Teaching Tips and Pitfalls for Educators, Kids Yoga Teachers, and Entrepreneurs
New Teachers, It’s OK to Emulate…
As the Audioslave song goes, “Hey, to be yourself is all that you can do.”
Pros, Get in Your Own Lane!
Just as the early childhood person is characterized by imitation, so is the novice in any career. If you are just starting out in this industry, teaching kids yoga or integrating it into your work as an educator, by all means, emulate your teachers while giving the credit that is due.
However, if you have significant experience, your own way of doing things, and any level of energy and creativity, you have no reason to be following the others. You may think your special sauce isn’t special because it comes easily to you after all these years, but it is.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of seeing what others are doing and wanting to do the same. How cute do their IG photos look, and oh look what's selling on their website…
Do not fall into that trap.
I will say when I first hired my designer and we started creating original images and lesson plans, I did what I saw everyone else do. And I barely sold any! (crowded market, not my true voice...why would anyone want that???)
When I finally saw myself and thought about what I could contribute, I made my most popular products! These have sold circles around the other copycat items and feel like my true gift to this industry. I know the teachers using it are growing and they are facilitating growth in their student base. It was my moral responsibility to share my true gifts rather than pretend and try to fit in. So why did I follow everyone else?
For one, I was heavily influenced when I went to other people’s trainings and conferences. I got scared that what I was doing wasn’t important enough and I convinced myself to try to squeeze into their mold. I did not fit AT ALL.
Why was that problematic? Self-doubt...I can’t be like them so I tortured myself. Anxiety...I tried to be like them and even work with them and I couldn’t because I am a visionary, as you likely are in your own special niche. Pain...I convinced myself they were doing it right and there was no room for me. Maybe I should just quit.
I was inches away from leaving kids yoga in 2015, and then I turned it all around. Since then, I have built the assets that will run my business for the next 5-10 years, assets I can easily expand upon because they are my true message and gift, and people ask for them! (And people ask for me, by name. They would ask for you, too!)
What might you need to do differently if you are stuck in emulation mode? It can start with a little soul searching. Take a peek at the industry and see what you like and don’t like. Consider who you are and what you would do if you had total freedom (because you do.) Consider what people are charging and what you can charge. And go after it.
Feel free to do like your teachers starting out. Stay aware. Practice ritualistically, slowly developing your own way. Look for holes in the industry and opportunities to stand out. Do the market research and see if there is both interest and money there for your gifts, and then own your own path!
I love you all and know how scary it can be to put yourself out on a limb. That is why I privately coach my graduates and community members to make incremental goals. Incrementalism is the way we become great. No such thing as overnight talent. You MUST put in the time. Please reach out if you want to share your story or pursue private coaching with me.
With love and knowledge that there is room for all of us.