Young entrepreneur Clint Salter chases the dream

Young entrepreneur Clint Salter was born and raised in Camden (Sydney’s Western Suburbs) where his relationship with the world of entrepreneurship began at an early age. At age 16 Clint opened up a dance studio where he taught after school while completing his Year 10 Certificate. Clint was passionate about teaching dance and learnt from an early age that there was a way to make money from doing what you love. Clint owned and operated the dance studio for five years increasing student enrolments by over 350%. Being young and active Clint decided to leave the business and explore what further opportunities were out in the world.

After failing to last not even four weeks studying Dance Education at University Clint decided that it was time to get a “real” job but knew he wanted to work in the field of entertainment. In 2007 Clint was offered a role at The Harry M Miller Group as their receptionist. While making coffee and answering the phone wasn’t his idea of the ideal job he used this experience as a training ground and gave himself a six month time frame to get promoted. It only took three. Clint moved through the ranks at the agency and has now been an Agent with the company for the past two years.

Clint became restless after completing a Diploma in Marketing and wanted to get back into teaching dance so sat on his computer for hours looking to find a directory of dance studios in the area he had just moved to but besides the outdated Yellow Pages couldn’t find anything. This is where his next business idea came from.

In July 2008 Clint launched DanceLife. Australia’s only specialist directory and social network (community) for dancers and performers. Business owners can list their company or search for businesses in their comprehensive directory. Members can read up on the latest industry news through the weekly newsletter and blogs, stay up to date with the hottest auditions and jobs and create a member profile that promotes them as a Dancer or Performer. There was nothing like it in the market and with the dance industry growing rapidly in Australia it was the perfect time. Clint knew if he didn’t do it, someone else would. That alone inspired him enough to get the ball rolling.

It wasn’t all fun and games for this young entrepreneur. Clint’s setback came right at the beginning when he created this grand idea and had no real concept of how much it was going to cost. He met with a number of website companies until he found one that fell in love with his idea and vision. The challenge was the money. Clint applied for loans and got knocked back, didn’t get approved for the amount of money he needed etc. Clint’s mum ended up getting a loan and he got two smaller ones to start DanceLife.

Clint quickly realised that you can only think of so much. He has recently sat down with a few people from different areas including online marketing, SEO, experts in start up businesses. He’s a big believer investing the revenue DanceLife generates into growing the company. He also needed fresh eyes on the project, someone who hasn’t been living, breathing and eating it for the past nearly two years. His advice is to work out where you could improve or need assistance and ask for recommendations from others you know have been in similar situations. He thought for the initial 6 months that because he had invested all this money in a project and am passionate that he deserved a mentor. At the end of the day mentors are hard to find, everyone is busy. He says “You will need to pay for your advice but remember it’s not a cost, it’s an investment. You will end up making back more than what you paid for their services in the first place”.

Clint’s main piece of advice is to ‘get yourself out there and be known’. While he has been in the dance and entertainment industry most of his life, he was a no one to the big wigs in the industry so he emailed, called and told them all about his idea and that he would like to meet with them. “No one turns down a free coffee and the people that do aren’t worth being involved in your awesome business venture” says Clint. This touches on another one of Clint’s points – surround yourself with supportive people. Clint mentions “While questioning what you’re doing is great and your ideas should be challenged, the last thing you need is negativity”. Clint’s last tip is to believe in yourself. “Yes, this is the advice most people give and you think ‘it takes more than that’. You’re right, but believing in yourself is the first and most crucial element to a successful business. After the belief then you worry about everything else. If you’re reading this and have been sitting on an idea for a while now but haven’t made any moves… do something about it!”.

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