Redeeming Time

Redeeming Time

“If I just had more time!” How often do you say this to yourself?  My guess is probably A LOT. But let’s face it: we all have the same 24 hours in a day; the same 1,440 minutes.  Me, you, Beyoncé, and everyone else.  So the problem isn’t really that we don’t have the time,…

DetailsJuly 31, 2018

Equanimity

If you know me, you know I love learning new things.   I particularly love language and learning new words.  This past week I learned a new word: equanimity.  It means “mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain; calmness; equilibrium”. I wanted to share this word and its meaning with you…

DetailsJuly 10, 2018

Cyclical Cheapness

I was in my car the other day when I looked in the rearview mirror and completely startled myself.   As in, I genuinely did a double-take and shouted to the empty seat next to me, “Holy cats!” Why was a tie-dyed Easter egg looking back at me in the mirror? Oh, right.  It was…

DetailsJune 15, 2018

Empowering Teens at Your Studio

When I’m on coaching calls with studio owners, one of the topics we often discuss is the “drama” associated with teen girls (and sometimes their parents).   Gossip, rumors, high emotions, eye-rolling, attitudes: if you serve students over the age of eleven, you know what I’m talking about.  This is the age where students are…

DetailsJune 5, 2018

Then and Now: Celebrating 20 Years of MDU

Wow, 20 years! With our 20th Annual Recital in the books, Misty’s Dance Unlimited has officially been in business for two decades.  HOLY CATS that’s a long time! Twenty years seemed like an impossibly long time back when I first opened the studio.  But when I look at it now, it seems like it happened…

DetailsMay 23, 2018

What I’ve Learned from Construction

Studio owners, if you’ve been through the construction process before, you know what I mean when I say it is one of the most detail-oriented works of choreography you’ll ever produce!   It’s also pretty darn exciting. My current project—our new International Performing Arts Campus—is hands-down the largest one I’ve ever undertaken.  This building will…

DetailsMay 3, 2018

Why YPAD?

When I first met Leslie Scott, the founder of Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (YPAD), it was the passion she showed for her work that first stopped me in my tracks.   She was a woman on a mission…and what an important mission it is! Leslie created YPAD in response to concerning (and common) trends…

DetailsApril 17, 2018

How to Reap the Rewards of Entrepreneurship

I’m sure you know what I mean when I say entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart!   The hustle is real, the grind is real and the sacrifices are real. Studio owners do it because we have this deep, personal mission to transform kids’ lives: we want to inspire them with dance and…

DetailsApril 4, 2018

Behind the Curtain: The 360° Dance Festival

It was almost three years ago when I asked the following question at our annual Member Rally for More Than Just Great Dancing®: What types of opportunities or services do you want most for you studios?   That answer was loud and clear.  Our affiliated studio owners wanted a high-quality, non-competitive, positive dance event for…

DetailsMarch 15, 2018

Doing the Hard Things with Love and Grace

You know how you feel when you have to do something particularly difficult?  I’m talking about those things that are emotionally draining. When you know you need to part ways with an employee or customer, or when you’ve had to ask for forgiveness from someone.  I’m sure you are no stranger to these “hard things”. I…

DetailsFebruary 28, 2018

Being a Caring Person, While Still Having Boundaries

I recently received one of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten—from someone I had to turn down.   I had been asked by a friend to participate in a speaking engagement (something I love to do.)  In this case, with a few very big projects already on my plate, I hated to admit my limits,…

DetailsFebruary 20, 2018

Being Selectively Awesome

A few weeks ago I spent time cleaning and organizing my home office from top to bottom.   Everything had its place: my files and shelves were organized and you could actually see the desk; no more piles and papers everywhere.  I stepped back to admire my handiwork and thought, “This is pretty awesome.” Then…

DetailsJanuary 17, 2018

Finding Clarity in Yourself and the Year Ahead

If you know anything about me, personal development is one of my favorite topics 🙂 I love learning how to improve my life, whether it’s adopting a new habit of reading in the morning when I wake up, or trying a different leadership strategy I learned at a workshop.  For me, I get real energy…

