Yoga Teacher Career Investment Advice
I help yoga teachers make a better living. Part of my job at this point in Yogahealer’s evolution is sales. Sales for me goes something like this. Someone hears that I help yoga teachers make a better living from a podcast, a blog post, a friend, a webinar advertising on facebook that I teach. You get the picture. The yoga teacher likes what they hear, needs what I sell. They fill out an application to talk to me, and we talk.
In the talking I ask where they are at and where they want to be. Many teachers were raised affluent but fall just above the poverty line. For the teachers this seems really weird, because they don’t feel like they live just above the poverty line, it’s just what the numbers say.
These teacher I talk to, in part to assess if they can succeed in my program to get the results they want, in part to send them on a route to get ready for a program like mine if they are not ready, experience inner wealth. They have very healthy bodies, they have an embodied depth of wisdom, they help people in incredibly meaninful ways are their lives are richer for it.
They are often shocked that they can’t make a better living, given the abundance they actual feel on a day to day basis.
Inner vs. Material Abundance
And this is where I find that meditating on abundance doesn’t help. Meditating on abundance isn’t the same thing as knowing how to make a better living. Meditating on abundance enables us to feel abundant without money. This is good and godly in itself. It’s a skill everyone should develop and an experience everyone should have.
But, it’s not the same as knowing how to make a better living.
I deeply enjoy helping yoga teachers and healers break the sound barrier of their own income glass ceiling. The reasons I enjoy midwifing this transformation is that the journey is treacherous and fraught with demons and blessed with gorgeous views. The journey is anything other than boring, and I crave exciting experiences.
Besides the demons to destroy and the views to enjoy I deeply enjoy helping yoga teachers and healers break the sound barrier of their own income glass ceiling because in the process of working with me on their business, the leapfrog their career. They end up creating a much more effective way to help people accelerate or deepen their wellness path. They become better teachers and better healers.
I was talking to a prospect yesterday who is currently making about $20k a year. The poverty line for 1 person is about $14K, so she is above that, but still in the bottom 20 % of US citizens. Her annual household income for a family of four, adjusted for today was about $80k. In that differential she feels the discrepancy and wonders as she approaches her 40’s if she’ll ever start saving for retirement.
One factor I love about these “sales” conversations is the intimacy. My prospects don’t regret the choices they have made and the personal and professional wellness skills they have deeply invested in at the expense of other skills. I respect their choices, but I also respect their desire to make a better living, experience financial abundance, create financial security for their future, to live their life financially independent.
Investing in the Business of You
My prospects are usually operating under the assumption that they are lacking in their professional wellness skills. A few are just waking up to the idea that what will enable them to double their income is to invest their time and energy into their business skills. And if they are ready to do that, often they don’t have the money. What often surprises me is that if it were an enlightenment training or a yoga therapeutics certification they would find the money.
The money objection arises because they aren’t yet ready to invest in the skills that double their income. It sounds dirty and way less sexy than releasing stuck energy from their chakras. The money objection also arises if they don’t want to do the work – if it sounds too hard and will mess with the flow in their schedule. When we want something, like they come to me wanting, and they aren’t willing to do the work, I doubt their path is truly that of yoga, which embraces the friction of conflicting desires.
Often in these conversations I talk about taking out a loan. I’ve taken out loans to buy a house, a car, a yoga studio. None of these generated anywhere near the return on investment as investing in career coaching to run my career like a business and increase my income. It is truly bizarre that many of my prospects are likely to be able to find money for that which can’t make them money. Yet, when they are ready to make more money, they can’t find an investor for themselves.
Investors and Loans
Why can’t they find an investor for themselves? Usually, because they don’t want to do the research, run the numbers and ask. They don’t want to google, “how do I get a business loan?.” They don’t want to search online for a micro-loan, or crowdsource a self-improvement project on Indiegogo. They don’t want to ask mom and dad, or their rich uncle. They don't want to find a credit card with low fees. Perhaps deep down they lack the confidence that they really could break their own financial barrier. They are blocked.
At this point in the conversation I do the math with them. My program teaches yoga teachers and healers how to increase their annual income by $20-$60k. For almost all the teachers in my program that doubles their income. The loan they need is for nowhere near that amount. They start to earn their investment back during month 4-6 of a 12 month program. I only take yoga teachers and healers who can prove that they already are good at what they do and know how to help people get healthier. Many students start earning a return on their investment while they are changing their business model during the year long training. Some blow their investment out of the water and double their income the first year.
What I want you to see, dear reader, is this reality: our yoga teachers and wellness providers are blocked from investing in their business skills. They feel guilty asking for a loan, like they have failed in their career, or that they aren't worth it. Yet, when I talk to my friends in other industries seek and obtain business loans with no such guilt.
Take Your Career by the Horns
Do me a favor, dear reader. If we want a healthier society, yoga teachers and healers, even nurses and MD’s have to take their business into their own hands. Their hearts are aligned with goodness. They need the financially savvy and business skills to run a successful career, so that they too can build financial security into their lives. In doing so, we can compete with the monolithic infrastructures that don't have put our societies wellness first: the drug companies, insurance companies, and even hospitals.
Encourage a yoga teacher or healer to invest, to secure funding, for her business training. Remember, chances are she is self-employed and wants to be able to take care of herself to take care of you and your community.