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 

3 Reasons Why Blogging Helps Your Pilates Business

I know you think blogging is dead. I know you think you can’t write. Or, that you don’t have “time.” Maybe you believe you don’t know what to write about?! Well, whatever your reason for not blogging is I am here to tell you it’s not dead and so integral to attracting the clients you want, filling your schedule and your classes and making you known in your community. Ever wonder how people get discovered? It’s because of their website and it’s not because they pay for ad’s. It’s because the search engines (think Google etc) pull their site up. And they pull it up because of the words on the website aka blogs. And the most updated website.

You don’t need to revamp your site every year if you’re blogging consistently! More on this at my next webinar or on my course vlogging and blogging. But, for now here are 3 Reasons why you need to be blogging!

  1. You Show off Who you are, what you do and why they should choose YOU! If you have been reading my blogs or working with me for a while you know I am all about the “elevator speech.” A few sentences that tell people why you rock! But, let’s say you are busy. While you are teaching your website is working for you and the blogs on your site tell potential new clients all about your expertise in your area!
  2. Keeps your Website Fresh! I know you think you built the site, the information is current so done and done right? Wrong! For epic SEO (search engine optimization) you need the search engines to pick your website as the answer to peoples questions. They pick websites based on so many things. Most in your control! One of those things is your blog. If you blog every time you post it updates your site telling those engines you are fresh and new! Plus, you can write a blog that is a direct answer to something your ideal client might be looking for online. Which is literally where everyone is getting their info! For more on SEO and what your website needs check out this course.
  3. Engage with Your Community! When you blog you can share what’s happening now, soon and share pics, testimonials and more. When people are going from one studio or teachers site to the next the more they get to know you and experience what you have to offer the more they connect with you. It means that when they come in for that first session they already feel like they know that you are the teacher for them!

This is just 3 reasons why! I could go on and on about why you should be blogging! And, I will be covering those other reasons as well as what to blog about, how to feel confident in your writing skills and more at my next webinar! If you are ready to attract your ideal client, make your website work for you and show how you are the expert in your area then join me here.

xx~LL

Is it Personal When Someone Unsubscribes From Your List?

They say that your list is everything! “They” being the people who are trying to teach, coach, motivate and even sell products on how to grow your “list.” And, by list, they are talking about your newsletter list. And, I’ll be honest. I am not totally in disagreement. Your newsletter list is integral to the growth of your business whether you offer things online or in person only. Email is not dead. And, now more than ever a persons email is a worth so much more than you might think. When someone subscribes to your newsletter they are inviting you into their personal inbox. To their space to share what it is you want to share. So, is it personal when they unsubscribe?

If you don’t have a newsletter you may be getting ready to jump ship on this week’s blog. But, I truly hope you don’t. I hope you reach out to me so we can get your list started. Because, here’s the deal you do not control the algorithms of any social media platform I don’t care how good you are at hashtag’s or how many followers you have. If the rules change tomorrow your likes, comments, and even reach can disappear in a moment. But, your newsletter list is within your control.

How often you reach out to them is up to you. I would argue consistently. And consistently can be once a month, once a week or even daily. I am on a list that emails me twice a day. I actually don’t mind. I love what they send me!

But, if someone unsubscribes from your list is it personal? And, you can also insert if someone unfollows you is it personal?

Truthfully, I cannot answer that. I have seen many a people I do and don’t know subscribe and a few unsubscribe from my lists. I don’t pay attention to who unfollows me. I mean, who has the time to do that? But, every day I get an email that updates me on how many new email subscribers I get received that day and how many I lost, unsubscribed. I don’t often know why people unsubscribe. Sometimes they fill out the survey most times they don’t. But, I never ever take it personally and you shouldn’t either. Even if it is personal.

