Episode 13 - Invest in Advanced Training & Education For Your Instructors
Joining us today is the owner of The Fit Factor Studio, Joanna Vargas. Joanna has over 23 years of experience in dance and entrepreneurship.
Today Joanna is going to talk about something often overlooked in a service industry and that is the “product”. Instead of looking elsewhere for answers, Joanna believe that investing in advanced training and education for instructors will improve the product and all that a studio has to offer.
Main - Dan: Fifth degree is more than just two guys with microphones. It is the studio management software you've been looking for. For more info, reach out to me on our website at www.fitdegree.com, on Instagram at the handle @fitdegree, or my email dan.berger, that's B-E-R-G-E-R, at fifthdegree.com to get the conversation started. Alright, now onto the show.
Hello, and welcome back to the fitDEGREE Podcast. I'm your host, Dan Berger, and co-hosting with me as always is the wonderful Nick Dennis. Our guest today is full of energy, and it's sure to be a great show.
Joining us today is the owner of Fit Factor Studio, Joanna Vargas. Joanna has over 23 years of experience in dance and entrepreneurship. Since starting her first official business in 1999, Joanna has taken on many ventures, but has recently decided to focus solely on Fit Factor.
Today, Joanna's going to talk about something often overlooked in the service industry, and that is the product itself. Instead of looking elsewhere for answers, Joanna believe that investing in advanced training and education for instructors will help improve the product and all that a studio has to offer. Welcome to the show, Joanna. We're so glad to have you with us today.
Guest - Joanna: Good morning, gentlemen! And I'm so incredibly grateful to be on this podcast. Thank you for asking me, and I wanna dive right in, so I'm excited.
Support - Nick: Alright.
Main - Dan: Alright, let's get to it. The mic is yours.
Guest - Joanna: Awesome. So I have owned a dance studio. I've owned it for about twelve years. I've sold that business since then. And I now have a fitness studio. And each class in this fitness studio called "The Fit Factor" has no more than ten to twelve students in each class. So it's fairly small. However, also coming from the dance studio, we had up to forty, maybe sixty in each class, you know, Zumba. Total big difference.
So I've seen both sides. I've also taught at every gym, Alley Fitness, Bally Total Fitness, God that's dating me, 24-Hour Fitness. So I've steered all kinds of dance classes. And this is intel that I have put together that I had notice in teaching, and especially teaching something in movement. So it might also pertain to other ... let's say you're a math teacher or you're teaching art. I think it also parallels that. However, when you're teaching movement, and you're also dealing with ... most of us are dealing with adults in fitness unless you're teaching fitness to kids. But we're dealing with adults, and it's completely different than teaching children. And that's one thing I've noticed as well because in fitness, these people coming to you for their first class, they're scared shitless. And can I say that?
Main - Dan: Oh, absolutely.
Guest - Joanna: Can I cuss?
Main - Dan: Absolutely.
Guest - Joanna: They are scared out of their freaking minds. They come in with all these walls and boundaries up because they're trying to protect themselves, and they're trying to look like they're so cool and that they're not nervous, but deep down they're scared. So that's one thing in understanding our clients when they walk in.
I've come up with a bunch of intel, and what I've noticed, and talking to other business owners, is that ... Nick and Dan, also talking to other fitness instructors and dance instructors. Every time the numbers go low, and we all understand what that means. When a class dwindles down and it goes low. And you ask the instructor, "Hey, where are you stuck? What can I help you with?" 99 out of 100 times, I would say even 100 out of 100. They will never say it is them or the product. They will usually blame it, quote on quote, or gave a reason or excuse on why the class is not working.
For example, it's Fridays in the evening. Nobody comes to class on Fridays on the evening. Oh, it's raining, that's why my classes have low numbers. Oh, it's the holidays. Oh, it's this. However, if you get a really strong instructor, it doesn't matter. People will come hell or high water for that instructor, and it doesn't matter.
So that's the biggest things that I've realized. And when working with other instructors, it's talking to them in a way, because this is their baby, their creative. They're creatives. It's just like if you're working with a DJ. Have you ever told the DJ to change the music? They don't like that. Or you're working with somebody that's a graphic artist, and it's because it's their baby and it's ... it's almost like you're making them feel bad.
