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Aha!  I bet that title got your attention!  I’m sure you’re all wondering what the heck I’m talking about, and that I must be completely bonkers, but bear with me while I explain…

First of all I’ve been Bellydancing for years and years and years (see my More About SMac page for more details).  It was the music that drew me to the class in the beginning, and nobody was more surprised than me to discover that I loved this dance form, and I was really good at it too!  I was one of those skinny, geeky, clumsy types and had never taken a dance class in my life, and I made this amazing discovery at the ripe old age of 20.

Which brings me to my first point:

1.  Always keep learning

Think about it, if I hadn’t decided that it was time to learn something new and taken this crazy looking dance class (of all things!), I never would have discovered one of the big passions in my life.

The same goes for being an entrepreneur; whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been an entrepreneur for years, you must keep learning.

If you’re a new entrepreneur then learning new skills is no longer a question of “should I?” and is instead a certainty.  As an entrepreneur you’re going to have to wear many hats, and chances are you don’t know everything about everything.  Plan ahead and learn as much as you can before you even get started.

If you’ve been an entrepreneur for a while, you already know that consistently upgrading your skill set will help your business to grow and succeed.  It will also help to keep your business fresh and exciting so that you continue to look forward to it every day.

2. Choreography is essential

As far as Bellydancing goes, this is a sticky point.  Here in the West we love choreography, and we add a dash of improvisation here and there.  If you’re on stage, that’s great.  If you’re at a private function or in a restaurant however, the mix tips a little more onto the improv side, but it still helps if you have a really loose idea of your favourite steps.

The reason why I say choreography is essential is because although it can be extremely fun at times, dancing without any kind of plan at all can be a little stressful, and certainly if you’re dancing for a long period of time then your lack of planning can come across as boring and repetitive.  You have to, at the very least, know what your music is doing in order to pull it off.

The same goes for any new business – remember the good old quote, “If you fail to plan then you plan to fail”.  Imagine that you decide you’re going to start a business but you haven’t done any market research and you’re not really sure what your pricing will be like or how to execute it.  What you’re going to end up with is very few clients who all pay different amounts at different times of the month.  Won’t be very easy to pay your own bills, will it?

3. Be brave

I can’t tell you how terrifying it is to get up on the stage that first time and actually dare to dance in front a bunch of strangers, or even worse, your friends and family!  What will they think???  What if nobody likes me?  But, if you never try you’ll never learn how much fun it can be, and how exciting and thrilling it is to wow an audience.  Who would have thought that I’d become such a stage hog!?

If you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, you’re in the same boat.  What will my friends and family think?  What if nobody likes my product/service?  It takes a lot of guts to get out there and give it a shot, but if you never try you’ll never know.  Think of how exciting and thrilling it could be to own a successful business!

I have a favourite quote that is anonymous as far as I know, and I like to remember it whenever I am trying to pump myself up to be brave:

“Don’t worry if you fall flat on your face: at least you’re moving forward”

On that note I’ll end the first part of this series.  Remember to check back next week for the next three points…