Friday, April 2, 2010


I'm having to make some decisions regarding my business. Difficult decision that are tearing at my heart, at my spirit and surprisingly, at my ego.

I started teaching yoga as a way to make money. I never thought I'd build a business around this; it was simply a way to make enough money to sustain my son and myself. But now it's become much more. The way I see it, I have two businesses: the business of delicately offering hand-on-hand wellness through my personal studio and the business of traveling around to local gyms to teach to larger groups.

The financial demands have become increasingly more significant as well. It has become all to apparent, recently, that if I want to have an independent life (separate from my live-in mother) and continue to be a homeowner, I have to do something different. It's time to let these jobs morph into a career.

Which is what I've been trying to do for months now. But the late nights are still there, the fatigued days, the added stress of running from this gym to that client to another gym and oh, right, I have to get Ben from school and somehow squeeze in homework and maybe some down time with him before running off to the next gym and client.

It's too much. I feel like I'm holding myself back from moving forward because I'm just simply moving around too much every day.

On a profitability level, this became extremely obvious when my dad and I laid out my W-2s. "Tell me again why you have so many of these," he said. So I did. And next to my own studio income, the earnings from teaching at the clubs seemed paltry. Because they were. And are.

The answer was as clear as day: let the group work go. Concentrate on the profitable side. Save energy for the clients who are paying for it. Save myself before I burn out so much that I can't come back.

Gut-wrenching, this decision has been. Yoga instructors, or any fitness instructors, for that matter, thrive on numbers. A class of 20 is rewarding, a class of 30 is the pinnacle of your yoga teaching career. At least in a city like Sacramento. See, we don't get much in the way of career feedback in this business. I know I'm doing well when people show up; when they keep coming.

So much of my ego is tied to this decision and if I tell my ego to shut the hell up - just for a second - then I can see so much more clearly. Which is what I'm trying to do. Until...

I realized one evening this week, as I reflected on my day, that I had taught yoga to 55 people that day. 55 people.

I made a deal with myself. I'm keeping my biggest class. My favorite class. The class that gathers together early, the same class where it's a huge chat-fest and I can hardly get everyone's attention to get going because of all the talking. The class where I get at least a couple of hugs. The place where I started: three years ago with just nine people. Now we're up to 25.

That feels like a good compromise for now. Maybe someday there will be an opportunity to bring yoga to people in a way that is profitable for me but for now, I'm re-tooling my entire studio business and that's where my energy needs to be going.

As I make yet another transition here, I'm feeling settled. Every decision I've made this year - this pivotal year of being on the cusp of a new decade - has felt spot-on. No regrets. No looking back. Just moving forward on a path that seems to be leading me right where I need to go.

No comments:

Post a Comment