What To Do When Your Students Leave You… For Another Teacher

If you’ve been teaching for any length of time, you will experience students leaving you to study with someone else – and maybe not coming back.

It’s never been easier to skip from one teacher/offer/course to another – the internet has created a very porous world. And it’s completely normal, common, and mostly good news that students migrate between teachers – more learning (hopefully) happens for the students and it’s another opportunity to distinguish yourself as the best in your niche.

That said, there are helpful ways to handle these migrations and even benefit. Read on! (Kudos to my two student/friends Deb and Judy who helped me write this over lunch at the Boulder Teahouse – thank you so much!)


When you discover a student has “left” you for another instructor, let go of taking it personally. It’s such a waste of energy! Instead, remember that no one is a good fit for everyone and, if you are doing a good job as a teacher, at some point your students should grow beyond what you know and plus, people like to learn all kinds of things in different ways from different voices – it doesn’t mean you failed.

Also, check it out: do you even teach what they signed up to learn from this other teacher? (Reality check your story.)

Finally, you have no idea why they choose ________ instead of you and you won’t – unless you ask.


Ask your “just right” student why they are working with ________ now ONLY if you can do it without being defensive, grasp-y and you have questions to ask that connect to how you conduct your marketing, your student care, your content, or your delivery.

Do your interview in person or on the phone. You need to hear nuances to ask good follow-up questions and thus actually learn something you can use to fine-tune your business practices or teaching delivery.

Back to the main article!


Too many teachers never teach because they feel their field is too crowded. But why not reverse that: if your students can go to other teachers, their students can come to you!  Or: there are eager students to be taught!

I’ve been teaching for so long, I have seen competition go from almost nothing to super crowded for just about everything I teach. Yet I earned more money last year than ever before (even in my best-selling book / spokesperson contracts/ big speaking gig days) so I say a crowded field is great news. There is a demand for what you offer. A crowded field also provides a great impetus to distinguish yourself as the best in your niche.

My writing retreats fill up in mere hours not because there aren’t enough writing retreats in the world (ha) but because

a) people love writing retreats

b) I try to offer a fantastic experience and

c) I keep growing my teaching so I can offer new insights every year.

Celebrate the crowded field!


Let’s say you feel another teacher is overshadowing you, that every time you teach someone brings up her name, and everything you do is being compared to her. She or he is a demigod! You want to stand on your own material and teaching style, plus you don’t agree with everything she preaches. What to do?

  • Check out your thoughts – is it really true she is overshadowing you? How would you prove that to me? As in what are the facts?
  • You really don’t want to bring even a whiff of “Not her name again!” into your teaching so try sending her gratitude for what she has given to your field.
  • If someone does ask, “But demigod says you should mix paint this way,” reframe by bringing the group back to your expertise perhaps by saying, “Based on my research…” or “Based on my experience…” Claim your authority gently but firmly.
  • No badmouthing ever anywhere. Except maybe with your besties and a bottle of wine/hot pot of tea.
  • Consider inviting this demigod to collaborate with you. Perhaps he or she hasn’t ventured online yet and you could “introduce” them to this world while aligning yourself with their reputation? Or you have entree to a particular conference or festival and can invite the demigod to present with you? In other words, share their coattails.


Suddenly, something you have taught is all over the internet with another teacher’s name attached to it. It’s easy (at least for me) to jump to the false conclusion that I shouldn’t write or teach about _______ anymore or to be angry at said teacher for “stealing” my material. Stop and consider:

The ideas you are teaching are most likely not entirely yours but ideas you have developed and synthesized by standing on the shoulders of your lineage (remember that exercise in TeachNow? This is a great and natural thing! Haven’t taken TeachNow? We open the doors in March!). So this teacher has developed their take on these same founding ideas – cool!

All you need to do when you teach/reference these ideas is reference your history as in, “When I first started sharing this in 2002…” Also be sure to credit your original sources and highlight what you have added and developed.

