Transcript Snapshot 004 – Steven Potts
Transcript: Snapshot 004 — Steven Potts
Transcript for Snapshot 004 – Steven Potts
[00:00:00] Andrea: Hey, it’s Andrea with Music Studio Startup, the podcast about the business of teaching music. Learn from the startup stories of music teachers who are doing incredible things with their studios. Be inspired by creating musicians who are branching out and thriving as entrepreneurs. Be empowered by the insights of experts who will help you grow your own studio.
Let’s get started.
Welcome back. We’re doing a special series on the podcast this summer called Studio Snapshots. Rather than the in-depth, process oriented interviews you are used to hearing, these rapid fire interviews give us a glimpse into a guest’s studio at a moment in time. They’re part reflection, part anticipation of the future, and fully a celebration of where these teachers are today.
Today, I’m talking to Steven Potts. Here is Steven’s Snapshot. Hi, Steven. Welcome to the podcast. Thank you so much for being here today. Can you introduce yourself and tell us briefly about your studio?
[00:01:10] Steven Potts: Thank you so much for having me. Well, I’ve been in worship ministry for the past 18 years. Teaching music lessons, teaching piano, voice, and guitar has been something that just kind of evolved in my life. I wasn’t looking for it, and it’s not like a career that I was setting out for. I just kind of fell into it and it would happen like this. I would, you know, finish a worship service and a parent would see me play guitar and sing and, and then they’d come up to me and ask, hey, my daughter wants to learn how to play guitar. Do you teach? I would start teaching like a really small handful of young kids or teenagers. And it became like a, a really cool blessing because like, it like provided for my family. And so it was just something that I just did on the side. It was convenient. Something easy to do, but I tell you when it all changed.
It all changed when I saw a Facebook video of a team of students who were in a, a worship ministry together and they were singing this worship song and I looked and I was like, oh wow. I taught him when he was only seven years old. Oh, look, I, I taught her too. And she was 12 and now she’s 16. Holy cow. There’s another one. So I saw like three or four of these teenagers now, who at some point I had taught when they were little kids and I was like, wow. I was able to play a little small part in their musical journey in teaching them their instruments and now they’re using it too, like bless other people with their gifts.
And like, from that moment on, it changed everything for me and pulled out this passion that I didn’t know was inside of me. So, yeah, I’ve been doing that ever since been teaching for 15 years. I’ve been doing this full time just for this past year. And I now own my own studio and it’s been crazy. Andrea, it’s been crazy.
[00:03:03] Andrea: It’s crazy. Well, I’m excited to hear a little glimpse, just a snapshot, what you’re reflecting on from last year and what you’re looking forward to in the coming school year, which is where you are today. So with that, what are you celebrating from the last school year?
[00:03:16] Steven Potts: That I survived my first year of being full time.
[00:03:19] Andrea: Congratulations.
[00:03:21] Steven Potts: When I stepped out of worship ministry and this time last year, a lot of people thought like, what the heck are you doing? You have six children. How are you going to support and provide for your big family on a teacher’s income? My goodness. I’m so glad that I took the risk. There’s been a lot of wins, like owning my own studio surviving my first year, full time career. I have not lacked for anything. I recently just hired two teachers to help me teach one for piano, one for guitar. I’m about to hire a third person to help me with administrative tasks. So, yeah, there’s a lot to celebrate this past year.
[00:04:03] Andrea: Yeah. Sounds like it. How were you challenged in the last year?
[00:04:08] Steven Potts: For the most part, I haven’t had a team and it’s just been myself, just kind of making things happen. That’s been one thing that I’ve missed about being in worship ministry. I was able to lead a team of people and I haven’t really had a team in place. So really it’s just been a pretty heavy workload with it just being me handling not only teaching, but the administrative tasks, interference with brand new parents and students, learning how to set aside money for taxes. And all of that. So that’s, that’s probably been, my biggest challenge is not having a team, but I’m working on it right now.
[00:04:48] Andrea: I think every teacher has gone through that first year. You have to go through the first year to get to the second or the third or the 30th. Yeah. Did you take any risks or go outside your comfort zone? That seems like an obvious question.
