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Discussion #3883

What Does Success Mean?

25 min - Discussion


What does it take to thrive in your business and what does success actually mean? In this discussion, Niedra talks to Kristi Cooper about the beginnings of Pilates Anytime and the triumphs and struggles that she faced. She shares how she handles the "mess" that can come with growth and how these tools can apply to every aspect of our lives.
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Sep 04, 2019
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Welcome everybody. I am so excited to be welcoming Kristy Cooper here, the amazing lady who had the vision to put PyLadies anytime I'm bring it to the world from nothing and she's changed all of our lives. So first and foremost, I want to say what an honor it is to have you and to be on this platform with you and to represent and discuss the subject of thriving and success. And what does it actually mean and what will it take? And out in the world, often we think of thriving in forms of lots of money.

Possessions, looks, we have all this outer aspect that we think is what represents it. And yet it is something very, very different. And I know right now plot is any time is a landmark and any PyLadies industry in the world, everybody knows Polaris anytime. So it is indeed a thriving business. But when it started, I don't even think you had a clue that it was, did we ever get this big? So my question, what were you, what inspired you? What were you thinking?

Right? Um, you know, I would love to say it was all me and it wasn't. So I had two business partners at one was a friend of a friend, if you will. And um, Ted and John, I like to call them, but that's their names and they, um, are really quite genius. And Ted and I had talked about ways that I could leverage my time and ways that I could, you know, I love teaching, I'm passionate and I want to, um, benefit myself and my clients and prove to the world, you know, just in my personal practice, that's how I always was and that's what he knew. But he always wondered why I hadn't done more. Why hadn't I made a product?

Why hadn't I, um, endorsed someone else's? And that wasn't me. Um, this of course, the bit of, I know you talk so much about your ideal client and your living into your own vision. I can't say that I had a full vision other than when the idea was bantered around by Ted and John. And I said, no, I'm not your Gal. Um, you know, you've got to pick someone who's been here longer, has a history, et Cetera, more qualified. And, and then I, I saw just a couple of different versions of what was out there at that time. This is 2009, eight actually. So I had seen now on youtube and other things where [inaudible] was being represented and it wasn't what I knew.

So by now I, I know these two well enough that I could get behind this idea and I, I just felt like, let's give it a shot. Let's put good blogs online and make it accessible to everyone. Didn't seem like a hard idea at all. We'll do vote a couple of days a week, keep our jobs. That was it. I'm not sure if I answered the question, but you know what I find so fascinating with your answer. You were stimulated by something unusual conversation ideas. You open to ideas. Definitely. And when you said yes, what was your inner process?

Ah, okay. Process is not my favorite word. [inaudible] be appropriate. No, no. The truth is is like it was a yes. No, I mean, I don't know what that feeling is for other people, but when I saw a certain version of Palladio's online, I knew not only do I have to do it, but I'm the right person to do it. And it was what the process was like. It just honestly came to me. It was we were going to do this, we're going to record the history, we're going to show everybody and we're not going to make an opinion.

We're going to let it speak for itself. You know, we're not going to shout from the rooftops other than to let each person who I knew by then with my experience, uh, that if you show good plots or if you, someone's gonna resonate with their, with their teacher, and if all you do is show that and give it an option for people who can't get to New York or la or wherever it is I'm doing service that up could be proud of. So it just felt like green light, green light, green light for a little while. And when did the green lights stop? Ah, on about six months in, I was overwhelmed, not because we were so flourishing, but because I was in over my head. I taught [inaudible] seven, eight hours a day and now I have to learn how to email more than my mom and I had to learn how computers work and I had to start thinking about the impact I was actually making. I had to start thinking about who would be willing to listen to me and how would I create that case. It was just overwhelming, but that that happened kind of quick and [inaudible].

That is fascinating what you're saying about maths because I believe that every entrepreneur and every time you step into something new and doing and learning something and growing, it's extremely messy and frankly quite uncomfortable. In fact, I can say that I heard an interview about what makes a champion and a, this is like in boxing or in fighting, but the champion, the person was a champion. They can endure more pain. In other words, they can stand more mass and more chaos and more uncertainty. And yet out there in the world, we have this false image about do these three things and you will be successful. And in our modern culture, everybody expects to be spoonfed the formula of life.

And it's just not so. So how do you deal, how did you deal with being overwhelmed and how do you deal with mass? Because I know every time you do something, not new, it will be messy. Uh, how I deal with it changes, uh, it's the analogy of an of the boxer, whatever it was. But the, the endurance actually I think might matter most is because I set out to offer this thing and I was gonna do it this way and instantly it changed. I mean, within the same month. I'm not kidding. I'm not kidding. I was doing it for this and then it went to there and then then, and am grateful for it all.

