I get it.
For many of us, we never really get the chance to step back and look at our business. It can be hard to get a bird's eye view when we're working in our business every day. That's why this month we're going to make a change.
For our February Challenge, you're going to take some time to focus on your studio in a way that you have probably never done before. The idea is for you to get away. Leave your studio. Leave your students. Leave your computer. Leave your phone. Just get away and think about your studio and your goals.
I can see this happening a few different ways, but feel free to add your own interpretation:
Take 3 hours by yourself to focus on your business. Take a notebook with you and head to a park, the library, a coffeeshop, or anywhere that you can hang out for a few hours. It doesn't have to be quiet. Sometimes it's nice to be alone in a crowded room. Maybe the food court in the mall. But here's the catch: you have to get out of your normal routine.
Don't do this in your living room. Or your office. Or your studio. Actually GO somewhere. Put yourself in an unfamiliar place so that you can focus without distraction. It is imperative that you don't have your phone or computer. It's just too easy to get distracted and check Facebook or Pinterest. Or get a good idea that you want to look up on Google. Or a new thing that you can add to your website. This retreat isn't about action or research. It's about thinking. And planning. And dreaming. Allow yourself to do that.
2. Overnight Retreat
Book a hotel room. Go camping. Stay at your friend's lake house for the night. You are giving yourself the gift of time. All of the same rules apply. Don't take technology. Just a simple notebook for you to jot down and organize your thoughts.
The real benefit here is that you have the ability to really let yourself go and get into it without worrying about what you're going to cook for dinner, picking up the kids, or if you double-parked somewhere. You will mostly likely have an entire evening, night, and morning to yourself. How awesome does that sound?
Give yourself space to think through your journey up to this point. How did you get where you are? Where do you really want to be next year? Or 5 years from now? Or 40 years from now? Are you on track to get there?
3. Weekend Retreat
Only for the bold. You are the proud winner of a 3 day, 2 night expedition into your mind. You really get the chance to break everything down here. Think about EVERY SINGLE THING that you do as a studio owner and why you do it. Most of us get into habits and just continue doing things because it's the way we've always done them. Do you sit on the right side of the piano during your lesson? Why? Is it just because your piano teacher did that? What if you sat on the left side? Would it change anything? Is it worth a trial run to see if it has an impact?
That kind of thinking. Literally go through everything that you can think of and question it. Nothing is sacred. Nothing is too small or too large. Does your business name make sense? How about your marketing strategies? Is teaching really something that you want to do for the rest of your life? Should you go back to school or take a business class? What do you love about your job? What should you pass off to someone else so that you can focus more on what you love? GO DEEP.
A few notes...
1. This is a BUSINESS trip. It's going to be easy for your mind to wander and that's ok. Letting your mind chase those thoughts that have been bouncing around for weeks is healthy. But reign them in and get back to the business at hand. Don't let yourself start planning your next vacation, or wondering about your kid's homework, or meal planning for the next week. Acknowledge the thought. Maybe even keep a separate sheet of paper that you can write all of those things on so that you feel like you've been heard. Then move on and get back to thinking about your business.
2. It's ok to be selfish and focus on yourself for a time. Obviously you don't want to be self-centered ALL of the time but it is extremely healthy to take some time to really get introspective and figure out what you want and what you need. This is going to make you a better person, better teacher, and better business owner. You owe it to yourself to do this.
3. Make it fun. It doesn't have to be all serious all the time. Let your imagination go wild. Dream and plan things that you have no possible way to accomplish. If you had millions of dollars and no limits, how would you set up your studio?
Your thought process will likely differ from mine and you may surprise yourself. You may be super productive and be able to get a lot accomplished in a 3 hour mini-retreat. Others may need a few days to unwind so and really be able to think.
The real purpose here is for you to be able to think through all of the things that you never really get the chance to think through. Who knows what you'll find?