[00:05:00] Steven Potts: I think, yeah, for sure. Hiring two teachers to help me teach. And that just recently happened. It’s very recent, but these two are incredible teachers. I’ve watched them in action. They’re very proficient at their instrument. They’re great with the kids. What’s really cool is that one of the teachers I actually taught when he was only seven years old and now he’s 22 and teaching his own set of guitar students. And that will blow your mind and it’ll also make you feel old.
[00:05:33] Andrea: Oh yeah. I’ve had the same experience.
[00:05:36] Steven Potts: So I didn’t know how it would work, you know, hiring two teachers, it’s kind of like, it can be kind of a heavy weight, like just making sure that they’re getting paid. And most importantly, that they’re fulfilled in what they’re doing.
So it was definitely a big risk cause I had to learn how to delegate as well. Sometimes they’ll do things a little bit different than you and that’s okay. And I think I’ve just accepted, like, you know what, they’re going to have a different teaching style than me, but I kind of want that. Cause I want my team to be well rounded and be able to offer like just different experiences all around to parents.
[00:06:12] Andrea: And what does this summer look like for students in your studio?
[00:06:16] Steven Potts: So for the month of June, I advertised back in May that, you know, if you’ve ever been interested in trying an instrument, but you didn’t wanna necessarily commit, how about you just come in and try it for a month. So I charged like a, a lesser rate for kids to come in and try that. And that’s worked wonderfully, like I’ve never done that before. Just kind of packaged it that way. I think I have 10 to 15 students who, who jumped on board with that and at least half of them maybe more have decided to continue lessons beyond June. So that kind of sets me up really nice for the fall to be able to fill in some open spots that I had.
In the month of July, I am hosting my second worship camp. Which is like kids who are geared for like worship ministry or want to be a part of a team working together as a group and as a band. And that is gonna happen for three of the four weeks in July. I’m very excited about it. And their end goal is to lead a night of worship.
[00:07:19] Andrea: Okay. So supplemental camps, some are in lessons and some are in kind of the introductory lessons.
[00:07:26] Steven Potts: Inevitably, you know, some of the students are pausing through the summer as you know, because they’re doing different things in the summer. Which I totally understand. So they’ll like pause their lessons through the summer until the fall. So yeah, you have to kind of do something to fill in those gaps for yourself and also for, to give kids an opportunity that maybe they wouldn’t have like the school year fall in, in spring.
[00:07:50] Andrea: Mm-hmm . And how about you? What are you up to this year? What are you prepping for the next school?
[00:07:55] Steven Potts: So I think what’s really helping me to set up for this fall is developing my team, working real close with the new teachers that I just hired. I recently interviewed someone this morning to handle a lot of administrative tasks, which is gonna be huge for me to take those things off my plate so that I can focus on leading my team, teaching, and just flying a little bit higher because I have big dreams and big goals and aspirations for the studio. Again, a lot of things kind of spinning up in the air, a lot of good things and hopefully they land.
[00:08:33] Andrea: Is there a book that you’ve read in the last year that you’d recommend for our listeners summer reading lists?
[00:08:39] Steven Potts: I am just now starting to read a book by Donald Miller and it’s called Building a Story Brand. Which has a lot to do with marketing and just the words that we use whenever we promote our business or promote ourselves, the words that you use actually really matter. When I do market, I wanna do it well, and I want it to make a difference in people’s lives. You know, if they hear about Pottshouse Music, I want it to have a, a positive effect on them and on their lives.
But yeah, just learning how to see a problem that might exist in the community, and then you being the solution for.
[00:09:23] Andrea: And where can listeners get in touch with you and follow along with year two of your music school?
[00:09:27] Steven Potts: You can find me on Facebook. Just look for Pottshouse Music. I’m also on Instagram. Drop me a message. Say hi. I’d love to talk with you.
[00:09:36] Andrea: All right, Steven. Thank you so much.
[00:09:38] Steven Potts: Thank you so much for having me.
[00:09:45] Andrea: Thank you for taking the time to be with us, Steven. We’ll include a transcript and all the links mentioned in this episode at musicstudiostartup.com/snapshot004. The Music Studio Startup website is also filled with lots of other resources for music teachers, just like you, who want to set up their studios for success this summer.
That’s all for today. Thanks for listening. I’ll be back next week.