Considering starting a business in a pandemic? Here are the top 5 things to remember when taking the leap.
This year the entire world has turned upside down, including our work life. We all are too familiar with virtual meetings. Yoga teachers have adapted to teaching their classes on zoom. Fitness professionals have stepped outside of the gym, training clients in their driveways.
It would be insensitive not to realize the devastating effects of this pandemic. People have lost jobs, lost loved ones and lost homes. Yet, through the hardship, more space has been created. This space has provided the rare opportunity to do those things we have been meaning to do forever. With everything turned upside down, what unique time to recreate oneself. To let go of what is no longer needed and take the leap into something new. That leap may look like trying a new hobby, becoming a puppy parent, learning to cook or even starting your own business.
This is exactly where I have found myself. On the edge of a huge leap.
This year proved to be an exercise in letting go. Like many others, I had so many things canceled and shifted. Among them; a postponed wedding, three adventure retreats cancelled and family vacations put on hold.
But through all the disappointment, I learned to appreciate the new space. It felt as though the Universe was finally giving me the permission to dive into launching my business. And thus, Elevate Yoga & Fitness was born.
Since 2013, I have worked in the health & wellness field as a yoga teacher, retreat leader and event coordinator. In 2020, I received my Personal Training Certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Elevate is a way to bring the world of yoga and fitness together. By training clients in person or virtually, 1:1 or in a group. The intention is to provide the opportunity for others to fall back in love with movement.
Movement for a lot of us has become a drag. But it doesn’t have to be. Moving our bodies brings us more confidence and resilience. Movement brings us clarity in our mind and strength in our bodies. Moving in nature can be our mediation and our connection to the earth. Movement for me is my therapy, my motivator and my joy.
It may seem scary or even crazy to launch a business during a pandemic, but I am not the only one. I see creatives starting Etsy businesses selling art they created during their extended time at home. Or friends who started massage therapy businesses, going to their clients houses to provide some much needed relief.
The timing may be wild, but I am proud to say Elevate is thriving. And so am I. If 2020 has taught us anything, is that nothing is guaranteed and everything changes. I had the simple yet profound feeling of, “If not now, when?” As much pain and strife and fear that choosing to take a leap on yourself requires, it is always worth doing.
I am so grateful for the chance to lead and work within my passion. To train clients, watch them get stronger and more confident. Or to help them calm down and connect with their breath.
If you are on the edge of taking the leap, know that you have the capability within you. And the world needs more people who choose to live in their most authentic manner.
Here are my Top 5 Things to Remember When Taking the Leap:
#1 – Go Narrow & Strong
Find what you are good at, what lights you up and what brings you the most passion and joy! What is that one thing that you can’t stop doing, talking about or learning? Once you are clear on that, choose to focus on that ONE thing. The idea is to reach strong and narrow into that one pursuit. Finding depth in your one area of genius will allow you to be the expert in your field. So take a course. Read books on this passion. Find a mentor. Practice every chance you get. And go all in. If you don’t you will end up being just okay at a bunch of different things. When we go narrow and strong we feel confident and 100% capable at the thing that lights us up! Don’t worry about being the best at everything. Worry about being the best at ONE thing.
Pro Tip – The books The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown are great places to start.
#2 – Keep Showing Up
This is the most important one! You gotta show up for yourself and your business. Every. Single. Day. Get organized, make a plan and then show up and do the work. Not very sexy…I know. But completely necessary. This path of excellence, of being an entrepreneur and following your passion can at times be a lonely one. It will ask you to put your head down and get the work done. To wake up early to practice your classes or study late into the night. Even when there is fun going on all around you. I have found the excuse, “I don’t have time” is BS. Ask yourself, “Is this important enough for me to put the work in?” If yes, then show up for yourself. Count down from 5 and then act. Then move on and don’t forget to ENJOY your life too. Honestly, when we “don’t have time”, it’s because we are using all that time and energy up procrastinating!
Pro Tip – Print out your schedule for the week or month of the things or workouts that MUST get done. Tack it up where you will see it everyday. You will feel amazing when you get to cross it off!
#3 – Outsource Outside of Your Zone of Genius
Let’s face it. We aren’t amazing at EVERYTHING. But for some reason we put immense pressure on ourselves to be the best at it all, and to never ask for help. That is a huge time suck! Plus it’s exhausting. One thing that has helped me and my business is outsourcing work that is outside my zone of genius. I thrive when I am teaching yoga and training my clients, creating retreats and workshops. But accounting and design work make me frustrated and feel inadequate. So I choose to outsource these things so I have more time to focus on when I am brilliant at. So give it a try: Hire an accountant. A photographer. A social media manager. Or whatever you need help with and watch how your life expands.
Pro Tip – Join an entrepreneur group, like HatchTribe. Here you can take countless courses and connect with seasoned professionals. When running your own business, there’s no time to be proud and master everything. Work relentlessly on your business but don’t be afraid to lean on your community too.
#4 – It’s OK to Change Your Mind
Your interests may change and that’s okay. We have this suffocating belief that we must choose something and stick with is the rest of our lives! But the fact of the matter is when we pursue a mindful life, we change. As we grow, what once worked for us no longer does. Our interests change and expand. My journey started with a huge obsession with yoga and meditation. Then a love of travel and community connection lead me to leading retreats around the world. When COVID canceled all the retreats, I pivoted. My fascination with the human body and how it works, lead me down the path of becoming a personal trainer. And the extra time in my schedule allowed me to dive deep into how movement can affect our mood and our mental state. All these interests work together and support each other. It’s ok to pivot when the situations around you change. It is also ok to allow your passions to shift with you as you grow.
Pro Tip – Set a timer and free write your thoughts. Are you happy with what you are currently doing? What would you change? What can you let go of?
#5 – Trust the Process
Your life can be BIG if you choose it to be. But there is a lot of surrender and trust required for that to happen. And too often we are waiting for permission from those around us. We are waiting for our loved ones to see our efforts and praise us. Sometimes this happens and it feels hella awesome! But we can’t live our lives waiting for acknowledgement or permission. We must become our best ally. Next time you are meditating or chilling – close your eyes and tell yourself all the things you need to hear. My favorite is “You are a badass and you got this. Keep going.” It’s not a silly practice. It’s an essential one. When we feel supported (yes, even by ourselves), we can trust our intuition. We can lean on our strength to take the necessary action to move forward. Stop worrying about all the details and how everything is going to unfold. All you need to do is take the next right step. Trust the process and know that good things are coming your way.
Pro Tip – If meditation and mindfulness is new to you, check out the Balance app. I love the Foundation Plans and Sleep Singles.
No one is going to live your life for you. This can be terrifying but also empowering! Find what lights you up, keep showing up and putting in the work, feel free to pivot when needed and trust the process. You got this. The world needs more people living their truth and showing up for themselves. The best part is that when we do that we can show up for others too.
And remember, the magic is in the journey. Not the destination. So enjoy the process and forget about perfection.
Keep up with Christine!