Duncan Peak was 18 when he enrolled at the Royal Military College, Duntroon. One year later, he was leading men. “I graduated with 30 people working under me,” he says. “At the age of 19 years old I had to understand how to motivate my team in extreme circumstances, on a very deep level.”
Six years after enlisting, Peak was discharged from the army due to an injury that even numerous surgeries couldn’t fix. He was given two choices: stay in the service, without the option of going out on operations, or leave.
“I was shocked when I was discharged,” says Peak, “I thought my whole life was over.”
Seeking a new direction, Peak completed a Masters degree in business administration, where he learned how to apply the motivational skills he picked up in the military to a new role in the corporate world.
“In the army I learned how to manage people at a level that generates the most productivity,” he explains. “This was what I was exceptional at in the corporate world.”
In turn, his corporate career gave him a commercial knack that didn’t go unnoticed. When his local yoga studio filed for bankruptcy, the owner persuaded Peak to buy it, leading to a new career that surprised even Peak himself.
“I didn’t really want to own a yoga studio,” he says, “but he persuaded me, (and) I’d been helping them out with their business processes.”
Initially, Peak held onto his corporate role, working full-time while establishing Power Living Yoga. For six years the studio thrived, building a strong, well-trained family of teachers eager to open new locations. Today, there are eight Power Living Yoga studios across the country.
“The expansion was more about growing careers rather than the business,” says Peak.
He’s speaking about the growth of his staff, but he could also be speaking about his own progression. Despite their differences, each of Peak’s disparate roles has given him experience that can be applied in the next. And as Power Living Yoga continues to flourish, it looks like he’s finally found the right one, no matter how unlikely it would have seemed to his 18-year-old self.
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