My BIG 5 Business Failures as a Wellness Entrepreneur and What I Learned

Have you ever experienced failures in your wellness entrepreneur & business journey? Maybe you launched a program that didn’t get the sign-ups you expected, or perhaps you faced setbacks that left you questioning your path. If so, you’re not alone. Failure is a common—and often uncomfortable—part of the entrepreneurial experience. But what if I told you that failure isn’t the end of the road, but rather a stepping stone to success?

If you’ve ever felt like a failure in your business and entrepreneurial path, I invite you to join me on this journey of reflection and growth. 

In this blog post, I want to share with you my own journey of failures and growth as a wellness entrepreneur. From attaching my business too closely to my personal life to experiencing the disappointment of empty program launches, I’ve faced several setbacks along the way. But through each challenge, I’ve learned valuable lessons that have shaped me into the entrepreneur I am today.

So, if you’ve ever felt like a failure in your business and entrepreneurial path, I invite you to join me on this journey of reflection and growth. Together, we’ll explore the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and discover how failure can be the catalyst for your greatest successes and your growth. Are you ready to embrace the power of failure and embrace your full potential as a wellness entrepreneur? Let’s go! You are in the right place! 🙂


 

 


Why I am Sharing my BIG Business Failures as an Independent Wellness Entrepreneur.

Today, I’d like to share with you five of what I perceive as my most significant business “failures” – note the use of air quotes as I don’t truly view them as real failures – as a wellness entrepreneur, and what insights I gained from these experiences. Now, you might wonder, why share these?

Firstly, within certain social media and online circles, there’s so much talk about success and glory. While this can be inspiring, it can also leave you feeling disheartened, especially if you’ve recently experienced setbacks in your wellness entrepreneurship journey.

Secondly, for every shared success we see or experience, there are tons of unspoken or uncelebrated setbacks. This silence around adversities we might find along the way is not helpful, and ignoring the valuable lessons hidden in each of those “failures” hinders your potential as a bold and fearless biz owner. I my case, while I initially perceived each of my “failures” as setbacks, I eventually realized the insightful teachings and growth opportunities they offered me. I invite you to reflect on your own journey as well and search for the silver lining in each setback.

Let’s dive in!


#1. Attaching my Business to my Relationship with my Partner:

In 2010, fresh from a transformative two-month journey in India practicing Ashtanga Yoga, I returned to Italy with a newfound sense of purpose. Inspired and invigorated, I embarked on a mission to share my passion by opening my own tiny yoga shala—a little Ashtanga yoga sanctuary in a small village in Southern Italy for folks seeking balance and inner peace in their lives.

Hosted within the comfort of my own home, my humble studio soon became an extension of my identity, and a reflection of my deepest aspirations as a teacher. Each corner of the studio held memories of growth and learning, The aroma of incense mixed with the chanting of mantras, my yoga books, photos of my teachers…all creating an atmosphere of tranquility and serenity.

However, within the peacefulness of my yoga shala, I accidentally intertwined my business with my personal life, unknowingly blurring the boundaries between the two, which led me to one of my business failures as a wellness entrepreneur. 

One year into my first business journey, the strains of an eight-year relationship began to surface. Faced with changes and disagreements, my once peaceful yoga shala was no longer the space I had envisioned. The harmonious balance I created within the walls of my studio was affected by the discord of personal conflicts with my ex-partner, due to contrasting paths in our journey.

Faced with emotional turmoil and conflicting priorities, I made the heart-breaking decision to close my business and leave behind the life I had wholeheartedly crafted for myself as a wellness entrepreneur and yoga teacher. The fact of closing my studio and leaving my clients, left me with wounds in my soul, and each step I took towards the closure of this chapter was heavy in my heart, with the weight of broken dreams and hopes.

What Did I Learn from this “Failure”?

In the outcome of this painful chapter, I gained invaluable insights into the importance of maintaining clear boundaries between personal and professional spheres. By allowing my business to become entangled with my relationship, I jeopardized both my professional life and my business.

