[quote style=”boxed”]More and more so, keeping lists of what needs to be accomplished and learning how to delegate the things I am not best at to other people.[/quote]
Monica Yearwood empowers her clients with information fueled by an experiential practice. She emphasizes awareness. Her focus is digestive health, detoxification, and life transition. She believes each of us has an inner guide empowered intuitively that is able to determine our best course in every life realm, such as our choices in food and relationships.
Monica’s programs integrate diet, herbology, and practices that cultivate awareness such as meditation and yoga. Her digestive health programs work to remediate provoking factors while healing the integrity of the intestinal tract. She runs detoxification programs out of her ayurvedic center, Hamsa Ayurveda & Yoga, and creates home based programs. She also created a line of ayurvedic facial serums and body oils rooted in ayurvedic medicine.
Monica helps people move through major life transitions (e.g., pregnancy, illness, weight loss regimen, emotional trauma, divorce, a desire to live a more meaningful life) through meditation, ceremony and ritual. Each requires a marked degree of personal change. Monica’s work empowers others to be more vital, purposeful, and empowered, and happier. She teaches others how their experiences can facilitate wisdom instead of bitterness and defeat.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I graduated from ayurvedic school 10 years ago when no one knew what ayurveda was. Ayurveda is still an incredibly niche healing field, but we are seeing it more and more in the yoga community.
After I graduated in Florida I moved to Chicago. I knew how to be a healer but I had no business experience whatsoever.
I started out by renting rooms by the hour out of various yoga studios and spas, but I couldn’t find the place that felt ‘at home’ for my business.
Ayurvedic treatments are messy and this bothered a lot of studio owners that I rented from! I also needed a shower, and an education area. I also needed a place for my clients to sit.
Many of the studio owners wanted high percentages of what I was pulling in, and because ayurveda was is so small I found myself doing most of the marketing and building of my business. In other words, the cost of running my business inside of another business had relatively few advantages.
The idea for my business came from a lack of necessity. I simply could not find a place to practice, and so I created one.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I just do it.
I have never really been a big planner. Opening this business has forced me to develop that skill. The lack of planning that is innately part of me has had advantages. It has allowed me to be spontaneous, to follow my instincts, to act without fear. On the other hand, without a plan some things do not turn out the way that one would have hoped!
There are definitely some aspects of my business that require planning. Especially in the realm of promotion, marketing, and financing. I have learned a lot of this the hard way. And yet, I have done my best to maintain my creativity.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I feel really excited and interested by everything related to the business. It has been a huge catalyst to self-growth. But, what most excites me is really getting the business in a place that communicates the message of ayurveda that I am trying to promote in all capacities. This includes online via video, to how my therapists work with clients, to the programs that I produce and the communication that I have with clients between their appointments.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
The habit of looking at how I can improve my processes, and the belief that I can. More and more so, keeping lists of what needs to be accomplished and learning how to delegate the things I am not best at to other people.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I actually don’t feel like I ever had a worst job, but one that I left painfully was waiting tables. I waited tables through college and to help support my traveling adventures in my early 20’s. By the time I decided not to wait tables anymore I was absolutely sick of it.
It helped me develop an upbeat personality and happy disposition to customers despite mass chaos behind the scenes.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would have started a lot of things earlier when I had less responsibility.
I rented rooms out of studios as an independent practitioner and I could have used that time to do more promotion of myself and my product line (I did very little of either of those things). So that by the time I opened up my shop I would have had a larger following.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Meditate daily. It helps me keep a positive outlook. In positivity I am able to see opportunities and possibilities. In negativity I contract, get depressed and doubt. The negative state of mind is not one of expansion.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Developing personal relationships with the clients that come here. Interacting with people in some way. At the beginning, I felt really overwhelmed and fascinated by the ‘background infrastructure’ of my business (website, marketing materials, booking software) and this consumed most of my time. However, by personally interacting with our clients and spending more time in the front end I’ve been able to retain a higher proportion of clients and increase repeat bookings.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Lack of planning has negatively impacted my business, and not having a clear picture of cash flow (ties into lack of planning). This is a personal weakness of mine (that does have positive attributes too), but definitely a work in progress.
I have gotten others involved who have more experience with accounting and cash flow who can help keep me accountable.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think there needs to be more plugins available for booking app for salons and spas with Ecommerce capability to run in tandem together. There are very few software applications that have this possibility (mind/body is one). I use Bookeo for our appointments, and Shopify is integrated into our site but this causes our clients to use two separate payment processes if they want to buy a product and book a service.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
There was a long period in time in my life that I debated about joining a Buddhist monastery. I felt disinterested and somewhat disillusioned by ‘society’ and seriously contemplated a dedicated pursuit of enlightenment away from it all.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I use WordPress for my website. I love it because it has allowed me to create my website and all the tools to learn how to maintain it and develop it.
I use Bookeo for our appointment software. It’s actually extremely affordable and flexible.
I use Shopify for our products online. It’s great and comes with some really attractive low maintenance websites.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
‘Think and Grow Rich” By Napoleon Hill was a huge life changer for me. I still study it fairly regularly. The new edition draws from success stories from our time like Steven Spielberg.
It helps you focus your attention on what you want, and teaches you how to block negativity while strengthening your vision through your own passion.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich
Wayne Dyer, author and teacher of how to use the power of intention to attract your desires
Personal Blog www.monicayearwood.com