When I talk with people about the business of yoga, one of the points I've really been trying to hammer home lately is that everyone, in every industry, has to work hard to build the kind of life they want to live. And of course one component of this is having a paycheck you are happy with.
But there is, quite literally, nothing unique about the yoga industry in regards to the fact that achieving "success" takes hard work and determination.
One of my favorite examples of late is that of professional baseball players. Just because someone wants to be a professional baseball player, doesn't mean they're going to be a professional baseball payer. Lots of hard work and talent required. Another reason it's one of my favorite examples is that a lot of minor league players often make between $850 and $2,500 per month.
So the fact is that there are many yoga instructors that make more money every month than professional baseball players! Who would have guessed?
What is different and unique about the profession of yoga though, and being a yoga instructor in particular, is that you also have to be an entrepreneur. And it's this piece that is unique about the yoga industry.
This is the challenge and the opportunity. If you're going to be a professional yoga instructor, you really have two options:
1) Get another job, and work part time as a yoga instructor
2) Become an Entrepreneur in the field of Yoga Instruction
Nobody is doing your marketing. Nobody is doing your sales. You don't have a team of statisticians behind you. Unlike the baseball player who has to show up and play a great game, being a good yoga instructor simply is not enough. Heck, being a great yoga instructor isn't enough.
You have to be an entrepreneur too.
The reality of the industry is that yoga studios cannot provide full time/full salaried jobs to dozens of yoga instructors, yoga festivals come around once or twice per year, and students can only go on so many retreats. The examples go on, but the point is that knowing how to teach yoga is simply not enough to have a successful career.
You must be willing to sell your services. You must be willing to explain the value of your services. You must be willing to market and promote yourself. You need a website. You should have a way to take payments electronically. Your schedule should alway be available and always up to date.
The very simple fact of the matter is that most yoga instructors don't act like entrepreneurs.
Therein lies your opportunity.