In my first full year of teaching yoga I didn’t make much money. Some weeks I didn’t even earn enough to cover the cost of the studio rent. I didn’t mind. I loved being able to leave my young children at home with my husband and have time with adults, sharing something I loved so much. It wasn’t about the money.
Over the coming years, classes gradually started to grow and for many years they ticked along nicely. Small groups allowed me to practice and refine my teaching.
Then, classes began to grow. I started to offer the occasional workshop and began an email list to keep everyone informed of class dates and times.
Over a period of a few years, what had started as a hobby had begun to grow – organically – into a small business. All of this was fabulous. Word of mouth enabled class numbers to grow, people began requesting workshops on specific themes, which helped guide me on what to offer. Now I regularly teach 7 yoga classes per week, I offer morning intensives throughout the year, introduction to meditation courses, teen yoga, retreat days and occasionally weekend retreats. Add in the odd workplace yoga or mindfulness class and I’m a busy woman (and that’s even before I feed and ferry-about my three children).
I love teaching yoga but I was beginning to be swamped by administration. People often comment to me how teaching yoga for the (comparatively) few hours that I do each week must be a wonderful way to earn money. And it is – I am constantly grateful for this! But there is also quite a lot of work required to keep everything running smoothly.
These days, I spend a significant portion of each day answering phone and email queries. Many of these people may never actually make it along to class – and that’s perfectly ok. I love to communicate with people to establish whether what I offer feels right for them. But, it all takes time. And what to do with student enrolment forms? And how do I get my laptop talking with my mobile phone so that if I need to contact someone regarding yoga, all relevant information is readily at hand. Keeping track of professional development points (yes, yoga teachers need to do this too)… where did I record that again? Registrations for workshops, yoga retreat days & intensives – have I remembered to add that person who told me after class they’d love to join?
Paying bills, writing receipts, advertising new classes and courses and keeping my desk in order were all starting to become too challenging for my liking,
Then, I was introduced to Cass Ewing from Circleworks (www.circleworks.com.au). I refer to her as my “organisational consultant”… and she’s wonderful (she’s even better than her website suggests!). She has helped me to totally revolutionise the way I manage my business. It’s not totally sorted yet, but she has me filing, sorting, labelling, arranging, storing, planning and documenting. It’s wonderful! And my desk is going from mess and chaos to clean and organised. And it feels sooooooo good! And I find myself wondering why I didn’t get this organised years ago. But sometimes, when things grow slowly over time, you can forget that you need to ‘grow’ your admin also. Well, that’s how it’s been for me anyhow.