But he sure is close. Back off ladies he’s taken and he has the wedding band tan to prove it. I know all women aren’t neurotic or impulsive or even risk takers. But I suppose I am. One would have to be in order to go into business for themselves with no experience, no business degree, and no serious financial backers. No, I don’t have any of those alleged prerequisites for opening a small business. But I do have one thing, Scott Olson.
Foolishly, I thought that opening a yoga studio would be relatively easy. I kept telling friends, family and strangers that the good thing about choosing a yoga studio as a new business is that you don’t need very much stuff to open. You just need bodies and a space to practice. This is mostly true. One also needs to market to the public to get those said bodies in the door! When sitting down at the very start of my planning, I remember making my budget and estimating opening costs and coming up with a number that sounded reasonable. Mind you, my guess included all licensing fees, decor, props, rent, and general office supplies one needs in order to operate on a very bare level. After being open for a month and looking back all the Target trips and prop ordering, I realized my original guesstimate was laughable. I think we spent close to it without even paying the first month’s rent and the security deposit.
Luckily, Scott had a good job and was very supportive. Albeit, as much as one could be when working full time downtown. But having Scott keep his job meant we would be able to maintain our current lifestyle while I tried to get the studio up and running. Sure the start up costs were more than we thought, but hey, it’s all for the business! Feeling settled and preparing to open the studio in a mere six days after signing our lease, I realized that I was about to be teaching twenty-two classes a week, become the studio and office manager, the front desk person, and still be expected to function as normal human. We needed to hire someone and fast. With an opening day of Monday, the Wednesday prior Scott and I started doing interviews to find that perfect person to be the face of our business. We met some great ones. None of them were exactly right, but they all had wonderful qualities that would contribute nicely to the vibe we wanted to create. We wanted to be a family business, locally owned and operated and become a part of our community.
That’s when we realized that the face of our business needed to be us. Scott and me. I think the term is downshifting, and that’s what we did. We decided to forgo trips to Whole Foods, dinners at Uncommon Ground, and settle for what we really cared about: building something together. Scott left his good job to become all the things I couldn’t at the studio. He gave up his blossoming career doing web design for well known companies in order to man the desk and become a part of what we working to create. Surprisingly, or not, he found that he loves it here. At the studio, we get to directly interact with the people that we are working for. Not only them. But the people in the community, yogis and non-yogis, who are just happy to have a positive business open in our neighborhood.
As for our lifestyle, it’s definitely harder. Every night at around 9:45 I hit a wall and fall straight to sleep. Dinner is thrown together, usually by Scott who then usually does the clean up as well. I’m asleep, remember? Social life? Not quite. And then finally, our puppy. Scott has become practically a single parent. He does all of this with no complaints and no sour faces (that I can see).
So if you have a glass in front of you, raise it to good partners who support our crazy ideas completely and happily.