I know it’s a silly thing, especially for a path in life as freelance-y and side-hustle-y as being a ballroom dance instructor, but after I’m certified I’m really looking forward to getting all the accouterments of being a business. I’ll list them in this caprice of a post:
- Business cards. With my name, my website, my phone number, and my email address on them, along of course with what categories of services I offer.
- Some real-name social media accounts such as on Instagram and TikTok, since that will prove useful and very fun. I’m all but a blank page under my real name online, so I should be good to go.
- A business checking account with my bank and a business credit card. As I understand it for that I’ll need an LLC, which is a bit superfluous, but opens up possibilities down the road, so there is a case for doing that straight away. I’ll also get myself an EIN.
- One of those smartphone credit-card-reader thingies I see some dance teachers in my orbit using, along with a payment processing platform (Square is what they use and would seem a good fit, but we’ll see). Costs more than just taking cash or check, but it’s so cool! Taking cryptocurrency too might be another cool factor (not to mention a differentiating one; I’m not aware of anyone in my orbit that does that), but I’ll have to think about that one.
- Professionally glammed-up appearance. I’m kinda there already with my recent beauty regimen, but there’s always professionally-done photographs, a tailored wardrobe, and the like that I could expand into.
- Refreshments for my students. Bring them wine bottles, Crumbl cookies, and the like. Wouldn’t help them if their goal is to burn off calories, but it’s superior customer service! Worked out great for early Uber drivers and AirBnB hosts who provided perfume and snacks; that’s why everyone liked them so much! And everyone is going to like me too. Bonus: according to one website I read I can deduct these items as a business expense on my taxes.
- An iPhone and a MacBook; I don’t even care for Apple products, but they seem to be the standard everyone loves in ballroom world. Bonus: airdropping files to and fro makes life a lot easier for teachers and students. And the things look cool too. I’m going to be one of the cool kids! Might also be useful to get a second phone and computer that’s just for my business anyway.
Hmm…I’m going to end up spending more money than I’m making, aren’t I? 🙃 They say that’s one of the things to look out for with any start-up: spending too much money on extravagances during launch which then ensures you don’t even make any profit when crunch time comes later. But I don’t care; I’ve got the money in my brokerage account to pay for it all, and I’ve lived too long to deprive myself of the fun little luxuries of being a businessman.
Besides, I think it’ll serve me well to make an impression when I start out. I’ve got the resources now and will in the near future, but who knows how much longer that’ll remain the case? It’s a funny thing for someone who’s basically financially independent to say, but I’ve had this sinking feeling recently that I really need to accelerate my plans. It’s like my whole life is falling apart for want of funds. Oh, I’m alright for the time being, but I can see the writing on the wall: if I’m going to have any kind of a life worth living I need more income, a lot more income, and soon. The sinking feeling is of being in a race against time…and I’m starting to sense I’m losing.
Thus getting everything I want for myself in place and quickly might be the best route, especially in terms of getting me into the right psychology for me to take it seriously, hit the ground running, and put in consistent hard work: “look, bub, you’re a business now!”. It’s kinda interesting to think of the divide among self-employed dance teachers; some conceptualize themselves more as professionals, others as businesses. I myself definitely fall under the business side of the divide, perhaps because that’s all that’s ever motivated me; every activity I’ve ever done that’s made me any money was either investment or self-employment. Being an employee elicits a feeling of “meh…do I have to?” whereas being my own boss elicits a feeling of “yay, let’s go!”. That’s where I belong, and that’s where I’m going to be, paid well for my time doing an art that I love. At this point the time until I’m trained enough to get started is measured in months; I’m going to make it.