It all seems so easy
The people close to me have all commented that in these blogs I make it seem quite easy. As if it was without any struggle that we build Bachata Passion to where it is now. And that Corona was the first real challenge. If that is how it came across, I should immediately correct that. Because, we had to work hard, believe in ourselves when nobody else did and fight hard to get ourselves out there and recognized. Why is it that this was not clearer in the previous blogs? Because, to be honest when I look back on our story, I tend to not even think about that too much. I believe that is exactly why we succeeded. Because we learned to take all the criticism and work through tough situations. We just keep going and focus on the positive instead of staying stuck in the negative.
Struggles we had to go through
But trust me when I say we have had many struggles, moments that we thought about quitting, times we had our feelings hurt, and situations where we took risks that didn’t work out. Our first challenge was that we had to learn all steps of the business with no experience at all. Because in this world today you cannot just be a good dance teacher and expect to make it. It’s all about marketing, about getting your product & name out there. So, we had to learn about branding. With no budget for marketing at the beginning we put in the time to learn everything ourselves, from building our first website, to discovering how to make our own flyers and trying to find budget solutions for making promo videos & material.
Luckily, we eventually found a great partner for our marketing in Gwepa. But other areas in our business continued to be a struggle. Such as learning about the administrative part, finances, responsibilities taxes and everything that came with owning a VOF. Such an important part of the business, but also such a confusing part because there is so much contradicting information out there. We were unlucky in our choices for administration bureaus and have had our share of stress with financial administrations. This is one area that I have learned by falling that I will never completely outsource, because we have learned how important it is to know everything about how your business is doing financially and know your numbers.
Building our teams
For me personally the biggest struggle was to separate business from personal. To not take it personal when people leave, because people come and go for different reasons. At first every person that left our team I would feel like I personally failed. Instead of realistically seeing it as that things change. And that Bachata Passion, for whatever reason, just could not be the place for them anymore.
Every year there would be a moment where we would stress about not having enough guys in the teams. Because guys interested in dancing Bachata shows are just a lot scarcer than ladies. Many of our BP guys would dance in multiple teams to keep everything going. However, no matter how bad it seemed at that moment, it would always work out in the end. Because we stayed consistent. But if you would have told me 4 years ago that we would build towards having enough dancers for 7 show teams, I would have not believed you.
From Geno & Steffie to BP
Another thing I had to learn was to not let the critique and the opinions of others intimidate me. Not to let others change my focus or make me doubt my vision. The biggest struggle was getting all our teams & members accepted in the scene. Especially when we just started expanding, we would get a request for booking but everyone just wanted Geno & Steffie, nothing else. When we would offer our teams or other teachers, they would just not be interested.
We had to really convince the organizers to give them a shot, we had to ask for places to let them proof themselves. It took some time but eventually organizers & dancers started to accept that Bachata Passion was no longer just Geno & Steffie, but a quality brand & concept. Even though sometimes it would have been easier to take all the bookings for Geno & Stefffie. We knew our teachers & teams could deliver BP quality and we believed in it so much that we would work hard to get them just as accepted!
These are just some of the struggles we ran into over the years. Luckily on the other side of these struggles were lots of great moments, and it was this BP family that we created that helped us to stay motivated through it all and to just keep going no matter what!
What struggles did you have in your personal life / business? And what helped you to get through it?