Guest Post: Pilates is Optional

Oh hey! Pilates is Optional. Ways I Make Myself Indispensable to My Business and Students

The author, Anula doing kneeling side kicks

The author, Anula doing kneeling side kicks

My mother always told me: "make yourself indispensable". She had a lot more motherly advice like "don't wear a shirt with a stain" or "its never too late to write a Thank You note", but being indispensable stuck with me with me over the years.

I came to Pilates from the Art world where fashion is fickle and a lowly assistant or a mega star can be replaced at a moment's notice. Its the typical NYC high anxiety, cut throat, competition one would find in any field. Lots of big fish in a small pond. The Pilates landscape can feel that way sometimes. But unlike opening a gallery in Chelsea opening a studio or working for one is more about knowing who you are and sticking to it. After all: teaching others to move well never goes out of style.

Here are some ways, in my opinion, to make sure I can't be easily replaced.

  • Remember: Pilates is optional!

There are millions of people who have lived full and rewarding lives without ever doing the Hundred not even once. So when someone comes to me, an "expert" on movement, I owe them something: honesty. Not only can clients go to dozens of other studios they can go to dozens of other fitness modalities (spinning, under water spinning, just jumping up and down in their living room...). Why am I stating the obvious? because even though I do believe Pilates can be for everyone, I, ME personally, am not. I am never afraid to tell a student who isn't "buying" the Method that seeing me is optional. I also don't like to miss represent my skill set. I am not a healer. I often say "sometimes Pilates will help with pain or discomfort and sometimes it won't" and that's OK.

  • Friendship Re-Defined

Am I friends with all my students? It feels that way sometimes. I check in periodically and ask: did I leave that session totally drained or did I leave rejuvenated and ready for the next? A draining dynamic can be "deadly". You know that friend who shows up and sucks all your energy and leaves? Yeah... No. If boundaries got blurred I am not afraid to re-set them. I don't shy away from asking my client to remind me of their goals or re-define those goals together as we go. That usually brings derailed sessions back on track. Same with personal friendships that may have lost their thread. Are we friends because we are helping each other grow or are we friends because we can't remember a time where we weren't? I learn something new from my students every day and I try to make sure they know that. No one likes to be taken for granted.

  • Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself - in group class

We all have off days and off classes. But overall, seeing me isn't a chore, teaching can't be either. For example: when an instructor walks into a group class and announces its their tenth class of the day and they are beat I kinda want to leave. The odds of me returning are slim even if the class was great. I try to watch why I say and the tone I use. I have a sarcastic personality which sometimes does not translate to all students especially in a group setting. But being bland isn't the answer either. Not everyone is going to "get" me so I try to be myself to a point. I am the first to admit sometimes I cross that point and am maybe too cheeky. Its good to remember that there is a section of the population who will go to any class because it fits their schedule and then there are those who make a special trip to MY class. 80/20 rule applies here. 80% be myself. 20% try to be normal.

  • The Rock Star Effect (you win some you lose some but try to win some)

The last and most important point: if my students do not leave classes/sessions feeling like rock stars I should have my Pilates badge taken away. I want to set people up for success however we decide to define it. If I don't hear the words "I feel so much better!" at the end of an hour, at least most of the time, I lost. I don't know how all instructors operate but I find myself walking down the street thinking of my students and what they came to me with. Fitness goals, aches and pains, serious injuries, pregnancies... all that "stuff". My students need someone to really hear them. That means knowing when to push harder and when to back off. When to introduce new concepts or exercises. And when to stop being nice and start getting real: the Real World - Pilates Edition.

 

10527594_10203606678301143_2643539730946280733_nAnula Maiberg was born in Israel and moved to NYC in 2001 in order to pursue a career in photography. While finishing her
degree at the School of Visual Arts she fell in love with Pilates through the classes and private sessions she took at Sixth Street Pilates. After college and a few years at a "desk" job she realized happiness wasn't in front of the computer screen. She decided to attended the Kane School for Core Integration to become fully certified on Pilates apparatus. After a few years of teaching she is now the co-owner (with Jeremy Laverdure) of Sixth Street Pilates where it all began. Anula also recently graduated the Kathy Grant Heritage Training in Denver led by Cara Reeser of Pilates Aligned.

 

 

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Guest Post: 3 Ways to Connect via Social Media (No Selfies Required)

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Selfies. Baby Pictures. Buzz Feed articles about which Disney character you’re likely to be if you turned into a cartoon. For many, social media seems overwhelming and self-centered. And for business owners, it can feel like one more task on an already overflowing “to do” list, but there’s hope!

