I've been a salsa dancer for most of my adult life. I started dancing when I was 21 and never looked back. I had finally found my identity in life, my purpose. When I went to a salsa club, the feeling of the beats flowing through my body immediately made me feel like a fish who had finally found water.
About a year later I was introduced to the world of ballroom dancing, and soon after I made a living of teaching dance. A seed was planted at that time. A seed of desire. I began dreaming of owning my own studio someday. I dreamed of my own dance classes, my own name on a business, my own students.
Unfortunately, Someday is not on the calendar. As time went on, my dream slowly became more of a hazy thought. Like a fuzzy memory of a dream after I've woken up too quickly and tried to remember it hours into the day.
After realizing I couldn't make more than minimum wage as a dance teacher, I moved on to the corporate world. This was where I was taught what would later become the roots to that seed. The roots to my dream. As a manager for the corporate office of a small company, I was taught several things about running a business. I worked there for two years, each day I felt my wings growing. I managed the sales, the advertising, the front office staff, the hiring, firing, training of sales reps, assisted in writing a training manual, among other things. By that time I felt like my wings had expanded as far as they could in that environment.
It's been a couple years since I've had that job. My dream, which was a distant memory to say the least, has been awoken in the most startling way.
I've re-enrolled in school to become a court reporter, and I work a part-time job as a size model for Hot Topic. And although I'm in my 30's now, I still struggle to make ends meet. I am always behind on rent, scraping together quarters for gas, and the idea of trying to pay back any debt on my credit report is laughable. I've received my w2's in the mail. I made less than $9,000 last year. I was loathing the feeling of being broke and poor for the rest of my life, like I've felt is my destiny for so many years.
So in early December last year, I decided that I would start teaching salsa lessons to make extra money. I wanted to do it on my own, not look for a studio to work for. So I built a website and posted it on Facebook. Within a week two of my friends who I used to teach with contacted me and said that if I needed help teaching they'd be thrilled to help me out. Both of them are stay-at-home moms now, so I knew they were not expecting, or even wanted, full-time work. They're both highly qualified, skilled, and trained exactly the way I am, so I trust their abilities.
Suddenly my eyes were opened and I started to realize how many more possibilities there were in having three dance teachers instead of just one. I restructured my website, wrote a business plan, put an ad in a local newspaper and applied for a Groupon. I was so excited! But I'm smart enough to know that a successful business is not built over night, and definitely not built with the type of budget I have. With my small budget for advertising, on my opening week I still had no students enrolled. But my excitement is still sky high. I am finally taking steps towards my dream. Towards my dream life. I've found something I'm
Steve Jobs once said that you have to be crazy to start a business. The amount of time that you have to put into it and the amount of failures you will have before success would be more than enough to make any sane person give up. I'm already starting to understand what he's talking about. I am proud of myself for taking a step.
I know that the life I'm living now is not the life I'm meant to live. I'm capable of SO much more. I completely resonate with the last scene of Wanted. It sums up exactly how I feel at this moment in my life.