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The Yogipreneur 30 Day Challenge with Racheal Cook

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Racheal Cook wants to live in a world where yoga is prescribed over Xanax and yogis have the mentorship and tools they need to bring their world-changing ideas to life.

As the Founder of The Yogipreneur and a Mindful Marketing Mentor, she’s been behind the scenes helping Curvy Yoga, lil omm, and over 500 inspiring yogis create profitable businesses they are proud of. Her work has been featured on Smart Passive Income, The Rise to the Top, Juicy Geniuses, Abundant Yogi LIVE, and Lady Business Radio.

When she’s not helping yogis design sustainable businesses, you can find her practicing yoga with her three kidlets, reading everything she can get her hands on, and experimenting with new green juice recipes.

You can say NO to overwhelm and YES to inspired action by joining the Fired Up and Focused Challenge at http://www.theyogipreneur.com/challenge

What is your background in life and career that lead you to create The Yogipreneur? Was there a particular catalyst that caused you to conceive and create it?

When I finished my MBA, I went straight into a very traditional consulting role at a Fortune 500 company. After a few years, I was starting to feel not only completely uninspired, but also physically and emotionally burned out from the 80+ hour work weeks and intensely competitive environment.

So in 2008, when I started experiencing extreme adrenal fatigue and weekly panic attacks, I knew something had to change. So I quit. I left my lucrative career to explore my options. For three months, I immersed myself in my yoga practice, holistic health care, and deep self-care.

It was during that time that I started feeling like there was something magical about the yoga community. For the first time - I didn't have to prove anything. I was completely accepted. I felt like I was home.

After a short stint with lululemon, I found myself helping my own yoga teacher with her studio here in Richmond, VA. It turned out that - like many yogis - she had opened her studio without really having a plan in place... and after less than 6 months, she wasn't sure if she'd be able to keep the studio open. We turned things around and The Yogipreneur was born!

Your bigger message is that yogis can create a profitable and sustainable income doing what they love. Why is this message so important to you?

Imagine the path of a yoga teacher. They start teaching because they LOVE it. They have a true passion for this practice. And passion alone can sustain them for awhile. But then the honeymoon period ends and they get completely burned out teaching 15+ classes a week. There are more yoga teachers graduating teacher trainings than ever before... but the average income is less than $35,000 per year. 75% of yoga teachers make less than $46,000. And only 22% of yoga teachers are teaching full-time.

My mission is to help yogis beat the odds - and that best way make sure that you're teaching for years to come is to design a business that allows you to create a profitable and sustainable income.

How did working with other entrepreneurs and participating in Abundant Yogi's Secret Sauce Society with Kris Ward to accelerate your vision and business?

One thing I know to be true - there's no sense in reinventing the wheel when you can find a mentor or coach who's done what you want to do!

When I joined Kris's mastermind in 2011, I was undergoing a huge transition in my own business model. Prior to having kids, I was happy to jump in the car and work with clients on-site. But driving from Atlanta to DC teaching workshops and consulting with studios wasn't an option when I became a mama! I knew it was time to take my business 100% online. Kris had done that already with Abundant Yogi so she was the natural coach for me through that process.

{The funny thing is - when she had her baby the following year, I was able to return the favor and support her as a new mama!}

Since then, I've invested well over $25K to hire coaches and consultants {in addition to my own MBA and additional training} to help me turn The Yogipreneur into the business it is today.

I'm a HUGE advocate for coaching because it works! Each time I invest in my own development, I see 10X return on investment {and I only invest in this level of support when I know I'll get that kind of return!}. That's exactly what I want my own clients to see when they work with me!

Are there particular patterns and trends in the yogi community that are challenges to overcome in order to earn a healthy income doing what they love?

The biggest challenge is the lack of vision. Most yogis never step into the role of Yogipreneur because they only focus on being a Yogi-For-Hire. Their income is directly tied to how many classes they can teach or how many privates they can offer. In some cases, this can be profitable, but long term? It's just not sustainable.

The biggest difference between a Yogipreneur and Yogi-For-Hire? A Yogipreneur builds a business that is not dependent on trading dollars for hours. A Yogipreneur creates multiple streams of income so that she can leverage her business to work FOR her {instead of her working FOR her business!}.

Stepping into this role isn't easy! It's the biggest personal development journey you'll ever go on. You'll have to overcome your own fear and self-doubt. You'll have to own your value. You'll have to embrace uncertainty and vulnerability. But this is exactly why yogis are amazing entrepreneurs... the practice of yoga primes you for the journey of entrepreneurship!

How did you create your methodology and what do you do to ensure its effectiveness in your coaching practice?

I consider myself more of a consultant than a coach. Why? Because ultimately, my clients don't hire me to feel good about themselves. They hire me to see results!

When I start with a new client, we create a strategic plan for what they are wanting to accomplish in their business. The most important part of that plan? Metrics. I'm fanatical about tracking metrics in your business! And not vanity metrics {that might make you FEEL good but don't actually generate revenue} but metrics that help us determine if your plan is working or if it needs to be adjusted.

Ultimately, when I work with my clients, I'm stepping in as a partner. I'm helping them come up with action steps, mapping out their business strategy, fine-tuning their marketing.

How do you define thriving?

Everyone's version of thriving is different - but here's why I do what I do::

A few years ago, I worked with a client who owned a yoga studio in DC. She was running herself ragged, completely overwhelmed trying to manage the day to day of her yoga studio all by herself. AND she had two young kids at home! She was completely burning out and ready to throw in the towel.

After working together for 6 months, she had the systems and support in place for her studio that allowed her to spend more time doing what she really loved... teaching yoga! And after tapping into her Business Sweet Spot, she leaned into her own natural gifts as a connector which took the pressure off what she thought she "should be doing".

These days, she's got an incredible team that helps her run her studio. In fact, when we spoke this past summer, she was taking a full 3 months away at the beach with her kids! And because she trusts herself, she continues to thrive as the connector in her local community.

If every yogi could find their Business Sweet Spot - where your business is completely in alignment with your natural gifts and talents - you'd find a world full of successful yogis!

You are also raising young children with your husband. Do you have particular advice on balancing personal and professional goals on the path to increasing a business income?

Know what's really important to you and say NO to anything that isn't!

The truth is it takes time - and yes money - to grow a business. When I started The Yogipreneur, we downsized our lifestyle so we could live 100% off my husband's income {he's a public school teacher... so it was modest!} and invest in the business.

When I had my twins in 2010, I decided that being focused 100% on them was more important that growing my business. So I took on a few long term clients that required less than 10 hours a month from me and shut down everything else. It was AMAZING. The business didn't grow, but it was one of the best times of my life.

When it was time for me to come off my year-long maternity leave, I again had to be very mindful of what I really wanted my life to look like. Yep - I completely designed my business around my LIFE! I knew that I wanted to work about 20 hours a week but I still wanted to have lots of time with my family. I also knew that I couldn't work and take care of babies at the same time - so I needed to hire help.

So I hired a part-time nanny {actually, I shared a nanny with another yoga teacher friend who also had twins!} who came to my home while I worked. I also completely restructured my consulting to support my desired lifestyle. I shut down my hourly consulting and only offered a six-month private consulting program.

Within one month of coming off maternity leave, I completely sold out my 6 month program. The best part was that by only accepting long-term clients, I was finally able to create my signature program, The Yogipreneur's Guide to Conscious Business Design.

By focusing on these bigger, more high value programs in this way, I was able to give myself the time I needed to develop a more leveraged offering. This is so crucial - because creating a training program takes an incredible amount of time! The first round of the program took me over 200 hours to create.

So if you want to build a sustainable business, and actually enjoy those precious first years with your family, you've gotta say NO to all the ideas that will distract you! I've seen several peeps create program after program after program instead of really devote themselves to create a signature program. I've had TONS of ideas for different programs and products and books - but at the end of the day, chasing all those shiny objects would keep me away from my family.

I will admit that becoming a mama has made me dream much much bigger for my business! When I first started, I was initially focused on just a "lifestyle" business - a business that earned enough to live the lifestyle you desire. That's great, but when I saw the ripple effect of The Yogipreneur and the impact on thousands of heart-centered businesses {and families!}, I realized that I'm building something much bigger than just me.

Tell me more about your 2014 Fired Up & Focused Challenge?

This past fall, I led my first in-person weekend retreat since 2008. I showed up ready to dive into business strategy and mindful marketing... and every single person there asked about productivity and time management.

So after spending a few months doing research, surveying my community, and talking to dozens of yogis, I decided to launch a 100% FREE Fired Up & Focused Challenge to help heart-centered entrepreneurs say NO to overwhelm and say YES to inspired action! For the entire month, I'm walking peeps through the exact process I use and have taught to hundreds of my clients to create massive momentum in your business. It's not about do more... the challenge is an almost counter-intuitive approach that teaches you how to do less, do it better, and do it mindfully. It's all about MORE ease and LESS stress!

You can get all the details and register {it's free!} at http://www.theyogipreneur.com/challenge

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