Notes 2 Inspire: Building an Image vs Making an Impact

It seems like everyone is becoming some sort of ‘influencer.’ As I scroll through Instagram and see the more curated photos and perfectly chosen inspirational quotes. And, while I love a good boost of inspo and clearly I hope you do too this is a “note 2 inspire after all. I think it’s easy to get swept up by the branding and appearances of it all instead of the impact you desire to make.

I don’t think any ‘influencer’ got into it thinking about the perfect image they could create I believe that each one of us does what we do or what we want to do because we hope to help someone else. But, it’s easy to get more obsessed with the branding, with the image and the appearance and forget about what we wanted to do in the first place-make an impact!

And, the funny thing about this switching your focus to image, branding and appearances is that is more stressful and creates more anxiety. We begin to worry about what people will think. Instead of how people will feel.

Nothing is perfect. In fact, curation and perfection are boring.

When you place your focus back on making that impact, affecting those who you care about, sharing your experience and feelings to help others feel better, stronger and more connected not only is life more fulfilling but you don’t care about the things that don’t matter.

This week, try to keep your focus on the impact you want to have and worry less about the image.

xx~LL 

Notes 2 Inspire: Create More than You Consume

Do you feel empowered after you scroll the interwebs? Or, do you feel overwhelmed, a bit bummed, or maybe even “behind?”

When we scroll through Instagram, Fb etc it is easy to compare our “work in progress” with someone else’s filtered and curated end product. I am not saying that what they post isn’t authentic or worthy. I too love a good filter and don’t post when my website crashes or when I totally miss a deadline. But, that’s actually my point. We all tend to post the best version of whatever is happening. But, it’s easy to forget that those pics and posts are the best versions of that person’s day, it may or may not be reality and it causes us to feel like we are behind in the race. That we aren’t “doing it.”

I try to create more than I consume. Not because I want to bombard people with beautiful pictures. That’s not it at all! But, what I mean is, that I try not to consume more of others ‘stuff’ than I can create of my own.

And, by creating I don’t mean post more on social!

I create blogs to help others, I create webinars, I journal, workout or film videos to help others. The more I create to help others with their questions or needs the better I feel. I don’t want you to create for the sake of being busy. I hope you can find ways to create that shares your gifts and helps others.

How do you feel after you scrolled through IG for 30 min? Do you feel like you can take on the world? If you do that’s awesome. But, if you feel whelmed or worse then make a deal with yourself this week to create more than you consume!

I can’t wait to see what you create this week.

xx~LL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx~LL

3 Reasons You Need to Be Writing Newsletters

Perhaps you have heard email is dead. But, do you really believe that? I mean, how many mornings is your email the first thing you look at? It’s ok. Statistically speaking most people check their email before they even get out of bed! Which means, they are interested in what’s in their inbox. And, they are not opening it to see what spam they got. Nope, they are looking to see what they need to know! What should they be buying, sharing or doing? And, if you’re sitting there wishing your clients came in more often, scheduled more regularly and thought about their Pilates practice as much as you do then you need to be in their mind’s eye as much as Amazon and their other email subscriptions.

Still not sure you need to be writing newsletters? Here are 3 (and trust me I could have gone on for an hour writing up other reasons) reasons why you need to be writing newsletters for your business:

  1. Email marketing is 40% more effective than Facebook and Instagram ads– With email you get to share more information, tell a longer story, engage in conversation and connect with your community. You have more control over who sees your message and you can reach out to them as often as you want. Because people gave you permission to send them email it means they want to hear from you. So, when they get an email from you they open it. On social media, you have less control over who sees it and who scrolls right on by!
  2. For every $1 spent on email marketing, you receive $44 in return– statistically speaking those who spend time making a living through email marketing earn a $43 return on every $1 they spend to market! That’s insanely awesome! As a Pilates teacher or studio owner your newsletter marketing will most likely be free to nominal in expenses depending on your list size. Which means your profits earned from reaching out to your list will be even better!
  3. Time efficient communication– you do not have the time or ability to have you or your team call, text or email every client you have had, or who have inquired about Pilates to get them the info they need. It’s not cost-effective to text every client about your vacation dates. And, worse, clients will slip through the cracks on those busy weeks! Sending regular communication to those past, current and potential clients not only allows you a touch point with your clients, but it also allows you the opportunity to share with them what they need to know!

