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 and resources were actually changing their lives for the better.
One of those members—a member of our “Founding Fifteen”—is Crystal Carfagno, Owner and Artistic Director of Showcase Dance Studio in Manassas, Virginia. When I first met Crystal, she was a perfect example of a studio owner who felt like her business was running her, instead of the other way around.
I knew two things about her right away:
1) she was overwhelmed, underpaid, and often operating in crisis mode; and 2) that she was eager to make changes with her studio but unclear about where to start.
As Crystal herself puts it, “At that point in my career I thought if I taught great dance classes, everything would take care of itself. I very quickly learned that educating myself with common business fundamentals was the only way to make it work.”
Crystal said yes immediately to joining MTJGD. She took a chance that my new venture would provide the tools she needed to make her studio successful. I am forever grateful to her, and the other Founding Fifteen members. They agreed to jump into our program with both feet in those early days!
Since joining MTJGD, Crystal has become the personification of the compound effect. She’s made small, positive changes over time to nearly every aspect of her business and her life. That’s not to say she hasn’t faced challenges along the way—because she definitely has. But through her membership, she’s also become empowered to take control of her business, which means any step backward equals about five more forward!
“I went from a place of “no,” to finally feeling confident enough to say “yes” to my calling. Yes, I could succeed even though my market is saturated.”
- Crystal Carfagno
Here’s what I’ve noticed about Crystal’s transformation over the past five years:
- She gets a ton of mileage out of the MTJGD membership tools. From the graphic design services and marketing images to the budget and financial forecasting spreadsheets, Crystal takes advantage of everything offered.
- She attends nearly every live event and has brought her staff to live events as well. This helps her stay on top of her business and keep her team in the loop.
- She uses her coaching calls with me to the fullest extent. Every time we talk, Crystal is prepared to ask, listen, and take action. She’s ready, whether it’s diving deep into her numbers or planning a new program.
- She gives back. Now a veteran member of “the tribe” (as we like to call it) Crystal is a driving force of encouragement for her MTJGD peers. She always paying it forward by sharing her resources and experiences, and inspiring others to follow in her footsteps.
Belonging to MTJGD is a lot like belonging to a gym: you get out what you put in. Crystal has poured herself into her development as an owner. She says she is a different person now than she was five years ago: “I’m financially stable, confident in my decisions, and actually running a ‘real’ business with my team. With the systems I have in place, I’m able to concentrate on the three vital priorities that will allow my business to move forward so I can positively impact my community.”
When I see Crystal these days, I see her exactly as she described: a happy, take-charge, action-oriented studio owner who is committed to having a successful business. I couldn’t be more proud of her journey so far, and I know this is just the beginning.