Pushy or Present?

“Pushy Mothers’ is a national organisation that started around Newcastle and aims to help young mothers to get or stay fit and well. It’s a great idea and a great name . . . or is it?

We’re working on our first sales strategy and really need to ‘get out there and sell’. But we’re terrified of looking ‘pushy’, especially in yoga circles. I’ve looked it up and the definition of ‘pushy’ is ‘excessively or unpleasantly self-assertive or ambitious’. No. We definitely don’t want to be that.  And yet, when we read all the sales and marketing ‘stuff’ that’s what we need to be if we’re to survive in this terribly competitive environment.  Is it easier to be pushy online?  We could get some lead management software to turn contacts into ‘hot prospects’ (?!) but doesn’t that mean pestering the virtual life out of people until they simply unsubscribe?  Still, then, we’re struggling with the balance between that which we (think we) can control and the the influences of the wider world.  Is it enough just to be present?  To be there?  Will business come to us when we’re ready? Or do we have to push with all the resistance that implies?

A marathon meeting

China Rose Tea

Despite what the tea pot says, the Chinese rose petal tea from Atkinson’s was readied for serious work. Seven and a half hours. That’s how long it took us to minute the following:

  1. We’re good at what we do but so are lots of other people
  2. Our story is about yoga being fun.  Some make serious business of it but we think people have enough to stress them without worrying about perfecting their Mayurasana
  3. We have products and markets but aren’t sure how to get them together now that corner shops have gone out of fashion (yes, yes, we tweet, FB and blog, but being over 27 we’re not yet entirely sure how these replace the string shopper)
  4. We have loads of good ideas for more fun Myoga products but until we master 3 (above), we really can’t justify developing them
  5. People are very busy and we have to do (even) more hard work
  6. It’s a challenge to get others to be as passionate about your stuff as you are
  7. The receipt tin is full to overflowing and we have to start some proper accounts
  8. We don’t know if the sweet chilli prawn wrap from Dene’s Deli is better than the crab and mango but we love chocolate fudge cake and Doddington’s vanilla ice cream.

Pudding

I am reminded of a recent FB posting of ours:

“Do you have the patience to wait until your mind settles and the water is clear?”
Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?”  Lao Tzu.

So, do we fret, stress, turn ourselves inside out with anxiety and and continue to fight the urge to fold up quietly in a corner with a blanket over our heads or do we follow the wisdom of the masters who have brought us the gift of yoga and wait for the right action to arise?  It just has to be the latter. Nothing else would make sense – except, perhaps for the rest of the Doddington’s that’s lurking in the freezer . . .

 

 

A is for . . .

image ehow.com

image ehow.com

It’s almost here at last – our next board meeting – and it’s been a long time coming, what with all the external demands made on our time, and having to lie down on our own mats sometimes with a sprinkling of fairy dust.  We’re a small board, admittedly, but a board nevertheless, and tomorrow we have a very long agenda to get through. From accounts to yoga pants, we’ll give the alphabet a run through although, as you’ll see, not in any order.

M is for money. We have to remind ourselves of this.  We have cash cards that look like it but we also have a full tin labelled ‘receipts for money we used to have’. It’s in short supply.

Coincidentally, M is also for marketing and we’ll talk about this quite a lot – what’s worked and what hasn’t. With more of the latter probably.  We really need a way to get people to understand our products and what they represent.  But it’s a B hard world out there in the ether.

So, U is for understanding.  Bill Gates once famously said that it’s OK to celebrate success but you learn more from failure (or something like that).   So F is for failure but we don’t even contemplate that possibility because . . .

. . . A is for attitude and we believe that a positive A doesn’t leave room for F.

C is perhaps the most important letter tomorrow because, of course, it stands for . . . cake! At last! And as Lent is over, it can be Chocolate Cake.  Mmmm, CC also stands for cold calling, cost-control and credit crunch.  Oh dear.

Afterwards, we’ll share some of our thoughts with you in the hope that like minds and businesses would like to do the same. After all, a P shared is a P halved, even if we do have to call them challenges these days.

What to wear for yoga

Marzipants!Why, MyogaMarzipants of course!  No unhappy revelations with these (see what NOT to wear). Marzipants are this year’s coolest look – in yoga class, at home, and when it eventually warms up, on the beach, in the park and at the shops. We love them.  Practical and stylish, comfortable (and surprisingly warm), they’re ethically made in a workshop in Goa by Marzipan Clothing Limited.  Myoga branded pants will be available on our website next week.  We’ll post to let you know.  In the meantime, we’re looking at 3D printers. They’re Myogamarvellous. Impossible is a thing of the past.

Crumbs

Newcastle Upon Tyne-20130308-00352

So, no cake yesterday – a shocking state of affairs that will be remedied at our earliest convenience (which might be some time actually).  In the meantime, we’re reflecting on our first 6 months in business. It’s early days of course, and in yoga terms, we’re still mastering Dandasana. But we’re amassing crumbs of wisdom that, one day, might make a substantial cake of their own.  This is some of what we’ve learned so far:

  1. People will only engage with you if they like you and what you stand for
  2. Selling is harder than mastering Hummingbird
  3. Saturdays and Sundays are pretty much like Mondays
  4. Yoga may be magic – but it’s not an instant fix and that’s what a lot of people are looking for
  5. Wisdom isn’t highly rated. Handbags are
  6. Cake is a must at meetings. It can make or break your day
  7. A little bit of fairy dust goes a long way.

In summary, I think we can say that, after the first few months, we pretty much know what we’re up against.  And we’re grateful for these little wisdoms we’re picking up on the way. The challenge is ours. Everything is sent to you for a reason.

Our first partnership

Newcastle Upon Tyne-20130228-00337

We’re very excited today.  As you can see from the visual guide to our austere existence, we had another board meeting yesterday.  (There really is nothing like a cup of tea and some cake to oil the wheels of commerce) and we visited the lovely Sutra Teahouse in Newcastle www.teasutra.co.uk. (Thank you, Amora, for recommending.) But that’s not why we’re excited.

We’d just been to a great lunch meeting with yoga teachers from all over the city -to get to know each other, find out about the different kinds of yoga we offer (or can offer), and work together in a spirit of community.  Thank you. Jo Hutton, for organising this.  And after the buzz we got from stepping outside ourselves and into the greater world of sharing, we continued the theme by celebrating our first business partnership – with Maree Gecks at Marzipants (www.marzipants.co.uk).

Marzipants sell luxurious, ethically-made, Thai pants, perfect for yoga, from their fair-trade workshop in India, and the first myogamarzipants will be on our shelves (and our website) really soon. We’ll be offering these as a gift to our partner teachers who sell or give myogamanuals to their yoga followers to support their practice. So if you think you’d like to promote the manual for us (no matter where in the English-speaking world), as well as Marzipants, come and share in our excitement and sport some of the coolest yoga wear this Summer!