DB Enhanced

Creative industries have a notorious reputation for underpaying the professionals who work in them. Any creative knows all too well the struggle of finding the balance of financial stability and passion in their work. In order to survive, creatives are breaking out of traditional money models and finding new revenue streams to keep them going. Dance Break founders Zen and Ashley are innovating the dance industry with their concept of bringing this art form to the corporate arena. We got a chance to sit down with them to find out how they did it. You can read the full interview below:

  1. Who are you?

We are Zen Rashed and Ashley Chatman, the co-founders and creators of Dance Break. We are both established and dedicated dance instructors based in Los Angeles, CA who share a strong passion for changing people’s lives through fitness and movement.

  1. What inspired the concept of Dance Break?

The inspiration to create Dance Break came from our experience working in the corporate business field and of course our shared passion for dance. We were looking for a way to merge business and dance together to “recharge” the workdays of business professionals, and thus Dance Break was born.

  1. How did you get the ball rolling?

We spent a lot of time determining our target audience and how we would approach companies with Dance Break. Our initial approach is offering qualifying companies Free Dance Break demos to introduce the concept and showcase the many benefits Dance Break has to offer. This is an offer that is current, because we launched the business a little over a month ago.

  1. How were you able to merge doing what you love and paying the bills?

We are both still working part-time jobs because we are in the start-up phase. However, we are diligently working on creating business opportunities that will allow us to quit our jobs and focus on Dance Break full-time. Our market is vast, so we are projecting to transition into being full-time in the near future.

  1. Being a creative first, it’s hard to think like a business person. How have you two been able to pull it off? Has there been a time where a business decision conflict with the creative direction of your brand? If so, how did you deal with that issue?

This is a great question… Honestly, because we love what we do, we are rarely met with the conflict of creativity and making business decisions. Zen has an MBA, so this allows her to find balance between having a creative outlook and making smart business decisions. Ashley also has an extensive educational background and experience in business.  The duality of being creative, but also having strong business backgrounds helps us maintain a strong balance. We have also defined roles within our partnership. Ashley handles most of the creative decisions while Zen focuses more on managing business operations.

  1. What is the most important piece of business advise someone shared with you, that you feel other creatives’ should know who are looking to monetize their passion?

One of our mentors gave us a great piece of business advice on OPM, which stands for “Other Peoples’ Money.” Creatives’/new business owners tend to come up with so many great ideas and often get stuck on trying to figure out how to finance these great ideas. Well this is where OPM comes in. There is always a company or an individual that has the necessary resources and budget to finance a project that can they can also benefit from. Creating fruitful relationships that can save your business money and at the same time get a project going is one of the best moves a creative/new business owner(s) can make.

Also, we’ve learned that having a strong passion for what we do is one of the most valuable philosophies in our business. We didn’t start Dance Break just to make money, but we also wanted to make a difference and offer an experience designed to enhance the lives of others. It’s our passion that gives us purpose and will be what sustains through the highs and lows of our entrepreneurial endeavors.

6 Things to Do When You Feel Like Giving Up On Your Business

Starting your own business is a bold move. Those who’ve taken the leap of the faith know the feeling of wanting to give up all too well. Entrepreneurship is an emotional roller coast of highs and lows. At low points,  there are too many times where we ask ourselves “What the hell am I doing?”. I have experienced this time and time again with my entrepreneurial journey and I’ve found a few ways to really master stress management. If the feeling of overwhelm feels like it’s too much try these six these to keep your blood pressure down.


1.) Remember Why You Started– When you first took the leap of faith to make a living from what you love, what was the reason? When we have a great business idea, we get so excited about it and dive right in wide eyed and bushy tailed. This is the “honeymoon” period of your business where everything is amazing, you’re super motivated, and things are running smoothly. Then shit gets real. You enter into the “messy middle” where things start to go wrong. You’re tired, frustrated, and angry. Somewhere in all of the mayhem you lose sight of your vision and its beautiful beginnings. Take the time to recall the moment you decided to start this journey, and stay there for as long as you can. You’re going to need to revisit that moment frequently to get through the muck.

2.) Do Anything BUT Work– And don’t think about work either. It’s easier said than done and some may disagree with me, but I’ve found that when I am so overwhelmed with failure, walking away for a short while is the best thing to do. If I continue to work when I’m spiraling down mentally, I make poor business decisions, I become inefficient, and I won’t make the most productive use of my time. Take this time to hang out with friends, catch up with family, and just have fun. The work isn’t going anywhere. It will be waiting right there when you get back. Trust me.