But the endurance of the dapping mattered. It matters most. So. So how do I deal with it is I remind myself to try and adapt and then, um, sometimes it's just messy. Sometimes I'm messy. Sometimes. Um, I, how do I deal with it changes how I deal with it has to change because the business changes every day for me. Yeah. I'm not kidding, like 10 years in gratefully again that I really feel like it's a whole new business. Even when I learned in the beginning, now doesn't, it's almost irrelevant because now it's gotta be collaborating with this, that, or the other versions of the world. And so it's just, it's endurance adaptation. How do I deal with it? I dance that, that's the end. That's the end result. Actually. I dance you Dennis.

And a lot in the living room. That's it. Yeah. Yeah. You know what's interesting about what you're saying is life is actually unpredictable and life changes and the bigger of the game we play, the more unsafe and unknown a game it is. It's not that you get more comfortable, you get, you have to deal with more. You have to learn more. You have to manage more. You have to resolve more. Um, we can all have a vase, a comfortable life, you know, working at Starbucks and going home and hanging out with our friends. But will it actually provide our potential and actualize?

We are probably not because it's not be after learning the base skill lines, there's not much more to do. And I say this all due respect to Starbucks by the way. I do like my coffee. Um, so it's interesting that growth is uncomfortable. Giving birth is uncomfortable and there's an illusion, you know, you get married and then you live happily ever after. No. Now you have to actually figure out how to get along with another person.

And I think this applies across the boards to every aspect of our lives. Um, so you, you are, your formula is dancing. I like that cause I'm a dancer too. I, you know, I always say I'm not a dancer, but the fact is is that if I'm a mover, right? That's why I'm here. I came here to help other people find at least on another way to move. You don't have to choose [inaudible]. You know, you can choose lots of things, but if I can connect with the people who have been keeping [inaudible] alive and I can then share that, then that gets me going.

But it turns out I don't get to do Polonius is so I have to move and that's it. That, that that's it. I need to stick with the point of ever getting in this business and for me, dancing releases it. I'm not a trained, I just let it go and then I can get back to thinking again. Very, very cool. I know that throughout this course I gave a lot of um, skills or tools, a way to prime yourself to step up into your highest self, to bring the best part of yourself to the table because for sure as we evolve as teachers, as business owners with a vision, whatever form of structure we have, we're constantly stepping into something more than our day to day self.

And to be honest, we are all multiple personalities and multiple types of people. And you have shared that although you often have to do public speaking or talking on camera, you're not actually comfortable in this manner, in this medium I should say. So when you have to deal with something like the Utah [inaudible], please delete. Um, is there, how do you prepare yourself or what do you do inside? Um, I think I face it. Um, and it, I'm relating to the messy question. First of all, it gets very messy first from me. Um, all the self doubt can come in all the, I didn't know what I got myself into. Everyone's better than you know, you, you see enough people come through so I can, I can ruin myself really quickly and messily. So, and then what I've learned again, and I do mean again because this is how it goes, whether I mean for it to or not, it's, um, it gets very messy first when I'm nervous, when I'm overwhelmed and then I remember and I, I promise you, it's like that. I'm just remembered. I do have a vision. I do know why I'm here. I do know what I intend.

I didn't know any of this. I couldn't plan any of them this, but I do know what my vision has. I do know what I intend and I so that I've, when I can settle back into that, even if I don't know where it's going to go, I can sit down and I can talk to me and I can, I'm calmer now cause you asked me that question. It's, it's, it's a, and it pertains to all facets of this. My business. When I had a client who knew more than me or, or so I thought, cause I was a newer teacher and they had been a student for longer. All of that would happen and then I would remember, I don't have to know everything. I have a vision. I'm going to help you. I know what I intend. If we're in agreement that you want to come here, I'm talking about the client now, then we're good.

We'll have a good relationship. Things will happen and we'll see what happens in the next. Isn't that an amazing skill to tap into that? I mean I can totally relate to it. I've had my own demons and my own inner talk and it always boils down.

It always, always boils down to you who you are bringing yourself to the table and it makes it simple. Yeah, it's amazing. It's much easier for me to talk about, say you were going or anyone that comes through and has to be on Belarus anytime, because that's what I say. You just be, you do your thing, you know? However, I have to say, it's so easy for me to see that that's what it is, but the more that you can let someone provide a place, and this is true for myself, the more I can provide a place or a sanctuary or a moment as it often is, where I feel like I can just settle back into this is what I'm doing, this is who I am, got this far, you know? I know. I mean well and be me. It tends to go better than if I try to be anything but that, so it's just easier to see it on someone else. I think that's a, also a skills to help someone else know that really all you have to do is be yourself. That's fabulous. So I want to pick your brains a little bit more because in the course we went into a lot of exploration, especially in the business section on exploring different ways that you can take your business or your work into another level, how to be creative, how to jump onto opportunities, which obviously you very early on you saw an opportunity and it aligned with you. So you said yes.

