Ask Lindsay- Not Getting Techy With It

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“I think I was born in the wrong decade. I am the opposite of tech savvy and I freeze at any tech problem, whether it’s accounting, scheduling, or setup. Help!”

 ~Technically Challenged in NYC

 

I picked this question, not because I too loathe anything technical (I’m actually freakishly good at this stuff!), but because I know I am an anomaly. While the rest of you cringe and fidget at the mere thought of getting technical, I have some simple and effective tips to bring you into this day and age.

 Tip #1 

Know what you’re good at. Maybe you’re a wiz at marketing or get excited at the prospect of balancing your books. That’s your wheelhouse, and exactly where you should be hanging out. As a business owner, you want to spend your time wisely (remember that time is money). Doing things that you like to do AND that you are good at will keep your spirits up and be the best use of your boss juice. We have an unrealistic need to be good at all things (ahem, perfectionism), which leads me to #2…

Tip #2

Know what you’re NOT good at. If you hate doing something, if it takes you hours (even days) to put a dent in a task, if you’re hair is getting patchy from you pulling it out….HIRE SOMEONE TO DO IT! I know what it’s like to be a one woman show, I did it for SO long, and it can be challenging to hand things over to someone else. The thing is, you’re NOT being productive and helping build your business when you are spending all this time trying to put a square peg in a round hole. YOU are a square peg, my dear and you are never going to fit in that round person’s hole….(maybe a little graphic but you get the picture). If you’re worried about the money it’ll take to hire out, get creative. Maybe you have a relative that can help you out at a discount? Maybe you can barter? Pilates for website design? Babysitting for accounting help? Start asking and you’ll be surprised what help will come to your aid.

 Tip #3

Know what you can learn to be decent at. There are those things that are impossible to learn, those things that are easy to learn, and then there are those things that can be taught. Find an expert who specializes in teaching people, not just doing it themselves. For example make sure you build your website on a platform you can update on your own and learn how to do it. You might not be able to do the heavy lifting but at least you can do the basic day-to-day stuff. Have you always been good with numbers but you don’t quite understand the accounting software you’re using? Have your accountant or bookkeeper sit down and walk you through it. Still strapped for cash but eager to learn? There’s always the world’s best free research assistant…Google. You can learn almost anything with a Google search and Youtube video. If it’s something you think you can tackle try your hand at learning it.

My mentor and biz-nass guru Marie Forleo always says, “Everything is figure-out-able”. You’re smart, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re a bad-ass. Go out there and conquer the tough stuff by doing what’s right for you. I promise you’ll be happier for it.

Got a burning biz-nass question? Leave it in the comments below I’ll give you the A to your Q!

Not quite sure if you’re ready to get your coaching on? Enter your deets here and let’s stay in touch!

 

Interview With An Instructor: Edya Kalev

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May is my very favorite month of the year. For starters it’s my bday month, all of the flowers are a bloomin’, and the hellacious humidity of NYC hasn’t hit us just yet. Now May has gotten even better. I’m learning how to massage- wait for it….massage myself!

As part of our continuing education series we’re hosting a workshop for a wickedly good method called MELT. Ever felt after a looong day at the computer or on a plane that your body was wound tighter than bundle of piano wire? While we believe that Pilates can help put you back on track (obvi!) science now shows that that’s just not enough. Enter MELT. In conjunction with a regular Pilates practice this is the missing piece to release “trapped stress” that lives in our connective tissue which surrounds every joint, muscle, nerve, bone and organ. In short, MELT-ing will set you up for optimal performance in your Pilates practice.

Join expert instructor and MELT teacher trainer Edya Kalev, May 11th at my Union Square studio, FORM Pilates to learn it for yourself. This workshop will introduce you to the basic MELT Core program, including MELTing the ribs, and pelvis, decompressing the lower back, and releasing the neck. In addition, Advanced Core techniques will be covered for those who want to jump right in and challenge their newfound stability. All participants will receive a printed “MELT Map” to take home containing all the exercises, illustrated and with detailed instructions. All are welcome, and no previous experience is required. Click here to register to join us while we learn to MELT into rebalance!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Including where you currently teach.

I am an Advanced MELT Instructor with a background in education. I used to work in living-history museums, in many different centuries, in many different costumes.  It was really fun!

Now I teach weekly MELT classes at the JCC Manhattan, the West Side YMCA, The Breathing Project, and in various locations in Washington Heights.  I teach workshops at fitness centers, yoga studios, and Physical Therapy offices in NYC and MA.

