Thursday, September 29, 2016

Happy One-ish-month-iversary, Bharosa!

It's been one-ish month since I launched Bharosa.

I've had some wedding/sangeet choreography clients.

Started a Beginners' Bollywood dance class on Grand Ave.

A new yoga class at the queer gym near my house.

Stopped the Beginners' Bollywood dance class on Grand Ave.

October will bring two new dance and classes at a lovely studio in Berkeley.

And a writing class at a beautiful studio with a fountain-y garden.


High highs. Lowwww lows.

Constant ego check.

As my wise filmmaker friend said, "Whether there are 10 people at the screening or 100, it's still the same film."

Whether 10 people came to my classes or 2, I am still the same film. That is, I still teach what I need to teach. With the same quality, the same enthusiasm, the same intention.

Not always easy. But with constant checking in with myself (and journaling and therapy and weeping on my yoga mentor's shoulder), I am doing it.


I fell off the horse. When zero people came to my dance class, I freaked out. Stopped planning my writing class. Feared so much that the same thing would happen. Took a month of hiding my head in the sand. Pretended that designing a flyer whose font was the exact right shade of blood red really did need to take up a week.

I got back on the horse. I won't be teaching the 6 week workshop I thought I would. There just isn't time now, with the holidays approaching. But I can teach a one-off workshop. And I will. After all, I have the perfect blood-red font to advertise for it. Can't let it go to waste.


I have told myself this year is an experiment. To see what sticks. What I like. What pays. What I really want to focus on.

What am I liking? I am LOVING teaching yoga. Chair yoga to desi seniors. Deep Relaxation yoga to Oakland cool kids.

I've started writing short pieces about yoga for the gym. Loving writing in this way.


Is this the way to do it? Who knows. There is no way. I get to make the way. Because this quote from who knows where:

How does it feel? Like this:

Quote from a dear friend, who started his own business 10 years ago and today, is doing shit the way he wants and is, as the youth say, killing it.

When things get too crazypants or I don't know what to do next or I notice a pile of hair on the table which I've pulled out without realizing it, I stop. Go outside. And remind myself why I'm doing this: to work with underserved folks, whether they be older adults or needing financial assistance, creating offerings that are accessible. To earn enough money so I can write. Bus. That's all.


PS. Do you not agree the blood-red on the yoga poster is just right? Don't even get me started on the Bollywood poster: blue, pink, blue OR pink, blue pink?


Monday, September 19, 2016

Bit by Bit, Putting it Together

There is this song called Bit by Bit, Putting it Together, by an artist who shall remain nameless till the end of this piece so don't judge me. The song often plays in my head these days as I set up this business of mine.

I ordered business cards today.

No big deal, you may be thinking. Think again.

Altogether, the process took months. Came together bit by bit.

Here's the card.

Front of card

Back of card

I felt so elated when it all came together.

What's the big deal, you ask?

Lemme tell ya.

First, there was the thinking about my business logo. Coming up with things that were overly complicated. Asking a dear friend and incredibly talented artist to work on one for me. She did. It's perfect.

Then, there was choosing a color (branding, marketing, consistency, you know).

There was the google phone number which I had to a) understand b) choose c) remember to answer my phone for.

Of course there was my website, which took months to  make and years off my life.

I asked a friend, a talented artist, where she got her biz cards. Looked at Freaked over the prices. 

This friend had her own artwork at the of each card. I totally stole took inspiration from that. Researched inspiring quotes on creativity. Forced myself to choose just one (I was using a super-budget company who wouldn't individualize them for me).

I pilfered business cards all over town. Studied them. Looked at what I liked, what I wanted mine to look like.

I put it all together. Spent a few hours moving text a millimeter to the right and left, up and down. 

Finally, I told myself to step away from the computer. To just click "buy" and walk away.


It amazes me how every single aspect of starting my own company takes so much time, effort, care, obsessing, thinking and rethinking, knowing when to eventually bite the bullet, knowing when to let go.

Especially when you have somewhat of an artistic eye, somewhat of an (over)analytic mind, so that aesthetics matter, language matters, a millimeter to the right vs. left matters.

But when it all comes together, it is beautiful. Thrilling. All mine.

Oh, and it is also important to celebrate every step along the way. Check.

PS. The aforementioned artist is Babs (Barbara Streisand, you guys, get with the times), who has truly quotable songs, say what you will about her.