I have reached the 10-year milestone in my fitness career. I have had my ups and downs but thankfully I have reached a stage where things are finally stable, both in my personal life and in my work life. I can now explore new avenues of interest that I have always been interested in but just never had time to do like branching out into growing my own herbs and vegetables at home, pardon the pun hehe. Looking back over my years I have learned so many things and had countless opportunities to grow and change, if my life were a book I think it would be an epic novel by now.
I had an early start to my career, beginning my teaching in my junior year of college. At the time I was studying English literature at Fu-Jen University, which you may know is a hell of a lot of work. We had to turn in so many reports each week. The flexibility of teaching allowed me to both do my reports and teach Yoga/Pilates every day without taking all of my time.
After graduation I didn't know what I wanted. I tried to work in cram schools teaching English but I didn't have the passion to teach English. I also tried to work in an office but that was the worst idea for me. I like to work fast and get stuff done efficiently so when I was expected to stay behind after work or work slowly just to fill the time I became extremely frustrated with it.
I had no idea what to do with my life so I quit my jobs and decided to think harder about what I truly wanted to do. I loved the fitness/health industry but was worried about getting injured or getting in a car accident that might put an end to my career, I was so confused. Thank goodness I act fast and sometimes impulsively because the voice in my head gave me a slap and said “try doing what you love, don't worry so much about the ‘what if’ question”, like the Nike slogan “just do it!” I didn't know how to start doing it though and didn't have any connections in this market. Seeing my bank account, which was getting smaller each day, I decided that I should just do it and start my own studio.
In the beginning I jumped on my bicycle and rode around door to door giving people flyers to advertise my studio, it was hard work. All I wanted to do was to have a space for people to come and work out. But now I have students coming to my studio for rehabilitation work and see me as someone who can genuinely help them on the path to health and wellness. When I started, my clientele where all people who lived around my area in Zhonghe, but now I have students from all over Taipei and surrounding areas as well as people who live overseas who come back to Taipei for holiday and have some sessions with me.
When I started, I just made enough money to cover my rent and food. Now I have grown Lavender studio into a place where I have a wide variety of teachers cooperating with me who also share my love of fitness and can provide different styles of teaching. We have become a family together. When I started, there where many people who did not have any faith in me and thought I was making a huge mistake by having my own business. Now, they ask me when am I going to move into a bigger studio and expand my business.
When I began this venture things were not smooth sailing and many people tried to take advantage of me. I was young and innocent and didn't understand how business worked. Now I have learned a great many lessons about life, people, and business and continue to grow and learn each and every day.
I have had many times when I was confused about my career choice because I had studied an English major and thought that I had wasted four years of my life on something that I would never use. It turns out that actually I have made use of my language skills as well as my English abilities on many occasions. I have used it to write several books, write columns for magazines, do online articles, and deliver speeches to a wide variety of groups.
Whenever people ask me what I have done in order to create this career for myself I never have a definite answer for them. One thing I do know is that as long as you try to stay optimistic and positive throughout the good times and bad and most importantly, don't be afraid of change or taking a few risks then the universe will always provide an option that will work out for you. Be kind to everyone and always share no matter how little you have. Lets all move towards a more peaceful and loving world. Namaste!