When I had arrived as a newly married girl in Washington state, my dreams came true. I got a call to see if I would be interested in developing my own Pilates and Yoga Programs. I started asking questions…could I have staff, a studio, develop new programs? Every answer came back better than I could have imagined and I leapt into this new adventure without blinking thinking my hard work alone would bring me through.
My dear, when I hit the ground, it was like falling from a ten story building with no parachute. Everything that I thought went into my studio, wasn’t working. I was bringing in plenty of money, I had awesome clients, and I had a very happy staff, who were extremely well paid. I was working harder than I had ever worked in my life, but I was destroying my marriage, family and health and I had nothing to show for it, except the most expensive hobby known to man.
I took a deep breath one April morning, 8 months pregnant and knew I had to change.
Over the next six months, I dove deeply into what a successful business needed to look like. I was no longer concerned with what a “yoga studio” or “Pilates studio” or “mind-body center” needed to be. I’d already done all of these things and they hadn’t worked. I knew there was an answer and it would have to lie outside of the bounds of how studios had been run.
- The Asset Mindset Shift: My business had become a poorly paid hobby. Its liabilities (or expenses) flowed out at nearly the same rate as it’s assets (or its income} flowed in. I had to reframe my mindset of what I was doing. I was either going to continue with an expensive and stressful hobby or I was going to begin to view my business as an asset I was building that would yield a predictable return. I could no longer rely on emotion, but had to make rational decisions. I had clarity. Now I needed to understand what came next.
- The Holy Grail—Recurring Income: One of my first visits was to an enlightened entrepreneur. What was I missing in my business that he had in his, even though we were in very different markets? The answer was clear. I had no idea what type of income would arrive in every week, let alone next month or six months from now. I was winging it, relying on my personality and my teaching skills to get me by, but these couldn’t guarantee me gross receivables (or funds I could guarantee my business would be paid). They didn’t exist, so I would have to create a system that was founded on recurring income. And it started with my Core Client Journey.
- Core Client Journey: My Core Client’s Journey became the signature process every client went through in our program. It started the moment they enrolled and continued until the moment they exited the program. The stages were clearly created to encourage my clients to stay active and engaged. As we guided them through these stages, we knew what needs would arise and we met them, often behind the scenes. Very quickly my client base grew. And, with that so did my hours, which is when I knew I needed something more.
- Defined Replicable Systems: Between our growth and a serious bout of the flu that sidelined me for three weeks it was clear, I needed help. But the systems that I was creating needed to be used so that my business could keep its upward trajectory. And so these systems became refined into a structure that I could teach and replicate among my new team. And, this team was amazing…they were incredible practitioners whose services sold themselves…at least they did, if we could get our new clients to class.
- Soulful Sales: Early on in this process, I learned that my team and I would need to sell not our services, but the results they could provide. For most of my clients, they know they needed to get healthy. The bigger problem was that they couldn’t see how my service combined with their need could bring results. And, that comes from sales, but a different kind of sales than I had ever seen. In training, we call this Soulful Sales, an education process that persuades and guides our new clients to their best results. It’s authentic, powerful and it changes lives.
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