Music I'm Listening To This Week-John Lennon Radio on Spotify-It is hard to believe that John Lennon died 35 years ago. I still remember the day I found out. He died on a Monday night and they announced it on Monday night football but I didn't find out until the next morning when Danny Stowe one of my friends I walked to school with told me. Its hard to believe that was 35 years ago. I've always been a Beatles fan but my favorite song of his was Imagine.
Article That I am reading-This past week I hosted a USPTA Directors Workshop at the Westwood CC in Vienna Va. and my seminar was on Strategic Planning for the Tennis Professional. If you are a tennis professional reading this blog then take the time to read the article and really think how Strategic Planning can help you and your club. Quit copying and pasting last years events into this years programs. Get feedback from staff and members as to what you need to improve and what you need to change.http://www.forbes.com/sites/aileron/2011/10/25/five-steps-to-a-strategic-plan/
Social Media Post of The Week-As a HUGE Fed Fan I'm sorry to see the team of Federer and Edberg break up. Edberg was able to revitalize Roger's career when things looked pretty bad. Edberg is a class act and he will be missed.
Quote of the Week-This past week I was a speaker at the 2nd Annual USPTA Directors Workshop in which I spoke about Strategic Planning for Tennis Professionals. I think the image pretty much speaks for itself!
This holiday season, you’re likely putting attention toward buying gifts for clients, staff, friends, and family.
Have you given any thought toward giving yourself (or your small business) gifts that will help you be a better entrepreneur and tennis professional?
Here are 6 small business gifts you’ll be happy to have (certainly happier than getting yet another knitted reindeer sweater from Aunt Mary!).
Has your schedule taken a turn for the worst where you are now working 7 days a week?
Maybe you’ve gotten caught up in work and haven’t taken a day off in a while, or consistently work 12-hour days.
Give yourself the gift of time. Here’s how:
2. Smart Software
Every business owner wants to minimize expenses, but consider that not spending money on some tools could keep you from growing or being more productive. Look at software like the following and assess which could be a real asset in 2016:
3. State-of-the-Art Technology
I’m not proposing you top your desk with giant $1,000 computer monitors, but if you’ve been limping along using outdated technology, it’s time for an upgrade. A newer laptop or desktop will process faster, helping you get your work done quickly.
Other technology that can help your business grow includes:
Consider whether you could use more help.
If your business has been booming to the point that you’re overloaded with work, gift yourself with employees.
Having different people on board to handle different components of your business not only frees you up, but it also gets you experts in each facet of your business.
Here are some hiring options:
You’re so busy working on your business, you probably don’t come up for air much.
What skills do you feel you’re lacking?
In 2016, give yourself the gift of education.
Any investment you make in your business knowledge is one that will help your business grow.
Here are a few ideas:
6. New Clothes
Every professional should have nice clothes to come to work in.
If your clothes have sweat stains or your white shirt is now turning gray then it’s time to get some new clothes.
You need to project a professional image and your clothes and shoes say a lot about who you are.
Now is the perfect time to get some new clothes. Call Fromuth and order a couple of new shirts, shorts, warm up, and a new pair of shoes and be dressed for success this holiday season!
Remember to not forget about you and your business when it comes time for gifts during the holiday season!!
It's hard to believe but the year is almost over and 2016 is fast approaching.
So while you’re preparing to help all of your clients and members reach their goals and follow through with their resolutions, don’t forget to set your own goals for your tennis business as well.
Adjust this list according to your specific needs or use it as inspiration to create a list of your own.
1. Learn something every day. Education, Education, and more Education. Guess what? You’re already doing that by reading this! Congratulations on reaching your first goal! When you wake up in the morning, or before you go to sleep, or at 2:00 in the afternoon when you need to relax, grab a book or an article or plug in your earphones and listen to an audio book. If you make it a point to learn one thing every day this year, think of how much smarter you’ll be one year from now.
2. Make Strategic Planning a Priority. You need to make planning a priority in your business. Quit copying and pasting last years programs into this years programs. You need to spend time each week going over what is working in your business and what needs to improve. Its too easy to go from season to season without evaluating your programs. Sit down with your staff at least once a quarter and go over what is working and what needs to change. Take 1 hour at the end of every season with your staff and really think out what is working and what needs to be improved. This is a must for 2016.
3. Organize Your Office. Nothing kills productivity faster than walking in to your office with stacks of papers piled up on your desk, file folders all over the floor, and sticky notes everywhere. Make it a point to organize and de-clutter your office.
4. Delegate more tasks, more often. I’m as guilty as you are. I think no one else can do as good a job as me so I tend to take on more than I should. Write out the tasks you do on a regular basis and find someone to do those tasks that don’t absolutely need your assistance.
5. Know your numbers. Have one of your tennis staff members send you the most important numbers every day. They can tell you how many people played, how many lessons were given, how many reservations you had, how much revenue was generated, what were last years numbers for that date, and how are we trending for the month.
6. Be consistent in your marketing. This is incredibly important. Your team should be involved in community events, talking to prospects, introducing current members to your other offerings, distributing print marketing and gift cards. Never stop marketing your business.
7. Add value for your current members. It is in January when your current members feel most neglected. They see you fawning over all of your new members, focusing all of your attention on the new blood and forgetting about them. Remember these members have already proven they are willing to spend with you, so now is the time to sell them more! The New Year is the perfect time to talk to them about lessons and what their plans are for the upcoming year.
