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The Dancer's Bible: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments Every Dancer Should Follow
 

The Dancer's Bible: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments Every Dancer Should Follow

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http://kinerenterprises.com Building a successful and profitable career as a dance artist is no easy task, and takes undying dedication, perseverance, and hard work. But there are ten commandments, ...

http://kinerenterprises.com Building a successful and profitable career as a dance artist is no easy task, and takes undying dedication, perseverance, and hard work. But there are ten commandments, that will guarantee that your career, dance company, or dance business will flourish. I call them “The Finance Your Dance 10 Commandments” and you’ll find them in our latest e-book entitled, “The Dancer’s Bible”.

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    The Dancer's Bible: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments Every Dancer Should Follow The Dancer's Bible: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments Every Dancer Should Follow Document Transcript

    • The Dancer’s Bible The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments Every Dancer Should FollowTHE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 1
    • Table of Contents#1: Thou Shalt Not Work For Free………………………………………………………Pg 3#2: Thou Shalt Not Wait For My “Big Break”…………………………………………..Pg 9#3: Thou Shalt Invest In Myself and Learn New Skills…………………………………Pg 12#4: Thou Shalt Create Multiple Streams of Passive, Residual Income………………….Pg 14#5: Thou Shalt Save………………………………………………………………………Pg 16#6: Thou Shalt Get Out Of Debt………………………………………………………….Pg 19#7: Thou Shalt Treat My Brand Like A Business………………………………………..Pg 22#8: Thou Shalt Establish a Marketing & Branding Plan. ………………………………...Pg 24#9: Thou Shalt Get A Mentor……………………………………………………………..Pg 25#10: Thou Shalt Discover My God-Given Purpose……………………………………….Pg 26THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 2
    • The Finance Your Dance 10 Commandments Commandment #1: Thou Shalt Not Work For FreeWorking for free is the norm in the dance industry, and understandably so, given the limitedfunding and resources that most choreographers, and professional dancers have access to.Creating beautiful dances comes at a very high price, between studio rentals, purchasing music,and the financial investment required to gain the skills necessary to produce interesting andexhilarating work. This, however, does not mean that it is okay or acceptable for you to makeworking for free a lifestyle. There are a few problems with dancers working for free that I’lldiscuss in this chapter, and there are also specific methods that you should apply to yourcircumstances, if you do feel the need to work for free. I will explain those in this chapter aswell.Question: Why do dancers work for free in the first place?Dancers work for free because of our love for dance. You know what I’m talking about. Youlove to dance, you love to create, you love to perform, you love to experiment in the dancestudio, and you love it all! So the idea of getting into the studio with your fellow dance friends,or in many cases, dance family, is a treat, and something you thoroughly enjoy.Dancers also work for free because, in order to get your work out there in front of the public, andinto the eyes of potential investors, sponsors, and patrons, you have to perform at unpaidshowcases. This, of course, is understandable and acceptable when you’re just starting out, oryou have a new dance company and need as much exposure as possible. Or, if you wantfeedback from various types of audiences, and need to build your performance portfolio, this ispretty typical. Another reason dancers work for free in this type of scenario is, to have theopportunity to perform on different stages, with various special effects, lighting design options,and performance spaces that you, on your own, would never be able to afford. It provides anopportunity for you, and your dancers to work out all of your kinks, hone your craft, and get usedto the synergy of performing on stage together as a company, group, partnership, or crew.THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 3
    • Question: So what’s the problem with dancers working for free?The problem is that, you cannot survive, and build a successful dance career or lifestyle if you’reconstantly working for free. Dancing costs money. Creating art costs money. Starting a familycosts money. Traveling costs money.Anytime you set low standards or expectations in your life or career, you yield even lesserresults, and you suddenly begin to accept this standard or behavior as THE standard, when itnever should’ve been so in the first place.The scenario I mentioned above, when you’re just starting out, or have a new dance company orcrew, are absolutely fine, and make perfect sense. The real problems begin when you adopt thisscenario, which should be temporary, as a way of life, and the way by which you operatethroughout your entire dance career. Then, it has a long-lasting, ripple effect that is hard to stopbecause it spreads like wildfire.Imagine for a moment, the process of starting a business. When you decide to start your ownbusiness, you start out with an idea, a gift, a talent, product or service, that you’re reallypassionate about, and that you believe will add value to people’s lives. Then, you create abusiness plan. Your business plan consists of:  Your Executive Summary  Your Company Overview  Your Business Environment  Your Company Description  Your Company Strategy (including Marketing, Branding, & Public Relations)  Your Financial Review/Plan/Projections  Your Action PlanIf this sounds like a lot, it’s because it is. But, it’s necessary to brainstorm, research, and writeout your business plan (with help from a professional), because it forces you to look at thingsthat you wouldn’t normally see, and answer questions that you may not have thought of before.If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 4
