Find someone ahead of you. I struggled for a few years before I realized there are podcasts, and business books, and conferences. Attending my first conference was a game changer! Seeing people who were more successful and experienced than me and learning from them was the best way to short cut it.
As part of my series about the leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Stacy Tuschl.
Stacy Tuschl, is a small business Growth Coach, who has multiple seven figure businesses-in the brick-and-mortar and online space. Additionally, she is an author, podcast host of the top-ranked Foot Traffic podcast, and was given the Wisconsin Small Business Person of the Year Award for 2019. Stacy’s podcast guest list includes Amy Porterfield, Suze Orman, Geoff Woods, and Dave Hollis.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’m excited to be part of this series-thanks for including me!
I’m a Small Business Growth Coach, which was a result of owning 2 dance studios. As my studios began to scale, other business leaders noticed. And they started asking me for advice about how they could grow their own businesses. That sparked the realization that I could make a business helping other businesses grow.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?
The hard things were being and doing what felt like everyone and everything. I was the janitor, the dance instructor, the receptionist-all while going to school full time.
Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
My drive comes from my passion. I had the passion for dancing, and then I found the passion for business. It’s important to have a big “why”. If you don’t love it and you’re not excited about it, you’re not going to want it. This morning I woke up at 4:00 AM, not because I had to, but because I love what I do, and I am really excited about a project I’m working on right now.
So, how are things going today? How did grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?
Countless times I have been told no, received no response or received only negative input. When it comes to hearing the negative-you need to realize that represents 1%, but I believe we are here to serve the 99%.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
My first year in business with my dance studio I had customers fill out registration forms and waivers. At the end of the year, I discarded all the forms. At that time my thinking was people would just re enroll in classes-I would not have to remind them, so there was no need to keep the forms that had their contact information on them. And I believed no one would ever sue me, so I tossed out the waivers as well. Of course, I now know how very important both those documents are and have a system to keep them on file.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
My company stands out because we serve brick-and-mortar businesses, and I am someone who actually has one. There are not many people with the brick-and-mortar that also teach to brick- and-mortar owners that have that real experience and are doing it at the same time. So when the pandemic hit, I was literally pivoting and making decisions and then teaching my clients a day later.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
You need to have set times of intentional work. But it’s also really important to have time for self care, relaxation, and recharging. I try not to work long days and evenings. I prefer to wake up early in the morning and get work in during the day. Because the way that decision fatigue can set in and how many decisions that need to be made daily-I want to tend to those first thing in the morning.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I credit my grandparents and parents who had a family business. And initially, I saw my dance studio as a hobby, but they were the first ones to see that I could actually charge people and that I could make it into an actual business. I am forever grateful to them for transferring that confidence in me. Seeing their belief in me, helped me move forward. And now my mission is to help transfer confidence to my clients knowing how powerful it is.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
In my studios one of our missions is to help create happy, healthy, responsible kids. It’s not just about good dance, music, and technique. It really is about the overall the health of the child. It’s the same thing in my online business. We are here to help other small business owners get out of that struggle. I want to give back to that person I was over a decade ago-struggling, overworked, and underpaid. We work to show them there is a better way way.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Find someone ahead of you. I struggled for a few years before I realized there are podcasts, and business books, and conferences. Attending my first conference was a game changer! Seeing people who were more successful and experienced than me and learning from them was the best way to short cut it.
- You can’t please everyone. Go with the majority and let go of the negative. We had an Easter bunny drive-through event that was huge. It was outdoors, safe, and socially distanced . The media was there and we had 400 attendees. Yet, we did have one person who was very negative in advance of the event, but we let that go and went forward with it.
- Be different not better. It is exhausting trying to outdo your competitors. You can constantly be tossing that ball back and forth. Get in a different category- this will allow potential customers to contrast and compare to see the difference between you and your competitor.
- Start with the end in mind. It is important that you and your team know the big picture and the intention. The faster everyone (including your team and clients) is on the same page, the faster you will move in your business, and the more your clients will refer you to to others.
- An exceptional customer experience will create loyal raving fans. We definitely saw this during the pandemic. We had customers who continued paying for dance class but weren’t actually attending them-they just wanted to help and support. When times get tough you need loyal fans. You can create an exceptional customer experience by wowing, surprising, and delighting your clients. Little unexpected touch points including sending a private FB message, a handwritten card, or calling and checking in can help build that loyalty.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Dream big, but one step at a time. Have that big vision, but be realistic on what can be done.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!