school owner

With the new year about to begin, it's a good time to share a unique and potentially difficult discussion on the differences between honesty and brutality.

Numerous friends and peers have mentioned honesty as something they struggle with in varying capacities. That struggle might emanate from people not being honest enough with themselves, with others or with members of their business.

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In my years as a martial artist and school owner, I've had the fortune of being able to instruct many students with Down Syndrome, as well as students who are on the autism spectrum and who have various mental and physical disabilities. Given the inclusive nature of the martial arts — no one sits on the bench! — I know that many of my fellow school owners also have had this experience. However, in 2010, thanks to Deidre Pujols and the Pujols Family Foundation, I was given the opportunity to do even more.

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I've operated a martial arts school full time for 45 years. I may have made every mistake that can be made in this business. The reason I'm still in business, I believe, is I asked for help. I learned quickly that others before me had already found solutions. In this column, I'll point out key mistakes I made in my career, which are common errors among school owners, both large and small, throughout our industry. And I'll share the solutions I used to overcome them.
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The Technological Tool That Will Enable You to Market Your Studio to Smartphone Users

In order to be relevant in today's economy, a business needs to adopt a culture of innovation. It's the only way to keep up with your customers and your competitors, all of whom are constantly evolving.

Ten years ago, the way consumers shopped for products and services was drastically different. Back then, the majority of people still purchased from brick-and-mortar stores and lacked the tools that are available today for product research.

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Success has many forms, and everyone defines what it looks like for himself or herself. But no matter how different their views of success, there is one time of year when nearly everyone contemplates their goals: January 1.

If you jump into the new year like I do, you find that your thought process begins to revolve around goals. The start of the year is a springboard for introspective evaluation and, often, change. We do this in our personal lives, as well as in our work and business lives.

Focusing on business success is what I do as Executive Director of MAIA. That said, I cannot determine what success looks like for your school. My definition may not be the same as yours. But what I do know is everyone should be driving toward a picture of success as they see it. And you must first define success in order to achieve it.

Think about it: No one wakes up in the morning and says, "I'd like to fail today." But without a clear, personal definition, how can one tell the difference between success and failure?

Going into the holidays and the new year, I want to encourage everyone not only to set goals but also to create a "measuring stick" so you know if you are, in fact, succeeding. Without speaking to you one-on-one, I can't tell you what your "stick" should be. For some of you, it may be how many students you can enroll. For others, it may be getting your students to qualify for a certain tournament or having a certain number of students reach the level where they can test for black belt.

Whatever goals you set for success in 2020, make them your own. Believing in your goals is key to achieving what you set out to accomplish.

The Martial Arts Industry Association was created to help you accomplish these types of goals, and it can help all martial arts professionals become more successful on their own terms. We provide support in many ways — through the articles in this magazine, for starters. MAIA has a myriad of programs, from its Elite one-on-one consulting program to MAIA consultant Cris Rodriguez' MAIA Foundations social media marketing course. (See her feature article in this issue.) We offer curriculums created by the world's best martial artists and business pros. We built the MAIA Edge website to be perfect for both small and large schools. The Martial Arts SuperShow, presented every July, has the sole purpose of taking you farther along your path to success.

Every year, the goal of MAIA is to provide even more effective help to all school owners. To accomplish that, we need to define your success and find your pain points. Please give us a call, attend an event or send an email identifying any problems that may be standing in your way. Together we can help you attain success, no matter what your goals may be.

To contact Frank Silverman, send an email to teamcfck@aol.com. Find him on Twitter and Facebook at @franksilverman.

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