Create More Time in Your Day

Count how many times you say “I don’t have time,” or, “I’m too busy” in a day. How often do you feel like your to-do list grows and you have no idea how because you’re been working all day and are exhausted? Yeah, I know, it’s a lot. You got into teaching because you love it. But, the more you teach the less time you have for you, your practice, and it feels like you’re always saying you’re tired, busy and hoping to get to something to tomorrow. Routines in your morning, day and night can help this circle of stress and lack of time disappear. If you’re ready to create time keep reading.

There are plenty of studies that show how much routines benefit our lives. Even Steve Jobs was so notorious for his routines that many CEO’s copied his thinking it would help them create companies as big as Apple. I had always loved a morning routine but then one day I heard about night routines when I listened to an interview Ariana Huffington did while promoting her book. She said that by having a sleep routine helps prepare our bodies for rest. This sort of routine was a little harder for me to figure out because it was so easy to skip the routine one night or change it up a bit. I mean, we all know about trying to get one last thing done. Or, getting more sleep tomorrow.

But, one day after being consistent with both my morning and night routines. The proverbial sh*t hit the fan and I was so happy to have my routine. Because they really helped me feel in control. And, slowly after time, I realized my routines were allowing me to create time. Wouldn’t you like to create time?

We have to make thousands of decisions every single day. By creating routines, both morning and night, you eliminate these daily decisions that are often repetitive. And allow yourself to have better decision making power later in the day when you’re working on your business, deciding what to create, post, say yes or no to. If your brain is having to make every decision from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed you’re definitely going to feel more than exhausted. And, worse, you’ll likely miss out on opportunities to propel your business forward.

My routines have changed over time. At first, I didn’t know much about what I would need in my routine to help my day be more productive. So, I tried out different ideas for a while until I figured out what worked the best for me. And, even recently I added something new to my morning routine. So, as I share my routines below remember that this has been a work in progress. You will want and need to figure out what works the very best for you. But, feel free to try these out and make them your own. I also added some suggestions for creating routines below.

Morning

Monday-Friday

  • wake up between 4:15 am-4:45 am and drink a large glass of water
  • Run my dog Bayon 3ish miles often with my neighbor
  • Get coffee and say hi to the baristas (this makes me feel like I live in a neighborhood).
  • Make Brad french press coffee feed Bayon his special breakfast
  • Say my gratitudes out loud while holding Gaia in the kitchen
  • (NEW) Ask Gaia and the universe some questions that “I wonder….?”
  • Go to HIIT or do my Pilates workout.

Weekends

  • wake up between 5:15-6am walk get a coffee and walk Bayon around our neighborhood.
  • Saturdays I call another female biz owner and we talk about what’s going on in our lives, businesses and what we are excited about. Sundays talk to a family member.
  • Saturdays my neighbor and I attend HIIT classes and get a yummy breakfast before enjoying a day off. Sundays I go into work. Before workouts or work the above routine still applies.

During workdays, my schedule is very consistent. I know when I am teaching and when I am doing marketing, content creation, meditation, and email. This makes it easier to know when I will get to “that thing” when someone needs it. I am super protective of my time blocks. They allow me to “drop-in” to writing, meditating and teaching much faster because I know when I am doing what.

Evenings:

  • after dinner another glass of water
  • write down anything that is on my mind to get done the next day (these things often come closer to the evening).
  • shower, face wash, brush teeth.
  • Read for a few minutes (nothing that requires much thought) considering a mediation here instead so I may be testing this.
  • Turn a sleep story on.
  • Asleep between 9:30-10ish pm.

Here are some resources for you to try out ideas for your own routines:

  1. Daily Routine tip
  2. Intention Routine building 
  3. Morning and Night Routines

If you could get back more of your decision making powers what would you do? Maybe you’d have more time for your own practice? Or, maybe you’ll finally get to those blogs or newsletters you’ve been wanting to do?

Your life is too good to let it be ruled by what work you didn’t get done. And, your business should be working for you and not you working for it. The start of creating the dream work schedule or even an ideal work schedule comes from your ability to have boundaries around when you will and won’t teach. And that muscle gets stronger by practicing a routine.

What routines do you keep and how do they help you?

I’d love to hear about your routines in the comments below.

xx~LL


PS. I credit my routines to my lack of jet lag when I travel to teach workshops and retreats in this blog.

Your Fears are Costing You Money and More

If you let fear run the show it will kill your business. Your fear of losing clients is the worst fear you could have. There are several fears in life that we all face. But, if you let your fear run your business it will…right into the ground. Recently during a coaching session, one of my clients discovered her fear of losing clients caused her to lose $6,000 in uncharged late cancels. What is your fear costing you?

There are people who fear success, rejections, loss, responsibility and failure. If I am not careful my fear of success can hold me back. For most Pilates instructors and studio owners I find its the fear of loss that costs them the most money and often their businesses. Second in line would be their fear of rejection.

Don’t believe me…when is the last time you:

-Raise your rates?
-Changed your schedule?
-Enforced your policies?
-Told a client they were inappropriate?

