Be kind to everyone along the way — there will be moments when people will disappoint you or you will be stressed, we all have bad days or weeks when things aren’t going right. It’s still important to be kind, even for the littlest acts. Showing gratitude and appreciation for your colleagues, friends, and team is endlessly important. Being kind to everyone creates a strong community and an easier life
As a part of our series about cutting edge technological breakthroughs, I had the pleasure of interviewingCharly Michelle.
Charly Michelle is a co-founder and CMO of HelloYoga, a groundbreaking platform that seamlessly connects students and yoga teachers around the world in live one-on-one yoga sessions. She is also the founder and CEO of New York-based Digital Media agency, Charles Irving Group, which offers unique insights into how companies can leverage their digital and e-commerce efforts into proven success and brand growth. Her breadth of expertise spans across e-commerce, brand building, digital advertising, business intelligence, and social media. Charly is a passionate leader who maintains thought leadership in the constantly evolving online space. She is an early adopter of emerging technologies and innovations, positioning her to form brand champions. Formerly, Charly held roles of Head of Marketing and/or E-commerce at leading and emerging fashion, beauty and luxury brands.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
After many years practicing yoga it had truly become a valued part of my life. As with any fitness activity, sometimes getting to the gym or studio is half the battle. We wanted to make it as easy as possible to practice yoga anywhere, anytime with a great teacher.
Can you tell us about the Cutting edge technological breakthroughs that you are working on? How do you think that will help people?
Creating a live yoga streaming platform to be all in one creates a seamless experience for both the student and teacher. We’ve integrated booking, chat, video and payment processing into our platform, which is just the beginning. We are creating a marketplace for yoga teachers where they can form their own business and customer base, without having to find a yoga studio. While there are thousands of professionals in the fitness community who are out of work and displaced because of COVID-19, HelloYoga offers yoga instructors the ability to create income and foster their own community of students without a physical studio. We are creating a truly safe place for students and teachers to practice.
How do you think this might change the world?
We hope that this can bring yoga to as many people as possible and make it less intimidating and more accessible. With HelloYoga, you can learn the basics in the privacy of your own home with a teacher focused only on you. The health and mental benefits of yoga are numerous.
Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?
We always thought bringing this technology and marketplace to life was a good idea, but the tipping point for launching was definitely COVID-19. As the world slowed down and lifestyles evolved to meet the needs of new stay-at-home schedules, the urgency to find the best way to practice yoga virtually became even more apparent. Just like me, people around the world were left wondering: “How can I continue to find great yoga teachers or hold myself accountable to a practice or routine when I can’t leave my home and my local studios are closed?”
What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?
Hopefully we’ve created a solution that everyone wants to try at least once. So, our aim is to make trying HelloYoga as simple as possible, even allowing a free trial use of the platform. We think that users will be hooked once they try the platform, and we hope they become an advocate of HelloYoga to their friends and family as well.
What have you been doing to publicize this idea? Have you been using any innovative marketing strategies?
So far, we are still in our beta phase. Our intention is to begin by building a grassroots community who are interested in the benefits of yoga, and to spread the love and positive momentum from there.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Our families are the biggest support system we could ever ask for. Through late nights, early mornings, and endless video calls, they are always there and even pitch in when we need extra hands or help.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
- It’s not going to look like what you started with — so many things that you dream up evolve and change along the way, and it’s important to be comfortable and allow developments to happen naturally.
- Some people will not understand your vision (and that’s ok) — along the way, people will have a lot to say about what you are pursuing. Most of it is noise and distraction. It’s important to not get caught up in convincing others who don’t understand, and continue to seek out a tribe of people who do.
- Be kind to everyone along the way — there will be moments when people will disappoint you or you will be stressed, we all have bad days or weeks when things aren’t going right. It’s still important to be kind, even for the littlest acts. Showing gratitude and appreciation for your colleagues, friends, and team is endlessly important. Being kind to everyone creates a strong community and an easier life.
- Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good — you will forever be improving your vision and product. It will never be perfect. Don’t impede your progress when you’ve already created something good because the work never ever stops.
- Stay true to your original goal — there are pivot points that are important to consider; during these moments it’s important to remember why you began and not pivot too far away from the original ethos of the brand or product you were trying to create.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Acknowledging your life is truly your own.Fostering a culture where you can take things into your own hands and make your own reality, career, and life — spreading that idea far and wide.The global pandemic has been an interesting evolution of society, where we’ve seen people taking the opportunity to move to new cities or change career paths. Some people unfortunately lost jobs and were forced into life changes, but others made choices as the tethers of the office, school, and commuting fell away. There’s something powerful in knowing that you can create the life you want.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you. I think this applies to personal relationships but also business and I come back to it over and over again. Learning to let go with grace is a powerful move that is hard to master but I’ve learned that it has always offered endless possibilities on the other side.
Some very well known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
HelloYoga is about to vastly change the yoga and the fitness industry by removing the middlemen and creating a true marketplace where everyone is their own advocate.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
You can follow us @helloyogaofficial