Updated: Apr 6, 2020
I was incredibly jet-lagged for the next few days. I had zero energy and slept a LOT. I had returned on November 20th, just two days before my 31st birthday. Though I had skipped a day of practice for only the fourth or fifth time since leaving for Bali, I managed to do some Yoga on my birthday. Honestly, however, I knew my body needed the rest and time to overcome the jet-lag. I was finally feeling more like myself as well, and then was very lucky this birthday as I had a friend who spoiled me all weekend long. He helped me set my room back up after my roommate had renovated while I was away and spoiled me with Red Lobster and a shopping spree. I will forever be thankful to him for a great birthday weekend.
I was again practicing my own Yoga flow at home and also trying some new videos from 'Yoga With Adriene' on Youtube that were not a part of her challenge series. I also got a gym membership to begin a cardio and weight machine routine. I knew I needed to start teaching soon so I could remember everything I had learned and solidify it in my brain and body. I started by changing my Instagram to a business account and it prompted me to create a Facebook page. I wish I had created the page independently from my Instagram because once the name was set as 'Mikenzep', I could not change it. Oddly enough, Facebook told me that changing the name of my page to 'Yoga With Mikenze' would confuse my audience by changing the topic of my page... WHAT?! Seriously Facebook?! ... I just roll my eyes infinitely on that one...
A few days after creating my page I remembered that Prince Edward County (my hometown) had many Facebook Groups (it’s a serious tourist destination), so I decided to share my page to the groups. It wasn't long before I received my first request to teach Yoga to a couple in their home. Amanda and her husband would be my first-ever students who soon turned into friends and business collaborators. I also had talked to a few friends who were interested in Yoga, so I coordinated them all into one class. Those were my first two classes in the same day, on the first Wednesday of December. This marked the beginning of the soft launch of my business.
Amanda and her husband thoroughly enjoyed their experience and requested to book classes for the next few weeks. Their dog also had a keen affection for me and I for him. Hercules and I quickly became buddies. I was then contacted by another couple who were new to the County and wanted to maintain their Yoga regimen, so I booked them in for that Friday. Chrys and her husband really enjoyed my class and booked a few more sessions with me, and, after those sessions, offered me their basement to teach classes for six weeks of the new year. I was absolutely elated with their offer and incredibly thankful to them. They told me that they wanted to support my new business and they were not utilizing the space until then anyway. How incredibly kind of these people to do this for me! I took this offering as a sign that I was indeed going to be successful, just as my tarot card had said in Bali.
I organized a class with my friend Fiona and advertised it on social media. At this class I had six total newbies and two Yoga regulars. This was the largest class I would have all month. This class was very successful as it brought me two regular students who would prove to not only be great students, but also become amazing friends to me. Linda and Sarah invited me to their home to begin their own home yoga class. They were thrilled to have me and introduce me to their friends. All of them enjoyed the class and we created a regular schedule for the new year.
I had a few other classes that month and secured two more intermittent students for the new year. I took time over the Christmas holidays to register on Yoga Alliance's website, which is where every yoga teacher must register to be considered a 'Registered Yoga Teacher'. I purchased business cards and insurance for January, then mapped out what the new year would look like. I planned to have my Huffs Island Rd classes with Linda, Sarah and friends on Sundays at 3pm and Wednesdays at 5pm. Richmond Home Yoga with Chrys, her husband and friends would be at 11am and 1pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. I would continue with private lessons for Amanda and her husband intermittently. I had a photo shoot with my Aunt Leah and I also had an old co-worker offer to do a photo shoot with me the day before New Years and that sparked the beginning of a really great friendship.
I also spent my holidays working at my T4 job, spending time with family, and brainstorming new business ideas and advertising and marketing options. I knew the new year would come quickly and I wanted to be prepared. Sarah offered to help me build my website in the new year, and for this I would forever be thankful! I continued advertising my classes on social media and would start referencing my website as soon as it went live.
