Secrets of A Yoga Mama
by Keya Williams
With a new book on the shelves helpings moms beat burnout, Keya Williams wants to make life easier for moms everywhere. Like so many of us, she somehow made it look like she had it all together…until she didn’t. And that crisis birthed something beautiful in the world; Nourished Mother Creations. Read more about how Keya’s unconventional approach to yoga and finding her niche paved the way for a service every mom could use today.
- Tell us about your business – what’s your mission; your soul’s purpose and why you created your business or service?
Motherhood is hard, but it’s one of the most important roles we can play in society. So, I created my business, Nourished Mother Creations LLC, and Nourished-Motherhood.com to inspire moms to prioritize time to care for themselves so that they can be the best moms they can be and raise healthy and happy families. I do this by offering resources (blogs, videos, local and online yoga classes and books) to busy moms to teach them simple and practical ways to incorporate yoga into their own lives to reduce stress and bring more joy and ease to their mom life.
- Tell us about your journey and your story…describe your family and business and any major life events….what got you to this point today?
Ten years ago, before I even considered creating a business of my own, I was a busy mom with a toddler and an infant. I also did contract work as an Executive Recruiter from home. From the outside it seemed like I had it all together. It’s funny how moms are good at making this mom-thing look easy. But inside I was falling apart. I was stressed to the max. I was hardly sleeping even when I got a few quiet hours. My marriage was in the crapper, and I was one cancelled appointment from psychotherapy. Ironically, I cancelled that appointment because I couldn’t find a babysitter… go figure.
Deep down in my heart I knew there had to be a way for me to be a great mom AND thrive as a woman. Plus, I knew I couldn’t be the only mom going through this. So I started digging. I began diving into my personal yoga practice and found that it offered so may stress reliving benefits in simple, practical “mom approved” ways.
At the time I was already teaching yoga, but had not officially trained to become a certified yoga teacher. After learning, practicing and of course going to yoga teacher training and feeling the huge difference in my own life, I knew I needed to teach other moms, how to use yoga as a tool to juggle their busy life and kids without burning out too. Thus, Nourished Mother Creations.
- How do you create, innovate or break the rules in your life/business/organization?
I don’t agree with the notion that as a Yoga Teacher I can only earn my money teaching yoga on a mat in a studio or gym. While I got much of my training in these types of environments, I’m hell bent on teaching yoga to moms, in any way they will receive it. So yes, I can be a yoga teacher that teaches in corporations, wearing slacks and pumps and never even rolls out a yoga mat. Yes, I can also be a yoga teacher that teaches yoga through books and blog posts. And yes, I can be a yoga teacher, who doesn’t teach 1000 classes a week, never sees her family and burns herself out just to make “full-time” income. Yoga teaches balance and this is my idea of a balanced life. Unfortunately not everyone agrees.
- How long did it take you to reach important milestones in your business?
I spent at least 2 years just fully identifying my niche and understanding who I wanted to serve and how I wanted to serve them. For a while, I just had this vague idea that I wanted to help moms live happy and healthy lives. I knew that I would use my training in yoga to do that but had no idea what that looked liked. Then one day someone asked me a simple question, “What do you want to do every day?” And then BOOM, it all became clear. Finally having a vision for my business was a HUGE milestone, because it meant I could finally take steps in a direction and begin to see progress. Once I had a vision the outcomes began to come quickly. My audience started growing because I understood my target. I created programs for them since I knew who I was serving. And I could sell said products more easily because I had someone to sell them to.
- Tell us about the start-up scares: Was there a moment where you ever seriously contemplated quitting?
Starting doesn’t scare me. But there have been many, many moments where I’ve considered quitting. Or at the very least pausing. This entrepreneurship game is not for the weak. Every day there is an unexpected challenge, so every day I have to grow a little bit bigger in courage, skill and confidence. But I will say, that the quitting thoughts only last a little while before I remember my vision of my best life that I’m striving for. And then I’m right back at it.
- Did you ever fail or make a substantial mistake in business or organization? Any serious Challenges? How did you overcome and resolve it?
