Maintaining An Entrepreneur’s Mindset In Your Martial Art School Operations

Fear makes you do stupid things.

I think all martial artists know that it’s a basic sparring strategy to get your opponent to act out of fear instead of logic. And, that’s because fear causes you to hesitate, to freeze up, to second guess your gut.

Fear makes you dumber than you really are.

“Fear makes for a really crappy growth strategy.” – Amy C. Cosper, Editor-in-Chief, Entrepreneur

So, why is it that we’re being told we need to fear the current economic situation?

Could it possibly be because with a 24-hour news cycle, the media always needs something to talk about?

Could it be because a fearful populace is easier to herd and control?

Could it simply be because the people who are supposed to know what’s really going on honestly don’t have a clue how the markets work?

I don’t have the answers to those questions, and frankly I don’t think anyone will except in hindsight 20 years from now. However, what I do know is that Ms. Cosper is exactly right in her assessment of how fear stunts your business growth.

There are plenty of opportunities in the market right now for martial art school owners. Here are some examples to get you thinking about how you can turn the current situation into your favor:

  • After-School and Summer Karate: In more and more families both parents are having to work outside the home to make it. That makes after-school and summer day camp martial arts programs a potential gold-mine for school owners this year.
  • Now Is A Great Time To Purchase Your Building: If you’re financially stable now would be a great time to look into buying a commercial location for your school. Interest rates are low and property values have plummeted – there may be no better time in the next 20 years to move on acquiring commercial property.
  • Lease Ending Soon? Then It’s Time To Renegotiate Terms Or Find a Better Location! Trust me, your landlord is sweating bullets right now about keeping tenants. If you’re not in a position to buy a building for your school, you might still be able to negotiate better terms on your lease if it’s about to expire. And if not, consider looking for a more desirable location now that the leasing market is at a low.

Remember, those with entrepreneurial DNA are always thinking about the upside of down, and are constantly seeking ways to turn every situation to their advantage.

Maintain this mindset, and your business might not just weather the storm – you may very well see your martial arts business grow in areas you never anticipated.

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” – Sun Tzu


  1. Jeff Barnes on January 29, 2009 at 8:45 am

    I think it is also a great opportunity to re-invest some time in your business.

    Some easy things to do while others are fretting over money and talk about hard times is to make your school more marketable by doing some sprucing up.

    The look of your school goes a long way into satisfying the needs of the students to feel comfortable with their decision to join your program.

    Another low cost item I would also suggest is to spend some extra time getting the word out about your school. During these ‘tough times’ it is smart for you to get tougher on communication. I would recommend spending more time getting your newsletters out and blogging about your school. People are looking for the distraction to the doom and gloom they are seeing on TV. It is good to communicate a positive an strong image about your school and the direction you are going.

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