Gina & Susanne connecting this week over events in their lives as artists. Creating space with the intention to shine a light on dark corners with the hope to support you. Come join us with no judgment. We are holding space to learn, laugh, and downright pointe at ourselves.
Watch the episode here:
Rise 360 with Gina & Susanne | Adopting a business mindset.
Adopting a business mindset early on
While still in school, we start becoming associates, advocates, and ambassadors for pointers, lay charts, products, and handbags. Influencing is hanging up there, dangling and calling us all in. However, there are certain tools that we can use to stay on top and not become a product of another industry.
”You can only grow your business as far as you are willing to grow personally”-Jim Rohn
”If you are not getting rejected, you are not growing”-Susanne Puerschel
As dancers, what do we take away from rejection that helps us to grow? How do we feel when we get rejected? It is on us what kind of belief we’re choosing. Is the rejection telling us that we are not enough? That we don’t belong there? Or does it tell us, ‘Hey, this isn’t for us right now? Not yet. Not now’’.Because either there’s something else we need to learn first or this isn’t good enough for us. There’s something better for us. It always lays in that perspective and in our ability to catch our subconscious thoughts that are coming in automatically. We can’t control them. How we can gain back control is how we react to them and how we can rewrite them. So when we’re identifying ourselves so much with our occupation, then it is gaining the tools and the awareness and what that can actually do to us.
Business mindset equals a growth mindset
A business mindset equals a growth mindset. This means seeing opportunities and solutions versus problems. Taking things into our own hands. Wanting to learn not to take no for an answer, pivoting. Having control and being in power. Not the kind of power of wanting to rule the world.;- ‘We are going to put ourselves on top and make everyone else suffer’, but being in our own power to empower others to live their very best life. And that’s possible even as a performing artist or as a dancer. Even at the age of 16, we’re still capable of living our best life as the version that we are in at this very moment.
A dancer with a developing business mindset is one who carries themselves professionally. One that understands the workings of the studio or the company they’re in. Understands their spot within that structure and carries themselves with professionalism with an eye toward advancement at some point. So, a business mindset is a way that we carry ourselves. It is a certain intelligence that we have about our space in the dance world and the potential that we have. We have an eye toward advancing that potential.
Working within the ballet world or in a company also means knowing what else is going on. What’s actually influencing the stability of your company? What’s influencing the people that are coming in or the economy that we are in or what’s influencing our decisions. Being a dancer doesn’t only mean us standing in the first position and looking gorgeous. It means so many other things. And the emphasis is of course the training in the studio. But there is so much more to learn as human beings that we as dancers can really tap into to become even better than we are today. And we’re forgetting that. We’re seeing in the arts, that business is seen as something; ‘No, that’s not us, it’s going to hinder us.” It has such boundaries and structure. We cannot create in business. And that is not true anymore.
Now in the age of zoom, a lot of dancers eventually become teachers that teach and offer their various services online. Developing a growth and business mindset as a younger dancer can only serve us now and in the future to understand how to own our strengths. How to package them in a professional manner and how to seek opportunities to serve others and get something in return. Whether we’re looking for promotion within the company, or to make money on our talents that we’re putting out into the world. We’ve got an eye and a mindset where we’re looking for those opportunities.
Simon Sinek, one of the best leadership mentors gave an example about how he was at the New York marathon and there was a stand of bagels. Together with his friend, they went there and Simon was so excited to get a free bagel. He says; ‘we are going to get a free bagel.’’ And his friend says; ‘Oh, line is too long.’And Simon says; ‘No! free bagel. Let’s do it. No line is too long’. That’s the mindset. So, we’re either looking at the opportunity or the solution and the joy that we’re finding over at the other end. We don’t mind doing all the hard things in between. Or we’re looking at the, ‘Oh I have to do all of these hard things in order to get my free bagel. I have to stand in line. No, I don’t do that.’ And not being able to change that perspective.
