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In a pandemic, dreams do come true

Question: Is it crazy to start a business during this pandemic?

Answer: Anytime is a good time to launch a small business, so long as you understand your value proposition, which should be focused on a target market that you have the ability to reach. You need to have a plan, passion for the initiative and determination to get to the goal.

Here is a story about one such Cape resident who has made the dream a reality.

In 2003, Jitka Borowick had a dream to become fluent in English, which led her to move from the Czech Republic to the United States. Five years later, she had a dream to own her own business and create a high-quality cleaning company committed to protecting the environment, which led to the launch of Cleangreen.

A little over a year ago, this entrepreneur had another dream: create an online studio where people could take yoga classes anywhere, anytime. Her passion for yoga is rooted in her love of cycling and running. Through these sports, she was introduced to yoga to improve flexibility, boost recovery time and prevent injuries.

But how to customize this newest endeavor?

Nové Yoga and Wellness Studio is focused on people like Borowick, who balance a busy professional life with raising a family, giving back to the community, and whose athletic pursuits have become serious hobbies.

This was an opportunity to launch a studio catered to people who are always on the go.

When seeking a location to record classes last fall, a commercial space was found in West Dennis. The space was so perfect that the dream was altered to mix two objectives: offer in-studio classes for locals while holding firm to the longer-term goal of expanding Nové’s reach to all corners of the globe via online streaming.

Launching her latest business can be characterized by her toughest bicycle rides. During both the Solstice Ride and the Mt. Washington Hill Climb, Borowick had moments where she wanted to stop. Her body was sore, she was exhausted, and the road ahead looked insurmountable. But instead of giving up, she kept pushing. She kept pedaling and moving forward, focusing on the next hill, the next half mile.

Working toward smaller goals makes the larger ones possible. Borowick’s experiences in cycling have prepared her mentally for what 2020 has brought.

After months of planning, Borowick’s goal was to launch Nové in April with a big ribbon cutting where her friends, family and the entire community could see the time, effort and care that was put into turning the space at 581 Main St. in West Dennis into something beautiful, functional and attractive.

The pandemic forced Borowick to change her plans. She had to adapt. And like the many bike rides she has done over the years, she had to keep moving forward.

In-studio classes were delayed until there was guidance from the state. At that point, Borowick dived headfirst into the larger, overarching goal from the beginning – create video content that people could access anywhere at anytime through Nové’s website.

The only problem: Almost every other health, wellness and athletic facility was switching to virtual classes. A market that was relatively barren was now ripe with competition.

Nové had an advantage. It had known from the start who it wanted to be in the marketplace. It had a business plan using the BMC provided by its SCORE mentor. Its target market was athletes of all abilities, from the high school student being recruited by colleges to the college athlete hoping to make the leap to the

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pros; from the former college runner who wants to maintain their competitive advantage to cyclists who compete in tests of endurance to see what they can accomplish.

Nové hired talented local videographers and began to create quality content, featuring some of the best yoga instructors in the region. To date, it has amassed a library of over 150 videos, ranging from five minutes to an hour. There are classes for beginners, classes for experts and classes for everyone in between.

Despite recent successes, there have been obstacles along the way.

Because of COVID-19, Nové didn’t begin offering in-studio classes until July, limiting the number of students to eight. One room is used for classes, where it has implemented state-mandated health and safety precautions, including keeping participants 14 feet apart and purchasing disinfectants that weren’t in its original budget. The adjoining room is used only for recordings.

The studio quickly identified opportunities for growth, working with the community to offer outdoor yoga classes this summer on Dennis Village Green.

Added to Nové’s offerings were nutrition workshops, yoga classes for kids and a new threeclass workshop started in October geared toward helping students restore their nervous system and their body from muscular fatigue.

Nové continues to push its virtual classes while finding ways to give back by offering free monthlong memberships to staff at Cape Cod Healthcare, participants in the WE CAN GROW program and bicyclists in this summer’s Pan-Mass Challenge.

The one thing the pandemic has shown Nové is the importance of maintaining health and wellness. Nové’s leader is inspired every day because she knows her instructors are helping people take control of their health so they can be more productive personally, professionally and athletically.

Opening a new business in the midst of a pandemic sounds crazy. That message was delivered to Borowick over and over again.

But she remained positive. She has surrounded herself with people who are pushing Nové to be better, to do better, and to keep moving forward.

Anything worth pursuing in life is difficult. It’s hard. But Borowick has taken the lessons she’s learned from cycling and applied it to her professional life: Focus on the small victories; be persistent and remain patient. With every small task that is accomplished, Borowick knows she is one step closer to reaching the goals laid out in the plan. And when she reaches that point, she doesn’t stop there.

It is all about continuous improvement, setting the next goal and tackling it. Contributed by Marc L. Goldberg, certified mentor. For free and confidential mentoring, contact: capecod.score.org, capecodscore@ verizon.net, 508-775-4884. We go where you are.

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