Katja Paus, who runs Tanglin Arts Studio, wants to provide a safe space for students to express themselves and learn dance.
We love entrepreneurs and small business owners at Honeycombers, which is why we’ve created Launchpad, a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It’s a privilege and pleasure to learn from so many talented and inspiring folks, so we’ve decided to share the love by interviewing some of the lovely Launchpad members. Looking for inspiration? Check out how Katja Paus, the managing director of Tanglin Arts Studio, gets it done like a boss.
How I get it done: Katja Paus
What is your backstory and why did you decide to launch your business?
Being an expat family for almost 30 years, we moved quite a bit in Asia, and I gave up my profession to be there for my family. When our family moved to Singapore from Hong Kong almost 14 years ago, both of my girls started dancing at Tanglin Arts Studio (TAS).
Back then, I was given the opportunity to work for TAS to be responsible for the administration and business side of the studio. A hospitality and accounting history came in handy even though I don’t have a background in teaching and dance. After a couple of years, the former owner and founder of TAS decided to leave Singapore with her family and was looking to sell the studio to someone with the same vision as her. I chose to buy the studio as I wanted to continue to provide a safe space not only for my kids but also for all our students to express themselves and learn dance.
On a typical morning
The first thing I do in the morning after waking up is to make a cup of tea, which helps me wake up and feel energised for the day. While I enjoy my tea, I usually go through my emails and make sure I’m up to date. The next thing I like to do is write my to-do list for the day. This helps me know what I need to accomplish and plan which tasks require my immediate attention. Three times a week, I also go to the gym as a way to get my body moving and give my mind a rest from work.
On dealing with self-doubt and criticism
I’ve come to understand that it’s natural to feel some self-doubt or experience criticism from time to time. However, I’ve learned that it’s important not to let these feelings or comments define me or get in the way of my success. Instead, I use them as motivation to become stronger and more confident. By taking a step back, reminding myself of my strengths, and talking to someone I trust, I can work through any doubts. Additionally, I remind myself of my accomplishments and the progress I’ve made.
On keeping stress levels low
Whether it’s work, family or finances, stress can take a toll on everyone. That’s why I find it important to take time for myself each day. Even if it’s just 10 minutes, I make sure to unplug from my devices and do something I enjoy. For me, it’s reading, going to the gym or taking a walk outdoors. It’s also important to remember that I’m not alone in this. I talk to my family and friends about how they cope with stress and see if they have any tips. Finally, don’t forget about your staff. They’re here to help you, so I ask for their assistance when I feel overwhelmed. We can all lead healthier and happier lives by keeping stress levels low.
On staying motivated and energised
I’ve learnt it’s very common not always to feel energised and motivated, so I’ve found ways through which I can stay motivated and energised. I like to remind myself why I run my business – this is for all the kids that come to my studio because they love to dance. I remind myself that I work hard for them to have a safe and welcoming space for expression. To stay energised, I make sure to take consistent breaks and eat well. I’ve found that by splitting my work into smaller tasks and taking consistent breaks, I’m able to work more efficiently.
On the advice you’d give your younger self
Always stay positive and never give up on my dreams. It sounds simple, but it’s incredible how much of a difference a positive outlook can make. When you have positive thinking, you’re more likely to be committed to your goals and take action towards achieving them.
You’re also less likely to make the same mistakes twice because you’ll be open to learning from them. So, whatever challenges come your way, remember to stay positive and keep moving forward. If I could go back and tell my younger self to keep pursuing my dreams and never give up, I’d be in a better place today.
On winding down in the evening
I like to wind down by watching a movie or reading. I enjoy these activities in the evening as they allow me to switch off my mind from work. It helps me destress and stops me from worrying about all the work I may have to complete in the next couple of days. Occasionally, I like to enjoy a glass of wine and catch up with friends and family. This helps me separate my work and personal life so that I spend enough time on both, as this is an important aspect when you run your own business.
Get in touch with Katja Paus online.
Launchpad is a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It is designed to make the entrepreneurial journey not only easier, and more successful, but also a whole lot more fun. We offer almost daily activities for members to connect, along with weekly masterclasses, member networking roulette, small-business mentoring and media profiles on Honeycombers. Check it out and join us!