5 Things You Need to Do to Make the Leap in Your Business

Can you make a living teaching Pilates? Is teaching Pilates a career you can have long-term? Can you make a living teaching at one location? Should I teach at this studio or that studio? Can I open my own studio someday? These questions are just a handful of the ones I have received this month. New teachers, veteran teachers and soon-to-be teachers reaching out to get advice on going from where they are now to where they want to go. How does one make the leap?

These questions touch my soul actually because at the heart of these questions is “is my dream possible?” And, because I know people believe that goals and dreams are possible. If they are asking this question it’s because they probably wonder if it is possible for them. Which means they are wondering if they are enough.

Here’s the thing about your Pilates business wishes, goals and dreams…they are all possible. But, they require you to do a few things. And, unfortunately these things are not easy.

  1. You have to be clear on what you want for the future
  2. You have to be purposeful and strategic in your trainings and education
  3. You will have to learn to say ‘No’ more often than you think
  4. You will have to take educated risks
  5. You need to build a bridge

That last one is one that I think is important to focus on. Many goals coaches talk about ‘taking a leap.’ They ask “what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” I prefer Brene Brown’s version of this question “What do you have to do even if you fail?” It’s a recipe for anxiety if you only do things that you couldn’t fail at. Or, not doing things because there is a risk it could not work out.

If you have a dream, a goal, you feel a calling you owe it to yourself it try it out. See what happens. Now, I am not saying go get a loan and open your dream studio right out of the gate. But, that you have to take steps towards that goal. Try things on for size see how it feels. Everything is good feedback.

Maybe you want to open a studio someday go manage one. See what you love about it and what you don’t so you can manage your studio differently. Or, if you realize I want my own space but I don’t want to manage anyone! Then your studio dream can still happen it justs means you need a space that only you need to be in.

If you’ve got goals go try them on! Clarity comes from action. Thinking about it a lot and not taking any leaps is draining. And creates a frenetic energy.

Also, by trying on your goals, giving them a go on a smaller scale you are in fact building a bridge from where you are now to where you want to go. With a bridge, no net to catch you is needed. You can walk right across it.

If you are sitting there reading this and feeling like you are wrestling with several options or choices and you don’t know what to choose or what to do then it’s time to talk. I’ve got two options for you. My free webinar on December 16th –How to Make the Leap‘ or a one-on-one coaching call. It’s never too late to build your bridge. But, why wait any longer than you need to?

xx~LL

Is It Time to Make a Leap in your Business?

One of the questions I often answer is how do I go from my current job to teaching Pilates full-time? Sometimes, it isn’t even in the form of a question. It’s more of a wish or dream. “One day I will be able to teach fulltime. I don’t know when yet.” But, “leaps” can be more than just going from your old job, the one that paid the bills to dream job- TeachingPilatess Full time. I have been talking with many teachers lately about if they should quit teaching a particular class or if they should say yes to teaching a class at a different location. And, it’s not just teachers who are in wonder of what to do. Where to go! Studio owners also have to make choices. You may be reading this wondering if you should cancel certain classes, add others, raise rates, hire more teachers, etc. How do you know when it is time to make the “leap.”

Well, I wish I could promise you this blog would be able to give you specific dates, times, benchmarks to hit before you leap. But, I cannot do that. Every single one of you is a unique teacher, owner or apprentice. You have your own history, your own goals and your own vision for what your life will look like.

But, what I can do is give you some questions to ask yourself when you are wondering which way to go or what choice to make:

  1. If it’s 1, 2, or 5+ years from now would you still be doing ____? If you are currently teaching a class at 6am. And, in a year or two years you want to only be teaching 9-1am and your choices are to take on another 6am class or lose the one you have it may be time to let go of that class instead of doubling down. Sometimes we need a little push to force us to get closer aligned with who we want to be and what we want to do. There are always choices. You get to make a choice. Each choice is like a door. You can continue to walk through the door you know even though it leads you towards something that doesn’t rock your soul or pay the bills. Or, you can choose the door that more closely aligns with where you hope to be in the future. It won’t be easy but a year from now you’ll be closer to where you want to be.
  2. Filter through your vision. Have a 30k foot view of your life. Be super clear on this. If you are it won’t change all that much over time. Be firm in your goals/vision. But, be flexible in how you get there. Sometimes we are so firm in our vision that we are too firm in the path. We hire the wrong teachers, say yes to the wrong clients and take ourselves further from the actual vision. As you meet teacher you are considering to hire, interview for studios you are thinking of working for or meeting potential clients. If you filter the choice through your vision and it aligns go for it. If it doesn’t align be confident in saying ‘no.’
  3. Never discount yourself. If you discount yourself, try to compete with the discounted rates of the competition you will eventually be discounted. And, worse you may not be able to leave your other job, other locations or for the studio owners you may not be able to expand or stay open! Honor your value, charge your worth, raise your rates if you need to and feel confident in the awesomeness you are. The benefits of working with you are only felt when the energy exhange (rate for the session) is aligned with your worth. Otherwise, the client discounts your value and you eventually resent teaching for less than you should. Or worse, you can’t afford to teach and we lose and awesome teacher!

There are so many other tips I could give you to help you decide if it is time to leap. But, one more I will leave you with is that it doesn’t always need to be a leap or a free fall. It can be a bridge that you build. Create a pathway for you to go from where you are now to where you want to go. If you want to be teaching full-time book out the hours you can now and overtime pull back on your other gig. Have a clear idea of when you’ll have enough runway to leave the gig to teaching full time. If you want to be hiring teachers for your studio be clear on your studio vision and goals. Create the bridge by having set expectations, benefits, policies and procedures in place before you begin to interview. Show the “bridge” the studio goals to future teachers and see if they feel its a bridge they can cross.

As the holiday come upon us and the beginning whispers of “new years resolutions” begin it’s a good time to get clear on your big vision and evaluate what you’re currently saying yes to. Maybe it is time to leap!

If you want to get clearer on this contact me here. Think you need to raise your rates? Join me here!

xx~LL

5 Ways to Make Time for Your Own Pilates Practice

When I was a Pilates apprentice I never worked out more in my entire life! Do you remember being a student? I swear between the Pilates sessions I took from my teacher trainer, then being a body for my fellow apprentices and the self-practice hours and mat classes I had to attend it was multiple hours a day some weeks. I was not at all prepared for life post apprentice life. I became a teacher because I loved doing Pilates. And, as a student in training I got to do so much Pilates and then I started teaching…I know I am not the only one who after finishing their program saw their Pilates practice go from many hours to few hours. In fact, this week’s blog post is inspired by the many teachers who have been asking me how to make time for their own Pilates practice. After a couple week’s of losing out on my regular Pilates practice, I realized that I had to treat myself like I treated my clients. I had to put my sessions in first. I know, easier said than done. But, here are five ways you can make sure your Pilates is a priority. And, if at the end you still think you won’t have time then I want you to hit me up. Because you cannot stay inspired if you’re not exploring Pilates in your body.

  1. Sharpie You in First: If you follow my blogs about getting clients to be consistent or have done my course “getting busy with what you’ve got” then you know how to do this. But, in short, you should schedule your life around your Pilates sessions. I know, you have no room in your schedule. Take a blank schedule and put in your favorite workout times, classes or standing session with your favorite instructor. Then schedule everyone else.
  2. Get Moving with Tech: These days there is no shortage of options. So, if you don’t live near an instructor that inspires you Skype with one. Many teachers like myself are now offering Skype, Facetime or Zoom sessions. But, when you set this up be sure to make it a standing appt so you never miss! You can also get moving with PilatesAnytime.com (use LLOGAN for a 30-day trial) it’s only $18/month.  My weekly online Mat classes are only $5/week and are 30 min long so no matter how busy you are you can get your Pilates on. There is also Pilatesology.com and PilatesAvatar. With all these options and at rates that are less than an almond milk latte I hope you can see I am taking your excuses away. Once you pick one or two of these tech options go back to #1 and schedule your workouts in your schedule.
  3. Workout before you respond to emails: These days there are autoresponders so if you are worried about getting back to people set up an autoresponder that says you’ll “get back to them when you’re done working out and teaching Pilates.” I promise there will always be more emails so your Pilates workout comes first.
  4. Buddy up! Grab a teacher in your studio or even a friend across the globe and have a set Pilates session time. Text or Facetime each other and hop on your separate mats or Reformers and get moving. I used to do this with my friends in high school. We would play the same exact card game and start at the same time. Then we would call each other and see who finished the game first. Now, your Pilates sessions isn’t a race but if you both have to do a 30 min Pilates session that day and if you don’t you’ll have to tell a friend that you had “too much to-do” you’re going to have to take more time out of your day to explain yourself rather than just getting your move on!
  5. Learn how to Say No: I think doing #1 is pretty easy. Writing in your Pilates workout in your weekly schedule. But, protecting it is a whole other situation. However, if you have done the work to block that hour off every week, week after week then no one should be able to take it from you unless you give it away. And, I know that sometimes it’s easier to say you’ll take them “just this one time” so that you don’t lose the money. But, why should you bend over backward for them? You’re planning your life and teaching around your sessions you can train your clients to do the exact same thing. So, while it’s so hard to say no to a client aka money your Pilates practice, body, mind, and inspiration need you to protect your time to refill your Pilates gas tank.

What’s your trick for keeping Pilates in your weekly schedule? Share it below so other teachers can benefit from it. Because the more we do Pilates the more inspired we are which makes our clients feel excited and share the joy of Pilates with their friends. And, that means, more people doing Pilates!

xx~LL 

What I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Pilates Business

Sometimes I am grateful I didn’t know what I didn’t know when I started my Pilates teaching business. Although to be fair, I had eight years retail experience with seven years in management and a degree in communication so I wasn’t coming into the business side of things without experience in business. But, I know that my background is not normal. And, that many Pilates instructors come from a variety of experiences and that can mean starting out as a teacher and feeling lost and unsure. And, feeling alone. I mean, even if you are teaching in a studio with a bunch of other Pilates teachers when you are new you don’t always feel like you can ask about the business side of things. So, there is a lot of learning as you go into this Pilates world. Which was the impetus to my book but I do hope that this week’s blog post with contributions from teachers and studio owners far and wide gives you some insight and some comfort.

I will start off this what I wish list! I wish I knew that there was no one way to offer sessions, packages, and classes. I wish that ten years ago I knew then what I know and absolutely believe now…that when you know what you want you create the business that aligns with the way you are inspired to offer your services.

I wish I knew that you can say no. I learned very quickly, of course, the hard way and I am a massive proponent that you say no to every session or client that doesn’t align with your goals and soul.

I wish I knew in the beginning that there would be enough time to take all the continuing education. And, instead of signing up for EVERY workshop I was a bit pickier with my time and money.

I also wish I had been comfortable in my own teaching abilities from the beginning. If you are new to teaching you are exactly where you need to be! Keep practicing, observing and asking questions.

Now, I probably could go on for pages but how about hearing from some of you!

Rae Snyder of Infinity Pilates and Yoga:  Finding your Niché: When I was first branding my business (in 2009) I thought Pilates wasn’t well known enough in Waco and that my studio needed a little help from Yoga! Everyone had heard of yoga but not everyone had heard of Pilates so I thought combining the 2 would be a win-win! I was sadly mistaken! Maintaining both a specialized Yoga space and Pilates space proved to be too much! I was serving 2 very different markets and was trying to be too many things for too many people! After a few failed hiring attempts, where Yoga instructors and I did not mesh, I decided to focus solely on Pilates! I really wish someone had told me about finding your niché and going hard in that one area before I decided on a name for my business, Infinity Pilates and Yoga!

For the past 4 years, I have focused solely on Pilates and my business has grown steadily in the direction I have always wanted it to grow!! I now have dedicated clients who schedule their lives around their Pilates appointments and actually want to learn what I have to offer!! I am sure a rebranding is in my future!”

The Pilates Pod “I wish I had known how hard it was to find good teachers”

B Pilates and Training “I wish I had promoted myself as well as the studio I worked for. I never really thought of doing that. Also, that I had been firmer with my schedule, I was too available in the beginning.”

Brooke Tyler of CoreSelf and Clasique   “Wish I knew…it will never “level out” and thinking it will, expecting it to get super smooth and ‘stressless’ is actually the greatest source of stress. Expect instead that running a business will never be level, calm, and comfortable. It’s the essence of life well lived and a business continually evolving. It’s uncomfortable. And that’s part of the passion, the hustle, and the creative entrepreneurship.”

And, two more from Rae: “Socially Isolated: When I began my business adventure, Facebook was all the rage! I knew social media was a fun way to stay connected with friends and family, but I never really grasped the impact it could have on my business! And not in the way you might think! I started a Facebook page for the studio and that was about it. I rarely posted anything, because being on the internet constantly made me feel guilty like I was neglecting my clients and teaching! In the beginning, my studio mostly grew by word of mouth and I never gave my studio page much thought. Honestly, marketing on social media was never necessary for me.

Fast forward 8 years and I started an Instagram account to keep up with other instructors in the Pilates community! After attending my first PMA conference I realized how beneficial an online presence could be for connecting with other instructors and sharing ideas! For me, social media was less about marketing myself and more about sharing ideas with like-minded individuals! I didn’t know what I was missing by being inactive on my accounts! I am so thankful I started reaching out to other teachers in this way! No one tells you how lonely being a studio owner can be. Having a community is crucial to preventing burnout and helping you feel grounded in your work.”

“Competition: When I started my studio I shared my space with another instructor. We were separate businesses, but we worked together really well and for a while, we were the only Pilates instructors in Waco! She and I eventually outgrew our space so we decided to part ways. We had 3 clients who had all pursued their teaching certifications while training with us so before we she and I stopped working together, we tossed around the idea of all 5 of us joining forces and creating 1 really awesome studio! My idea didn’t appeal to everyone so we all did our own thing and one of the newer instructors decided to stay with me! I was so nervous about this new level of competition, but we worked really hard to keep a relationship going between us all and honestly, there has been no change in my business and it’s been 4 years now! I still would love to have 1 big studio, but the Pilates scene in Waco is still fairly new so that might be something that happens later!  I wish someone would have warned me that competition will come and go and it’s really not anything to worry about and that when someone rejects a business plan, not to take it personally because you can’t know what everyone is working toward! I originally felt like I was being rejected and that my business wouldn’t make it with so many other studios around! If I had known, then, how it was going to work out I would have saved myself a whole lotta stress!!”

I know there are a thousand times ten more “wishes I would have known” but I had to end it on the big wish I hope you all know. Don’t sweat the competition. Embrace it, no one can be YOU! And, if you read my “notes to inspire” from the other day there is always room for you if you are being your amazing unique self. There is no room for copycats.

Don’t see your wish you here? I would love to hear it! Comment below! Or, share your high fives with one of our contributors.

xx~LL 

PS It’s really ok to not know what you don’t know. But, its even more ok to ask for help!

 

How to Put Your Goals in First

I’ll never forget the first time I sat down to do my goals. I did the whole 10-year vision and plan with them. I loved it! I couldn’t believe the daring goals I had written down. And, for the most part, all of those goals happened within three years not ten! But, a few didn’t. And, it took me another goal setting experience, a panic attack and a few more years to figure out why. Sure, there was a goal or two that really just sounded good but wasn’t truly my own. But, a couple others were things I really did want to happen. But, they hadn’t and it wasn’t because they were out of my control. Nope, they were totally within my reach. I just hadn’t put them first. I had not put me first!

As Pilates Instructors and Studio Owners it is not always easy to put our wants, needs and desires first. In fact, sometimes it just feels impossible!! But, the thing is while we are in the “service industry” we are not of service to others. If we do not put our goals in our schedule they will not happen and we will lose inspiration. If we do not put our ideas in place and even fail along the way we will wonder why we are doing what we are doing. We will feel the exhaustion that comes from pushing a boulder up a hill. We will start to resent our clients, our work and feel powerless in our circumstances. And, doesn’t that just sound awful?

When I first became a Pilates Instructor I had a very grandiose idea for what I was going to do and be as an instructor. And, just like my goals setting earlier I hit most of them. And a few others I actually denounced and said to those who knew of them that I didn’t really want them or that now wasn’t the right time. Truthfully, I was so busy making others goals happen that I didn’t have the time or energy to give to my own. And, I didn’t believe my goals were possible, I mean, who was I to want those goals?

Well, I wish someone had told my newbie teacher self what I know now. If you want it, you do the work and you maintain control over your schedule and needs you can have it all and it will happen. But, the problem isn’t that you don’t know what you want, and it’s not really that you don’t have the skills or deserve it. It’s that you have to make a space for your magic to happen.

But, as teachers and studio owners, it’s easier to say yes to a client, to come in on our day off or to stay for another hour to get a client in. It’s easier to cover for a teacher instead of getting someone else. It’s easier to do it all ourselves rather than delegate it out! Is this sounding familiar?

Last week I had the opportunity to take a couple days off during the week. During days I usually teach. I almost turned it down. But, one of my goals has always been that I can travel more often. That I can have a schedule that is flexible to me taking a trip for work or for fun. So before I hit send on my declined response I remembered my goals. And, I said yes instead.

Sure, it required me to move a lot of peeps. But, my schedule has to reflect my goals. And, it didn’t always do that…hence the panic attack several years ago. I was stressed beyond my abilities because I was trying to do others goals and fit in my own. And, since getting that straightened out I have made a point to always put my schedule together first. But, I know you’re wondering how do you do that? So, let me stop talking about me and give you tips to help you!

  1. Know what you want! If you don’t we can’t create a schedule around nothing
  2. You have to commit and protect it! Your clients, team, family, and friends do not mean to take you away from your goals. They don’t know that when they ask to come in at 5 pm on a Monday that they are asking for you to give up on your favorite class. You have to tell them “No, I am not available at that time. But, I have ___ or ____.”
  3. Do one thing a day towards your goals. If you put off the action items that help propel you towards what you want you can’t magically get what you want. Isn’t the definition of luck where preparation meets opportunity. You have to do the preparation so that you can find the intersection.
  4. Say No more often…I know this is basically a repeat of #2 but it’s that important! You cannot say yes to everyone and You. So, before you respond to something practice artful ways of saying no. For example, “let me check my schedule and get back to you.” Or, “I’d love to but, until the ____ I cannot take on any projects right now.”
  5. Once a week check in and make sure you are putting you in the schedule first. I used to only check on my goals quarterly. But, then I noticed that I would skip a few weeks on my stuff and my stress levels would start to rise. So, I started doing a weekly check-in. This helps me stay on top of what I need to be doing each week.
  6. Get an accountability partner! Tell someone close to you what you are working on so that it’s even harder to say “yes” to someone else and “no” to yourself. If you are really good at putting yourself last get a few accountability partners!
  7. Give yourself a break! If you miss a week, say yes when you should have said no or feel like your goals have changed it’s all OK! Start over where you left off.
  8. Design you Dream Schedule! This is the biggest KEY to all of these tips. And, if you need help I LOVE doing this! You can do it with me one-on-one or take my course here.

Here’s the deal my friend! I am a massive believer in doing business un-usual! I don’t think there is room for you to be the same as any teacher out there or to run your studio the way others have. I believe there is plenty of room and success out there if you run your business YOUR way! With your goals, your needs and your vision in mind.

So, what’s your dream schedule look like?

xx~LL 

 

Are These 3 Things Holding You Back?

What happens when LL and Cool J get together?! Well, read on to find out! This week’s guest blogger is a soul sister of mine and I couldn’t be more honored to have her share her words here with you in this week’s blog post. Jenna Zaffino, Pilates Teacher, Business Coach, Podcast host and way more than words can describe has shared three common limiting beliefs and help for each of them.  As you read this week’s blog ask yourself if any of this sounds familiar to you. And, if it does let’s talk! Limiting beliefs are walls keeping you from what you want. And, as you’ll read Jenna and I know that there is so much magic on the other side of every wall.  Jenna, take it away!


As a career coach, I’ve been fortunate to work with Pilates Pros around the world.  My favorite part of coaching is learning about the various cultures in different studios.  This provides a great reminder that we are all connected through this beautiful method. 

Most similarities amongst global Pilates teachers fall into the positive realm; health conscious, movement enthusiasts, love the Pilates Method forever and ever, etc. On the opposite end, however, I have seen some major universal themes that get in the way of the progress of Pilates Professionals and create negative stories that hold us back from the true potential of our work.

The following are what I’ve seen to be the top 3 limiting beliefs of Pilates Pros, along with some perspective that may help you see your situation in a new light.

  1. Suffering is part of the job.

Many teachers believe that they must suffer in order to provide help for others. For some, it’s getting paid less than they are worth (or working for free,) for others, it’s working far too many hours in the name of providing help.  The truth is, suffering, rather than thriving will, in fact negatively affect your work. The suffering mindset breeds resentment, irritability, hopelessness and ultimately is a gateway to burnout.  What starts out as a noble sacrifice can quickly become a burden – especially when it negatively affects your finances. To me, it’s about the ripple effect.  If you are paid what you are worth, you may be able to lessen your hourly workload, which preserves your energy for the clients you still see.  When those clients have a quality experience with you, they will be more likely to refer you to the people and opportunities who will appreciate the wholeness of your work and pay you for it.  Start thinking about the areas where you might be overextended.  What is one small change you can make to move towards an energy of thriving rather than surviving?

       2. I should do it all myself to save money.

I used to live and breathe this tenant to a fault.  Then, one day, a successful entrepreneur asked me what I was best at.  “Teaching Pilates!” I exclaimed.  He said, then do more of that and hire someone to do the things that drain you.  The idea of spending money on help can be daunting, but each time I have invested in my business by taking something off of my plate that allowed me to do more of my great work, I have reaped the benefits 10-fold.  Today, I run a small business of just me as the teacher/coach/podcaster AND I have a full-time Operations Director.  She provides the platform for me to shine.  On paper, I may save some $$ without an employee, however, without the help of a teammate, I would most certainly be in burnout mode every day.  What is one area that you can outsource? Laundry, reception internships, and housekeeping are 3 great areas from which to start taking some work off of your place.

       3. I have to stick with the known model of running a Pilates studio.

I feel like this one is a doozy, however, the more I’ve worked with clients to individualize their business practices, policies and procedures to the needs of their business, the more I have seen their businesses thrive.  If you’ve owned a studio, or even run a private practice, you know that there is a certain way that things are done as “norms” in the industry.  The thing is, there are no rules as to how you run your business other than the policies and procedures must serve both your clients and your bottom line.  Have slow months in the summer? Why not run your annual budget on a 10-month projection.  Need to ensure that classes are attended? Why not offer pre-registration for class series?  I encourage my clients to get creative with their models, not only from the standpoint of differentiating themselves from other competitors but to make their business work for them.  What is one way you would like your business to serve you better?

Join me on June 28th with Lesley as we bust through some of your limiting beliefs to help you make the shift towards thriving in your business!


Yes, you read that right! Jenna and I will be teaming up to help you with your Pilates business questions, concerns, problems, projects and more! All you have to do is register here and then send in your questions here. Join us live for the webinar or enjoy the replay for up to one week.

xx~LL

For more Jenna Gems check her out on Facebook, Instagram, her website and her podcast.

Creating, Marketing and Leading Workshops

In the last couple years of coaching Pilates and Fitness professionals one of the repeated projects I’ve worked on with others is how to create, fill (market) and lead a workshop. But, before I dive into all that info let me cover a couple questions I often answer in my DM’s-

Do I have to teach workshops? No, if you don’t want to please don’t! I’m not saying that because the space is filled or that you won’t be good at it. I am saying that because I firmly believe that as teachers and other fitness professionals its important to have offerings that are aligned with how we want to show up as teachers, the types of clients you want to teach and your goals/vision. If you don’t feel the desire to stand up in front of an audience and teach a workshop. You don’t have to. And, the beautiful thing is you’re still an awesomely amazing human and teacher! Leading workshops does not determine your knowledge or ability to rock and grow your Pilates business.

Can I have people teach workshops in my space? Absolutely! There are plenty of teachers who travel around and share their wisdom. You don’t have to be the teacher if that’s not in your wheelhouse. In fact, a great way to bring your clients, community or teachers to your studio is to bring in a guest teacher. If that’s something you’re interested in still read the tips below so you choose an instructor who answers the questions you are asking, and whose message speaks to those who will be attending.

How do I know my workshop will be what people want? Warning! Another non-answer. You don’t, and I don’t! But, if you feel you have something to share and to say and you know who should hear it and you’re willing to put in the work then you should do it and it will be what it will be. Then you’ll learn from that, make some changes and go from there.

Do I have to be a teacher trainer or create a workshop only for other teachers? Nope! In fact, I think more workshops for clients are a great idea! And, you don’t need to be a teacher trainer or “famous” to lead them. The more you prepare and create a workshop in line with your strengths and passions the more successful you will be and the more excited those who attend will be before, during and after.

I want to teach workshops but I haven’t and no one has hired me to do it. If you want to truly teach workshops create the workshop you want to teach (follow my info below and lets talk) and do the legwork in getting some people there. Get some testimonials and do it again. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you cannot manifest a workshop.

When a first started teaching Pilates I was asked about 6 months in to lead my first workshop. It was on how to “Convert First Time Clients.” It’s been almost ten years since that workshop and my workshop has changed as I have changed. But, I have to admit that I felt beyond nervous to present and also had so much self-doubt. Who was I, this baby instructor, to be leading a workshop to teachers who have been teaching years longer than me?!

Well, while they could school me all day on the method there was one area where I had knowledge that could help them. I couldn’t take a new client without turning them into a two, three or even four times a week client. And, people noticed. So, the first workshop was birthed because I was asked, there was a need. Which leads me to my first tip-

What questions are you constantly answering? This will help direct you to what workshop topics to work on.

After that workshop, I went home and thought about what I thought went well and what I wanted to change. I made those notes right then and there. I didn’t want to forget them. Then a couple months later when I was asked to present the same workshop I did it with the new changes. This leads to my second tip-

Don’t try to create the PERFECT workshop! Create what you can, practice it on some close friends or clients, make changes and do it again. Your workshop will forever be adding, deleting and changing as you do and as your audience does.

Over the years my workshop line up grew because I started seeing other areas where my strengths could support my community. I didn’t set out to have a line up of ten or more workshops. I simply followed my curiosity. What and how was I doing things in my business that could be helpful to others?

Which brings me to my final tip for today- What or how does your idea help those who you want to come to your workshop? And, who are “those” people?

Just like I talk about in “Attracting Your Ideal Client” and “Becoming Known” it’s not about trying to get everyone to come to any workshop. It’s about knowing who your workshop is for and how it helps them.

If leading workshops are calling your name, if you have on your business goals to teach a workshop or you’re looking to add to the different revenue streams of your teaching business and the tips above got your juices flowing then join me for my webinar Create, Market and Lead your own Workshops. Or, contact me here for a one on one coaching session that takes you from where you are now to where you want to grow. Maybe you’re already creating and leading workshops but are stuck on the marketing? Both the webinar and my one on one coaching are great for you! Choose the kind of learning that works best for you.

What will you create next? I’d love to hear from you! You can comment below or here for more information on taking your workshops to the next level.

xx~LL

Your Invitation to Investigation

I remember when I first started teaching Pilates. It was over ten years now but I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I was so excited to be teaching something I believed in so much I would say the cues I heard my teachers say. I didn’t always know if I was getting the results I wanted but I knew my teachers who knew what they were doing did and so if it worked for them…

But, then over time, I realized that not all cues work the same. Not all exercises feel the same in different bodies. Clients and teachers have different learning and different teaching styles. It took getting curious and investigative to up-level my teaching!

And, the thing about curiosity and being a detective is that it’s not something you can compartmentalize. Once I turned on this investigative work in my teaching it affected my own Pilates practice. Exercises I would skip doing because I didn’t “get it” or it felt “wrong” I began to find something new. To come at them from a different angle.

The detective work didn’t stop there! It’s like a virus that but the good kind! Because when you practice being curious you don’t take roadblocks as the final answer. You hit a wall and you ask yourself “is there another way?” Of course, there is! So, then you try to find all the other ways. Are you struggling to get to your next level because the universe is against you? Did someone really take that opportunity from you? Or, is there another way?

When you practice finding different ways to get different clients to do the same exercises but for their body options present themselves. When you practice getting curious as to how the Pilates method feels in your body and you stop skipping exercises or practicing the same exercise the same way expecting something different the opportunities for growth in your own body and strength appear. When you stop taking things that “happen” to you as the answer and start getting curious as to other ways you can achieve the same desires you take control over your own life. Your destiny is accessible all because you got curious!

And, my dear friends, Pilates instructors, and studio owners I want to help you become investigative! That’s why I created my online Pilates business course Your Invitation to Investigation!

Your Invitation awaits.

Where are you stuck? Where do you want to grow?

xx~LL

5 Tips for Building your Fitness Business with Christa Gurka

I am thrilled to bring back the incredible savvy Christa Gurka of Pilates in The Grove! You may remember her from her previous guest blog post “Why Location Matters.” She is back here with 5 tips on success for fitness professionals. You can find the original blog post here. And, without further ado here is Christa’s 5 tips!


Okay, so you are crushing it as a pilates instructor, personal trainer, spin instructor or group fitness expert. And now you are ready to branch out and start your own fitness biz. Awesome! But here’s the thing: being a rockstar at your craft and running a successful business is not mutually exclusive. At all.

That’s a lesson that I – a fitness small business owner myself – learned after many, many years of hitting roadblocks, changing direction and learning what works (and what doesn’t). Through these lessons (which I share below), I have taken Pilates in the Grove from a 500-square-foot space to two, 1,600-square-foot locations that generate seven figures…and growing.

And now I want to help you build an infrastructure and cultivate a philosophy that will put you on the path to a thriving wellness brand. Here are my tips for creating a successful fitness business:

1. Understand Your WHY

It is crucial to not only understand WHY you are doing what you’re doing, but to be able to articulate that to your clients. Really think about it: what gets your juices flowing? What is your business’s purpose? And more importantly, why should your potential customer care about what you’re “selling?” In his book, “Start With Why” (which I highly recommend to any entrepreneur and their team), Simon Sinek writes, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” And that couldn’t be truer.

2. Understand Your WHO
I often hear fitness professionals say that “anyone can benefit from my services.” While that may be correct, it actually undervalues what you do and the service you provide. Creating a niche market and truly understanding your customer base (and how they think) will yield much higher returns, especially when budgeting where and how to spend your marketing dollars and time. So set out to become the go-to person for [fill in your fitness specialty]. Not everyone is your customer…and that’s ok.

3. Build A Community

People enjoy doing business with people that they like. It’s just human nature. It’s kind of like that restaurant you keep going back to, not because the food is the best, but because the host knows your name and the bartender remembers your favorite cocktail. Consumers like to feel special, and it’s no different with fitness clients. Growing a successful fitness business is not just about running your clients through a program of exercises, but about developing that personal relationship and creating trust. This approach cultivates clients for life, rather than for a season.

4. Keep Your Clients On Track
Set goals for your clients, and then demonstrate consistency in helping them achieve those goals. Clients seek you out because they want something different or better than what they have or had. They are looking to you for guidance and accountability to achieve their desired results, so communicate with them. Speak directly about how often they should work with you for optimal results, and encourage them to schedule sessions for weeks and even months in advance. Keeping your customers consistent with their schedule improves accountability and ensures a full schedule for you.

5. Continue To Learn & Grow
The world around us never stops moving forward, and neither should we. If you want your business to thrive, seek out opportunities to learn, grow and improve. With new studies about human biomechanics, treatment options and fitness protocols constantly emerging, there’s a lot of information out there. Attend fitness conferences/workshops, listen to podcasts and read. Read a lot. Train with an expert in your area, and soak up all you can from them. Surround yourself with a team that inspires and motivates you to be better. Even after 20 years in the wellness industry, I am still an education junkie that seeks every opportunity to learn from the best. And I believe that has been a key to my success.

I’ll be the first to admit that scaling a profitable fitness biz isn’t easy, but I can tell you from firsthand experience that it is possible. So get focused, work hard and prepare yourself to succeed. And finally, don’t worry about what the competition is doing. Focus on you, your clients and your goals. You are, after all, your best investment.

In Health,

Christa Gurka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Connect more with Christa on Instagram here. Or in person at her upcoming workshop in April! She’s talking all about understanding your bottom line. And, I’m joining her with my workshop on Becoming a Regional Rockstar! Both have PMA CEC’s attached so even more reason to join us.

Hope to see some of you in real life!

xx~LL 

Pilates Business: How to Take More Time Off and Maintain Your Business

Saying no to a client is already hard enough. Taking time off is even harder. That’s multiple sessions you are canceling, rescheduling. And, I hear ya, as a Pilates instructor any time off is lost income. Or, is it?

Sure, you can take time off when your clients take time off. But, what if they love to travel in May and you have a trip in October? Do you lose money and sessions both times? Do you skip your trip because you “can’t” take time off? Who do you work for you or your clients?

I hope you said YOU!

It is possible to take time off when you want to and it is possible to teach the hours of the day you love and the dates you want to teach. But, you have to set your business up that way!

Tell me, how often do you say yes when you mean and desire to say no?

How often do you let clients move their sessions around in a day and you say yes?

Do you convince yourself that it’s just for “this” one time? Or, it’s only for a little bit? Maybe you even think you have to move them or compromise otherwise you’ll lose them as a client.

When I used to manage teachers I would hear clients talk about their upcoming trips and yet when they finally told the teacher the dates they were leaving it would be right before they left. The instructors would feel like they heard it for the first time.

Truth is the clients had been telling them about their trip for a while. But, clients don’t think about our schedule the way we do.

It’s not personal it’s just not their biggest concern in the world. I talk about this in my courses “never a dull moment” and “teaching your schedule.”

Whether you are an independent instructor or owner of a studio it’s integral that you train your clients how to engage with you and your business.

  1. Know when you are taking time off as much ahead of time as possible. Tell your clients so they have a heads up. Believe it or not, if they see Pilates missing from their schedule and are about to call you to cancel the following week they will realize they need to make up their sessions or in the future plan their events around you
  2. Swim with the current if the stream is strong. I know teachers who live in places where half the year everyone is in town, tourists come in and the business is booming. Then the other half the year its half the amount regular clients. Take advantage! How amazing that you know great times to take off, can enjoy half a year where you work part-time and have tons of free time to create, study and do your thing.
  3. Change your terminology. Instead of saying “we need to cancel next week’s sessions.” Use, “reschedule.” This way when clients are planning their lives they are thinking about how many Pilates sessions they need to reschedule.

If you start a client out with the mindset of telling you their dates out in advance it’s so much easier to know when you have availability or extra time to do your thing. If you have been letting your clients determine when you work you will have a little more training to do.

The more you have clients schedule their life around Pilates instead of the other way around the easier it is for you to run your business and take time off when you want to. It’s integral to staying inspired that your business works for you and not you for it.

You may be in the service industry but you are not of service to people, you are not the hired help.

For more on client, scheduling check out my courses, a previous blog on taking a vacation and my blog on how to have a life as a Pilates instructor. On April 12th I’ll be covering more steps to taking time off for yourself and maintaining your Pilates business. Join me if you’re ready to enjoy the breaks you deserve.

xx~LL

Creating a Community, Collaboration and Why it’s Better Together!

The age-old saying “two minds are better than one” and other phrases ” it’s better together” are not just random woo quotes. They are said and offered as advice because there is so much truth to their meaning. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if I did it all alone. I had to create a community. I had to ask for help. I had to collaborate with other amazing humans.

After a weekend talking tribes and following your purpose I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you all how important having a community helps you on your journey.

See, if it wasn’t for the suggestions and support of a few women over ten years ago I wouldn’t be a Pilates instructor. If it wasn’t for my first Pilates boss asking me a question I wouldn’t be coaching the business side of Pilates. If it wasn’t for my current tribe of strong women I would have no one to high five me, hold me accountable to my own goals and even help me see I can do bigger things that I set out to do.

Mastermind groups, Tribes, accountability partners and friends who want the best for you are essential is this world. I think the universe purposefully made it so that you can only go so far on your own.

We were all given strengths. Areas we rock the best. And, the opposite of strengths isn’t weakness but areas that just don’t vibe with us. But, those areas are someone else’s strength!

When I choose a partner in crime on a project I don’t just pick someone who thinks like me or is absolutely in love with all that I do. Living in Los Angeles I have seen what too many “yes” people get you. I partner with people who are excited about what I am about to do but who can come at it with a whole other box of tools.

I was listening to Lori Harder and Lewis Howes talk about their mastermind group. And, she shared her goals with the group and Lewis’ response was how can you double that? Her gut instinct would have been similar to mine. Double it!? I thought that goal was great and that’s all I can do. But, then the mind clears. How could she double it? A network, tribe, mastermind or accountability partner doesn’t just go “Yay!” for you they help you do more, think about it from a different perspective and challenge you to do more.

Currently, I have a couple collaboration partners. I have a tribe and I have a coach. My tribe is there for wins, losses and random life moments. My collab partners have helped me do projects that without them I might not have done or wouldn’t have had the same effect. And, my coach is integral in helping me get out of my head and onto my path. Just like when I coach teachers, as a coach I’m not in the ditches, I get a bird’s eye view. My coach isn’t at my sea level, she’s on a mountaintop and able to guide me. We all need someone or in my case someones who help us make our magic happen.

Are you looking for a community? Do you wish your network helped you grow more? Who is in your tribe?

This coming year I’ve got several offerings for you to help you find the people you need! This Sunday 2 pm pst Andrea Maida is joining me for one of my Pila-Tequila Talks and we are talking collaborations! I’ve got a webinar all about building a network coming up soon. Be sure you’re on the newsletter list or join Agency to see it and check out the roundtable I am leading at the next Pilates Method Alliance gathering in October.

A community doesn’t build over night. But, over time trust and growth are possible and because of this beautiful opportunities arise.

Are you ready?

xx~LL 

Teaching Pilates Part-Time: Have Your Cake & Eat it Too!

When I first became a Pilates instructor my original intention was to keep my “desk job.” Technically, I was a manager of a high-end women’s boutique but you get what I mean. I loved working in retail. I had the best clients and I loved my co-workers. But, I also loved teaching Pilates. I wanted to do both, at least for awhile. I wanted to have my cake and eat it too!

I’m often asked if it’s possible to make a living teaching Pilates full-time. But, I think it’s important to share that you can keep your “day job” and teach Pilates on the side.

In fact, if you look at the recent Pilates in America study you’ll find that the majority of Pilates teachers are part-time teachers. Now, some of these teachers may be part-time because they have another job and others because their family life only allows for part-time teaching availability.

Let’s talk about how you can have a successful side Pilates business and not work 24/7!

1) Know your availability: It’s important that you don’t work 24/7 when Pilates is a part-time business. I know it’s hard to say no to a client and no to money but if you want to continue to enjoy teaching Pilates you need to set and maintain an ideal schedule and only offer those times. Don’t lose the love you have by overworking, check out how to maintain your sanity here and create your ideal schedule here.

2) Get clear on who your client is: This is key no matter how many hours you teach. But, even more, necessary for a teacher who also has to work somewhere else. Think about who can come to sessions when you’re free to teach? What do these people do and where else do they go shopping, life etc. It’s important that you don’t waste your free time marketing to clients that aren’t right for when you can teach. Attracting the right clients for you is key to filling the part-time hours you have available.

3) Know your Why: Why do you want to keep your “desk job” and why you want to teach Pilates? There will be weeks when one or the other is driving you mad. If you have written down why you love your “day job” and why Teaching Pilates is important for you it will help you from tossing out the “cake.”

4) Maintain your Pilates practice! It’s easy to let work and teaching Pilates take over your time and then there is no time for YOU! Maintain your sanity by having your Pilates session on your calendar first. For more self-care tips check out my Pilates Anytime tutorial and why all teachers should have a teacher.

5) Don’t overindulge in the continuing education: But, do get continuing education. When you work and teach Pilates your time is limited. Focus your continuing education on what will help the clients you have today! It’s easy to want to take all the Pilates workshops that come up. But, if you’re spending all your Pilates dollars on sessions and education you may stretch yourself too thin. Or, if you don’t you may feel like you should be and then worried about not doing enough. Be intentional about what you take and it will continue to help you grow, retain your clients and stay inspired.

6) Have your systems in place: How do people schedule, cancel, pay you? What’s the process to do these things? What policies do you have in place? Can any or all of it be automated? The more you are not working in your Pilates business the easier it will be to maintain your Pilates business.

To sum it up, You can have your cake and eat it too! You can teach Pilates and keep your “day job.” You can teach Pilates when you want to teach. And, if you feel like you’re teaching too much then here’s some help for you.

xx~LL