DetailsJanuary 3, 2018

The 12/31 Vision

As the year comes to a close and I reflect on all that’s happened in past twelve months, I wanted to share with you something that helped me keep my wins high and my losses low.   It was a bit of an experiment, but at the beginning of 2017 I mapped out what I…

DetailsDecember 20, 2017

Member Feature – Crystal Carfagno

In 2012, I founded More Than Just Great Dancing® with the intention of helping other studio owners grow their businesses, their leadership, and their place in the community.   What I didn’t realize then was just how transformative membership would be, and not just for the members’ studios.  Those who took action with our coaching…

DetailsDecember 13, 2017

Scheduling Time Off (Finding Balance)

Work-life balance: I’m a strong believer in this concept, but perhaps not in the way you might think.   I believe it’s OK—and even expected—to have weeks, months, or whole seasons of your life that are more about one than the other.  I also believe that it’s possible to find a harmonious balance unique to…

DetailsDecember 5, 2017

20 Reasons I am Thankful this Thanksgiving

 20 Reasons I am THANKFUL this Thanksgiving I am thankful for a man named Deak Swanson –  He was my “Festmaster” in 1996 when I was Miss La Crosse/Oktoberfest.  We spent countless hours riding around on the Oktoberfest float at parades during which time I would tell him over and over again about my dream to open…

DetailsNovember 23, 2017

Doing Good for Good’s Sake (Supporting the Community)

Whether your studio is located in a small Midwestern town like mine or a bustling big city, chances are you’ve involved your dancers in some aspect of the community.  With parades, fairs, festivals, school programs, fundraisers, or all of the above, your dance performing groups have probably enjoyed some awesome publicity. It has me thinking…

DetailsNovember 14, 2017

Friendship with Austin Roberson

As a studio owner, you may have heard of Austin Roberson, the founder of Studio Owners Academy; we both work in the dance studio owner coaching and consulting space.   Technically I suppose you could call us competitors …. but we’ve found that it’s a LOT more fun for us to be friends! I can…

DetailsNovember 2, 2017

Perspective & Isabella

I have a confession to make. As a businesswoman and mom of five, I often feel like my kids get the short end of the stick.  In fact, it’s not just a feeling—they DO get the short end of the stick sometimes.  Case in point: my 16-year-old daughter, Isabella, moved away from home this year…

DetailsOctober 18, 2017

Reflecting on 20 Years of MDU

Twenty. It’s a number that I’ve been thinking about a lot …. It’s the age I was when I started working on starting my own studio, Misty’s Dance Unlimited.  Twenty is roughly half the age I am now. And, now it’s the number of years I’ve been in business. Two decades as a dance studio…

DetailsOctober 5, 2017

Getting it ALL Done without Losing Your Mind

For this Misty Minute, I’m excited to share with you a sneak peek inside the pages of my book. I wrote this book with an audience of one in mind…but, God had other plans. It’s been a year since its release as #1 on Amazon and now ONE SMALL YES is available in print at…

DetailsAugust 7, 2017

10 Things I’ve Learned From Starting A Dance Festival

As many of you know, I’m an entrepreneur at heart. I love starting new companies and projects and working alongside great people to make them successful. It doesn’t matter if it is a new dance studio project or a real estate development, I simply love to create and see things that have at one time…

DetailsJune 15, 2017

THANK YOU!

Holy cats! I didn’t know that when I sent that message out yesterday inviting you to join me and Darren Hardy in his Insane Productivity program just how INSANE your response was going to be!   THANK YOU for showing Darren how driven you are! Darren used to take my WORD on how amazing and…

DetailsMarch 3, 2017

Givers Gain

Yesterday I told you about how having the former publisher of SUCCESS Magazine, Darren Hardy, as a mentor completely changed my business life.   I also told you that I had asked him to just GIVE YOU the first few modules of his Insane Productivity program for FREE.   But what I forgot to tell…

DetailsMarch 2, 2017

Gift of Training with Misty’s Mentor

One of the most important questions in life that you could ever ask is: “Who do you know that I should know?” Today I want to introduce you to someone you should definitely know – my personal mentor, former publisher of SUCCESS Magazine and NYT bestselling author, DARREN HARDY. Having Darren as my personal mentor…

DetailsMarch 2, 2017

The Dance Festival You’ve Been Waiting For!

