Thursday, November 08, 2012

What is the Awkward Moment the Holds The Key to Your Business Success? 4th Letter To BodyChance Students


Continuing my series of letters to BodyChance students studying to become teachers of Alexander Technique in Japan, on how they can use this precious time to build a successful teaching career…

SUBJECT: What is the Awkward Moment the Holds The Key to Your Business Success?

Dear Seito-san,

So far I have covered three critical concepts:

1.     An Alexander Technique teacher is a small business owner with passion;
2.     Most people are not interested in Alexander Technique;
3.     Most people are interested in something that Alexander Technique can improve.1.      

I want to get more practical about the third point: it is relates to the Awkward Moment…
  
If you are new to BodyChance, you are surely experiencing an embarrassing moment in class these days. I look at you and ask: “What would you like to explore with me today?” or “How can I help you today?” New students are often puzzled by my question.

In a “normal” school, the teacher decides what you do. Even during my Alexander Technique teacher education in London in the 1970’s, when my teacher asked “What would you like to do today?” I knew there was only two answers: chairwork or tablework. It was a brave pupil who answered: “Hands on back of chair”. But between that, Whispered AH and perhaps a lunge, there was little else I needed to imagine to get my turn that day.

I may have been trained well to be a teacher of Alexander Technique, but as I am tirelessly trying to get across to you – that is not a recipe for a successful teaching career!

Why?

I did not find a healthy, thriving market for people desperate to learn about chairwork, tablework, hands on back of chair, whispered AH or lunge. Somehow, those things never made it to the Sunday Magazine of my local paper. And yet – it was all I knew how to teach. It was all I had to sell. No wonder it took me over 36 years to find real financial success!

Your business starts by your answer to this question: “What would you like to explore?” If there is no answer popping into your head, you’re in trouble. Where’s your passion? Where’s your fascination? Where’s your curiosity?

In my first letter to you, I posed the question: what does it take to make a successful business? The answer was simple:  “Passion.” But that begs the next question: Passion For What?

A lot of people answer “Passion for Alexander Technique.” Oh dear. I hope I have already established with you that there is no healthy market for that. Only about 5% of teachers make it in that market – and they have the job of creating it first. Hard. Will that be you too? Maybe, but wouldn’t you like to improve the odds? Doesn’t 80% chance of success sound more attractive? So to improve your odds of creating a successful career, what do you need to do?

Go deeper. Saying your passion is for Alexander Technique is a bogus answer – it is not truly descriptive. How did you, personally, benefit by having sessions? You have passion for “something” that Alexander Technique supported or improved. What is that “something”? 

Make a list, a list that suggests things you are curious about, things you want to use Alexander's Discoveries to explore. Do this, then resolve that next time I ask you “What would you like to explore today?” you have a dozen answers all clamouring for attention. Get to that condition, and you are on your way to creating a successful career as a teacher of…

What?

cheerfully

Jeremy

PS If you are feeling stuck and want to ask questions, or read some discussions there about my blog, join my circle of friends in FaceBook by putting in a friend request here: www.facebook.com/chancejeremy


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