Today we’d like to introduce you to Jill Rodgers.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In July of 2017, I left the corporate world and the company where I had worked for over a decade. I had been practicing yoga regularly for a handful of years, had become a registered yoga teacher at the end of 2016 and was, at the time, teaching part-time, just a couple classes per week. I knew my corporate job was no longer a good fit and so, I quit to focus on making teaching yoga a full-time gig. I also wanted to explore ways I could use my marketing skills in new and better ways.
Has it been a smooth road?
Nope! When I quit corporate life, I was living with a partner who was also providing me financial support while I made the transition to a new career. That relationship ended suddenly and I found myself not only heartbroken, but struggling to make ends meet, uncertain if I would be able to pursue teaching yoga further, and wondering if I’d made a terrible mistake. Or dozens of terrible mistakes. I doubted certainly my ability to thrive, as well as my ability to even “get by”. I waded through several very dark months.
I am tremendously grateful and lucky to have some beautiful and caring people in my life, who held my hand, let me cry, let me pull away, let me grieve for the life I thought I was building. And, when I could breathe again, could point myself in a new direction, they were there again to cheer me on.
I hesitate to give any advice since these last eight months have been the most trying of my existence. But I have learned about the power of being candid and vulnerable, the reward of releasing expectations/plans, and how important yoga and mindfulness is to my life ― it became my livelihood, but it also kept me functioning during my lowest days.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into your business story. Tell us more about the business.
As of this month (April), I have eleven regular classes on my teaching schedule. I’m proud of the diversity of my teaching portfolio: I teach vinyasa yoga to a variety of experience levels, travel about the city for corporate classes, and lead dedicated prenatal and postnatal classes for mamas. I also work one-on-one with private clients, some of whom are dealing with injuries and other physical limitations.
Diving into prenatal and postnatal teaching has given me a chance to learn more about the human body, and the (astounding, tremendous, unbelievable) changes that occur during pregnancy. I am a feminist, so teaching pre/postnatal allows me help women develop a greater understanding of their own bodies, take good care of those bodies and in turn, be better advocates for themselves along the journey to motherhood. It’s an honor and hugely fulfilling to empower women in this way.
In January of this year, I embarked on a local “Yoga Tour” so that I could visit as many yoga studios. I want to be the best teacher I can and I think seeing how other instructors are doing what they do, will help me with that. I am writing a recap of each experience on my blog. The tour has given me structure, opportunities to practice with friends, chances to network with other teachers and reason to do some regular writing. It’s been a lot of fun so far.
I bill myself as a freelance marketing maven who thrives on supporting organizations and individuals that find new ways to do good things. Currently, I am working with Bartleby’s Seitan Stand, a new food truck in the city of Boston. They serve classic American fare that is completely vegan, free of seven of the eight major allergens, and served in 100% biodegradable containers. And, they are run by a woman. This client said the best decision she made was buying her food truck; the second-best decision was hiring me. I’m proud to be using my expertise to support clients like this (and am looking for more!) and glad to be doing marketing work that allows them to focus on the rest of their business.
Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
My little sister. She is successful, determined, and beautiful. She works long, hard hours as a genetic counselor, but still finds time to support her friends in family in significant ways, still finds the energy to laugh and celebrate, and might be my best cheerleader. I love her dearly and I so value our relationship.
- Website: somerjill.com
- Instagram: @somerjill
- Twitter: @lilhoboclown