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I recently started receiving a magazine called Mindful Studio. On the cover are a handsome couple of Californians, who casually discuss their empire of yoga studios as though their studios’ successes were as sure as the California sunrise. The article made it seem like cash grew on the limbs of the trees that adorned their studio’s walls and earning it was a cakewalk.

The reality of owning a yoga studio is far from this sun-dappled story.

Here is the reality of owning a yoga studio: 

Low Pay. If you think teaching is a poor paying job, try owning a studio!  Some teachers are paid hourly, others by the class and some by the number of students attending.  As a teacher, if you can lock in a gig or several gigs with a steady pay rate, you have it made in the shade.  

Weird hours.  6 am class not staffed? Wake up at 4:45 am! Can’t find anyone to teach Friday night?  That’s you! Christmas morning? On it!

High Stress.  This job – like all jobs – comes with its stresses. Managing people. Customer service. Overseeing vendors and contractors. Making payroll. 

Competition. You’re not the only one who wants to quit their day job and move to the beach.

For 4 years I taught yoga part time and spent the remainder of mine time pursuing my interests – reading, surfing, cooking. You know, relaxing! For the past two years as a studio owner I’ve made less and worked waaaaaayyyyyy more.

Sure, there are some perks (discount coconut water, Tuesday afternoons off, etc) but any studio owner who is really going after it to try to make a studio work knows it means working hard – like any other small business owner. 

What advice would you give to someone seeking to become a yoga studio owner?