Patience. Pfffftttt. Who has patience!
If anyone knows what it feels like to want something and want it now, it’s me. Patience is not exactly something I would consider one of my stronger traits. In my career, as a typical ‘overachiever’, I was determined to accelerate my way to the top of the corporate ladder. I wanted to be in management, have the salary and prestige (how wrong I was) that goes with saying I’m a manager. I’ll be damned if I’m just an employee. Without realizing, I began Jessica Dewar Yoga with a similar mindset. I wanted to have the perfect branding, studio setup, marketing plans in place, policies organized, bookkeeping set up, legal work drawn up, professional website… I wanted a polished product because I didn’t want to open a studio that was nothing less than the highest possible standard that I set for myself, because I wanted my students to experience nothing less.
Well, it turns out this was not to be. Never before have I had to scrape and scrounge and get quite as resourceful as I have with Jessica Dewar Yoga. And in retrospect, this has not only helped ground me, but it’s reminded me of a few home truths, namely: 1) we don’t all get what we want when we want it. And 2) even if everything were handed to us on a silver platter, then where is the learning, much less the appreciation for the journey?
The earliest months of starting Jessica Dewar Yoga were by far some of the toughest I’ve ever experienced in my life. The uncertainty of being able to pay my rent – for the roof over my head and the studio, the challenges with trying to juggle bills and basic living expenses. It was, and in many respects continues to be, a constant challenge. Whilst I dreamed of the day coming when I wouldn’t need to panic that rent was looming and that I had the perfect studio with a great marketing team in place, what I’ve come to understand is that I was in no way ready for this. As a business owner I mean. I wasn’t ready to manage anything larger than what I had in the beginning (which was just myself). I could have had the best marketing plan laid out, but if I didn’t truly understand our studio and the needs of the community (which I only partially know now), then how could I have possibly given my students what they want? It would have been misguided energy and the loss of a large sum of money no doubt. Rather, by being forced to take this entire process slowly, and make a million and one mistakes along the way, I’ve learned invaluable lessons in business and in life.
When I felt like the walls were closing in (not too long ago) I knew it was important to hold on. To trust the process. I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel where I would see the studio start to pick up organically through the small means of marketing I have available to me – primarily word of mouth. And it really has. On the Wednesday just been, our studio was featured in The Urban List! So sure – it is nice to get lots of publicity and funding overnight, but if I don’t know what to do with it, then what’s the point? Now, I’m in a place where the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall into place and I can maximize the support we receive to try and grow the awareness a little further.
So as a final note – to myself and for those who care to learn – don’t wish the journey away. Rather, experience it. Enjoy the messy and uncertain times. There is profound learning to be had in these places. Oh, and a little bit of patience can go a long way it seems.. ;)
Jessica xx (the always uncertain one!)