In this episode, it’s Chris’s turn to talk about his experiences growing up in a family that was on welfare and struggling to make ends meet. John will interview him about growing up as the youngest in the family, seeing his mom struggle financially, and the dysfunctional patterns that he formed from that.
They will also dive into his money issues, and how he overcame them when his responsibilities in life increased. Tune in and enjoy!
Key Points Discussed:
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This episode was released September 11, 2019
Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
00:00 Best story I could tell about like, the money thing, was I remember being at the store, and so, we were in the checkout line, she’s balancing her checkbook, and she realized she didn’t have enough money, and she looks at me, because as we are shopping, I was like, “Hey mom. Can I get this, and can I get that?” And she’s a sweetheart. So, she said yes to everything, and says, “Hey Christopher, do you really want this? Because, we can buy it, but we may have to give something else back.” And I remember the embarrassment. I wanted to curl up into the fetal position in a cave and die.
00:32 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.
01:02 I am so not excited about this one today. So, the last episode, we got to talk a little bit about money on my side, my issues, and what’s… growing up in a family of six siblings and then mom and dad, but basically mom, raising us. How you’re so incredibly crazy. Yeah, totally. How we… how we all grew up in a family of that… basically were raised on welfare, my mom taking care of six kids and… and then just the struggle of it, and now more important than that, is like, is the patterning, the issues that creates as you’re being raised in that way, and how that affects your future self. So we got to dive deep on my stuff last time, so we’re going to flip the script, and I’m going to interview… Alright. That’s it. Great show today, John. Let’s move on. We’re going to flip it and throw it back at Chris a little bit because, what we talked about last time, one of the fascinating things is that Chris and I are four years apart, and we grew up, obviously we grew up in the same family, but how… what I saw being four years older created the patterns in me in a certain way, and what Chris experienced, same exact experiences, but just being four years younger created similar, and different patterns in him.
02:14 Yeah, yeah. The way it gets interpreted. Like at four years, especially when you’re younger, four years is like… like an ocean of difference in your cognitive ability, how you’re seeing things, why you’re seeing things. And so, as you experience, so we say we experience the same thing, but really, we didn’t experience the same thing because the way we interpreted those experiences were totally different, which is so fascinating. Yeah. So let’s dig in. You ready for this guys?
02:37 No. No, I’m not. Alright, let’s start with what did it feel like growing up in a family with five brothers and sisters. So it’s six of us, and being the youngest, and being the rant. You were actually kind of small for a little while. I didn’t really start growing until I was in 11th grade. That is no joke. I think I was five-two until…
03:01 we played basketball. He could hit some three-pointers. He was like a point guard bugs him alone. Muggsy he was the little guy in the Al side. Oh, Malin. The three-pointers, but I digress. So what did it feel like being the youngest and growing up in and growing up in our family? It was challenging for sure. I mean, I didn’t have all the like a room or a bed, the log cemetery for the luxuries of my life out there. There’s a seriously a good period of time, years where my bed was the couch and that’s when I was living. I would literally have to be like, hey guys, I need to go to bed now. I’m going to turn the TV off and you need to go into your room because you’re in my room on my bed on this couch. And so it was tough in ways.
03:45 It was awesome and ways to like, so the struggle was there prior to dad leaving, but I was so young, I was like two years old when they two or three years old when they ended up splitting up. The struggle got more intense after he left, obviously mentally, emotionally for my mom. But what it also did for me and for the brothers and sisters, which is one of the reasons why I thank my dad for all the choices that he made, is that it allowed us to bond together and like we actually supported each other and like the support system was no longer like mom and looking to mom and dad for the guidance and the discipline. For me it was looking to like you and Jimmy and the older sisters, cause I was the youngest for that guidance, for that discipline and to like learn what it was like to be a human being in this world.
04:29 Now being the youngest, there was always this feeling of like, man, there’s not going to be enough food. I’ll tell two stories. I remember mom coming home the weekly grocery shopping, right. And it was like she would come back with like a hundred bags and like load up the refrigerator and it was like starving wolves. Like they would all come in and in my mind, it was like a cartoon where they’re like, like food flies everywhere, like clothes and like hair and like everyone’s just like devouring each other. And I’m the youngest so I’m not getting in the melee. I’m just waiting. So then I started getting smart about it and like once she would come home, I would start grabbing food and like hiding it and behind places and things that I knew, like they wouldn’t go behind the lettuce. So that’s where I’d put like Turkey and the Cheese to make sure that I could eat.
05:18 So I joke. But I mean literally it was like a survival instinct to make sure that I was going to have food the next day. And so I would go and hide shit and like just make sure that I have food cause it was, and there’s something instinctual about being the youngest I think. And if you’re like the youngest in your family, you’ll probably resonate with this. Where like survival’s not guaranteed man. Like you’re not like you, you were the lowest on the totem pole. So that’s one story that was like, and that food thing came to talk about pattern like core pattern. That food thing came up a lot later on in my life as far as the dysfunctional pattern that I had to work through. But maybe the like the best example, the best story I could tell about like the money thing was I was, I remember being at the store and my mom had a full grocery cart.
06:05 Right. And so we’re in the checkout line and the cashier’s ringing us up and ringing us up. And this is like the time where like my mom would have her checkbook out and we got the total, she’s balancing her checkbook in the line. Like, and this is prior to like everyone using a card. So I don’t think people were like rushed or like pissed off that she was balancing your checkbook. But now like you’d get like you’d get kicked out of the grocery store if you tried to balance your checkbook in front of people and she realized she didn’t have enough money. This is late eighties probably late eighties early nineties maybe. Yeah, she didn’t have enough money and like she looks at me because that’s where a shopping, I was like, hey mom, can I get this and can I get that? Can I get this? And she, you know, she’s man sweetheart.
06:44 That’s a crazy warm-hearted person. So she said yes to everything, realize she doesn’t have money looks at me and says, Hey Christopher, do you really want this because we can buy it but we may have to give something else back. And I remember like the embarrassment, like I wanted to curl up into the fetal position in a cave and die and I just like, I couldn’t even answer. I just walked away. I’m maybe like seven years old at this point. I walk away and I’m like, please God, kill me. Like, get me out of this scenario please. Just, I want to avoid that feeling of embarrassment of like not having enough money and then my mom asking me if I’m okay with putting something back and like I felt like everyone knew we were poor at that point. And like somehow I was responsible because I asked for too many things that we didn’t have enough money to buy all this stuff. And so that one experience like stuck with me, there’s, you know we’ve talked about patterning the way of like building a pattern in your mind. Literally your brain is to have one really, really strong like traumatic event. Like wire it tight off the first go or to do things a little bit, a lot over a longer period of time. That was one event where it was like one moment and you’re like wired for dysfunction financially for the rest of your life. That was me.
08:03 So an example of this would be like if the stove is hot and you reach in your little, you’re young, you reach up to touch the top of the stove and you burn your hand. You only have to do that one time. Like it’s wired I, that is a pattern that is there. And then doing these little things over and over again to build deeper patterns is what most of us build patterns with. And uh, so that experience was like, burn your hand on the stove. [inaudible] so hard printed it imprinted deep.
08:28 And it was reinforced by like, every time I would see her have to pay a bill. And like I talked about last time, I literally like every time, like I pay a bill now I’m like, I hear her, oh, I don’t know where the money’s going to come from. And so she would like, and I see that and she was so open about it, she didn’t try to hide any of it from us. So like all her, the are emotions and the mental anguish and the financial struggle was all like, they’re just available to us to hear and to see. And so like not only was that like the burned wired tight into my brain event, but it was then reinforced like, oh yeah, every time, like every week a bill comes in [inaudible]
09:07 how much money you don’t have and how poor we really are. So let’s fast forward a little bit. As you get older and you start to have responsibilities, you get job, you started to make money. How did those patterns kind of play out in your day to day? Was it easy to buy things for you or is it easy to buy smaller price things more difficult, buy more expensive things. How did that affect your managing your finances as you got, as you started getting older and actually making money? What’s funny, because this is last time in the last episode, I was like, man, if you went the entire like 180 degrees opposite from where I went with it. So you are like, I’m going to [inaudible]
09:40 learn about it, I’m going to like control it and I’m gonna figure it out so I’ll never have to deal with it. And I was like, I’m going to run away from it. I’m going to bury my head in the sand and if I never look at it and I avoid it long enough, it’ll just disappear and so and so I didn’t, it was like small purchases. When I knew I had money I was like, okay, that’s no big deal, but I would never look to see if I had enough. I would literally be like, here we go. Like bigger purchases. I knew like I had to like I couldn’t bounce a check, I couldn’t, but I didn’t really like I knew generally how much money I had, but like specific expenses and income and like what was going out and what was coming in, I will fully disregarded it. I didn’t want to look at it. I didn’t want to experience it. I didn’t want to know cause if I didn’t know then I wouldn’t have to deal with the reality of how little I had or how struggle, how tight finances actually work. So I actually just, I was like, if I don’t learn about it then I’m just as good as I am now. And that moment when I ran away in the grocery store was just replayed over and over again in different ways as I got older.
10:47 Mm, yeah. Yeah. It’s funny, I never really thought about that until now, but that literally it was like the representation of how I responded for the rest of my life was burned and wired in the grocery store as I was seven years old. And when we talk about this, it’s like when I decided to dive deep, I didn’t all of a sudden start studying like finance books and like the art of making money or like how to, how to invest. I just was like, how the hell do you just budget money? Yeah. Like how do people budget their money? Like what are good strategies to budget money? And what it sounds like is like you’re like that. I’m going to go in the other way. Sorry to throw an f bomb out there guys. But you’re like, I don’t even want to understand how to budget. I’m just going to very much like you said, bear my head in the sand and roll. See where I end up.
11:32 Yeah. And it didn’t work out good. That didn’t turn out good. Like I bounced a lot of checks. I didn’t have money. I had to find out like through more embarrassment of like, oh by the way you just got an email from your bank and you overdrafted again. Oh and by the way, when we asked you for overdraft protection, you said no because you thought it wasn’t worth it. So I mean it bit me every single time but so you know, so I’ll fast forward even more and all the sudden like I graduate from college and I’m super in debt. I decide I’m not going to go get that corporate career job cause I was international business major and I like emphasized and Europe and I studied abroad and so I was all set up to like start making money. German and minor in German.
12:17 I was like two classes away from a double major in German and international business. The smart kid not financially. And then let’s pause this just cause I want to make, I want to highlight this point. You majored in business. Yes I did. Right? You majored in not just business, international business. Yes I did. And your personal finances, you were struggling. You were struggling at that time even right. Cause the person was more like an elementary school level understanding of finances and money. So what was the turning point? The turning point was when we opened up hothouse, right. So it was interesting cause we had a martial arts academy, like it was backyard style. So we had it in our home and I got to a point where like I was waiting tables, I was going to school, I was like teaching classes regularly. I was training like crazy and I was living like pretty modestly.
13:09 Like you and I were living together and so I didn’t have a lot of expenses so I didn’t even at that point have to look at them. I didn’t have to, I was good to go. And then, and I was making more money than, and I just knew like I’m making way more money than the money that’s going out. So I’m just good to go. Which was like it was good, but it was also bad cause it just reinforced the same behavior of me not looking at the money that I had and needing to really like organize it and make sure I could be, I wasn’t thinking about saving, I wasn’t thinking about the future. I was literally just like what day to day, week to week, month to month, which sounds like super, I’ll go in for the flow. You know, I’ve got, I don’t have to worry about the future.
13:46 The time now. Always now. No. So when we buy finances, go with universal provide man. No. So then all of a sudden like we opened up hothouse and like what I guarantee I took a pay cut because we didn’t like, we knew like at that point we had partners and we knew what our expenses were within the business and we knew what we couldn’t do and I knew personally, but the amount of time and effort that was putting into it, the amount of money I was getting out, like I had this really start looking at it. So the answer is that the turning point was like getting more responsibility and having to do it because of the consequence of not doing it. Like so high was so much increased some prior in my life that there was, the turning point was you can’t do this.
14:35 And it’s not just for me personally because now there’s other people who are at stake here. You not taking care of like me not taking care of my finances could potentially harm my partners, my business. And at that point I was like, no, this has got to get right because I can no longer operate this way because it’s now not just about me. It’s about other people. Fast forward even more. And I got married. Hello? Yeah, I was just gonna ask about that because as you get older, you start to stack responsibility and then it’s not about you anymore. And what happens with a lot of people I think is that they, like even when they make a commitment to somebody else, they still hold to their old patterns and then all of a sudden that other person’s wrapped in their chaos and their dysfunction.
15:21 And then fast forward a little more and you have kids with kids with that person. And if you don’t make an effort to say enough, it is time to change these patterns. If they are not serving me, they’re definitely not going to serve my spouse and they’re definitely not going to serve my kids. It is time to make a damn change. Yeah. It’s funny because you’ll do more for other people than you’ll do for yourself typically. And that’s exactly what like the spur was for me was it started with business partners and realizing that I’m like we have money, we have our house on the line, I cannot mess around anymore. And then it was like increase the intensity and the pressure with having a wife like triple fold the intensity and pressure wants to have a kid than a second kid. And what also started happening is like man, expense has started just ballooning because you got kids, man.
16:05 I got like, you know, labor and delivery and the whole birthing process and then all the, how do you keep them alive? Like you gotta buy stuff to keep them alive like food and like high chairs and car seats and strollers like stuff. I’m like, oh my God. So all of a sudden I had to be very like much more dialed in personally with my finances and this, it was interesting what ended up happening too is that was kind of what the pressure built in that and it was, we’ll talk about this in another podcast, but it was one of the reasons why the partnership had to change at a certain point was because I, the pressure of needing to make more and to have more control over my own life was bumping up against the amount of expenses that I had and how I couldn’t control that with the partnership that we had.
16:50 Yeah. So yeah. So all that to say like the, I wish there was a magic bullet. I know like, cause we all have patterns like, and it’s not like are you patterned or not, it’s what patterns do you have that are functional and what patterns do you have that are dysfunctional? And this is like Yoga One oh one we’re pattern to see the world in a specific way based on our upbringing. Like we’re talking about money, but it’s, I talked about earlier, like I have food patterns I’ve got, so we’re talking about relationships, patterns of relationships, how I viewed the world in relationship to money, how have you, the world relationship to food, how have you, the world in relationship to working out, health, eating, diet, all of it. And so like I wish once you became like aware of it, that was enough to dispel it and like you’re done.
17:36 Like, Oh, I’ve got a money issue. I’m now aware of the money issue and now I no longer have the money issue. I read a book and it’s all gone. Yeah. Oh my God. Done. So the answer really is like, so if you hear this, you’re like, man, that’s great. Good stories. Now what? Like who cares is like, this is like what I said Yoga One oh one it’s what meditation does for you. What Yoga is designed. Like I say meditation because that’s Yoga and yoga. Asana, which is a supplement to meditation and what that does for you is it gives you one awareness. I can now be aware and conscious of my patterns that don’t serve me, my that feeling that comes up when I have to pay a bill. That feeling that comes up when it’s taxis and the feeling that comes up when I know I’m getting paid and I’m not sure how much money we have and like I need to look at it and be proactive about it.
18:21 That awareness is first the impulse of feeling a certain way. For me, the impulse of wanting to run away and bury my head again. Like, no, that’s not, that’s I can’t work. My life doesn’t support that anymore. And so that impulse control is the, the desire to feel that and to do that, to act on it and to not, right. So I have the awareness, I have the impulse control and that ability to not act on it is how we start changing behaviors, how we start changing habits. And then it’s like for me, I think that goes the third part of it is empathy, right? To recognize that in my relationship it’s not just about me. I have to feel and understand where others are. And then that was like, I guess the biggest, strongest push for me was to, to change those behaviors, to have that impulse control, to actually like change how I was behaving in relationship to money because of understanding how other people would be affected by it.
19:11 Yeah, that’s huge. Yeah. That’s huge. And then when you have all of those things, then the three ways to change it are your story. Yeah. Your state or strategy. Yeah. And with this, for me personally, this was the strategy piece of, of what does a simple way of budgeting money? What’s a simple way of looking at it weekly? What’s a simple way of understanding it? What’s a simple way of building it, right? Simple way of being able to approach this subject so that I have better control over it. Yeah, exactly right. And so if you’re listening to this, you’re like, wait, this is yoga entrepreneur secrets. Like where’s the secret as an entrepreneur for yoga? Well, the secret as a yoga entrepreneur is your patterned, and we’re going to talk about it in the next episode about money specifically about how you view money and that vantage point.
19:57 That viewpoint of money is a pattern of thinking. It’s evil or thinking it’s wonderful or thinking whatever it is like and it’s affecting the decisions you make as an entrepreneur basing at your like services and the price you charge for your services is going to be a reflection of the pattern that you have around money. And this is what we’ll talk about later. We wanted to tell our stories behind it because it’s important for you to understand like, man, we where we are now. Like if you look at our circumstances, we shouldn’t be here, right? I should be like dying slowly in a trailer, worried about the river.
20:34 Oh my God. And I’m not because of yoga, because of the practice. So this is what we have the like this beautiful opportunity to do as yoga teachers, as yoga entrepreneurs. We can yet teach Astana and help people feel better physically, but we can also help them understand that we’re all patterned in certain ways and that the core of yoga is to help rewire the patterns that don’t serve us anymore. And as far as the Yoga entrepreneur, it rewires the patterns that are encouraging you to charge less than you’re worth encouraging you to invite. If you’re me bury your head in the sand. If I just don’t pay attention to it, then maybe it’ll go away. And if I keep charging less than maybe more people will show up and then it just doesn’t work. It’s a recipe for disaster. And with all of that, if you are an entrepreneur and you do have a yoga business, are you looking at your numbers? Are you flying blind or are you looking at your numbers? And we’ll talk a little bit more in detail about that in the next episode. So thank you so much everybody for
21:29 tuning in and keep an eye out for the next episode will be a good one. Yes, Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoyed this episode and be sure to tune in for the next one. Thanks. Peace. Thanks. Yes, thanks so much for listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Do you have a question that you’d like us to answer raw and uncut on the podcast? If you want your questions answered, all you need to do is head over to Apple Podcasts, and do three simple things. One; rate and review telling us what you think of the podcast. Two; in that review, ask anything you want related to yoga, and three; if you want to shout out, leave your Instagram handle or name and that’s it. Then listen in to hear your question answered Live, raw and uncut. Join us next time on Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets Podcast. Thanks.
In this episode, we’re going to dive into the subject of money and why people call it the root of all evil. We will talk about our personal experiences with money, and how that formed and shaped the way we saw our realities.
The episode will focus on John and his money issues, how they came to be and how he overcame them.
It’s not specific to the yoga industry, but we have seen that a lot of yoga entrepreneurs have bad relationships with money. Whether that be thinking money is a bad thing, or they feel like they can’t seem to make enough of it. It all starts with having the right mindset about it.
Hopefully, the key takeaways from his story will help you look at your money issues differently so you can work towards financial freedom.
Key Points Discussed:
Join The Facebook Group –> http://bit.ly/yogaentrepreneur
Atomic Habit by James Clear –> Get it here
This episode was released September 4, 2019
Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
00:01 Money. Some of you just got excited and some of you just got a little disturbed. What is money and why do people call it the root of all evil? Well, that is a couple of questions that we are going to explore in today’s episode.
00:17 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.