  1. Read the Four Agreements its a fabulous book that will help you rock your life and business. An easy and quick read and one of the agreements is to not take anything personally. I know this isn’t easy but what motivates people to do things is really none of my business. You and I do not have time for that anyways. You have a path you’re on and their personal attack attempts are just a distraction. Plus, you cannot reach into the internet, grab them by the hands, look them in the eye and ask “why don’t you want my emails?” And, even if you could is it really worth trying to convince someone to want or like your stuff? Nope! There are 10 more people out there who are looking for what you offer. It’s worth your time to go looking for those people and not trying to convince people who don’t want what you offer to want what you offer.
  2. Thank them for leaving! When you use a service like MailChimp, Constant Contact etc to email your list they charge you for the number of people on your list. I do not want you or even myself to pay for people who don’t want what you are offering. The more you only have people on your list who want what you got the better your open rates are the more fruitful your emails will be.
  3. So what if it is personal? Honestly, it sucks when you see someone you know leave your list. You can’t help but wonder why. But, does it really matter? Not everyone will like, love or support what you are up to. And that is ok. Like I mentioned in my self-care video on PilatesAnytime (use LLOGAN if not a member to watch) you need to know the 5 people whose opinions of you matter. You need to tell them and then if you see other people you know leave your list and they are not one of those 5 people you need to let it go. Because you have a business to run, a life to live and a “why” that won’t happen on it’s own.

I know the hardest thing in life is to not take things personally. But, sometimes we have to remember, it’s not always about us. Why they unfollowed you, left your list has a lot more to do with what they want in their life, their inbox, their goals and their business. And, while it may not be you that is a-ok. Because, as I mentioned earlier there are 10 more people who are looking for your list. So, spend more time getting your work in front of those who are looking for it and less time wondering why that person doesn’t want it. Dive deeper into articulating what you have to share. Find unique ways to get your message out to those who you want to hear it. And, worry less about those who don’t want what you have. They are not your audience.

xx~LL 

 

 

How to Put Your Goals in First

I’ll never forget the first time I sat down to do my goals. I did the whole 10-year vision and plan with them. I loved it! I couldn’t believe the daring goals I had written down. And, for the most part, all of those goals happened within three years not ten! But, a few didn’t. And, it took me another goal setting experience, a panic attack and a few more years to figure out why. Sure, there was a goal or two that really just sounded good but wasn’t truly my own. But, a couple others were things I really did want to happen. But, they hadn’t and it wasn’t because they were out of my control. Nope, they were totally within my reach. I just hadn’t put them first. I had not put me first!

As Pilates Instructors and Studio Owners it is not always easy to put our wants, needs and desires first. In fact, sometimes it just feels impossible!! But, the thing is while we are in the “service industry” we are not of service to others. If we do not put our goals in our schedule they will not happen and we will lose inspiration. If we do not put our ideas in place and even fail along the way we will wonder why we are doing what we are doing. We will feel the exhaustion that comes from pushing a boulder up a hill. We will start to resent our clients, our work and feel powerless in our circumstances. And, doesn’t that just sound awful?

When I first became a Pilates Instructor I had a very grandiose idea for what I was going to do and be as an instructor. And, just like my goals setting earlier I hit most of them. And a few others I actually denounced and said to those who knew of them that I didn’t really want them or that now wasn’t the right time. Truthfully, I was so busy making others goals happen that I didn’t have the time or energy to give to my own. And, I didn’t believe my goals were possible, I mean, who was I to want those goals?

Well, I wish someone had told my newbie teacher self what I know now. If you want it, you do the work and you maintain control over your schedule and needs you can have it all and it will happen. But, the problem isn’t that you don’t know what you want, and it’s not really that you don’t have the skills or deserve it. It’s that you have to make a space for your magic to happen.

But, as teachers and studio owners, it’s easier to say yes to a client, to come in on our day off or to stay for another hour to get a client in. It’s easier to cover for a teacher instead of getting someone else. It’s easier to do it all ourselves rather than delegate it out! Is this sounding familiar?

Last week I had the opportunity to take a couple days off during the week. During days I usually teach. I almost turned it down. But, one of my goals has always been that I can travel more often. That I can have a schedule that is flexible to me taking a trip for work or for fun. So before I hit send on my declined response I remembered my goals. And, I said yes instead.

Sure, it required me to move a lot of peeps. But, my schedule has to reflect my goals. And, it didn’t always do that…hence the panic attack several years ago. I was stressed beyond my abilities because I was trying to do others goals and fit in my own. And, since getting that straightened out I have made a point to always put my schedule together first. But, I know you’re wondering how do you do that? So, let me stop talking about me and give you tips to help you!

