In this episode, Chris will talk about the importance of the “Why” in business and how it keeps an entrepreneur moving forward. He will demonstrate the power of the why by sharing the story of how John introduced him to martial arts, and how martial arts eventually led them into yoga. Before Chris got into martial arts, John would try to convince him to join him for training (John was practicing martial arts for two years before Chris joined), but Chris wasn’t into it until one day when he was at a party and a fight broke out. Someone in the crowd sucker-punched him in the jaw and dared him to fight back, but Chris just stood there with tears in his eyes and walked away. He went home from that party feeling so demoralized and humiliated, and that was the point where he decided to go into martial arts.
John and Chris eventually started teaching martial arts, but their core goal (their why) was not to create fighters, but rather to create empowered, confident human beings who could feel better in their bodies, hearts, and minds. They stayed true to that goal all through their martial arts teaching, but at some point, they became physically overwhelmed because they were always all beat up and bruised. That’s when they discovered yoga and saw how helpful it was in healing themselves. Better yet, they realized how powerful yoga would be if they taught it to others, mainly because it would enable them to stick to their original goal of empowering others.
From there, the rest, as they say, was history. They have been teaching yoga for over 17 years, and they still keep to their why. That “Why” is what keeps them focused on helping people and growing their business no matter what challenges they go through as yoga entrepreneurs. Chris will dive deeper into that to teach us more about the value of having that why, so we can be motivated to apply it in our own yoga businesses. Enjoy!
Key Points Discussed:
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This episode was released February 26, 2020
Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
When we were teaching martial arts, we weren’t really teaching people how to fight. It was to create empowered, confident human beings, who felt better in their bodies, in their hearts, and in their minds, because of what the training of martial arts gave them. We are very realistic. We went hard. We wanted to hit hard. We wanted to train hard. We wanted… the adage was, “You fight like you train”, so you want to train like it’s real. And so, we were beaten up all the time. That’s why we found yoga because we needed to heal.
What’s up, everyone? You are listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. I am Chris Yax, and I’m John Yax. We are part of a small group of yoga entrepreneurs who are committed to making a living, doing what we love, without feeling guilty about making money, or ashamed of being successful, because we know the real value of yoga and how the world needs it now more than ever. This podcast is here to teach the strategies and tactics, so we can thrive financially as yoga entrepreneurs. We are the Yax brothers and welcome to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets.
Yes. Super excited about this one. Again… again, again. I think the last two times I’ve been solo. John is actually en route today as this is being recorded back from Mexico to the United States. And, on this day it’s going to snow. So, we’ll see how it goes for him. Best of luck. Safe travels, my brother. But today, as the intro described, I want to talk about your why. It’s funny in… Shoot, when was it?
Twooooo… 1998, I started practicing martial arts. The “first art” that I practiced was called… was actually… the studio academy was called Empty Hands, which I believe is the… the English translation of karate. Well, the head instructor was actually like a second-degree black belt in TaeKwonDo, and, I got into it at the request, slight coercion and strong hand of John. That’s interesting. So the funny story is that he got into martial arts about two years before I did. And, during that time, it was probably weekly. I remember it being more frequent than that. He would be like, “Hey man. You want to come train with me today?” And I’m like, “No.” Just not interested. And… and then at some point, he got a little frustrated. He was like, “Well, what are you going to do if you get in a fight?”
And I was like, “I don’t know. Punch them in the face. That’s my only recourse right now.” And I was just as like, totally not interested. Well, I was at a party not soon thereafter. Not… And… So, we were all drinking and doing what you do in high school on a weekend during a party. And, some people that weren’t kind of a part of our group came in, and like a fight broke out. And I was always the one like, I’m not into fighting, especially not then. I didn’t want to train martial arts, but I was kind of on the fringe of the fight, and without seeing it, a guy came up and sucker-punched me right in the jaw. Like, just clipped me. And then stood there, and I froze. I had no response. I didn’t like, you know, they say like you either faint, you fight, or you run.
