Are These 3 Things Holding You Back?

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


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

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

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

  1. Suffering is part of the job.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

xx~LL

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

5 Benefits of Continuing Education for Pilates

Once I finished my first comprehensive Pilates training I knew that I had so much more continuing education in front of me. I had learned 600+ hours of Pilates but my teaching and eyes were still young.  At the time there was not much (if any) online Pilates education. So, whenever I saw a workshop in my area I was there. About a year into my teaching,  two conferences and five workshops later I took a pause on small workshops and signed up for a masters training program. Then after that, I was accepted into another masters program with a student of Joseph Pilates Jay Grimes.

I will admit I took a lot of continuing education. And, possibly a little too much. But, after I switched to the master’s programs I became more picky about all of my continuing education and funneled it towards what I love to teach and now it helps me for what I am known for as a teacher.

As I mentioned above, when I first started taking continuing education workshops I took whatever was in town. Then I realized I needed to understand what I already knew better. My first master’s program at The Pilates Center helped me do that. A couple years later and post a broken leg I wanted to learn Pilates for my body more. This has helped my teaching tremendously.

When I talk to new instructors I encourage them to take continuing Pilates education. You don’t always or even have to know what your niche or interests are from the get-go. The clients you attract will help you figure out what you need to know more as a new teacher. Then as a more experienced teacher, you may find yourself searching for specific workshops, maybe even Pilates workshops outside Pilates!

5 Benefits of continuing your Pilates education

  1. Inspiration: it’s easy to get stuck in a “walk-of-the-same” and forget ALL the options we have as Pilates instructors. Plus, after teaching clients re-learning some of the basic exercises can be eye-opening and make you want to dive back into them with more zest!
  2. Networking: Growing your Pilates teacher friendships is key to growing as a teacher. Even if these friends become virtual friends and live distances away. The friendships I have made from my two master’s programs have given me some of my best friends in life. And, it’s easy to feel alone in your studio, like you’re the only one going through what you are going through. But, then you reach out to your Pilates buddies and wah-lah you are supported and encouraged.
  3. Nicheing out: You don’t have to be the master of all the things Pilates. You can become the best Pilates teacher for one type of client or get super known for a specific group of humans. And while niching out may feel like you’re saying no to future clients it actually allows you to attract your ideal client and become super known for that. Still worried? Check out my Becoming Known and Attracting New Clients courses.
  4. Ah-ha Moments: ever wonder why an exercise exists? Or, maybe you just never “got it” during your training. So you find yourself avoiding teaching it and doing it. A workshop can break it down for you and you get to enjoy ah-ha moment after ah-ha moment!
  5. Find a mentor: I have had a couple mentors in my Pilates career now. All came from taking a workshop from them that lead to me taking regular sessions with them. You will never know all there is to know and that should feel good! But, that doesn’t mean you stop learning. By having regular sessions with an instructor that inspires you your education will grow even more and you don’t have to wait for a workshop to be scheduled to do that! I know, I spoke about the importance of having a teacher already this month but had to remind you!

Before you run out and sign up for more continuing education lets have a checklist for you. Recently in an episode of Pilates Unfiltered with Jenna Zaffino, she mentioned that you might wait on signing up for the workshop about the “big toe” if you haven’t spent the time to learn and use what you already know. And, I completely agree with her. I don’t want you to overdo it and then feel broke and confused.

  1. Will this workshop help deepen what you already know?
  2. Is this course going to help you teach the clients you have?
  3. Do you already have (or have access to) the equipment this workshop is on?
  4. Have you used the information from your past education yet?
  5. What’s your why? Have you taken the time to ask WHY you want and need to take this workshop? Does the answer pass questions 1-3?

Now that you are ready to take some continuing Pilates education where should you take it? And with whom? Well, the beauty of continuing education today is that you can go to a conference like the Pilates Method Alliance in October, Momentum Fest in June, workshops in your area or even online! Pilates Anytime has great online workshops and I’ll be streaming a webinar this week on elevating your Pilates business. Plus, there are courses that are on my website here for whenever you are ready.

Not sure who to take from? Check out PilatesAnytime’s classes. If you like how a teacher teaches look them up and see when they are teaching a workshop next. Maybe you make a Pilates vacation out of it.

