Growing up, I wanted to be a famous singer. It’s a little embarrassing (since, first of all, I am not a good singer!) but it’s true and thank goodness all of the voice competition shows didn’t really exist yet because I would have been on the laugh reel for sure. While I was still dreaming that dream, I remember listening to advice from famous singers, musicians and band members and it was all the same – just say ‘Yes!’ What they meant by that was that you should accept every single job opportunity when you’re first starting out, even if you’re singing to three teenagers in a mall. Of course, I did not become a famous singer (and I’m guessing you didn’t either if you’re reading this) but that advice still came in handy when I started my fitness career.
If you are just starting out, say yes to everything! This is how I ended up teaching barre, cycling, TRX and even SUP (Stand-Up Paddleboard) Yoga! This is also how I landed some of my best paying yoga classes. If you are open to opportunity, you’ll gain so much useful experience in teaching different populations and in different locations. That way, when you do get the chance to be picky, you’ll know what you like.
One big caveat – if something seems unsafe, unhealthy or just gives you that bad gut feeling, skip it! However, if you just question whether or not you can pull it off, fake it until you make it! Within weeks of graduating yoga teacher training, I was teaching 15 classes per week (Click here for my five ways to get more classes on your schedule). I dove in head first and it forced me to get over my fears. Fast-forward a few years and I ran into fellow yoga teacher training graduates who were still too nervous to teach or thought they still had so much to learn. News flash – we all still have so much to learn! No matter what we teach! Even doctors are constantly learning new things about the human body!
I also jumped in head-first when it came to teaching new formats. Honestly, long before I was ready and before I was even certified to teach these classes. I don’t necessarily recommend that route but I knew enough about the body and alignment from my extensive yoga teacher training that I knew I could keep the participants safe. Of course, once I took an instructor training in each of these formats, my classes dramatically improved! Ideally, you should learn a format before you ever teach it but still jump in to teach or sub before you feel 100% ready since you probably won’t ever feel 100% ready!
Just say YES!
Fake it till you make it