Sunday, February 1, 2009

Getting fired

Oh the joys of getting fired. I wasn't going to write about it because I was a little embarrassed but I'm not anymore. I've learned a lot from the whole experience- having a doula client also take classes and then fire me from both. It wasn't as all together painful as I thought it might be, the communication through the process was really open and relaxed, and her feedback was really valuable to me.

I knew I'd learn something big and I did, and something really fundamental too. People need to feel safe, and bringing the energy of safety isn't enough sometimes. I created a class environment where upon arrival I felt frazzled and stressed, mildly concerned about how this class would work in this new space which didn't really serve my needs. I jumped right in as I always do, not thinking that if *I* didn't feel comfortable, how could I ask my clients to feel comfortable? I learned several things:

* Introductions aren't just fluff. Take the time to do them.
* People want to have some idea of what to expect even if the structure is loose.
* The space should feel safe and receiving, and easy to be in. It doesn't have to be fancy to accomplish this.
* Arrive to the space early enough to set up and feel relaxed before people arrive, rather than rushing around sweating when people start arriving.
* Ice breakers should be very basic in the beginning until trust is established.
* People don't want to do art if they don't feel safe.

Lessons learned.

Partner and I are looking to rent our own space, which will be such a glorious coup! Something small enough to not be expensive but large enough to accommodate classes - something we could rent out to other teachers or use for meetings if we want... ahh!! I don't know how we'll accomplish this honestly, a doula/teacher's income is so sporadic. I think we'd have to really step up our marketing rather than passively taking clients as they contact us. It's something to talk about, for sure.