So it's a way to talk to them to go, "Hey..." It's really hard on this podcast in order to get towards it. But to talk about the actual product itself. And it's getting them to see that it might be them. It's not necessarily the factors surrounding their class.
So that's the first thing that I've noticed. That's step one. And the next thing is I study and I teach the colors. And it's breaking down, and many of you have heard this before. However, I have created my own and developed it and it is just really simple. And I've noticed that by saying colors for certain personality types, there's no judgment, there's no bad energy towards it. You just call it colors.
So for example, there's four colors: red, green, yellow, blue. And I'll say that one more time. Red, green, yellow, blue. Some of you that are listening right now may have learned it in different colors. It's all good. It's pretty much the same thing. But I keep it colors because it's almost like talking to a child and it's simple.
So let's go through it quickly. And usually, I can teach this in like a one or two day workshop, but I'm gonna do this right now in thirty seconds. Red are the strong leader types. These are the presidents, these are the CEOs, these are the strong-willed personalities. This is the smallest percentage on the population on this planet. It's around five average, five percent of the population. However, let me preface it. Every single person is all four colors. It's not like I'm only red and that's it. No, we're all four of them. We just go throughout different colors throughout the day.
Then we have the greens. These are the logical. They're the logical people. They are the thinkers. They're the research people. Those are your clients that had to research you twenty four times before they said yes.
Main - Dan: And they're looking at the numbers.
Guest - Joanna: And you're like, "Oh my gosh, just sign up for class already."
Yeah, they're looking at the numbers. They're running, they're dividing it. Okay, if I get twelve classes, that's that person. They're going to take longer to decide something.
Then we have the yellows. The yellows are the fun class clouds. They like music, they say yes quickly. However, they're usually the ones that are late to class. You know that I'm talking about business owners.
Main - Dan: Oh yes.
Guest - Joanna: They're the ones that are always three minutes late, always running in, it doesn't matter. But they always have a smile on their face.
Then you have the blues. The blues are the highest percentage on this planet. It's about thirty-five percent average. The blues are the peacemakers. They're the longevity people. They're the 9-to-5'ers. They're the teachers. They're the mothers. They wanna make sure that everybody's happy. And that's actually the highest percentage on this planet.
So with that being said, when instructors teach their class, they teach it in their dominant color. I'll say that again.
Main - Dan: Right.
Guest - Joanna: Yeah, so let's say you hire an instructor-
Main - Dan: Well that's comfortable, you know.
Guest - Joanna: It's comfortable and that's what they know. If you hire an instructor, and they're a natural green. They're typically a very logical person. Just very simple, logical, they think before. They do not jump in. They're going to teach the class that way. And they're going to attract people-
Main - Dan: Step by step by over-explanatory step.
Guest - Joanna: By step. Yes, step-by-step and everything's like pretty much kind of boring and gray. I'm going to call it khaki. Just kind of simple. And then they wonder why the yellows are not coming to their class. Because it's quote-on-quote, "boring". That class is freaking boring for a yellow. And same for any kind of color.
So what I've realized is when I teach class, I divide it in twenty five percent, even though the population is higher in other color. I divide the class, and I make sure I do a little bit of each color.
So let me explain. Let's say I start on time, I always start on time, that's for my reds and greens. My music is fun and loud. That's for my yellows. I always give hugs to my clients that are open to hugs. That's for blues. I give high-fives. The high-fives are for the yellows and the blues. I explain what we're going to work on that day and I'm very clear on what I'm about to do. That's for the greens. The reds, I make sure that they get results and that things are pretty tough.
So that gentlemen is a nutshell of how you grow a class, and you speak to the most population. I did that pretty quickly, right?
Main - Dan: Yeah.
Support - Nick: Yeah, absolutely. I would say, we have a ... Dan's a little stronger background in this. I have a background in this, so be both went in knowing a little bit about the colors through birds, the different types of birds, the different types of personalities. But I would say yeah, you hit that pretty much nail on the head. And I like how you do a good job like not breaking up, "Fifteen minutes I cater to one color. Fifteen minutes I cater..." It's like different components of how you run the class cater to different people.
Guest - Joanna: Absolutely. It's like you're making a cake, right? And these are all the ingredients. Or you're making any kind of soup. These are all the ingredients that come together, but not necessarily in any form. It may be in a form because if you're going to start class at a certain time, that's the first thing you do. But however, it's doing all those things. And it's interesting gentlemen, because I can watch a trainer, an instructor for three minutes and already know what they need. Because instructors will say, "Can you come take my class?" I'm like, "I don't need to take your class. I can watch three minutes and I'm done. Got it." That's how ... I can see it in a second.
