illustration by @katyauspenskaya

From Hobbyist to Business Owner: The Power of Community in Running Your Digital Business

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As a wellness entrepreneur, what do you do if you don’t know the answer to a tech, marketing, or tax question? Like many of us, you Google it. From when to post on social media and how to write a privacy policy, to what platform to use to create online courses—Google seems to know it all.

But what about how much to charge for that one-of-a-kind movement class you’ve created or the yoga for disco music lovers series you’ve dreamt of starting? What about how to find the people who want to take those classes? And, perhaps more importantly, who do you talk to when loneliness, anxiety, and fear take over your ability to make smart decisions?

The pandemic has ushered us forward into teaching online out of necessity. Pre-COVID, you might not have envisioned teaching online any time soon. It can feel overwhelming and isolating to have to navigate the digital world and find students as well as network on your own. Suddenly, you find yourself having to think fast to answer the question, where do I go from here?

Every yoga teacher, fitness instructor, and wellness entrepreneur seems to be online these days, with high-impact marketing strategies in place and the perfect recipe for success.

On the surface, they all seem to, as they say, “have it all figured out.” But if we dare to look beyond appearances and search for the real experiences fellow movement teachers go through, we realize we aren’t alone—and that the opportunities for collaboration might be more accessible than previously thought.

For Olesya Zreratseva, a yoga teacher and founder of Otrain Wellness, joining an online community of health and wellness entrepreneurs was a game-changer for her solo-run business. “I was a one-woman show and felt overwhelmed with taking care of not just my clients but also scheduling, billing, planning events, marketing, and various other elements of running a business,” she says.

Olesya, a yoga teacher and founder of Otrain Wellness

After many years of running her business without any outside help, she finally decided to join Talent Hack, a leading tech platform that helps fitness and wellness professionals host classes, partner with brands, learn modern business education, network, and grow.

Talent Hack provides an all-in-one platform called SPACES that’s fully customizable to help meet instructors’ needs. SPACES offers a professional and streamlined solution for creating a digital storefront, monetizing, selling everything from live classes, private sessions, and custom packages to hosting challenges, programs, and on-demand content. It helps propel your business forward with features designed to help you automate, streamline, and make more money, all while the Talent Hack team handles your admin tasks and works in the background to push your success.

In addition, Talent Hack provides each user their own website or it can embed directly into an existing website and provide the tech to power, automate, and manage their business.

The most important support you can get when running a wellness business is knowing that logistics and organization will be taken care of so creativity can flow.

“The most important support you can get when running a wellness business is knowing that logistics and organization will be taken care of so creativity can flow,” says Olesya. “Talent Hack is like the first Chakra: they set the foundation and hold you securely on your feet so the energy can flow up through the rest of the Chakras. We can’t exist without foundation, security, and a feeling of stability. Talent Hack has played a crucial role in being that foundation for me.”

Caroline Citelli, a certified Pilates instructor and the founder of Core By Caroline

Similarly, for Caroline Citelli, a certified Pilates instructor and the founder of Core By Caroline, having a sense of community has given her the confidence and support she needed to find her footing as a solo businesswoman. “I think it can be really tough branching off on your own, especially when you come from working in group environments,” she says. “The feeling of collaboration or group problem-solving is something that I struggled with doing now fully on my own. Between feeling totally alone in my day-to-day tech issues and not knowing what was okay or not okay to ask my clients, it was overwhelming, to say the least. Simply having someone who believes in your business and can help with those questions is life-changing.”

Delegate to stay in your “zone of genius”

There is so much that goes into offering yoga classes or a fitness course. Countless tasks need to be going on in the background—email marketing, class scheduling, branding, website hosting, video uploads—in order to make it successful. This can be time-consuming and draining.

Talent Hack provides essential tools and support so that wellness entrepreneurs can do what they do best: be there for their clients and students. Helping you delegate to a team of people who understand you, your ambitions, and your goals is one of Talent Hack’s strong suits.

