Thursday, November 29, 2012

3. Four Short Case Histories of Building an Alexander Technique Business


Last night was a lot of fun. I got together with a clutter of my BodyChance students to explore how to make a successful Alexander Technique career…

One was an actor - he started a blog just two weeks ago specifically for actors. I had written in my blog that actors make great pupils but lousy paying clients - they either have time but no money, or money but no time. Not a good match. He was discouraged. However, I pointed out there is a high end to go to, a place where coaches are needed to support A-list actors get better performances. Cirque du Soleil had actually approached BodyChance for this very thing only a year ago… We decided - that’s where he needs to aim. It suits who he is: it creates a lifestyle he wants.

The second was a woman who has been working in a company all her life: she was just told to retire early. He boss negotiated with head office to give her an extra year - but the clock is ticking. She was in shock, wondering: what is life like when the salary is no longer coming in? She thought about making an Alexander Technique career… “…but I have nothing to give,” she lamented, “I am not a musician or an actor - who wants to learn with me?” So I asked the question: “You have nothing to give - is that true? Really!?” After deep investigation and a few tears, we came to realize that she has a huge niche: office workers! She was a “salaryman” (Japanese term for office worker) for 27 years! Of course she deeply understands the stresses that people in this situation endure in Japan. She started describing to us how since she start studying at BodyChance, she became calmer, productive and happier at work. Nothing to give? We soon pulled that one down!

Next was a student who was about to perform a ballet piece in front of 200 people. “I am going to place an add for my first workshop in the program,” she happily declared “What do you think?” What I thought was this: out of 200 people, there’ll be 160 interested in Alexander Technique if they think it will help with their ballet strain pains, 40 of them will have a schedule that matches her actual dates and 2 might actually book. So what does she want - 160 emails or 2 participants? Better to take out an add offering a free booklet or DVD on her experience with eliminating ballet strain pains in exchange for their name and email. Once you have their emails, you can sell a workshop again, and again, and again…

Next was a violinist who claimed to be “low power” wondering how he can energize himself into making a career. He had just started to study at BodyChance… “Do you learn things in class?” I asked. “So much!” he answered. “Do you share that with anyone?” He looked a little puzzled: “What do you mean?” I answered: “Are you writing about that?” He wasn’t, but we soon made a simple plan that he gets him started using his lessons at BodyChance as fodder for a newly emerging blog niched to amateur violinists, of which there are many in Tokyo.

And so it went on - a practical evening discovering simple ways to develop the skills, day by day, to build a successful career as an Alexander Technique teacher. 

What did you do today to advance your career?

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