    • Let’s look at a very common scenario, and watch how not having a plan, yields terrible results.Without a business plan, Cory the choreographer decides to start his own dance company. Heputs out an ad on Craig’s list, on Facebook, and posts flyers around town, saying that he’sauditioning dancers for his new dance company, and holds an audition. Lots of talented, hungrydancers show up, and he’s excited to choose his dancers from the amazing group that attends hisaudition. Now, he’s ready to start his new dance company.Cory starts rehearsing five or six hours a week with his new company members to teach them hisrepertory, and teach them how to execute his particular style of choreography precisely, withemotion and intensity. Then, he submits the company for some upcoming showcases, and theball is officially rolling! They start performing at showcases all over the city, and become well-known and recognized as an innovative and highly entertaining dance company. Woo hoo!Fast forward three years…A message from Cory’s dancers:“We love this company, love the choreography, and love to perform, but we can’t continue todedicate time and energy to work that requires so much of us, and pays little to nothing. We arealready working other jobs just so that we can survive, and are barely getting by. We can’tafford to continue to work for free like this anymore. It’s just not worth it. We love the dancing,but we can’t go on like this anymore…”A message from Cory:“I still have my company. But because I planned to fail, it’s been really tough to retain talented,dedicated, and loyal dancers in the company. With low to no pay, lots of rehearsal time, studiorentals, and high demands on me and my dancers, it’s getting more and more difficult to keepTHE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 5
    • things going. Now, I’m at a crossroads: Do I continue to pursue my dream of having my owndance company, and performing? Or do I give it up, and get a “real job”?”What went wrong?I’m sure if you’re a dancer, you have lived out this scenario, either from the dancer’sperspective, or from that of the choreographer, many times over. It’s such a shame isn’t it? Butthis is commonplace in our industry, and it has to stop.Solutions for Choreographers:Your dance company or crew is a business, and you must treat is as such. You cannot start adance company or crew, without a plan, and with no money to cover your start-up costs. Firstand foremost, you need to create a business plan, and incorporate. Whether you choose tobecome a non-profit, or a for-profit LLC, C- corp, or S-corp, this step is crucial. You need toseparate your personal assets, liability, and income, from that of your company. As you createyour business plan, you need to clearly know and understand the following: why you’re doingwhat you’re doing, what makes what you’re doing special or unique, where you fit in themarketplace, how much money you need to operate your company, how much revenue you needto generate to be able to pay your dancers, make a profit, and grow your company, how you willgenerate revenue, what your marketing and branding strategy will be, and where you want yourcompany to be in 5, 10, 15, or 20 years from now.It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers right this second. That’s why you write down a plan.You need to see where the gaps are, where you need help, and work on resolving the issues inthose areas.Here are some more suggestions to help you get started:  Start Saving and Preparing Ahead Of Time. You may need to hold off on starting your company for a while, and just record some of your ideas or choreography on your own, until you can save up enough money to invest in yourTHE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 6
    • dance company’s start-up costs. If you teach, set your choreography on your students to being experimenting and developing it, and put it on video, so that you have it for your own records, or to possibly submit for grant proposals, sponsors, or potential investors.  Create A Collaborative Strategy With Other Artists. We can all do much more when we’re working together, than we can do on our own. Brainstorm on ways that you can collaborate with other dancers, choreographers, stage managers, lighting designers, musicians, recording artists, etc., to get your company off the ground and begin building a profitable brand faster than you could ever do on your own.  Barter Services. Bartering is very helpful, and when done properly, everyone involved wins. Connect with web designers, costume designers, photographers, videographers, etc. who are looking to expand their portfolios, and figure out what valuable services you can offer to them in exchange for their work with your company. You can do part-barter, part-cash deals as well, which might be more appealing to some people. Get creative, and share the value that you have to offer, to help to grow your brand.  Always Pay Your Dancers and Treat Them With Respect. If you want dancers that will be loyal to your company over time, these two things are absolutely crucial, and they work hand in hand. If you want to be respected as a legit dance company, you have to pay your dancers for their time. They are giving you a piece of themselves, risking their bodies to create the beautiful work that you’ve envisioned, and giving you their time, which is priceless. They make your company what it is, so treat them with the utmost respect, and always compensate them for their time, even if you have to pay out of your own pocket. That’s part of what being a business owner/choreographer/dance entrepreneur is all about: sacrifice.THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 7
    • Solutions for Dancers:  Working For Free Should Be Temporary and Have A Set Time Limit. The truth is, there are certain times and scenarios when we, as dancers, do need to work for free. As mentioned above, when you’re just starting out, it makes sense. If you’re building your performance resume, dancing as an apprentice, or doing some sort of internship, these situations are perfectly acceptable and understandable. What these situations have in common is that, they are all temporary. They are not open-ended scenarios, where you spend years of your professional life working for free. Another time when it is a good idea to work for free is, if it’s for a fundraiser, or charitable event. We should all do our part to give back, and support charitable causes. But keep in mind, if you choose to be part of a dance company that doesn’t pay for rehearsals and/or performances, because you really want to work with the choreographer, or get experience, set your own time limit. Tell yourself, and someone else who can hold you accountable, that you will only work with that company/choreographer for 3-6 months, or whatever time you choose. After that time, decide that you will either move on, or negotiate a paid contract with the director of that company.  Value Yourself. Just think, you (and probably your parents too) have invested thousands upon thousands of dollars into your dance training and education. Why would you turn around, and start working professionally, for free? Where is the return on your investment? This simply doesn’t make any sense. Know your worth, and have high standards for the work you do, and who you work with. Understand that there are some good opportunities out there that you may need to let pass you by, because although they’re good, they’re not the best opportunities for you. Remember, if you settle for less than you deserve, you’ll get even less than you settled for. The time that you spend dancing for someone for free, is time that you’re not available for a better opportunity that will allow you to dance, and be properly compensated for your time. Know your worth.  Speak Up, Ask Questions, and Set High Expectations. It’s unbelievable to me how many dancers start working with a particular choreographer without any talk of money whatsoever. You must speak up and ask questions when someone wants to hire you for a gig, or invites you to work with them, or join their company or crew. Just as you would do when you were about to accept a position at a new job, you should discuss what your compensation package looks like. Ask theTHE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 8