If you are already sending newsletters and or building your list congrats! If you are not feeling they are effective, or, are wanting to start but don’t know what to write about or how often to send then my next webinar is for you! We’ll be spending one hour covering what to write about, how often to send, how to build your list and best tools to use. Snag your spot to watch live or receive the replay here.

xx~LL 

Notes 2 Inspire: Copy Less, Guess More!

Back when I was a student I hated failing. And, by failing I mean getting anything less than an ‘A’ on an assignment or test. I will never forget the moment I thought about cheating on a test. I remember seeing the answers on my neighbor’s test so clearly and so easily. It was like they were wanting me to see them! But, as my eyes started to zero in and my mind was trying to justify copying my neighbor’s answers someone sneezed. The teacher looked up and I lost my nerve to copy those answers.

I’d like to think I passed some life test but the truth is had that person not sneezed I wonder if I would have copied them. A week later I found out the answers I was about to copy were wrong. I got them correct. Sure I guessed but I still went with my gut on it. That’s when I realized that copying someone else was not going to be the answers I needed in school and this lesson translated into life.

We so often compare ourselves to others. We think the way they share their good news, the font they use, the filters the colors or the hashtags are the keys to whatever kingdom we seek to have. But, the truth is every time to copy someone else you settling to be what they are doing. You cannot be you, grow your life or your business if you are copying someone else. And, worse, you don’t even know if what they are doing is right for them let alone the best step for you!

So, look, I get it, it’s tempting. I mean, the answers are right there. Waiting for us to just copy and do what they are doing. But, if you copy the “competition” or the people who have gone ahead of you, forged a path you will only get as far as they did. And, I know you were meant for more!

This week, where can you break from tradition? What can you do that feels a little scary? What steps can you take that you don’t know the answer to?

xx~LL 

Notes 2 Inspire: Get Out of the Harbor!

I hate those things that “pop-up” out of nowhere and block me from where I want to go, what I want to do or feel like they are trying to take me down. Do you know what I am talking about? You’re going on your journey, making your goals and magic happen and BOOM! Out of nowhere, your website goes down, someone writes something cruel on your post or steals your credit card and now you have to deal with that. When all you want to be doing is getting your message out there and building your business. Rachel Hollis said on a recent podcast “Ships are safe at harbor but that’s not what they’re made for.” And neither are YOU!

So, you are finally getting the guts up to get out of “the harbor” and then something happens that makes you wish you had just stayed at home. Not put yourself out there. Not put money or time into a project because the outcome wasn’t what you anticipated.

Last week I arrived home from my three week trip of Vegas, Melbourne, and Cambodia. After months and years of blogging, writing, teaching and even going live I was nervous and worried. What if people didn’t like the workshops? Maybe I should have just stayed at home? But, the opposite was true. They loved all of it! And, I wouldn’t know that if I hadn’t gotten out of the “harbor.” It was an incredible adventure where I met many of you readers in real life! The trip was incredibly amazing and allowed me to share my workshops and Pilates teaching with so many people.

My point in sharing this is, you were meant to get out and share your gifts. And, getting outside the comforts of the neighborhood, your office, your studio, your computer is necessary! I cannot guarantee it will be smooth sailing. In fact, it’s almost better if it’s not. There is a lot of growth in things not going as planned.  I do wish for your absolute health and safety, but putting yourself out there, sharing your gifts is scary but not sharing your gifts is scarier.

Have you been holding yourself back? Worried about what will happen? Worried about what others will say? Worried about what others will do? You may be safe where you sit but was that what you were made for?

This week consider pushing your limits a little bit. If you make a mistake re-read last week’s Note 2 inspire. You cannot control the outcomes or actions of others but you can captain your own ship! And, isn’t that exciting? What will you see when you’re out of the harbor?

xx~LL 

Busting Pilates Business Myths

Thoughts often become facts. Have you heard that before? What about, “don’t believe everything you think?” I think these two often used statements are incredibly important to remember when you are running your own Pilates business. It doesn’t matter if you are a Pilates Studio owner or a Pilates instructor. It is easy to slip and fall into traps and beliefs that will more than likely hold you back or keep you from trying out new things that could grow your business. What are some of the myths that I think need busting?

