There are a couple of instructors and perhaps one school I at least occasionally look at as studies not in gunfighting, but in business practice. I look at what they do and what they don’t do, what seems to work for them and what doesn’t. I look at businesses and businesspeople outside of the fight-instruction industry as well.
I do that because I recognize that if I don’t succeed as a capitalist businessman, I won’t have the best opportunity to succeed as an instructor either. If I can’t develop and increase my income from instruction, I will be unable to reach as many as I want to and as I otherwise could to help them develop themselves as defenders. I can’t focus just on teaching and expect everything else to fall into place. It doesn’t work that way in the real world. Some time has to be spent thinking on and doing business things and thinking and acting like a business-man instead of like an instructor.
I admit it’s kind of irritating sometimes to understand and have to do that, but to ignore reality is to risk my being unable to do what I want to do and can do for others in this way.
Income, and increasing income, for me is a means to an end. But to increase income I have to not just do business things, I have to have a good product that people want to pay for. So the wish to help others develop themselves drives the wish to develop the business and increase income which drives the development of quality instruction which means more students receive more of what they need and a better quality of what they need which increases income which enhances my ability to provide services which…
There is a point where this starts to break down for me as an individual, of course. Not there yet, however. Still trying to work out the best ways really get the cycle going, in fact. But that’s where I’m at and that’s my belief about this aspect of being a professional instructor in this field.
What interests me is that sometimes I see other instructors who don’t appear to acknowledge their status as or the need for them to be small-scale capitalists and businesspeople. Some of these express disdain, even anger, at those who have been successful at the business of instruction as well as being successful instructors. An interesting group, those who seem to oppose anything resembling a business attitude, because at the same time I see them decrying the acknowledgment of any profit motive or attitude of capitalism in this industry, I don’t see them converting their own practice into a break-even or totally self-supported form. What is wrong with being explicit about the wish to make a profit from your work, as I have tried to be here? What is the problem with others knowing that you are, to some degree, a capitalist?
I wonder about that sometimes.