Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kym Stevens, Founder of Dance Teaching Ideas, located in Sippy Downs, QLD, Australia.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Dance Teaching Ideas is a membership site that provides quality dance education learning resources for the Primary/Elementary classroom. It assists the generalist teacher, dance specialist, and home-schooling parent in developing and implementing high-quality, inclusive dance and Arts lessons. All of the resources on DTI are designed by classroom teachers, educators, and education researchers who understand the needs of teachers when implementing the Arts in their classrooms.
Tell us about yourself
Having been a lecturer and education researcher at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia for fifteen years, I could see that Primary/Elementary teachers had vast amounts to learn in a short time. Once they got into schools, they were often overwhelmed by the amount of curriculum they had to cover.
Because I had taught in schools from kindergarten, preschool, primary and secondary schools, I could see how time-poor these teachers were. Quality teaching depends on teachers being confident in presenting the curriculum; when it comes to the Arts and dance, in particular, they often aren't. They needed support to bring creativity into their classrooms and use dance to teach about other learning areas. In turn, they could then instill confidence and self-esteem in their students through dance.
I have so much admiration for the courage and dedication of teachers, and DTI is my way of supporting them to inspire their students. I know the power of dance and the way it can build creativity and a love of learning in children. As an advocate for the Arts, my business is a way of me making a difference in classrooms around the world.
Dance Teaching Ideas is a community of teachers and lifelong learners who may be searching for inspiration or building their teaching mastery. I love being a part of that! It gives me energy and joy every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Despite having a Bachelor of Business, I had not worked in a business for many years. I had to learn so much about just running an online business. Building the website was perhaps my biggest achievement. I knew nothing, really.
Also, running live online events has been a challenge. I was so nervous before the first one, but now I feel such support from these experts in the field of Arts education. I love interviewing the inspiring dance artists, researchers, writers, and educators who provide such valuable material for our DTI community. Luckily I was fortunate to have amazing mentors who were instrumental in giving me the confidence to implement my ideas.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a wife, mother, grandmother, and daughter, the hardest thing for me is to prioritize. I am not just a business owner. I have to be highly organized to ensure that I am doing the right thing for my membership, my family, and myself.
Also, delegating responsibilities within the business but also in my home life is something that I have really had to learn to do. You can't just do it all yourself; sometimes, someone else can actually do it better!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know your business. Every aspect of it is important, and you really need to understand how each component works with everything else. They are interdependent, and you need to be able to identify the synergies between them. No element of your business operates in isolation.
- Be brave. Be creative. And don't be afraid to experiment. Tiny changes can reap big rewards, but you need to be flexible enough to give different ideas a chance.
- If you are not passionate about what you are doing, the hard days will be really difficult. Love what you do, and be excited by the challenges.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I am thankful every day that my little idea has grown to support over a thousand teachers. Our children are our future, and teachers are the foundations of how they will view and engage with the world. The more we can help them to do this important job, the better.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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