Some things look easier than they really are.
If you ever watch an experienced Pilates student doing the Work then you will notice an effortless flow of movements. A good student makes a Pilates workout look easy and beautiful. Teaser? No problem. Short Spine Massage? – Yummm, a piece of cake!
However, if you try to put a beginner student in the same positions then you will see struggle, grinding of teeth, questionable form and “jerkiness.” Even more, these moves will not feel good to our beginner student, they will be uncomfortable, painful and in some cases even dangerous.
Pilates teachers who decide to open a Pilates business often find themselves feeling like their beginner students who are doing exercises inappropriate for their level of Pilates practice. Of course, the magic of Pilates is the gradual progression of the exercises and the layering of the skills that are essential to transition from one level to the next (Andrea Maida and I just talked about the importance of the order and repetition in Pilates, you can catch our conversation here.)
Don’t you wish that somebody could take you on the same guided journey when starting a Pilates business?
I asked 15 amazing Pilates business owners to share their essential tools and tips on starting a Pilates business. Today is part 2 of our series of articles that answer some of the biggest questions that most aspiring Pilates students and teachers have (in part 1 we talked about One thing I wish I knew before starting my Pilates teacher training – read it here.) Today we focus on
One thing I wish I knew before starting a Pilates business
I was particularly inspired by the answer from Ana Barretxeguren (the owner of Brighton Pilates Studio, The City of Brighton and Hove, UK.)
I think I could say that the principles of Pilates are also crucial to running a Pilates business. When running the studio I feel my awareness needs to be spread to every element of the business: teachers, classes, receptionists, workshops, events… In the busy studio every part has an alignment and balance in relationship to each other. My concentration and precision are required to pay attention to detail as I stay aware of the whole. Flow and flexibility are needed to step into the fluidity of events and are key to embracing change when it comes. And then of course, there is surely the focus to centre, to moving the studio from the core of it’s practice: “to promote health through movement while inspiring people to reach their own potential”. Running the studio is as exciting, challenging and fun as a good Pilates workout.
(BTW, feel free to download the image or share it on your favorite social media website. You might just help light the Pilates fire in someone’s heart :-))
Here is a quick recap of all the answers as well as short bios of the instructors who shared these tips with you.
- Andrea Speir, Andrea Speir Pilates
One thing I wish I knew before starting my Pilates business is that passion is the most essential element, no matter what. If everything is done truly from the heart and you let the world see that you are passionate about what you do, the response is far greater from the public, and your clientele and audience are much more loyal and engaged.
- Ana Barretxeguren, Brighton Pilates Studio
The principles of Pilates are also crucial to running a Pilates business.
- Marcia Polas, PolasPilates.com
I have to remember (still) the value of what I offer and that as much as I want to teach anyone who is committed to learning, if this is my career, I deserve to earn a living teaching.
- Melissa Kakavas, EVOLVE Movement
One thing I wish I knew before starting a Pilates business is how hard it is and how important it is to feed yourself. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. It has always been so important to me to surround myself with very talented people that inspire me and I can continue to learn from and grow with.
- Devra Swiger, AB-Pilates
I wish I had had more insight into marketing my business. I needed to try every form of marketing from handing out flyers in local mailboxes to joining marketing groups in order for me to discover what really does work. Now that I can share this information to newer instructors I may save them a lot of valuable time.
- Lindsay Lopez, FORM Pilates
I had no idea that there were other options other than just teaching. Today, although I actually own my own studio, I’ve discovered my love for showing my fellow instructors that they can combine their talents and find their unique niche in the Pilates world. It’s my wish that my community of teachers know that they have unlimited options and can truly make a living teaching this amazing method.
- Anula Maiberg, Sixth Street Pilates
I was lucky enough to join an already established and successful business. When at the time, sole owner, the amazing, Jeremy Laverdure asked me to become his partner I had only been teaching for about 2 years. He must have had a lot of faith and trust I would make good business decisions because I had to learn everything as I went. I had no idea on how to run a Pilates studio (which thankfully I still don’t have to do entirely on my own). What I did know was how to create a “brand” and give Sixth Street a unique personality.
- Angela Sassinak-Barsotti, Ugly Duckling Pilates
It’s going to take five times as long as you think and be ten times as much work. For real. You’re not going to get rich but you’ll probably love your work more than you won’t.
- Anabel Garver, The Shu Store
That it’s just that –a business. I ultimately closed my studio, mostly because of the economic downturn in the Detroit area, but also because I was doing as much management and paperwork, marketing and cleaning, as I was teaching. And I was teaching 50 hrs a week.
- Andrea Maida, Pilates Andrea
I wish that I knew that owning your own business involved marketing. And that marketing can be creative and personality-driven. I spent a good long while resisting the business side of teaching Pilates, only to eventually discover that “Hey, I like this stuff!”
- Susannah Cotrone, Cotrone Pilates
I wish I had more business experience, I am still considering going back and getting an advanced degree in business. But learning on the job and having the right people around you to give accurate advice and guide you through the legal parts is equally effective.
- Sean Gallagher, The New York Pilates Studio ®
Bigger is not always better and less is more.
- Sunni Almond, Studio S Pilates
How much behind the scenes work there is, the admin work, decision making, marketing, networking, how teaching almost becomes secondary.
- Rachel Robertson, Pilates Is My Lifestyle
One thing I wish I knew before starting a Pilates is business is that I can’t do everything myself! I need to learn to let others do some of the work and help me. I just want my clients to be treated with the best service possible!
- Alisa Wyatt, Pilatesology.com
There is nothing more important than being your authentic self. It’s great to have role models and mentors who influence you but never underestimate the power of your own personality. Oh and SMILE!
Next week in the #PilatesWisdom series we will be talking about the Pilates career and how it can transform your entire life.
Do you have questions or tips that you would like to share? Don’t be shy, share them in the comments below. We want to hear your voice!
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