Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kay Afif, Co-Founder & Instructor of Home Hot Yoga, located in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Too many people are stressed out or in pain. At Home Hot Yoga, we teach the transformational hot yoga system that impacts every part of you- so that you love your life more and live it better! Our mission is to get the most people feeling good in their bodies and great about who they are by providing a joyful, inclusive online hot yoga experience. Because the routine we teach is designed to be doable for beginners but also remains challenging and fulfilling to more advanced yogis, our online student base includes people from all over the world, from total newbies to professional yoga teachers.
We offer a subscription-based online library of over 100 full-length Bikram Yoga classes led by certified Bikram Yoga instructors, as well as a range of shorter practice options from 5-60 minutes, so you can always find time in your day for yoga. We also have Pregnancy Yoga classes and a big ol' stack of educational resources for yoga students. We're pros at helping students working with injuries or chronic pain, pregnancy yoga, as well as yoga for general health and wellness.
Tell us about yourself
Ironically, I first got started teaching yoga because I was working on a computer for a large part of the day and realized I didn't want to do that! I wanted a job where I didn't have to wear shoes. After teaching yoga all over town for a couple of years, I got pregnant with my first child. I knew I didn't want to stick my baby in childcare, but I also couldn't bring her into the hot yoga classes I taught! My husband and I opened our brick-and-mortar studio so we could help people, and so we could bring our kids to work while we did it.
When our thriving studio was shut down for the second time during 2020's COVID shutdowns, we made the decision to end our lease and become a totally online hub where people can take awesome Bikram Yoga classes any time they want, from their home or the go. Now we live in Mexico with our kids and work entirely online. I never thought I'd work on a computer this much, but the flexibility it allows me to spend time with my family (and the beach!) is just perfect for this time in our lives. (And I still don't ever wear shoes to work!)
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think I'm most proud of figuring out how the heck to give constructive feedback to employees without them ending up hating me. In the beginning, this was rough for me as I'm naturally very direct and also have super high standards for anyone on my team. Part of the key is learning to hire the right people. But it also has to do with choosing your words and battles carefully, meeting people where they are, and listening more than you talk.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I don't know if this is "hard," but something that is inevitable about being a business owner is that I will never get to visit a business (or a business website) again without analyzing what they're doing, why or how it could be better. Personally, I actually enjoy thinking about this stuff all the time, which is why I became a business coach as well!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Always tell the truth.
- Prioritize customer service over everything else.
- Only have policies you can stick to.
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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