Prompted by a question I was asked earlier today, I just wanted to take the time to explore my view on acquiring new customers during the coronavirus pandemic, and advice to other teachers who wish to do so to help keep themselves financially solvent. This post is largely from the viewpoint guitar teaching as an individual, and is geared towards other teachers in the same position.
My simple advice to anyone in this situation is – don’t put short term finance in the way of long term customer relationships (unless this is agreed with your customer).
My meaning behind this statement is born from the panic that can be brought on by loosing our work and our purpose; if we aren’t calm and skillful in the way we think about the short term situation we find ourselves in, it is very easy to loose grip on our long term focus. It is due to this fact that I have been turning work down during a time that it may seem logical to accept more work. The reason for this is due to a Buddhist mantra…
‘This too shall pass’.
The idea behind the mantra is to realise that all things – good and bad – eventually come to an end. When anything ceases to be, there is a period of adaptation that leads to the next phase in our lives, the next journey. Nothing is permanent.
The lockdown we currently face and the financial challenges we may also face – especially if, like me, you are largely self employed – by this very same mantra won’t last forever. At some point, we will return to a no doubt modified version of ‘normality’, as will everyone around us. I made a realisation very early on that when this ‘normality’ resumes, I may not have the capacity to keep potential ‘new starters’ in my schedule if I panic and enrol people into my school without consideration. I didn’t, and don’t, want to find myself turning people away once I continue engaging in my contracted teaching work after this pandemic is through. I value quality, long term relationships far too much. Plus, what could we communicate to our people if this were the action we took?
If there is one thing about the coronavirus pandemic that I see on a daily basis via the media, it is the generosity, the selflessness and the altruism of others, at their risk and expense. This is especially true of our key workers in our supermarkets, our NHS and other emergency and utility services. This has been said a million times I’m sure, but we are all in this together. Let’s remain together.