Jan 7, 2020
This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra interviews Donielle Richmond — dancer, choreographer, teacher, and owner of Activate Your Artistry, which hosts nationwide conventions focused on empowering the next generation of dancers. Donielle — a Chicago native — has over 15 years of teaching experience, in addition to her performance resume. Donielle’s on-stage work has opened for famed musician Calving Harris and has been featured on ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover, among many other places.
Donielle is a proud entrepreneur, and her zeal for “being your own boss” shines through the entire conversation with Aleksandra. On the podcast, Donielle discusses what ultimately drove her to entrepreneurship and what is keeping her there. Richmond is an open-book and also shares the difficult aspects of entrepreneurship but, ultimately, why she believes females are great candidates to lead businesses. Although building a business is difficult, Donielle firmly believes that chasing your dream is worth it and is possible, as long as you keep one foot firmly planted in front of the other.
“Just make a list [of steps towards your goal]. Whatever is the easiest thing — start with that. Before you know it, you’ve crossed off a million things, and you’ve moved ahead."
“I think my favorite thing about being an entrepreneur is being able to step back after everything is over and done with and see what we did. I don’t think any of us even remotely know what we’re capable of… We’re stronger than we think, and we’re capable of so much more than we realize."
“I’ll be dancing as long as my limbs work."
“[When choosing a path forward in dance,] get honest with yourself and play to your strengths… If you keep looking, you’re going to find your tribe."
“I think it’s important to have some empathy in business. We want to see the numbers go up, the revenue go up. But at the end of the day, you’re dealing with people. And sometimes that takes a different approach than ‘hit this number’ and ‘hit this metric.’"
“I definitely think we need more female voices in dance — concert dance and commercial dance. Ladies are so multi-faceted. There are so many dimensions to us that are not being shown in performance and on stage."
“Parents need to trust their kids. Sometimes the children do know what’s in them."
Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:
2:47: Donielle discusses her career and what ultimately motivated her to create her own business, Activate Your Artistry.
4:19: Donielle outlines the first steps she took towards establishing her own business and how she navigated this path without any formal business training.
6:42: Richmond shares her vision for her company and her hopes around being a motivation for other aspiring dancers and entrepreneurs.
10:44: Donielle shares a story of an extremely personal challenge that she recently had to overcome and how she mustered up the strength to push through the pain.
16:29: Richmond discusses the role and importance of female entrepreneurs in the business landscape and the advantages females have over males in running businesses.
17:53: Richmond retells the story of how she first was drawn towards dance.
20:31: Donielle gives some job-seeking advice to recent graduates who may be considering a career in dance.
23:42: Donielle looks forward to where she’d like herself and her business to be in the next 5 years.
26:01: Richmond discusses what she would consider her favorite and most challenging aspects of entrepreneurship.
28:34: Donielle closes the podcasts by answering some rapid-fire questions around favorite books, shows, trips, and restaurants.
Bullet List of Resources –
Activate Your Artistry