Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashley Amrita Thesier, Founder of The Other Side Of The Mat, located in Nashville, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I've owned brick-and-mortar yoga studios in Florida and trained over 200 yoga instructors in the past decade. After selling two yoga studios, I now teach yoga at the 1Hotel in Nashville, TN.
Tell us about yourself
I decided to open my first yoga studio in 2011 after the financial crisis. Prior to that, I was in New York working for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. I've always just wanted to help people and leave this world a better place.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Many of my former students now own yoga studios of their own and are also running their own certification programs. As a teacher, you always want to see your students take things to the next level.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
In this day and age of extreme individualism, it can be challenging to get everyone to work toward a goal that is more collective in nature. Also, getting contractors to understand the benefits of noncompetes and balancing the needs of the business as an entity along with that of the service providers can be arduous.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Consider carefully if a brick-and-mortar location is necessary. There are both benefits and setbacks to weigh carefully. Covid has forced many companies online, and the rise of e-commerce companies has made avoiding the overhead of maintaining a physical location easier than ever before.
- Location, location, location! If you do go with a storefront, make sure you practically sleep there first. I once got run out of a location by the homeless, and I had lived in the same neighborhood for almost a decade. I didn't know they had been sleeping on the back porch for years before I rented the space. Boots on the ground are mandatory, along with ample parking.
- You can not be friends with employees. Yes, of course, be friendly and care, but you must also recognize there is a power dynamic at play here that is completely unavoidable. I resisted this teaching for many years and learned the hard way. If they don't have skin in the game, nobody is going to take care of your business like you will. Learn to delegate and grow your team!
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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