Remember that a goal is really just a dream unless you put it within a system and put measurable objectives in place. So for example, to accompany each of the goals above, your goal could be: read one article every morning, organize one area of your office every Friday at 2:30, Have at least 20 different marketing systems in place at all times, talk to or email up to 5 current members every day.
No matter what is on your list, always remember that you have to start somewhere. Lots of tennis professionals set goals but very few actually take action on them.
I encourage you to just pick one of the things from this list and make it a point today to implement it.
Music I Am Listening To This Week-If you haven't heard but Coldplay has been picked to do the NFL Halftime Show this year. I've always been a fan of the music. Viva La Vida has always been one of my favorite songs!
Best Article I Read This Week--Next week I am running a workshop for the USPTA Mid Atlantic Division for Tennis Directors and I am speaking on Strategic Planning for Tennis Pros so this week I have been doing alot of research on Strategic Planning. I think one of the problems with planning for Club Pros is finding the time to do it and being able to do it at a high level. Most pros are great teachers but bad managers. After researching and reading a lot of articles this is the one that really made sense to me.
Social Media Post Of The Week- This is a post that was on Facebook last Sunday. The video is of match point in which Andy Murray wins the point and the Davis Cup. This may also be the point of the year because once you watch it you will wonder how he stayed in the point and then eventually hit the shot to win the match.
Quote of the Week-As most of you know we own 4 Star Camps at the University of Virginia. One of our programs is SAT Prep and tomorrow is test day for some of our campers. So Good Luck tomorrow!
Here are a few random tips on a rainy morning in Charlottesville to make you and your business better!
Education Is An Investment, Not An Expense – *Every* single one of the top pros in the industry either benefit from Coaching or Masterminds. But they view education differently than everyone else too. Most people see the fees for Coaching or a Mastermind as an expense. “That’s too expensive!” The top .1% simply look at it as an investment. If they invest $5000, they do it fully expecting to make 10X, 20X… maybe even 30 or 40X that back in return.
Know What You Need & Get It – Every successful business needs to have certain processes and systems in place.
First you need to know what those processes and systems are – then you need to get them in place in your business. If you don’t know what you need – talk to someone like me to fill in the blanks or model someone who is where you want to be.
Once you know – create the systems yourself or lean on products, coaching or a total solution like the Tennis Business Management Blueprint if you don’t want to create them or you want to fast track the process.
Coaching Is The Ultimate Accelerator – Why do some tennis clubs fail to deliver results?
Well, there are a number of reasons, but the big one for me is there is just bad coaching. If coaches don’t have a plan to get them to their goals, they may fumble around like they’re looking for something in the dark and accidentally get there – but the odds aren’t great and they’ll probably give up before they have success. Good Coaching solves this and provides a road map to follow and accountability to keep people on track.
One Is A Terrible Number – If you’re trying to grow your coaching business, the number ‘one’ is your enemy. Having only one lead generation strategy. Having only one option to offer to prospective clients. Having only one revenue stream. Being a one person operation. All of them are potential roadblocks to success.
Think BIGGER – The most successful coaches I know all think differently than the rest. They all think much bigger.
They think about doing big things, not ordinary things. They set big goals. They take big actions. Big achievements don’t begin with little dreams.
Be A Better Listener – If you want to sell more, listen more intently to what your prospects are saying. If you want to add revenue streams to your business, listen to what your clients are really asking for more help with. If you want to grow, listen to your network and they’ll reveal a surprisingly large number of opportunities. If you really pay attention instead of just waiting to talk, business becomes much easier.
You’ve Got To Be A Little Fanatical – Growing your tennis business into your own little sports empire requires you to be a little fanatical. Not to the point where you ignore the other important things in your life, but obsessive about getting better each and every day. Most business owners don’t do this. They essentially just go to work every day like they’re an employee and not a business builder. If you want a great business, you need to get a little better every day – and that requires you to be somewhat fanatical to the details and obsessive about improvement.
Avoid Being Average – The average business owner – tennis or otherwise – starts a business because they hate their current job and want to do something they think they like to pay the bills. This is average. Don’t allow yourself to be average. Just because you hate your job is no reason to start a business. If you want to build a great business you’re passionate about build something great. Because you have a passion for what you do. Those types of thoughts should drive you… not avoiding a job you hate.
Stay One Step Ahead – The tennis professionals who are growing their business to the highest level are relentless in their pursuit to improve. There is zero complacency. They’re always trying to improve.. They are always looking for another edge. The idea of staying the same isn’t ever even a consideration.
So there are some big ideas to help you in growing your tennis business.
Once the holiday season is underway, there’s a lot you can do to land more sales and bank as much profit as possible, no matter what the economic climate.
The key is to be proactive. Don’t sit back and let the holiday season unfold before you. If you want the most sales possible, it’s up to you to take charge and make it happen.
In this video I talk about 3 things that you can do pretty easy to help boost your sales for this upcoming season.
To get the 35 tips go to our home page and download the tips.
Music I'm Listening To This Week-Jefferson Airplane Radio on Spotify-I have all sorts of music saved to my Spotify account and this week I've been listening to Jefferson Airplane Radio. I saw Hot Tuna play at Lockin Fest and really got me hooked on them. Great music to listen to at work!