2. How did you find Melt?
I found MELT at the JCC, took my first class in 2006, and went up to the instructor afterwards to ask when there would be a training.  I knew right away I wanted to teach it. I became certified in 2007 and have been teaching ever since. Now I also assist Sue Hitzmann in her trainings and coach other instructors.

3. What was your inspiration in the path you chose?

My body hurt.  It doesn’t anymore.

8660080040_376ec5ac9a_m4. What is your favorite MELT exercise and why?
For MELT I love the 3 Dimensional Breath Breakdown.  It’s so comforting after a long day. A second favorite is the Soft Ball Foot Treatment.  Feels so good and makes such an immediate difference in how I stand.  My head feels lighter.

 

5. Do you have a motto, a favorite quote, or mission statement that you live by?

Feel and follow. If you trust your body and just follow it’s lead, it will take you in the right direction.

6. What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?
I have a 3-year old little girl.  She MELTs another part of my body completely!

If you like this article, there’s more where that came from. Sign up for our Teacher’s newsletter and get more Pilates goodness, as well as business & lifestyle tips every month! It’s free!

 

How to Survive the Downtime Blues

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You know it. You were taught it. You have experience in what correct Pilates posture is and how to keep yourself upright even in the most trying of times. This is the mark of a true Pilates instructor, but who trained you to know how to keep your business upright when it things start to slump? Like many other industries, the Pilates business has it’s peak and off seasons. The summer holiday hits and suddenly you find even your most loyal clients will have their eyes focused on vacation and their tan lines, rather than their powerhouses. So, what’s a dedicated instructor to do when her pocket book has tumbleweeds and she’s searching in the couch cushions for change? Plan baby, plan.

I’m a huge proponent of being in the moment, but if you only focus on your marketing and cash flow in the moment, you’ll be playing a nasty game of catch up during your busy times just to keep your business afloat. It’s time to be proactive and not reactive and turn your summer blues into summertime bliss…here’s how:

Get Analytical with it. Keeping track of how your business is doing- which month’s are the busiest or slowest, which packages sell better, etc. This is invaluable info. You’ll need to know as much as you can to make smart decisions on how to bump up your sales during the sluggish times. MindBody software has reports built in. If you use Quickbooks to keep track of your books, they have reports you can draw up as well, or maybe you’re just starting out and doing things the old school way. Either way- create a spreadsheet (either on your computer or paper). List the months, your sales, what you sold, and who to. This way you can see how things ebb and flow during the year and what offerings are selling and which aren’t.

Draw up a marketing blueprint. Once you have all the data it’s time to plan. We’re halfway through the year, so this downtime is a great to make your marketing blueprint for your second part of 2014. Take the data you collected and then figure out which months you need to up your regular marketing practices. The key here is to have a plan in place before it’s dead in the studio. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukah are  almost upon us and you don’t want to be singing the holiday blues too. Plan for the next slump now, waiting will be too late.

Get your juices flowing. Ok, creative time here. I encourage you to think outside of the box. Yes, giving a percentage off your packages is an idea, it’s just not a very good one. During the holidays everyone is offering sale prices and most likely your clients are becoming immune to the sight of them. Maybe it’s time to offer a “stay-in-shape” plan that’s 6 weeks of videos or lessons to help them from getting puffy from all those cookies. Or maybe you can offer a bonus if they buy a particular big package before  the end of the year which will boost your December bottom line. Do you have products? Maybe a holiday gift guide would be a nice reminder that you offer more than just sessions. I always come up with awesome ideas in the shower or on the reformer. Get moving and see what comes up. And one more thing- I highly recommend NOT reducing your prices or offering a big discount. This is the lazy way to market. How can you add more VALUE to your offerings and keep the dollars where they belong- with you.

Get Help. No woman is an island, especially not you. Hire out what you’re not good at. Maybe looking over numbers makes your eyes cross, or you aren’t very interested/skilled at creating killer graphics. Whatever the thing is that you hate, it’s most likely because you aren’t very good at it. Instead of wasting valuable teaching time trying to make your weakness your strength, why not just hire an expert to do it? In business, we call this outsourcing and it works. Yes, it will cost you a little cash on the front end but remember we’re making plans to boost your sales and you have to spend a little to make a little.

My challenge for you is to implement some of these techniques NOW, so don’t wait. Collect the numbers, pull out your calendar, do some daydreaming and leave your comments below. Maybe what you’ve done will inspire others. This is the time to make the most of 2015, the ball is in your hands.

Need a little more help getting yourself ready for the New Year? Sign up for Business Coaching with Pilates studio owner and Biznass Coach, Lindsay Lopez today!

If you’re a Pilates instructor in the NYC area and are looking to grow your business, come and join the first Pilates Cooperative, FORM Pilates. For more info click here!

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