biz: how turning pro changed my life & career

do you know what separates the yoga teacher hobbyists from the yoga teacher pros? hint: it's not their training, or their salary, or their resume.

the ONE THING that truly distinguishes the amateurs from the pros is a decision.  a decision to "turn pro", and approach their yoga teaching as a career and a business, not just a hobby or part-time gig.

now, keep in mind, this decision will not transform your yoga business overnight, but it will transform the way you do business -- which, over time, will result in greater success and happiness is all areas of your life.

so, what did turning pro look like for me?

the shift occurred for me after my final weekend of Anatomy & Therapeutics, a 100 hour Yogadharma yoga training.  our entire last weekend was focused on the subtle body -- studying and observing our prana, and what depletes us and what energizes us.  i realized that one of the things that constantly left me feeling stressed was my irregular morning schedule.  mondays i would "sleep in" until 7ish, on tuesdays i had to be out the door by 5:45am to teach class at 6am, wednesdays i was up around 6:30am, thursdays up at 5am to take an early bird yoga class, and fridays i'd "sleep in" again.  this roller coaster drained my energy, and constantly left me feeling behind and rushed.

another area that i realized needed to be addressed was my work schedule.  i would haphazardly chip away at business projects, hoping they'd get done, but never with a concrete timeline or plan in mind.  i'd work more on the things that i liked, and spend less (or no) time on the elements of my biz that i didn't like so much.  that needed to change too.

so, that final sunday night, after my last day of training, i set my morning alarm to give me more consistency -- monday, wednesday & friday it wakes me at 6am, and tuesday & thursday, it goes off at 5am.  upon waking, i brush my teeth, and get on my cushion for 15 minutes of meditation, and voila -- i'm off on the right foot!  (a simple enough change, but i was resisting it -- i wanted to have "leisurely" mornings that weren't dictated by an alarm, and in the process i was sabotaging myself.  hindsight is 20/20, you know...)

as for my schedule, this took a little longer to figure out, but eventually i got in the habit of planning out my entire week on the friday afternoon before.  now, every friday, i sit down, look at my to-do/goal list, and see what needs to happen in the next week to move me closer to my goals.  again, another simple change that has worked wonders for my business (and my sanity).

so, i ask you -- how are you sabotaging your yoga career?  this may not be an easy pill to swallow, but chances are there's something you're doing (or not doing) right now that's getting in the way of your potential success.

remember -- pros don't make excuses.  pros don't hope something will get done, they do it.  pros don't haphazardly market their offerings, they have a plan.  take a good hard look at the way you conduct yourself, and ask yourself, "am i a pro?" -- if the answer is no, i challenge you to make one small shift that will move you in that direction!

you could...

  • schedule time to write your blog every week
  • do research about starting a yoga newsletter -- and send out your first one!
  • google "how to make a wordpress website", and start building one
  • watch 1 hour less of TV per week and devote that time to your yoga business
  • put that workshop you've been wanting to design & teach on the calendar, and then reverse engineer what you need to work on NOW to make it happen
  • email 1 yoga teacher each week that you would like to network with (think BIG!)
  • contact a yoga blog (like elephant journal, mindbodygreen, etc.), and pitch a guest post idea that you could write (then do it again the next month, and the next...)
  • get up 30 min earlier in the morning and meditate

so, what ONE THING are you going to do to help you transform from amateur to yoga pro?!

for more turning pro advice, check out this book by steven pressfield :-)

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