As the new year turned, I was beyond excited for what the Universe had in store for me. The second of January was the day I began to build my website with Wix. Sarah and I plugged away for a few days to get it set up. It started out pretty basic; information about me, the services and classes I offered, and setting up my email so people could contact me to book lessons. I also set up a subscription to my monthly newsletter that I would send out on the first Tuesday of each month. Shortly after I added a testimonial page and began this blog.
The first Friday of January was a success. I had six students between my two classes at Richmond Home Yoga. One of those students became a regular, two started coming intermittently and two vowed they would be back when their schedule allowed. That would be the most successful class for Richmond Home Yoga as the next week I had no one show up. After this I decided to only run classes at 1pm on Wednesdays and Fridays at that location. I continued with my regulars that week, and also fit in a really cool winter photo shoot at Sandbanks Beach with my Aunt Leah. We got some fantastic photos from that shoot, but my absolute favourite was of me posing in a side plank on two posts. I wasn't sure if I would be able to do it, but I hoisted myself up there and was able to hold it for a surprising amount of time.
January was full of ups and downs after that first week. I began to realize that business would always be this way and I would have to really take advantage of the summer tourism. About halfway through January, Amanda asked me if I would like to collaborate to run some workshops in the summer. We brainstormed ideas and came up with five cool collaborations, though they remain in the planning stages.
I gave my first youth class in January, which proved to be absolutely adorable and enjoyable. I hope to book more classes with this group in the future. This sparked another service idea: Youth Home Yoga Classes. I also had my first online booking through my website, checking off a milestone of my business. I booked my first Bachelorette Yoga Class as well, sparking another new service idea: Bridal Party Yoga. I booked my first Girls Night In Yoga class, which is another service I offer. Another first for me was that I attended a Business Start Up workshop, which provided me with a lot of information and encouraged me to register my business.
February slowed slightly but brought a new regular student. I sent out my second Newsletter in the first week of the month and found two people to host Valentine's Day classes. I had another photo shoot with my Aunt Leah at Wellington Beach and captured some really neat photos, my favourite being a picture of my splits. They are a bit further from the last splits photo I took a month prior, which is extremely exciting. I also decided that it was in my best interest to move. This decision came to me when my new friend Dana offered me a room. It is a much more ideal, healthier living situation for me as she is a positive, kind, caring person who has similar interests and wants to see me succeed. Another benefit to this move is I will be closer to the gym, my friends and to my T4 job. I will continue to teach Yoga throughout Prince Edward County and hopefully Belleville as well.
I was starting to pack for my move in the last week of February when the complete unexpected occurred... I lost my T4 job. I was not happy about this, but I took it as a sign from the Universe that I am not meant to be in that field. I need to be available throughout the week for Yoga for my business to grow. And just as I realized this, I booked my first private lesson for Mondays at 11am in Picton. This student also wants to book a Home Yoga Class with her friends for another day during the week. I then was offered a space downtown Wellington for Yoga Classes starting in May by one of my regular students, as well as another business opportunity with her at her salon.
I had another photo shoot at Little Bluff with my Aunt Leah, capturing some great photos which showed even more progress in my Dancer and Side Plank poses. I made sure to wear my new Fabletics outfit, which I absolutely adore! It is comprised of leggings and a sports bra that have colourful leopard print pattern on a white background. I absolutely love Fabletics and how well their clothing is made. Their leggings hide my flaws and accentuate all of my curves and muscles. I 100% recommend 'Fabletics' brand to any and everyone!
At the beginning of March I contacted a local farm regarding doing Yoga with their miniature goats and smaller pigs. Julia, the owner of Once Upon A Farm, was happy to meet up with me as she had been looking for an activity to host in the summer months. We walked the grounds first as she explained to me the changes that she would make before the summer months. The goats would be moved to a 20' x 20' fenced in area at the front of the property, close to the road, leaving plenty of room for a Yoga class. She then took me back to the barn to introduce me to the animals. I was so excited to meet the adorable goats and pigs. They are the perfect size and the perfect temperament for Goat Yoga. I cannot wait to make the announcement and release the schedule for Goat Yoga in the County!
With my availability now completely open, my business is set to grow, and I am excited for what the future has to offer! Stay tuned!!