This is also a HUGE thank you for all the support so many of you have given me this year. Too many of you to name but you all know who you are.
When I first opened, it was harder and more challenging than I imagined, especially being a mom with three young kids. On the other hand I found I was supported in surprising ways, as well as connecting to tons of amazing people -doing amazing things. I then began pushing myself to discover just how great this studio could be.
Below are some of the lessons and memories from my first full year in business.
1/ The highs and lows are crazy and intense. Initially they floored me. But, the studio took on a life of it’s own and started running itself after a short three months. I give this credit to my amazing staff!
2/ It takes time to build a business. Start small. It requires money, patience, doggedness, and tons of support from your family and friends. Give yourself time and avoid spending money like the plague. If it is not vital do not do it. Personally, I recommend keeping everything as simple as possible to start with. Develop a sense of patience (still working on this). Rome wasn't built in a day.
3/ Get uncomfortable and make mistakes. I knew I was going to make mistakes and that from those mistakes I would find new strengths and experience different things. It still sucks though. After all we are perfectly imperfect.
'He who makes no mistakes probably makes nothing'.
Just pick yourself up by your boot straps and keep learning. You are going to beat yourself up plenty so, it is important to learn how to celebrate the wins and congratulate yourself too.
4/ Find your tribe. This was huge. There TONS of women/men waiting to provide advice, support and cheer you on. It is beyond amazing and has been a favorite part of my journey so far. There have been many laughs, stories, and tears at the studio. The camaraderie is amazing, new friendships have been formed and I truly believe when people walk through the door they feel they have come home. And not to forget my friends and family – who support me, recommend me for work, come to my events, pick up my slack and generally show what amazing people they are.
Some of my ‘tribe’:
5/ The grass is greener. When I was a stay at home mom, I dreamt about doing my own thing and wanting to make a difference in peoples lives. Now days, I sometimes fondly reminisce about when I was home all day with my kids, sleeping in on weekends or just teaching and doing yoga without the pressures of making rent. I have learned that it is so important to manage your work / life balance. You have to set boundaries and then stick to them. I have also learned to ask for help.
6/ Social media and blogging is a blessing (and a curse). I never thought I’d say this but social media is a really important way to connect with people. I am terrible at writing and uncomfortable with posting images or videos of myself. However, It is a great way to connect to your community.
7/ Life is fantastic. Take care of yourself. This is a huge note to myself. Celebrate often. Drink champagne. Smile. Be happy. Choose to be easy. Practice mindfulness. Eat well. Drink tons of water. Be kind (hate/stress will make you sick). Do yoga. A LOT.
8/ Think big. Try new things. Listen to your clients. It is really important to have a ‘big vision’ that inspires and motivates you. However, some of the best classes, ideas and events have come from listening to friends/clients suggestions and thinking out of the box. I also try to support local female business owners (local photographer, web site designers, etc.) and work together to help each other.
9/ Trust your gut: Instincts matter not just to your business, but to life and your self confidence. It is better to trust yourself and be wrong than doubt yourself and be right - it is hard to recover from self-doubt. When in doubt, trust your gut. My body speaks to me and I have learned to listen to it, try not to ignore the signs.
10/ Stay positive. Things will get dark. Problems will occur. You might cry. Contracts will end. People will let you down. People will upset you. Stay positive. Seek a solution. I found this is not an option.
“Where attention goes, energy flows”.
11/ Be & stay authentic! As a yoga teacher this is HUGE!! Find your true voice. Be the perfectly imperfect human that you are.
12/ Last but not least, learn to let go. I have to work on this as much as #10. Try not to worry about the future or past. Either do something about an issue or don’t. But, worrying like stress is destructive. Live in the Now!