3.) Pray, Meditate, Release– Like the saying goes, “When it Rains it Pours”. Two prospective clients fell through, you keep hearing “no”, you just received bad news in a personal matter—all happening simultaneously. When you start feeling like you are the unluckiest person in the world, chances are you need a mental adjustment to break those negative thought patterns. While we are not in control of everything in our lives, I am a firm believer  that we are in control of more than we think (insert any Law of Attraction quote here). When your business has put you under a lot of stress and fills your mind with negativity, you won’t get a positive outcome. I’m not saying to be in denial that you are feeling negative emotions. The key is to let it go. Negativity is inevitable. Embrace the emotion, admit there’s a problem, and move on as quickly as you can. Yell, cry, run five miles – do whatever works for you. Find some sort of (healthy) release and do it.

4.) Be Honest with Yourself– The greatest disservice anyone can do to their own progress is lie to themselves.  During this break, take time to clear all the clutter in your head and be completely honest with yourself. I mean brutally honest. When you feel like you’ve done all you can and you’re not getting the results you want, ask yourself this question: “Did I REALLY do all I could do to get the results I wanted?” Chances are the answer is – “No”. Most likely you didn’t exhaust all possibilities, you weren’t consistent, and/or you didn’t follow the formula you set for yourself.

5.) Ask for Help– This is the perfect time to get another pair of hands, a fresh new mind, or another perspective in the mix to help you do and see things you are unable to grasp. The Entrepreneurial path can sometimes be a lonely one. Most people will never understand why you chose that path, which leaves you feeling like you have to figure out everything on your own. You’re not alone. Join a mastermind group, get a mentor, hire an intern. Do whatever you can do to take some of the burden off of your shoulders. It will change your life.

6.) Re-strategize– Trial and error (there will be a lot of both) will be the only way to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. If something you’re doing isn’t working, try something else. During your break take time to come up with a new plan. At the very least make some adjustments to your current one, and then put it into action.


Stream Rihanna’s Eighth Studio Album Anti Now

ri ri 2

Rihanna damn near broke the internet earlier this week with the release of her Drake-assisted single “Work” in anticipation of her upcoming album Anti. Now we can stream the entire album in its full glory. So far so good…

You can listen to her single “Work” below. Stream Rihanna’s new album Anti on Tidal now.

Anti track listing:


1. “Consideration” (feat. SZA) [Tyran Donaldson, Kuk Harrell]
2. “James Joint” [Robert Shea Taylor, Kuk Harrell]
3. “Kiss It Better” [Kuk Harrell, Jeff Bhasker, Glass John, Detail]
4. “Work” (feat. Drake) [Boi-1da, PARTYNEXTDOOR]
5. “Desperado” [Mick Schultz, Kuk Harrell, James Fauntleroy]
6. “Woo” [Hit-Boy, Kuk Harrell, The Weeknd, The-Dream, Travis Scott]
7. “Needed Me” [Frank Dukes, Kuk Harrell, DJ Mustard, Twice As Nice]
8. “Yeah, I Said It” [Timbaland]
9. “Same Ol’ Mistakes” [Kevin Parker]
10. “Never Ending” [Kuk Harrell, Chad Sabo]
11. “Love on the Brain” [Fred Ball]
12. “Higher” [No I.D.]
13. “Close to You” [Brian Kennedy, Kuk Harrell]

Quote of the Day

Don’t let January be the only time you start over.

What to do After Your Work Goes Viral

The Truth About Going Viral

Everyone wants to be famous for something. We all want to do something epic, something worth remembering. But maybe fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, I have good reason to believe that it’s not.

An archived post on my blog recently caught some traction and went viral, sending over a million people to my website in a week. It’s causing me to rethink why I do my work and whether or not artists should chase audiences.

Here’s what happened:

  1. An article about traveling while you’re young was picked up randomly by a student leader in Singapore one year after I published it.
  2. That person shared it on Facebook with a travel group he led on campus.
  3. Each person in the group shared this with their respective networks, and it spread to similar student groups in the Philippines and Malaysia.
  4. In about 24 hours, the post had made it all the way around the world, finishing its tour in Brazil.

The first time this happened, 0ver 150,000 people visited the blog. The second time, it was about half that amount. And then the third time, it reached over 1 million visitors and was shared via Facebook over 250,000 times — all in about a week. Pretty crazy.