    • choreographer what they expect of you (rehearsal time, schedule, performance availability, etc.,), and then ask them what you will receive in return i.e., rehearsal pay, performance pay, company classes, free dance classes, etc. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and ask questions. The Finance Your Dance 10 Commandments Commandment #2: Thou Shalt Not Wait For My “Big Break”Every young dancer has a dream of one day getting into their favorite dance company, Broadwayshow, or working with the recording artist or choreographer that they admire the most. I’m sureyou had a dream of your own as a young dancer, or aspiring professional, that kept youmotivated to push yourself and work hard.The Truth About Your Big BreakWhen I was a kid, I used to watch cartoons, like most kids. But there was a particular theme thatwas used quite often in one of the cartoons that I loved to watch, which involved somethingcalled, a mirage. In the scene, one of the cartoon characters would be salivating at the mouth, sohungry that they would imagine that one of the other cartoon characters was a juicy piece ofmeat to eat, only to find that it was just an illusion. Or, one of the cartoon characters would be sothirsty, that they would imagine that there was a spring of flowing water to drink from, in themiddle of the desert, and they’d run to it to drink, only to find that it was just an illusion.Whatever you imagine your “Big Break” might be, is just an illusion. Now that doesn’t meanthat you’ll never reach your goal of working with a particular choreographer, dance company,dance studio, recording artist, or Broadway show, it simply means that, no one job or gig, is theend all be all of your entire career, or life’s work.THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 9
    • It takes years of hard work, perseverance, dedication, tenacity, and preparation to becomesuccessful. It takes all of that, and even more, to maintain your success at a high level.Additionally, throughout your life and career, as you evolve, and get older, your life’s goals andpriorities will change. So the idea that, one gig or one job will catapult you to success, and keepyou there for the rest of your life, just simply is not true. However, if you start your owncompany, and create your own “Big Break”, it becomes more likely that you will be able to buildlong-term success through it, because you own it.When you believe that someone else holds your “Big Break” in their hands, you are settingyourself up for failure and disappointment. That mentality gives you no power. There are a lot ofpolitics involved in getting professional dance jobs, and also getting access to certain types ofhigh-profile, and high-paying dance opportunities. It’s not just about talent or skill; it’s alsoabout who you know. That’s why it’s so important for you to create your own “Big Break”.Don’t sit around waiting for that magical day or moment when opportunity comes knocking atyour door, or when you get hired for your dream gig. Get busy today becoming the best person,and the best dancer/choreographer that you know you can be, and if/when it does come, you’ll beready. In the meantime, make sure that you are always gaining more knowledge, experience, andskills so that you can stay competitive, and reach the goals that you have for your dance career,company, or business. That is how you will be able to make your dreams a reality, create yourown opportunities, and see and seize the opportunities around you.Remember, even if you do get that dance job or gig of your dreams, you, alone, are still a brand.So you need to make sure that you are developing your own personal brand or business evenwhile you are working at your dream dance job. The thing about jobs and gigs is that, theyeventually end. This is especially true for dance performance jobs, like Broadway shows, tours,dance company gigs, etc.Here are some suggestions to get you started creating your own “Big Break”:  Get Clear About What Your Life’s Purpose Really Is. Ask yourself questions like, “What would I spend my time doing if money wasn’t an issue? If I had $10 million dollars, how would I spend it? What disturbs me, or upsets me enough that it drives me to take action? What social, economic, religious, or environmental issues am I really passionate about? What natural talents, skills,THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 10
    • and gifts do I have that can greatly benefit others?” Starts asking yourself these types of questions as you pursue your dreams and goals, or while you’re working at your dream job. What you’ll discover is that, there’s a higher purpose for your life’s work, and getting to know yourself on a deeper level will help you to discover what it might be. American Ballet Theatre Soloist, Misty Copeland, is a perfect example of this. She got her “Big Break” at a very young age, a job dancing with the ballet company of her dreams. That was her goal. But she didn’t stop there. She recognized that she is a brand, and that she had even more to offer the world around her, besides her beautiful and captivating dancing. Now that’s what I’m talking about!  Figure Out What Your Unique Contribution Can Be To The World. Sometimes in the pursuit of your dreams and goals, you can be so focused on one particular thing that you completely ignore or miss other aspects of your gifts, talents, and skills that are valuable to the world around you. I truly believe that this is one of the reasons why God allows us to experience rejection or face certain life challenges. Challenges and obstacles force us to look at things from a different perspective, and help us to discover things about ourselves that we may have never recognized otherwise.  Don’t Tie Your Whole Identity Or Entire Value To One Particular Choreographer, Dance Job, Or Dance Company. This is another downside to getting stuck in the “Big Break” mentality. If you put all of your eggs in one basket, and don’t get the gig of your dreams, then what? Does that mean that you’re a failure? Does that particular gig or job determine your value as a dancer? Absolutely not. You are valuable no matter where you are, or who you are working for. Your value as a dance artist and as a person, are with you wherever you go, and no one else owns your value but you. So no matter how prestigious the choreographer, dance company, or dance school is that you’re working for, remember that the value that you embody is yours, and no outward source or individual can control that, or take it away. Establish your own identity, and your own brand, and build upon your strengths, talents, skills, and God-given gifts, and you will be unstoppable, no matter where you go.THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 11
