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Last week I talked about the first three points that describe how everything I learned about being an entrepreneur I learned from Bellydancing.  Let’s continue with the next three points:

4. Success comes from hard work

Even though I love dancing and I’m lucky enough to be naturally good at it and I pick it up quickly, putting it all together takes time and effort.  First comes getting to know the music because the music is what tells you how to move.  Next the feet have to know what they’re doing, then the core of the body, then finally the arms.  The finishing touches come when you can execute all of these elements with ease, and then you can finally add some drama/flair/expressions/costuming to make it yours.  The entire process can take weeks or months.  But gosh, does it look great in the end!

The same goes for any new business.  First you have to have a business plan because it is what tells you how to run your business.  Next you need to lay some groundwork and get all your documents and processes in place.  Then you can actually “do” your business, as well as begin to add new and improved process that you hadn’t originally thought of.  After all that is running smoothly then you can research new ideas, new ways to branch out, etc.  And yes, the whole process can take months, but it will be successful and rewarding in the end!

5. It’s easier than you think

It still happens after so many years of dancing that I sometimes see a new dance demonstrated in a class or a workshop, and I think to myself, “there’s no way I can do that!”  And yet by the end of the class/workshop I’m actually doing it, grinning madly all the while.  Why was I so scared?  I’m scared of flubbing up and looking like a geek, that’s why!  Anything new is scary, but I’ve learned that if I try it out then it’s usually not as difficult as I imagine.  And, I remember that everyone else in the class is in the same boat as I am, so at least we’ll all look like geeks together!

Becoming an entrepreneur can be daunting, there’s no doubt about it.  There is so much information out there you could easily research until the wee hours of the morning and still have lots to do.  But remember that you are most likely not the first person to ever try your business idea.  Find discussion groups, join a network, search for articles that relate to your business and your questions.  Post your own questions!  Find others that are in the same boat as you and share information.  If you try to re-invent the wheel you’re creating a whole lot of work for yourself that isn’t necessary.  The answers are out there, it’s easier than you think.

6. A rose is a rose, is a rose, is a rose…

Bellydancing has no standardization when it comes to the names of different steps.  You can take a class where you learn a thigh shimmy, then go to a workshop where you learn a leg shimmy, and then hear from your buddy up North who just learned a bum shimmy – it’s all the same thing!  The title makes no difference, neither definition is any more correct than the others, the step is exactly the same as long as it is done correctly.

Of course the same is true with businesses.  Take the Virtual Assistant field for instance.  Lately there have been discussions about the difference between being a Virtual Assistant, and providing general “virtual assistance”.  Tana Woodward of Tana Woodward & Associates, a fellow VA, came up with what I think is the best definition of each in her blog: “A Virtual Assistant is generally defined as an ‘online administrative/executive assistant’ who is an entrepreneur and who ‘partners’ with their clients to ensure the client’s business is successful…” and “virtual assistance can be interpreted as being provided either by a Virtual Assistant…or by someone who has chosen to provide a more specialized service such as internet marketing, web design, or bookkeeping, but delivers their services online.”

Both Tana and myself have chosen to live the best of both worlds and consider our businesses to be such that they encompass both models.  And in fact I work with a client that does indeed have more than one VA to help her with specific tasks.  And why not?  I am of the opinion that it really doesn’t matter whether you think of yourself as a Virtual Assistant or someone who specializes in a particular service and provides it virtually, the point is that as long as the execution is correct and both parties are happy with the result, it’s all good.

So you see, I’m not bonkers after all.  Everything I know about being an entrepreneur I learned from Bellydance!  I challenge everyone who is an entrepreneur, or thinking about becoming one, to look back at their life and recognize some life lessons that they could use to help them through their entrepreneurial journey.

And of course if anyone would like to share, I’d love to hear other examples!