How to Make Your Goals a Reality

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

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

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

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

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

See how I did that?

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

Why You Need a Substitute Teacher and Where to Find Them

Having someone else teacher your clients for you while you’re away on a trip or training might strike a chord of fear. I know, most teachers are not keen on letting someone else teach their clients. I mean, what if your client likes them better? I bet reading that out loud made you realize just how funny that sounds. Your clients love you. And, if they are willing to go to a sub or guest teacher you are amazing at what you do! Most clients don’t like change and would rather miss their Pilates than take from someone else. But, you should want your clients to take from a guest teacher. It’s good for your business and for clients!

Before we talk about where to find these guest teachers or subs let’s cover three reasons why you should want and be cool with having your clients take from someone else:

  1. Consistency is key! If you take a week off Murphy’s law would almost guarantee your client will be missing the week before or after. By aranging a sub for them you can ensure they only miss what they would have on their vacation. Allowing them to remain consistent, keeping Pilates in their schedule and you feeling guilt-free about taking some much deserved time off.
  2. They’ll realize just how good you are! When another teacher works with your client they will finally hear what you have been trying to get them to understand this whole time. They will also be excited to share (or lament if that’s their personality) about what they did with the other teacher. This is not an “I liked them more” convo but just a “look what I remember, I was a good student” share time.
  3. Clients who take from other teachers hear new things because every teacher has a different pair of Pilates eyeglasses on. It’s easy overtime for clients to tune us out. By hearing a new analogy, new cues or just a new voice they’ll listen to you better the next time you teach them.

Now that I’ve got you convinced that your clients will not leave you for the sub or guest teacher, in fact, they will probably last longer how do you go about finding this person?

If you are a studio owner chances are you have some options to turn to. If you’re an independent contractor it gets trickier. Or, if you work out of your own home or solo at a studio, like an independent contractor finding a sub or guest teacher isn’t as easy.

  1. Talk to your legal expert to make sure the payments for these sessions is kosher. I’ve got a great one if you need just contact me here. She is a fitness instructor who also is a lawyer!
  2. Take from other teachers in your community. When you find one that teaches like you inquire if they are interested in subbing when you travel. If so, is it possible for them to teach at your space? Clients are more likely to take from a sub if all they have to do is show up like usual.
  3. Make sure your client cards are up to date. This makes it easy for a guest teacher to step in, teach the session your client is used to and go.
  4. Follow up Check in with both the teacher and the client to see how it went. The first time might be awkward fro all parties. But, eventually, it’s easy and natural.

If you are a studio owner and the clients are studio clients I highly recommend that clients take from more than one teacher as a policy if they come more than two times a week. This makes it easier and more natural for clients to take from other teachers when their primary teachers are away or sick.

For my independent contractor in a studio with other teachers be sure to introduce your clients to other teachers when they are in for their session so that when you offer up the guest teacher it’s not a random teaching stranger but rather someone they are used to teaching.

Are you ready for your next trip? Whose going to sub for you?

xx~LL 

 

Creating a Community, Collaboration and Why it’s Better Together!

The age-old saying “two minds are better than one” and other phrases ” it’s better together” are not just random woo quotes. They are said and offered as advice because there is so much truth to their meaning. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if I did it all alone. I had to create a community. I had to ask for help. I had to collaborate with other amazing humans.

After a weekend talking tribes and following your purpose I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you all how important having a community helps you on your journey.

See, if it wasn’t for the suggestions and support of a few women over ten years ago I wouldn’t be a Pilates instructor. If it wasn’t for my first Pilates boss asking me a question I wouldn’t be coaching the business side of Pilates. If it wasn’t for my current tribe of strong women I would have no one to high five me, hold me accountable to my own goals and even help me see I can do bigger things that I set out to do.

Mastermind groups, Tribes, accountability partners and friends who want the best for you are essential is this world. I think the universe purposefully made it so that you can only go so far on your own.

We were all given strengths. Areas we rock the best. And, the opposite of strengths isn’t weakness but areas that just don’t vibe with us. But, those areas are someone else’s strength!

When I choose a partner in crime on a project I don’t just pick someone who thinks like me or is absolutely in love with all that I do. Living in Los Angeles I have seen what too many “yes” people get you. I partner with people who are excited about what I am about to do but who can come at it with a whole other box of tools.

I was listening to Lori Harder and Lewis Howes talk about their mastermind group. And, she shared her goals with the group and Lewis’ response was how can you double that? Her gut instinct would have been similar to mine. Double it!? I thought that goal was great and that’s all I can do. But, then the mind clears. How could she double it? A network, tribe, mastermind or accountability partner doesn’t just go “Yay!” for you they help you do more, think about it from a different perspective and challenge you to do more.

