I had the distinct pleasure of getting to know Melody Day by way of her husband, Philip. At that time, Melody was a middle school music teacher in a struggling district with very challenging kids. Educational downsizing and art program cuts resulted in Melody’s decision to start her own private music studio in Charlottesville, VA. I was in attendance at the initial brainstorming and planning sessions that helped kick off her successful venture. Melody’s enthusiasm, deep care for children and tireless work ethic are truly inspiring and have been a solid foundation for her continued success. According to Small Business Administration Statistics forty percent of new small business ventures fail in the first two years so Melody’s ongoing work is a tribute to her faithful determination! I am delighted to feature Melody as the first entrepreneur in this “Entrepreneur in Action | Driven to Succeed” interview series!
1. Career influences
My pursuit of a home music studio was mainly due to my recent unemployment. I had never really considered having my own business until I was facing being downsized. I did have a friend (Janice Mauroschadt) who had her own home music studio who was teaching others about establishing financially successful studios so I did some consulting with her; otherwise, it was survival!
2. Biggest career success
Achieving a name in the community by the uniqueness of my brand for DaySong Studio™. I advertise “The DaySong Studio™ Difference” — Each student receives personalized notes detailing instruction and activities covered during the lesson via email. I have parents advertising on my behalf because of this unique approach to communication.
3. Recent lessons learned
I have learned that organization and technology are key in making inroads in the business. However, loving what you do and allowing that passion and love to shine through will go a long way in building your business.
4. What inspires and motivates
I was determined to have a Christian music studio. I pray before each lesson for my students, and have discovered that if they are having an issue with their playing or singing to pray specifically for wisdom to work through that issue. I have taught agnostics, protestants, Jews — students from all walks of life and they all allow me to pray for them. I don’t push my beliefs on them, but all so far have been open to being prayed for. My faith in God is what inspires and motivates me most of all.
5. Share a leadership story
I sought the advice of my husband who was extremely supportive. He is also extremely creative–he really thinks outside the box–that is one of his top gifts. He was the one who chose the name of my studio, helped me with my business plan and was the most encouraging in my pursuit of working for myself. Find someone like that and listen to them!
6. Your Top Two Top two ideas or pieces of advice for other entrepreneurs
Do your homework–research, research, research!–and do what you love. It is true that the money will follow. It doesn’t say a LOT of money, but the money does come! If you are a person of faith, lean on God for guidance and wisdom in the development of your business. It is this more than anything else that has helped me to build DaySong Studio™
7. About Melody Day
DaySong Studio™ is the privately owned home music studio of Melody Z. Day in Charlottesville, Virginia. Billed as teaching “Beginning Voice and Piano”, she has been in business since September 7, 2010, teaching all ages the joy of music. Please visit her studio website at www.daysongstudio.com. She is also on Facebook and would love to have you like her page! https://www.facebook.com/DaySongStudio.
Check back soon for other “Entrepreneurs in Action”!