Optimizing Your Personal Finances

Are you afraid to look your money monster in the face?

You’re not alone.  In fact, many people avoid their finances and hope for the best.  Hope is not a strategy.  We know this, yet…..we continue to ignore the very resource that provides us freedom, opportunity and generational abundance.

Truth is, money is just a tool that allows you to live the life you deserve.  Your finances are telling you a story.  You cannot edit the story if you’re not looking at the story.

So, if you’re looking to start a new relationship with your money today.  One that empowers you to be a good steward of your hard-earned cash, then you belong in this workshop.

Grab a pen and cozy up!  After spending this hour with me you will have:

  • Tips to reframe your money mindset
  • Tools to manage your personal finances
  • Ideas to improve your personal profitability

Sounds good, yeah?   Cozy up and grab a pen.  Let’s get this money date started!

 

Find this course here.

5 Ways to Cover Your Ass(ets) in your Fitness Business

There’s a secret that no one tells you about running a fitness business: being an instructor and being a business owner are actually two very different roles, requiring different hats, skill sets, and hours in the day. Or should I say, extra hours in the day.

I get it – your schedule is filled with sessions and classes with clients. When you have a break in the day, or some free time, you want to workout, take a nap, run some errands, spend time with your family… anything BUT dealing with the operations of your business, updating contracts, or reassessing how that money is flowing in and out of your accounts.

The good news is, you only need to nail down a few of these strategies to run a business that is operationally efficient, financially smart, and covers your (well-toned) behind in the event of an accident or issue. Make sure you can check each box off the below list to make sure you’re not making running your fitness business any harder than it needs to be.

1. Work with a legal and/or tax professional to determine if you should form an entity (like an LLC or SCorp) and decide which one is best for you: Business entities like LLCs and corporations provide a layer of legal protection between your business and your personal assets – yay! But did you know they also allow you to take advantage of more tax incentives, allow you to write off expenses differently, and make you eligible for different financial resources? Don’t let the annual registration fee, or the legwork of opening an entity, scare you away without having the conversation first and weighing the benefits.

2. Separate all business monies from your personal money by opening a separate business bank account and credit card. In addition to being illegal, mixing business and personal money (also known as commingling) creates a huge headache come tax season. Who has time to go through every account statement for the past year, tagging transactions and counting revenue? Not me, and definitely not you. Save yourself the time, headache and regret; head straight to the bank and open a new account for your business only if you don’t have one yet.

While all money coming in and out of your business should be moving through a business bank account, you will need a business tax ID number (called an EIN) to open a business bank account. If you’re an LLC or corporation owner, your entity should get this when you register with the state. If you’re a sole proprietor you have the option to open a regular bank account, or obtain a tax ID number and open a business bank account.

No more letting clients Venmo you, and you transferring money directly into your personal checking account; it’s a huge red flag to Venmo and banks to freeze the funds!

3. Know what you can (and CAN’T) deduct from your business expenses and keep track of them. My philosophy on tax deductions is simple – know exactly what, and how much, you can deduct, and do just that. Clients come to me on all ends of the spectrum regarding their deductions: some are afraid to write-off their travel expenses (of course you should be!) while others are talking to me about writing off their family’s grocery bill each month (seriously, don’t!).

Your eligible deductions are based on your business entity (that again!) and can include payroll taxes, contractor wages, equipment, marketing expenses, networking events, business coaching (like your membership in AGENCY, or coaching sessions with me)… the list is actually pretty substantial so make sure you’re not leaving money on the table, or worse, taking something you shouldn’t be!

4. Put it in writing. Your fitness business needs, at the bare minimum, a Liability Waiver and some sort of agreement with clients. Legally, the Liability Waiver just makes sense, but did you know that most states actually require a Client/Membership Agreement in writing? And if you’re a web-based business you’re also legally required to have a Privacy Policy if you collect any personal information (including email addresses!). If you’re winging it, riding on the trust with long-term clients, eating the cost of late-cancels that you aren’t charging for, dreading the lengthy process and expenses of finally getting it right, that stops here, today.