And finally, as I mentioned above you can also challenge yourself and continue your education outside of Pilates. I take Khmer, Spanish and Comedy classes. All have helped me in my Pilates teaching (even though that wasn’t the original goal). The point is that teaching Pilates is amazing, how it affects each body is unique and how you see Pilates in a body is unique to you. Continue to expand your mind and your abilities and you’ll enjoy teaching Pilates for years to come and you’ll be able to continue to grow and challenge your clients for years.

xx~LL

PS

use LLOGAN for a 30-day Pilates Anytime trial

use MomentumLesley for $ off Momentum Fest

Get your EarlyBird ticket for PMA this year soon!

How Long Does It Take to Become a Pilates Instructor?

So, you’re thinking about becoming a Pilates Instructor! Yay, that’s amazing and I’m super stoked for you. When I first set out to become a Pilates instructor I remember looking at all the workshop dates, apprentice hours and meetings. I remember thinking “wow, 600 hours and in nine months!” I was excited and overwhelmed. I worked a full-time job managing a retail store across town. But, I wanted to become an instructor. So, I buckled down and fit those hours in between every free moment I had. One of the questions I get a lot is how to become a Pilates instructor and how long does it take to become an instructor? When I was a teacher trainer many students would base their choice on the program I taught for based on the length of time it took to become a Pilates instructor.

Now that I have been teaching Pilates ten years and have gone through three training experiences I can say I’m so happy my first program took as long as it took. In fact, one of the reasons I did a second training program was because I felt I needed more information. I had a strong foundation but I just felt I needed more time with people who had been teachers decades longer.

When I wrote my book Profitable Pilates: Everything but the Exercises I spent a whole chapter on how to choose a program, questions to ask each program and why the apprentice hours are so important to your success as an instructor. Learning the exercises, the steps, the reps, orders, safety’s etc is the easy part. Learning to teach, to see and to understand the depth of the work is something that only time in the Pilates method can do.

If you’re in the program decision stage I recommend my free course on “How to become a Pilates Instructor” and my ebook. It’s filled with tips for choosing the program that is the right fit for you! Every program out there has its own set of requirements, apprentice hours, timeline and prices. Before you pick your program take a look at the experience and wisdom about program lengths from some of my favorite Pilates instructors in this world!

Anula Maiberg – Sixth Street Pilates– “Probably a year. I had one pilates cert that took about a year. And one a bit under. So I’d be super happy if the min. requirement was a year. If that could be upheld somehow.”

Jenna Zaffino – Move From the Heart– “I’ve taken two, full comprehensive programs. The first was as an apprenticeship and took a little over a year to complete the training and then I tested out within the first 6 months of completing the study. The second was done long distance. I traveled between 2004 and 2008 to complete my training with Ron Fletcher. Much of my learning was a self-study situation. In my opinion, the longer the program, the better, but I understand the need to begin to make $$. I would love to see a program be 1.5 years where the teacher begins to teach beginning level students after 6 months, continues their practice and teaching for the duration of the year and then has regular check-in educational sessions for 6 months following their graduation.”

Julie Driver- Julie Driver Pilates – “Becoming an instructor isn’t a finite destination, It’s a journey with many defining moments along the way. I still consider myself a student, I’ve had the privilege of working with generous teachers who have shared their knowledge and work with me along my path.  Without continued education throughout our career, we can lose our way and our own passion for teaching.” 

Jessica Valant- Jessica Valant Pilates – “I support the 450-hour requirement of PMA because I feel that’s a good general starting point for a program (to give them guidance). I also agree year minimum – I think that gives students a chance to complete all the required hours and teaching and observing without putting pressure on them to do it too fast.  Another perspective – I’ve had students take too LONG. Meaning they do their classroom work and then take two to three years to do the required hours while putting off the test. They end up losing accountability and develop their own style which is good but also hard when they are then required to test on one specific program. I think it would be nice to have more one-on-one throughout the program so that getting in is a little harder and people have more commitment to finishing.”

