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At the age of twenty-five, we nervously took a leap of faith and became business owners and young entrepreneurs in an industry not known for change. With our optimistic yes-we-can attitude and growth mindset, we saw ourselves as having “entrepreneurial spirit”— “embracing innovation, service, and improvement”—and igniting “passion and purpose.”^1^ As we integrated our love for dance, fitness, and learning, we gained clarity about our philosophy and direction. Channeling endless possibilities, we made our dreams come true and created our inclusive, non-competitive, and performance-based dance school and community in 2002. We grew our personal and business brand, and more recently, built a brand for a product. Once we began writing, we also mindfully built our author brand.

As teens, we weren’t aware of the concept of building a brand. Even as we were adding experiences to our resumes, branding was not a conscious endeavor. By working in the dance industry in varied roles, by being enthusiastic and optimistic, and by being role models and caring leaders, we built a brand and reputation with credibility and reach. Sometimes called “passive branding,”^4^ it just happened as we went from one experience to the next and did things which gave us joy.Without knowing it, we were our personal brand before we opened our dance studio. With little business knowledge, we created our business brand and made our dance studio a reality beyond our wildest dreams. In many respects, we grew our brand instead of systematically building it. It was more of an organic or natural process, with learning at each step. More recently, we learned about building brand for a product and building an author brand. That’s when we became more intentional in the branding process.

In the spring of 2020, embracing our mom’s enthusiasm to write a book, our initial goal was to highlight how we kept our business alive during a challenging time. Having experienced two decades of business experience, we were also knee deep into inventing our cartwheel mat and were working on the first two interactive books of our kids’ series. Brainstorming together, we felt like we had an umbrella of good ideas to share. We quickly realized so much of our growing up, personal, and family experiences had influenced our professional lives, and, as a result, we wove everything together into one complete package. Throughout, we included the information about branding along with a plethora of strategies we believe will help you, our readers, ignite your passion and purpose, build your leadership and confidence, and move forward with optimism to unleash your unstoppable best selves. We hope you will find this book useful.

Our core message and promise

Our goal in this book is to motivate you, our readers, to reflect on how to take control of your destiny and to set actionable goals for self-improvement. Our title, “EMPOWER YOUR ViBE,” creates curiosity and engagement. It encourages questions such as, “How can I empower my vibe? What does it mean?”

We see “empower” as “the knowledge, confidence, means, or ability to do things or make decisions for yourself.”^7^ It implies the action of being “energized” or “powered up” to do or accomplish something. It’s effective.

At ViBE, we want our dancers to walk in one way and walk out better. Here’s a message we recently received from ViBE teacher, Janessa Moses, who, when moving to a new job, expressed how her life changed because of ViBE.

ViBE has made me into who I am today, and I mean that with every bone in my body. ViBE has single handedly shaped the way I think, act, speak, and want to make others feel. Without ViBE, I would NOT be where I am today. I want you both to know that everything I have learned at ViBE throughout the years are takeaways that I will hold with me forever. You have taught me the importance of confidence and how I can truly do anything I set my mind to. You have taught me the importance of a smile (I am literally always smiling at work to the point where some people think I'm crazy). You have taught me the importance of body language and how to uphold a magnetic energy that spreads to others. Most importantly, at ViBE, I found my strength, I found my voice, I found love, and I found friends that will be with me forever. ViBE will ALWAYS hold a special place in my heart.

We want a similar effect for you, our readers. We want you to feel changed in a positive way after reading and working through the content of our book. We hope you are inspired and motivated. We often say, “How you do one thing is how you do everything.” Author Annie Dillard echoes this thought in The Writing Life when she writes, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”We encourage you to reflect upon what you do each day and how you do it. It’s being more mindful about building your personal or professional brand. It can ultimately shape your current and future reality. This is all part of our core message, including the accessing of support, such as books, online resources, and other people, including mentors and professionals. Having the appropriate support has helped us in so many different situations. We see it as integral to moving forward in life and business with a greater peace of mind and heart.

As you read, we trust you will see yourself reflected in our experiences. The up and down situations we face may be different from yours, but the lessons learned, and the insights shared can be useful to you. We also hope the reflective questions at the end of each chapter (and in our EMPOWER YOUR ViBE JOURNAL) will help to spark your thinking and reinforce your learning and growth.

We promise, by the end of this book, you will have gained some concrete strategies to help you find and EMPOWER YOUR ViBE, ignite your passion and purpose, and build your brand, identity, direction, and joy. You will have had value added to your life, especially if you work through the book and questions in a systematic way. We encourage you to make small improvements and move forward with optimism, leadership, and confidence to unleash and become the unstoppable best version of yourself. Change is possible. We believe in you. We know you can do it.

Chapter 1: Retaining individuality

Yes, we are identical twins. We are strikingly similar in appearance, and we sound the same too. We dress the same, eat the same, and exercise in sync.

Chapter 2: Dancing through life

Do what you love and love what you do

We appreciate what dance has brought into our lives. It’s our passion and purpose. It’s who we are and an important aspect of our brand identity. It motivates us and gives us joy. We value every aspect of the ride (or should we say the dance?). We are thankful dancing through life has brought us to where we are today.

We encourage you to do what you love and love what you do. Think about your dreams and goals and work to make them a reality. Trust yourself even if the path you choose is not conventional. You will be happier and more fulfilled. 

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What are your strengths and talents?
  2. What excites and motivates you?
  3. If you had the choice and no outside pressures, how would you spend most of your time?

Chapter 4: Developing more coping strategies

Illness. Death. Heartbreak. Heartache. Noone can escape the unfortunate or catastrophic tragedies of life. Initially, we grappled with sharing such information as we have kept this aspect of our lives close to our hearts.

What we learned

These experiences changed us. We learned how to confront challenges in a proactive way—cognizant of our energy and vibe—with an optimistic mindset and always looking for the learning. We also understand we are not alone and there are ways to manage. It’s essential to feel and admit painful emotions, to allow the time to be sad and heal, and to access support when needed. We all need to make room for love and joy, and to move forward when ready.

By sharing and being open and vulnerable, we are hopeful our experiences may help you when you face similar issues or are struggling with challenges. We know people cannot escape adversity or control what the future holds, but we can monitor our attitudes, energy, and vibration, and learn to develop effective coping strategies. Remember our core message—your experiences and how you respond create your reality and future.

You can gain important power and confidence over your life to become unstoppable and the best version of yourself. We know you can do it.  

Questions to ask yourself

  1. What personal challenges or adversity have affected your life?
  2. How do you define your attitude towards challenges? If need be, what can you do to improve?
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