    • The Finance Your Dance 10 Commandments Commandment #3: Thou Shalt Invest In Myself & Learn New SkillsAs a dancer, you are naturally very driven, hard-working, creative, and adaptable. You’reaccustomed to being challenged, pushing yourself, and picking up new skills very quickly. Theseare great qualities to have as a working professional in any industry. Don’t be afraid to apply theskills that you’ve acquired as a dancer to other areas of your life and career as well, to help yougrow and excel.We live in a world that is constantly and rapidly changing because of innovation in technology,social media, and the internet. This presents you with many great opportunities, but newchallenges as well. If you’re not always learning and growing, and gaining new skills, you’ll findyourself really behind the times in as quickly as a year or two. Staying current and up-to-datewith what’s happening in the world of dance and the world at large, helps you to stay relevant,and also presents you with new opportunities for growth and success, that may not have existedtwo or three years ago.This is particularly important for dance artists, because many of the advancements in technologyand social media present you with new options for sharing, showcasing, and promoting yourwork. Not to mention, it gives you access to a global audience in a way that has never existedbefore.Ask Yourself:  When was the last time that I learned something new?  How am I using technology, the internet, social media, and multimedia to grow as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, or dance entrepreneur?  What have I wanted to do, but have been putting off, simply because I don’t know how to do it?THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 12
    •  What’s one thing that I really want to try, or start doing, but I haven’t, because I’m afraid of the unknown?  What professional/educational courses have I taken recently that will help me to grow in my professional dance career or business (outside of dance classes)?  What new skills can I learn this year that will help me to earn more money, create more financial stability, and increase my professional value and opportunities?Answering these questions will give you great insight into where you are, and what areas youneed to begin growing in, to maximize your personal and professional development. Trysomething new. Go to a dance conference that you’ve never attended before. Sign up for anonline course, or take a business course at your local college, university, or small businessassociation. Learn a new skill, and read books about topics of interest to you outside of dance.Grow, learn, take risks, and challenge yourself in new ways every day.The more you know, the more you’ll grow. Plus, the more skills and knowledge you have, themore valuable and marketable you are as a professional. Generally speaking, when you knowmore, you earn more, because you have more to offer via your skills, knowledge, and expertise.That means, you’re able to make more money at your job, or own your own as a freelancer orentrepreneur. Increasing your income is almost always tied in some way to personal growth,gaining new skills, knowledge, and abilities.You have to be proactive about your personal and professional growth and development. Itdoesn’t just happen on its own. Otherwise, five years will pass you by, and you’ll find yourself inthe same place you were five years ago. The only difference will be, the world around you hascompletely changed, and now you’re missing out on major opportunities, and getting left behindbecause you haven’t been learning, growing, and changing with the times. Don’t let that happento you. Step out of your comfort zone, try something new, and push yourself to do those thingsthat scare you the most. The Finance Your Dance 10 Commandments Commandment #4:THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 13
    • Thou Shalt Create Multiple Streams of Passive, Residual IncomeThe idea of having multiple streams of income is not a new concept for dancers. I’m sure at anygiven time, you’ve worked at least two or three jobs to survive, or maybe taught at a fewdifferent dance studios, in order to make ends meet. This is common for most dancers,choreographers, and dance teachers, as one job doesn’t normally provide enough income for youto cover your living expenses, student loans, dance classes, etc. But the concept of creatingmultiple streams of passive residual income is not a common concept amongst dance artists,but it should be.Dancer’s Standard Income:# of Work Hours + Hourly Pay = Your Paycheck*You must show up for work in order to get paid. You don’t work, you don’t get paid.* You only get paid based on the number of hours you work.*You can only work at one place at a time (you can’t be in two places at once).Finance Your Dance Recommended: Passive, Residual Income:Your Product, Service, Affiliate Program, Stocks, or Property + The Cost ToPurchase/Rent It, or Your Commission = Your Passive, Residual Income*You can get paid anywhere and anytime.*Your income is not based on how many hours you work.THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 14
