Finding Opportunities for Collaboration
The reality of entrepreneurship for yoga teachers is often more complicated than one may assume, and it is easy to feel discouraged when you look around at others who make it look easy. It is difficult to get your footing, and supplementing your income can be a good way to get started. This motivation, combined with a positive and open attitude can allow you to focus on what you love without worrying as much about the financial restrictions.
For Young Yoga Masters, broadening a network of fellow yogis has been essential for success. Conference participation is an excellent example of this. Registering as an exhibitor can be pricey, costing up to $2,500 for a booth. Rather than immediately viewing this as a setback or hefty investment, consider the options available. Registering for these conferences with other like-minded business people is an option that will cut costs while still giving you exposure.
As Aruna, founder of Young Yoga Masters describes, “For the upcoming Yoga Show in Toronto (FREE Show Pass here), I originally got in by sharing a booth with a group of Kundalini Yoga Teachers. Then I met Janet and we split costs and founded A Children’s Yoga Network to have a presence for both our businesses. This year we’ve grown to six people and a bigger booth. Collaboration makes the event financially accessible for more people and the bigger booth helps us stand out more.”
Seeing the Benefits of Strategic Partnerships
It is easy to perceive similar businesses as competition, but people often overlook the potential benefits. Promoting alongside other businesses is not counter-intuitive because customers are not necessarily deciding between the two. This is a lesson Aruna learned early on.
In another example of strategic partnerships, I was running yoga classes at a local studio that were doing well. When another instructor began running a deep relaxation class the same night, I encouraged my students to try it out because I wanted to create a buzz around my teaching night. After a few months I noticed how the success of the new class led to my own success. I noticed registrations increase in my class too. It’s kind of like how it works when you see a restaurant district, all the restaurants clump together to create a destination and it helps everyone. Collaboration is usually more effective than engaging in competition. – Aruna Kathy Humphrys
This picture is from our booth at the Yoga Show 2014
In Aruna’s case, strategic partnerships have also led to supplementary income. While the main goal of doing conferences is promoting Kids Yoga Teacher Certification, it has also served as an opportunity to sell products and resources which she doesn’t have time to sell online.
Though Aruna gives a word of warning: collaboration doesn’t mean you have to give away your hard work and knowledge for free. Honour the time and effort it takes you to build your client list, find good suppliers, and the trial and error it takes to figure out which shows are worth participating in. Collaboration does not mean you are an open book, you still value your work.
Positivity in the business world is an invaluable asset. While the world may feed competitive try looking for opportunity rather than setbacks. It is not only beneficial, but necessary. Reaching out to like-minded individuals and creating a community in which people support each other may just be your next step.
Had an experience similar to Aruna’s? Or had the opposite experience? Leave a comment below!
Click this link for all the upcoming Kids Yoga Teacher Certification courses