Main - Dan: You're better.
Guest - Joanna: Correct. Right? But this is the interesting thing. Most clients and studio owners that listen to this. Most clients vote with their feet, right? They do not tell you what they don't or do not know or like. So for example, many of our clients are unconscious. They don't understand why they don't like a class. They can't verbally explain it. All they say is, "I didn't like that instructor." But sometimes they don't even know why. But like somebody like I, I can go into a class-
Main - Dan: They just may not have resonated with you.
Guest - Joanna: Yeah, exactly. Like somebody like myself, I can walk into a class and know, "Oh, I don't know, their music was too low." I could know exactly, and I could articulate it. And I may not come back to the class. But most of our clients, they don't understand why. So that's why they leave, and people don't get why they leave because they haven't heard any feedback from their clients. And I'm going, "Well they voted with their feet. They just didn't come back." And that's it. It's pretty simple.
So only, I would say, one out of 100-ish clients will speak up. And that's usually the reds. You know everybody has that client that's gonna say something like, "Oh, the A/C's too cold." Or, "Oh this." Right? They're going to say something. I love those clients, 'cause those are the ones that you can actually learn from. The other ones, you're just guessing. You're going, "Okay, they didn't come back. I think it's because of this." Or whatever.
And you can tell by my personality that I'm a pretty fast talker. I'm pretty strong. However, I downshift into blue when I teach. This is not the same personality when I teach. It's almost like I'm performing.
Support - Nick: I was gonna say. It's like a show. You gotta ... it really is. It's gotta be entertaining and engaging, 'cause I'm resonating a lot with what you're saying, because I've been to probably about five different yoga studios over the past two or three years as we got into this space just to kind of understand more about it. And there were classes where like I would leave and say to my friend like, "We gotta go back. Like we gotta, we gotta." And I lift weights for fun, so getting me in a yoga class, you know it's not the hardest thing, but you gotta keep me entertained. So to be instructors, I'm like, "We can't, nah. I just ... no, I just don't wanna go back." And other ones I'm like, "We have to go back."
Now whether I go back or not, that's ... I'm a terrible consumer, so you're not making money off of me. But I can tell by like, "Did that instructor resonate with me or not?" And I never said it like that. I've never said it's the instructor's fault. But I'm like, "Maybe we'll go back. Probably not."
Main - Dan: I agree. I've had certain instructors where they tell me to do something. They give me the instructions, and then they let it happen. And then there's others where I feel like I'm being micromanaged. I got it. You explained it. Thank you. And they're like, "Now do this. Now do this." And I'm like, "I'm still on part 1A, and you've given me seven more steps of instruction."
Support - Nick: I thought it was by practice.
Main - Dan: Yeah like, you're annoying me right now. I need to come here to enjoy myself, and you're making me wanna leave.
Guest - Joanna: That's interesting, because that was a lesson for me where I wanted it so good. And I had to learn how to back up. That was a big lesson I could say when I opened the Fit Factor. And I wonder if it's a female-male thing, because I started to ask all my male friends, "Hey, when you go to work out, and there's a female, what would you like?" And they're like, "I'd actually like it if you just gave me direction and back off." I'm like, "Noted."
Main - Dan: So let me ask this then.
Guest - Joanna: Uh-huh.
Main - Dan: Do you think, 'cause I found this was a unique situation, 'cause I knew the instructor very well and was very very close with the instructor. So in hindsight, maybe it was the fact that I knew someone very well. So I felt more comfortable in my head almost being like, "Alright, screw off. Like stop it." Whereas if you don't know someone, it's like ... you rip your friends, but you don't do that with someone you don't know. If I don't know the instructor as well, or on a more personal level, maybe it's when I take their instructions, I take it more seriously.
And it's never occurred to me until now, but I knew the instructor very very well. So maybe in my head, I was like, "Alright." To what someone else would have been like, "Oh, this is just them teaching." To me it was like, "This is them micromanaging."
Guest - Joanna: Oh. Do you think-
Main - Dan: Do you think that would play a role?
