nicolas goudy of yogarenew: the interview
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Nicolas Goudy is a visionary in the world of yoga and wellness. As the driving force behind Yoga Renew, he has dedicated himself to making yoga and its transformative power accessible to people from all walks of life. With a passion for holistic well-being and a commitment to fostering a sense of community, Nicolas has created a platform beyond traditional yoga practice, offering various resources to support individuals on their journey to health and happiness. Join us as we explore Nicolas’s inspiring journey with Yoga Renew and its impact on countless lives.
Nicolas Goudy’s Background
YT: Thank you for taking the time to share your insights with us today, Nicolas. How did your journey into the world of yoga and business begin?
Nicolas Goudy: First, I just wanted to say thank you so much for your time and consideration. I really appreciate it. My business background is primarily corporate.
Prior to YogaRenew I was an executive at a software company overseeing offices across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and then eventually back in the States and Canada.
I was thrown into the deep end, but my CEO believed in me enough to learn how to believe in myself. And apparently, I thrived well enough to continue accumulating responsibility.
A lot of people in yoga have a story about getting sick of the corporate world, but that wasn’t really the case with me – I loved my job. I left to build YogaRenew because it allowed me to challenge myself in new ways that I was passionate about.
I find it interesting how yoga and mindfulness have taken such a central role in the business world – and I’m not referring to corporate thought leaders who identify as a guru. Yoga is a practice that touches all areas of our lives, and business is no exception. My journey through business and yoga has moved in alignment.
Also read >>> Interview with Kate Lombardo Teacher at YogaRenew
The Birth of YogaRenew
YT: What was the driving force behind the inception of YogaRenew? Any particular moment or experience that sparked this venture?
Nicolas Goudy: One of the things I love about hearing from our students is that there’s this palpable excitement in the air.
Moving through yoga teacher training is such an exciting time because you’re unraveling all this incredible insight and challenging yourself in really fulfilling ways.
But historically, this has been an experience that’s been out of reach for a lot of people. YogaRenew was founded under the notion that we could make this experience more accessible to anybody.
I’ve always loved the process of discovery and I guess I’ve always had fun with creativity. YogaRenew provides an outlet for both of those.
YT: Over the years, how has the mission and vision of YogaRenew evolved?
Nicolas Goudy: The core of our mission to make yoga teacher training accessible and affordable has remained the same since day one.
YT: Every entrepreneur faces challenges. Could you share some hurdles you encountered while building YogaRenew and how you overcame them?
Nicolas Goudy: Transitioning from B2B to B2C was a big change for me. Much of the experience I gained in the corporate world didn’t translate to YogaRenew because areas like marketing or customer service are quite different when dealing with large businesses or government entities.
I dedicated a lot of time to learning how the digital world functioned before we could afford to bring on too many other resources.
As soon as we were able to – I was in a much better position to empower and support the resources we brought on.
YT: Looking back, what would you say have been the key milestones in YogaRenew’s journey?
Nicolas Goudy: Like anybody else, COVID was a significant event for us.
When everything moved online, people started to see how online yoga teacher training had unique benefits to being in-person. The reality is that there’s always been people unable to attend in-person training.
Many of our students live in remote areas without local access to a studio. Others have busy lives, kids, and other responsibilities that make it challenging to commit to lengthy training.
It was really fulfilling to see the community start to share the same sentiments that we had been motivated by.
Another key milestone for YogaRenew has been the release of our streaming app. We put so much effort into building a platform where students can access endless courses and classes and I’m really proud of how it has turned out.
The reception we’ve gotten has been incredible and we’re finally getting it into different app stores now.
Also read >>> Interview with Patrik Franco, Yoga Teacher at YogaRenew
YT: Did you have to go through the funding process, which is often a critical aspect of business growth?
Nicolas Goudy: YogaRenew has never received any funding and we haven’t solicited any investors. We’ve been able to grow by reinvesting in ourselves.
YT: Can you give us an idea of the current size of YogaRenew in terms of employees, locations, and reach?
Nicolas Goudy: Our students are all over the world, and we have dozens of instructors and support personnel to support them across different time zones.
We also have a lot of agencies that work alongside our full-time personnel. This allows us to scale quickly when we need to and gain different perspectives on how to approach unique challenges.
YogaRenew’s Unique Offering
YT: With so many yoga platforms out there, what sets YogaRenew apart? What’s your unique selling proposition?
Nicolas Goudy: I could talk about this for a long time but I’ll try to stay succinct!
We are always working to improve existing courses, making them incredibly resourceful programs. Even years later, we continue to film new videos, add new hand-outs, downloads, etc.
For example, students who graduated from our 200-hour yoga teacher training a few years ago might revisit that course today and find reams of new content and resources they can take advantage of.
Students really love this because it doesn’t cost them anything extra – we give it to them.
My partners, Kate and Patrick, are incredible teachers, and we’ve put a lot of effort into finding the best instructors to lead our courses.
