You Have to Start Somewhere
"I am brave, fearless, bold, and strong. 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline."
These are the words on huge 16x24 picture that sits right above my desk. It ain't all that pretty (because I made it myself) but it does what I mean it to do, every time I look at it.
It reminds me to "do it anyway".
You see, one of the things that I struggle with in my piano lesson business is fear. I know that's kind of a weird thing to admit, but its true. Let me give you some examples of things that I have been afraid of in the past:
1. I'm afraid to do a P&L statement for my business because I'm not sure how to do it and I'm not sure I even want to see what I'm really earning each month.
2. I'm afraid to start that preschool class because what if no one shows up? What if it is a lot harder than I think or my clients don't like it?
3. I'm afraid to accept adult clients. What if I can't please them and they end up quitting?
And then there are the things I'm afraid of right now (how's that for being honest?):
4. I'm afraid to advertise on Instagram. I don't really know how to use it and I'm afraid it won't work.
5. I'm afraid to start that second preschool class. What if now one shows up? What if it is a lot harder than I think? (hmmm, that sounds familiar).
6. I'm afraid to write more content. What if nobody thinks that what I'm writing is worth reading?
Maybe these fears are wisdom in disguise. Maybe these fears are me being a chicken liver and just afraid of my own shadow. I don't know.
But here's the thing, Piano Teacher Friend. We have to start somewhere.
That first P&L that I was afraid to do? Well, I googled "how to do a simple P&L" and I copied it. Then I plugged my numbers in and did the calculations. It seemed simple enough so I pulled up more resources so I could really understand it. Over time, I reworked my P&L and now it is an awesome tool I use to evaluate my business on a monthly basis.
That first preschool class? Well, I made a few flyers, and contacted a friend in the local MOPS and asked if I could distribute them there. I held my breath and hoped some people would call. On the first day, I knew of only two kids that were "probably" going to be there. Four kids showed up. I liked it, the parents liked it, and, through word of mouth, it has grown to the point where I'm thinking about expanding to a second class (hence, fear #5).
As for accepting adult clients? I just did it. As adults called to sign up for lessons, I nervously said yes and started teaching them. My first adult student was a 79 year old woman who had been playing the piano for decades (I was 21 years old at the time). She found the lessons from me to be valuable and she didn't quit. Now twenty plus years later, I LOVE giving lessons to adults - they are a blast!
I tell you these stories to encourage you in this: start somewhere. Whether it is a google search you need to do, or a flyer you need to make, or that first adult student you need to teach, just start.
Don't worry. It won't be perfect. You WILL make mistakes, but more importantly, you WILL learn as you go.
So, Piano Teacher Friend, what are you afraid of? What do you need to just start? Even if you don't have it all figured out, even if you aren't sure it will really work, even if you are completely freaked out about it.
Just start somewhere. You'll be glad you did.