Conflicting Goals for Martial Arts Instructors

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When you finally open your own martial arts school, the control factor continues to be an influence. It is important to make follow-up calls to people who have inquired about your school but never joined.  In order to make these important calls, you need to get motivated.

Three o’clock rolls around, and you stare at that telephone, knowing it’s time to start. What do you do? You decide to drive to the printer’s to pick up your martial arts flyers and then shop for business supplies. By the end of the week, you realize you have not made a single call. You figure, “Hmmm. Maybe I need a time management course or to join National Association Of Professional Martial Artists Squared.” So you take your 10th time management course, although time management has nothing to do with it and stacking more boxes on your desk or shelves will certainly not change the outcome. The problem is the control factor.

Think about where you came from and where you are now. You have your martial arts business. People respect you. People bow to you and refer to you with a respectful title like Master. If you make the telephone calls about joining your school, the distinct prospect is that someone will just say no, and you can’t control that. So what do you do? Anything but make that call.

The control factor creates conflicting goals, and it paralyzes you. One positive goal that will improve your life is to grow your martial arts school, and making those calls is an important part of that growth. The other goal to have absolute control of your life prevents you from making those calls. Your goals conflict and cancel each other out.

Guess what? This happens to every one of us. It is the human experience. The key is to recognize it and then overcome the conflicting goals that are causing you to hesitate.

Remember, The Core Dynamics refer to the underlying forces that control the patterns of thought and behaviors that determine who we are. In this case, the underlying force, or Core Dynamic, is the control factor. How you handle the control factor is illustrated by your patterns of thought and behavior.

This is a key point. The most successful school owners have learned to manage the control factor and have overcome their conflicting goals. They realize and embrace the idea of short-term pain for long-term gain. The long-term gain of growing their school is a stronger goal that overcomes the short-term pain of making the phone calls. The reverse is to take the short-term gain of not making the calls and suffer the long-term pain of a struggling school.

The conflict that arises out of the control factor paralyzes most school owners. In a sense, they are now controlled by the control factor, which in truth puts him or her out of control (again). I call it protecting your puddle. I say puddle because that’s as big as your school will get as long as it stays in the comfort zone of control. The owner has done a good job of using the martial arts to grow as a person but is now in a new arena and, instead of breaking through the conflicting goals to continue to grow, he or she hides inside a new box.

Many owners will avoid making those calls by checking their email 20 times or “networking” with another owner who is also avoiding making follow-up calls. The truth is that success only comes from action. While you are taking your 10th time management course, the successful owners are busy making those marketing phone calls.

While you are doing what you can to avoid doing what you need to do, the successful owners are doing it. They are executing rather than planning or studying. Is studying important? Of course it is, but not during business hours or as an excuse to put off executing.

In the classic comic strip Doonesbury, the character Zonker Harris was a “professional student.” He stayed in school as long as possible to avoid entering the real world. I am a lifelong student myself, but I also know it’s easy to justify studying to avoid the real world of execution (here is a helpful rule: Spend at least five times as much time doing as studying).

The most successful school owners have learned to delegate, let go of control and try new ideas without fear of failure. They are not held back by their conflicting goals. They attack every day.