April 10, 2020

So, Coronavirus is F*cking with your Studio or Career. What Now?

Elephant’s Continually-updating Coronavirus Diary. ~ Waylon


Before I give you some real talk, useful tips, and something amazing for free, I have to start with the Duke: Duke Ellington.

Bandleader, composer, pianist who created all-time classics like “Take The A Train,” “Mood Indigo,” and many more.

In the 1920s, most established composers and musicians scoffed at creating shorter pieces of music that were between 3 and 3 1/2 minutes long. This sucked for them, because the new technology of the day, the 75 rpm record, could only hold 3 1/2 minutes of music per side.

Duke Ellington realized the potential of this new medium, and its ability to broaden his reach, so he stepped out of his comfort zone, and happily arranged or wrote shorter songs to fit it.

What happened?

Well, 100 years later, you probably know the name Duke Ellington—and his music has inspired countless people for a century.

Let’s translate this idea to the wellness and fitness worlds right now.

People ask me all the time, with great concern, “How are you doing financially, Sadie?” during this pandemic, because above all, I’m a yoga teacher, and yoga teachers are all tanking during this time, right?

Same with studio owners, group fitness managers, trainers, massage therapists, and on and on.

Well…not all of us are proper f*cked at this moment.

Some of us are proper blessed.

If you’re in the former category, let me help you to get into the latter.

I notice that wellness professionals all want to help people. That’s why we’re in this business. But many, many of them only want to help them in the way they feel most comfortable. Asked to innovate, or to learn new skills to do this, many of them resist.

Then there are the Dukes amongst us.

I too love serving my students. The best way is to do it in person, of course. Yet early on, I did the math.

I have a particular skill set, a particular perspective on movement, and a particular voice. My teaching style is unique and my message is clear.

So why was I hanging on to only ever teaching in person, when there was a whole, wide world web of students out there, many of whom would resonate with me? Why just teach a class or training to 30 people when I could teach those 30 people, and then teach it to a camera, and reach thousands more? Why burn myself out running all over the world and reaching a fraction of students, when I could create a robust online resource for students and teachers alike, and then gain the freedom to choose how and when I want to travel or step into an in-person experience?

I started with zero technical experience or on-camera comfort, and have since had the luxury of many years trial and error, which you do not have right now, as studios close, and lots of you, dear readers, have just lost your main source of income overnight.

So, allow me to save you a decade of learning this stuff, and get you going, online, with your teaching, to reach your local students who can’t get to you in person right now, and also a community of others who are waiting for your particular message. They need you.

So, get in front of them.

Yes, even if it makes you uncomfortable because it’s new.

Even if you’re sure the market is already saturated (it’s not).

Even if you think someone else is doing it better (there is no competition for your unique style).

Even if you wanted to look a different way before filming (the exact way you are will attract your right community to you).

Even if you love teaching in-person…

…You can think of this next part as an and…not an or.

My main message to you is this:

Don’t be precious.

Teaching online is not quite as good as doing it in-person. I’ve said it twice now so don’t @ me!

However, it’s better than not being there at all, and if you consider yourself a qualified teacher or someone with good information to share, then get on there, because there is a lot of low-quality teaching going around. Online students need you to counteract that. It’s also a fantastic income source, one that, when you get going, saves you physical time and energy, and keeps you financially and energetically rewarded (yes, online student-instructor relationships can be super rich).

There is no longer much reason to remain stuck behind the times like all those other composers. Be the Duke instead. Because for better or worse, livelihoods that rely solely on instructing live bodies are obviously unsustainable. They actually always were, since you can only show up so much, give in person so much, and then when you walk out the door, your income stops.

We have lovely heart-lit intentions to help and heal, and historically nonviable ways of doing it.

Whether you are a yoga teacher, studio owner, fitness instructor, creative, or any other community-based leader—you are being called to innovate. To move with the times. To understand deeply that this public paradigm is not changing anytime soon. We will not just go back to things as usual. This virus will pop up more than once, and we will all have to come back to this retreat. Research now shows that 75 percent of yoga and fitness students also want to study online.

Where will you be when things ebb and flow? More prepared next time? Or not so much.

Be the studio owner who doubles her income because she trains her teachers to film themselves, and students have the option to buy an online subscription package as well as the in-person one. They will use it at home, on vacation, more than you think! And yes—they will still come to class.

Be like my hairstylist who makes personalized root coverage packages, with instructions, and mails them out to her clients (thank you, Goddess!). I found out about that from her free videos on her Instagram page.

Be the massage therapist who makes several Quarantine Spa Rescue videos in an e-course package for how to do at-home massage for various body areas, puts them on a thriving e-learning site who markets for you, and also sell them to existing clients (yes, you can use that title).

Be the yoga teacher who creates weekly classes your students can subscribe to.

Believe me, your clients want to help you right now. They need to know how.

Regardless of which way the pandemic winds blow, you deserve to serve more people than ever with your message—and you deserve to be paid accordingly. Give generously, and offer some for free, but the juiciest content you create, reserve for your paying VIPs. This way, you value the information, they value it more, and you gain abundance on many levels.

Have more questions? The answers are all right here for you.


Please go download my free Make 6 Figures While You Sleep course—nothing to buy, no funnel, no strings attached. Join me in this whole new world. Use CODE: MAKE6FIGVIP. Any issues, write my tech team at [email protected]. Yeah…I delegate. I wish you so well.

And I hope to see you online! There’s enough room for everybody.

In this community, we all rise together.




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