You Can’t Help the Poor By Becoming One of Them

I have learned that you can’t honestly give yourself to anyone unless your needs are met first. Initially it sounds selfish, but it’s a healthy kind of selfishness. In the safety briefing before a flight, the attendant reminds you to fasten your own oxygen mask before you help someone else. You will be in a much better position to help people in your black belt school if you are grossing $30,000 per month, because you are taking care of yourself first, rather than grossing $10,000 because you are “helping the children.”

The reason you sign the lease, risk your money, risk lawsuits, risk losing everything is not to help the children. The reason is to build wealth for your family.

This is a key mindset, and the top black belt school owners are crystal clear on it.

The purpose of your school is to build wealth for your family and to maintain a career in the martial arts. You accomplish this by becoming the best teacher in your town and having a strong business system to support your teaching, so that you can reach and help more people. You create wealth by helping people.

Imagine you are the owner of a television network. You don’t take a risk like that just to have shows that will help the children. You offer some educational programs in the public interest and others that are pure entertainment. But you bought the network to create wealth for your family. You do that by hiring the best talent, equipment, and programming possible.

This is especially true when you have a family. It’s simply not fair to drag your spouse and children through the life of a martial artist if you are not going to build a future for them.

The purpose of launching your martial arts business is to send your kids to good schools, to provide your spouse with a feeling of security and certainty that things are going to be OK financially and to give you the opportunity to retire in dignity. You accomplish this by being the best martial arts school owner and instructor in your town. Once you adopt this attitude, business becomes less stressful, because it’s easier to make decisions when you have Clarity of Purpose.

Chase your passion but don’t chase away profits or your families’ future doing so.

As Abraham Lincoln put it, “We can’t help the poor by becoming one of them.” I heard one of my mentors, a plastic surgeon, speak on the phone with a patient who asked for a discount or payment terms. He said, “Miss, this is how I earn my income. You can make payments and, when they are all done, we can do the surgery; otherwise, we’re going to have to wait until you can afford it.” That is Clarity of Purpose. Plastic surgery, like martial arts, is a choice.

Western society will never take martial arts seriously as a business, activity, or potential career if we all live hand to mouth. How can you teach the success life skills so popular today if you have never experienced success as a teacher? Would you want someone to teach you how to run a martial arts school who has never even owned a business, much less a martial arts school? I hope not.

Cardinal Rule –Never sacrifice the needs of your family for your students.

The most successful school owners are crystal clear that the purpose of their school is to build wealth for their families. Create profit – not poverty – from your passion.

What is Your Professional Brand?

A classic branding story involves a letter being mailed and successfully delivered to the Playboy mansion in Chicago in the early 1960s. The envelope had no address on it; the only thing on the envelope was the iconic Playboy bunny logo. That is branding.

Hugh Hefner is a master of branding personally and professionally. While Donald Trump, Steve Jobs, and Richard Branson all have powerful professional brands, Hefner effectively wove his personal and professional brands together.

Professional branding is the communication of what a client or customer will experience when interacting and, hopefully, doing business with your company.

Branding is not about pleasing everyone in every case. Wal-Mart has a brand that is totally different than Nordstrom’s. They sell plenty of the same items, but the experience in each is totally different. Apple’s OS X and Microsoft’s Windows operating systems are both successful, but they have completely different brands and fans.

• Professionally designed marketing materials (logo, stationery, ads, etc.)

  • Professional Website with Mobile
  • Cleanliness of your facility
  • Level of client or customer service
  • Consistency of your marketing on and offline
  • Consistency of colors and look on and offline
  • Consistency in how your staff treats clients
  • Updated bio

• Updated professionally shot headshot

As with personal branding, your professional brand is loud and clear every day. Take control of that message and build a brand you can be proud of.