October 22, 2018

Entrepreneur Inspiration: #OptForMovement

Black Friday is right around the corner. The biggest shopping day of the year, celebrated by bargain hunters and most consumers, filled with sales and crazy crowds. The one day a year that most retailers report their highest profits, thus giving this day of consumerism it’s name, “Black Friday”, as it relates to businesses recording their losses in red ink and gains in black ink.

A few weeks ago REI, one of the largest outdoor retailers, made an announcement that they were closing all 143 retail stores and paying their employees to go outside and play. Their campaign is #OptOutside, a campaign encouraging everyone around the world to share their outdoor story by using the OptOutside hashtag. When I found out about REI’s campaign I felt an immediate sense of pride and respect for a company that promotes adventure and play as a balance to work. I always say…”when it’s possible for one person it’s possible for everyone.” This is what happened to me when REI made the bold move to close down on Black Friday. If they can do something big and bold, then I can too.

It took me a couple of days to figure out, I bounced back and forth between staying open or choosing to close the studios. I thought maybe I should give the QiFlow teachers a day off to #OptOutside with the REI staff. Then I remembered that teaching is adventure and play, and it’s the best “job” anyone can have. Choosing to close the studios was not the answer. I had to come up with something that best served my community; an idea that would make an impact on everyone, teachers and students alike.

REI sparked my curiosity and challenged to me to come up with something powerful, but I couldn’t copy or follow their exact lead. I felt compelled to come up with an idea that would work for my business. What I came up with is the QiFlow #OptForMovement campaign. The idea is to keep QiFlow open on Black Friday, add more classes to each studio, give teachers opportunity to teach specialized classes, pay all of the instructors to teach, and offer the day for free for everyone!

The #OptForMovement campaign is a day to put your money away and move your body. Skip the malls, save your money and give the gift of movement and community to yourself and your family.

We will not offer Black Friday deals this year, and more than likely we will keep this tradition as we continue to operate independently. People ask me if I am going to franchise or open other studios in Denver, and my answer to them is “No.” I have no desire to own/operate multiple locations, I’ve been there and done that already in this lifetime. It was a great experience, but it was not the business model I desire. I lost my will to create and innovate when I owned multiple locations and managed massive amounts of personalities, I was overworked, unhappy and missing out on life. That type of living, of business/success, is undesirable to me.

Being an entrepreneur is great, but only if you stay one. There is a difference between business owners and entrepreneurs. The people at REI, in my opinion, are still entrepreneurs. As I stated in an earlier blog post Not all Business Owners are Entrepreneurs. . . 

Entrepreneurs are more than business owners, they are humanitarians. They are people that have concern for or possess the deep desire to improve the welfare and happiness of all people. True entrepreneurs create programs, events, open their business, sell their product, hire others and provide opportunity. They are driven to work long hours and take risk that others would not because they truly believe that what they have to offer will increase the well-being of the people around them.

Today’s entrepreneur inspiration is for you to feel confident enough to go with your heart when making decisions for your business, to forever remain an entrepreneur and to avoid the idea of ‘making it’. Success is determined by how balanced and free you are to build your business in a way that not only provides for you, but for everyone. You are unique, and so is your business. Make decisions out of love and adventure, and never take on a partner or an investor if you don’t have to. There is power in keeping your business small and your family close. I love QiFlow, and I am proud of the way I run my business. I am an entrepreneur and humanitarian. I love the QiFlow teachers and trade family and, just as important, I know and love our students and our members. If I can operate a business on a small scale, while holding to my values and balancing my ability to be an entrepreneur and mother, then you can too.

I hope you take the #OptForMovement challenge and choose to move your body and save your money on this year’s most popular shopping day. Opt for Movement. Sign up for a class you’ve never taken before. We’ve added 8am QiYoga and 11am BarreSCULPT, a fusion barre workout with weights and plyometrics to our Edgewater schedule, and are very excited to announce the first class offering of BarreFLOW at RiNo – a class designed to give you the best of barre and FLOW in one movement experience!

These special classes, along with many others at both locations, are included in the #OptForMovement QiFlow challenge. Post a pic of yourself before or after class on Instagram. Tag QiFlow and use the OptForMovement hashtag to be eligible to win a five class package.

We will pick one winner on Small Business Saturday at 12pm. The person with the most creative post and pic wins. Don’t forget to tag QiFlow and use the appropriate hashtag #OptForMovement to enter.

Not only are we giving away a five class package to a lucky winner on Small Business Saturday, we are also planning to offer a couple awesome deals as a way to encourage you to “shop small” on Saturday, November 28th.

We know how good it is to get a deal, and we want to encourage you to spend your money, not only at our small business, but at all small businesses. We want to inspire you to “shop small” on Small Business Saturday, and for the holidays this year as a way to help independent owners a chance to increase exposure and sales potential. We are all involved in some way, whether directly or indirectly, with a small business these days. Consider the small business as the perfect holiday gifts to give.

When one person proves it can be done, it makes it possible for everyone to believe they can do it as well. . .

If you choose to give gifts only from small, independently ran businesses this year, and you tell your friends that you’re going to “shop small” for the holidays, you never know, you just may make it possible for someone else to follow your lead.

Give the gift of community, adventure and creativity this year and help to support local, independent, small businesses.

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