Disrupting an industry. Challenging the status quo. This is not for personal gain or a publicity stunt. But rather a pursuit for positive change. For me, yoga is not about money. It never has been. Rather, I want to offer those who desire happier and healthier lives access to a practice, which has been instrumental in shaping who I am today. To teach others how to reconnect with their body and mind in a society that is becoming increasingly desensitized. In doing so, I believe this can lead to a kinder world, one person at a time.
I’m green when it comes to business. Whilst my career has involved management roles, having your own business is a very different story, and what I’m quickly learning is that creating change is no easy task. But there are a few things I’m sure of…
Naming the studio Jessica Dewar Yoga has both its advantages and disadvantages. A key disadvantage is the risk to my reputation should something go wrong at the studio. For example, poor quality teaching. But whilst this is a risk, I also see consider this an advantage as it symbolises the high standards I set for my teachers and myself. I want people to associate this name with a space that offers the utmost respect, kindness and support to every single person who walks in the door. I’m still unsure if this will be a long-term decision, but for a grass roots studio, I want people to know my values are underpinning the culture we develop and that I am prepared to put myself out there as we disrupt tired industries in pursuit of creating much-needed change.
I’m quickly learning about up’s and down’s of business. This is an extraordinarily challenging process, in all forms of the word challenging. But what I feel stops many people from giving their own businesses a try is the fear of inexperience. Whilst I’m naïve to many things, I feel this has been a blessing in disguise. It’s forcing me to ask questions, to chat with our community and be vulnerable about the entire process. In doing so, people are willingly offering their suggestions and advice, which I believe is crucial if we want to build something people actually want. Rather than looking at other business models and trying to copy them in an attempt to compete, we are doing our own thing! Why? Because it’s not about the competition of business, but rather it’s about offering a quality service. One that people have helped to build. Sure, I don’t have an MBA, but I don’t think you need an MBA to work this out? I’m not interested in doing things the ‘right way’. The ‘right way’ (whatever that is) can be a very rigid and stifling way of thinking. It’s in the flexibility to pivot and change things (that aren’t working) quickly where I’ve found the most benefit. I consider this common sense…
What I know to be true is that I must continue to dream big even though the odds are stacked against me. I know there are many who do not believe a successful donation-based yoga studio is possible, but I intend to prove otherwise. With a model that embraces the uniqueness of teachers, allowing them to teach as they teach, and a philosophy that yoga should be accessible to all, I believe change to the industry is bound to follow.
And with that, I also believe we all have the power to change the world. Driven by our passion to do so, and a relentless vision for something better, change is inevitable in whatever industry you’re in. For me, the studio is a success with just one student before me. For if that student walks away from the class feeling a little more centred, relaxed and aware, then the benefits will extend well beyond this one person.
If you have a vision for something better, to challenge the status quo, remember it’s the combination of little wins that will ultimately lead to the success of that vision. I’m in no way qualified to talk about what it means to run a financially thriving business. Absolutely not. But I do feel qualified to speak about what it means to live a life that is chosen by you, not for you. We all have the potential to do incredible things in this lifetime. We just need to find the courage to take that first step. From there, the rest will follow.
I’m inspired by all the people who set out to live their lives according to their own doing. I believe you need to do just three things to realise your biggest dreams: Keep going, believe in yourself and dare to be different. Why? Because ultimately they are the people who change the world.
To become a part of our community, be sure to book into a class! You’re also most welcome to attend an upcoming Beginners Yoga workshop should you be new to the practice and a little unsure where to start. You can reserve your space here.