“I can’t get into the schools around here…” If I’ve heard that once, I’ve heard that a thousand times. I’ve also seen owners build great relationships with their local public and private schools.

In virtually every case, the reason the owner was able to partner with the school was that he or she simply approached the principle and said, “I’ve been in this community for XX years and have been teaching martial arts, self-defense and life-skills for XX years as well. What can I do to help you to help these kids?” That’s it.

I’m prompted to send this because I had a nice conversation with MATA member Aaron Wayne-Duke in Galesburg, IL. (MartialArtsGalesburg.com) Last month, he approached a local alternative school for 12-18 year olds that are dropout risks. Some have parents who incarcerated and all of them need caring leadership and discipline.

Aaron approached the principle with pretty much the same script outline above. Not only did they jump on the offer, they carved out $900 for a six-week contract and are already placing him in the budget for next fall. Did I mention he teaches just one class a week? Did I mention he doesn’t have a Masters in Education? He’s a veteran black belt just like you.

You will never succeed sitting behind your desk and checking Facebook. You have to get out and shake some hands. Make it your goal to get in front of an audience for a speech or demo at least once a month. Set appointments to meet principles and administration of the local school. Approach a real estate office with a safety seminar idea. Promote and teach a self-defense class for teachers.

You advertise that you teach confidence. Now is the time to tap into that confidence and make this year a year of action.

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