Gill Grueber is Principal of DancePro Academy. Below she shares her story on launching her own business.
What inspired you to start a business?
I always knew after a professional career as a dancer I wanted to have my own school. I had such a lovely, inspirational dance teacher from a very early age and stayed with her until I went to college at 16. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up!
What is the greatest challenge and the greatest reward in being your own boss?
My greatest challenge I think was believing that I could do it. I had a career as professional dancer but hadn’t ever run a business where I was organising events and designing websites etc. My greatest reward would be my students. I love teaching them, they make me laugh and I’m so proud when they achieve a new step or perform in a show.
What motivational tips can you give to our members about goal setting and managing both successes and failures.
Failures and difficult challenges will always be there so try to embrace them and learn from them. It’s never all going to be smooth sailing all the time as that’s just not realistic and the difficult times highlight the successful times. I try and schedule in events, shows, exams etc over a yearly period. The successful ones stay and I try to improve on them before repeating them.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a business owner?
I seem to struggle with time management as there are so many components to running a business that I had considered but not realised that was just the tip of the entrepreneurial ice-burg. There’s so much more to learn out there!
How have you benefited from mentoring or coaching?
Yes. I have a mentor, Saija Mahon from Mahon Digital who is an inspiration. She has not only taught me so much about the digital world and becoming an entrepreneur but has also kept me very positive and encouraged me to believe in myself and DancePro Academy.
What advice can you give about the benefits of networking?
I am relatively new to networking but have already seen the benefits. I feel quite supported and have met people with different strengths to my own enabling me to ask for their expertise in exchange for a few free classes. Although it was a little daunting the first time, I do think it’s worth getting out there and socialising with other local businesses.
What does the future hold for you?
We have four workshops planned and a show this summer along with the regular classes and events. I am currently continuing my training to achieve my personal goal of becoming an examiner in ballet. There is so much to learn about running a business and I hope my education continues which allows my school to blossom more.