Meet Ziggy founder of Artz Collective
Why and when did you start your own business?
The Artz Collective was formed in 2000, however as a professional performer, I would say I’ve been running my business as my personal brand and a professional performing arts contractor since I was 13yrs old, really. (It sounds strange but that’s when I started getting paid for dance, acting and singing jobs).
What does being a business owner mean to you?
It’s about helping others to reach their goals whilst you work toward your own. I think of it as a way to give back & pursue my creative passion of the performing arts & passing on my performing and teaching heritage, I guess it’s a legacy I can leave behind, and it means I can design my life a little easier than with someone else telling me where and when I have to work to a point – however, that’s not always the case.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
I have had so many great mentors over the years but I follow a few performing arts school operators in the United States, they are great examples, such as The Edge in LA or NYC’s Broadway Dance Centre, but my greatest current influence has been a lady on the team of my marketing & strategy mentors, Alexandra Cownie.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
I’ve had a pretty long career in the performing arts, first as a dancer, then a musical theatre artist and now a singer, and there’s my time with the Artz Collective. There I get a chance to pass on my heritage, both of teaching & also of my performance experience.
I have had so many wonderful experiences, it doesn’t have much to do with size of the production – I loved being on a big national tour like the 10th Anniversary national tour of Les Miserables, yet I loved playing the scary Queen Ursula in Disney’s Singalong Tours in South East Asia – which was a little like giant rock concerts for 3-7yr olds! I did totally love a national tour I did for a couple of years of a four woman comedy musical, titled “Motherhood the Musical” as I created the role of “Brooke” for the first time, and you have so much input into the show when you create a role, which is always special.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
That not everyone is for you. Dig deep to find out why you are doing what you do, cement those values you hold fast too & cannot run a business without, & that’s what your point of difference is.
More than likely it might be so natural to you that you can’t even see what it is until you run it past someone, so you may not even be promoting it, because you don’t really, have it clearly defined in your head, let alone in copy/words.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Now, I find that word of mouth is our primary driver for new clients & my mantra is to really work so hard on delivering amazing value to back up our teachers in their class delivery & educational curriculum so that our value is outstanding. We started a while back, and initially, school newsletters were great, but reaching people has now come so far since then. You need to look at your market and think about where they read about things, and pop your business right there, into their life!
What I have learned about myself, is that I like to give our families a terrific experience, and let them do the talking, I find it hard to talk about myself or what I’ve done & how great we are etc, so for me it’s more authentic to let the families share their experiences with others, and to give them an opportunity to do that and bring their friends along.
What is one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
I read “The Creative Power of Frustration” quite early on, and it was really helpful at that time – now I would recommend different books, and now the biggest takeaway I have is that being in business can be isolating – but don’t make the mistake of going it alone, it’s awfully difficult, I know because I’ve done it. Find a businesswoman friend who gets you & sticks to her & your “ business girl-gang” like glue!
Especially in the world of performing arts studio ownership, you can really feel like there’s no-one else in your boat who understands at all. Get yourself into a community and groups where you feel safe and supported and get out and talk to people in the business. The new book I love is called, “The One Thing”.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
I think Meet Edgar is a terrifically helpful app to save time in posting on social media.
The One Thing – A new app to help you “get the big stuff done”
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I’m sorry, could you repeat the question? LOL!
I love to go and see a show, or the ballet, etc and I’ll often grab a ticket for a staff member to say thanks. Funnily enough – I love to actually DO (not teach) a dance class, especially ballet or Irish dance. It’s really refreshing not to be teaching but participating in a class, however at present I’m rehabilitating a pretty big injury, so learning to live without dance for the past 9 months was a pretty interesting part of my life, I’ll be pretty glad when I can get back to my morning routine of a stretch & some dance and then a walk on the beach. I like to keep fit, and I love the beach and nature, do love to read, and, ah-hem, I do love a good glass of wine with the girls.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful woman in business?
A really thick skin combined with a giant heart and a mammoth dose of “stick-ability” and flexibility.
What fears have you faced in business? Have you overcome it/them? How do you manage fear?
I have quite a few techniques I’ll use when I get fearful or anxious about a new project or the speed of progression of something, and that does happen, but I have learnt through dance exams & performing etc how to not let my fears & nerves derail me. But mainly, it’s just about consistent action each day. Small (or large!!!) steps each day toward your goal.
And don’t beat yourself up when the universe it’s throwing you continuous curve balls!!
What are your top 5 goals you want to achieve by the end of 2017?
Sheesh, I have a few. I do want to complete the next stage of work on our new dance studios.
I have a current goal to do with my version of a work/life balance I’m working toward (no pun intended!)
I’m working toward my Irish Dance qualifications to adjudicate as well, however that’s not going to be something I can do within the next 6 months, but it’s in the slightly longer term goals, so I am working toward being at full health & dance fitness capacity by Xmas to be able to continue with it.
I’d like to take the family away on a cruise, my sister has been rough a lot and between her and my mother I’d love to give them a chance to just relax, without stressing about which state we’re all going to be in & when & if there’s an opportunity to get together, (we live in different states & have family overseas) We always talk about a Christmas cruise and never get there, I think this is the year!
What makes you happy?
Laughing around the dining table with family. Good wine & good cheese with Good GOOD friends. Painting, writing, coastlines & connecting with nature.
Have you had to make any sacrifices whilst running your business?
I have had to make massive sacrifices, and to be honest, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t do it again in hindsight, as running a studio is jolly hard work, and as a woman I always found it hard to take the “emotion” out of the business, but let my “heart” lead my decisions.
I have had to let people go from my life who didn’t support my choices and my burning desire to share my knowledge and experience, and that can sometimes come as a shock when you realise they are actually not on the journey of your life with you. I have had to go without, to work at part time jobs I hated, to show up, lead and smile when I’d rather just crawl under the doona cover. I’ve had to make choices based on other things I need to achieve or places I need to go for my business rather than just what I wanted to do. But one thing I know is that doing this for a living has most definitely made me a better person, and that’s something I’m eternally grateful for.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most and why?
I have quite a few I follow. I’m always impressed when women embrace new technology and can make it big, or implement new & big changes smoothly, as it’s tough for us & I’m addicted to these stories & inspired by them.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 2-5 years?
I have so many dreams for all of our students in their lives and their performing careers if they so choose, and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing my students in professional musicals, so now I want to reach as many students as we can to affect change in their lives and in the comment through inspirational performing arts education – as I see this as our job as former performers in Australia now, as the education department is cutting out more and more of the performing arts from our schools.
What book has inspired you the most? (OR What is your favourite book?)
7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Steven Covey. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
How do you measure your success in business?
By the Love in the Studio each day.Where is your dream destination to go for a holiday and why?
The Inca Trail. The Nile & Pyramids. I love ancient history!
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
“Don’t Give Up”
What are your top 5 business tips?
- Be your brand- Be your brand
- Get support- Know who your dream clients are
- Be kind
- it’s a tough world out there.
- Smile. Even when you really, really don’t want to. You could just make someone’s day.
Why did you become a WBS Member?
I love the thought of lots of women in business helping each other out. We ladies in the business domain have to help each other. We create magical businesses that change lives when a woman’s intuition & heart is brought to her business.
I just love it!
Connect with Ms Ziggy Clements
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us for the next WBS Event
Ziggy will be speaking at our WBS Networking Event in Point Cook on the 19th April about – “Balancing & Believing The Businesswoman Within”
7 Super-quick ways to balance out the demands that our families, our business and we as women in business, place on ourselves each day & calm the incessant internal dilemma!
Book your tickets here: https://goo.gl/CBjM5k
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