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.
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