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How to Avoid Being a Stressed Yoga Coach

Do you remember when you started your practice, the calm, peaceful zen feeling you felt? How about the high you felt with your first yoga class, when your students all moved in accordance with your voice? How on earth then did you get to the point when overwhelm felt more familiar than zen and when stress came calling far more than peace?

 

Here’s the truth…when you take on a career, there is stress involved. And, when your career is also your passion it can feel like every decision is life changing, career changing and it’s even easier to throw yourself 110% into it all. Emotion makes reason harder to see. I spend a lot of time with Mind Body practitioners and passion defines them all. But, when they are trying to plan a lesson with one hand and define their yoga voice with the other, all while trying to decide if this career can really become full time, the only thing they’re encouraging is their stress level. Sound familiar?

 

Here’s the silver lining…you’re not alone. I’ve been there along with nearly every practitioner I’ve ever met.  And, the best news is that with a few tweaks, that inner peace you used to feel can start to be the dominant feeling in your practice, rather than that thing you used to do.

 

  1. Take one full day off each week:  When I first started teaching, I taught at least ten hours a day five days a week, on most Saturday mornings and Sundays when a client needed me. This lasted exactly fifteen months before I looked in the mirror one morning and didn’t recognize the exhausted person staring back at me. The only answer I could see was that I needed time totally away from work.  A day of rest is not new advice. It’s been practiced since ancient times as a period of renewal, a chance to embrace the abundance we’ve been given.   So perhaps the first step in regaining your peace, is step away, take a deep breath and break that you not only deserve…that you need.
  1. Replenish your passion: You love this career, at least until you’ve worked yourself to the bone. And, when you don’t love your teaching practice, your clients can see it. You don’t need to teach every class that comes your way. In fact, as you grow as a teacher and more opportunities emerge, you’ll need to learn to say no far more than you’ll get to say yes. And, when you say yes, you’ll do it because it’s such a good opportunity that aligns with everything you believe that you can’t imagine doing anything else. That my friend, is when you’ve replenished your passion.

 

  1. Reconnect with the necessities: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Technology whose name has yet to be invented, but which will sweep through my inbox in the next week….these can seem like absolute must haves. How on earth can I live without sharing every detail with my clients. Worse yet, will they know who I am, who my brand is without this? {Reality} There is only one necessity and it’s your relationship with your clients. Social media is an amazing way to develop that relationship, but only if it’s done well. Choose one, yes only one, form of social media and dive in. Make sure you love it. If you’re a video fiend, post away on Instagram. If 140 letters or less makes your heart sing, leap onto Twitter. Share with your clients where they can find you and why you’ve chosen that platform to connect with them. It may offer them the grace they need to let go of a few of surplus items in their own life…wouldn’t that be an awesome teaching moment?

 

I can’t wait to see what you do to turn your passion into reality! Email us at hello@lisekuecker.com and share your story, connect with us on Instagram and Facebook and sign up for the Kismet Club where we share our biggest and best ideas!

Transforming Your Pilates Passion into a Business

So the 9 to 5 hamster wheel you’ve been flying on is suddenly not looking so great. And, you’re finding the highlight of your week are the Pilates classes you’ve been taking. You may have even started a certification just so you could learn a little bit more…for yourself of course {and with a big dream that maybe, just maybe, this could be something more}.

 

When I started my first Pilates certification, I was running my first company, a technology business based out of Boston and New Orleans. I said everything to myself about what this pass was…I missed dancing; my body loved Pilates; I just wanted to learn a little more for me. Of course, I wasn’t going to turn it into a business.

 

Six businesses and several million dollars later, I’ve learned a valuable lesson.   Doing what you love, what you are truly passionate is the greatest way you can ever build a business. My experience taught me that there are three important things you should do to prepare for your transition from a passionate practitioner to a studio owner.

 

Ease out of your Job and Into Your Career: When I first started teaching Pilates, I began with small teaching assignments and eventually grew to a fifteen to twenty class per week schedule that alternated with training clients in a small group setting. At this point, I still had another company I was working with albeit very limited. By the time I was ready to start my first Pilates business, I had spent four and a half years teaching and training.   {Fact} You don’t four and a half years to make this transition. Getting married, Hurricane Katrina, moving across the country and having a baby all factored into my journey.

 

This transition time was invaluable in giving me the funds to pursue training, startup capitol, and, frankly, the experience to know what my clients would really be looking for. I’ve met many other instructors, who gradually built a following through privates and group classes before opening studios. The morale of this story…it’s not just okay to take time easing out of your corporate life…it can benefit the career you’re building. But while you’re easing out of your current job it’s crucial to…

 

Map Out Your Ideal Weekly Calendar: What does your dream week look like? And, by dream week, I mean a week that is rooted in reality. As you ease out of your job and into your career as a studio owner, you’ll need to know what your week can handle at each stage. Do you have a family or additional responsibilities you need to consider? Are your clients primarily morning people or night owls? What does your current job require hours wise for your week? Knowing your parameters when and how can you begin to expand your teaching career? With every class you teach, you will grow not only your skillset, but also your tribe. But, as you expand your hours and your tribe it’s crucial to…

 

Prioritize Your Practice.   I remember the moment that my passion for Pilates became a career choice. At that point, my focus changed from my personal practice to my client’s practice. It took almost two years to realize that without prioritizing my personal practice, my business {and my clients} suffered. How can you build in time today for your practice? This isn’t just about keeping your body in top physical shape. It’s about creating new movement patterns, practicing with seasoned instructors, learning new cues, and identifying body issues that you may not have seen before. Prioritizing your practice can be as simple {and expensive} as a Pilates Anytime membership that you use, as localized as trading sessions with an instructor you admire, or as adventurous as a Pilates retreat in a dream location.

