Unveiling the Journey: Tilly Berry and The Wellbeing Agency

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Tilly’s journey began with a pivotal moment—one that sparked a vision for change in an industry plagued by neglect and disparity. “When I first qualified as a yoga instructor, I felt a distinct lack of support and fair pay from certain studios.” This realisation became the catalyst for her entrepreneurial journey, leading to the inception of The Yoga Agency—a corporate yoga provider focused on fostering community, empowerment, and fair compensation for instructors.

Tilly Berry and her co-founder embarked on a mission to redefine corporate wellbeing. Leveraging their expertise and industry connections, they transformed The Yoga Agency into The Wellbeing Agency—a comprehensive provider of tailor-made wellness programmes and events for corporate clients across the UK.

But Tilly’s journey isn’t just about business—it’s about balance, resilience, and personal wellbeing amidst the demands of entrepreneurship. 

Can you share a pivotal moment or experience that inspired you to start your journey in the health and wellbeing industry

When I first qualified as a yoga instructor and picked up a few classes teaching at studios across London, I felt a distinct lack of support, care and fair pay from certain studios. Given the high costs of renting studios I understood why this may be the case, so I had the idea to facilitate better paid job opportunities, a sense of community and care by setting up The Yoga Agency, a corporate yoga provider, with my former business partner, friend and yogi Meri Stewart. Leveraging my connections within the yoga industry and my contacts with office managers from my previous role we had clients signing up to office yoga contracts from day one. The company has now evolved into The Wellbeing Agency and is a corporate wellbeing provider covering all aspects of wellbeing. 

How do you prioritise your own wellbeing while running a business? What strategies or rituals do you follow for work life balance? 

Staying connected to people has been the biggest challenge when it comes to being a solopreneur who loves working on their business and largely works from a home office. I make a conscious effort to ensure I have planned social events to go to each week and stay up to date with friends and family. I am also lucky that I have a wonderful community of coaches as part of our team at The Wellbeing Agency who not only represent The Wellbeing Agency whilst in front of our clients but are also our silent cheerleaders. 

Giving back is also hugely motivating for me as a business owner. I love to be able to bring our coaches together and offer networking opportunities for them at events or dinner parties. 

Movement has been fundamental to maintaining positive mental health. I work-out at least once a day and try to have as much variety in my routine as possible.

I love food but being busy can lead to poor nutrition choices so I try to make delicious salads every day for lunch to avoid the afternoon slump and homemade banana bread with no refined sugar and protein powder if I need a snack to curb the cravings. For dinner my partner and I do Hello fresh as it’s quick but nutritious. 

My business grows the more time and attention I give it so I am always motivated to work but over the years I have discovered that taking time out is just as important in order to stay creative and avoid burnout. My escapes are skiing and reading (Greek tragedies! Don’t ask). 

What role has your personal wellness played in overcoming obstacles and maintaining resilience in the entrepreneurial journey? 

In 2019, one year after starting the business, Meri, my co-founder, left for Australia with her partner, so I made the leap from side hustle to full time. That second year of running the business alone was really challenging. I taught more yoga classes myself to keep myself going financially but that left me with little energy to work on the business. Although brimming with confidence on the outside deep down I was feeling isolated having no team around me and out of nowhere I suddenly felt like an imposter. 

At the end of one of my yoga classes a kind woman came up to me to say how my classes had changed her life both mentally and physically and in return she would like to offer me a free coaching session. I had not really understood what she had meant by coaching but I thought why not give it a try. Our first session lasted two hours and it was a transformational experience. I remember leaving feeling full of energy and inspired to take the business to the next level. She asked me thought provoking questions that helped me set clear goals and intentions, whilst challenging me on the subconscious negative stories I was telling – forcing me to re-frame my perspective and build confidence from the inside out. 

I will always look back on that decision to get coaching as the best decision I ever made. Shout out to Amelia Saberwall for being a class A coach. It’s been a few years now since I had regular coaching sessions but every so often when things get tough – Amelia is the first person I call. The biggest thing is to understand that you cannot do this journey on your own. So if you are a solopreneur make sure you nourish and treasure your friends and families and build connections as often as possible and if you can get a coach or mentor. 