    • *You can make money while you sleep, are on vacation, working at various gigs, or takingdance classes.Which one of these scenarios sounds better to you?Let’s get something clear. I’m not knocking working at a job with a steady paycheck. Everyoneneeds a steady flow of income in their lives to survive, and there are lots of great opportunitiesavailable for you within a traditional job setting. The goal is for you to discover additional waysfor you to earn more money, outside of the traditional types of income streams, using yournatural gifts, talents, and skills. Although jobs can provide great opportunities for you, most jobsstill have many limitations, because you’re working for someone else. Your employer makes therules, decides how much money you will make, how many hours you work, etc. Additionally,most dance-related jobs don’t offer medical and dental benefits, or paid time off. So every timethere is a national holiday, inclement weather, or you get sick and can’t work, you lose money.The best solution to this dilemma is to create your own multiple streams of passive, residualincome. Here is a great breakdown and explanation of how passive, residual income works, fromwww.wahm.com:Residual income is also known as passive or recurring income and is different from a regularwage thats based on the number of hours invested in a particular job. Residual income continuesto generate itself even after the work has been completed. Such income helps you earn morewhile working less as it continues to pay recurrently for work done once.The Difference between Earning a Salary and Residual IncomeIf you are working on a job and earning a salary, there is a 1 to 1 ratio between the hours of workput in by you and the dollars you earn. You would stop generating an income when you stoppedworking. You would only be able to earn more money by getting a promotion or working longerhours. For both of these options, there is an upper limit that cant be scaled.To earn a residual income, you do need to put in long hours of work but the rewards are for alonger duration and continue to come in even after you stop working. Thus, compared to the timeinvested, your returns are higher and you will continue to earn a recurring income on your initialinvestment.THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 15
    • Sources of Residual IncomeTypes of jobs that can provide you a residual income are freelance writing jobs and multilevelmarketing jobs. Royalties can be earned indefinitely if you write and publish a book.Alternatively, you can earn Internet revenue by advertising on the net. Marketing on the Internetrequires very little investment of both money and time and once established, can generate plentyof residual income. Owning a property and renting it out can also provide you with residualincome as can dividends earned from investing in stocks and securities.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Dancers, it’s time for you to embrace all of the financial possibilities and opportunities that existfor you, and start using them to your advantage. Having a job, or working at several differentgigs is not enough, and will not allow you to create the wealth and financial stability that you arefully capable of creating, with the proper knowledge, tools, and resources.Take ActionTake a moment today to brainstorm, and write down some ideas for how you can begin to createmultiple streams of passive, residual income for yourself. What can you create, or what serviceor product can you offer that will allow you to incorporate this into your financial plan? Figure itout, and get started today! You’ll be glad you did! The Finance Your Dance 10 Commandments Commandment #5: Thou Shalt SaveHow you grew up directly affects everything about how you think, speak, and manage stress,obstacles, and your money. Your parents were your very first examples of how to manageTHE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 16
    • money, and depending on their financial habits, and attitude towards money, that could be a goodthing or a bad thing. The truth is, no matter your upbringing, or the industry you work in, savingmoney is a must! It’s not just something that’s nice to do; it is something that you absolutelymust do.There is really no such thing as job security anymore, and as a dance artist, you will experiencemany fluctuations in your income, and work schedule and opportunities throughout your career.So if you’re not saving at least 10% of every paycheck, you’re going to run into problems.I know that it can be extremely difficult to save money when you’re barely making enoughmoney to pay your bills and survive, but it’s still something that you should create the habit ofdoing. Once you get into the habit of doing it, it will become more natural, much easier, andbecome a way of life, no matter how much money you’re making. Even if you can only save afew dollars at a time, it’s better than nothing.Every dancer should have an emergency fund. That is a savings account with anywhere from 3-6months-worth of your monthly expenses in a savings account that you don’t touch, except in caseof an emergency. This helps you to have peace of mind when there are lags in your workopportunities, or during slow seasons (like the summer). It also helps you avoid going into debtwhen you’re in between jobs, or have a personal emergency like your car breaking down, or anunexpected medical issue. You won’t need to use your credit card to cover unexpected situationsor expenses if you have an emergency fund.If you’re not in a position to save money at the moment due to a very limited income, considergetting another job, babysitting, selling some stuff on eBay, or whatever makes sense for you, inorder to start feeding that emergency fund. You can even set a specific deadline in which you’dlike to get, let’s say, $1000 into your savings account to get started. Once you’ve reached yourgoal, you can give yourself some sort of reward (one that doesn’t involve spending money, orcosts very little money), and get motivated to start saving your next thousand dollars. But I canguarantee you (speaking from experience); just knowing that you have that money in the bank incase of an emergency brings a wonderful peace of mind. That is reward enough, as far as I’mconcerned!Money-Saving Tips:THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 17
    •  Capitalize On What You Currently Own. I can bet that you have some clothing, shoes, books, electronics, or something currently in your home that you’re not using anymore. Don’t hold on to that stuff. If it’s in decent condition, sell it on Craig’s List, or on eBay.  Make Your Savings Automatic. Have your bank automatically deduct a certain amount of money and transfer it into your savings account every month, so you don’t have to even think about it.  Make Your Savings Hard To Get To. Using an online bank like ING (www.ing.com) is a great way to automatically save your money, and not have the quick and easy access to it, like you would at your local bank.  Join An Affiliate Program or Do Odd Jobs To Feed Your Savings. My favorite dance-related affiliate program is www.dancestudioowner.com. Suzanne Gerety and her mom Kathy Blake do some incredible work for dance studio owners all over the world, and it’s wonderful to be able to support their work, and make a little extra cash on the side. I highly recommend. You can also pick up tons of odd jobs, and help your friends, colleagues, or family members with things that they may not want to do, for a little extra cash, and commit to put all of that money into savings.As a dance artist, having emergency savings empowers you to make better and smarter choicesabout the type of work that you do, and keeps you in the right frame of mind. You never want togo to a dance audition knowing that, not having enough money to pay your rent for the month isyour main motivation. You also don’t want to compromise your morals, self-worth, or values fora job or gig, just because you’re desperate for money. Make smart choices, prepare for the worst-case scenario, and you’ll feel much better and more confident throughout your entire career.THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 18
