“You have to go wholeheartedly into anything, in order to achieve anything worth having.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
I’m standing alone in my brand-new studio, scuffed wooden floors primed for polish and off-white walls fit with full-length mirrors, soon to be brandishing upright ballet barres. It’s the first time I’ve stopped to really take in all that I’ve accomplished. I’m 19 years old. And I own my own business. The thought is mind-boggling.
As time marches on, my idealistic notion of entrepreneurial life as ‘24/7 Fabulous!’ transforms. It’s hard, lonely work. Late nights. Long days. Teaching classes. Putting out fires. Chasing my own tail. Money, time and energy are all in short supply. I long for a little bit of ‘me-time’, to re-connect with my family and spend time with my partner and friends. Life has other plans.
I throw myself headfirst into learning everything I can about running a successful dance studio. I attend workshops, listen to podcasts, read books and eventually start seeing a business coach, to accelerate growth and work on diversification. Then comes the online marketing. More students register. I learn about reward and sacrifice.
My business (Dance Energy Studios in Caloundra, QLD) continues to grow, thanks to a stellar business strategy and an all-star team. Systemising. Streamlining. Organising. Automating. Love. Sweat. Blood. Tears. We’re finally getting somewhere, gaining traction. And eventually the strangle-hold starts to release its grip. An 8-hour day becomes the norm.
Fast forward to now. It’s 2017. I’m standing in the doorway of my not-so-brand-new studio, watching a slow smile spread across a young ballerina’s face as she masters her first pirouette. And it brings me back to those early morning hours, all sawdust and solvent, the world cracked open like an egg in front of me, the yolk of endless possibility mixed with white hot fear.
I’ve been there. I know how hard this journey is. And I want you to know you’re not alone. If you see yourself in any part of my story, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m dedicated to helping studio owners and dancers find their groove, and ultimately lead a life that they love.