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Business or Community?

October 20, 2012

I’ll put up the notes for the last class soon, but first, something I came across this on Facebook, written by a friend of mine, Flora Chan. Something about it really spoke to me. Give it a read first, then I’ll share my thoughts after that.

1. If you plan to run a biz, everything gotta look professional and slick. Coz it’s all about appearance and perception. Biz is always about transactions and seldom are the relationships anything more than a mutually beneficial one with money as the foremost agenda. You are more concerned about promoting your image more than anything else.

2. If you plan to build a community, everything gotta be authentic. Relationships will be messy coz humans are involved. But there’s life coming out of it coz the focus is on people – the ones you are building and encouraging. You’ll be looking for opportunities to grow their gifts and talents of those around you rather than merely using them to enlarge your kingdom. You teach them what you know so they can go further than you.

And it’s terribly hard to do the latter if you aren’t willing to fail while trying, or be transparent with others. More than that, you’ll mostly be the one giving. Not everyone will appreciate you but there will be those who will love you because they see your heart.

This sums up my take towards the classes I run. It’s about building relationships. Every person who turns up, even for just one session, has chosen to take time out of their schedules to see if I can add value to their lives. And that is what I hope to do in each session.

But it is more than just a transaction (you pay me fees, I teach you awesome stuff). I hope to create a group that people will feel at home at. Why? Well, being an asocial geek gets wearisome at times. And though I’ll never be the life of the party, I have had enough of bring the loner, hiding one corner with my training notes and skill-specific drills for company. All the stuff I have that’s worth sharing comes from the loner side of me, but I realized that there is loads of fun in showing what I discovered (or learned) and helping others get it too.

How About the Business?

I’ll be totally frank with you. I like having more money. And earning loads of money through teaching Hatsumi Soke’s budo is a heady thought. It would be such an ego-boost (I do have an ego, really) as well as profitable. I still occasionally dream of suddenly making it big, having many, many students and running 4-5 classes a week (imagine how good I’ll get!).

But if it ever happens, I will still hope to have a strong sense of community there. I will want my students to not just like the art and my teaching methods, but also me as well. And I want to have students that I like as people, that I want to have as friends outside the dojo.

And that is something that I already have now in my current class. Small, yes, but with people I am happy to meet up with and connect with even outside of training.

In other words, people (you know who you are), keep turning up! See you next class!


俊傑 (Shunketsu)


From → bujinkan

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