    • The Finance Your Dance 10 Commandments Commandment #6: Thou Shalt Get Out of DebtDebt is the devil. I literally hate debt. It’s the worst. As long as you’re in debt, you’re inbondage. I look forward to the day that I am completely debt-free. I may just throw a party, andyou are definitely invited! I had a great college experience, but the aftermath and the burden ofstudent loans, has not been a very fun experience.When it comes to debt, just say no! Some financial experts try to make a differentiation between“good debt” and “bad debt”, but at the end of the day, debt is debt. If you have debt, it’s for oneor both of the reasons below:  You bought something that you couldn’t afford to pay cash for.Or,  You bought something that you couldn’t afford to pay cash for.It’s as simple as that.The worst part about accumulating debt (besides the mental stress, bondage, and anguish) is that,you always end up paying more for what you bought than it’s worth, because of interest. That’show they get you.Here are my tips for showing your debt who’s the boss:THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 19
    •  PAY WITH CASH! If you can’t afford to pay for it with cash, then that means that, you can’t afford it. Period!  SAVE FOR BIG PURCHASES. There are some purchases, like buying a car or furniture, or paying for a vacation, that will require a large, lump sum of money. These are purchases that you should plan for, and save for over time, so that you can pay for them with cash.  PAY OFF YOUR CURRENT DEBT QUICKLY, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. Simply put, the longer you take to pay off your debt, the more interest you accrue, on top of the principal. Pay down your debt swiftly and aggressively, and show your creditors, Mortgage Company, and student loan companies who’s the boss!  DON’T USE CREDIT CARDS! Refer to my first bullet point above, re: PAY WITH CASH! The Finance Your Dance 10 Commandments Commandment #7: Thou Shalt Treat My Brand Like a BusinessWhether you’re a professional dancer, choreographer, teacher, dance studio owner, or anadministrator, you are a brand. You don’t have to own a business to be considered a brand. Theway you approach your personal brand has a direct effect on your livelihood, and how successfulyou will be. It’s crucial that you treat your brand like a business, and set high standards andTHE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 20
    • expectations for how your present yourself and/or your company, and make a deliberate choiceabout how you want to be perceived.According to Forbes.com:“Put simply, your “brand” is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brandname. It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual(e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic). Your brand nameexists objectively; people can see it. It’s fixed. But your brand exists only in someone’s mind.”As a dance artist, choreographer, or dance entrepreneur, you have to purposely and proactivelycreate your brand’s image in a way that attracts the types of people and opportunities that you’relooking for. That means everything from your website, your blog, your headshot, your onlinephotos, your online videos, what you post on social media, how you interact with people, howyou’re perceived, what people say about you, and more, are a direct representation of your brand.It’s up to you to create and choose a brand image that best represents you as a professional danceartist, and person, and to make sure that it’s authentic and consistent.Another thing to keep in mind is that, since your brand is your business, you can’t makehaphazard choices, and undermine the significance of your brand’s perception online or in reallife. Perception is everything. If people don’t believe that you are professional, reliable, talented,credible, and valuable, they won’t want to work with you, or trust you, and they definitely won’tpay you what you’re worth. This is why you have to make deliberate choices when it comes toestablishing and developing your brand, and treat it like you would a business.Ask yourself:  What do I want people to feel, think, and see when they discover my brand online? Write down a few words to describe the emotions you want someone to feel when they visit your website (excitement, trust, etc.) and then write down a few adjectives that you would want someone to use when they describe your brand (funky, trendy, professional, chic, innovative, cutting edge, etc.)THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 21
    •  What types of imagery and photos of myself best represent the mission, vision, and purpose of my brand? Should you have photos with strictly a white background, or should you have photos with a city landscape in the background? Should you have photos of dancers in the dance studio, of children, or of people sitting down in a board room? Your images tell a story, so make sure they’re telling the story that you want them to tell. Take time to edit, remove, or update the photos on your website, blog, and social media profiles, to ensure that they represent your brand’s image and message in the best way possible.In addition, recognize that every brand serves a purpose and is selling something that is deemedvaluable by someone else. Don’t sell yourself short and give away your value to the wrongpeople. Just like with any product or service, your brand will not be for everybody. There’s aparticular group of people that your brand will benefit the most, and a specific group of peoplewho will appreciate and be attracted to your brand. They should be your focus. Don’t driveyourself mad focusing your energy on people who are not interested in what you have to offer.Also, don’t feel like you’re not valuable or legitimate when you come across people who are notinterested in your brand, or don’t