- Melissa Ruiz is a yoga teacher and business coach who uses social media, online classes, and retreats.
- Her passion for helping others came after losing her job as a TV producer, getting divorced, and traveling to Morocco to learn yoga and meditation.
- His company hit six-figure sales in seven months and had sales of $ 500,000 in the first 16 months.
At the age of 33, Melissa Ruiz had everything she thought she could prove she ‘killed’ in life: a successful career as a television producer for MTV and VH1, a six-figure salary, a woman. , BMW and a home in Fanwood, New Jersey.
But if she was honest with herself, somewhere between 12-hour days on set and partying every weekend, she found it hard to be happy. There was a void she desperately wanted to fill with a goal.
âI was smoking cigarettes. I was exhausted,â Ruiz told Insider. She felt constant pressure to prove herself and barely used her vacation for fear of losing her job. “The word ‘relax’ didn’t even exist to me. I didn’t know how people did that.”
That was until a friend invited him to a month-long yoga retreat in Morocco. She took the risk and asked for time off. âI just reached a point in my life where I was like, I’m going to do this thing for myself,â she said.
Each day of the retreat began with
at five in the morning, then six hours of yoga practice. She remembers sitting on top of a mountain one day, soaking up her surroundings and thinking, âWhat am I doing here? That’s crazy. I should work.
For the first time, she felt peace instead of stress. “I don’t want to go back to work,” she thought. “I wish I could do this forever.”
The last day of her vacation ended up manifesting these same thoughts. A sandstorm delayed her return flight. She emailed her boss to tell him she wouldn’t be back to work until the next day. Her palms were sweaty as she walked through the airport reading her boss’s response.
Just like that, she got fired.
âI have never been out of work,â she said. “It was a huge ego death for me.” She vowed never to work for anyone else again.
Looking back, Ruiz said the company had done him a favor. This moment prompted her to make a lot of changes in her life. She divorced, became a yoga teacher, and started his own business coaching entrepreneurs.
âI couldn’t have done this on my own because I was so used to the mad rush,â she said. “These things have to happen so that we can take it to the next level.”
Ruiz’s company made $ 500,000 in sales in the first 16 months, which Insider has confirmed through documentation. She broke what led to this rapid growth, more than 10,000 Instagram followers, and the valuable lessons she learned along the way.
1. Simplify your cost of living
After losing her job, it took a year for Ruiz to question everything she knew and heal from the pressures she put on herself.
âI was so outperforming,â she said. “Show me how to play ping pong and I’ll be the best ping pong person in town. My brain and body really work like that.”
She traveled to India, Thailand, and again to Morocco, while studying yoga, meditation, and philosophy, then moved into a small house of around 400 square feet in New York City, became vegan, and gave up l ‘alcohol. She learned that there is more to life than picking up $ 2,000 checks for her friends at dinner.
Ruiz said she makes $ 125,000 a year working as a producer, but still lives on a paycheck, with no savings. âI was a six-figure broke person,â she said. “I used to only spend money, and even though I earned it, I never really got it.”
Starting his own business in 2019 changed his perspective and taught him the importance of saving money and investing to grow his business. âIt’s a different type of job. You work differently when you work for yourself than when you work for other people,â she said.
2. Diversify your income from the start
Ruiz had no intention of starting a business. After losing her job, former clients called her to come up with independent production and business consulting projects, and she agreed to take on them for as long as she could work from home.
At the same time, she taught yoga, from $ 12 to $ 15 per class, seeing it as an experience to develop skills, network and comfort level. She has taught at her home gym, homeless shelter, Tibetan museum, and CrossFit gym, while sharing her findings on mental health and wellness.
âI was by no means getting rich or making any money, but I was happy,â she said.
As she honed her teaching skills, her classes filled up and people began to approach her for healing. “Even people in my own industry were like, ‘what are you doing? I’ve never seen you so happy,'” she said.
Some of her students were crying on their rugs for the same reasons she had struggled for so long: they were overworked, stressed and unhappy. Her classes became so numerous that she had to stop taking students. But she always wanted to reach more people, so she used her production and branding skills to create a six-week online course on how to ‘come into harmony’ through yoga, meditation and conversation. . She said the first offer in June 2019 had eight customers and earned her $ 2,000.
âThat’s how my business started. It came from a need to want to help more people,â she said.
3. Set limits in your business
Ruiz established an important rule that she would always charge for her services – something she has seen many spiritual entrepreneurs be afraid to do. âThey were taught that yoga is free, meditation is free. It belongs to everyone and that you might be a bad person if you do it,â she said.
But it’s a disservice not to charge the people you help pay, she said. Ruiz likens it to an imbalanced relationship, in which one person does all the work and ends up resenting the other for not contributing fairly.
Ruiz said 90% of his sales came from listings and personal referrals.
She also wants her services to be accessible to those who can’t afford them at full price, so she offers flexible payment plans.
âYou shouldn’t have to give anyone a discount,â she said. “But I see the advantage of helping our communities and giving them the chance to rise to the occasion, to take responsibility, to have this knowledge.”