Things change a lot over time, so while you can plan ahead you can never know what external forces will shift the business. It is good to keep educated on many fronts so even if you are not on the crest you at least won’t miss the wave. So imagine if you were a manufacturer of riding tack and horse drawn carriages when the first motorized vehicles came out. Or if you had plunged a lot of money into a huge service to provide exercise videos for VCRs?
So I would say keep up on the news including business and technology, as well as science and health care, and even global politics.
Someone once said (I think it was a speaker at an IDEA convention years ago) “Dig deep, not wide”. I think that is really good advice today. Every training you take now strives to monitize itself by not just charging for the training, but by making you pay again and again for licensure and clothes and music and yearly certification fees. I would say pick one or two main things and really master them, and concentrate your training in those areas. When you choose to add something make sure it is something you understand, love to do, and which has proved not to be a flash in the pan, that is, the latest ‘thing’.
There are certainly things I would have done differently if I had had foreknowledge. But struggling through, having to make choices, learning not to destroyed with regrets, trying and getting lost, and trying again…. all of that is what makes us human, makes us who we are. It might make life easier, but would not make it richer.
I blogged a while back on some thoughts I had for people thinking of becoming yoga teachers (http://blog.ideafit.com/blogs/ariadne-greenberg/a-few-thoughts-both-pers… ) so this is certainly something I’ve thought a bit about. But then, I think of yoga as my calling, rather than my career. I think if you feel stuck you need to stop and ask yourself why you feel that way, and what you would wish to do, and what may be practical ways to make that happen. Just thinking “I want to be an NFL star” is not going to make that happen. So set goals that are in line with your heart and your conscience as well as with your talents and your economic possibilities.
What’s the best career advice you’ve received?
Do something that I like and enjoying doing otherwise I will not be successful. If the passion is not there then the journey will be short.
What would you tell someone who feels stuck in their career?
I would give them the same advice as the one above. If one has the passion and commitment to succeed then everything that he or she does should be directed towards that goal (whatever that is).
What do I wish that I knew earlier in my fitness career? To focus more on the business and relationships with my clients than on exercises, music and choreography. I always felt I had to come up with something new, but over time I realized I was more likely to want to change things up than my clients. When I had a fitness studio (30 years ago!) I should have spent more time on marketing and less on new music and routines. Of course that is also the part I still love to do, so it is easy to spend too much time on that.
That said I believe I never felt “stuck” because I was always so attuned to what is new, and to learning more. That is what keeps me interested and fresh, so I have never really felt stuck.
When I was in college the only option related to exercise science was physical education. And the it wasn’t as science based or as performanced based compared to today’s exercise science/physiology programs. I wanted to learn more about that type of thing, but didn’t have access to such programs. And PE wasn’t taken seriously amongst the science community. So that influenced me to follow a more traditional anatomy/physiology program. After I finished my doctoral studies, I did a lot of coaching as a side job while going to school and really loved it. I found that what I wanted was to work with athlietes and scientifically develop training programs to enhance performance. I wish I had been able to connect with others with the same interests earlier. When I was just starting college, I stumbled onto the early formation of ACSM in Wisconsin. It was very interesting, but the networking capabilities of today were not even ideas back then. But all that is history. I feel that I have done pretty well to make up for lost time since then.
I agree with Janet Weller: “To focus more on the business and relationships with my clients than on exercises, music and choreography.” And I also agree with Ariadne: “Dig deep, not wide. Pick one or two main things and really master them, and concentrate your training in those areas.”
I think the most important thing is to treat it as a business instead of a hobby. That means being brave enough to extract your head from the sand and focus on “building your business in a discipled way” – just as disciplined as your personal daily exercise.
Since 2010 I’ve spent 100’s of hours creating and implementing business plans, marketing plans, brochures, flyers, etc for my yoga teacher business. I now share all those resources with my fellow yoga teachers as a collection called: “The Yoga Teacher Kits Collection”.
The Kits Include:
Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit
Kids Yoga Lesson Plan Kit
Yoga Teacher Business Kit
Yin Yang Yoga Workshop Kit
Chair Yoga Workshop Kit
Yoga For Runners Workshop Kit
Yoga For Golfers Workshop Kit
Yoga Stick Figure Kit
Pregnancy Yoga Lesson Plan Kit
Yoga Retreat Kit
Yoga Studio Business Plan Kit
Multiple Streams Of Yoga Teacher Income
Yoga Bookkkeeping Kit
You can find out more about all the Kits here: http://georgewatts.org/yogateacherstore/
BWY Yoga Teacher
Free yoga lesson planning tips & tools | http://GeorgeWatts.org