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Evolve or Die

Davina Davidson is a RYT 500 hour yoga instructor and teacher trainer based in Houston, TX. With a background in formal education, Davina offers students and teachers the building blocks to master their potential through additional education, dedicated workshops, and ongoing mentorship. Whether you recently graduated Yoga Teacher Training or have 1000 hours under your belt, Davina loves growing people through Love, Trust, Support, and Honest Conversations.

During the interview with Davina, she discusses her approach when it comes to entrepreneurship.

How did the idea for your business come about? 

The real question is…which business! Seriously all of my businesses have been birthed from a place of need or lack. I surveyed the industry and reflected on what I myself was passionate about and then went to work to close the gap or fulfill the need. 

How many hours a day do you work on average? 

On a normal day I work a total of 6-8 hours however the structure of my work day is definitely unorthodox. If I feel the need to go for a walk, go sit at the park, or take a nap…that’s exactly what I do and then get back to work.

What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur? 

Primarily what caused me to step into entrepreneurship is having one too many bosses who verbally said I needed them or behaviorally showed up in this way. From experience I knew this was not the case given my workload and what I brought to the table.

How did you come up with the name for your company? 

My parent company is called All the Things because I am literally known for doing all the things. Through entrepreneurship I have learned how to build websites, create marketing plans, researched printing styles for publications, merchandising, etc. 

What kind of culture exists in your organization, and how did you establish it? 

Service! I started as a servant leader and it has become somewhat of a standard for those who work with me. For example, you won’t ever hear someone who works with me say “That’s not my job or that’s not in my role”. My team gets to see me walk my talk as I am in the work daily to support wherever I am needed.  The reward comes, it just can’t be the reason why people do the thing…my team knows this and we tend to agree. 

Can you describe/outline your typical day? 

I wake up, read my bible, check my calendar, and then mentally map out my day…while still laying in bed! When I am ready to rock and roll and have handled my personal routines, I head down to my home office. Depending on the day, for example Monday’s and Tuesday’s are meeting days I sit through a series of calls with individuals from the various companies I run.  On slower days I am in creation whether it is writing content for a training or for a publication. I don’t have routines around meals so I eat when my body says it’s time. I workout or practice yoga either early morning or late at night given my schedule for the day. I am in bed by 10pm on most days. 

How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life? 

My daughter absolutely thinks I work “all the time” however I make a point to pause and check on her throughout the day. She has been inspired by the work that I do and has started her own youtube channel and lets just say the first time I heard one of her videos I was surprised how well she was able to articulate herself and show her personality. She has watched me make videos for years and I suppose she picked up a thing or two. 

I am single and have been for many years. I am an introvert so I do not prefer to be around alot of people nor random people. I spend a good amount of time connecting with my sisters and my nieces and nephews.

What motivates you? 

The appreciation for the gifts and talents that the Lord has bestowed upon me. I don’t desire to be the character from the Bible who buried their gifts. 

How do you generate new ideas? 

I love to daydream. When I am stuck or need inspiration lol I take a nap! I generally process a lot of information in a short period of time thus my brain is constantly going.  When I don’t take the time to slow down, I miss the gems of information that are patiently waiting in my subconscious.

How do you make time for rest or balance in your life? 

I am super in tune with my physical, mental, and emotional body. Yoga has taught me so much about the need for balance in all things. I tend to take small day trips to step away from the noise and every year in December I take a sabbatical to unplug from my responsibilities as a leader and go on wellness retreats, travel, etc. November is rough in terms of calming my team’s nerves around not being able to access me in December and really prepping everything…thinking through all possible scenarios and just ensuring the team is equipped to lead without me.

What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear? 

My greatest fear is disappointing God and not walking in the path that has been written for me. I read my Bible everyday, I pray, I meditate, I attend weekly Bible study, I watch sermons, and mostly I stay in communication with the Holy Spirit.

What are your ideals? 

Love, trust, and support are the tenets I live by and that I regard as necessary for those who interact with me intimately. 

How do you define success? 

I like the formula that one of my professors used in the entrepreneurial program I did at Rice University: Success= Motivation x Skill x Opportunity. Oftentimes I have the motivation and believe I have the skill… the opportunity is the hard part. I do my best to be in the work and take advantage of opportunities that feel aligned with who I am. With the craze of social media and the things people will do for likes or attention I have to pass on things that might get attention however I can sleep at night knowing that I am myself all day every day and no one gets to manipulate me to be anything other than that. 

What practices or habits have you ritualised to nurture your mental health?

I utilize prayer, meditation, the practice of yoga and I situate myself around intelligent capable human beings who support me. I love the work of the Enneagram as well as it has helped me express to others how I am feeling and what I need when I am stressed. 

Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

Outside of cultivating certain characteristics I would say to be successful one must be in the work of constantly being in reflection and evolution. I have the phrase ‘“evolve or die” tattooed on my neck as a reminder to continue to be in the “work”. The work looks different for each entrepreneur giving their personal goals, their industry’s  functionality, and how they choose to measure or evaluate success. 

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur? 

This is easy… The impact that I get to make on the community I serve.

What’s the best question people don’t ask you enough?  

What is your expectation… People assume or acknowledge that I have expectations however they tend to create an expectation for me. For example, new designers really struggle to work with me because my philosophy is they are skilled in a particular area  so I am depending on them…additionally I do not care about aesthetics at all…I care about content. 

What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs?

Spend time working for other people as this is a learning ground that doesn’t require you to put up a large amount of capital. Yes your time is valuable and it matters however the lessons learned from working for others is invaluable. Be mindful of over researching your field or gathering too much information as sometimes the spirit of comparison or not knowing enough creeps in. These two mindsets will leave an entrepreneur stagnant or worse discouraged. Lastly surround yourself with individuals who have varied backgrounds and perspectives so that you can get actual feedback vs yes friends. 

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