Gemma Ford recently swapped the hustle and bustle of the city for the peace and natural beauty of the Cornwall seaside. Read on to find out more about what inspired her to make such a big lifestyle change and trade in her fast-paced media job for building her own entrepreneurial venture, Love Yoga Online.
What did you want to be when you were a little girl?
My parents and grandparents are from Zimbabwe and my favourite place in the world was on my grandparents farm in Zim. My Grandma (we called her Nana) was my hero. She was a strong, charismatic and loving woman and she was a farmer’s wife – which is exactly what I wanted to be!
Tell me a little more about how your career path has evolved?
My career path has always had people at the centre of it; I studied Psychology as university and fell easily into Marketing and New Media. I have practiced yoga since my school days and developed a strong interest in Eastern psychology and philosophy, which led me to become a yoga teacher. As I have complete faith in yoga and it’s teaching and practices as a healer are absolutely life enhancing I am dying to share it with as many people as possible, and what better way than via the wonders of the internet – and Love Yoga Online was born.
Moving from the city to the quiet and calm of the seaside is a huge change. What made you go for it?
I have always been drawn to nature and Cornwall is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of England. But the real reason is I followed my heart, my fiance Charlie is from Cornwall and is a passionate surfer with a deep wisdom about life. I decided he was the one for me and I set off to start my new adventure in Cornwall. I still love and appreciate all London has to offer in terms of great energy and dynamism, but you can’t beat being by the sea for healthy, inspiring and simple living.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
The inspiration behind my business is partly a way for me to combine my fascination with the internet and my passion for yoga at the same as making the teachings of yoga, and many amazing yoga teachers, available and easily accessible to millions of people via the web.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day either starts with teaching a yoga class, doing my yoga practice, going for a run or meditating. After that I will have breakfast, my favourite meal of the day! I plan my day and prioritise my tasks which can be anything from teaching more yoga classes at various locations, business finance, marketing, planning yoga video shoots, writing web content and devising yummy recipes for the Heathy Living section of Love Yoga Online. My day usually ends with teaching an evening yoga class or taking a walk by the sea.
What’s the best thing about being a business owner?
The flexibility I have with my time, the ability to dream big and have high ethical standards which I can stick to. The feeling that I’m following my dream and knowing that I am putting my best self forward in everything that I do.
What’s your current biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is balancing teaching yoga, which I love, and pushing Love Yoga Online forward as an online business – I need about 3 of me!
How do you keep yourself motivated?
I keep motivated by feeling gratitude for all the wonderful aspects of my life and imagining what exciting developments the next few weeks, months or years could bring. Working with inspiring people and having great mentors is a huge help.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned on your career journey?
Wow that’s a tough one! The most important thing I’ve learnt on my career journey is that everything comes from the inside to the outside, not the other way around. For example everything that is happening now in your life or your business is directly related to your internal state and how well you manage yourself on a personal level, working on yourself is just as important as working on a project proposal.
What advice would you give to women who are fed up in their careers and want to make a change?
I would say do the research and learn as much as you can about the change you want to make, try to be practical and follow your instinct and intuition. Take a good look at your reasons, motivations and what’s going on in your life before making any huge changes. And when you do make that change, do it with your whole heart and remember that failures are all part of success.
Finally, what are to random facts about yourself you’re willing to share with TheCareerStylist.com tribe?
I absolutely hate mushrooms, to the point that I can’t look at them and tell people I am allergic to them! I love horse riding, especially in the wilds of Africa where there are no boundaries and the beauty is impossible to put into words.
Check out the rapidly growing yoga community at Love Yoga Online here. Personally as many of you know I love yoga & I’ve been using Love Yoga Online for a while now- it’s brilliant to have access to quality yoga videos and postures & be able to have a stretch in the comfort of my own home!