Monday, December 03, 2012

6. The One Decision That Will Decide If You Have Fabulous Success Or Waste Years In Building Your Alexander Business.


In my last two blogs, I covered your relationship with you: how your concepts about money, and belief in your own abilities, both profoundly influence the kind of success you have. This is deep work - it is not about “business strategies” - but more about self-development. This is one of the best kept secrets of business success - the people who truly make success are often seekers of truth. They have to be, because business requires you to understand the laws of nature, just as Alexander Technique does! The real aim is not only to make money, but to come to know your true authentic self.

I don’t mean every person in business is like that - of course not! However, those people who make their own business are usually seekers. They are leaders, because they have to lead their Self. This is one of the joyful and satisfying aspects of building a business as an Alexander Technique teacher - in doing it, you come to know your real self.

However, there is still a tough market out there, and you need a compass to navigate it. A compass guides you, so you need to know the direction you want to go. Sounds like Alexander Technique doesn’t it? In this case, your ‘direction’ is towards a certain kind of person. In business speak we call that “your niche”.

You can not even start to plan your business teaching career until you answer this question: What kind of people do you want to teach? What are these people interested in? Where will I find them? Can I help them? Will they be able to afford my lessons?

Basil Kritzer, a BodyChance full time staff member, found his niche in musicians. However, he started communicating with musicians four months after he started leaning at BodyChance. One day asked me: “How can I get more horn students?” And I answered: “Start a blog.” So Basil started a blog. Every day, or second day since that time, he has written in his blog. So that was in 2008 - 4 years ago! Finally now, he is reaping huge success.

So there’s good news and bad news. The good news is - it can be done. The bad news is - it takes time. Overnight success is always an illusion - whenever you read about that, take a deeper look. For example, everyone thinks pop singer Justin Bieber, who became a world star at 16 years of age, was an “overnight success”. What they don’t know is that Justin started playing drums when he was two years old. He started busking on the streets of Canada at 6 years old, and writing songs at 8. By the time he was 12 years, he was already a famous local busker who could be found every week at the same place singing songs that he had written. Overnight success? Hardly!

Many of my students in Japan look at Basil and say he is a special case. It’s true - what’s special is that he does the work. He writes every day. He has his two websites. He approached magazines and offered to write articles for them. He started a mail mag. He worked, and continues to work, to make his success. There’s no magic, nothing special - just focused, continuous application.

So the right question is: who do you focus on? This is the single, most critical question you can ask. And your answer will determine how successful you are. Basil was lucky, because he didn’t need to ask this question - he already knew his niche - because he was a musician before he came to Alexander Technique. He started with horn players, graduated to wind players and is now courting string players.

There is plenty of room in the music niche. If music and musicians interest you, then you still need to decide where you will start. However, there are also many other niches you can seek out: but which niche? Who will be your students?

For this question, you need expert advise. Make a mistake in your choice, and you can waste years of effort and end up with nothing. It is an incredibly important decision, and you need to be thinking about it now.

Finding out your niche is critical to building your career. Why? Because how you build your career is by building relationships with people. These days, you can build relationships with people through social media (facebook & twitter), through your website, by having a e-zine, by writing a blog. To communicate effectively to people you have not personally met, you need to understand these people. So you choose a niche that you understand. You know their hopes and aspirations, you empathize with their fears and worries.

When you have this empathy, people are attracted to you. People listen to you, they want to become your students. Of course, this also means you need the skill to write. If you are someone who says to your Self “I can’t write” then look forward to tomorrow’s blog…

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