by Frank Silverman
I just came across an old ad from 20 years ago that I ran in the local newspaper (yes, advertising in the newspaper). One of the bullet points on it was the cost: trial special, $19.95. We still apply this special in various advertising mediums today.
But what caught my eye was a bunch of the other beneficial bullet points that were part of that old ad:
• better grades
• great exercise
It took me back to when I opened my first school and why I got into the business of martial arts. What I found amazing is that some of — well, actually, most of — those reasons are the same and hold true today.
I wanted to earn a good living doing what I loved to do — and I loved to do martial arts more than anything else in the world. I liked helping others reach their goals. This was a triple win for me: make money, help others and do what I love.
As I continued reflecting on my career path, it occurred to me I have been training in the arts for more than 37 years now. I’ve been an instructor or assistant on the floor for more than 30 years, and have been in the business of martial arts for more than 28 years. In today’s society, where things change at such a rapid pace, that’s a long time to stay with one career, job or activity.
And guess what? l couldn’t be happier!
Now, I ask you the questions: Why do you do what you do? How do you stay motivated to keep doing it?
There are so many reasons that martial arts professionals enter our industry. Least of all is fame and fortune. In most cases, it’s because the martial arts was or is his or her passion. The bulk of the people I speak with say something to the effect of, “I love training,” or “I love helping people.”
No matter the reason you became a martial arts professional, I think we can all agree it is a career that offers so much to so many. We are passionate providers of guidance to children and adults alike. We can make a person’s day and we can propel them to high levels of success.
We see the success in the youngest as well as the oldest student as a product of our passion for the martial arts. For that, we are rewarded with the “ability” to earn a nice and fair living.
Nevertheless, this, like any other job or career, can take a toll. I have personally written and shared the stories of wanting to bail out at times, to look for a different path and find another career. I’m so glad that never happened. Through it all, somehow, I found the way to stay motivated and press on.
Today, I have my bad days just like everyone else. But I haven’t ever looked back and regretted my decision to make the martial arts my career.
Tell me via email: “Why do you do what you do?” I am genuinely interested to know. Tell me how you stay motivated and how long you have been in this business. My email address is [email protected] masuccess.com.
I’d like to write an article in the future using some of the emails as examples of what lead some of us to become professional martial artists. We all have a vested interest in learning more about others in our field, and how and why we do what we do.
As for staying in this industry, I think it will be of huge interest to all MASuccess readers to learn how you personally stay motivated. If nothing else, this drift down memory lane will surely help you appreciate your career choices even more.
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