Up until this season, I haven’t been a fan of Dancing with the Stars. I always wondered what all the hype was about but never made the time to check it out.
Last season I watched a handful of episodes, because I thought it was interesting that one of the stars was a YouTuber.
The show pulled me in almost instantly.
And now I look forward to Monday nights, because Dancing with the Stars puts me in such a good mood. I can’t help but smile, sway in my seat and get excited when my favorite couples dance.
As I’ve been indulging in the show, I’ve noticed that there are a ton of lessons you can learn from it and apply to business. Whether or not you’re a fan of the show, these lessons can help you move in the right direction.
1. Practice is essential.
The stars who get the highest scores practice. A lot.
No matter what you do, if you want to succeed and be one of the best at your craft, you’ve got to practice. Then, practice some more and some more.
I’ve been sharing my watercolor experiments on Instagram over the past month, and the lovely Jenny Shih commented on one of my photos that she has a hard time making art, because she’s not yet good enough to display or use what she creates. She wanted to know what I did with all my play experiments.
I used to feel like this—like everything I created needed to be something I could use, display or sell. Now, I know better. If I don’t give myself room to create crap, I’ll never get to the good stuff.
Half of my watercolor experiments go straight to the trash and that’s okay.
2. Creativity breeds creativity.
The pros on Dancing with the Stars have to choreograph entertaining dances every single week. And, it seems like the dances get better and better each week, as if creating routines each week inspires more creativity.
When I tell entrepreneurs to give away their best stuff on their blogs, I can tell from the seat squirming and unsure stares that they’re hesitant. They think that if they give away their best stuff, that’s it.
Actually, when you’re sharing your best content and ideas, you’ll come up with more. Start to look at things from a place of abundance, instead of scarcity. Remind yourself that there’s always more where that came from.
3. Stepping out of your comfort zone pays off.
Most of the stars who come onto the show aren’t dancers. They’re stepping way out of their comfort zones, but the growth that they experience over the course of the show is amazing.
All of the times I’ve experienced extreme growth in my business have come when I’ve leaped out of my comfort zone: hosting a blog series, speaking at the Etsy Success Symposium, pitching a guest post to Design*Sponge, teaching at CreativeLive.
What have you done lately to get out of your warm, comfortable bubble?
4. Mind over matter.
On one of the episodes this season the host asked Derek Hough (one of the pro dancers) if he was tired, because he’s been flying back and forth between LA and New York. He films Dancing with the Stars in LA but he’s got shows every week in New York.
When asked if he was exhausted, he said, “Mind over matter. Mind over Matter.”
There are going to be days that you don’t want to do your work. There are going to be times when you’ve got to push through and finish when you just want to hunker down in front of the television for a marathon of Friends.
A lot of people don’t know that the first time I taught at CreativeLive, I got extremely sick. We had to pause filming a few times so I could throw up, brush my teeth and get back on camera. Often, the CreativeLive team would ask if I needed some time to relax before hopping back on camera and every time I told them no. It was all about mind over matter.
5. You should always stick to your values.
This week, Allison and Riker received a sexually explicit song by Missy Elliot as their song to dance to, but they asked for another song because it didn’t work with who Riker is as a person. They lost two rehearsal days because of it, but I respect them both for it.
Whenever you’re asked to do something that you don’t believe in, like promote a product you’ve never used, always say no.
When I was teaching at CreativeLive, I asked the student audience why they pick me to learn from, because there are plenty of business consultants. I’m definitely not the only one around. One of the reasons they gave was because I don’t have ads or paid promotional posts on my website. Because of that, they enjoy being on my website more and trust me more.
I get asked by companies to put ads on my website or write paid promotional posts every single day. I always say no.
6. Your “fans” matter.
There are stars who get booted off the show even though they’re getting the highest scores, because people aren’t voting for them.
If all of you stopped giving me your attention, I wouldn’t have a business. I truly appreciate you!
In return for your attention, I try to provide entertaining, valuable content that helps you get closer to the creative business of your dreams.
7. When you lack confidence, we can smell it like eighty-seven rotten eggs.
Whether you’re dancing on national television or selling a product, if you don’t believe in yourself or your products, everyone can tell.
You’ve got to believe in your business or your customers won’t. If you’re not confident right now, what will help you build that confidence? More practice? Taking some classes? Working harder? Revamping your products?
Whatever it is, do it.
8. Relationships can help you succeed.
On Dancing with the Stars, the relationships between the stars and pros matter. If the chemistry is lacking, the dance isn’t as good. And, if a star is dancing with a pro with his or her own fan base, that can take the star far in the competition.
Relationships can do amazing things for your business.
When you’re connected to some of the “big names” in your niche, your social proof exponentially increases. When you have an accountability partner, you’ll be more likely to follow through. When you’re connected to other creative entrepreneurs, you can get crucial feedback and support when you need it most.
9. You should focus on your strengths.
The pros who focus on the star’s strengths and build dances around those strengths do best.
It’s the same in business. Instead of spending lots of time on your weaknesses, focus on your strengths.
If you love Instagram and connect with your target market there but hate Twitter, stop spending time on Twitter and spend extra time on Instagram.
If writing isn’t your thing, publish video blog posts.
If your sales copy sucks, hire an expert to help you. And, focus on creating—what you do best.
10. Personality matters. YOU matter.
On Dancing with the Stars, the stars who put their own flare into the dances stand out. They’re more fun to watch.
It’s the same in business. Don’t worry about alienating the people who don’t get you. Focus on the ones who do, the ones who love your personality and can’t get enough. Instead of trying to be everyone’s cup of tea, just be you.
For those of you who also enjoy Dancing with the Stars, is there something that I missed? A lesson you could apply to business? Share in the comments below!