All financial and service-based transactions in your business should be in writing so you can be explicit in your expectations, policies and requirements. Not only do you want to ensure you’re never losing money with late-cancels and no-shows, your clients need to know what’s expected of them (don’t chew gum while working out, no cell-phones on the reformers), and how their information is being managed. If you offer teacher training programs or workshops it’s not enough to say “no refunds” on the registration page. If you have an independent contractor who rents space, you need to clearly state, and they need to agree to, your studio policies.

Agreements are just that – an agreement between the parties to follow the rules stated. Putting it in writing ensures that everyone’s on the same page.

5. Invest in your success and enlist help. The biggest mistake I’ve made in my own fitness business is deciding that I can do it all myself. Spoiler alert – I can’t, and I shouldn’t. Me trying to do it all alone meant that there were a lot of unnecessary holes in my business that easily could’ve been filled. For me, my email newsletters weren’t as great as they could be, and my website didn’t look as professional as the work I was doing. Because these are my marketing materials, I realized I was losing out on converting viewers to subscribers and subscribers to clients. Yes, I was losing money, but I was also doing the world a disservice by not doing a better job at sharing my message and magic, which I know needs to be shared.

When you decide you can do it all alone, you put yourself in a vacuum, and you create unnecessary and unreasonable pressure on yourself. Does help cost money? Yes. But money is great, because you can always earn more. The time you spend? The hours you lose stressing for not having a Liability Waiver or efficient business best-practices? You’ll never get that time back. Sometimes covering your assets means enlisting the help of those who know how to do exactly that, and will make your investment worthwhile.

If you’re looking to learn more about:

– why you should consider forming an LLC for your business;

– best practices for managing your business’ money;

– maximizing deductible expenses;

– paying yourself and your instructors;

– what you business’ agreements should say;

– and how to generally run a more efficient and legit business;

Then make sure to check out my course: Covering Your Ass(ets), where I’ll teach you the basics of creating and growing an operationally efficient, legally sound and financially thriving business through basic operating procedures. With course viewer-only content like my “14 Tax Deductions that You Might Be Missing” checklist and “Compare: Do You Need to Update Your Agreements” quiz, the course will pay for itself tenfold and give you the peace of mind that you’ve been searching for.

Baby Steps To Your BadA$$ Vision

Too many people have goals, MISS their goals, beat themselves up over missing their goals, and write the SAME goals for another month. Is this you? Maybe your goals sound like action items, a TO-DO list of tasks to get done. A checklist if you will. Maybe this is you? And some have this bada$$ vision in mind, but can’t figure out how to make that vision happen FOR REAL. Does this sound like you? Maybe you have too many goals, and you don’t know how to BEGIN tackling them? If you raised your hand, if you said, “Oh – that’s me”. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This is more common than you think. You’re stuck in this vicious cycle of repeating the same process, the same programming over and over – because this is what you know.

How would you feel if I told you there is another way? You: No way! Me: Yes way! It’s what I do in my corporate career as a Program Manager. I’ve managed multiple projects for different teams using different project methodologies/frameworks, which are just fancy words for how to get shit done. I’ve learned what has worked best, and I’ll share it with you. And here’s the kicker: what I’ll share not only works if you have a “Mt. Everest” vision at 30,000 feet/9,000 meters, but also for your vision at 10,000 feet/3,000 meters, and would you believe, even for your vision of how you see your life. Ah-mazing!

How do I know? Because this is how I’ve applied it to massive changes in my life – working full-time while getting my MBA part-time, working full-time while planning a family move cross-country, working full-time while strategizing my promotions and managing my career, working full-time while going through my Pilates Teacher training, working full-time while teaching Pilates part-time, and throughout my life, I have maintained a successful, enjoyable, and fun-filled life of balance. I even applied it to create this course for you. Yes, YOU! I see you. Did it happen overnight? No. Was it easy? No. Is it accessible? Yes. Is it work? Definitely yes. But is it worth it? Oh, you betcha!