But here’s the craziest part: none of that matters.

The confusion of virality

After the article went viral, I was confused and anxious.

What did this mean? Should I change what I write about, focusing more on this topic of travel? Should I try to keep as many of those visitors as possible? And what would I do when Monday rolled around, and I had to start blogging again?

The next week, I hit the old grindstone again, and the Internet had already forgotten about me. My traffic spike had mellowed out, and I was back to zero, forced to earn people’s attention all over again.

I tried to drag out the success, of course, tried to prolong that temporary feeling of fulfillment that fame brings. But for some reason, it wasn’t enough. And through the process, I learned something:

Every week I go back to zero. And so do you.

No single creative success can be sustained. That’s why you can’t create solely for profit or praise. In the end, the thrill never lasts. If you want to be an artist, there has to be something more than fame that sustains you.

Just ask Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert was an inexplicable, runaway success. After she wrote the book and it raced up the bestsellers lists, people asked her a cruel question:

“Aren’t you afraid you’re never going to be able to top that?”

The answer, not surprisingly, was: Yes. She worried she’d never be able to write another book that achieved such success. In an amazing TED Talk, she said, “It’s exceedingly likely that my greatest success is behind me.”

This worry held her back, caused her to hesitate and wait years before writing and publishing another book. But eventually she did. And how she did it was unique. Courageous, even.

She went to work, anyway. She treated her life’s work as just that — a job.She started believing in the idea of a Muse, a spirit that indwells artists. She resigned to a more mystical, creative process, and began to understand that “success” wasn’t up to her.

No, her job was to show up.

We must do the same

No matter how amazing you are today, you have to get up and put the hours in tomorrow. And the next day. And so on.

Because that thing inside of you that causes you to create already forgot yesterday’s successes, it’s hungry. And if you don’t feed it something new, it will eat you alive.

That, my friends, is why artists kill themselves, why they get depressed after a monumental success and never create anything again. After going big with some huge, mega success that plummets them into instant stardom, they seemingly have nowhere left to go.

But that isn’t why they got into the game in the first place. And it’s not why you and I are in it, either. At least, I hope not.

Fame is not enough

Doing creative work for mass consumption is not fulfilling. Sure, it’s a nice byproduct, but it can’t be the focus.

This is why I write (and often) every day. Not for the fans and followers. But for me. Because if I do not, I feel like something is missing. The accolades never seem to completely satisfy. Only creating can fulfill you after the fanfare fades.

So do something creative today. Scribble a note in your notebook. Snap a photo. Bang out a few chords on the guitar. Hit “publish” on that blog post you’ve been stalling to write.

Show up and do your work.

Whatever you do, please, don’t live in the past. And don’t wait for the future. Now is all you have. So, artist, create. It’s what you were made to do.

Source: Medium

About the Author: Jeff Goins is a writer, blogger, and speaker who regularly talks about how to live a life worth writing about. He is the author of three books. For thoughts on writing and life, you can join his free newsletter.

Jidenna Releases Two New Singles “Knickers” and “Extraordinaire”

jidenna side profile

The “Classic Man” crooner, Jidenna, gifts us with two new singles entitled “Knickers and “Extraordinaire”. He took to twitter yesterday to release the singles along with a tweet that said “Happy Holidays.”


Stream them both below.

Things that inspire me come in many forms, and in this case it came from Rabbi Abraham Twerski on what stress really means. As a creative, and as an entrepreneur, the stress levels constantly dip and spike on our journey. When stress is low, it’s an indicator that we’ve balanced out and probably have some sort of stability at that moment. That’s not always a good thing. Rabbi Twerski talks about the importance of stress and it challenged me to see the good in it. He cleverly uses an analogy with a lobster that you have to check out.

“I think that we have to realize that times of stress, are also times that are signals for growth, and if we use adversity properly we can grow through adversity” – Abraham Twerski-

6 Lifestyle Hacks that Successful Creatives Use

6 Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People

I expend a huge amount of my time and energy writing books and articles and working to keep my company innovative. I’ve developed an obsession with some of history’s most creative minds in the hope that I might learn some tricks to expand my own creative productivity.

Some of the things I’ve learned are more useful than others, and some are simply too weird to try.

Steve Jobs, for example, routinely sat on toilets, dangling his bare feet in the water while he came up with new ideas, and Yoshiro Nakamatsu (inventor of the floppy disc) would dive deep under water until his brain was deprived of oxygen, then write his ideas on an underwater sticky pad.

