Mar 17, 2020
This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra interviews Cindy Clough, the Founder and Executive Director of Just for Kix — a business that, over nearly 40 years, has instructed over 95,000 children through its dance classes, summer camps, and special events. Since its humble beginnings in a single location, Clough’s business has since expanded to 2,148 locations nationwide. Cindy is also the award-winning four-decades-long coach of the Brainerd High School Warrior Dance team, which has amassed 8 state championships, Top 5 in the state for 25 consecutive years, and a National High Kick Championship.
Like so many of our podcast guests, Cindy is no stranger to success; however, Cindy knows that owning your own business requires tremendous amounts of grit and determination. On the podcast, Cindy retells her own personal journey and runs through her business’s entire history, sharing nuggets of wisdom that she’s learned over her entire 40-year run as an entrepreneur.
“When it comes to failure, you just keep going. You have to be resilient, and not let failures set you back. I think resilience will be the trademark of your success — if you can get knocked down and get back up and keep going and choose gearing up over giving up."
“If you’re good at one thing, do what you’re great at. Then surround yourself with people who can complement your weaknesses.”
“The arts are such a big part of happiness for people. Music and dance… I just can’t sing the praises of the arts enough. It’s such a release for so many people."
“Too many kids graduating from college expect their dreams immediately. You have to put in your work. You have to realize that you’re not going to graduate from college and make lots of money. You might have to feed the cat and take out the trash and go get the dry cleaning and get your foot in the door and work your way up. There’s nothing wrong with hard work."
“I feel like you need to create and maintain a culture that people want to be a part of. Kids come where they are welcome but stay where they are valued."
“Work way ahead. Never work on what you’re working on right now. Be farther ahead than that."
Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:
4:04: Cindy walks back nearly 40 years, discussing the origins of her business, and how one single location has since expanded into 2,148 locations nationwide.
10:44: Cindy speaks to the culture she’s built at Just for Kix and her perspective on the importance of fostering a rich organizational culture.
12:53: Clough discusses why she believes that, 40 years ago, entrepreneurship was “the road less traveled,” as opposed to today where startups are the norm.
13:49: Cindy describes the pride that she takes in the company that she’s built and her gratitude that she’s had a hand in providing jobs and dance education to tens of thousands.
15:27: Clough shares some wisdom on how she finds work/life balance, in the thick of an extremely demanding schedule.
18:22: Clough retells some past failures and how a healthy perspective on failure is necessary for success.
22:22: Cindy shares the identities of some of her past and present role models.
23:36: Cindy gives some advice around running a business with your family and the importance of planning for the future.
27:15: Cindy shares some tips for any people who are looking to pursue a career in the dance industry — both on the stage and off the stage.
30:12: Clough discusses the importance of artistic expression and why so many people spend their lives enjoying and participating in the arts.
Bullet List of Resources –
Just for Kix