Can you do well by doing good?

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Water_lilies Many people inside corporations long to break out and build a business around their passion.  But often, they cannot see that the kinds of things they are passionate about could ever generate as much revenue as their corporate positions.  This may have been true in the past, but I think with new business opportunities afforded by the internet, cheap technology and revolutionary marketing ideas, it is becoming increasingly untrue.  Example:

A current client was laid off from her corporate job and decided to take a jump into the world of entrepreneurship.  She is a trained and experienced yoga teacher and would love to earn at least part of her income teaching yoga.  Since she has never been in the business full-time, she has a hard time seeing how she could generate lots of revenue from teaching classes.  If she goes the traditional route, her income would be based on the following:

  • Number of students per class x class fee x number of classes per month = monthly salary of yoga teacher.

Now I would challenge her to think much differently.  Here is a quick brainstorm of offerings she can build around her yoga classes that would generate additional income:

  • Instructional booklet for beginners.  Novice students are often stumped by the names of yoga poses, and would gladly pay money for a useful instructional booklet (especially with some nice photos that would help them remember the poses).
  • Guided relaxation CD for home yoga study.  Not everyone can make it to class each day, but would appreciate a calming and supportive relaxation CD.
  • Specialized yoga candles.  She could order customized candles with her own mantras or words of encouragement.  This also helps to promote brand awareness.
  • Yoga tee-shirts with inspiring messages or cool images.  You can produce clothing at relatively low prices.
  • Yoga action figures made out of soy with organic cotton clothing. OK, my brainstorming has clearly gone too far.  But you can see the possibilities are endless.

All of these items could be marketed to the broad yoga community, not just the students in her geographic area.

Just because you have a business that promotes health, well-being and spiritual growth does not mean you have to be poor!  The more money you make in your venture, the more you can give away, or reinvest to impact even more people.

2 Responses to “Can you do well by doing good?”

  1. Gerri Mungin says:

    What wonderful ideas! – Something about corporate america keeps me in the “that wouldn’t work mode”. Your post inspired me to think outside of the box (something corporate america says they want but, hmmmm—I wonder?)
    Thanks so much for sharing and for the good that you do.

  2. I just love the ideas you helped your client come up with. It is so true that we get wrapped up in the “traditional” way of earning money that we often overlook things that can compliment our businesses.

    I think I am most interested in the action figures. 🙂