by Lindsay Lopez
Get ready for your logic meter to go off the charts here. What I’m about to tell you defies everything that you’ve been told about being frugal and well-meaning in business and life. Not paying yourself first is THE DEATH of your business. That’s right, curtains. Now that I have your attention, let me tell you why.
Let’s put it in Pilates terms. How many times have you had a client come to you looking to get fit quick? They want to get in shape for an event or even just have a magical experience in their body in like 5 sessions.
Not possible, right?
Getting fit quick just isn’t realistic.
What we need them to understand is that Pilates is a lifestyle and lifelong practice, not a fly-by-night fitness gimmick. The thing is we’re not miracle workers here, and trying to change someone’s innate willpower and desire to be fit when they’re not just isn’t possible either. So, instead of trying to change everything at once as teachers, we focus on one small goal at a time. The clients feel the difference, they get more confident, and end up sticking with Pilates long term.
The same goes for money flow in your business. Try to change your lifelong habits with the green stuff all at once is futile. Start small: reward yourself, and see your income grow. Here are three ways how:
1. Trick yourself
How many times have you had a difficult client with real challenges, like chronic back pain or terrible posture but haven’t relayed all the info in an effort to “trick” them into doing the work they need to do? If, when you first met them, you said, “wow, you’re a mess and we have LOTS of work to do” they’d go running out of the door! Same goes for your finances.
A great way to trick yourself into saving, paying down debt, or just paying yourself more is to open multiple bank accounts. When you get your client’s payment for a package, put a percentage into a separate account that’s just for you (I have several bank accounts for various areas of my biz). Pay yourself first then after 3 months see what you’ve squirreled away and use it for what’s needed most. An added bonus is that because you’ve moved some money, and it’s not in your main business account, you will trick yourself into thinking you have less than you do. Then you’re less apt to splurge on impulse buys like continuing ed or that new Lululemon top, thinking, “I have the money.”
When it seems like your business has less than it does you end up spending within your means and filling your personal pocket book to boot!
2. Live a life
What is the point of working for yourself if you never get to enjoy it?!? By paying yourself first, you’ll have money to savor the great things about life, like a great dinner, a mani/pedi, or a massage. Treating yourself for your hard work will help you not get resentful of your business or your clients, and rejuvenate your energy to put back in the biz and help it grow.
3. Getting what you deserve helps you give others their just desserts
The cardinal sin of the health care professional is that we don’t practice what we preach. How can you teach your client self-care, discipline, and kindness-of-self if you aren’t giving it to yourself first? Your clients aren’t just inspired by your words or your cues, but also by your life.
If they see you being healthy, happy, and strong in Pilates AND life, they will be inspired. Inspiring your clients is what keeps them coming back for more. Anyone can get a certification and teach Pilates but not everyone can create a lifestyle that your clients want to emulate. Be your best billboard — Joe always was, and he was right on track. Your light shining bright is what will attract more clients, and in turn more money.
So take steps today to put yourself first financially and personally and watch your business and pocketbook grow!
Lindsay Lopez is a dynamic force of nature. Years in tutus and tights paid off with wild success as a dancer and actress. Years in the “biz” taught her that dreams can come true, with plenty of planning and TONS of action to back them up. After what had become ten years in the Pilates industry her devotion shifted from the bodies in front of her to the teachers educating next to her instead. Although Lindsay teachers less and less, she is breathing new life into a stale industry. Her wish is to provide her peers with the business training they so desperately need. As a positive coach and gutsy mentor, Lindsay Lopez is changing Pilates business for the better at www.formpilates.com