Carrie Pages- Carrie Pages Pilates– “Mine was a full year and levels I-V. Obscene amounts of anatomy, gobs of hours, etc. I wouldn’t change it for anything and I loved every freaking second and bit of it. I was also 19 and waiting tables and working the front desk of the Pilates studio. When I started my program I basically modeled it the way I was trained. I taught it that way for about 4 years and then I thought “there had to be another way”. Sooooo I broke the program into 3 parts. First, the mat training where I basically am scoping out who would be a good candidate for the Full Apparatus. It’s two weekends and 50 hours. Then the full apparatus (levels I-III only). It’s 5 weekends. Then after at least a year of teaching or more, I do a level IV-V intensive weekend. It followed by more personal practice and more observation. Once all of that’s done you’ve got 450 hours. I’ve been super pleased with the layout. The students aren’t tripping out over how to teach the rowings but can focus on how to teach the exercises they’re actually going to teach on a regular basis. Depending on the person it may take them a few years to do it all but it is so much better than slamming them with Control Arabesque in their 5 months of training!”

Cloe BunterBreathe Education– “”Firstly, I need to start by saying that is a really hard question to answer! I’m six years in and sometimes it feels like it’s all just brand new again! And perhaps there is the bigger question of the definition between instructor and teacher? A Certificate IV in Pilates, which will enable you to instruct group Reformer and Mat classes to relatively healthy clients, can be completed in approximately six months if you are really consistent with your placement hours, however realistically may take nine to twelve months to complete your practicum dependent on other life commitments. To do a full certification Cert IV plus a Clinical Diploma in Pilates which qualifies you to teach on all apparatus and work with injured clients will realistically take you closer to 18months to complete. I think it’s important for new instructors fresh out of their course to realise that it is from there, in the real word, that the learning really begins and to not expect to know everything and be a master as soon as they complete their course. What I will say is that the learning process should NEVER end. I encourage all instructors to actively seek out continued education both formal and informal. Pilates Anytime, workshops, online tutorials etc. Keep up to date with the latest research in movement and pain so you can best serve your clients and industry. We are so fortunate in this day and age of social media that there are so many incredible resources just there waiting for you to read and discuss them with your peers.”. ”

As you can see the length of time varies greatly depending on your program and YOU! Some programs training weekends might only be over the course of 6 months but the hours can take you another 6 months to a year to complete. My advice is to be consistent, do not let a week go by that you don’t take a lesson and teach a fellow apprentice. Chip away at the hours and be as curious as you can be. You won’t know it all at the end but the more you desire to learn the more you will know when you are done and you’ll have a foundation that will set you up for the years of teaching ahead. The beautiful thing about teaching Pilates is that you will always be learning, always be a student. There is no need to rush the training experience. For more information on the career path of a Pilates instructor read this blog post. We also have great tips on becoming an instructor in this blog post and one more for good measure here.

As always if you have questions or comments you can post them below or contact me here.

Happy Pilates school hunting! It’s a journey, not a race so take the time it takes to learn and grow.  In the end, most clients won’t care where you went to training but they will care how you make them feel and the benefits of working with you.

xx~LL 

 

What Happens When LL Meets Cool J?

I am a total podcast junkie! In fact, I’m a self-proclaimed podcast addict and I have no intentions of letting go of my deep love for podcasts. It’s not like they take away from my daily life. On the contrary, they spice it up, they inspire me and even challenge me. It should be noted I do not own a TV so reading and pods are my “tv time.”

So, when I heard about a podcast by a Pilates instructor for Pilates instructors I subscribed without even giving it a second thought. Jenna Zaffino the host and creator of Pilates Unfiltered was already a friend of mine on Facebook. So, you know what that means…haha I had not had the pleasure of meeting Jenna yet in person but since we were FB buds and I had seen her on PilatesAnytime.com I hit that subscribe button.

Then finally our paths crossed in real life at the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) conference in 2016. She, of course, was as cool in person as I had hoped she’d be. But, alas we still didn’t get a chance to connect and become fast friends…yet.

I’ll speed this story up to the present. Pilates Unfiltered invited me onto their Season 3 line up and I happily showed up. I am not sure what I was more excited about being on the podcast or having over an hour of uninterrupted conversation with an incredibly talented, creative and thought provoking friend.

Was I nervous? Yes. Did I have fun? Oh yes. Should you listen? YAAS!!!!

This episode covers my Pilates journey, what is Profitable Pilates, my Pilates retreats and yes, there is lots of yummy Pilates business tips in there all gratis. So, what are you waiting for? Get your listen on here. And hear LL Cool J!

Can’t wait to hear what your thoughts are! Check out Pilates Unfiltered on Facebook and Instagram as well.

xx~LL

PS there are tons of amazing episodes so after mine keep on listening. Get your Pilates Unfiltered fix on.