On Being a Yogapreneur

“One day I drove to work and realized I couldn’t do it anymore, called in sick, drafted my two-week notice and the rest is history.”- Charlie Pabst

That was the quotation I copied and pasted on my Facebook wall this morning from Chris Guillebeau’s The $100 Startup, a book on microbusiness trend taking place all over the world in these recent years. I liked the line. It quite serves as the punch line.

And some responded to the quote. Among them was Stefano. Having a huge interest in Eastern spirituality since he was 14 years old and working now as a freelance yoga teacher in Jakarta, Stefano said he also did what Charlie Pabst did years ago. He had dedicated his 10 years of life to shipping container and handling 90% of marble imports to Indonesia, only to realize he had more than enough of the madness and lunacy at work, like most of corporate workers bitterly experience.

Asked on how he landed the freelancing world or, being a microbusinessman (as Guillebeau put it), Stefano without hestation shared it all for me and you all, my blog’s readers.

I started working in the corporate business in Jakarta in 2001, my first job was as salesman in a freight forwarding company. I then changed company in 2003 and they moved me to China in 2008 as they needed a Chinese speaking guy to open a branch. Instead they sent me just a salesman and after one year they fired me, as there was no sales activity at all, remember the first crisis hitting the European markets….I managed to get another job in the same field but at the same time I was already into Yoga and took a TTC in 2009. I was working in office during the day and taking the TTC 4 times a week in the evening, for 4 months. In 2010 I decided I had enough of depending on some lunatic boss for my needs, I wanted my own independence and I had my parents and parents in law supporting me, my father in law paid my daughter’s school in Jakarta and my father was helping me with some money as I decideed to resign, bring my family back to Jakarta and then go to India for 3 months to take a serious TTC at the Yoga Institute Santacruz in Mumbai. After 3 months I started teaching private classes to one guy, a friend of mine, then after 3 months I started teaching at Rumah Yoga, Bliss and a small studio in FX. Slowly I managed to grow, having more classes and more private students. I have kept learning, I went back to India twice to take advanced course and therapy training. Now I am representing my school for Indonesia, I organize workshop and I am currently the organizer and main teacher for a TTC in Bali. Just 2 students, but it’s a start. Well, if you ever think of following my example, and you’re still single, it will be easier. I have done this radical choice with wife and three daughters, which is kind of crazy and difficult…but it is giving its results. Slowly. Again, if you want to do it, keep learning different things as yoga teachers now are growing in number, even though I am not sure about the quality of many of these new so called teachers, especially if making money is their motivation.

With some pride, I showed Chris Guillebeau’s book to one coworker at lunch and he said it’s full of B.S. I told him, maybe it is. But Stefano’s is NOT.

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Filed under entrepreneurship, yoga

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