  • CAVEAT: IF THESE ARE YOUR ORIGINAL IDEAS, call the other teacher and politely but firmly insist they stop claiming your work without attribution. Do not email; call. I’ve seen legal battles commence because of emails sent too soon or in anger. Pick up the phone.

Finally, consider if you might benefit from collaborating with this teacher? Is there an opportunity here to learn, increase your reach, develop new material that serves your students?


The most shameful moments of my teaching life are tied to the people I recommended or invited to present with me without either doing due diligence or responding quickly enough when I saw I no longer trusted them. It’s the worst feeling to realize someone you supported doesn’t deliver what he or she promises, isn’t competent, or is perhaps is even a danger to their students. (Of course, it’s also incredibly great to recommend a teacher who is a life changing fit and I’ve had way, way more of those experiences, thankfully.) And there’s also just the “whoops, don’t like how he teaches” or “She gives way too much material” or “That programs costs too much for what it delivers” that can alter your opinion.

But yikes, you’ve already recommended their work – what to do now?

  • Forgive yourself. We’ve all been here. Especially in the early days of the internet, before we learned that people can create an on-line persona that is nothing but a hall of fancy mirrors.
  • Take off endorsements or recommendations on your website or CV from this teacher, and request he or she do the same of yours.
  • Debrief what happened with someone you trust. What can you look for or do differently next time? Ask your trusted friends to help you keep an eye out.
  • If someone you don’t know well asks why you don’t work with so-and-so anymore, and you are worried about this other teacher’s abilities or impact, be polite but frank. “I have serious concerns about her ethics” or “The structure in which she teaches is more directive than I’m comfortable with” or “Working with him is like drinking from a firehose; if you can handle huge, and I mean huge, amounts of fast-moving material, it’s great, but it was too much for me.”
  • If it’s milder than that, you can say, “Our work was growing in different directions.”
  • Next time you want to work with someone or recommend their work, go slow. Take her course or watch a few videos. Ask around about him. Jump on Skype and interview her for twenty minutes. If it’s a go, start small and  be honest in what you know about his or her offers. Listen to yourself if you are feeling uncomfortable, then cut your losses if need be.

When someone asks your advice about studying with another teacher

  • Say hi to any thoughts that sound like, “I must have screwed up or she wouldn’t be wanting something else.” Give yourself a hug. Then, put your student first and learn more about what your student wants. You can’t make a good recommendation or offer to serve that student yourself without knowing more. “What appeals to you about ________?” or “What are you wanting to learn?” or “What has been feeling like it is missing for you?”
  • Help your student to figure out if this teacher is a good match.
  • If you know something negative about said teacher or something that might make him or her not a great fit for this student, share it but with diplomacy and care. Do not share gossip!

Okay, that’s a darn long newsletter so let’s end with this little summary:

There are plenty of students for you. Don’t quit because the field is crowded.
Some students are a great fit for you, some aren’t, and some will be in the future, some have been and now need to move on.
Take responsibility for being your best some of the time and good enough the rest of the time.
Be sure you are making clear offers to your just right students.
Forgive yourself if you make a mistake recommending someone, learn from it, and move on.

Now my friends, go TeachNow!



P.S. Talking about other teachers, in our next round of TeachNow we will have four guest teachers on hand for four live Q&A sessions. Who would you like to learn from? Come over here and tell me.

Allowing Silence to Unfold: Case Study #4

Today’s case study is from ruzuku co-founder Abe Crystal. True confession time: when Abe showed up in TeachNow three years ago, I was a little terrified. He has a Ph.D in human-computer interaction, and I had no idea what that even was! How could I teach Abe anything?

Read on to find out what happened and then let’s discuss!

TEACHNOW CASE STUDY #4: ABE CRYSTAL, ruzuku co-founder

It’s funny in retrospect, but I remember feeling really nervous when I hopped onto my first TeachNow call, 3 years ago.

I felt a little “behind” because I hadn’t attended the first preview call or even browsed through any of the initial course materials.

I really wanted to contribute but I felt like a bit of an outsider … I was a guy, and it seemed like all of the other participants were women. And the topics I was interested in teaching — user experience design, and online courses — seemed far from the typical topics that Jen was helping people teach.

