Being a business owner is never smooth sailing. There will be curve balls thrown your way you never would have expected when you first opened up shop. Having someone to turn to who has went through the same thing can be a lesson learned much easier than if you were to figure it out on your own.

In Part One of two of Mindful Studio’s 2017 Mindful Takeaways, Mindful Studio looks back on the cover stories of 2017, highlighting lessons the studio owners have learned on their way to success.

January/February

Owner: Dana Trixie Flynn

Studio: Laughing Lotus

Lesson: “You can’t” isn’t a statement — it’s a challenge.

Dana Trixie Flynn has never been one for being told no. She is consistently out to prove naysayers wrong to achieve her goals. Flynn was told she’d never get into an ivy league school, and she graduated from Cornell. She was told she wouldn’t make it on Wall Street without an MBA — she was the top stockbroker at Smith Barney for two years in a row. And the list goes on and on.

“I was told a lot of my life from people, ‘No you can’t do that,’ or ‘You’ll never be able to do this,’” said Flynn. “It’s not a very friendly mantra when you’re a kid. But for some reason it actually fueled me.”

Opening a successful yoga studio in New York is another giant feat, but it was always a goal of Flynn’s, and she never let the naysayers get their way. “It’s the very definition of yoga that the impossible becomes possible, that you keep arriving at a place you’ve never been before,” said Flynn.

March/April

Owner: Ashley Spence Clauer

Studio: Wanderlust Yoga Austin

Lesson: Make sure your staff feels supported and heard.

Wanderlust Yoga Austin takes an ‘it takes a village’ approach to every aspect of their business, from the physical to the emotional. Ashley Spence Clauer works to make sure each and every staff or student feels welcome and part of something much bigger than their personal yoga practice. They are a family and she wants them to feel connected to each other and the business.

“The people who work and teach for Wanderlust Yoga are who keep our doors open,” said Clauer. “I want them to be happy here, feel supported and heard. I want people to love where they walk through the doors every morning, and love the people they work with. I want them to be creative and true to themselves.

May/June

Owner: Anne Phyfe Palmer

Studio: 8 Limbs Yoga Centers

Lesson: It’s OK to ask for help.

Anne Phyfe Palmer fell in love with yoga at a rapid pace. A year and a half after taking her first yoga class, she decided to open her own studio, 8 Limbs Yoga. She quickly progressed to open three more studios, totalling  four locations in each corner of Seattle.

However, with growth comes more responsibility, and Palmer could no longer have her hands in every aspect of the business. This spurred the realization that in order to thrive, it was important to bring in people with varied levels of expertise to run areas of the business’ operations.

“In some ways, I have become less interested in leading, and more interested in other people bringing forth their great ideas,” said Palmer. “For a long time, I just wanted to have all the good ideas and saying I came up with things or wanting credit for things. It was immature of me, but I have grown to be much more interested in other people’s strengths.”