  1. Know what you want! If you don’t we can’t create a schedule around nothing
  2. You have to commit and protect it! Your clients, team, family, and friends do not mean to take you away from your goals. They don’t know that when they ask to come in at 5 pm on a Monday that they are asking for you to give up on your favorite class. You have to tell them “No, I am not available at that time. But, I have ___ or ____.”
  3. Do one thing a day towards your goals. If you put off the action items that help propel you towards what you want you can’t magically get what you want. Isn’t the definition of luck where preparation meets opportunity. You have to do the preparation so that you can find the intersection.
  4. Say No more often…I know this is basically a repeat of #2 but it’s that important! You cannot say yes to everyone and You. So, before you respond to something practice artful ways of saying no. For example, “let me check my schedule and get back to you.” Or, “I’d love to but, until the ____ I cannot take on any projects right now.”
  5. Once a week check in and make sure you are putting you in the schedule first. I used to only check on my goals quarterly. But, then I noticed that I would skip a few weeks on my stuff and my stress levels would start to rise. So, I started doing a weekly check-in. This helps me stay on top of what I need to be doing each week.
  6. Get an accountability partner! Tell someone close to you what you are working on so that it’s even harder to say “yes” to someone else and “no” to yourself. If you are really good at putting yourself last get a few accountability partners!
  7. Give yourself a break! If you miss a week, say yes when you should have said no or feel like your goals have changed it’s all OK! Start over where you left off.
  8. Design you Dream Schedule! This is the biggest KEY to all of these tips. And, if you need help I LOVE doing this! You can do it with me one-on-one or take my course here.

Here’s the deal my friend! I am a massive believer in doing business un-usual! I don’t think there is room for you to be the same as any teacher out there or to run your studio the way others have. I believe there is plenty of room and success out there if you run your business YOUR way! With your goals, your needs and your vision in mind.

So, what’s your dream schedule look like?

xx~LL 

 

3 Powerful Ways to Promote the Awesomeness of Pre & Postnatal Pilates

This week’s guest blogger Alison Marsh of Your Pregnant Core might be the best person to discuss this week’s blog topic! If you have been reading my blogs or taking my courses you know I am a massive fan of nicheing out! And if you are passionate about Pilates for women before, during and after their pregnancies that is a niche. Check out Alison’s tips for marketing to this group of women.


You’ve attended a thorough pre and postnatal Pilates teacher training, and can’t wait to start teaching this very special population!

In today’s age, women are getting pregnant later in life, and tend to be hyper-aware of their health during pregnancy. Taking care of themselves becomes a priority.

These are the women who need your transformational pre and postnatal Pilates services. And they are more likely to have the ability to afford ongoing sessions, whether that be through mat classes or privates, or both!

The following tips will get your skills in-front of the women who need them!

Establish Yourself as the Pre & Postnatal Pilates Expert in Your Community

 

 

Volunteering your services is the best way to fast-track credibility in your community. It allows you the opportunity to practice, as you build confidence in teaching this population.

Joseph Pilates had a dream that all people would practice Contrology. It is our responsibility, and honor to share this practice with pre and postnatal women who wouldn’t otherwise get this specialized training.

Where to Seek Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Women’s Wellness Centers,
  • Library District,
  • Women’s Shelters, and
  • Hospital Health and Wellness Centers
  • YMCA or other Community Fitness Centers

Example:

In Las Vegas (where I live), we have University Medical Center’s Healthy Living Institute where they offer free classes to the community. I volunteered my time via a workshop, teaching pregnant moms how to safely move through their everyday activities to reduce low-back pain and other ailments that come with pregnancy. Then we went through a 15-minute Pilates-inspired session with a basic dining room table chair that they could do at home.

I made up a hand-out with the tips we went over, and then added my contact information. This has been a great way to not only give back to my community, and build my reputation as the expert in this area, but have gained private clients this way as well.

Build Relationships with Local OBGYN’s, Midwives, and Doulas

Start with your personal OBGYN.

When you have your annual visit, and they ask “Do you have any more questions?” Tell them about what you do, and the services you offer. Have a card or flier ready!

This is exactly how I built a great relationship with our now “in-house” OBGYN Nurse Practitioner, Paige Cook, who not only refers clients to us, but reviews all of our materials to ensure they are safe for pre and postnatal women.

Visit women’s birthing centers where the services of Midwives and Doulas are offered.