It’s a 3-step process.

  1. It begins with a roadmap where you begin with your vision (this could be years away!), and you break up this vision into bite-sized chunks. Manageable pieces that can be targeted in time. These bite-sized chunks continue to be broken down until you have some tasks that you can start working on today. Baby steps.To stay on track with your vision, there is a review and feedback loop:
  2. You need to actively engage with your process at set intervals. This is your opportunity to review what you’ve done, look back objectively, and see how to use that feedback to look forward.
  3. You use that feedback to make refinements, such as your next steps, your schedule, your goals, your timelines, what you work on vs. delegate/outsource.

This constant loop will help you make improvements in small or big changes, more often, that will allow you to track your progress in a meaningful way, and allow you to evolve quicker and sooner so you’re able to address and manage those twists and turns that come up without them sneaking up on you.

This constant loop will not only keep you on track with your goals and vision but also help maintain a life of balance so that one thing won’t tip the scales too much in one direction. Or if it does, you’ll notice it sooner, and can course correct, allowing you to keep dialing in to find the sweet spot for you, which let’s be honest, can vary from one week to the next.

If you’re struggling with your goals…

If you’re struggling with your time…

If you’re struggling to fit everything into your schedule…

If you’re struggling with the next step…

If you’re struggling with the first step…

This course is for you.

If you want to accomplish your goals…

If you want to manage your time better…

If you want a better schedule with your priorities…

If you want to define the next step…

If you want clarity on what is your first step…

This course is for you.

Intro to Building an Inclusive and Anti-Racist Pilates Culture

Imagine walking by a studio with a “help wanted” sign. As you look up, you see their advertising for the first time. In their advertising, you only see people who look nothing like you. Their marketing celebrates the exact opposite of you. As you scan inside the studio, more of the same. Not one person looks like you. Would you feel comfortable walking into that studio? Would you feel safe as people start to stare at you, keenly aware of how different you look?

Imagine taking the chance to walk inside and grab an application. As you do, you hear a cold voice say, “You must be looking for the studio across town. I’m sure you’ll be more comfortable there.” Or, you hear nothing at all as no one comes to greet or help you. Or worse, you’re threatened or attacked.

This scenario will be far too familiar if you identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or People of Color), TGNC (Transgender or Gender Non-Conforming), or have a disability. If you identify as cisgender, white, and able-bodied, the chances are you have not had such an experience. The truth is, that scenario is a small fraction of what historically marginalized communities face. The question I pose to you is this: do you have the courage to take a stand for equity and justice?

Whether you answered yes, no, or I don’t know, Intro to Building an Inclusive and Anti-Racist Pilates Culture will take you on a journey of (un)learning. It will help you make that stand. You will learn how Pilates came to cater to the rich, white, and athletic and unlearn the truths about race and bias. Real-life stories will give you a better understanding of BIPOC experiences. The six principles of Pilates even have a role to play!

Take a raw look at how race and bias affect something that is supposed to heal, strengthen, and stabilize. Ask (and answer) tough questions. Be vulnerable. Learn how you can begin to create more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming spaces. In the comfort and safety of your own home, you can start building the knowledge and skills to be a part of the solution. By the time you complete the course, you will have a wealth of resources to choose from and five simple steps for where you can begin.

The world is in a state of civil unrest. Uncomfortable conversations about police violence, racial inequities, and systemic racism have become the norm. Local and federal governments are actively fighting to strip away LGBTQ+ rights and the rights of those with disabilities. The pandemic is still raging. It’s all so chaotic, and it’s the perfect time for some (un)learning.

Find this course here.

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

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

 

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

Should You Charge Different Prices For Virtual or In-Person Sessions?

How to price your services is a question that has been asked since the dawn of the service industry. And the going advice is “look at what other people are doing and then charge the same or a little less or a little more.” Most often people charge a little less. Which is the wrong thing to do because it’s a race to the bottom. Who can charge the least amount someone will always win. But, you’ll likely be the one who loses. And then, because of CV19 every fitness, Pilates and Yoga instructor had to go virtual. And thus the imposter syndrome pricing began. Enter discounts or free sessions virtually and burnout. So, what should you charge for your services that were in-person and are now virtual?

The short answer is the same.

The long answer, you are not defined by the equipment that surrounds you. Your worth is not determined by how many Rerformers you have access to or which brand equipment you have. Your value comes from your knowledge and what you know doesn’t change based on your surroundings.

How much do you want to gross a year?

How many weeks a year will you work?

How many days a week will you teach?

How many hours in a day will you teach?

Take your gross annual desired income and divide it by the number of weeks you will work and divide that by the number of days in a week and the number of hours in a day. The answer is the lowest amount you can make in a teachable hour.

If you’re a studio owner how much do you want the studio to gross in a year? Divide that by how many weeks the studio is open and then the number of days it’s open and then the number of hours its open. The answer is the lowest amount the studio can make in an hour it’s open.

How much should you charge for virtual sessions? The same!

If your clients balk you be honest. For most of us, our bills didn’t change just because we are virtual. I still have to pay studio rent, utilities, internet etc. Even if in the future I get rid of my studio and stay 100% virtual I still have my continuing education, and bills to run my business from home.

You are a business. Not a charity!

It’s ok to make a profit from helping people feel better.

Do you need that repeated?

If I sound like I am on the pulpit I kind of feel like I am today. I just finished leading our webinar for our AGENCY MINI program which leads people to our AGENCY program that is an ongoing coaching group. And, this question kept coming up. How much should I charge? Even after we did the whole formula. I believe businesses can thrive during this time. I believe people are spending money. You don’t have to discount your already priced too low services. You need to find your people who will pay what you’re worth and value what you offer.

So, what is your lowest hourly rate?

Is that something you’re charging now?

Is it higher than what you’re charging now?

Do you need support for this?

You can check out my course on “how to raise your rates” and “talking to your ideal client.” And, if you want more ongoing support then check out AGENCY. It’s hard to do this business thing alone. You need a community that reminds you when you’re down how much you’re worth.

xx~LL

5 Ways to Use This “Time” to Grow

Tired of calling this the “new normal?” Yeah, me too! But, alas here we are. A new normal for our lives, business and the hours in between. In almost every corner of the world, you have been in “shelter at home” for at least a week if not longer. You may be teaching virtually, struggling to teach virtually, feeling grief, depression, anxiety or worry. All are normal. But, at its integral for your mental health and future that you find a way to move through these feelings and get proactive. Here are 5 ways to use this time to more than “get through” this time. You could even grow!

Books: I know reading isn’t a very unique use of time but let’s get super honest. When’s the last time you had the time to read for business or pleasure? Ok, that’s what I thought. Here are some books that I have always promoted and a few new ones I am loving.

  • Traction– a biz book but super great for right now. Basically learn how to do a 1-page business plan that helps you know what to do when to do it and even how to hire to make it happen.
  • Inquire Within– a spoken word poetry book that will get you thinking.
  • Braving the Wilderness– Brene Brown is epic and while this book came out a couple of years ago it’s thesis is as important now as ever. We must be out there listening, and bring communities together.
  • Building a Story Brand– I tell everyone I coach or who is in AGENCY to read this book and follow the steps.
  • The 4 Agreements– even if you’ve read it. Re-read it! It’s that good!

E-learning: Now is the time to take that course you’ve signed up for, to get ahead in your online CEC’s. To learn something new. Maybe you want to hand letter or learn how to write a good blog! Pick something and put time in your calendar to login and press play.

  • Skillshare: I’m not affiliated with them but I’ve heard amazing things. You can learn animation, or how to write business info! Why not? They’ve got a free trial and you’ve got at least another month so what if you binged out on that trial?
  • Pilates Business courses: shameful plug but seriously, you’ve said you wanted to learn how to write a newsletter or blog or finally get your website together. We have tons of courses including how to teach multi-level classes, doing video, virtual teaching and more.
  • Chris Harders Money Course: Chris and his wife Lori are biz coaches for Brad and I and they are having a sale on his money mindset course. If you’ve got money mindset issues (aka you think you don’t have any or can’t) take this course.