But eventually there came a pause in the call, and Jen waited patiently for questions, allowing the silence to unfold.

For some reason I thought there was going to be a giant queue of questions and I’d be lucky to get my 2 minutes of fame.

Instead I had to clear my throat, unmute my phone, and jump in.

I don’t think I even asked a question, actually. I think I just said something about how you could use ideas from design in your teaching process.

What I remember instead is the energy I received from Jen in return.

Such enthusiasm and warmth… Like my off-the-cuff comment was the most incredible insight she had heard all week!

That’s how I want people to feel when they take my course — like their contribution really matters.

This was one of many small moments in the course that, when added together, shifted my approach to teaching.

Bear in mind, I was coming from a very formal, academic background (Ph.D. in information science).

“Teaching” to me meant: syllabus, exams, grades.

Now suddenly it could mean: experience, inspiration, and emotion.

Here’s what’s surprising, though. Even more than TeachNow changed how I think about teaching, the program changed how I think about marketing.

You might as well call it “MarketingNow!”

Jen showed me how to think about marketing as a type of teaching.

And to save some of your teaching passion for activities that excite people about your courses and programs.

It even changed how we market our software platform… from a very dry, factual focus on features and technology, to speaking in a much more personal and emotional way about the impact the platform can have for teachers.

I began to get comfortable expressing myself in my teaching, which became part of my marketing.

And this year, I’m spending the bulk of my “marketing” time actually creating courses and teaching — which then excites people and gets them to spread the word about our product.

As I do, I try to remember that sense of feeling appreciated and valued in a course, and to offer that to my participants — as Jen did to me.

Abe Crystal
Co-founder of ruzuku.com


Thanks, Abe – so happy we both overcame our fear!

Isn’t it so moving how tender and vulnerable we are as teachers & students? When I can remember that is normal, and trust that who I am will be enough – and if it isn’t, that’s okay too – I can be of use to someone as wickedly smart as Abe.

When I trust who I am as a teacher is fundamentally enough – while being open to growth everyday – I am freed to market my offers with more joy and persistence.

Now over to you: What is one of your teaching gifts that you may be overlooking or judging as not that useful? Mine is sharing my mistakes freely and without shame. I overlooked that for about 20 years and labored to be somebody more polished and intelligent.

Name a teaching gift of yours, maybe one you labor to “get over.” Now brainstorm, maybe by making a mind map, how this gift could help you market. Some examples of mine:

  • Offer a Spreecast class so people can see my energy
  • Recording 56 master teacher interviews in which I ask all the juicy questions I’m curious + invite 5 guest mentors to join me live & highlight that not as a “I don’t know enough” but I know enough & know how to ask for help
  • Share my own teaching experience as honestly as I can & include actionable takeaways

What can you do to share what you teach by claiming your gift? We’ll have plenty of time in two of our guest mentor live calls with marketing mavens Andrea Lee and Jenn Lee to build this out, so bring your mind maps and ideas!



P.S. Did you know that as part of TeachNow, you get a 3-month free trial of the ruzuku platform that Abe co-created + a hefty discount if you decide to use it? Details are right here.

P.P.S. In case you missed the complimentary kick-off class last week, you can watch the replay here. (The link expires on March 31st so be sure to watch before then.)

Making the Leap From In-Person to Online Teaching: Case Study #2

Today’s case study highlights finding the confidence to teach very body-based work online and insights into marketing as a teacher from one of our happy alums.

TEACHNOW CASE STUDY #2: Erin Geesaman Rabke, Embodied Life Teacher

I’ve been a teacher of one kind or another for 20 years​ so​ I had​ real​ hesitation about joining TeachNow – did I really need this? I’m so glad I took the jump! So many blessings came through the course…

One was I’ve been wanting to teach online but I’ve been a bit terrified about not being in the room with my students because my work is so body-based.​ I was nervous about not being able to respond to people’s energy on the spot, wondering whether they’d understand me when I wasn’t in the room with them.