like what you have to offer. It’s okay.Just remember to be transparent, open, & honest. This does not mean that you should put all ofyour personal business on the streets, or on the web. However, it does mean that it’s ok, andactually a very good idea, for you to share your personal successes and failures, as this allowsyour brand to reflect who you truly are, personally and professionally. People connect with realpeople, not just logos, and not people who appear to be perfect. No one can relate to that. Peoplerelate to your unique story, your struggles, what you went through to get to where you are todayand what motivates and inspires you to keep going every day. That’s what people connect withand relate to: human experiences, and human emotions.Make sure your brand expresses a relatable human experience through your dancing &choreography, your videos, your website, blog, your products or services, through social media,and your real-life interactions.THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 22
    • The Finance Your Dance 10 Commandments Commandment #8: Thou Shalt Establish a Marketing & Branding PlanAs I discussed in commandment #1, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Your marketing andbranding plan are no exception. It takes much more than talent, a great dance company, product,or service to be successful, have an impact, and earn more money. You have to have a strategy inplace for how you will get the attention of your target audience, and get your brand in front ofthe right people in order to generate revenue, and create more opportunities for yourself.To create your marketing and branding strategy, consider these five questions: 1. What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want to get sponsors or funding for your dance company? Do you want to get hired for a performance gig with a particular dance company or show? Do you want to get more customers for the product or service that you offer? Do you want to increase your brand awareness, get more e-mail subscribers, or readers on your blog? Start with what your goals are, and what you want to accomplish, and go from there. 2. Who is your target market? Who are your customers? Who are you aiming to serve or connect with? Describe who they are in detail, from characteristics, to what motivates them, what their needs are, their pain points, and determine where they hang out online, and in real life. From there, you’ll be able to establish the best means by which to connect with them through social media, blogs, and advertisements. 3. What will your marketing strategy be? Now it’s time to begin creating your plan. Will you do a YouTube video series to help build a buzz about your danceTHE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 23
    • company or performance? Will you do guest blog posts on dance blogs that your target audience reads regularly? Will you do a mass mailing to agencies, prospects, or members of a particular dance trade organization? Will you host an event, give away free product samples, or collaborate with another organization or conference as part of your marketing strategy? Come up with a list of different elements to include in your marketing strategy that will directly connect you with your target audience. 4. What are your marketing tactics? What specific actions do you need to take for your strategy to succeed? What actions do you need to take on a daily basis in order for your marketing strategy to yield positive results? Will you be using Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube as part of your strategy? What will you be posting on social media, and how often? How will you go about connecting with the people in your target market, and begin to build trust and relationships? What are you going to do, and when are you going to do it? This is the nuts and bolts of your marketing and branding plan. 5. What do your analytics and metrics tell you? This is how you are able to measure whether or not your strategy is actually working. How many people are you reaching, and what type of responses are you getting? Is your strategy leading to lots of positive feedback, engagement, and interaction? Are you gaining more Facebook likes, Twitter followers, e-mail or blog subscribers, or patrons? Are you getting more job opportunities, new clients, or press and media coverage? Be sure to measure how various aspects of your marketing plan are working, and then make adjustments accordingly.Remember, you are a brand, and every brand needs a solid marketing and branding strategy inorder to be successful and profitable. Success, growth, visibility, and profitability don’t happenby accident. They are cultivated, calculated, and proactively planned over time.THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 24
    • The Finance Your Dance 10 Commandments Commandment #9: Thou Shalt Get A MentorFinding your ideal career path, managing confusion, and handling the stress of today’s economyand job market can be very overwhelming. Figuring out where to begin, how to get started, andhow you will be able to align your career path with your educational background, passions,skills, and purpose, is no easy task.Everyone needs a mentor! The sooner you have someone knowledgeable, caring, and successfulto guide you, answer your questions, and help you navigate the crazy world of real life, the betteroff you’ll be.  Who do you consult with to get professional feedback, direction, and advice on your career path, your business, choreography, website, or online presence?  Where do you go for advice on how to turn what you do on a day-to-day basis as a dance artist, into increased revenue for your brand?  Who gives you honest feedback on your dance projects, and shows you the potential for things that you may not see, or have never even thought of?You didnt teach yourself how to dance. You had dance teachers there to help you and guide you.So you shouldn’t try to teach yourself all of the ins and outs of growing a successful dance brandor dance career either. When it comes to your career as a professional dancer, choreographer, orteacher, you need help and guidance to become successful. Likewise, when it comes tomarketing, branding, social media, and technology, you also need help and guidance. TakeTHE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 25
