The world of teaching yoga is constantly changing. You might not know exactly how to start a yoga business, nor how to build momentum with the setup you already have in place. That’s why you can read an, or all of these 5 amazing business books for yoga teachers to navigate this growing industry. The best part is these authors have lived through the pitfalls and give you tips to avoid them. The result is you’ll have the confidence and clarity to make more money doing what you love (and positively impact the lives of others as you do).
I’m a huge fan of ongoing learning, as you likely know by now. Education is the first step in transformation and dedicated practice leads to mastery. That’s why I read regularly. It’s also why I visit as many yoga studios as I can while traveling around the country. And it’s a huge reason I share my experiences with you on the blog.
In fact, I’m tempted to post an article like this almost every quarter here at Swagtail. Curling up in the sun room with a good book is one of my favorite afternoon activities. And I also read a few chapters before bed (although my husband often gets annoyed when a good book grips me and he’s waiting for me to turn out the light).
Anyway, there are numerous aspects of operating a yoga business and I want to cover as much ground as possible within a year’s time. So today, I’m sharing 5 incredible books that reserve a place on my bookshelf indefinitely. Here they are in no particular order:
Photo Credit: Ember and Earth Photography
THE PUMPKIN PLAN
As a disclaimer up front, Mike Michalowicz is one of my all-time favorite authors. His magnetic personality draws you in immediately when interviewed on a business podcast. His books are the perfect blend of factual information, practical tips, and real-life examples of what works (and what doesn’t) in the business world.
The Pumpkin Plan is no different.
This book provides a step-by-step approach to grow a remarkable business in any field. There are plenty of questions for reflection sprinkled throughout the text. And, you’ll be challenged to confront your old ideas about business in order to embrace the future you desire. (all in a good way, of course)
In addition to Mike’s fantastic humor, there are free resources you can download that accompany this material. These in-depth worksheets walk you step-by-step through building a business. And, since he uses a farming analogy, it’s a great way to stay grounded as you learn. In fact, it’s hard not to imagine a warm slice of pumpkin pie accompanying this book. Who knows? You just might buy your copy now and read it come fall when it’s time to enjoy the bounty of a pumpkin harvest!
- “Don’t waste your time planting [business] seeds that may or may not work out. Plan the seed that you know has the very best chance of making it, and then focus your attention, money, time, and other resources on that tight niche until all of your entrepreneurial dreams come true.”
- “When you stop looking at the other guy and start focusing on how you can easily offer something truly unique, something your best customers really want; when you do what’s easiest, what’s most fun, what satisfies you the most; you stop being a follower in competition with everyone else. You become a leader.”
- “Business is not a popularity contest. Don’t worry about having the most clients. Build a business that caters to the best clients … the clients that are the best fit for you.”
THE 7 SECRETS OF SELLING MORE BY SELLING LESS
Selling is an inevitable part of running any business, and this is even true when you’re a yoga teacher. The problem is that many professionals in this industry view selling as manipulative or unspiritual. This prevents them from often gaining the class attendance and private clientele they seek.
Thankfully, Allan Langer dispels many myths about the selling process in his book: The 7 Secrets to Selling More by Selling Less. He then gives you tangible steps to increase your sales right away. The best part is that you gain confidence that what you offer provides immense value to the world.. Plus you discover that selling can be done while you stay in alignment with your values.
Our Favorite Part:
The chapters are short and full of real-life stories. You’ll find yourself immersed in each depiction because you’ve been a consumer for many years. And with your knowledge and experience, you’ll be able to select the perfect selling pathway that’s right for your yoga business today.
- “Handle your customers with care, carry them gently to a place where they are comfortable, confident, and that feels like home. Make them feel like they are the most important thing to you at that moment in time, because if you believe that they are and treat them accordingly, then they are, and they will happily buy whatever you are selling.”
- “If others believe you to be trustworthy, wise, knowledgeable, fair and you look like you know what you’re talking about, you will have the uncanny ability to influence their decisions and their behavior.”
