Then What Are You Waiting For?
Today’s post is more of a pep talk than a tutorial. I’m writing this today for those of you who have been reading my blog and newsletter faithfully for months or even years, but who have yet to start a martial art school.
My question to you is – what are you waiting for?
The reason I bring this up is because recently a martial arts instructor reached out to me for assistance with his business plan. I’m incredibly busy with revising and updating my core products and relaunching Small Dojo Big Profits, but I agreed to speak with him because he seemed to be stuck.
We spent about an hour going over his current situation. In short, he has everything in place that he needs to open his school; instructors to help him teach, plenty of help from family and friends, a nice location in a good area that’s nearly ready to go, experience partnering in another commercial school, financing, and a background in advertising that will certainly be of use in marketing his new facility.
Seemingly, everything was in place for this person to have a very successful martial art school launch. And although he told me what was holding him back was getting his business plan together, after about 15 minutes with him I quickly identified the real issue.
The One Thing You Have to Have to Start Your Martial Arts School
Can you guess what the one thing was that he lacked to get started? Turns out it’s something that’s common among would-be entrepreneurs and business owners.
That’s right. Confidence. And, oh how I understand his predicament, because I know how devastating it can be to fail in business.
You see, starting a small business as an independent entrepreneur is at once both terrifying and exhilarating. It’s scary to think that you’re signing your name to an extended lease worth tens of thousands of dollars, spending your own money or borrowing money from someone else to finance it all, paying for equipment and fixtures and marketing…
All knowing that you could very well fall flat on your face, and lose everything. Credit, trashed. Savings, blown. Reputation, diminished. Poof, like that.
But then again, all business entails risk. Didn’t they tell you that in your high school class on entrepreneurship?
Oh, that’s right – they don’t teach you about being an entrepreneur in school. Nope.
That’s where they teach you to play it safe, to go to college, get a degree, find a job that pays well at a big company, get a new car, a house in the suburbs, work your fingers to the bone for the next 40 or 50 years, and retire on your pension or 401(k)… and never gamble or take risks.
Where the Real Risk Is…
Folks, if you bought that line in school, I’m here to tell you they sold you a lie. You have ZERO job security in today’s economy. Corporations don’t care about you; you’re just a cog in a wheel in a very large machine, nothing more than a number, and a disposable one at that. You think getting a government job will provide job security? Think again. Ask the thousands of government workers who have been laid off and furloughed recently how much job security they have.
And you think a mortgage and a car payment aren’t risky, when your job could go up in smoke tomorrow? Try paying for those two new cars and that four-bedroom in the burbs on unemployment. Trust me, it won’t be long before you’re living in your parent’s basement or two-car garage.
And for those of you who are fresh out of school and who can’t even find a job, let me ask you this; do you really want to work for the next 40 years with the ax hanging over your head every day?
Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about, while others of you are still living with your heads in the sand. You want risk? Keep living a life where your financial security rests in the hands of the company’s stock performance, or worse yet some middle manager who is a perfect example of The Peter Principle in action.
I get cold chills just thinking about it. To me, that’s risk. But starting a business? Especially one that has such low initial capital requirements and overhead costs as a martial arts school? Pfft… that’s not risk, that’s a way out.
Stop Waiting for Permission to Succeed
So, stop waiting for someone to come along and give you permission to live the life you desire. Stop waiting for some huge neon sign to appear in the heavens that says, “YOU – YES YOU. START YOUR MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOL. IT’S WHAT YOU WERE MEANT TO DO.”
Uh-uh, that is not going to happen. Moreover, your family and friends are probably not going to give you their approval or support either (because misery loves company). That’s why ultimately it’s up to you and you alone to get off your duff, get the business and marketing information and know-how you need, and get your school started, today.
I suggest you start by reading Small Dojo Big Profits cover to cover, because that will give you all the information you need to get started. (Note: The newly revised and updated version is coming out in just a few weeks, so keep an eye on your email inbox for updates on the launch of the new version of the manual.)
But don’t wait on me to get your school started. Start a martial art school now, and be willing to make mistakes. You see, you’re bound to make them, so why not just get them over with now so you can get on with building the life you want, running a martial art school and living your dream?
Or, you could continue living as a wage-slave, eking out an existence at the mercy of the whims of your corporate masters. At least it feels safe.
And About That Instructor I Spoke With…
By the way, after a 30-minute pep talk my new friend was more than ready to start moving forward on opening his school. I think he realizes the potential reward is more than worth the risk, which is a sure sign that someone has the entrepreneurial spirit necessary to succeed in business. And, I believe he’s going to do just fine once he gets his doors open.
So, if you also needed a pep talk to help you move forward with your plans to start a martial art school, hopefully this post has helped.
I think it was Wayne Gretsky who said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” And that’s just as true in business as it is in hockey. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and take your shot.
-- Michael Massie has owned and operated martial arts schools and fitness studios for most of his adult life. A lifelong martial artist, he is the author of "Small Dojo Big Profits", runs the Martial Art School Alliance International (MASAI) business coaching website, and is the creator of The Self Defense Black Belt Program (TM) and Fighting Fit Boot Camp (TM). For more of Mr. Massie's low-cost martial arts business materials, check out his martial arts business books on Amazon.com.