Fitness Career Spotlight on Jill Harris, Informed Body, Pilates
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA, RD on JANUARY 1, 2016
Meet Jill Harris, Pilates guru. Jill has mastered the fitness industry while bringing a business-savvy knowledge to enhance her company and studio. Learn how to balance a busy day full of clients, social media, paperwork, and play. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of health and wellness?
When I was young I was a gymnast, cheerleader and dancer and loved movement and choreography. Dance was the one place I was consistently happy and I realized my career needed to include this type of movement to share how joyful it can be to express oneself physically.
Your Job Title:
Owner, Informed Body/Creator Informed Technique
Company you are with now:
Expert Trainers at Informed Body
And Informed | Technique
– Instagram: @informedtechnique
– Twitter: @informedbody
– Facebook: facebook.com/informedbody
– Facebook: facebook.com/informedtechnique
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you:
I teach Pilates and Informed Technique daily from 7am to 5 or 630pm. Before I go to work I try to post a photo or video on Instagram no later than 6am. The first thing that happens when I walk in the studio is I notice every detail no one else bothered with. Is there water and cups for clients? Are there paper towels and toilet paper in the bathroom? Was all of the equipment put away properly or is the studio a mess?
I have five minutes to organize the space for clients and mark their attendance cards then I go right into teaching back to back clients for 4-5 hours at a time. I leave about 3 minutes between clients to pay, schedule and run to the bathroom if necessary and check emails. Often emails come in from clients needing to cancel or reschedule and I have to respond quickly. Sometimes the emails are inquiries which I like to respond to within hours.
While teaching my clients I am constantly watching what the other trainers are doing to make sure their clients are being safely trained. I notice when they don’t clean up or if they are talking too loud or making a mess. It can be very distracting to try to give a client 100% while worrying about everything else in the studio.
I take a 35 minute lunch break and train clients for 4-5 more hours before I go home to deal with studio paperwork. I keep all the studio payment logs at home and do all the accounting work there. I post another photo on Instagram in the evening. Every other day or night I post videos and photos for my Facebook pages and as often as I can try to engage on Twitter.
For the last year I have been working on refining the equipment and accessories design for Informed Technique so I often have meetings or follow up emails immediately after work and on weekends. The design and testing process for prototypes in expensive and time consuming. Basically I have 3 jobs – studio owner, teacher and inventor. Every day is crazy busy and requires staying on top of everything at all times.
How did you get your current job in health and wellness?
20 years ago I was certified to be a Pilates teacher before the market was saturated. I was lucky enough to build up a large following of clients and opened up a studio 15 years ago.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I was born with the ability to dance and move and see patterns in movement as well as an uncanny ability to keep conversations going and client’s interest. I have learned that you have to constantly be flexible with bodies and business as no one size fits all. Thinking quickly and moving even quicker to get things done is a must.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Be prepared to work your butt off and never stop thinking about how to be better and keep going forward. Never assume you are going to be successful just because you showed up. Have an outlet and a lot of support to vent to and create a network of people who have experienced what you are going through. Never burn those bridges.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Clothing and vet care. Those are actually two things I trade clients for!