I have jumped into the deep end of the pool, and while I CAN swim, I may be developing some side cramps. As with any new venture, there are growing pains and learning curves. I happened to add moving a pair of grown offspring back home, buying a house, selling a house (in that order), recording the audiobook, and launching an online business right before my publisher set my book’s release date.
What was I thinking?!
Reid Hoffman is the co-founder of LinkedIn, the professionally-focused social media platform for job networking and career mobility. He is famously quoted as saying, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
As an author, I have felt this axiom in spades. When I launched my first author website. I stumbled around with the format, with my brand, and had to figure out what worked for me and what didn’t.
And I had professional HELP with that one!
It’s all fine and dandy to design something, but it’s another thing entirely to see it in action. Take my kitchen remodel, most of you were there in my classes while I ranted and raved about the process. Because we didn’t finish it in 2009, when we started, I had six years to move around in it and troubleshoot design flaws and make changes. Much to The Beard’s chagrin and irritation. (That’s totally on him, btw. He’s an 80% guy.)
To be fair, when I started the yoga book, I knew I needed a brand. And most of you know how that evolved. The F*cking Yoga Co. was born, but still on wobbly, coltish legs. There was also some pushback on my brand. The literary agency had trouble wrapping their head around what my brand actually was. Their first instinct was to package my brand in the same pastel, bamboo-fuzzy, spinning rock fountain feel like almost every other yoga style out there.
No surprise. That ain’t me.
The thinking, I believe, was sort of a bait and switch. Lure yoga people in with oms and lotus flowers (I have two lotus tattoos, so there!) then zap ’em with the zing. I’ve said it before if you are one of my peeps, you laugh when you discover my Zen As F*ck brand. If you’re not, a light dies in your eyes.
Some of those ‘true’ yogi folks are going to light the torches and sharpen the pitchforks. Not very Zen.
We have all heard about trying to force round pegs into square holes. Learning curves and growing pains. It was the first stumble along my nascent entrepreneurial path. It’s also the reason the yoga book took so long to find a home. How do you market yoga to people who HATE yoga? Let’s face it, I’m a contradiction.
You can see it in my very first yoga videos. Again, another thing my first agent asked me to put together. I didn’t have a dedicated space to DO yoga. I didn’t have a completely empty, zen-like studio. My equipment lacked quality and I was starting from scratch. And I swear. A LOT.
I’m not your typical yoga brand. Then came the pandemic. We were all figuring it out from home. I entered the Zoom debacle and that created more problems. Double emails, passwords, and poor video quality in addition to that stupid tag at the bottom of the screen!
Learning Curves are the WORST! But I hear they are good for your brain.
At the moment, YouTube live is working )though getting the links out automatically when people pay their subscription isn’t in action) that means only one link is needed and you can watch those videos any time. It also means that if need be, I can pre-record a video with almost zero effect on y’all. Except for when I fuck it up and send out the wrong link, OOPS!
I need an intern. Who am I kidding? I need a marketing assistant! Frankly, my dear, wonderful peeps, it’s likely to get rockier before it gets better. We’re closing on two houses at the end of the month, our current home and our new home, in addition to moving four adults, three and a half dogs, and two cats to eighty acres.
We’re pretty much back to square one: mud, drifting snow, and WHITE CARPET! Who installs white carpet on a farm? Oh, did I mention there is no dishwasher either? There is NO dishwasher. Don’t mind my small panic attack.
I am not embarrassed to say I’m struggling. With my health, with depression, with the tech, with a new and larger mortgage, and the unknown.
What I’m saying is please be patient. Shit is about to get real and I’m doing my best to cover all sides. I’m an author, a yoga instructor, a spouse, a mother, and a small business owner. It was all fine and dandy when I had one brand to manage, now I have two brands, four books, and a new venture to wrangle. AND NO DISHWASHER.
I love yoga and every minute we practice is a balm to my physical and mental state. Hang in there, please. Because y’all make it worth it.