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Five things I’ve learned along the way

Let me begin by saying I’m no expert on starting a business! I still feel like I’m winging it (does that feeling ever really go? #impostersyndrome). But I’ve learned a lot, from my successes, my failures and from other people. So here goes…

1. Trust your gut

Four years ago I got offered a dream job in Dubai, running a gym and teaching classes. Of course, I said yes! But when I got there, it wasn’t the dream. Yes, I was living in a gorgeous apartment in the sunshine and meeting amazing people. But I couldn’t stop thinking about Turn’d Up, my dance fitness class that I’d left behind. It was just starting to take off, argh, what had I done?! That nagging feeling turned into certainty: Dubai could wait. I needed to come home and concentrate on taking Turn’d Up as far as it could go. *A lot* of people thought I was crazy. But when you know, you know. So my advice here is: listen to your instincts and you won’t go wrong.

2. Stay positive

When I got back, my class members weren’t all waiting for me with open arms. They’d moved on, understandably. So there I was: no job, no money (I’d sold everything to move to Dubai; I literally touched down on British soil with 5 pence to my name). I also came back with a list in my pocket of what I needed to do to build up a business, step by step, broken down into small, achievable goals.

This was a low point for me and I became depressed. But I persevered. I believed in Turn’d Up and that was the dangling carrot for me. I visualised what I wanted: for Turn’d Up to become a business. To help women empower women. To build an empire. That list of goals got me through. I’d advise anyone to do this, with whatever they want to achieve. There’s nothing more satisfying than checking off a goal no matter how small! I got my classes started back up and that was the first step. Next came recruiting my first instructors and I started to feel like I was back on track. But it took time.

I’m going to to write more about the power of positive affirmations and visualisation in future blogs. There’s too much to go into here!

3. Give up

I don’t mean quit. That’s too easy! I mean you have to sacrifice *a lot*. I rarely buy clothes. I haven’t had a proper holiday in two years. I hardly ever go ‘out out’ and I don’t drink alcohol. All my spare cash goes back into the business. I don’t have time for a boyfriend. Put away your violins though, because I’m happy. I’m doing what I love, I just have to give up some of the other, less important things I love.

4. Expect a rocky road

Some days it’s ‘two steps forward; one step back’; other days it’s ‘one step forward; two steps back’ (now I’m confusing myself 🤪). But the road to success is NOT smooth. One minute you get news that makes you do a little victory twerk; the next minute you’re holding your head in your hands and your anxiety is through the roof. Think of a swan; gliding along the surface, but paddling madly underneath. That’s me! Sometimes I think ‘All I want to do is dance and teach others to dance; why do I need all this hassle?! I’m going to go and work on a cruise ship!’ But I’ve come to expect these ups and down and to keep it all in my stride (more or less!).

5. Play to your strengths

My talent lies in dancing. I’m creative; an ideas person. My talent does not lie in writing, admin or numbers. Some things you can’t muddle through on. So I found people I trusted and delegated to them. Because they had to be paid (the cheek!) this meant things moved slower than I wanted them to, but I think my patience paid off and my foundations are solid.

What are YOUR tips for growing a business? I’d love to hear them! Comment below.

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