  This summer I will begin my 20th year in studio ownership. Over the past two decades I’ve seen a lot of trends in our industry – some great and some not-so-great.   On the up-side I’ve seen the popularity of dance shows and competitions drive more involvement in dance studios than ever than before.…

DetailsFebruary 22, 2017

My 10 REAL wishes for you in 2017

Normally I would kick off the new year by talking about goals and business growth, but last week my son was in a pretty tough snowboarding accident while we were on vacation in Colorado.  He’s going to be okay in time and for that we are VERY grateful. God is good.   When your kids…

DetailsJanuary 6, 2017

Staff Meetings that ROCK

The school supply lists are posted at Target, the mailbox is filling up with paperwork for registration for my children’s schools and Facebook is blowing up with pictures of kids in backpacks. It’s officially time for back-to-school and that means it’s time to get serious about back-to-dance! As a studio owner, I’m a big fan…

DetailsAugust 31, 2016

The Final Week of Summer

I love my kids. I really do! In fact here’s a picture of them on a recent road trip just so you can see how sweet and silly they are.   My kids are great and I love being a mom. BUT FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ HANDS THEY NEED TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL.…

DetailsAugust 17, 2016

The Most Important Environment to Save

It’s Earth Week. But for the sake of today’s Misty Minute, I want to focus my attention on the most important environment I believe we can nurture and protect—the environment in our homes.  Our geographic environment has a climate and so do our homes.  And, as a studio owner, the environment in my home around recital time…

DetailsAugust 9, 2016

The Weeds of Entrepreneurship

Have you ever had a day, maybe even a whole month, where you feel like you gotten caught up in the “weeds” of entrepreneurship?   It can be a muddy, thorny, unpleasant mess to get stuck in the weeds of owning your own business.   What are the weeds of entrepreneurship?  Think of the work of…

DetailsAugust 9, 2016

Recital Meltdown

I was watching TV the other day when a new GEICO commercial came on.  A man in an office cafeteria is microwaving a burrito when the Swedish rock band Europe appears in a cloud of smoke singing, “It’s the Final Countdown!” I don’t know if it’s a reflection of growing up in the 80s, or…

DetailsAugust 9, 2016

Life Lessons from a Gas Grill Accident

On Father’s Day I was in a gas grill accident. I thought I had lit the grill, but my Dad questioned whether or not it was on.  I heard his wife say, “I smell gas”, but I was in a hurry to get the grill going, so I didn’t take time to investigate why she…

DetailsAugust 9, 2016

Lost and Found

Today ran into a student that I “lost” about five years ago.  When I say I “lost”, I mean to say I fought long and hard to keep her engaged and growing as a student, but in the end I was not able to keep her with our studio.  Despite my best effort, she moved…

DetailsAugust 9, 2016

Book Launch

Tomorrow is launch day for my new book, One Small Yes™! I’m super excited to share this book with you! In the morning I’ll be sending you a link to download my book from Amazon completely free of charge, as my gift to you, for your journey in success! It will only be free for…

DetailsAugust 9, 2016

Mastering Your Life – Part 3 of 3

Welcome to PART 3 of the 3-Part Series I will be sharing on “Mastering Your Life”.   Last week I challenged you to raise your “average of 5” and to take a good, hard look at how the people you spend the most time and ask whether they are having a positive effect, or negative…

DetailsAugust 7, 2016

Mastering Your Life – Part 2 of 3

Welcome to PART 2 of the 3-Part Series I will be sharing on “Mastering Your Life”.   Last week I challenged you to master the “Habit of 3” and get control of your financial life in three areas:   Spending Saving Giving How did the week go? If we met for coffee today would you…