 

When used well, social media is an incredible way to genuinely connect with your students and clients to help them achieve their life and fitness goals. Read on, to see how…

 

3 Ways to Authentically Connect with Your Ideal Clients:

 1- Post with Your Ideal Client in Mind: social media for business isn’t about you; it’s about them. Who’s your ideal client? What excites him/her? What are their biggest pain points and how can you help them reach their goals? Photos, videos, and blog posts that inspire and encourage them to take action, while inviting them to join you in the journey are a fantastic way to engage.

 

2-Social Media is Social for a Reason: People would not be on social media if they were not open to connect with new people, so don’t be shy about reaching out to someone new via Facebook, Twitter, or other networks. Start with something you genuinely appreciate about her. Maybe you liked a post she wrote or a photo she shared. Let her know, and she will almost always respond and reciprocate.

 

3-Quality Over Quantity: Posting a million times a day is not the answer. Consistency and high quality are much more important. The amount of posting varies based on network and ideal client, but in general, daily posting is preferable and photos, short videos, and quotes that provide high quality content receive more engagement.

Jacqueline Smile

 

About Jacqueline:

 

Jacqueline Boone is a Business & Digital Marketing Consultant and the Creator of the online publication & web series, 6 Months to Live. She specializes in working with mission-driven entrepreneurs (or soon-to-be entrepreneurs) and small businesses that want to make a profound impact on a global scale and teaches them strategies to expand quickly.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Jacqueline at

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Free Tools For Your Pilates Biz

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Let’s face it. Being a one person show and running all the parts of your business is tough and pretty overwhelming. If you’re just starting out you may not have the budget for hiring help, but that doesn’t mean you don’t still need it. Below is my list of 10 free, that’s right completely gratis, online tools to help you run the production that is your business smoothly just like a baby’s bottom: 

1-Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media dashboard meant to manage and measure your social networks. Link your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts, schedule posts, and review analytics all in one place. I’ve been using it for a couple years now, it has completely streamlined my social media posting. Who needs a social media team when you have Hootsuite! Click this link and get 30 day trial of the pro version for free!

2-Basecamp

If you have multiple projects and team members that work remotely, Basecamp is your new BFF. Use it as a communication tool that will save your in-box, organize files all in one spot, create to-do lists for yourself and your team (to insure that no one is doing the same thing twice), and utilize their calendar to plan out the trajectory of your ideas. I’ve used both the free and paid version of this project management software and found it invaluable for keeping all the moving pieces of my business organized.

3- Google

This one is just a no brainer. Google is a startups most useful tool. They’ll hook you up with the ability to create documents, save them in a storage drive, whip up spreadsheets, chat via video on their hangouts, save you the cost of a research assistant with the their search engine, chat it up with G-chat, wrangle your schedule with their calendar, and of course- Gmail. This whole enchilada could cost you hundreds of dollars. Google’s giving it away free, don’t miss out.

 4-Appointlet

As if basic Google services weren’t enough, Appointlet, an online appointment-scheduling app, takes your Google calendar to the next level. Clients can confirm, decline, cancel, or reschedule their sessions all on their own. You can even add it to your website to make it easier for them to find and schedule with you. The free version is good, but for $10 more a month you can use it with PayPall to collect payment as well. Hello more free time and less scheduling missteps plus a waaay more cost-effective option than the beast that is MindBody when you’re starting out.

 5-Spotify

There’s nothing worse than sitting down to work in a crowded coffee shop only to have to sit through someone’s grotesque story of how they ate a bad oyster and was up puking all night. Yuck! Suddenly you’ve completely lost the stomach for getting anything done. Turn on Spotify, plug in your headphones, and tune out the world. I also use the paid version to float some chill tunes in the studio sans commercials. I prefer Spotify to Pandora because you can make your own playlists, download whole albums, and listen even when you’re offline (with the paid version).

 6-LinkedIn

You might be wondering why LinkedIn is on this list? Well, while Facebook, Twitter, and the Insta are great for building relationships with potential clients, what about the relationships you need with your peers? LinkedIn is a fantastic free resource for Pilates teachers or business owners that need advice on anything from how to deal with a difficult client to how to find the best insurance rate for your needs.

 7-Dropbox

Ever try to send an email with an attachment or a picture only to tear your hair out when it keeps getting returned over and over again? Or maybe you’ve wanted to share a extra large file or keep all your docs in one place for you and your team to view. Dropbox is perfect for all of that. Get 2 GB for free which is probably more than you’ll ever need.

 8-SCORE

SCORE is a nonprofit association, supported by the Small Business Administration, dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow, and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. Visit their office or find a volunteer mentor right on their site for answers to your questions, or take advantage of their free templates and tools. They have everything from business plan forms, to financial templates, and more.

