Piano Teacher: Quit Yer Complainin'
I was reading this morning, a little bit of "me" time, which was flat out the bomb diggidy, when I came across this thought that really kind of ticked me off . . . here goes:
Every circumstance you complain about is something you can change, but you won't.
I wrestled with that a bit, and I don't necessarily feel that is entirely accurate across the board. I've lived enough decades to know that there are some situations that you have come up in your life that you cannot necessarily change. A cancer diagnosis, a job loss, or any other number of things come up that we can't change, but definitely react to by complaining (among other things).
But let me re-word that thought just a bit, and apply it to a piano lesson business.
Every circumstance in your business [with a client, with resources, etc.] that you complain about is something you can change, but you have chosen not to.
Think about it. What are the last few things you have complained about recently?
That client always pays late.
I'm having trouble coming up with good material.
No time to take care of bookkeeping.
My student schedule feels crazy.
Now, just for the fun of it, and because we're pals here, I'm going to rewrite those same complaints but with solution after it. Fair warning, you might now like this ....
That client always pays late. My income is important enough for my attention. I'm going to make sure I have a solid late payment policy, have an up front conversation with the client, and then give them a chance to make it right. If they don't, I will let them go from my roster.
I'm having having trouble coming up with good material. There are great ideas I can find out there. I'm going to set aside thirty minutes at the end of every lesson day to do some research online, checking out blogs and other websites. I will take careful notes and then schedule time to purchase or create the material I've found.
No time to take care of bookkeeping. Bookkeeping is not difficult if I keep up with it. Every Saturday morning, for 45 minutes, I will sit down with my books and attendance sheet and figure out where I am following that week's lessons. One the first Saturday of each month, I will add an extra hour to that for filling out my P&L sheet from the month before.
My student schedule feels crazy. My schedule is up to me. I will sit down and carefully brainstorm how I can tighten up my student schedule -- as many students on a single day as possible, back to back. Then add days from there. If necessary, I will do the necessary hard work of going to the effort of shifting certain lessons that are not compatible with my newly designed schedule.
Whew! Now, if you're like me, I really, really prefer to complain rather than solve my own problem. It's well, easier.
But, I'm going to challenge myself and challenge you, pick one thing you've been complaining about and deal with it. If its going to be a big fix, or a complicated solution, map out the steps you are going to take to fix it over the next couple of weeks.
The beauty of this is that, as you fix one thing, you gain the internal motivation to fix another. And, before you know it, over time, you have transformed your business radically -- one fix at a time.
Give it a try. Decide one thing you are no longer going to complain about, and instead, choose to fix it. You'll be glad you did.
Now, I'm going to rewrite