A Day in the Life of Sifu Anthony (or any Small Business Owner)

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hug-a-small-businessNote:  I wrote this post yesterday, but didn’t get a chance to publish it until today.  And that’s so totally and completely appropriate for this post.  Read on to find out why.

“Sifu, what do you do all day?” a student recently asked me.  “After all, you only teach a few hours in the evenings.  Do you have another job?”

I’m sure she meant well.  But I actually laughed out loud in response.  If I had been sipping a glass of milk, I would have surely snarfed it up. 

You see, the question sounds so preposterous to a small business owner that it’s hard to know where to begin.

It’s true.  I teach in the evenings.  I currently teach 10 classes per week (not including my monthly 101 workshop, or my other workshops).  Not long ago, I taught 16 classes per week, but thanks to my wonderful assistant instructors, I’ve dropped down to 10.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking.  Even 16 classes per week probably doesn’t seem like a lot to you.   That’s only 16 hours per week!  So what’s the big deal? 

Well, if teaching were the only thing I did all day, then it wouldn’t be a big deal!  Teaching every evening is the most rewarding part of my job.  It’s why I do what I do.  But teaching is only about 20% of what I do.

The beautiful Flowing Zen Studio in Gainesville, FL

The beautiful Flowing Zen studio in Gainesville, FL

I wish I could just show up, teach, and then go home.  That would be AWESOME.  But being a small business owner is much more complicated than that.  It’s complicated even if you run an Internet business, let alone a brick-and-mortar business like mine.

(For those who’ve never been to my studio, you should know that my wife and I have a shared business.  Her acupuncture clinic is directly connected to the Flowing Zen studio.  So it’s really 2 businesses.)

Click here to see more pictures of our beautiful studio.

A Small-Business Kind Of Morning

So what the heck do I do all day?  Well, here’s a typical example.  Before noon today, I….

  • …spoke with the accountant about the P&L (Profit and Loss)
  • …called the property manager about a roof leak in our building;
  • …spoke with the bookkeeper about our payroll taxes;
  • …rushed to the studio to handle a septic issue  (yuck!);
  • …called the property manager to talk about the septic issue;
  • …drove to the bank;
  • …answered 8 emails from active students (I type fast, thankfully);
  • …fixed a student account problem in our computer system;
  • …called technical support to get help with our online inventory system;
  • …updated my website;
  • …updated my wife’s website;
  • …spoke with the landlord about our lease renewal;
  • …went to look at a new commercial lease (just in case);
  • …answered a call from a prospective student;
  • …posted my daily updates for Facebook and Twitter;
  • …wrote this blog post.

That’s just between 9am and 12pm.  And that doesn’t include personal stuff, like walking the dogs or practicing Qigong (is that business or personal?). Of course, I’ll be busy with lord-only-knows-what this afternoon before I start teaching at 5pm. I’ll get home around 8pm, eat dinner, spend some time with my wife and the dogs, and hopefully do a little work on my blog.  Maybe I’ll even get a chance to read a little.  But I’ll probably answer a few emails before bed, just to get a jump on tomorrow.

Save Your Community

Why do I, and so many other small business owners work so hard?  The answer might surprise you.  You probably think we do it because we get to be our own boss (that has advantages and disadvantages), or because we get to share in the profits if the business is successful (or the losses if it’s not). 

But that’s not what motivates us.  I think I probably speak for most small business owners when I say that what motivates us through all the long days and nights is a sense of community.

My wife and I are known in the community as  healers.  That’s our mission — to empower people to heal their own bodies and minds.  We’ve had a big impact on countless lives.  

But did you also know that we have a big impact on the community?  The Andersonville Study of Retail Economics found that locally owned businesses generate 70 percent more local economic impact per square foot than chain stores.  Take that, McDonalds!

Small Businesses Matter

Small businesses are the backbone of the local economy. If you don’t understand how that works, please allow me explain it to you because it’s important.

Those mysterious job creators that you often hear about in politics?  That’s us.  Small businesses create real jobs for real people.  My wife and I employ 6 people, not including us.  Actually, we provide 8 total jobs for the community because, rather than take 2 jobs away from others, my wife and I created jobs for ourselves.

(By the way, if 6 employees doesn’t sound like a lot — well then you wouldn’t mind taking care of payroll next month, would you!)

The money that you spend at our business gets recirculated right back into the community. And not only through the jobs that we’ve created. We also spend a lot of our money (both personal and professional) in the community — on bookkeepers, restaurants, accountants, local farmers, etc.  Because we value small businesses, we choose to spend our money on them.

That recirculation of money is hugely important.  It’s what keeps local communities thriving.  It’s what keeps YOUR community thriving.

Support Small Business Owners…with Hugs

So the next time you see me in class and wonder what I do all day, and why I do it  — well, now you have a clearer picture.  And the same goes for my wife.  And for all the small business owners in your local community.  In fact, the next time you see a small business owner, why don’t you just give them a hug?

Seriously.  They deserve it. And they probably need it.

