A couple of weeks ago we hit the 9-month birthday of the opening of my yoga studio, Warrior & Wild. That’s more than 40 weeks, during which time we’ve hosted over 500 classes, events & workshops. Of those 500, I’ve probably taught near on 100 myself and attended countless others. Whilst we have an amazing range of wonderful teachers, there’s something about practicing in your own studio that is just…different.
I love my haven – it’s my little sanctuary and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to escape into such a wonderfully beautiful space whenever I need an escape from outside, but when you run your own studio, suddenly attending a class there brings with it some brand new challenges. It’s not just about your own practice anymore - is someone going to show up late? Is everyone warm enough? Are they too warm? Is it too noisy outside? Do they like the class? Is it busy enough? Without realising it – 9 months has passed and I hadn’t attended a single class without those thoughts floating through my mind.
Last week I was heading into Bristol for an event in the morning that happened to be at a venue a few doors down from Wild Wolfs, a beautiful studio (that we’re incredibly lucky will be our base for July’s preview retreat). With the universe on my side, I was lucky enough to be able to book in for a lunchtime class there. Although I admit I did spend a brief minute wondering how I’d lay the mats out for our workshop, I mostly let myself luxuriate in the bliss that is a class in someone else’s space.
I could simply smile at those around me without being concerned with whether they were enjoying themselves. Checking the temperature wasn’t my problem. I didn’t have to keep half an eye on the clock to make sure we finished on time and for the first time in almost a year, I could blissfully melt so deeply into savasana that I genuinely could have cried.
I could be anonymous.
Not only did that lunch hour stretch me out, chill me out & tire me out, but it also reminded me of exactly why I do what I do. It put me straight into the shoes of those that I teach & educate every day through their practice in classes with me. It let me see from the other side what they might be looking for & how I can offer that.
When we start a new business born from a passion for what we do, we often don’t realise that that creative ‘doing’ element will often form such a tiny part of our day-to-day work. As we get lost in the admin & background tasks required to run a business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of forgetting what drove you to share what you love in the first place. Months go by & that creativity can become functional. We also end up falling into the bad habit of guessing what our customers want & need….
Remember, when you launch a business you’re primarily problem solving. As dreamy as it would be, people rarely buy from your brand just because it’s yours or because you ask them to (unless you’re a wildly successful influencer!).
Fundamentally, you’re helping your customers make their life better in some way.
Unfortunately, we can get so lost in what we’re doing & how we think we are making things better for these customers that we forget to actually see things from their point of view.
So what’s the solution?
Go & find what you love! Reclaim your passion & step back into the shoes of your customers. Come away from being in your business & reflect on why people are looking for when the come to you in the first place.
If you’re a teacher, go take a class & enjoy the whole experience. What parts did you really connect with? What do other teachers or course leaders do differently to you?
Perhaps you’re a maker; why not book a workshop with someone new? Try a different technique or just take some time to make something all for yourself – no pressure, no customers to impress & no photos needed for social media. Just enjoy it.
If you’re a journalist, set aside a couple of hours on a beautiful evening to sit outside & take a read of your favourite publications – what is it about those articles you enjoy that really make them engaging?
Social-media marketer? Allow yourself to waste a couple of hours on Facebook watching cute animal videos, catching up with friends & sharing funny posts. Refresh your memory on why what you do works so well.
By being on the other side of that business fence, you’ll remind yourself what brings your clients to you in the first place. You can then look at your own brand a little more objectively; this will ensure you’re ticking all the boxes you would look for if you approached your company as a customer for the first time.
So when was the last time you left the business at the door & simply spent time doing what you loved?
Comment below or on our Facebook page to share what the passion was that led you to start your business & how you spend time going back to those roots (or if that's something that you've let slide since passion turned into profession!)