I didn’t have any of it. What… like, isn’t there like a freeze? Maybe that is a fourth one. Freeze. Freeze, faint, fight, or flight. Anyway, I just sat there and looked like, looked at him, like tears starting to pour down my face, and he was like, “What are you going to do?” And I literally said nothing. And I left. I went home and I was like demoralized, embarrassed like my soul was crushed by that experience. Well, come next day, I talked to John, I was like, “Dude, I’m ready. Let’s do this.” That was the beginning of what eventually led me to yoga. And so, if you look back at it. This is like, it could be a whole other topic for another podcast. I should thank that dude. I have his face vividly in my mind, but I don’t remember his name, for punching me in the face, because I am here today talking to you because this dude punched me in the face.
Right? How crazy is that? I need to thank him for demoralizing me and, and like giving me the motivation being the impetus for me to jump into martial arts because it’s because of martial arts that I got into yoga and now this is where I’m connecting to your why. Because when we were teaching martial arts, right? So we did this empty hand stuff. We found G condo concepts. We eventually transitioned during Chico concepts into Brazilian jujitsu. And like right now what stuck with us is Brazilian jujitsu. I love it. I do it every week and I’m just like on fire with it. I absolutely love it. But when we were teaching martial arts, we weren’t really teaching people how to fight. Yes, that was the vehicle, right? The vehicle meaning like what weeds jumped into to get to a destination, but the destination we were going wasn’t to create fighters.
It was to create empowered, confident human beings who felt better in their bodies, in their hearts and in their minds because of what the training of martial arts gave them. Now we are very realistic. We want hard, we wanted to hit hard. We wanted to train hard. We wanted, the adage was you fight like you train so you want to train like it’s real. And so we were beaten up all the time, right? If you’ve listened to the podcast, you’ve probably heard us talk about martial arts and how brutal it was for us. That’s why we found yoga because we needed to heal. But the why of martial arts was still in the back of our brains, right? It still was like the driving force of everything we did in our lives when we found yoga and we realized, Oh my God, this is the rocket ship.
Like martial arts is great, but it takes time and dedication and a willingness to get punched in the face to achieve the level of like self impersonal development that yoga can do in short order and in a much more efficient and effective way. So when we found yoga and we like, it healed us physically, it helped us tap in for help me tap into something like psychologically and emotionally that I’d never experienced before. I was all in. And so I say all that because here we are, you know, 20 years later, almost 20 years later since I, uh, about 17 years later since I started teaching yoga, the yoga studio, hot house yoga has been open since 2005. So we’re in our 15th year, it’ll be 15 years. I’m starting on June 22nd of 2020. And it’s fascinating. And I, you know, if you asked me back then when we started hot house yoga, like what would it look like today?
There was no way I could have, I could ever be able to articulate what it looks like today. But what I will say is that this is why the why is so important. There had been so many trials and tribulations. There have been so many struggles and like sleepless nights and like, and even like, like in the past week, like John’s been gone and like, so you know, more of the burden falls on my shoulders. He’s still, he’s on vacation, but he still doing work. Like as a business owner, if you’re an entrepreneur, you know, even on vacation, you’re not really on vacation. When you take a day off, you’re literally not taking a day off unless everything is shut down. You close the studios and you are just like, I’m locking my doors, I’m shutting off my phone. And I am like checking out. That is the only way as an entrepreneur, as a business owner that you actually getting a legitimate day off.
So I’m not like dogging him like he’s doing work, he’s getting stuff done while he’s there, but there’s still like proximity is power. And because I’m proximal to where we are, I like more of the power rests on my shoulders to make decisions and do stuff. So this past two weeks has just been crazy. Like we’re building these new funnels and like I’m the funnel builder right now and I’m creating all these email sequences and I’m doing stuff that I didn’t start practicing yoga and teaching yoga to do. Right? And it can be a Drudge sometimes, right? But this is what’s so important. Like, again, I, I’ve been behind my laptop on a computer every single day for most of the day. And like, I’ll be honest with you, my practice has suffered because of it, but this, so this is what’s so important. I know why I’m doing it.
