I have embarked on so many new professional adventures this year: creating my very first LLC business, acquiring 3 new certifications, adding several classes at new studios and gyms, starting community classes from scratch; all of this amongst the ever ongoing adventure of being a stay-at-home mom and actor.
Lately I have found myself getting frustrated and impatient with the outside world when it comes to my professional success. Starting classes from scratch as a brand new company has proved to be a hell of a lot more work than I imagined. I realize now, just how much I have taken for granted the established studios and gyms that have a following that just feed right into my classes. Not to say that my skills and personality as an instructor don't play into it, but I don't find myself needing to beg the general population to come try something new at one of my classes.
The gist of it is this: I have created 3 new classes at an establishment where they have never existed, it's basically a space for me to work. And despite my efforts to advertise and market through various online outlets, I have yet to get a regular participant. And by regular participant, I mean someone that came to a class outside of the free preview classes offered several weeks ago. Unfortunately, my expectations of the marketing support I would get on the other side were not realistic. And that's ok, they do not work for me, but it goes to show that I have a lot more elbow rubbing and schmoozing to do than I had prepared for.
So outside of social media, I find myself questioning what else I can do... I'll put some flyers out there, I think I may even hire "ambassadors" to promote my classes and then they in turn can come to the classes for free. How much money can I afford to spend on this? I'm already paying my babysitter enough to watch my daughter while I'm gone.... Argh...
Anyways, this post is not meant for me to whine about my startup frustrations (ok so maybe it is a little), but more about bringing these thoughts and doubts to my mat, which is what I did last night. I did not have anyone come to my yoga or WERQ class last night and so I packed up quickly and rushed over to my Monday night studio just in time to take a slow flow class.
It's very sad how much my personal practice has suffered since having a baby. Don't get me wrong, my daughter is the sunshine of my life, but that little ray of sunshine takes up time. LOTS OF TIME. And I have been patient with myself about that fact because I have a plan and I have taken steps to get on my mat more and in August, my baby will be in daycare and I will have so much more time to practice at all of my favorite places around town. But where I have not been patient, is with my community and my professional success up until this point. I could not have the latter without the former. And yes, I am gonna have to step my game up and get more creative with getting feet in the door, but ok, look where I've come thus far! Every time I see a friend that I don't see everyday, they are always talking about how I'm doing so much and how impressed they are with my management of this crazy schedule. And they're right! I AM doing a lot. And all of these things make me happy. I really shouldn't let a few empty/brand new classes get me down, I have so much that has worked for me until now.
So back to my point from before--I brought all of this frustration with me to the yoga class and by the end of it, I felt like I always feel at the end of yoga, no matter what is going on: Grounded. Patient. Revived. Capable. It reminds me so much of the time I spent living in France; I went with a fellow teacher to a Buddhist temple and a few of their meetings (no I'm not Buddhist, but I learned a lot and admired much) and at one of their get-togethers, someone was speaking about some stress and troubles and the others said, "come back to the practice. The practice is so important." Well.... There you go. Back to the basics. Back to the beginning. We all have our practices, our rituals, our healthy actions that connect us back to what's important and positive in our lives and us yogis are so lucky to have that on our mats.
And then today, I came across this quote:
"Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ah! Must type a blog post now!!!!!
So instructors, especially those of you who are starting out or creating something from nothing, remember your mat. Remember why you started all of this from the beginning. The stress, the frustrations, the doubt, it will be there and it will come up throughout our lives. Take it to your mat. And I'm not saying the mat has some kind of magic carpet effect to help you fly away into "no-stress land", but it will reset your brain so that when you leave your practice for the day, you can once again find your grounding and your patience.
I always tell myself: follow your own rules. Your own advice. Sigh... it's all about the journey people. :)
--Any comments, tips? Write below! Let's get a conversation going about starting your fitness business and new classes.