Georgia Burns is one of our superstar instructors at Body Harmonics. Her Pilates work has given her a great life: she has a very full teaching schedule, owns a beautiful condo downtown Toronto, a car and an adorable puppy. She’s been teaching Pilates for 16 years now, travelled across the globe teaching and studying Pilates and she’s also been featured on Pilates Anytime.
Today Georgia will share what worked for her when she was starting out in her Pilates career.
- Give it your all
- “During my training, I didn’t work. I was really dedicated to it. The girls who weren’t so focused were stressed out. Those that did focus breezed through training and got a lot more out of it.”
- Think outside the box
- “After I got Mat certified, I worked on a cruise ship for a year. It was really hard, but it gave me money to live on while I was building a client base.”
- Put yourself out there
- “I emailed people from all over the world and asked about their studios. I’d offer to sub classes, and I asked if I could work out for free. I now have contacts all over the world. Every time I go to New York, I can work out at “Movement of Foot” because of the connections I made doing training hours.”
- Teach anything and everything…
- “Teach as much as you can. For free, for money, for $2 or $100, whether it’s out of your way or in your way. Any private. Any class. Even for free! I made sure I was doing something every day.”
- …then pare down to what you want
- “When I first started teaching in Toronto I was at 12 different gyms around the city. I was teaching at many different levels and doing lots of commuting. I had no car. But after I’d done everything for a while and built a schedule, I could whittle down to what I really wanted to be doing.”
- Set goals for yourself
- “No matter what, my goal was to teach a minimum of 2 hours every day, even if I was teaching for free. I had no other goals for myself. Two hours a day was an achievable goal. I figured that once people got to know me, people would come to my classes and get more privates.”
- Know that it’ll take time
- “The first time I built up a clientele, it took 4 years. When I came back [from some time working in another field], it took 6 months to build back up.” Building a client base happened faster the second time because so many people already knew her from the hard work she put it when she was first building her clientele.
- Take all advice with a grain of salt
- “When I first started and didn’t have my own style, I had a lot of teachers give me advice. ‘Do more of this. Be more calm. Use less slang.’ I tried to take peoples’ recommendations and felt suffocated. As soon as I let it go and made my own style, my job became more passionate, and I became more confident.”
- Ask for what you want
- “If I didn’t cold call or pitch ideas to studio owners, none of my projects would have happened. The worst someone can say is ‘no’.”