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Yoga is a practice of transformation - an inward journey of self-discovery. And every entrepreneur knows that starting, growing, and maintaining a business is also a practice of personal transformation. One of my favorite quotes from seeing Tony Robbins live in Denver, CO this February for my birthday was “The chokehold on the success of any business is the psychology of the entrepreneur. Business is 80% mental and 20% strategy.”

I started my yoga journey after 9/11 when I was in New York for my first week of college. I was young, impressionable, and witnessed this heinous act of terrorism from the bedroom window of my dorm room. As a result, I had PTSD. Physical symptoms. Mental agony. Fear like I had never known. And instead of running from it or just addressing the symptoms, I chose yoga as my path to healing. I went to the core of the issue: my mindset. I looked my own psychology in the face at 18 years old and all these years later, I could not be more grateful. The power of mental transformation is why I chose to become a Registered Yoga teacher -to share that gift with others.

I became an entrepreneur at 25 years old when I lost my job 2 weeks after I purchased my first condo during the market downturn of 2008. I became a financial coach in one of the worst economies, and despite my own self-deprecating thoughts that “everything I do is doomed to some failure. Why start?” I had anxiety attacks every day about paying my bills. I was afraid clients would judge me (not hire me) due to my financial circumstances. I lived in a scarcity mindset with a fear paradigm. It was debilitating.

With the help of my business coach, I overcame. I built a successful financial coaching business in Boston, MA for 7 years; taught financial security to women on a national level; and traveled the country whenever I pleased. Just this past October, despite fears that “I won’t know anyone,” “how will I get clients,” and “what if we break up?,” I moved cross country with the only man who I’ve ever lived with and now reside in sunny Colorado. I left my financial coaching practice, and re-branded to a Women’s Wealth and Business Coach. “Leaping” was scary! Re-branding my business and launching new products was anxiety provoking, but for me, these are the best choices that I have ever made. Thanks to my yoga practice, I already knew how to look these stressors in the face and because of it, success is lining up to the measures that I dreamed - only faster than I thought possible.

 (Photo: Megan McAvoy, leading a workshop of 20+ women for the organization that I successfully launched, in a brand new city on 12-27-15. We’re up to 95 members and growing!)

(Photo: Megan McAvoy, leading a workshop of 20+ women for the organization that I successfully launched, in a brand new city on 12-27-15. We’re up to 95 members and growing!)

I could not have done it without these 4 benefits of yoga.

1) Intention:

At the start of yoga class, I tell my students to set an intention for their practice. To call to mind something that they want to connect with, something that they deeply value, and a desired outcome. This intention creates clarity, producing a more clear vision of what needs to happen in order to reach out vision.

In order to succeed in business, you must act with intention. You must know your purpose. What is your calling that is bigger than you, that you will do anything for and why? Being mindful, and tuning into these questions will create clarity within your strategy, marketing, and business development. Just like knowing your intention on the yoga mat allows you to move more freely, shake off that which doesn’t fit, and fit in the pose, knowing your purpose in your business gives you freedom to love what you do, trust in the process, and deliver the highest level of value.

2) Balance:

Every yogi knows that balance is an important component of their practice - on and off of the mat. Yoga offers arm balances, standing balances, and a space to unify the mind with the body. Drishti points are used to stay centered as a place to focus your gaze and develop concentrated intention. Through continued practice, you come into center. Equanimity - mental calmness despite challenges or difficult situations - comes from developing your center of balance and stays with you even when you leave the mat.

The same principles are at work within your business. Inherent in entrepreneurship is balancing risk and reward - investing your time, money, and resources, for the potential economic outcome and lifestyle. This is where equanimity becomes so important. You have to trust in the process. Just like when you come into an arm balance in yoga, you have to believe with your whole being that you can support yourself. That you will succeed. Otherwise, negative thoughts are going to pull you right down and sabotage your own success

3) Practice

It’s called a yoga practice for a reason. You keep showing up. You improve. No one expects you to come into class fully flexible, in excellent balance, with a mastery of all poses the first time. It takes time to quiet your mind. The purpose is to always be growing, always be improving, and to have the self-compassion to do so. Self-comparison gets you nowhere fast. It’s never “perfect,” it’s always a practice.

It’s the same in business. I often tell my coaching clients that self-compassion is the key to successfully taking risk. When we stop being so hard on ourselves, when we start seeing our failures as a part of the practice / a path to success, when we stop doubting our own abilities, that’s when business really opens up. Don’t expect instant gratification and trade your expectations for appreciation. It’s going to take some time and some practice before you get the results that you desire. But, they key is to show up. Appreciate the journey. Take the steps necessary to set your intention and follow it into balance. Never give up.

4) Resilience

Yoga teaches you to calm the mind, and focus on what matters most. As you know, yoga was my path to healing from PTSD. It was my path to resilience because yoga is where you find the space to be in the present moment. Yoga teaches you to move your thoughts away from the rest of the noise that may otherwise be tormenting or distracting you, and appreciate the now.

Resilience is necessary in any business. The scientific definition of resilience is the ability to

- survive: cope and manage despite the circumstances, and to
- thrive: the intentional engagement and commitment to do what matters most. Hence my logo.

In your business, you want to do more than just survive - you want to thrive. This comes not only from your intention, balance, and practice but also by creating a business that is in alignment with your core values and what your heart truly desires.

As a Women’s Mindset and Business Coach, I inspire and impact successful women in business to acheive personal well-being, business freedom, and financial security so that that they may have everlasting fulfillment. I do this through 1-on-1, group coaching, and customized programs for companies.

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