A Rare Opportunity to Work with Dave Simon | EP 232

Get a Mentor, Be a Mentor

Years ago, someone once told me that it’s important to always have a mentor in your business and to also be a mentor. That idea has really stuck with me over the years.


A business mentor can give you a perspective you don’t have on your business. Hopefully, your business mentor has more experience and wisdom when it comes to business than you do.



The Value of Being a Mentor

Being a mentor forces you to think more deeply about your business knowledge and how to help the person you are mentoring. You often give advice that you should also apply to your own music school, which is why I love coaching music school owners.



Applying Lessons on a Deeper Level

I’m constantly thinking in the back of my head, “Yeah, I should do more of this too.” If you’re an ambitious music school owner and read books on business and marketing and listen to podcasts, that’s great. It’s super helpful when you apply the ideas you learn to your business.


But when you’re mentoring another music school owner or another business owner, and you apply the lessons you’ve learned, you understand them on a deeper level. That’s always one of my biggest concerns when reading books and taking in business content. Self-education is important, but committing to implementing the lessons you’ve learned is even more important. 



Mentoring as a Learning Tool

I always ask myself, “How will this help me as a business owner?” Applying it to my business is one way, but sharing the information with another music school owner allows me to process it differently.


One of the things I love about teaching is that it has allowed me to become a better musician because I’m constantly saying things to students that I need to apply to myself. I’m articulating and expressing things to the student that I might not have expressed had I not been trying to help somebody else.



Networking for Mentorship

Perhaps you could network with someone in the Music Lessons and Marketing group, and you could be each other’s mentors. Even someone with a similar skill set can be a great mentor for you, and you can be a great mentor for them because you’re emotionally disconnected from their problems. One of the greatest things about having a mentor is that they have no emotional investment in your music school. They can often see the answer to your problems in a way you can’t.



A Real-Life Mentorship Example

I’ll never forget, for example, one of my superstar teachers, who had been with me for about seven years and had a full schedule, came to me and said, “Dave, I just wanted to let you know I want to give you my two-week notice. I accepted a job at the School of Rock. They offered me a management position.” So I called my business mentor and asked what I should do. He said, “You’ve got to fire him right now. He’s teaching.” I said, “Yeah, he’s teaching his students right now.” He said, “No, no, no. Let him finish his day, and then you’ve got to fire him at the end of the day.” I said, “Why? That’s crazy.” He said, “Because your competition is now inside your building teaching your students.” And he was right.


Once he put it that way, it became apparent to me that his advice was correct. But I didn’t like it because it was going to create problems for me the moment I fired him. He didn’t have to worry about those problems because they weren’t his problems, but it was the best decision for my business at that moment. My mentor was emotionally detached. I was emotionally invested. My mentor was able to see clearly while my emotions were clouding my ability to make the right decision.



You Can Be a Mentor Too

Even if you don’t feel like you’re an expert entrepreneur or business person, there’s still someone out there that you could mentor. If you’ve been running a music school for a year and you connect with someone who’s been running it for only a month, you have a lot of experience and wisdom that could be valuable to them. Conversely, someone who’s been running a business for two years has a lot of expertise and insights that will be valuable to you.



Introducing a Rare Coaching Opportunity

Today in the podcast, I wanted to share with you a rare opportunity to work one-on-one with me as your business coach. I say it’s a rare opportunity because I only coach up to four music schools at a time. I stopped doing it for a while, but I miss it. I love working with music school owners. I learned so much about business working with them, and an opening has come up.



Focus Areas of My Coaching Program

My coaching program focuses on two things: a music school’s systems and marketing plan. When a music school is stuck, the problem is often found in its systems or marketing plan.


Quite often, the problem is simply a lack of systems and a lack of a marketing plan. The biggest problem with a music school is also its greatest asset. A music school’s greatest asset is that it sells a product, specifically a service, that’s high in demand. Every parent, or almost every parent within five, maybe six or seven miles of you, that has $100-$200 a month to spend on after-school programming for their child is going to consider music lessons as an activity. So there’s a lot of demand.


You’re selling a high-demand service, which is great, but that’s also a problem because all you have to do is open up a music school, hang some flyers, tell some people about your business, and you can get a decent number of students pretty quickly. Maybe get some movement going on social media and engage in some Facebook groups. Getting some students is pretty easy, but that’s also the biggest problem with a music school. To scale it and get it big, you need to have strong business skills, strong marketing skills, and you need to understand the business functions and how to create a framework and systems to help your music school run more efficiently.



Building Strong Systems and a Marketing Plan

When it’s just you and your 30 or 40 students, the systems aren’t necessarily so important. But as your school grows and you struggle to keep up with the growth, or maybe you’re struggling to break through a growth ceiling, the problem almost always is the lack of systems and a marketing plan.


That’s where I can help you. In this one-on-one coaching program, I would initially take an inventory of your systems and marketing plan.



Getting Your Plan on Paper

You might think, “Well, there is no plan.” That’s fine. There is a plan; it just resides in your head. If you think you don’t have a marketing plan and don’t have any systems, you do, but they’re in your head.


The first step is to get them out of your head and onto paper. Then, over the course of three months, we would begin to build out your systems and a marketing plan. I say three months because it typically takes three months to get a basic framework in place.



Establishing a Foundation for Growth

If you work with me, you will not experience exponential growth in just a few weeks. But I’ll help you establish the foundation to make exponential growth possible. I’ll help you establish the foundation so that your music school can run more effectively, accommodate growth, and eliminate stress in your life.


One thing I noticed as a young music school owner is that as it grew, yes, I was making more money, but I was also managing more stress and had less time at home with my family. But then I got it to a point where I really had sound operations in place and my music school was pretty much running by itself.



Coaching Sessions and Availability

There were humans running the music school, but the humans were not me anymore. So typically, I see my coaching clients after hours. When I say after hours, the earliest would be 4:30, but typically 5:00 Eastern time. I also coach on late Sunday afternoons.



How to Get Started

If you’d like to work one-on-one with me and have me help you develop systems that you can keep in your music schools for years to come, and if you’re interested in having a marketing plan that functions as a game plan for your music school’s growth, I encourage you to reach out to me.


We can schedule a 20-minute call where I can tell you a little bit more about our program. I want to make sure that we’re a good fit. If you feel that you’ve learned a lot from this podcast and see value in personalizing the knowledge I share for your music school, I encourage you to reach out and schedule a call with me. You can just go to davesimonsmusic.com. You’ll see a button in the middle of the website that says “Schedule a Call Today.”


I look forward to hearing from you and learning more about your business, and I look forward to sharing how I can help you take it to the next level.

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