Our guest in this episode has a great story about aligning your passion with the right business model. It’s possible!
Debra Giunta is passionate about dance. Even while she struggled to choose a major in college she was clearly passionate about dance.
After graduating she started her first dance business, a studio. It was rewarding, but a struggle. It ended up becoming a victim of the Great Recession.
She considered getting a job, but discovered another business model that still permitted her to celebrate her love of dance. She started a community dance education company, Design Dance. She brings dance programs to schools and community centers in the greater Chicago area.
My point here: if you can stomach a process of trial and error to explore your purpose, you just never know what you’ll end up doing to generate income from your passion.
Some great lessons in our conversation include:
- How Debra used side jobs to fund her business for years until it got off the ground.
- All the different revenue streams she’s now built to make the funding of her business more enduring.
- How entrepreneurship gives you an opportunity to feel all of your strengths and weaknesses on a regular basis and through all the cycles of success and failure.
Life Skills That Matter In This Episode
- Practicing self-awareness to recognize creativity,
- Align your habits with your purpose.
How Debra Works and Thinks
- Wake up time: It varies based on what her body needs and what needs to be done on her business.
- Core work activities + habits: 1) Clear out the inbox. 2) Prioritize all work based on urgency with Wunderlist app. 3) Spend time with her team.
- Ideal work environment: Different spaces work better for different needs. Some things work better in an office, some at home, and some when talking with other people.
- 90-day goal: Complete and deploy pilot for new online curriculum.
“Imagine how much better kids are doing in school when they have an opportunity to get moving.”
“Being able to find affordable ways to offer [dance] to families, that were much like ours, it really resonated with me.”
“Sometimes you figure out how to make things work because you need to figure out how to make things work.”
“One of the greatest, hardest, most impactful experiences I’ve had is figuring out who I am, as a woman, through starting a business.”
Debra had these tips to help with accessing your own creativity when you don’t feel creative:
1) Picture the kind of day you want to have: Creativity can be difficult to intentionally cultivate so determining how you want to work can help drive creative thinking.
2) Understand what gives you energy: When you find it, you start doing more of it and then more ideas stem from that.