What do you want to do for a living? Part II

How one entrepreneur approached this universal question in pursuit of thriving

PYP Professional Development Board Advisor Claire Baer

We love telling our members’ stories about their unique professional journeys. This is part two of a three-part series featuring Claire Baer, an entrepreneur and the professional development advisor for the PYP Board of Directors.

Read part I of Claire’s story here.


Alright. Pittsburgh it was. I was going to own a yoga studio. Bam. Done. 

But one thing was still out of place. I had zero formal training on the topic at hand. Most of what I knew about yoga I learned from a book I bought at a Scholastic book fair in grade school, and the few at-home videos I owned.

I had taken only a handful of yoga classes in a studio. What the heck was I thinking?

Next step, get involved in the industry. I found a studio close to home that was looking for a front desk person in exchange for free yoga. I applied and days later got the job.

At this point in my yoga life, I had not yet heard of “hot yoga.” I walk into the establishment grinning from ear to ear ready to get started. The front desk responsibilities are a breeze. I am on top of the world. Then, I walk into the studio … and it’s over 90 degrees in there! I look around, alarmed as if the heat is broken! But I also notice no one else seems to mind.

“Wow. This is a real thing. What the heck did I get myself into?”

“OK,” I think to myself. “Can’t quit now.” I stay, take the class, slip five times, but finish. I walk out and everyone is telling the teacher how amazing the class was. Still no one is concerned about the overwhelming heat. 

I try to keep cool — no pun intended — and don’t mention my questions to anyone. I go home, google “hot yoga” and realize, “Wow. This is a real thing. What the heck did I get myself into?”  

I’m not a quitter! And I didn’t have another option. Yoga classes are expensive, and I wasn’t making a ton of money. So I went back. It took time, but I began to get to know everyone.

As fate will have it, it was a new studio and the owner was there a ton. I told him I planned on moving eventually and opening my own place. He said, “Oh cool! Email yourself my business plan on the desktop for inspiration!”

“Wow!” I thought. “This is getting real.” I talked to the yoga teachers and one said, “There’s nothing worse than an owner who can’t teach the trade.” Light bulb moment again. Step three: become a yoga teacher.

I found a yoga program training that fit my needs and signed up. Eight months later, I received my certification in time to make the big move. Pittsburgh here I come!


The last part of Claire’s story appears June 16

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