I have been meaning to write out my story for years, to share why I built my business as I did.
I frequently (as in almost weekly) hear from people how “lucky” I am to have the lifestyle I have. Over and over again, I say, “Luck has nothing to do with it. It was planning.”
Now that we are neck-deep in a global crisis of literally epic proportions, my planning is more important than ever.
If nothing else, what the pandemic did for us is help us realize how fragile our economy is.
Because, here’s the thing, you can do it, too.
While I direct this post toward Yoga Teachers, this info can help anyone looking to create more financial stability for their families in this crazy time.
You see, I have been a full time Yoga Professional for almost thirty years. I am almost the sole provider for a 4-person family. Do I do it by only teaching Yoga classes? Absolutely not. That would be crazy. (AND it would have been financial suicide right now.) Exchanging time for money (meaning you only get paid to work) is the dumbest business model. I LOVE to teach and I can’t ever see quitting – it’s where my heart it – but you need more income streams.
At the very beginning of my career I had a fabulous example set in front of me. One of my colleagues, also a full-time Yoga Professional, taught 25-30 classes per week to meet her expenses. While she was deliriously happy, enjoying her full teaching load, I knew I never wanted to teach that many classes. I also knew I wanted to be a full-time yoga professional. So I started doing some math, figuring out what I wanted to earn, what I was willing to teach within my energy capacity and what I could earn with those classes. Then I had to figure out how to make up the difference.
And this is something ANYONE can do, regardless of what your “job” is. What do you really want to make? How can you make more? How can you make more in a more sustainable way? While thinking you can make enough teaching Yoga is crazy talk, I also think having ONE job that is all your income is also a bit crazy – one pink slip and it’s all gone.
I think that is one of the biggest lessons for all of us from this whole pandemic. I currently have THIRTEEN revenue sources of varying levels from a few dollars a year to a few thousand a month. Only THREE were effected by the pandemic. I have also added one more stream as a result AND one of my streams DOUBLED because it was a product people need at this time.
Diversification is the key – diversification in the “product” sold and diversification between business models. You want a little “exchanging time for money” because that is where your heart is. AND you also need a little passive income.
The income I have derived from actually teaching yoga classes has never been more than half of my actual income. As of this writing, it is currently one-fifth of my income and my goal for the next year, during this pandemic, is to make it one-tenth or less by increasing my other revenue streams.
Revenue streams refer to the way money comes to you. Let’s unfold this a bit. Teaching classes is one revenue stream. Perhaps you teach private sessions, another revenue stream. You may teach workshops, another revenue stream. Maybe you lead retreats or Yoga Teacher Training.
These types of revenue streams are called “Active Revenue Streams” and it refers to you exchanging money for your time, you are actively doing something for every dollar you earn. While earning money this way is very fulfilling, it’s where your heart is, it is the dumbest business model out there, and I think the current pandemic has made that abundantly clear. But there are other reasons why this model is not a smart one.
There are only so many hours in a day and only so much you can charge per class so you will quickly hit an income ceiling (and you might be there already). Moreover, if you get sick, you don’t make money. If you want to take a vacation, you don’t make money. AND you may have to pay a sub to teach your class for you.
Because of these limitations, and because you don’t get paid if you don’t work, exchanging your time for money is actually the worst business model and definitely not the best way to significantly boost your income.
The best revenue streams are passive and residual ones. Passive and Residual Revenue Streams refer to money you make from something you created once that then continues to make money long after you are done with the work. (Like an e-book. I spent time writing it, then it will be done and I will have it out there making money for years to come.)
I have several products that I have created: trainings, courses, print books, ebooks. While that is technically a “passive” income source, it isn’t completely passive. I still need to drive traffic to it. When I stop talking about it, I stop making money off of it.
Residual comes from network marketing companies and they are by far the smartest, most strategic step forward for anyone. I know there are mixed messages out there around these companies, but I urge you to do your own research and make your own decision. I did and was incredibly surprised to find the negative message I was fed from others was just misinformation. Now I have a stable income that just keeps increasing.
One of the keys to choosing a good company for your business is to choose a product that your population would enjoy so it is a natural fit. I chose essential oils and non-toxic household products because that fit right into the yogic lifestyle. It didn’t feel forced. I then added to my income be developing a Yoga + Essential Oils Yoga Teacher Training.
And, YES, it was work. But you know what? You are going to work anyway. Why not work at something that gives you stability? AND it’s income that can take you through retirement and possibly even be able to will it to your kiddos. (That depends on the company. Again, do your homework!)
If it is time for you to begin diversifying, grab the checklist I put together for you on ideas for making more money right now during this craziness. I have them divided into Good, Better and Best ideas. There has never been a more important time to dive in and be more strategic around your business model.