MBOne Community brought together more than 75 of Denver’s most inspirational, eclectic and driven group of fitness business managers and owners for one of the most constructive networking events I have recently attended. The take away? Do yoga with your competitors! Here are 5 reasons why!
1. Sweaty Palms are Expected
Everyone knows the feeling of anxiety that can accompany meeting a potential competitor. You know that that person might have great insight into your business, heck, they are doing the same thing, but you are worried about accidentally sharing that “secret sauce” that makes your business grow. Well, not only is your “secret sauce” likely not so very secret, but also your competitor is definitely feeling the same anxiety. Yoga helps flex your mind as well as your body, and breaks down fear and mistrust. Once through that first set of sun salutations, you will be less worried about losing your advantage and realize that business is definitely NOT a zero-sum game. Through shared experiences, you and your competitors can help augment (or disprove) best practices and both of your business will be better poised to flourish!
2. Silence isn’t Awkward
Have you ever carefully listened to your own breath in a business meeting? I didn’t think so. Yoga is a fantastic way to train to listen carefully and deeply. There is no better meeting than one in which people spend the time to consider before they speak and listen with purpose and intent. Yoga will prepare you to listen and be heard.
3. It’s OK to Follow
Are you ever concerned in business that you are falling behind? Do you fear that your competitors or peers are working harder, more deliberately or with better skills and experience. That feeling alone can cause business paralysis. I can tell you that I have never led a yoga class, and I always trust the instincts and examples of my fellow yogis. For some reason, my fear of inadequacy is lessened and I learn to watch, learn and follow. Shedding ego and learning to follow when you should is one of the best ways to improve in business. Trust your competitors – they are in the same class you are!
4. Limitations are Internal
Yoga is NOT an athletic competition. We practice at our own pace, and evaluate our growth based on many factors – mental, spiritual and physical. Greater practice will lead to greater personal growth, and nobody else’s successes limit or augment your growth. If you and your competitors can realize that most of the barriers preventing our business growth are internal and not external (I mean, how many “acts of God” actually happen??), then you can start solving them together!
5. Mutual Respect – Namaste
I believe that business is an extension of life. We can’t life an authentic life where our priorities and behaviors in business aren’t aligned with the ethical and moral priorities that we pursue in our daily lives. The way we treat our families, friends, environment, customers and selves shouldn’t differ from the way we treat our competitors. Yoga is based on a foundation of mutual respect and love – a recognition of the “divine” nature in each of us. If we can learn to respect and love our competitors, we will create more successful businesses, and also become more open, thoughtful, authentic and happy people.
Tyrone Beverly, founder of I’mUnique United, spoke at the MBOne Denver event and shared his experiences bringing together disparate groups for yoga and conversation. He spoke of how gang members and police found common ground and developed respect and trust in conversations held after an hour of shared yoga. The quiet balance of spiritual, emotional and physical exercise that yoga provides helps us find common ground, upon which we can work together to build greater trust, share expertise, and strengthen our business and personal relationships. MBOne proved that community building and trust are the foundations for shared business success, and I came away humbled and excited by the knowledge and smiles that were shared and the evidence that such sharing will clearly strengthen the fabric of the Denver health and fitness industry community. I can’t wait for the next one!
— Luke Hartley, Partner, Kinetic Legal
As to me, I’m a lawyer for the sports, health, fitness and active lifestyle industry. Together with my partner, Sarah April, we are blessed to work (and occasionally do yoga!) with some of the most passionate and authentic entrepreneurs around. Learn more about me and our firm at www.kineticlegalllc.com.