  1. The people here only want classes or only want privates: Last I checked no community got together and said: “let’s make sure all Pilates studios only offer us, classes/privates.” Clients want what will help them solve their problems. What is your future client’s problem? How do you solve that problem?
  2. We can’t raise our rates because everyone is looking for a deal: Please see my response to Myth #1 and then take a good look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you offer value to your clients and deserve to be paid your worth. People are not choosing your competitor based on their prices. They are not going to the studio down the street because it’s cheaper. That studio is giving them something that they are looking for. How can you be the answer to your ideal client’s problem? You solve their problem they will reconfigure their budget to get to you! Want to consider raising your rates? Check out the latest webinar here.
  3. There are so many Pilates studios here: Your competition is not going to kill your business. You not defining who you are, what you do and how you rock your clients’ worlds will. Too often we tell people what we think they should hear. We are not listening to what they need and showing them how we are the answer they have been looking for. That’s amazing that you won muscle competitions and have five certifications. I’m not discounting that. But, how do you help them? If you spend your time sharing with your community what you can do for them that is different than anyone else there can be ten studios on your block and you’ll still be successful!
  4. You have to stick to the Pilates “business model”: First, I actually have no idea what this means. But, I think it refers more to having a studio that has lots of teachers, runs classes, privates and has teachers rent. People work 6 days a week and do morning and evening shifts. I’ll admit I thought I couldn’t own a studio because I didn’t want to manage any more teachers or manage a schedule. Glad I didn’t believe in this myth. Because now I have a great walk up studio with everything I need and it’s all by myself. The truth is you can run your Pilates business any way you want that is legal. If you want to be a solo-preneur go for it! If you want to only have classes only have classes. If you want to have privates only do that. Your business will be more successful when you create a space that highlights your strengths and how you want to offer your gift. Will it be difficult? Yep, but copying the studios in your neighborhoods business model isn’t any easier!
  5. You have to work a certain schedule: If you truly want to do Pilates as a business for the long haul I absolutely need you to teach the times that are best for you! Sure, in the beginning, you may be teaching all of the place and random times trying to figure out who you are as a teacher and what times work best for you. But, once you’ve got a good idea of when you are at your best it’s time to get some boundaries and set an ideal schedule and focus on filling that. It’s imperative for self-care, consistent growth in your business and for you to feel like your business works for you instead of the other way around!

There are so many more myths to bust! If I didn’t talk about one you’re curious about post it below in the comments are email me here. Aside from great advances in technology, there are some amazing tools out there that allow you to create the Pilates business that meets your needs. So, what beliefs are you willing to let go of?

xx~LL 

Is It Time to Make a Leap in your Business?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx~LL

Hiring Pilates Instructors for Your Studio

So, you need Pilates instructors for your studio? You have clients who need a teacher, classes that need a sub and you need a break! But, how do you hire for your studio? Where do you find the right teachers? Is there a hub where all the instructors are hanging out?

When I was hiring for Pilates studios one thing I learned is that I was always looking for the best teachers to work at my space. Because you never know when you are going to find the right fit! But how do you keep an eye out for the right teachers constantly? Hint: You don’t just post an ad and hope for the best.

  1. Network within the Pilates community in your area: If you are cool with the other studios then if they pass on a teacher they can refer that teacher to you!
  2. Know the teacher training programs in your area: Make friends with the teacher trainers and let them know you are a space that has positions for new teachers if the Pilates shoes fit!
  3. Be Clear on your Goals and Expectations: If you know what the vision is for your studio it makes it easier to know who to hire and who to pass. Setting expectations and sharing them with potential new hires also makes it easier for you to hold employees accountable and allows the instructor to decide if you are the right fit for them as well.
  4. Take classes and sessions around town: No, I do not mean “poach.” But, rather introduce yourself and let the owner and manager know who you are. Then go back to the notes for #1.

Finally, and this I cannot say this enough, hire slow and fire fast! Take your time hiring. I know, you need a teacher, I know you needed the teacher yesterday! But, if you hire the wrong teacher for your space you’ll end up having to do extra work. Instead, hire someone whose goals align with your goals and hold yourself and your team accountable to the expectations and goals of your studio. It’ll pay off in the long run!

xx~LL 

Notes 2 Inspire: Say What You Want Out Loud

Do you keep your dreams a secret? Tell me if this sounds familiar… You have an idea for your life or your business but you don’t want to share it. You don’t want anyone to copy what you are doing. You keep it to yourself until you’re “ready.” How often does that work out for you? When was the last time something you wanted you kept secret and then it happened? If you have been successful this way that’s amazing. But, as I look back at all the things I have that I wanted the ones that have come to fruition came because of the help of others. Because I told somebody something I wanted.

For example, people ask me how I got my retreat space in Cambodia often. I tell them, I wanted it and I told everyone in Siem Reap what I wanted. I told them what I was planning on doing. And, even though when I was there and there were no possible retreat spaces to buy I just kept telling people I knew there what I was looking for. One day, a house that was not listed became available. Someone told someone and that person told someone who I had told what I wanted. And boom! I got it!