Guest - Joanna: You know what, I think yes. And I think it's also maybe their personality. And it's reading that energy. It's reading like, "Okay. This guy wants me to back off. He's not feeling it." Or I can tell some clients where they're looking at me like, "Am I doing it right?" And then I'll read that energy.
Main - Dan: And then they want more.
Guest - Joanna: And they want more. And I'll go closer, and I'll give them more. But I ... see, this is hard. Because it's also teaching human behavior. And I don't know if you know this, but fitness trainers, any kind of fitness professional ... it's one of the highest turnover rates of ... what do you wanna say like-
Main - Dan: Any profession.
Guest - Joanna: Correct. Yes. In five years, I forget the percentage. I don't know, I read this study. But I forget the percentage of in five years, a certain percentage will not be fitness and trainers any longer. Because, this is my own personal opinion, is that they go in thinking that they're going to just teach fitness. And then they end up being a psychologist. And then they're becoming ... you're more. You're also a salesperson. You gotta learn sales. There's a lot more to it that just teaching somebody.
Main - Dan: Making someone sweat.
Guest - Joanna: Correct. Oh my gosh. It's so much more, and that's the biggest thing that I've learned is training the instructors. It's like, "Oh my gosh, this is harder than it looks." And then every instructor says, "Man, we should get paid like a lawyer." Or something like four, $500 dollars an hour.
Support - Nick: Yeah. You're making a huge impact on these people's lives if you're doing it correctly.
Guest - Joanna: Yes! And it's like, we're changing their lives more than if they're going somewhere else. And we're getting paid pennies.
Main - Dan: You're a therapist. Yeah.
Guest - Joanna: Like no.
Support - Nick: We actually, we talked to ... it was a crossfit box on the podcast. This guy, Matthew Becker out in Pittsburgh. And he actually ... so his big thing was, "Why do you do what you do?" And when someone walks into his crossfit box, and they say, "What do you do?" He goes, "We make you a better person." That was his answer, right?
So we're going to do that through fitness, but we're going to continue making a better person through volunteer work, blah blah blah. So he actually offered, actually another guy did this too. Chris Flores. Where they offered a track where it was like one-on-one counseling. And most people would go in there because they were more fitness-based. They would be like, "Oh, how do I get a better squad?" Or something like that. And they would end up talking about more of their life and their therapy. The clients are going in there thinking, "Oh, well if I just pay a hundred dollars an hour to get this guy's undivided attention, I'm going to do more things." And it's like, no you're probably going to have to break down some walls before you can actually achieve those things.
Main - Dan: Right. This person's going to be telling you, in a sense, in a much more positive way, but what you're doing wrong, and what you need to change. And no, but like you said, nobody wants to be told what they're doing wrong and how they need to change. But if you think you should be getting certain results, and you're not getting certain results, clearly there's a disconnect there. And you're coming to pay someone to tell you how to be better, but you don't wanna be told, "You have to be better."
Guest - Joanna: Oh my gosh. You guys hit it ... what is it, nail on the head. Because every time I teach class, and I guess this is the blue side that comes in. Highest percentage on this planet is teaching the mindset. Because the way you do anything is the way you do everything. So if you're not achieving your fitness goals, because you're late to class, because you keep early canceling, because you keep ... whatever. Where else are you doing this in your life? It's a complete parallel.
Main - Dan: Absolutely.
Guest - Joanna: And you're absolutely right. Every client that comes in is like, "Man, I thought I was just coming in for fitness. Now I've been here for three years. And you've changed my mind. You've changed my life, you've changed my relationship, you changed with the kids. Yeah, and we also have a coaching program, and we set up 90-day power plans with them, action plans ...
Support - Nick: There you go. Yeah.
Guest - Joanna: We have them choose their word for the year. We have them choose their theme for the quarter theme for the year. And it's interesting, because they all sign up for this coaching program, think that it's going to be, "We're going to set up your goals for your body." And we actually ... you see them. It's ten goals for everything else. And I'm like, by doing that you will achieve the body you want, because you're already coming to class.
Support - Nick: Yes.
Guest - Joanna: But you're going uphill, right? It's like you've turned your paddle, you canoe around and you're trying to go upstream, upstream. And it's not working!
Support - Nick: Yeah.
Guest - Joanna: Are you ready to turn the canoe around and just chill and lie down? And I'm going to show you other ways to do it. Right? You're absolutely right, oh my gosh. And those are the gyms. Those are the studios that survive. Survival of the fittest.
