As an escape from reality, I’ve been daydreaming about a vision that has been on my mind over the past three years. I’ve kept this vision mostly to myself, but in light of the many emails I’ve been receiving about yoga studios, boutique fitness studios, and other wellness businesses closing their doors because of the pandemic, it feels like the right time to put this idea out into the world.
Daydreaming is a way of giving me hope for the future in a time that feels uncertain and bleak – it’s a vacation for my mind that keeps my creativity and optimism fired up.
I dream about bringing wellness professionals together, in physical and virtual spaces, so that they can leverage collective power and resources to grow thriving businesses and communities. It’s a place where a yoga teacher, acupuncturist, nutritionist, coach, massage therapist, or other wellness pro could focus on what they do best – their craft and their clients’ wellbeing – by being a part of a collective business community. The model is similar to co-working or a cooperative and is built with the underlying principle of Asteya – taking only what you need.
I’ve sketched the physical space – connection to nature throughout with a lot of natural light and a gathering space – and envisioned the onboarding and central management system. Professional services for marketing, accounting, design, and coaching are available as add-ons to support wellness pros in achieving their mission and growing their businesses. The set-up fosters networking, cross-promotion of services, and collaboration which allows for both autonomy and teamwork. It’s an opportunity for professionals who are intrinsically drawn to being in service to others and who are driven by purpose, but don’t necessarily want to spend large amounts of energy on the ‘business’ side of business.
The sooner we get off the grid and self-actualize and become free the better off humanity is. We are all founders, individual brands, all meant to work for ourselves. – Naval Ravikant
I made a similar dream a reality in 2009 when I founded Orange Blossom Society, a social hub and enrichment center for families. After living in New York City and Los Angeles for 10 years, I returned to Seattle with my young children and a strong desire to build community in my hometown. I created a place where families could be truly present with one another while exploring art, music, play, yoga, and gardening. It was a beautiful place that brought together artists, educators, and community builders, and it was the catalyst for relationships that lasted years after it closed in 2012. While that dream came to a close, my entrepreneurial spirit has been seeking a way to apply that experience to what’s next.
In my experience many service providers open their own businesses with the desire for the autonomy and freedom to best serve their clients, but then are weighed down by the operational, sales, or administrative aspects of doing business. Alternatively, they work as contractors and are at the whim and discretion of the various places and people who hire them. The current restrictions of the pandemic are challenging us in ways that we could have never imagined, but I believe it is creating a climate where new ideas, business models, products, and services will emerge.
Think about the influence and power that instructors, coaches and therapists have in activating millions of people to change their mindset, habits, and health – their formidable force is awesome. I think about the Phoenix rising from the ashes when something new and improved is created after something else has come to an end. We’re in a period ripe for innovation and creativity where resilience and resourcefulness are key to reinvention.
The resilience and grit of these Zen masters who inspire us to show up every day and take care of ourselves is undeniable and I don’t underestimate for a minute what they could create and accomplish collectively.
There are many emotions people are experiencing now, and it’s easy to default to sadness and anger. For me, envisioning this future state where wellness professionals and their clients utilize a central hub to meet in beautiful spaces gives me hope and optimism. It’s a way for me to strengthen my positive outlook and reduce negative bias tendencies and imagine what is possible when we thrive at work.
If you could set aside any limiting beliefs, what would you create or be a part of? Treat yourself to a mental vacation and dream big. The first step to making your vision a reality is seeing it clearly, imagining yourself there, knowing what it feels like. Write it down and have it be your last thought before you go to sleep, share it with your friends and family to put this energy out into the world.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.