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Season 3 :: Episode 7yogipreneur radio

Racheal: Hey! Welcome back to Yogipreneur Radio. I’m your host, Racheal Cook. I’m here with my cohost, Francesca Cervero.

Francesca: Hi, everybody!

Racheal: We have kind of a follow-up to a previous episode that we did talking about how to start your yoga career, even when you’re an absolute beginner. This is a question that most people dance around.

“What does it really cost to start up a yoga business? When you look at the money, when you look at the numbers, what does it really take? How much should you be planning? What do you need to be thinking about when you’re making that leap from you’ve been just teaching yoga on the side or you’ve been building up your yoga skills and starting the career and now you’re ready to make it an actual business. What do you have to think about first?”

We have so much to talk about with this one. I think a lot of people start spending money where they don’t need to spend it.

Francesca: Interesting. Where do you see people most often spending their money first?

Racheal: Branding, websites, photography. Which can be very valuable, but — we’ve talked about this a lot this season — I see a lot of people doing this thing where they think they need the fancy wrapping before they really figure out what’s inside. The reason that that’s stressful is that when you’re in the process of making this transition from teaching on the side or going from a yoga career teaching for other people to now teaching and building your own business, there’s a lot more at stake and there’s a lot more expenses and the timeframe it often takes to get that business to be creating a sustainable, livable income for yourself is often a lot longer than most people think.

The challenge I see is that they’ll start spending a lot of money on website and photos and branding, thinking that that’s going to help them start making money faster.

Often, it’s not. Often, it just takes a lot of money out of their bank account and doesn’t start to pay for itself very quickly.

Francesca: It doesn’t have a big ROI.

Let me pause you and just make sure we’re all on the same page. We talked earlier in this season about how you get your yoga business started if you’re a total beginner. Our basic answer was, first you have to have a teaching career. You have to strengthen your teaching chops, you need some experience and you need relationships in your community. You need a teaching career first and then the way you mold and craft and create a business will be made clear to you when you’ve done a lot of teaching.

That’s where we’re taking this now. We assume that we’ve been teaching, we have a career — even if you’re not teaching full time; even if you’ve got a part time job or even a full time job and you’re teaching on the side, you still have been teaching and have some experience and you have a sense of how you want your business to move from here.

Racheal: Yeah. You’ve gone through some of the trial and error.

Francesca: Yeah.

Racheal: You figured out who you really love working with, you figured out what your message is as a teacher and what you really love talking or focusing on.   You just have that clarity about what you’re supposed to do and what this business really is supposed to be. If you don’t have that clarity, then that means you don’t have any focus. Without that focus, spending money on a website and branding and photography… it’s just money down the toilet in my honest, humble opinion.

That’s why I say establish yourself. Get that stuff done. Even then, I have seen so many yoga businesses — you as an example! You didn’t have a website until three years ago and I was like, “We need to get your website updated here because this needs some help.”

Francesca: That’s true. That’s true.

Racheal: The situation was different because you were starting to go online and, in that case, it was very required.

Francesca: I had been teaching full time for seven years.

Racheal: Yeah, exactly. This is a question I get: How do I make that leap from part time teaching to making it a full time career?

Francesca: That’s what I was going to ask.

Racheal: How do I plan for that? What should I do?

I would say it comes down to being really clear about numbers and being really clear about where you need to invest your money into your business. Don’t invest in the wrong things and don’t invest in the wrong things at the wrong time.

Francesca: Let’s say that we have a teacher who has a full or part time job and they’re also teaching yoga part time. They’ve been teaching for several years, they have a lot of experience and they’re wanting to make that transition. Where do you think the first place they should invest their money is?

Racheal: If they’ve already done the training and they’ve established they’re an awesome yoga teacher, I would say the first things I would start doing is making sure you’re doing the basic business setup stuff that a lot of people just don’t do. A lot of yogis, I find, don’t have things like a real business in place and filed with the state that they live in saying, “This is an actual business I’m running.” They run a lot of things out of their own joint checking accounts — personal banking accounts. They don’t have separate bank accounts, they don’t have separate tax ID numbers for their business, and they don’t have a CPA or a bookkeeper or even software that’s going to do that stuff for them.