That’s what’s holding us back as dancers. The; ‘Oh what do you mean? Do you mean we could actually be on a podcast and establish a brand for ourselves or help others in becoming better? But we would have to go in and learn things about ourselves that are really uncomfortable. No, we don’t want to do that’’. It’s understanding that when we are running our own business, we are consistently responsible for upgrading how many periods we can turn or how high our leg goes, and what other myths we can buy into. How can we become better as people? How can we uncover the things that are holding us back so we can share them with our peers in order to help them too?
When a dancer is in a pre-professional company and they are studying a role, that’s an opportunity where we’re waiting in line for that free bagel. Or it could be, we get to study this role, to learn this part, and to step in if the opportunity is there. It’s an optimistic perspective where we’re seeking out opportunities to be uncomfortable, to grow, and to give. The reward of that is growing and getting to the opportunities too. Because we are showing that we’re not timid and that we have both feet in.
But when it comes to looking for opportunities, that’s when we say, ‘No, we can’t do this. We’re not good enough. We’re never going to dance to it. Why are we here? We don’t deserve that.’’ And all of that will create exactly that reality. So, it’s about changing that narrative and looking through our beautiful pink lenses;- ‘Yeah, the bagels are free- go and get them. We just have to stand in the line for a little longer.’’
New Leaders of tomorrow
Digging into how arts organizations work, what their day to day looks like, and how we’re trying to be productive; comparing that with high efficient entrepreneurs or businesses, there is a large gap. Looking at arts organizations like schools, at ourselves as the trainees in the studio, as a business; what’s our investment? What do we get as a return from it? What other areas are we choosing to invest in our business? So that we can grow and create opportunities for us that we, later on, can step into. What’s our bottom line? Are we breaking even? It’s not necessarily about money but energy. Are we always running on empty? There’s so many parallels that we can draw. We’re missing out on so much opportunity.
As the dancers and the aspiring dancers of today, we are the arts organization leaders of tomorrow. So let’s take what we’ve learned from growing this type of business and growth mindset to grow with us so that we become the new leaders of tomorrow who can just alter the dance world for the better.
Okay, we’re sending you so much love. Thank you for being here. Thank you for always listening and till next time.
So much ❤ Susanne
Important Links to Gina McFadden:
I’m so glad you are here. With all that I have, my goal is to serve YOU – to inspire YOU to better health and wellness in an accessible, actionable way. My passion is to empower dancers like you in their pursuit of better health and peak performance. My work as a dance educator has focused around giving dancers the knowledge and tools to care for their bodies and minds.
Dance has been a part of my life since I was nine. I trained at ballet studios as well as competition studios – my heart knows and loves both worlds! (Did you know you were reading the bio of Teen Miss Dance of Michigan 1994?!) I went on to dance professionally The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Ballet Pacifica, State Street Ballet and The National Choreographers Initiative.
My students include ballet “bun heads,” competition dancers, concert and commercial dancers…I’ve even taught 3-year-olds (which, as it turns out, is a lot like herding kittens). Most recently, I have been on the faculties of Boston Ballet School, New Jersey School of Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet School and an adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University and Hope College.
Want to sample some of my writing? I have a blog here and am a blog contributor at The Muse by Apolla. Want to take one of my virtual classes? I teach Apolla Insta Live Series twice a month!
My degrees in business and legal studies tell the tale of a young lady who once thought she wanted to be a lawyer…but this beautiful art form kept calling me back…
Wanting to learn more about anatomy and mind-body connection, I completed my RYT yoga teacher training in 2016. Oftentimes my students will end up in down dog in the middle of a ballet barre because…down dog. I am a Holistic Life, Career & Executive Coach and work with clients (dancers and non) around the globe.
I am married to a handsome Marine (oorah!) and mamma of two lovely daughters, ages 9 and 12. My other joys in life include cooking from scratch, working out, spending time with my family, hosting big dinner parties and reading.
Honored that you are here, Dancer! Please reach out to me via email if you would like to connect!