Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Annie Au, Founder of Soulful Yin Yoga & Classes to Courses, located in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a yoga teacher trainer, and my specialty is teaching others how to connect with their emotions, energy, and feelings through yin yoga and Chinese meridians. I offer my signature Soulful Yin Yoga teacher training online. I lead Yin Yang Yoga Teacher Training with All Yoga Training in Thailand throughout the year. I am also a yoga teacher's business coach, helping my clients create a thriving yoga business.
My customers are passionate yoga students and aspiring yoga teachers who would like to learn more about yoga for their self-learning and to teach professionally. I also serve yoga teachers who have the desire to create a yoga lifestyle business.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Annie Au. I was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Canada. I currently live in Sri Lanka with my husband and travel for work teaching trainings. Professional contemporary dancer turned yoga teacher. I started my business after healing from my long-term struggle with anxiety through yin yoga. I wanted to share my healing experience and tools with others.
What motivates me each day to do what I do is knowing that by sharing my yoga knowledge, I can help others overcome their limiting self-beliefs, learn a new profession, and lead a more fulfilling life pursuing their passion for yoga and spirituality.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is creating an impactful yin yoga training program that continues to graduate hundreds of trainees per year. I am also proud to have traveled to over 13 countries per year teaching this program (pre-COVID).
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is time management and scaling. As a business owner, you need to make good use of your time and work on tasks that grow the company and increase sales. Another challenge is scaling a product that requires a lot of online traffic and promotions. It's a never-ending job.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Always start a business in something you're passionate about. There will always be tough times, and if you can make work your passion, you will outperform anyone.
- Think long-term. Growing a business is like raising children; you need to think long-term. I always ask myself, at the end of my life, what is the legacy I'm leaving behind? How did my work positively impact the world?
- Differentiate between bad work and boring work. Bad work refers to you having a terrible gut feeling. This could mean working with someone lacking integrity, a bad business deal that leaves you broke, or a project that simply doesn't align with your long-term vision. Boring work is inevitable work that comes with any business, regardless of how passionate you are about it. Do the boring work knowing that it will lead to long-term growth. When your business reaches a certain level, you can always outsource it to an employee. Do not give up on your business simply because some tasks are less exciting.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Profits/money is a byproduct of a business that aligns with your passion and skillset. When you're passionate about something, you'll naturally become an expert. Customers will always seek those who excel in their fields, so by becoming an expert, it'll naturally attract customers (& sales). Also, be patient. Good things take time.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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