Case Study 1:
flutist & educator
Part I – Why choose coaching?
Before I did coaching, I had this thought in the back of my mind that coaching is cheating – of course, it's not! Maybe that came from some weird pride that doing things yourself is good, which I don’t really believe, but it was in there! I know as a teacher that if my students try to learn flute by themselves it is only going to go so well. Having someone to help guide you is always going to make things easier.
Every time I talked with Shanna in the discovery and sample sessions, there were so many things that blew my mind and helped me see new perspectives. It seemed very obvious to me that if I was seriously coaching I would be able to make some big things happen.
With the way my studio was growing, I knew there were mindset and structural business shifts that needed to happen and if I didn’t do this now, I would have to undo things later. So it was a no brainer and any fears I had about investing in coaching disappeared.
To do coaching you have to want something to change in your life. So you have to be ready and willing to make those changes, and also ready to be uncomfortable and face yourself. For myself I did my best to be open to everything, and there has been so much that has changed for me because of working with Shanna.
Part II – Here's What Happened
I was DIYing my business structure and I was growing steadily. It was almost ok, but I realized I was reaching an income plateau and my structure wasn’t ideal for growth. I didn’t know how to approach changing the structure and raising my rates.
I thought I was making lessons really personalized by basing my approach on where a student was when they came to me. I was going down to the level of where they were. For ex: If their commitment level was low, I thought I had to accept it. It’s so tempting to do things based on what we think other people want – trying to please them.
Breaking Open and New Perspectives
My whole perspective has changed. I realized that speaking up for my own needs with love and kindness is important for me and my students, and I can still serve them powerfully even if not everyone is happy a hundred percent of the time.
I’ve shifted my mindset to approach teaching as a leader and leading in a way that allows personalization for the student while owning my own expertise with clear boundaries and holding a larger vision for them and the studio. With a more specific purpose and structure, I can help students achieve more than they thought possible. This feels very empowering and so much more exciting.
One of the biggest breakthroughs is the way that I speak and interact with people, both clients and everyone else. I’ve learned that when I speak and act from a place of integrity, other people’s emotional response or reaction is not my responsibility or problem.
That’s really hard as someone who has people-pleasing tendencies because it feels consistently wrong to make people unhappy. So being able to separate myself from other people’s reactions feels empowering and freeing. I feel more in charge of my own thoughts and actions because I can do my best and know that I can’t control the way people respond to the information I’m giving them.
Nitty Gritty Details
Structurally it’s been very exciting to have a studio class and workshops for my students. When we met for the first time, it felt purely magical. It felt so nice to have everyone together. Since starting studio classes and workshops, we've built a sense of community in our studio which is continuing to be a great source of learning. I'm meeting up with 2 local adult students soon to facilitate flute duets since they've never played with others before!
Financially I was able to make bigger changes than I expected. I would have eventually raised my rates, but it happened a lot faster with coaching support because I felt confident about the changes I was making. I increased my income by 140% in the first quarter of this year, and I project a 200% increase by the end of 2022 compared to 2021.
A lot of our industry has a belief that it’s hard to charge more, or they’re afraid of being above the average rate – I used to feel like that too. I think it’s important to understand that we each get to decide what we’re worth and want to charge for ourselves. Everyone deserves to be paid enough to be comfortable.
Setting strong boundaries in terms of attendance policies and establishing a flat monthly tuition rate are my favorite logistical parts of the whole change. The firm policies I now have in place allow me more freedom and have given me peace of mind as a business owner. Even though I lost 3 students in December when I made the changes, I gained 4 students in Jan/Feb who are wonderful fits for me and my studio.
Not only do I feel significantly more protected financially, I have more freedom to do what I need to do – like taking 2 days off from teaching to go to a wedding without it affecting my income.
I feel like I have a lot more tools to figure out different situations that could come up, and I feel very excited for different projects I want to do and the different possibilities for my business. I’m also beginning to expand into passive income/digital products (scale book!). I have a better understanding of being an entrepreneur now!
Part III – Wrap Up
Coaching has been really great. Going in I had an intuition telling me I should do this, and it was right. I can’t thank Shanna enough for everything that has happened. It has really helped me so much. I would have gotten here eventually, but I don’t know when that would have been. The fact that I could get my purpose together so much quicker and so much stronger has been invaluable. Shanna really is the best, I can’t say that enough!
I feel a lot more secure in what I’m doing, the reasons I’m doing it, and also practically because I’m a lot more financially secure. These have always been my goals, and in the past it’s felt like I was kind of on the path but not there yet. Now I feel like I'm already in the process of being there.
If I hadn’t done coaching I don’t think I would have made these changes so soon because I didn’t feel ready – and of course, that’s not true, I was! The work I did with Shanna helped me remember how creative I can be in business.
Feeling this free is so empowering! It feels like there’s no limit to what I can do anymore. There are so many possibilities and I’ve been soaking in abundance.
Check out Ali's website for more info on her work!