I fail all the time. I think everyone who’s ever done something bigger than themselves has failed more than they’ve actually accomplished their goals. I’ve made hiring mistakes, taken in new contractors when I knew in my gut it was the wrong hire. That’s bitten me in the butt a few times. I’ve invested money in programs and training courses that have been worth nothing to my business. Not to mention the many hours I’ve spent doing things in my business that never returned any profit for the time I spent. But you know all the “failures” have taught me a lot. And even if I was not able to extract a lesson from them I at least got a good laugh…..much later.
- What action has the most impact that you’ve taken to reach your goal/s?
Honestly just showing up. Literally, plopping down in front of my computer every day and take a few purposeful actions towards my goals. Whether that action is sending an email to pitch the press, writing a blog post or teaching a class. Just showing up has value in and of itself. There is a quote from a well-known yogi, Pattabhi Jois that says “Do your practice and all is coming.” And I think that is so true in all aspects of our lives, especially in business. Show up. Do the work. And you are bound to reach your goals.
- What would you tell your younger/earlier self? Any piece of advice?
I would say “calm down mama!”. It’s okay to make progress slowly. You don’t have to become a millionaire overnight. You can strive for small goals over time and before you know it that big goal is a reality. So just calm down.
- What the best advice YOU’VE ever received about pursuing your vision?
Be very very specific. I use to be really reluctant to set specific goals, with numbers and dates, because I was afraid of not reaching them. But I’ve learned (slowly) that it feels empty and unsatisfying to get to the end of a launch for example and not know if you even hit your target because you never set one. But if you have specificity, then you can celebrate when you meet your goals. Or you can course correct and make adjustments if you fall shot. Either of those scenarios is much more empowering than the former.
- Has having success in your business/organization or money changed you? In what ways?
I don’t think it’s changed me at my core. It’s funny I thought my life would be so different when I finally got this business thing to work. But honestly the change comes first. The consistent action, the taking time off, the spending money wisely. All of that comes before the “success”. Those things, I think are what make the success possible.
- What does a typical work day look like for you?
During the school year, I typically work about 3-4 hours a day Monday through Friday. Those hours include teaching for at least an hour, marketing for an hour and “studying” for an hour. I spend an hour moving my body. Probably a couple hours getting my kids from here and there. And a couple hours, cooking and cleaning up (I love to cook). Usually by the time 7:00pm rolls around I’m just hanging out with the family.
- How do you juggle your business and being a mom? Any great tips?
Now that my kids are all in school full-time, it’s a lot less to juggle. I say that for the moms of small kids who are still in the weeds a bit on this topic, w my kids were super small, nap time was mandatory in the Williams household because that’s when mama worked. Now I do most of my work when they are at school. However, I do include them in my work. My middle schooler often edits videos for me and my 5th grader analyzes some of my statistics and does other administrative work for me. They love earning a few bucks and I love teaching them the practical aspects of being an entrepreneur.
- Tell us about your most successful launch. What was it for and what really moved the needle for you to make it a success?
My most successful launch to date was my book launch for Secrets of an Energized Mama. It made it to #1 in the Kindle store in 2 of its categories and I was so excited to see the energy and excitement around it. What really helped make this book launch a success was having an audience of women who enjoy what I offer. It’s really difficult to sell anything when you have to convince a cold audience to trust you, like you and buy your thing all in one sales page. It’s easy, on the other hand, to sell a product to an audience who you’ve built a relationship with over time. Having loved on the ladies in my Yoga Mamas Facebook group for two years, generously delivering value everyday really helped to move books off the “shelf.”
- Stevie Wonder or The Beatles? (this, I personally must know.)
No one has more soul than Stevie!
Keya Williams is a mom to three crazy kids and a Yoga Lifestyle Consultant to busy moms everywhere. An author and speaker, Keya loves to spread the gospel of yogic self-care for moms at workshops around the U.S, local yoga classes and online. Her mission is simple: Teach moms (who are the busiest people she knows) to use yoga to juggle life and kids without burning out and turning into a hot mess of a woman. Visit her sunny, gorgeous website and get her latest book Secrets of an Energized Mama: How to Use Yoga to Juggle Your Life & Kids Without Burning Out.