I could hear them.
The cheers of that large crowd echoed across the auditorium.
We were going to perform a routine we had done before, wearing pretty much the same costumes we had worn when we first performed it.
In other words, it was the same ole, same ole.
But today, something was different – the crowd and the atmosphere.
The announcer presented us, and the crowd was yelling out our name.
“T.. M… A!!!”
“T.. M… A!!!”
It was lit… and we hadn’t even started to perform.
Little did they know, just a few years prior, I could barely move like Jagger, let alone be one-third of a crew that gets the crowd to wake the hell up.
So how did I go from zero to hero as a dancer, and how that one take concern you and your online business?
Get a nice chair and chill because that’s what we’re gonna talk about.
What Hip Hop Dancing Taught Me About Online Business
Back in ’08, I made the decision to pursue a desire I’d always had – to dance on stage.
I took the road less travelled… and it made all the difference.
I also learnt a couple lessons along the way.
#1. The start is usually the hardest part.
Whether you want to start an online business, or join a dance crew, the most difficult part is starting.
You can talk about it all you want, or engage in regular bouts of wishful thinking but if you never start, you’ll never be a hip hop dancer or an online businessman.
And sure, having to learn new routines or get new skills is hard, but trust me, starting is harder.
Once you get past that, you’ve completed about 40% of your journey.
#2. Consistent hard work is key
If I could calculate how much time I’ve spent working on my dancing from when I joined my first dance crew in ’08, till that moment right before the performance I mentioned above, that could almost add up to 2-3 years of consistent practice.
Just like with succeeding in anything in life, hard work is a must. But even more important than hard work is consistency.
When you put hard work and consistency together, you have the key to succeeding in online business.
Whether you’re a blogger or you run an e-commerce site or an affiliate site, as long as you’re consistent with whatever it is you do, you stand a higher chance of being successful.
#3. Always be learning
I saw a tattoo on one dancer I admired and the words just stuck with me:
“Ancora Imparo” – “And still I learn”.
I later learned that that quote came from Leonardo Da Vinci (some people say it’s Michelangelo), one of the greatest polymaths of all time.
There was almost nothing Da Vinci’s fingers weren’t involved in. I mean he drew a prototype of a helicopter at a time where the biggest concerns were about life on the ground.
When it came to dance, I put in a shitload of time into learning the moonwalk, the knee drop and countless other moves.
I’m sure I’ve done the arm wave up to a million times and still I kept trying to learn new things.
At some point I was somewhere at the bottom of the roster in my first dance crew. There were dancers who were the “A-team” at that point. They were comfortable with their level.
I wasn’t. I kept pushing for that next level. Kept trying to be better. And eventually I did, and I surpassed them.
Whatever form of online business you’re involved in, you need to keep learning and applying what you learn.
There’s no finish line. You have to keep learning and keep growing. The more you learn, the more you can earn.
And you never know what little bit of information could make you “hammer”.
And with online business, things are always changing so when you keep learning, you stand a better chance of both succeeding and maintaining your success when you do.
#4. There’s always fear right before a performance. Do it anyway.
Greatness is always on the other side of fear.
Right before a performance, there was always that moment of fear. We can call it “stage fright”, “anxiety”, “excitement” or whatever.
It just comes right before every performance.
But if I (and my crewmates) let that fear hold us back, the names “Jaguar Dance Crew” and “TMA Dance Crew” would not have made waves back in Lugansk, Ukraine(2011-2014).
I feel that fear right before I publish a blog post, or put up a service or say I’m going to bring out a product or service.
That fear is always there.
What if you fail?
What if it flops?
What if you don’t eventually deliver?
What would people say?
It’s always there. Your job is to screw the fear and just do it anyway.
#5. It will never be perfect
I remember working hard in rehearsals with my crew members. Then we’d go on stage, and a wardrobe malfunction or issues with a music player or a tiny part of the routine will screw the whole performance up.
Sometimes you do all you can for things to be perfect and then one single mistake flushes all your hard work down the toilet.
You release that blog post and think you did all you can to promote it but still you don’t get any views on that blog post.
Or you “pre-promote” that e-book so hard and people tell you they want it, then you release it and nobody buys it.
Sucks, doesn’t it?
Yeah, especially if you were expecting everything to be perfect.
Stop doing that to yourself. Perfection is a myth.
I’m not saying don’t chase perfection. Do that but do it with the knowledge that sometimes some things would go wrong.
Some things won’t be perfect. All the chips might not fall into place at the same time, and even if they do, there’s always room for improvement.
Don’t let it get you down. Sure, the end of the journey is the goal, but the journey itself is part of the goal so enjoy it as well, and keep going.
#6. Get addicted to getting back up when you fail.
Back in February 2013, I had had enough of dancing.
We were killing ourselves, dancing our asses off but there wasn’t significant “pay for our play” so that was frustrating.
I decided I needed a break. I was tired of putting in all the hard work in rehearsals and then having nothing to show for it.
So let’s say I fell off, and being one-third of the crew, it couldn’t exactly work without me so TMA was on a hiatus.
And funny enough, it was during this period that we lost a contract to dance at a club. That sucked. A lot.
So I got my shit together and got back at it with renewed vigour with my crew mates and we went on to have awesome performances and actually get paid for our “play”.
It’s the same with online business. Sometimes, try as you may, you will fail.
That’s a given. But it doesn’t matter that you fail.
What matters is what you do after you fail.
And pertaining to that, if there’s one thing you can do, it’s to develop a habit of getting back up when you fall. Because that’s really the only way to succeed in online business (or anything in life, really).
#7. The more you do in rehearsal, the better you perform on stage
The universe is not deceived.
There is a direct correlation between how hard you practice your craft and how well you perform on stage.
Most of the best dance performances I’ve ever had were routines I had practiced over and over and over in rehearsals.
Those routines that I practiced till they became “muscle memory” i.e. I could do the routine blindfolded and not miss a beat.
With your online business, initially there’s going to be a time when nobody knows who the hell you are or what you do.
These are what my Dad would call “times of insignificance”. These times of insignificance are usually followed by times of significance.
Now, the work you do during the times of insignificance (learning, creating, promoting, etc) determines whether you’ll succeed when the time of significance comes.
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
Keep grinding hard so when it’s time to go on stage, you’ll give the performance of your life.
There you have it – 7 lessons about online business (and life in general) I learned from sweat and blood in dance rehearsals.
Take ye heed to them.
Keeping it 500,
Author: Tomi Joshua
Tomi is a case.
A bit brash, at first blush. But ultimately, he means well. There are very few things he won’t say or do in the presence of tolerant company (especially when it could make for a good story later).
Tomi is a Doctor, writer, certified inbound marketer (Shout Out to HubSpot), Digital Hustler, and online business addict.
He is most likely to be found dancing to the beat of his own drum, even in accapella.