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PODCAST: Shareable EP02 – Business Growth & Diversification with ‘Acrobat Entrepreneur’ Ashley Lau

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Shareable EP02 – Ashley Lau

Hello and welcome once again to The Smart Entrepreneur’s Lab Podcast Series, Shareable!

Today’s guest is Ashley Lau.

Ashley is the director of Air Yoga, a contemporary fitness and training studio where he and his co-founders use their backgrounds in circus, martial arts, performance, physiotherapy and more to create engaging and challenging fitness classes.

Their flagship class, Air Yoga, involves movements and stretches assisted by a looped piece of fabric known as a hammock, suspended from the ceiling. This enables students to work elements of their physicality to new heights. From developing crazy flexibility to practising techniques while in full inversion (that is, upside down) Ash’s Air Yoga studio also features classes in Handstands, ground based movement, gymnastic rings and much more.

In our conversation, we discover Ash’s training origins in an unforgiving acrobatic school in China, how he decided to open his own school, what he looks for when hiring new staff- namely teachers, his misadventures of growing his business too quickly, plus heaps more.

A ton of really interesting insight here, especially for those who are on the physical arts side and looking or are currently monetizing that particular skill set.

The journey and training stories alone made this a great conversation for me.



A small disclaimer – this interview was actually conducted back at the end of last year, but as far as I know, all the details are up to date. But make sure you drop Ashley a line via his website or social media – all the links and details will be in the show notes.

So here is my conversation with Ashley Lau.

0:00 – Introduction – Who is Ashley Lau?
4:00 – Describe yourself!
6:15 – College pathway
9:50 – Discovering passions
13:00 – The obession takes over
17:30 – Recongizing the importance of being flexible
21:40 – Gymnastics training in China
26:45 – Business lessons learnt from horrible training dorms and being forced to do 200 cartwheels.
34:30 – How Ash learnt his training in China was over – Two words: Death Drop
41:00 – In Montreal and on borrowed time – Ash returns home to leverage his skills to start a business
44.45 – Developing his product and his brand
47:15 – How Ash describes Air Yoga and how he leverages the common term “Yoga” to connect with a new audience
50:00 – From rigging to the right kind of silk fabric: Putting the pieces of Air Yoga together
56:00 – Air Yoga studio launch – Was it a success and how did Ash know?
58:15 – Strategic partnerships, First Movers and Amazing Backstory – Things are going good
1:01:15 – Opportunity Knocks
1:06:30 – Learning to move to work on your business and not in it
1:09:15 – The lessons learnt from rapid expansion
1:10:45 – The wrap up process when
1:14:00 – If you have something, either use it or sell it
1:16:45 – Moving forward and developing new ideas
1:23:00 – Filling the skill gaps and finding the ideal employee
1:32:00 – How Ash upskills his business knowledge
1:35:00 – Advice for Ash’s 20 year old self

Where you can find Ashley online:

Air Yoga

Facebook

Instagram

Ashley’s incredible First Dance at his wedding to his lovely wife Caitlin



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