00:49 Alright, John, this is a good one. I’m super excited. I’ve been wanting to talk about this for so long. How many of you have money issues? Really, a lot of us do, don’t we? I know I did forever and it still lingers. In fact, I’m reading a book right now. I say reading, I’m not really reading. I listen to books now. His being read to, I am too actually. That’s why… that’s why I know, but… And it just feels so good when someone reads something to you. I feel like I’m a kid again, but he’s taught… the book’s called Atomic Habits, and he talks about how, like you can have a habit, like this pre… this hardwired experience, and you can outgrow the habit, but you can never forget it. It’s always kind of there with you. It’s funny cause we talk about it in our teacher trainings, and we say like, you can like become the best version of yourself, and dismantle these patterns that no longer serve you. And, what it really, like the analogy is like, when you’re dismantling, it’s like someone screaming, the habit screaming at you. And over time it’s like a whisper. And what this book is actually saying, is that it’ll always be there and it’s always going to be a whisper. It’ll never be forgotten. So, I say I’m over my money issues, but honestly, I still hear the whispers.
02:00 But he has a way better control, like me, cause it was the same thing. I think Chris is going to ask me some questions on this one, so I was about to jump right into a story, and you guys would feel that, and I was like, “Okay, I want to tell the story, but I’m going to hold and let Chris ask the question.” Yeah, John. Slow your roll. I’m excited man. I’m excited. Right. Alright, so John, we had similar experiences growing up. I say that, but you’re four years older than I am. So I’m the younger, more up-to-date version… The rant.
02:32 So, honestly, you know, we went through similar experiences, but the way we interpreted them are obviously different, and how it formed and shaped how we see our reality is definitely different. So let me ask you a couple questions about what did you learn growing up about money? And it’s funny. I say, what did you learn, like explicitly, like did mom and dad tell you something like this is how money works or was it more implicit? Like you just saw them behaving and that was like, oh that’s how you behave around money.
02:58 More implicit. So we grew up in, I’m telling the listeners this Chris, cause obviously you know this, we grew up in a family of six. Stop listening to you after I asked the question. If you go to YouTube you’ll be able to see that. See Him actually stop listening to me start playing on my phone. He is so not interested. We grew up six kids. Exactly. It was actually a family of Eight, mom and dad and we had a 13 it was a little over 1300 square foot house. So you can imagine six, eight people living in 1300 square foot house. Our Dad is still a professional artist and he was back then and you had the terminology, a starving artist. We knew keenly what that meant. We knew very well what a starving artist was. And our mom, you know, obviously there were six of us, so she was a professional mom.
03:46 And so we always had everything we needed. We didn’t feel like we were “wanting” for stuff. Like mom always kept a clean house and always, you know, she always made it beautiful and dad did his best. So, but the reality was that we were living paycheck to paycheck and when things like Christmas would come, our dad was scrambling, scrambling to try to get enough money to, uh, to be able to get gifts for everybody and have a Christmas. And so we didn’t, when we were so young, we didn’t realize this. Our parents separated when I was six, Chris was two. And that is when things really shifted for my understanding of what money is and the perception of scarcity really have grown up in a family that, that were literally struggling. So very soon after that separation, we were on welfare.
04:41 I literally remember getting government cheese and I just thought they were big blocks of Velveeta in the fridge. And we were like, no, we agree. We have real cheeses all the time. This is awesome. And just didn’t being at that age. And as I got older and started realizing, hearing mom struggling when she was paying the bills and like just, she was animated with it and she was just vocal with it and just, and so I had this perception that you need a con, like if you want to get a handle on something, you need to understand it and control it so that you don’t get stuck in those same patterns. So I had a really dysfunctional relationship with money kind of on the other side of it where I was like, no if I get it, I’m gonna hold onto it and make sure that I’m not struggling with my finances.
05:24 Funny when you said the, uh, when you had like mom was very animated about it and didn’t like hide it from us. I remember like right when you said that, I was like, I remember the sound of her opening up a bill and being, I just don’t know where it’s gonna come from. Oh my God. I was literally back there at like six years old listening to her and being like, are we going to die? So what’s the specific, so you’re like the way you got wired, hearing all that was like, I need to control it and I’m going to hoard it and going to like, when I get it, I’m never going to let it go. Is that what you’re like that was the idea behind it. Yep.
06:02 Well was more of that I need to, I need to be way more, I’ll say way more. I mean I need to be structured around it in ways that like, so at 16 1617 I bought my first car and I was able to do that because I understood that if I want to do bigger things, I can’t rely on our parents to try to help us with these bigger purchases. And so when I was 16 not only did I buy my first car, 16 or 17 617 but I went on my first international trip when I was 16 I went to Costa Rica and surf on a surf trip, paid for it myself, pay for my first car myself. So I did these bigger purchases, these bigger things because I understood that in order to really understand finances, even being young. So my rudimentary understanding of finances was, hold onto it in a way that you’re able to do bigger things with it. Right? So I held onto it and I was like, okay, I’ll spend a little bit here, a little bit there, but I wasn’t like going off and blowing it on stuff I didn’t really need.
07:09 Okay. Let me stop you right there for a second. Cause this sounds, that sounds like pretty healthy. Like okay, I know that I have to rely on myself. So like you’ve learned self for lions and I’m gonna save and then I’m saving. So now I have the ability to do bigger things and then you’re doing those bigger things. It doesn’t sound dysfunctional to me. What was like
07:27 what, what’s the darker side of that? So that’s the external. The internal was when I had to make a purchase. So like I’m saving up for a big surf trip or I’m saving up to buy a car, I’m saving up for some bigger thing and I have to make a purchase. I have to make a hundred dollars purchase of something else that popped up that I did like a, I’ll have to buy clothes cause I, I’m school’s going to start soon and I’m going to hug. I better buy some clothes. That internal struggle when I needed to make sun and I’m bigger purchases like a trip or car or something like that. But the mid purchases that were a hundred, a couple of hundred dollars, was it any purchase or like, or no, it was, it was, it was like a pack of gum. Did that freak you out? A little purchase.
08:14 It didn’t freak me out, like pack of gum or go out to lunch with friends or something like that was fine and it didn’t affect me. But if I had to spend a couple hundred dollars then I started battling inside. I was like, okay, I’m not like this. Spending this couple hundred dollars is going to now put me into a place of struggle because now I can’t get to my goal and I’m going to end up at the same place that my parents ended up where I’ll be struggling to actually make ends meet. So it was actually a real thing though. Like did you, was it that was that $200 purchase actually gonna like potentially cause you to not be able to pay bills and like your lights get shut down or it wasn’t a reality at all. It was saying this is the dysfunction of it. This is the internal struggle was a simply an old pattern from seeing our parents struggle and seeing how they reacted to finance.
09:06 The moms specifically reacted to finances. That was embedded in me. I didn’t have a problem doing small purchases at all. It wasn’t a big thing because I balanced that piece out. But then if all a sudden it was like, oh I gotta spend a couple of hundred dollars because I want to do, I want to get clothes, I want to take my girlfriend out or do something, something bigger, it would tweet me inside. It would twist me inside them in ways. And this is the crazy thing that was, ’cause it’s a really great question Chris, is the craziest thing is that it didn’t actually matter. Like I had enough finances where whatever big purchase I was talking, what’s still going to happen? Maybe it pushed it out of a month or so, but it didn’t matter. Like it didn’t change the reality of what I felt inside based off old patterning that I saw a grown-up.
09:52 So how did you get over it? Like I mean like we talked about in the beginning, like in the book atomic habits, he talks like you, you’re never gonna forget the habits that you had or the patterns. It’s kind of the language we’re using right now. So did you, so it’s not like completely wiped from your memory and like this new pattern that’s been developed. How first, so two questions. One, what did you do to overcome it and do you still feel it?
10:19 First question, what I do to overcome it is studying finances, like not, not, not in depth, but like I didn’t take any finance courses or anything like that, but like studying ways of being better with your finances and there’s so much, there’s always strategies guys. There’s tens of thousands, hundred thousand strategies out there. There are ways of like how do you organize finances? How do you sit, like simply organize your finances? Like what do you do week to week? There’s envelope theory or envelope strategy where you just, you every week you have an envelope and you put it in your envelope for your groceries, your envelope for your gas, your envelope for your miscellaneous purchases, and you use that as a structure, right? It literally at some point was like literal envelopes, but now you can do the whole same thing on like with apps and digital products that you can just structure your money that way.
11:09 So that studying what other people that are, that are successful in finances do on as their regular habits. Like what do they do day-to-day? So like what, like if you start saving money, what do you do? What should you do when you say money? Like you and I are studying with some Ninjas in this field right now. But back in the day, it was like, oh you should start an IRA. Simple IRA or start or you have more money to start it off. There were like these ideas that, that we now know are tragically misguiding us, the stock market just, it’s going to be [inaudible] anyway. Well, that’s for another, that’s for another pocket. This was like a big thing for me. I was like if people are out there doing it and the biggest is so let me bring it back.
11:50 So I don’t want to get so detailed with it cause that’s not really the question. The question is like in order to start to break these internal habits, my Go-to is to study from people that understand the thing. So for example, if I have issues around finances, I study finances so that I don’t get caught up in the emotional response to it, that I’m doing it in a way that’s strategic and that is that proven outright? That’s a framework behind it. Just like eating right. Eating is a great example. Like so many people like I need to eat better, but they’re not using any proven strategy to actually eat better and there are thousands, tens of thousand, hundreds of thousands of strategies to eat better. Right. And it just, it all comes back down to that of like, all right, what is, what are very effective strategies to eat better? What a very effective strategy. All of our major stuff around what are effective strategy around relationships. This is a big one for me too. I was like, okay, study from people that are, that have frameworks that lead to success and relationships, that frameworks that leads to success and finances.
12:50 So you studied, but at some point that’s still just conceptual. Like you can learn what other people did and you can study their models but that isn’t going to correct the or like realign you to a better way of being was like so, and let’s bring it back to like here we are yoga entrepreneur. Like here we are yoga entrepreneur secrets. So we invested a lot of money for the first studio that we opened. Like it was, we put our house on the line. That’s a huge, now there was hundreds of thousands of dollars put down to be able to invest in our future. Had you had already at that point felt pretty comfortable with that type of like purchase in quotes, quotes and quotes, quotations or did that like almost drive you insane
13:37 that, it’s funny you asked this question. I had such confidence that decision was one of those decisions where my inner compass was like pulling. I wasn’t, we weren’t, I wasn’t pushing in that direction. I was being pulled in that direction. So much so that I, that I was like, this is exactly what we have to do. So there was, it didn’t come up at all for me when we did that. We had made that move and it was like our house on the line, hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line and I didn’t have a, it didn’t even come up at all. It didn’t come up in a fascinating here. Right. Is that crazy? And so right, like probably a year, year and a half after, I think two years after, when I first met Elizabeth, my wife, we were in the dating phase and we went to a surf shop to buy some stuff and she found some cool stuff for herself.
14:24 I was like, no, don’t, no worries. Get whatever you want. And she, she got a bunch of stuff and, and it was, it was the same thing. It was like a couple hundred hundred dollars, 150,000, $200 maybe. So I can’t even remember what it was. And it tweaked me like it came up so loud just screaming and like, and my whole demeanor shifted. She got back in the truck cause I was in the truck just like hanging out, doing something. She having, sorry, I got a bunch of cool stuff and blah blah blah. And all of a sudden I was like in a bad mood and she was like, WTF? Like what? Like that means what the fuck by the way, we don’t cuss but I just wanna throw it out there. If you have any little ones listening, turn it. You can keep it up now. Cause I already said it.
15:00 Sorry about that. But she was like, what’s going on with you? And I had like nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. Like for an hour I was trying to play this like, no, nothing’s wrong, nothing’s wrong. And then she was like, we gotta talk. Like what happened? That was the turnkey experience for me. That was the shift. I was like, I literally like, I’m in love with this woman. I have, my finances are fine. I’ve at that point I hadn’t studied as as much as I had. Now, but I was still like in what was not in a place of struggle at all. I was doing the things, we had the studio rock and roll and we did all these things in life that were like great and six we’re already successful that at that point and, and it came up and it was the craziest thing.
15:43 It was just a literally just a pattern that shifted me that I accepted because I wasn’t conscious of it. It accepted right. And I’ve moved into this say depressed but this like downstate all of a sudden for hours. And at the end of that, that night I had a heart to heart with her. And like this is, this comes from growing up with nothing from seeing my mom struggle from not getting any information about how to work with finances from my dad as far except for the fact that that the universe will take care of you, the universe at the 11th hour of every single month, law of attraction will step in. You just got to ask. And it was, and at that moment I was like, this is not how I want to live. I am not going to deal with this anymore. I don’t have to.
16:26 The reality the facts are here and the feelings do not match the facts. And so when that feeling comes up, I’m going to face it dead on and decided that moment whether I’m going to accept it or not. And so that was the big turnkey for me. That’s gold. The facts and the feelings, right? The facts of my life are not aligning with the feeling. If I look at the facts, the feeling I have doesn’t make sense because the factual information shows me that the feeling I have is actually not relevant or appropriate to this situation at all. Yeah. So let’s bring this home. What would you say for people that have similar issues, like you are better as like that or whereas dysfunctional around money. If you are, oh I, no offense to any of you utter and complete offense to John. I accept that you won’t be able to see this, but I just punched me here.
17:29 So we have to see it in order to do something about it. And most of what’s driving us is unconscious. The patterns that drive us are unconscious. They’re working in our subconscious. And so we just get these urges to do something right. We get these urges to like to react a certain way based off circumstance. So the very first thing we have to do is be able to see it. We have to get real with ourselves. And when an emotion happens, we have to look at that emotion and say, okay, what’s going on here? This doesn’t match the facts. My feeling doesn’t match the facts. I need to look at what’s happening because there’s a pattern that just took me over. We’re living in unconscious on skillfulness and we need to get into conscious unskillful ness
18:13 to be aware of what you weren’t prior aware.
18:15 We gotta be aware of it first. The best tool for this course is meditation to be too, even if it’s small amounts of it every morning, sit for two or three minutes. Because when we practice paying attention, then we can catch ourselves. When those feelings come up. We can pay attention to what’s actually happening, how we’re feeling at that point. The next step is to have conscious skillfulness. It’s literally literally deciding in the moment, do I want to feel this way? Do I want to feel so cause we get to choose. I do. I want to do, I if I could have a choice right now and if I’m able to identify it then I actually do have a choice. But if I have a choice right now, what I choose to feel this way and if not, then we need to change it. And the three best ways of changing it or to change your state, change your story or change your stories to have a strategy with it. Right. This is Tony Robbins One oh one
19:08 state story strategy. That’s awesome. I think the next episode should be you interviewing me about it cause I um, I have like almost the exact opposite experience of how the very same, it’s just so fascinating. The very same situation. Like we were literally living the same circumstance and how I interpreted those events that John just talked about. It came about in literally the 180 degree opposite way. So maybe that’ll be our next episode. Yeah, that might be a good one. We hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for listening and taking part in this conversation and as always, if you liked what you heard, please rate review, subscribe to it. It means a lot to us.
19:46 Thanks so much, everybody. Peace.
Yes, Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoyed this episode and be sure to tune in for the next one. Thanks. Peace. Thanks. Yes, thanks so much for listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Do you have a question that you’d like us to answer raw and uncut on the podcast? If you want your questions answered, all you need to do is head over to Apple Podcasts, and do three simple things. One; rate and review telling us what you think of the podcast. Two; in that review, ask anything you want related to yoga, and three; if you want to shout out, leave your Instagram handle or name and that’s it. Then listen in to hear your question answered Live, raw and uncut. Join us next time on Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets Podcast. Thanks.
In this episode, we are going to talk about 4 out of the 6 basic human needs that every entrepreneur should understand and endeavor to satisfy with their business to always stay ahead of their competition and sustain a low attrition rate.
These 4 key things that your yoga studio must satisfy are…
Every business, not just Yoga Studios, MUST satisfy these 4 key elements of human psychology.
Humans seem to be complex creatures but if you step back and look at the fundamental needs, we are actually quite basic. Your entire business should be built around satisfying these and when you accomplish that, your business will grow faster than you could ever imagine. We’ll dive into how you can structure your studio to tap into these 4 areas and create an ideal experience for your customers.
Key Points Discussed:
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This episode was released August 28, 2019
Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
00:00 Certainty, variability or novelty, significance, connection, and love. These are the basic needs that as yoga entrepreneurs, as really, any entrepreneur, any business owner, we need to understand if you’re touching on these basic needs, you’re satisfying them on a level that they’re not getting in most places.
00:26 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.
00:54 So, I was listening to Tony Robbin’s podcast a while ago, and he was talking about six basic needs of humans. And, the four… most people are kind of living on the four first, and so we’re going to talk about that. But what struck me when I was listening to him describe these is, is that, these are the basic needs that as yoga entrepreneurs, as really any entrepreneur, any business owner, we need to understand, because when people come into your business, when they’re… when you’re offering your service to them, if you’re touching on these four basic needs, you’re satisfying them on a level that they’re not getting in most places. And so, the four basic needs, they’re six, we’re just gonna talk about the first four today, are… the first is consistency. It’s kind of our control thing, right? We… consistency, but more certainty, right? We want to know what’s going to happen every single day.
01:55 This is why you love your patterns, right? Because you know, when you get up in the morning, you’re going to do X, Y, and Z. Every morning X, Y, and Z. This is… there’s a feeling of comfort. The next one, it’s kind of converse to the first one. It’s we want variability. We want the novelty, we want the shift, the change. We love that piece. And some of us lean into one of those more than the other. Some of us are just die-hard in wanting consistency and some of us are diehards, and wanting variability. Right? The next one after those two, the next one insignificance or status. We want to feel like we… there’s a… that we matter. That we matter, right? We’ve… that we’re significant. That people recognize that we’re… we’re meaningful in this world. Right? That we have a … There’s a bigger part of us, and that we want people to know that there’s a bigger part of us.
02:38 We feel significant. Essentially we want to be seen. Right? We want to see and be seen. The last… really not the last one, but… but the last one wants to talk about is connection and love. So, certainty, variability or novelty, significance, connection, and love. And so, just right off the face value of that, you’re like, “Okay. So, how do set up my business to have certainty, to have variability, to have significance for people, and to connect and love?” And you’re like, right off the face value, you’re like, “Man, I think yoga is all about connection and love.” Right? We got that in spades. Right? Yeah. So, in the last episode, what we talked about was like what’s your style? And we were saying like, if you get out of the world of styles, which is always like, “I’m better than you. Your… my style is better than your style.”
03:25 Or like you get stuck in traditional styles and then all of a sudden you’re stuck in this way of being that may or may not support the success of your studio and or your business. And what we talked about was like to look at it from that 30,000 foot view of like what’s the methodology? Right. And so when we were kind of want to dovetail off of that a little bit and talk more about as far as these knees are concerned, how do we set up our classes so that it fulfills those first two needs where there is certainty and there’s variability? Well we have two styles that we teach. We call it stability and then we have flow Miata and Vinyasa for, are you a Sanskrit for [inaudible] nurse? So our stability classes don’t change. Every single stability class that somebody comes to in our studios is the exact same.
04:18 Now the teacher brings a different experience, right, and I say that. What I mean by that is they bring a different theme, a different story, a different message into each class. They may emphasize a little bit, they may emphasize something, a part of the class more so than another part of the class, but essentially every single class is the same. This sequence is the same. You cannot extract the humanity from every single teacher. Every person is unique in how they present the information and their voice is totally different. The energy they bring, are they more commanding? Are they soft, are they more nurturing or are they more assertive? Like all of that is embedded in being human. But what we’re saying is the certainty that people can rest their heads on when they come into the studio is they know that the sequence they’re getting, regardless of the teacher is going to be the same.
05:02 Now think about that as beginner. When you’re coming in to try to learn something and you come to a class and every single class is the same, think about the results that they’re getting, how fast they can learn and understand what they’re doing, right? They’re progression skyrockets as opposed to coming to a class that’s different every single time that the teachers just from shooting from the hip, we’re going to do this pose and this pose and this and this and this, and there’s no traction for that new student to be able to learn what they’re doing and think about this. The rate of attrition over a year for most studios is upwards of 80% attrition. Meaning people are leaving, they are not coming back. 80% of the people that are with you right now will not be with you in a year. That’s pretty big and what that means is that the majority of people that are coming in are new.
