Guest blog by Amanda Kingsmith, founder of M.B.Om
The biggest complaint I hear from yoga teachers is that they don’t make enough money. They spend hours preparing for classes that only pay them $30-$50; they spend most of their day rushing from studio to studio, and at the end of the day, they are burnt out and barely making enough to live off of.
The result of this is that yoga teachers are cheap; meaning that they are very hesitant to invest money that they feel like they don’t have. It’s very rare that you meet a full-time yoga teacher that isn’t watching their cash flow and living on a budget. And, it’s very rare that you meet a yoga teacher that is spending their hard earned money on anything except living expenses.
As yoga teachers, we get to do what we love: teach yoga. We get to share our life’s passion with other people, and that is such an amazing gift. But, far too often, we get it into our heads that we don’t need to make more money. Or worse, that we don’t deserve to make more money.
I’m here to tell you that you can do what you love, charge what you’re worth, and make a sustainable living. And that you can do all of this by investing in yourself.
Now, maybe this doesn’t make sense when you’re thinking about cash in and cash out, and wondering how you are going to create a more sustainable career by spending money that you don’t really have.
1. When you invest in yourself, you gain knowledge
Although you are officially a yoga teacher after you finish your 200 hour YTT program, you should always continue to be a student and be open to taking new trainings, workshops and retreats. It is worth it to spend your money on a program that will allow you to grow as a person, to learn more about the industry you teach in, and the practice of yoga.
Think about the people in the yoga industry that you admire most. Now, what do you admire most about them? Is it how much knowledge they have? How much of an expert they are on the topic? How great they are at teaching?
Newsflash: these teachers didn’t just wake up as a great teachers. They invested in themselves over and over again so that they could gain the knowledge to truly be experts in their craft.
When you make the choice to invest in yourself, you will also become an expert in your craft, and make a more sustainable living. Sometimes that means diving into your savings, or worse going into debt. But, it will be worth it.
2. You will always make the money back
If there is one thing in life that pays for itself, it’s investing in education and training. If you pay for a great retreat, workshop or training and can turn around and use what you’ve learned in your own business, you have almost immediately earned that money back.
Often, we think of our investments as only the money that we are spending and we think about how much money we have coming in and how much money we having going out, and immediately think to ourselves that we can’t afford to spend a single cent.
How many times have you looked at an offering that you know would benefit your career and thought to yourself “I can’t afford that”? I know I’ve done it about a million and a half times, and it’s taken a lot of work to start to think differently and remind myself that when I invest in myself, I will make that money back because I will be a better yoga teacher.
Sometimes you need to spend money you don’t have in order to make more money. It’s always important to remember that spending money on things that don’t give you an immediate return can pay off in the long term.
3. You can charge more for your offerings
When you invest in quality trainings and education, your offerings immediately are worth more. Having 300 more hours of training is almost guaranteed to make you a more quality teacher than you were after 200 hours, and this can be said for all the different workshops, trainings and retreats that you take. This means that if you take action to charge what you’re worth, investing in yourself immediately helps you make more money.
Think back to those amazing yoga teachers that you look up to and consider how much their offerings cost. Most likely, much more than the average yoga teacher charges. And what’s even more is that they are filling their offerings!
We get it in our minds that people won’t pay a lot in the yoga industry, but then how are so many teachers successfully running full programs at higher prices?
Because they invested in themselves, they learned more about the industry, they became experts on yoga, and then they charged what they’re worth, which is much higher than what they were worth before they invested in themselves.
So, the next time you see an offering that you know would improve your career, shift the “I can’t afford it!” to “what are the possibilities for growth in my career if I invested in this offering?”.
Remember: investing in yourself is the key to making a sustainable living in the yoga industry. It is far more than just an exchange of money; it is an exchange of knowledge, and knowledge will make you rich in more ways than one.
Amanda Kingsmith will be co-hosting our Elevate Your Yoga Biz Retreat in Nicaragua this April.
Amanda Kingsmith is a RYT-200 yoga teacher and yoga business consultant based out of western Canada. Amanda came to yoga from a marketing & business background, and has a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in marketing from the University of Calgary. Amanda combined her love of business with her love of yoga by starting M.B.Om, a podcast and online business focusing on the business side of yoga. She works with yoga teachers to help them create careers they love that are both sustainable long-term and financially abundant!