Allison Harrison left her job with a craft brewer when she had the opportunity to take over an Edinburgh yoga business. Shortly afterwards Hot Yoga Edinburgh opened its own studio, which is now thriving in the capital.
What led you to start a business?
“I had worked for many years for large and small corporate businesses, working flat out to meet relentlessly increasing budget numbers, to satisfy the demands of owners and shareholders. I realised that I wanted to do something that could make a difference to other people’s lives, and I wanted to have more control over my working life. I had been practicing Yoga for years, as a means to manage my own stress levels and keep my body fit and my mind calm. I took my first Yoga Teacher Training qualification and immediately realised that this was what I wanted to do with my life, helping others to find balance and a moment of calm.”
When did you know you were ready to take the leap?
“I ran my Yoga business as a part time hobby for two and a half years before taking the plunge and leaving my full time job. At that point I realised that other Yoga studios were opening in my city, and I needed to either ‘go big or go home’ as my small business couldn’t compete with the offerings of full time studios. I also by this time had proved to myself (and my mentor!) that I could make a success of it, having proven that I could run and develop a profitable business, even when it was only part time. This knowledge and the experience I had gained over the two and a half years gave me the confidence I needed to take the leap. It was still the most terrifying moment of my whole career, but now, over three years later, I know I made the right choice! Even on the difficult days, I’m so much happier now than I was then, I’m proud of what I’ve built, and I know that my business helps people and makes them feel better.”