I had the pleasure to interview Arianne Traverso. Arianne is a loving wife, as well as the creator of Bizzy Yogi. She is an international yoga retreat leader and trainer, the new head of The Yoga Expo, and a lover of life, travel and all things yoga. Arianne brings over a decade of international yoga teaching to her students, whether they be yoga practitioners or yoga teachers looking for their next phase in business. A wildly passionate entrepreneur, Ari infuses her love for yoga and business to bring heart and soul into everyone’s life. There is nothing more exciting to her than finding passion and being free to travel and work anywhere. Her passion, Bizzy Yogi, is an online platform for creative gypsy souls like hers to find their voice and their business so that they can create more light in the world because change starts within. People know her as a mover, a quick-thinking solution-based yogini. She’s inspired constantly to make work feel fun and inspiring through her light-hearted approach, silliness, effort, passion, and dedication. With her experience in the Yoga industry, building programs, trainings, retreats, & more, the Yoga Expo and its attendees are sure to be impressed.
Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was born with entrepreneurship in my blood. My entire family, spanning many generations, were forging paths and breaking rules to create their own. My family’s history combined with my desire to affect and impact the world through my talents as an artist, a visionary and a doer created the perfect recipe. Being in the yoga and business world gave me the ability to help people (my ultimate goal), work for myself and participate in making the world better one OM at a time.
Can you share your story of Grit and Success? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?
When I decided to become a full-time entrepreneur and created my first company, I was living in my friend’s living room on a futon with a makeshift curtain and had my office on my nightstand. I was basically living on a small wage in exchange for full and utter freedom. Having your own business often presents you with hard times but the worst feeling is when people take advantage of you. I was lied to countless times because I was ignorant and trusting. When I opened my yoga studio, I didn’t do all my due diligence and ended up signing a terrible lease with a terrible landlord who constantly took advantage of us financially and at the end of the day, emotionally. Those times were hard when I didn’t know how to pay the rent, my teachers’ salaries and had to use my entire life savings to keep the business open. Those were hard and really exhausting days.
Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
I went into business not knowing much about “business,” but having a huge heart and vision. These oh-crap moments helped me see my gaps and opportunities to reorganize myself and feel strong in the face of harsh realities. The process did allow me to experience the power of intention and the immense support from my parents, peers and coaches. I owe all of this to them! I truly believe my desire for non-negotiables of my freedom and seeing the best in others is what kept me moving forward through all the ups and downs.
So how did Grit lead to your eventual success? How did Grit turn things around?
The definition of grit is courage and resolve; strength of character. My vision and the support of my amazing husband and fellow entrepreneurs is really what kept me moving. I want all yoga teachers in the world to have access to seeing their passion reap rewards, to see my students achieve their goals and see the butterfly effect throughout the world. If I had given up after my yoga studio closed versus hiring a business coach and creating my own programs, stepping into the role of a business owner and taking leadership when I purchased The Yoga Expo of Florida, I would still be running the rat race I so disliked. The courage to get over my own ego and have success stories from my clients is what gave me the strength.
So, how are things going today?
I run a multi-faceted company with a staff that supports me. My Yoga Expo is the largest yoga show in Florida and I earn 6 figures, which is double what I was making not too long ago. I am able to participate in a much more significant way contributing my knowledge and experience to the world. My first book is coming out (something I never dreamed of) and I bought a home. I’m the happiest I have ever been!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
It’s hard to think of mistakes as funny, but I can recall being in a meeting and the investor talking about SWOT. I had no clue what this meant. I was thinking swatting a fly and kept wondering why he would keep referring to this. So when it was my turn to present, I said something along the lines of how the yoga studio would lift people up, instead of swatting them down. Shortly after I learned about SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and now I use it all the time! It showed me how much I had to learn and how long the journey ahead was.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Bizzy Yogi and The Yoga Expo are both committed to community and growth. As a business coach for yogis, I know my work in marketing and branding will help them learn needed skills and as a long-time instructor, I can help them overcome self-limiting beliefs. The way I teach business is the way I teach acrobatics and I use a lot of language that is easy to understand without the clutter. Business and yoga are one to me. This makes it so much easier to see, feel and then do.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Self-care and a lot of meditation. That’s almost a given in the yoga industry, but also taking the time to learn about having a sustainable business that has scalability and will help you reach financial freedom. Teaching 1,000 classes a month won’t do that. Create a foundation that you can build on and have your passion and love for teaching be a way to stand out amongst the rest.
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?
My husband. He’s stood by me during the crazy investments, the 12-hour work days, while I was on my laptop on vacation when I was starting out. He’s always had my back and helped me with absolutely everything (including this article). We talk about everything and he defended me when I was getting bullied by an old business partner. I owe him my sanity and can’t thank him enough for the daily shoulder rubs.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I am a HUGE environment advocate. Through Bizzy Yogi and The Yoga Expo, I have donated time and money to the Surfrider Foundation, Connection Coalition, The Pangolin Sanctuary and The Africa Yoga project to name a few. I have led beach clean ups and try to actively participate in ways to reduce single-use plastic and save the ocean.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
They say hindsight is 20/20 but boy do I wish I had this:
– Hiring a mentor and business coach to avoid crazy mistakes and save me money I spent on useless things.
– More awareness to the order I did things to save time, which is money in the long run.
– A better idea of my strengths so I could hire the right people.
– Surrounded myself with more like-minded people. They say you are the sum of the people you surround yourself with.
– Better sales training. I stumbled onto sales but now I know techniques, which help in making deals and closing them more fun and effective.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start 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.
Movements are such a powerful tool! I would love yogis and healers to be part of a global masterplan to influence policies that affect education, the environment and relationships between people to make impactful shifts in our mindset.
I would love to see yoga, meditation and health coaching in schools integrated at an early age AND instilling more pride in the goodness of humanity and our daily actions that affect the planet and its health. I honestly would love to see these practices in Congress and in all political and decision-making power positions.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
My IG: @ari.bizzy.yogi & FB page: BizzYogi