    • advantage of the opportunity to learn from someone elses experiences, mistakes, and failures,and get ahead of the game.Find someone who is successful, and has been where you hope to be someday. Connect with amentor that you can relate to, and who you can trust; someone that understands your struggles asa dance artist, and is willing to guide you. Find another mentor who also knows about business,marketing, branding, and financial management, and you’ll have the perfect balance. Dont wastetime trying to figure everything out yourself, and end up on a 7 or 8 year learning curve, whenyou couldve made progress much faster with outside help or guidance. Its so important to havesomeone guiding you that is knowledgeable and honest, and has your best interest at heart.Get a mentor today! The Finance Your Dance 10 Commandments Commandment #10: Thou Shalt Discover My God-Given Purpose"One key to discovering your destiny is to identify the needs that stir your heart. What is it thatupsets you? What causes you to think, "Somebody ought to do something about that?"Whatever it is, that is the key to your destiny. It bothers you so much that it moves you toaction." ~ Rick WarrenYou were created for a divine purpose that is connected to your God-given gifts and talents. Youmay think that your dance career and life journey is primarily about you reaching your personaland professional goals, but there’s much more to your divine purpose than that. God had a planTHE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 26
    • and purpose for your life, before you were even born. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you inthe womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart…”So it’s up to you and me, to seek after the God who created us, to discover our true purpose, andbe used by Him to be a blessing to others, and spread God’s love throughout the world. He willuse your gifts, talents, and passion for dance, as a way to fulfill the very purpose that He createdyou for. But where do you begin?You can start by asking yourself the questions in the quote above from Rick Warren, and gofrom there. Ask yourself:  What is it that upsets me?  What causes me to think, "Somebody ought to do something about that?"  What bothers me so much that it moves me to action?  What would I do for free, because I love it so much?  If I had millions of dollars, and never had to work again, how would I spend my time?  What environmental, religious, economic, or social issues am I extremely passionate about?How To Discover Your Purpose  One of the best ways to discover your purpose is to simply ask yourself these questions listed above, and write down what comes to mind.  Then take a moment to think about the things that bring you the most joy, and the things that you would spend the majority of your time doing, if money was not an issue.  Reflect on your gifts, natural talents, core skills, and abilities, and think about who might benefit the most from the value that you bring to the world.THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 27
    •  Pray and ask God to give you wisdom, and show you what His ultimate plan and purpose is for your life day by day. After all, He created you for a reason, and a purpose that is greater than anything you may have even imagined.Jeremiah 29:11:“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not toharm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Now that you’ve read the “Finance Your Dance 10 Commandments for Every Dancer”, the ballis in your court. You don’t have to follow these commandments, but if you do, I can guaranteethat you will have a bright and promising future, and live a happy and fulfilling life. That issomething that every dancer deserves!Go forth and prosper!!Did you enjoy this e-book? Did you find it helpful, informative, or inspiring? If you did,post a comment on our Facebook wall to share your thoughts and feedback on the FinanceYour Dance 10 Commandments. Have something to add? Share that on our wall as well!Share this e-book with a friend, and let’s work together to empower and inspire dancers all overthe world!THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 28
    • THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 29
    • “Finance Your Dance: How To Turn Your Passion Into Profit” is the quintessentialhandbook for every dancer, artist, entrepreneur, or organization to learn how to build abrand that is powerful and profitable. In this 90-page e-book, Ashani Mfuko teaches you,in a no-nonsense way, how to establish your unique presence in the marketplace, how tobuild a tribe of loyal fans and followers, and how to turn your passion and purpose intorevenue for your brand. Whether you’re an independent dancer/choreographer, or anestablished organization or company, you will take away a valuable plan of action to moveyour brand to the next level. Additionally, there is so much motivation and inspiration inthis book, that while reading it, you’ll become empowered to face your fears and challengeshead on, and take action. The Finance Your Dance book changes the way you think aboutlife and business as a dance artist. It opens your eyes to potentially lethal thinking habitsthat will prevent you from living your dream, and teaches you how to avoid the typical lifeas a “starving artist”. It shows you that positive change, financial stability, and prosperityis absolutely possible for you, your brand, and the arts community as a whole.Here’s what people are saying about the book:“Hello Ashani,I truly wanted to thank you for writing your e-book, Finance Your Dance. I just finished it and itwas amazing. I think I cried through most of it thinking of how dance has been my dream since Iwas 6 years old. So many things you spoke of in your book have been my story. I just wanted tothank you from the bottom of my heart. I am convinced that God allowed me to come across yourwebsite, resources and book to inspire me to hold on and keep pressing until I see my dancedreams fulfilled. Again, I thank you for your transparency and dedication. I thank God for you! Ihope He will continue to bless you with success and wealth.”~ Krystle D.“Ashani,I finished your e-book… ‘thank you’ is truly not enough. My mind is spinning with ideas.I have JUST reached out to an arts educator in California for a future blog! You have alreadyrubbed off on me… lol!THE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 30
    • I was thrilled to have non-profit sections in your book. That is advice I can also use, in additionto the information for my business.Thank you so much…”~ Christina R.Purchase your copy of the Finance Your Dance e-book, and sign up for the Finance YourDance online training course at, www.kinerenterprises.com.Like us on Facebook at, http://facebook.com/KinerEnterprisesIncFollow us on Twitter at, http://twitter.com/KinerenterpriseSubscribe to our YouTube channel at, http://youtube.com/KinerEnterprisesIncTHE DANCERS BIBLE: The 10 Finance Your Dance Commandments That Every Dancer ShouldFollow | Written by Ashani Mfuko | Brought to you by Kiner Enterprises |www.kinerenterprises.com | Copyright 2013 Page 31