by Erica Mather
Most people get into the health, wellness, and fitness business because they love their modality and are fuelled by a desire to help people.
Does that sound like you? Me too.
I got into teaching yoga after a successful career teaching piano and composition in my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. When I moved to New York City, enrolled in a PhD program, and my eyes were opened to the realities of academic life I left graduate school and used my break with the system to go to a yoga teacher training. Yoga teacher trainings capture many people who are at weird or awkward transitions in their lives, and I was one of them. I loved practicing yoga and knew that I wanted to do the TT, so when I took a medical leave of absence from Columbia, is was the perfect time to go spend a month of soul and spirit healing with Ana Forrest.
I didn’t go to the training thinking I really want to be a yoga teacher!!!! But during the course I came to see how spending my time teaching yoga would also be healing for me, and I would be using my teaching and yoga skills to help other people.
I though: I’m in the business of helping people. That’s right, isn’t it?
But when I was working with a relatively full schedule, and in 2008 I lost many of my clients, I was no longer in the business of helping people. In fact, I was almost out of business.
The reality is that a teacher without students is a teacher without a job.
At that juncture, with barely enough spending money to keep myself afloat, I hired a business coach. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, and I still work with that coach to this day.
What I learned in my coaching was for any service business to work, there needs to be a strong process to get people through the door, and get them to come back.
You can think of your business like this:
The results you offer: better health
The service you offer: your modality (yoga, pilates, acupuncture, etc.)
The business you are in: enrollment
(Enrollment is a nice way to say…shhhh…sales!)
Oh, dear. I know this is NOT the business you thought you were getting into. But, without sales, there is no business. Alas.
Personally, I love sales. Here’s why: when I make a sale, I get a client/student. THEN the fun (teaching yoga!) really begins. But without those students or clients, I’m just an out-of-work yoga teacher. Boo.
As a business-person, it is always a good idea to continually educate yourself about systems for enrolling and retaining your students. It means that you will continue to have the fun of teaching, or practicing your modality.
Read Erica's post: Is It Wrong to Want to Make Money?