Currently, I have a couple collaboration partners. I have a tribe and I have a coach. My tribe is there for wins, losses and random life moments. My collab partners have helped me do projects that without them I might not have done or wouldn’t have had the same effect. And, my coach is integral in helping me get out of my head and onto my path. Just like when I coach teachers, as a coach I’m not in the ditches, I get a bird’s eye view. My coach isn’t at my sea level, she’s on a mountaintop and able to guide me. We all need someone or in my case someones who help us make our magic happen.

Are you looking for a community? Do you wish your network helped you grow more? Who is in your tribe?

This coming year I’ve got several offerings for you to help you find the people you need! This Sunday 2 pm pst Andrea Maida is joining me for one of my Pila-Tequila Talks and we are talking collaborations! I’ve got a webinar all about building a network coming up soon. Be sure you’re on the newsletter list or join Agency to see it and check out the roundtable I am leading at the next Pilates Method Alliance gathering in October.

A community doesn’t build over night. But, over time trust and growth are possible and because of this beautiful opportunities arise.

Are you ready?

xx~LL 

The Magical Land of Pilates Consistency and Innovation

Have you ever found yourself defending a rule you may no longer need? As instructors rules are important but what about when you need to break a rule? Can you? I have a Yoga teacher who talks about following the rules as much as you can when you are first starting out. Why? Because as you advance you’ll need to break them. That is why when this week’s guest blogger Holly Furgason approached me with this blog I had to share it with all of you! Do you know when to be consistent and when to be innovative?

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Can a Multi Level Pilates Class Improve Your Business?

As I’m about to dive into my newest webinar on Group Pilates classes I thought it only fitting to have Joel Crosby owner of Vitality Method in Atlanta, GA shares the importance of multi-level group classes. Afterall, I know many teachers do not often have the space for group classes or perhaps you only have one piece of each apparatus?  Offering group classes can be essential for getting more students in a room, offering options for clients to get more sessions in a week and for some at rates they can afford. But, are you limiting yourself by offering classes where everyone does the same exercises at the same time?

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How Your Pilates Practice Helps Your Pilates Business

Running your Pilates business isn’t the easiest task out there. Couple that with moving your business and starting fresh and you’ve got yourself a challenge. But, wouldn’t it be great if you already had experience trying to do something challenging? Wouldn’t it be easier to attempt to start over if you knew from experience that with consistency, dedication, and curiosity you would get where you desired to go? I mean, wouldn’t it just be awesome if something already existed in our lives helping us with one of the biggest challenges, our business? Oh, wait, practice Pilates much?

This week’s guest blogger shares her story of moving her studio, starting over from scratch and allowing her Pilates practice to be her business guide. Here is Nicole Martin of Ritual Pilates…

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Why Should You Listen to Your Clients?

Before you think I’m going to suggest you let your clients talk during the whole Pilates session let me just say that this is not about being a therapist or friend to your client. This post is about listening for key clues that help you teach them better, grow your business more and retain your clients for a lifetime. Rest assured you will not have to be the shoulder they cry on (although that can happen) or their dating advice expert. But, what you will hear when you are truly listening (and sometimes not with your ears) will be what sets you apart from the rest. Having good listening skills can be the difference between someone giving up Pilates when tough times hit. Good listening skills can mean client referrals and a healthy, thriving business vs one that is constantly trying to get more new clients to replace the ones that “got bored,” or “became too busy.” Think you listen well?

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All You Need to Know About Our Summer Webinar Series

Join me for 1 or all of these webinars Live from where ever you are or watch the replay (each webinar will be up for 3 days for those who cannot view live. Buy one at a time, or if you buy 3 you’ll get automatic access to the “Converting First Time Clients webinar. If you buy the whole summer series (link below) you get the Converting webinar and the Q & A automatically! Buy more and save. Make this summer your Pilates business summer!

Let’s Get SOCIAL with Your Pilates Business (Part 1) June 8th 12:00pm PST

You might already be using social media in life and trying to use it for your Pilates business. But, is it giving you the return you’re hoping for? This first part of our webinar series will cover the basics and then some! So, whether you know about social media or not starting with this webinar will help you answer questions:
-when to post
-where to post
-should you have separate socials for personal and professional
-What handles you should have…what the heck is a handle anyways
-Do you measure your worth by “Likes” and “Follows”
and more

plus: homework that will get you moving in the right direction

$75

Buy this one all by itself here

Let’s Get Social with Your Pilates Business (part 2) June 22nd 12 pm

In this webinar, we will dive deeper into the many options Social besides just posting comments. Like “What’s LIVE got to do with it?” and How about IG, is it the OG and what’s the deal with “Stories.” And something I’ve become super passionate about is “handling Social trolls.”

