Discussion #4712

Breathe Life into a Career

55 min - Discussion
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There are so many options you can take for your Pilates career, so it can be difficult to determine what's best for you. Join Georgia Burns and Gia Calhoun as they discuss different ways to navigate the industry so that you can find more stability with your work.

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Oct 01, 2021
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(bright upbeat music) Hi everyone. Welcome to the Pilates Report. My name's Gia and I'm really excited for my guest today, Georgia Burns. She's a Pilates teacher in Canada and also a rehab assistant. And she's worked in so many different places in the Pilates industry and different types of jobs in the industry, so she'll be really helpful for our conversation today. Welcome Georgia, I'm so excited to have you here.

Hi Gia. Thanks for having me. I've got so much to share Yeah. With you guys, I'm super excited to really talk about how things are changing right now in the industry, but I know you've got some questions too. Yes. And if anyone in the audience has questions, we're going to be doing a Q and A toward the end, so feel free to add your questions to the chat. But for my first question for you, Georgia is, what are the different types of options for a Pilates teacher in terms of how they're classified?

So when we're really getting into this, we have an opportunity to work with so many different people and so many different aspects and it's really important that, I know we hear people say this all the time, but we really do need to know our worth as Pilates instructors. We need to know that there are options to make this a really strong, lifelong career. And I see sometimes people are working a few hours here and there and not knowing how to fill their schedule and really create that rich career life. And that's what I want to really talk about, is what rules are there? You can be a Pilates instructor and teach a couple hours here and there and that's great, but the laws are changing, especially in California, they've already changed and it's moving that way everywhere, to Canada even, all the way up here.

And I think that we need to know that you can be a Pilates instructor as a subcontractor, or you can be an employee and you can also do both, you can have a little bit of mix and all of those things are options for us. It's just asking yourself, where do you want to fit in? That's kind of under the assumption that you don't want to open your own studio. You want to work with someone and create that community that a studio brings. We want to be able to support the studio owners, give them more what they need and then give us what we need, which is security, long-term job benefits and I think now, that we're all reopening, we're coming back into the world here, this is the exact time that all of us should be saying, I can find that job.

I can help my studio owner and I can do things, I can do the Instagram account, I can work on a newsletter and I can create these things that will support my studio. And that's how we're going to become really vital to that studio and become not just the subcontractor, but the employee. That's awesome. Does that answer the question? Next one is, Yes, it does. I also want to acknowledge a little comment here, Brad says that your kids say, "Hi mama".

They're all watching. Hi. So. Back to the topic. So what is the difference between a subcontractor and an employee? So Gia, we were talking the other day and you said this, something that to me made so much sense.

It was, you are vital to that company. You're doing Pilates. You're not the plumber. You're not the handyman who comes in and builds things up and makes sure it's running that smoothly. We need those people, but those are contractors. We are the Pilates instructor, this is the job.

And there was three criteria, I think, that you listed in a newsletter a couple of weeks ago, just you have to, to be a subcontractor, we have to make sure that we are our own business. We're hustling to get our own clients, to bring people in, maybe renting the space from a studio, but you can't be on the schedule. You can't have the media that comes from the studio that promotes you and then be called a subcontractor. So what I think the law's moved into in California and what we're really pushing for in Canada and in Toronto is that we are a vital part of the studio and we should be employees, because as an employee, we do more than teach just hourly. We can work on things like the newsletter and programming and you feel really more the contribution to the studio life.

But also you don't have to do all that hustle. You don't have to update your Instagram four times a day and send out your own newsletters and get your own clients in, you can rely on your studio for that. And then, hopefully, in Canada especially, we were talking about this, is you'll be supported through your taxes. You will receive things like disability insurance and you'll receive maternity leave, things that we really deserve Sick leave. And we really need.

Yeah. In your experience, what are the pros and cons of each? 'Cause you've experienced both sides of this, correct? Yeah and I really, I never really wanted to open my own studio. I always wanted to be the one who was working for the studio and doing the studio coordinator role, managing all the finances and hiring and schedule. I love doing that, that's definitely my passion, but I didn't want the responsibility of owning a business.

So I've done that studio coordinator role, Same here. And it's so great, right? You get this huge feeling of accomplishment and the community and it's your instructors in there. And you see the numbers change and you see how you've made this contribution, it's so exciting and doing that for yourself is great. So if you want to be subcontracting and doing that, it's amazing and so fulfilling, butt there is a higher risk, there's less support.

And to me, I really wanted, I want to do the role where I've got my security, I'm really comfortable with my hours and I'm working towards programming, building the community and I don't have to worry about the other stuff. So you can kind of see there's pros and cons. You might make more money Yeah. As a subcontractor, maybe short term, but you won't get your disability insurance and you'll need to continue to hustle and build up your clients on your own, you don't have that support. Yeah. I think also with taxes, you do have to set aside that money to pay back your taxes or pay it quarterly, because you do have to claim that.

I know I always came into the problem, where it was nice, I would make more every year, but I could never anticipate how much I made, so then come tax season, I'd always owe a substantial amount of money, even though I would pay ahead of time. And it just, it was never enough 'cause I just never knew what it was going to be. I think I have more experience as a teacher, as a subcontractor or an employee, but I know for studio owners, it's nice to have employees too, because then you can mentor them, take them under your wing and have them teach in the style that is conducive to your studio and rather than a contractor can do what they want. So I think Yeah. On both ends there's pros and cons.

Yeah. We're gonna building the relationship I think Yeah. And we have to continue learning and continue doing all the work. It's so much easier to do that in the community with something that we're building. There's a lot of studios that will have 30 different teachers. And what I'd love to see, is see this model of, we only need seven teachers to fill our schedule and to be able to support our community.

And these seven teachers, we nurture and mentor and create more opportunity for learning, more courses, more programming. And they all come together, rather than 30 people coming, going, doing their thing. And I want to build this really strong community. We have this opportunity with these amazing exercises. I really feel like we got lucky with these exercises too, because they are so balanced and they work with so many people, that we're just very lucky that we know these exercises so well, we can work with anybody. Yeah. Definitely.

And help them really help balance their body. So I feel like we're so lucky. (Georgia laughs) We totally are. So for pay for employees, in your experience, have you noticed that most people are hourly or are they salaried or have you seen a combination of both? What has your experience been?

So, yeah, I've done both, for sure. I see both and I think where we're moving towards is building those and I know in California especially, 'cause it's already passed the law, that you are an employee, we're really moving towards that part-time employee and you build up to a certain amount of hours and in Toronto, in Canada, 15 hours to 20 hours, you can move from part-time up to full-time. So that full-time is where you start to get your benefits through the company, through your insurance. So keeping in mind, so we're building up our hours, but there's a certain amount of hours that are dedicated to things like programming, to filing, picking up the phones, making sure Yeah. That you're cleaning and doing all the in-between things that you would do for your own studio, updating the computer, making sure that your programming is really strong.

As a subcontractor, we don't get paid for that. That's sort of in the hourly thing. So we have these hours, we're moving towards these hours, but then on top of your base salary, you can teach extra, say however many hours a week is normal for you. I average about 20 to 25 hours a week, where I feel comfortable teaching without burning out. And then I have my salary, which is about 20 hours a week of admin and filing, making sure that my clients are all really happy and that the staff employees are really happy.

And that to me is just such a nice balance and an opportunity to feel secure, we've got our healthcare, we've got a really good amount of hours for programming, but also you can always, if you need to bump up your income, you and just know, you can teach a few more hours. Maybe you can teach a workshop. You can start to really expand the opportunities that we have, 'cause we can't just be teaching hour after hour, privates or groups. We need that time of learning, that's supported by the studio, that hopefully, all the studio owners out there are listening to me are thinking, hey, do I have to pay for training now and insurance now? So in Toronto, in Canada, yes, I think we should be supporting that learning.

I think everyone, the studio owners should be doing that because having an employee gives you just so much more commitment and it's just such a nice thing. And what we've seen in COVID especially, is that the Canadian government for employees was just really quick to assist. People who are employees got, if they were laid off, if they needed support monthly, it was really easy to apply. Whereas a subcontractor, there was a lot of hoops to jump through. A lot of people Same here.

Just lost their income entirely. Yeah. And I think that's why we need to move away from the subcontractor and that's why we're doing it. Yeah. I know we did a previous Pilates Report with Maria Leone where she was talking about just hiring and retaining teachers 'cause I've noticed over the years, there's always a high turnover rate at a lot of studios. And she said one of the things she does that keeps a lot of her teachers there, some teachers have been there for over a decade, is she offers them mentorship, she gives workshops and invites all of her teachers to come.

She has a teacher class that the teachers are all welcome to come to. So just fostering that relationship is beneficial for everyone. And I've also learned from other studio owners how, when the pandemic started and people wanted to claim unemployment, if they hadn't been employees, they weren't able to get that, or if they just switched to being an employee, they could only get so much unemployment 'cause they'd only been paying into it for maybe a month or two. So I think just for everyone's benefit, it's better if everyone's classified in the correct way, unless you're renting space or doing your own business, then you can be your own, you're a contractor 'cause then you're doing everything yourself. Yeah. And it really So.

Legitimizes what we're doing too, right? It gives us Yeah. The sense of, I know that other companies, doctors offices and chiropractors, they do continuing education together, they're mandated to, you can't be a doctor and not continue your education. And it's the same with us. It's we need to be held accountable to it.

We need to grow Yeah. With the studio. And I think this is such an amazing opportunity to legitimize it and make it a real career, that when I'm 70, I'm still going to be teaching Pilates. And I'm so lucky that I've had the coordinator role a few times, where it has supported my mat leave. And I have been able to use this as a career.

And I really see that this opportunity coming out of COVID, we can all just go out there and talk to the studio owners and I speak to a lot of studio owners, right? I have a lot of studio owners come in, I know that some are watching right now, wondering what I'm up to, but, and I would say that half of them have said to me, I don't have enough hours, I can't employ people. I'm just working hourly right now, I'm a small studio. And just to that, I think that there's a bit of an idea that it's going to cost more to have an employee, rather than have a subcontractor, but it's not. It's all going to be probably easier for a studio owner to have an employee on their payroll, keeping it going, fostering those relationships, because every time you lose an instructor or there is that turnover, it's costing thousands of dollars anyways. Yeah. Definitely.

You can't onboard somebody in one day. Yeah, there's a lot to be said about the longterm costs and benefits of building a studio with one or two teachers, if it's that small and really giving them the idea that we're in this together, here's a salary, here's what I expect of you. So I would say that half the studio owners in Toronto are excited and moving towards this model and have already hired people. And the other half are still on the fence about how can they make such a giant change? Because it is such a huge change.

Yeah. So how to approach your studio owner, if you do want this option, if you're out there and you're thinking, hey, I've got a few hours, I want to build this career. You can go and write a newsletter. You can start a blog. You can start doing these things that make you a really strong employee.

We wouldn't go and work at Amazon and just think, okay, I'm just going to do this one thing and then be done and go home. It's it's a full day of work. We need to get up in the morning and say these are my hours, I'm going to start at 7:00 AM. I'll go to 2:00 PM. That way I can walk the dog and make sure that I've got all my, I'm comfortable, I'm not burnt out, but you've committed to those hours.

And I think showing that and talking to your studio owner and saying, here's some of the projects I've been working on, this is one of the things that I'm so obsessed with, Gia, is just projects. I have set up my day planner where I'm like, okay, 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Brad will drop off the kids and then I'll pick them up after school, but those eight hours in a row, I'm sitting at my desk, either doing programming, emailing, writing a blog, talking to my studio owner, asking what is it I can do for you that is kind of out of the box? Or, I can see that this needs to be done, can I do it? And I try and fill those hours up and gradually all those hours get filled with sessions, which is amazing.

And I love teaching sessions, but I've scheduled my work week for 40 hours a week. And 25 of that, is where I kind of max out of my sessions. I know my burnout point, the other hours, oh no, I have to do math of maybe 15 hours is going to be my own admin work, where I'm filing, I'm writing my blog, I'm writing my class plan and I have projects. So if somebody wants to see my projects, I have so many, so I just put them out there nonstop. And I feel like that's how we get these really fine jobs, like the coordinator job or the studio director job, those salaried jobs and how we create them.

We have so much opportunity right now to do it. Definitely. Speaking of those coordinator jobs, what other types of jobs do you think are available? 'Cause I know I used to work at a physical therapy office and I was actually an employee there and they needed extra help filing and just taking care of some of their admin. So I did that and was able to make a little extra income. What other opportunities do you see for admin or other work to help studio hours?

When I look at it, I see what is my passion, right? So what can I do? What am I already doing that could elevate the studio? So for me, I do so much programming. I'm constantly writing down class ideas and how can I swap this around and how can we put together these little workshops. So I love the idea that yes, I can go and I can help, clean all the mats and I can help make sure that everyone at the front desk is greeted and that I'm answering the phones and making sure that there's an hour during the day when I'm doing that, but I also want to make sure there's an hour during the day where I'm working on those projects that I can share with the studio, I can help to bring in clients, I can just keep learning for myself and keep sharing them, really creating the programming, I think is something that as subcontractors, we end up pushing to the side a little bit.

And I think once you're an employee, you can sit down at a desk and write your class plan and be like, yeah, that's part of my day, that's what I'm getting paid for. And it feels really good 'cause we kind of do it and feel like, okay, I'm only getting paid for one hour, but I've just done six hours of programming. And so it feels really good to be like, I'm going to sit down and maybe write a bit for the newsletter, or have a daily blast on Instagram or write that blog post. Because I know a couple of my studio owners who are really good friends to me and they're doing it all, they're doing everything, they are just twisted, writing these blogs and making sure that the schedule is up to date and that all their instructors are cared for and nurtured and get that feeling. And that's a role that we can do.

What do you think? That's amazing. There's definitely filing and phone. What else is Yeah. Something we can do?

I think even just staying on top, 'cause I know in the past two years I've worked at two, some of the owners would tell me like, oh, you're such a great employee. And I was doing what they asked me to do, but it was even just re-booking people that a lot of people sometimes forget to do or collecting the payments. 'Cause I always knew, the studio wasn't paid, how am I going to get paid? You're not paid. So staying on top of things too, just to help the studio and making sure you're cleaning up after yourself even, is a really big deal 'cause apparently a lot of studios struggle with that too.

So I think, making sure you're on top of your own game is important. I think so. Definitely. And even helping out cleaning, other people, if they're newer teachers, sometimes you'll see, are struggling in between clients and just helping them out Yeah. And making sure you're on it is such a nice way Exactly. To make everyone feel welcome, not just the client, but also the other employees and that reminds me of the four agreements.

I just actually put this down, but I think it's just such an important thing to really can you see that? That's wonderful. Yeah, and it's just one of my favorite things, because it really does hold us accountable. We have to keep learning, we have to keep re-booking those clients and making sure they have paid for their sessions and making sure that they're happy. I follow up with my clients all the time.

If somebody is off the radar Yeah. For three days, I'm like, okay, how's it going? What's going on? Yeah. I want them to know this is a community, not just my clients, but the teachers too.

Yeah. Katie, in the comments, also says marketing is a great way to help, just any kind of marketing you can do. Exactly. I wanna go back So that's where I was trying to go with this, what's your passion, sorry, but with your passion, if you're good at marketing, I think you're essential to studios right now. If that's your passion, Yeah, definitely. If you know how to use Canva and build a website, then wow, you could really be such a hand for any studio right now.

It's just transitioning so fast online that, yeah, that for me, if I were looking for somebody to employ, I'd be like you, if you know how yo use Canva, spare a space, get on board, let's do this. We can team it up because yeah, the studio owner's doing everything. Yeah. So much work. I want to go back to scheduling. 'Cause I know my experience and I know other teachers are in the same boat, a lot of teachers work in irregular hours, like really early morning, you have a long break in the afternoon and then you work again in the evening.

What do you recommend to help people set a normal teaching schedule that works for their lifestyle? It's so interesting. A couple of years ago, I actually took this time management workshop that was really clear and so simple and it was just, look at it. Look at what your ideal schedule is. Write it down on a piece of paper and be generous.

So if you think I can get up at 7:00 AM think, okay. I might be able to get up at 6:30, but don't go at 5:00 AM I can do this, right? No. You be realistic with your goal and your intention and you set your hours. In your own body here, okay and this is what I've done and has always worked for me, I set my hours and I work those hours. Even if nobody's paying me for it.

Even if I'm just sitting at my desk, drinking my coffee, I grab my page and I write my intention for the day. I would like to find two classes. One at 7:00 AM, one at 9:00 AM. You can do that online, you go studio to studio. We start to look for those hours.

In the meantime, you should still be working those hours. If you think you can work 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, take a break in the afternoon, give yourself an hour. Be realistic with yourself. Maybe one day, it's early mornings. One day it's just evening.

I wouldn't say and I hear sometimes people say, just take whatever comes at you. Yeah, I think it's common But I think really With new teachers. New teachers especially, right. Take whatever comes at you. And that's to a point, to the point where you are not going to burn out and you're not going to feel like man, I'm not committed to this class and I don't want to go.

Be like, okay, Yeah. I got a class for that 7:00 AM spot that I really wanted to fill. I'm super excited to go. Okay, check. Okay, one 7:00 AM for Tuesday morning, I'm going to get up Tuesday morning at 7:00 AM and start writing my emails. And I'm going to do the same thing in the evening.

And I have set my schedule, my schedule, because we are the ones who have to put it out there. And if you put it out there, that I'll just take whatever and I don't care about if I'm going to burn out, those are not going to be your classes that you're going to keep for 10 years. Those aren't the clients that you're going to be able to sustain and when I take on a client, I take them on. Somebody asked me, do I need to do five sessions or 10 sessions or 20 sessions? And I said, you just keep going.

You just keep going. This is a beautiful way to take good care of your body. It's really maintenance for your life. So that when you're 70, 80 years old, you can still walk up and down the stairs comfortably. You can still lift your grandchildren.

You can take care of your body. So it's not one or five sessions, it's ongoing. And we have to give that back to our clients. So if I can do 7:00 AM, then I'm happy to do it forever or as long as it works for both of us. But I think being realistic about what's good for you, what's going to really fit in your life 'cause we ask for it and it'll come back to you.

Yeah, definitely. So, I know Yeah. A lot of teachers work at multiple different studios. I was guilty of that when I was teaching full time, I was driving one studio in the morning, another one in the afternoon and then another one in the evening. How do you find all of your hours at one studio?

What have you done to do that? 'Cause I know it's a big challenge for a lot of teachers and is it possible? It's definitely possible, but I did it too. Obviously when I had that sort of energy, I'd ride my bike around the city and it's good. You're gonna get your feet wet and learn a lot.

But what I did, for example, when I would, I had my interview at Equinox and I was being hired as a studio teacher. And during my interview, I said, I want to do more. I'd like to be the studio director. This is some of my projects that I've been working on. Here's my portfolio, here's my Pilates Style stuff.

Here's the Pilates Anytime stuff. Here's all this stuff that I've created over the years. Take a look, I think I have a lot to offer this role and I just asked for it. And that's how I got it because I said it out loud. And when I go to a studio now, I will say to the studio owner, I would love to teach here, I have a couple of studios in the city that I am partnered with where I'll do small workshops, I do a full teacher training at one studio in Yorkville.

And I asked for it. I said, Leslie, I love you and I love your style. Let's work together, let's collaborate, let's build these books, let's get the caddy training going. Let's test people, let's really show our passion for the work and do the work. And I think she was excited by my enthusiasm and by my, I just, I love the work so much.

You can tell, right? I'm so passionate about it. And I think that's, well hello doggy. Sorry about that. (both laughing) Actually super tiny puppy.

Yeah. 12 pound dog. (both laughing) But I'm so passionate, I'll ask for the work. I'm always creating the work, I'm always programming and so I have something to give to the studio owner. So when I am looking to fill those hours, even in my own book, I still have a few hours, where I'm like, I could do more. I'm gonna go and talk to this studio owner about this project and I just ask for it every time.

I see something, I rarely will go into a studio and just say, you know what? I'll just work a couple hours here and there. Or can I rent this space? I want to collaborate with these people and that's how I'm building a really lasting career because now I'm in this city, I think I do have four different studio owners who I work with closely, on a day-to-day basis where we share our ideas and we share our workshops and we build towards better studios for them, benefits me, it benefits them. And we have such a long lasting relationship.

And I think that's one of the main things, if you want something, if you can visualize it, we just have to ask for it. That is so true 'cause I also know imposter syndrome is very prevalent in the Pilates community. And a lot of people are afraid to ask 'cause they don't think they deserve it or that they're good enough. But you just ask, the worst thing that happens is they say no and then you move on to something else. But if you don't ask, you're never going to be considered 'cause people know that you want it.

So, I think Yeah. That's such an important piece of advice. So aside from going around your local community, how else do you find work at studios? I know in the past I've found stuff on Craigslist and word of mouth, but do you have any other ways that you've recommended to people to find work? Yeah. I think taking workshops is great 'cause you really get to know the people in the studio.

I go studio to studio for sure and check them out. And I did, right before COVID started, I started a little blog where I would go to one studio and do a little mini tour and interview the owner and then take a class and then do my write-up on it. And I think I got to the fourth studio before we were not able to go back in the studios, but it was just such a fun way to really get involved and get to know the studio owner and then ask them if there was work I could do. And if there was anything that they needed help with and if I could do little workshops, I've gotten tons of workshops just from writing emails, even to people I don't know. There's a couple Pilates studios that I've become friends with because I Googled Pilates studios in Toronto, in this circle, right?

And I just contacted one and I was like, hey, what are you up to? Do you want to do my Pilates talk thing? I want to go and write up a little thing on your studio. And there was one girl who totally took me up on it, even though she didn't know me. And then I really built a relationship that way.

And it was nice and I will have that relationship forever. So I think going in, Craigslist for sure. There's a couple like Monster, all the job boards, Indeed, I actually got my Equinox job from a job posting on Indeed. And I'll look sometimes, I'll peek in sometimes just to see what's available in my feed. I do that too.

Yeah. I'm not leaving doing what I'm doing. Yeah. I don't think you're leaving Pilates Anytime anytime soon. No. No.

I just like to know what's there. That was actually how I found this job. It's the dipping in. 'Cause I found it on Craigslist. Yeah, you want to see what's out there and what your options are 'cause there's so many options.

To me it's always been, go in, face-to-face, meet somebody and build a relationship, but there are so many jobs on job postings and having done the studio coordinator role, a few different studios now, it's really hard to find teachers who want to work and who want to do a lot of hours and who are committed to the business and who're committed to my business and my studio. That's the hardest thing. And somebody who's gonna show up at 7:00 AM and teach those classes, you might think, oh, I'm too shy to ask or the imposter syndrome, but if you want it, do it because the studio owners are looking, we need people to work, we're constantly, I'm looking for somebody to teach this class. So if you want it, you have to speak up, go make the relationship, be impeccable to your word, if you want it, do it. We don't need to compromise our own hours if they don't fit this time, you'll find something that will fit eventually.

So, as long as it's like, you can do it, you want to do it, you have the time to do it. And you were talking about scheduling a bit and about finding these hours and I also want to say it is super important because we work off hours, to make sure you do have that one day off. To make sure that yeah, Yeah. I want to take my, Saturday three classes back to back and then two privates, okay, awesome. That's a good moneymaking, they can do the same thing on Sunday.

Take Monday off. Take one full day, Yeah, it's not sustainable. It's not sustainable. You're going to burn out and you're not going to feel like you're living your life. It's going to be just about career, career, career and Pilates is, not a life, it's a career, it's a job.

So taking a break from it and not checking emails, not going on Instagram, taking yourself out of the, sometimes I have clients texting me on certain days or certain times and I'm happy to receive the text, but I'll look at it during work hours. I'm going to take, really treat my career like a career, because otherwise it's not going to be respected, it's not going to be, going back to knowing your worth, we really do have to know how lucky we are to be able to do this job. And it's really good, these exercises are great. Yeah. I was actually just talking to someone last week about setting boundaries and making sure you're only working during work hours another Pilates teacher and I was telling her, I don't look, I don't have my work email on my phone. So that way I'm not tempted to check it during non-work hours.

And I don't feel bad anymore if I don't respond to someone right away. I'll leave it for when it's the appropriate time, because it sets the boundary, then people know, oh, they're not going to respond and it's okay, that I'm waiting a little bit. Or I want to reach out to them in the work hours. So it's just, the appropriate time. Yeah.

Any other tips for creating that work-life balance? 'Cause I know I've been guilty in the past of working every day and then I burned out. How do you keep your life balanced so that you're not overdoing it? I think because I write it down and I am so particular about the hours that I am going to work and then I'm not going to work. I really make a point of not working and not bringing it home with me too.

Sometimes, and I'm sure you felt this before, that you'll have somebody, a client, who gives you a lot of energy and you somehow need to process it and get it out. And sometimes I'll go home and be like, oh my god, Brad, this happened and I felt so emotional and da da da, and it's like, (sighs) okay, got to take that hat off and not worry about work. I'm not going to bring it home with me and I'm not going to let it affect me. I'm not going to take it personally. I'm just going to take it off, leave that hat at the studio and then come home and try to really enjoy one of the things that I really love to do, like taking a hot shower and letting that be my reset or, dancing around the kitchen with one of the kids and just laughing and having fun with them and doing our nighttime thing, but really just leaving it.

When I catch myself ruminating about something that happened at the studio, then I know I need to do one of my reset exercises. What kind of benefits do you think Pilates teachers can get, like health insurance, maternity leave, sick leave? What kind of benefits are available? I know it's different depending on where you live, but in Canada, what can you get as an employee especially? So in Canada we are exceptionally lucky.

And if you are an employee, a full-time employee, you put in a certain amount of hours into your unemployment insurance, then you'll receive 18 months of maternity leave and that's paid leave. So it's not just we can leave our job and have job security, it's really supportive when I know that I don't have to stress about having a baby and the finance behind it, was really soothing for me. I really loved my job. I wanted to be able to keep relationship with the studio, but I was really nervous that I would have this baby and I would have to worry about this burden of making money, but I was an employee and I was really lucky that for both of my pregnancies, I got 18 months of mat leave, it was great. I got to really bond with my baby.

I got to go on long walks and spend a year and a half, just bonding and I feel That's amazing. So lucky that I got to do that. But as a subcontractor in Toronto, I would not have been able to do that. There would have been, Yeah. I would have to just jump back into teaching classes here and there and sort of rebuild my schedule, but yeah, being an employee, I did have those benefits.

Also through the company, I had dental, I had eye glasses paid for, I could really, everything we needed, massage, chiropractor, I was entitled to all the benefits once I hit that threshold of working full-time, it's 15 to 20 hours and again, such a relief, so good to be able to, Pilates is a passion for sure. But again, it's a job and we need to be feeling stable, able to keep learning and having healthcare is really essential to me being comfortable and being able to do a good job, work on my programming, working on my education. There's so many free educational videos on Pilates Anytime, sometimes I literally will just pop one on in the background and absorb some really great information. We have tons of opportunity to keep learning and it's easy, it's free and it's exciting. So, I know that kind of got off track there a little bit, but- No, that's okay.

I think it's important All right, Katie To say. Yeah, Katie added a comment saying, "In the US we have this constant low level stress about health coverage and it's awful that employers can't always afford benefits for teachers". I agree with that. And we were talking about this before we went live that maternity leave in the US is up to three months generally of unpaid, but job safety leave from others, if you're at a company with 50 or more employees, that's the law. Anything else that you get in addition is up to the employer, which is pretty sad.

And definitely not enough. I don't know how and I don't, having been so lucky to have been spending time with my kids and doing the whole thing, recovery alone, I have a whole recovery series on Pilates Anytime, Yes. Because recovering was so intense. It probably took me at least six months to a year to get to the point where I felt like I could do ab curls again, or I could move freely in my body. And I couldn't really imagine having to go back to work with that discomfort.

And even by three months, I had a C-section Yeah. I don't think my incision had healed completely. So it just blows me away. Yeah. The things that you guys are dealing with and I think it's a big move and really positive move that California has moved to employee versus subcontractor for Pilates instructor.

I think it's really respectful. And I really think that it is gonna benefit the studio owners. It's going to benefit everybody and it is it's happening. I agree. And I just think, if we want to get in now, right after COVID is the time to really foster that relationship with the studio owners.

I agree. Christie has a question in here. She says, "It seems since the pandemic, more people have some equipment at home. Do you have advice for teachers who teach part-time at a studio and part-time in their client's home or perhaps even in their own home?" Hmm. That's a good question. I think keeping the taxes separate is going to be really, or at least organized is going to be really important because like I was saying earlier, it can get complicated really quickly and you don't know exactly how much money you're going to make, so you don't know exactly how much you're going to have to save. And yeah, I think that watching the taxes and being very organized is going to be the key to that.

That's great advice. My last question to you, before we go into a little vagus nerve stimulation exercise, what do you recommend for teachers to keep growing in their careers, whether it's continuing education, business coaches, what have you done and what do you recommend for other teachers? I do love how many, there's online resources, lots of business coaching. There's lots of life coaching things that you can access online really easily. For me, what's always really worked though, is writing it down.

I listen to a lecture, there's so many opportunities online right now to learn and about the things that you're passionate about, but to write it down, complete an entire project, Gia, you said this once in one of our emails, that you should videotape yourself, teaching your class and then re-watch it and do the class. So you really have a foundation. You wrote the programming, you teach the class and then you watch it and then perform it. And going through that whole thing over and over and all the projects, all the little passions, all the things that you're doing, are going to make you so much stronger. And just so much, you can lose the imposter syndrome.

No, you're doing it, you're doing it. And it feels really good to complete the cycle. Learn about it, write it down, do your programming, watch it, do it. To me, it was just such a profound thing to really complete that full cycle. Even if you're not filming it for somebody else to watch, it's so key to listen to yourself and then go, oh, I say like, okay, next exercise.

Or you sing, or you lilt, or you do that thing that you do every single time and maybe you can tone it down a little bit, or maybe you can add into it a deeper cue, a more meaningful cue that really works for you. I think completing the cycle and it's that continuing education, programming and then doing. Yeah. I love that advice. And I know watching my own videos I noticed, It's yours (laughs). But I also notice when I watched my own videos, I was like, oh, I say that all the time?

That's pretty awful. So then I was able to switch or add in other words to substitute so I wasn't saying the same phrase all the time, so I do find that very valuable to do. And I was lucky that it was part of my job to do that, where I had to film it and then I had to watch it to write the description, but I do find it really helpful and it made me a stronger teacher. Yeah. Definitely. Last thing since there aren't too many questions in the chat, can you share the vagus nerve stimulation massage that you've been working on Yes.

And just tell us the benefits of it? Okay. So one of my projects, this is, I'm every month, a new project, something that I get so interested in that I just have to break it apart and build it back together. And last month I really got obsessed with this vagus nerve stimulation massage. And I just want to put it out there. I'm not an expert in the vagus nerve.

I am taking something that I'm passionate about and sharing it as a self massage. So if anything doesn't feel good for you, you can just step back and bring it, you can put it down, but if it does feel good for you, that's something that I've found really helpful. I'm just going to take out of one of these ear pods here. So our vagus nerve helps tamp down all of the sensation that is just tingling through our bodies. And I know, especially after talking about things like taxes and the American healthcare system, I'm quite elevated and I feel Yeah.

My pulse and I can feel, we're talking about big changes in our own industry, in our own world, it's so stressful. And so I think to end with a vagus nerve massage and then I'm going to take you guys through three repetitions of a breath, where you inhale for four seconds, you hold it for seven seconds and then you exhale for eight seconds. So I'm going to take you through that. But first we're going to start with this gentle massage, where here I'm going to place right above my ear canal, not right in my ear canal, but above the ear canal, there's a little ridge. And so I'm going to place my finger just on that ridge.

And I'm going to start to make little circles and it's not hard, in fact, I want to be very gentle. I'm just moving the skin a little bit. So it's so gentle because we're working with the nerve, we don't have to push the way we would with a muscle, right? So just above the ear canal on that ridge, just gently, gently giving a bit of circle. And then I'm going to go up a little bit and then back down like a swoop.

Up a little bit and then a swoop. And we're going to take a nice long breath in and long breath out, remember you're just moving the skin and definitely you can do one or both. And then we're gonna let our fingers reach up right on top of the ears, you're gonna fold the ear down a little bit so that your fingers can go on the skin that's between your hairline and the ear, can you feel that little spot? We're gonna place our fingers there and you're gonna lift the skin gently, again, just moving the skin up towards the hairline. And then I'm going to pull it down, gently over the ear.

Fold the ear over a bit. And then you lift the skin up into the hairline and then you just gently bring it down over the ear. And I'm so really, really emphasizing less is more, so very light touch, feather touch, up into the hairline and then down. And let's do that little lift of the skin, up again and then down again. From here, I want to keep that spot, but instead you're going to do the most gentle taps.

Tap, tap, tap, right where the, underneath the hair line, right behind the ear. And you're gonna follow those taps down the side of the neck, into the little hollow, right here. You're going to tap, tap, tap into that hollow, right above your collarbone and then reach up up and tap all the way behind the ear again. So, so super gentle. And then we'll just do that one more time.

And as your fingers come down into that hollow, the taps, we're going to pause and place one hand just on our sternum and the other hand below the belly button. We're gonna take a nice full breath in together. So, now I'm going to lead you guys in for three repetitions, four seconds to inhale, seven seconds to hold your breath and eight seconds to exhale. So let's take a natural breath in together into both hands. (Georgia inhales deeply) And a natural exhale, just relax.

Here we go, breathing in for a count of four, three, two, one, hold, for seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Now you exhale for eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Inhale for four, three, two, one. Hold, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Exhale for eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

One more for four, three, two, one. Hold for seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And exhale for eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Nice natural inhale. (Georgia inhales deeply) And then exhale (exhales).

And there we go, nice and relaxed after all that business talk and settle into our bodies. So nice. And I think that will also be helpful on those days when you've had a stressful client to come back, release everything and just feel very calm. Thank you so much It's one of my go-to's. For taking us through that. For sure.

My pleasure. It's wonderful. And thank you everyone for attending. Thank you, Georgia, for being here. This video will be on the site in a few days.

So if you missed anything or want to reference it back again, just go to the latest videos and you'll find it. And we'll see you next time. Bye Bye. (bright upbeat music)


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