Tarra Mitchell, RYT-500, author of The Yoga of Leadership, is integrating her distinctive background in business and yoga to contribute to the great conversation around leadership and consciousness. The Yoga of Leadership demonstrates how personal wellbeing is not only principle centric but also a leading indicator of success at work and in life.
With an MBA in International Finance and German, her keen ability to connect with people led to an investment career directing billion-dollar fundraising events and developing relationships around the world. Tarra has practiced yoga for over twenty years and has studied extensively with master yoga teachers and private mentors.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I first feel compelled to share that I’ve always prioritized my health. I never allowed a fast-paced, travel-intensive career deny me the opportunity to care for my own health. I always figured out a way to fit it into my work week.
I’ve been interested in holistic health for much of my life and have been practicing yoga for over 20 years. I knew yoga specifically did something to me that was different – it cleared my mind, calmed me down, opened me up to a new way of seeing life.
At a point, after many years working in business, I had the opportunity (the time) to take a yoga teacher training and in the training quickly felt that what I was learning was very relevant outside of a yoga studio.
Common understanding is that yoga is a practice of stretching on a mat. In my first training, I learned that yoga is actually a principle-centric science focused on cultivating serenity of mind and that the practice on the mat is a helpful tool in that regard.
So, to answer the original question, I was inspired to write The Yoga of Leadership to share what I’ve learned in my life and through the study of yoga with leaders so they can better their leadership and lead healthier and happier lives.
Through speaking engagements and seminars, I hope to inspire a dialog around what it means to be a leader and demonstrate how great leadership is not only principle-centric but also connected to a leader’s personal wellbeing.
Tell us about your business.
I’ve created an approach that will allow people to cultivate qualities essential to success and leave them healthier, happier, and more inspiring to others. I’m just weeks into the launch of The Yoga of Leadership and am working with my publicist and social media assistant to market the book.
My initial goal is to get the word out about the book to as many audiences as possible. We are casting a fairly wide net by design. To support that goal, I offer book talks, workshops, and seminars that teach what I’ve shared in The Yoga of Leadership.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Yes! My book “The Yoga of Leadership” is on Amazon, you can grab it here.
I have an international MBA and am a yoga teacher certified at the 500hr level (RYT 500).
Where is your business based?
My business is based in Wellesley, MA.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
After I established my LLC, I hired a publicist and website developer both of which had experience with branding. They helped me figure out how to initially brand myself, create the website, and begin to build a social media presence. I also found someone to help with social media. I always do a lot of research before making decisions.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Goodreads Giveaways and Facebook ads have been helpful thus far. If I were to pick just one, I’d probably say Goodreads Giveaways to launch a book. From my research, I expect the Kindle promotion to also be an effective marketing tool.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My biggest challenge so far was admitting that the publisher that I chose was not working out for me. After extensive research and months of inquiry, I had purchased a $13,000 publishing and marketing package from a company in the self-publishing industry that claims to be associated with a traditional publisher.
I chose them because they offer soup to nuts packages to help authors with everything they need through the launch and beyond. I spent a couple years working through a very painful process of marginal quality. I decided that I really didn’t want to launch my life’s work with this organization. It was too important to me. I was pretty stressed about the whole ordeal.
If I decided to move off their platform, I knew, per the terms of their agreement, that I would not get any money back. I also knew I’d have to pay someone else a lot of money to recreate some of the files they’d already created to get the book out the door. And I knew I’d have to pay other organizations and individuals to do the elements of the marketing package I was giving up. But the quality of work and the process became totally unacceptable to me at a point. This was an expensive decision.
I knew I had to put an end to the relationship. And eventually I did.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I accepted what happened as a lesson for me to learn from. I learned that I have a strong need for a certain amount of control and transparency. I also was reminded that I will never accept marginal quality work, especially for something with my name on it.
So, time and progress have allowed me to begin to forgive myself for that expense. Also, I lean on the faith that it will work out better in the long run. My reduced stress levels alone are a positive outcome.
I enjoy now having a team that reports to me to do work and I also enjoy having a network of talent for future needs. The independence that I know have after extracting myself from the other publisher is just what I needed.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I call friends who I know are big supporters of my work to help remind me why I do it. I try to spend time with positive people. I try to do whatever is needed to keep my body healthy and mind balanced.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I point out my background and expertise. Having a successful career in the investment field and then becoming a yoga teacher is unique. I consider myself a business woman first who applies teachings of yoga to raise consciousness of leaders and organizations.
It is a differentiator. It’s simply not all that common for teachers of yoga to also have the kind of business experience that I do. My professional experience allows me to uniquely speak to the needs of leaders and the work environment in an informed manner.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Believe in your own wisdom.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Know the specific demographic and most important need of your target client/customer. Know what you do better than anyone. If you understand the specific demographics of your customer/client and what they need more than anything else that marries to what you offer better than anyone else, you’re golden! It’s not easy.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
I really like Fiverr. I’ve found it to be an inexpensive way to get some things done for my business. I’ve used it recently for marketing and promotional purposes. I also had logos and banners designed.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
If I may take liberties, I listened to a free one-hour training recently that I liked quite a lot. It summarized a lot of the yoga philosophy that I use in my book in a very concise and interesting way. It’s called Sharpening Your Spiritual Vision by Hari-kirtana das and is on his website.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
When the initial launch period begins to slow down, I may take a public speaking course and learn how to create online courses.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals over the next few months are to continue to market the book in a wide variety of ways and secure more speaking and teaching engagements. I will continue to be responsive to article requests, interviews, Q&A’s that my publicist secures. I want to further build my platform and my mailing list.
I want to create some targeted lists to with the goal of selling books and securing speaking engagements. Right now, I have multiple interviews, a workshop, a public talk in the next several weeks. I’m also planning to create an audio book in the next couple months.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
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