Friday, February 15, 2013

W07.05 Case Studies: Annie Turner in Redruth, Conwell UK. Part One

Annie is a jewel in the Alexander Technique community – one of those rare teachers whose whole life has been basically Alexander. The majority of teachers stumble into this work from other careers, but Annie qualified at the youthful age of 23, and has known nothing since. She writes: “This work seems to be in my bone-marrow now, and no matter how many times I think I could leave it (through lack of income/work,) I can’t and don’t want to.” Annie’s teaching career is going to undergo a complete makeover today – so strap yourself in as you join Annie and me hurtling off the cliff of reasonable behaviour into the vast blue sky of waiting possibilities…

Step 1 – Recognize Success Drivers
Oh Annie – too much grace, not enough grit. You need dollars in your eyes, not crystals in your hand: money never got a word in until Annie had written 1,478 words about her career plans. Finally, finally, in the postscript Annie wrote:

“… one thing I keep realizing I am not saying is the financial part.... Briefly I really, really do have to make this work financially; it is just me on my own.”

And why “briefly” Annie? Isn’t that the problem?

I am not convinced the need for financial success is really impinging your daily actions. If it was, it would appear early on in your career plans: it would be surging up into every idea, shaping every opportunity, continually resetting your decision making process. It clearly is not there, and until it is, I predict nothing will shift. And maybe that’s OK too? It’s worth asking that question. This is true for all Alexander Technique teachers – not just Annie. Do you really want financial success beyond the place you are now? I’ll assume so, and carry on with that premise, but I also think you are doing fine where you are.

Alexander Technique teachers who want to be financially successful need to put making money as their second most important priority, perhaps the first for Annie right now. In Annie’s case, I suspect a feeling lingers that somehow going too directly for money is “dirty.” If so, you are not alone in that feeling – it is quite common amongst people who are struggling financially. I suggest you re-read this blog from the first week of this course on “Success Drivers”. In it I tackle many common myths that perpetuate people’s poverty.

Any teacher who is still struggling financially needs to do this practical exercise: put your prices up. The agonies you will experience while attempting to implement that decision will be worth any loss of income which results – because this process will reveal the beliefs that are shaping your inability to break out of the constraints of your current financial situation, and ultimately lead to more money and greater success as a teacher. So do it.

Or you will discover that this really isn’t that important to you, and stop losing nights of sleep worrying about it.

Annie is believing her income level has got to do with being in Cornwall - being isolated, having a small pool of people available for lessons - but it has nothing to do with that. It has everything to do with the mind that would not let you see the incredible support and opportunities that exist, when you are willing to take the risks necessary to reach them…

Step 2 – Find Your Niche
OK – Annie can write, we all know that. Just scour Facebook and take a look – Annie’s post are legendarily long and profuse, and all are insightful. Annie writes that her niche are people who:

“… desire to see the 'nuts and bolts' of things, how things work, how things inter-relate, those who enjoy the empowerment of taking personal responsibility, those who are awake to curiosity and inquisitiveness.”

Even her nascent website announces “Live Your Truth” This puts Annie firmly into “Human Potentiality” niche which is big enough, quite competitive, and makes some people a lot of money. All good.

So Annie needs to write a book “Live Your Truth” and head off to the talk shows, radio spots, book signings, Metro interviews etc. She needs to make her Self a known national figure.

Step 3 – Location of Community
Under this plan, the location of her niche is all of Great Britain, even Europe. She writes: “I am happy to travel.” OK, then that’s how you make more of your career while living in Cornwall. Go national, and invite people to come to you for residentials in your beautiful space; or let them know you are willing to go to them.

Annie’s community is a head space – those that seek awakening – and the location of this community is accessible through various media, not materially in Cornwall. Annie needs to launch her Self as a National Identity – she can chat with Jennifer Mackerras, who got similar advice from me.

Step 4 – Develop Service Product
Annie loved my idea contained within Eleni Vosniadou’s case study: “Back pain is a mental problem.” OK – you have my permission to write that book. Or another book with an equally catchy title. Annie further expressed her wishes:

“I feel strongly that my ‘title’ is something around The Power of the Word - how the words we use to ourselves and others, and the words we hear produce the unconscious reactions. The AT assists in the ‘waking up’ process and in the release of the reactive tension, but we need to move even further on from that and find the power in changing the words we use; this will really make a difference in each one of us, and thus on the planet.”

Reading this it is obvious that you have a book inside - perhaps many – just waiting to be written. You love words? OK girl, write!

This is the beginning of your new career Annie – you need to become a published author. You need to write the book to attract these people you wrote about…

Step 5 – Put Together Your Team
You need to figure out how to manage your guests as they come to Cornwall – who will meet them, where will they stay, what other kinds of adventures can you offer them? It’s all possible.

Peter Grunwald once shared with me that initially he could not believe people would travel all the way to New Zealand to attend his intensive three week workshop. I mean – come on! New Zealand is on the other side of the world, it’s Lord of the Rings distant! And to take off three weeks! But they did. And they continue to do so. Cornwall’s a lot closer than New Zealand!

There are people seeking what you are seeking all over Great Britain, all over the world – and if they believe you have something precious to offer, then they will walk the ends of the earth to find you. You are already special – none of the people who come to you have had the courage to do what you are doing. That already establishes your credibility and authority.

Step 6 – Build Your List
Your future students will seek out your website – so make sure your book is full of references to worksheets available for free on your website, so you can catch them into your mail list. Be ready for their visits with a rich content of blogs, and a series of auto-responder emails that offer them a chance of attending your residential workshop in the beautiful space you have created in Cornwall.

Alexander is industrial – I love saying that. This is a fine example of exactly what I mean. This dream will not happen in a year - or even two - but you have a whole life ahead, years and years of it, so put the idea into your unconscious, and see what will manifest…

TOMORROW: Concluding Annie Turner case study with Steps 7 ~ 12, and further ways to energize her Service Product to draw people to her in Cornwall.

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CAVEAT: Remember what Alexander said: “They will see it as getting in and out of a chair the right way. It is nothing of the kind.” Is this case-study about the “right way” for Annie Turner to go ahead? It is nothing of the kind. It’s intended to demonstrate a way of thinking, not a set of proscriptions, even when they read as proscriptions! My true intention with these case studies is to provoke you into finding another way to understand the same ideas.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic, Jeremy. This is exactly the kind of thinking that I've been toying with, myself. There is a wealth of information about people on the internet who are doing exactly this kind of thing: writing, creating products, and traveling with workshops, making huge sums of money. There is no reason whatsoever that an AT teacher shouldn't be doing this, too. In fact, it would be good for everyone if we did do this more! Thank you!


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