Support - Nick: Yeah. Yup, yup.
Guest - Joanna: Yup.
Main - Dan: So when you're ...
Support - Nick: Because you're creating sticky customers now.
Guest - Joanna: How unique.
Support - Nick: That's one of my favorite words. And how can we constantly create sticky customers? You don't want someone that's just ... gets the benefit of what you do. They wanna understand and tap into why you do what you do, and once they get to that, I mean, they're going anywhere. You've changed their life.
Guest - Joanna: Yeah. Simon cynic. The why.
Support - Nick: Yup. That's exactly ... I didn't wanna drop it. The podcast [crosstalk 00:20:59].
Main - Dan: The podcast with Matthew Becker. That was his big thing.
So when you're training your instructors, how often do you, "Okay, here's the colors people. Here's how it works." And all these blues are like, "Man, I must be a red." And all these yellows are like, "Oh I'm definitely a green." And you're like-
Guest - Joanna: Nobody ever thinks they're their color.
Main - Dan: Okay. I thought you were going to say nobody ever thinks that. I was going to say, "Whoa!"
Guest - Joanna: No, they do a lot.
Main - Dan: Everyone always wants to be the red, or they're the opposite.
Guest - Joanna: Yes!
Main - Dan: And how do you get ... it's like, "Listen up. No you're not. You are twenty minutes late three times in a row. You're not red. Like, I mean ... And they don't wanna hear the facts. "Well but this, but that." They're also inside the box. They can't see the facts. How do you deal with that, 'cause it's such a ... no, but it takes years for people to figure out on their own what color they are, and nobody wants to be told what color they are unless you're telling them they are a red.
Guest - Joanna: Okay. Two things on that. The first thing is I have a little quiz ... I guess test, quote-on-quote, that they can take, and then it'll show them. And I have never been wrong, gentlemen. I can be with someone and know what color they are. So when they take the quiz, and they're done, and they do their score, I always play a little like joker game, and I'll say, "Okay, are you red-yellow?" And they're like, "How did you know?" I go, "Because I just know."
And that's also the buy in for them to trust me that I know what I'm talking about. And like, "Oh my gosh, I didn't think this!" Okay that's one. The second thing is what I've noticed is on this planet, in this reality in 2019, if you're listening in real-time, we teach in our culture that red is the cool one. Red is the awesome one. So all of these books, ten-X, do this. Just everything is the red. Come on.
Main - Dan: Wake up early, go to bed late.
Guest - Joanna: Yeah, wake up ... yes! Boundaries! All these books, right? And these books are talking to the five percent. However, it's talking to everybody and making them feel like they're wrong for being a blue, for being quote-on-quote "sensitive", when blue is actually the highest percentage. And there's a documentary on Netflix, and I do not know the name, but it's about men. Oh, it's so good if anybody else out there is listening. It's about men, and how the highest percentage of suicides is in men because if you're blue, you're considered a quote-on-quote "pussy" with men.
So men are taught ... right?
Support - Nick: No. Yup, you're absolutely right. I didn't see that word coming, but yup.
Main - Dan: Oh I did.
Guest - Joanna: I'm sorry, haha!
Main - Dan: I've heard this lesson a million times from my mentor.
Guest - Joanna: Right? Okay, so men are taught to be tough, when only five percent are really tough, and the rest are really sensitive, but they're usually sensitive just with their girls behind close doors, but when they're guys ... well that's a whole other thing. Also noticing when people come together, most people don't wanna be blue because it's looked at as weak.
Main - Dan: Oh everyone puts on something. They put on what they want ... I was taught taking this a step further. There's three layers of this. The outer layer is showing everybody what you think they want to see. The next layer is showing people what you wish you were. And then most people go, "I don't show everyone what I think I want them to be." Well if you're listening to this, I'm sorry, you're wrong. You do, because we all do it.
Support - Nick: Social media it just starts with that.
Main - Dan: There you go. Go with your social media. Did you post the time you're eating an ice cream for breakfast, 'cause you were depressed? Probably not.
Guest - Joanna: Lying around and ...