Prepare information about the services you provide and offer to come speak with their staff and give them a short presentation of your services.

Or, invite them to one of your free events that you have planned in the community. Always have plenty of cards and/or fliers to leave!

Build a Presence on Social Media

Begin building a following on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – whatever you are most familiar with (and you don’t have to use them all! )

One way to gain clientele in this area is to start a free Facebook group for pre and postnatal women in your area. Or, if you plan to do virtual training, open the group to pre and postnatal women around the world!

You could do a weekly Facebook Live video, sharing tips on how to take care of themselves during pregnancy and the postnatal period. Maybe a five-minute routine a week. Whatever fits best for you!

The POWERFUL thing about a Facebook group is that you can really get to know this clientele’s pain points – what they worry about most – and frame your marketing around helping them resolve these issues.

For example – During Pregnancy:

Many women fear to gain too much weight. You can be the advocate who encourages them to eat healthily, moderate their exercise routine by giving them mini-Pilates sessions, and embrace healthy weight gain, as this is a healthy part of pregnancy.

And For Postnatal: You will be there to help new moms be patient with their healing bodies by offering safe, healing-inspired Pilates sessions, and encourage moms not to rush back into high-intensity workouts.

Click here to print out the Body Patience After Pregnancy guide for your clients, to help them understand the healing that their body is going through. And don’t forget to put your contact information on the handout!

Other Tips for Marketing:

  • Pick a Niche – Topics include Diastasis Recti, Incontinence, Twin Pregnancy, HIgh-Risk Pregnancy (which is more prevalent due to women having babies well into their 40’s), In Vitro pregnancies.
  • Example: My niche is diastasis recti, and I am now known in my community as the Pilates Instructor to see if a woman has DRA, or wants to prevent a non-healing DRA (abdominal separation)
  • Use positive, encouraging language in your marketing.
    • Example: Rather than talking about how to stay slim during pregnancy (which is not healthy advice), talk about how to help mom keep her energy up and reduce or eliminate the aches and pains of pregnancy.
    • Again, this is where pre and postnatal specific Facebook group can help. Using the language that this population uses will help your marketing resonate with the right women.
  • Collect success stories from past clients, and use them in your marketing materials.
    • If you are just starting out, find a few pre and/or postnatal moms, and help them for a reduced rate, or simply as a trade for sharing their experience with you. One trade that I do is offer sessions in exchange for permission to video the sessions and use them for my educational and marketing materials.
    • Sharing success stories of clients with a focus on the client’s transformation is a powerful sales tactic.
  • Believe in the services you offer!
    • When you are confident in your abilities, and the services you offer, you are excited to promote your amazing services.
    • You have an obligation to let this population know that you can help them.
    • Pregnant women and new moms NEED your services, for the well-being of themselves, and their families!

Your Turn:

There are pre and postnatal women who need you RIGHT NOW!

Follow the steps below to get started on getting your awesomeness out to those women!

  1. Pick 1 of the 3 marketing ideas above.
  2. Take one of the action steps below (corresponding to your chosen marketing idea):
    1. Establishing Yourself as the Expert in Your Community: Visit or call one of the centers on the list – library, health center, medical center, YMCA, and introduce yourself and what you have to offer.
    2. Build a Relationship with Local OBGYN’s, etc: Find the closest facility to your studio, visit and introduce yourself and your services.
    3. Build a Presence on Social Media: Take the steps to make a Facebook page, Facebook group, etc. If you already have one, do a live video introducing yourself, with an exercise or health tip for mom.
  3. Visit our Your Pregnant Core Facebook page and share that you have taken action on marketing your awesome pre and postnatal skills!

You are awesome!

Now go rock your fresh, new marketing skills and start helping the women who need you!


 Thank you, Alison Marsh! For more info on what Alison is doing check her out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and her website! Or, comment below!

xx~LL

How to Direct Your Clients to YOU!

You’ve got your Pilates website, your facebook page, your Instagram handle, and you’re posting and liking and following, and your phone and inbox are silent. No new clients are coming through your social channels. Sure, teachers and friends are loving what you’re doing. But, their love isn’t putting money in your bank account and bodies on your reformers. So, what’s happening? What is the disconnect? Are you doing it all wrong?

