September is an iconic time of year that most of us (in the Northern hemisphere, at least) associate with the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. Even when we are well past our own school days, the clarion call for fresh beginnings resounds.
This time of year represents renewed focus, readiness to learn, and planting seeds for growth. This is why I believe that September – not January – is the best time of year to pause and take stock of where you are in your personal and professional life.
So join me, friend! Whether you are a yoga teacher, a health coach, or some other type of wellness professional, I invite you to use this “Back to School Business Blog” to help set the stage for a successful, rewarding year ahead.
First Day of School
The first day of school represents stepping through a threshold. This is when we walk into school as a newly minted “first grader” or “senior” or whatever the case may be. We have transitioned from who we were last year into who we are becoming. The first day of school symbolizes this new part of our journey. Yes, it’s only the first day of school, but we can now accurately say that we “IN eighth grade” rather than the summertime language of “GOING INTO eight grade.”
This new phase of our journey has begun, and it’s our duty to courageously step forward.
So how does this relate to your yoga or wellness business? This is when I like to take stock of where I’ve been and clarify where I’m heading.
Some good questions to ask yourself during “back to school business” time include:
- What have I been offering that I’m enjoying and is working well, for both me and my customers?
- Would anything benefit from a little tweaking?
- What new projects am I interested in taking on?
You don’t have to be super detailed in your responses, but they should clearly point toward what the “school year” ahead will entail for you.
If the first day of school represents an overview of your (new) business direction, your classes symbolize what you need to learn or master in order to fulfill the promise of the school year. In other words, your classes should support your goals.
Just as you needed to take certain classes to fulfill the requirements for your major in college, there are certain learnings you need to integrate in order to flourish as a yoga professional.
- Do you currently have everything you need in place in order to reach your goals, or move in a new direction?
- Are there new skills to learn, or old skills that need polishing?
- If there are some new projects on your docket, will you be DIYing everything or outsourcing parts of them?
Most of the yoga therapists and yoga teachers I know are perennial students, and we LOVE learning. I encourage all of us to prioritize the trainings and continuing ed opportunities that will enable us to reach our goals, and to get really clear on what that looks like.
I LOVED back to school shopping as a kid! Admittedly, I was much more fond of new back to school clothes than I was of pencils and protractors, but nonetheless, there is something incredibly satisfying about having the right tools for the job.
If you aren’t used to investing in business resources it can feel a little strange at first. Many health and wellness pros invest in trainings and workshops that enhance our client-facing skills, but we resent the money we need to spend on things like web design or email marketing.
My thought on that is, ‘EMBRACE IT!’
Trust that when you have the right business apps, templates, and trainings under your belt, you will be able to perform more efficiently. You will have more energy for your clients if you aren’t wasting hours trying to design a flyer, and your business mojo will flow when you have the skills you need to craft a business model and strategy that works.
So reflect on the following:
- What tools would help me do my job faster, better, and more efficiently?
- Where am I cutting corners in order to save a buck or two, but actually losing opportunities because the end results aren’t as professional as I need them to be?
- If I could outsource ONE THING to help my business grow faster, what would it be?
- Are there business trainings or workshops that would help me impact more people and grow my income? (HINT: if you’re a yoga professional, scroll down to learn more about a special event I have coming up soon!)
More than anything, I think this is an area where wellness pros can get derailed; we tend to overinvest in teaching certifications and credentials and underinvest in our internal business resources. BOTH are important.
Did you have homeroom in school? We did. This was where we met first thing every morning, with a homeroom teacher (shout out to Miss Guelich!) and the same group of peers, for daily announcements, etc.
And what the “etc.” was really about, was a chance to get grounded. Given that the rest of the day entailed moving from classroom to classroom, with different teachers, subjects, and ever-changing cohorts of students, homeroom was the place that was always stable. It was the earth element of the school day.
Similarly, when you’re trying to grow your business, you need a “homeroom.” We all do best with a stable container that makes it feel safe for us to spread our wings and try new things.
- What groups do you belong to that support your business growth?
- Who are your trusted peers and mentors that you turn to when you need some biz support?
- Do you have colleagues and partners you can collaborate with to help you grow your business?
- Who are the witnesses that will cheer you on when you reach your goals?
Here’s the truth: while I was a decent student academically, recess (and P.E.!) were always the favorite parts of my day. I LOVED running around with my friends, playing games and moving my body.
I’m guessing that all of the yoga and fitness practitioners reading this might be nodding their heads in agreement.
Recess was one of our earliest introductions to self-care. It was a time to pause and do whatever we needed to in order to replenish our energy. For me, that meant climbing on the jungle gym or playing four square or kickball. Today, it might mean something completely different (although I’m always down for a game of dodgeball!).
Without that break for physical movement, our brains get overloaded. This was true when we were kids and it’s just as true now. So my encouragement here is brief and to the point:
- Know what will you do, every single day, for your self-care, and then . . .
- Put it in your calendar and honor that time. Period.
Leave a comment:
Does it feel like “back to school business time” to you right now? How can you harness some of the seasonal energy to reflect on your business and make any necessary course corrections? What about classes, school supplies, and homeroom? What do you need in place to make progress toward your goals? Please share below any thoughts that are resonating for you!