$75

If interested in only a la carte go here

The Riches are in the Niches 7/6 12 pm pst

You’ve heard the saying “if you’re talking to everyone you’re talking to no one.” This applies to trying to teach everyone too! Niche-ing out can seem like you’re limiting yourself. But, in this webinar, we will discuss how to discover your niche, define your niche and refine your niche.

$75

Snag your spot here

Attracting New Pilates Clients 7/20 12pm
It’s part of the business…making sure that new business is finding its way into our studios and on our schedules. In this webinar, we will discuss how to maximize your marketing efforts without throwing money at it. Also, bonus! We will discuss how to attract your ideal new client!

$75

Register here for this one or here for the whole series.

Ditching the Churn-Client Retention 8/3 12 pm
It’s cheaper to keep and existing client then it is to get a new one. So, how can you keep your existing clients coming back week after week and month after month and of course…year after Pilates-loving year!

$75

Register here for this one or here for the whole series.

How to have a life as a Pilates Instructor 8/12 1 pm pst
You got into teaching because you loved Pilates! You have been working your heart away and then you realize one day you don’t seem to have a much of a life. Or, your friends and family just don’t seem to understand why you can’t take off vacations like they can. And, what about time for yourself and your Pilates practice?! This webinar will cover all things to balance your love for teaching and your love for a living!

$60

Register here for this one or here for the whole series.

Group Classes 8/17 12 pm pst

So, you offer or want to offer group classes. But, how much do you charge? When do you offer them and how do you fill them? This webinar is all about the groups baby. We will also discuss if group classes are right for you and techniques in teaching (note this is not an exercise list but rather a skills list).

$60

Register here for this one or here for the whole series.

BONUS EPISODE: Converting First Time Clients 8/31 4 pm pst
When a new client comes into the studio for their first session it’s huge! They don’t grow on trees and it’s not every day they are banging on your door. So, how you teach them is important and it’s also unique. This webinar will cover how to teach a first time client to get them coming back again and again. It’s been a hit in the past and here’s one past attendee experience: “I tried my new client’s why into our session and asked a lot of questions from her intake form and limited my corrections. She bought a 10 pack of classes without hesitation!”

$75 if buy it a la carte or free if purchasing 3 or more Summer Session Webinars. Go here to purchase your three a la carte and we will email you to give you access to this one.

Q & A 9/7 12pm pst
While all webinars are all about you Pilates teachers this webinar is literally all about YOU! Send in your questions ahead of time or ask them live (note if watching the replay send questions in ahead of time so they are answered). Any Pilates biz question you’ve got and any question you’re just not sure who to ask…If I can’t answer it I’ll tell you who probably can.

$60 a la carte or free if you buy the summer series

 

(Cost of all 9 =$630 if bought individually) If you buy 3 or more you get the Converting First time clients for free ($75 savings). If you buy the whole series at once its $495 and you get the Q&A and Converting first-time clients free ($135)

BUY THE WHOLE SUMMER SERIES

Which webinar’s will you be at?

xx~LL 

How to Find the Best Pilates Job for You

This week I am excited to introduce you to Pilates instructor and Teacher Trainer Rebecca Sirkel. Last year when I put a call out to allow guest bloggers for this year Rebecca jumped at the chance to tell her story. If you are a new instructor wondering what path to choose or if you have been teaching for a while and wondering if it’s time for a change or to continue rocking your path I think Rebecca’s piece will give you comfort in your decision.


When I first started teaching Pilates, I was already employed at Bally Total Fitness as a Personal Trainer. The company offered the Personal Trainers and Group Exercise staff an opportunity to do a weekend training in Pilates on the Balanced Body Allegro Reformers. It was a quick tutorial on how to do very safe, very simple Pilates movements on the most versatile piece of Pilates equipment. I loved it from the beginning and started teaching some of my existing clients the new method. I began intentionally putting my attention on Pilates and steering away from Personal Training. There was limited space in the club, and we were forced to share the spinning studio. After every Pilates class was over, we had to lift the reformers onto the wheel end and stack them against the walls out of the way of the spinning bikes. It was not an ideal situation, and when the program grew in popularity, management decided we needed a Pilates studio and ultimately converted the small employee break room into our new studio. I got dirty looks from many of the trainers who subsequently had to eat their lunch in a very dark closet in the back of the gym where maintenance kept all their equipment. Eventually, I decided I needed an upgrade in both my studio space and my Pilates training. I was craving more space, more knowledge on different apparatus and a chance to be my own boss.

