How long have you been pursuing your most significant goals? How often do you think of them? What actions are you taking? How often do you feel like quitting?
Melissa had started practicing yoga in 2009 at the urging of her chiropractor to treat the chronic pain from which she suffered. Not only did yoga relieve the pain, but it brought her a more peaceful mind, opened her heart, increased her confidence, and introduced her to a community of like-minded people. She fell in love with yoga and believes it has helped her in every aspect of her life. She says, “It was the best year of my life and also the year that the idea of Yoga-urt was born.” She became a certified yoga teacher in 2011 and began the long process of launching Yoga-urt in 2012.
The concept for Yoga-urt took hold of her one evening when she and her cousin were riffing on the “yoga/yogurt” connection. While many people have made that connection jokingly, Melissa couldn’t let go of the concept of an upscale yogurt bar serving tasty organic soft serve, smoothies, coffee, and tea with a yoga studio ambiance. Melissa always knew that she wanted to have dairy-free options that weren’t sorbets, and weren’t made with soy, but were organic, healthy, and yummy.
Developing Yoga-urt took over three years of research, building her business plan, and looking for funding. She was turned down many times. During this time, Melissa developed skills in business planning, budgeting, marketing, everything that is related to opening up a restaurant, and never giving up on her dream. She worked closely with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and SCORE, the volunteer network dedicated to helping launch small businesses, which nurtured her entrepreneurial skills, and it was ultimately the SBA who helped finance her business. Melissa blogs her entrepreneurial path at journeytoyoga-urt.com.
In 2014, Melissa poured her limited financial resources into product research and development. She put a team together to begin soft serve R&D. This team included Meredith Sarah Klein, a Los Angeles private chef, and yoga and mindfulness teacher, who creates internationally-inspired, Ayurvedically-influenced, holistic, organic cuisine and Jim Broussalian, an accomplished expert in menu/product innovation and R&D processes in the retail food service industry. The Yoga-urt team very carefully selected all of the ingredients used in their dairy-free organic product, including the “made from scratch” almond milk that is the basis for most of their products.
In my podcast with Melissa, we examine her journey from a humorous vision to the grand opening of her store four years later. Over those 4 years, Melissa kept working toward the goal that had become her passion, even while maintaining a full time and highly demanding job. One of the things I emphasize in my writing is the importance of holding a vision in a variety of ways so that the focus communicates the strength of your intention to your subconscious mind. Melissa did just that. She also faced both financial and physical discouragement that could have stopped her pursuit of the shop. However, Melissa did not give up and now she has her shop to show for it.
Today, Melissa’s dream has come true. She is proud that Yoga-urt brings the “Namaste” into people’s lives by providing nourishment for those seeking a healthier life by enjoying organic, dairy free, soy-free treats in a peaceful setting.
Melissa told me that “For me, Yoga-urt is about community, love, and providing nourishment for people coming together to live healthier lives. I hope that the local community as well as LA’s foodies and yogis come to our beautiful – and health conscious – Kenneth Village neighborhood in Glendale, California to check us out.”
It’s a little early to know how or whether Melissa will turn Yoga-urt into a franchise, but she has a good start.
To hear Melissa’s thoughts on this 4 year journey, listen in as we chat about what gave her the persistence and tenacity to keep going. The Rebuilding Your Life: Moving from Disaster to Prosperity podcast is available on iTunes and Stitcher, as well as the attached link: http://goo.gl/ui4vVj. Enjoy this case study supporting the classic Napoleon Hill statement that success is the result of organized effort around a purpose and a plan.
I hope you will be inspired to focus your efforts on your vision in a similar way.
To Your Success,