05:52 They need consistency. They need something that gives them that that is the same single time so that they can create a practice. This is vital. They have to understand how to create a practice and unless they’re going to go into privates and do something one-on-one and really build it from the ground up, which is really challenging, right? Maybe expensive for some people to do. They need a class that offers that. Now you may be saying, well, I offer a one beginner class or two beginner classes a week. How do I use endow? Does anybody get any traction with once or twice a week? And so what you’re also probably thinking if you lean more into the second human need is, oh my God, that would just drive me crazy. Having the same exact sequence every single time. Shoot me in the head and that’s why we have flow.
06:37 Now the flow class is the class that it changes. The sequence is not the same every single time. Now what is the same? Is the methodology that we talked about in the last episode, right? The way in which we sequence to open up the body in the way that it’s designed to be open is the same, but how each teacher approaches that is unique so you get introduced to different poses. You get introduced to different transitions, you get the experience of variability, the experience of novelty, of seeing opposed of being, of seeing a transition that you may have never done before and then there is the second need fulfilled and so and what that does, that flow class, what it also provides is a stepping stone for our students to say, okay, listen, we have beginner classes by the way, we have every single day for half of the classes, every single day, morning, noon and night.
07:35 We have an opportunity for you to take a beginner level class. What’s beautiful about that class is we’ve been open, we’ve had studios for 15 plus years and we have students who have been practicing for that amount of time if not longer, and they still take quote unquote those beginner level classes because the amount of progression within each pose itself, it’s almost limitless. I just think about like one pose that you started with when you were like just beginning out and the journey that you have gone on in that one pose from the very beginning to the intermediate to the advanced and then you get to the advanced. It’s not like it ends now, it’s about daily maintenance. Now it’s about understanding where your edge of that day is and do you want to be more muscular and more engaged or more open and try to go a little bit deeper.
08:22 And so like it’s just limitless. So what we’re saying is we provided the first need with the class that does not change and its sequence. We provided the second need of with a flow class where now they get variability, they get novelty, they get changes in the sequence. And now how do you provide? The third need? Significance comes when people continue to practice and they get better at the poses themselves. They’re obviously in a room with other people. Lots of times when people are watching, some were like, no, pay attention to your practice, but a lot of times people are so when they go to another level in the pose, they get this, that a girl or that a boy right there. Fellow Yogi said, wow, I just saw you do that next thing. That was amazing. Or as teachers in the class we can say, Hey Chris, that was awesome.
09:09 Good job. They give that oxytocin, that spurt of a of, okay, I feel like I just made that next level. Along with what Chris said, in the beginning, is when they walk into our studios, we say, hey, how are you Susan? How are you doing that? We call them out by name. It makes them feel okay. I feel like I’m significant. I’m, there’s that level of, I call it status for lack of a better term, but it’s that feeling of like, okay, I matter. People are paying attention. They see me, right. They see me and that is huge for people. The last piece I was like, oh we have it in space but not all studios do. The connection piece, the love piece, connection and love and what that really means is the feeling of belonging. Right. The feeling that when you walk into a studio, when you see people you know that you feel at home and it’s unfortunate I think, I don’t know if like I was about to say, I think like most studios could do better at that but I don’t really know.
10:07 Like for us we just make it what I guess this is what I’ll say is at the beginning when like you’re running it all by yourself. Like when you and John, when you and I at the beginning like we were teaching almost every single class. We’re at the front desk before our classes we are managing like literally every single person that came in the door. We saw every single day that they practice like we were here. We did not miss one of their practices because it was either him or I or our one other teacher. By the way. We were there anyway. We were saying hi to him. We are, we’re meeting them, we are greeting them. And so that, that connection piece, because I mean you can’t avoid it. But what happens as we grew from one studio to to studio two studios to three studios, three studios to four studios is all of a sudden we couldn’t be there and we couldn’t be there to say hi to everyone to know everyone’s name.
10:52 So what has to happen at that point was creating a process, a system that, hey, when we hire a front desk person, they need to know that priority number one, not because we’re trying to like make more money or trying to be successful, but because we understood that when people come in, we need to see them as human beings who are worthy of our attention and our love. And what’s crazy is like a side tangent. Like we’ve traveled all around, we’ve been to other like yoga studios. There’s trying to, you know, get our practicing and there are certain places where I walk in and I felt like I was doing them a disservice by being there and it was like, wait a second, do you not understand you are not spiritual enough to be in my studio. It was crazy and I pleased if that’s you like relax and say hi to people and like we literally say that people that walk in the door, we’re like listen, you must shake their hand and tell them your name and ask them their name.
11:42 Like very first thing, say hello to them, shake their hand, tell them your name and get their names so that you can like just create the connection. And my point is it’s easy in the when you’re doing everything, but as you grow and as you, if you decide to expand and open up more studios, it’s really, really important that that culture remains by putting a system in place, by putting a policy in place. Like listen, when someone comes in, I don’t care what you say after this, actually I do care what you say after this. But first and foremost what you have to do is say hello to them and we are even like, listen, if you have the opportunity, get out from behind the desk and like remove the barrier so that they can feel like you are with them. Like it’s so subtle.
12:23 It’s so subtle, but it means so much. Something as simple as come around from behind the desk and shake their hand, introduce yourself, ask them their name, be real and raw with them. It’s so important to be authentic. This is what is missing from this social media world. The last thing I want to say about the connection that just automatically happens with the fact that you’re offering yoga classes, is that right? People come into the class in this Beta state, which is the just a state of mind where they’re very task-oriented, very, okay, marking off my to do list and they move to practice and by the end, they’ve shifted to an Alpha state and then the Alpha state. We are more receptive to sitting down and getting to know people and having conversations. So just the simple fact that you’re offering this and then people come out of the class and they sit down and talk to each other.
13:14 They make these connections, they talk to each other in the locker room. There’s all of a sudden there is a connection. I think it’s more so in the yoga studios around the world then the are probably in most places. So just the fact of the work that we do creates that connection piece. Yeah, absolutely. So the four basic needs, that’s our take on them as far as business owners and entrepreneurs and how you can implement that into your business to make it more successful and having a bigger impact. Yeah. So really take a look at your, what you’re offering and look at like, and look at it now through the filter of certainty, through the filter of novelty, through the filter of significance and connection and see like what you’re doing well and what you’re not doing well, and see what you can do to make some adjustments.
14:00 Maybe it’s in classes, maybe there’s so much variability. You have no control over what’s going on in the classes. And there’s only one beginner class and you can say, listen, let’s tighten that up a little bit. Or maybe it’s you’re so, so set on this one sequence and there’s no variability and there’s no novelty like that may work for you. But is there an ability to maybe offer a workshop that it doesn’t change the structure of like what you’re offering on a weekly basis, but it provides this one-off experience that people are like, Hey, I’ve never done like inversion, let’s try and inversion workshop, but let’s try a hip-opening workshop. Or like something where it doesn’t change the core offering of your business but allows for some of the novelty and variability that as far as a human being is concerned is what we’re looking for.
14:43 And are you or your teachers giving shout outs during classes or do you know the people’s names that are coming into your class and are you giving him that a girl at that a boy. I don’t suggest actually saying that a girl that a boy, John’s using terminology, channeling his 1950s sell out a girl, not a boy. Oh my God, no, don’t use that please, but give them an acknowledgment. Let him know that you see their growth in their practice and then the last piece for connection is just real involved with people, talk to them, let them know in the rest of the connection happens naturally as you teach more people and they come out and connect with each other, so that’s our take on it. Yeah.
15:24 Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoyed this episode and be sure to tune in for the next one. Thanks. Peace. Thanks. Yes, thanks so much for listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Do you have a question that you’d like us to answer raw and uncut on the podcast? If you want your questions answered, all you need to do is head over to Apple Podcasts, and do three simple things. One; rate and review telling us what you think of the podcast. Two; in that review, ask anything you want related to yoga, and three; if you want to shout out, leave your Instagram handle or name and that’s it. Then listen in to hear your question answered Live, raw and uncut. Join us next time on Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets Podcast. Thanks.
In this episode, we are going to talk about what Bruce Lee and yoga have in common. We will share the story of how we got into Jeet Kune Do and how it led us down the path that got us into yoga.
In yoga, everyone gets stuck on poses and what style is better than the other. In martial arts, we learned from Bruce Lee that “ranges” of fighting matter more than styles. The equivalent of “ranges” in the yoga world is the body, specifically the Myofascial Lines of the body. This should always trump a specific yoga style.
The minute we realized that we didn’t need to identify with a certain style of yoga and we were free to include the best movements in our sequences, it forever changed how we structured our classes.
Gone were the days of making changes just for the sake of making changes.
If we were making a change to our sequence, it was because there was a specific reason – not just because we got bored with it.
Key Points Discussed:
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This episode was released August 21, 2019
00:00 What’s your style? Today we’re going to talk about what Bruce Lee, and yoga have in common.
00:07 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.
00:37 Alright. I’m excited for this one. I am so excited for this one. Why John? Why are you so glad? Well, we got into martial arts way, way back in the day. It’s been 23 years, 20… it’s been…. about 20, almost 24 years I think. So… time doesn’t exist, John. I have no idea. It doesn’t exist, Chris. It exists for me. We got into martial arts when we were in our early twenties, late teens actually. Yeah, late teens. And, we practiced for a little while and eventually got into style…met a gentleman, John Davis, who’s rocking in Jeet Kune Do concepts. He introduced us to Jeet Kune Do concepts, and… what is Jeet Kune Do concepts, John? I know, I know, I know. I’m getting to that. And, it just blew our minds. We were like, “Whoa!” Well, Jeet Kune Do concepts was a philosophy of martial arts that Bruce Lee developed. He developed this way back in the day, and his whole philosophy… so I’m not going to get too big into the martial arts world with you guys, but his whole idea was looking at martial arts in a specific way and what everybody at the time was doing within the martial arts world was studying one style, and everyone’s idea was this style is the best style.
01:51 It’ll beat all other styles. “Oh, I do a kicking art.” That’s good. That’s the best style because I can keep you at a distance and then just kick you, because the legs are stronger than the arms. So, when I do a wrestling style, I’ll shoot it on you, take it down, and then I’ll dominate you. Well, you gotta be able to take me down first, and if I understand how to do takedown defense, then you’ll never take me down and I’ll win. Well, I do a knife-throwing style, you better run your butt off. Well, I sneak into people’s houses for a living. So, on the night before the fight, I’m going to kill you. So, it was… so what Bruce Lee realized is, everyone had it wrong. He said… he was like, “It’s not about styles. All styles are good if they can maintain the range.”
02:32 What he said is, “You have to look at the art of fighting from a different perspective.” And it’s not style based because that’s… you just can’t win that, meaning like, it’s range based. Range; what we’re talking about, and I know you’re like, “Wait, this is a yoga podcast. Why are we talking about martial arts?” I’m I on the right podcast? Yes you are. Just give us a second. So, ranges of fighting are the distance that you are between your opponent. Right? So if you’re way far away, you can throw stuff, or you have sticks like weapons and stuff like that. Right? You get closer and you have like a kicking range, where your legs are longer than your arms, so you should be able to kick. And, if you get even closer than that, you have punches, or you can like, throw punches, and you can probably knee and elbow at the same time.
03:16 You get a little closer than that, and then all of a sudden you can now grapple standing grappling where you catch the neck and catch the arm and like headless knees, elbows, knees and elbows and throws. And then guess what? You get thrown or you go to the ground because you don’t know how to fight. Then you’re on the ground and you gotta learn ground fighting. So what Bruce Lee said was, oh, forget all the styles. The styles are only relevant to the range and if you get stuck in one style, then you’re missing all these other ranges that you’re going to need to know. Because of how a fight is so dynamic, it’s going to go from kicking the punching back to kicking to grappling, to standing, grappling to the ground and back up again. And you got to understand at least have some proficiency in all of the ranges to be effective as a fighter.
03:59 So what Chris and I did is we studied all these ranges. We met amazing teachers and eventually through press training so hard, we got into yoga and when we got into Yoga, let me say this for a second, let me back up. So, but even this was Bruce Lee’s philosophy that he developed back in like the late fifties early sixties when he like unleashed it. Obviously, it was probably brewing in his mind and in his training methods way before that. But then there was evolution and he was working on it constantly until his death. But yes, but so there are even like all the way up until the ultimate fighting championship, I think it was like 93 when that came out, there was still that idea of my styles better than your style. This is how far ahead he was. And before his time is that even when we were in it, there was still this idea that one style is better than the other.
04:44 Oh Western boxing is the best or this style is the best. And we were like, we got, fortunately we are in g condo concepts, which is what the philosophy was based on. So we understood the rangers, we understood the common thread and that’s what we are practicing. But where John going is all the sudden we were beaten up and broken and we fell in love with yoga. We got into yoga to try to heal us. So that specifically our idea was if we can heal, we can get to training faster, get back to training faster. Well we started practicing yoga. We were like, Whoa, this stuff is magical. It’s so magical. It’s so amazing. So we were like, we’re going to go to training, we’re going to like get involved in it. Like go do this thing. And so we started practicing and the heated style and we went and got certified to teach in that heated style.
05:28 And we got into it. We thought, well this is yoga. So everyone’s going to be like combine. Ah Oh peace, love, happiness. All styles are good man. Harmon style, that style you just do. We’re all one. It’s all good. And guess what? The craziness is everywhere guys, because we bring our crazy everywhere. Ego is everywhere. And in Yoga, even in Yoga, even in Yoga, the crazies there, what we realize when we came back from training, we started teaching. All of a sudden we had people in the that were like, I’m an Ashtanga [inaudible] and a hot yoga is not even really even to yoga. I do a Yang Gar and hot yoga is not even really yoga. It’s just fake. We got the same stuff. It was the same thing we were experiencing and martial arts where my style is better than your style, your style. Well I don’t have a style.
06:20 And so what we were searching for, and this is what we had an awesome first teacher training and but what we didn’t get in it was the bigger why, like why do we do what we do? Like what? Cause, and we knew that there was something out there like that because that’s what we came from in the martial arts world. It was like, man, we know that there’s gotta be some equivalent to ranges in yoga. And so we went on the search and we started with people and we eventually found it right? We started with Ralf gaze, we started Johnny Gillespie and we, and what where they let us was to Thomas Myers, which interestingly enough, and this is the value of like not getting stuck and looking in the yoga world for answers, but also looking at other modalities. And there’s been studies that shown like when you’re able to blend and look at other industries and other modalities and to see what they’re doing, creativity expands.
07:13 And so Thomas Myers is a body worker, he’s a golfer. So where Chris is going with this is what is the equivalent in yoga to the ranges in martial arts? And it’ll be real specific. Like the way Bruce Lee looked at martial arts and said, no, no, no, no, no guys, you guys, everyone has it wrong. They’re not looking at it from that thousand feet up. They’re not looking at it from that higher perspective. Because of our background, because of we trained in [inaudible] concepts. When we got into yoga, we eventually decided we’re searching the same thing. We’re like, what is the equivalent? What’s the, if we take y’all to look at a thousand feet out, what is the equivalent and what the equivalent is? Are My fashion lines the body? It’s the body. Everybody has specific parts of their body that are the same. Regardless of your age, regardless of who you are, where you were born, you have the same thing.
08:01 It is the equivalent to range as in fighting these lines of connected tissue in the body. It is the body itself. And so if we can look at our classes and develop our classes around this, all of a sudden styles become irrelevant. Yeah. Poses honestly become irrelevant in the way that most people think about it. It’s very like yoga is very posed centric. Right? And if someone thinks about yoga and you ask them on the street, Hey, what’s yoga? They’re gonna like throw out an up dog or a down dog and like that’s just the prevailing understanding of like what yoga is. It’s way more than that but this episode, let’s just leave it there and say it is about that and but it isn’t at the same time because when I look at a down dog, if it’s just the pose, then I don’t know why I would put that pose where it is.
08:44 But if I understand what it’s doing for the body, going back to, oh, what all poses do is something very specific for the body and not just the body in general but very specific part of the body that we break down into what’s called myofascial lines, which is just like connective tissue and these lines that connect to each other and we’re not going to go too deep into it, but like literally blew our minds up with this was that, oh now I am so wide open as to I don’t need to become like an Ashtangi or Ion Gari or like whatever other styles there is and be bound to that and not understand why. Because of why. I would make a change if I ever needed to make a change because I’m now, I’ve like broken myself out of the understanding of, Oh, this is just a sequence that I have to teach a sequence and now I’m going to get creative and I don’t know why I would change the sequence, but I’m gonna start changing the sequence in some way because I’m bored with my sequence now we can make like anatomical, like smart scientific decisions within our sequencing because we’re not looking at the poses in and of themselves, but we’re looking at the poses for what they do to the body.
09:57 It’s a systematic approach, a framework to be able to sequence your classes, to be able to sequence what you’re doing for your people, to give them the absolute best result. Because ultimately that’s what we want. We want the best result for our students. And what is that? Basing my teachings around a framework that works every single time, no matter whether you’re five years old, 95 years old, anywhere in between. I can look at a body and say, this, this, this, this. I can bring a group of people together in a class and know exactly what I’m going to do when I’m gonna do it because I understand this framework. That’s it. And so the challenge is when we get so locked into a style that we think, okay, I have to teach it exactly like this because this is what my teacher taught. And then you’re presented with an opportunity to teach at a retirement center, right?
10:51 What do you do? There are 75, 85, 95-year-old people in front of me. The cheddar, Ranga old man. Let’s do a jump back for the very first pose. And then when I said Chad Uranga, I know that there’s a crow in my sequence that my teacher taught. So we’re going to do a crow here. Come on guys, jump in, jump on your chairs, let’s do this. Or if you’re teaching to your child’s school and all of a sudden it’s a bunch of five-year-olds, six-year-olds, seven-year-olds, like what do you, I actually had that experience. I was teaching at a local place called my gym, which I think is more of a national chain. And I thought, cause I came like what I learned in teacher training was here is a sequence called the hot yoga sequence, right? And then it was very stationary and then I’m teaching three to five-year-olds, man, three to five.
11:36 I have three, I have a three and a five-year-old. I totally get it. I had no idea back then what a 3 or 5 year old level of energy and a level of focus and attention span was actually like they’re capable of. And so here I was like, okay, like reach the arms overhead and it relates to fingers release the index fingers and let’s move the body to the right. The hips gently to the left. And in a second the boys were making guns and shooting and the girls were like little candles floating in the wind. And like I lost all control, total control, control, meltdown. And I had to flip it quickly and say, oh no, no, no, no, this isn’t working for them. Let me do something that works for them and their attention span. So he in the moment had to shift it.
12:14 And this was prior to us understanding this framework? Yeah, yeah, totally. Prior to us, we’re still stuck, like most teachers are right now stuck in this idea of here’s the style that I learned in teacher training that my teacher taught me and then this is the style that I have to teach, or even worse. So no methodology just as here’s a style and no explanation of why to teach it. Or even worse, here’s a bunch of poses. I won’t tell you how they all go together. I’m just going to teach you a bunch of poses and you put them together, you figure out how you want to put them together, but not really based on launch. You’ll put them on cards and put it in a box and kind of throw it out on the floor and see what, how it lands and then that’ll be your sequence for today.
