Simply Music My Only Income
Elisa J., New York
Let me just start asking, is SM your main income? Are you the main provider for your family? I know that this is possible just from hearing some of your stories (great ones, by the way) but I guess I need to hear a little more. I was just talking to my mom about my part-time job (dental hygiene one) and how my employer has been on my case lately. I’ve been there for almost eight years now. Her solution was “why don’t you just quit that and focus on your business (SM she means?)” I am aware that this is an obvious solution. Even though it is a part-time job dental hygiene really helps toward my family’s financial responsibilities and probably the main reason why I don’t want to remove this safety net. The fear of being unable to replace my income as a dental hygienist is there. I can’t say that I’ve put enough effort into marketing myself as a SM teacher so that’s a main one. I don’t know what I’m asking but I need some guidance…anything. I don’t know if you remember a message I sent way back when about what I’ve learned so far. I mentioned that the LEAP, REAL and MILE programs are important ones to have. This is probably going to blow up the forum so if you’d like to reply on or off would be great. I’d like to hear especially from those who’ve done the LEAP, REAL or MILE program. The questions below were taken from the LEAP brochure so I thought I’d put it out there for anyone else who might need it. I think I can answer them all for myself and just don’t have the courage to act on it.
• What is it that you don’t see, the seeing dictated by it?
• What do you believe it is that limits you?
• What is it that actually limits you?
• What defines your results in any and every area?
• What are you currently unaware of that will transform your results in any and every area?
Jennifer L., California
I don’t have time at the moment to answer all the questions listed below, but I had to pipe up and let you know what my experience has been.
Simply Music is my primary source of income. I don’t have a family to support, but my monthly expenses, for reasons I won’t go into on here, are extraordinarily high for a single person.
Teaching Simply Music has completely changed my life, in many more ways than one. But one of them certainly is my ability to meet my high monthly expenses doing something I’m deeply passionate about.
I’ve been teaching Simply Music since 2006. In the beginning, I did a lot of marketing: Craig’s List, flyers in stores and music schools, flyers to grade schools, a sign on my car, T-shirts, etc. I did that for less than a year, and I’ve never had to advertise since. My studio is full, and I have a waiting list. All has come to me via the Simply Music website and word of mouth.
I happen to have a couple other businesses (neither of which brings me any significant income) that I’m quite passionate about as well. I know that, if my time and energy were not divided as they are, I could be teaching more and bigger classes and making an even better income than I’m making.
Simply Music is such an amazing method; and Neil’s support, the support of all the folks at the Simply Music office, and the support of this beautiful community of teachers is so wonderful. I don’t know the details of your finances or the economics of the area in which you live, but my guess is that it will be possible for you to replace that income… and then some! It might just take a little time to build it.
Shanta R., Minnesota
I’m in a similar situation to you and I feel your conflict. When I had my daughter, I had a full time, good paying job that I liked. And then I had a baby and my outlook on life changed. I realized that I didn’t have 40 of my daughter’s waking hours to waste at work every week. So I started looking for something that I could do where I could make my own schedule and set my own income and work from home. Obviously, I found Simply Music. But of course starting a business from scratch doesn’t usually happen overnight. We still needed the income from my day job.
I would have liked to start with 40 students right away, but that wasn’t in the stars for me. My studio has grown gradually, over the last two years, to about 27 students. Around 12 students, I told my boss that we needed to talk about my schedule or she was going to be getting my two-weeks notice very soon. I wasn’t ready to quit from an income perspective, but I was at the end of my tether emotionally. To my surprise, my boss let me stay on at 19 hours a week for 7 months – and then extended the seven months to 10 months. Things went along pretty well and I wondered if I’d be ready when my November end date came around. I reached 27 students in September, and I am now at the point where I can’t cope with any more students AND maintain the 19 hour/week job. The 10 months is over and my last day at work is November 18, as agreed by me and my employer. My family will be operating “in the hole” for a few months while I build up my studio to about 40 students, but the past 2 years have taught me to trust that it will unfold for me the way it’s supposed to. The way I think about it – 27 students in two years, and over the past 9 months my attrition rate has really dropped. People clearly want to take piano from me. My family has the financial resources to cushion the blow for a few months, and it’s time to take that leap.
I like to think of this as a journey where my job isn’t to necessarily know exactly how I’ll get there, but to just keep walking and trusting. You’ll know when it’s time for you to take the big leap and quit. Trust yourself.
Laurie Richards, Nebraska
SM is my family’s primary source of income as well. My husband works part-time so we can have insurance benefits. This has allowed us to have flexible schedules and share homeschooling duties. He used to work full-time in a job he disliked. About five years ago I just told him to find something part-time and I would beef up my studio. He was scared to make that jump, but honestly it didn’t occur to me that it wouldn’t work out.
I think it helps to look at how many additional students per month it would take to make the same amount of money you would be giving up in your job. Then do what you need to do in order to get those additional students.
Also, ask yourself if there are any expenses that you can reduce or eliminate to close the income gap if one exists. In my experience, it’s much more fulfilling to give up something that is really not necessary than to work at a job I don’t enjoy in order to pay for that extra expense. But that kind of depends on your personality.
What I do know without a doubt is that if you WANT to make SM your primary income, you certainly can.
Ray N., New Zealand
I agree with the other comments here. I just want to also encourage you to go with your “heart”. I have run a full-time teaching studio and been the sole bread winner for my family over 13 years now. I don’t ever regret doing that, and have there been challenges over the years-of course, but things have always worked out, and I have been so thankful that I had the courage to take the plunge.
This year I had another new adventure/challenge of selling my studio business of many years, in Kansas City, and relocating to New Zealand, and starting completely over with building a new studio from the ground up, in a culture where there are not many SM teachers (not yet, but am working on that one!). Again I am the sole bread winner, and the cost of living is much higher down here. But again I have gone with my heart, added lots of courage, and watched doors open before me. I have learned over the years, to let go of fear, and to embrace change and to realize that the only thing stopping me from success could be me! I encourage you to do the Teaching from the Future programs. They have been so helpful to me and my success as a teacher.