December 19, 2017
Who Will You Be?
My amazing student and friend, Annette, asked me one day…”Oreet, did you always have confidence? What triggered you to start on your own? Did you intend SharQui to be bigger than yourself or did it evolve on it’s own? When did you know you had something?”
Her questions got me thinking and planted the seed for this post. (Short story now. Long story later)
If someone had told me that one day I would become an entrepreneur and one day pioneer the concept of bellydance fitness into the mainstream, I’d have laughed.
Me? Wander outside my dream of pursuing a contemporary dance career? What would inspire me to jump into the entrepreneurial world and become an educator? (Clearly, I had no clue of what it is to be an entrepreneur and an educator.)
My entrepreneurial journey totally threw me for a loop. I’m a former contemporary dancer who supplemented my income teaching fitness, and then after several years, decided to “shake” up my routine with bellydance. What better way to do that than to create a business on a starving artist’s salary? (No, that’s not stressful. But it sure was exciting – at times)
I never tried to emulate people or a trend. Never felt comfortable doing it. Yet I knew I was good. Yeah, I may sound cocky, but people always told me I was good at what I did, and I felt it too.
In the mid-late 90’s in NYC (yep I’m dating myself), fitness instructors were like celebrities, and I wanted to be one so badly – but I’m a small, brown, woman. When people walked into my strength and step classes in NYC, I wasn’t the image they’d hope to get a kick-ass class from. So I had to create it for myself. That’s when the idea of SharQui began.
Did I want to throw in the towel sometimes? Yep.
Ups and downs? Uh huh.
Still love what I do? You betcha!
And after 15 years, SharQui is still here. (More of my story later in the new year)
So the moral of this short blog is this…
If there’s something you crave, don’t wait around for someone to hand it to you. Do it your goddamn self.
If it doesn’t exist yet, start it.
If it hasn’t been written yet, write it.
If something is missing from your community, fill that friggin gap.
And if nobody asks you to dance at an event, host one your own damn self. (this is what I did for years in NYC)
Look, there are people who wait around, and there are people who act. There are people who spend their whole lives waiting to receive permission, and there are people who write their own permission slip.
So who will you be in 2018?