Is Yoga Business Different? Integrity and Ethics
Integrity and Business
I’m jumping on here to talk and ask- what’s the deal with business and yoga? In light of recent articles in Elephant Journal (check it out here) regarding Kino, Cody, Alo and all one word named businesses I want to have a dialogue about WHY when it comes to yoga business tends to shift into irregular practices.
15 years. I’ve been in this business first of all as a student, then a teacher and now a mentor and leader. I own a HUGE yoga festival called The Yoga Expo, run an international business consulting company and well delve into all things yoga industry related. In the past weeks, I have seen the beautiful and ugly head of yoga and business rear its head.
“I think you trying to make money off a sacred science is appalling and if you truly understood the teachings the last thing you would be doing is sending out a dumb ass email commercializing a sacred science that was meant to be passed down teacher to students…you need Togo back to school”
“I was on a journey of spirit to unearth those of authentic purpose whose actions spark the divine when I discovered your meaningful Essence. You are doing work you should be very proud of. You are having a profoundly positive effect on people.”
Yoga business is the same as all other businesses by the way, the only difference is who’s behind the business that makes the world of difference.
What’s going on?
Opinions will always create a ripple effect. The opinions in the article referenced above are really interesting because I am a businesswoman. Cody and Alo are businesses. Kino is also a savvy businesswoman. When values and integrity are so deeply ingrained in how you operate your business it’s an interesting play on how kind you are and how much of a stickler for contracts and rules as well. Why do I say this… because I have seen it first hand.
Several times when I operated my business from a place of generosity and kindness, whether it was offering discounts, extra flexible payment plans, I have gotten burnt. People never paid, didn’t show up or decided that it wasn’t in their best interest to continue paying.
What happens here is the ripple effect. And the same thing Cody’s co-founder speaks of. For a customer it is very easy to say I no longer wish to pay. What about the people on the other side? The employees of Cody are affected by 1 decision. My family is affected by 1 decision. Yoga business practices are truly the BEST in the world. As long as us, the leaders continue to make an effort to hold highest levels of integrity – on both sides of the coin.
The Yoga business isn’t different than other businesses. If you develop and establish your value, your non-negotiables from the beginning, guess what… you don’t get burned. I take every client that stops paying, that wants to change agreements to what works for them as a lesson. It makes me more organized, it makes my contracts tighter and payment plans also more on point.
The main point behind this post.
I want to shed light on many sides of the coin. Our society is so easy to point a finger. We take the moral high ground on issues that we really don’t even know anything about. When I read Kino’s first article I was totally like “WTF!” how dare these large companies do whatever they want! Shortly after I caught myself and said, wait, my business is growing and I would like to avoid these types of situations. And then today I read the reply and I also attest to several things he mentioned.
How do I prepare my business so from the beginning there are non-negotiable value systems in place of trust, honor, commitment, fun, exceptional quality and passion?
Is yoga business the anti-business?
Learn about foundations of your business. Set yourself up to always see things as a learning experience will help avoid massive issues in the future. It’s how you operate, how you treat others that will always leave a good mark on your side. I wrote this article on analysis paralysis a few months ago that reminded me of how it was like setting up my business – but guess what – nothing is perfect and things will always come up that make you re-work and re-do and re-word. Nothing is perfect and as long as you are open to the flow, your business will improve daily.
Leave me a note as I’m interested to hear your side and how you operate your yoga business.