Fit Fridays with Rod Brown: 5 things Zumba taught me about entrepreneurship


I recently went to Zumba for the first time in several weeks as I had been doing Bikram yoga, spin, and other cardio classes. I’d been ill for about a week and was really anxious about getting back to working out. About two-thirds of the way into the one-hour class, in the midst of the panting and praying that this would end soon, I got an epiphany. It came to me that this class could teach a great deal about entrepreneurship. I wanted to share my thoughts that hopefully will help you on your entrepreneur’s quest.

1) Have a mentor in your life that’s done it before
My instructor Tanya is one of the best Zumba teachers on the planet (in my humble opinion). She was my mentor and focal point during the entire class. After all, she is the expert and she’s obviously done Zumba before. I trusted her instructions, direction, and her ability to demonstrate how and what she wanted me to do. The success came (some of the time) when I did exactly what she said. When I listened and focused on her instructions and didn’t try to wing it, I stayed on point. If I tried to get “funky” with it and not follow her instructions, I stumbled, and most times looked utterly ridiculous. All you know is what you know. You have to have someone in your business and personal life that you trust to give you sound advice and direction.

2) Feed off the energetic people around you
When I felt winded and wanted to quit, there were a couple of people that I could glance at who had incredible energy and a super attitude. They got me hyped. They energized me. I stopped wanting to quit and even if it were for a brief moment, just to get me to the end of a song, I felt like I could keep going and couldn’t stop if I wanted to. Take a look at your camp. Inventory those around you. Know the people around you that you can look to, to help motivate you, and spend time with them.

3) Don’t focus on those who are out of step or off beat
If you’ve ever been in a Zumba class, you know that everyone is not a dancer. The non-dancers might be nice or even your friend. You also know that if you look at someone that’s offbeat and out of rhythm while you’re moving and while they’re moving, there’s going to be a vortex shift and you begin moving erratically like them. So the best bet is to focus on the teacher and/or someone who is as good as the teacher. That way you’re being led by experienced, confident, and knowledgeable people that can lead you correctly. In business you will have noise. The noise is any negative influence that distracts you from your objective. Keep your eyes on the people in business that have done what you’re trying to do. You have to walk it out yourself, but walk armed with information from those that are doing it right and are succeeding.

4) Keep moving to see the best results
My Zumba class instructor offers up very few breaks and when there is a break it’s so brief, that if you blink it’s gone. Because I move continuously, my heart rate is high and my cardiovascular system is getting a great work out. My stamina over time will increase. Catching up when I get offbeat is easier if I keep moving versus stopping and then trying to join in. One of the keys to having a good Zumba workout is to keep moving. In business there will be road blocks, stalled plans, and missteps. Don’t stop moving toward your goal. Momentum is a crucial ingredient to your success. Positive momentum only happens when there is positive activity. Stay active and don’t let people, places, or things slow you down.  Navigate the river. Don’t just get out of the boat if a tree falls in front of you. Row past it and keep moving towards the prize.

5) Go hard
There are obvious positive forces that helped me complete my  Zumba class. The nature of Zumba forces you to constantly move. Then I had my personal drive, peer pressure to perform, and the motivation from the teacher. Then there were forces working against me. I wasn’t familiar with all of the moves, lack of coordination, and the biggie, fatigue. The one thing I realized I could do was to work hard in spite of the negative forces. When I didn’t know the moves, as long as I worked hard at moving I still got the benefits. While fatigued, I worked as hard as I possibly could during every stage of fatigue. Hard work in business can be the neutralizer. Hard work doesn’t trump knowledge, information, or experience. However your hard work can yield as much if not more than the person that’s smarter, more resourced, taller, or however you want to fill in the blank. Be a leader and work hard and watch your success grow.

Next time you’re in a Zumba class focus on the coach, feed off the high energy folks in the room, and ignore the ones that could get you offbeat. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to keep moving and by all means go hard.

Rod Brown is the COO of OnceLogix, LLC. He travels the country discussing entrepreneurship, investment strategies and developing smart, Web-based software solutions to help businesses become more efficient, more productive and profitable.

For more information, please visit

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