Francesca: Maybe FreshBooks. We’re going to recommend FreshBooks.

Racheal: FreshBooks is a good one.

Francesca: Because you can use that yourself to keep track of your numbers.

Racheal: You need to have some basic business setup. You need to file — in most cases — an LLC. Talk to a lawyer in your state; I’m not a lawyer. But, I would have to say that in most cases an LLC. That will allow you to make sure you have a separate bank account and that will make sure you can write off all the right things. You’d be surprised how much you can write off as a yoga teacher that most yoga teachers don’t, so they end up spending a lot more money than they need to and not recouping that. They’re paying too much in taxes because of that.

I think that’s important: getting basic business setup. I think having some bookkeeping thing in place. It’s worth it to pay $10 a month to have a bookkeeping software because then you know what’s what.

Francesca: What do you use, Racheal, for bookkeeping.

Racheal: Mine’s a little bit more complicated now. I have a CFO now and he manages it all.

Francesca: What did you used to use when you got started?

Racheal: When I started, I just used QuickBooks for a long time.

Francesca: FreshBooks is kind of like a simpler, prettier version of QuickBooks.

Racheal: Yes. FreshBooks is so much easier. Please don’t use QuickBooks unless you have an MBA and you used to teach accounting to undergrads.

Francesca: Racheal, says just don’t do those things.

Racheal: Just don’t do it. Just don’t do it. It’s kind of a pain.

I definitely think it’s one of the most important things you can do. I also think finding a CPA who you like, who will help you navigate some of these things… a great CPA could help you establish your business, can help you figure out some of these things and can also help you figure out stuff you can write off, which varies from state to state.

I see a lot of yoga teachers getting just hammered by self-employment taxes because they just don’t know that they can write off so much stuff, not just the gas between private clients. Sometimes you can write off all the equipment that you have to buy. You can write off your continuing education. You can write off a ton of stuff if you’re aware and you document it the right ways.

Francesca: Your clothes.

Racheal: Your clothes.

Francesca: Your uniform. Yeah.

Racheal: Your uniform for work, right? Now you have a reason to have cute yoga clothes.

Francesca: Yep.

Racheal: I think those are all important things to put in place. Honestly, it’s a little bit of getting out there and figuring things out, but it’s only a couple hundred dollars to figure that stuff out and get it set up. Then you’re legit. Now you’re legit, you’re separated. Your personal stuff and your business stuff is separated. I think that’s one of the first things I would spend and invest my money in is making sure that I am now set up as a legitimate business.

I would say the other thing I would look at — and this is where it gets tricky for yoga teachers. If you’re not going to be teaching for other businesses — for example, you’re not going to teach just at studios, you’re not going to teach just at gyms. You’re going off on your own and maybe renting space or teaching in people’s private homes. We’ve got to talk about liability.

You have liability insurance.

Francesca: Yeah. It’s pretty simple, though. You renew it every year. It covers you wherever you’re teaching — whether that’s in a gym or in someone’s home or in your own studio space. There’s a few different insurance companies that offer it and it’s like, “Yep. You have liability insurance.” It costs maybe $200 a year.

Racheal: Yeah.

Francesca: You’re guaranteed for up to a million dollars in damages or something. That’s it.

Racheal: It’s really not hard.

Francesca: It’s really super simple. It’s not something to be nervous about or feel uncomfortable about.

I also have — along those lines — a waiver that my private clients sign. Everyone will tell you — yoga studio owners and lawyers — they’re not legally binding.

Racheal: Yes.

Francesca: You have your students sign the waiver anyway.

Racheal: It shows intent and that you’ve disclosed to the student certain things.

Francesca: Yeah, totally. It shows that you’re a professional and, what’s most important on my waiver, is the 24-hour cancelation policy.

Racheal: Nice. I like that.

