"When are you going to get a real job?"
"You don't really work...you just dance."
"You don't really have a business, you have a job."
"Your business isn't really a business. It's not complex. You teach dance."
"What you need to do is find yourself a big company to work for and park your ass there for twenty years."
Anyone the recipient of those words? or a variation of them?
How'd it make you feel? Did you react? Did it fire you up? Did you step into your light and stand up a little straighter? Or did you shrink back a bit. Perhaps mulling it over in your mind - wondering.
This past weekend I was accused of not having a professional job because my hours are not “business” hours.
True. They aren’t.
I have a dance studio. It's not your "average" dance studio. It's small. About 130 students when in full swing. It's out of my home. I know. Super awesome and a little weird at the same time. My studio specializes in beginner students and coaching more advanced students.
It works for me.
And yes. My hours are "not ideal." I wake up at 4:45am to do the admin. work and fun pet projects like this blog and my Boogiefit curriculum,which you should totally grab the free download if you haven't. CLICK HERE.
Then from about 7:30am-4pm I'm being a mama with coaching call or student sprinkled in here and there.
And then my evenings are teaching and running the studio.
So when someone commented about me not having a "professional job" it pierced and twisted the knife a bit.
And because I know who you are - my fellow dance teachers, studio owners and female business owners - I'm thinking you may have heard this as well? or a different version? Maybe more than once throughout your journey?
Do you Feel less than because You don’t Fit into Society's Norm?
I felt that way for many years.
Honestly, how could I not with comments like that coming from people in my closest inner circle. (And yes, all of them.)
For years I would say, “I’m just a dance teacher.” Or “I just teach dance.” Or “I do some performing.” Back when I worked as an actor.
Yes. I was doing it part time and barely making any money. And why should it be "less than" because we're starting out, or doing it part time or not making as much as we would like...yet.
But I was doing it.
And looking back, I can't blame those people who said those very hurtful things. Although I'm human and I'd like to. But I have to take some ownership. Shame on me for not having stronger boundaries and allowing those words to grab hold of my mind and my heart.
So I did some work on me.
It didn't come quickly, or easily. It never does.
But glimmers confidence and owning who I am came started to ooze out of me about two years ago. You guys, I was 40!
(I effin' loved being 40!)
I had already been teaching dance for 20 years. And my own studio was 8 years old! And I was just starting to quietly say out loud that I had a business.
And here's the secret. Once you say it out loud the first time, even quietly, it gets easier to say it. And you start to say it louder, and louder. More confidently. Owning who you are and stepping into it FULLY!
And now few years wiser and stronger, I can say with confidence that I AM a business owner.
I AM entrepreneur.
I AM impacting my community and effecting lives.
And my work is PROFESSIONAL!
You guys, my hope is that you don’t wait to value yourself until your 30, or 40 or 86!...Don’t wait until you’ve accomplished a milestone, an age or an income amount.
You are worthy...RIGHT NOW.
Whatever your super power, zone of genius, God given gifts are- say them out loud. Confidently. Courageously. So that you can use them and grow them to Shine your light - onto those your serve, help, teach and love - even brighter.