Your Busy-ness is Bad for Your Business

It seems like whenever you ask someone how they are doing they somehow insert how “busy” they are. They use busy as why they can’t hang out with you. They are too busy for Pilates. Teachers and studio owners are too busy to do the work to get new clients but not teaching enough or making the money they want to make. Being “busy” is not just an excuse for why you’re not in contact with people. It’s now this badge of honor that somehow to make people feel proud of. I mean, if you’re busy you must be doing something right, right?

Wrong!

Being Busy is actually impacting you more than your personal life. Sure, you’re sooo busy you can’t see your friends. But, that probably means a lot of other things are falling to the way side. And, worse, you are most likely wasting time. Afterall, studies show we take as much time to do a task as we give it.

Wondering if your busy is affecting your business?

Do you find yourself do all the things all of the time? Multi-tasking is also a new badge of honor in the self-employed world. But, here’s the deal, the data is in, we cannot multi-task. It’s better for you to do one thing at a time. I know, you’re list is long. But, for one week give single tasking a try. See if you feel less stressed and more productive.

Are you trying to do too many things? We often overestimate what we can do in a day an underestimate what we can do in a year. So, give things time to do them right the first time.

Do you think that being busy equals being successful? Truth is, being a master of your own time means being truly successful!  I was listening to a podcast with the uber-successful entrepreneur Caterina Fake. She manages her time ferociously. She even has a list she calls WNO-when next online. So, instead of hopping on the internet whenever she has the urge to look something up or she remembers something she has to do. She writes it in her journal and does it during her blocked out time. This allows her to spend more time working on her ideas, growing her business and reading.

I know, you have a lot to do. You are the teacher, the accountant, the marketer, the blogger, the newsletter writer, the scheduler, a partner and/or parent and friend. You’re busy! But, I don’t want you to be busy doing busy work. I don’t want you sweating the small stuff. I don’t want you to start working on your admin and before you know it 3 hours have gone by.

My desire for you is to be the master of your schedule. To be in charge of when you teach, make the most of the time when you admin and put yourself first. When your cup is full you can pour into others. But, when you are so busy your cup is shaking and vibrating it’s spilling the goodness that is you and not actually helping anyone.

If you’re looking for tips on how to be ferociously in charge of your time and actions and implementations for self-care I’ll be sending those tips in my next newsletter. If you’re on the list you’ll be getting them. For now, I want you to take a good hard look at how busy you are. Is it working for you?

xx~LL   

 

Notes 2 Inspire: New Level, New Devil

Do you ever find yourself saying “once I get to ___ it’ll be better”? And, as you get closer and closer to your next level- website launch, new show, bigger space, and goal achieved it almost feels harder. And, then when you finally get a chance to break through. There is more work.

Sure, it’s exciting, I mean, you made it!

And, I want you to CELEBRATE

You did it. You are at the next level in your life, goal or business.

But, I wish someone had told me this theory years ago. Because I would have enjoyed being exactly where I was more.

See, I know you’re working hard. You want to more. You’re trying to move up. To get to the next level. And, if it’s because you’re ready, it’s time and it’s your next step, LEVEL UP MY FRIEND!

But, if you’re leveling up to escape where you are, to get out of the hardships of being where you are then please remember. New Level New Devil.

So, my friend, you got to be ready to level up.

This week, can you see where you are ready to level up and where you are forcing it because you just don’t like how hard your now is.

xx~LL

Why You Need a Substitute Teacher and Where to Find Them

Having someone else teacher your clients for you while you’re away on a trip or training might strike a chord of fear. I know, most teachers are not keen on letting someone else teach their clients. I mean, what if your client likes them better? I bet reading that out loud made you realize just how funny that sounds. Your clients love you. And, if they are willing to go to a sub or guest teacher you are amazing at what you do! Most clients don’t like change and would rather miss their Pilates than take from someone else. But, you should want your clients to take from a guest teacher. It’s good for your business and for clients!