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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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Why Location Matters for Your Business

I have been lucky in life to land some amazing job opportunities. My first job fell into my lap as did my second. My third job I hunted a little bit and got pretty picky but then my Pilates jobs again just made their way to me. So, again, I’ve been pretty lucky! But, when if I were honest I would never advise others to just fall into picking their studio location. I would never want anyone to root their business down and hope for the best. I felt that this discussion could use a voice that has been through choosing a location and not just one but two so far! So, I will let Christa Gurka of Pilates in the Grove take the stage and offer up her wisdom.

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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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To Niche or Not to Niche, That is the Question

I hear you! You are trying to grow your business, fill your classes and teach when you want to teach. You think that you can’t turn anyone away because it’s not like there’s a line around the corner, yet.

The trouble with not having a clear idea on who you are for, who your ideal clients are and what inspires you to do what you do is that you feel like you are getting nowhere fast. You’ll burn out or at the very least feel like you have a job but not a career.

We are so lucky to be able to teach Pilates. Not just because we help people but because there is a lot of flexibility (no pun intended) in Pilates. There are different styles you can teach, so many pieces of equipment and endless exercises and then you add the clients in. Clients are not all created equal. You’ve got healthy bodies, pre/post-natal, athletes, seniors, PT, women, men, children, those with specific needs and so much more. You can start out as a new teacher who is ready to teach almost any healthy body and then along your teaching journey you begin to find interests. Types of injuries, issues, conditions, goals that are calling to you. And, when they call it’s so important you answer. Continue reading

Should You Run Your Pilates Business as Usual?

I saw an ad the other day in a magazine. It read “Business as Usual.”  Boring! Your business is anything but usual. Teaching Pilates is a unique career choice. One that requires you to wear many hats. You have to teach clients, market your business, some have to manage teachers, manage a schedule, reschedule, keep copious notes, study movement, study Pilates, do Pilates etc etc etc.

Pilates teachers and studio owners don’t clock in and clock out and leave it all at the “office.” We are inspired by our own practice, other fitness modalities a random billboard or in the case of this week’s article an advertisement. The business of Pilates is anything but usual.

So, why do so many teachers and studios seem to follow a mold? Do business per the usual?

The studio on the other side of town, down the street or even right next door might seem like they have it all. They may have bright lights, busy classes or offer other fitness modalities. The other studios in your town or even online (because it’s hard to not compare) may seem to have it all and so when you’re trying to make the magic happen, trying to bring in the money it can be easy to do business like others before you, do business as usual. To follow the mold. But, if you are not clear with who you are as a teacher/studio, whom you teach and what you offer and stick to that…then there is another mold you’ll fall into. The one where a studio closes its doors.

If you heard the podcast interview I did with Pilates Unfiltered I was asked why I don’t own a studio? It’s not because I don’t think I can run one. It’s not because I don’t think it’ll be fruitful and it’s not because I don’t want it. The truth is my goals for my business and my personal life does not align with owning my own brick and mortar today. So, I run my business so that it continues on the path to my own desires.

Last week I went live about Pilates being my side hustle and not doing your Pilates business in the usual way. But instead doing your business your way. I know you’re thinking easier said than done. Yes, totally easier to say than to do but so is Pilates! Check out those videos above and then sit down and think about the teacher you want to be. Who do you want to teach? When do you want to teach? Where do you want to teach?

It takes longer to grow your business your way but it feels so good to go to work day in and out and when it’s your business and not you trying to fit into a mold or doing what you think worked for someone else.

I’d love to hear your goals and any questions or celebrations on how you are running your Pilates business. You can share them in the comments below or contact me here.

This week we have a deep dive in Social Media ads, going LIVE, trolls, and scheduling. You may wonder if you need to use social media for your marketing or if it’s even working. We will be talking about that starting June 22nd so register for this webinar here. Or, check out our entire summer series. Because I am so dedicated to you running your Pilates business your way we have one hour online LIVE workshops on developing and marketing your Niche, Group Fitness Classes, Having a life and Teaching Pilates, Converting First-time clients, a Q & A and more. Click here for all the deets. If you missed last week’s webinar and you want the entire series go ahead and sign up and I’ll make sure you get it.

Ditch Business per usual and start doing business per YOU!

xx~LL 

 

Can You Travel Around the World Teaching Pilates?

