until next time, give yourself permission to take imperfect action and grace along the way.
"At the end of the day, if you really love what you do, it's worth it."
- Samantha Harrison
Samantha is a corporate and private yoga teacher based in Greenville, North Carolina. She specializes in helping busy professionals de-stress and incorporate more movement into their lives. She also leads a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training and an online Corporate Yoga Teacher Training. She loves helping teachers branch out beyond the studio and help more people along the way.
Website - https://www.yogawithsamantha.com/
Instagram - @samanthaharrisonyoga
Corporate Yoga Teacher Training (Registration opens for CYTT on April 8th)
FREE Workshop on How to Price Corporate Yoga (on April 1st, 2022)
Ready to teach corporate yoga?
Samantha runs a Corporate Yoga Teacher Training a few times a year and I'm the marketing coach inside that training!
Registration is about to open for her Spring 2022 class and you’re invited! If you’re interested in teaching in the corporate space then you’ll definitely want to check out her training! Plus you can get $50 off by using the code: AMANDA
Go to teachcorporateyoga.com and you’ll find all the details. And if you’re catching this live, there is a free pricing workshop she’s hosting on April 1st. Check it out and don’t forget to use the code AMANDA for $50 off if you decide to join!