Whether you run your own business or not, surrounding yourself with people that make your daily life more manageable is key if you want to create more time and enjoyment in your life.
I used to think that I needed to do it all, but soon realised that that isn’t making the best use of my time. So I’ve built ‘my dream team’ consisting of people who can help me do my job better and make my every day life run more smoothly. This doesn’t mean hiring a full time personal assistant, unless you really feel you need that and have the money to spare. Instead look at those aspects of your life where your talent and time may not be used to its full potential. By finding someone how can do those tasks for you, you can concentrate on what you do, whether it’s work, dance or both!
Here’s a list of the people that I as a dancer use regularly. It took me some time to find them, but now I have, I make sure I use them when and where it’s needed. Perhaps some of these could be helpful for you too?
Maybe obvious when you have children, but I use mine on a regular basis. I have a 16 month old and would never manage to get everything done, if I didn’t have someone who could look after him when I get an urgent appointment, last minute gig or similar. I also have a child minder several times a week, so I try to get the majority of my work done then. The babysitter is my backup option. I did look into getting a nanny, but felt it was better that my little one is around other children too. The time this frees up allows me to plan my lessons and events, and advertise them.
Any dancer needs to take care of their body as it’s their business, but we all owe it to our body to look after it so it can carry us through life. I started seeing my osteopath years ago following a small injury, and I now see her on a regular basis to ensure my body is in its best possible condition all the time. Some people go for a massage whilst I see my osteopath, who also massages, and aligns everything. My osteopath specialises in sport injuries, which has proven really useful over the years, as she often picks up on those little ‘niggles’ that you might have, and then sorts them out before they become more serious.
I first met my physio following a free consultation. I don’t use her as often as my osteopath, but still see her a few times a year to follow up on a shoulder injury that I’m trying to manage. Because her approach is different to that of my osteopath I consider it my ‘second’ opinion or ‘two pronged approach’ to keeping my body as strong as possible.
I know how to sew, and I have made several costumes from scratch. But with a business and a family to run, I hardly find the time to sit with my sewing on the sofa these days. I found my seamstress through a local network website, and although she isn’t a specialist in dance costumes, she is a creative soul and loves a challenge, so is a perfect fit for me. I can give more or less regular work, which means she can give me some very good prices. I simply wouldn’t do without her now, and dread the day she retires. She’s saved me sooo many hours and is a key member of my team!
Being a dance coach and performer is a business like any other, and the first many years I did all my bookkeeping, tax return etc. myself. I largely still do, but have added an accountant to my team, to ensure I don’t miss anything and that I take advantage of all the bits that I can. I only see my accountant a few times a year, but he’s a key part of my business now. Make sure you find one that you like and that you feel you can work with. I’ve heard from some female business owners that their accountant wouldn’t take them serious or didn’t consider them having a ‘proper business’. If that’s the case, then find a new one asap, as you need team members you can rely on and feel good about using. Should you encounter any negativity like that, then let them go and find a better fit!
In this day an age having a professional website is so important no matter what line of business you’re in. Most people will check you out online first, so make sure what they see is also a true representation of what they’ll get.
My first website was pretty horrible, so I recruited a friend to help me create a new one. She was a graphic designer who ‘dabbled’ in websites. It was all I could afford at the time, and it was also okay for what I needed back then. But I outgrew that quickly and was then on to the next stage. It took me ages to find my current web developer, but I’m so glad that I have. He’s always on the ball, proactive and a joy to work with. When my old website was recently hacked he made sure to ‘clean it up’ very quickly, and put the right security in place so it couldn’t happen again. He’s helped me build my current website, and if our good working relationship continues, he may even build the next one too (average lifespan for a website these years is only around two years…).
If you can’t afford to have a web developer on your team, then look at alternatives. Have you got a friend who is really good with websites, html, etc.? Some smaller companies may offer a monthly maintenance package that are great value, whilst others offer their time on an hourly basis. Just make sure you feel you can trust them and layout the terms of their services very clearly before signing anyone up. The hours and not least stress they can save you when things go wrong is almost priceless!
You may not think you need a cleaner, but if every time you’re scrubbing the toilet you are missing out on work you could do to build your business, then maybe you should consider having one. My cleaner is my little bit of luxury, but it’s also very practical as I run so many private lessons in my home these days. If I had to worry about the state of the floors every time (and with a toddler that’s a constant job), then I’d stress myself out way too much. Finding the right cleaner can be really tricky, but I personally think it’s very much worth it. If you don’t feel you can afford a regular cleaner, then maybe you could hirer one to come once or twice a month.
The hours that all my team members free up I use to run and grow my business. Instead of trying to do everything I can focus on what I’m good at: inspiring women, teaching dance and performing. Growing my team has taken time, but it’s been one of the best things I’ve done for myself and my family, as I now feel a lot less stressed and more in control of my time.
What members have you got in your team? If you aren’t there yet, who do you hope to have in the future? I’m still hoping to have a housekeeper one day, so am slowly working towards that to create even more time for my family and dancing…
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Did you find this article useful? Have you got other time saving ‘team members’ you can recommend? Let’s keep the conversation and knowledge sharing going…
Did you miss my last post? Read it here: Class or creche?