*This is part 1of a 3 part series sharing inspirational stories of set backs that led to positive outcomes overall.
Many yoga teachers graduate yoga teacher training with incredible knowledge on how to teach yoga but not too much information about running a business.
While not everyone who attends a teacher training will become a teacher, about 50% of people will eventually teach. It’s because of this that I’m passionate about helping yoga teachers step into their own when it comes to being a confident business owner.
“I recommend or encourage yoga teachers to come into programs to come into trainings to come and teaching without fear and doubt come in open to grow open to learn open to serve and let let the abundance come to you.” - Anna
**This was also a podcast episode (episode #162. Use the player below if you'd prefer to listen to this message.
Tools of empowerment as a yoga business owner
As a yoga teacher who wants to teach full time and turn this hobby into a career, it’s important to begin stepping into the role of being an entrepreneur. While that term might sound scary, it’s simply means that you’re running a business and helping others by solving problems.
Anna shares how she empowers her students in her trainings by giving them tools of empowerment.
“I give them tools of empowerment to fill their bucket with the tools that they need to be successful yoga teachers, not just to teach a class, but it's beyond teaching a class, not memorizing what to do in each post, but really feeling that transformation within them once they feel the transformation within them as an individual, then I feel that they can take those tools, that transformation that was empowering them to be a strong individual. Now give that gift and plant that seed to the community and whoever rolls out their mat in front of them.” - Anna
Anna chose to use the elective hours in her yoga teacher training curriculum to focus on business. This allows her to fill the gap between what you have a passion for as a yoga teacher (teaching yoga) and what you need to do to make it a business (confidence in making money).
The money part is where most yoga teachers feel discomfort as it’s hard to wrap your mind around charging for something that you love doing. But like Anna shares in this conversation your time is worth a lot and when you share your time with others by teaching yoga, it’s important to get compensated for that time.
“It was that passion to serve that created a barrier around the idea of collecting money for something that they love so much.” - Anna
Mindset is everything when it comes to running your yoga business
As you know, your mindset affects a lot and this is definitely the case when it comes to running a business as a yoga teacher. Anna shares that she encourages her students to focus on abundance in all things. Abundance with what they can share, with the possibilities in their business and with absolutely with their mindset. She sais that she shares these mantras with her students to help tap into this mindset.
Mantras to help with money mindset
I deserve to be financially stable
I am bringing abundance into my life
I can grow in my business
It’s okay to receive money for sharing my passion
“Doubt and fear create us to have so many setbacks and if you can be just you just be who you are and grow as that teacher, you will attract the right people into your circle and into their community.” - Anna
What “business stuff” you need to know as a yoga teacher
Once you’ve stepped into the role of “okay, I’m a business owner” you’ll likely start to wonder how to start a business and it can be overwhelming to try and figure it all out. If you didn’t have the fortune of being taught this information in your yoga teacher training, below is a list of questions that is helpful to look into as you get started:
What does it mean to be a subcontractor?
What does it mean to be an employee?
Do you want to become a studio owner?
Do you want to work for yourself?
Do you want to collaborate and have a partnership?
What expenses will you have as a business owner?
Another tool that Anna mentions is simply identifying your strengths and weaknesses and being honest about them as you reflect on this. As you go through this process you will likely identify things that are part of running a business that you don’t want to do.
For example, many yoga teachers want to immediately hire out posting to social media as it takes time and energy. Both Anna and I share that this is definitely something you can hire out eventually but it’s helpful to get a feel for it at first for yourself. This allows you to hire the right person/people so that your brand is protected.
“I'm giving you something that I've been through and I've probably fallen many many times and I want to help you not fall as much” - Anna
How marketing fits into all the “business stuff” as a yoga teacher
Like it or not, marketing is part of running a business and that’s how Anna and I connected as I taught the marketing section in her trainings. Business and marketing go hand in hand since marketing is getting the word out about your business.
