There came a point in my career as a yoga teacher, when I realized that I would have to become seriously creative and courageous if I ever wanted to increase how much money I made.
Here are my top 10 tips for all the women out there looking to take the jump into entrepreneurship.
- For inspiration, take walks in nature. I know this sounds crazy, but my best original ideas come to me when I'm walking in the woods.
- You have to take risks to be successful. I remember putting down deposits on retreats when I first started leading them and thinking about how screwed I'd be if nobody signed up. As an entrepreneur, it is rare that you'll be able to avoid risk-taking so be sure to have some money saved up in case things don't work.
- Don't worry about the competition, just worry about yourself.
- If nothing else, get your branding on point. This will draw people to your website and increase your social media following ten fold.
- Don't quit everything to pursue your entrepreneurial goals. Not to crush your dreams or anything, but like the old saying goes, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Keep your 9-5 while you start your new business. I know life will be crazy for a little while but if you are truly passionate about your new idea, launching it will excite you enough for you to push through. Once you start bringing in cash is an appropriate time to consider quitting your old job.
- Support your community like crazy. The best marketing is getting to know your potential clients/customers face-to-face. Anytime you need a service or an item, shop locally from other entrepreneurs. My hairstylist, aesthetician, bookkeeper, coffee barista, and favourite shop owners are all yoga students. I use them as often as possible and often refer people to them to keep our relationships strong.
- On social media, don't be afraid to be vulnerable. You can not use social media just to sell your product. In fact, studies show that 1 in 4 posts should be the maximum number of posts you actually use to market your products. I've found the most effective posts are when I share personal anecdotes that express my struggles because it makes me relatable. Just check out my Facebook page and view which posts got the most likes if you don't believe me:)
- Get your taxes in order. I hate this. It's so hard and miserable and dull but it is necessary. You need to ensure you are operating legally and professionally to prevent future issues.
- As a woman, I've found sometimes that men (usually old-school men) think it's "cute" that I'm running a business. My deeply feminist ego struggles with being respectful in conversations where this happens but I've found solace in learning the ropes of business and demonstrating this articulately:)
- Life can get crazy but it's important that no matter what, you give yourself an hour a week to do whatever you want. Sometimes I use this to take tap dancing lessons, to colour, to watch Sex and the City reruns, or sometimes I just stare at the wall (life can be hard ok?). If you don't do this, I guarantee you will have a meltdown complete with existential murmurings ("What is this all for? Why me?"). So remember, nothing is worth your sanity. Constantly ask yourself, "is it worth this?" and if it excites you than you've found your dharma. If you feel relieved when you think about letting your business go, than it's time.