DetailsAugust 6, 2016

Mastering Your Life – Part 1 of 3

What’s on your to-do list this week?  If you are like most people I know, you have more on your list than time in the day.   I’m with you!  My dance studio serves over 750 kids in our regular weekly classes, not counting our community outreach programs which serve another 600 over the course…

DetailsAugust 5, 2016

The To-Do List

What’s on your to-do list this week? If you are like most amazing studio owners I know, you have more on your list than time in the day. I’m with you! My dance studio serves over 750 kids in our regular weekly classes, not counting our community outreach programs, which serve another 600 over the…

DetailsMarch 23, 2016

7 Ways to Ensure a Strong Summer

As I sit down to write this article, it’s 10 below zero outside the doors of my studio. We are in the depths of winter in Wisconsin and summer is on my mind. But, I’m not thinking about vacations or visits to the local pool. My mind is fixed on the programming I can offer to bring kid…

DetailsMarch 23, 2016

Right Thing, Wrong Time

I was recently doing a coaching call with a dance studio owner and she was talking about how badly she wanted to expand to a second location. She was absolutely convinced that expansion was the RIGHT thing to do. I completely AGREED with her. And, yet I STILL advised her NOT to do it. Sound…

DetailsMarch 23, 2016

It’s T-minus three weeks and counting!

Count down to what you say?  To the end of 2015, of course. The end of the business year AND the end of your opportunity to make a positive impact on enrollment for the 2015-16 dance season. One of our member studio owners, Vanessa Berry of Kick Studios in NJ,  took this challenge to heart…

DetailsDecember 10, 2015

Let Kids Be Kids

I spend most of my time with kids.  With five kids at home and over 700 kids at my dance studio, it’s probably fair to say that I spend more time with kids than I do with adults!  Multiplied across twenty years of teaching dance, I have spent a lot of time with kids and…

DetailsSeptember 20, 2015

It’s just plastic

Busy with competition prep? Me, too. Does this sound familiar? Sequins, meetings, costumes, classes, rehearsals, last minute changes to registrations and choreography, hotel reservations, and emails. Lots of emails. And, still there is still work to do: CDs to burn, bags to pack, subs to secure, lists to check, questions to answer, phone calls to…

DetailsSeptember 19, 2015

When to Stand Up, When to Shut Up?

How long have you owned your studio?  If you have owned your studio for more than a few months, I would hazard to say that you have probably experienced at least a little bit of bullying. According to Websters Dictionary a Bully is a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates. Sound famiiar? …

DetailsSeptember 18, 2015

Post Recital Syndrome

“Crazy Land” I love to talk about our studio and equip people to reach their dreams! I’m an optimist, a go-getter and a dreamer! So much so that some people must wonder if I live in a strange place called “Everything-is-great-all-the-time-land”. NOPE. I live where you do. Crazy land. Kids, bills, goals, sweat, families, teachers,…

DetailsJune 28, 2014

We have no excuse

Recently I spent 13 hours traveling from ‘lil ‘ol La Crosse, WI to Winston-Salem, NC to teach and perform with Dance Revolution Convention. The day started out with a cancelled flight, then a re-route to Dallas (because THAT’s on the way), then finally to Charlotte, where I had to rent a car and drive for…

DetailsMay 20, 2014

What I learned from 6 days at the hospital

Two weeks ago my grandpa suffered a major stroke.  I drove in the middle of the night to join my family in the emergency room. For the next six days and nights we sat by his side in a small hospital room.  We drank the free coffee and slept in chairs.  We laughed, we cried. …

DetailsMay 20, 2014

Three Cheers for the High Silver Award at Competition

This past weekend we took 51 groups and solos to competition.  The first night, four of our junior groups received a High Silver designation. The kids were disappointed and so were the parents.  To tell you the truth, I was disappointed, too.  My daughter was in one of those groups and as her mom I…

DetailsMay 20, 2014

No Kindness is Ever Wasted

  “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” Aesop My dance studio, Misty’s Dance Unlimited, has become known for giving back to the community. Some ways are very public, like raising over $400,000 for the local Red Cross by producing seven seasons of Dancing with the La Crosse Stars.  Other ways are quiet,…

DetailsMay 20, 2014

Do something today your future self will THANK YOU for!