Interview with the Author:
MARKETING MADE SIMPLE
Steve and I camp in our van four or five months each year, venturing through the California Coast, Lake Tahoe area, and even much of the midwest. As I mentioned earlier, this gives me a very real pulse on the yoga community throughout our country. To travel successfully, though, we use a map. The same is true for running a yoga business. You’ll want a well-worn path that can get you from Point A to Point B. This Marketing Made Simple book is just that!
Not only will you learn the most basic definition of marketing, you’ll also discover:
- The three stages of any relationship (so you can connect with students in a meaningful way)
- How to develop a magnetic website (and draw potential clients to you), and
- The best ways to use email communication to gain new clients and nurture the ones you already have)
Think of this book like half workbook, half textbook. The material is easy-to-read and easy-to-implement in your existing business. And it’s a perfect fit for yoga teachers looking to create a clear message for their business. It’s also an excellent way to reach more clients if you’ve lost traction recently. With a few simple tweaks to your marketing strategy, your confidence and ROI can skyrocket.
- “Branding affects how a customer feels about your brand (or company), while marketing communicates a specific offer to those customers.”
- “The key to going viral is to give people something very simple to think about and say regarding your products or service.”
- “Words create worlds–not only physical worlds but the worlds we perceive.”
FIX THIS NEXT
You’ve been forewarned that Michalowicz is a favorite author of mine, and his latest book–Fix This Next–did not disappoint. In fact, it’s like a hired detective that helps you sort out the biggest problem in your yoga business. Then, you’ve given the tools to start resolving the issue right away.
The biggest benefit?
You save time, energy, and a huge headache trying to figure out what’s stalling your growth.
On Page 53, Mike gives you a permission slip to only read the parts of the book that will help you the most. He understands that out of the five levels of business, only one of those areas is causing the problem. And instead of reading the book cover-to-cover, you’re encouraged to simply study the parts that are most relevant to you.
I’m a big fan of efficiency and obviously Mike is, too!
- “We humans are fraught with bias and emotion, and our humanness can get in the way of finding the best solutions.”
- “If you try to make everything better in your business at the same time, you will dilute your energy, time and focus, and find yourself unable to meet any of your business needs satisfactorily.
- “A sale is not a handshake or swipe of a credit card. A sale is the creation and fulfillment of an agreement between you and your clients or customers.”
- “The consistency of your input (or business leads) dictates the quality of your output (conversion of those leads into paying clients.”
Interview with Mike:
Check out this interview about Fix This Next on the StoryBrand Podcast.
THE GOOD NEIGHBOR
Did any of you grow up watching Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood like me? Well, this book entitled The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers, goes into great detail about this iconic figure. You’ll discover just how Fred’s authenticity and extreme dedication to values enhanced his career over time. And you’ll be inspired by his resilience in times of physical and emotional setbacks.
He is a man who has walked his talk. The examples of his life taught me much, and I believe they can for you, too.
Fred Rogers gave his children viewers the freedom to be themselves. He encouraged their uniqueness and attended to them with a heightened level of presence–one that was often missing in their everyday lives. As a yoga teacher, you can follow in Mr. Roger’s footsteps by giving your students the very same gift of your focus.
- “The real issue in life is not how many blessings we have, but what we do with our blessings. Some people have many blessings and hoard them. Some have few and give everything away.”
- “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
- “It always helps to have people we love beside us when we do difficult things in life.”
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
As you already know, less than 5% of a yoga teacher training program teaches about yoga business. That’s why I’m sharing these 5 amazing business books for yoga teachers with you here today. The Pumpkin Plan will help you navigate the pitfalls of starting a yoga business. Marketing made simple will give you the communication skills to share your offers and gain new clients. The 7 Secrets of Selling book with give you the confidence and clarity to share those offers with the world. And, if you have any problems starting or sustaining your business, Fix This Next will help you pinpoint the issue and get back on track promptly.
Then, for those of you who love to learn in story form, The Good Neighbor weaves powerful business ideas into the magical life lessons of Fred Rogers.
Take Action Now:
- Discover why learning is the first step toward mastery.
- Get any one of the books above and start the learning process today
- Share your favorite business books for yoga teachers in the comments section below.