Break Glass in Case of Emergency


2020 is finally in the rearview mirror.

You’ve made it through a one-of-a-kind, break-glass-in-case-of-emergency crisis; we have all grown and changed as a result of this unprecedented global event. Think about it: You have improved your problem-solving skills. You have new knowledge of how to manage cash flow. You have more insight into what your customers think about your studio. You have new knowledge in how to create virtual dance classes and how to sell those classes to your customers. You have also found a way to navigate your business during a national shutdown that permanently closed a lot of other businesses. Many of those businesses were much bigger … but you are still standing.

So where do you go from here? How do you capitalize on all of this growth for 2021 and beyond? If this whole ordeal has reinforced anything to me after running a studio for 33 years, it is that you must have a positive studio environment. Yes, having a great team is key to your studio culture, but the biggest key to having a positive, encouraging, and creative studio is … you! And you have to remain prepared to “break the glass” whenever needed.

Zig Ziglar is famous for saying, “If you do what you have always done, then you will get the same results you have always had.” Consider this: If you don’t like the way some of your clients act, or the way some of your students behave, or the way your staff and faculty work, then it is up to you to change the environment. If you just accept it, it will never change and only get worse. If you just go along with it, then you can’t complain about it.

You can’t be afraid to break the glass again and again … emergencies come in all shapes and sizes and once they are gone, it’s like a breath of fresh air coming into both your studio and your mindset. We often spend large amounts of time focusing on the one or two issues that are giving us a problem, taking us away from time that should be spent elsewhere on creative and business pursuits. It’s time to weed out those toxic segments of your studio life. Break that glass, because it is an emergency! It’s one of the best business decisions I have ever made. You can’t afford to have negative people and situations around your customers, students, staff, and most importantly, yourself.

The new year is the time to make sure you get off to a great start. If you have a client or employee who just isn’t going to be happy moving forward (or was a problem last year), find a way to say goodbye. Do you really need the headaches they bring? Sometimes the sound of breaking glass will be music to your ears!

Here’s something else to consider. Having positive, thought-provoking messages on your studio walls can reinforce what your studio is all about. Now, more than ever, people are being told “don’t do this” and “don’t do that.” So how about highlighting messages that tell them what they can do and what they are capable of doing with the right mindset. And don’t stop there. Create messages for yourself, ones that get your day off to a great start or wrap up your day when you had many challenges you had to deal with.

It’s easy to develop a cynical view about issues in your business if you are not careful. So many people have a jaded, negative outlook on work, life, and the overall state of affairs—it’s hard not to be critical about the world. But it doesn’t have to be that way, especially within your studio. You must keep yourself in check with a positive outlook and charge ahead with an optimistic view, high energy, and use of encouraging words. Right now, everyone is looking for direction, so keep in mind that people involved in your studio will be following your lead. If you are spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about a problem, it could affect your productivity in negative ways. It’s important that you stay conscious of this so you can toss out any thoughts that are not serving you well.

Here are a few positive affirmation messages that I like. You can use these, tweak them, or create your own from them. I recommend that you type them out and laminate them on a bright sheet of paper or card. Keep them with you, look at them often, and really buy into what they say. You must absorb and project good vibes if you want everyone around you to do the same. I happen to be a positive person, glass half-full-kind of guy. But even positive people need to be aware of the negative thoughts, energy, and people that can and will creep into your world and mind if you are not constantly updating your thought process.

I know this mindset for success will empower you for years to come, from 2021 and beyond. Remember to break the glass when you need to. Then keep the positivity going!

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