I only have my house there because I did not keep my plans a secret.

My retreat space was not from manifestation alone. It was from the help of others!

Here’s the thing. I could have been worried someone else would hear my idea and copy me. But, life is too short to worry about that. And the truth is 98% of people will never act on their dreams. Isn’t that insane!?

And, an even better thing, people want to help you! They want you to be happy! They want to be part of the story that is YOU.

So, this week, don’t keep to yourself what it is that you want! Tell someone what you’re working on. Who knows who they know who could have the keys to your dreams.

xx~LL 

Why Followers Don’t Matter When it Comes to Your Business

Do you need to have thousands of followers for your Pilates or Fitness studio business? You post, curate, spend hours thinking about what to write and what hashtags to use. You see that other “famous” fitness influencers have thousands if not tens of thousands of followers and hundreds of likes almost instantly. How? You are doing all the things to show up on Facebook, Instagram and maybe even Youtube. And, yet, your classes and schedule are not filling up as quickly as you need. And just when you get the hang of things the algorithms change.

Oh the algorithms! They change all the time! I spend a good amount of time following the people whose niche’s are Facebook, Instagram, Youtube etc. They go around the world giving speeches on the best practices for each platform and even they have no idea how the algorithms work. But, while you need to have a presence on social media the emphasis on followers and likes is not only misguided it can take you down a rabbit hole in your business. And, worse, the pressure to be some sort of influencer on social media is causing anxiety, depression and deepening the feelings of not being “enough.”

Here’s the things about social media that I have definitely said before in a webinar. It’s pretty much here to stay. At least for the foreseeable future. So, yes, you need to be part of it. But, you don’t need to be IT. You also don’t need to have tens of thousands of followers. Especially if you are a one-human-show or a brick and mortar. You just need to be KNOWN in your community.

Being infamous is not the same thing as being KNOWN

Having thousands of followers who don’t take your classes, don’t engage with your product and don’t live in a vicinity that could partake in your greatness doesn’t help you out in the day-to-day. Sure, it can feel awesome for a moment if a post gets a lot of engagement. But, are those likes and comments putting $$$ in your bank account. My guess is probably not.

So, you end up tired and emotionally drained and you have even less time to put into your self-care and your business.

Being KNOWN is so much easier than getting followers. You don’t have control over how Facebook or IG share your content. You may post the most amazing thing at 3 pm but every one of your followers was working and by the time they get off work that beautifully curated post is hours old and dead in the water.

And, sure you could do all the research on when to post and where to post. But, what if you spent that time finding out where your ideal client is?

What if you spent that time collaborating with fellow businesses in your community whose clients align with what you have to offer?

What if you spent that time promoting who you are and what you do with those who have access to your ideal client?

And, then, you can post the highlights of how you rock at teaching Pilates to those people!

I fully believe that your social platform should be a way for people to see that you walk your talk, that you are the teacher or not the teacher for them.

Do you see how that is different from having lots of followers or likes?

If you are ready to ditch the rat race of Social Media then check out how to become KNOWN in person with me in Milwaukee on December 9th, or take my online course here. Or, if you need some one-on-one attention you can contact me here.

How ever you slice it, this week, take some time to be in your community in real life.

xx~LL 

Notes 2 Inspire: Get Out of Your Own Way!

Stand up! Yep, as you read this stand up. Ok, please stand up while you read this. I want you to feel something that happens in your mind on a regular basis with your own body. Yes, in your mind you do something probably without even noticing it. You limit yourself. So, stand up and try this with me.

Stretch your arms up to the sky and see how far you can stretch.

Hold it for a second!

Does it feel good to stand up and stretch as much as you can?

Ok, relax.

Now, stand up and do it again. But, this time I want you to stretch 2 inches taller than before.

Go!

Oh my, doesn’t that feel so good!

Now, go ahead and relax. Did you stretch taller the second time?

Why is it that the second time you stretched taller when I asked you to but the first time you didn’t get that far?

The first time I asked you to do as much as you can and somehow the second time because I suggested it you could get taller. The first time you could have done it but you stopped yourself. Your brain said this is as far as I can go. But it wasn’t.

In life, we hit roadblocks, obstacles and limiting thoughts on a daily basis. It’s our own mind that is keeping us for doing more.

This week, notice where you are holding yourself back and tell yourself you can do two more inches.

xx~LL