Diary of an Entrepreneur
We’ve interviewed hundreds of people and been inspired by many including Vicky Holmstock who we spoke with today. Read her story here…
Diary of an Entrepreneur
I’ve always worked in small businesses from the age of 12. I became a manager of a pizza parlour when I was just 13 which seems wrong looking back!
The main thing is that I learnt loads and got inspired by all the people I worked with from a young age. Seeing how they made things happen made me think that one day I could do that for myself.
I wanted to go travelling aged 18 for 3 months to Camp America and was on the verge of my first big adventure abroad when they told me that they had double booked.
Unperturbed, I went on a 3 year round the world trip instead! I went to Australia for a year, South East Asia and ended up living with monks in the Bahamas for 6 months. I thought I might become a monk until on my return to the UK, I ended up travelling home via Cuba and went to a 24 hour salsa party. It was at this point that I realised becoming a monk wasn’t for me!
My next move was to train as a yoga teacher aged 20 which having learned about its philosophy, i.e. that your life is mapped out, has helped me get to where I am today. I’m unsure how your typical entrepreneur makes decisions but I just decide things at a toss of a coin!
Teaching yoga in my early twenties gave me some freedoms when I came back to London because my friends were tied to working in Tesco on minimum wages. I also had plans to further my studies which would take me away from London, my birthplace, to Nottingham.
I applied for a law degree through clearing having chosen law via the UCAS (clearing) book and the page it landed on as I opened it!
It was a good move.
I ended up using the money I earned from teaching yoga plus all my student loan whilst studying law to eventually build up a portfolio of 11 properties as an investment in Nottingham and still have them today.
Having passed my law degree I then went to work for a law firm for a year but just found everyone really stressed and decided that this was the perfect audience for me to help (not be directly employed by in-house) via offering yoga for corporates with executive stress.
I left the firm after 12 months, generated some good clients who worked for the firm and using my income, decided to invest in my next property, a windmill I bought at a Liverpool property auction which has spent four years going through the planning process.
I hope to live in that windmill soon because it’s getting cold in my caravan in the winter months in the UK. Still, it has given me, amongst other things, the opportunity to meet Sarah Beeny who did a documentary on it.
Just after moving to Liverpool, I established Yellow Yoga in 2007 to help further boost my business interests in helping clients deal with corporate stress. I have since expanded the company into offering retreats under a broader fitness portfolio called Yellow Fitness which I began in 2012. The retreats have been amazing in so many ways not least because I recently became the official health & wellness blogger for Hello magazine after a journalist came to one of my retreat holidays.
It made sense for me to join the dots of fitness, nutrition and yoga and establish Yellow Fitness because the latter (yoga) always underpins the former because it helps establish the right mindset to eat and exercise well. Plus I’d amassed a healthy base of contacts through networking in Liverpool who wanted all three things and liked my philosophy for the business.
I’m currently looking at plans to roll out Yellow Fitness through my Happy Formula brand of fitness, nutrition and yoga, initially in the North West and then the UK and once again will use by mum as the chief sounding board before making a decision – I’ve consulted her on every decision so far.
Meanwhile locally, we’ve been having fun road testing Karaoke Yoga at a lovely city centre bar called MODO in Concert Square. We’re also hosting a ‘Fight the Flab Seminar’ this Saturday (17th Aug) in a Pizza Kitchen in Waterloo!
I don’t try to be different, it just happens that way! I also try not to take life too seriously or worry, yoga taught me that there’s no point and business is good as a result of that.