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Guest Post: Do what you love!

by retirebyforty on November 15, 2010 · 12 comments

in goals and milestones

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This is a guest post from Allison, my yoga teacher.  She writes about her experience transitioning from working in an office to becoming an entrepreneur and doing what she loves.  Her business is focused on corporate yoga and personalized yoga therapy, and is based out of Portland, Oregon.  She is starting a 200 hours Yoga Teacher Training program in January if you want to try teaching Yoga.  Click on the logo below to check out her website.

click through to workingwithyoga.com

A week before Christmas 2007, I was working as an office manager for a chiropractor when I received the largest Christmas bonus of my life.  I should have been ecstatic, but somehow the weight of the check felt equal to the weight of the job.  I didn’t realize how unhappy I was at my office job until I received that bonus.  At that time I was also teaching three Yoga classes a week and when things got bad at the the chiropractor, I would just sit and daydream about the day I could teach Yoga full-time.

Christmas came and went and as the New Year approached, I had already applied for my business name with the Secretary of State.  The first week of 2008, I took a huge risk and left my stable office manager job to pursue a career teaching Yoga to corporate clients.  The SCORE division of the Small Business Administration assisted me in completing my business plan and I applied for a business loan with several banks.

Unfortunately for me at the time, it was very difficult to get a loan.  I found myself without consistent income, and I knew I’d need enough money to cushion me for a few months as I gained clientele.  I took another risk and called my credit card companies to access enough credit to get me through March (I gave myself three months to start my business…if it didn’t work by then, I would have to go back to “office life”).

This was my first challenge and it was a huge scare.  What if I couldn’t find enough clients? What if I had to give up and go back to working a job I didn’t love?

I just continued with the plan.  I sent out marketing materials.  I posted my website.  I cold-called human resource managers.  I waited.  And waited.

And, somehow it worked.  By March I was teaching enough to make what I made at my previous office job.

Since then, there have been many ups and downs.  I have added and lost clients.  I have had to learn that there are times of the year that are more profitable than others, so I’ve had to learn to plan for those times.  I have had to take care of things myself.  All things. Health insurance.  Savings.  Taxes.  Accounting.

Looking back, I would not change a thing.  It was all part of my learning process (even the scary realization of “uh-oh, I just quit my job without any concrete plan to make income!”).

When I began this path, many people said to me, “When you work for yourself, you will work all the time.”  I didn’t believe them.  But in a way, it has been true.  I am always thinking of my classes.  I am always thinking of how to grow my business.  I never “punch out.”

Because of this, the best advice I can give to someone else who is beginning in business is: do what you love. I love Yoga.  I love teaching Yoga.  So, even the mundane office administrative-type work I do, I enjoy.  I enjoy invoicing my clients.  I enjoy planning my classes.  I even enjoy the many, many miles I drive to my clients’ offices (most days!).

I have weighed a heavy check given to me by someone else against the weight of a career I created for myself and it’s no contest.  Do what you love!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Aloysa November 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm

It is so true. You have to do what you love or you will start feeling sooner or later that you are wasting your life. I am lucky that I have a job that I like and a hobby that I love – blogging. There are days when I sit at work and think about coming home and doing my blog stuff. I wish I could do blogging full time. Maybe one day… Very encouraging and inspiring post!

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Everyday Tips November 15, 2010 at 7:04 pm

So glad you were able to work it all out. Isn’t it amazing when a bonus doesn’t matter at all? Money is great, but it doesn’t solve everything.

Ironically, I have a post tomorrow that is loving what you do when you can’t do what you love!

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Mark November 15, 2010 at 8:11 pm

That’s true. You have to do what you love. It’s not really work if you love what you do from day to day.

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Sandy @ yesiamcheap November 15, 2010 at 9:06 pm

So many of us wait until retirement to do waht we really want to do. I hope that doesnt end up happening to me.

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retirebyforty November 16, 2010 at 6:31 am

Thank you Allison for writing a great guest post! This is basically my ultimate goal – to do something I love – part time. :)
My current job pays well, but it’s just such a chore to go to work everyday. Hopefully by the time I’m 40, I’ll be able to figure something out.

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Jessica07 November 16, 2010 at 1:35 pm

If you do what you love, they say, you’ll never work a day in your life. I agree; it took a lot of encouragement from my husband to finally quit my desk job and try working from home fulltime, it was an investment in myself I’ll never regret. This was such a great post. :)

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Barb Friedberg November 16, 2010 at 3:44 pm

I adore YOGA. Too bad I’m 1/2 a world away from Portland, or I would take the course. I do yoga from “on demand” on our cable package. Each time I work out, I marvel at how amazing I feel. I just do about 1/2 hour, and it’s enough to buoy me up for the whole evening. Congrats on making the change.

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James Fowlkes November 17, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Congratulations on doing what most of us only dream of doing,… breaking free of the 9-to-5 grind.
Thank you for sharing your story.
It is inspirational!

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Amanda L Grossman November 18, 2010 at 8:50 am

I love Yoga too! I don’t want to be a teacher…but I love to be a student.

Way to go on taking a leap of faith; doing something you love even though it may not pay you money always involves taking many leaps.

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krantcents November 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Your article reinforces many of my own thoughts! I, too took that leap some 25 years ago! No regrets. Recently, I wrote an article, “How to Find your Passion” on my blog (www.krantcents.com) that you may find interesting.

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Deidre @ TransFormX January 28, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Allison, lovely post – Congratulations on your success! I checked out your website and immediately felt a nice calm energy … very soothing! It is quite apparent that you love what you do, one can feel it while browsing through your site!
Too bad I’m not in the Portland area! I’ve been looking for a new Yoga studio :)
Your logo is brilliant by the way!!

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