Before we talk about where to find these guest teachers or subs let’s cover three reasons why you should want and be cool with having your clients take from someone else:

  1. Consistency is key! If you take a week off Murphy’s law would almost guarantee your client will be missing the week before or after. By aranging a sub for them you can ensure they only miss what they would have on their vacation. Allowing them to remain consistent, keeping Pilates in their schedule and you feeling guilt-free about taking some much deserved time off.
  2. They’ll realize just how good you are! When another teacher works with your client they will finally hear what you have been trying to get them to understand this whole time. They will also be excited to share (or lament if that’s their personality) about what they did with the other teacher. This is not an “I liked them more” convo but just a “look what I remember, I was a good student” share time.
  3. Clients who take from other teachers hear new things because every teacher has a different pair of Pilates eyeglasses on. It’s easy overtime for clients to tune us out. By hearing a new analogy, new cues or just a new voice they’ll listen to you better the next time you teach them.

Now that I’ve got you convinced that your clients will not leave you for the sub or guest teacher, in fact, they will probably last longer how do you go about finding this person?

If you are a studio owner chances are you have some options to turn to. If you’re an independent contractor it gets trickier. Or, if you work out of your own home or solo at a studio, like an independent contractor finding a sub or guest teacher isn’t as easy.

  1. Talk to your legal expert to make sure the payments for these sessions is kosher. I’ve got a great one if you need just contact me here. She is a fitness instructor who also is a lawyer!
  2. Take from other teachers in your community. When you find one that teaches like you inquire if they are interested in subbing when you travel. If so, is it possible for them to teach at your space? Clients are more likely to take from a sub if all they have to do is show up like usual.
  3. Make sure your client cards are up to date. This makes it easy for a guest teacher to step in, teach the session your client is used to and go.
  4. Follow up Check in with both the teacher and the client to see how it went. The first time might be awkward fro all parties. But, eventually, it’s easy and natural.

If you are a studio owner and the clients are studio clients I highly recommend that clients take from more than one teacher as a policy if they come more than two times a week. This makes it easier and more natural for clients to take from other teachers when their primary teachers are away or sick.

For my independent contractor in a studio with other teachers be sure to introduce your clients to other teachers when they are in for their session so that when you offer up the guest teacher it’s not a random teaching stranger but rather someone they are used to teaching.

Are you ready for your next trip? Whose going to sub for you?

xx~LL 

 

Notes 2 Inspire: It’s Your Reaction That Matters

I talk often about controlling your controlables. And, here’s the thing, stuff happens to us all the time. We wake up and begin our day and we are hit with what can feel like an onslaught of stuff! Our day feels derailed and out of our control. How we react makes all the difference!

Wait, don’t roll your eyes at me yet. Or, say “I know LL I know. But this time it was huge and I just can’t seem to stop crying/whining/screaming/lamenting.”

Here’s the thing, all the time you are spending reacting to what happens to you is time you can’t get back. It’s time spent giving to the people who are trying to distract you.

This week my goal was to get 2 months ahead in all my content. As I write this I am only a month ahead and I have one day left. I had massive distraction happen, some mistakes by others that held me up and the heat took out the electricity and took away 3 hours of my workday. I wanted to freak out sooo much! I wanted to throw a tantrum ( I know, I’m not 3 but I really just wanted to scream and shout at no one). But, the reality is the more time I spent focusing on how things weren’t going my way the planned the less time I had to do what I wanted to do.

So, this week, when stuff aka sh*t hits the fan it’s ok to totally take note, feel your feelings, but, instead of letting those feelings take on a life and path of their own see if you can change the derailments plan. Can you react better?

xx~LL

How to Be Referable

Social Media, Funnels and Online Ads may be all the rage. You may even be considering things like Classpass, groupon and online marketing. But, before you do let me remind you that referrals are still the number 1 way Pilates teachers and Pilates studios are getting new business. And, not just drop-in’s but legit clients who come again and again! So, how do you get more referrals? Do you just hope that your clients tell all their friends about you? Are there ways to get other businesses to rave about your Pilates business? And, what about those doctors, PT’s and Chiropractors? How do we get them to tell their clients about you?

