Sarah Nuse is the founder and CEO of Tippi Toes Dance Company, a nationally recognized company with franchises across the United States and China. Tippi Toes is a dance company that focuses on health and nutrition for children. Sarah has been recognized in Entrepreneur Magazine, as well as featured on ABC Shark Tank in 2012.
Sarah and her team have released 7 music albums with one being submitted for the Best Children’s Album for the 60th Grammy Awards.
She is the author of the book Destined for Greatness and is the host of a business entrepreneur podcast –Destined for Greatness. Sarah is a speaker who speaks to a wide range of audiences about balancing family and business.
Sarah is the wife to NFL executive Adam Nuse, and mother to her three children Lucy, Lola, and Hank. She enjoys spending time with her family, cheering her children on in sports, and traveling.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Sarah Nuse: I started Tippi Toes® my sophomore year of college. Since then Tippi Toes Dance Company has been bringing a unique program of dance and creative movement to child care centers, schools, playgroups, and various after-school programs.
Tippi Toes® Dance Company cheerfully provides children with a fun, positive, and nurturing environment so they are able to experience the joys of dance, self-expression, and movement. Classes are specifically designed to develop motor skills and body awareness while enhancing each child’s self-esteem. Tippi Toes® Dance Company’s award-winning dance classes have a remarkable impact on social and developmental growth. Our classes fuel and develop imagination, critical thinking and sharpen both cognitive and creative skills.
Developing a love of dancing in children by creating a positive experience that promotes healthy living habits helps build self-confidence and a love for others.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Sarah Nuse: There is a fire ignited in our business. Like many companies, we endured a lot. The nature of our business is going into preschools to teach dance, all of which were shut down during the pandemic. As schools continue to open, we have been able to connect with new families, reconnect with old, tap into the virtual world of dance.
While we couldn’t teach dance, we were able to create a few new programs that our franchise owners can now sell in their classrooms. As hard as the 2020-2021 season it was a time we had no choice but to prune things in our business that weren’t serving us well and get stronger as a company. I have learned that our franchise owners are resilient, that our company is needed now more than ever, and that even when times are hard, there are always opportunities to learn and grow. Looking back, I am thankful for that now.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Sarah Nuse: People. It should always be the people. When we take time to serve those in front of us, bringing our best every single time, everyone wins. When we can love what we do and do it well, the byproduct is growth within our company. People have been through a lot this past 18 months, uncertain more than ever, but if your business and product can be an aid to help people, ignite your fire and be proud of what you have built. I have spent much time spending trimming any dead branches that weren’t serving our customers, franchise owners and company well. As soon as the pruning was able to take place, I could see more clearly all the greatness packed inside of our business. We shine much brighter now, and it was only due to the hard pressing of the pandemic that I was able to see that.
I have learned about the importance of the olive tree. It takes the harsh winds of the north and the burning sun from the south to get the fruit ready to be ripened. Then the fruit must be cracked and salted, pressed on every single side to allow the most precious part of the fruit to drip out, that oil. It takes the hard pressing of the good and the bad, to see the most precious part often which for an olive tree would be the olive oil. Olive oil can produce more light than any ordinary candle.
My advice, embrace the hard pressing, seeing it through will allow you to see the light and lead your business with much more clarity.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Sarah Nuse: We have had a significant amount of people interested in opening a Tippi Toes franchise. I believe it is because they saw what it was like to feel unstable in their job, they saw an opportunity to take a risk to start something on their own. By joining our franchise you aren’t in business by yourself, starting from scratch. Rather you have a team of people helping you build something great while impacting your community. People want the freedom and the opportunity to do something significant that they can lead and be in charge of.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Sarah Nuse: Gosh, don’t we all wish we would have known then, what we know now? I wish I would have known that we were in it for longer than expected and to capture each day, to look back and remember all we went through. I really put my head down and just kept working, which in many ways was good, but in some ways, it was to the point of exhaustion. It was not going to be me to solve the global pandemic. I wish I would have been told so much good would have come from the hard-pressed times, I didn’t believe that to be true until we felt like we got out of it.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Sarah Nuse: Online business is great and it worked for us and still does opening virtual classes so kids could enjoy our dance classes at home. The truth is for us, our secret sauce is the connection we have in person with our dancers. It is being together, the real-life smiles, the encouragement not through a screen, and hugs from our tiny dancers that makes Tippi Toes special. While we were able to create an arm of our business and reach people, not in our communities our favorite part of our business will always be our personal time with our customers.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Sarah Nuse: I spent about 5 hours a day on my computer. I am a writer as well, so when I am not working on Tippi Toes I am often writing. I long to have less screen time, I believe my brain can be more creative when I am not on my device. However, there is so much knowledge packed into our computers that allows us to further ideas, connect with people and move at a faster pace.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Sarah Nuse: I am a storyteller. Writing my book Destined for Greatness allows everyone who is interested in Tippi Toes a peek inside of how the business started and where we are headed. It is important for me that our franchise owners and our customers know the heart of our business, the journey we have been on to get to where we are today and the road map we have set out in front of us.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Sarah Nuse: Obstacles are the best opportunities. While smooth sailing is always appreciated, it lacks the urgency for growth. When we are hard-pressed and need a quick solution because of an obstacle our minds open to thinking about all the possibilities that can take place. For Tippi Toes, and the growth of our company our challenge is obscurity. Not enough people know us. We need to keep telling our story, keep sharing the heart of our business, and keep reaching out to others. It is something we are highly focused on right now, to continue to grow our brand and impact people across the globe.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Sarah Nuse: Online marketing will be our key for growth.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Sarah Nuse: I love that trends are changing and people care more about how they feel at work and their value than the paycheck. I think it is important that those in our company feel seen, heard, and valued. Life is a vapor, and so spending time in a job that doesn’t fulfill your God-given purpose is a waste of time. I am sure many bosses think “surely it’s not me”. However, I know I always have room to grow and improve as a leader.
I continue to learn who I am becoming as a leader, I am not the person who knows it all, I just happen to be the person that started the business. It is my job as a leader to get people in my business that are better than me in many areas and that is how I see our company succeed. I value learning from others and think it is imperative for leaders to see the value in each and every employee.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Sarah Nuse: I would have the superpower to allow each person to see themselves as the amazing people they are. I see a world where often there are so many critics. Often people throw criticism while I would like the superpower to allow people to see confetti. To see the greatness inside of them. To help my franchise owners know their importance and value on a daily, for the children that come into our program to understand just how amazing they are. In a world where this would happen, people would in turn be more generous with their words, as well as their actions.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Sarah Nuse: Success for me in 2022 is growth. Growth leads to impact. I crave to impact the next generation in a way that they believe in themselves, don’t compare themselves to others, and use their gifts and talents to make our world a better place. Growth to me would be adding franchise owners across the US and Canada that understand the mission of Tippi Toes and want to be part of our movement.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Sarah Nuse for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Sarah Nuse or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.