Chances are, when you opened your studio, you felt tremendous passion for what you were doing. Every day was fueled by your love of fitness, desire helping people or determination to take control over your own professional destiny. You were so devoted to training, boxing, dancing, cycling, yoga or other fitness disciplines that you not only made it your life’s work, but you took on the risk of investing in your own business.
The excitement and promise of opening the doors to a new studio can quickly diminish when you start to spend a lot of your time competing with other studios for clients, managing and paying your staff and obsessing over class attendance numbers.
Business owner burnout can happen for even the most enthusiastic fitness entrepreneur. It is critical to your personal happiness and your professional success to keep your passion alive.
If the love lights for your studio flicker on occasion, try some of these ideas to get your passion back.
Take a Time Away
Distance makes the heart grow fonder, so, try taking a break — both physically and mentally — from your business. By making space between you and your business, you will create room for fresh ideas and passion to come back into your life in unexpected ways.
Find a New Passion
This doesn’t mean shut down your studio and pursue a new profession. Getting your engines revving again with something new can be an effective first step out of your professional doldrums. Have you always wanted to try skydiving? Travel to Thailand? Start a vegetable or flower garden? Write a memoir? Now may be the time to do it. Discovering a new passion will give you a burst of energy that you can bring back to your studio.
Identify Your Professional Hero
Think about all the people in your industry who you admire. Maybe you have always looked up to your first yoga instructor or maybe you are a Tracy Anderson devotee. If you admire someone in your own life, reconnect with that person to learn more about his or her professional journey. Or, if you admire someone you’ve never met and cannot easily access, read up on their story. Connecting with others who share your passion can fan your flames.
Help Someone Else Do What You Love
Acting as a mentor or teaching aspiring instructors can renew your love of fitness. Sharing your expertise to help someone else achieve his or her goals is both rewarding and inspiring. You may reap similar benefits from spending some one-on-one time with your best instructor or employee. Talk to your staffer about his or her ideas on fitness trends and professional goals. You will find that your mentee’s or employee’s enthusiasm is contagious.
Get Back to Basics
Complete this sentence, “I started my studio because___.” You may have more than one answer, but be specific. If you started your business because you wanted to provide more custom instruction in a group fitness setting, re-examine how you and your instructors are teaching and find ways to re-focus on custom instruction. Maybe you started your business to attract more men to indoor cycling. How can you take that to the next level? Problem solving and finding innovative solutions to challenges that excite you can be invigorating.
Identify Your Strengths
Make more time to do what you are good at every day. By doing the things you know you do well, you’ll increase your feelings of confidence and accomplishment. Conversely, make a list of all the things you are unhappy doing and delegate them to your staff, if possible. [link to Power of Delegating article]
Tune Out Technology…Temporarily
Emails and texts are very convenient, but they can be a productivity killer. Constant starts and stops are stressful and can leave you feeling like you haven’t accomplished anything by the end of the day. Designate phone-free and tablet-free time in your schedule. You’ll feel less stressed and more focused if you don’t try to answer all your emails or respond to all your texts immediately. You can use this increased focus to work on aspects of your business you find fulfilling.
Make it a habit to focus on all the positive things your studio has brought to your life. Even if your day is booked from early morning to late at night, take just a few minutes to consider the following:
- What do you have that someone just starting out in the fitness industry would kill for?
- What do you have that you didn’t a year ago?
- Who has come into your life through the studio and changed it for the better?
The answers to these questions can help you appreciate your business and bring back your warm and fuzzies.
Take More Classes
It may seem paradoxical, but you might need to get more exercise. Like any other relationship in your life, there is a real potential for a love/hate dynamic to develop between you and your business. The day-to-day conflicts and stress of running your studio can stir up anxiety and burnout, making it difficult to love your business at times. Exercise increases your heart rate, which in turn pumps blood faster and clears toxins from system. This helps you feel better about yourself and your studio. Anxiety is another key symptom of burnout that you can overcome through exercise.
Start a New Project
Like going out and buying a new outfit (or lingerie) for a big date night, reignite your passion for your studio by sprucing it up. This could mean painting your studio, buying new furnishings for the reception area [link to article on High End, Low End Design] or even investing in a new sound system. If you’ve recently renovated or don’t have the resources for a makeover, try freshening up your class offerings. Change up your typical routine and playlist in the classes you teach. Or, try creating an entirely new class concept.