This case study looks at Helen Wilkes, who enrolled in our first ever round of Hustle & Heart back in July 2015. Helen was a new yoga teacher with a fledgling business. Here’s her story:

I was on a working visa from the UK, taking full-time contracts in Sydney city when I first considered doing Hustle & Heart. I was pretty sure the timing was wrong – I was just about to return to the UK to visit my family and have a holiday in Ireland and Spain as well. I was going to be distracted by people around and wanted to actually relax a little too!

My yoga business was small and fledgling, I’d only been in Australia for three years and in Sydney for far less time, and I was pretty new to this whole self-employment thing.

But I was sick of taking contracting jobs over and over again. I had experienced Brook’s trainings before when she came and taught business and marketing on my teacher training course and I was reassured by Brook that I could manage my time while overseas and that I’d be able to download all course materials to keep forever.

I’m glad I took the plunge! I ran a little behind on the lessons week-to-week, but I had the support of our Hustle & Heart community and knew that I could always catch up. The lessons were short and doable. Each one didn’t take too long, though I needed a lot more time for some lessons to digest and come up with creative ideas. Creativity can’t really be done so easily on a timetable anyway and it was fun mulling over big ideas while lying on the beach!

Since I did Hustle & Heart, things have changed pretty dramatically. I was running two casual yoga classes a week at a local community centre in Sydney. I was scared to raise my prices. I wasn’t working out of a glamorous, trendy studio and I had assumed that my clients wouldn’t support higher prices. I felt inexperienced and that my prices was justified.

Raised prices, more client commitment and a new premium offering

Helen Wilkes YogaBut I wanted more financial stability for myself which meant I needed more commitment from my clients. The first module of Hustle & Heart looks at money in depth, including how our personal money baggage influences our pricing. We walked through a profit plan and looked at our current offerings. I created financial goals for myself and knew I had to raise my prices.

I introduced yoga courses, asking clients to commit upfront and raised my prices on different courses and classes, between 21% and 57%. I was amazed that everyone accepted this with little comment and I’ve sold out, or almost sold out, every single course since.

Not only that, but I realised that clients had been asking me for more intensive one-to-one help and I hadn’t really been listening. I’d been referred them onto my cheaper offerings! Ha. I’ve picked up four private clients for my new premium one-to-one offering, just by getting over my own money baggage and listening more closely to my clients.

I’ve also pitched for corporate health programs – and got them! I have three new corporate clients, including one commission to write a customised program for a big team.

Clarity and confidence

Since doing Hustle & Heart, I’m far more confident with selling. I do it naturally, without realising it. I don’t think of it as selling even, but rather, matching a need. This confidence has extended into choosing my counsel more wisely. When you’re new to business, everybody is quick to share their opinion, but not all opinions are relevant (and they’re often contradicting each other). Now, I’m not listening to people unless they’re my ideal clients or they’ve already done exactly what I want to do.

The program also taught the importance of planning and key measurements, regular check-ins, and the importance of prioritising your time to work on your business. Every couple of weeks I sit down and look at my income and my goals. I’m specific about what I want to do but also flexible when things come up.

I have a new local referral partner and have done some free events to raise awareness and get in front of new people. Hustle & Heart helped me appreciate that people power businesses and that finding your mafia helps you grow your business through collaboration rather than competition.

One of the biggest things I’ve learnt through the Hustle & Heart program is to narrow my focus in marketing. Of course, I knew this before but I was afraid of putting people off my business, especially as I was new, with only a small client base.

But now I don’t really care about not appealing to everybody. When people unsubscribe from my newsletter, it doesn’t bother me.

And the result is that I’m attracting the best people! People really get me, they get what I do, and the atmosphere is fantastic. I feel excited by my business but also not attached to the outcome. It’s a feeling that people can leave or take me, but I’ll be here and they’ll know that.

Since this case study, Helen has launched a brand new yoga studio in Sydney’s Maroubra called The Collaborative Maroubra.