Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey by launching a yoga business, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Felicia Schmid owner of Asanas & MORE Yoga, based in Illinois, USA.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey to where you are today....
I took my first yoga class while pregnant with my 2nd child. This was in 1998. I have a congenital heart defect and my doctor wanted me to slow down with all the physical workouts I was doing for I was considered high risk. Since I knew I needed to move my body, I had a memory pop up of me walking in on my dad's cousins doing yoga when I was very young.
This brought me to the idea of trying to find a yoga class. There was not anything called 'prenatal' yoga back then, let alone the myriad of books we now have access to. I was lucky to come across a traditionally trained instructor at my local park district. After my first Shavasana, I knew this was something special for I had the energy to conquer the world vs. wanting to crash like how other exercises affected me while prego. I was happier and more content and motivated to handle marriage and a young toddler at home, too. While my prego body grew, rain, sleet, or snow never got in the way of me missing a class. That is how much I LOVED it.
Within a year, my teacher approached me and said she thought I would make a great instructor. She sought out her teacher and I began the first of many pieces of training in what is now my lifestyle and livelihood. I began teaching in 2002.
I am a certified yoga instructor at the master advanced level (500E-RYT), certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT), certified clinical Ayurveda Practitioner & health educator (CAP), certified marma & pulse instructor, and certified yoga trapeze and SUPyoga (stand up paddleboard) instructor. I am recognized by the National Ayurveda Medical Association and the International Association of Yoga Therapists. My experience and knowledge are very rich and diverse. I will always be a student first. I practice what I preach so it makes it easy vs. 'work.' I LOVE what I do! I get a thrill watching students learn traditional' yoga.' Those 'ah ha' moments get me every time.
I have always been a person who felt a love for functional movement and activity, sprinkled with healthy food and lifestyle choices. I just love feeling STRONG, mentally, physically, and emotionally. This is what drives me forward.
I am someone who enjoys the challenge of running a business as my background was in the Corporate World as a Legal Administrator. I like the independence of running my ' show,' yet enjoy being a part of a community of like-minded people who find happiness through the movement of body, breath, and mind.
I opened my first yoga studio in the early 2000s and ran that for close to 6 years. Yoga was not as accepted or popular back then as it is now. People would throw eggs at my windows and bash in my mailbox. It took a lot of grit for me to continue going, but I knew this was something special that I wanted others to experience. I knew how yoga made me feel, internally and externally and how my Path was important to help others 'heal' or 'deal' from the inside out. Fast forward to over 2 decades and here I still am...more in love with what I do than ever before. I do know that my corporate background working closely with senior-level executives and the big 'C's has lent itself to my successes. I also know that I am wiser with my business model and better at setting boundaries now, too.
This is just a snippet of who I am.
What's your background and motivation to grow as a solopreneur?
Helping people 'heal and 'deal' from the inside out. My battles with mental illness on a personal level drive me forward as well as some serious physical setbacks and limitations.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I helped to spearhead the first informal yoga therapy training in the far western suburb of Chicago called 'Good for What Ails You.'. I am most proud of helping others heal through the practice of yoga.
What do you believe has led to the success of your business?
Being driven with kindness. I am successful because I put in the 'work' with self-study and training. I have concrete knowledge that works. I show respect to the elders in my field and am always a student first.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?
Create a Business Plan, Stay in your Lane, and Have Integrity.
What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance and to keep it all together?
I set boundaries and don't take on more than I can chew. I speak up and advocate for myself. I am not embarrassed to say 'no, that will not work for me.' I exercise often, get out in nature regularly, eat a healthy diet to maintain energy levels to be in this field of work, and get plenty of sleep.
Where can people find you online?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share then email firstname.lastname@example.org, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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