We had the good fortune of connecting with Morgan Balavage and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Morgan, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
“I’ve been working hard my whole life,” a client said to me recently. “I’m tired. I hired you so I could stop working so hard.”

I nodded and agreed, “It’s time to work easy.”

That’s been the easiest way for me to find balance as an entrepreneur and a Masters student who splits her time between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.

The trick is to only schedule things during your day that you look forward to.

This gets a little tricky if you’re attached to the idea that money should be traded for time.

When I first started working, as soon as it was legal when I turned 16, I traded my time for money. I didn’t know I had a choice.

I kept it up for the next 16 years, working jobs that demanded I be somewhere at a certain time, that I would not be paid if I wasn’t there during that time regardless of what work did or didn’t get done.

I got paid to sit in empty retail stores and study.

I got paid to answer phones and read gossip blogs.

I got paid to sling drinks and flirt.

I’m a Capricorn, so I’m always looking for a way to get paid doing what I would be doing anyway.

What I noticed, as I started to work my way up the corporate ladder, is that the people at the top of the ladder did not adhere to a schedule.

And they weren’t doing a lot of work.

They were making sure work got done by delegating absolutely everything that landed on their plates that they didn’t want to do.

I was doing a lot of that work.

And I was making a LOT less money.

I blessedly got laid off from that job and went all-in on my yoga brand with my severance by hiring a business coach.

I initially thought I wanted to continue to trade my time for money as a yoga teacher.

I just wanted to charge MORE money than what the corporate world was willing to pay me, and I wanted to do work that actually saved the world offering private yoga to clients suffering from trauma and chronic pain.

It only took a few months before I had sold out my practice and I had to price myself out of the market.

I either had to charge an egregious amount of money because of how draining the work ended up being – I couldn’t take 3 clients a day as I’d previously thought – or I needed another income source to continue to do this work on a more limited basis.

I decided to focus on building passive income streams while working 1:1 on a sliding scale. For the next few years, as clients came into my life, I took notes on what was helping them, and I built courses I could offer at a range of prices to be able to serve all of my clients regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Eventually, other yoga teachers and healers started noticing what I was doing and asked for advice, and so I started a business coaching aspect to my brand by request.

That’s how every transition in my business (and life!) has happened: I’ve been easily guided to it by trusted sources.

Every few months, my businesses pivots based on the needs of my clients and the status of my studies.

As I bring in more knowledge to serve both my healing clients and my healer business coaching clients, I build a course and create another passive income stream, allowing my business, my spirit, and my clientele to continue to grow.

By freeing up my time by creating passive income streams based on the market research of my work with my private clients, I create a beautiful balance of only doing work that inspires me without needing to attach the end result of making money from every moment of my day.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
When I first started Splendid Yoga, a name I picked based on an inside joke with a friend, I needed a business license to get paid at local yoga studios, and I thought I might want to take on a few private yoga clients to be able to afford some fancy yoga retreats.

Five years since, we’ve expanded into a media empire, a global coaching clientele, and an online yoga studio taught through the University of California, Santa Barbara.

When I first decided to go full-time with my business, I hired a business coach and learned how to have a sales conversation with pleasure.

That was the best, and scariest, investment I made in myself.

I took my coach’s advice, and I made back the money I had invested in the business coach within a month.

For the first few years of my business, I did EVERYTHING myself: sales, marketing, bookkeeping, customer service, graphic design, web design, coding, SEO, content creation, podcast editing, pinterest, all of it.

I hired a few VAs along the way and was pleasantly surprised at how much enthusiasm they brought to the parts of my job that didn’t blow my skirt up, but I never developed a working relationship that really took my business to the next level.

Instead, I started hiring specialists to automate the parts of my business that had to be done but that I didn’t love doing, and I made it a goal to use collaboration to grow my business instead.

That’s been the second best, and least scary, investment I’ve made in myself.

This past year, since the start of the pandemic, I’ve seen explosive growth from those collaborations.

I’ve sold out my private coaching and my courses.

I’ve run my entire business from my phone while traveling through Mexico.

I’ve continued to pursue my Master in Traditional Chinese Medicine and cut back on my working hours while making more money.

That’s been the third best investment I made in myself: giving myself permission to work LESS and make MORE money.

And that’s what I teach my clients how to do in my transformational and business coaching programs: to be worthy of the life of their dreams without having to sacrifice their joy to get there.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d want to show anyone who comes to visit around my neighborhood of Marina Del Rey: paddleboarding off Mother’s Beach, scooting over to Venice for brunch at New Deli for their vegan lox bagel, shopping around Abbot Kinney, and taking a vegan pizza from Double Zero to the beach to watch the sunset. If I’m teaching, we’d go to my yoga class in Venice at Shefa Yoga. It’s a hike from the west side, but spending the day at the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena is a nice escape from the marine layer. We’d for sure go watch the surfers in Malibu before going for a booty-kick hike like Mugu Peak. And a day of culture downtown, at LACMA or The Broad, followed by vegan tacos at Gracias Madre and whatever other trouble we can sniff up in weho.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to shout-out one of my OG yoga teachers, Nicole Inglish, who led me through my first 200 hour yoga teacher training and gave me the greatest gift the first day of class when she told us, “There is nothing yoga isn’t.” That truly began a journey to bring the philosophies and wisdom of yoga to every aspect of my life.

Website: www.splendid.yoga

Instagram: www.instagram.com/splendid.yoga

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/morgan-balavage-2381518a/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/morganbalavageyoga

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbLgrZ77d1k6uiXQHrNLTsQ

Image Credits
Ryanne Bee, Ingrid Bostrom, Matthew Anderson

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