I know, but like when I’m building these funnels, yes, I can get like frustrated and I can get like a little like peeved and a little stressed and all this stuff that comes along with like, like I taught yesterday in, uh, in Norfolk and it was like so fulfilling for the soul. It’s what I want to do. It’s what I love to do. It’s why I do it. But what I realized and what kind of came to me, which is why I want to do a podcast about this is what happened the other day when I was building the funnels and we started this fountain of youth challenge. Um, it’s one of the things we’re tweaking. Uh, but there’s the second fountain of youth challenge. So we did one, it went really well. We did chew, it went well, but not as good as far as like the number of people who signed up for it.
And so we looked at, we paused it, we analyzed it. I’ll do a whole podcast about like the whole mechanics of what we created, what were the good things about it, what were the bad things about it, what needed to be tweaked. And right now that’s what’s been so crazy is that I’m in the process of tweaking the funnels, tweaking the emails, tweaking the whole program, and then we’re launching it again, uh, at the time of this being recorded in about four days. Um, so one of the, um, one of the elements of the fountain of youth challenge was these group coaching calls. Well, there were five people who signed up for the second one. And so yesterday I did the group coaching call and there was only one woman who showed up to it. And so I’m literally just having a one on one conversation.
And so I’d talked about what I wanted to talk about. I talked about the history of yoga and I talked about what it was back in the day and what it is today and how we got from there to here and like the two camps of like, Oh like yoga is about the pose. Yoga is not about the poses and like, wait, wait, wait. We’re both right. Like let’s stop fighting each other about that. Um, and I just articulated what it was about and that we’re multidimensional beings and that’s why both are right. Like we’re, yes, we’re physical. We need to take care of the physical body. Yes, we’re psychological beings and what we think creates our focus and our focus creates our feelings. So that’s, there it is psychological and emotional and I just kind of like, I was weaving all of these different ideas in and just kind of doing a coaching call.
And I was like, so any questions, any thoughts? And it was awesome. She was like, you know, I took your course back in the day. This is before all the, like the digital like membership site. And before Facebook was even a thing, cause we had this, what we call the brand new beginners course and she was like, and I even have, I still have the pamphlet that you guys gave out right when we had like we had taken pictures of all the poses and we basically, it was a very similar, it was like a fountain of new challenge light, what we call the branded beginner’s course. And she was like, even then it was great, but what you guys are doing now, it’s like it’s next level. It’s worth every single penny. And what like the calls that you guys do that help us understand like the methodology and why we do what we do physically and like the one today where we talk about more of like the philosophy and what’s really going on in the practice.
It’s so valuable to me because it helps me articulate, it helps me understand some of the experiences I’m having in class. And she said, you know, I just had a moment, a class a couple of days ago where I felt the presence of a loved one who had passed. And I’m like speechless. And she’s like, I can’t tell you the value of that. Like what that, like it happened abruptly and I lost him. And to feel his presence, like with me as I was lying in Shavasana at the end, she’s like, I don’t remember what the teacher said, but whatever it was like, it connected me to that presence and I felt like he was there with me. And so I just want to say thank you cause I don’t even know, I don’t know what happened. But it sounds like what you’ve just talked about is what is it, what it’s like alluding to the potential of what happened and why it happened that way.
And what it did for me is it was like, Oh, Oh, that’s why you’re behind your computer. That’s why you’re building the funnels. That’s why you’re creating these email sequences. That’s why you’re doing all of the things that in the beginning you’d never wanted to do because you know the value of what you’re, it’s not even the fact. You don’t even know. It’s, you know, I know why I’m doing it and I, and I’m always, I’m always connected. I always like I have a daily practice of remembering my bigger why in life. Uh, whether it’s for me personally, whether it’s me in a relationship for me professionally, but sometimes you get lost in the doing of the business and it’s necessary. Like I, I, I’ve learned all of those skill sets because I know it’s the next level for us, not for money but for impact and do, create a value and experience for people that like literally changes their lives.
