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How One Yoga Teacher Ditched Her 9-5 and Started Her Own Studio

 

 Could I be self-employed? Yoga teacher Jenny considered this for a long time. Doubting, calculating, hesitating. We always feel anxious before making big decisions we’re afraid to regret later. And so it was with her. Today, Jenny is her own boss. Her story is inspirational and her joy is simply contagious—so much so that you even feel like starting your own project. Jenny beams,"I thought to myself: Show the world what you can do". What are we waiting for?

 

Reading time: 4 Minutes

Jenny is happy. Very much so—and speaks all the more openly about difficult times. "I was more afraid of the fear," she says, sipping tea. "Many people know the feeling: You don’t want to take the wrong steps, so you don’t change anything." Her job was her job. For many years she had an office job, which gave her security, but she wasn’t fulfilled.

Wasted years? "No," Jenny says assuredly. "I needed time to find out what I wanted to do," she says, leaning against the cozy corner bench in the café. The trained yoga- and reiki-teacher has just opened her own studio and radiates happiness. "I just love to do something for my money that makes me happy." Sounds super easy—but the path wasn’t so simple. "It was a process, not a question," she finds important to point out. "But also a nice experience!"

Doubt, Stress and an Aha-Moment

The dream of living off her hobby had been simmering in Jenny for some time. "I wanted to pass on my knowledge, at first for just a few hours a week." She negotiated with her boss, reduced her working hours in the office and began to give yoga classes at various studios in Hamburg. In addition, she created an online presence with her Jimdo website. "I tried a lot of colors, different fonts and photos. It’s awesome that I can create my own website. So I can convey exactly what I stand for: Spirituality without being too esoteric."

 

The yoga and reiki courses alongside her profession was incredibly fun. But the 33-year-old also felt a great deal of uncertainty: "How do I do this with less of a fixed salary, in an expensive city like Hamburg?" She pushed her doubts aside, but the stress increased. Finally, workdays started at 8am in the office and ended at 11pm in her home office with the last reply to an appointment request via e-mail.

Jenny's Jimdo website offering yoga and reiki classes
Jenny's website offers classes in yoga and reiki along with a motivational blog

 

More and more Jenny began to feel the office work was a strenuous duty—alongside the free-spirited yoga and reiki with her clients. "It was always important for me to be balanced with yoga, reiki and shiatsu. I couldn’t do everything simultaneously and still practise what I preached in a credible way” says Jenny.

 

To relax, she flew with her boyfriend Markus to Bali: Sun, sea and quality time. This made something click. It was a key moment for Jenny—though a painful one.

 

"I came back from vacation with a mosquito bite that was infected" says Jenny with a smile on her face. Back in Hamburg, the doctor wanted her to call in sick immediately. "At that moment I realized that I was afraid to miss work because of a mosquito bite. That was my ‘aha’ moment." It couldn’t go on. The next day, she went to the office and handed in her resignation.

Considering self-employment? "You can do it!"

You really don’t worry about the decision. "I already had experience with my courses, my own website, great clients and friends, whom I could count on." And what else? "It's not so wild," says Jenny. "I already had a small business." And for questions about legal formalities she turns to acquaintances, reads books or goes online. "The knowledge that you need, everyone can find". The exception: "You may prefer to consult a tax adviser about your tax returns…"

 

Jenny was much more worried about what her parents would say. "My parents prefer something safe, too safe rather than not safe enough." Inwardly prepared for opposition, she finally tells them about her decision. "And my parents said, 'Jenny, we see how happy you are with your idea. Do it, we'll be there for you!" She didn’t expect that. She also listened without exception to friends and relatives. "I can’t count the amount of times I heard: 'You can do it, Jenny, do it!' It almost surprised me—but it was incredibly powerful," says Jenny, sipping her tea.