I got so much great information, encouragement, and specific suggestions from TeachNow to make the leap, and I did it!​ ​I​n addition to my regular teaching schedule, I​ ran two successful ​online ​courses last year and can’t wait to offer more.

My first online course, The Embody Gratitude Project​, I offered right after TeachNow ended​. I would’ve been thrilled if I’d had 20 people registered and I ended up with close to 100 students! ​The same thing happened with my second online course, The Embody Ease e-course. Close to 100 people from many countries joined me. I got great feedback from my first e-course​s​, and besides my thrill,  I was able to make thousands of dollars more money too!

What Jen calls “living in the gap” probably got me off the fence the most. Teaching NOW rather than “waiting until I’m perfect” (a moment, which of course never arrives.) ​I loved what Parker Palmer shared in his interview about the fact that if we really care about teaching, we’ll often feel as if we’re not living up to our standards. It’s inevitable because we care so much. Now, that’s not a problem that stops me anymore, but I can hold the whole delightfully challenging process of teaching with great compassion and a different, humbling understanding…

Hearing Jen and the many other teachers share their own struggles (as well as skills) really gave me such a sense of “we’re in this together.” I got the importance as a teacher to LOVE my students. So much more is possible when people feel seen and loved – we can’t help but blossom. Intimidating tech-details aside, I can totally “Love them!” and I do. And they feel it.

Another part of TeachNow that worked for me was understanding marketing ​not as “selling” but as an opportunity to educate my peeps. When I shared my authentic enthusiasm for how embodied gratitude practice rocks, it worked! People signed up.

Finally, I found the quality of the community Jen gathered to be simply stunning. There was so little of what I’ve found in so many other courses and online forums I’ve participated in… here people weren’t selling themselves, the guest teachers weren’t holding back their best info until we sign up for their program. People shared with such a sense of generosity and respect. ​​I loved being in the community learning environment and learned a lot from classmate’s posts and Jen’s too – she’s very active and giving. As you probably already know, Jen’s presence is such a transmission in itself.  She gives me great courage to show up wholeheartedly in the love of what I’m sharing, the love of my students, and in my own unique ​and quirky ​way. I can’t say enough good about the course and will be highly recommending it to the many teachers (and wanna-be teachers) I know.

Erin Geesaman Rabke
Embodied Life Teacher
Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner


Erin, way to go! Offering not one but two on-line courses, and so quickly! WEEE!

Now over to you: what’s one way you can authentically share your enthusiasm for what you teach with potential students – today!? Get creative and then share what you do on my Facebook page. Let’s get to know each other.

This is such a juicy conversation, thanks for being in it with me!



P.S. See you next week for our complimentary kick-off class. To sign up or share this free!ee class with others, just go here.

Interview with Author & Creator of Playing Big, Tara Mohr


I didn’t know Tara Mohr when she signed up for TeachNow. We would become friends some months later, after she reached out to say how much my first book, The Woman’s Comfort Book, had meant to her as a teenager, and then came to my writing retreat in Taos.

I’ve loved watching Tara flourish – from launching her hugely popular course Playing Big, to writing her book of the same name to big acclaim, to taking the stage at major events. She claims me as a mentor and I say, she’s been a great mentor to me, too.

I interviewed Tara for the Master Teacher library this time around (an incredible bonus of TeachNow – 55 indexed interviews exploring so many aspects of teaching) and it was delightful to have someone who took the program the very first time reflect on her teaching journey.

Listen to an excerpt where Tara talks about how she collaborates with her students and clients to develop her material – super useful:


The complete Master Teacher library awaits you when registration opens on March 19th, right after the complimentary class, 7 Ways To TeachNow & Thrive – you can register here or invite others to join you.

Now over to you: Schedule a conversation with a “just right” student – or a free session in your living room with 4 to 10 “just right” students – to share some of your new ideas. Leave plenty of time for feedback and record the session for clues about what works and what doesn’t.

Share what you learned on March 19th in the Q&A!



P.S. The link for the fre**EE class again is www.theteacherspath.com.

