Years in Tampa Bay
Co-owner of The Body Electric Yoga and Athletic Companies
What do you do?
My wife and I have owned and operated The Body Electric Yoga Company for seven years and last January, we opened The BE Athletic, a gym emphasizing mindful fitness. I teach yoga, among other things. We are incredibly fortunate to have a team of about 40 outstanding professionals to carry out this work.
Why do you do it?
My main thing is showing people their own agency. I’ve had great teachers in my life and all of them treated me like an equal. That’s what I want people in my classes to feel like. Respected. We are all adults here and no one else is the boss of you. Some people resist turning their power over to a coach or guru and that wariness or pride is something that I understand. So my message is learn to rely on yourself. Find what really motivates you and learn to trust your own instincts. That’s my why – other than I always wanted to work for myself because I never liked working for anyone else.
What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)
It’s a cliché, but a lot of us get into yoga the way some get into religion: you’re in crisis, feel you’ve bottomed out and need help. Yoga led me out of a dark period, but then became a permanent fixture. At the same time, I needed a career change. I did my yoga teacher training, met my future wife and we hatched a plan to open our own place, which we did in 2013.
What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?
Most of my work is still on the computer just like in my former life as a web developer.
What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?
This year, without question, has been the most challenging for our hustle. We chose to require masks at all times in our classes and not taking the exercise exception to the mandate. While many clients are grateful for that, many more left because of it. It’s a tough decision because it puts us at a competitive disadvantage. We are really hopeful that the vaccine rollout will pick up, cases and deaths will drop and we can pick up some momentum.
What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?
This year has also been by far the most educational for our business. We implemented so many things that we should’ve done long ago and maybe never would have: initiatives, platforms, systems. We shed a lot of baggage, too. This year we looked hard in the mirror, made some changes and started betting on ourselves big time. Aside from the bottom line, we’re better than ever.