12:53 Yeah. And it’s not like for us, that’s just not acceptable because I want, if anyone comes out of a class of any teacher that we’ve ever taught or ourselves and they say, well, why did you do that pose at that position at that time? I want to have like a very specific answer for them that’s not based on, it just kind of goes well with the pose I did before and the one I did after it, but something more anatomical and scientific about actually what’s going on and why I would do that for your body and your wellbeing so that you get a result, meaning a feeling afterwards that’s consistent over time. And it was never okay for us to hear the answer, well that’s what my teacher taught me or that’s what my teacher told me to do because you’re just sloughing off the responsibility of not knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing on someone else.
13:40 And for us, like so one of the things we did was for the first two years we didn’t change the sequence. Why? Because we didn’t know why we changed a sequence that was during the search of like, why are we doing what we’re doing? It doesn’t make sense for us and I’m not going to go ahead and just change it just because I feel bored about it because I don’t want to compromise my students while wellbeing and do something that would potentially harm them. So this is the other value of it and so is when we have students who leave our teacher trainings, we don’t know where they’re going to end up. I don’t know what the student body that they’re going to be in front of looks like. I don’t know if it’s going to be elderly people. I don’t know if it’s going to be kids.
14:17 I don’t know if it’s going to be wounded warriors, but I know that if they understand the why, right, the bigger picture of why we’re doing what we’re doing, like on a more spiritual level even. But even keeping that off the off the table for right now and just say on a physical level, why do I sequence the way I sequence? Why is this pose here, in that pose there? Why do I wait to do this later before like and I don’t do that until these things are done. If they understand that, then I know when they get in front of the person to, I don’t know they’re going to be in front of, they will be able to teach to them because as teachers and as entrepreneurs, we need to start where our students are and to be able to meet them where they are is going to give them the ability to like really have this practice take hold of them, to give them the result that they’re looking for so that it can be a lifelong practice for them and that’s what it comes down to.
15:06 The last piece I’ll add to this is that when a student comes out of a class that’s taught with this specific framework and this methodology, they feel amazing every single time because we are addressing the most common misalignment disorder comes to mind, but that’s not quite that intense, but it’s misalignments. The most common patterns of the body had earns, right Ms patterning almost in the body that are present in people and you can sit down and people watch for a moment, you’ll see it, you’ll see a deep swayback, a lordotic curve, the see a hunchback people head, forward head tilts. You’ll see that in people. And when you approach the practice in a specific framework, they come out feeling amazing because they are retraining those misalignments in their body that those patterns. So, so that’s the other beauty of it is that if you approach it every single class you do the work, do the work, do the work, or they do the work, they come in consistently, they’re going to get the results.
16:03 And when people feel the results, they keep coming back. So yeah, it’s the secret to success, not consistency and the methodology and getting people to break free from the patterns that they have in their bodies and their minds. And the way to do that is through consistent experience, a consistent methodology. And one that’s not student-focused, not teacher-focused based on my own creativity and me getting bored about what I’m doing next to him. The next day, Yoga One oh one y’all break the patterns in the body, break the patterns of the mind, break the patterns of the heart, and you’ll liberate yourself. You’ll be free. Yeah, we appreciate it.
16:38 You’re uh, taking the time to listen and definitely join us on the next episode. I’ll see you then. Thanks. Yes, thanks so much for listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Do you have a question that you’d like us to answer raw and uncut on the podcast? If you want your questions answered, all you need to do is head over to Apple Podcasts, and do three simple things. One; rate and review telling us what you think of the podcast. Two; in that review, ask anything you want related to yoga, and three; if you want to shout out, leave your Instagram handle or name and that’s it. Then listen in to hear your question answered Live, raw and uncut. Join us next time on Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets Podcast. Thanks.
In this episode, we are going to talk about the opportunity that every yoga entrepreneur has to really impact people by enabling them to experience a non-ordinary state of consciousness through a beautiful class environment.
To achieve that, we as yoga teachers have to be vulnerable and share our stories and experiences in life with our students, which can be a bit hard because most of us somehow feel unqualified or unworthy of doing so. Once you can open up and find the courage to be your authentic self, then people will be naturally more attracted to you (and your studio).
Listen in to learn how you can overcome that feeling and start impactfully sharing your stories in classes.
Key Points Discussed:
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This episode was released August 14, 2019
Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
00:00 Don’t be afraid to be real. In a world full of photoshopped, polished, tweaked images that make everyone’s life look amazing, what we’re all striving for, what we all really want is authenticity.
00:15 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.
00:46 Alright. So, that was a powerful beginning John. We are all looking for authenticity. I totally agree with you. So how does that relate to yoga entrepreneurship? So, I guess when you look on, you know, what I was really touching on with that dramatic intro was… dang, dang, dang… when you scroll on Facebook and my wife…. So, the other day my wife came to me, she was like, “All my friends look like they’re just living the life.” And I was like, “What do you mean?” She was like, “Well, I see them on Facebook, and I have this one friend, I’m like, she’s in Puerto Rico, and then she’s in Hawaii, and then she’s in Brazil, and then she’s in Portugal.” I’m like, “What does she do for a living? Like, how is she traveling the world, and she has two things…. and are they hiring, and like surfing all these places and traveling the world doing this thing.”
01:34 I was like, “Baby baby, baby. That’s Facebook.” Like, we’re all… Facebook is our representatives. Right? It’s like, we want the best pictures that are just tweaked the right way, perfect angles, polished, photoshopped a little bit, and all over the world. That makes it look like we have our lives dialed, and what we all crave, cause we… and we all see this, right? And I do it. Like I make sure that if I’m posting something on Instagram, like the filter’s gotta be right. I mean like scroll through Yax Concepts’ Instagram, and you’re going to see, it looks pretty good. It looks pretty good purposely so. And, it’s driving people crazy. We want… so there’s a purpose for it. We think we want that representative to be representing us, and representing what’s going on, and what we’re doing, but, but, we need to be real. We need to be authentic.
02:24 Like this is when… so because of that world, because of social media, because of what everybody’s experiencing, where you see these polished images, what people want is authenticity. What they strive for is the experience of somebody being real with them. Like, we crave that, we crave that. So we have this great opportunity as yoga teachers, yoga entrepreneurs because we have this beautiful venue for people to come in and experience something, and what some of our teachers call “A non-ordinary state of consciousness” where you have an opportunity to really impact them in a way because of the environment that’s being created in a class. So here’s one of the things like, so here we are in 2019, and if you asked someone what yoga, is like, “What’s yoga?” They’re going to like say, “Some form of stretching.” Right? Yoga for the majority of the United States. I don’t live in the rest of the world, I live in the United States, but I would say it’s very predominantly physical. Right?
03:22 It’s this physical experience, and most people think, “I gotta go to yoga because I need to stretch.” And like, what’s beautiful is, I’m not like one of those naysayers. Like, that’s bad, it’s more than Yoga. Like, it’s more than just stretching. First, I would say it’s not even stretching. It’s for strengthening. You’ve got to integrate before you expand, another podcast, but it’s more than that. But what happens, because it’s a physical thing, people… because we’re such physical beings, we really care about how we look and how we feel. It’s such a great entry point to get people through our doors, so that we can impact them in more ways. And what we’re saying with… like don’t be afraid to get real is, now you have that opportunity while they’re in class, to drop the wisdom. And not just like speaking on high, and like talking down to people, but getting like real and raw with people.
04:11 This is an issue John and I had in the beginning when we started teaching because I started, we did martial that we taught martial arts for I was like 18 too 22 and we taught it after that. But like I started teaching yoga very consistently. Uh, so 23 so like 24 I was 24 years old. So like early to mid-twenties is when I was really getting into like teaching super consistently yoga classes. And the challenge was we were in our twenties and we were teaching people that were our age all the way up to 55, six years old. And we had these life lessons. We had this wisdom, we had these deeper teachings that we were just, they were inside of us that we wanted to talk about. But at the same time we were afraid. Like I was scared to like put myself out there to, to talk about things that my mind taking me over, like my emotions taken me over.
05:01 My inability to be still my letting go. Forgiveness, loving-kindness, true these things, right? These things that in my mind, this 50-year-old person was going to be like your 20 something dude. You have no idea what you’re talking about. You haven’t lived enough life to understand what those things really mean. And in one aspect, yes that’s true, but in another, I know 50 and 60-year-olds that haven’t lived long enough to know what those things mean either. But my point is is like do you have life experiences that give you the ability that gives you the what truth really is to be able to share and that’s what we’re talking about. Like don’t be afraid to share those experiences that you’ve had in your life that have made such a difference. Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Yeah, there’s a like age, the number of years that you live is not the qualifying factor for the ability to impart wisdom.
05:58 It’s the experiences that fill those years, that age, the soul. Now it does help. We’re not going to lie. Right, of course. Because you have more years, you have more opportunities to have more experiences that kick your ass and life and teach you a lot of stuff. Life kicks you in the teeth a few times and you live more decades. But my point is that there is a student of ours, her daughter was like in her early teens and she was diagnosed with cancer and then she battled cancer for like her entire teenage-like young youthhood. Right. Adolescence and so [inaudible] coming off of that you don’t think she has some depth of wisdom to impart to help other people have who have gone through that same experience or like to just impart like the value of health and what like life really means like so it’s not the number of years.
06:47 Yes, the number of years gives you more opportunities, but it’s the experiences that you have within those years and in those years. And for me, I felt muzzled because I had this like this hang up around my age, an inability because of that age to speak the truth that I knew to be true, which was born from having a crazy childhood. Literally, like the experiences, we had growing up. Like we could fill a book, we probably should fill a book with them, but you know, we had like from bipolar disorder that we dealt with in our family to dad leaving and the resentment that we had to learn to forgive and us growing up six kids and experiencing what, what it was like to be on welfare and to go to school and get free lunches and the, you know, back of the day, the stigma around that. The things that really challenging in life growing up that we’ve all experienced, right?
07:35 We all honestly, regardless of our age, we all have stories that can impact people’s lives, which can really make a difference in people’s lives. Now when we teach classes, what our teachers do is they, what we call theming, right? And so what a theme is, it’s kind of a storyline of the class, right? So you got this vehicle that we use to bring in spiritual teachings to the class. And so in the very beginning of a class, a teacher will universalize this theme. So they’ll stare quotes, something that encapsulates what their story is going to be later on. So they’ll, they’ll introduce a theme and real quick and succinct. And here’s a great quote in the beginning, cause everyone’s at that point, everyone’s in Beta state as far as the mind goes. And like they’re sort of, they’re in this to do, like while I’m checking this off my to do list, we’re like, get this done.
08:20 Like get me going, I’m ready to move. So you make it quick and succinct, but throughout the class you drop little soundbites in. She’s, you’re talking a little bit about how the physical practice relates to that theme and that very end, we personalize it. And this is where we’re able to, to tell our story, guys, this is the juice. This is the impact that it makes in people’s lives. Where they’re, they’re in Shavasana, they’re in the last pose, lying down on the floor. They’re open their bodies, or are there [inaudible] taken through this entire experience and the teacher dropped that quote in the beginning related to an experience in their life. They get real them for a moment. Oh yeah. And all of a sudden there’s an explosion in their heart. Right? The emotion is I boss. So good. Yeah, it’s, and the value of that and what John, I just want to really highlight it at the end.
09:06 The way to personalize it is to tell the story, the story, because this, everyone, we’re like wired biologically for stories. The way information was passed down from generation to generation at some point was only through stories. Think about when there was no TV, when there was no, it was like there’s maybe this barely music that barely instruments how people would entertain themselves and we’d all sit around a fire together and tell stories. Right. So that has been hardwired into our DNA. Yeah. I see in my children when we’re reading a book and they’re like, I’m telling them a story, like [inaudible] read a book and they’ll just be enthralled with a book we read like two or three a night right before bed. But I’ll also tell them stories about like how me and their mom met and like my oldest fare and her birth story and like they want to hear it over and over and over again.
09:53 I literally, certain nights I tell like to like the same story two and three times to him. But there’s literally in like enthralled like and all they want to hear is that. And so we all have that. We’re all biologically wired for that. And so the way you can get real with people is to tell your story. Now that’s a higher level because it literally takes this willingness to be vulnerable, to expose the parts of yourself that we are taught to keep inside to keep secret. Don’t ever let anyone see it, otherwise, you’ll be banished from the tribe. Rumi calls it the open secret. Right? So we have these hidden stories within us that we feel like are unique to us and the details of them are unique, but the pain or the experience, the humanity that is really underlying that story, the feeling that’s part of that story [inaudible] open meaning everybody has it and when we tell our story to people, all of a sudden would they relate to us, they connect with us.
10:48 They have a story that’s similar to what we experienced and then all of a sudden it softens the emotional intensity behind the stories. Storytelling is phenomenally important and if you’re trying to get your studio out there, get your, whatever you’re offering as a yoga teacher, you want to put yourself out there and say, hey, I want own social media or advertising, whatever the thing is, I want to put myself out there. Doing it through a story is the one of the key secrets. Yeah. There’s so much around this, like part of me wanting to talk about Joseph Campbell in his studies of anthropology and how that there’s this common story, this common mythology that all of like literally every culture has and the these common themes, archetypes within that mythology that all these different cultures relate to. But I don’t want to go down that road right now cause that’s another episode.
11:34 It is. It’s total as, so what I want to do is backtrack and be like, okay. So the first like number one is be willing to go where most people aren’t willing to go and to like just share things that would help them but also make it relevant to what you’re teaching, what the human experience is that you’re to impart, whether it’s present moment awareness, whether it’s and the things that keep you from being present in an experience in your life where you weren’t present in the effect of that and what you learn from it. So it’s not just a rambling about you and your life in some weird like quasi therapy session where you just got to unleash shit on top of your class. That is not what we’re saying. No, there was a skillful way of doing it. There’s a skillful way of doing it, the way of doing that as prep.
12:17 All right. Write your story down before you go into class, write down the quote that you’re going to say in the beginning. Write down a few soundbites, right? The personal story that’s related to the quote that you’re going to talk about at the end. And if you’re in the beginning in somebody you know, so if you’re listening to this, you may be kind of a beginner teacher or kind of just newer to this. You can use someone else’s story of plenty of beautiful stories out there that can create that same emotion in your students. That may not be your story in the beginning, but maybe like I knew this person, I got a friend of mine who, uh, and so you can use it. You can do it that way and still have just a greater vision of an impact as you would your own personal story until you get comfortable enough to say, okay, I’m ready to start sharing my story.
12:55 Totally. And in that same vein, you may tell a story that isn’t yours. It isn’t some, but it’s, it isn’t somebody else’s. It’s just a story. John would always tell this story about this whale that was trapped in nets off of San Francisco off the coast of San Francisco. And the story was how these divers cut the ropes and how they were affected by the freeing of the whale and what it did afterwards. And like literally you’re in class and you’re like in either in tears, your heart’s just like exploding with love and like there was a message after that. Like sometimes we need people in our lives that are willing to help us on the lines that keep us held down. Yeah. So the secret is be willing to go there, do it in a skillful way. And the reason is you then let them impact people in a way where they will literally carve out their entire schedule around getting to that class because of the way you make them feel and that is the way to like keep people coming to your class to impact them more and to keep your business, your classes thriving by being willing to go where most people in the world aren’t willing to go and this for another episode, but when we’re actually trying to promote our business, whatever our businesses doing it through storytelling is such a powerful way of doing it.
14:12 So yeah, that’s all we got for this one. Thank you so much for listening. Peace.
14:19 Yes, thanks so much for listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Do you have a question that you’d like us to answer raw and uncut on the podcast? If you want your questions answered, all you need to do is head over to Apple Podcasts, and do three simple things. One; rate and review telling us what you think of the podcast. Two; in that review, ask anything you want related to yoga, and three; if you want to shout out, leave your Instagram handle or name and that’s it. Then listen in to hear your question answered Live, raw and uncut. Join us next time on Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets Podcast. Thanks.
In this episode, we are going to talk about the problem of yoga studios offering too many styles of yoga which adversely affects their business success because people don’t like being bombarded with numerous options when they’re really trying to get a yoga class that they can gain from.
When we first opened our studio, we had like five different names for the same class, but we later realized that it just got people confused, and a lot of potential clients would just walk away because of that. Listen in as we share some really actionable tips on how to niche down so you can get started on your way to success in business.
Key Points Discussed:
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This episode was released August 7, 2019
Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
00:00 If you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to no one.
00:06 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.
00:37 Alright. So, what does that mean? That was cryptic? We should write that down. What exactly are you saying? I have no idea what you just said, but before we get into it, have you ever been in a yoga class, and like heard something you’re like, “I have no idea what that says.” Like, I think yoga teachers uniquely like say stuff that has like no relatability, like it’s just like crazy, and you know, you teach, you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes he’ll start down a path, he’ll start saying something, and then like halfway through you’re like, “I don’t know where this is going.” And you just stop. That’s the greatest thing because you can just literally cut it off, like you’re crazy and then start talking about something else, and no one remembers. No one thinks…
01:17 They keep rolling. They’re like, “Okay, what’s the next pose dude, come on. Let’s do it.” Or dudette. Right? “We’re rolling. Come on. Oh, that wasn’t… that was… was that inspiring? Okay. No, it wasn’t, let’s keep going.” Yeah. So niching down. That’s what we’re really talking about. We need to niche down. So, when we first started, when we first opened up our studios, we were at a point, well, we were a little bit into it. Let me… let me rephrase that. We were a couple… a couple of years into it. Yes.
01:44 So let me tell you the timeline, cause my brain does work like this. We opened in 2005, we opened up the second studio 2007, and then two years later, 2009 we renovated our Virginia Beach location, and we added an entire room.
01:58 We expanded. And that’s what John’s talking about. So we expanded and we… Right? I’m not… I’m not lying. Yeah.
02:05 Well, I’m also, well, when we first opened, this is where I was going actually. When we first opened, we had the same class and we had like five different names depending on what time it was. Right. So the 6:00 AM class, we called it a “Rise and Shine class”, but it was the same class we taught at all six at 6:00 AM, 12 o’clock, four o’clock, 4:30, 12 o’clock was…. was a… was a… “Mid-day Escape” call. You got to do it in the Barry White voice getting into this game baby. And then the… and then the four o’clock was like an after… what was it like a…
02:40 yeah, it was like relax and de-stress, or something like that. All the same class guys. All the same class. Oh. So, oh my gosh. It just got people confused. So more phone calls about like, “What’s the mid-day escape?” We’re like, “Oh, it’s just our regular class. Oh, what’s the morning sunrise? Still, the regular class we teach.” Yeah. So fast forward 2009, that’s where I was going to start the story.
03:01 Yeah. When we happened… we had a new… we had another room. We started offering lots of different classes.
03:07 Yeah. We did a, um, a wisdom class for the seniors. Yes. And we did that at like 10 o’clock on two, three days a week. We did a kid’s class. Thought it was like seniors aren’t working there. Have that 10 o’clock time. We had a kid’s class. Like Chris was about to say. That was from a three-year-old, three years old to 12 years old. Like we both have like, so Chris, this is prior to us having kids. We have no idea were like three and 12-year-olds, everybody, you know, cognitively the same. Oh my gosh. We had a meditation class. Yeah, we did a meditation class. We did warm classes. Uh, there’s a couple of long with our,
03:45 along with our flow classes, which we call vinyasa classes at the time in our stability classes. Um, which will hot yoga classes at the time. And then, uh, we had level twos.
