Teaching Series: 7 Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs (that Pilates Professionals should consider)

When you start thinking about entrepreneurship, you already have achieved the right mindset. You’ve already come to certain decisions, sometimes unconsciously, about where you want to take your practice. With your Pilates or Physiotherapy education in hand, you are clear that this what you want to do. Now comes the moment when you think about setting up your own Pilates studio or physical therapy practice. Or perhaps you want to travel and work internationally. Regardless, you take the first step in your entrepreneurial career by asking one question: “am I ready to open my own Pilates business?”

You begin to seek a new goal: to live off of what you love doing. This is good news (even if it makes you nervous).

In addition to having a clear objective, one should adopt better habits. Ridding yourself of unhealthy habits can be the first step in kick-starting your entrepreneurship. Stephen Covey, in his book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, describes a series of habits of personal improvement through which full effectiveness is attained. These seven habits are, or can be, a philosophy of life. Check this brief summary of them:

  1. Being proactive: You need to take the initiative.

A proactive person is aware that their actions have brought them to where they are. The proactive person also projects where they want to be. You can recognize a proactive person because this is the kind of person that says, “I am here as a result of the decisions I made, but tomorrow I want to be over there.”

  1. Eyes on the prize: Keep your efforts focused on your goals.

Keeping focused on your goals may mean finding alternative paths. You’ll often find the plan in your head is just the first of many to be thought up. There are many people who do not believe in the Law of Attraction, but if you want something and do nothing to make it materialize, no matter how much you want it, it will not be fulfilled. If you are always thinking about negative things, you cannot focus on what you do want.

  1. Put first things first: Prioritize your time.

One of the most common challenges people face is prioritizing and dividing up their time. To be really effective, you must put on top what is really important. Ah! And of course completing actions is crucial. This seems obvious, but at times it is really difficult to finish certain tasks! When you review the tasks at hand and deem them important, do them!

  1. Think about the win-win.

Often in our society, the philosophy of I win, you lose is what is prevalent. Since we were children playing games at school or taking part in sports, we want our team to win which means the other team loses. To be an effective and compassionate person you must understand that there are enough opportunities for everyone and the success of one person does not mean the failure of another.

  1. Seek first to understand, then seek to be understood.

This is a favorite quote of ours and one of our core mottos. This habit implies another paradigm shift: we are quick to make assumptions about a situation, which can often be wrong. Learning to listen and understand others from their point of view, taking into account their interests and motivations without any preconceived assumptions can aide in truly understanding your friends, colleagues, customers and family. Sometimes you need to agree to disagree, but you must do this from a place of understanding and compassion instead of anger or mistrust.

  1. Synergy represents the relationship between each of the parts with the whole, where the total result is always greater than the sum of the parts. Building up this habit involves teamwork, mutual trust and can generate creativity and innovation. If you want to be the best, surround yourself with the best.
  2. Sharpen the saw: commit to self-renewal and self improvement in each of life’s areas through the rekindling of knowledge, skills and aptitudes.

Sharpening the saw means that if we only use it without sharpening it, surely the time will come when it can not cut any more. The blade becomes dull as do we when we don’t invest in ourselves. This is related to one of Joseph Pilates’ philosophies regarding the balance between work, rest and play. We need to maintain balance in our lives and as much time and energy as a new business needs. It is important to take care of yourself by getting rest when you can and some sort of recreation or play.

Are you still thinking about opening your own studio? Start by changing some of your habits!

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