Main - Dan: Yeah in your pajamas. So then that next layer is ... alright, you've gotten down, you're not caring so much what you think other people think of you and this and that. But there's the you you wish you were. And that's the, "I've reconciled with what I am." For example, I know I'm a blue. And I know I've got a strong second component of green. That's a weird mix. But then there's the, "Okay, so now I have to be considerate, and I have to be on time for everything, and all my schedules should be ..." At the end of the day, I know I'm not always like that. But there's the me I think I should be, and that often times for all of us is unrealistic. And we create stress and pressure pushing an unrealistic and borderline red-esque goal on ourselves. And that's a very difficult one to get over because you're being yourself, but you're not being the real yourself.
Support - Nick: It takes a lot of energy.
Main - Dan: It does. And then that inner circle is the real you. There's actually psychology books that will say most people in your lifetime, as depressing as it sounds, never get to that inner circle. And again, to everyone listening to this saying, "Well I'm different," there's a statistic that the average American thinks they're smarter than the average American. You're not different. These rules apply to all of us. This has been around thousands of years.
And that inner circle, they say that's people that are truly happy in life. The Dalai Lama, people that are masters of introspection and observation, and have spent their life learning these things. And I always thought it was so interesting with how these three circles, these three layers, everyone seems to think they're exempt from them regardless of the fact that most of us aren't.
And the only [inaudible 00:26:24] I've found is that reds. They tend to not put up with that outer circle, because they don't care what other people think. Caring about what other people think just doesn't get them results.
So in a sense, we talked about how the reds are kind of the winners here. It seems a little unfair, and maybe reality is, it is a little unfair. You guys start one step ahead of the game. But perspective, there's a lot of things that reds have to deal with that the other colors don't, and people never see that. They only see the difficulties of their own colors. They don't take into account that that red feels a constant pressure to overachieve, and nothing they ever do is good enough. And they got two hours of sleep the last three nights in a row. You're on a verge of a breakdown and nobody will ever know it.
Guest - Joanna: That's good. Wow, I really like how you put that. That is good. As you were speaking something came up because I do have a couple instructors where some are able to downshift. For example, myself, I'm not a dominant blue, but I can downshift in when I teach. Like you said, putting on a show. But I do have some, and if anybody listening and the instructors, owners, that you're like, "I just have some red instructors, and they're not gonna change. Like that's just the way they are." So then capitalize on that, monetize that, and then give them a specific class. For example, give them the advanced students.
Main - Dan: Oh you add money to the nest and the reds are all for it.
Guest - Joanna: Correct, right? Like niche them down, but don't give them beginners. And we had that. We had a red instructor, red-green, and was all like, all business, no fun, right? And all the new bees that came in were scared to death of her. So we're like, "You know what? Let's just change the class. Don't give her beginners. Let's just do this, and because it's not going to change. It's just not in her DNA." Where others were able to shift it down a little.
Main - Dan: Greens don't change. They dislike change more than any other color.
Guest - Joanna: Oh, you're right! Oh my gosh. Everybody knows a few greens listening. Like the logical ones, the ones that go on vacation, and it's mapped out, you know?
Main - Dan: Yes, oh my gosh.
Guest - Joanna: They have an itinerary. Literally a printed itinerary. I'm a red-yellow, so I go on vacation, I'm like, "Oh [crosstalk 00:28:38]."
Main - Dan: How much fun can I have?
Guest - Joanna: Yes, that it! Who am I going to meet today? I have no freaking clue.
Support - Nick: That's super fun. So now my question that I had before was, so you break it down to the instructor, because I agree with you that no instructor ever says that it's their fault. But the fact of the matter is is that instructors lead this studio business industry.
People come flock for these instructors, no matter what time or location they're at. So now, you've confronted the instructor. You've told them it's their fault, essentially, and that they need to make changes. How many people do you lose at that stage? Or how many people are receptive to being taught how to be a better instructor after you teach these colors, and it's their fault before the test, after the test, kind of walk us through that. 'Cause that's a big deal. That's a huge eye opener for an instructor to one: find out when they're not effective, and two: like you just said, now they're learning that this is an emotional intelligence job versus just getting people into shape and assuming they'll listen?
Guest - Joanna: That is a great question. Wow. Okay, everybody listening, that was a great question. I would say in my own personal opinion, it's about twenty-five percent that I've lost.
Support - Nick: Okay. That's not bad.