Through introspection and resilience, I discovered the necessity of fostering independence and balance in every aspect of life. The experience taught me that while it’s natural to want to involve loved ones in your entrepreneurial journey, mixing personal and professional spheres can sometimes blur the boundaries and create conflicts or tension, in this case, leading me to one of my first big business failures I’ve experienced as a wellness entrepreneur.

It’s important to establish clear boundaries, ensuring that both your relationship and your business have the space to thrive independently. Maintaining balance and separation between different aspects of your life is key. This is a lesson learned through tears and very sad experiences.


#2. Not Being Systematic and Strategic in the Process of Keeping Email Connection with Potential Clients.

Since 2008, I’ve been deeply immersed in the yoga and wellness world, building meaningful connections with professionals, business owners, and clients around the world. These relationships have been like the lifeblood of my entrepreneurial journey, fueling my passion, inspiration and driving my ambition.

While most of these connections have remain through social media, over the years, I’ve come to realize the limitations of this approach. As I look back over the past few years, I can’t help but wish I had taken a more systematic and strategic approach to staying connected with these individuals via email.

But Manu, didn’t you encourage me to use social media to grow my yoga and wellness biz?

…You might be asking now. And yes, you’re absolutely right. I’ve been an advocate for leveraging your social media as a powerful tool for business growth. I’ve witnessed firsthand the incredible opportunities it can bring, from selling retreats to mentoring programs worth thousands of euros. However, I failed to understand the importance of cultivating a more personal and direct line of communication with the folks I connected in person. Social media, while very valuable, it has its risks as well. The ever-changing algorithms and unpredictable shifts of platform owners and users, can leave your businesses vulnerable and at the mercy of forces beyond your control.

So, while social media remains a vital component of any modern business strategy, it’s essential not to overlook the timeless power of email marketing. Unlike social media, your email list is a tangible asset that you own as a biz owner, providing a direct and intimate channel of communication with your community.

What Did I Learn from this “Failure”?

I learned that it’s important to find a way to stay connected with your clients via email and not rely solely on social media for growing your wellness biz. An email list is the base of any successful business, providing a stable foundation upon which to build and nurture lasting relationships with your audience and clients.

If you are on the fence about finding a systematic way to collect emails from your current clients and community, I recommend you give yourself an opportunity. You will be amazed at how important of an asset it can be for your biz. If you’re unsure where to start, I highly recommend ConvertKit as your go-to solution for email marketing. It’s easy to use, intuitive, and it has significantly increase my opening rates. You can open a FREE account for up to 1000 subscribers, allowing you to take the first steps towards building a thriving email list for your biz.



#3. The Closure of My Thai Company Due to COVID-19 Strict Regulations

In 2019, I embarked on a journey to establish my own yoga and movement business in Bangkok. Teaching yoga and fitness -in person and online- to private clients, organizing retreats across Thailand, and collaborating with studios throughout Southeast Asia, I felt like I was living the dream I had crafted for myself. Despite the challenges, the independence and fulfillment I found in my work were beyond measure.

In 2020, due to COVID-19 strict regulations, I had to -yet again- close my business in Thailand. This meant canceling two upcoming retreats, one of which had already garnered considerable interest and bookings, leading to the difficult task of issuing full refunds.

Ending that chapter felt like saying goodbye to the life I had lovingly built over the years, a bittersweet farewell to a period of growth and transformation.

With a heavy heart and a head full of uncertainty, I returned to Spain, seeking relief in the familiarity of my homeland. It was during this period of grief and introspection that I underwent a shift in my approach to business. Recognizing the need to adapt and evolve in the face of adversity, I transitioned my work entirely online, leveraging digital platforms to empower fellow yoga teachers and wellness experts with the tools they needed to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

Through coaching, mentoring and guidance, I started to impart the lessons I had learned from my own journey, helping others navigate the intricacies of online marketing and biz. It was a natural progression for me that stemmed from a deep desire to turn adversity into opportunity.

What Did I Learn from this “Failure”?

In this monumental setback, I came to realize that true resilience lies in embracing adaptability and innovation. Rather than viewing the closure of my Thai company as a defeat, I saw it as a catalyst for growth and transformation.

