Mama Steele described us as “disruptors”. To be a disrupter is to create a product, service, or way of doing things, which displaces the existing market leaders and eventually replaces them at the helm of the sector. Disruptors are generally entrepreneurs, outsiders, and idealists rather than industry insiders or market specialists. Leaders of businesses that shake up an industry are seen as future gazers, innovators, and one step ahead of everyone else. What a huge compliment, that we are seen as soul line dancing disruptors. Do others see us that way as well? For Boomerang, being a disruptor came about as an accident; a by-product of following our ideas or chasing our dreams. Being a disruptor was never the aim. When we started, I didn’t know how you run a dance class, so I thought: “I’m just going to do what I think it should be like.” As I networked with other instructors, I learned how the status quo operates, and saw the exact same mistakes that (in my opinion and experience) impedes retention within churches, fraternities, and sororities. I asked myself, “Why isn’t there a large-scale awareness of soul line dancing? Why does line dancing have to be a minus in my budget to participate? Why aren’t we on television? Why doesn’t our industry have a relationship with the musicians we give value to? Why aren’t we seeing more opportunities to perform and/or generate income? How do we create them?” All I thought was: Why does it have to be like this?
What some view as an “entrepreneurial mindset” is what I think is a way of seeing things from a slightly different angle. When we set up 410 Line Dancers, detractors questioned how the industry would view us. Our journey has been rollercoaster.
With all of the ups and downs, to ensure their dream doesn’t die, we recognize that success is connected to setting goals, accomplishing them, and setting new goals. Secondly, contingency planning is key, in case things don’t quite go your way. We try to hustle hard all the time. Also, being a successful leader is also about admitting you might not always know best, and recognizing when somebody “knows better than you.” “I want to be a better version of myself tomorrow than I was today . ” That kind of personal development is something I feels is vital.
I am working on making sure that I do not allow others to devalue my worth. The way I go about my business is that I try to network with others and be kind up front, and some people mistake that as weakness. Others make the mistake of thinking I have an infinite amount of patience. I try to simply treat others the way I want to be treated, and if I treat others kindly and they choose not to reciprocate, I will try to work with them to see if we can support each other. I put my personal feelings aside for the greater good of either networking or friendships etc., but once I am convinced that others wont, I usually will back away for good. Demanding people treat me as a valued individual shouldn’t be a disruptive thing but I have that it is.
Tell us what you think?