What a beginning of the year it has been.
Just in 3 months we have had some great changes and positive obstacles that we love to tackle head on. My studio is 17 years old with over 400 clients and I can promise you, this has come through blood, sweat and tears for 17 years. Teaching classes for 10 years from 5:30am – 8:00 pm, then having kiddies and having to make all kinds of plans. Those of you who own a business will know exactly what I am talking about.
What I love about it all is the challenges, the capacity at which I find myself making decisions, moving forward and pursuing the adventure with determination. If I think of all the books that I have read and summarized on business and trying to be a decent human being, the hours that I have put into each project, I can only be grateful for an inquisitive mind.
Every inch of the Pilates Unlimited studio was created by my passion for Pilates, exercise, people and health. I would love to personally take every single client in the studio and I do miss working those 5:30am – 8:00 pm days like in the old days. Especially because I took such amazing clients when I was giving classes. I had such an amazing relationship will them all and I still do. However, a studio of this capacity needs me behind the scenes constantly. And this is where running a business comes in with all its good and bad.
As you know I own Pilates Unlimited, Of-CourseOnline.com and Pilates Unlimited offers Pilates Instructor Courses since 2004. I am also the mommy to two beautiful little girls so my time is spread real real thin.
But one thing is for sure, when I walk into the studio and greet the clients, and receive happy greetings back, it reminds me of how grateful I am to have this space.
We are really blessed with amazing instructors who love working as a team and helping or guiding each other. Our policy is respect for each other and bringing a positive attitude everyday.
Every person is on their own journey and they are also learning every second of every day. I think when you own a Pilates studio, you come to realize just how diverse the world is because you deal with people on a daily basis. And this is what I thrive on, learning to deal with different personalities and different ideas and in doing so, growing as an individual and learning from my mistakes.
But seriously, the world is going mad!! I find myself dealing with irrational reactions on a daily basis. And I deal with them immediately. As soon as I find out about an issue, it gets dealt with within 30 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I love the challenge but I also love sanity. When people question your business practice because they owe you money and you are requesting payment, I just want to roll my eyes and say ‘seriously, did you just have a brain fart?’ Or when someone says that the studio didn’t contact them, but the studio did and we have all the messages and emails to prove it because they didn’t answer their phone. Only to find out that they never even entered their contact details into the right space onto the system. They entered it in the ‘next of kin’ block. No this is not an emergency! They go on to enter their mothers details into the client block and the mother doesn’t even exercise with us. The funniest is, the mother gets all the correspondence and doesn’t send it to her daughter. And when it gets pointed out to them, they still defend it. Again some eye rolling going on …. but my face looks neutral.
How about when we get questioned on our decisions made within our business? Does everyone know what happens behind the scenes? Definitely not, this would be unprofessional to the nth degree. I love how people forget who actually built the business that they are enjoying so much. But again, part of being a business owner means that you are really good at patting yourself on the back because let’s face it, nobody else will. And if you think that others are going to thank you for this gorgeous environment that you have created then think again, reality might hit you real hard. Being a business owner means that you say ‘Thank you’ to many people without the expectation of getting the same in return. It means laying it all on the line for those who want to walk a path with you. And leaving those aside who wish to bring negativity into a space that you have nurtured for so long.
There are some really amazing people out there, and then there are some really questionable characters. Courtesy costs nothing and sanity must prevail. I have worked extremely hard for every single inch that I have built up. This year I reached 40 years old, and maybe my age has something to do with it. But I have no qualms in letting someone know if they are completely out of line (in fact, I think I have always been like that). I really feel strongly about bringing only positive energy into the works space, Sure people definitely go through a lot of things, and I have all the time and empathy in the world for sane life issues. But I and most people do not have time for inconsiderate, irrational and rude individuals within the work place or in a social setting.
There are 3 kinds of people:
- Those who know they don’t know
- Those who know that they know
- Those who think they know but they don’t know that they don’t know (the dangerous kind)
Lately I seem to bump into so many of the latter. Peoples words, responses and ideas are definitely proving that the world is going mad. What happened to being conscientious, caring and kind?
Please do not comment on how to run a business if you do not have one! If you do have one, then act like you have one and that would mean that you have a modicum of understanding and respect for rules that have been around for 17 years i.e. Late Cancellations and paying for your classes (I really have to laugh at that one. Pilates can be for free you know!). Please do not put yourself on a pedestal, because you are the only one who thinks that you are there. And this goes for all over, not just in a working environment. You can look at peoples reactions in shops, parents reactions at schools, people in restaurants, millennials absolutely everywhere and it feels like you might be in the twilight zone.
I fear for the future of our children with adults acting out the way they are lately. I was having my nails done the other day and everyone in the shop could hear how RICH the woman who was sitting next to me’s family was. I mean seriously. You are speaking about your rich family to a lady who probably earns R5000 per month. Are you MAD or are you just really not situationally aware? Does someone really need to teach you this?
I really believe that negativity breeds negativity and hence my space stays clear of any negativity at all times. And if I do encounter it, by hook or by crook, I turn it into a positive.
This work place is all about lifting each other up, colleagues and clients alike and in doing so, creating an environment filled with progress and success.
For now I want to leave you with something small: Dare to be different, believe in your own abilities and find the courage to do the unexpected and in doing so always treat others as you would like to be treated!
Moving on-wards and upwards… Moving swiftly along! May sanity prevail….
‘Do every single task to the best of your ability as this will lead you to great places’ Tanya Thompson