Francesca: It’s short, my waiver. It’s a little half piece of paper. It’s got four points on it saying that they see and agree to all these things. A few of them are releasing me of liability and then also there’s if they don’t cancel a session within 24 hours or prior to 24 hours before it was supposed to happen, then they’re charged for the full cost of the session. That’s it. They sign it and you never have to talk about it again because your students don’t get injured and, if they did, you have such a close relationship with them, they trust you, they know it wasn’t from your negligence and it’s not really that big of a deal.

Racheal: Yeah. I rarely hear about that unless it’s a not very close relationship or somebody just randomly dropping into a class. I mean, I hear all the time about people getting injured in yoga, but it’s generally not when they’ve had a close relationship. It’s always when they’ve just dropped into a class and they never took yoga before or something like that. I don’t want to say that just saying, “You don’t have to worry about it.” You definitely want to know and understand that you need liability coverage.

I would also say the other thing — and this was an episode I did with Theresa Reed in last season’s Yogipreneur Radio. If you happen to be teaching yoga out of your home, you need to make sure that you’re talking to an insurance agent who will look at what else you need. Sometimes liability coverage might not be enough if, let’s say, they slip on an icy patch on the sidewalk of your home. Your yoga teacher liability is not going to cover that. That’s something to think about.

Another thing to think about — and I talked with Nick Danu about this in last season’s Yogipreneur Radio — if you’re renting a space, you might have to get a special policy for that, if you’re renting on someone else’s space. Some places will have their own coverages. Let’s say you’re going to a community center and they regularly rent out to physical activity type of things. Sometimes they have their own stuff that’s fine. Sometimes, if it’s a space where they don’t offer physical activity, they will be much more likely to rent to you if you go into, let’s say an art museum, and you have your own umbrella policy or something that covers you during an event. It will just make sure you’re really protected.

These are things that doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Most of them don’t cost hardly anything, honestly, when you look at the numbers. Taking the time to talk to a CPA, talking to a lawyer, talking to maybe an insurance agent or finding out about yoga teacher liability, these are very small startup costs. It’s kind of ridiculous how inexpensive it is…

Francesca: Very small. Very small.

Racheal: To start a business. Even filing your LLC is usually $100 or 200 in most states. It’s not very expensive to file it. It’s not a lot to actually —

Francesca: It was more expensive in New York. If you live in New York or California, everything you do is going to be more expensive. But that’s okay.

Racheal: It’s very important because it protects you and it protects any assets you’re building.

Let’s say you buy a house. The last thing you want is something to happen with your business and it affects owning your own home or something like that.

Francesca: Yeah.

Racheal: There’s the MBA conversation about make sure you’re officially an actual business and not just a fly by the night, under the table type of operation. You don’t want to do that. That’s not legit. People won’t treat you as legit if that’s how it goes.

Francesca: Yeah.

Racheal: Let’s talk about some other startup costs that I think are helpful for people starting yoga businesses.

One is making it easy to get paid. How to do you approach this? You do mostly private yoga students. Do most people pay you in cash? Do they write a check? Do they swipe a card? Do you just invoice them?

Francesca: Yeah.

Racheal: How do you handle that?

Francesca: When I first started teaching, I accepted payment in whatever way they initially offered. I had people pay me cash at each session, I had people buy packages of five and 10 sessions up front. Everybody was on sort of a different system.

Racheal: Which is crazy to try to manage.

Francesca: Yeah. It was really crazy to try to manage. Especially once I was teaching 25 clients a week.

First of all, I really recommend against accepting cash because, I think, it just doesn’t make you seem as professional.

Racheal: No

Francesca: I think that — and this is a very personal opinion — even if I was accepting cash, I’d put it all in the bank and report all that on my taxes because, to me, I want to pay taxes to the state that I live in so that there’s good public education and there’s good roads.

Racheal: So be legit! Make it so that you’re recording all this stuff.

Francesca: Some people like teaching private clients because they pay them in cash and then they don’t report it, but that’s just not my way I like to be.

Racheal: I just want to add, as somebody who hires private yoga teachers, I hate paying in cash because I never have cash.

Francesca: Who has cash?

Racheal: The only time I have cash is I keep $5 in my car to make sure if I come across a toll bridge that I don’t get stuck. That’s the only time I have cash. The only time.

Francesca: Yeah.

Racheal: When somebody doesn’t have another way for me to pay them, it’s very frustrating and, actually, has caused me to leave a teacher in the past because I was just like, “This is stressful. I don’t even have cash. Ever.”

Francesca: Yeah. In the beginning, if you’re a newer teacher and you’re new to the client, I think it could be a good idea to have people buy packages up front of five and 10 sessions.

Racheal: Yeah. Prepaid.

Francesca: So that you’re prepaid. Take those in check or online. There’s lots of really easy online systems. PayPal is fine. You can have a Stripe reader on your phone. That works well.

I stopped doing that, though, because then I had to keep track of what session everybody was on. Some people saw me privately and then also sometimes with their friend and there were different prices for that. It became really complicated —

Racheal: Really hard to keep track.

Francesca: To keep track of. What I do now, I recommend new teachers and people with a smaller client base have packages up front. What I do now is I just invoice my clients at the end of the month for all the sessions that they had in the month. I really strongly recommend against taking payment in any way at each session. I either think that people buy packages up front or they get invoiced at the end of the month because if you have someone paying you at each session, then you have to have this conversation about money every single time, which can be…

Racheal: It creates a friction.

Francesca: Yeah. A real sense of boundary or — barrier is a word. Boundaries, I love. But barriers, I don’t like.

Racheal: Sure.

Francesca: It can feel uncomfortable to have this really intense, deep, spiritual healing experience and then be waiting for them to hand you their credit card. You know?

Racheal: Yes. I agree with that.

Francesca: I just didn’t like doing that. I like keeping this teaching space and the money space separate.

Also, if you have a client late cancel or not show up, then you have to ask them for double the money the next time you see them. I just hate… I just didn’t like having that conversation.

Racheal: I understand that.

Francesca: It’s much easier to keep track of it if they buy ahead or pay at the end. Now, I send an invoice at the end of the month for all the sessions that they had, including any late cancels which they get charged for. They can either mail me a check or there’s a link online. We use Intuit.

Racheal: Yeah.

Francesca: Network Payment. It’s just easy with our QuickBooks that we use. People can pay with credit card online and it’s really easy.

Racheal: That’s great.

Francesca: I never take or handle any money from my clients ever. I don’t even talk about it with them anymore half the time. It’s just like, “Send me a check in the mail.”

Racheal: You just send an invoice.

Francesca: Yeah.

Racheal: Here’s what it is. You’re going to get the invoice.

Francesca: They get an email to them. We never talk about it ever.

Racheal: That’s one reason I like — you said you’re using QuickBooks. There’s also FreshBooks. There’s a lot of different ones out there that are all basically the same. They’re going to let you send an invoice, they’re going to help you track who’s paid it, they’re going to help you track if they’re late, you even automate some of them to send reminders. Now, it’s no longer you feeling like you’re bugging people. You just know where people are in this whole thing.

Francesca: I definitely recommend treating the way you get paid with a serious professionalism because it will make people take you more seriously. It doesn’t have to be a barrier between you and your student, especially if you’re not having to deal with it every session. But, I would really advise that you think about how you want to do it and do it with intention.

Racheal: Questions I have for you around this — and then I want to talk about other options, too. When you work with a new student who doesn’t have a track record with you, do you prefer to have them pay up front for the first bit of working with you so you guys get that established or do you just focus on, “I’m going to send you an invoice. Here’s what it is,” and as long as they verbally agree, you’re good?

Francesca: Yeah. I don’t do that anymore. I only just — I can’t deal with the bookkeeping of that. Everybody that I teach is someone that I met personally at the studio where I teacher or they were recommended by a friend of another private client that I’m already seeing. They’re not a complete stranger. I feel like they’re good for it.

Racheal: Cool.

Francesca: On a couple of occasions, I’ve had to hunt people down for money. It’s someone that maybe I’d been teaching or a teacher who works for me had been teaching for a long time and they just changed their email address and didn’t tell me or they were traveling or they just forget.

Racheal: That’s where having an actual system in place that’s tracking and telling you they’re late and you need to send a reminder email. That’s all very helpful.

Francesca: Yeah. It’s not so fun to write an email — I just had to do this not long ago — that’s like, “Hi, there. I hope you’re having a great summer! I’m wondering if I have the wrong email address. You haven’t paid your invoice from December, January or February.”

Racheal: Oh!

Francesca: Yeah. Then she wrote back and was like, “Oh, my god. I’m so sorry. I’ve been traveling. I’ll put a check in the mail right away.”

It works out. I’ve never had anyone never pay. But, this is the second time in my 10 years that it’s been like six months and they haven’t paid. But she’s going to pay.

Racheal: I would say most people are good people. But, at the end of the day —

Francesca: She’s not trying to get out of paying. She just forgot. She was just being spacy. It’s not that big of a deal.

Racheal: It’s okay.

Francesca: Yeah.

Racheal: I think it comes down to making it easy to get paid, making it pretty seamless experience-wise for your students and, like you said, when you have this system in place, you’re not interrupting your conversations asking to get paid all the time.

Francesca: Yeah, I don’t like that.

Racheal: I think it’s great to do the invoice at the end of the month. I’ve definitely seen that work well for people. I work the opposite when I’m coaching people. Everybody knows what the payment is going to be and it’s not based on how many session we had, it’s based on our agreement. You’re going to pay me up front or we’re going to have a payment plan and it will be on this day.

I just like to automate that as much as possible and, honestly, I rarely have ever had a problem with that. Usually, if someone has a problem — let’s say they had a crazy month and they need to change their payment schedule — it’s been so rare that I’ve never had anybody just disappear with me.

For me, having it automated and having a credit card on file has been huge because I don’t have these conversations with my clients. It just lets us work on what we’re working on and then if, for whatever reason their card doesn’t go through or whatever, an automated email goes out. I see a little thing that a reminder email went out. It’s just seamless and effortless.

Francesca: That’s cool.

Racheal: And simple. I think that’s really great.

Francesca: What system do you use to invoice people like that or to take payment?

Racheal: I have two because my online programs are run through Simplero right now. Stripe is a card processor we use, which is added on to Simplero.

Francesca: We use Stripe, too.

Racheal: Then we also use PayPal.

Francesca: For my online training.

Racheal: Then we have PayPal, which connects to the software we use to manage all my client stuff, which has been Satori App. I love, as a coach.

Francesca: We’re going to link to all that stuff.

Racheal: Yeah.

Francesca: Satori App, Simplero, Stripe. We’ll link to all that stuff.

Racheal: I love Satori App because Satori App manages everything in my client relationship as far as tracking people and where they are. If someone is coming on to work with me for six months, it says, “You’ve got 13 sessions,” — because they have their intro session and then two sessions a month. It basically is a countdown. I can see how many sessions they’ve had, all their notes are there, and their intake form is there. They can schedule through the app. I don’t have to email back and forth — which I hate doing and, honestly, your clients hate doing it too. They hate doing the email juggle.

I think it’s worth it to get a system like that if you feel like you need something all in one managing all the client details. If you don’t have too many people, it’s probably not a huge deal. But, I just found it a lot easier. Honestly, it’s like $25 a month or $20 a month for most systems similar to that that will handle scheduling and invoicing for you. It’s not expensive. It’s definitely cheaper than hiring an assistant.

Francesca: Yeah. Totally.

Racheal: It makes it easy.

Francesca: Much cheaper.

Racheal: It makes it so easy.

Francesca: Cool.

Racheal: I would definitely look at those things that make it easy to get paid and make sure that you’re legit.

Let’s talk about the other things that people need to consider when they’re starting up a yoga business; expenses, investments and what else money-wise they should be thinking about.

I think one of the big things is planning out — and this is such a biz startup term — your runway. Your runway is how much money you have in the bank that’s sitting there, that you can live off of, that you can coast off of, before you need your business to be breaking even or making a profit.

Francesca: I never heard that term before.

Racheal: Luckily, as a yoga business, you don’t have a huge overhead generally.

Francesca: No.

Racheal: Unless you’re opening a yoga studio. Then you’re probably not listening to this podcast a ton because we don’t really focus on brick and mortar. We’re focusing on innovative business models that are low overhead. That means you don’t have a ton of rent, you don’t have a ton of people cost — like paying out a million other teachers — or any infrastructure type of things. Your runway is basically what you actually need to live off of, not as much what your business needs in order to operate.

Francesca: Yeah! When I first started teaching only private clients and I was young and I was running around New York City, people would ask me, “Do you want to open a studio?” and I would say, “No, I do not” I don’t want the stress of that overhead.

Racheal: It’s a lot.

Francesca: When you start a business that has basically no overhead, the only overhead when you’re starting to grow a teaching career is your time and energy.

We can talk about that, too, but there’s not a lot of actual physical business cost or overhead that you have to be worried about.

Racheal: We’re talking about to have your bank account, to have all these things in place, to have maybe a tool that helps you schedule and invoice and everything, you might be spending $50 a month by the time you look at it. Add on your cell phone bill.

You cell phone bill is going to be the most important part.

Francesca: And the most expensive.

Racheal: And the most expensive. Really, it’s not much. The biggest thing I always tell people is when you plan to make that transition from full time to part time, I have very conservatively said you should have six months set aside to make sure you can pay your bills.

Francesca: Six months of cost of living.

Racheal: Six months of your own living expenses and whatever you need to pay your biz expenses. If your business expense is including your cell phone and, let’s say, the gas it costs for you to drive to all these classes or teachers or students or whatever, you might want to plan to have a couple hundred bucks every month to put into your business and then whatever you need to live on. I think that’s a pretty safe estimate.

For some people, your living expenses are really inexpensive. I’ve had people who are single, no children, happy to be living with roommates and they were able to really get their career off the ground because they’re living expenses were so low.

Francesca: Yeah.

Racheal: I’ve also had people who had children and a spouse and a home and parents they were taking care of and all sorts of obligations. For them, it’s a much different ballgame because they needed a big safety net there in place.

Francesca: Yeah.

Racheal: It definitely varies from person to person, but plan for six months — at least — because it will probably take you that long. Even if you’ve already been teaching a good 20 hours a week and now you want to go full time, you still want to make sure you have that cushion. You’ll feel so much better if you have it.

Francesca: She’s right. Do what Racheal said. I did not do that. I didn’t do that. No.

Racheal: You were like jump and the net will appear.

Francesca: I just didn’t know… I didn’t even know I was jumping. I mean, that’s how little plan there was. I was 22 years old, I moved to New York to be a dancer. Already, I’m a lunatic, you know? I did my teacher training and I was auditioning for dance work, I was trying to get work teaching yoga, I was managing a Pilates studio and I was just scraping by. It all worked out. It was totally fine.

You should listen to Racheal. Definitely do what she says, but if for some reason that’s not an option for you, you’ll probably be fine.

Racheal: Here’s the thing: Yes, you didn’t have a plan, but you also had a lot of side hustles to fund your career.

Francesca: Yeah.

Racheal: I think that’s something really important. That’s why I say don’t quit your day job because you might need that side hustle. Even if you’re doing a huge career change, maybe you need a bridge job or multiple bridge jobs.

Francesca: Bridge jobs are good.

Racheal: Things that are not as intense as a full time career, but they give you that baseline income to take the pressure off.

Francesca: Right. That was me managing the Pilates studio.

Racheal: That’s definitely a bridge job. I think those can be smart. I have tons of people who take the leap and then they freak out because they’re like, “My cash reserves are drying up!” I’m like, “Just go get a bridge job. It is okay. It will take the pressure off.”

Francesca: Especially if it’s in the community that you want to be in. I became really good friends with the people whose Pilates studio I was managing. They were about 10 years older than me. They’d been teaching private yoga and private Pilates in New York City for 10 years and they were opening this studio in Brooklyn because they were getting married and having babies and they wanted to be more low key and more home-base.

One of the owners of that Pilates studio passed on what became my first private client. Which then, three years later, turned into 25 private clients. Things work out.

Racheal: I love that. Just consider that. If you don’t have the option to take your regular job from full time to part time, that’s an option. If you have the option to create a flexible schedule, I’ve had some people who do that. They figure out if there’s a way they can do flex working and work from home part time just so that they can have more control over their schedule and can build up the yoga biz on the side until it’s really able to support their living income needs. Having a bridge job, I think, is really great.

Aside from those basic expenses to get things up and running, I also have a lot of people asking me about the two other places I see yoga teachers spending money. Well, we’ve talked about websites and marketing and stuff. I think that’s an easy place to start spending money really quickly. If you don’t know where you’re spending it or you don’t understand how to best use those, they can be just like… it’s a drop in the bucket to get a website built. You will spend money on that forever. It’s actually harder than people think to make that work for you and get a return on investment.

I do think a thing that you should plan for, especially when you’re staring your business, especially if you’re pretty new into this whole thing, is budgeting in your continuing education.

Francesca: Yeah.

Racheal: That can be expensive.

Francesca: The best money you’re going to spend creating a yoga teaching career and a yoga business is on your anatomy continuing education.

Racheal: Yeah.

Francesca: If you did a 200-hour teacher training, what is required in that is 12 hours of anatomy and none of us, myself included, should not have been allowed to teach yoga with 12 hours of anatomy. That just is not enough.

There’s lots of great anatomy trainings out there. We can link, actually. One of my favorite teacher — it’s like a year-long anatomy training just for yoga teachers. He has an online course. That right there is, without a doubt, the best money that you’re going to spend.

Racheal: I totally agree with that. I think anything that will help you deepen you skillset and, from a business and marketing perspective, allow you to establish your credibility, be more valuable to your students. It’s going to allow you to charge a higher price point if you have that expertise, which is also important if you’re going to try to build a livable income.

If you don’t want to be the Walmart of yoga, charging the lowest prices out there because all you have to hang your hat on is a 200-hour teacher training, you have to get the credentials. You have to do the work. You have to do the study. I think that’s really important.

I would actually say — and this might surprise a lot of people, but I’ve already said you don’t need a website up front. When it comes to business training and business education and all the business and marketing stuff, getting out there and just talking to people is going to go so much further for most yogis getting started. Especially starting local businesses than anything else.

If you’re looking at starting an online yoga business, that’s a whole different ballgame. Then, you definitely need to work with someone like me because it’s a lot to learn and it’s much more about understanding how to build traffic and build this whole online platform than teaching yoga. It’s just a completely different skillset.

Francesca: Yeah.

Racheal: I rarely see people who try to rush to online who do very well without having the foundation in place first.

Francesca: Yeah, of a successful, real life…

Racheal: Successful teaching career.

Francesca: Teaching career.

Racheal: A successful career, hands down. They have to have had some success teaching in person before you can translate that online.

Francesca: We both did that. We both have trainings that we teach online. You taught lots of people before you took yours online and so did I.

Racheal: Yeah. That’s why they’ve been successful online. It’s because we did them all in person and worked through everything with them.

Francesca: For years. For years.

Racheal: For years. Obviously, we don’t have opinions on this. I hope that gives people some encouragement there. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to make that leap, but I think a little bit of planning with help take the pressure off. Then you’re not just looking at a bank account and wishing money was going to appear. You have more of an idea and a sense of control over your destiny.

Francesca: I think sense of control is what I want to highlight out of what Racheal just said. Taking a leap to doing something new and scary can be extremely stressful if you feel like you don’t have any control. But, if you have things a little bit mapped out. I didn’t even know enough to know that I should have been scared. That’s how naïve I was when I started. But, if you know enough to know that what you’re doing is scary, then you’ll have more sense of control with a little bit of a plan.

Racheal: With a little bit of a plan. Absolutely.

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