We talk to Kassandra Reinhardt about what it is really like to start a business without quitting your day job.
Wow. So you are running your business, whilst holding down a day job. What is your day job?
I work full-time in the security industry for the municipal government.
I have a great relationship with my boss and get to work with one of my best friends every day. I have flexible work hours and work from home once a week. Having this kind of freedom is crucial and allows me to run my business on the side as it grows. I’m very grateful to have this flexibility.
The hardest thing about keeping up my day job, is that I never intended to work for the government let alone in security. So I can’t say that I’m particularly passionate about this field which makes it difficult to stay motivated.
My yoga business excites and motivates me so I often find myself day dreaming about it or being inspired with new ideas while at my day job. It’s a difficult juggling act and sometimes feels like I’m being pulled in two directions.
What was it that made you consider starting your own business?
I’ve always known that I would never be the type of person who could settle for one career for their entire lives. I need to work in an environment where I am free to change and grow over time.
By running my own business I get to work on my own terms and at something that I am passionate about and intimately connected to. I absolutely adore yoga and love sharing it with the world.
Although it comes with an immense amount of work, I love being my own boss and I’ve never been afraid of long hours. I believe in myself and I’m not going to shy away from working hard to reach my goals.
Tell us a little bit about your business
Yoga with Kassandra is a business I started a little under a year ago. Yoga is such an integral part of my life and nothing makes me happier than to share it with others. I started teaching yoga about three years ago in public and private classes and although I loved it, I knew I wanted something more.
I wanted to reach as many people as I could and establish a solid platform for myself so I went online.
I started offering free online yoga classes on youtube and shortly after started offering premium courses through my website. I have recently started offering custom made online yoga classes for clients which has been an amazing experience!
Where there any other things you would have considered doing?
Although I always knew that I couldn’t have one job for the rest of my life, I felt pressured to go down that path. I did what most young people do and went to University to get a degree.
I studied Psychology and Linguistics with the intention of becoming a Speech Therapist because it seemed fairly interesting. When it came time to apply for my Masters I had to be really honest with myself and ask if this was really what I wanted to do. I knew that by pursuing this path I would be specializing myself in a field that would make it hard for me to change careers later on. I did not want to be put in a box and craved freedom.
I opted against the Masters and instead agreed to a government contract which gave me a good salary and a flexible schedule. Although I know I don’t want to do this job forever, I know it was the best choice for me at the time.
I’m glad I followed my instinct instead of feeling pressured to stay on a path that wasn’t right for me.
Where are you at with developing your business at the moment?
Right now I’m working on a new online yoga course for runners that will launch at the end of March. I am also working on growing my mailing list and preparing a new weekly class in Ottawa. I have just started offering custom online yoga classes and have been working hard at promoting this service that I am so proud of!
One of my priorities this year has been to develop relationships with other brands that relate to mine such as athletic wear companies and companies that sell yoga accessories. This is an exciting expansion and gives me the opportunity to support businesses I believe in.
What have been the biggest obstacles so far?
My business is in expansion at the moment and I wish I could put in more hours during the day. It’s hard for me to spend my day time hours at a desk when in my heart I know my passion lies elsewhere.
It’s hard for me to spend my day time hours at a desk when in my heart I know my passion lies elsewhere.
On a practical level this is also challenging because it means I have to wake up extra early to work on my business, go to my day job and work on my business in the evening. It makes for very long days but ironically it seems to energize me more than anything.
What are the biggest obstacles you see in your future?
At some point it will become almost impossible for me to run this business by myself while keeping my day job. As the demand grows I will need to make the decision to either scale back on the requests I receive, move to a part-time day job or leave it all together.
When do you plan to make the leap to focusing on your business full time?
In a year I should be making as much if not more income with my yoga business as I do with my day job. Once that point is reached, the only thing that could keep me from focusing on my business full-time would be fear and I’ve never let that get in the way before!
What advice would you give to someone contemplating a similar transition?
Everyone will want to give you their opinion on what they think you should do. People have their own fears, insecurities and biases that they will project onto you.
At the end of the day the only opinion and intuition that matters is your own. I always listen to advice that is given to me and take it into consideration but I never betray my own internal compass. You will know when the time is right to make this decision and I trust that I will too.
Remember that there are lots of different ways to transition and one is not better than the other.
Remember that there are lots of different ways to transition and one is not better than the other. Some people will dive right in while others, like me, will do it in gradual steps. Honour yourself by doing what is right for you, not by doing what others think is right for you.