When Olesya realized she didn’t have to spend so much time with every aspect of her business, it was a game-changer. “There is power in delegating and letting others do what you don’t like to do or don’t want to do so that you stay in your ‘genius zone’—which for me is teaching and facilitating transformative classes for my students and clients,” she says. “Talent Hack has helped shift my mindset and help me realize that things will get done without my involvement.”

Emma Belluomo, a fitness instructor and creator/CEO of Elevate Body

Emma Belluomo, a fitness instructor, nutrition coach, and creator/CEO of Elevate Body, seconds this sentiment. “Before Talent Hack and as a brand new business owner, the only way to describe my day-to-day was disorganized! Figuring out logistics of booking clients, creating a schedule, recording classes, sending recordings to them (and more) was all done on the fly and I constantly felt like I was falling behind on things. Partnering with Talent Hack was truly a sigh of relief. I have so much more free time on my hands!”

Collaboration over competition

When you join a community of like-minded people, collaboration overshadows competition. “It might sound counter-intuitive, but being surrounded by people who work in the same industry is uplifting, empowering, and reduces competition,” says Emi Gutgold, a contemporary Pilates instructor and NASM-certified personal trainer. “Not only do you get to ask your specific questions to people who know exactly what you’re talking about, but you get to see that there’s no competition at all when an instructor’s strength is their unique personality.”

Emi Gutgold, a contemporary Pilates instructor and NASM-certified personal trainer

It helped Emma realize that she wasn’t alone. “We are truly all just figuring out the virtual fitness world, and it makes me realize that it’s okay to try and fail, it’s okay to make mistakes, and take messy action,” she says. “The business owners I talk to that I’ve met through SPACES make me feel so much better about my process and help me realize we are all just doing our best!”

We are truly all just figuring out the virtual fitness world, and it makes me realize that it’s okay to try and fail, it’s okay to make mistakes, and take messy action.

“I’ve connected with so many other trainers who are all vibrating at the same caliber,” adds Emi. “When you have that pool of people you respect and trust to bounce ideas off of, it creates this happy space where you can dream big. Surrounding yourself with the right energy is crucial to success. You will never spread your wings if you are around people who don’t believe they can fly.”

Financial freedom

Making money in this industry is often considered taboo. By joining a community of like-minded professionals, instructors like Caroline have been able to reframe their relationship with money. “Being introduced to a new group of people in the same position has made me so much more confident in decision making, specifically as it applies to money,” she says. “I’ve learned how much my energy costs, and I feel more secure with occasionally turning down clients if I’m out of their price range.”

I’ve learned how much my energy costs, and I feel more secure with occasionally turning down clients if I’m out of their price range.

In Emma’s case, SPACES’ on-demand platform has helped transform her business. “It makes everything so seamless,” she says. “Having a simple, clean on-demand platform where my videos are uploaded with ease allows me to make passive income with my clients who can’t take a live class.”

Olesya prefers the monthly subscription option for her students. “It helps me budget, create future plans, and set realistic goals about the direction I want to take my business.”

YOU are your most valuable tool

As a freelancer or solopreneur, the number of decisions needed to be made each day is limitless. It is extremely common to experience overwhelm or ‘decision fatigue.’

What makes Talent Hack different is their in-depth knowledge and understanding of the wellness professional scene. The instructors that make up their community are a crowd of ambitious, business-driven, and talented professionals who are willing to learn and share their own advice and tips with one another when it comes to the world of wellness instruction.

Talent Hack serves as your business partner and coach, administrative assistant, and community all in one.

“YOU as a trainer are the most important thing to your business,” reassures Emi. “You are the secret sauce.”

Talent Hack exists to radically redefine how the world consumes wellness by empowering the next generation of wellness practitioners. Providing access to jobs, gigs, partnerships, education, and community, Talent Hack serves as your business partner and coach, administrative assistant, and community all in one. To learn more about how they can help you with your business needs, visit them at www.thetalenthack.com.

Written by Ely Bakouche and Jordan Reed.

Illustration by Katya Uspenskaya

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