3 mistakes I’ve made building an online yoga business

When I first started building my online yoga business I didn’t really even believe it could be a business.

I had no idea how I would make money.

I didn’t know how to build a website or make videos.

How would people would even pay me?

What I did know was that I wanted a convenient way to teach yoga while being a stay at home Mum.

After having my second baby, I quickly realised that the maths of teaching group classes while having to pay for a babysitter didn’t add up. Let alone pay for the amount of effort required to get out of the house on time with two kids! So I turned to google to learn everything I could about how to build an online yoga business. (Which by the way is a wormhole of conflicting advice if I ever saw one!)

So how did it work out?

Gratefully, I can tell you that I now have an online yoga business that lets me earn money entirely on my own time. This means I can drop off and pick up my boys from school. I can go to their sports days and performances. Of course, that means I get to be there for the all the grumpy end of day meltdowns too – lucky me! But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

One of my coaching clients asked me the other day what mistakes I’d made while growing my business. Oh boy! Have I made some of those! Let’s talk about them so you don’t have to make them as well. (If you prefer, find the video version at the bottom of this post.)

online yoga business

3 mistakes I’ve made while building a online yoga business

I tried to grow too fast

How is trying to grow too fast a bad thing you ask? Great question. The internet sells us this idea that online business’ should go from $0 to $100 000 in 6 weeks. Anything less feels like a failure right? This is the impossible dream. Designed to keep you buying other people’s online business courses instead of actually doing the work to build yours.

online yoga business

In the early days of business I spent a lot of time looking for THE ANSWER that was going to make my business successful. Little did I know that the answer was simply to do the work. Once I started consistently creating yoga classes and other content to share my message, my business started to steadily grow. Eventually, that steady growth started to snowball until my business could support me financially (and continued growing to a point where it blows my mind that I’m able to do THIS for a living).

Growing slowly is also underrated. Slow growth means you have the time to create systems and processes around your products and customers. I continue to work around ten hours (often less!) per week in my business, because over the years I’ve created great systems to support me. If I’d grown any faster, the amount of customer service and tech knowledge would have overwhelmed me (and I’d probably have quit!)

Do this instead:

If you’re just starting out, learn the basics about how to run your business and then get busy working in your business. Don’t waste time worrying about the speed at which you’re growing. Just grow.

I didn’t automate early enough

Automation is simply making things in your business happen without you having to manually do them. For example, I currently automate most of my emails, all digital product sales and all my marketing as well. I don’t use paid ads (because my Facebook ad account was suspended years ago for talking about fertility and I took it as a sign that I wasn’t meant to do them) so all my marketing is organic via Google and Pinterest. I’ve set up my business to run without me so that I can spend my time with my family, instead of trying to make sales.

If you want to know more about how I’ve done that, this post goes into more detail. But essentially, I focus on making helpful content that ranks in search (via Google, Youtube and Pinterest) and then I encourage my audience to join my email list. My email provider then sends a series of emails I’ve pre-written to share more of my work (yoga and information videos) and offers my paid products as well. If someone purchases a product my website sends them the links, log ins and emails they need to use the product without me having to manually do anything.

Meanwhile, I’m sitting on a beach drinking a cocktail while the money pours in. Lol, I wish. Meanwhile, I’m trying to stop my littlest from cracking his head on the concrete while playing on the sidelines at footy practice. Oh the glamour of being a Mum.

Do this instead:

If you’re just starting out, build your business with the end game in mind. Look for ways you can automate parts of your business right from the start. This will mean you can focus the time you have on doing the work you actually like (teaching yoga!) and less of the things that can be done by a computer.

I compared how my business felt to how other’s looked

We all know by now that comparison is the thief of joy, yet we all still do it allllll the time. Why is that I wonder? Even now, if I get lost down the spiral that is the Instagram vortex, I come out feeling bad about my business. “It’s not polished enough.” “My videos aren’t professional enough.” “Is my teaching even helpful?” “The way I work feels messy and disorganised.”

Yet I know that there are others out there who are looking at my business thinking the same thing about theirs. Ironic right? The way your work feels is often different to how it looks. Don’t assume that a shiny Instagram page means a successful business. Or on the flip side, that your ‘mess’ isn’t helping people. Some of the videos that I dislike the most (because they are dark and don’t have the best audio) are the ones that I get the most positive comments about because they help people.

One day I’ll remake them, but for now I’m just embracing them as proof of how I’ve grown over the last 7 years.

Do this instead:

Stop comparing your business baby to others who have teens or adults. It’s just not a fair comparison. Try to remember that on the other side of that shiny instagram feed you’re comparing yourself to, is probably a human who feels as messy and confused as you are. Drop the comparison and focus on doing your important work instead. We need your work.

If you’d like more helpful info about growing an online yoga business you can sign up to receive more here. I promise no “get rich in 6 weeks bullshit”, just some honest advice from someone who is doing it right alongside you.

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