Podcasts: I’m obsessed with podcasts but during this time I have intentionally looked up some podcasts that help me focus on the future or make me laugh.

  • Staying In
  • For the Love of Money
  • Earn Your Happy
  • Oprah Super Soul Sundays (I mean we all need a little Oprah)
  • Lovett or Leavit (political comedy)
  • Hall of Shame (sports but funny AF)
  • Hysteria (female lead political and life commentary podcast)

Workout! : You want your clients to go virtual. You should too! What if you got out of this “time” in better health than you went in it? I swear I’m feeling as in shape as when I was in “the work” with Jay Grimes and my original apprenticeship!

  • Schedule facetime workouts with friends. Catch up and workout together at the same time.
  • Online Pilates Classes: another shameful plug but hey you get online community with this one too! Also, of course my friends at PilatesAnytime.com you get 30 days free with LLOGAN.
  • Live Pop Ups: if accountability is what you need join me for a live pop up and stay for the virtual community hang.
  • Try new workouts online. Maybe you do a virtual couch to 5k, 30-day challenge with a barre, hit or fitness instructor.
  • Go for a walk! Wear a mask but get your move one. I’m aiming for 12-15k steps a day!

Goal Set: I know it’s hard to think about the future when we don’t know how long this will last. But, the truth is if you’re healthy, you should be using this time to think about what you want to be doing when this is over. Was there something on your list for “when you had time?” If you’re out of work but can’t file for one of the government loans or unemployment what can you do now to never be in this situation again?

It’s easy to think “why is this happening to me?” But, after week 2 or 3 of being in this “new normal,’  your clients and future clients need you to show up. They need you to step up. They need you to be a keystone in their ground-hog day.

Maybe you were teaching group classes all over town but you wish you had a home studio? Now is the time to snag some equipment from studios that might have extra. Maybe you own a studio but have always wished to work from home? Now is the time to figure out your options for downsizing. Maybe you always wanted to have more people in a class but your space only allowed for 4 people. Now is the time to sell out your virtual classes so in the future you can have people who are in person and people who are virtual. Oh yeah, Pilates, Pelaton style!

Whatever you decide to do with your time remember things can happen to you, for you or with you. I got that from one of my AGENCY members Instagrams. I like to think that everything, even the “bad” things are happening for me. And, as long as we are healthy and able to dream we better dream big and take action.

So, what will you do with this time?

xx~LL

8 Questions to Answer Before Creating a New Offering or Service

Creating income multiple income streams is essential in most businesses no matter the market you’re in. But, right now, during the time of CV-19, if you already had multiple revenue streams you might not be in as bad a position as those who had only one or maybe two income streams that might not be viable during this time. For example, if you made an income teaching private clients in their home and now in a “shelter at home” world you can’t go to their homes you likely lost all or a huge chunk of that income stream. But, if you had other income streams or if you can create other income streams you will be in a better position during and after this CV19 world. But, how do you know what those streams of income should be?

  1. What are people asking you for?
  2. How much could you make by answering this question/need?
  3. Do you need to hire, buy, obtain any other products, services, waivers, property or skill to do this?
  4. What do you think you could charge for this offering/product/solution?
  5. How many people do you know for sure would buy this?
  6. How much time do you think it will take you to create this income stream and keep it going? (then add more).
  7. Do you want to do this?
  8. When you look at your future is this product/service/solution in it?

I have a lot of ideas on a daily basis. I often say my superpower is ideas. I am an ideas machine. But, not every idea I have is a good one. And, even if it is the barrier or cost to enter and the amount of time it would require of me may not make that idea one that works for me, my business or my future vision.

