Inspiration

Power Pack | Q2Dance founder Shannon Hsu

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Shannon Hsu has been able to explore several business paths, within the dance world. Her primary business is Q2Dance, which entails a number of dance studios based in Sydney. Alongside this, she also created a dance, lifestyle, music and high fashion blog called Dance Editorial, as well as a production and talent management company.

Through her numerous businesses, she and her team teach and inspire dancers to follow their passion and improve their skills. Her passion for her business stems from her love of dance and she hopes she can pass this passion on to her students and the people who read Dance Editorial.

What prompted you to start this business?

Growing up, dancing was all I could do! Even though I initially never envisioned a life where I could dance and be surrounded by dance as a career, I am extremely grateful that it happened. Honestly, I fell into the professional world of Dance by luck or chance or destiny, whatever you want to call it!

I started my business because I wanted to create my own path within Dance, still stay in the field but be my own boss and ensure my longevity within the industry. I started the business at 21, because I was looking into the future and thinking, how could I still be doing this at 30?!

Now I am 30, and I have absolutely no regrets, because I am still doing what I love. That small Dance school business, Q2Dance, I started nearly 9 years ago, has grown into two dance schools, a production company and I now run a dance and lifestyle blog called Dance Editorial, that creates elite courses and produces tours. Most importantly, my businesses provide work and employment for dozens of dancers and teaches/trains hundreds of young dancers every year.  It has also brought so much joy and happiness to my life.

What have been the biggest challenges you faced?

Moments of self-doubt! When you are passionate about what you do, everything is personal and you need to continually put yourself on the line. So sometimes you do have thoughts of, will people like what I am putting out there, will people want to be a part of it and will it be successful?

Cash flow!!! Every business owner will know about cash flow! It is the bane of our lives. It gets tough sometimes, especially at the start and during growth periods. It is incredibly stressful!

Good employees! Finding the right people for your business, who are just as passionate about the business as you are, is incredibly important and incredibly stressful when you don’t have the right people.

What did you do to overcome those challenges?

I have always just faced my doubts head on and done it anyway!!

You cannot give into the inner voice that tries to protect you from failure or protect your ego, you cannot give that voice the strength to overpower you. The only way you can grow, emotionally and in your career, is to take chances. “Sometimes your only available form of transport is a leap of faith” – Margret Shepard.

Cash flow is an ongoing issue!! There really is no end to it! I just have to keep working hard, keep paying everyone else before myself and keep thinking of ways to innovate and turbo-charge my business. Plus find a good bookkeeper and accountant!!

Finding good employees took me a little while.  Once I had a better understanding of who I am as a boss and a business owner and what I really wanted from an employee as a person rather than as a resume, I was able to create the best team in the business! (I think they are anyway)!  Now I want to make sure that I look after them, that they feel appreciated and part of the business and my family.

 

From your experience, what are the 3 key pieces of advice you would give other women?

  1. Don’t ask for permission, from anyone! Figure out what you want to do, what makes you happy and just do it! Don’t ask permission from others to live your life.
  1. Start everything with good intentions — never start a business or a venture or make any life decisions based on negative thoughts. Your thoughts and intentions have power, so make sure you start everything with the best of intentions.
  1. Stick together — surround yourself with women who empower each other! Lift other women up and support each other. We are so much stronger and more successful working together.  I believe you need exceptional women around you, in order to be an exceptional woman yourself.

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