I was hired as a Pilates instructor at a tony health club, and management asked me to offer free demos as a way to introduce myself to their members.
I’ve given so many friggin’ demos since I became an instructor, almost ten years ago, and sometimes it feels like a real soul killer to have to continuously sell myself.
That being said, I decided to suck it up, adjust my attitude and sell, sell, sell. It’s been a tough work year. I lost several clients back in March, and I haven’t picked up many new ones. I did leave the country to teach Pilates in Dubai for two months, so that didn't bode well for clientele building and consistency.
I deliver quality Pilates instruction, with the added bonus of a kick ass personality, but the evidence didn’t lie and I wondered if I might be doing something wrong. Perhaps it was my laissez-faire attitude towards beautifying myself for my clients. As unimaginable as that sounds, maybe my winning personality wasn’t enough. I know, I can’t believe it either. Could my client drought actually be because I don’t wear make-up, or blow dry my hair before hitting the Pilates studio?
I never felt that I should have to succumb to such shallow and superficial tactics. I choose to sit comfortably crossed legged on my high horse, espousing such ditties as, “Like me for who I am, or go away. I'm here to help you with your Quasimodo posture, not win a beauty contest.” Aren’t I adorable and misguided.
It was the same when I lived in Los Angeles. I believed that my talent alone would get me hired, not my f--kability factor. I think we can all agree that my strategy was both flawed and incredibly naive.
What’s wrong with putting on mascara and showing a hint of cleavage (men do Pilates) if it’s going to bring in the people? As an experiment, I wanted to see what would happen if I made more of an effort.
I put on make-up, as if I were going to a wedding, and I changed my clothes a half dozen times, finally deciding on a head to toe Lululemon ensemble. My Astro pants gave me a camel toe, and a wedgey. Perfect. I went with a tight purple Define jacket, wearing only my bra underneath. I smoothed out my hair, and flat ironed my ponytail. I did not shower. It was my little secret. Between me and… me?
After two long hours, several women, and men, asked to see exercises on the Pilates Reformer. I can’t be certain what brought them over but, unlike the proud, naive, and stubborn girl, who wouldn’t sleep around in Hollywood, I had no problem showing skin and combing my hair.
Even if the superficial brings me clients, keeping them is where the true talent lies. I suppose I can offer to sleep with them. You don’t have to tell me twice.