Best Article I Read This Week-9 Opportunities You Have Every Day to Grow as a Leader. I think as an entrepreneur your always trying to find ways to grow and this article hit it on the head! http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/251943_
Social Media Post of The Week- I saw this video on Twitter this week and it pretty much sums up Roger this past week at the ATP World Tour Final.
Quote of the Week-I was always a fan of Andre and with the ATP Finals going on this week I thought this would be a great quote for the week.
I’m going to state the obvious.
Country Clubs, Tennis and Fitness Centers have Tennis Professionals.
At most clubs the tennis staff “serves” their purpose. They train their clients, they make some money, they make some money for the club…”blah blah blah”.
Well in this day and age of clubs, “blah blah blah” just doesn’t cut it anymore.
No club needs cookie cutter pros.
You need personality.
You need people who love what they do and love where they work and want to tell the world about it.
In my opinion being a tennis professional isn’t a job; it’s a lifestyle. Or at least it should be.
A paycheck pays the bills, but it’s even more fun to be known as the go-to “Tennis” guy or gal in your community. When you have a Professional who embraces this, you’ll have a much better tennis department.
Here are some qualities of that superstar Tennis Professional who will make marketing your lesson programs much easier and will improve your entire clubs image:
They are always early and never mind spending a little extra time at the club. They are not arriving 2 minutes before their lesson and leaving 2 minutes after.
They never speak poorly of you or your club. It’s amazing how quickly your reputation can be destroyed...or enhanced by your teaching professionals.
They understand the mission of your Club and what it takes to be successful.
They are willing to take two steps back in order to take 3 steps forward. They will put in “Face” time with your members, knowing that this will eventually pay off by way of a new client.
They embrace education-they understand that spending time learning new ways to teach their clients is a regular part of their job and not a requirement.
They get involved in your community outreach efforts. Your Teaching Staff are a great "Face" of your club and are perfect for giving seminars and presentations to groups in your community.
Imagine how much fun it would be to have a prospect walk in the door and say, "I saw one of your pros Susie at the Elementary School working with the kids and I want to work with her. How can I do that?"
You'll be falling over yourself in excitement to sign them up!
So what are your teaching pros doing to put their name, and your name, out in the community? Are they participating in outside activities? Do they volunteer to a local charity effort? Are they finding a way to become a "celebrity", allowing you an easy marketing tool?
Maybe it's time to have a little talk with your staff to explain just how important their role is and to help guide them to get more involved in efforts outside of the club. It will have a huge effect on your lesson revenues and help establish your Club as THE place to be.
Music I'm Listening to this week: James Bond Themes! This week I'm stringing at the Charlottesville USTA Men's Challenger so my Spotify is keeping me company. With the new James Bond Movie coming out this week I thought I would listen to some of the original songs. It's amazing how many great songs have come from the movie. My favorite is Paul McCartney's Live and Let Die.
Favorite Article of the Week--1 Billion People Use Facebook Daily-This is an article that is crazy to think about. Read the article and take a look at the numbers that they are putting out. Crazy!
Social Media Post of the Week--The USTA announced the new Exec's for the Lake Nona center with Kurt Kamperman as the CEO.
Quote of the Week--I think this quote is pretty accurate for tennis players. In every tournament there is only one winner so that means a lot of people lost which means you have to keep working on your game to get better! Keep playing, have fun and success will happen!
Music I’m Listening to this week-Adele-Hello! I’m sure everyone has listened to her new song. Her new album “25” is coming out soon.
I remember listening to her first album “19” and was a fan when I heard her for the first time on the radio. I remember buying her first album on ITunes and thinking this singer is going to be great.
I still joke with my daughters that I discovered before anyone else!
Favorite Article of the week-I'm galed to see that these stores are staying closed on Thanksgiving Day. I remember growing up as a kid and on Thanksgiving Day we would watch the Macy’s Parade and basically just hung out and ate all day with family and friends.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve had to endure going shopping and trying to get the best buy of the season.
Well it looks like a lot of stores are going to be closed on Thanksgiving Day and REI is going to be closed on Black Friday. Sounds good to me!
Social Media Post of the week-This is an Infographic from the TIA on The Physical, Mental, and Social Benefits of Tennis.
The benefits pretty much speak for themselves!
Quote of the week
What does a tennis professional need to do to breakthrough from average to being successful.
I know there are a lot of things that you need to do, but here are 5 keys that I want to share with you on a rainy day in Charlottesville:
1. Figure out where you are going and where you want to be.
2. Figure out where you are right now as a tennis professional.
3. Spend your time on things that move you from #2 to #1.
Just my random thoughts on a rainy Wednesday in Charlottesville!
Here are 4 Things I’m Thinking About This Week
Music that I’m listening to—Avett Brothers-A friend of mine who I went to Ferris State with Dolpheus Ramseur is the manager for the Avett Brothers and since they are coming to play this Saturday in Charlottesville I thought I would catch up on some of their music. They are a great band from North Carolina and have come onto the seen in the last 3 years. The YouTube Video Below is my favorite song and this is the video of them playing on the Letterman Show a couple of years ago.
Favorite article of the week—I saw this on fortune.com this morning and had to laugh. We go to New York every year and we always love going to the Flagship stores so this year should be interesting. We always go to Apple and Nike Stores so it looks like I’ll have to add the new Microsoft store to the list!
Social Media Post of The Week-15 Life Skills All Kids Need to Learn—this pretty much speaks for itself. Teach your kids life skills! https://www.facebook.com/4StarCampsUVA
Quote of the Week—This quote is for all of my Michigan football fans who got crushed last Saturday in the final seconds of the Michigan State Game. “In times of difficulty those brave enough to stay the course will be victors in the end.” Bo Schembechler
As a tennis pro I’m sure you have had to deal with burnout at some point.
Between the long hours on the court, demanding clients and club managers, and a never-ending pile of work, eventually, it can all become too much to handle.
I’m sure there are times when there’s no end in sight: Tennis Pros are now more likely than ever to skip their vacations, fearing that if their bosses find out they can live without them for a couple of weeks, they might be able to survive without them, period.
As a tennis professional, the burden is slightly different.
In addition to an intimidating pile of work on your desk, you face a steady stream of people whose lives often depend on you and your assistance.
And in my experience, that can cause an entirely new kind of burnout.
REALLY…are we really saving the world by working 70 hours a week.
At the end of the day you have to remember that our job is not to save the world.
Leave that to the doctors, nurses, policeman, and fireman who are really out there saving the world.
It may feel like it when you have the 2.5 team captain in your office complaining about how Susie didn’t cover the lob last night or the Mom who doesn’t think that Johnny is getting enough attention in the 3:30 Hot Shot program.
So, to stay at the top of your game, you’ll need a new strategy to fight that feeling of professional fatigue.
To help you get through it, here are two of the most common causes of burnout and a few ways that you can overcome them.
Burnout Cause #1: The Grind Never Stops
As a tennis pro we usually have an ebb and flow.
Depending on where you live you may be busiest in the winter and early spring—creating some downtime in the summer or you may be really busy in the summer so your winters are slower.
There are also clubs that are just busy all of the time.
So How Do You Deal?
1. Schedule Time Off
Take a look at your schedule and see if you can plan similar rest stops, even if it’s not a whole day off. If you know your deadlines and dates of big events ahead of time, plan breaks around them.
Big day of lessons on Thursday? Take off early on Friday.
If the last week of every month is packed with committee meetings, schedule a half-day off the following week to recover.
You have to take at least one day off per week to keep you game at a high level.
I’ve never understood the tennis pro who says they teach 50 hours per week.
Do you really want to be the person who is the 50th hour?
Are they getting the same lesson as the person who was the first hour of the week and if you aren’t taking time off then the hours just run into each other.
2. Prioritize and Delegate
At a club employees are encouraged to treat everyone and everything equally, including every task (urgent or not) on their to-do lists.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Not everything needs to be done immediately—or even at all. Learn to prioritize and delegate some of the work to your staff.
Remember you can’t do everything so make sure to prioritize what’s important and to have staff pick up some of the slack.
3. Take Some Time to Think
It’s also helpful to put some time on your calendar for deadline-free work. Whether you spend the time brainstorming, big-picture thinking, or reading about your field, you’ll feel better having a chunk of time each week when you’re not running around the office like a madperson.
Burnout Cause #2: Other People’s Lives Are on the Line—Really???
I know you may feel like the members lives are on the line by you showing up to work 7 days a week and working 70 hours a week. But get a grip and realize that the members will be ok if you take some time off.
That makes it hard not to feel guilty when you want—and need—to take a break.
That’s the trap that many of us fall into. Sometimes, it’s even reinforced by our bosses and co-workers.
How to Deal
1. Find a Community
Remember that you’re not the only tennis pro trying to balance your needs with taking care of others. In fact, I’ve found it incredibly helpful to surround myself with people who can relate to my situation. Try scheduling dinner or a happy hour with other tennis pros.
2. Really Disconnect
Even when you do take a day off or a vacation, it's hard to fully disconnect when there's work to be done and people to be helped. But remember, time off isn't exactly off if you spend it checking work email.
To ensure work can be done even when you're not there to do it, start keeping your staff in the loop about all your projects—even training them to take over for you in a pinch. You may not have a pool of assistants but there's bound to be a volunteer or someone who can help out.
Once you feel confident that you're not completely abandoning the people you're trying to help, you'll feel a lot less guilty about getting away.
Finally, at the end of the day, remember that you are only one person and you can only do so much in one day and one week.
So, you should feel OK about taking some time for yourself and doing whatever it takes to make you a happy, productive employee.
When you do, you’ll be less likely to burn out—and that will help everyone in the long run.
Let’s face it, there isn’t a tennis pro that doesn’t want to cut down on the time they have to spend managing their email on a daily basis.
It’s a subject that everyone deals with on a daily basis.
Yet, for some reason so many ‘productive tennis pros’ continue to be bogged down by the never ending abuse that their inboxes battle with – and not all that productive in the process!
Nowadays, email has become the go-to source for communication with members, staff members, and your colleagues.
Some of us have learned to handle it in ways that doesn’t stun our productivity, some haven’t.
To help in the fight, I decided to put together my top 6 tips to help you manage the inbox madness and become an insanely productive tennis pro in the process.
Keep in mind that email is a communication tool and it should not control your day.
