Friday, May 21, 2010

Want A Whole New Life? Update

I heard from a friend that my recent blogs, particularly the one below, might have come across as though I was re-thinking my commitment to BodyChance in Sydney? I am surprised to hear that, as I opened this blog by stating how powerfully I remain commitment to staying on my current path.

But if that isn't convincing to you, perhaps this is…

1st Reason
Since I was 20 years old I have done nothing else but study and teach others the discoveries of F. M. Alexander so, 46 years later, so I am not about to stop now! Who's going to employ a 56 year old whose never done anything else but teach AT? Small market eh? I think I could only employ myself!

2nd & 3rd Reasons
I have two compelling and rock solid reasons why I wanted to start BodyChance in Australia - as opposed to just staying in Japan - and those reasons are Angelica and Grace, my two children.

My heart has been moved by how they are blossoming under the influence of Steiner Education. The oldest one, Angelica now in year 5, transformed from a monosyllablatic rock of darkness, to a springy & brightly moving chatterbox. In Japan, without us realising the cause, she had been hiding herself, getting darker and darker. Seeing her now, I can never return her to school in Japan.

So you're stuck with me here! Now, here's the blog that worried folks…

Want A Whole New Life?

Those who follow my blog know that I am public about the raging furnace of my aggregated consciousnesses. Recently my fire ran low, my embers are just faintly glowing, but luckily my mission is not linked to my emotional weather report. Emotions ebb up and down, enthusiastic one day, despairing the next - not a reliable base upon which to build dreams. So to those who wonder if I falter (?) know that I do not. My vision is not based on how I feel at any particular moment, and if that is how you run your life (?) I suggest you study the discoveries of F. M. Alexander: "When the time comes that you can trust your feeling, you won't want to use it."

My current crisis is precipitated by a number of elements - chief amongst them a loss of clarity. Clarity is power, remember? My vision is to build a company that will render access to Alexander's discoveries to everyone on the planet. I don't reckon I will get the job done in this life, so my sub-mission is to put in place the processes which will make that inevitable.

So part of that plan is "proving" that this can be done. That Alexander's discoveries can be harnessed to the energy of money to bring about global transformation of society. That is the BodyChance mission: To make profits through Alexander Education to bring about positive change in society. Is this a mission that interests you? Then I need you help. It's not something I could ever do on my own.

How could you help me? Well, you need to be in Australia, specifically Sydney. But not absolutely so, because any suggestion, advice, relating of experience or duplicate goals in other places could all feed to each other to create a burring fire again.

Japan is proving that Alexander discoveries are attractive to ordinary consumers - how it goes there we will see (we have yet to make real profits) but the prospects are looking good. But it is easy for people to say "Oh, Japan is a special market - you could not do that in the West." So enter Sydney. If I can build Sydney to mirror the success of Tokyo/Osaka (yes, we have two hubs of expanding activity in Japan now) then I have created a blue print to repeat this again and again: London, New York, Seattle, Z├╝rich, Boston, Brisbane, Paris etc. etc. As my lama says: "Think Big. Big love. Big life."

So Sydney is critical to realising the bigger vision: if I fail there, all I am is a loud wind bag of hallucinogenic proportions, blowing foul air on the truths of human society. I could be that, in my worst moments I have been that, but my intuition tells me I am on to something. That this could very well be, THE NEXT BIG THING.

So how can you help me? Well, I'm getting there…

How do I make a success of Sydney? This is the question I have been asking myself, posing a differently shaped question and receiving various advices on an almost daily basis. So the obvious place to look for an answer is within the current success of Japan. Well, those who follow DIRECTION know that a new issue just came out where I penned a 3,000 word article explaining just that - so I won't try to repeat all the insights I gained again here.

The essence comes down to this:

1. Create a product (cost, convenience, content) that solves a problem;
2. Market it to people who can afford it.
3. From that market, build a Professional Course (ProCourse)

In Japan the statistics tell us that of every 100 people who book into our one year Ippan Course (for weekly lessons in group or individual) 10% of them will upgrade themselves into the ProCourse.

So THAT'S how you can build, and sustain, a successful BodyChance Alexander Technique Teacher Education Course.

Except there's one problem - resources. To build that in Sydney I need:

1. A full-time studio in Sydney's CBD, or some other central location. (Expensive)
2. Teachers to teach, who understand BodyChance AT Education (chair and table NOT)
3. A full-time administrator (expensive)

All this equals Working Capital, which I do not have. Now if you are beginning to think "Oh, this guy wants to me to give him some money…" then you are wrong. I don't. (Although if you want to invest, you can always let me know!) No, it's not money I want - it's energy: in the form of relationships, skills, networking - but I get ahead of myself.

So what do you do if you don't have working capital? You build a cash flow business. You get enough clients who pay into the business so you can use that income to build the business. This is the approach I am currently taking. However, this approach means I can not open the Studio in Sydney (yet), I can not build the market that will sustain the school longer term.

Although I have a vital lesson to learn from Japan, I can not apply this lesson in Sydney! It's the money, stupid. Longer term, when Sydney succeeds and Japan is turning over real profits, THEN I can ask other people's money. But right now, I have to "prove" that the BodyChance methodology of monetizing Alexander's discoveries is a valid, doable model.

So - that (finally) brings you to my current dilemma: if I can not build the ProCourse Education on the base of larger Ippan (Public) education - the studio, the central location, the one year course - then how do I build it?

Actually, this is not only my problem. This is a problem that any AT Teacher Education school has. And the sad fact of the matter is: none of them do it very well. The anecdotal evidence is that AT Schools the world over are struggling at various levels. Oh dear - so am I barking up the wrong tree? Maybe. But I have not given up yet.

What I have given up, which is a huge relief, is the idea of building the Ippan (Public) Education Programme any time soon. My goal is to first build the ProCourse Education. Now I have 7 people (or is it 5 as two people need to tell me if they plan to continue or not) and this creates a cash flow of about $15,000. Not much - it certainly doesn't cover the costs. I subsidise the school from my own personal funds at present. These are the true facts that a vision is born from. I am having fun doing all this, but there is never ending risk and surrender necessary to move ahead. If you wonder if you could do this yourself (if you are not already) then that may be your answer. There is not much that is "safe" about this path. Every day is an unknown, but that is why I like it so much. It means living the work in everything I do.

So - here I am grappling with this question: who is going to want to join BodyChance ProCourse Education? Where are they? How can I reach them?

I planned to get much further than this with my blog today, but I have run out of steam. How can you help me? Well, start by giving me your answers to those questions. Tell someone close to you about BodyChance in Sydney (if you can). Come an experience a free introduction with me if you live in Sydney (or close by). Go to this link to book your place:

If you want it for free, enter BODYCHANCE into the coupon box, so instead of costing $49, it costs $0. That's a simple, effective way you can help me right now.

Who knows - your life may never be the same again!

Wouldn't that be fun?

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