An Open Letter to All Teachers

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my history around creative shame and a wonderful reader named KJ left this comment:

“I honestly did not realize I was sitting on a volcano of this until I read this post. I love serving people, but I am SO TIRED of being told that EVERYTHING – every post, every class, every session, apparently every stroke of the toothbrush – has to be concluded with pithiness. Tell them why this is relevant! Tell them how this will help them solve their problems! Tell them why they should care!

I feel like a dancing bear, terrified that if I stop waving my paws the right way there will be no more food…

Is there something about the world of serving people that means that creativity must be a slave to value? I know what you describe applies to so many of us in this world (and in many others) and I’m curious why… “

When I read what KJ wrote, I thought, “Hell yes, so many of us feel that way! Running on the same hamster wheel, a wheel made of keeping up, of getting attention, of showing our students they should take classes / programs / retreats from us. Pick me! Or doing the same for whatever company or administration we work for. That there is no time for play, self-expression, and creativity – let alone goofing off – because we have to keep waving our paws to get the attention, make the sales, get published, keep the school board happy, etc.

I, for one, am sick of this thudding drumbeat of desperation, of the hectic, breathless headlong rush to keep the fuck up.

Artists and teachers have always been rabble-rousers, have always been the leaders of change. It’s part of our job to point out what is not working. Now we need to point out – at least to ourselves – that all that matters is marketable value and pithy takeaways. Or test scores. Or page views, Facebook shares, articles published only for peer review. That some kind of bottom line is all that matters.

We have to take back what we love about creating & teaching, about learning and sharing what we learn.

In Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1912, mill workers went on strike for shorter work hours. During the strike, the mostly female workers sang, “Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses, too.” Brigid Schulte, in her excellent book Overwhelmed, writes the workers meant they wanted time for family, for joy. We need our own kind of strike.

We have to strike against the “faster, bigger, better story” and allow ourselves the rest and deep creative learning and thinking time we need to survive. Yes, survive. Roses are not a luxury because beauty and meaning are not either.

We have to say, “I will stand for the stories I need to tell, the genealogy I want to study, the sweaters I want to design.” Just because.

I’m not saying this will be easy, nor am I saying we shouldn’t care about making a living. But we must stop thinking being of service means being everything to everybody in pre-cut, easily digested squares. We must stop thinking that to be successful we have to be a dancing bear.

Yes, hive mind hums just a click away, where you can immediately feel out of date, failing, falling behind. You can find a thousand people telling you what you should do to be successful, make money, stay in front of people, be of service, be relevant.

Marketing is not evil or wrong, whether that is marketing yourself to a tenure committee or your slice of the planet. I’m not saying go live in a cave and create just for yourself, never share what you are learning. I’m saying that deep within each of us is a creative heart that needs protection and expression and we must never EVER let the marketplace destroy or own that part of us. And that includes the marketplace of productivity and checking things off your to-do list.

You decide. You break away. Then you model this for others.

You refuse to abandon your best self’s creative truths on the altar of value.

You and me and KJ and every single one of us reading this are the keepers of what is sacred. We are artists of learning, students of life.

I say no more dancing bears. Or at least, not all the friggin time!




But the learning continues with a twice-monthly, super-concise, actionable TeachNow e-tip – Sign up below to get those AND The Fab Guide to Course Creation and Better Participation (PDF).

Sign up now to be the first to hear when enrollment opens (plus, get in on all the early bird specials).

Embrace Beginners

I struggle with back and shoulder injuries, and I have for six years.That means the rigorous asana (physical yoga postures) practice I’ve enjoyed for the last 20+ years is not available to me anymore. Maybe someday, but not right now.

I now attend a much gentler yoga class where I focus on alignment. My butt might not be so toned anymore but the benefits of a more mindful yoga are great for my injuries, calming for my mind, and have brought me back to the fundamentals I learned long ago. Which feels grounding and good.

This enjoyment of “beginning yoga” (I use quotation marks because there isn’t any such thing but that’s another topic for another time) got me thinking: where as teachers do we forget or dismiss beginners? Maybe because we think they’re already being served by other courses/teachers or because we think teaching them will be boring?

