How many learning curves have you been on this year?

Now is a good time of year for us to reflect on how far we’ve come and take stock in all that we have learned so far in 2019.

No matter our age, we never stop learning. We may resist the new information coming at us, but we continue to learn regardless of our resistance. It’s up to us how quickly or slowly we adapt to the learning curves before us.

I often find that I have no one to blame but myself for the velocity of learning curves in my life. That’s been the case in 2019.

I love both change and learning, so while I was in the process of creating Niche Partnership Consulting, LLC, I also decided to explore becoming a Les Mills BodyFLOW instructor. I’ve practiced yoga for 15 years, and I love the combination of Tai Chi, yoga, and Pilates that are the foundation of BodyFLOW. I had two motivations for becoming a BodyFLOW instructor. My first inspiration was my friend Sue. When she was battling pancreatic cancer, she used to wish out loud that she could feel well enough to take a yoga class. I’m sorry to say that Sue, and I never took a yoga class together. When she was sick, I would set my intention during my yoga practice to send her the health benefits. After Sue died last Fourth of July, I thought that I could help people like Sue and caregivers, if I became an instructor. My second motivation was that having a significant fitness goal would be a wise counterbalance to the intellectual and strategic pursuit of starting a business. I know that I can tend to work long hours to meet business goals, so having an equally compelling fitness goal seemed the perfect remedy to keep me in balance. And, besides, how hard could it be?

How hard could it be?

I can hear my fellow Les Mills instructors laughing out loud right now! We all know we’re in big trouble when we think or say, “How hard could it be?”

Having never been a fitness instructor and knowing nothing about learning choreography, I had my work cut out for me.

In general, the Les Mills certification process is that trainees prepare for and complete the initial training weekend, and pass all required competencies. Passing initial training is not guaranteed. If you don’t pass, you are encouraged to make corrections based on the feedback provided and submit a videotape of yourself doing the assigned tracks, and hopefully, you will pass. After passing initial training, we continue to learn the remaining choreography and techniques of the one-hour release, practice, team-teach, then videotape ourselves teaching a one-hour class, and submit it for review, feedback, and certification. The video submission process can iterate until certification is achieved or retraining is recommended.

It was an overwhelming process, preparing for the initial instructor training weekend, in Cherry Hill, NJ, last February. I over practiced and took every Les Mills class I could fit into my schedule, hoping to glean an ounce of my instructor’s advice. It seemed, the more I practiced, the less prepared I felt. But, the instructor training weekend experience was amazing! I loved every minute of the expertise available from the master instructor, and my fellow trainees, the majority of whom were already yoga instructors or instructors for other Les Mills classes. Our class ran for nine hours the first day and only eight hours the next day due to a nor’easter that hit the east coast that afternoon. Learning the techniques, choreography, and theory were physically and mentally challenging. I had never before felt the level of fatigue I felt at the end of that training.

There is one thing I will never forget the instructor telling us. Even after completing and passing the weekend instructor training, only 50% of trainees go on to become certified instructors. I wondered why anyone would go through the grueling yet wonderful initial instructor training weekend and never follow through to become certified. Maybe it’s self-doubt or loss of momentum that gets in the way? But, I suspect that it starts with the feeling of being alone on the journey that keeps trainees from becoming certified.

Maybe it’s self-doubt or loss of momentum that gets in the way? But, I suspect that it starts with the feeling of being alone on the journey that keeps trainees from becoming certified.

My clients go through a similar process when they try to navigate the beneficiary process on their own. They are often so close to the deceased party and feel very well informed of the details. How hard could it be? We don’t know how hard it can be until we’re in the middle of it, or very close to someone in the middle of it. And the middle tends to be messy. When we are grieving the loss of a loved one, keeping our personal finances and commitments current, AND learning how our loved one navigated and managed their finances, that is a lot for one person.

As much as I offered, Sue didn’t want to talk to me about what I needed to know to help her husband wrap up her personal finances. To actually talk about planning for life after Sue seemed like the opposite of hope. Even though Sue left a nice bread crumb trail for her husband and me to follow, we still had a lot of discovery and challenges ahead of us.

When we’re grieving the loss of a loved one, there are times that we wonder if we’ll ever finish what seems like endless phone calls, forms, emails, and conference calls. There is a high-risk that beneficiaries will under-estimate the time commitment required and therefore not complete the journey, especially if traveling that path alone. There is a very good chance that the paper trail will be so complex, yet tedious that beneficiaries will not optimize all the benefits due to them.

Niche Partnership Consulting collaborates, side by side with the beneficiary; working in short, targeted efforts, with a consistent cadence to complete the beneficiary process within 90 days. NPC oversees the milestones that need to be completed, freeing the beneficiary to start creating their new path forward.

Contact me at mbs@nichepartnershipconsulting to find out more about NPC’s beneficiary consulting services.

Mary Beth Simón

Mary Beth Simón

Contingency Plan Guide | Strategic Planner | Keynote Speaker & Workshop Facilitator

The best time to plan for an emergency is when life is good, not when an emergency happens. Unexpected life events require all your energy and attention. Having a plan ready before it's needed relieves stress and allows you to face challenges with calm, presence, and confidence.

As the founder of NPC, Mary Beth works with her clients to create a roadmap that their business partner, team, or loved one can follow to keep business and life running smoothly in an emergency.

There's no better time than now to start creating your plan. Book a Free Consult Today or download my free Contingency Planning Kit.