03:57 I didn’t, I haven’t actually counted, but that’s a lot of classes. That’s a lot of different classes of classes. And it’s funny cause like the logic seems sound but is totally flawed because we’re like, oh, you know, if we expand our offerings and then add all, like, and start saying like, okay, here’s a wisdom class for seniors and here’s the kids class and here’s a, a warm clash. Are People scared of the heat? And here’s a level two class people that wanna go to the next level. And like there’s, it just becomes show watered down that you don’t know who you serve anymore. And that’s what happened to us. So this is what was really scary is that we just increased our rent. Right. We had another lease that we were, you know, having to pay every single month. We increased our bills, our expenses, you know, having to run the room and all the lighting, all the, he, all the air ac, all that stuff. We increased our overhead for payroll because now we have teachers teaching these classes and we decreased in attendance. How do you some attendance and here’s the thing, we would have meetings. So Chris and I and other partners would have meetings and we have, we’d have this discussion often about like
04:57 who do we serve? What do we say, Chris? Everyone, everyone needs everyone. Everyone needs yoga. Everyone needs to come and practice, right? Yes. I strongly with all my heart believe everyone does need yoga but everyone doesn’t need our yoga or we don’t need to offer every single style of yoga that we try to attract everyone. That is the biggest pitfall for not only studio owners, not only, uh, any yoga teachers that are trying to create a business. But for any business guys, for any business, the, what Chris said, in the beginning, is you have to niche down. You have to understand what you do really well, what you love, like what sings in your heart. Like one of those that have all those things like meditation or kids yoga or seniors or flow or stability or what? Like there are one, maybe two, maybe two that just sing to your heart and that has to be your focus. You have to niche down on those things.
05:55 Yeah, I’m in a part of, uh, another group and uh, there is uh, a woman who was on there and she just made a post and she was like, you know, we offer like 14 different styles within my studio and I almost fell over 14 different styles. I mean, just think about the challenge of how you articulate that to somebody. I’m saying like, because everyone’s coming in to solve a problem that they have, they have a pain point that literally probably a physical pain, like low back pain or a psychological pain like stress that they’re trying to alleviate. And when they see 14 different options, you literally like, I don’t know, as a business owner how would articulate like, well, here’s the benefit of that. Like, here’s why we do this one and this one and this one. Literally, I like you’re vomiting from the mouth within the first five minutes and you haven’t articulated how you’re going to help solve that person’s problem. There’s, and there’s been like a raft of research done. When people have too many options,
06:47 the option they choose is to walk away. It’s to not buy. They literally did this study with salad dressings where they gave people like 50 options or a hundred options, something crazy. They’d look way, way, way, way too many options. And the majority of people did not choose it was decision fatigue. They were already at a point where like, I, there’s too many. I’m not, I’m going to choose none. Right? And then they, they, that same study, I think they, they narrowed it down to like three or something like that. Maybe it was like five maybe. And the majority of people chose one of those three or one of those five. And now, now think about that as from the perspective of a studio owner. Like, so some of you own and run your own studio and you start to think about that like, okay, uh, so and so teaches the, um, Jeeva moved to class and then, and she got sick today. So I gotta get my Iyengar teacher to now sub that Juva moved to class and she doesn’t really know-how. So she’s going to teach like this Iyengar hybrid, you’ve moved to thing going on and he’s going to teach her ion guard class and chant. And every and every one of her students, every one of the Jeeva mooky students that come in for that class that love it are now gonna get a, an experience that is subpar. They’re not getting what they expect. Correct.
08:02 And that, that, that I think our teacher may be phenomenal and it doesn’t matter because they’re just not getting what they fall in love with, which is that teacher teaching that class because that person left and think about this like, it’s so funny how like there seems to be like this blind spot that happens in the yoga world for some reason and if you went to a restaurant and they said, we specialize in Italian food and Brazilian food and a German food and an Icelandic food and American food. And, uh, I’m only six, now I’m trying to get to 14 Chinese food and then choosing some Japanese food and Thai food and Thai, Japanese, there’s eight. Uh, I mean, literally I after five, you’re like, no, you don’t. Because you know, they can’t do any of it. Well because they’re trying to do too much.
08:48 And this is the value of niching down, of saying, listen, like I have, I have this, a gift that what I want to present to the world, right? To a specific person who has this specific issue, this pain, this problem. And this is what I do really well and the way I solve it, right? But if your assumption is if I offer everything because everyone needs yoga, then I’ll capture everybody. The message of trying to tell, like to articulate what you do and how you do it gets so watered down because you’re so diluted and all the different things that you’re trying to offer and all the different problems that you’re trying to solve. Because like each style of yoga, like yes, there may be if you get into the core of it may have this like once like thing that it does really well.
09:35 Like I couldn’t even go into like all the different ones because I don’t know all of them. But like when you provide all of them, like you just can’t get to the heart of what the person is coming in for in the first place. Here’s the other big piece to all of this guys, is that what our focus is and what, what everyone, you know what, what you as an entrepreneur, you as somebody that’s trying to offer something to, uh, to people, to the marketplace that’s valuable, that that changes their lives, that shifts, that helps shift them in a way. You want them to get traction. You want them to be, you want, you want to change your life and how, how is anybody going to get traction when they come in? So we use the studio as an example. They come in and they love the A, they love the wisdom class, but you can only offer that because you have 14 classes on your schedule.
10:27 You can only offer the wisdom class once, maybe twice a week. Does that person then only practice once a week or twice a week? And if they miss those days because of life, there’s no other options on your schedule like this does, like the, the, the model alone doesn’t allow your students to get enough traction to really, to really get the results that they’re looking for. And when I say results, peace of mind, the steadiness of emotions strengthen their body. Like you name it. Like we want results for the people that come in and we want to change their lives. If they, they’re not getting enough of an opportunity throughout the week to get traction to actually do it, they’re not going to get those results. Yeah, exactly right, and that’s the end of the day. Like that’s what we’re, that’s what we’re providing. We want results, right? That’s what people want.
11:12 Think about it in your own life. Like you go to a place because you’re looking for a specific result. Really a feeling like anything you’re really looking for is actually a feeling. But the feeling that you’re looking for is going to be like achieved through this means. And what you know is that when you’ve experienced that feeling through this specific means, I. E. This class, you’re going to go back to that class because you know you can depend on getting that feeling that you’re looking for whatever the feeling is. But if you don’t have the model where people can receive a consistent experience and receive a consistent result over time, then you’re inhibiting them from actually falling in love and getting the benefit that this beautiful has to offer. And let’s be clear, we’re not saying there’s one style that’s better than another style, that there’s one way of doing yoga that’s better than another way of doing yoga.
12:03 And it’s funny, this taken for me personally a long time just to take ownership of like what I, what we do like for us, like we teach hot yoga, that’s what we do. And when we tried to diversify and do all these like warm classes and wisdom classes and kids classes, that’s why we started failing because we moved away from what we do really well. And when we got back to it and we actually made the room just another room that was able to, to provide the same services that people over the last two years had earned, four years actually had fallen in love with. We became way more successful again.
12:38 Yeah, you see this, you see this all over the place. Uh, apple is a great example. I’m going to compare us to apple. Go for it. So in a apple, uh, fired Steve Jobs 12 years later, they hired them back. They, when they hired them back, they were the last four quarters before they hired them back, they experienced over $1 billion in losses, a billion with a B guys, $1 billion in losses, right? So they were like, okay, we are free falling. We need help. Let’s get Steve Back in and see if he can turn this thing around. And what Steve did was he said, he looked at what they were doing and they were doing 150 products, a hundred and 50th products, right? So it was right around 150 and he said, guys, you are, we’re, we’re trying, we have really good people on our team that executing very well on the wrong things, on the wrong things.
13:38 He said, in order to be great, you have to decide what not to do, what not to deciding what not to do is just as important as deciding what to do. And so he scrapped 140 ish of those products left 10 roughly 10 we off a little bit on the numbers but but like legitimately scrapped almost everything they were doing and saying, here are our core products. This is what we do. We have a, we have a dedicated following. We have people that love us, we are going all over the place trying to do way too many things. Let’s niche down, let’s get these 10 products and just do it really well. And he turned that company around.
14:13 Yeah, it’s, I mean it’s everywhere. Look at any like literally from the restaurant world to the tech world. When you look at the most successful businesses they do, they may have a couple like slightly like, like two to three different products, but like they do one thing really well and this let’s start opening your eyes to it. As you look around, like notice the things that you like that you consume already and notice why you’re consuming it because they do one thing really well that you can depend on and it’s giving you a result that you know is going to happen when you consume that product. Don’t you think this, this is the same for our personal life curse? Like, like, yeah. You know, like when, when I notice in my own personal life, when I get distracted, when I start to try to do too many things, when I’m like, when I’m all over the place, I want to like, I want to learn this and this and this, and then, uh, you know, I’m finding myself on Facebook to check these stats and this and like all of a sudden I’m losing deep connection with my wife because I’m trying to, instead of doing the one thing right, then I spent like paying attention to what’s going on in my family, my wife, my kids.
15:19 I’m a work’s getting in the way or the waves are good. And so I’m checking the Sur the check surf line or I’m like you, you feel yourself get spread thin and your life too if you don’t, if you don’t get down to the essentials. Yeah, no doubt. I mean the best example I have of this is when I had children, you know, like all the sudden the life prior to children was like, I’ve got my wife, I’ve got a bunch of friends, we’re running the business and then kids happened and all the sudden I’m trying to maintain the same amount of things I was doing. Now I have this element called children who consume so much of our time and energy. Rightfully so, and like the love that you have is just like indescribable. But there’s so much tension for me and I wasn’t doing any of it.
16:03 Well, I wasn’t being a good husband. I was like losing my ability to be a good partner in the business. I was not a good friend because I was neglecting them and actually like saying I was going to do things that I knew I couldn’t fulfill and then I would, that would also, when I tried to fulfill on it, I would then like I wouldn’t be there for my children when in this like formative time and so one end up happening and this is really what we’re saying for a lot of like people, if you’re listening to this you’re like, man I do. I have like 14 different styles. Then you got to make some hard choices and for me it was like, Hey, I got to prioritize what is it that I want to be in my life? Like what do I want to be known for?
16:39 What do I want to be remembered as? What do I, what do we want to focus on in our business? But for part personally it was like, oh, it’s my, my children, it’s my wife. I have to prioritize that because they’re the most important people in my life right now. And for me trying to do everything else, like as, as I was doing it prior to children, it wasn’t working. And so the hard choice was like I just, I had to, like, I’m still friends with people, but I’m not, I don’t devote time and energy to that right now. And it may sound like, oh my God, like you don’t have a life because you’re not hanging out with friends. No, I just choose, I’m very conscious about the choices I make and the effects of those choices and everything has a trade off, you know?
17:13 And that’s what we’re saying. There’s a trade-off when you try to do everything, you’re diminishing your energy and effectiveness and all of the things. But when you decide, listen, I’m going to take that out and I’m going to take this out. You know, I, I can’t spend as much time as I did with friends and I’ll, I’ll make it a point to reach out and connect, but in an efficient, effective way. And all of a sudden I had the three things that really mattered to me. I started doing those things more, more effectively, and those things grew in abundance in my life and had more meaning and fulfillment. So I think this idea of niching down, like to your point is everywhere in life, everywhere. And when we understand what we value most in our lives, that’s, we can really get clear on, am I spending the right amount of time on the things that mean most?
17:55 We’ll, we’ll, uh, we’ll talk about the values in another episode, but yeah, I think that’s it. Yeah, that’s it. And so, you know, there’s, after this one, some of you like, you’re like, man, let me, let me look at my life. Let me look at my business that look at Your Business, right? This is Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Look at the business and see it. Are you watered down? Are you trying to do too much for too many people and doing so, not being effective for the people that you really want to be serving? Yeah. So thanks everybody for listening and, uh,
18:21 join us on the next episode of Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Peace. Yes, thanks so much for listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Do you have a question that you’d like us to answer raw and uncut on the podcast? If you want your questions answered, all you need to do is head over to Apple Podcasts, and do three simple things. One; rate and review telling us what you think of the podcast. Two; in that review, ask anything you want related to yoga, and three; if you want to shout out, leave your Instagram handle or name and that’s it. Then listen in to hear your question answered Live, raw and uncut. Join us next time on Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets Podcast. Thanks.
In this episode, we are going to address the issue of studio owners giving their teachers too much control in what they teach in classes which creates inconsistency. A teacher can be very good at what they do and students might love them a lot, but that becomes a detriment to the business if what the teacher teaches cannot be replicated, because if by any chance they’re not around, the students they teach wouldn’t come in anymore.
As a studio owner, you can’t rely on that at all, and we are going to teach you how you can curb that, and build a consistent methodology that will keep students coming in for the long haul.
Key Points Discussed:
Join The Facebook Group –> http://bit.ly/yogaentrepreneur
This episode was released July 31, 2019
Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
00:00 Are you giving away your power to control the success of your business? Let’s talk about it.
00:05 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 Yaks brothers and welcome to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets.
00:39 So what does that mean, Chris? It’s a good question. Giving up control. I don’t know, man. I just thought of it and I was just gonna go with it.
00:47 I am a control freak. I like to be in control. It’s most, most of us. Um, I’ve spent a good portion of my life learning how to release the things I can’t control and being in control of the things I can control. That’s pretty much what we’ve been such. That is such a big statement. Super profound. But this… it’s the truth. Like what, like what do I have control over and what don’t I have control over, because sure recipe of driving me completely insane is trying to control the things I actually can’t control. So let’s relate it back to… I think your point was…
01:22 Yeah, so my point is, you know, here we have like students who come in, so if you look at the… the… the majority of students coming into the studios, the majority of them are new. In fact, there’s statistics that show that like, I think it was… 80%? 80% within one year… 80% of the people that are with you now, will not be with you a year from now. Right? So you have a lot of new students coming into studios period. And that’s important to understand because what as a studio owner, like this is what I was talking about with like, are you giving up control and that’s hurting your ability to be successful? And what I mean by that is, like controlling the experience of what students receive in classes. Right? So like, my point… specifically, we had a teacher back in the day when we first started out, and we didn’t understand this, we were like, I would teach a class, John would teach a class.
02:10 In fact, I remember in the beginning and even the names of classes confused people, like we had a morning rise and shine yoga and then we had a mid-day escape and then we had like an afternoon delight or like, I forget what, let me know if that last was, we had some crazy stuff, but they’re all in the same class. It was a different time and a different name. Oh my God. We spent hours trying to fill up those names. So confusing. And we had like an inordinate amount of phone calls. Like so what’s rise and shine? Like what kind of, what am I, what am I doing? And then how is that different than the mid-day escape? And like what is this evening class? I can’t even pronounce that one’s at 6:00 AM
02:44 the others at 12 and then the last one is at 6:00 PM right. That’s the difference. Yeah, that’s it. I was just the timing. But what happens? So what was happening in that time though is that even though we call it the same class, what students were getting in that class was depending
03:00 on who taught it. True. Right. And so this is like, this is, I think one of the biggest problems with studios not being successful is that they may have like a really great teacher, they may have just struck gold and a teacher came in and they started teaching with them and they’re awesome and students love them. But what happens is whatever they teach cannot be replicated by anybody else. So the moment that teachers subs it out, that people that love that class, they’re not coming in as a studio owner. I can’t rely on that. I’m literally giving my power to a teacher to stay with me forever in the hopes that she will like continue to teach that class forever so that all the students that love her class will stay with me at the studio forever. And then all the other teachers are teaching whatever they want to.
03:46 Hopefully they’re teaching good enough to to keep a following but a lot of times are not. And so there’s no, so people come in cute. Imagine like imagine going into a restaurant and every single time you go in it’s totally different. You May and then you’re like, okay on Thursday nights that the chef, the right chef is there cooking the meal the right way, the way I like it. And so you go in Thursday and then all of a sudden one Thursday that that chef is not there and another chef is doing it in the meal that you get is totally different. Like and anything as in anything we do of any store we go to any place with like if like a lot of you that are listening to you like shopping at whole foods, if you went to shop at whole foods and every time you wanted to shop at whole foods, like every Thursday we changed all the aisles like the produce is now on the other side.
04:31 Like the fridge, the refridgerator is on this. You would stop going consistent like we need consistency. We needed, people want consistency, they need it, they need it. And with the balance of it, because now what we’re saying is we’re talking to artists here like we, we, we get it. We’re artists also. We want to be creative. We want to be, we want to have that creative spark to be able to incorporate like learn something and incorporate into our class and like do, but here’s the thing, we get way too as teachers, I’m them, I’m generalizing big, big time here, but we get way too creative at the wrong time with the wrong things. Like there’s Chris use an example yesterday I think when we were talking he said there are 88 keys on a piano. 88 keys. Like if that’s, if there’s a, if there’s not consistency in that.
05:21 Every piano you go to someone listening like a piano expert, like not everyone drawn. There’s up, there’s baby grandma, there’s a, there’s a word organize 188, please. But you guys get my point. There are 88 keys. There’s consistency and look at all the music that’s played, look at all the music that’s developed through that. People aren’t saying, well we need more keys and I need like an extra set of keys over here and I need different colors on my keys. Like it’s like you have 88 keys and there’s so much beauty coming out of a piano. Totally. So the experience we had was, it was in the very beginning like I would a class and I would teach
05:57 it slightly different than drama teacher and we were pretty much sinked up cause we would talk all the time. But we had another teacher who was like, it was random, like it was a beginning level class. Right? And all of a sudden she’s doing arm balances and the sequence is changing from class to class. And that inconsistency, like some people loved it, but they were the people that had been with us forever that have been practicing yoga for a long time. And they’re like, that’s what fed them. But remember how we started this. Like 80% of the people are new, which means they don’t need something challenging. They don’t need variability every single time they need something consistent that they can rely on to be there for them because everything else in their life is crazy. Right. There’s a saying that inconsistency breeds distrust. If I, and the very same thing that you’re talking about, if that restaurant operates that way, I’m not going like the chances that I’m even going on that Thursday because the chef may or may not be there depending on his life situation means that I’m not going to that restaurant and this is, I think one of the biggest problems with losing people is that I can’t articulate a result that they’re going to get if I can’t depend on knowing what the teacher is going to be teaching and the experience that our students are going to get.
07:09 A lot of this happens when teachers teach something and you have one, maybe two students come out of that class and say, I love when you do that. It’s so great, but the five, 10 people that hated it, that didn’t say a word and just walked by, you don’t get that input. The worst thing for teachers to do is to get input from students. Right? Like, like they, they haven’t been where you are. Right? They’re like, I get it. You can take polls in this and that’s it. But the reality is, is they don’t, the people that are, you’re getting the input from or the people that liked the one thing that you did and you’re not getting the real input from all of the people that are saying, hey, did you not like that? We really will you be honest with me and tell me the truth. And all of a sudden, like every class, has arm balances where it shouldn’t have arm balances and the new people that are trying to build a practice get their butts kicked and don’t come back. Right. So this inconsistency breeds this trust in forcing people not to come. Right. And so people drop off.
08:10 Yeah. I mean, think about like I bring it back to when I first started and like the Herculean effort that it was for me to just like walk into a yoga studio to try it. Like the odds are stacked against us because of like all the misconceptions and like weird ideas that people think that what they’re going to get in the yoga studio. Like it’s a colt and like if you teach with like we do, we teach high yoga. So like the heat is a big barrier for people. Not to mention all the Sanskrit, I gotta learn a third language or fourth language or an old language that’s dead already. Like I don’t even, I don’t, I don’t know what they’re saying. Like, there are so many hurdles to jump over just to be there and then all the sudden they get crushed by like these advanced poses or just like, I’m just looking to heal my back.
08:53 Right. I’m looking to distress and all the sudden the very thing I’m coming to like like unwind me, winds me up because I just got my ass handed to me and this like, I’m not saying it’s not going to be challenging. It’s challenging enough. That was my point when I first came in, it was challenging enough for me just to be there just to do the basic poses and what my body needed was consistency of a sequence that I knew I could then measure my progression and see myself advancing and feel myself getting more flexible and relieving pain and relieving stress. And so like the overarching point is that man, even if you have classes that you call it the same thing and on like this day on this, like this schedule is this class. If there is not a level of control that you have, knowing what’s being taught in that class, there is inconsistency and that breeds distrust and that is a reason for people not to come back.