Weird ideas aside, I’ve developed a pretty good understanding of the habits of some of history’s most creative minds. There’s enough commonality between different people that I’ve distilled their habits into strategies that anyone can follow.

Six of these strategies stand out because they have the power to change the way you think about creativity. Give them a try, and you’ll reach new levels of creative productivity.

1. Wake up early.

Not all creative minds are morning people. Franz Kafka routinely stayed up all night writing, and William Styron (author of Sophie’s Choice, among other best sellers) woke up at noon every day and considered his “morning” routine to be staying in bed for another hour to think.

However, early risers make up the clear majority of creative thinkers. The list of creative early risers ranges from Benjamin Franklin to Howard Schultz to Ernest Hemmingway, though they didn’t all wake up early for the same reasons. Ben Franklin woke up early to plan out his day, while Schultz uses the time to send motivational emails to his employees. For many creative people, waking up early is a way to avoid distractions. Ernest Hemingway woke up at 5 a.m. every day to begin writing. He said, “There is no one to disturb you and it is cool and cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.”

The trick to making getting up early stick is to do it every day and avoid naps—no matter how tired you feel. Eventually, you will start going to bed earlier to make up for the lost sleep. This can make for a couple of groggy days at first, but you’ll adjust quickly, and before you know it, you’ll join the ranks of creative early risers.

2. Exercise frequently.

There’s plenty of evidence pointing to the benefits of exercise for creativity. Feeling good physically gets you in the right mood to focus and be productive. Exercise also forces you to have disconnected time (it’s tough to text or email while working out), and this allows you to reflect on whatever it is you’re working on. In a Stanford study, 90% of people were more creative after they exercised.

It’s no surprise that so many creative and successful people built exercise into their daily routines. Kurt Vonnegut took walks into the nearby town, swam laps, and did push-ups and sit-ups, Richard Branson runs every morning, and composers Beethoven and Tchaikovsky both walked daily.

3. Stick to a strict schedule.

It’s a common misconception that in order to be creative, one must live life on a whim with no structure and no sense of need to do anything, but the habits of highly successful and creative people suggest otherwise. In fact, most creative minds schedule their days rigorously. Psychologist William James described the impact of a schedule on creativity, saying that only by having a schedule can we “free our minds to advance to really interesting fields of action.”

4. Keep your day job.

Creativity flourishes when you’re creating for yourself and no one else. Creativity becomes more difficult when your livelihood depends upon what you create (and you begin to think too much about what your audience will think of your product). Perhaps this is why so many successful and creative people held on to their day jobs. Many of them, like Stephen King, who was a schoolteacher, produced their breakout (and, in King’s case, what many consider his very best) work while they still held a 9 to 5.

Day jobs provide more than the much-needed financial security to create freely. They also add structure to your day that can make your creative time a wonderful release. The list of successful, creative minds who kept their day jobs is a long one. Some notable individuals include Jacob Arabo, who started designing his own jewelry while working in a jewelry shop; William Faulkner, who worked in a power plant while writing As I Lay Dying; and musician Philip Glass, who worked as a plumber.

5. Learn to work anywhere, anytime.

A lot of people work in only one place, believing it’s practically impossible for them to get anything done anywhere else. Staying in one place is actually a crutch; studies show that changing environments is beneficial to productivity and creativity. E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web, said it well: “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” The same is true for any type of creative work. If you keep waiting until you are in the perfect place at the ideal time, the time will never come.

Steve Jobs started Apple in his mom’s garage, and JK Rowling wrote the first ideas for Harry Potter on a napkin on a train. When you have a creative idea, don’t wait—put it into action as soon as you can. Recording that spark of creativity may very well be the foundation of something great.

6. Learn that creative blocks are just procrastination.

As long as your heart is still beating, you have the ability to come up with new ideas and execute them. They may not always be great ones, but the greatest enemy of creativity is inactivity.

Author Jodi Picoult summarized creative blocks perfectly: “I don’t believe in writer’s block. Think about it—when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due? Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands. If you have a limited amount of time to write, you just sit down and do it. You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

Picoult’s comment describes all creative activity—the only way to stay creative is to keep moving forward.

Bringing it all together

In my experience, you must get intentional about your creativity if you want it to flourish. Give these six strategies a try to see what they can do for you.

Author: Travis Bradberry

This article was originally published on Entrepreneur.