They’re the real secret sauce.
YT: Can you shed some light on YogaRenew’s curriculum and teaching approach? How does it cater to the needs of budding yoga teachers?
Nicolas Goudy: There’s so much fascinating information you can play with when it comes to yoga, but we need to go beyond information to deliver meaningful experiences. Experiential learning is impactful and fun!
We all learn in different ways, so we organize our courses to accommodate different styles of learning. Wherever possible, we try to break larger topics into shorter lectures so that people are able to consume information a bit easier.
I like the format of TEDtalks – “Talk Like TED” is a great book that delves into the components of an inspiring presentation and talks about why they format their presentations the way they do.
Impact on the Yoga Community
YT: Do you have any memorable stories or anecdotes about YogaRenew’s transformative impact on its students?
Nicolas Goudy: There have been so many heartwarming instances where students were moved to tears of joy. Every time I hear from graduates who have gone on to start teaching, open studios, or expand their practice, it fills my heart. There are too many to count.
We’ve worked with a charity called Faith in Yoga to bring yoga and mindfulness into refugee camps in Malawai which has been an experience beyond words.
I love hearing about some of the underserved communities where we’ve been able to reach people in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, or even in more remote parts of the U.S.
YT: Community is often the backbone of any successful venture. How have you fostered and grown the YogaRenew community over the years?
Nicolas Goudy: Community is our major focus, and we work to cultivate it in a few different ways. Our online groups are a really incredible space where people are able to share with each other and grow together.
We make it a point to stimulate meaningful conversations as well.
We are incredibly active across social media and YouTube – not just in terms of content we post but also going live regularly and keeping the conversation alive across our community.
And finally, we have an incredible Hoboken yoga studio that was specifically built with our community in mind.
We’re really a digital studio, so the space there was built specifically as a place for us to connect in person with the community, and it’s been amazing to see people fly in from all over the country to connect with us there.
Business Success and Future Plans
YT: YogaRenew has seen tremendous success. Could you highlight some of the platform’s most significant achievements?
Nicolas Goudy: Outside of our training programs, YogaRenew Online, our streaming service, is another thing I’m excited about.
YT: What’s next for YogaRenew? Can you give us a glimpse into your vision for its future?
Nicolas Goudy: As a school, we’ve largely sat at the intersection between student and instructor, so we’re excited about expanding into each of those directions in a few neat ways.
For example, we’ve been developing some tools to enable instructors or studios to set up their online yoga studio. We’ve had a lot of interest in this from our students, and it’s definitely the area I’m most excited about right now.
One surprising thing to us is that many of the students enrolled in our courses don’t actually intend to teach, even though our courses are largely constructed for instructors.
They’re simply in love with yoga and pursue that passion. So we’ve been building more and more content and classes that cater to these students.
YogaRenew Online has a ton of classes and workshops that are more experiential and it has been one of the most exciting things we’ve done over the past year.
YT: Organizational culture plays a pivotal role in a company’s success. Can you describe the cultural model or values that drive YogaRenew?
Nicolas Goudy: Our students have always come first – we do everything with them in mind and are adamant listeners. Our team is highly collaborative.
We all benefit from a diverse set of perspectives and I believe that an inclusive, collaborative environment fosters better results than a segmented one. Innovation is top of mind for us.
The world is a place of rapid change but that provides us an opportunity for rapid improvement if we’re tuned into it.
Entrepreneurial Insights and Advice
YT: Nicolas Goudy, what advice or insights would you offer aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those looking to venture into the yoga and education space?
Nicolas Goudy: Keep putting one foot in front of the other. You don’t need to be perfect. In fact, you never will be. What’s more important is to get started and keep it moving.
If there’s a niche you’re passionate about, it doesn’t matter what it is – you’ll be able to find people that share that passion and could benefit from you.
It becomes much easier to keep moving forward if you’re doing something you love.
YT: Every entrepreneur has a dream that keeps them going. What’s your biggest dream for YogaRenew and yourself?
Nicolas Goudy: There are a lot of things that really excite me, but what I really love is having an avenue for creativity.
Having a place to collaborate with other people and find creative solutions to different problems is an ongoing source of motivation.
YT: Lastly, Nicolas, are there any upcoming events or initiatives at YogaRenew that our audience should look forward to?
Nicolas Goudy: YogaRenew Online is launching in the Apple and Android app stores soon and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. We had a really nice article in Rolling Stone about that platform, and it has improved so much since they wrote about us.
I think the app is incredible, and I’m really excited for everybody to see it.
YT: Before we wrap up, are there any final thoughts or messages you’d like to share with the YogaRenew community and our readers?
Nicolas Goudy: Just a warm thank-you across the board.
Thank you so much, Nicolas, for sharing your journey and the story of YogaRenew with us. Your dedication and passion are evident, and it’s been a pleasure learning from you.