Guest - Joanna: Not bad, right? However, some clients will get attached, and they'll be like, "What happened to Joe Blow?" Well they didn't last. Another one bites the dust, so to speak. And as an owner, I don't say that, but ... it's kind of known. So it's interesting because I've hired a new manager for my studio. So she comes from a corporate world where this doesn't happen. Like in corporate, once you get a job, people don't leave jobs as often. However, you were dealing with creatives. So as soon as you hurt their feelings of being creative, they're like, "Okay, bye." They don't stay.
So 25 is actually pretty good. It used to be higher, right? So I look at it this way. Let's say when you set married, you didn't date the first guy or girl and find them right away. You had to date a bunch. And so you're like, "Oh, I like this one." And then it lasted and then you broke up with that one. Then maybe you found another one that you dated in-between.
I kind of see it that way when I'm hiring talent. And so it's like I'm just dating, and I'm looking for that long-term marriage. And only some are gonna stay, and I don't take it personally as I did before. But I do have clients or other employees that take it personally, and until I teach them, "This is just the way it is in the dance and fitness world."
Main - Dan: As much as I agree with you there, it's just statistically, you're not likely to find the perfect match in just about anything on the first try, whether that'd be your hobbies, whoever you end up dating, marrying, job. I know a lot of people that thinking like that really scares them. I have a friend right now. He was in a relationship that all the rest of our friends, we just ... we all gave our no-vote for it. We just didn't think it was good for him, we didn't like the girl. She wasn't very friendly or considerate. And we told him, "You're better off. You'll learn from this." And he just, in his mind, it's been months, it is the end-all be-all. There won't be another. "But I spent so much time."
And on the other side, it was like, "Yeah, you spent so much time. You learned so much. You'll be better off from now on." But I know a lot of people that when that relationship, or that job, or that something comes to end, they got comfortable there whether it was good or bad, and the change ... they're going to have to start from zero, terrifies them. It really scares them.
Guest - Joanna: Is it that they don't believe that it will get better or be better?
Main - Dan: Well from the outside looking in on that one, I didn't think it could be much worse, if I'm being completely honest. But I think people get ... and again I think it has to do with their colors. I think the reds go, "Upgrade. Next. That didn't work. I'll do better next time." The others, they get comfortable. Or some of our yellows and blues that like comfort and simplicity, it's work or standing outside of a comfort zone to do something new, and to get hurt, and to start all the way over. But they put so much work in, or "I got so comfortable."
So I think it's this daunting task to them, and they just get so negative, not that, "I'll put all this work in again, and it'll be twice as good as before," but, "Now I have to start over. Now I have to do the work again. Now I got comfortable. Now I've got uncomfortable. Now I'm comfortable with that and I have to get uncomfortable again." And I think they really don't like it.
Guest - Joanna: You know what's interesting on that is that what I've noticed is whenever I ask for something, usually I lose something. So let's say for example I have my annual plan, and then I have my quarterly plan, and I say, "I would like a hundred clients," let's say. And then all of a sudden, I lose my best client. And I'm like, "Okay, this is the universe saying I need to get rid of this one, 'cause I'm going to bring me two better ones." And it always happens. Every time we lose something ...
So let's say you lose an instructor. I'm like, "Oh my gosh, that instructor was so great." This just happened to me. And I got two way better instructors. But it's like your closet. You can't get more clothes if you have all this crap in there, and you can't get the clothes out. As soon as you make space for new clothes, new clothes will come in. And that's how I see employees, talent, clients. Some need to leave in order to make room for the new and the better.
Main - Dan: I really like that.
Support - Nick: Yeah, I think that's a fair thing to say. Well alright, so if someone wanted to keep the conversation going with you about this, I mean, what can you offer to someone, and how can they keep in contact with you?
Guest - Joanna: I am open for coaching, which I love doing. That's my zone of genius is being in front of people like coaching them, either one-on-one or small group. And you can go to my Facebook page. My personal Facebook page, which is Joanna Vargas Official. Joanna Vargas Official. Also on Instagram, and I would love to work with your studio.
Support - Nick: Awesome, so that's Joanna Vargas of the Fir Factor Studio. You can follow her on Instagram or go to her Facebook page. Thank you so much for being on the show today.
Guest - Joanna: Well thank you, gentlemen! I had so much fun! Thank you everybody for listening and go kick some butt in your studio!
Main - Dan: Alright!