This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know! Today’s interview is with Kyle Weiger, founder of reflexionyoga.com. I came across this website from another healthy living blogger a few years ago and decided to sign up around Christmastime 2013. I've been hooked ever since! I contacted Kyle about an issue logging in and he was super helpful. We got to talking about digital marketing, and I just had to ask him to participate in this series. Find out what it's been like for him and his partner to start an online yoga studio/subscription site.
At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?
After practicing yoga for a couple of years, and watching all the dramatic changes it brought to my own personal awareness, I wanted to share it with as many people as possible. So when the opportunity to go through Teacher Training came along, I jumped right on it. Best. Decision. Ever.
What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?
Right now, I'm in the midst or running a couple of different yoga sites, so time management is the biggest struggle I face right now. What I've realized is that the work is always going to be there, so stressing out about how much work you have to do is pointless. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I simply take a few deep breaths, and ask myself "What's the most important thing I can focus my energy on right now?". This usually helps me to set aside the laundry list of items and get truly present to a single task at hand.
Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?
No surprise here....yoga! A regular yoga practice keeps my mind clear, and ensures that I get up from my computer so I can devote time to my mind and body. Also, it always re-energizes me and gives me that 2nd, 3rd, or 4th wind I need to keep going!
Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?
Emotional ups and downs are part of the job when you run your own business, there's no way around it. My favorite remedy for any kind of emotional roller coaster is a good night's sleep. Waking up to a new day mean a fresh start and a new opportunity to handle anything. Yesterday is already gone and when I first get out of bed in the morning, the choice is mine on how I want to fill my day and what kind of energy I want to give it.
What do you do when you're having an off day- maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?
Aside from yoga, my other favorite form of relaxation is conversation with good friends. My best friend is also a business owner, and always willing to lend an ear, so it's great to have a sounding board for the hurdles I run into. Most of the time, it turns out he's experienced something similar, and it's refreshing to know that I'm not the only one stumbling on the path to running a successful business.
What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?
"Yoga is not a workout." - I hear it way to often. They think yoga is just stretching. There is nothing tame about holding a handstand or trying to quiet the mind while standing on one leg for a minute. Although it's gaining in popularity, many people still don't realize that yoga is a mind/body connection, and not just sitting on a meditation pillow.
What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?
I'll rely on one of my favorite quotes here - "If you want to get something you've never had, then you have to be willing to do something you've never done." - There were plenty of times where throwing in the towel would have been really easy when building my yoga sites, but that's not how great stories are made.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?
Be curious. Be very curious. Go out and find other people that have done it before you, and ask them for coaching. If I had only went off of what I knew, I'd still be sitting in front of a blank monitor wondering how to get my logo on my homepage. No matter what, there is always someone out there that has the experience that can help you, and they too were probably once at a point of being lost and confused. Learning from others' successes/mistakes is the best thing you can do when embarking on a new adventure.
When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?
Although my sites teach yoga online, I'm most inspired when I'm a room with live students. I love connecting with people and seeing them get into new poses, or discover something about their body that they didn't think they could do. The look on my students' faces when that happens is worth more than any paycheck.
What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?
People: Ido Portal, Jake and Amir (comedy), Jamie Smart.
Books: The Science of Yoga, Rework, Hooked.
Music: Banks, The Weeknd, Blackmill, Bonobo, Chromeo, edIT
Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.
In December of 2012, the first version https://reflexionyoga.com went live. I had building it for almost a year prior to that, and finally seeing all my work actually come to fruition was such an amazing feeling. The moment where I could actually visit the site (and it actually worked) made all the blood, sweat, and tears totally worth it!
What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?
We are currently test-marketing the Yoga For Belly Fat system. It's a 14-week yoga-based workout system that will be available for full purchase in April/May of 2015. It was written by me and my teaching partner, Matt. It is designed to be a fun and effective way to not only burn the extra inches around the belly, but to bring more confidence and power to women around the world.
Kyle Weiger is a student of yoga and gymnastics, with a passion for showing people that they are far stronger than they think. Not just a little stronger, but like a “Holy crap, I can’t believe I just did that!” kind of stronger. Getting people to experience transformation through the use of their physical body is something that Kyle strives for every time he teaches. The shift happens when students move from the world of “I can’t” into the possibility of “I’m learning how to.” For Kyle, yoga isn’t about getting your foot behind your head or balancing on one arm. It’s about being willing to try something new, being vulnerable and open, and being ok with doing just for the sake of doing, with no attachment to outcome. There is no finish line, there is only progress