Top 5 Lessons Hot Yoga Taught Me About Being An Entrepreneur
Like many stressed out entrepreneurs, I got hooked on hot yoga. For those of you that have sweat it out in unbearable heat while holding gravity defying poses you know what I mean. It’s addictive. It cleanses the mind and body. But, hot yoga has done much more than tone my abs and sweat out the toxins. It has taught me a little bit about being an entrepreneur. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s the dim lights but hot yoga seems to remind me of those areas I need to work on. On Saturday, I had one of those sessions where every hot yoga lesson came to my mind. Here are the top 5 lessons every entrepreneur should take from hot yoga
- Mind Your Mat: I used to watch what everyone else was doing. I would decide what I should be doing based on what everyone else did. I watched their mats instead of what was happening on my own. Then I learned to mind my mat. I learned that it’s more important to pay attention to what I’m doing on my mat instead of what everyone else is doing. Business is the same way. The most successful entrepreneurs aren’t focusing on the competition, they are focusing on themselves, their businesses and their disruptive ideas. So stop looking around and be that guy in yoga and life that stares at himself in the mirror the whole time. You’ll achieve a lot more by trying to do your best versus copying everyone else.
- Accept Lack Of Mastery: Every time I think I’ve mastered a pose I discover there is something else to learn or a new level to achieve. Instead of just bending into the pose you can put your arm behind you and do a bind too. I want to master everything I do so I used to find this hard to accept but in yoga you never really achieve mastery. Being an entrepreneur also means accepting that mastery is a false illusion. You are always learning, always growing and always trying to get to the next level. BTW – if that isn’t your mindset than you are going to hit a big wall soon.
- Be a Constant Tweaker: You shift your left hip forward or elevate your leg an inch. On your mat you are always tweaking your pose. In fact, no pose feels or looks the same from one day to the next. Every time you open up into warrior two you shift a little here and a little there. You don’t wait to learn where every body part should be (if that’s possible), instead you do tiny refinements and shifts the entire pose. If you want to succeed I suggest you take the same view on business. Every moment is an opportunity to learn and every action will require tweaking. A tagline here, an offer there, a sentence in your pitch, a shift of a store shelf. Tweak, tweak and keep tweaking.
- Find Your Flow: There is always one guy in the corner that takes whatever pose we are doing and make it his own. I used to hate that guy. Now I realize that he is the one that got it right, not me. While I was busy doing exactly as I was told he came in, followed the flow, but added his own mojo. In fact in yoga they encourage you to do what speaks to you in the moment. Yoga has postures and poses but they are just guidelines, the rest is up to you. In business I always tell people to walk away from the herd. Yoga reminds me that while there may be a template for how things are done, you also have permission to do it your way. You have the same permission as an entrepreneur. There are great examples of success, and benchmarks to achieve but you have full permission to make it your own.
- Pass The Tipping Point There are moments in yoga where I seriously want to give up. I get into pigeon pose and for the first 30 seconds I love it, then I’m irritated, and then I’m annoyed and I seriously want to give up and then I realize how great it feels. It’s like you hit that tipping point and then the pose starts to pay off. But, you’ve got to hit that point to get those benefits. I’ll admit it and say that in the past I haven’t held my pose long enough in business. I gave up right when I started getting irritated. I’m not a patient person so it’s easy for me to do. I know I lost out on a few great opportunities because I gave up just a second to soon. Now I know, just give it a few more breaths and you’ll break that threshold and reap the rewards. If after the tipping point it still doesn’t work then walk away. But, most of the time the results you are looking for is just a breath away.
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