Well, this week marks 2 months since I quit my full-time day job to venture into Entrepreneurship and teaching Yoga full time. Although I was worried at first that I would find myself with lots of spare time to feel "bored" or "lazy", and ultimately miss the routine of going to work everyday, to be honest - I haven't. I have acclimated pretty quickly to this new lifestyle of making my own schedule and working for myself, and even though there are days where I feel like I spent more time relaxing than working, overall the time has flown over these past two months because I have been BUSY! It really is amazing how much you can accomplish when you have the time and energy to put toward your goals. Today I wanted to share a bit of an update of how the past two months have changed me and my business and a few of the lessons I've already learned. Then on Wednesday, I will be back on this here blog with some tips for those of you who may be looking to take a similar step into working for yourself or making a big career change, to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Lesson #1: Ask for what you want - Don't expect others to come to you
I think sometimes people assume that if a person or a business gets promoted, it happens organically because that person or business is doing so well that others take notice. Well, I'm sure this happens a lot, but in my recent experience the opposite was true. I was given the contact info for a writer of a local paper who is known for doing stories on local businesses. I reached out to him and shared some information about myself and my Yoga Program and he felt like it would make a good story. He came to interview me and put a lovely story on the front page of this community paper. After this story came out, my website and programming started being noticed in a much bigger way than it had previously. But here's the thing - if I wouldn't have reached out to him and asked him for the story he probably still wouldn't know I existed! It's ok to ask for things, the worst that can happen is someone will say "no" - I've had a few of those already - but who knows what good will come from asking!
Lesson #2: Patience really does pay off
I am one of the least patient people you will probably ever meet. I have been told over and over again that I must be patient and that businesses don't become overnight successes. Back in September I was offering a drop-in class that was not getting any drop-in's (except for my loving boyfriend). Every week I'd say to him - "I think I am going to drop this class from my schedule, I just don't think people are responding to it". He would tell me all the reasons he thought I should keep the class and encouraged me to just keep trying to promote it and BE PATIENT. I ran the drop in class again this November and wouldn't you know...it has started to grow. It has taken a full year for me to have more than 1 regular come to this class, but if I would have cancelled it I never would have realised that patience really does pay off.
Lesson #3: When you work for yourself you see a direct link between hard work and success
I am extremely motivated by the fact that when I spend hours and hours working on something - updating my website, promoting programs, blogging, etc - I will see an increase in registrations, website views, email inquiry's etc. I see the direct link between the work I am doing and how successful my business is and this keeps me very motivated and inspired to keep working hard.
Lesson #4: Don't undervalue yourself, even when you are first starting out
This is one lesson I am still learning every day. I find it difficult to balance the desire to keep everyone happy by charging affordable rates, and remembering that I need to make a living off the services I am providing. Because I am a new program I also feel like people would expect to pay less than they would for someone who has been in this industry for years. However, I am not new to teaching Yoga. I have been teaching since 2012, and have taken a lot of training (ie: invested a lot of money) to get to where I am at now. It's important to consider all of these factors when coming up with numbers and fees so not to undervalue your services or yourself.
Check back on Wednesday for the tips I would give to others who are wanting to change careers or work for themselves and how to have a smooth transition!