 

These three steps will help to transform your Pilates passion into a career. By taking it one step at a time, you’ll find yourself making this transition with grace, rather than stress. And, you’ll have a firm foundation to build a business that’s quite simply amazing!

 

I can’t wait to see what you do to turn your passion into reality! Email us at hello@lisekuecker.com and share your story, connect with us on Instagram and Facebook and sign up for the Kismet Club where we share our biggest and best ideas!

Transforming Your Yoga Passion Into a Yoga Studio

You’ve fallen in love. Downward Dog, Shavasana, Crow Pose, and every inversion you have tried have changed your life. They’ve even begin to change the lives of everyone around you. How couldn’t they? This ancient practice is meant to transform our bodies and our minds. And in the midst of this transformation of your mind and body, you see the transformation possibilities in your career…could you spend your life changing the world around you for the better?

 

The answer is undoubtedly, yes, so long as you step into this change with a clear plan of success in mind. The passion you feel now is about ready to become a business, which means that you will suddenly have profits, employees, schedules and, most importantly, clients, first and foremost on your mind.

 

The greatest studios I’ve walked into understand how to balance this passion and their business, so everything can blossom. They’ve built their business on seven pillars of success and so can you.

 

The Seven Pillars of a Successful Yoga Studio are:

 

  1. Soulful Sales: Throw away everything you’ve ever thought about old school sales. In 2015, our sales process looks a lot less Used Car and a lot more Education. You see in a small business, you’re going to where many hats, the most important of which will be to produce revenue. We do that by selling, but my version of sales is focused on connecting my client with a service that meets their deepest needs and desires. It starts with learning what my client really wants, where they’ve been and using my education to shape their path forward. My ability to teach each client that walks through my door how they can get the results they want is sales…soulful sales that change lives and bodies for the better.

 

  1. Programming for the People: You got into this to change lives. The key to changing lives is building programs that change the lives of your Core Clients. Who are your Core Clients? Well the answer is different for every business, but Core Clients are the primary people our business serves. If your yoga studio focuses on weight loss, your Core Client will be trying to lose weight; if it’s baby yoga, your Core Client is a new parent. Once you know your Core Client, your programming will flow, because it will be created for them, with their desires and results in mind. Now, there’s always tweaks to be had, but that’s the fun of running your own studio!

 

  1. Heart Centered Operations: Every business can ultimately be judged based on the systems it follows or ignores. In the United States, 80% of small businesses will close in the first year. Why is that number so high? Most of these businesses failed to recognize that the mastery of systems from sales, to programming, to employee training matters. These can all be done with a heart centered approach…what truly matters is that they are there!

 

 

  1. Marketing Mastery: {Truth} Constructing a clear marketing plan matters to your business. Brand marketing has to speak to your Core Client, to their innermost desires in a voice they will recognize. And, that’s just the first step. With a clear brand, you can tackle your best marketing resources, be they virtual or traditional, with abloom. And, don’t forget. When creating your marketing plan, your greatest marketing resource is within your four walls. Nothing is more powerful than the voice of a client who has seen results and power of your practice.

 

  1. Facilities that Inspire: It generally goes without saying that an amazing yoga studio has an environment of peace, positive energy, and joy. So as you’re dreaming of your studio, ask yourself, what features do I want to have to make my clients feel amazing? This is where great facilities start. I love doing a walk through of “sister brands” that have the same vibe I treasure. What do they look like? What is the feel they have? What colors do they use? It all starts with a wide open imagination, so dream big baby!

 

  1. Finances First: As soon as you open a business for profit, your finances begin to truly matter. Do you have the resources to open this studio? By resources, I mean money that you can live on while the studio isn’t profitable in early months. What is your budget for the business opening? Is it realistic? Now is a time to introduce yourself to other small businesses in your area and find out average lease rates, electrical bills and country or parish taxes. Speak to yoga studios around the country on their start up costs so that you have a firm grasp on where you need to be to make this a success.

 

 

  1. Back Office Administration: I have a back office administration team that rivals the best. My accountants, bookkeeper, metrics guru and housekeepers keep me in a great place to run my business successfully. Why are these jobs so important? These time consuming jobs are crucial to your business, but they don’t produce any revenue and take you away from your clients, your purpose and your team. They are the first things I delegate in my client’s businesses and in my own. Taking these off your plate can put you back to work at changing your community one life at a time.

 

I can’t wait to see what you do to turn your passion into reality! Email us at hello@lisekuecker.com and share your story, connect with us on Instagram and Facebook and sign up for the Kismet Club where we share our biggest and best ideas!