Inspiring Women

By catherine | July 22, 2013

As a small business owner, I have had the privilege of working with and meeting some truly top notch ladies – women who own their own businesses, work hard, push the limits, and look good while doing it. They have some amazing tales of growth, triumph, and lessons learned along the way.  So begins our new series, Inspiring Women, where I will introduce you to some of these savvy women and share their stories and advice. Feel free in the comments to tell us a story about an amazing woman who has made a positive and lasting impact on your life.

Meet Angela Wagner, owner of YogaSport

Angela Wagner

Angela Wagner

Angela Wagner is a rock star and one of my favorite people. She has been practicing and teaching yoga for over a decade and opened her own studio, YogaSport, in 2004. There she empowers not just the students who attend her packed classes each week but also aspiring teachers.  She has traveled around the world to learn from and assist her mentor, the renowned yoga teacher and author, Baron Baptiste.  Through both her teaching and her work as a Certified Yoga Life Coach, Angela continues to inspire hundreds of people to create a vision for their life, while giving them the tools to break that vision into small, manageable steps for success.

We recently sat down to chat with Angela, and here is what she had to say:

What inspired you to start your business? I initially began a career in advertising and marketing after graduating college, but was always really stressed by the atmosphere in corporate jobs. As a hobby, I taught group fitness and yoga classes at night and on the weekends. Then one day, the universe gave me an opportunity. I was laid off from my advertising agency job. I became a full-time personal trainer and fitness/yoga instructor. I loved what I was doing but didn’t make much money – and I was still searching for more. Thus, I was inspired to combine my two unparalleled passions (business and yoga) and my yoga studio, YogaSport, was born.

Biggest challenge you face as a woman owned business?

This is an interesting question because at this moment I don’t necessarily feel challenged as a woman owning a business. But, this question does bring up an interesting memory from my early days as a business owner.  When I was working on creating the space for YogaSport, my contractor was a good-old-boy.  He would try to contact my boyfriend instead of me (and it was MY business) and made it clear he didn’t think I was smart or strong enough to make big decisions. It was my first experience with someone treating me differently because I am a woman and I will never forget it.

What is the best piece of advice you received? From who? I have been given so much great wisdom throughout the years but what stands out most to me now is something my teacher and mentor, Baron Baptiste, once told me. In 2005, I was a struggling new studio owner. Baron told me not to worry about what other yoga studios are doing and instead to focus on what I wanted to create in my business. I still remind myself of that advice today.

How do you find work/life balance?
Ha ha, is there such a thing for a small business owner? Nine years into owning my business, I still struggle with a work/life balance. I am a work-a-holic by nature and never feel like I have done enough. Lucky for me, I found my husband four years ago and he has helped me focus more on family and me-time. Balance is something I actively work on by setting goals and by keeping myself surrounded with supportive and loving people at home and at the studio. My friends, family and co-workers always encourage me to take more time for myself.

What’s your morning routine?

I usually wake up and hang out with my dog and cat for a while. If I am not rushed, I watch Good Morning America with a yogurt in hand while snuggling with the girls on the couch. Then I tackle work, often in my PJ’s. I am working on changing into regular clothes earlier in the day. :)

Favorite organizing tool/trick that keeps your business running smoothly?
The most recent organizational tool that I absolutely love is our teacher shift checklist.  The checklist details duties which each teacher completes before and after his/her yoga class. It has helped us not only to keep the studio in excellent shape, but has also helped us become a stronger and more supportive team. I never would have guessed that a checklist could have such a positive impact!

How do you tame your email inbox?
Delete. Delete. Delete.  I go through my emails several times a day and delete anything I possibly can. If I need it, I put it in an organized sub-folder for easy access. I only keep things I am actively working on in my inbox. Sometimes I even have “clean out your email” races to see if I can get my inbox down to less than five. I can’t stand having a ton of emails, it stresses me out.

Calendar: paper or electronic?
Electronic. Although I must admit that I have a printed backup master calendar for my teacher schedule. Shhh….

Words You Live By.
Teach. Learn. Grow. It’s the motto of my personal brand, Angela Wagner Yoga and Coaching. I hope that everyday I can teach, learn and grow, and inspire others to do the same.

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