Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sun-Mi Cho, Founder of Ballet SunMi, located in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I own a ballet studio for children and adults that focuses on using movement to sustain connections to one another as a community while building mind/body/heart connections.

Tell us about yourself

I was adopted from Korea at two years old and was extremely shy growing up. When I began to dance at age 10, I began to build more confidence and became less shy. I realized what a powerful tool dance is for expression and communication and how it can help people connect their minds and bodies. I am motivated to offer dance in a mentally and emotionally healthy environment where encouragement and individual growth is the goal. I opened my business in May 2021 during the pandemic, after being on Faculty at The Rock School for ten plus years.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Opening up during the pandemic was super tough. I feel like my biggest accomplishment was getting adult beginner dancers to begin the process of learning ballet with me. Our studio has six families where the parent takes an adult class, and their children take a children’s class. This feels really special.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I am not a numbers person. My toughest challenge as a small business owner is having to cancel classes because it’s not financially sound to keep a class with only three people in it running. I am also a single mom to 3 young children, so time management can be a serious challenge. Because I love dancing, It’s hard to remember that the studio is a business - and I need to make sure my decisions are paying the bills.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Build a reliable team with integrity at its core. It goes a long way. I lost a lot of time and money by training individuals and having them turn over quickly.
  2. Make sure you save time for yourself. It’s easy to make it a 24/7 job. Moderate.
  3. Let some things go. It was really hard when I worked so hard with students, but then they’d stop lessons, change schools or even move. I took it personally. Letting that go as part of the ebb and flow of business is important to process.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

You can do it! And you can be the difference! It takes time. Be patient with yourself.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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