Sunday, November 04, 2012

Starting Out 7. Education

This year I will spend $38,000 on my business education. It comes in the form of personal mentoring, online memberships, home study courses and workshops. Without that input, I would not have achieved my current position. Without that input, I could not hope to sustain it. Business development is an ongoing, never ending process of learning.

Sound familiar? Your business is like a garden - every day there is something that needs attention and care. You will not see an immediate effect, but if you patiently and persistently care for it, over time the effects will accumulate, your garden will flourish, and you find it easier and more fun to continue enriching it.

A few years back, a dear friend of mine inherited a large amount of money. He was a dilettante at heart, and decided to look for a business that could “do itself.” He dreamed of throwing his feet up on the lounge, with glass of champagne in hand, while the cash kept flowing in. He found a lady desperate to sell her business (I wonder why?) who offered him a great “discount” if he would take it over “within a month.” Sensing victory, and deluded by his questionable vision, he snapped up this extraordinary “bargain business”, opened up a lavish new office, and spent the next year watching his unexpected fortune whittle away to nothing. He ended up having to sell his house, and is back to juggling credit cards and wondering where next month’s rent check will come from. It’s all our story - I can tell a dozen of my own.

There is no such thing as a business or a practise that will “do itself”. That is also true in the sphere of my own development. When I am paying attention, asking questions, observing and working with myself, my abilities as a teacher develop - because my understanding of my self develops. Alexander Technique teachers understand this - our work is a life-time practise. Great teachers continue evolving to the very end. Why would developing your business be any different? If you stand still, so will your business.

Here’s a simple way to think - ask, what did I do today to develop my business? It can be as simple as absorbing a new idea from a book, having a conversation with a colleague, hey - even reading my blog! Make sure that you keep the topic of your business in your mind. Of course an easy way is connecting with others - that’s why I have a business mentor, attend workshops, learn online and teach others what I learnt. It’s how I stay sharp, it’s how I keep BodyChance on a learning edge.

Alexander Technique is subtle business, that is what I am learning. It has a vast potential, but only for the patient and persistent person. These days I tell my students - if you start thinking about your Alexander Technique practise now, in four years time when you qualify, you can have a starving crowd banging on your door for sessions. In Japan, my vision is building Alexander Technique as a profession that comes with the expectation of success.

It is possible, but every day - take a little step that way. Keep it up. Never give up.

Hmmm. I think I am talking to my Self today. Yes, I am. Thank you for listening in.

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