Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Joanie Tardif, co-owner of Modo Yoga Vaudreuil, located in Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Modo Yoga is a community of independent hot yoga studios united in our dedication to creating a more sustainable world throughout the practice and philosophy of yoga. We blend the traditional yoga roots with the latest scientific evidence on movement, meditation, and breathwork. We welcome beginners and experienced students – we are a place for all.
Tell us about yourself
I began my yoga practice in 2006 in a Modo Studio (formerly known as Moksha Yoga at the time) in Montreal. I fell in love with the practice at the first time. And I fell gradually in love with the Modo philosophy until I decided to take my teacher training in 2013. I was a full-time occupational therapist, part-time personal trainer, and group fitness instructor.
What motivates me to keep going every day is the fact that this approach is a natural therapy for humans. It brings a sense of release and peace to mind and a stronger physical body with better motor functional patterns. In yoga, we call "dharma" our life mission. With Modo Yoga Vaudreuil, I fulfill my dharma. There is nothing better than going to bed and feeling like you have made a difference in some people's lives.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment would be holding on during COVID closures and deciding not to close the business. When the first closure happened, we were only three years old. The youngest Modo Yoga Studio, still a start-up and far from being profitable. The possibility of closing was discussed many times with my partner. I had given birth to my daughter a couple of months before March 2020. I thought I would allow myself a mini maternity leave... The universe had other plans for me.
I am really proud today to still have the Modo community in Vaudreuil, and I have a lot of hope, and I am confident for the future of the studio. We faced the hardest times during our start-up years and are still going through them. The support of the community and our team of teachers and ambassadors is the main reason we will make it through. When I think about it, I feel huge gratitude for our students, teachers, ambassadors, and manager.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The amount of responsibilities and the fact that you have to hold a lot on your shoulders. As a young business, we don't have the budget yet to have a full-time manager. So I still manage a huge amount of operations and teach classes on schedule. The amount of hours/week is not something I can calculate because I think it would discourage me. I just try to go one day at a time and make sure I invest time for myself, my practice, and my well-being. I deeply believe that I can't teach great yoga classes or be a good studio owner if I am not at my best. I have been prioritizing this since 2020 to ensure I take care of my mental health and my body first.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Be patient, trust it, and take care of yourself throughout the journey. You can't have a healthy business over time if you don't prioritize your health. The first five years are roller coasters of emotions, problem-solving, and business stability phase. If you neglect yourself, your business, and your team will feel it over time.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If I have been through it, you can too. I just truly wish no one goes through such a difficult period with a newborn as I did. It was pure suffering to reinvent a business and grow a little human. I am not hiding it, and I want people to know that even if it seems natural to invest myself in the business as I did during the COVID closures, it was really, really hard emotionally and mentally.
If you decide to start a business and you are a woman that wants kids, start after the two years old period. I don't regret anything I've done or decided to do, but I never thought it would have been so hard to raise a family. Plus, I have a business that is busy on evenings and weekends... This is also a challenge sometimes.
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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