Your business can survive on a few clients and you overworking. It can. But, if you want your business to thrive. To work for you instead of the other way around.

But, the difference between thriving and barely surviving is where you make decisions from.

If you make decisions from your fear of loss you won’t do what you KNOW you need to do. And, you will find evidence to prove yourself correct. Our brains search for evidence to prove ourselves correct.

It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be a battle. But, you need to make those changes now so that by the end of this year you can be living in the fruits of those changes.

Challenge for you:
What changes have you avoided making?
What if you made those changes this week?
What is the worst-case scenario?
Do you really think that will happen?
I mean, really? ALL YOUR CLIENTS WILL QUIT?

People do not like change. You make their life better. And, even if they do quit because you raise your rates, changed your schedule or moved locations its ok. They’ve opened up space for clients who will pay your rates, workout when you want to teach and where.

Go ahead, look for evidence to prove that idea true. You’ll find it!

Post in the comments below what changes you will make.

Ditch that fear! There isn’t room for it in your goals.

xx~LL

The Most Supportive Community and How You Can Have It

When you decided to become a Pilates teacher you thought “I can’t wait to help people!” And, you knew that people were going to love how they felt after they took a session with you. You also worried about being new at something and if you’d pass your tests. But, it wasn’t until you got closer to the end of your hours that you probably thought “how do I get enough clients to pay my bills?” And, even, if you’d ever make enough to have your own studio, quit your 9-5 and take time off.

I hear ya! Seriously, I had no idea when I became a Pilates teacher that I could do it “for a living.” Honestly, I became a Pilates teacher so I could have a side hustle to pay for my Pilates obsession. I’ve shared in many interviews that I became a Pilates teacher during the last recession. And, I took the biggest leap of my life at the time to quit my salaried job and teach Pilates full time.

In studios I had heard from teachers with way more years of experience under their belt that it would take me a long time to build my clientele. That I should charge x because I was new. That I should work 6 days a week to get all the hours I could and that I should offer a discount for cash or for first-time sessions etc etc.

And, while it didn’t take me long to build my clientele up at all. In fact, within a few months, every single hour I had outside my retail job was booked and when I quit my job I had an even bigger problem on my hands…too many clients. I had believed some people on the other advice and it took me some time to rework all those mistakes.

Then, after a 6 months of being a Pilates teachers I started managing a studio and teachers. And that’s when I really realized that most instructors didn’t have the business knowledge that I had. And, because of this lack of information in trainings most people were struggling to make enough to pay back the investment in their training and more.

This realization made me sad and frustrated for every teacher. It drove me crazy to see some of the best instructors out there closing up shop or quitting teaching because “there was no money in Pilates.”

Luckily, being frustrated creates a drive in me. I hate complaints that occur more than once so I started on the path to create Profitable Pilates. I didn’t it know it at the time what it would become but I knew it needed to happen.

It started with my ebook. And then workshops in person and then online courses and webinars. But between the workshops and the webinars I had this vision for an online community that was not only a support group but a community where teachers and studio owners of all backgrounds could live and get advice, strategies, support, virtual high fives and inspire each other. Five years ago I created it. And, no one knew about it or bought it.

Yep, sometimes things fail in a big way.

But, I was still driven to make it work. So, I thought about other ways I could meet teachers and studio owners where they were and give them support. And that’s how webinars, online workshops and coaching calls started. And, then, 2 years ago (3 years after the original idea) I opened the doors to AGENCY my online coaching community.

Five brave souls started that day and today, 2 years later we still have 4 of the original members and 60 others.

AGENCY got its name from its definition. AGENCY = action/intervention. We all have AGENCY within us. And, when we use it there is nothing that can stop us.

I don’t have cookie cutter biz plans to make you rich. Instead, I take your goals and your vision and help you work backwards to today to create strategies and actions you can take to help your business be the one you want to run. Pilates can be just another JOB (Just Over Budget) or it can be the thing that makes you smile when you get up in the morning.

We’ve helped people go from in-home studio to brick and mortar, from brick and mortar to home studio, teacher to studio owner, host retreats, create events, raise rates, fire clients, get more clients, hire a team, and so much more!

Inside AGENCY you get:

access to a community of beyond supportive teachers and studio owners from over 10 times zones.

1 webinar/month (choose from 2)

a membership to OnlinePilatesClasses.com

my ebook

a group coaching call every other month

20% off private Pilates sessions with me (online or in person)

20% off coaching calls

20% off extra webinars

20% off courses

20% off my retreat in Cambodia

The slack group is honestly priceless. Because where on this planet can you find a group of people who will be there when you “need a moment” (a channel we have), when you want to share an idea and get help fleshing it out, where you can share a win and everyone celebrates your win with you even if they just shared their having a bad day? It’s a community, a family, and it’s a space that is open to you if you want it.

You can check out more about AGENCY here.

But, since it’s hard to understand how epic a community like this could be since there is really NOTHING like it out there I decided to do an AGENCY mini. A free version of AGENCY for 1 week only. It’ll kick off with a webinar on Sunday January 12th and end on Saturday the 18th. Those who join will get a group call on the 15th where they can ask any question they want and Brad (my COO and hubby) will answer. And, access to a private AGENCY mini member-only group.

