So, I haven't written anything in a while, and I want to say it is because I have been super busy, but I know that is no excuse. Thankfully, I have been really busy operating my first business, and things are going very well! I thought I would share some of the valuable tidbits I have picked up so far.
1. Make The Time
Those of us who thrive on a 'full plate schedule' know that those three words can be more difficult than they appear, but making time while running a business takes more patience and sacrifice than I anticipated. Working a traditional eight to five, teaching from six to ten, and trying to maintain a resemblance of a life has been a huge learning curve for me. I have learned I have to schedule myself bookkeeping time, choreography time, marketing time, family time, even laundry time! I confess the whole cooking/cleaning aspect of being an adult has taken a hit this past year....needless to say, I'm still learning.
2. It Is Okay To Say No
I found that saying "no" being a new business owner was surprisingly difficult for me. Aside from the fact I'm a bit of a people-pleaser, when I was presented with an opportunity, I felt like I had no choice but to take it. "How can I be picky when I'm starting from the ground up?" "I can't afford to turn down any opportunity to work." "It's okay; this one pro bono performance will be great publicity." The truth is, I have no choice but to be picky and turn down some opportunities because I am a new business owner. I had to face the fact that I have limited resources and there are only 24 hours in a day. I have to pick and choose which jobs will give me the greatest results based on the amount of time and money I have to invest into them.
3. A Strong Support System
While I do not have a huge staff I can lean on at this point, I have learned that my friends, family, and fellow teachers and dancers are an amazing support system! When the bumps in the road happen (and they will happen) I may have given up if I didn't have teachers bringing me new projects and workshops, my sister/roommate helping me maintain the house, my boyfriend being super patient and flexible with our schedules, my mom checking in and sending me encouragement from thousands of miles away, and my fabulous students constantly exceeding my expectations that challenge me to become a better teacher everyday. It is okay to lean on these people to help you carry what can feel like the world.