I’ve been self employed for nearly two years now and there have been many ups and downs along the way. When I tell people that I work from home the first comment they make is, “Oh gosh I could never do that, I wouldn’t get anything done, where do you find the motivation?” Well, the first thing you learn when you become self employed is that you’re probably going to work the hardest you’ve ever worked in your life.
No Such Thing As “One Job”
I don’t just teach yoga, I do freelance work and run my own wellbeing blog too, so I’ve also learned and am still learning how to find the balance between the three. There are days where one might get neglected slightly more than the others, but as long as I know I’ll be changing that the next day and that my priorities are in check then I’m okay with that.
As a yoga teacher not only do we have to find the motivation to get out there and teach – although that’s the easy bit, as teaching is so rewarding – we have to go through all sorts of things to find work and at times when maybe we don’t get the job it’s tough having to pick yourself up and try again. There’s also the paperwork to think about and marketing yourself.
Here are some of the things that I’ve found useful over the last two years:
Find A Routine
First things first, this one is key and something that can actually be very hard for yoga teachers to get to grips with, especially with students wanting to change days/times of private classes and then us wanting to cover classes for other teachers.
Having a routine may not sound very yogi, hippy or care-free, but we live in a modern world and if we want to keep on top of our work and make the most of any spare time we have then we need to find some kind of routine to help us feel more settled on a day to day basis.
I plan out my week every Sunday, so I know what time I have with clients, the time I have working on the blog and then extra time for other work. I also make sure that my targets for work are realistic, otherwise I run the risk of feeling deflated at the end of the week when I haven’t ticked everything off my list.
10 Minutes or An Hour… It’s All Good
As a yoga teacher, especially those doing it full time, one of the toughest things to find time for is your own practice. Many of us may like to pretend we’re practicing six days a week (as well as teaching many hours a week) but if you’re 100% honest with yourself how often do you practice? One of the main things I learned in my yoga teacher training when we were being asked to get on our mats six days a week, was that it doesn’t necessarily mean doing a full 90-minute session.
I tend to plan my fitness and yoga life as I would my social life… maybe because I don’t have much of the latter! At the start of the week I look at my diary and slot in some practice time on my mat. Whether it means getting up 20-minutes early to work through some sun salutations or spending an hour and a half being inspired by another teacher in their class, I always feel more motivated having done it.
Money Isn’t Everything
Yes, it’s probably one of the biggest motivators out there for most working people whether employed or self-employed, but as yoga teachers we also have the joy of our jobs being rewarding and seeing our students grow over time.
When the mortgage and bills need paying it can be rather stressful, especially if it’s throughout those summer months when work can be harder to come by in the private teaching world. In some ways this can be a great motivation for us, as when you’re working for yourself there’s no one to answer to, we just have to get on with it.
Even though I titled this point ‘money isn’t everything’ and it really isn’t, it’s still very handy to have! I put a percentage of my earnings into a pot called ‘education’, which gets spent on any workshops or future teacher trainings that I want to do. Being able to earn money to put back into your career to grow yourself as both a person and teacher is a wonderful thing.
Let’s Get Creative
I’m still at the very start of my yoga teaching career and have chosen to teach the amount I do, partly because I have other jobs, but also because I always want to keep things fresh in my sequences and find time to learn.
I’m so in awe of yoga teachers who are constantly coming up with beautiful new flows to teach their students and hopefully one day I’ll be one of them. It’s not easy always needing to come up with new sequences to make your classes interesting, and there’s absolutely no shame in taking inspiration from other teachers and yogis out there.
With the world of social media and so much on display to us, it only takes one scroll through Instagram for me to see a posture or mini sequence that I’d like to adapt and make my own for my students. I love feeling motivated by others to get creative find new ways of moving on my mat to then share with the yogis I teach.
Hopefully putting a few of these things into practice will help you find some new motivation in both your teaching and your own practice.