I’ve NEVER discounted my AGENCY group and never will. But, I thought it could be a great way for those of you who have been interested to try it out. So, get in before it fills up. Join here.

xx~LL

PS if you have questions you can contact me here or post them below.

Tips to Owning Your Worth and Overcoming Objections

It doesn’t take long as a Pilates Instructor, Fitness Trainer or any other service provider to here the objections to their offer. In all honesty, if you are not hearing objections to your services then you are not charging enough or you’re probably not setting boundaries in your schedule. Objections to what we offer are going to happen. Learning how to overcome or get ahead of them is key. And, all of that comes down to you owning who you are, what you do and how much you are worthy!

In a recent workshop, I was co-leading one of you readers mentioned that your biggest fear in presenting is not feeling worthy. Man, that hit me in my heart. I so get that feeling. It’s pretty common to think “there are others who are better at this than I am…” or insert some other form of imposter syndrome here. But, the truth is this, you are the only person who can teach what you teach, the way you teach it to the people that hear you. And so, even if you can find a way to convince me that someone else is better suited to teach on that topic I am still going to say You should be doing it! If it’s your passion and it helps people you gotta do it.

And, here’s the thing guys, whether you want to present or just fill your schedule or classes if you don’t feel worthy you won’t be able to overcome objections. I don’t care how inexpensive you are or how many time slots you can offer it won’t work. You have to know your worth. You have to own your worth. And when you do, objections will just bounce right off of you.

1) Do not think about your wallet when setting prices.
2) Remember you are not selling Pilates (barre, personal training etc) you are showing them how you are the guide for them. That they can trust you. And, the money is just an energy exchange. They pay you for the energy you are going to give back to them.
3) Be in Demand. Do not ask them when they want to come in. You tell them. If they can schedule you anytime you won’t get in the schedule at all.
4) Fish in the right pond. If you are hearing you are too expensive all the time then where are you advertising? Where are you throwing your bait in? Switch your ponds.
5) No more discounts on your services. When you discount your time you tell people that your time is not worth the original price. Find ways to add value and keep your prices up.
6) Look for evidence of what you believe to be true. If you think you’re not worthy you will only see evidence proving that. If you think you are you will see the evidence proving you are.
7) Work backward! Whether you’re trying to figure out prices or your goals, to-do’s for tomorrow. You need to see the big picture and work backward.
8) Give yourself validation first. Seeking validation from outside yourself is risky. You never know what people are going to say. Know why you rock, own that and tell yourself it everyday.
9) Know who the 5 people whose opinions of you matter, tell them and anyone else you have to let their words slide right on by.
10) Fire clients who do not treat you right. If you’ve set boundaries, had those tough conversations and still they want to complain about your availability, price or time then find them another option that doesn’t include you. It’s ok, you will replace that income with a client who uplifts you!

My friend, objections are real. They can sting and they can get your guessing if you’re in the right place. But, remember the 4 agreements: Do the best you can, be true to your word, make no assumptions and don’t take things personally. If they are the right client for you then you can’t say the wrong thing to them. And, you’ll never say the right things to the wrong people.

Write down whose opinion of you matters and tell them
Look in the mirror and tell yourself you are awesome, you are worthy and you can do hard things.

xx~LL
PS if you need to talk more about this then lets set up a call or check out my online coaching group- AGENCY where you submerge yourself in a community that uplifts and helps you see how worthy you are.

My Top 3 Mistakes and What They Taught Me

When I first started out as a Pilates teacher I made lots of mistakes. And, if you’re new, you will and should too! You will learn more from your mistakes then you will from the things that go the way you wanted. Especially in the beginning. Most mistakes you make in your business are great signs of things you need to work on. And rarely will derail your business. And, most mistakes are not as big a deal when you look back. However, I know that when you’re “int it” mistakes can feel like they are the worst thing that could ever happen. But, below are my top 3 mistakes that I made that I see a lot of Pilates teacher and studio owners make.

  1. Saying Yes to Every Client: When I first started out as a Pilates teacher I was also managing a high-end jewelry store in LA. I would teach Pilates 6 am, 7 am and 8 am and then race across town to open my store and work until 6:30 or 7:30 pm. And on many days I would go back across town to the studio to teach evening clients! I loved teaching and I was so excited that every new client I taught wanted at least two sessions a week that I kept saying yes. I didn’t even know I could say no! I was afraid also if I did that I would lose the client. But, in a short period of time, I found myself teaching 6 days a week and running my store 5 days a week. Which meant I didn’t have a single day off! You guys, this is not good! I know you may be reading this and be thinking “you need the money.” But, if you don’t own your schedule, get firm on your teaching times and protect your self-care time no one will! You’ll burn out faster than you think. And that would be sad because then the world would lose a great teacher.
  2. Not raising my rates sooner: I made up every excuse in the book to not raise my rates come year one. Then year two came around and my rent at both the studio and my house went up. The cost of gas was higher and I was at a point that I needed more continuing education. It was costing me money to do the exact same job. When I finally raised my rates sure a few people griped but they all stayed. If I had done it a year earlier that would have been more money in my pocket soon! I know you’re worried about this but I promise if you get on a schedule for raising your rates you will be grateful and your clients will expect it. You can learn more about how to do this on my course here.
  3. Teaching hours and clients that were not ideal for me: I know you think Pilates is for everyone so you can teach everyone. And, I am sure you can. But, the truth is we don’t all gel will everyone. There are clients out there who are best served by someone else. Not just personality-wise but time of day they prefer and personal goals or body needs. By saying “no” to clients that want times that you don’t thrive in you open up the opportunity to teach a client at a time you do! And, instead of being exhausted at the end of the day you will feel inspired, whelmed, content.

Honestly, I could go on and on about other mistakes I made. But these three at the beginning of my business all came back to bite me and caused me to have to make drastic changes in my business and life to allow me to not burn out!

You are the only person who can teach the way you teach.. You are the only person who can help the people that you help. So, get super clear on when you want to teach, who you want to teach and how often you will raise your rates and you’ll have a great foundation to grow your business on. Will you make mistakes? Yep, and me too! Sometimes I think the universe sends me clients that test my boundaries and makes sure I’m still putting my goals first.

Feeling like you’re stuck in one of these mistakes and don’t know how to get out? Check out my online group coaching called AGENCY. Members get to ask me and the other members for support and accountability so they can finally put their goals first.

xx~LL

How to Make Your Goals a Reality

Goal setting for your Pilates or Fitness business is key. I know a lot of people think sometimes setting goals can be on the “woo” side or put unnecessary pressure on your business. But, if you don’t have an idea of where you want to grow it’s easy for other peoples goals to become your goals. These can be your client’s goals, another teacher, studios and more. Goal setting doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. But, taking the time to set some and start working on them will help you refine and develop your vision.

When I first set goals for my business I thought I was thinking big! I thought it would take me 10 years to do what I wanted to do. But, as I started to do the things I will share with you below it became clear that my vision was going to happen sooner. And, it revealed opportunities that I didn’t even know were possible. Some of the goals on my sheet I ended up crossing off without achieving. That’s ok too! Sometimes goals sneak on our plate that sound good just not for us today or ever.

If you already have your goals handy you can skip the first part. But, you may want to do it anyways.

  • Take some time to go for a walk and clear your head or get away from any distractions. If you bring your phone with you put it on airplane mode.
  • Pick a date in the future and picture where you are. I often like to pick my birthday but you can pick any day. Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing? If you are celebrating you what are people saying about you?
  • What does a week in the life of you look like?
  • write it all out! Seriously, brain dump away. Don’t let any thoughts stop you. You have endless amounts of time and money in this exercise.

Then, once you can see how you spend your time in the future and what people are celebrating you for write out all those things as a goal. For example, if in three years I am living in an airstream six months of the year traveling the states and teaching classes then I would have the deadline three years from now a) live in an airstream b) teach pop up classes. Which means that 30 months from now I probably should have purchased the air stream already. Two years from now I should have a good list of people around the country to visit and help me create pop up classes. A year from now I should be offering up opportunities that add value to people around the states. Six months from now I should try bopping around and doing road trips and making sure I like driving around and being somewhat nomadic. Next week I am planning a road trip somewhere to teach a class and try this goal on for size.

See how I did that?

Now it’s your turn! Feel free to share your goals and reverse engineered plan below. If you’re struggling to see the roadmap. Don’t worry. This is something I work on with almost every member in my online coaching group AGENCY. I’m happy to help you see if the group or a one-one-one call is what you need to take the first next step towards your personal goals!

How do you Stay inspired After a Long Day?

A common question I get is “how do you stay so inspired?” Sometimes that question breaks down to “how do you stay motivated and/or energized when you are teaching 7+ hours in a day? And, because it’s coming up a lot more lately I wanted to share some of my go-to tips for staying inspired, staying strong, maintaining my sanity and motivation.

  1. Know your Teaching schedule and protect it! This doesn’t mean you cannot break your own rules but it does require you to be aware of when you are doing that. I have a set teaching schedule when I am in my studio. And, that does mean saying no to people. And that does mean I am saying no to money. But, if I were to switch my schedule whichever way the clients schedule blows I couldn’t have a life nor could I maintain an admin schedule. If you don’t stay on top of your marketing and other admin it will pile up and drain you more than anything else. Get clear on your ideal schedule with my course.
  2. Create Before You Consume. I post all my marketing, do all my content creation before I scroll, open my inbox or check my social profile notifications. If you consume before you create there’s a good chance you’ll be left feeling pretty crummy before you go to post or you’ll have someone else words on your mind. And the problem with that is we make up stories about other people based their curated account. We think they are “killing it” based off posts, not any other evidence.
  3. Know your seasons. Meaning know how many hours in a row or time of day you are at your best. There are some mornings a week I cannot teach because I need to not feel rushed a couple of mornings a week. I can work more hours in a row on Sundays than I can on Mondays. I learned all this by trying out different combos. Paying attention to how I felt after and then molding my teaching schedule to reflect my more inspired hours. This will take longer than you think to figure out and then to implement. But shorter than you think if you do the work.
  4. Know who’s opinions of you matter. Don’t waste your time worrying about what people are saying about you if you wouldn’t ask advice about your business from them. Tell the people who’s opinions that matter to you that they do. It’ll make them feel good and reinforce who’s feedback you should be paying attention to.
  5. Remember that your business is supposed to work for you. Not the other way around.
  6. Get curious. I don’t talk every cue into clients. My teacher Jay Grimes said you cannot “talk Pilates into a body.” So, instead of boring myself all day repeating the same or similar cues I use equipment to teach them what I want and I get creative with what exercises I choose to teach them what I want them to know. It takes time to get comfortable doing this but you will be more inspired at the end of the day when you figure it out.

Look, teaching does require you to give a lot of energy out all day long. But, its important that when a client leaves you let their energy go with them. You have to find some things that you implement into your daily routine that protect and energize you. And, say no more often than you think.

I’d love to hear what energizes you or what changes you make to help you stay inspired at the end of the day in the comments below.

xx~LL

Ps here’s a video I did about Self Care for Pilates Anytime! Use LLOGAN to watch for free and enjoy 30 days if you are not yet a member.

Do You Know What Your AGENCY is?

Agency has multiple definitions but one of them has to do with using your own inner strengths and abilities. But, that is not as easy to do on your own. Enter imposter syndrome, the grass is greener over there thoughts, indecision, lack of confidence, unawareness of ones owns strengths, etc. etc. It’s not easy being a confident instructor.

After all, so many people tell anyone with ears there is no money in Pilates. That one can’t make a living as a Pilates Instructor. And so, how can you own your own agency? How can you know what it is and see it’s value? How can you see that your uniqueness is what will make your business thrive?

All these worries combined with the questions that teachers and studio owners have on a daily basis is why I created AGENCY. My group coaching membership. I wanted a place where no matter what your teaching background was, if you were a new teacher, experienced teacher, studio owner or independent contractor could come together in a supportive, positive space.

My desire is to help all Pilates instructors see and believe in possibility. To not run their business the way that everyone else is. Or to market themselves the way that everyone else is. Your goals require their own path.

There is no Pilates Career Ladder.

You can have the business you want if you are willing to do the work. But, how? Well, if you know the what you want to do and they why you want to do it in AGENCY between me and others who have been in your place or are going to do be will be there to provide ideas you may not have thought of. Provide support and positivity. Agency, a community in the Pilates and fitness world that wants to see everyone succeed because we rise together.

If you are reading this and you’re wishing you could just ask the questions you have, get feedback on an idea, high fives when you get a new client then you want AGENCY.

And, AGENCY is more than just the community, you get so much more. You can check out all the member benefits here and if you are wondering if AGENCY is for you then you can contact me here. It’s almost 2 years old and when you check out the benefits you’ll see some of the most incredible things members are saying!

xx~LL

PS all my webinars have moved behind AGENCY doors. In order to continue to support instructors and studio owners after they watch the webinar, it became necessary to add the community to these webinars.

Lead Your Own Retreat

If leading your own retreat is on your business bucket list this is a blog for you! Whether you want to lead a Pilates, Yoga, fitness, nutritional or meditative retreat the same rules apply. And, there are some key things to keep in mind before you even put down your deposit somewhere.  Retreats can be lots of fun but they are equal amounts of work! If not more work. The number of hours you will spend before you lead your retreat will double or triple the time you spend on the retreat.

And, something I think is incredibly important is to know and understand is that a retreat really is not a paid vacation. If you are leading one to have a paid vacation I do think you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

A few questions I want you to answer before you continue. The answers do not mean you should or you shouldn’t lead one. But, these are things you need to know before you go.

  1. Are an organized person?
  2. Do you have enough existing clients who would go on this retreat or will you need to market to people who do not know you?
  3. If the retreat doesn’t make you money will that affect your business negatively? Or, can your business handle a non-profitable event?
  4. Are you comfortable asking for the sale or telling a client no?
  5. Can your website handle taking payments for an event?
  6.  Do you like to be the leader, hostess or be in charge?

I have tons of other questions that I ask those I coach through organizing their own retreat. But, I think these get your mind and juices flowing and picturing yourself actually going through the process.

As far as putting one together, the sky is the limit! You can have a day retreat, a workshop weekend retreat, a week or 10 day long retreat. I’ve seen retreats where they are all inclusive to ones that only cover portions of the trip or time.

On this potential retreat, what does it look like? Where are you at? When they leave what are they saying was their favorite part? How do you feel and the attendees feel? What are they saying as they leave? Before you plan a retreat sit down and meditate on what the retreat looked like when it was over. This will help you not stress out about things that don’t matter. It will also help you answer some of the questions above.

When you start planning the retreat it’s easy to get distracted by all the questions that you’ll have to answer. It’s like a wedding. You start out wanting just a small outdoor wedding and by the end of it you have this luxury destination wedding at the Sandal’s resort and you’re looking at a bunch of faces you don’t know.

The details in between the start of a retreat when you announce it’s happening to attendees showing up, the day to day agenda and how to handle when shit happens will vary from retreat to retreat. The stories of scrambling I have had to do on a retreat are endless. But, most important none of my attendees knew that I scrambled. The time my chef fell through 4 hours before retreaters arrived was crazy! But, the way we fixed it was brilliant and the food was delicious.

If you want to lead your own retreat you not only have to think through the actual retreat and price it out so that it is profitable. Please, please, please do not skip that part! You have to think through a lot of “what if’s.”

My husband has created a sheet, systems and more to help make sure all of our retreats not only are fun and fulfilling to our guests and us but also to help us sell them, make sure every attendee has all the info they need, makes sure we get paid on time and more.

He’s helping me with our from demand webinar on “How to Create and Lead Your Own Retreat.” And, if you are leading retreats or thinking of leading retreats this is the webinar you need to be at. We are giving out all deets on how we do what we do!

xx~LL 

Join us for this webinar live or watch the replay click here

How to Not Work ALL The Time

Everyone wants to work for themselves. The idea of being your own boss has a lot of unicorns, rainbows, and freedom around it. But, if you’re not careful, when you work for yourself it’s easy to make your own business, your dream business, be just as much a slog as working for someone else. So, my Studio Owners, Independent Contractors, Home studio owners here are my best tips to not make your dream job just like every other job.

  1. Create your ideal schedule: Grab a blank calendar and put your personal life in it first. Then your personal practice and anything else that you want to make time for before you put work in. Then your teaching hours go in. This part of the calendar is key, the tasks that propel your business forward AKA marketing, networking goes in next. Last is the admin, the daily tasks that have to be done every day but don’t bring in the money. For more help on this catch my course on it or contact me for a one-on-one call.
  2. Set a timer: I use the cube timer but you can use your phone. Set a time for how long you’ll be in your inbox, on Instagram or work on any project. When the timer goes off move on to the next task. I know that means sometimes I didn’t finish a project but it does mean I can move on to the next and keep all the plates spinning. If you work on your email until the emails are all read you will never get to your blogs, contacting businesses to collaborate etc.
  3. Say no: to anything that isn’t an F yass! Seriously, say no to more things than you think. If “no” is too much for you then say “let me get back to you later.” Take some time to filter the opportunity through your goals. It’s easy to say “yes” to clients who want extra times. But, that could mean working at times you don’t enjoy and then you will feel like you’re working all the time.
  4. Have an accountability partner: I have 2 and I love them! We have weekly check in’s and set a timer for each person to share what they are working on, what went well, what didn’t go well and what we need support on. You never want to be the person who didn’t get their sh*t done. I recommend people who have businesses that are different than your own. And, try to keep it less 2-4 people but people who will not cancel on you last minute. So, maybe not your close friends. Those who are in my coaching group get me checking on them and their goals each week!
  5. Have your own goals: Be super clear on your own goals, share them with your accountability partners, me, and anyone else who you feel will help you get your goals accomplished. If you don’t have your own goals it’ll be super easy for someone else’s goals to become yours.
  6. Make dates: seriously, make a date with your person, make it a standing date if you can. Dates with friends, put vacations in the books even if you do a staycation. If you don’t then work will just take over and a year will go by and you’ll feel bummed that you “work too much” or that “time flies” but it’s because you didn’t put breaks in your calendar.
  7. Routines: I have a morning routine and a sleep routine. These are not only vital to me sandwiching life between moments of self-care it also helps me feel grounded and in control of my day and how I feel no matter what timezone I find myself in or what is happening. Everyone has to start their day in their own way but find a routine that works for you. I prefer to create before I consume so I try not to read emails or read notifications until I have written down what my goals are for the day. I also get my workout in before I teach others. You might prefer the reverse of all of this. Especially if you are not a morning person.

I could go on and on with more tips on how to not work all the time so if you need more ask in the comments below or set up a call with me. But, please don’t work all the time. I know that there are times in your business that require more of your hours but set a date for how long that excessive work time will last.

Working for yourself is pretty freaking cool but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, I find it’s harder. I have to hold myself accountable to arbitrary deadlines and since I won’t fire myself if I miss a deadline then what’s the problem right? Well, the problem is our businesses get more stressful when we are not achieving the goals we have when we want/need them. And then we think we have to say “yes” all the time, work more, do less Pilates, fewer trips, fewer days off. And then all of a sudden you’re working ALL the time!

My weeks look different every month so I have to be really clear about my time off and then I have to put more goals/deadlines in my calendar before my clients get options. That means I have to have clarity around my schedule at least a month in advance. If I don’t I’m racing to get work done, working on my days off, skipping yoga and my own Pilates practice.

You are too good at what you do. You are the only person who can do what you do and your clients and future clients need you to be clear on your goals, firm about your schedule and taking care of you so that you can teach them.

This week, what tips will you try and implement?

xx~LL 

 

What is a Pilates Teachers Schedule?

When I first became a Pilates instructor I was teaching clients and classes every weekday morning from 6 am to 9 am then racing to my other job across town to manage a jewelry store. And then on most weeknights, I would race back across town and teach one or two more clients. And then I also taught clients on my day off from my store gig. I thought it would take forever to build my business up but it didn’t and so within a few months I was quickly burning the candle at both ends. But, I had no idea at the time that what I was doing wasn’t the best idea. I mean, every other teacher I knew who was building their business and even some who had grown their businesses were working the weirdest schedules. One day after working an almost 70 hr week I wondered what is a Pilates teachers schedule?

Should I be teaching mornings and evenings? Did I need to teach six days a week? And, even though people said I should teach when clients wanted it was that really the best answer?

Over the last 10+ years of teaching, I have changed my schedule almost as often as the wind changes. And, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. What it has allowed me to do is see that there is almost no hour where a client doesn’t want a session! Before you think I am wrong I have taught people at their 3:30 am, I have taught people as early as 5 am in person, and then there are the clients who have requested 8:30 pm or even 8 am on a Sunday! I love changing my schedule because every time I do it I dial it in even more to fit the nature of the life I enjoy living.

If you have ever taken a workshop with me you know that I believe your goals and life go in the schedule first. But, this is not how most people set up their teaching schedule. Instead, they put their clients in first. Admit it, how many times have you not said yes to having lunch with a good friend, going out of town for the day or not scheduling a personal session with another teacher because you had to teach?

I’m not saying just move people around willy nilly. But, I do believe that you should be super clear on your goals and what you want out of life and then create your teaching schedule.

After working with a lot of teachers I have found the ones that are super firm and clear on when they are available to teach no only are booked they also know exactly how much money they will make each week, month because it’s clear when they look at their schedule what slots are empty. And, their clients are also better trained to keep a standing appointment or cancel in the appropriate time. The teachers who let clients tell them when they want to come in typically have clients who are inconsistent. This means they are not truly getting all the benefits of Pilates and will probably disappear for portions of time if not longer. These teachers also will feel like they don’t have control over their schedule and will see a “swiss cheese” schedule. Sessions all over the place, empty slots all over but not big enough to do anything on so they are working for their business instead of the other way around.

I know, that sounds a bit harsh but teachers I love you! I am you. I have done all the mistakes of letting clients tell me when they want to take. And, that quickly lead to me not wanting to be a teacher. The moment I learned the phrase “I have this time or I have this time.” And, “I’m not available then but I do have ___.” My life-work balance became mine! It was under my control.

What is your schedule like?

Do you like it?

What would you change about it?

I was recently asked what a day or a week in my life looked like? How do I structure my days?

To be honest, since I travel I make some changes to the schedule often but the basic structure is there.

5-6 days a week I workout first thing in the morning. That is the time when no one is awake. I can run with my dog and listen to a podcast. I then often go to a fitness class around 6 am and workout with my friends. Afterward, I’ll begin my teaching day. I teach 5 mornings a week for 3-4 hours. Then I use the middle of the day for whatever I want. Sometimes I do Pilates classes other times I catch up on emails or spend a little time on social media. I take calls or watch webinars, read a book, get a facial etc. The middle of the day is mine for whatever I want it to be. Then, on Mondays, I’ll allow 2 more clients in the late afternoon. Tues-Thur I teach a couple of evening clients whom I adore and have been with me for years! The other days of the week I am either off or have called it a day before the afternoon.

As far as how much I teach I follow what I share with many other teachers. I have a goal dollar amount (gross) in mind for the whole year. I divide that number by my average hourly session rate and then by the number of weeks of the year I will teach. I will only teach that amount of clients in a week. If people ask for a session and I have hit that number they go on a waitlist for any cancellation. I promise you unless I had a couple of weeks where I didn’t teach the average amount I do not add additional hours on. It’s important you don’t do this either. Waitlists are great things to have. And, you train your clients to schedule early!

My schedule works for me, I never force how I like to work on anyone and that means you too. I would love for you to watch my course on goal setting if you haven’t yet. And also my course on client scheduling. Then get super clear on the times of days that light your fire. If you’re not a morning person don’t teach in the morning. I promise you there are enough clients to go around! We can find your clients for the afternoon or evening.

The key to a successful business is knowing why you’re doing it, who you are and what you want! So, take a look at your schedule. Is it a good reflection of the life you want to live? Not sure how to make it one? Contact me here. Let’s talk!

xx~LL 

Tips to Work Less, Make More and Options for Passive Income Streams

We are in the business of exchanging time for money – we teach a class or session and we are paid for our time. But what happens when we get sick or injured and can’t physically teach? What if we want to go on vacation? How do we save? How will we ever retire? If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, you’re in good company! The most common questions my clients ask are always about money – how do I make more, how do I keep more of it, how I can work less and still earn money.

Lucky for you guys, this is my area of expertise! I’ve put together my top financial strategies and passive income earners for both studio owners and instructors. Ready to get to work? Keep reading below!

For Studio Owners

  1. Raise your rates: I recommend raising rates annually, $5-$10 for session or $15-$20/month. Inflation alone is going to drive your operations expense up 3% annually; you want to make sure you are keeping up with it. Clients expect a small annual increase and will be less likely to bat an eye over small, predictable, annual changes, than a massive increase out of the blue.
  2. Stick to the Late Cancel/No Show fees: You put these policies in place – enforce them! These fees won’t break the bank, but they will still account for a decent amount of income each month for the studio.
  3. Studio Use Fees for Inactive Times: When the studio isn’t being used for set classes or sessions, let someone else use it! Other trainers are always looking to rent space (more on that below), and brands are always looking to do photoshoots or host promotional events.

          If you’re interested in renting out studio space I recommend you 1) figure out available times for                    studio use and pricing for use, and 2) having your Rental Agreement with rates + terms ready to go                for when potential renters or partners approach you.

  1. Rent Space to Instructors: If you have space (or time) in your studio that you aren’t using, make it available for someone else to use! You can rent the space to an instructor, a massage therapist, a stretch therapist, movement specialist, the options are endless.
  2. Host Workshops: Your clients already love spending time with you and trust you; they’ll be more than thrilled to learn more from you. Each attendee will buy a ticket for admission. You can ask speakers to donate their time and brands to donate refreshments, products, and giveaways. The first workshop might take a bit of extra work to get the swing of things, but once you get the hang of scheduling, it’ll be an easy and profitable way to engage your community!
  3. Host Teacher Trainings: These are money makers for the instructors teaching the training and the studio hosting the training. If your studio has its own teaching method, put together a teacher training program. Spend 2-4 days teaching the method, and follow it up with hands-on learning opportunities such as instructor shadowing, mic practice, and mock classes. Even if you aren’t in the market to hire new instructors, many members and fitness-minded individuals will be interested in learning more about your method. The first training might take some work to put together, but once you have the formula down, it’s a repeatable, scalable and very profitable.

          If you are a studio that does NOT teach its own method, you can still be the host studio for a teacher              trainer. You might not make as much money, but you also have way less work to do. And workshop                hosts usually let you sit in on the workshop for free, so double win for you.

For Pilates Instructors:

  1. Keep track of ALL business expenses:   I mean everything – professional liability insurance, certifications, trainings, educational workshops or webinars, marketing materials, etc.  At the end of every year, you can write off these business expenses. More write-offs = less taxes!
  2. Ask for a raise or raise your rates: We can’t earn more money if we’re not willing to ask for more! Plain and simple. If you’ve been teaching at a studio or training clients for at least 6 months, it’s time to reassess your rates.

           If you teach at a studio – set a time to talk with your manager and the owner, go in with your stats                   (class attendance, reviews, client feedback) and propose a fair and reasonable raise. If they aren’t                   able to accommodate your request, where can they meet you? Additional employee perks? Can they               give you a timeline when they’d be willing to sit down again to discuss compensation?

 

           If you set your own rates as a private instructor, consider a reasonable increase ($5-$10 session), set             the price, and notify all clients in writing prior to their next sessions. And while you’re reaching out               to all of your clients you can remind them of your late cancel/no show policies and fees.

  1. Passive Income Streams Online: So many fit-pros are utilizing their online communities and social media to make extra money. I think it’s one of the easiest and accessible forms of passive income because you already have a captive audience who see you as an expert in your field.

         E-Books and Online Training Guides: If you are known for your workout posts or people are always               asking you how to workout smarter, put together an online training guide. Start small with a 4-week             guide offering workouts 3-4x week.

         Accountability Coaching: If you are organized and empathetic you would be an excellent                                  accountability coach to your clients for the other 23 hrs a day they aren’t training with you. You will              check-in daily to check their nutrition/meals for the day, prescribe workouts, and encourage them to            stay on track. Clients will retain you for a monthly fee and you will realize that you’re already doing                most of this work for them as their trainer anyways.

       Affiliate Partnerships: Brands are always looking to partner with influencers in health and wellness              field, and many pay instructors to promote their products in addition to gifting free or heavily                          discounted samples.

I approach brands that I already know, use and love and ask them if they have an affiliate program. Some brands will give me a discount, others will gift free products, others will give me a percentage of sales I drive their way. I look at my partnerships as 1) an opportunity to save money on goods I would already buy, or 2) an opportunity to make some extra cash raving about a brand I already love. However you look at it, they are wins for my wallet and my relationships!

I challenge every one of you to put ONE of these tips in action today! Start planning the conversation to get a raise. Brainstorm hosting workshops or teacher training at your studio. And join Lesley and me on April 3 as we dive deeper into these topics and answer any question you might have about financial planning, and owning your worth and value to give yourself the security and success you deserve!

Xx, D


Connect with Danielle Stead Blanton here. And, join us for this epic webinar that will help you take charge of your finances and get tips on passive income streams on April 3rd webinar replay will be available for one week. Join herexx~LL