Being a productive tennis pro is one thing but being a productive father, mother, coach, boss or whatever is even better!
Here are my 4 things I'm thinking about this week.
Music that I’m listening to-- Stevie Wonder-I know this is old school but when I was in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago all of the bands were singing Stevie Wonder’s Superstition.
When I got home I downloaded some old Stevie Wonder songs on my Spotify account and I’ve been listening to a bunch of his old songs.
He’s coming to Charlottesville in a couple of weeks so it’s been fun listening to his music.
Favorite article of the week-When I was working back at the club I used to hate when a member or another manager would email me late at night. It usually would mean that I had to answer it as soon as I read it. Here is a great article about sending late night emails.
Social Media Post of the Week—This is a post from Tennis Industry Magazine that’s making its rounds today about the USTA starting USTA University. It’s going to be led by Scott Schutlz who was my advisor when I was at Ferris State in the Professional Tennis Management Program. It’s an exciting time for the USTA right now with the new USTA facilities in New York and Orlando. http://www.tennisindustrymag.com/news/2015/10/usta_announces_usta_university.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook
Quote of the Week
Just Play, Have Fun, Enjoy The Game—Michael Jordan
You’re Holiday Tennis Pro Shop Marketing Plan:The Three Most Important Things To Know To Crush It This Year
Yes, I know it’s only the second week of October.
But the holidays will be here before you know it. This is especially true when it comes to marketing your business for hopefully your busiest and most profitable time of the year.
So it’s time to get on the ball with laying out your holiday marketing plan.
Here are three ideas to get started for the holiday season:
1.Know your numbers
I’m sure you know the saying that numbers don’t lie. You need to look at your numbers inside and out and you will be ahead of the competition.
Run reports of last year’s numbers and see which items and categories was a success and which ones did not do well. Take a look at what were your busiest and least busy days so you can be strategic.
By knowing your numbers you can allocate the correct numbers for marketing and advertising.
2.Sales and Promotions
With families gift lists running a mile long, your customers are looking for deals and discounts this time of year.
Start planning the types of holiday-themed sales and promotions that will work best for your business.
Since you’re a tennis shop or facility, think about running a special on rackets for all ages, especially for kids. At my last club and at our pro shop we sell most of our rackets the week before Christmas. Also, think about stocking stuffers and how tennis grips, sweatbands, and tennis balls can fill stockings.
Make sure you are sending your best customers information about what sales you are having during the holiday season.
Update your Facebook page and your website so everyone knows what your sales are.
3.Gift Certificates and Gift Cards
Remember that gift cards and gift certificates go hand-in-hand with the holidays, because let’s be real: They’re one of the easiest last-minute gifts. It’s a good idea to think about how you can design gift certificates to be specifically suited for the holidays.
Remember that Christmas is only 73 more days so get ahead of your competition now!
This is a new post that I’m looking to do every Friday. I started this a couple of years ago but I got away from it so I’m bringing it back!
Music that I’m listening to-- Lake Street Dive-I heard the lead singer a couple of weeks ago covering Jefferson Airplane at Lockn' Fest and I’m now hooked on their music.
Favorite article of the week-I’m ok at remembering names but I’m not great at it. This article is a must for people who can’t remember names --Never Forget A Name Again.
Social Media Post of the Week--if you are following your tennis friends on Facebook a lot of them are at TennisCongress this week presenting. Tennis Congress started a couple of years ago and it looks like a great event. http://www.tenniscongress.com/
Quote of the Week
One of my favorite coaches growing up was John Wooden. He has a lot of quotes to choose from but my favorite is “Don’t confuse activity with achievement.”
Its been raining now in Charlottesville for the last 8 days and its getting pretty old. I started writing this when I got back from the World Conference last week and I finally finished it this morning.
As you know starting out in the tennis industry can be nerve racking and if you have been in the business for any length of time these tips may be reminders of things you should be doing or helping your staff achieve.
I’ve been in the business now for close to 30 years and I have seen a lot of so hopefully these tips will help you.
1. Improve your communication skills with your clients.
In our industry – as much as you may think it’s unfair – a lot of people are going to assume that you are on the court all of the time and all you do is hit tennis balls.
You’re “feeding” into that label each time you send an email with all lower-case letters or fail to utilize correction punctuation.
Take the time to actually read the email or text message before you hit send. If you are a pro that only sends text messages make sure the message makes sense and make sure that the words are the correct words.
When writing emails format them so it easy to read on a phone.
Most people will read your email on a phone first so make it easy for them to read it.
2 Continuing Education
Don’t make continuing education harder than it needs to be.
Your goal should be a minimum of 52 hours per year, or 1 hour per week.
It stuns me to think that it’s hard for people to not be able to do 6 hours over the course of 3 years of personal development.
Come on people we're not that busy.
3. Incorporate video into your coaching.
Many clients are visual learners who do best when they see themselves performing an exercise.
With cameras being on your phone this should be a no brainer.
4. Make it easier for potential customers to recognize your skills and knowledge.
There are a so many different avenues you can use to do this.
For instance, don’t expect a Facebook presence to mean much to your students who are 14-18, as they’re all on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Understand your client base and market towards that base.
5. Look professional
Yes, it does matter.
Dress the part, wear clean clothes, and be properly groomed.
