You’ve spent a number of years juggling studio owner life and now you’re wondering how you’re going to survive raising your own new bundle of joy amongst the craziness?
Grab a cup of tea, take a seat and read some amazing advice below written by some amazing studio owners who have been successfully managing their studio life and their Mum life.
Melanie Gard – Mum of three – Olivia 13, Austin 12 and Ruby 8
Owner of Peninsula school of dance peninsuladance.com.au
My top tip is family first, studio second, because your children are only little for a very short amount of time. There is a saying, the days are long, but the years are short and this rings very true in my ears the older my children get. Do not put the children at your studio before yours. Take a night off teaching to attend your child’s music concert, attend footy training or have dinner at home. This is only possible if you invest in the team around you, build your business systems and delegate, delegate, delegate!
Rachael Shiels – Mum of two – Anika 12 and Mitch 9
Owner of Theatre De La DanSe tdld.com.au/
Build a good network around you – both at the studio and at home – you need people you can rely on if kids are sick or if you need to rush into the studio. Don’t force your kids to dance if they don’t want to! We’ve all taught those kids that don’t want to be there; don’t be that parent! If your kids dance at your studio don’t treat them differently to other kids; for example my kids have to wait to find out the concert theme like everyone else. Most importantly- family comes first!
Karen Freeman – Mum of two girls – Renee 19 and Heidi 17
Owner of KC’s school of dance kcsschoolofdance.com/
I guess I was quite lucky both girls loved to dance, we didn’t have the sibling at home who played soccer, footy etc.. Just hubby who was very supportive. I remember getting quite stressed when the girls were stuck at comps or the studio longer than they needed to be, but it was a dad(doctor) who reminded me the extra skills the girls were learning through this process, independence was a quality that has allowed them to be where they are today. Being behind the scenes of dance school studio life was also a big part of there attitude toward learning. They picked up what us teachers wanted to see from students from such an early age. They both worked respectfully and in all classes with me and all staff. I used to take the girls to comps where I didn’t have students competing so we had that one on one time which was lovely. I also started summer schools from an early age so they learnt from someone else other than me as their ballet teacher. As I didn’t have to pay Ballet fees for them they were lucky to experience other opportunities such as private coaching, interstate & international comps and summer schools on a regular basis. Time flies so fast, cherish every moment with your children. In 3 weeks time I have u8 and u10 troupes on, but I’m going to watch my own daughter perform in Qld instead of being there for them, of course I have organized someone else to be there for them. I hope I have helped highlight the positive and rewarding experience with managing children and studio.
Tania Robins is a mum of 4 kids
Owner of Tania Robins Academy of Dance and Drama www.taniarobins.com.au/
1. Dont be dictated by time but definitely be aware of it from day to day or you’ll stave, forget to shave/pluck, forget to pee or not brush your hair upon leaving the house in the morning. 2. Time isn’t your enemy in fact with good planning it’s your friend as you can schedule in breaks etc… 3. Family comes first. Not last but it’s a constant negotiation when they are younger. 4. Own a studio WHEN YOU ARE READY TO LISTEN AND TAKE ADVICE. I was 38. I turned down a few prior and was happy as senior teacher til then. 5. Get qualifications in teaching as there is no training in motherhood. At least someone will think you can do the job! 6. Smile often or both these careers can suck the life out of you. 7. Love all your students but love your own kids more. They do it rough from time to time getting their share. 8. Listen to your body when you need to take on more admin work over class teaching. This doesn’t mean stop but be aware of your limitations as a business owner. 9. Sweep your own studio floors. I solve all my problems with a big broom and long /wide studios. 10. Never forget YoU in no matter what you do…..
Kelly Miller – new Mum to Cooper – 5months old
Owner of Step in Time Studio of Dance https://www.stepintimedance.com/
I’m certainly still learning the juggle between studio owner life and Mum life… but so far my top tip would be: Develop a strong team of staff who share your vision and values, and that you trust will continue to care for your students and studio the way you do. Find your core team, and appreciate them. Learn to delegate, and understand that you can’t do it all, and that’s okay. Continue to love your students, but you will always love your own children more, and that’s okay too.
Kim Factor- Mum to 3.5 year old twins and 9 week old baby.
Kim Factor school of dance https://kimfactor.com.au/
Delegate! I wouldn’t be able to still have my business without an incredible team. Be good to your staff, explain your on leave but still try to catch up with them to stay up to date with their classes. Appreciate their hard work and let them know how great they are doing. I have had to step back even more this time around as the twins have had to deal with a big change at home, but I remind myself that the school is still running, the kids are still happy and all the small issues at the studio will be resolved due to my amazing team!
Rebecca Bickerton – Mum to two little ones – Hannah (4yrs) and Jared (2yrs)
Dance Stream Victoria dancestreamvictoria.com.au
Running a business and having children is hard but it can also be a blessing as having a studio now gives me freedom that I wouldn’t have in a normal 9-5 job. If you haven’t already started a family, (but are thinking of doing so), the best thing I did was set up my systems before hand so that the studio could run without me being present. I am now reaping the rewards as I can spend time with my little ones and take family holidays whilst being confident that the studio will run as usual. Investing in your staff is also key – ensure they fit in with your studio culture and ethos and communicate with them regularly. Go the extra mile for your staff and they will be there for you too!
Emily Kheissy – mother of Jackson 6, George 4 and Stella 19mths
Owner of Dance Lab https://dancelabvic.com.au/
Balance is important, my husband is very supportive I am very lucky and grateful, along with my supportive teachers. I have hired an administrator to help with handling enrolments and invoicing to help with time management. I always packs snacks, games, colouring, movies if the kids are with me for long periods. I am disciplined with scheduling and planning (most of the time). My 3 children all dance for now, however we juggle footy and swimming. Whilst it’s tempting to compare myself and my business, it’s important to never loose sight of your own goals and aims for your studio.