Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health & wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Yuuki Hirano, Co-Founder of Dou Yoga, located in Brooklyn, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the co-founder of Dou Yoga. We offer a variety of yoga classes, and our customers come to us from all walks of life.
Tell us about yourself
Being a yoga studio owner or a yoga teacher was not what I had envisioned over a decade ago. However, as I started practicing yoga at a studio after work, I was hooked. I ended up taking teacher training and connecting with a lot of interesting people. This opened the doors for me to be involved in a number of projects, one of them is opening up three yoga studios throughout the outer boroughs of New York City. What I love about yoga is that it is so multi-faceted.
As I reflect back on my own practice, I can see the changes and evolution of what my practice was and how it taught me what I needed to know at that time. It truly has the potential to work with each individual at the time they come to it and can offer exactly what they need, and this is what is so exciting about the work I get to do as a yoga teacher and studio owner.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner, I think the biggest accomplishment isn't anything quantifiable. To me, it's the day-to-day interactions and how I choose to operate the studio that is the biggest accomplishment. At the end of the day, I have to make money to pay rent and teachers, but the way we treat the staff, teachers, and students, all of this can be done with a level of compassion, and I think this is what I am proud of.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Having to let someone go. Sometimes things don't work out for one reason or another. Personally, I am not a confrontational person. I dislike conflict. So it takes a lot of my courage and energy to have that "talk" with someone. However, this is where that level of compassion goes a long way.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Partners, contracts, and compliance. Have people that you love to work with and that you motivate each other and hold each other accountable.
- Get things in writing. You may be very close with the person you are working with, and especially in yoga, there are no hard feelings, but at the end of the day, there can be misunderstandings, and having something written down on paper is REALLY helpful. Know what you are legally responsible for.
- The government loves to slap you with a penalty or a fee for whatever reason, and sometimes those can be very expensive teachable moments, so look into what you need to do to stay compliant.
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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