Thursday, October 11, 2012

Interlude I: insane little raves



Time for a little interlude from my serious series – it takes me too dam long to write them! So instead I will bring you up to date with the BodyChance business in Japan. Most of what I am sharing here, I have learnt through running BodyChance.

I wrote a long article in DIRECTION about how BodyChance evolved in Japan, so I won’t repeat that here again. However I will say that it is a wonderful business to be in. First thing to understand about building a corporation based on the discoveries of F. M. Alexander – you are playing a long game. And the core of your game is constructing an economic engine called an "Alexander Technique Teacher College." Why? Well, for an AT corporation to grow, well trained AT teachers are necessary! And lots of them. In last week's report it was recorded that BodyChance had 99 registered members (we call them members, not students, in Japan). It took me a long time - 13 years - to build up to that number.

For a student, it is a major life decision to start going to BodyChance. It costs around $40,000 to train, and takes a minimum of 4 years to complete. Some students take double that.

So this path is hard for students, but it is also hard to build and run a college like that. That is why building an Alexander corporation in any country is a long, expensive game. It is no wonder no-one has successfully built an economic engine based on Alexander's discoveries. Why?

Because there is nothing quick about the spread of Alexander’s discoveries. I think it is like a software install for the human brain. Each person needs to individually download his/her own version, and that takes time. There’s nothing quick about incorporating Alexander's Discoveries of human movement into your every day life brain control.

Alexander's Discoveries (all together, one after the other) are akin to an “internet” mystery: what kind of  business is this? What do we do with it? How do we monetarize it?

For me, questions like these have lingered around Alexander’s body of work since the first lesson was given in 1894, a long time ago now. 5 years before Marj was born.

These days I am learning that I am already getting too old to build an Alexander business from the ground up in a new city, in a new town, in a different country. My plan now is to focus on Japan, but instead of one Studio in Meguro, to find a way to open more Studios around Tokyo. I don’t care if they make no money, it will be enough that they cover their costs.

But from these trees, the fruit will blossom. These are the people who will join BodyChance ProCourse to eventually become the pioneers of a new industry. Slowly, inevitable, it is being built in Japan. I am sure it can be built anywhere.

If you are an enthusiastic person who feels you still have a life ahead of you, then please become my friend on FaceBook (say hi), tell me about your dreams, let’s talk about what is possible…

As usual, I go into these insane little raves every now and again, just so you know I have not forgotten the future.

Good night.

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