Beginners are a huge market segment, but you may overlook that truth as you become an expert in your field. You don’t see the beginners because you aren’t hanging with them. But they are there.

Questions to stir your marketing and teaching mind:

  • Do you have classes and courses aimed at beginners? Do you make it extra safe for them to join, allay fears of “not getting it” or “looking dumb”?
  • Do you engage with your beginners as a teacher to remember what it was like? That’s a fantastic way to energize your teaching and your own learning.
  • Are there opportunities to invite your “advanced” students back for a refresher class? (A summer income source.) Or do you need to extend yourself to students who don’t feel “advanced” enough? Is your marketing inclusive and jargon free?
  • Could you offer a beginning series – say for 4 or 6 weeks – to get more students up to speed so they can take your more advanced classes?

It’s often harder to teach beginners because it requires you to truly know your subject matter and be able to explain it or demonstrate it discreetly and clearly. It’s usually the opposite of boring – it can be terrifying (my first yoga class I ever taught had a blind person in it!), although once you master a subject, teaching the 101 class can become repetitive. In which case, tap into your own beginner’s mind to refuel your passion or start training apprentices to teach parts for you. Or move on.

Your homework: how can you serve and welcome beginners? What does being “a beginner” mean or look like for your subject(s)? Are you afraid of beginners? Where and how are you embracing being a beginner?

Do tell!



How to Get Started Creating a Course or Retreat


Thanks for reading this little “teaching love letter” to help you confidently create courses and retreats. You have wisdom to share with the world, and I know the world will be better for having that wisdom + teaching is a great way to grow almost any business and diversify your income.

Creating a course is similar to writing a book–you need a beginning, middle, and end, a “narrative arc” or flow that reaches a satisfying conclusion. How to find the arc and know what to put into it?

Here are some ideas to get you started!

  • Beginning is not the same as the beginning. Forget beginning at the beginning. Begin where you feel the most passion, the most juice or where you know a little tid-bit that makes you think, “I got this,” and then rinse and repeat, creating out of sequence for a bit.
  • You will create out-of-sequence best using a tool like Evernote. Work in small chunks so you can move about and thus see the flow. Paper and pen person? Get thee post-it notes and a wall. Go!
  • Get familiar with how you design best. For me, it’s through a little bit of teaching or coaching, a little bit of reading/research, and then being alone, thinking and designing the course or retreat. I need to be in dialogue with people – both mentors ahead of me on the path and students beside me. But not too much dialogue for too long – I need to go away and design when the energy starts flowing.
  • What helps you create new insights and what schedule gives you time to capture them and build on them? For example, if you get all hot with ideas after a coaching session, leave yourself time to create your course or retreat right afterwards. Have your writing materials or video camera at hand, and riff! Grab the insights. You can also record coaching calls and re-listen for your “wisdom bits,” and then build off what you said. Quote yourself!
  • Try writing your sales page first and then create the course to the spec of the sales page. We did this for the first round of TeachNow and now 1,006 students later, we’ve built a very robust and powerful course. Starting with a sales page will help you know what you want to deliver and then you can ask, “If that’s what I want people to walk away knowing, what’s the last, middle, and first things I will teach to help them arrive there?”
  • Find some “accountability partners.” If the idea of creating your course makes you quiver and quake, write the sales page but only show it to a few friends. Then ask them to hold you to the date the class starts. In other words, deliver!
  • Beta is your friend. Refine as you teach. Don’t wait to teach.
  • Steal structures: What learning structures do you like from other teachers’ courses, workshops or retreats? Use those and pour your content in. Not sure? Study for structure. Start with courses languishing on your hard drive.
  • One of your biggest obstacles to getting started might be believing that what you have to teach has all been done, and who cares what you have to add to the conversation? Well, that is just your mind on “mind crack.” What if what you have to teach – and, more importantly, the way you teach it – could save a life? A marriage? A creative soul? What if? Create from that “what if.”
  • Remember, most of the world lives in the McDonald’s paradigm and has no idea what you know. Find the students who don’t know what you know. It can take time, but it is completely and utterly possible.

