We are delighted to introduce you to one of our Women’s Business School graduates, Nic Russell, Founder of South East Yoga and Wellbeing.

When did you start your business? 

From 2016 to 2021 my business was just a ‘side hustle’ but I took inspiration from 2 years of Melbourne Covid-19 lockdowns & decided 2022 was going to be the year I made it a full time business.

What was the inspiration behind starting this business?

When I saw the difference it made in young people who were disengaged from school. I was facilitating children’s yoga with them as part of their Early Childhood Education and Care Certificate III studies. I couldn’t believe how much they let down their guard and had a good time. One student was only attending the weekly yoga sessions and no other classes. I realised that yoga was more impactful than I had imagined for children and young people.

What are you most excited about in your business?

Growing the business to reach every preschool service in Australia! I truly believe that yoga is the only wellbeing program you need. When done meaningfully and holistically it is incredibly impactful. 

What has been the most challenging thing about starting your business?

Realising at some point that having a great idea is not enough! You need knowledge on such things as marketing, finances and the biggest thing of all – a strong mindset. Thankfully I’m in the right business so I do practice what I preach in regards to developing my mindset & I’m willing to learn about business concepts. The learning never stops though! 

What advice would you give to other women thinking about starting a business?

Surround yourself with other business owners who are both on the same level as you and with those who are a few steps ahead. This makes everything seem more achievable so you don’t feel overwhelmed.  Trying to keep up with someone else’s million dollar business can just make you feel unsuccessful so don’t compare! Also, every little win you have should be viewed as a huge success. Mindset is everything! 

Why did you choose to do the Women’s Business School Programs?

I wanted to pair right back to basics and work from the ground up again. I felt like I needed to revisit some of the fundamentals such as vision, mission, financial understanding and marketing. Each of the WBS modules went over a month long period so you really got an opportunity to understand these areas better. The program provides a holistic approach to business understanding rather than just focusing on sales 24/7, for example.

What did you enjoy the most about being part of the program?

Connecting was really a big part of the program. Having the opportunity to connect with other business owners on their journey but also to be inspired by the many mentors, presenters and hosts who provided guidance in their area of expertise. I actually also enjoyed the homework! I revisit my homework and the comments made by Krystal to ensure I stay on track or for direction.

What surprised you most about the program?

Moving through the program, I felt like I was continually learning but after it finished I was able to reflect on everything. It was then I felt that everything had really sunk in. I stepped away feeling empowered to feel more confident in my business. It’s like the last 5 years of ‘dabbling’ in my business has all come together now!

Which module was the most helpful and why?

I don’t think you can separate them as I feel like the program is so holistic. Even if I felt competent in a particular module it still allowed me to refine & improve what I was doing so that I could uplevel. 

How did the program help you in your business?

The program helped by bringing everything together, giving me an overview of the fundamentals that make up a holistic approach to running a business. It gave me the knowledge to move from having a ‘side hustle’ to a full time business.

What has been the best thing about starting your own business?

Initially it was simply because I wanted to make a difference, with no thought to how I was going to do that on a larger scale or with any business knowledge. It wasn’t even about making money! Now I love the freedom of working from home some of the time (other times out on the road) where I can create my own hours. During summer, I take time off during the day to jump in our pool & spend time outside but then go back inside to work! I can start later, work later, go out during the day and so on. Having flexibility is great!

Would you recommend the Women’s Business School to other women starting a business? Why?

Yes! This is a fantastic program for start ups but also for those who have been in business but are still working through things. The interactive community, content and support has been really helpful.

What’s happening next in your business?

I am building a team of like minded people who want to inspire the early childhood sector to use yoga as a way to promote positive mental health and wellbeing. I’m also updating my website and creating more streamlined systems so that I spend less time in admin and more time being creative. Also, I am working on my Magic of Yoga Series of books for early childhood! 

What are your big plans for the future?

To promote yoga nationally as a tool to use in early childhood education and care settings. We have so much focus on primary and secondary mental health in the media and from politicians. I would like to see greater acknowledgement & research on the importance of prevention in the early years. It’s pretty obvious that if we develop evidence based, meaningful and holistic yoga wellbeing programs for preschoolers then we will have better wellbeing outcomes in the school systems! I want to embed change! 

PS Scholarship applications for The Women’s Business School 2022 programs are now open for a limited time. Apply today!