Most Americans don’t know the first thing about how small businesses work, or why they’re so important.  And that’s okay.  Most of the time. 

But a hug never hurts.

Do you own a small business?  If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.  Don’t be shy.  We’re all family here.

Mindfully yours,
Sifu Anthony

[hr] I’m Anthony Korahais, and I used qigong to heal from clinical depression, low back pain, anxiety, and chronic fatigue. I’ve already taught thousands of people from all over the world to use qigong for their own stubborn health issues. I teach online courses, and also lead in-person retreats and workshops.

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19 Responses to A Day in the Life of Sifu Anthony (or any Small Business Owner)

  1. Stan R. Mitchell May 9, 2013 at 11:31 am #


    Great post, and I can totally relate. My wife and I own a small business — a weekly newspaper, in fact.

    So we work far more than most people, but we love what we do and we’re huge believers in our work. And I think that’s key for anyone starting a small business.

    But like you, without Shaolin Kung Fu, I don’t think I could do it. I regularly sneak in some quick breaks — even if it’s just for a few minutes — to get re-centered and focused, fully alive in the moment.

    Sincerely yours

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais May 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

      Thanks, Stan. My wife and I often look at each other and say, “How do people do this WITHOUT qigong?” 🙂

  2. Grace May 9, 2013 at 11:54 am #


    Fred Chu has been trying to get me to read this site for ages, and I never have time — because of my small business.

    I wanted to drop a note to say thank you for summing up our days, even though we have two, very different businesses.

    Do you accept virtual hugs? If so… *hugs*

    Keep up the good work. A small business owner in far away Indiana is cheering for you as well.

  3. Lisa May 9, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Great post, well said, thank you for writing it! As a new-ish (coming up on 2 years) fellow small business owner, I want to add that courage is a huge component. It’s serious risk taking to work for yourself and create a locally-grounded business. That’s why it took me so long to make the leap. But so glad I did…and there is real job security when you are a) living, giving and working from your passion and b) providing a healing service. Kudos and much continued success to you and your wife. Sending hugs!

  4. Judy May 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    I’ve owned four successful small businesses and am grateful every single day for being so busy, having my needs met doing things I love and for being able to be a trusted part of people’s lives. You and Dr. Akemi are a big part of what keeps me going. Group hug to owners and patrons or small businesses alike.

  5. Mandi Palmer May 9, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    We’ve received the same type of questions for years. My husband and I own a small fitness center in Gainesville. Although the “on the side admin” work never stops, coaching the classes and meeting people for one-on-ones is not only my favorite part of my day, it’s what centers me.

  6. Chandra May 9, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Great post ,I am glad you brought about this small business awareness,true lots of folks don’t have clue they’ll shrug ,or ahhh nice.Small business is a great challenge and lots of pressure .Sifu youi have a good aura – Thanks a bunch and lots of hugs from me .Chao.

  7. Craig May 9, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    Well said.

    I have been in that fast lane for 30+ years and you hit the nail on the head.
    My patients who have scheduled appointments can never fathom all the things have have to be in the “stop immediately and fix this now or the world will come to an end:” category.

    I love the practice of medicine but the business drives me crazy. But without taking care of business I could not see those patients. Many of whom have little or no money to pay.

    It takes a village to run a business…………….

    Very sorry to miss you next weekend, Sifu, but my eldest graduates from college ( at very long last) out of town and we have to be there.

    See you soon somewhere.


  8. Steve May 10, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    Nicely said,
    I have a small business and understand the value of time, if it were for sale it would be priceless!
    Amongst the many valuable things chi Kung has given me, time is one of them.

    Small business gives power back to communities, from big business. I strongly advise people to support their local business, with out them big business have a free reign .


  9. roharne19 May 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    joined you recently , & until improvement of my small business & health, will write briefly. since getting your “lifting the sky” in addition to the recommended number of times per day, every half hour, a break from sitting @ the computer to perform two to three “lifting ‘ o the sky’s done. this has resulted in a tremendous improvement from long hours of sitting,required for work, with the entire body being energized, too.
    thank you,

  10. Sajjad Hassan Khan Yousafzai November 5, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Dear sifu

    i wish to start a small business but i dont know how. can you help me or give me an idea for a small business.


    Sajjad Hassan Khan Yousafzai

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais November 5, 2013 at 11:52 am #

      Hi Sajjad. My first piece of advice is to do something that you absolutely love. My second piece of advice is to do an online business rather than a traditional brick-and-mortar (i.e. physical) business. The book “Crush It” by Gary Vaynerchuck is a great place to start.

  11. Mike Roth February 21, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    Starting and running your own small business is a key way to get on the path to self-actualization. You are definitely right – you have to do something you love. When you own a small business you can make your difference by navigating it into areas where you perceive needs, which in turn allows you to feel you made a positive difference.

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais February 21, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

      Thanks, Mike. I especially like that idea of owning a small business as part of the path to self-actualization!

  12. Jill May 29, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    Even more appreciation for my tai chi instructor now after reading this post!

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