If your friends and family are anything like mine, they think the life of a yoga teacher is one big beach vacation with a few gentle stretching sessions thrown in.
Ha ha ha. If only they knew the truth.
All the yoga teachers I know are so swamped most of us barely have time to practice yoga!
Class prep can be a full-time job in itself! I know you’re also busy studying sutras, memorizing muscles, and practicing poses. You answer emails, design flyers, network on Instagram, and are trying to figure out Facebook Ads.
If you’re a travelling teacher, there’s also flight booking, outreach to new studios, contract negotiation, visa applications… the list is endless — literally.
And we haven’t even factored in your day job, your three kids and your pet hamster.
And yet, somehow amidst the chaos, you need find time to market yourself. You need to make time to take care of our yoga business and your career, so we can grow and develop as teachers and still have a career a few years down the road.
How the fuck are we supposed to do that?
It’s hard. I get it.
But you know what?
As a group, yoga teachers have got to get better at the yoga business — and marketing is a big part of that. Yoga teachers are undervalued and underpaid and this isn’t going to change through wishing and hoping (as much as we may want it to).
The universe helps those who help themselves.
You helped yourself by clicking through to this blog post. And though I’m not the universe, I hope I can help you a little by giving you…
11 Ways to Find Time to Focus on Your Yoga Business
1. Start with a Vision
Without a solid vision for your yoga career, it’s damn hard to stick with the hard work. It’s not good enough to be doing it because I, or your teachers, say you should. You need to know what you’re working towards. You need a solid answer to the question “Why the hell am I doing this?!?”
My vision is that I will travel the world inspiring students, through yoga, to make the best of their lives and to find the courage and clarity to live their own adventures. Through this I want to build a community of like-minded people around the world who can support each other during the highs and lows of our journeys. Plus, I want to be able to earn a comfortable living doing it.
This is what keeps me opening my laptop and tap tap tapping away, day after day.
Here are some great ideas about how to create a vision for your yoga career =>
2. Create a Plan
Your vision is a great place to start thinking about your yoga business and what you want it to look like. But once you know where you’re headed, the next step is to decide how you’re going to get there.
Spending the time up front to create a step-by-step plan of what you need to do will help you save time in the medium- and long-term because then you’ll know exactly what to do when you sit down to work.
No more spinning your wheels or wasting time on irrelevant activities.
Here’s how to transform your vision into a concrete plan =>
3. Commit to Your Yoga Business
If you want to make time for your yoga business, you’ve got to commit yourself to it. Don’t just vaguely plan to “get better at your yoga business”. Make a strong commitment to yourself and you’ll be far more motivated to make progress every single day.
This commitment will help you focus and stay on track which means… less time-wasting!
4. Put it in Your Calendar
Kind of like clothes in a suitcase, your life expands to squeeze into all the available minutes each day. That’s why making an appointment with yourself is key to making time for the business of yoga. Don’t treat your marketing as something you will squeeze in if you have time.
Add it to your calendar and commit to it, just like you commit to your scheduled classes. You show up to teach because people are relying on you. Show up to work on your business because you are relying on you!
By setting a regular time to work on your yoga business, you will get better at all the tasks you need to do, making progress where once you were just wasting time.
5. Learn to Say No
Do you know who your biggest enemy is when it comes to time? It’s you! The demands you put on yourself can seriously suck away all the time (and energy) you have in your life. The best way of making more time for things that really matter is to say no to the things that don’t matter or just aren’t serving your vision.
This might even mean saying no to teaching more classes or that extra private session! It’s OK to say no, especially if you know why you’re saying it and what that time is going to be used for instead.
If you have trouble saying no, read How to Say No to Yourself →
6. Be Consistent
It’s easy to lose focus and let your yoga business fall to one side, especially if you’re bogged down in teaching classes, getting ready for a workshop, or running a teacher training. I know teachers who simply ignore their email inbox for weeks (even months) letting thousands of emails pile up while they’re busy with other stuff.
And it drives me crazy. Yes, you. If this is you and I know you, you drive me crazy.
If you did this at a regular job you would be fired.
So treat your yoga business like a business. Schedule in 30 minutes every day to attend to your basic daily admin tasks. That includes replying to emails! Then use a longer block of time (I do about an hour, twice a week) to attend to your social media work.
I know this might sound impossible to you now, but once you get in the habit, it will start to seem normal. And you will feel a whole lot less stressed by the giant to-do list you never seem to get to.
7. Cut Yourself Some Slack
At first, if you’re not used to it, everything to do with your online marketing might seem like a frustrating waste of time. This is where your yoga comes in.
If a student asked you how to work up to a difficult pose, like Hanumanasana, what would you tell them?
I’d tell them to work on it a little bit every day. Sure, at first it would seem like a frustrating and pointless exercise, right? The second day doesn’t seem any better than the first. Neither does the fifth. But if they keep at it they will get there eventually.
Give yourself some time to learn to market yourself. It takes time (and a whole lot of patience and practice) to figure out what works and to get a system in place. It takes even longer to start seeing results. Just like Hanumanasana.
While you’re in the beginning stages, just remember to breathe (and ignore the temptation to throw your laptop out of the window). Keep at it every day and soon you’ll start seeing results.
8. Find a Partner
If you’re not great at keeping appointments with yourself, then there’s nothing like an accountability partner to help you along. Find another yoga teacher who is also committed to dedicating time and effort to their yoga business and then arrange weekly catch-up calls or emails. Or even arrange to meet once a week for an in-person session where you both sit and focus on your business.
You might be surprised how much easier it is to focus and commit when you have a hard-working partner sitting across from you doing the same thing.
9. Track Your Progress
If you feel like everything you do for your business is just a waste of time (hey, we’ve all been there) then it’s time to start tracking your progress. Choose the most important numbers in your business — such as income, students in class, social media comments etc — and create a chart that you fill in weekly or monthly.
It’s also good to track “softer” progress, like the amount of time it takes you to create an ad on Facebook or how consistently you have kept your appointments with your business.
Tracking how far you’ve come not only motivates you to keep committed, it will also show you where your efforts are really paying off and what things you might want to say “no” to in the future.
10. Know Your Tools
You might not know this, but there are millions of entrepreneurs and personal brands out there doing the same thing you’re trying to do – attract more people to the amazing service you provide and earn more money doing it. That means there are hundreds of useful tools out there to help make things easier on you.
Some of my favourite free tools are Co-Schedule (Buffer is similar but free), Workflowy (a powerful to-do list-maker), and Simplenote (where I keep all my writing, from email drafts, to class notes, to blog posts).
Possibly the most powerful tool in my arsenal is Facebook, which is my go-to for online marketing. Once you have a Facebook Page set up, there’s a whole suite of tools, like post schedulers, stats, events, and inexpensive ads at your disposal.
If you need some help getting started with your Facebook Page, check out this free video tutorial Jane made =>
11. Ask for Help
What would you tell someone who asks you how to get started in yoga? Would you tell them to read a few random articles online and then just wing it? Or would you suggest they find a good teacher who will teach them the basics of yoga, in detail?
Find a good teacher to help you learn what you need to know to improve your skills.
If you struggle to make any progress on your own, find a life coach, a yoga business coach or a course you can take to help you move forward.
Yes, we do have a course that covers Facebook marketing in-depth! It’s launching in a few weeks – and we’re going to be offering small-group and one-on-one coaching to go along with with it.
Click here to sign up so we can email you when the course is open!
♥ Now let’s get down to business, Stephen
What do you struggle with when it comes to finding time to work on your business? Do you have tips you want to share with us and your fellow teachers? Please share them below.