Josh Biro is the founder of The Yogapreneur Collective and head coach at Nomad Business Coaching, a consulting company that helps studio owners systematize their businesses for more profit and peace of mind.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in Canada in a small town and generally had an easy life. My family didn’t have a lot of money and we were always entrepreneurs scheming from one business to the next, but we never went without. That was until a moment when I was 13, and the largest mass landslide in British Columbia history (at the time) went through our backyard, narrowly missing our house and ultimately bankrupting our family. This certainly shaped my adult entrepreneurial outlook because it demonstrated a lack of trust and always having enough. Then again in my early 20s, we received a surprise diagnosis for my mother that she had cancer that had moved into her brain and she passed away 30 days later. So much of success in business and entrepreneurship and in life for that matter comes from having the trust, the faith, and the guts to make the move, take the leap, or incur the risk. These experiences shaped my adult life by forcing me to do the self-work necessary to gain back trust in myself and my reality.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
There are two things. The first is that simplicity creates happiness. The more complicated things are, whether in business or in life, the more stress they put on you. I think many people can get addicted to that stress, but if the goal is a joyous life, simplicity is key.
The second is how everything is connected. This is something Yoga taught me. If you want to be a better parent, or if you want to live a healthier life by eating better food and being in shape, or if you want your business to be more successful, you have to stop viewing these things as mutually exclusive. If you start taking care of yourself, you’ll do better in your business and be a better parent. If you’re a better parent, you’ll do better leading your team in your business. When your business succeeds and works for you properly, you come home and you’re better with your family life. It’s all connected. To sum up the point: how you do anything is how you do everything. So to get started on your road to more success, just pick the thing you’re most excited about right now and start doing it.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Honestly, there are so many it’s difficult to pick only one. One of the most prevalent concepts is that yoga and money or yoga businesses and profit don’t go together. I am vehemently against that. The idea that people shouldn’t pay for a yoga class in a physical space that has hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment put into it from a highly trained professional who has put their entire life on the line to open the yoga studio to serve them is ludicrous. Even more important though is that money is just the system of exchange that we currently use. Therefore it has to exist in the equation of running a yoga business because there has to be a trade for the time, effort, sweat, and tears that are put into the business and the positive outcomes that the business is giving clients. If a business doesn’t have this positive exchange properly taking place, or in other words, if it isn’t creating profit, not only does the business eventually fail but the enthusiasm of the owner and the staff wane and eventually they burn out.
More specifically, bad recommendations currently in the Yoga business industry include: telling yoga teachers or yoga entrepreneurs that everyone should just open the website and start teaching yoga in the park or online through their Instagram channel and that’s how they’re going to make six figures. Or that the only marketing necessary is social media and writing a blog.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
At one point my family and I were on a vacation in another country and we were involved in a freak accident that resulted in the death of my two-year-old daughter. The time following this event was very dark for me but there are a few really powerful things I learned from it.
Firstly, in moments of darkness, or when you need personal belief, call it spirituality or whatever, but the problem is when you’re in those moments of darkness, that’s probably the most difficult time to search for it so having a spiritual practice is a good idea ahead of time.
The second big takeaway from that experience was the narrative that ‘intense life events change who you are’ is not true. In my experience, intense life events amplify elements of yourself and pre-existing beliefs you already have. They help you re-prioritize rather than teach you something new or change your mind.
The final major takeaway for me was the realization that building a powerful business that’s bringing positivity into the world will pay you back in ways that you do not expect. At the time we still owned our yoga studio and although we were just business owners, the entire local community rallied around us. I don’t think I would’ve survived if they hadn’t.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Constant learning. There’s always more information out there. There’s always someone who’s done something they are interested in more powerfully than you have, yet there’s always a course you can take or a book you can read. Constantly learning new things helps me stay focused on what I’m currently working on, gives me inspiration and motivation, and keeps me flexible.
What is your morning routine?
I usually wake up around 6:30, have a quick coffee, and go directly into some sort of physical activity: gym, yoga, boxing, surfing. I find that intense physical activity first thing in the morning sets up the rest of my entire day for more success. I usually end my workout with some sort of meditative activity, then have breakfast, and then get to work.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Honestly, as cliché as it sounds, it’s yoga. For me, yoga is the only activity that lets me physically move energy and mentally centers me at the same time. The self-connection that you get from regular yoga practice directly plays into improving basically all aspects of your life.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
The two most successful productivity strategies that I employ are: first, to have another human being involved. I don’t even need them to participate in what I’m doing — just the physical presence of another person helps keep me focused and on track. Also, if I can bounce a few ideas off of them really quickly at random, then that helps me process my thoughts much faster. The second is to spend the time to create a clear vision and goal for what I’m trying to accomplish and then reverse engineer that vision and goal down to the simplest possible task and focus on only accomplishing the task.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
The One Sentence Persuasion Course by Blair Warren. This book is an excellent example of how powerful concepts CAN be simplified down to an easy level. The book does a great job to help entrepreneurs understand how they can relate to their clients which could easily be considered a superpower for any business owner.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
Business leadership is the most important leadership of our time.
Your ability to accomplish any task is directly proportionate to your ability to focus on that task.
To succeed at anything requires 3 actions – Consistency, Accuracy, and Intensity.