A friend and client of mine recently went back to school to get additional certification for his job. You may think that sounds silly. Why go back to school for something you already do? The answer is simple – credibility. That diploma, credential or license is a validation for your customers. For you it proves you have taken the time and put forth the effort to stay current as well as showing respect for your profession. Staying current in any profession takes a great deal of effort, and doing so helps to separate you from your competitors. Refresher courses, studying new techniques or products, can stimulate your interest and give you a new lease on your business life. Having the proper credentials may very well determine whether a client chooses you or your product. I know this to be true.
Over the past three months my wife and I have stepped up our game by adding a satellite location, participating in workshops and garnering additional training. We challenged ourselves and our students by competing at a world championship, contributed about one hundred fifty hours of community service for a local arts scholarship program, choreographed a production for another studio and coached and trained business owners and dancers outside of our area. The results of our efforts are as follows. The satellite location has introduced new students to our business and increased awareness of our product.

Students who normally drove the forty miles to the Marathon studio have a much shorter commute and have increased the number of lessons they take. By participating at a world championship we could see first hand the best dancers in the world and what was current in fashion, techniques and styles. I’m proud to say we were current, our students had wonderful results and we were honored with top teacher status. We still learned a great deal by immersing ourselves in that environment and watching other current top professional dancers. We came home pumped up and ready to take on the world. The time donated to the local fundraiser resulted in a huge cash influx for art, music and dance scholarships. We recently attended the show we choreographed last month and saw the result of our inspiration. The hard work and commitment of the teachers and students and the support of the studio owners was evident.

It was great to see how wonderful the routines looked during the performance and how happy the students and teachers were with the end results. The audience loved it, the showcase was a huge hit and raised a bunch of money for a their local scholarship program. As far as the business training and coaching, we have had very positive feedback, correspondence and calls for more of the same from those we worked with as well as individuals to whom our services were recommended. Our business, like most businesses, changes and evolves constantly. If we don’t stay current and stay up with the times, we won’t sustain our reputation or our status.
The biggest benefit of staying current in any profession is by far personal satisfaction, growth and pride in what you do. Confidence comes from knowledge and higher esteem in your own abilities creates a healthy attitude that flows into the other areas of your life. This being said, I still encounter a lot of individuals who say they have no time for pursuing additional schooling, taking up a new hobby or just some ‘me time’. This is lame. I know many people who have demanding careers, families, and still find time to volunteer in their community, pursue a hobby and make time for themselves. You have to take time to make time. There is a reason it’s said, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” Life goes by so quickly that you have to be aware and not exist it in a walking coma where everything is going on around you. Change it up, try something new, encounter those around you, get off the sidelines and participate. Interact and react to your surroundings.
I applaud all those who constantly learn and try to evolve. I know the effort and sacrifice it takes. I also know the benefits and satisfaction it can bring.
Dream the life you live and live the life you dream.

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