09:50 So I can read people’s minds. So what I what I what I am because you meditate, right? What I’m thinking people are thinking right now. What I’m thinking people are thinking is that uh, well that sounds like background. It sounds like Ashtanga. It sounds like as a teacher I have to teach the exact same thing every single class that would drive me insane and I would get so bored at one not want to teach anymore. So I talked to me about that. Like what? Like what like where’s the creativity? How can I be creative as a teacher? How can I be creative as, as a teacher wanting to grow as an artist? I wasn’t going to say it, but yes, that’s an art
10:29 and I’m going to feel that cause I have like we have that desire to grow and to evolve and to expand and like it’s innate. It’s in, I think it’s woven into our, the human fabric, the fabric of our DNA until I hear the question. But what I would say is, well, like what’s your purpose? Is your purpose for your own creativity or is your purpose to help your students and start where they are and to actually show up for them in the place that they are and not for the two or three students in your class that are the advanced ones that you’re trying to entertain or entertain yourself because you’re bored of the sequence? I mean, like we’ve been teaching, uh, at our studios, like we, when teaching the same sequence, it gets adjusted a little bit here and there, but for like 15 years and there are students who have been with us for 15 years and they are coming in and they’re practicing that sequence.
11:14 Why did they come back? Because they can depend on the experience because like it’s because they’re getting a feeling from it. They’re getting a result from it that has been consistent over time and it makes them feel good at the end of the day. And I, so when I come back to with that is w I have a very clear mission about why we do what we do and that mission underneath that everything flows. Meaning, if I’m here, one of our mission is to empower people to live their best lives, period. And what that means for us is to give them a physical, mental and emotional experience that like changes how they feel about themselves. And so that every single class they leave, they feel better than when they came in. Right. And so what that is, every single class that we’re teaching, we’ve structured in a way where teachers have the ability, I mean you can’t, you can’t, you can’t extract the humanity of a class.
12:01 You can try to, like in the Bikram world, like they teach a, and I know this isn’t for every Bikram studio, but like they have a set script that they have to say, right? That takes the human spirit out of it because I can’t even vary up. Like what I’m saying, this is exactly what I say every single time, by the way, they’re hugely successful. So that’s something to look at. But my point is like the sequence is the same, but the way it’s told, the way it’s articulated, the lighting is like, it’s consistent. But like the music we control like no music with words. This is a whole nother podcast, but like there’s elements of the class that the teacher and that is in control over that gives them their freedom and creative expression. What I’m not willing to let go of and allow teachers to have the responsibility of is the ex like is the methodology and cause if they don’t have that because the methodology for the students is what gives them the feeling and the result.
13:00 I was just going to ask like what is the equivalent of the eight keys? Like if, so like, like the, cause we’re using the analogy of the piano and if there are 88 keys that are like that is the foundation and then you can create all this music. What is the equivalent to what we’re talking about? What’s the equivalent to those 88 keys? And you just said it, it’s methodology. Methodology. Yeah. The why, the way we sequence classes and so we then for what we do is we have a stability class and we have a flow class. Stability is a set sequence we teach at the same, like that sequence is the same every single time. The flow class follows the same methodology, but there’s an opportunity for teachers to be creative in the way they open up the body. But the methodology is the Ada keys.
13:39 They’re using that structure to open up the body in this very specific way to produce a very specific result for our students because that’s why we’re in business to help students experience a higher standard of living through a physical movement called Yoga. That relieves body pain through the movement and meditation that relieves stress. And then when you do that, you have a different emotional experience. Because we’re multidimensional beings and we offer this, like in our class we also teach theming, which is like what’s the, what’s the deeper message that you’re going to present today and how are you going to do that? And there are some really great ways. So like man, creativity, a bounce in those classes. Even in that stability class where it’s a set sequence, they have the ability to theme about what they want to talk about that day. They have the ability to, you know, to change the music up to create a different texture of the class.
14:28 They have the ability to say that like cue poses in ways that expand their ability as a teacher to understand and how to articulate to students so that they understand better and they have a better experience in the pose itself. Like so I would say man, the creativity is embedded in it. The creative, what happens is when we get creative in the sequencing of it and the methodology changes, we then changed the experience for students. That breeds distrust because they’re just not going to stay with it if they don’t know what they’re getting time in and time out. And I think what you said before
15:00 just nailed it on the head. As, as teachers, what is our focus? Is Our focus on the student getting the results or getting, being able to literally change people’s lives or is our focus on us being so creative that people comment on the class afterward? Right? Like if we stay focused on what’s most important, which is the students and their bodies and that and changing their lives, then success happens. Right? I mean then like the proof is in the pudding. People are getting, results are coming out saying he’s the craziest, craziest part. Cause this is, you can be s like in any discipline, in any industry, look at the masters, like the masters of the whatever the thing is. Like they didn’t like to jump around and do all these different things. Like, like, like I’m like a master at playing the guitar, like an Eric Clapton who’s just like a phenomenal guitar player.
16:02 He didn’t like do a bunch of, he didn’t want to play the guitar and the piano and this and drums and doing all, all of this and seeing an a do all of it. He said, no, I’m going to niche down. I’m going to focus on playing the guitar, doing it really well and I’m going to get so good at it that it becomes just second nature to me. And then I’ll sing really well too. And then I can play of these things. But I’m gonna I’m going to get really focused. And I think it’s the same thing with teachers. If we get so niched down and get so focused on I want to change people’s lives, I want to make a difference in what they’re doing and say this is the methodology I’m going to use to do that, then the results happen.
16:37 Yeah, totally. I mean it’s being student-focused, not teacher-focused and this is a meaning that I want to, I want to create the experience. The best of the ability that I can as a studio owner, which I know is the foundation of success, is to be able to focus on the experience that the students are getting and then to have the teachers be the conduit through which they get that experience. And as such, I need to then like get our teachers on board. Right. And this is what we’ve done over the years. This is like the cornerstone of our success, I guarantee it is that the teachers are on board with the mission. They’re on board with the methodology. They’re on board with the focus, like being student-focused and making sure that we’re teaching in a way that like, yeah, you may get bored with your sequence with a sequence, but that’s not important. Your, we’re, we’re not in business for your entertainment. We’re in business to help students. And if I go back to most of the students are new that are coming in, man, they need that consistency. It will change their lives. And if I can do that, I know we will stay in business
17:39 and that’s controlling the right things that I can have control over to create success in my students’ students’ lives and yeah,
17:47 success in my business. Yup. And it also, I have to stand
17:50 up and like be a leader in my organization, a leader in my community. That’s for another time. It’s another episode. Awesome. Well, thanks everybody for listening in and uh, we’ll see you in the next episode. Peace. Yes, thanks so much for listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Do you have a question that you’d like us to answer raw and uncut on the podcast? If you want your questions answered, all you need to do is head over to Apple podcast, and do three simple things. One; rate and review telling us what you think of the podcast. Two; in that review, ask anything you want related to yoga, and three; if you want to shout out, leave your Instagram handle or name and that’s it. Then listen in to hear your question answered Live, raw and uncut. Join us next time on Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets Podcast. Thanks.
In this episode, we are going to welcome Linda Osorio, a fellow yoga studio owner, onto the show to share how she got into yoga, started her yoga studio, and the challenges she faced in growing and sustaining the business.
At one point in the business, she was going through a rough patch and kept hitting a barrier in memberships, but when she reached out to us, we helped her increase her memberships by up to 50% which created a level of financial freedom that gave her the ability and free time to take care of her family. She’s going to talk about all that and more, and it’s going to be so valuable to gain insight into your own experience of what it means to be a yoga entrepreneur.
Key Points Discussed:
Join The Facebook Group –> http://bit.ly/yogaentrepreneur
This episode was released July 26, 2019
Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
00:00 Welcome to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. I am Chris Yaxf. And I’m John Yax. We are the Yaks brothers. And today, we are super excited because we have a really special episode where we interview our good friend and fellow Yoga studio owner, Linda Osorio. She was going through a rough patch where she had so many crazy things happening at the same time and she thought, “How can I continue to do this?” So she reached out to us and we helped her with a few little tweaks, revolutionized her business. Yeah. So there was a period of time where she, you know, she kept hitting the barrier of like memberships and she was always trying to like, just break that barrier. And she talks about in the episode it’s really great and with just a little bit of help from us and a few tweaks, she has increased her memberships by 45%, and at the same time, she’s increased her free time, her ability to take care of her family.
00:51 And it’s just a phenomenal story. And, what’s really important is that, we talked for a while. You’re going to hear about the first 30 minutes in this episode, but to hear the rest of it, and what she actually did that you can potentially even model for your own studio is at the end. And so to get that, you have to do one thing, jump on over to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets Facebook group and drop your email in the member questions, and we will send the rest of that episode over to you right away. So stay with us and enjoy the episode.
01:24 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 Yaks brothers and welcome to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets.
01:55 What’s up YES crew? We are here with Linda’s Osorio and see is a, she is a dear friend of ours who has been an entrepreneur for years and years and years and has been in the trenches running businesses, running yoga studios, doing it all and she’s a rock star. So we are blessed to have her here and… yeah, we’re excited cause she’s going to tell us her story, which is so valuable to gain insight into your own experience of what it means to be a yoga entrepreneur.
02:30 Hi Linda.
02:33 Hi. I’m really excited to be here. We’re glad you’re here. Thanks for having me.
02:38 Yeah, it’s awesome how it worked out.
02:40 A synchronicity for sure. And it’s definitely I know I’m supposed to be here so it’s pretty awesome.
02:45 So I get a text from, from our crew about an interview and that was I think Monday and I was supposed to reach out to Linda sometime last week. It was so bad. It was such a busy and so I get this message from Daxy and Ryan, they’re like, hey guys, just checking in. And, uh, that’s our, that’s our team on the back end. And uh, do you guys have the interview set up? I was like, oh no. So I immediately texted Linda and she was like, OMG, I was just about to contact you guys. I’m going to be in the area where you guys are and I was going to drop in and just say hi and connect right at the same time I went. So like that’s so synchronicity. Yes, it is a real thing.
03:32 Synchronicity seems to save your ass a lot. Hahn John, that’s the [inaudible]
03:37 it’s working for them. Yeah. Without synchronicity. Procrastinators with very quick that is the truth. That is the truth. So, um, yeah so uh, Linda and I went back and forth with some Texas. She was like, I am going to be there. So this is perfect timing and I was like, oh this probably timing. We did a virtual high five and Sam here. Yes. So here we are. Here we are. Thank you for being here.
04:01 Of course. Of course. I’m happy to be here. Really excited to be a part of, um, you know, your podcast cause I listen to a lot of podcasts and I, um, through the years of knowing you guys have recorded you, like it was my own personal podcast and notes, you know, always take a lot of notes and I just refer back to my scribble and go, yeah, that’s right. So it’s really cool that it’s like coming together on a more, um, organized way other than on my scribble pad and my videos.
04:32 So I think for everyone to get to know you better, um, I guess, uh, as we get into this, how did you get into yoga to tell your back story a little bit?
04:41 Sure. Um, so once upon a time, if you want to hear my story, um, I was, so just to go back a little further, I was a teen mom, so being a teen mom was really hard. Luckily I had a great, great support system, but I didn’t go to college. So I didn’t, you know, when you graduate from high school, got my GED, blah blah, blah. Went to, um, massage therapy school and uh, learn. So I was just thinking, oh, just, you know, I want to help people feel better. Like, you know, throw some lotion on their legs or something. I don’t know, work out the muscles. But I learned a lot about anatomy and I, and it really gave me confidence when I pass the national exam cause that is very hard. And I passed it the first time. So yay for someone who didn’t graduate from high school, that made me feel really good.
05:24 And from there I just took a very serious right out the door, you know, bodywork. So what happened was a few years into that, it was around 2006 or seven, there was a massage therapist who said, oh, you got to try yoga. And she kept trying to get me to go and, and finally on when, and, um, the first class I was just like, you know, I really, there’s something about this. I feel it. I like it. And I started thinking about it from my clients at that point. So I started practicing on my own and then found hot yoga after that. And then that was just what really hooked me was the hot yoga.
05:59 Yeah, it was, we had the same story. Like why did yoga for, it’s probably like a month. I try not all these different like places around the area. And then I was literally like, ah, I don’t know.
06:08 Well you are lucky cause you guys probably had more than one place. We were like one place. And even though she was amazing, she had been a teacher for like 30 years at that point. It was the only place. And, and even then it was like wasn’t busy or anything. And, um, but I did a lot of other things there, but you know, like meditation and things, a Chakra cleansing and all that. And it was awesome. But you know, we didn’t have the option of seeing a lot of different places. Um, you know, I had to drive up to northern Virginia to find the first hot studio. And so in a way you guys are Kinda lucky. You got to explore different, different places without having to drive too far.
06:44 Yeah. And we are coming from the martial arts background to where we wanted something intense. And you wanted your bucket. Yeah. Yeah, we were. And before that I wasn’t getting it, that physical experience. And then when we actually, I think before a hot yoga studio opened up in our area, we had to drive up to, was it to Richmond? I’m going to drive it. Oh really? Yeah. We had to drive from Richmond to experience our first hot hot yoga class. Yeah. So there was only, at the time when we first started, there was only probably two studios around in the area, two yoga studios. Right. And there was no hot yoga at all. And so we drove up to Richmond to get our first experience and that was like, wow.
07:16 Wow. So yeah, hot yoga was, wasn’t around either. Then. Okay, you guys were the beginning of that in Virginia Beach.
07:25 Yeah. Well then a yoga studio, a hot yoga studio opened up and that’s when we were able to do it consistently. But the first, the first hot studio that opened was our first experience and it ended up, we went to training and that was the first studio we taught, we taught at. So. Okay. So you get into yoga, hot yoga is what captured you what I’m like, how did you end up owning a yoga studio?
07:48 Well, um, I owned a massage therapy center called massage matters. Actually, it was a co-owner in that, but I ran it. I mean, I literally built it from the ground up and uh, so we had about a thousand square foot space, had, uh, five rooms, ended up making my office into another massage room. That’s how busy we got. And, um, it was not a spa, it was just like straight-up massage. And it was really important to me that we had more of like, a scientific approach to it. And not just like, you know, relaxation. You know, I’m always trying to get kind of down to the root of things. Like what is it really that’s bothering them, you know, and why is it that I kept working on this person and what they keep having the same issues. Like they come back two weeks later, oh it felt good for a week and then you know, pain comes back and I realized that they were just so unconscious about their body mechanics and through my own personal practice I was like, you know, I think yoga would do really well for them.
08:41 And so I was sending them down to the studio in Fredericksburg and then I was just like, man, somebody needs to open up a studio here cause they’re not gonna want to go to drive 30 minutes and be consistent with the practice down there. So Tyler’s another massage therapist who was well known for her yoga classes in Quantico and her name is Angela and she’s really great teacher. And I said, um, Kay, what would you think about opening up a yoga studio with me? And cause I didn’t really know anything about teaching. All I knew was business at that point. That was my skill and you know, bodywork and stuff. And she was like, sure. And I was like, awesome, let’s do it. And that was it. And uh, that’s Kinda how it happened. And uh, the House of Yoga, Stafford House, a yoga she actually named that we were talking about was like, what should we name?
09:29 And she’s like Stafford House of Yoga. And I was like, that sounds good. And we were looking at a shopping center to open a bar space and we, before we signed a lease there, I found this house right on Sixth and Main road. And I remember just going, I mean it was kind of a dive was a dump and I was just like, there’s something special about it. And then there was a tree in the back and I hugged it and I said, please give this place to me. And then the day before we signed the lease for this space, the bank said that they wanted to run it to me and it was going to be half the price. And I was like, yes. And so she and I gutted the place with some contractors. I mean it was tough. It was really, really hard. I’m not gonna lie, but um, we made it work and from the get go we were busy.
10:11 So for all the listeners just, I’ll make this connection. They named it Stafford House of Yoga and then they found a house before. Right.
10:20 And we found a commercial. Ha. I mean it was zone commercial on a main road, which is like not normal. Yeah. It’s like mostly commercial is like strip malls. So it was, I knew and then I was another thing I was just like, I knew this was the right place and that’s pretty cool. I like definitely the fact that we have like our own private little space. We have a deck, we have, you know, a little kitchen upstairs and we have two yoga rooms and a nice lobby and little garden in the front and we grow vegetables and it’s pretty cool. Especially Cause Stafford’s not that fun.
10:54 Let me point out something else. When you want something you have to hug a tree to eventually get it. That was the kicker for it. Yes, you have to, but you have to
11:02 do it with true intention and love.
11:05 It forces nature into the mix of your intentions and makes it, it makes it spassed. Right. Exactly. In fact,
11:12 like I’m telling you, there’s, there’s power like beyond what we recognize that can take you somewhere, but don’t rely only on that either. You know, don’t just sit around and hug trees all day hoping that
11:25 not a big bag of money, it’s going to drop in your lap. We are co-creating this experience. I, which mean there’s more effort than hugging a tree that is on our shoulders to get done.
11:34 Money does not grow on trees. No, it doesn’t. Not yet.
11:37 You use the tree to help you. Yes. When you guys opened what you, were you teaching at the time, what was your responsibility in the business when you started?
11:45 Yeah, so no one wasn’t teaching. Angela was doing most of the teaching with some other teachers that we just hired, you know, um, and uh, did do the interview process together and she, you know, I could kind of tell like through their vibe if they were good or not through my own experience as a practitioner, but I was running the back end of it, you know, I got the business set up. I, you know, did all that, um, you know, marketing, advertising, employees stuff, payroll, things like that. And Angela did help with some of that, but that was more like my thing and then she was more like front end and you know, thinking back, I thought business would apply to every [inaudible] that you would want to do. But the yoga business was definitely a rude awakening. How so? Because it was hard as shit, even though we were busy. Um, I’ll give you an example. The day we opened and I knew Mindbody. Okay. I’ve been using my body since 2008 a and a. So when we opened up in 20.
12:43 So mind-body has software that so many yoga do almost all yoga studios use, uh, and on gyms and things like that. So
12:50 yeah. Yeah, it’s very common. And I mean, I’d already used it for the massage therapy business, but the first day we opened, we had a ton of people in the lobby for our grand opening and stuff like that. And we were selling memberships, which was good, but we were setting them up wrong. I mean, for, I think it was two years after that, maybe a little longer, a little over two years, I was going back fixing people’s accounts because they were being charged too much. They were, you know, we signed them up for a membership that lasted literally one month and you’re like, wait a minute. I thought this was, you know, the 12-month commitment that we set them up. They only got the, they’re only paying for one month and they’d been practicing here for six months for free practically. So, and then having to go back and ask them to pay for the past six months, you know, like, I mean, there wasn’t just one person.
13:36 I’m telling you probably I’d say about a hundred. Yeah, it was, it was madness. I mean, it was madness, but the, the good news was that we were wanted, the bad news was I didn’t know what the crap I was doing, even though I thought I did. Yeah. So that was very stressful. Oh, when I was pregnant too, by the way, during the opening, my son was born two weeks after our grand opening. It wasn’t planned. Like my other two kids weren’t either, but that’s life. So he was born two weeks after our grand opening and uh, that made it kind of tough too. But, um, but you know, hey, I did it. I’m here. Um, I survived.
14:12 So it sounds like you’re pretty successful off the Gecko. Like people are coming in and you know, obviously some logistical stuff and making sure that people are getting charged for the memberships they’re taking. Uh, what were some of the, like some of the beginning hurdles that you had to get over, like as you, the growing pains of it. Were they immediate or that take time or were immediately profitable or how long did that take? What are some of the things?
