Today’s Topic: How to Make a Change
I consistently get messages and emails from people that want to make changes in their martial arts schools but are afraid to do so.
They “fear” that they will lose students if they make a change. Or, they “fear” they cannot afford to make an investment in their business.
The important thing to know is that the word FEAR, as it applies to change, has two responses:
- Fear Everything And Run!
- Face Everything And Rise!
(If you look at fear at #1, then fear also means for you: False Evidence Appearing Real.)
For example: let’s look at parents that complain if you change your schedule to add more classes.
One parent says something like: “I can’t make that time because Johnny has piano lessons. I also know a few other parents that can’t make that time either.”
You automatically think that EVERYONE has piano lessons, because a few parents feel “inconvenienced” so they rally as many of their friends behind their resistance.
Your options are:
- You decide NOT to change your schedule (response #1).
- You realize that this is not YOUR fear, but the parents FEAR, and you rise-up to address your choice (response #2).
If you choose #1, then you will stay the same and your growth will be limited.
Here’s how choose #2, and do so successfully:
First off, realize that this is the parents’ fear, and not yours.
Yes, their child may have piano lessons, but their friends that are rallying behind this parent most likely don’t have a real problem with the change, except for the concept of change itself.
They “fear” that you are making the change for your OWN personal gain, and think that you do not value them as a customer.
To help them overcome their fear, simply address their concern by explaining how this change is going to make their child’s training even BETTER.
Here’s a sample response:
“I understand that some of you fear the new schedule currently doesn’t work for you as it may be more inconvenient. I don’t like to be inconvenienced in my daily schedule either, so I don’t blame you! However, I also know that if something is going to be better for my child, then I’ll make a sacrifice. This new schedule will enable us to break down classes to be more age-specific so that we can target our students stage of development even more, which means that your child will actually become even BETTER, and FASTER!
Let’s break down the above paragraph:
In the first sentence: I use the word “fear” as I want them to realize that this is a feeling that can be changed. I also use the words “currently doesn’t work” as this is a situation that can also be changed.
In the second sentence: I show empathy so that they understand I am taking their feelings into consideration.
In the third and fourth sentences: I explain why this change will ultimately make things better.
Of course, we all have those parents that will still complain, and I personally would let them go because they are usually the parents that give me a hard time anyway.
I am NOT going to let a parent (or two) force me into a “fear” that prevents me from making changes that help move my business forward.
I also know that although I may lose a few students, I’ll also gain a lot more students.
For starters I can now use “age-specific” as a unique selling point.
Secondly, I also know my retention will be better because the results will be better.
Thirdly, I know I’ll get more referrals because the parents will see the results.
Let’s look at another “fear” that prevents most people from making a change:
You want to invest in software, but you cannot afford it.
(I’ll plug Rainmaker because I am familiar with their software, and this month alone I’ve generated over $1k from their profit generators, which is a ROI of over 500% in one week.)
Your overhead is $5k per month, but your school only generates $6k, and you live off that $1k profit per month to feed your family.
Adding another $197 to your budget means that you need to eat noodles every night for the rest of the month, right?
If you say yes, then this is: False Evidence Appearing Real.
There are MANY ways that you can start generating new income IMMEDIATELY using their profit generators!
One example is a Facebook special for 50% off your trial program.
Simply make the offer ridiculous, and follow all the tips that you gain from this forum, and before you know it, the income from your trials will pay for the software! (Not to mention all of the new students you’ll gain!)
This topic also goes for any “fears” you have for teaching on the mat too.
For example: You’ve seen the results that people are having with game-based learning strategies, but you are an old school instructor that fears the change will chase your students away.
(Now, before all the old school instructors start commenting about their lineage and why they will NEVER run games in their class, this part of the article is not for you, so please disregard this part;)
Here’s a fact: MOST people learn BEST through play. (If you don’t believe me, Google it.)
Here’s another fact: MOST of the new generation of instructors have MORE fun when they are teaching game-based learning strategies, and have a HIGHER job satisfaction. (This leads to more dedicated instructors, higher retention, etc.)
Let’s take an example that I see all of the time: You implement game-based learning strategies into your classes that have been very traditional. Several parents approach you and compare your new classes to a “romper room.”
You automatically think that your school is going to fall apart because a group of parents are in an uproar.
Again, it is their fear, not yours.
The parents see their kid playing and don’t see the underlying benefits of this new teaching strategy.
Scientists have proven that games activate more neurons in the brain (neural firing), which in turn enables new connections to be wired (neural growth), which in turn can enable the brain to process and retain information faster (fluid intelligence).
(I can go on and on about the many benefits or game-based learning, but that’s a whole other article.)
The point is, for every change that you want to make in there is a “fear” and a “response.”
So if you want to make a change in your business (or life) that will make things better, you have to have the mindset to address the “fear” of change HEAD-ON by Facing Everything and Rising up!
Hope this article helps you face your fears in a positive and productive manner!
Conquer the day,