And so there’s a saying that when you know your why, how becomes clarified. When you know why you do what you do, how you do what you do, it’s easier because you’re not like doing stuff for the sake of doing, you’re doing stuff for the sake of this bigger picture, this bigger why. And that was the gift that she actually gave me during that coaching call is that she helped me connect with why I was spending hours like at night in the morning during the day building funnels and writing emails and shooting videos and doing all the things that I honestly would rather not be doing. Because where my heart really sings is inside the yoga studio. But also it’s me removing myself and allowing other people to impact those people’s lives so that I can help take the business and the impact and the reach and the, the ability of our organization and of our mission to reach more people.
And at that point I’ll do whatever it takes period. And I’m not worried about like what’s going to happen tomorrow. I’m not worried about what I need to do or not need to do. I don’t worry about if I have to shoot a video, I don’t care if I got to get and like call technical support or call mind body and wait on the phone for an hour. Because I remember in those moments the people that are being affected by my actions. And that’s why we taught martial arts was to help empower people to live their best lives. That’s why we pivot into yoga because we like, you know, this is a better vehicle to reach more people, to make a bigger impact in people’s lives. To help people wake up to the truth of who they are, to help them feel better in their bodies, to clear the minds, remember what’s important in life.
And with that in mind, I don’t care what it takes, I’m going to learn whatever it needs to be learned. I’m going to do whatever needs to be done to be able to impact people’s lives. Cause that’s my mission in life. And so my question is, if you’re listening to this, and it doesn’t have to be for yoga specifically, I mean if you’re listening to this, most likely you’re an entrepreneur in yoga and you teach. And I guarantee if you’re a teacher and you’ve been doing it a long time, you’re probably had moments where you’ve been burned out. And what I would call you to do is to have a daily practice of remembering why you chose, do it in the first place. Remember what it was like in the beginning. Remember when you found yoga before you even became a teacher and what it did for you, and then look at your students and remember that the potential that you’re giving them is the very same thing that you were offered by a teacher and that you’re paying it forward.
And what it does is in the times where you feel down, where you feel like you’re just barely showing up, when you’re tired, you didn’t get enough sleep, you didn’t have enough kombucha and it didn’t juice enough, a wheatgrass and be like, your energy is low. That whatever you can deliver in that class on that day is what those people need and whatever needs to be done on the back end of it to get your message out there and to reach more people, learn it and do it for the people that you haven’t yet met. And I’ll end with this story. John and I, uh, we were, uh, went to a Brendon Burchard. Um, it was called experts Academy out in California. This is two or three years ago. I can’t remember. And uh, he had everyone or just about a thousand people there, he had everyone raise their hand.
He said, now everyone will or your hands out, everyone raise your hand who didn’t know of me and the last like didn’t know who I was last year. And 70% of the people raise their hands. 70% of the people who were there at that, uh, at that conference had no idea who Brendan Burchard was a year ago. What that tells me is that that is a man who’s been doing this for like close to 20 years now, online marketing, online, personal development. He is putting himself out there and doing the work behind the scenes to reach the people to help them in their lives. That’s the power of doing the work that you don’t want to do. I’ve learning how to market yourself, learning how to be better on social media, learning how to find a platform where you can share your message and help people and connect with people over and over and over and just continue to beat the drum even when you’re so effing tired of beating the drum to remember why you chose to be a teacher in the first place, why you chose to open up a yoga studio in the first place so that when you’re in the freakin trenches, you don’t lose hope and you don’t lose your vigilance and you don’t lose the motivation to take that next step forward because there are people who don’t know you yet.
That’s my point. Who don’t know of you yet, who haven’t heard of you yet, who need your message and you being willing to do the work that needs to be done is so important, not for you but for them. Remember your why and you’ll be willing to do whatever it takes to get the work done, to share the message, to impact people in the way that you know you were born to do. Thank you so much for listening to yoga entrepreneurs secrets. Have a blessed day, and as always, do the work, honor the struggle and make the world a better place to live. Peace.
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