And uncovering this, stepping into something new. And maybe for someone on the course they want to start doing little workshops. So they want to go to the local school and give classes or work with the local football team. I have no idea, but this is always something new. So do you have, um, a process for your creativity? Is there a way you can tap into ideas and how do you, what is it?

It really, I hate to be redundant or, um, maybe cliche, but if I don't move, I can't think so. So to answer your question, sometimes I have a what or what. I have a broader question like what's gonna make, let me happy. What's gonna pick me more business, what's going on? How can I solve this problem that can, it could be any question and then when I move it it'll come to me and I, I literally just, I have, I have a painting, I take it down and there's a whiteboard underneath it all I have to tell them. I don't know what it means afterwards cause it's just a bullet point. But it, as long as I get it out, it tends to show itself later.

So for me in the process of moving, I can, I have these what I think are great thoughts at the moment, whether they turn into anything or not, I write them down. It sometimes it's a notebook paper or a post it note, but I do have that painting that I just set on the floor when I get ready to move when I have a big problem. This is very interesting because I have a different but similar process and I'm differentiated in the sense that it has to be in the morning. I'm creative. I have creative thought in the morning. [inaudible] no, you're talking 2:00 AM oh, totally. I am. Okay. Okay. Okay.

Is it fascinating that we have different time zones that our biology clicks? Actually I, you would know, but I can't, I don't know. But I do know that this is over the years I've learned, I have that time that I know my brain is dumping and I need to move first. I always have little early morning, I get up, I have to move my body and then I just dump and dump and um, and then I look back and then I start to weed through, look for what's gold, look for what's called. That's it. I, I was like that. Um, somewhere along the way, as soon as I knew everyone else was asleep or everyone else was off work from the office, that's when I could really let go. And that's when I can really let go and really think and, and that's where that wide, so that's my minds later that now consequently I get up later. So it's sort of this, you see, I'm just bringing this in because how we work is so different.

You of course have a lot of people you are working with. I work for myself so I don't have as much of, but when I, I have, I, you triggered me to realize it. I, when I'm kind of wonder if my thoughts and my creativity's, my older two, I'm being influenced by lots of other people's opinions. And I say that because I do a lot of courses and the in courses, obviously you're being pressured to absorb information from the perspective of the person who's giving it to you. And I usually have to put myself in the woods, in my imagination with nobody around me and go, do I really care? [inaudible] go back to bed. I'm just going to dance freely. Yeah. Or here and then we're not, if I say yes, I go, okay, that's me. And if I, if I don't care if I go, actually I couldn't care less if I have a rolls Royce or not. I'll know. Okay.

That's not important to me. Isn't that fascinating? I mean it makes perfect sense. I don't know what to add but yeah I do. I really care. Or because I care too much sometimes. You know, sometimes I'm thinking what like certain point you have to, you have to go, what do you come on Christie, get real with what you really care about. Align with what you really care about. And it, when you ask yourself and you listen, it's right there.

That is so cool. So remember, nobody is perfect. We all have a journey. We're all actually trying to swim in the mud and figure our way as we go along. The Fun Park is some things we are alive. We are actually alive in this journey of pulling out of ourselves something new and sharing and learning about each other, learning about ourselves. And you look like all I want to jump in. Yeah.

Cause I think the alliance life part matters so much. And, and when you, I think for an entrepreneur, for a lot of these new plot plots, teacher, longtime [inaudible] teacher, you can get your excited, you get in, you get going, and then some thing you can, anyone gets overwhelmed whether it has to do with the actual thing. It, I am of the mind that if you do not find a way, I don't care how you do it, that you still feel like a human. That you in my case, want to move and are making some progress in my own being. I don't mean fitter or stronger or faster. I mean I learned something today that's movement to me. Um, I think that you have to find something in that. And for me that is, I, I go back to endurance. That is the thing that keeps me going is if I get to have people I work with and all of a sudden inspire me, it's, that's progress.

So I just think it's really, really important. What you said that it's, it's, yeah, it's really important. Yeah. Having Grit, having the courage to jump into yourself. I'm with you all the way. It's more about personal growth than anything else about being alive. Yes, yes. I am alive and if I'm going to live and this whole thing is painful because I don't know what I'm doing. I do, I've sweat most of the time always. Right? I mean, but that's if, if I get overwhelmed in the, I don't know, I, I'm ruined. So all I, I fall back on first dance cause that's just a Goto.