Pilates Pro’s as you know I love teaching and traveling! But, this week’s guest blogger Roxy takes teaching and traveling to a whole new level. She has a wonderful story to share and tips for you to take your Pilates teaching around the world. I’m going to let her take it from here!


I’m always a bit surprised when I meet people that are fascinated by what I do and where I’ve lived, only because I believe everyone has a fascinating story and I’ve met so many amazing people with interesting lives.

At the end of the day, if you’re serving the world in a healthy manner with something you’re passionate about, I would say that’s special and exotic regardless of your geographical location. However, if you’ve been stung by the ‘travel bug’ or just curious about what it’s like to teach Pilates and live in different locations around the world than I’d love to share a bit of my story with you.

I could write a novel on this subject with chapters that cover; living in one place for an extended period, guest teaching short-term, teaching at retreats, working with a hotel chain, on a cruise ship or moving somewhere new and starting your own business. They are all very different experiences. There’s a difference between working with someone for a week vs. a month vs. 2 or 3 years. There’s a difference between being a guest or living in that environment.

I could write a novel on this subject with chapters that cover; living in one place for an extended period, guest teaching short-term, teaching at retreats, working with a hotel chain, on a cruise ship or moving somewhere new and starting your own business. They are all very different experiences. There’s a difference between working with someone for a week vs. a month vs. 2 or 3 years. There’s a difference between being a guest or living in that environment.

I have lived and taught Pilates in Paris, throughout Turkey, Thailand and Canada, as well as guest, taught or presented in London, Greece, Spain, Beirut, and Germany (not to mention the occasional client in Monaco or Nice).

I have lived and taught Pilates in Paris, throughout Turkey, Thailand and Canada, as well as guest, taught or presented in London, Greece, Spain, Beirut, and Germany (not to mention the occasional client in Monaco or Nice).
How did I end up in all of these places? A clear intention.

For me, a sense of travel has always been innate, and it was through dance that I was introduced to Pilates. When I finally decided to hang up my dance leotard and make my lulu leggings (aka Pilates career) primary, I went to work. I sent out dozens of CV’s and cover letters to various headquarters for cruise ships, resorts, and touring companies, not to mention talking to colleagues and friends. I was determined to travel and teach; I didn’t even entertain the idea of finding a temporary job.

This was back in 2005, and at that time Pilates was in the midst of exploding worldwide. I knew there was a window of opportunity for lucrative positions in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Mind you; I didn’t do it for the money – I was looking from a perspective that I could earn money doing what I’m passionate about and explore new places without going broke. I also knew that this window of opportunity wouldn’t remain open for long. Teacher training programs were expanding and creating instructor trainers that could lead and develop trainers in their own language and their own countries. Naturally. Hence, why Pilates is a household name.

My Pilates training centre has a Job Postings page, and at the time opportunities were ranging from Iceland to Jakarta. The posting for Istanbul, Turkey, caught my eye. A 3-month contract; perfect for my commitment phobia self. Within two weeks I was flown to New York for an interview/audition (teaching a class) and immediately afterward I was offered the position. I immediately accepted. I had decided before the interview that if I were offered the job, I would take it. Then it was signing contracts (this particular contract covered accommodation, airfare, stipend and a monthly salary), getting the tickets, packing and then off I went less than two weeks later.

I was off to a country that I knew absolutely nothing about. I wouldn’t have done it any other way – I went to Turkey with no pre-conceived notions or expectations, I was completely open.
Nowadays, I wouldn’t recommend that, especially with our current state of affairs, it’s always a good idea to know even a little bit about where you’re going.

That was the beginning of this adventure, an adventure that branched out to more opportunities, mentors, beautiful friendships, life lessons, new perspectives and philosophies, enhanced trainings and evolving as an instructor.

It’s an adventure that hasn’t ended.

Guest blogger Roxy Menzies

 

So you may be thinking ‘I don’t even know where to start or how to find a job outside of my own country.’

No problem. First off – use all of your Profitable Pilates networking and business skills and talk to your colleagues when you’re at conventions and retreats. You’d be surprised who you may meet and never underestimate when that chance meeting can come back to you, think of it as planting seeds of ideas. Some seeds grow, some don’t, and some take time. Secondly – check out the websites of the Teacher Training programs, many of them have classifieds with studios all over the world looking for instructors.

