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Find Your Passion and Pursue It

While there are some universal tenets of success, entrepreneurs wouldn’t be entrepreneurs if they didn’t march to the beat of their own inner drummer. Many successful small business owners have their own “secrets”—things they do or believe that help them achieve success.

Here some of today’s smartest, most innovative, highly successful business owners share their insights and success secrets with you.

Meet: Julia Carell Stadler, the CEO and cofounder of Dance Network, the first full-service digital network devoted entirely to showcasing all styles of dance. Stadler, who believes that “every dance is a celebration of life,” turned her passion for competitive ballroom dancing into Dance Network, which features more than 400 hours of original and licensed content, including covering live events, blogs and an in-house podcast which feature in-depth interviews with dance leaders.  

Stadler and cofounder David Medeiros started Dance Network in the fall of 2015. Their mission is to “create a place where dancers can tell their stories, share their work and inspire the next generation.”

 You can find Stadler on Twitter @juliestadler4. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Julia Carell Stadler: A glamorous stewardess. Why did you start your own business?

Stadler: In my case, my passion—ballroom dancing—evolved from a hobby into the catalyst for a complete reinvention of my professional life. If you can find your passion, then pursuing it can open doors and self-discoveries you never dreamed of. My passion for dance gave me a vision for Dance Network borne of a desire for everyone to experience that. Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?

Stadler: When my dance partner David Medeiros and I started Dance Network, we thought we should hire people with TV experience to run the company. What we have learned is that if something is your vision and your dream, you should be the ones running the company. We both had good business experience running our own companies previously, and that knowledge, combined with our vision, was necessary for the future success of Dance Network. What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?

Stadler: Don’t spend more [money] than you have! What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?

Stadler: It takes a strong personality to keep a new business going. There are many obstacles to your success, but you cannot give up. You have to believe so strongly in your goal and product that even in the face of continued hardship you keep trying. Do you have a prediction for small business?

Stadler: Success! Small businesses drive our economy. What’s your favorite book?

Stadler: Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns. I read this book many times while growing up and I still recall it fondly. Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?

Stadler: “The world revolves around creativity, innovation and change. I believe not in just working for myself, but for the improvement of society.”—Unknown