 

When your hobby becomes your profession

Fast forward to now: Jenny shares a studio with with three friends in the heart of Hamburg. The days before the opening were exhausting with getting the renovation and preparation sorted—not to mention the last working days at her old job. "But the anticipation was bigger than the actual effort," says Jenny.

 

So what happens when a personal passion becomes a profession—do you lose something? "No, it's totally cool," says Jenny, radiating enthusiasm. It is important to keep the joy of the activity with a little self-discipline. "For example, I take for granted certain working times. I can answer an email that comes in after 6 o'clock the next day." In addition, she intends to plan two days off her schedule during the week.

 

Self-employed people know a lot about sleepless nights, thoughts about switching profession spinning around in their head, doubts, worries about responsibility, uncertain finances. Jenny has overcome this "fear of fear" step by step. Today, she is convinced of herself, of her own project. Because it just makes her happy!

5 tips to becoming self-employed from Jenny:

  • Find yourself: What do you do well? And what makes you happy?
  • Start gradually: Begin your project next to work or from home (e.g. with an online shop)
  • Financial buffer: Prepare a safety net for the transitional phase.
  • Get support: Ask friends and acquaintances with specialized knowledge about registering a business, for example.
  • Create a website: Present yourself and what you have to offer online—preferably with a stylish logo! 

Have you ever thought about turning your project into a profession? Or have you already taken the step into self-employment? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!

Tara Santiago

Content Editor


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Write a comment

Comments: 8
  • #1

    shareef (Tuesday, 14 February 2017 16:36)

    Thanks for sharing such a good article. now a days yoga is helpful to free kind of stress. We can become mentally strong.

  • #2

    Melpomeni (Wednesday, 15 February 2017 08:46)

    Thank you for this incredible article! It is so revitalizing to learn of people that have made their passion their profession. I know exactly what it's like because I did it, too! It is certainly challenging, but the fulfillment it offers can be compared to nothing!

  • #3

    ohmyrupee (Wednesday, 15 February 2017 11:26)

    very nice blog, useful and meaningful information. Thanks for sharing such a meaningful information.

  • #4

    CookieFactoryJewelry (Tuesday, 21 February 2017 22:28)

    Thanks for sharing. This article just attracts my eyes since Im also a self- employer. After the graduation from an art academy, I start working as freelancer to sell my design products and give creative thinking workshops. It is a good decision, but also brings lots of stress. Sometimes you do not know where will be the next step. However I think Jenny's story can encourage people, which is good.

  • #5

    Tara (Jimdo) (Thursday, 23 February 2017 09:46)

    Hi CookieFactoryJewely!

    Thank you for sharing some of your story. It's a lot of work being self-employed so respect for taking that first step! If it's something you love to do and it works, then ultimately it's worth it. :)

    I have to say I love your porcelain earrings—they're beautiful!

  • #6

    Lena Karola (Thursday, 09 March 2017 15:21)

    Great and encouraging story! Me, as dietitian/food blogger and my friend, a media designer went free lance now and i can SO understand all doubts and fears since I tend to have them from time to time, then there comes a period of "oh, my work s great it can only work out well"

    It's really much fun building a website with Jimdo! www.LenaGnutrition.com

  • #7

    Lutz Mocker (Friday, 10 March 2017 08:50)

    Hi Jenny !

    it is really nice and inspiring reading your story.
    I am Lutz, German, but living and working in Africa (Mozambique) already more than 15 years.
    Many years I worked in International Development (NGO), sector of health (HIV/AIDS and Malaria prevention; mobilization campaign projects).

    In 2015 I started own business.
    Did education in Thailand and I am now a Massage Therapist. Therefore I can follow you very well in your thoughts on how all can be a bit difficult to start-up something new as an Entrepreneur. :-)

    Many Greetings from Maputo, Mozambique,
    Yours, Lutz

  • #8

    Yogalehrer Werden (Saturday, 11 March 2017 07:36)

    Being a full time and full scale yoga instructor or teacher is quite possible and I have experienced practicing this profession myself and now I help other people to do so.