With regards to overcoming imposter syndrome, I have learnt that whilst it shows up all the time and is a totally natural feeling, it is also very possible to overcome it by connecting back to you and getting really clear about what it is you are doing and why. Look and understand your intention and know that it doesn’t matter what other people think as long as you know what your purpose is and really connect to that purpose. I try hard not to compare myself to others too often. There will always be someone out there doing something similar to you and you may think they are doing it better but just know that you are different, every single person is unique and has their own life purpose and life experiences. They say comparison is the thief of joy which is true in my opinion. Focus on what you have rather than what you don’t have. One of our coaches at The Wellbeing Agency explained recently; “its universal law that light attracts light, love attracts love, and so if you want more joy you must be more joyful” (Josephine Mcgrail). 

How has your own health and wellbeing philosophy influenced the services you offer? 

Having come from a big family with lots of different big personalities, it has taken me 30 years to understand that one person’s medicine is not the same as another’s. When I first qualified as a yoga teacher I was guilty of pushing people to love it as much I did. Overtime I have realised that different interests, passions and life philosophies should be celebrated and not judged (unless causing harm to others). So I have built a business that allows diversity in the wellbeing space to flourish. From traditional western psychotherapies and formal talks in the workplace to traditional eastern therapies such as yoga, aromatherapy and sound healing. There is no one size fits all to corporate wellbeing and the first thing I do when getting to know our clients is to ask about their people, the demographic and the current culture to be able to recommend an array of sessions that can appeal to different individuals. Then after a series of sessions gather feedback and understand what individuals want more or less of. 

Can you share a specific self-care practice that has had a significant impact on your overall wellbeing.

As an anxious ambitious and pleasure seeking 20 something year old living in London burning the candle at both ends I stumbled upon yoga which became like therapy for me. Initially it was mainly the physical benefits of yoga I was interested in but then I became more aware of the mental health impacts it was having on me, and I developed this thirst for just learning as much about yoga as I could – how could this practice which I had assumed initially was just a physical practice have such a transformational effect on me – what had happened? 

I later went on to do my teacher training in Goa with The Yoga People where all the pieces started to come together. I learnt the true meaning of yoga as a journey of self discovery. I discovered the roots of yoga, where it came from and how it’s based on ancient Indian spiritual texts. I connected to my spiritual health and that was the beginning for me; I started to live my own life, rather than what I was being told. In the The Bhagavad Gita it’s described yoga as a journey of the self, through the self to the self. 

The health and wellbeing industry is dynamic and ever-evolving. How do you stay updated on the latest trends and ensure your business aligns with current wellness practices? 

There are some great publications out there including wellbeing magazine, fitt insider, and Well To Do that keep me updated on the latest trends. However I try not to get too wrapped up in trends as they are not really as relevant to our corporate audience.

Sometimes the biggest challenge for me is not getting distracted by the bright shiny things and focussing on what we offer and refining that. 

Have there been moments where you had to make choices that challenged your personal values for the sake of business growth? How did you navigate those situations? 

This is a really good question. And the answer is yes. Over time my priorities have evolved and I have been forced to be more fluid when it comes to separating my personal values from the business. When I first started out my priority was spreading the word about how to take care of wellbeing through practices such as yoga and meditation. As the industry has evolved the word has well and truly been spread and 6 years into running my business, I now prioritise remaining profitable, and paying myself and our coaches fairly so we can continue to be involved in an industry that we love. This means taking care of our clients and ensuring they have the best service and adapting to their needs not mine. 

Looking back at your journey, is there a particular mistake or setback that taught you valuable lessons about the importance of wellbeing

I think looking back I realised how fast time has flown as I have been in autopilot running the day to day operations of the business. The challenge now is to move to the next step of building a team. It’s always been a dream of mine but having never gone down the fund raising route I have had to wait until the business is turning over enough to produce two attractive salaries. Stay tuned! 

As you plan for the future of your business, do you have any projects you are currently working on, and how does your own journey influence that vision? 

Our goal is to become the go to platform for corporate wellbeing services for SME’s with no barriers to entry. Many of our competitors have platform fees and you cannot see their services until you sign up. Not all corporate companies can afford the high ticket wellbeing programmes and my goal is to make organising wellbeing services for your business as accessible, affordable and efficient as it is for the general public. By doing so I hope to offer more coaches regular work that suits their schedule. 

What legacy do you hope to leave through your business? 

I hope to build a sustainable family business that can be passed down generations. This means not succumbing to the latest trends but selling tried and tested services, maintaining a high standard of service and products (coaches), and most importantly enjoying the journey! 

Website: www.thewellbeingagency.com 

https://www.instagram.com/thewellbeingagency

https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-yoga-agency

The post Unveiling the Journey: Tilly Berry and The Wellbeing Agency appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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