Zen – A school of Mahayana Buddhism that asserts that enlightenment can be attained through meditation, self contemplation, and intuitionrather than through faith and devotion and that is practiced mainly in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Also called Zen Buddhism.
As a Taekwon-Do instructor and school owner you must be able to find the time, energy and resources to work in your school and on your school. You must have the ability to be the instructor, the salesperson, the confidant, the marketer, the janitor and the boss.
When you are the one responsible for the entire business you have to handle all of these roles that many businesses have divided and delegated. These roles are difficult to balance and is the source for most, if not all of the challenges that school owners face everyday.
So rather than you suffering through running your school on a day to day basis and trying to find the time for meditation and self-contemplation (both of which I do believe are of great value) I want to give you a short cut to piece of mind.
Often we think of the tasks listed above and the many others that present themselves unexpectedly as one more thing to deal with, stacked on top of one more thing, on top of a mountain of things already there. This is a quick recipe for overwhelm and stress.
In order to make a difference here, there is a particular way of thinking and organizing your time and activities that you won’t learn from any time management course or Steven Covey book.
You must see your role in your business in three ways. The Instructor, the Owner, and the Entrepreneur.
Even just one of these responsibilities is a full time job, but you (and many others like you) have the privilege of taking on all three. And to have any kind of peace of mind, you must understand all three.
The Instructor –
This is the glamour role.
This is where you are leading and teaching, where you are making a difference in the lives of others, where you are in the front of the room and where you are actively participating, training and involved in sharing the art that you love. The role of the instructor is often the next logical step for someone who has been training for years and has a desire to teach. It is the role that has proven to be one of the most compelling reasons that instructors pursue teaching and ultimately attempt to run a Taekwon-Do school.
As the instructor you are working in your school. It’s as if you have just created a job for yourself.
The Owner –
This is the role that carries the most financial responsibility. It scares instructors off and is often not something they are not skilled at.
The owner is the one who has to set up corporations, sign leases, set up merchant accounts, pay rent, collect tuition, keep the books, figure out marketing, get new students in the door and whatever else is required to stay in business. This is where running a Taekwon-Do business stops being fun and inspiring and starts to become stressful. I admit that these responsibilities are not the ones that keep me coming back for more, but they are as necessary as teaching great classes.
As the owner you are working on your school.
The Entrepreneur –
The first part of the definition of an entrepreneur is one who organizes and operates a business or businesses. This is the role that you get to play when you have established the first two. This is where you can get as creative as you want and have the potential for vastly multiplying your income.
The entrepreneur is the instructor who started off teaching Taekwon-Do and then expanded their business to include a line of clothing, private lessons, leadership coaching, writing a book, packaging popular seminars and anything else they can think of.
A great example of an entrepreneur is billionaire Richard Branson. He has started over 400 companies and you can bet that he wasn’t the one putting phones together or flying airplanes. He was the entrepreneur, the man with the ideas and the desire to execute them!
Now that we’ve established all three critical roles, where do you fit? You may notice that you fit into one more than another.
The majority of instructors are stuck in the instructor role working in their school. They have just created a job for themselves and wonder why the dream of owning their own business isn’t everything they had dreamed it would be. In reality (although they may be the owner) they are still operating with an employee mentality. It is evident when you see them barely treading water and struggling in the owner role. Consequently this leaves them light years from taking action in the entrepreneur role.
You could say that your achievement of Zen when it comes to running your Taekwon-Do school is when you have effectively moved from instructor to owner to entrepreneur. Along the way, if you choose, you can continue to be the one who handles certain responsibilities in any role (such as teaching), but you are doing it because you choose to, not because you have to.
Where are you with your school? Where do you want to be? Do you have a plan to get there?
Please share in the comments below!
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 winning 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