Pilates our labour of love.
How many hours a week do you and your staff work teaching Pilates?
August in Barcelona is a experience, this year more than most. Usually the over-bearing heat and humidity coupled with the fact that many offices close down means that many of the locals pack-up and leave, and the city is taken over by hoards of tourists. This year the number of visitors throughout all of Spain has broken records, and whilst the weather also broke heat records earlier in the year, August is proving to be fresher, cloudier and wetter than most people expected. So when it comes to business here, the emphasis moves from the regular trade of locals to the seasonal trade of tourists. Many Pilates studios go to shorter working weeks due to the lack in demand, or even shut down for a few weeks.
The story seems to be somewhat different if we believe a Pilates teacher in New York. Today the New York Post reports that a Queens Pilates studio was an unlawful sweatshop, according to a former instructor who says he was forced to work 105-hour weeks there with no overtime. Marcos Leyton, 35, says that the owner of Pilates Bodies New York demanded he toil for 15 hours a day, seven days a week at Vibez in Bayside, without even a break between classes, according to his recently filed Brooklyn federal court lawsuit. His claims are being disputed by the studio owner, but whatever the truth is in this particular case, the story got me to thinking about how many hours we Pilates professionals actually work.
Many studio owners and freelance teachers work long and exhausting hours to make ends meet, and the vast majority are honest and faithful to their staff. Here in Barcelona however I have firsthand experience of less scrupulous studio owners who take advantage of the many Pilates teachers who want to move to Barcelona by getting them to work for free or next to nothing.
So my question today is how many hours do you typically work and are you happy about this? Of course I am not only talking about hours spent teaching, but also all the host of other things many teachers do for themselves from IT to accounts, bookings to cleaning.
Of course one of the main reasons for most of us to teach Pilates is that we love what we do and we hardly consider it to be “work”. This is one reason that we do not often complain. However most of us have also worked gruelling teaching schedules that we would have found totally unacceptable if we had been working for someone else or in a different profession that we were not so passionate about.
People often say to me that I am “very lucky” to be able to live and work in Barcelona, and to travel the world teaching PilatesEVO and acting as a business consultant. My stock reply to this is that I do not believe in luck; I believe in cause and effect. I always add a smilie after this :). The truth is that all us Pilates teachers probably work many more hours than a lot of people, for example, working in offices, as we are self-employed and we really care about our clients and our work.
I have given advice to many Pilates professionals who decided to work for themselves to give them greater freedom and control, but then soon discovered that they had much less free time and often felt totally out of control.
A work-life balance is vital in any profession, no matter how much we love our work. Do you think you have the balance right?
Chris Hunt is a Pilates and functional training presenter and educator and a business consultant based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength. He also created Pilates Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises Pilates events, retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza, for more information please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To speak to Chris about his consultancy services, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Chris Hunt, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.
Chris Hunt pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntpilates.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.