Stop trying to get it right or to create what you think you should create for the marketplace. Follow your deepest, simplest joy first and then refine from there.

I hope this gets you off the ground creating, and if you like this, join us for TeachNow 2015. Registration opens on March 19th, so please click over here and give the whole course a gander. It’s been a powerful learning experience for so many. I’d love to have you in this year’s round.



Craft Your Personal Introduction & Get Clear on Who You Teach

TeachNow offers you an incredible “through line” of 5 live calls with me, Lianne Raymond, Pixie Campbell, Dr. Kelly Edmonds, Jennifer Lee, and Andrea J. Lee to discuss and deepen what you are learning from the pre-recorded classes. It’s called a “flipped classroom” – first you listen to the main teaching, then we discuss and learn more together.

And TeachNow also includes 55 interviews with incredible teachers  as a bonus – yes, bonus, not the main content of the course! – and those interviews include last year’s mentoring guests. These interviews give insights & inside tips not heard anywhere else, and each interview is indexed by keywords so you can find the wisdom  mentoring you need when you need it.

Listen in on a sample from a live mentoring call with Alexandra Franzen and craft your personal introduction to help you zero in on who you serve and how to connect with them. You’ll learn who you serve and what you do for them, and a glimpse of your future offerings – as well as getting a taste of the “bonus” part of TeachNow.


Listen in here:



P.S. See you this Thursday for our complimentary kick-off class. To sign up or share this free!ee class with others, just go here.

The secret to being a more successful teacher (and human being)


What I’m about to tell you is the most overlooked key to being a successful teacher – as well as a successful business owner, parent, writer, athlete, and all around happy human being.

It’s the precursor to more sales, to repeat business, to turning customers into raving fans, to your ideas having a lasting impact on the hearts and minds of your students, readers, and clients.

It’s also how you unlock your own potential to thrive.

Really it can do all that, and more.

The secret? Feeling safe.

You can’t make decisions, take risks, or learn when your nervous system is on high alert. Your brain’s learning and decision-making functions slow or shut down. That’s why people click away from your sales page, stop attending your course, or never sign up for another one of your classes. They’re afraid. And they probably don’t even know it.

They’re afraid they won’t get it, they’ll look stupid, they’ll waste their money and time. In a nutshell: they’re afraid they’ll fail.

You’re afraid too and you can signal your fear to your students and potential clients. Do you worry if you have what it takes to be a great coach/web site designer/Pilates teacher? If anyone will buy your services? If you can keep learning and growing to stay current? Of course you do! We all have these worries.

But this low-grade state of fear can keep you stuck, and it can keep your customers from buying, and from learning growing. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Safety is something you can experience – and offer – starting right now.

Nothing is Going to Eat You
My favorite in-the-moment safety move is to stand up, stretch, exhale with a long “ahhhh.” Then I look around my studio and tell myself, “Nothing is going to eat me.” Yes, it makes me laugh but it also signals to my reptile brain that a stressful day does not equal death. You need a similar trick up your sleeve to calm yourself in the moment of freaking out. Use mine or one of the many relaxation tricks you already know.

Make Feeling Good a Priority
Remind yourself resetting your nervous system is not a luxury, it’s non-negotiable self-care, like exercising or drinking water. Become a devoted student of what relaxes you, both in the midst of a stressful situation and when you have an hour or a weekend to unwind. Weave more pleasure into your day – music, a tea you love, three squares of dark chocolate. Nourish your senses.

Extend Hospitality
Welcome your students warmly. At live events, greet people at the door, put them at ease. Online, say hi as people dial on, by name if possible. I always include a short video welcome inside my online courses where I also repeat info about how the course works for visual learners who might not read the welcome emails. Make it easy to navigate your website and sign up for your services; otherwise prospects feel dumb and unsafe, and they run away. Brainstorm simple ways to be a good host from the moment your customers and students come in contact with your business and you.

