Bend over backward

Johanna McClain

Photo By Tracie Douglas

Johanna McClain is a certified business coach who, with her business Yoga Off The Mat, applies the ancient principles of yoga to change the way business is done. She believes that anyone can have a profitable business that is purpose and passion driven, rather than just profit driven. For more information, check out

What do business owners want from a business coach in today’s climate?

They are looking for clarity in what direction they should take and what plan to put into place—not a business plan, but they want a starting point or a platform to begin from. I’m seeing this with both new business owners and established business owners. One of my clients wants to raise her rates, but she’s afraid if she does, she’ll lose business. When I looked through her records, I found she hadn’t raised her rates for many, many years. I asked her to consider two attorneys, one who charges $125 and hour and one that charges $450 an hour. Then I asked her who she would want to use—her reply was the one who charged $450 because she believed that attorney mostly likely had more experience and was a better attorney. She hadn’t looked at herself as the one with more experience and being the better business. So sometimes, it just takes looking at what services you provide, from a customer’s point of view.

Are you seeing a decline in your coaching business due to the economy?

No! Because I don’t believe there is a decline in the economy. I just don’t believe the money has left the planet. It has moved and shifted, but it’s still here. The people who want to make changes or move forward or grow their business will find the resources to make it happen. When a business owner comes to me, and I’ve got a solution for them, then I get a yes from them.

Are you making a living?

Yes, I am! Woo hoo!

What is your advice to business owners in 2013?

There are three steps that I recommend they take. First, write down three things they want to accomplish. They need to look at their business and determine what it is they want to move in a positive direction. The key is to decide on something they want to happen, not something they know should happen. When people focus on what they know they should be doing, it seems to always get placed on the back burner. So it’s extremely important that they choose things they want to happen. Next, they need to determine if they have the tools to accomplish those three things. They need to take an inventory to decide if the computer system will support the new programs they want to buy, or if they need a smartphone or a tablet. They need to make sure they have all the tools they need to accomplish their goals. Last, they must decide what actions they will need to get them there. Maybe they will need to take a class on how to use a new program, or maybe they need to join a local club that supports their ideas. In the long run, people have more passion for something they want to accomplish and are more inclined to actually get there.

What are your goals for 2013?

I’m going to write the book Yoga Off the Mat: Applying Ancient Principles to Modern Business. I’m working on launching a new business that I can’t talk about just yet, and of course, I’m going to expand my coaching practice. These are three things I’m very passionate about, I have the tools I need, and I’m sure of the actions I need to take to accomplish my goals. It’s going to be a great year.