When "The Rules" Just Don't Fit
It would be an understatement to say that I am constantly bombarded with messages from a myriad of Yoga teachers out there who are all telling me that I need to take their training to learn how to be a marketing badass. The teachers sending out these invitations to wisdom are a variety of souls from recent college grad teachers who have never held down a corporate job and still get financial support from parents when needed or the stay at home teachers who are supported by a loving spouse and decided to teach Yoga because it looks fun. They seem to have all read the same websites, taken the same certified weekend trainings, and all tell me about the same "rules" for how to reach more customers and grow my Yoga Business. You know, the full time business I have had for 10 years in 3 countries with no supplemental financial support.
The rules they push are pretty straight forward. Have a website, have a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter account (God I hate Twitter). Post photos and oh so inspirational memes (don't worry if you are missing the point of the teaching just keep the meme catchy). Write a blog where you post the same exact info from every other blog out there regardless of whether you have integrated the teaching or not. Be positive. Be uplifting. Be Nice. Give it away for free then up-sell. Write a newsletter that you send to your email list. Create a podcast and talk talk talk. Shoot a video for your YouTube channel. And so on and so on.
Ugh. All of this just adds to the noise and distractions of modern life. It becomes so hard to sift through the onslaught of information overload to get to the good teachers with the scientifically supported, well researched, actually practiced, well produced, non-plagiarized content. For example, a Google search for "Yoga for Beginners" today returned 198,000,000 results in which 8,790,000 were videos. Seriously?! Just think if we add in different languages to the search. I looked through some of that English content so you wouldn't have to (thank me later) and it contained alot of junk, misinformation, and repetition if not straight up plagiary (what happened to following the Yamas people?).
So here we are with an overflow of teachers in saturated markets trying to make money to survive by selling the rules they were sold to other teachers to grow their business. There are tons of tools and tricks to growing in a saturated market---just Google it.
But you know what rules I don't see alot of these sites and teachers promoting...experience, patience, continued education, the power of community, and just plain old humility. The most successful teachers I know are the ones who have been at it longer than 5 years, have taken their time to build, have been in a variety of markets (not just the major cities and countries where the money is flowing), they are constantly learning and studying, connect with the teachers in their communities, and stay humble and embody beginners mind.
Those are the teachers I practice and study with. Those are the teachers who are worth seeking out and listening to. They adapt and grow. They listen and speak. They connect and support others. They don't have all the answers but they keep on searching and learning.
If you are interested in finding teachers like that let me know. I have been collecting them like treasured jewels that I am happy to spread around.