 9-Square

Square, a payment processing application for iPhones or iPads, offers a wallet app for mobile transactions and a register app for a virtual cash register. With Square you can track sales, tax, top purchasing clients, and more. You only pay when you sell and there’s no fee to sign up. Bring your business into the 21st century and start taking credit cards for those big packages. In my experience once I started taking cards my sales went up almost 50%.

 10-NutshellMail

For all of you who are feeling overwhelmed trying to keep up with your social media feeds help is on the way! NutshellMail, owned by Constant Contact, sends you email snapshots of your chosen social networking accounts. Get free updates from your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, MySpace, YouTube, Foursquare, and Citysearch as often as you wish. Easy breezy.

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Guest Post: How to Grow Your Business Through Speaking

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Ask any new business owner what her biggest challenge is and chances are she will say “finding clients.”

Now, ask that same business owner how she is marketing her business to prospective clients and you’ll get a range of answers: social media, networking events, email marketing, word of mouth referrals and more.

One marketing tool that’s often left off the list is public speaking. With thousands of events happening daily, public speaking is a great opportunity to attract more clients, develop your personal brand and take your business to the next level.

Here are a few ways, speaking can grow your business:

  •  Establish credibility – By speaking at events, both in-person and online, you become a thought leader in your industry. You’ve received an endorsement from the organization you are speaking to, which gives you a competitive edge.
  •  Increase visibility – Speaking at events exposes you to new groups of people, thereby expanding your reach. It also allows you an opportunity to speak to a large group of people at once rather than speaking to people individually.
  •  Create connection – Sharing your story creates authenticity and helps to build the “know, like and trust” factor. When people experience your knowledge and expertise first-hand, they are more likely to buy from you.

You don’t have to have a seven-figure business or be a best-selling author to land speaking opportunities. So what are you waiting for? The time is now to start thinking about how to get booked to speak and grow your business.

Want to learn more about how to land speaking gigs? Join me and Lindsay Lopez at the Biz-nass Social on May 30. Click here for more info and to register for the event!

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Regina D’Alesio is a lifelong storyteller with a passion for helping others share their stories with impact. She helps entrepreneurs craft a signature talk and land more speaking opportunities to grow their businesses. Sign up for free weekly speaking and business tips at www.reginadalesio.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest Post- Your Niche Engineered

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I can’t remember the first time I saw Top Gun, but I can say I cried when Goose died. I can also say that I wanted to be Maverick, soaring through the sky in the Grumman F-14 Tomcat at Mach 2.2, writing checks my body couldn’t cash. Cheesy? Yeah, but true. It wasn’t the speed, the “glamour”, the aviator sunglasses, or the bike. It was because fighter jets are fascinating, inspiring, and just downright awesome. The thought of flying around in one gave me goose bumps – I was seven. Meet Regina Arras, Aerospace Engineer.

I can’t remember the first time I did the hundred on the Reformer, but I can say that I probably silently cursed my teacher. I can also say that I was hooked from the start. Simple, yet complex movements accomplished with maximum effort and the minimum number of repetitions for maximum results. Genius? Absolutely!  It wasn’t about getting skinny or ripped. It was about making connections and finding equilibrium through corrective exercise The thought of using specially designed apparatus to help people find answers to questions about their bodies that they’d had for years put a huge smile on my face. – I was much, much older than seven.  Meet Regina Arras, Pilates Instructor.

What seven year old gets chills watching fighter jets soar above the clouds in a corny 80s action-adventure love story and then grows up to geek out about metal machines, springs and wheels, and how they can change people’s lives? Meet Regina Arras, Pilates Engineer.

I never chose to be an Aerospace Engineer or a Pilates Instructor.  They picked me.

What I did choose was to become the Pilates Engineer. I found my niche in fact I created it.

What’s the equation?

Niche= (2 x Passion) + (Support group + Mentor)

Time

Simply, find two things you love to do (anything – promise), add in a support group and a mentor, and give it some time.

For me it looks like this:

Pilates (Instructor + Aerospace) Engineer

Life has a funny way of working out sometimes doesn’t it?

Regina's headshot smallAerospace Engineer and certified Pilates Instructor, Regina Arras, has a unique take on body mechanics and a very real passion for the “nuts and bolts” of Pilates. Regina approaches Pilates from an engineer’s perspective, dissecting the mechanics of each exercise, and from the artistic perspective of a dancer, always pursuing and appreciating the beauty and elegance of each movement. Regina’s distinctive approach has given rise to whole new business model as she tackles the service and maintenance side of the industry to redefine what studio upkeep really means. Learn more about Regina here

 

 

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