  1. Be Referable: I know that seems obvious but what does that even mean? It means you have to prove you can deliver what you promise. So, that first or only client you have to make them your priority. Get testimonials and put them on your site. If they can attest to your awesomeness then others will feel good about referring your their peeps.
  2. Be clear on who you want to be referred to you. I know, you may be thinking “but LL I want anyone right now!” The truth is you don’t want just anyone. So, who do you want to teach? Get clear on this so that when people talk about you they know what to say and to whom.
  3. Always be open to Referrals. I know, you’re thinking, duh, but the truth is sometimes we don’t realize that we are closing the door on referrals because we are not actively talking to people about who we are what we do. Recently I blogged about things you can do today to improve your Pilates business. One of the tips was to tell 5 people who you are, what you do and whom you are for. Do you know how many people told me they would try that? TOO MANY! Even if you are booked and have a waitlist make sure you are telling people what you rock at. If you get peeps that are not for you-you’ll just refer them to the right teacher. Which people will LOVE!
  4. Make sure your clients know your offerings! This may sound obvious too. But, if you’re not consistently sending out newsletters it’s probably not obvious to your clients what else you do or offer. I write weekly newsletters and even still one of my clients just found out I have online mat classes (his wife reads the newsletters and clearly he doesn’t). I know you feel like a broken record but trust…they don’t know as much as you think they do.
  5. Be Remarkable! Meaning, share and do things that make your clients talk nonstop about you.
  6. Refer to others. Yes, give business away to competitors. You are not able to teach everyone. If people are looking for class-based pricing tell them who the best in town is. If they need to be in privates and you offer classes know the teachers in your area who excel at teaching privates. Trust me referring begets referrals.

Got these down? Ok, now you have to make a list of the businesses you love in your community. Find out how you can support them. Wait what?! Yep, find out what they need help in. Maybe they need a referral of someone you know? And, do you know what happens when you’re generous and you simply take the time to find out how you can support another business? They, in turn, want, desire to support you!

And, if you’re going, ok, got this, but how do I get those doctors, pt’s and other medical professionals to see that I am referable? Well, I’ve got a one hour webinar with Jessica Valant who is quite the expert in this area. Check out the deets here. And, while you wait for us to give our talk make sure you’ve got your 1-6 above all set.

How referable do you feel right now?

xx~LL 

 

Notes 2 Inspire: What If You Didn’t Care About the Hoopla

Do you ever start to do something and then freeze, worry, stress or totally freak out because you’re so worried about the outcome you can’t think about the next step? When’s the last time you had an idea but the stress that it wouldn’t work out, or the feelings of what people might think stopped you from seeing it through? I have moments where I go to do something and my “what would people think” worries start speaking. And, they don’t like to whisper.

But, then one day I just didn’t care. I was too tired to care about the hoopla. Then outcome. I just had to do the thing! And, you know what? There were zero fireworks. No one threw me a party and awarded me for my efforts. The idea came, I made it happen and it did its thing. And you want to know something?

It was freaking glorious!

Yep, the freedom to not give an F about what happened after I completed the idea was so invigorating I did it again. And again. And, now, there is nothing stopping me from just trying out the ideas that come my way. Some of them fall flat and I get awesome feedback from that. And others, well, they exceed my expectations. Like my AGENCY Mastermind. I didn’t put any hoopla expectations on this idea. I just had to birth it. And, it blows my mind every day.

This week, what if you didn’t care about the hoopla? What would you do?

xx~LL 

5 Things You Need To Be Doing In Your Pilates Business

Pilates Teachers, Pilates Studio Owners, and other Fitness Professionals there are not quick fixes in business. But, don’t let that stop you from reading this week’s blog post. I’ve got 5 things you should be doing in your business that I promise don’t cost money and just a bit of your time. If you’re ready to get out of your rut then keep reading!

  1. Communicating with your clients and community regularly: this can be blogging and newsletters.
  2. Growing your newsletter list and writing to it: You don’t own the algorithms. So you might be posting daily on social but I bet 7% of your followers are seeing what you write. So, repurpose that content and make it a newsletter! If the Social Platforms disappear your reach won’t!
  3. Networking with other businesses in your community: Get known my friends! I know it’s easy to be in your business and think your neighbors can’t help you, they are the competition and blah blah blah. But seriously, if you find out what other people are doing and tell them what you rock at then referrals begin to flow! So, go outside, bring some sugar just in case they need it.
  4. Upholding Clear Policies: You should have clear policies on prices, payment, and cancellation policies. And, you also have to uphold them. If you don’t your clients won’t. This will affect your business and in a compounding way.
  5. Not giving discounts: I know you think you need deals to get people in the doors, or that you cannot raise your rates to keep them there. But, I’d rather see you reward loyalty and referrals than discount yourself and try to compete in the race to the bottom on prices. Someone once told me if you discount yourself you will be discounted. And you’re too awesome for that!

Take a moment to check on all of these and how you are doing with them. Do you need help? I’ve got a 6th tip for those who get my weekly newsletter. If you want it (and ps my newsletters are free yo) then subscribe and be sure to opt in here.

xx~LL 

Notes 2 Inspire: Let Others Impress You

Ever been to a party? ha, lame question. Ever been around people you don’t know very well? The answer is probably yes. Can you recall one of the recent party’s you went to? Chances are you knew someone there but you probably also didn’t know other guests. And, there’s a weird thing that happens when we are around others we don’t know. We get nervous, worried or even quiet…we make ourselves small. Because we often think we have to impress these people we don’t know.

But, what if you let others impress you?

What if you could be your fully awesome self, and instead of having to feel like you have to sound cool or impress these strangers you let them impress you?

What questions would you ask? What could you learn? How would the conversation change? How more yourself would you feel?

There is this amazing thing that happens when you ask people to “tell me more.” They get an opportunity to share what they are excited and passionate about. And then they become a little more vulnerable and trust ensues. You learn new things you may never have. You also don’t leave feeling like you didn’t share your truth.

And, people after they share there thing will be excited to hear about your thing. And you’ll feel safe to share what you’re most excited about.

So, go ahead and let others impress you this week!

In fact, I’ll start, I want to hear what you’re most excited about right now. Let me know in the comments below or comment below.

xx~LL 

Pilates Teachers, What Should You Write About?

You became a Pilates teacher because you want to help people the way Pilates has helped you! And, then you found out you have to do a ton of other things to grow your Pilates business, get new clients and fill your classes and schedule. You get your website up and then you find out blogging isn’t dead and you have to write. And, you hear email isn’t dead and you have to send newsletters. What?! No one teaches these things in Pilates teacher training programs. What on earth are you supposed to write about?

Before you get writing let’s make sure you have a few things in place

  1. Your website lets you blog
  2. How often will you blog?
  3. Who are you blogging too?
  4. Your website captures emails and you have an account to send emails with something like MailChimp or Constant Contact
  5. How often will you send a newsletter?
  6. Who are you writing too?

Once you have those answers or at least some ideas then you can implement the following:

A: Write about what you are constantly answering. If people are asking you these questions they think you’re the expert and they are also asking the search engines these things.

B: Write about what you like to teach. If you don’t teach athletes don’t write about how Pilates is great for athletes. You want to write about what you feel you’re knowledgeable in and how you want to show up and teach each day.

C: The first paragraph is key! It needs the keywords that your clients and future clients are putting into the search engines. Give the good stuff away in the beginning and get them hooked.

Alright, I know you’re sitting here reading this and nodding your head and then slowly freaking out. This all sounds easier said than done. So, if you’re wanting to know how to blog watch my course here. If you’re needing help on newsletters, defining who you are writing to contact me here. Let’s work one on one. Your time is extremely valuable and we can get super clear on who you are writing to each week! It will make writing easier. I promise.

What are you going to write about this week? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

xx~LL 

Notes 2 Inspire: Pursue Purpose Instead

While flying here to my home in Siem Reap, Cambodia I saw that the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness” was available. I decided not to watch it after I cried at the end of “The Female Brain.” But, it reminded me of something I had heard recently. That they have done lots of studies and what people are looking for is not happiness. It’s Purpose.

Yep, purpose.

purpose
/ˈpəːpəs/
noun
the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
“the purpose of the meeting is to appoint a trustee”
synonyms: motivemotivation, grounds, causeimpetusoccasionreasonpointbasisjustification More

Well, isn’t that interesting? This whole time as adults we are working so hard at trying to be happy. But, really, what we want is a purpose.

And, if you’re reading this thinking, I am doing my purpose and I am not happy.

I wonder if you’re focusing on that happiness instead of diving in deep to fully enjoying your purpose?

I know for me when I took a moment to realize how lucky I am to be doing what I feel is my purpose today life got a little easier. My steps got a little lighter. My smile a bit brighter.

If you’re reading this because you haven’t figured out your purpose yet. Two things you can try this week

  1. What is it that people often ask you for? What are the questions you are constantly answering? How can what you know be wrapped differently than what you’re doing with it today?
  2. And, then, try those ideas out! Here’s the thing, even if #1 leads to a dead end CLARITY COMES FROM ACTION. You can think your purpose into being.

No matter if you know your purpose or you don’t this week try to reframe your drive towards purpose rather than happiness. See what happens!

xx~LL 

3 Tips to Winning Your Clients Back

Have you had a client go on vacation, have the best time and then come back to their life but not to their Pilates schedule? Or, that client that came 2x a week religiously, got sick, took a break and you haven’t seen them since. There’s a whole lot of feelings when situations like these happen. First, you’re worried? Are they ok? But, you see on social their totally fine. So, then, frustration and feeling rejected ensues. I mean, they loved class with you. Why aren’t they back? Did you do or say something wrong? Should you call them? Ugh, but it’s been weeks, so now it feels awkward! Am I right? When did running your Pilates business feel like dating?

Here’s the thing, we are not the right teacher for everyone all of the time. Sometimes it’s good for clients to take a break. But, what if it’s not. What if it’s the right client and teacher and you know that life has just gotten to them and you want to be there to bring them back, to return them to life? Can you get an old client back?

Yep, and here are three tips to winning clients back:

  1. Contact them! Ok, before you roll your eyes and stop reading this blog hear me out. You probably connected them once when they were supposed to return, maybe even twice. And then you stopped reaching out. I get it. It feels awkward. But, you don’t know what’s going on with them. You may have emailed them the day they got bad news. They saw your email but just couldn’t respond. So, call them, say hi, if you can help them with anything. Don’t ask them to come in just be supportive.
  2. Have a Newsletter: Yes, this works! If you were already writing a consistent newsletter and making sure all your clients opted into it then your love notes would be hitting them regularly. I have two clients that travel a ton and always respond to my newsletters when they are going to be back in LA.
  3. Create a Community at your space. Yes, you can do this even if you teach Privates only and even if you’re an independent contractor. So many of my clients are friends because they pass each other between sessions. That little 5 min break where I am washing my hands and using the ladies they are gabbing away. If you have classes this is easier if you introduce people and encourage them to say hi to their neighbor in class etc. But, the accountability of the others knowing they are missing class keeps them coming back. For those of us who mostly teach privates introduce your clients to each other as they pass. Over time they get quite comfortable gabbing away. They usually start by lamenting over how you torture them! It’s fun!

Here’s the thing, clients are going to disappear. But, there are some key things you can be doing in your business to mitigate those disappearances. And, here’s the thing, getting a new client costs a lot. It costs time and money and those are two things I don’t want you to waste. So, setting your clients and your business up to strengthen your retention is key. If you want to get clients back and also prevent losing the good ones be sure to join me on my next webinar.

In the meantime, go ahead, call them! What’s the worst thing that happens they block you? They don’t call you back? Ok, that’s at least an answer and so not the end of the world. You’ll feel free to go ahead and fill there spot with a client who is more dedicated.

xx~LL 

Notes 2 Inspire: Easy Does It

I am on the PLANE! I made it! We Made it! Brad and I. And, I have to say there were three times I thought for sure we weren’t going to make it. And, inside I wanted to freak out. Have you ever felt like that at the airport?

Anyways, each time I felt the creep of panic I remembered that I am focusing on ease. Keeping things cool, calm. Calling out the panic and realizing that all those people we were in line with, they all have to get on the plane too. We all can’t miss this flight!

I say this from my window seat.

So, clearly, I made it.

And, you can practice this too!

Today, before I was late for my flight, stood in too long a line and then watched as my bag sat there waiting to be dropped down after it’s security screening and yet it just sat there. Every second felt like 10 minutes! Before all this chaos I was calm.

SO SO SO CALM!

I mean, it was kind of funny how many people I spoke with on the phone or in person who commented on how calm I was when they found out I was flying out so soon.

I smiled with delight because that’s exactly what I wanted. I wanted to keep today easy.

To keep things easy today I didn’t over plan my schedule. In fact, I gave myself an hour to do what took 10 min. Two hours for things that took a half hour. It was amazing!

Here’s the thing my friends, everything, literally EVERYTHING takes longer than you expect! So, just keep that in mind. Feel the panic, anxiety and overwhelm. But, don’t keep in inside. Say out loud how you are feeling and how you want to feel.

If you want things to feel easy ask yourself what would have to happen for “this” to be easy?

I know, sounds simple, but, how often do we choose the simple thing?

This week, easy does it!

Keep Calm, Do your thang!

xx~LL

Gotta run, taking off, I’ll be in Cambodia! You’ll have to join me next time.