Inspired by my own journey, I took a new professional path, empowering yoga and wellness experts with online marketing and biz  coaching and mentoring. I have been working with yoga and wellness practitioners and small yoga studio owners ever since (reducing my capacity for a two-year period where I worked as Retreat Director at Six Senses Ibiza).

I’ve realized that there are countless ways to operate as a business and that it doesn’t need to be strictly online or in person, but rather, a model that suits your lifestyle – it can be a combination of both. For example, this is the way I operate today, I work on a daily basis as a mentor and retreat advisor online, as well as organize my in-person events or retreats throughout the year.


Failures in Business as a Wellness Entrepreneur
Leading one of my retreats in Thailand, 2019.

#4. Online Programs Launches that Led to Zero Sign-Ups (Ouch!😣)

Yes, my friend… I’ve also experienced this business “faliure”. Around 2019 and 2020, I began to elevate my online presence as a wellness entrepreneur. Ironically, I had already been conducting one-on-one sessions with clients online via Zoom before COVID-19—a practice that was almost unheard of at the time. However, despite this experience, I lacked the necessary online business mastery and skills to craft a compelling marketing strategy that would attract participants to my group programs.

What Did I Learn from this “Failure”?

I learned that there were several reasons why my online program launches fell short, including:

Rushing the process and failing to give myself enough time to build trust within my online community.

Crafting a program strategy without a clear intention or purpose.

Not having developed a compelling, bold, and powerful core message as a teacher before launching my programs.

(BTW, if you need help with crafting a powerful and captivating core message for you and your biz, this FREE masterclass below will help! 👇👇👇)


 


#5. Not Being Super Selective when Choosing My Biz Mentors, Allies, and Support Community

I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying that we are the average of the five people we surround ourselves with, right? Well, sometimes I found myself surrounded by individuals who either didn’t understand the complexities of entrepreneurship or whose business models were vastly different from mine. While they were quick to offer advice (and I was quick to accept it), I soon realized that listening to the opinions and advice of people who didn’t comprehend the nuances of MY business was counterproductive. Also, at times, my own stubbornness prevented me from seeking help from a mentor, ultimately hindering my growth.

What Did I Learn from this “Failure”?

I realized it was time to reassess the conversations I was having and the company I was keeping. This meant making the difficult decision to cut ties with certain individuals and seek out a new community and support network that aligned with my entrepreneurial journey.

I recognized the fact that I needed help from a mentor/coach…I parked my stubbornness and sought out a mentorship program from people I trusted, and working with them transformed my journey. If you find yourself feeling disheartened after discussing your dreams and biz idea with certain individuals, it may be wise to reflect on the real value of sharing those conversations with them, or rather seek guidance and encouragement from peers, mentors, and fellow wellness professionals who are supportive and understanding of your journey.


Conclusion:

Reflecting on these significant setbacks in my journey as a wellness entrepreneur, I’ve come to understand that failure is not a dead end but rather a stepping stone on the road to success. Each fall, disappointment, and challenge has been a teacher, guiding me toward growth and resilience. By sharing my experiences with you, I hope to inspire and empower you to embrace failure as a natural part of the entrepreneurial journey.

Remember, success is not defined by the absence of failure but by the ability to rise stronger each time we fall. As you navigate your own path in the wellness industry, surround yourself with a supportive community, prioritize self-care, and never hesitate to seek guidance when needed.

Thank you for reading!

Manu.


 


P.S: Need support growing your biz? Let me help you! 😊

Check out my mentorship program and book a free consultation today.

And if you’re planning to organize your own retreat and feel confused and overwhelmed with logistics, pricing, marketing, etc., let’s chat about your project. 😉

 



¡Hola! I am Manu,

I am on a mission to help yoga and wellness professionals like YOU to radically transform their marketing & biz game, so that they can navigate the industry fearlessly and achieve a thriving success!✨ Having said that, I don’t like to use manipulative or coercive techniques.

You can learn about my story here.