I have been a yoga practitioner on and off for several years, but I threw myself into a regular practice when I lost my job in 2010. Four times a week, I attended morning hot power vinyasa class. While my standard poses were easy to master and repeat, I found that having a wall behind me was a must when it was time to do a headstand.
One day, my yoga teacher at the time, Sherman Morris, told me to move away from the wall and never use it again. He assured me that I would be fine. I was nervous and scared. Just like losing my 10-year-old network television producing job, I wouldn't have a safety net. But over time, he was right. The fear went away, and you know what? I was eventually able to stand on my head without using the wall for support.
Look mom, I'm doing a headstand!
I have found that several of the rules I practiced while learning to do that headstand are quite useful for being a business owner. Here's how to transfer those empowering tips.
1. Create a stable base.
When you are in a headstand, you are supporting your entire bodyweight on your head, but the head cannot do it all. To do a bound headstand, Sherman showed me how to form a triangle base by clasping my fingers on the floor behind my head on the ground. This allows my forearms to serve as stands, providing a stable base.
If you are going to use your head for your business, you need to build a base. The right professional team is efficient, creative, reliable and present in the business you are building. Take the time to identify your team members' strengths and weaknesses, and put them in the best position for their skills to shine. This way you can concentrate and create a strategy for the company's big picture.
2. Work on your balance.
Once you've established the base for your headstand, you should be able to use your core strength to lift -- not jump with flailing legs -- into the air. If you cannot, then you may need to strengthen your upper body for stronger balance.
More and more employers are incorporating wellness programs, including yoga, into their employees' work regimen. As a new entrepreneur, you are responsible for everything. The 24/7 entrepreneurial grind can be all consuming, so take time to unplug and have quiet time. It's a good way to refocus, re-energize and manage stress. Prayer, meditation and/or yoga might be lifesavers.
3. You will fall.
The first thing to realize in doing a proper headstand -- as in business -- is that falling is part of the journey. Without the wall, I was worried I would hurt or embarrass myself in a class of strangers, but my first fall was uneventful. No one except my teacher cared if I was all right. I went on to fall a few more times.
In early 2013, I realized I needed to sever a partnership and decided to relaunch my company. How could I do it less than a year into my business? I did it, and it did not matter. Since then I've walked away from any relationship that does not work for me or my business.
When people ask, I tell them, "We decided to go our separate ways. I am still available to do the work." It's always OK to walk away as long as you keep moving forward.