The Secret To Teaching Fearless Guitar Lessons


Is fear keeping you from taking the plunge and starting your guitar teaching business, or from doing something BOLD to take it to the next level?

This is a subject I happen to know a lot about. If I had to pick one overriding emotion that tries to dominate my life on a daily basis, fear would win the prize. The thing is, I’m learning how to take those feelings of FEAR and turn them around and use them as FUEL to make my business and my life EVEN MORE SUCCESSFUL.

Fear is a natural response that kicks in when there’s some risk involved in something you want to do…anything from starting your own business, to talking to an attractive member of the opposite sex. It’s like something in your gut screams out “ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?!”

Fear is just a feeling

I think the emotion of fear was probably originally intended to keep us from doing something stupid to injure ourselves, but it can end up being a roadblock to your happiness and success. After all, fear is just a feeling. Like every other feeling, you can CHOOSE how to react to it. You can let it PARALYZE you and keep you from taking action…or you can OVERRIDE it by:

  • Feeling the fear
  • Doing the thing you’re afraid of anyway

I’m pretty sure this is exactly what you have to do when you go skydiving (even though I haven’t had the guts to try it myself!)…everything in you is telling you to stay put, but you choose to trust in your parachute…and you close your eyes…and you just jump.

Afraid of success?

The biggest fear that can stop you from starting your own business teaching guitar is probably the fear of FAILURE. Maybe you’re afraid that you won’t get enough students to make a living, or that things will some how blow up in your face. In my case, I found out that my real fear was the fear of SUCCESS! Starting your own business is no big deal if you get someone who knows how to do it to help you…what tends to scare me is how to SUSTAIN it once things start rolling:

  • Once you get 50 students, how do you keep them from quitting?
  • How do you make sure they get the results they’re looking for?
  • What if you can’t handle the pressure of their expectations?

We tend to create these unrealistic “doomsday” scenarios in our minds…they ramp up those feelings of fear and that can often paralyze us and keep us from moving forward.

A solution for fear

The truth is most of the things we’re afraid of USUALLY NEVER HAPPEN! I read a really cool quote once that illustrates the reality of fear:

Fear knocked on the door. Faith answered…and no one was there!

I just found out about this 18-minute YouTube video by Jonathan Fields that really inspired me. Take a few minutes and watch it right now. Jonathan explains the reasons why we tend to let fear STOP us, and how there’s really nothing to be afraid of at all:

Jonathan also wrote a book that was just released called “Uncertainty – Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance“…I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but it’s at the top of my list. It comes very highly recommended…if you struggle with fear in your teaching business (or in your personal life), you should check it out.

So, don’t let fear keep you from starting or expanding your teaching business…or from seeing the success you deserve in your life. Feel the fear…acknowledge it (after all, it’s just a feeling)…and then just jump!

Now it’s time to hear from you. Have you been experiencing fear in any area of your teaching business? How do you deal with it? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!


The Secret To Teaching Fearless Guitar Lessons was last modified: November 14th, 2012 by Donnie Schexnayder


  • timothy miles


    Finally somebody deals with the core issue’s of fear vs success. That session had my full attention. Its pretty much where I’m at the moment, I never thought about most of what he addressed.

    I will replay this session over and over until I can give a answer to every word that’s based around my current goals.

    It was a powerful message that came at the right time, based on my career outlook.

    Donnie we love you “man”

    • Thanks, Tim! I thought the video was great, too.

      Figuring out how to put my emotions in the right perspective and override feelings of fear when it’s appropriate to do so has been one of the most important success principles I’ve ever learned.

  • Mark Hopkins

    Hey Donnie, I do have one concern about moving towards doing lessons on a full time basis… I will just be getting started in about two months.

    What about family time? It seams that many students want to do lessons after school or in the evening… Do you have some suggestions for spending time with your own family in the evening or at dinner time when doing after school / evening lessons? Especially for us that are just getting started?

    My thoughts are… adjusting my lifestyle to spend all my family time during the day… and moving towards group guitar lessons… so I can minimize the time I would be tied up every day after school and in the evening.


    • Hi Mark…you bring up a good point. You do need to adjust your schedule a bit to accommodate guitar students, but there are some ways to help minimize this.

      Teaching in groups is a great way to “consolidate” your private lessons and free up family time in the evenings. Teaching webcam lessons is also good, because you can teach people in other time zones and schedule them earlier in the day.

    • Dandoo

      Getting plugged into the homeschool network is the way to go if you need to protect your evenings. The webcam thing Donnie mentioned is great, too.