There is nothing worse than seeing pros who are wearing dirty clothes and smell like they haven’t showered in a couple of days.
Clean it up.
6. Social media
Use social media as a means of building rapport with your customers and possible clients, celebrating customer’s achievements, and also in positioning or reaffirming your skills.
Don’t use it to be negative. People do look at your pages and what you are posting and tweeting.
7. Never be afraid to refer another professional
Remember that our top priority is to help customers.
I see too many pros that are afraid to refer their clients out to other professionals because they’re afraid the customer won’t come back and they’ll lose their business.
If that’s the way you’re thinking, then you should be asking yourself, “Why didn’t I create a better relationship with that customer?”
If you do a good job, you should create a sense of loyalty in your customers – this shouldn’t even be an question.
8. Watch what you are saying.
Don’t swear on the court or in the office…ever.
Understand that people are listening to what you are saying so if you talk bad about someone realize that it’s going to get back to that person.
There is no reason to be swearing in the office or on the court.
Watch what you say in front of kids. Kids talk and they will tell their parents as soon as they get in the car or at the dinner table what you said during the clinic or lesson.
When you see a tennis pro with a busy schedule, don’t think, “That pro is terrible why would anyone take a lesson with him. I should have way more lessons than he does.”
Instead, ask yourself, “What is that person doing so well that he makes people go to him?”
10. Never speak badly about another pro, club, or business.
This goes without saying.
11. Always be on time.
If you want customers to respect you as a coach and professional, you need to respect them first – and that begins and ends with showing up on time and being ready to coach.
Organized facilities/trainers/pros attract (or help to create) organized clients.
If a customer perceives you as disrespectful you may never be able to make that person change how they feel about you.
12. Religion, Politcs, and work is a bad idea
Never, ever, ever discuss religion or politics on the job...It’s just a bad idea.
Don’t just work to create a good network of teaching professionals around you, but also a great network of specialists.
Not all tennis pros have identical skill sets.
Some pros are great with adults and some are great with juniors.
Not everyone is the same so get to know everyone on your staff and your community.
14. Be GREAT at One Thing
You need to be great at something.
Be really great at one thing. Be the go to person for something. Find your one thing and you will make it in this industry.
However, before you can be really good at something, you should be proficient at a lot of things.
Remember that proficiency precedes popularity. You’ll get really busy when you’re really good at what you do.
Remember John Wooden’s quote that says “Never Mistake Activity for Achievement”.
I just returned from the USPTA World Conference and had a great time.
New Orleans was a great spot and I had the chance to catch up with some old friends and got the chance to meet some new people in the business.
But unfortunately I have to return to real life.
I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed with everything going on but that’s what happens when you come back from a vacation or from a conference.
So if you’re feeling that way here are some tips for after the conference.
I know you’re excited about everything that you have learned this past week. The conference was a great experience, and you got to connect with so many exciting people. But before you go all out trying to accomplish everything you learned in one week, you need to CALM DOWN. I know this is pretty basic but that’s tip #1.
Create one HUGE goal based on ONE golden nugget
When you leave the conference, one of the first things you want to do is create one huge goal.
You should base this on the one nugget you extracted from the conference. I’m sure there are other things you learned, but I want you to laser focus like never before so that you can accomplish more than you ever did before based on that one nugget.
Break that huge goal down into specific tasks
Every goal is completed by taking detailed action steps. Having a goal is great, but unless you break it down into specific actionable tasks, you will never be able to reach your goal.
Hopefully you took good notes during the week and you can break down the tasks into manageable items.
Follow up with your contacts
Did you connect with anyone during the conference? Hopefully, that answer is yes.
You need to follow up with those individuals via email and social media. Try to touch base with them immediately after leaving the conference while it’s fresh in your mind and then set a reminder to connect with them at a later date as well. Don’t feel bad if they don’t respond back right away but make the first move as soon as you get back home.
If you are able to implement the tips mentioned in this blog post, you will be on your way to becoming a conference veteran.
Attending conferences can be a game changer for you and your career.
If you are here in New Orleans you are probably walking around with a bunch of receipts either in your pocket, wallet, or they are on your hotel room desk.
While at conferences I've always used a simple white envelope to track receipts for conference expenses. My system was always pretty simple— carry receipts around for the day, then deposit and keep them in the envelope until it was time to write up the expense report. Although this is simple and efficient, it can be a hassle to carry around a bunch of slips of paper in your wallet and you will invariably lose some along the way.
I found an app recently to beat the envelope method and its a I Phone app called One Receipt. Basically you take a picture of your receipt and it keeps track of everything that you do. You can also link it to your email accounts so any receipt that comes through your email links to your account.
I know that some employers require paper copies of receipts for reimbursement. Thus, a full digital solution may not be in the cards for everyone or every expense.
Regardless, your camera phone (in combination with an app) can, at the very least, act as insurance against losing important receipts.
So if you are here in New Orleans try the app and see if it works for you.
Here is the direct link to One Receipt...https://www.onereceipt.com/
Hopefully you are either at the USPTA World Conference in New Orleans or you are on your way.
This is my 19th conference in row dating back to the World Conference in Cancun. My favorite part of coming to the conference is meeting old friends and also getting a chance to meet new people like I did last night.
With the Conference being in New Orleans you have the opportunity to see some great speakers, enjoy some music and food, and reconnect with old and new friends.