I found a studio, we will call studio #1, with an owner who would allow me to rent the space without a real Pilates certification and a promise that I was going to pursue a Comprehensive training program. I found a perfect fit for me at classical training program with Power Pilates at a studio; we will call studio # 2. Once I finished the program, I was asked to continue as part of the staff and taught there under the guidance of my mentors Alicia and Doug Zabrocki. I taught at both studios for a year until the owners of Studio # 2, decided to move back to Chicago at which time I went to teaching full time at Studio # 1. Teaching at both studios gave me a chance to see what I really appreciated about both settings and what I needed to find to be happy teaching for years to come. That place did not exist until about four years ago when a fellow teacher from studio #1 who was also trained with Power Pilates at Studio # 2, opened her own studio where I teach full time now.

5 Tips to help you Find your Happy Teaching Place:

Number One: Gather information. Leave no rug unturned. Write out a list of all the places that offer Pilates in your nearby radius depending on how far away you are willing to travel. Check into every place online including, Pilates/yoga studios, health clubs, wellness centers, spas, schools, physical therapy/medical offices, and community centers. Look through websites as if you were a prospective client and were shopping for a place to work out. This will give you a lot of insight as to how much business is likely to come your way.

Number Two: Investigate Options. Once you have gathered all the information you can with your internet search, call all potentials on the phone and let them know you are considering them as a place to set up shop. Tell the studio owner/Health Club Manager/Physical Therapist, etc. what you like about their business.

Ask the following questions:

1) Will I be an employee or an independent contractor if I decide to teach at your business?
2) Will I be expected to build my own client base or will you provide me, new clients?
3) If an employee, how much do you pay per session? Private/Semi-Private/Group/Mat class?
4) If an independent contractor, how much do you require for rent? Do I pay a percentage of my sessions or will I pay a flat rate fee for the renting the space?
5) Do you have a non-compete clause in your Independent contract/employee contract?
6) What is your policy on training friends/family? Can they work out for free or a discounted rate?
7) If an employee, what are the benefits? If Independent contractor, do you pay for any continuing education or provide any sales incentives?

Number Three: Talk Shop. If possible, talk to other Pilates staff at the prospective place and try to get a feel for how things are flowing. Ask questions like, “How long have you taught here? And “How often do you receive new clients?” as well as “Is your schedule full?” The people who already teach there will likely be more transparent on the vibe and whether you might enjoy the teaching environment. Sometimes other teachers can make you love or hate your job!

Number Four: Make your pros/cons list. Now that you have a good amount of information write out the things that are most important to you. For instance, pay rate, teaching environment, Pilates apparatus, employee benefits/sales incentives, and distance from home are factors to consider. Use this information to create your chart of all potential workplaces and what they offer. You may find it easy to decide when you see it on paper, but chances are you already know the answer.

Number Five: Set up the Interview. Now that you have narrowed it down to two or maybe three potential workplaces send your resume out to studio owners, Health Club Managers, etc. If you don’t hear back within a day, call to check the resume was received and set up an interview. In my experience, after your initial interview, you will typically be asked to come back and teach a full or mini Pilates session as this will give your prospective employer a better idea of your teaching style beyond your Pilates training background.

In the end, you should pick one place that gives you an opportunity to grow as a teacher and simultaneously allows you to create relationships with clients whether you want to be full or part time. The good news is, Pilates teachers are in high demand, and you may have more than one offer. Ultimately, I would recommend going with your gut once you have done all your homework. Following your instincts can go a long way to carving the right path to your future in the world of Pilates.

~Rebecca Sirkel

Power Pilates Teacher Trainer 

Connect with Rebecca on Facebook  Twitter Instagram YouTube


Thank you, Rebecca, and thank you all for reading. Feel free to comment below with any questions or compliments. Also, please take the time to connect with Rebecca with her handles above. Tell us, what was your Pilates career path? Are you where you want to be? What questions do you have? You can comment below or for a private conversation connect with me here.

xx~LL 

How to Spring Clean your Pilates Studio: Online Presence (Wk 4 of 4)

Can you control your online presence? What Google Sees? Well, Google is like a real “Mother”. You know, the Mom-that-knew-the-rules-you-broke-before-you-came-home type of mom (or maybe that was just mine). Yep, that’s Google and every other search engine out there, but Google seems to be the biggest necessary beast of them all. So, can you control what Google picks up? Continue reading

How to Spring Clean your Pilates Studio: The Drive By (Wk 1 of 4)

It’s time to use Spring Cleaning to your Pilates business’s advantage. What happens when you drive by your own studio? What if you took your own session? How can these things keep clients on your equipment and your schedule “full”? Continue reading