My husband and I wanted to have a podcast years ago around helping people find their perfect mate. We wanted to share our story and other people’s stories from meeting to marriage and beyond to inspire people to see that there isn’t a perfect way to meet your mate. But, we couldn’t figure out how we were going to make the money on it. We knew that sponsors would come in the future. So, were we ok with doing at least one season without a sponsor?

And, then, if we answered the questions above-

Were people asking us for this? Yes.

How much could we make by answering this call to action? No idea yet.

Did we need to hire people? Not necessarily. We had the skills and tools to record, edit and upload.

How much could we charge? podcasts are free to listen but you can charge for ads based on people who listen…still no idea what that amount could be.

How many people would for sure listen? Our family and friends.

How much time would this take us? Season 1 12 episodes, 1 hour each, plus the time to write and edit. Looking at least 24 hours to put together.

Do we want to do this? yes, but, it would take us away from other projects.

Is this in our future? hmmm. maybe.

Do you see how this idea while answering a lot of people’s curiosity and questions isn’t likely to bring us an income in the near future? Now, if it took off who knows maybe we could have had a tv deal, a reality tv show…I mean the sky is the limit. But, the cost to enter was a lot of our time. And, if we think about time as money it wasn’t exactly the best project to take on in place of another one.

As you think creatively about different things you can do for you, your current clients, people you know, first you must make sure people are looking for that. Are you solving a problem? And then, how will you get paid? How much time will it take you? Are you better off using that time to do something else?

The devils advocate to multiple streams of income is, could you instead do a bit more of what you’re doing and instead of filling up your other hours of the day with more work what if you enjoyed some time doing nothing?

If you were teaching in people’s homes and now you can’t can you teach them virtually for the time being? Invite the clients you already have to take and also to let their friends know they can take. Maybe, when you’re back in homes again, you can maintain their sessions when they travel or you travel because they are used to virtual? Maybe you end up with clients from all over and you teach in person and online?

Sometimes multiple income streams appear on their own by you doing what you do best!

If you’re struggling to decide if you should be filming content, where to host it, post it? Or, if you trying to figure out your pricing in this virtual world please check out my blog on income streams here and on teaching virtually here.

I know this is a scary time. I know you’re trying to figure out how to make a living during this chaos. Or even post this chaos depending one when you read this. But, please know that your greatest strengths and your future dreams are the best filters. And, making decisions in a reactionary or fear-based state might have you wasting a lot of time and resources aka money on projects that are not best for your business.

So, yes to having multiple offerings or income streams if you can find ones that allow you to get closer to where you want to be.

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!

5 Things You Need to Make Changes In Your Businesses

Making changes to your business is never easy. How do you know what to do first? You’ve got bigger goals for your business but it can be hard to know what to do when you’re in it. And, scary when you feel like you need to make big changes to get what you want. No matter where you want to go in your business you need to have these 5 things to make your magic happen.

  1. How much do You want to make? Your goals don’t need to be only about money. But, it’s important to make sure your business is paying more than your bills so that you can stay in business. Also, find out what your hourly rate is. This will be key for #4.
  2. Get super clear about who you want to teach, when you want to teach and where.
  3. A website that shares #2 and takes clients on a journey towards choosing you. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website then check out this course. If you do, then take yours to the next level with this course.
  4. Help! You don’t have to hire a full-time assistant straight out of the gate. But, getting clear on your strengths and hiring people to do things that do not bring you joy or money is key to creating more of you and getting more done. You don’t need to be the person to do things like grocery shop, research or make changes to your website. Yes, hiring people costs money but remember the answer from #1. Anyone that you have do work that doesn’t need to be done by you is saving you money.
  5. Support! Whether it be a business partner, family member, coach or accountability partner you can only go so far on your own. Which is why I created my online coaching group. To help teachers and studio owners get advice, ideas, unstuck, feel empowered and more. Who is in your corner?

I’d love to hear which of these things you feel you have in place and which things you need to get in place in the comments below. You don’t need to wait until you’re ready to make your moves. In fact, who knows when you will feel ready. A little secret, I never feel ready for anything I do.

xx~LL