So the typical day you will have four, five or six sessions on your agenda. You will have meetings and drinks with friends, colleagues, and clients scheduled starting at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 6:00. Then at night you go out and catch up with your friends.
You probably even came straight from the airport, passing up the chance to chill for a minute in the hotel room. Hopefully, you won’t see the hotel room much this week.
This upcoming week will give a new definition to the word “busy”, you will put some nice mileage on your Fitbit or iWatch, gain some new wisdom, meet old friends and new ones, and get some new motivation to boot!
So much to do. So many things to participate in and so much to show up for. .
Realize while you are here that you need to take care of yourself. Eat healthy and try to get some sleep.
While you are in the sessions it’g going to be cold so make sure you wear a long sleeve shirt or some type of coverup.
After coming to 19 conventions in a row here are 10 things you can do this week to make this week a huge success
So, are you with me? Are you ready to attack the conference?
1. PLAN YOUR SCHEDULE UPFRONT
Go ahead, knock yourself out. Overbook yourself this week. Be a machine. But be prepared for it. It's all about how you attack it. Be prepared and be ready mentally. This is going to be a great week so just go for it but you have to be mentally prepared for each day to make this week a success. Don’t wing it this week. It’s too expensive to just go through your days without a plan.
2. BE PRESENT — RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW
So you are here in the great city of New Orleans and at the greatest tennis conference in the world. One of the best ways to manage your energy this week is to be present for all of the events. Tune in and most of all show up. Turn off your phone and watch and listen this week. I know you are leaving your facility for the week but realize that your staff can take care of the problems back home. Don’t call in every hour and worry about the Ladies 3.0 team.
3. REBOOT AS NEEDED
After a couple of days you may think that you are starting to lose it and you will probably start to feel fatigued. It may be because you’re not getting enough sleep or you are not eating right. So get some sleep and eat a couple of good meals. Take care of whatever you need to take care of to get back to normal. Maybe you need to grab a cup of coffee or grab a piece of fruit and some water. Just walk away and reboot. This is a long week so you may have to do this a couple of times this week.
4. BE PURPOSEFUL
What do you want to get out of today and this week. Have a plan for each day. Break your day into three parts. Your morning, afternoon, and then evening. There are so many different things to do but you need to have a schedule to achieve all that you want to accomplish. Write it out and use your notebook to figure out what you want to get out of your day and your week.
5. DECIDE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO KILL IT THIS WEEK
Before you even head out to listen to a speaker decide what you want to get out of the session. Make the decision that you are hear to learn. You have made the decision that you want to hear this speaker so listen…yes listen, take off the earphones and turn off your phone and listen to what the speaker is saying.
6. YES, IT’S OK TO TAKE A TIMEOUT
Find a quiet spot to just relax, take a quick nap, and just relax. It’s a long week so take the time to reboot if you have to. Go to the pool, workout center, or just walk down to the French Quarter.
7. YES, YOU CAN SAY NO
You have to realize that you don’t have to do everything. And if you’re feeling like a time out or skipping a couple of sessions then go ahead and do it and don’t feel bad about it. There is a lot to do at a conference but you may need to just take a break.
8. YOU ARE IN NEW ORLEANS SO SAY “HELL YES!”
Remember that you are in New Orleans so have some fun! Go listen to some Jazz or grab a great meal with some friends. Just go and don’t feel bad about it. Let the energy of the “Hell Yes!” drive you to a great week.
9. REMEMBER WHY YOU’RE HERE THIS WEEK
You are here to learn, have fun, network, connect, share, contribute, and so much more.
Remember why you are here. You are hear for your team, your staff, your family, and your clients. If you remember why you are hear it will help you get through the week.
10. LAST…. AT THE END OF THE DAY AND THE WEEK, RECAP AND BE GRATEFUL
The day is done, you head back to your room, and you are tired. Don’t go to bed before you “capture your day.” I know that you are tired and you just want to crash but you have to look back at the day and ask: Did you get what you envisioned? Did you show for everything? What do you want to remember and forget? Would you change anything? What are you thankful for?
At the end of the conference recap the week as to what you have learned and bring it back to your team and your clients.
Now go out and kill it this week!
So what is your Legacy?
As most of you know I changed careers a few years ago and lately I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what I want my legacy to be.
Ask yourself this: If someone was new in town and was looking to join a club or go to your business what would they say about you and your club or business. Are you someone that is looked on as a leader in your town or just the person who is going through the motions?
Let’s face it… we’re only at a club for a certain period of time, right?! Are you happy to just go through the motions at your job and you’re career? Or do you want to create something, do something that will make a difference – in any way. It doesn’t matter if it’s personal or business related.
Ask yourself the following three questions:
What do my peers say about me when I’m not in the room?
How do I want my loved ones to think of me when I’m gone?
What mark do I want to leave in the lives of those that I meet?
Our Legacy – Our Vision – Our Focus-Our Dreams
Why have I been on this ‘legacy’ trip?
I’m a father of two amazing kids Lauren and Hannah. I also have a remarkable wife and I’m fortunate to have a couple of thriving businesses, as well as other opportunities that frequently pop up. I believe these things are all intertwined. They all happen and succeed because of each other.
