Launching your own business is a ton of work. There’s so much to think about. You have your business plan, the task of creating a user-friendly website, marketing, networking, creating content, the list goes on and on. For the new or aspiring entrepreneur, this whole process can be quite overwhelming.
Yet, there is a “secret sauce” ingredient that every successful business should have. That ingredient is “fun”. Yes, fun. Most of us didn’t get out of our regular 9 to 5 just to work ourselves to death in our business. We got out because we want freedom, the freedom to work and create the lifestyle we’ve always dreamed of. That lifestyle is one in which work and fun work cohesively.
In today’s post, we will learn how entrepreneur Noel Lorenzana incorporates fun into his business, as well as his advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Describe what you do and why you chose that role.
My educational background is in accounting. I’ve always known that I was naturally oriented towards business and I figured that accounting would help towards that end. My father was also an accountant, so that probably played some influence as well.
How did you get started? What specific steps did you take?
Years back I was an avid social dancer for several years (ballroom, salsa, swing, etc.) I was immersed in the social dance and amateur competitive dance scene for several years and I was actually pretty good. I happened to meet my wife through dancing and as a result of getting married and having kids, I had to hang up my dance shoes.
At this time, I had accumulated a large amount of instructional dance DVDs along the way, which helped me immensely with my dance education. Wondering what to do with all the instructional dance DVDs, I thought about selling them on ebay, but didn’t think that would recoup much of my cost. Since no one had created a premier online destination to purchase instructional dance DVDs, I had the idea to create one. But for one reason or another decided not to go that route.
Sometimes you start out in one direction, but have to “pivot” in another direction that you realize is more lucrative. One morning I realized the better plan was to just to create a service for dancers to be able to rent instructional dance DVDs using an online service. Like Netflix, but exclusively for dance. I found a reputable web designer who had experience with building the type of site needed and purchased the DVDs. That was in 2010 and the site is http://www.danceflix.com.
What makes you different from others in your niche?
To date we are the only instructional dance DVD rental site that is exclusive to instructional dance. Our service is only available in the United States and physical DVDs are sent by U.S. Mail. There are sites that offer instructional dance vidoes via online streaming, but with those you are often limited to one set of instructors and limited styles of dance. With DanceFlix.com, you can rent thousands of dance related and instructional dance DVDs in all the popular dance styles, from Tango, Foxtrot, Waltz, Salsa, Swing, Bachata, Zouk, Zumba and much more. You also get to choose from many different professional dance instructors. Variety is key with learning to dance and with DanceFlix.com you can sample thousands of titles before deciding on which ones you like best.
How do you balance the stresses of work and family?
It’s a challenge, but for me, my family comes first. My business ventures including DanceFlix.com invariably get their needed attention and the work gets done.
What kinds of self-care activities do you engage in?
I enjoy spending time with my two young boys … playing, going to parks, strolls, walks in the forest preserve. When possible I do like to stay physically active with physical fitness and biking.
How important do you think it is to build relationships with (potential) clients?
It’s very important. In any online related business, it’s vital for customers to know that there is an actual caring physical human being on the other end of the transaction. Our site is completely automated so unless there is a question or a problem, we may never directly communicate with our customer. When we do have the opportunity, we try to always connect with our customers and let them know that we value them as a customer. It’s not always easy to do that, but we make a conscious effort to be personal and caring when communicating with our customers.
How do you incorporate “fun” into your business?
Dancing is so much fun! I like going to local dance events to meet new people and introduce them to DanceFlix.com. I like to take dance breaks too 🙂
What is the best memory you have of how you were able to have fun while doing your business?
So one day while we were working, the song Uptown Funk starts playing loudly. A bunch of us just got up and started dancing which ended up into a synchronized line dance for the rest of the song. It was so much fun!! I wish we had a video of it. It would have gone viral for sure 😉
What do you wish you knew before beginning the entrepreneur journey?
I guess I would have liked to have known in advance the amount of work it would take to launch the business. I think anyone will naturally understimate the amount of work that it takes to launch a business venture, but if it is a good, solid plan then the entreprenuer will naturally stay motivated and have ample energy to work until their goal is accomplished.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Sometimes you have to commit first without knowing exactly how you are going to get to your destination. For the determined individual, the answers seem to present themselves and through hard work, opportunites happen. For example, when first starting on the entrepreneurial journey for DanceFlix.com, the domain name was already registered by someone else. I had originally planned to host the site at DanzFlix.com, which was not my first choice, but I thought I could still make it work. Most domain name investors want thousands of dollars for their domains (if they are even willing to sell it) so I was not optimistic in obtaining it. I contacted the owner anyway and surprisingly was able to purchase it for only a few hundred dollars. That was a big win for us. At this point, I knew without a doubt my plan would succeed. One other bit of advice is that challenges are often hidden opportunities.
Check out the DanceFlix.com Promotional Video:
This article first appeared on jumpstartyourthinking.com, by JaQuette Gilbert. For weekly success tips, sign up for her newsletter and be sure to visit her site to discover your identify purpose-driven goals and creating an actionable plan to achieve them.