“It brings in a breath of fresh air when a specialist comes in and teaches” - Anna
Many people think that marketing is only social media but that’s far from the truth. I share more about this in episode #36 on the podcast but for reference, here are a few things that are also marketing:
Word of mouth
Collaborating with other businesses
Anything that introduces or shares about your business and offerings is marketing. That can include digital marketing but it doesn’t have to.
Interested in Amanda teaching in your yoga teacher training?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Yoga Teacher Training Support and we will share the options for you.
Delegating as a yoga business owner
As you explore areas of running a business that you don’t necessarily want to take on yourself, it’s the time to think about delegating. It might seem silly that this is hard to do when you don’t want to do something originally but once you’ve done it for a while, it actually can be difficult to do.
“I wore all the hats and I think what saved me was just being a delegator that you mentioned earlier and being open to not be so controlling, right? So as yoga teachers and as individuals, we need to have an open mind set of trusting what someone else is going to do for us and giving that trust and that that delegation like giving that assignment up to somebody else because if you're not going to trust somebody, then don't, don't don't give it to them to do because it's be a heavyweight. And so if you're a yoga teacher and you want to start delegating some of your tasks, make sure that you're 100% ready to do that. Make sure that you're ready to trust somebody else. Because if you're not, then don't take a pause and wait till you're ready.” - Anna
Plus you have to think about the financial component as well. If you only want to work one day a week the likelihood of you having the finances to pay someone to take over social media for you is slim but if you want to do that eventually, ask yourself how you can make enough money in your business to outsource that task and still pay yourself.
Take Care of Yourself
Another important topic that Anna shares when it comes to being a confident yoga business owner is taking care of yourself. As a yoga teacher you have a lot of tools in your toolbelt for this but they are easy to forget since you’re serving others so much.
“If you're constantly serving others and you have your serving from an empty bucket, you're not going to thrive in your business, you're not going to thrive in your programs.” - Anna
As you continue to explore the fact that you’re running a business and what a thriving yoga business means to you, this is another component that’s critical to remember. Here are some prompts for you as you reflect on this:
What fills your cup when it feels depleted?
What tools do you share with your students to help them take care of themselves?
Make a list of non-negotiables that you need in your life in order to feel at your best.
Your next step
Notice what bubbled up to the top for you as you read through this content. Did you feel uncomfortable when the idea of delegating came up or was it charging for your services that had you wiggling around a bit? Did you get excited at the idea of being an entrepreneur or did it bring up more questions for you?
Notice it all and welcome it all. There are no wrong feelings or answers with this topic, rather it’s important to simply notice what’s happening. This will open the door to a better understanding of where you are currently and then you can decide what’s needed to take your business forward.
Until next time give yourself permission to be a confident entrepreneur and grace along the way. I’ll talk to you soon!
“Doubt and fear create us to have so many setbacks and if you can be just you just be who you are and grow as that teacher, you will attract the right people into your circle and into their community.”
- Anna Eshoo
Guest Bio & Links:
Anna Eshoo is the owner of I AM YOGA Wellness Studio. A Turlock native, she graduated from CSUS earning a BA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Child Development. Continuing with her studies, she also earned Multiple Subject & Business Credentials along with being awarded her MBA. She founded I AM YOGA Wellness Studio in 2008 fulfilling her desire to share her passion for Yoga. Beyond Yoga, she teaches business classes to high school and college students. She is a passionate lady who believes in self- love, self- care & has the ability to empower her students on & off the mat. She has a passion to inspire others to be comfortable in their own skin while living a healthy life. In 2018 Anna graduated from the Stress Management Center in Marin earning her Yoga Therapy Certification. Bringing forward her decade of experience and training, she has been involved in many events & activities that highlight her Yoga career. She developed & leads a 200 and 300 Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Training. She is currently writing her first book, on back care coming Summer of 2021.
Website - https://www.iamyogastudio.com/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/iamyogawellness/
Step into being an entrepreneur!
If you're looking to step into entrepreneurship, my membership, Thrive, was built for you!
Thrive is a membership community for yoga teachers looking to grow their business and get support through the process.
You can learn more about Thrive >> HERE. It's only open a few times a year or use the form below to join the waitlist immediately: