Use this Question to get Unstuck and Grow Your Business

It’s pretty obvious that COVID has affected Pilates and fitness clubs dramatically. Whether you are a teacher, studio owner, or something in between the virus, the constant changes in how we can interact with our clients, and the restrictions that keep us from using our spaces the way we used to are causing strain, closures, stress and fear in so many. So if this is you you’re not alone. And, while there is no magic pill or tip to turn your situation around I do believe that there is a way to pause, get perspective and then have a new path to work towards to and yes, grow your business.

I want you to ask yourself if you were to start today What would you do? Seriously though if you were to start today, what would you do?

There’s a lot going on and you’re wondering what the heck?  How am I supposed to actually make money right now with all the restrictions? All the things going on, even if you’re in a country that’s got COVID thing under control there are closures and reopenings and closures again and it can feel like there’s not a lot in your control.

One issue that is causing this feeling of being stuck, or not seeing growth in your business is trying to fit the old business with the new restrictions. For example, maybe you have memberships and you’re thinking  “how can I do this with memberships?”, or “I only do classes and now I can only have x amount of people and that doesn’t allow me to make enough money.” I get it, costs don’t go down just because you can only use half your space.

I also see things like, “well, I can’t do that because my clients are x age and they won’t do virtual.”  Does this sound familiar? It easy right now to feel like you don’t know what to do, or feel really worried about the growth of your business. But, are you trying to fit your old business into today’s current climate?

If you are I don’t blame you. It makes the most sense right? To try to go back to the way things were with the restrictions because you don’t want to lose any clients. But, let’s be honest, was the old way you were doing business really working? Or was it just the way you always did things?

I know it just feels like there’s a lot of roadblocks, a lot of obstacles, a lot of people getting in your way, and not making things possible for you. And I hear you. I totally see you. Trust me. I had a studio too. And we had renters at my studio in LA. They subbed for me and took care of my studio when I was gone.

Like many of you I found out my studio closed through random sources and no one back in March knew how long this was going to be. We could not longer make money from renters, we canceled workshops or postponed to 2021, we postponed retreats to 2021, and just like that, we couldn’t do business the way we had before.  I’m not any different than you.

There are friends of mine who have studios who were on track to have their best year ever. And having their best year ever to be sidelined and some of them were closed for three or six or even seven or eight months, just like many of you.  And no matter where you are we are all trying to make up for lost time trying to figure out what do we do right now with what we’re allowed to do?

It’s ok to be worried, there are reasons to feel stuck and there are reasons to wonder if you are you supposed to be doing this.

I do believe all of you became teachers for a reason. We became teachers or owners for a reason.  All of this is happening for us. So many businesses out there that I coach were offering things because that’s what they thought the people in their community wanted. So many people opened up studios that were big with all these potential classes, but really people just want privates. Many of you thought you need to have these big beautiful studios with all these teachers but you don’t even like to manage people. And so you have this opportunity this year to ask yourself this question- If you were to start today, start over, what would you do?

And here’s the beauty, you get to bring all the things you know that you liked and didn’t like about your current business. What would you do? Knowing what I know how would I start today? I’d be exactly where I am right now because I asked myself this question back in March. We moved to Las Vegas in June after we made changes to what was left of our business. We were already 50% virtual and went 100% virtual. The studio was moved into our home here, and while I don’t teach in person right now I still teach the clients I had back in LA.

Your turn! If you were to start your biz today with all you know what would you do? What would you offer? And I want you to get really honest, are all the things you’re trying to make work the right thing for you, for how you want to show up?

I believe a lot of the stress and anxiety that a lot of people are feeling is because we’re trying to fit the old biz into the new way of life. It’s like taking a pair of our jeans from high school, high school is almost 20 years ago for me.  And we’re trying to make them fit today for our 20-year reunion. You know which pair of jeans you loved in high school, picture them there hanging on the door and you’re looking at them, and there is the feeling of wanting to wear the jeans, which sounds familiar and safe, but then there is the worry of whether they will fit, which leads to anxiety and even if they do get all the way on they tend to fall short.

Your old jeans, even your favorite most epic timeless jeans from back in the day are not the right jeans for where you are right now. And trying to make them be something they can’t be is going to leave you stuck, worried, frustrated. So, let’s get some new jeans. Let’s talk about how you would start today!!

And before you skip the answer and go right into the “how am I going to do this?” stop.

All you have to do right now is be honest with yourself.

What do you want to do with your workday?

What do you want to offer?

What do your future clients need? (not saying we ditch your old ones just saying don’t get stuck on the one or two clients who LOVE to share how much they don’t like change.)

When will you work? Where will you work?

The “how” is where everyone gets stuck because they get hung up on the fear of it not working. The fear of the unknown. The fear of failure, rejection and loss.

Don’t get caught up in the “how”. The “how” is actually really easy to solve. “How” is solved by people you know, people who know more than you, people who’ve been in your shoes.  The “How” is often answered by the universe if you saw my IG post. I wonder game.

It’s not woo woo either. If you are clear on what you want to do, we can get that how figured out.

I can’t wait to see the new “what’s” in the comments or feel free to dm me.

xx~LL

Are You Ready to Leap?

You will need to make leaps in your life and business often. It isn’t likely going to be easy. You are going to wonder if you are doing the right thing? Maybe even decide to not leap at all. I promise you though that when you stay where you doing the same thing over and over again you will feel like you are going crazy. Or worse, you’ll quit altogether and then we lose a great teacher. So, in this blog, I’m going to give you some blogs that will support your leap, the formula you need to know to make sure you can do the link, and also why your schedule is so important when it comes to leaping.

Know your numbers: You need to know how much money you need to make with other income streams so that you can replace the one you are wanting to give up for your leap. I talk about this a lot inside of AGENCY whenever anyone wants to talk about quitting a full-time job or starting a new project. Before I could leave my salaried job I needed to know how much money that job was paying me and the costs of any other benefits. Then I needed to know how many in my case private clients I needed in a week to make up for that annual income. So, if you are trying to give up at $60k/year job with benefits how much is that amount. Then how many private clients or units of a product, if you are selling something, do you need to make up that income? Once you know that information you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Your dream needs to be in your schedule: I coach people on their ideal schedule A LOT! It’s essential that you have time in your schedule to work on the things that propel your business forward. In this blog, I discuss how to set up an ideal schedule that allows you to make time for you, your goals, and still the things that you feel you have to do.

Know where you want to leap to: so this might be obvious but often times the reason people don’t leap is they haven’t spent the time thinking about the place they want to land. This is something you need to do before you leap otherwise you are likely to go back or not leap at all because your situation won’t really change.

Trust yourself: If you can’t stop thinking about doing the thing ya gotta do the thing. And the thing that gets you to leap might not be your thing in the end. But, it might be the bridge to where you are going to go. So tell yourself you can’t make the wrong decision.

I leaped during a recession from a salaried job to teaching Pilates full time. I leaped from managing studios and leading teacher trainings to working for myself. I leaped from renting space to owning my own studio and recently we leaped from having a brick and mortar to being fully virtual. All of them scared the heck out of me. All of them I was as sure as I was nervous. All of them taught me more about myself and what I was capable of. Your first leap will scare the heck out of you. But then you start to get a leaping muscle.

The truth is your heart already knows its right, it’s your head that is worried. And for many of you reading this the truth is there really is no other choice right now but to leap. It’s also the best time. No hard feelings or hurt feelings. Covid made you do it.

Where are you wanting to leap to next?

xx~LL

PS my blog on burn out is also helpful here.

Pivoting: Tips for Instructors and Studio Owners

Pivoting, I am sure you have heard this word more often than you want during the Corona Virus Shut Down, Re-open, and potential re-closures. And, maybe you have even pivoted once or twice already? I know you struggle to know if you should pivot now? Is it too late? What if things “go back to normal?” And, even wondering if it’s too late and you missed the Pivot Plane. Truth is pivoting may be more than just what helps you survive this time. It might actually take your business to a level you hadn’t thought about. Or, even become more than a band-aid to the times and be the way you help people for years to come. Pivoting doesn’t have to be a last resort or a “bad thing.” It could literally be the thing that sets you free of what you thought you “should be doing.” So, whether you have already made some pivots or are just getting started here are some tips for Pivoting.

First, it’s important you recognize that pivoting is not a bad thing. It doesn’t mean you failed. When gyms and studios were forced to close ClassPass lost 95% of its revenue. OVERNIGHT. The entire fitness industry was sent into a freefall. You are not alone. And, there are tons of success stories already out there where pivots have more than saved a business. There are many that are looking at their future primary product being virtual. You can be (and I hope all reading this will be) saying something similar.

Now that you have let go of feeling like you’re “failing” by changing what you offer or how you show up. Let’s talk about some ideas.

Pre-Rona you or you studio were limited to who could get to your studio. People who lived or worked in the area. You were limited to your ideal client being “nearby.” Now, EVERYONE understands how to use their computer or device to zoom, Facetime, or Google Hangout. And, while some people weren’t as excited to workout online in March many are jumping on board now.

Virtual Classes For Always: In-real-time classes not only feel like “old times” you can easily charge your normal in-person rates. You are not limited to the walls of your studio. People are now used to buying fitness equipment so you can put together kits they can buy from you for your classes. You are also only limited to time zones issues. Your existing clients can help you promote your classes and bring their friends and family from all over the world. Which is where you should start. With people who know like and trust you. And when the time comes to move back inside you can still keep your in-real-time virtual attendees. I take a step class every week with about 28 other women from all over the country. And, the teacher is in a big warehouse with 20 in-person students. That’s 48 on a random night. Their studio could only fit 32. No longer are their profits limited by occupancy rules.

Courses: what questions does your studio or you get asked often? Nowadays creating online courses has never been easier. There are platforms like Teachable and Kajabi and others that make it easy for anyone to film a course put it up online and sell it. Now, I promise you just because you build it doesn’t mean it will be a success overnight. You still will have to promote this product. But, it is another income stream that now without having as many hours spent driving around to go from class to class or to the studio you can finally write, film and sell that course you’ve been wanting to put together. And, go ahead niche down and answer the specific question your ideal client is asking. Your ideal client has back issues do a course on things they can do at home. Maybe there is a level 1, 2 and 3? And, because they will trust you so much after doing the course maybe they join your virtual classes or in-person offerings when that happens for you.

Downsizing: this option is brilliant and I know that maybe it doesn’t feel brilliant in the beginning trust me everything is happening for you. Maybe you have a big studio, you’ve got lots of teachers or you’ve struggled to find enough “good” teachers? You opened the studio so that you could help people. You saw that most people opened with 3+ Reformers, towers, chairs etc. But, the truth is you don’t love managing people and you want to focus on other things. Maybe you want to travel, be with your family more, or simply have a business that is smaller, more manageable? What if you rented out your excess equipment, moved to a smaller studio space, or create a home studio as I did. Truth is most teachers can have a very profitable private business with 20ish clients working 46 weeks a year if they charge their worth. Your clients who are unsure about returning in-studio can rent the extra equipment from you and when they are done you can sell or re-rent it out.

Poll Your People: I’m often asked how come I moved to Vegas or decided to have a home studio? And honestly, I’ll answer the question about Why Vegas another day its a longer story than a bullet point on a blog. But, that part that helps you is I polled my clients who stuck with virtual. I asked them if when things “reopened” what they wanted? Were they going to be going back to their offices, other gyms etc. They all said they were LOVING virtual and were even doing more sessions. They didn’t have traffic, parking, or worry about a meeting running late. Because I knew that they were not planning on coming back it allowed me to explore other options.

Sell the Results, not the Process: maybe your business doesn’t need a pivot but your marketing does. I often see teachers and businesses selling the process. Meaning they sell class times or equipment classes. But they don’t sell what matters to people- how you help them. How does “Pilates Mat class tonight with LL 6 pm” solve their back pain, their lack of self-confidence, their stress level lowering or simply being part of a community? Right, it doesn’t. It sells the process. But, what if you talked about the results? What if you shared with people the big picture, the feeling they will have when they show up? Give this tip a try all week long and see if the engagement on your posts changes.

Stop wallowing: What does wallowing have to do with pivoting? A lot actually! If you add a new offering, discontinue ones you cannot offer, and even do any of the things I have mentioned above but you are still living in the “woe is me” mindset I promise you you’ll get to continue living in this place you are in. You’ve got to stop feeling like this is happening to you and that you’re the only one. And this one is a big one, You have GOT to stop believing that “no one wants to do virtual mat classes and pay for them.” Or “no one will pay for this class I offer because they are used to x, y or z.” You need to believe in yourself. You need to show up every day asking yourself how can you reach the people you were meant to help today? You need to because you are the only person who can teach who you teach the way you teach.

What pivots are you going to make? What are you going to commit to?

Couple things I need you to keep in mind as you make your changes:

  1. Insurance: you gotta make sure your insurance covers you for the on-demand aka pre-recorded content you are offering.
  2. City/County policies: I am LOVING the ideas of studios teaching in their parking lots, parks or beaches. Do you have permission?
  3. Your waivers: anytime you add something you have never done before you gotta make sure your waivers cover you! This is not something you can borrow from a friend download off the internet.
  4. Who is it for? Why do they need it? What do they get after doing it? Remember the results not the process is what they care about.
  5. You gotta market it. More often than you think. More times than you can dream up.
  6. Which is why you gotta love it, believe in it and go for it.

 

Look, I’m not gonna lie, times are WEIRD AF. But, let’s be honest, people are thriving during this time and it’s not because they are finding ways to benefit from a pandemic. No, these are Pilates teachers, Personal trainers, gyms and studios that have decided to get creative, show up and be ready to fail. Yep, failing is inevitable and it gives you Feedback! So, fail fast and you’ll actually fail forward. AKA make mistakes, learn from them, and try again tomorrow. Now is the time to get creative, try new things, and go for it.

What will you try next?

xx~LL

 

Can You Make Money Teaching Pilates and Give Back?

The simplest answer is yes. Yes, you can make money and give back. For-Profit For-Cause businesses are not a new thing. But, they have become more popular as more and more small businesses are wanting to not just make money but impact the communities around them. So how can your Pilates or Fitness business make the money you want to make and give back to others? And, how can you have offerings that not only pay for the overhead you have, the equipment, continuing education, etc and also be affordable for those in your community who need it? Pilates is seen as very expensive. And, these days most fitness options are. Spin classes, treadmill classes etc all require expensive equipment. Teacher training is not cheap nor are they easy to get through. It is ok to need to charge your worth. But, I know you are wanting to also bring Pilates to more people. So, let’s talk about some of the easiest ways you can do that.

First, before we can get into the options its important that you know how much your hourly rate is. Without this knowledge not only may you not be charging enough to keep your lights on but it will make it impossible to give back to others. So, if you haven’t done this formula with me before please get out your calculator:

  • How much do you want to gross in a year?
  • How many weeks will you work (teach) in a year?
  • How many days a week?
  • How many hours in a day?

Take your gross income and divide it by the number of weeks, then the number of days then the number of hours and you get a number. That number is the lowest amount you can charge to make your gross income goals.

Now that we have this number its easy to figure out how we can give back.

You can give back as a simple donation to a local charity. For example, OPC was able to start giving a % of our weekly member subscriptions to Lunch on Me. We, unfortunately, we didn’t build that into the business model from the get-go. So as soon as we were able to hit a threshold we were able to add this in. However, you can take your hourly rate and add $1, $5, $10 to that and promote that x amount of every session or class goes to “insert charity here.” Your clients and members will love that for every session they do they are part of that donation. And, they’re less likely to hassle you on price increases and late cancel policies because they’d be taking away from that charity.

If you go this route again, set your prices, packages, memberships with the donation in mind. This          way it’s built into the price and update your clients and members every quarter or even every month            how much was given. If the charity has updates on who that money went to etc. You’ll truly build a                community around your cause.

Have a Special Community Class on the Schedule. For this option again you want to go back to your formula and make sure that your rates for all your teaching hours cover this community class. For example if you want to offer a class each week to a special population for say $10/person or even “pay what you can.” That money can be donated to a charity that supports that population of people. The nominal fee can hold them accountable for showing up. And, yes, this can also be free. But then all your other teaching hours can subsidize this hour. So, if your rate is $80 and you only want to teach 15 hours a week. Then the 14 hours you are paid for by clients can be $86. Not only will this allow you to teach the number of hours you want. But, it also helps hold you accountable for filling those other 14 paid hours so you can offer this session.

Side note: Filling these community classes will take more than just putting them on a schedule and seeing people come. You’ll need to do the same kind of marketing to let people in the population you are hoping to support/reach hear about it.

Go into a community and teach a class. This is similar to the previous option. Your paid teaching hours would subsidize this option. And then you would travel to a community center, charity headquarters, school, etc. There are organizations that are already doing this and you can do some research to see how you can get involved. And, if teaching people who may not be able to afford Pilates is on your heart this option should be front and center. Yes, its less convenient for you. But, where your studio or class is may not be affordable for them to get to. Its truly important to consider meeting people where they are just like Pilates does.

Consider multi-level, multi apparatus, circuit-style classes. I love this option and have been doing it for a long time. It allows even the smallest of studios to have classes and have an offering that is affordable without lowering your hourly rate. You can learn more about this in this course. But essentially, you would channel Joe’s old studio in a sense. Clients would still come at a set time. But they each would have their own workout and you would help them when they need it. This way instead of only teaching Privates or duets at a rate that people might not be able to afford you can have three or four people working out at the same time. Their cost is less but you make your hourly rate or more.

This is literally just the beginning and hopefully gets your juices flowing. Please keep in mind that there are many reasons why someone cannot come to your studio that is not just money. So, if you’re really wanting to reach a community do the research to see how you can best support them. But, its also ok to have a profitable business. And you can truly give back and grow so that you not only pay yourself a wage but you help support the community you’re in as well.

You are the only person who can teach the way you teach to the people you teach. So your people need you to be able to pay your bills so you can continue to support them. Do the formula, get creative with your offerings, and do your homework to help support those who are on your heart.

xx~LL

 

How to Quit a Client, Studio, Schedule and Make Your Leap

Feeling like you should downsize your studio, schedule or client list is normal. Desiring to work on your business instead of in your business should always be your goal. I get asked often “How did you go out on your own?” “How did you open your own studio?” “Why did you move your studio?” All these questions have one topic in common. “How do you make the leap?

The leap in your business is going to be scary. Let’s get that out of the way. But, the longer you avoid taking the leap that you need to make the harder it will be, and the worse it will feel. And also, the more likely you are to burn out and think about quitting teaching altogether.

So, if you are a teacher thinking about going out on your own keep reading. If you’re a studio owner wondering if you should downsize, upsize, go from having independent contractors to employees or moving your studio at home keep reading.

A leap can also be a switch, a shift, a change of plans. And yes people will wonder if you’re a bit crazy. Some people will not be shocked at all. And others will be inspired. Why? Because only you will know what is right for you. And you must teach the way you are called to teach. Oh, and that might change as you grow along the way. But, if you’re charging based on your goals and clear on your vision I promise that more leaps will be in your future and it gets easier to leap.

First ask yourself what you want for your future? Who is in it? Where do you live? What do you do each day? Pick a date in the future and get clarity around your day to day. This will be your filter. And, you’ll want to do this often. Because you’ll reach the date of the vision and you’ll need another future one.

Second, what in your business are you wanting to stop doing?

How much money does that bring you?

How much time is that?

Third, what is it that you want to be doing with that time? How much will you need to charge/work to replace the income of the thing you’re wanting to stop?

When you know how much you need to do/have to make the switch it becomes more real, more possible, and more tangible.

When I wanted to leave managing studios I figured out how much money I would be giving up when I let go of that job. I figured out how many hours of private clients that would be and the amount of time that would equal. I could replace that income I was getting in 30+ hours a week of work with 17 hours of privates. I figured I could add 8 hours to my current schedule but once those were full I would have to make the leap. Make the leap 9 hours shy of what I needed to replace the income. Yes, that was scary but I was about to gain 30 hours of time to go and find those other 9 hours of clients.

When I wanted to open my own personal studio I looked at how much I was paying in rent and then searched for a space that was close to my average rent. Yes, I had to buy my own equipment and take on the other bills for owning my own space. But, I saved on time spent figuring out if I could teach at this time or that time. I didn’t have to ask when I could film anymore and I could have days off instead of filming on days off because that was the only time that was available. Leap!

When CV19 happened and I lost all my workshops for 2020, my elderly clients passed on virtual I did what I told you above. I figured out how much money that was. I wrote down all the things I LOVE to do when I am working. I figured in how much of the things I loved doing I needed to remake that revenue. And then I leapt.

If you are wanting to quit teaching mornings, classes, running a studio or want to open your own you can! Wherever you are in this world, whatever your dream you will have to make a leap. And, it won’t be easy. But, you can do it smartly and have more confidence when you go and do it. Even if there are those people that question the leap you are making.

So, whatever you are thinking of doing there is a way to build a bridge to allow you space to successfully leap. What leap are you wanting to make?

xx~LL

Resources for Creating an Anti-Racist and Inclusive Pilates Experience

Pilates is seen as an elitist and often even racist fitness modality. And, while most of its teachers would like to disagree I believe the past week’s protests have more than shed a light on where we can all improve in the effort for equality. And, while you might think that racism is not happening in your studio. Or that, you see all people as equal. Now is the time to take a step back and see are you creating a studio space that not only teaches Pilates safely and effectively. But also how are the studio policies inclusive of all backgrounds that might come through your doors? Is your staff or are you aware of micro-aggressions that however innocent you might think they affect the teachers and clients that come through your doors?

The problem of racism in the US and other countries may seem too big for you to fix. But, the truth is if you are doing your part in your community to create change that has a ripple effect that has no ends. And so, below please find the books, podcasts, charities, and more that you can use to educate yourself.

Side note: I’m still learning, I will always be. I am listening and educating myself as best and quickly as I can so that I can continue to use this platform for its mission-helping you do more of what you love- Teaching Pilates.

Part of being able to do more of what you love is making sure that the studio space you are in allows for any client you may attract to feel safe, welcome, and included. For you to feel strong, confident, and aware not just of learning styles but of cultural differences and needs. And, for teachers in the BIPOC community to feel safe, welcome and empowered. I know I am still making my way through these lists. But, I hope they help you on your journey to bringing more Pilates to more bodies.

Books

Podcasts

Courses/Workshops

This is in no way a complete list. And, as I find more I hope to update this. And, please feel free to post more resources in the comments below.

To my teachers out there reading this. If you see something do something. My interview guest Yunny on IG said this. And, it’s important that you stand up if you see a policy at a studio or a client whose actions are racist or micro aggression. Change happens first where we are.

To my studio owners, in these days after quarantine, it’s never been more important to make sure the culture at your studio represents the inclusivity you believe in. Now that clients are more aware of online services and follow teachers on social media you cannot afford to lose a good teacher because your policies or clients create an environment that negatively affects another person. Check out the interview I did with Kristen here.

Big thanks to those of you who sent me resource tips on Instagram and to Crooked Media who shared Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein’s list. You can see the full list here

Why You Need a Reopening Plan Too

As communities all over the world begin to open up we are all taking the time to get to know more about what we can and cannot do in our businesses than probably EVER before. And, while I know you are eager to get back to your studio, clients, and figuring out how to have classes I think it is super imperative that YOU yourself have a reopening plan. Have you taken the time to make sure you are keeping the parts of quarantine that you loved and not bringing in parts of your old life that you didn’t enjoy?

  1. Your Schedule: Now is the time to truly dial this in. If you have found that you no longer want to teach mornings as you plan your reopen how can you keep your mornings for you? Do you have space in your day for your workout, marketing, meditation? You can blame all changes to the schedule on CV19. And, if you need to you can always add things back in but taking things away will be harder later than it is now. So, put your dream schedule together! Here is a course on how to fill it when you do.
  2. Your Offerings: If pre CV19 you were teaching classes but you prefer privates how can you reassess your offerings and only offer privates? Or, if you have been loving teaching virtual do you really need to go back into the studio? What about the size of the packages you offer? Do you need all of those? How can you make your life simpler and your business work for you?
  3. Your clients: Do you want all of them back? Yep, I said it. Sometimes we keep clients around because they have been with us for a long time. Or, they are sort of consistent. But, if they drain you to teach, or are always nagging you about prices, times, wanting to move their session around do you need to reopen with them?
  4. Your Self Care: This may be the MOST important thing I need to you plan and consider during this time. After talking with many teachers who have already been able to open one thing that they are finding is that yes there is excitement and gratitude but there is also fear, stress, and extra cleaning to do. So, while you may have taught 4-5 hours in a row before CV19 you may now feel tired or drained after just 3. As teachers we hold so much space for our clients already. This reentry includes even more. Go slower than you may think. Remember, you can always add things back in. But, give yourself space to see how you feel getting back into the studio.

Some tips for Self Care when you can’t do the normal self care rewards like massages, spa treatments etc:

  1. Make more time for meditation.
  2. Have a fun book to read
  3. Turn your phone off.
  4. Thera gun massages
  5. A buddy you can call and share how your day was without having to filter.
  6. A Routine!
  7. A therapist. Side note I think Therapy needs a rebranding. You can get one on Betterhelp that you can do a call or text as you need.
  8. Uplifting podcasts while going for a walk.
  9. Your regular practice.
  10. Eating healthy
  11. Crafting
  12. Cooking (not just for others but for fun)!
  13. Boundaries!
  14. Morning pages
  15. insert your favorite thing here

Self-care is not a reward for hitting a goal. It shouldn’t be at least. It is a total necessity. And, as you start to reopen and your clients come back and they are super excited to see you, bummed about the changes, and you have more cleaning and listening to do it is extremely necessary that YOU take the time to create your own reopen strategy. When you will work and when you won’t. Who you’ll teach and who you won’t. And what you truly want to be doing.

What will you make sure you put in your weekly schedule to ensure that you are taken care of?

xx~LL

 

When Your Business Goals Go Out the Window

As CV19 spreads across the planet and fear of the unknown rises it can feel even harder than usual to run your business. And, you might be looking at canceling plans of workshops, retreats or events that you have been planning for a year. Or, wondering if you should? And, its frustrating because you were on track to hit your goals, level up your business, you had just been getting your systems in place. So, what do you do when LIFE gets in the way of your best-laid plans?

Be Proactive! I wrote about the Circle of Concern vs the Circle of Influence in my online coaching group AGENCY: “Proactive people focus their efforts on their Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about: health, children, problems at work. Reactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern. things over which they have little or no control: The national debt, terrorism, or the weather. “In times like these, it is easy to let the Circle of concern rule our daily lives, our goals, or more. I’m not gonna lie. With all that is happening my daily positivity, focus on the circle of influence life has been challenged.

Spend More Time Focusing on What YOU CAN DO. This will also help your clients mindset too. But, these past two weeks as one of my events was on, then off, then on, then off but maybe on, then on, then off but with an option. The best I felt was when I had a plan. The in-between is torture. Make a decision, take action. You’re not a brain surgeon, if it doesn’t work you can do something else. You can try the other thing.

Your goals are not RUINED: I think it’s truly important to not think “its over!!!” It’s not over until it is. Until you choose for it to be over. We live in a time where there are infinite options and a lot of things can be trialed for free or relatively low cost. So, look at what you wanted to do. Why did you want to do it? What was the result you wanted? The feeling? Do you still want it? If so then let’s make a new plan? Maybe we need new dates? Maybe that allows you to clarify your marketing, your client avatar or your offering? Maybe you get to work on a future goal sooner! I know it’s hard to stomach and a bit frustrating to hear but everything really does happen for a reason! I wrote about this story on Instagram the other day. But, my wedding venue was canceled 5 weeks before the wedding! We still had a wedding and the venue we had was the coolest!!! Our wedding was even published!

Take a moment to reassess. What can you do today, tomorrow and this week? What has to be postponed until ____ date. Fill that date in and set a reminder. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain. Or, with it! I’ve been doing virtual sessions for quite some time. And, while I never offered them to my in-person clients while I was in Cambodia hearing that offices were closing and schools were closing in my town and my meditation place was doing all classes for the rest of March virtually.  I offered all my in-person clients the same virtual sessions. All of them in the past might not have been interested but they are this week! And super appreciative of it.

Grab the list of things you were going to do “when you have time.”  You know that list of things you keep putting off until “you have time.” Well, now you likely do. Take advantage of this. Sure, you might feel like you want to binge out on Netflix, Hulu etc. And, I’m not saying don’t. But, that ideal work schedule you’ve wanted or already had…keep it! Use the “free time” to do get ahead in your blogs, social media content, newsletters, etc.

Remember You Will Get Through This. And when you do how do you want to feel. Did you know that during the 2008/9 recession the fitness industry didn’t suffer like everything else. Zumba took off and so did so many other boutique studios. Yep! It’s true. So, you can use this time to think that the world or virus is against you. Or, you can use it as a time to GSD! Get stuff done. What do you want to have done, where do you want to be when they have things “under control.”

The reality is my friend you never had full control over your goals. You just thought you did. We all only have the time right now, and the control of how we react to everything that is happening. So, you can worry about things you cannot handle. Or, you can focus on the things you can affect. Like your family, friends and your local community.

I’ve have received so many emails from companies about things they are doing to help during this time. One food delivery company told me she can deliver during this time so not to worry if the stores are empty! The meditation studio moving virtually actually allows me to go almost daily now. Zoom is working with schools to help them offer virtual classes. This is a time when we can all come together and offer what we can.

Maybe you have been wanting your mat classes to fill and now they are dwindling. Move them to online and I bet you get people from all over your town who couldn’t make it in time. If you’re wanting help going virtual I am leading a call on this inside AGENCY there will be replay for members.

Get support! Seriously, its really easy to feel like you are alone. That no one really understands. To worry you’re going to lose everything and no one gets it. My online coaching community does have a few spots available right now and they want you in it. We are stronger together.

Lastly, your goals are only out the window if you open that window and let them fly off without you. It’s your life, it’s your decision. Action is the antidote to fear and clarity comes from action. So, what action will you take?

xx~LL

How to Make Room For New Offerings, Opportunities and Income Streams

When your schedule already feels full it can feel impossible to work on a new goal. You want to start teaching a new class, offer a workshop or lead a retreat but you barely have time to do the admin of your business. You’re tired of saying “when I have time.” Or, “if I wasn’t so busy I’d be doing…” And, you’re feeling stuck, frustrated or anxious because you’re feeling called to grow and your schedule doesn’t have any more room for what’s next. Sound like you?

I hear ya. I too have tried to use the excuse “I’m too busy.” When it came to why I wasn’t working on one of my goals.

And, sure, I am busy. I was busy. And I’ll likely be busy tomorrow.

We are all busy. But being busy isn’t an excuse for not doing the thing you want.

It’s likely fear.

And that’s ok.

It also might be limiting beliefs that you can be the person to do what it is you want to do.

Or, maybe you’re waiting for it to be “ready.”

But, truth, if you’re wanting to add a new offering, or create a new income stream, or be able to take on a potential opportunity you will make the time.

And, creating space for what you want is the way to getting what you want.

So, how do you do that?

One of my members of AGENCY asked: “How do I make room to offer workshops when my schedule is already full?”

Here’s how to make room for new offerings, opportunities, and income streams

  1. You need to get out of your own way. Know the big picture but don’t get stuck there. You only need to know the first next step.
  2. Practice a schedule that prioritizes working on things that will move the nerd forward in your business. You can check out my blog on “Rocks, Pebbles, sand theory.”
  3. Take messy action. Don’t make it “perfect.” There is no such thing anyways. Do the thing as best ya can and learn from it. There is no such thing as failure, there is only feedback.
  4. Find accountability and support. In my coaching group AGENCY members post their goals. This helps them get support, ideas and a biggie, accountability!
  5. Set a deadline. You may miss it but a deadline forces you to take action.
  6. Do it scared. I’m scared most of the time. You can’t control anything. All you can control is what actions you take and then the rest will fall as it may.
  7. Delegate! If you know your numbers then you know how much you can pay someone to do work for you that doesn’t bring you joy, doesn’t bring you money and costs you less than what you make to pay them to do it. I do all my copy my friend but I don’t schedule any of my newsletters. I film all the tutorials but I don’t edit or schedule any of them. It costs me 1/4th of what I charge for an hour to pay someone else to do that work. More tips on hiring here.
  8. Things will take as long as you let it. If you give yourself 20 min to do something you’d be amazed at what you can get done. Give it an hour and it’ll take an hour. So, don’t wait for time. Try to do the thing in the few moments you have and see what you can get done.
  9. Done is better than perfect.

If you follow these tips I can guarantee you’ll learn more about what you want, you’ll see possibilities for the path, you’ll learn a ton about yourself and you keep doing it a year from now you’ll see those new offerings, income streams or opportunities coming to fruition.

It’s easy to look at someone else’s success and think “it was so easy for them.” Or, “they’re lucky.” But the truth is that person just started working on their thing one day at a time. One scared moment at a time. And, you can too!

So, what are you waiting for?

xx~LL

PS here is a course on creating more income streams if that idea intrigues you!

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.