Holy cow, where do I even start?
We’re 14 months old at our new studio in Dublin City Centre.
In this space of time we’ve grown from me running around teaching Yoga and employing a few other teachers to thankfully having a management team of five full-time, quite a few part-time reception staff and over 30 teachers. On top of that, there are two full time employees running Happy Food (our Vegan Cafe) with part-time members of staff helping out.
To say the least, this journey has been eventful.
With what I have experienced in the past 14 months, I feel I definitely have something of value to offer anyone who is thinking of starting a Yoga studio or any other business for that matter.
When I started the YogaHub Camden Place Project, I was very much a naive Yoga teacher who had an idea and not much else to be honest. It has completely transformed me as a person (in a good way).
Ironically, one of the reasons I became a Yoga teacher was to avoid the whole office thing and then I inadvertently created one. We are a registered company with offices and laptops, printers, laminators, shredders and all of that funky stuff all over the place.
I do want to make the point that I have learned all of this the hard way.
I’d love to say that it’s been all rosy and I have slept easy every single night but that has not been the case. I would also love to say that each business encounter with other professional parties has been a joyful experience but if I did, I’d be lying.
I have learned so much and continue to learn (on a daily basis) about business, people and myself.
I would encourage anyone to try opening a business or following your dream (whether it’s business related or not). I can best describe it as an emotional roller coaster where every single day presents many opportunities for growth.
So without further ado, here are the three things that I hope might help you on your journey.
1. Ask for help.
Trust me, no matter what challenges you have right now, you can be sure there are many people who have been right where you are before and they have learned what you need to know already.
We are social creatures and generally people just want to help other people.
Believe it or not, there generally is no other motive.
So where do you ask for help? Well, what do you need to know right now to move whatever project your working on forward and who knows it?
That’s where you start.
2. Work on yourself first and then your business.
No matter what you do for a living or where you find yourself right now, this applies to you. This is probably the biggest mistake I made. I was totally obsessed with the survival of the business and completely and utterly neglected myself.
Not very “mindful” to say the least!
Do I still work way more hours than most people? You bet I do.
The difference is that there are many facets to my life and each one of them needs to be in balance. I have shifted that “work ethic” more to my relationships, my health, charity work, fun and personal growth.
The end result of this is that I am (hopefully) a much more rounded human being and because of that I feel much more fulfilled.
To be perfectly honest, I ended up resenting yoga for a while.
My passion. The thing I worked so hard for. The thing that has benefited me and so many people around me.
For a while, I just wasn’t ready to come back to it personally. I’m comfortable writing about it now but I surely wasn’t for quite some time. People would love to say to me,
“You shouldn’t be stressed. You own a yoga business!”
They may have been right but I can hold both hands up and say I very much was.
So where do you start working on yourself?
I can go into my journey and exactly what has helped me in future blogs but what about you right now? What do you love doing?
Well, do more of that.
Is there a relationship that you have neglected? Give them a call. Is there a course that you’d like to do no matter what it’s related to? There’s no time like the present. Google it and find out when the next one starts.
Commit to taking time for yourself and your development.
3. Be transparent, honest and clear with everyone.
This is absolutely massive for me.
Business is human relationships. Sure, professionalism is paramount and boundaries are of the utmost importance but we are all human.
Honesty and transparency weren’t really a problem for me but there is definitely a preconceived notion that within the business world you should not be as transparent as you might be to a friend. This just doesn’t make sense to me.
Meet people on a level. Accept fault when you make mistakes and move on.
Now, where I did have major challenges is with lack of clarity. Time and time again if I experienced challenging situations with other human beings it was absolutely because I was not clear enough about my expectations.
In my experience it can be so frantic when you are just getting started in business and if your resources are limited you will be doing most things (if not all) in the beginning. It can feel like a race against time; however, if there is one thing that you really should slow down and focus your energy on it is clarity of communication.
I understand now the importance of clear communication. I might add that you can never be clear enough.
If there is one thing that you should be continually working on, make it this. You can find people that are way better than you at everything else but you will always have to communicate, even more so as your company grows.
So, on we go with the rest of our day. If you have made it all the way through to here, thank you so much for reading. I truly hope you have gained from your experience. If you have any questions just leave them in the comments and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Author: Matt Quigley
Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Jasmine Kaloudis/Flickr