Recently Roni Sloman, the owner of Bella Prana in Tampa, Florida, gave pieces of advice on leadership. Here, she shares her personal philosophies and tips for other studio owners.
Tough skin. “You’ll need tough skin — but just your skin. Don’t let anything make you cynical, stay soft inside, just tougher on the outside, so that you don’t waste too much energy taking things personally that don’t have anything to do with you.”
Dare to succeed. “If you dare to succeed you will lose some things and gain others. It will be harder emotionally than you would think to succeed. It’s worth it, but it has its lonely moments too.”
Follow your gut. “People will constantly have opinions from the cheap seats. They won’t be willing to step in the ring, but they will be more than happy to tell you what you should be doing. You will know the difference between useful feedback and cheap seat opinions. Take the feedback, chuck the rest.”
Everyone won’t love you. “The longer you do whatever you are doing more people will not love you. It stinks not being liked. But nobody ever put themselves out there in a real way and didn’t bother someone. If everyone likes you all the time then you’re not being yourself.”
When shit hits the fan don’t react. “Breathe and behave as if you know that everything that happens is rigged in your favor. Don’t give the situation more attention than it deserves. Turn the other cheek and keep doing the best you can — you will never regret not engaging it.”
Leadership is not for the faint of heart. “Unless it keeps you up at night and you can’t imagine life without doing it, then you shouldn’t bother owning your own business. Because it’s harder than you can prepare yourself for. That being said, I’m writing this on a plane on my way to travel for a month in Europe while my new business partners hold down the fort. So if you’re willing to be the one on the front line there are rewards that the cheap seats will never know. Being a business owner requires a steely soul, an unshakable belief and a willingness to say no.”
Have fun. “I know I’ve been giving advice on the challenges, but owning this business is one of the most fun, meaningful, powerful experiences of my life. As long as you choose something that makes other people’s lives better, then there is an endless well of motivation.”