You’ll often here successful entrepreneurs discuss the 80/20 rule - aka Pareto’s Law: Spend 80% of your time on your strengths and 20% on your weaknesses. Naturally, I’m an eternal optimist and love to put a positive twist on pretty much everything. So here’s my twist - spend 80% of your time on the things you are REALLY good at (and bring in the $$$$) and 20% on the things you LOVE so much and can’t live without. For me, I am thriving when I put 80% of my energy into the entrepreneurial hustle and 20% into dance. You may think that this doesn’t really relate to Pareto’s law but give me a chance to explain my take further.
My passion for dance was ignited at the age 5 - I would dance for anyone who would watch and felt the most myself when I could perform in front of an audience - and anyone who knew me in my youth could see that onstage! At a young age, I knew this would be my everything so I gave it ALL I could. With over 13 years of competitive dance training, it defined my youth and ultimately shaped who I am today. The discipline, work ethic and self-esteem dance gave me can never be taken away and is a big reason why I became an entrepreneur in the first place.
For those who are curious - a lot of people ask me why I didn’t pursue my passion for dance at a professional level. I took a gap year between high school and university to solely focus on dancing and once I started to make it a career, the spark I valued so much from dancing started to fade.....it became something I HAD to do rather than WANTED to. This was a devastating realization for me - my whole life up to this point had been focused on becoming a professional dancer so what was next?
Countless blogs, articles and leaders say to follow your passion - but mine could not get me to my career goals.....it’s funny how the universe works. In my second year of university (University of Toronto - Honours Bachelor of Science) I decided to join the dance team to keep up what I love
on the side of studying. It was there I met my soon-to-be business partners Dani Kagan and Jessica Domingo. In our years at school, we ran countless dance events, fundraisers and realized together, we could do anything we put our mind to! So why I am telling you this? Dance, my passion, indirectly gave me something I never thought I could receive - an incredible team of powerhouse women that were a force to be reckoned with, that would go on to run several events together (check out City MOGULS our baby project that has now exploded) and soon build a business together.
Now the dark part of my story.....where I lost my balance and realized how important it was to maintain it. There were a few years after university where I worked some seriously amazing jobs (e.g. teaching English in China, Project Manager to the ingenious Craig Kielburger, Founder of WE). Sadly I had to give up dancing to be able to do them. This just DIDN’T work for me. I was anxious and stressed to a point where I couldn’t cope with it, and I ended up burning out....my body couldn’t keep up with the 24/7 hustle without an outlet to relieve my stress.
This was my “aha” moment if you want to call it that - I realized no matter how busy I get, I NEED dance in some shape or form in my life to function and thrive. It is my creative outlet, my escape and what truly makes me happy. And thankfully, Dani and I both have this in common :)
Why do I feel this is important to share? A lot of young entrepreneurs are told that they need to spend every waking moment hustling to build their business. Of course you need to hustle, harder than you can even imagine to be successful BUT not at the expense of your happiness and well being. Find the balance in your life that makes you feel happy and fulfilled.