14:33 Ah, well that’s part of the piece that I really like. It was in my business plan, but, um, I had no idea how, I guess important. The teacher training aspect of it was I’m thinking, Oh, we just sell memberships that, um, you know, create enough profit but, and it, and it does, but at that point, you know, we had the overhead of paying our staff and the front desk. So we don’t do Karma Yoga like a lot of studios do. Like we actually pay our staff nothing against it, but I don’t think it’s a good model, um, because we want longterm, uh, employees or you know, front staff. And anyways, so the overhead was more than what I thought. And then also we didn’t have consistency, uh, in the classroom. So it was, it was really hard to manage the teachers really hard. So that was very stressful when you have to deal with managing teachers, um, then it takes you away from other things that are important, like paying your rent. So yeah, it was, it was kind of stressful for sure. And then on top of that, you know, um, you want to be busy and we were, but when you’re so busy and overwhelmed, it can exhaust you for sure. And it did.
15:46 So in, so in the process of like, you have the studio,
15:50 you’re, you’re trying to figure out
15:51 all of these things and, and like mind-body mistakes and teachers and like try and like,
15:58 oh my God. And the toilet. So because it’s a house, it’s on a septic. Okay. This house is old from like the seventies all right, so it’s on aseptic. But here’s the thing, it’s really weird. The septic pumps into the main city line. But what would happen was, because we had so many people taking showers and bathrooms stuff, it would back up and then the smell would back up into the studio. I mean, on a regular, I can’t even tell you the American tank cleaning people. I mean, they knew me like we were family now. I mean, it was
16:25 right. Seriously, they knew, okay,
16:28 you gotta go there, you know, what does it pump the septic? So they finally got fixed. It was a pump issue, but that was like five years later it got fixed. Okay. So anyways, yeah, that was really a shitty mass. Literally. Literally.
16:42 And we would, I’d walk into the studio and I’d be like, why does this smell like shit? I mean, I was already, you know, like, and I’m like, man, this place should be smelling at least like sweat or incense or something, but not,
16:55 uh Huh.
16:57 It was really, really tough. Now I can laugh about it, but it was really stressful in the moment. It really was. Yeah.
17:04 And so that was like, so how was to you had a, basically a Newport at this time too, so like, like life and business and like you were juggling,
17:14 I could have been a fucking professional drug, drug dealer and the circus that’s like, you know, it was like, okay, do this, do that. And, um, what I learned from that was, and I think this hit me later, you know, like I, I learned it a while ago, but I put it into words now it’s like you can hustle business but you can’t hustle your family. And at the time I was just like putting everything like hustle mode. Like, okay, kid goes here, you know, dad goes here, other kid goes there, business here, you know. And uh, it just, it really was overwhelming. But luckily, you know, a little crowd, which is cool, is that he grew up in a yoga studio and I would look back on the pictures of him pulling out mats from the hot yoga room, you know, playing with the Little Buddha and, you know, just running around, you know, that brings me a lot of joy. So in the moment, in the heat of it, you don’t recognize it as much, but now I do. So it was all, you know, in the end it was all pretty good. Yeah. I don’t think I’d be able to s would have been able to see that though if I didn’t pull myself out of that, like that stress and, and that was, that’s where you guys came in was like, that is actually what I would have to say saved the business really. So anyway, thank you.
18:26 Yeah, our pleasure. So talk, talk about that for a moment though. Cause there was like an experience, a situation happened that kind of forced your hand in a way that you would have never predicted would’ve happened, right? Yeah.
18:40 Right. So, uh, Angela, who’s, you know, a really great teacher and Person Lover Lot, she’s awesome and being a yoga really great yoga teacher, she actually learned in India and when she learned Yoga in India, they didn’t, where they weren’t part of yoga alliance or like what the hell man, we’re like ancient teachers, generations of people teaching yoga. We don’t need no yoga alliance. So she didn’t get certified through Yoga Lions. And so when we wanted to open up our teacher training, she could not do it with the yoga line certification. Right. And we knew that that was important because that’s what a lot of people were looking for. Like, oh, are you yoga alliance certified or whatever. And so she, then she came up to me one day and she was like, we can’t do teacher training because I’m not yoga alliance certified. And that was in our business plan, right? The, the teacher training, how much we’d make and stuff. And I just remember going just thinking like, oh my gosh,
19:35 fucking God. I was like, why? What is Yoga Alliance? And I needed to know that before. Right, right, right. Yeah. But you know, just like, and I, he and I, and that’s where
19:50 I still kind of struggle with yoga online. So I’m like, I get, it’s important to regulate it, but at the same time, I’m like handle as a Badass teacher. She could teach a lot of people teacher training. I mean, we don’t need that. And so we discussed not having it, you know, but in the end it was like, it was necessary. And so long story short, um, we parted ways and, uh, she’s a big activist now in the Dakotas. For, you know, the, you know, the pipeline and supporting the natives. So go Angela. I’m always sending her love up there. But um, anyways, uh, so after she left I was like, okay, I need to do something. So it just, so happened to got an email from a company in um, like Ohio and I was like, all right, so maybe I’ll just hire them to do my teacher training on an I does.
20:39 Even if I get 30%, it’s 30% of, you know, this month that’s not bad and I don’t have to do it because I can’t. Oh, but really quick, just to step back really quick. Ah, when Angela went to teacher training, she was looking for studios and she actually went to one in DC that she hated. She did it for a couple months and then at the same time I’m thinking I should do teacher training because as an owner I need to be able to understand the needs of the teachers and if somebody calls out, I should be able to come in and sub. I, you know, me canceling just doesn’t happen. I hate to cancel anything, appointments, classes. I mean I gave classes to two people before, um, and you know, I just don’t like to cancel if I can help it. So, um, she and I just so happened she, she signed up for teacher training and with the Yax Yoga I had no idea. And cause this was all kind of happening so fast and juggling a million things in an I signed up and then Peggy, she, even
21:34 Robby, she’s like, that’s funny, somebody else from Stafford is going to be doing our training, maybe he can carpool with them. And I said, really? She said someone named Angela. I said, no fucking way. And I, so I saw her and I was like, did you put the axiom cause she’s like, yeah. I said, me too. She was like, you’re the other person from Stanford. I said, yes. And I said, well, you know what?
21:55 It must be a good place. I knew it was going to be a good place just from my bodywork experience that Yak sugar was where I wanted to do my training. But having Angela back that too was like, okay, this is supposed to happen. And then us going through it together was pretty cool.
22:10 Yeah. There’s that synchronicity thing happening. Yes, yes, yes, yes. I love it. That was, so that was the first teacher training, I think Chris and I did in Richmond.
22:19 Yes it was because you guys were getting ready to open up the one in short pump and a are, I remember it very clearly like every weekend because it was like my highlight of the month and you know, during that time to, you know, my little guys like I think two or three at the time and I w and you just had your first one and you had one on the way and you know, I was like, oh, you guys don’t, yeah,
22:41 no business in babies. That’s some tough shit. But um, anyways, but it was awesome.
22:49 So Nice for me because I needed to decompress. Like, you know, uh, healer, heal, heal, heal thyself, right. It’s like here I am trying to support the community bodywork. At the time, I still had massage therapy practice and I’m like running on fumes. I’m literally like a Zombie. So it was like, ah, I can’t wait to go back and go to whole foods and connect with people who know about, you know, what I’m talking about. And it was just cool. Yeah. So thank you for that too.
23:17 You’re welcome.
23:22 You guys are funny and that always helped too. You guys were hilarious but serious at the same time, which is pretty nice combination. Yup.
23:29 I appreciate it. Um, so you, so you went to you to training and help. That’s, you know, it helps you personally and also to understand the business aspect. So it was kind of a dual, like a two for like you, you want understand what’s going on to support the needs of your teachers, but it also was something for that helped in your life. Right?
23:48 Definitely. Um, well I was able to feel like I could be more part of the studio instead of just the backend. And then I also, for the therapeutic approach is so like valuable to me. I knew in that moment that that’s what I needed to do at the studio. Me and Angela would talk about it on her way to the studio. Like, man, we need to get all the teachers to do this and how are we going to do it when everybody’s doing their own thing. And so that was pretty challenging. But, um, I know that it helped me at least have a starting point. Like, okay, this is where we are. This is where I want to go. One day. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but it’s, you know, this is what I’m, I at least I know what I’m working towards now. Before it was just like everything was up in the air and the classes and the teachers and my life, um, this is crazy, but it’s now I can see the value of it because sometimes you’ve got to go through shit to appreciate where you are. And I’m just glad that I didn’t give up and you know, people didn’t give up on me either. And that was pretty amazing.
24:46 Yeah. That’s awesome. What, so what happened there was, um, you know, for the partnership between you and Angela, something happened that like, made you like the training that you did, like even more important at that moment. What was that?
24:59 What do you mean? Like what was, what did we, why did we think the training, the teacher training was so important?
25:04 No, when a, so here you are the business end of it. She’s the teacher end of it, the yoga end of it, but then she leaves. Yeah, right. It was that, yeah.
25:11 Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. She, she, she went to California and then I was just like, okay, Linda, you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing. What are you going to do? I’m going to copy the yaks yoga brother. I know that they are awesome and I would like to be like them one day. Um, and also from a business perspective, not just from Yoga because like, again, as a massage therapist, I mean, I been practicing massage therapy since 2004, and I was just like, this is what I really want for people. I want people to have healthy backs. I want them to sit up and catch themselves during the day, be conscious of their body mechanics. So anyway, I knew that I needed a good teacher training system in there, but I also knew that I needed to support my community wasn’t just like a profit thing.
25:52 It was like a representation of who I am, what I believe in and what I wanted for the community. And so when I had talked to this company to come and do it for us the first couple of years, I’m telling you after the first teacher training I was just like, I don’t know man, this isn’t a good idea. But you know, if you feel like you have to give it another try, just because maybe at the time your personal life was spilling over into business and you were just kind of, you know, not turned on by them because of other reasons. Well after the second year was like, no, that’s not it. They really just don’t align with my belief system on the science of Yoga. They were good as far as getting people to remember how to do a specific script. Right. But anybody can do that.
26:43 Anybody can spit out information. And my opinion, it’s like really understanding the Fascia and the body and the, you know, the therapeutic approach and why like to the point that they could even put it in their own words. That’s what I really wanted. And so yeah, from there, that’s when I begged you to, I was like, damn, John, please, I need your help. I’m going to die. Um, yeah, but you know, I learned from that experience too and it was all good. Like I’ve had some good teachers out of that, don’t get me wrong, and some of them are still with me today. Uh, but now we only do the yaks yoga approach, which is the mile fashion line being the most important piece to it. How to open the body. Everybody has to follow that no matter what. But yes, it was very hard to get them to do that.
27:27 We, so right during that time, and I don’t know if you remember, but we had literally just had a complete reorganization of our business, so totally restructuring. So we bought out a partner and split up a business like whole, like it was like we, we just went through a year of chaos, total restructuring, total chaos and a few months we had just gotten the other [inaudible] on the other side of that. And a few months later is when you called me and our we talked or, yeah,
27:54 yeah, yeah. Cause you guys had the, you guys just opened up at that point, the, the other studio in Richmond. Where is that? And um, it was in Midlothian. Yeah. And so it’s like, aw man, they got their hands full. They’re not going to want to come help me, you know? Um, so, but I was just like, I was so desperate for help and I was just like, well, I don’t want to, I’ve already tried asking somebody. I didn’t know. And, and it, it, it didn’t work out exactly the way I wanted it to. So I was just like, I have got to, I don’t know, fry or something. I’d get on my knees and back on plates. Luckily I didn’t have to go to that extreme. John [inaudible] was very receptive, which was, I’ll never forget that day. Never. Was definitely a pinnacle point in my life.
28:38 Like turning point. I don’t know if you guys ever seen the movie the jerk? No. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. The point-like where like, you know, he, he becomes a millionaire because he fixed, he does this thing on the glasses, that little nose piece or, and there’s this part in the movie where the guy, he says, we’ll fix my glasses. And he throws it to him and it’s in slow motion. He grabs the glasses. And in that moment is when he knew, well he didn’t know, but he just in his, his power grab those glasses and he fixed them and he put this little nose piece on it and he became a millionaire from that. Now I’m not saying, you know, I’m a millionaire yet, but I knew in that moment going home, man, I was just like, this is the changing point in my life. I know it is. Like it could have been in slow motion. I mean, I replayed in my mind in slow motion because it was just so powerful. It was a powerful, powerful moment. I mean, Ralph Gates was powerful too, but that I would have to say that was it for me. I was like, oh, I paid for that. That workshop was for that. That’s how it was. It was really good, really cool.
29:42 And Audrey went with me that day too, and she had to hear me the whole way home, her and Billy about how excited I was. Luckily she was excited with me. You know you want people to be excited with you, you know, and she totally got me. She understands what I was going through because she was my manager at the, the house of Yoga. And, um, so when you surround yourself with people who, um, understand your struggle and maybe even have been there and, uh, you know, they’re kinda cheering you on and stuff, it definitely helps keep you going because there were times, or it was just like, I can’t do this anymore. We’re not making any money. Um, for some reason I couldn’t like break certain numbers, like memberships and I, I would always have these monthly goals like, oh, we have to sell these many memberships and this and that.
30:23 And it was just always tough. And then some days, uh, when I would check the reports, it was like we lost members. I was like, damn, you know, and, and I just couldn’t understand why we had all these classes, you know? I mean, I was paying myself like five. I remember the first, after year two, I started paying myself, well, you’re one, I’m actually, Angela and I would split a very small salary, but, um, there were times I didn’t take a paycheck. I was just like, nope, I can’t, I cannot do it. And then, uh, I remember one year I made $5,000, and I’m like, what the, but I was like, but I got paid in other ways. Eventually, that didn’t last. I was like, fuck that. I’m wasn’t money. I need to get paid. I got a baby. Um, so, um, you know, that has definitely changed, man. There’s no doubt. I’m at a different point now, so, but again, um, it was that point where somebody like you know, was just like compassionate and was, you know, believed in me and I, that alone gave me the ability to, to change the studio around us. What happened?
31:31 Yes. Awesome. Is Linda. Hey, if you want to hear the rest of her story and find out how she increased her memberships by 45% creating a level of financial freedom that gave her the ability and the free time to take care of her family, then join our private Facebook group, Yoga entrepreneur secrets. Be sure to drop your email in the member questions. We’ll send the other half of that episode right over to you. This is the only place you can get access to this, so be sure to join Yoga Entrepreneurs Secrets Facebook group now. We look forward to you joining us in the next episode of YES, Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Peace.
32:04 Yes, thanks so much for listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Do you have a question that you’d like us to answer raw and uncut on the podcast? If you want your questions answered, all you need to do is head over to Apple podcast, and do three simple things. One; rate and review telling us what you think of the podcast. Two; in that review, ask anything you want related to yoga, and three; if you want to shout out, leave your Instagram handle or name and that’s it. Then listen in to hear your question answered Live, raw and uncut. Join us next time on Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets Podcast. Thanks.
In this episode, we are going to talk about creating more time in your day by focusing more on working on your business instead of in your business. When we were starting out with our yoga studio, we used to handle everything ourselves, from teaching classes to managing the finances.
That worked for some time, but it was obviously not sustainable, so we solved that by first hiring a front desk person, and then launching our teacher training, which collectively enabled us to set up the systems and processes that allowed us to free up more time for working on the business. This is gonna be an informative one, you won’t wanna miss it.
Key Points Discussed:
Join The Facebook Group –> http://bit.ly/yogaentrepreneur
This episode was released July 25, 2019
Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
00:00 Hey everybody. So if you’re listening to this, you are most likely a superstar. Meaning you’re doing it all, you’re teaching, you’re running your business, you’re, you’re rocking out. But what that means is you’re working yeah.
00:12 In Your Business and you’re not working on your business. And that’s what we’re gonna talk about today. 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 that, 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. So when we first started, started
00:51 out like this is our weekly schedule, we would, so I would teach this is Chris, by the way, I would teach like three-morning classes on Monday. John would teach three evening classes on Monday and then we would flip flop. And the next day. So we had another teacher, she would be the quasi front desk person, that day manager. And that meant on Tuesday I would teach the evening classes. John would be the manager, she would teach the morning classes. And so we would rotate that where each of us was teaching. I mean we’re by 45, so if I close to 15 classes a week, the other teacher who was kind of the front desk quasi manager, that meant that when she was a manager, we had a lot of stuff to clean up that day. Because uh, she just wasn’t her thing, you know, no hard feelings. No. You know, no judgment against her.
01:41 But there was, she just, that wasn’t her mind. Like she loved teaching. She was gifted at it and uh, that that’s what she did really well. The other stuff, yeah, there’s some room for improvement. But anyway, so that was like not, so we are teaching 12 to 15 classes a week. We were managing, we were doing the in house marketing. We were looking at sales reports, we were doing the evening closeouts. We are checking the finances. It was like, I mean if you if you’re in that position, you know like what I’m describing and the intensity of it, but it’s a labor of love, right? Like you’re like, oh, of course, I’ll do that. Why wouldn’t, why, why would I do anything else? Because it’s your baby. And you know, like, man, I am serving people in the way I want to serve people and you love it to death.
02:25 And so did we, and you may be at a position where, you know, it’s not sustainable over the long term. And what’s that saying with when you become an entrepreneur, you give up your nine to five or you give up 40 hours a week to work 80 hours a week gladly. And the, it is like, it goes like in line with, I would rather be in control and work 80 hours a week that can be in no control and work 40 hours a week. And that was us. We were doing everything. I remember we, we, uh, when we hired a front desk people, we had a front desk
02:59 team, we would come back, Chris or myself would come back every single night to do the closeout because we were like, nope, no one’s doing the closeout. We’re going to turn our attention to that money. Oh my gosh. Yeah. But that was the reality
03:13 for us and you know, and it worked for a time, right? It was what’s needed in the beginning, right. When you like John and I both have two kids, right. And when they were first born, the time and the energy and the effort that’s required of our wives, right? Like they were, it’s full time. Like, and for us to like, it takes a team to raise a child and like think about it in its inception when it’s in the beginning, right. You need that time, you need that energy. You need to give it your love and your attention to keep it alive. Right. Whether it’s a baby or your business, right. Which is like a baby, right? And so like, but there’s also a period of time, like with our kids now, our oldest, we had a relative at the same time, so my oldest will be five at the time we’re recording this and John’s like five already would have five and a half and our youngest are three, three, three and a half, four-ish, right?
04:04 So three and five essentially. And you know, the necessity of us to like be with them every day, all day long. Like it just changes over time and it’s no different for the business. And what ends up happening with the businesses that there are ways in which you know you need to grow. But in the rat race, it’s not the best term in the like inundation in the intensity of doing it all that becomes a pattern. Like you feel comfortable doing it all because you’ve been doing it all. We felt comfortable doing it all because that was just the norm after a couple of years of operating. But there’s also because it’s in like literally in the fabric of our DNA as human beings, this desire to grow and expand. And so what you come up against is I literally don’t have the time to devote to this next phase that I can feel myself growing into that I then push away because I’m so comfortable doing it all that I don’t have time to do anything else. Literally, I’m, my bandwidth is maxed, Chris. It’s the, uh, it’s the lobster analogy. There was a, a, there was a,
05:15 a monk that, uh, that I got this from, so I’m paraphrasing it, but the lobster is comfortable, right? It’s comfortable in its shell and when the lobster grows to a certain point, this soft insides of the lobster push against the shell, meaning it becomes, so it grows to a point where it’s, it’s, it has, it’s in pain, right? It grows against the shell that it’s in because it’s getting too big for that Shell. Well, guess what happens? The shall have to break. When the shell breaks in, it knows it’s time to break. The lobster will go down into a crack or a crevice or a little cave on, on the surface, on the, on the surface. I’m on the bottom of the ocean
05:58 and hide out there where it sheds its shell-like it cracks out and breaks a shell. So now it’s soft and vulnerable, but it stays hidden away until it starts to grow. It’s next, it’s next shell. This is the exact same thing we feel as entrepreneurs, as business owners, where we are comfortable and what was comfortable for Chris and I was doing it all meaning we had no time for anything else. We’re doing it all. But there was part of us that was growing into that shell that we had created and we had to break that Shell. Now, this is, this is ongoing, just like a lobster grows into it and then, and then once it has, it grows into that next phase of being too big for that show that breaks it again and does this as continual. It’s a beautiful analogy for our lives, right?
