Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Keith Denlinger, Owner of Danceville U.S.A., located in Columbus, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a ballroom dance studio located in the trendiest neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio. Our current customers are adults ranging in age from 18 years old to 94 years old. We can teach you how to dance no matter your age, physical abilities, or personal insecurities.
Tell us about yourself
I, like most people, stumbled into ballroom dancing. I wasn't exactly seeking it out. But once I discovered the power of movement, the freedom of expression through dance, and the mental and physical health benefits of dancing, I was hooked. I abandoned my path to being a lawyer and decided to open a ballroom dance studio. A live art installation in the Short North Arts District. I am motivated every day by seeing how much dance changes the lives of our students. Whether it's a couple learning to dance for their wedding, empty-nesters who just sent their kids to college, couples looking for a date night or a way to spice up their marriage, or our favorites: just single individuals looking to enrich their lives. Dance does that. There isn't one day I don't leave work happier than when I came in.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
There are so many things I'm proud of being a business owner, but working alongside the team instead of leading from the front or the top it's the most. When we moved locations to a larger space, I made a point to have my own office. I thought I needed my own personal space. I haven't used it once. I love being in the staff room and being equal to my co-workers. Sure, I can lead. And I do, alongside them. And that's my favorite part.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I do not like micromanaging people, and I do not like working with people who aren't self-starters. It's also super difficult to find an over-achiever. I have a few times in the past decade, but it's rare. Also, everyone can run your business better than you. It's hilarious.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be prepared to be available to your work 24/7.
- Whatever idea you think you have about how much work it's going to be, multiply it by 10.
- Never stop hustling. Get the word out. We aren't too proud to stand on the street corner and hand out fliers, knock on doors or make phone calls. Everyone should be dancing. Love your product enough that it makes you sick when someone isn't using it. Selling it comes naturally. If I see a great movie, I tell all my friends to run to the theater. It's organic. We want to share what works. Dancing works. Again, selling it is natural.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Life is short, and then you die. Live. It. Up.
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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