The next person to register for the More Than Just Great Dancing™ PREVIEW WEEKEND (Feb. 8th & 9th, La Crosse, WI) will receive 50% OFF their workshop fee! That’s right, if you are the next person to register for this results oriented weekend of business classes, you will SAVE!  Join studio owners from Ohio, Wisconsin,…

DetailsMay 20, 2014

High Tech…High TOUCH!

Today I was leading a tele-seminar for dance studio owners.  The topic was “Leadership Lessons from the Life of Zig Ziglar” and we were talking about ways to demonstrate warmth, authenticity, and love to our students and clients.  During the conversation, one of our members, Katie Owings, made a “stop-me-in-my-tracks” comment.  Katie’s comment was simple,…

DetailsMay 20, 2014

Preview Weekend Announcement

PREVIEW WEEKEND! Feb. 8-9, 2013 La Crosse, WI   You asked for it…you got it!   AMore Than Just Great Dancing™ PREVIEW WEEKEND designed just for busy dance studio owners! Spend a weekend as my guest!  I, Misty Lown, will be leading fast-paced, content-jammed business workshops at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.  Additionally, you will tour our…

DetailsMay 20, 2014

Living in “Permanent Beta”

Today I was listening to an interview with Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, the world’s largest and most influential resume hosting and networking site.   The first part of his interview was about living in “permanent beta” – that is to say never considering yourself, or your business a finished product.  According to Hoffman, you should…

DetailsMay 20, 2014

The General’s Rules

General Colin Powell’s 13 RULES of LEADERSHIP.  Short, sweet, challenging, true.    It ain’t as bad as you think.  It will look better in the morning. Get mad, then get over it. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it. It can be done!…

DetailsMay 20, 2014

Entrepreneurs v. Employees

10.  Entrepreneurs educate themselves more than they entertain themselves Employees entertain themselves more than they educate themselves 9.    Entrepreneurs have an empowering perspective of failure Employees see failure as bad 8.    Entrepreneurs are solution finders Employees are problem finders 7.    Entrepreneurs know a little about a lot Employees know a lot about a little 6.   …

DetailsMay 20, 2014

Member Profile: Melanie Gibbs of Boca Dance Studio (Florida)

Recently I conducted an interview with Melanie Gibbs, owner of Boca Dance Studio in Boca Raton, FL.  I met Melanie when I spoke at Rhee Gold’s DanceLIfe Conference last summer in Phoenix.  I have been mentoring with her since February and she recently became a Founding Member of More Than Just Great Dancing™.  Not only…

DetailsMay 20, 2014

Back-to-School Means Back-to-Business

That’s right, it’s time! Back-to-School means Back-to-Business for dance studio owners around the world. Fall is a time get organized, get motivated and to start with a fresh slate. It’s a time to look back at the past season and MAXIMIZE what went right and FIX what went wrong. I have a challenge for you…

DetailsMay 16, 2014

Can a DANCE STUDIO be ranked with TOMS Shoes and Whole Foods?

Today is a proud moment for a small town dance studio owner.   My dance studio has received one of 15 “The Most Amazing Company” designations and a spot in the new business book “Engage!”  See the picture attached for the other companies that made the list! But, here is the very best part: When…

DetailsOctober 18, 2013

I got sucked in

I could see it coming and I still got sucked in. I am usually REALLY good at being proactive about issues and heading off problems before molehills become mountains. But this one got away from me. Even after a very long meeting with this person, I am still not sure that anything got resolved. Aaagh.…

DetailsSeptember 17, 2013

When an employee steals from you

This week I learned that a trusted employee has been stealing from me. For about a year. I learned this from her roommate, who also happens to be an employee of mine. The roommate let me know that there had been theft in their house and red flags went off in my head immediately. In…

DetailsMarch 20, 2013