The profession of teaching yoga or running a studio falls under the same business rules as it would take to keep any organization profitable. This includes having enough capital to get your business up and running, creating a strategy to project and track progress, and providing excellent customer service to clients. In order to stay on top of your game, here are five great books for yoga business that can continue to fuel your growth.
As many of you know, I absolutely love to read. In fact, it was my goal this year to read one book a week, and I’m on track to accomplish this feat by the year’s end. To keep my mind stimulated, I read a variety of material. There are classic and current yoga texts I find inspiring. Fiction novels often accompany my road trips, as they are fun and light and mutually-approved by my husband.
But, by far, the greatest category from which I select my books are from the business and communication genre. Some are bestsellers. Others are tiny paperbacks. Yet in each, I find golden nuggets worth implementing in my own business and sharing with you.
The five resources below are not specifically targeted for yoga business owners. However, they have so many fantastic tips and tools that apply to any profession that they are worth sharing here.
(1) THE ADVANTAGE
What’s the difference between a successful company and a mediocre one? Patrick Leoncini provides an incredible case in The Advantage that it’s not intelligence that differentiates these businesses, but rather the health of the organization. Said another way, businesses with cohesive leadership teams, clarity of purpose, and assertive communication can drastically outshine those in the same field.
If you run a yoga studio or work as part of a team in any capacity, this book explains four basic components that create a healthy organization. Leoncini also explains how balancing these principles with smart marketing strategies, finance and use of technology can even further increase your impact.
OUR FAVORITE PART:
The four components of organizational health are broken down into bite-sized pieces. Each section contains questions to answer about your own business, or teams, as well as checklists you can use to implement these new ideas.
(2) HERDING TIGERS
If you own or manage a yoga studio, you understand that organizing a group of yoga instructors is quite different than being a yoga teacher yourself. It requires unique leadership qualities to facilitate and uplift a community. Not only does Herding Tigers dive into some of these attributes, but Todd Henry outlines practical skills to put them into action.
In this book, you’ll discover:
- Myths about creative people
- How to shift into the managerial mindset
- Why focus, function, and fire are essential elements to bring to your team
- How to clearly define your team’s real work, and
- Ways to stay on target to reach your goals.
Henry speaks a lot about focus, and how to hone this skill to increase success. He simplifies focus down to three basic questions:
- What are we doing? As a leader, your job is to ensure everyone on the team has a clear understanding of what they are doing and what the desired outcomes are on every level.
- What are we NOT doing? When you know what your priorities are throughout any given season, you can prune away unnecessary activities and be more productive.
- When are we doing it? If the entire team understands the answers to one and two, then each person can make better use of their time and energy each day.
Based on your answers above, where is your business focus right now?
Patty McCord, author of the book Powerful, served as the chief talent officer for 14 years at Netflix and was an integral part of creating their nimble, high-performance culture. In fact, the simple protocols that allowed Netflix to exponentially grow in the marketplace are ones that you can also use in the yoga realm.
These concepts are not rocket science. However, they do take strategy and discipline to implement. They involve radical honesty between colleagues, transparency about the company’s financial standing and future growth, and the importance of paying people what they’re worth to you.
OUR FAVORITE PART:
McCord spends an entire chapter on how you can cultivate strong opinions within the team, and use the discussion of such opinions to bring out the best in the company. In the yoga world, there are lots of styles and techniques to bring about the same result. This includes proper pose alignment, pose names, yoga styles, sequencing for special needs populations, and much more.
When you discuss these topics within your team, you can bring out the best ideas from the group as a whole. And, you can increase the level of curiosity and respect for each member. Just make sure you orchestrate these conversations purposefully and encourage authentic listening throughout the process.
Photo Credit: Bex White
You often hear the phrase that timing is everything. Yet instead of leaving this mystery up to guesswork or intuition, Daniel Pink reveals that timing is really a science. In his book, WHEN, Pink uses the latest research in psychology, biology, neuroscience and economics to prove this point.
Not only will you discover the hidden patterns of everyday life, but you also grasp how to maximize excellent timing in the yoga realm. This includes:
- How to best start a yoga class
- The important impact of endings
- When is the best time of day to practice yoga
- Ways to structure your ideal schedule
- When is the best time of month or year to plan a yoga workshop
- And much more!
OUR FAVORITE PART:
In addition to this being one of the great books for yoga business, it’s an excellent tool to discover nuances about your own personality. Pink provides detailed questions that will allow your best elements to shine brighter. You can also discover your own chronotype (or biological clock), to further refine timing in all aspects of your life.
Photo Credit: Sorin Sirbu
(5) CRUSH IT
Both the original book, Crush It, and it’s sequel, Crushing It, reveal the enormous opportunities available to businesses in this digital age. It’s because of the internet that you have complete control over how the world sees you and how often. This means you have the ultimate authority to build your brand in a way that honors yourself, your passion, and your connection to the yogic path.
Crush It outlines a detailed, step-by-step plan to start (and grow) your presence online. The second book explores 8 essential elements to build your brand. While you will probably want to dive in and implement each of these fantastic ideas all at once, you’ll quickly learn which tactics can be seamlessly woven into your business to foster expansion. And, you’ll be able to sustain peace of body, mind, and spirit along the way.
Crushing It dissects every current social media platform so that every professional will know what can work best for their brand. It also contains fantastic, real-life stories of success that will get your wheels turning about what’s possible for your future. And, it provides insights into new ways to extend the reach of your positive impact.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
There are a few common threads that run through each of these fantastic resources for entrepreneurs. These include clarity of purpose, honest communication with colleagues and clients, and the ability to think outside of the box. It’s because you have these qualities, especially the last on the list, you will absolutely love these books for yoga business.
Join us next week as we cover 5 ways to elevate your yoga studio space and provide a delicious hip-opening yin sequence to share with your students.
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