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 Kathleen Thompson, owner of Main Street Yoga, from Mansfield, PA, USA.
Tell us all about your business...
Main Street Yoga is a happy community of intelligent, health-conscious people who want supple bodies and sharp, focused minds. They see yoga and meditation as the way to get those things, but they need motivation, inspiration, and some practical strategies to get them there. That’s why they come to class!
What's your background and motivation to grow as a solopreneur?
I opened Main Street Yoga in 2004. I was 51 years old. (I’m 68 now.) In 2004, yoga was a hard sell in my small (pop. 3500) rural town. A lot of people thought it was a cult religion disguised as exercise. Nobody came for three years. Today I can’t believe I hung on for that long. (Today, I probably wouldn’t have.)
Little by little, people started to come, though. They told their friends I wasn’t a freak, that I was friendly and even funny. And, there was no weird religious vibe. You didn’t have to convert. More people started to come. I began to make the rent. I started to make friends, too. I began to meet people I had a lot in common with. When they left class, they felt better. When they left class, I felt better, too. We became a kind of mutual admiration society.
Over the years, the studio grew. Lots of people came to classes. We all grew happier and healthier, and we valued what was happening in that practice room. Then COVID shut me down. I knew I had to keep these people close— to each other and me. But I didn’t know a thing about how to put my classes online. But if I wanted to stay connected to these people, I had to learn. So I did. Now, today, I have a robust online library of On-demand classes and a good-sized membership. Just this month, I opened the studio again to live human beings.
I’m also streaming these live classes to people in Florida, and Wisconsin, and Oregon. We get to see each other and meet each other, and practice together, and it’s fantastic. We feel so lucky to have each other. We feel so happy we’ve made it through this trying time together. The whole thing’s about gratitude and love.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Enduring, and even thriving, during the pandemic by continuing to learn new things (video editing software, e.g.) and staying flexible enough (no pun intended) to adapt to an ever-changing definition of “normal.”
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a solopreneur?
I am trying to figure out my clients’ needs and how my skill set(s) might help them. I’m always trying to predict ahead of a season or a month, “What’s the problem likely to be, and how
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?
- Find a problem you can solve, and solve it.
- People will pay you based on how much they value your product and need it. Money is a great metric. It tells you how much people appreciate what you are providing.
- Love the product/service you provide and love the other people who love it, too.
What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance and keep it all together?
Daily Happy Hour at 5 PM.
The Family Walk on Sunday mornings.
Walk and Talks with my friends
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Nope. Just maybe, stay calm, kind, and connected. It’s a recipe for a happy life.
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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