There are many different options for teaching Pilates abroad, you may be hired for a particular studio or hotel chain, or your family may be relocated due to your partner’s job. In that case, you could reach out to studios about teaching possibilities before or after you arrive. Another option is to join various community and expatriate groups and offer your services.

Here are few things to think about before you embark on your traveling Pilates journey.

1) WHY?

Everything starts with a why. Your why gives you clarity and the foundation with which to make decisions that will enhance your experience. There’s no right or wrong answer, is it simply to say that you ate a croissant under the Eiffel Tower while you worked in Paris? Did you want a new experience and want to embrace working in a different culture? To learn a language? Save money? Escape a relationship(s)? To cross off a line on your bucket list?

Knowing what drives you will help you determine if you want an experience that’s short-term, long-term, in a warm climate, under what circumstances and working conditions and whether it’s feasible for the present moment or in the future. Going back to your why when you hit any obstacles will keep you motivated.

2) LOOK AT YOUR LIFE & BE REALISTIC

I’ve met instructors from all walks of life ranging from retiree’s to the young and single to families with young children that make it work. That’s why it comes down to your intention. If you’ve recently opened a studio, then it’s probably not the right time to go and teach abroad for six months. If one of your why’s is just to travel and explore, then you may be better off just taking a plain old vacation or attending a retreat or convention. That may end up being more worthwhile for you. If you’re in a committed relationship can and will your partner travel and work abroad as well? Anything is possible and at any phase of your life, but you do need to be smart about it, and it should be financially viable. You don’t want to end up abroad losing money and/or working crazy hours only to be too tired to enjoy the experience.

3) BE OPEN BUT KNOW YOUR BOUNDARIES

In general, you want to be open to the various opportunities out there, but you’ve got to be clear about your non-negotiables. Be clear about what your maximum hours are, the lowest you’ll accept as a salary and any other job expectations that you’re willing to do. It’s easy to get excited about a job opportunity in an exotic place and then later realize the expectations are not suitable for you.

Remember to breathe and take a moment to really think about any offers. It’s not always about money either, you may work for less pay for an area you’ve always wanted to go to, or there may be other perks to the job that outway a less ideal aspect (example free high-quality training for CEC’s or other modalities). And remember to follow your intuition, if something doesn’t feel right, honor that feeling and explore it further. You may decide, ‘I don’t care, I want the adventure, I want to go with the flow’ that’s cool too, just always know that you made that choice. I’ve done that a few times, but now I’ve been in the game long enough and my current life priorities are different – so I’m much pickier. I can’t even count the number of people I’ve met that went on a holiday to a new place, fell in love with the city or a person, took a leap of faith and have never looked back. Anything is possible.

4) HAVE A CONTRACT

Make sure you have a contract, and you read through the whole thing. If you’re offered a job in a distant land, and they are not clear about the logistics or don’t want to use contracts – trust me, nine times out of 10 it’s going to be a headache for you. Some companies want a year or 2-year commitment, and the contract may have a clause that if you break the contract you have a penalty fee or you reimburse the company for certain expenses (work permit, etc.).

5) KNOW YOUR TAX EXEMPTIONS IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY

This is especially important if you live and work abroad long term. Each country is different and has their rules and regulations. You don’t want to be in trouble with the ‘tax man’ at any point.

There you have it, a few things to get you started. Adventures are fun and you never know where your life will take you. Teaching around the world has been invaluable to my growth not only as a human being but as an instructor. I’ve met amazing people as clients, friends, colleagues and I even met my husband abroad.

Bon Voyage!

Roxy Menzies, originally trained in STOTT® Pilates is based between Istanbul and Toronto. Currently developing programs for Michael King Pilates she has taught dance and various movement modalities for the Canadian Educational system, professional dance companies, and Cirque du Soleil. She has presented, guest taught or performed in London, New York, Paris, Beirut, China, Turkey, and Thailand.


Got the travel bug? Or, just ready to try out a new location on for size? Be sure to comment, share and check out more from Roxy on her handles below. Thank you Roxy for your wonderful tips and beautiful story.

Roxy Menzies  on Instagram 

And, one last note from our dear Roxy

“The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck”.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON