Tuesday 23 August 2016

How I left my Government job and became a Pilates Instructor!

For those of you that know me as just your friendly Pilates instructor, what you probably don't know is that I spent 15 years as a Performance Analyst for the Children & Family Courts.  Yes, I used to be a right geek - and I can write a pretty mean spreadsheet (nested 'if' statements the lot!) and provide you with a complete set of management statistical tools.  I had a very well paid and secure job, and one that I mostly enjoyed.  So what made me give up the security of a Government job with a good pension and all the perks of holiday pay and sick pay, and turn to the unpredictable-ness of self-employment?

It was a big risk, that is for sure, and I know many of you face the same dilemma.  What advice can I give any of you who are in a similar position, well I've been having a think and have come up with the following;

1) Reduce your risks as much as possible, get the right qualifications/certifications in what you want to do before you quit your job. Make the investments in equipment and training whilst you've got a steady stream of income, it's much harder to take it from your profits once self-employed.

2) Start off small, I just started with one evening class, and waited to see how it grew.  You will soon learn whether your proposed business is a viable option, if it is you will reach a tipping point - whereby you either stay as you are or take the leap and jump in.

3) Don't ever think it will be easy!  People only see the successes, they don't see the hard work of building websites, marketing, failures (yes, you'll have a few), building a client base - these things take time, years even - you just have to keep plugging away.  Duncan Bannatyne said in one of his books, that he would never invest in anyone who still held onto their regular job, because they didn't show the faith to invest in themselves, so why should he?  I agree with him, when it's your own business you have to make it work, you have no choice.

4) It's a roller coaster of emotions, owning and running your own business is not the same as working for someone else.  It belongs to you, and you have to try and not take things personally if someone doesn't like your product or service.  You can't please everyone, and you sometimes have to develop a very thick skin.

5) You will know in your heart if it's the right thing to do, and the right time to do it.  You have to get them both right, it might be the right thing but not the right time and vice versa - get them both aligned and the force will be strong!  Imagine where and what you want to be doing in 5 years time.

Is it worth it?  Most definitely!!  I'm now around most days for the school run, I get to see my kids much more - especially during the holidays....challenging at times, but fun most of the time.  I don't earn half as much as I used to, but you learn to live within your own means - did I really need as many clothes (I could live to be 100 and still not have worn all the clothes I have in my wardrobe)?  You have to reassess the important things in life.

I love my job, I get to work with and teach some amazing people, people who come through the door in massive amounts of pain, or are stressed, tired and just having a bad day - come to my classes and leave feeling rejuvenated and generally better about themselves.  People start to be able to walk taller, straighter and free of pain. What better way to spend my days than making people feel a bit better about themselves?  And teaching people that they have been given an amazing thing, their own body....I teach them to view that as a gift and something that should be treasured and nurtured.  I believe that movement is medicine, and everyone should learn how to move correctly and then move more!

So, if you're in the same predicament, weigh up you options and if the Universe is telling you something, then you should listen!

Jill x


If you want to come to any of my Pilates classes in Durham (Langley Park or Willington) , workshops or retreats - then you can check out my website https://www.organicpilates.co.uk

1 comment:

  1. Really good advice - I remember when I hit my own tipping point and had to decide whether to leave employment or not. I did and I'm pleased I made the jump :-)


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