Where’s The Bathroom?
Clear driving instructions, sending the phone bridge number for each session, telling people what to bring to be comfortable – be meticulous in this area. Your student is looking for reasons to back out. Making her feel safe by taking care of basics can feel like cheating – it’s so easy, you’re not showcasing your brilliance – but I’ve seen simple details and tiny gestures of care prevent drop-outs, increase participation, and convert customers for life. Don’t overlook it.

Include the Body
A few moments of calming yourself and your students opens the space for learning and creates trust. It need not be woo-woo. You can joke that pro-football players practice mindful breathing before the SuperBowl, then invite a few full, relaxed breaths and long exhales.

Preview Your Material & Review Parameters
I always want to skip this step because I think it’s boring. But many people need to know what’s going to happen next or they can’t relax. Remind them how long the session or class will be, when questions are welcome, how many revisions are covered in your contract, how long it takes you to answer emails, the nuts and bolts stuff. Do this often. You may think it’s overkill but that’s only because it’s obvious to you.

Less is More
One of the biggest shifts I see in teachers who take my course TeachNow (1,006 students to date!) is understanding that information overload shuts down learning and hurts your bottom line. Too many teachers and business owners think being generous means flooding their customers with information and options. A big part of your job is make the hard choice of what to offer and in what sequence. Master this and your business – and impact – will soar. Discernment and focus is your friend.

I have a thousand more suggestions but then I wouldn’t be following my own advice! I’ll stop here with the invitation to become curious about what feeling safe offers you, and the people you work with. Investigate these suggestions and find your own ways to use safety as a path to growth. May it be fruitful!



P.S. Join TeachNow this round by TOMORROW AND RECEIVE two excellent bonuses:

  • Bonus #1: Top 10 Teaching Questions + Answers. This document is gold!! Several students told us it was their favorite part of the course.
  • Bonus #2: After the Retreat Is Over: Energy Alchemy for Teachers. This is an exclusive audio created JUST for TeachNow by the amazing Hiro Boga, master teacher. It’s a half-hour audio meditation to clear your energy body and energy field.

These bonuses go away after tomorrow. Join TeachNow today and get your bonuses AND start learning with Module 0, which begins tomorrow. Dive into the Master Teacher Interview library. This course is called TeachNow for a reason. What are you waiting for?

Interview with Randi Buckley About Creating Interactive Exercises


Randi Buckley is one of my guests for the live integration calls that are a bonus in TeachNow.

I chose Randi because of her incredible experience designing interactive learning experiences and translating big ideas into teaching that sticks. Randi is a writer, coach, and course creatrix creating exceptional, experiential courses that don’t suck for coaches and creatives of all ilk. Deepak Chopra called her course design work for him “shining genius.” This summer she celebrates 25 years at the Concordia Language Villages. www.randibuckley.com

Here’s what we cover in this chock-full 11-minute interview:

  • How to organize all that you want to teachRandi-Buckley
  • How to tell the story of your course to find your focus and flow
  • Borrow from children’s games to help you create experiential activities
  • Ways to create activities online to bring your teaching to life
  • How to engage the 7 multiple intelligences
  • The huge importance of building moments for stillness and reflection
  • And lots more!

The additional integration live call guests are Jeffrey Davis, Pam Slim, and Tara Gentile – all geniuses in teaching, writing, and marketing. You’ll be able to ask them anything. And dig this – these live calls are just the bonuses NOT the main meal for TeachNow. Another incredible bonus? 48 Master Teacher interviews indexed by subject matter – it’s like having the best personal mentors you can imagine at your fingertips. TeachNow is a feast that has galvanized 1,006 teachers in so many fields to get into action and to earn more money. And it’s super affordable.

Test-drive the course for free on April 3rd to see if it’s a good fit for you. Sign up here.



PS: Yet another extra bonus to TeachNow this year is an extended free trial of Ruzuku to test-drive during the course. If you think it’s the right platform for you to create your own course, you can register for their Up-and-Comer plan at a 50% discount. They’re also including a teleseminar training for TeachNow alum to walk you through step-by-step.