Getting down to Business

So, I want to clear something up.
I’m not a hater.
If you’ve noticed that for the past two or three weeks, I’ve been a little less active online, I have a good reason.  I’m so sorry if you’ve linked up to the party and I haven’t commented on your fabulous project {if you’re an even number…if you’re ‘odd,’ blame Kara!}.  If you’ve commented and I haven’t responded, or if you haven’t seen me on Facebook as often, it’s because I’m getting back to business.
That’s right.
After taking a year off to be full-time mommy to Little Crafter, I’m ready to pick up a few hours here and there doing one of the things I love best…teaching dance.
In case you didn’t know, dance is one of my great passions in life, and I have the coolest job in the world {besides being mommy}.  I teach Ballroom, Latin, and Swing dance.  It all started when we were newlyweds and we decided to have a date night once a week.  Hubby signed us up for a month of group classes at a local studio, and by the end of the month we were hooked.  We switched to private lessons and never looked back.  Several years later, after doing a lot of intensive training, I made the career switch from teaching English in the public school system to teaching dance, and I’ve never regretted it.
I’ve taught at two different studios, both of which had non-compete agreements.  The first one lasted for 3 years and had a 30 mile radius attached; the other lasted for 1 year and a 45 mile radius.  Both agreements will expire at the end of this month.  Which means starting in February I can teach again, this time on my own terms.  Don’t get me wrong, working for a studio is great.  There are plenty of advantages to it.  But especially while LC is so young, I love the idea of making my own schedule.  I also love that I can set my own prices and be my own boss.  As for the things I’ll miss about not being part of a studio, there are still showcases I can get involved in and dances I can attend {and encourage students to attend} locally.
I have to admit, even though I knew what my time frame was, I was a little slow getting on the ball about putting things in motion.  First, I wanted to make sure I was being respectful of the non-competes, but really I think I was afraid of rejection.  I have to rent floor space somewhere since I don’t {and won’t} own a physical studio, but I was afraid everyone I approached would say no.  I was afraid no one would want to take the lessons since I’m just an independent instructor.  I was afraid that if I tried approaching the local colleges about what I offer {which I still haven’t been brave enough to do} they’d just say they weren’t interested.  I started to really doubt myself and my ability to make a go of it.
But, remember, my word of the year is COURAGE, right?! 
Which meant it was high time I start making come contacts and stepping out in faith.  And you know what?  So far, so good.  I’ve found a few places where it looks like I’ll be able to affordably rent space, and I think the times that are available should work for potential students.  Say a little prayer for me about the colleges…I’ll let you know how that goes whenever I get bold enough to make the calls.  My big project lately has been designing a website to advertise what I have to offer.
It’s kind of funny, really, I started this blog just as a fun hobby and outlet, but I’ve learned so much that I was able to design my own site just the way I want it.  I had to laugh as I was designing sidebar buttons and typing code because were it not for One Artsy Mama, I wouldn’t have known the first thing about where to start with web design.  God provides in mysterious ways, doesn’t He?
I’ve also ventured into buying a web domain, and I designed some business cards I’m pretty excited about.
{Meanwhile, if any of you are in the web design or advertising business or just want to be a guinea pig, let me know; I’ll give you the site info and you can check it out and give me your feedback!}
So, that’s what this Artsy Mama has been up to.  Web design, making contacts, coming up with business cards, and making a plan for giving this a try!  Wish me luck, and more importantly, say a prayer that I’m where I’m supposed to be and that God will bless the way I’ve honored my non-compete agreements even though many other folks I know in similar situations have not.  I’ll keep you posted!  And yes, I’ll still be blogging and partying and Facebooking and tweeting and doing all those fun things…including planning a blog-aversary celebration for March!
What about you?  What have you been up to so far in 2012?
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7 comments on Getting down to Business

  1. Tara @ Tara Being Tara
    January 15, 2012 at 3:03 PM (2 years ago)

    There’s only one thing to say:

    YOU GO GIRL!!!!

    Knock this one out of the park and never look back!!!

    Reply
  2. Jaimee
    January 15, 2012 at 6:16 PM (2 years ago)

    awe-SOME!!! Believe it or not, that is MY secret dream. I had to quit dance (ballet) at a young age due to health issues. I was crushed and I’ve always had a special place in my heart for it. I would loooove to learn ballroom, but I can’t seem to get over that hurdle of signing up for lessons now that I’m older. Best wishes to you as you leap after your passion!!

    Reply
  3. Carmella
    January 15, 2012 at 7:01 PM (2 years ago)

    Yeah!! how exciting! I am so very, very proud of you! I love these pics so much….such talent!

    Reply
  4. Terry
    January 15, 2012 at 7:03 PM (2 years ago)

    All the best to you, Amy. As always, I know you will succeed and flourish. I can’t wait to hear about it as you go along. :)

    Reply
  5. Grandma
    January 15, 2012 at 8:08 PM (2 years ago)

    I am so happy for you…I know how much you love teaching dance…
    I’m sure you will do very well…your former students will be thrilled to have you back to teaching…I am very proud of you too and all you do…
    You are amazing…

    Reply
  6. Melissa @ LoveBugLiving
    January 16, 2012 at 12:13 AM (2 years ago)

    That’s amazing that you turned this hobby you discovered into a business that you love! I know the community colleges around here offer classes to the public for adults. Also, my girls take ballet classes at a youth studio that doesn’t offer adult classes. But, I know they have another woman come in to teach adult classes (ballroom & bellydancing) That might be a good way to market to parents of kids that take classes as well as rent space from. Good luck with all of it!

    Reply
  7. Phil and Darby Hawley
    January 16, 2012 at 2:29 PM (2 years ago)

    Amy this is awesome and I can’t wait to watch how much fun you have getting back into the “swing” of things :-)

    Reply

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