My life as a dance entrepreneur has been changed by a single one-syllable word. Not faith or love or joy, but “no.” It’s short, direct and feels good rolling off the tongue!

As belly dancers and as women, we often drive ourselves cuckoo with our perpetual need to say yes to every opportunity that comes our way. Burnout, injuries, minor identity crises….it’s all par for the course when you can’t bring yourself to say no!

That was once the story of my life. As much as I hated working in restaurants and tormenting Uncle Bob for the low end of the going rate, I begrudgingly did it anyway. If I didn’t dance for those clients, who would? And how else would I get a foot in the door?

This past year, I let go of my undying obsession with being all things to all people, and focused all of my energy on being irreplacable to my own unique core group of clients. While I felt as though I’d turned down countless gigs, I ultimately ended up forming rewarding partnerships with like-minded, enthusiastic clients who appreciated and compensated me fairly for my work. My work became far more meaningful in 2010, both for myself and for the people who hired me. Not to mention, I made more money, earned more tips and generated far more referrals from my clients.

And I’m sure that wild and crazy Uncle Bob fared just as well without me!

For further insights on the subject, please check out the great blog post The Power of No, from one of my favorite resources for wedding vendors, Sage Wedding Pros. Thanks for inspiring me today, Michelle!

Cheers!

Carrara

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