It’s all these things and more that allows me to continue to fine-tune my own visions and dreams. The vision that I have for my family, my businesses, as an entrepreneur, boss – you name it – all ultimately leading up to my legacy.
I’ve still not totally figured out exactly what I want my legacy to be. But, I know it’s important to me. It’s something that I’m going to continue to work on, and I belive everyone should.
So, ask yourself this – what do you want your legacy to be. What are your goals, your dreams, and aspirations and are you moving in the direction to reach them?
With the USPTA World Conference upon us I thought I would write some tips on networking at the convention. One of the main reasons we go to conferences is to meet other people and to connect with other pros.
I’ve had the opportunity to attend a lot of conferences and conventions so here are some easy tips to help you get the most out of the networking opportunities at this weeks World Conference.
Before the Conference
You need to have a plan before you arrive. You need to know in advance who you want to meet, which speakers you want to hear, and what vendors you want to visit.
You need to post, blog or tweet about the fact that you’re going to the conference. Blog about the sessions you’re planning to attend and why you want to attend that session. Find out the Twitter tag for the conference if they have one. Spend some time before the conference looking up the speakers and some of the other participants’ websites and blogs if they have one. In today’s digital society it’s pretty easy to find out the information.
Set up some appointments before the conference with some other attendees who you know are going to be there. If you know that there will be people attending who you know that you would like to see, call them or send an email a few days before to schedule a time to meet.
During the conference
Guide the conversations with the other attendees. Ask questions that take advantage of your shared interests, like:
What did you think about that last session?
What other sessions are you looking forward to attending?
Are you planning on going to the national conference?
What other conferences are you planning on attending?
The “where do you work” question is going to come up at some point. When you are asked follow it up by asking them where they work and how long they have been at their club or facility.
When you have the opportunity to, introduce others to the people in your own circle. When you meet people that are influential, be the one who connects them with others who might be valuable to them. This includes not only those at this particular conference, as well as other people you might know at home.
Take the time to talk to the other people sitting next to you. When you walk into a seminar, take your time and say hello to the people seated around you before the presentation begins. Once you have said something as simple as “hello” and made a connection, it will be a lot easier to speak with them later in the day if you run into them again during another session.
I know it’s hard sometimes but try to sit next to someone you haven’t met before. If you are at a conference for multiple days try to sit next to a new person for each session. Don’t sit with the people that you know and reach out to new people.
Try to ask questions at the end of the session. Engage the speaker with quality questions that will help you with your career. Don’t just ask a question to talk. If asking your question in front of everyone else seems too hard try to find the speaker after the session and talk to them then. Speak slowly and introduce yourself to him or her in a brief way and ask an intelligent question.
During Break Times
Turn off your phone and put your technology away. I know that everyone is busy but try not run to your IPhone, BlackBerry, Ipad, or laptop at every break.
If you were smart before the conference you put an out of office message on your phone and emails at the office. At the conference make the most of the opportunity to expand your network.
Get a wingman at the conference. By having a wingman or networking buddy, conferences are much easier to navigate. Your wingman can step in and introduce themselves in order to produce a name from someone you don’t want to admit that you have forgotten. By helping out each other you’ll cover more of the conference and have more interesting conversations.
Food and Cocktails
When it comes time for the social networking time food and cocktails make it easier for you to make conversation.
Remember it’s hard to talk with your mouth full and with a drink in your hand, so be careful. As most of you know me I like to have a cocktail in my hand at just about all times when I am at a conference dinner party. Make sure to take it easy and use common sense.
Make sure to carry business cards, a notebook, and a pen or pencil. Make it easy for people to remember you and pass out business cards to people that you want to connect with. In today’s digital world put the new friend in your contacts right away.
After the conference
Make sure you follow up after the conference with people through e-mail and or phone calls. I know its hard to do but book out time after the conference to go over everything that you did and who you connected with.
If you have a website write and blog about what you did and what you learned from the conference. People who were at the conference want to be in more than one session at a time, and your notes can become important to other people who attended the same conference.
Conferences can be very expensive with the cost of airfare, hotels, and conference fees so make sure you make the most of it while you are at the conference.
Every business has competition and how you handle your competition will determine your success or failure.
It’s pretty common among tennis professionals to believe that a bit of competition around the corner is a good way to keep you motivated and driven to grow your business and to get more clients.
So if you want to beat your competition then focus on these three items
1. Community-get involved in your community to reach out to everyone in your area
2. Marketing-You need to be using Facebbook, Twitter, You Tube, and Email
3. Results-If you want to be the most popular person in your area you have to deliver results
Tis the Season…Really??
This past weekend it rained all weekend so we ended up going to the mall to kill some time and guess what….the mall is getting ready for Christmas.
For most tennis pros I’m sure you are not thinking about Christmas but the big box stores and the malls are already gearing up for the biggest sales season of the year. Every one of you should know that the start of the biggest shopping season of the year is only 6 weeks away.
The problem is, many tennis pros, me included, will wait until the last minute and miss out on our share of those GIGANTIC dollars.
As you know it takes time to search out what you need to buy and to figure out what events that you want to do but if you don’t start now you will miss the boat and miss out on the dollars that should be yours because you weren’t ready for the Christmas season.
This is just quick reminder that now is the time to start getting your facility and your pro shop ready for Christmas….don’t wait until it’s too late.