06:43 It, a beautiful analogy for a, for business, beautiful analogy as entrepreneurs, right? We’ll grow to that point. We’ll get comfortable and we’ll find that rhythm. But then there’s a point where we know we need to expand. And this point of expansion for us is when we said we’re doing teacher training. Yeah. It was actually even a little bit prior to that because the first thing we did was like, there’s no way we’re hiring anybody to teach these classes but we do need help. So we’re going to hire a front desk person. We’ve got to go for it. Yup. And so we ended up having to hire the front desk person. So like, but what ended up happening is then that freed up, you know, six hours of our time to devote to working on the business and then all of a sudden it was like the next level of expansion.
07:23 Like we grew into that show or we’re like, you know what? Like, and now we have a couple of front desk people, but man, like the next level for our growth, that next level of discomfort of that Shell means we’re going to have to bring new teachers in. Right. And then we did that for a while. We’re like, man, we’re spending all of this time now teaching them our system, right? Our methodology, the framework, and we like, we’ve got to like, we’ve got to change that because we can’t grow anymore because it’s taking so long to develop the teachers. So then we’re like, okay, well now here’s our teacher training. Right? And like as you’ve obviously assumed, if you’ve been listening to the last episodes, like teacher training was literally the pivot point. The thing that has like is the reason for our success because of the consistency and because of the culture that was created from it.
08:10 But so, you know, initially it was like there’s no way we don’t have time, but looking back, the time that we devoted to it gave us exponentially more time because all of a sudden we had these phenomenal teachers who are teaching in the spirit and creating the consistency that our students could come into and experience the results of like a healthy pain-free body had clear focus mind. And like all of a sudden, it’s so crazy. I was just talking to a guy the other day and he was like, you know, when I first came I did like one class and I was like, Eh, whatever. And then, but I came with a friend, so I kept going and I did about five times in the, in the two weeks and, and I tell you what, it’s changed my life. I was like, oh yeah, like what specifically? It was like relationships. And I’m like, isn’t fascinating. Like people think I’m just going to go on and stretch and all of a sudden like their relationship change, right? This is like the secret that we know as like yoga studio owners and yoga teachers like come in, come in for the physical,
09:08 their work gets better. Their relationship with their significant other gets better, their sex life gets better, their relationship with food gets better. As everything changes, you know, that’s the secret sauce. Yeah. Don’t tell anybody. Right. So what ended up
09:21 happening was because we were able to develop those teachers and because we were willing to let go of like the stranglehold we had and because we were willing to let go of the stranglehold we had, not just in teaching but in the front desk, we freed up our time to be able to make strategic decisions like looking, like getting, literally getting out of the circle of work, of having to be in the day in and day out of running the business so that you can look at the business from a higher perspective and see what’s working, what’s not working right. And that like the growth that we’ve experienced because of that time savings. Right. It’s so funny ’cause it’s like the ego seeing things 180 degrees from the truth. I can’t do this because I don’t have any time. Well, what ends up happening when you do it is that you’re literally, you free up your time to devote to working on the business and taking it in the direction that you know, as you feel it, you know like it’s this next level. Like, you know, it’s time to grow and expand and then how do you do that? Well it’s
10:20 a function of freeing up your time, being able to make strategic decisions on your business, being able to study the things you need to study, to, to level up your game, to expand into the leader, to into the person that you need to be in order to grow, in order to, to grow yourself, to grow your business, to grow as a leader in your, in your community, in your business. Yeah. So if you’re
10:42 listening to this and you’re like, man, like yeah, I’m right there. I’m working, you know I’m teaching 10 to 15 classes a week. I’m at the front desk. You know, I’m looking at reports, I’m trying to figure out the next promotion I’m looking at like the holiday season coming up and like what are we going to do? And I’m looking at it like all this stuff like man we feel you. We totally feel you. And if you are no like you know in your heart like there’s this next level for you. Then like start looking at like like what is the like, what’s the next thing that I could do to free up my time and maybe it’s not like getting new teachers in there. If you don’t do that already. Maybe it’s like it’s looking at the front desk and seeing could you get help on that side of it or maybe it’s reporting and looking at how can you free up a couple of hours of your day and get someone in there to help you. Because I like doing it and leaning into that discomfort of that next level of growth will free up the time and it’s been for us, how we’ve continued to grow is our willingness to let go of what we’re doing now to grow into the next phase of our, of our growth as a business and US personally.
11:49 All right, so thanks so much for joining us today and a tune in for next episode. We’re going to be
11:54 interviewing a friend of ours who has a studio and she just recently implemented some strategies that made a huge difference in her business, so you’re not going to miss it. All right, we’ll see you in the next one. Thanks guys. Peace. Yes, thanks so much for listening to yoga entrepreneurs secrets. Do you have a question that you’d like us to answer raw and uncut on the podcast? If you want your questions answered, all you need to do is head over to apple podcasts and do three simple things. One, rate and review telling us what you think of the podcast. Two, in that review, ask anything you want related to yoga, and three, if you want to shout out, leave your Instagram handle or name and that’s it. Then listen in to hear your question answered. Live, raw and uncut. Join us next time on Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets podcast. Okay, thanks.
In this episode, we are going to talk about how we felt were not good enough to successfully run a yoga studio. All that stemmed from the fact that we weren’t born into this, we weren’t natural yogis, and we weren’t natural business owners, so our confidence in ourselves was pretty low in the beginning.
Chris will talk about his struggle with feeling inadequate to give you a clear picture of what it’s like, and he’ll also tell us how he overcame it so you can hopefully apply the same towards achieving your yogi business owner goals. Enjoy!
Key Points Discussed:
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This episode was released July 24, 2019
Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
00:00 Have you ever had a grand vision of where you wanted to go in life and immediately thought, I’m not
00:06 good enough. We did too, and that’s what this episode is going to be about. 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 that, this podcast is here to teach the strategies and tactics so we can try financially as yoga entrepreneurs. We are the ax brothers and welcome to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. All right, so welcome. So today we want to tell us little
00:46 stories of, Chris is the youngest of all of us. He’s the youngest of six and growing up was challenging a lot of ways for that. Chris talked to us about that. Yeah. Why don’t you let me tell my story. Thank you very much. Go for it. Yeah. You, I mean I’m sure there’s been like books and whole fields of study done around birth order and like why you are the way you are because of the position you are within your family. But being the youngest of six had its challenges for sure. It was those challenges coupled by the fact that my dad wasn’t in the picture for the good majority of my childhood. And cause I think as a, you know, especially as a boy growing up, you look to your dad for guidance and for reassurance and for the lessons of what it means to go from adolescence to boyhood to manhood.
01:37 And I had none of that. And so that one, in my opinion, is like the one person who should’ve held that responsibility. I didn’t have. And so I displaced that responsibility within my siblings. And so what this looked like was like any time I had a decision to make, I felt inept, like incapable of actually making the decision without first asking each and every single brother and sister what they thought I should do. So literally I felt like my life was being guided by their opinions. So here I am like, no, in like the ages of dating and I’m like dating this girl and I’m like, so like sisters, what do you think? And they’re like, all stumps down and like brothers all thumbs up and I’m like, I have no idea what to do. Should I break up with her or should I not?
02:24 Should I continue? Should I not? But, and it like, it’s kind of a silly tongue in cheek experience. I experienced that. But what the real ramifications of it were later when like I actually was at an age where I needed to like have my own opinion too, to actually guide my own life in the direction that was in my heart and what I saw fit. And I, I, this barrier that I came up against was I didn’t feel qualified to make those decisions. I didn’t feel good enough in any area that like I could trust myself without having verification and validation from these other people in my life to let me know if it was the right decision or not. I literally, my experience growing up led me to have like self-confidence issues, a general sense of not being good enough and it caused like a lot of struggle and suffering in my life.
03:19 So with that, what would you say is the one thing that shifted for you? What, when, when was it in your life and what was the thing that made that shift that gave you that confidence that gave you the, that made you start to feel like you could take ownership of you and your life? It was initially like the beginnings of it started with martial arts. Um, there’s like a self confidence and a certainty within myself that was developed over and it’s really funny I guess as a guy who was like being, knowing that I could defend myself, I guess it’s something like really weird, primitive like you are not going to die because you can beat up another human beings. Definitely evolution thing, caveman style. So gay man style. I’m surprised I don’t have hair all over my face, but it helped me in the beginnings of it to begin to make decisions for myself based on what I wanted in my life.
04:12 And so, but then what also happened, so it was like, it’s funny because I forever like felt like for me to take this next step, can someone please like stamp a badge of approval? Like you have achieved this level and now you are qualified to take this next stage of your life. And if you’ve lived long enough, you know that that never happens. Right? If you don’t bet like stamp yourself in the forehead with you are ready, then you’ll never be ready. You’ll actually never do it. And so then fast forward and we got into yoga and yoga and meditation was so valuable because like the process of Yoga as far as Yoga Austin and what you do on your mat, like the inhale up dog, exhale down dog and all that stuff. It’s literally a moving meditation. And what’s the value of like the moving meditation and in the way it shapes the body and allows you to to feel good like physically is the equivalent of what meditation does for you to feel good like mentally and energetically.
05:12 And so what happened in the process when I got into yoga, that’s why and a couple of episodes ago I was like martial arts was like the horse and Buggy to what yoga is as a rocket ship for me personally in our personal development. And so getting comfortable in my own skin was a product of meditating, which makes sense because you’re literally left by yourself with yourself to deal with yourself. That Jim Gaffigan thing, John where he’s like it’s so crazy like go into a gym and everyone’s like looking at themselves like I work on myself by myself as I look at myself, that’s kind of like the equivalent of meditation. I sit with myself by myself alone within myself. Tell stories about myself
05:58 too Marcel and I call that thinking. But
06:03 what ended up happening in that process, like in all seriousness was it gave me a, gave me a more self aware sense of self, meaning I realized that I had the capacity within me to make decisions and then like born from that was the courage to just go ahead and make decisions because it wasn’t like this is what’s crazy. It’s like you think that in meditation, like you had this insight and then like, oh I have the insight into like change is inevitable. Well, that’s great. That’s only, that’s not going to help you when you have to actually make a change
06:35 until change actually happens. And you’re like, yeah, you turn into a five-year-old again.
06:41 Exactly. So I fell in meditation like Oh, I’m taking ownership of myself, but then I had to then actually go and do the owning of it in life. And that was through like the yoga ownership actually like running a yoga studio and, and really what the key, like I think my biggest expansion happened when I, when we started teacher training because I had to take ownership of the process that you and I chose was like, this is what we feel is the best experience for our students based on what we had seen.
07:16 It was interesting. What’s interesting is that when we started teacher training was also almost the exact time when we started expanding and hiring more people to come in to work the front desk too, you know, teachers and, and, and uh, and even managers I think at that time too. And we were around that same time we opened up our second studio. So all of a sudden we were forced to move into this, to this role, what Krista’s describing. So tell me a little bit about that cause like, cause like, cause like there’s, did you, I know I personally struggle with this. Am I qualified to actually lead people on all of these different levels? Um, did you kind of, did you feel the same way? How did you feel about that? Yeah, dude, no, no, I’m not qualified. And it was like I masked it in like, well if I just do it all, then I know the quality
08:06 because I know that what I, I know I can do what I have set out to do. And so it was really easy for me to be like, oh, because of the quality control because I know I can do, I’ll just continue to do it and I’ll just be at the front desk. No big deal. Cause I know I talked to people and I can make the sales to the memberships that I know needs to happen and then I go out, don’t worry, I’ll go and teach because I know the sequence and I know how I want people to feel when they come in and when they leave and go out of class. And, but that was really masking I, that was a nice excuse to mask the fear I had of taking ownership of saying, listen unapologetically, this is what we do and this is how we do it.
08:47 And that aren’t owning the teacher training and saying, okay, here’s our system. Like this is the sequence that we teach and here is why we played the music that we do. And here’s why we don’t play certain music because this is the experience we’re looking for. So we had this mission of like, here is how we see our offering. And then teacher training allowed us to craft other teachers coming in to be able to hold up that vessel in the same way that we did. And it was really easy for me to say, well I can just do it because I don’t want to deal with like anyone else doing it cause I do it the best. But really that was me just being afraid of having to be in a relationship where I had to hold people to task, to fulfill the mission that we had that they agreed to when they came in to do it. But it was just really, it was like, cause I, from through martial arts, I was really cool with physical confrontation, not good with mental and emotional confrontation.
09:43 So when, uh, when we started teacher training we had only been teaching for about five years at that point. And we, you know, we, we were reading books all the time. We were diving into uh, diving into everything. Yoga. How did you feel that on that first day of teacher training when you had, we had 20, I think 20 people, 25 people sitting in front of us like okay, now it now teach me. How did you feel at that point? Did you feel like ready or qualify? Like did you feel like you had the knowledge base at that point?
10:14 Well, my inner 12-year-old came out as far as how my voice sounded and no. Like it was literally like who am I to be sitting on this mat, on these blocks in front of these people trying to tell them this is what yoga is and isn’t and this is how you’re supposed to be teaching and this is what the eight limb path, this is what loving-kindness and truth and non-stealing is about in your life. Because I was at that point, I was done. I was 28 years old. Right. And like I’d had life experiences, you know, crazy dysfunction growing up and like all the things that like forge the spirit and make you the person that you are. But,
10:51 and our dad happened to like be a huge meditator his whole life and taught us how to meditate at a young age. Although we were rebels, we were like, no, I am not meditating. That’s a waste of time. It didn’t realize the benefit of it, but we heard that our whole life. But the one thing you that I always thought is like, if you’re going to be a teacher of yoga, you need to be at least 70 or 80 years old and have long white hair and a long white beard. Sorry ladies. And like have this persona of just deep wisdom. Like as if you’ve been meditating in a cave for 40 of those years.
11:30 Yeah. You guys need a free man. Two long white one. No. So the what was happening in my head and as I sat down, I remember it like it was yesterday is at my, my inner roommate was screaming, you are not good enough. Who do you think you are? You are not good enough. Who do you think you are? And if I had listened I would have stopped. And is I think the secret is like whatever the vision is that you have of yourself. Like we are an evolving, growing species and for us to live into that vision, we have to be willing to expand ourselves and our capacities, which is not easy comfortable work. If you’re, if I was looking to be comfortable, I would not be in this field. Discomfort is the spur of growth. And the idea that I wish was true is that when I become a leader then I will start, right? And the truth is who I have become is a function of being willing to go into the fire. Like what Bernay Brown calls like, like going in, it’s actually Roosevelt, but like going into the arena and like fighting the good fight and it’s in the act of doing that, you become the person that you were destined to become.
12:50 And I think I’d add to that is that when we started doing teacher trainings, we didn’t decide, okay, we’re no longer gonna learn anymore. Right? Because this is big, this is a big idea too of like when I have to gain all of this knowledge and be at this point Chris said, I have to be a leader and then I’ll be a leader, right? But the reality is is that we can step into that role and at the same time stolen, right? Chris, like still train and still learn and still evolve and still get better and better and better by educating ourselves. And Chris said this in a previous episode of like, the most important investment you can make in your life is in yourself. And that’s in your ability to learn and learn and learn and learn. And so in the process of being a leader in the process of, of taking that role of being a teacher’s teacher, you’re still learning, right?
13:42 Absolutely. Every day. And then so the next level of growth was like, oh, now I was learning how to like, so in the teacher training I was learning how to become a teacher’s teacher and learning to lead a group of people to teach in a way that was like the best in our minds and our hearts that created the biggest service and the most change in students’ lives now that then had to pivot into, okay, now we hire these teachers to teach at our studios. And it was then cultivating them and training them and, and holding them accountable for creating that vessel that we knew was our offering so that students could learn to trust the consistency and have the experienced time in and time again. And so that was really challenging because this is what I talked about like now it was also another level of emotional growth to be able to not make it like an ego thing.
14:36 It’s like, and like don’t get us wrong. Like this consistency that is the cornerstone of our success isn’t us, like with our desire to just be in control for EGOIC sake. It’s a just our vision of what we believe is, is in our hearts and what we’re called to do in this life through yoga. And like what, what that looks, feel, sounds and tastes like. But so when I go back to like what the mission was and like why we decided to open up the studio in the first place, it made it very easy to have the conversation. So I say easy in the sense of like, it wasn’t, it wasn’t like my ego verse, their ego is like, oh no, this is what we’re here to do. And so you have chosen to be a part of it and that means you have signed up to do this and that like to, to, uh, serve our students in this way.
15:24 But invariably when you do that, and if you’re a studio owner, you know, like sometimes if it, you have to have the hard conversations and say, listen, that’s not what we do. You know, we don’t do it. Here’s an in a case in point, we don’t do headstands and if you’re teaching headstand you can’t do it. Headstand, you can’t teach it. And if you have an issue with that, no hard feelings, all the love in the world but you just won’t be teaching with us. And so you have to hold people to task, which is also the, well you know kind of what you started with it as like I’m okay with physical conflict. We trained in physical conflict to punch each other in the face. It’s like physically retraining cause physical [inaudible] here I see yoga podcast and I talking about, we trained in physical contact in martial arts, but then like the other part of, and it doesn’t have to be conflict, but in our mind we make it to be conflict and then there’s that.
16:10 So it’s this is what you’re talking about. There’s this constant evolution because then that was, I felt really comfortable in that. Like, now we can do teacher trainings and like, and we have, we coach our teachers and we have a system of coaching and like to support teachers as they grow within our coaches that coach our teachers. Right? And so and, and but then it’s like, oh now I like over the last five years it’s now like, oh you have to get better at the business of it. And like, oh, okay, so now you’re learning that and that means you’re not good at it initially. And that is like, again, like just beat your ego up. You’re like, oh, but I’ve been doing this for so long and why am I now just learning this? Like, but then it’s just like if this was so cool about it is that like when you are a yoga entrepreneur and you are committed to growing and you’re committed to serving your students, you are polled.
16:59 Like, it’s not like you’re pushing like you’re literally pulled by this bigger mission to expand yourself, your capacities, your mental, physical and emotional capabilities so that you can continue to serve at higher levels. So thanks. Thanks for being vulnerable, Chris. Thanks for telling us your story and thanks for listening guys. A next episode, join us for the next episode because we’re going to be talking about time. So what happens with all of us, Chris, I feel this way all the time is when we get so busy working in our business, we can’t work on our business. And if you’re thinking I do not have any time to like do any of these things that I’m hearing, anything like, like I’m so busy teaching all the classes and work in the front doesn’t manage it, we uh, we felt the same way and we’ve got a solution for you. So join us next episode. Thanks for tuning
17:50 in. Peace keys. Yes, thanks so much for listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Do you have a question that you’d like us to answer raw and uncut on the podcast? If you want your questions answered, all you need to do is head over to Apple Podcasts and do three simple things. One, rate and review telling us what you think of the podcast. Two, in that review, ask anything you want related to yoga. And three, if you want to shout out, leave your Instagram handle or name, and that’s it. Then listening to hear your question answered, live, raw and uncut. Join us next time on Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets podcasts. Thanks.