The grunt work is everything that needs to be done behind the scenes, everything that ISN’T teaching class. Not because it’s actually grunt work to most people, but because it is for Taekwon-Do instructors.
The truth is that teaching is the glamorous part of running a school. It’s the most exciting and most rewarding because you are interacting with the students, seeing their progress and making a difference for them.
It also leads instructors directly into a business killing trap.
The trap that many instructors fall into, no matter how long they’ve had a school or what rank they are, is that they focus solely on their program curriculum and neglect their business and marketing efforts which leads to dangerous amounts of stress and frustration. Many times it’s the root cause of instructors giving up on their dream and closing down or downsizing their schools.
There’s events to prepare for, cleaning to do, copies to make, testings to organize, tuition to collect, attendance to track, marketing to do, books to keep, enrollment appointments to prepare for, upgrade appointments to prepare for, curriculum to prepare, your own personal training, and on and on and on.
Most instructors either didn’t know what it would take to run a school when they started and are surprised by the work they have to do, know what to do and don’t want to do it, or think that they shouldn’t have to do it and expect someone else to do it for them.
If you want to run a successful operation, it’s critically important that you focus as much on developing yourself as a successful business person and marketer as you do on your Taekwon-Do training.
Every school is different so I’m not going to give you some one-size-fits-all answer to mastering your “grunt work”.
But here’s an exercise to do that will shed some light on why you feel they way you feel about running a school and give you an access to creating something that works!
Get out a piece of paper and draw a line down the center creating two columns. On the left, write “What I love about running my school!” On the right, write “What I hate about running my school”.
Now take five minutes and fill out that list. Even when you think you’re done, keep thinking for the entire five minutes. You may be surprised by what you come up with.
Everything that’s on the left side is why you started teaching. You’d probably do all that for free if you could because, in a way, that list is the natural expression of who you are.
Everything on the right side is what you’re putting up with and tolerating as a school owner (grunt work). It’s also what you’re getting paid for.
Now take a hard look at everything on the right and determine what things you can delegate, what things you can automate and what things you can do to make sure these things get done and done well.
Just teaching great classes isn’t enough. The “grunt work” is critical and necessary to a successful operation.
About the Author:
Mr. Karstadt is the founder of 1 TKD Consulting and owns the longest running ITF Taekwon-Do school in Arizona, Karstadt Taekwon-Do in Phoenix, AZ with his father Master David Karstadt. He has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline, leadership and business skills of Taekwon-Do in classes and seminars to Instructors around the world. He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do. He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy. Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children. Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org