But if that's what makes me feel alive, but sometimes I don't want to dance if I don't feel alive, there's no point. If I can't help in that process of my own progress, hopefully others as well. There's no point. So then what? And usually I get myself to the next step. I love it. I just love it. Um, so if you knew that there's new teachers coming up the wire and there always will be new teachers, what kind of tips for success would you give them? What would you recommend? What would you generally, they're teachers or, or anybody in the, in the runway of teaching, what kind of advice from your life experience now and it actually, let's take it bigger than teaching.

What would you want people to know would be up on a billboard as from your life wisdom and your own journey, what would you like to share and let them know to help them do well or do benefit from your knowledge? As a huge question. I know that the, we have billboards that I'm a highway with that I was just saying for me and what I, the one of the bigger lessons is not to take myself so seriously. Yes, me too. Really? Yeah. Oh my God. Oh my God. Because I'm like, I don't, you know, it's to not take myself so seriously and to know that it also helps again to know my intention and those two don't necessarily add up to enough sometimes. But I would suggest that if we were to talk about teaching, I would say be diligent, vigilant with what you start with. Commit. Do it.

Get a basis from there. Pull out these teachers. Right. We know if there's a stable foundation, you can move freely otherwise. So that's sort of the the same message I would give. Don't take yourself so seriously and, and know that if you, if you commit to something like finish it and then do whatever you want and then commit to the next step of it. So it's a little bit of not feeling like you have to know it all.

Do it all, have it all behind you in your back pocket, like toolboxes grow. They don't just, well, you can add to the tool box. You don't have to have the big one right away and, and that's all. I just think, take your time. Don't take it too seriously. Finish what you start. Finish what you start and you'll be a lot stronger.

I could have used that advice when I was younger too. Yeah. Christie, thank you so much for everything. Thank you for providing a platform that has changed the Peloton world forever. Thank you for everything, for being the wonderful, vulnerable, open person that you are and my goodness, you've changed our lives. Isn't she amazing? I thank each and every one of you is also amazing and we are, I hope, helping encourage more visions, more inspiration in everyone. Everyone.

Thank you so much. You blessing in my hall. Work Life, actual life. Thank you.

Becoming: The Secrets to Thriving as a Teacher: with Niedra Gabriel


Kathleen M
2 people like this.
Yay! Thank you Kristi! 💗💗
This series has been time well spent.  Thank you Niedra for sharing your insight and wisdom.  Thank you PilatesAnytime for providing a strong foundation to my vision, creativity, and knowledge.  
Niedra, I must also thank you. This series inspires me, validates my vision of this website and my reason for being a Pilates teacher at all. Thank you so much.  
Niedra Gabriel
Thank you so much Kristi Cooper , I am first and formost grateful for this platform you have provided for me to share this support for teachers, as it has always been a vision, as well as for Pialtes Anytime being such an amazing on line portal that has upgraded the world of Pilates and is taking it to a whole new and contemporary level of community, education and fitness
5 people like this.
As a Mat Pilates teacher for the past two years, I have LOVED the experiences, clients and ways that my life has evolved. I have been a Pilates Anytime member that whole time, and I find I am spoiled for choice when seeking to find role models as SO many of the people hosted on this platform bring exceptional teaching qualities to their videos. THANK YOU Kristi for your vision, and THANK YOU Niedra for presenting what has been a really valuable and motivational course. 
Everything about this site moves my personal and professional development further towards  what is now becoming a clearer vision and goal. My hopes and dreams are evolving and this course in particular has reminded me not to constrict and restrict my potential. Please know fully how much your time and commitment has meant to one of your viewers, and accept my gratitude again. You guys are the best!
Niedra Gabriel
Thank you Mel . Love to have you share your hopes and dreams with the community.
2 people like this.
Thank you Kristi Cooper to create such a platform. You definitely change the Pilates world in the worldwide.
Thank you Niedra for your advices in this course. 
1 person likes this.
Great interview thank you and thank you Kristi for Pilates Anytime a gift to the world of Pilates
1 person likes this.
How lovely to hear such an honest and open discussion- you are both inspiring with your visions and vulnerability, and I certainly feel newly inspired and have many notes to action from the ‘thinking time’ through this series. Its also good to understand that life is not always straightforward- the roller coaster has downs as well as ups. I feel very privileged to be a member of PA - a wonderful sharing community.
1 person likes this.
Thank you both for this candid conversation.  The continuing education PA provides is so enriching in all its dimensions- and hearing this piece was yet another dimension and so helpful to my inner world as a pilates teacher.  YES! PA is life changing and inspiring! 
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