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On My Mind

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Dance Studio Life is on a roll as we enter the new year, with hundreds of new subscribers and many new advertisers. Then there’s DanceLifeTV—we’ve just launched a new website that makes searching for and viewing the 70-plus original DLTV episodes a snap. And preparation for the 2011 DanceLife Teacher Conference is in full swing, with more than 300 attendees from throughout North America (and as far away as Australia) already registered. How cool is that!

Looking back at the inception of Dance Studio Life and the entities now associated with it, including the conferences, seminars, and DanceLifeTV.com, I am humbled by the growth of these ventures and thankful for the support of so many dance people from throughout the world.

I plunged into Dance Studio Life with little knowledge of the publishing business, but I knew exactly what the magazine’s mission (and that of every division of my company) would be: to continually rejuvenate the spirit of dancers, teachers, and school owners. Each printed page, episode, seminar, and workshop must exude passion or it’s not worth doing. It’s that plain and simple, as far as I’m concerned.

Often people approach me with business ideas they believe could be mutually beneficial. Those meetings are usually productive whether or not the idea comes to fruition, because I have made long-lasting friendships and learned much that I could apply to my own business.

Now and then, though, I encounter a real doozy—someone who tells me he’s done a lot of research on my company or me and believes we are a perfect fit. Most of the time these people are eager to tell me I could be rich if I did whatever they were selling. And it might be true. But there’s a problem: their concepts don’t exude any passion; they’re about making dollars, not inspiring dancers. What really turns me off is that I can tell they didn’t really do the research they claimed to; if they had, they never would have come to me in the first place. They would have known before they asked what my response would be.

My business philosophy is all about tweaking things and being open to change within the company, but if those options don’t pass the passion test, then my clientele will know it. And that means those options aren’t the right ones for me.

I have discovered that there are quick roads to success, and then there are long, winding roads. A winding road takes a little longer, but the ride is so much nicer. And it gives me time to appreciate the knowledge that I’ve followed through with my mission.

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January 2011
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