"Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail" - Charles F. Kettering

Thursday, March 1, 2018

"Lessons From the First 5 Years in Business"

Happy Anniversary Synergy Yoga Rock Hill!

Today is a momentous day, Synergy Yoga turns 5 years old and I just signed to renew our lease for another 5 years!  This journey is one of the biggest thrill rides of my life.  Woosh! Owning a business has some days where the stress level is at an all-time high, tears, and frustration set it. Then just when I think I’ve seen everything, something new happens. Then there are the good days that outweigh all. These are the days where I have the honor of witnessing amazing moments for our clients and team like pure bliss and joy in someone’s heart blasting wide open after a breakthrough in class, recovery from cancer, new friendships develop, transformations happen, and people leave feeling better than they did when they arrived. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 50% of all new businesses do not make it to the 5 year mark.  So this anniversary is a big deal! I humbly reflect on this journey and share some tips from what I’ve learned about business ownership and life (although there are many more):

Monday – Friday 9 am-5 pm doesn’t exist:
The business is always with me, even on vacation or sick days.  JUST like being a parent. The behind the scenes orchestration and the “to do” list don’t end. So hold on tight.  It’s imperative to sculpt out time for yourself and find a way to “turn off” the lists and chatter in the mind. (I know that’s why you come to yoga, as do I. So when you see me on the mat beside you, it’s for the same reason as you’re there, breathing space.)

Life is preparing you… Thank goodness for a corporate career and life experience:
In the early stages of the studio, I really don’t know what I would’ve done without the background from a former 16 year career in the Human Resources field.  I also believe the experience as a single parent was of huge value.  In both cases these experiences gave me skills, knowledge, courage, strength, and confidence. You’re on your own as the HR person, accountant, maintenance department, marketing team, administrative, etc. Value every life experience that comes your way.

Gather support around you quickly:
Network with other trusted business owners and form a strong team around you for support.  Fast.  Coach your team, give them support.  Be present for your team and trainees as much as you can. Then remember you don’t know everything so finding support is super helpful. 

Be prepared to make really tough decisions that not everyone will like or understand:
This is always brutal for me because it’s yoga and it all should be super easy and flowing, right? Well yoga is also a business. Making some business decisions, especially the big ones are tough, for example when I had to close our Steele Creek studio.  I want everyone to feel happy so it’s difficult to disappoint but some business decisions will disappoint, they just do.  I tend to look at the big picture and try to get resourceful by looking at not only the financial big picture but also the human side to balance out making big decisions.   

Your Heart Always Knows:
Trust your intuition, it will never fail. Sometimes my husband says I take too long to make some decisions. Maybe I do sometimes but honestly I’m one to look at things from all angles and creative options. But in the end I wait to “hear” or “feel” the answers. The answers come, they always do, and sometimes when I least expect like in the shower or on a bike ride. Walk in faith, then follow your heart.

Say Yes:
Say Yes more than No. When you or your team comes forth with new ideas, brainstorms, say yes (as long as it’s legal, ethical, and in line with your values J) and give it a try.  Why not?  The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn’t work and then you just don’t do it again. Foster creativity.

When faced with the decision to renew the lease for another 5 years, it was very clear to stay where we are and continue our good work at the studio and the community.  We have a great team for whom I am very grateful for, we have amazing clients who walk into our doors each day, we continue to grow. Yoga heals the body, mind, and soul, I know this to be true from a personal standpoint from when I first stepped on to the mat 20 years ago.  We are that space to help you heal, transform, challenge, and provide a slice of inspiration for your life. Thank you for being part of our journey at Synergy! Cheers to the future!

Peace and Light,

p.s.  SAVE THE DATE -  MAY 5th! We’re about to undergo a little facelift, fresh paint and d├ęcor over the next 2 months.  SO Save the date Saturday May 5th for our 5 Year Anniversary Open House with FREE classes, sale pricing, local artisan vendors, and more.

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