No matter how successful, motivated, and passionate you are when it comes to your career as a studio owner, it’s inevitable: at some point, you’ll need to add some fuel to the fire that drives your work.
Maybe you’re undergoing a shift in your personal life, or feeling burnt out, or just fighting a case of the winter doldrums. In any case, here are some ideas for reigniting the spark that made you fall in love with teaching in the first place.
Mentor a student. This winter alone, I’ve already met with 4 high school students who are interested in pursuing a career similar to mine. There really is no better way to remind myself what an awesome career I have than to educate young, eager minds. Their enthusiasm and response to the information I share with them does wonders for my own enthusiasm towards my work. A good way to put yourself out there as a mentor is to contact local high school guidance counselors.
Go back to your musical roots. Too often we forget that music isn’t just our job — it’s also fun and can be a wonderful outlet for stress relief. We were all musicians before we became music educators, and sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to reconnect with our inner musician.
Phone a friend. We studio owners have to stick together. After all, no matter what you’re going through in your career, there are others out there experiencing the very same things – both the good and the bad. Just this morning, I had a phone chat with a friend several states away who is facing the same challenges as me in terms of her business. After our conversation, I felt better knowing I wasn’t alone and also came away with some great ideas.
Take on a brand new challenge. I get antsy when I become too comfortable in my work, which is why I’m always looking for new opportunities for professional growth. In years past, I have pursued business-related challenges (including leaving a full-time job and growing my private studio). The further from your comfort zone you go, the more rewarding the challenge.
Take a break. Sometimes the best way to get excited about your work all over again is to step away for a short time. Take a mental health day, or a week-long vacation, or a 3-month maternity leave (this worked wonders in my case). Many of the studio owners I know have a tendency to overwork themselves, which can lead to burnout and exhaustion. By knowing your limits and taking time for proper self-care, you’ll be doing good by yourself and your students.
As a resident of the very cold, gray and snowy Midwest, this time of year is when I need my fire fueled the most. I’ve been busy taking my own advice, but of course I love learning from my colleagues as well. What are your go-to ways for reigniting that spark that drew you to music education and studio ownership in the first place?